Take Your Daughter to Work Day

I titled this "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" because the new politically correct version doesn't have the same ring to it. I didn't even realize that the holiday was coming, forget the next day! Autumn came home from school and had heard about it there, and after a quick google search confirmed her sources were good, I text messaged Adam. Luckily he and his officer were on board!

Autumn left with Adam for work before 6AM, bright and early. She slept in her clothes and then Daddy did his best attempt at her hair in the morning! I packed her snacks, the iPad, her coloring supplies and everything I thought she might need to pass the time. 

After I picked Brody up from school, we headed out to Adam's office to pick Autumn up. She was all smiles when we arrived. She colored, watched some YouTube, filled up Adam's white board with her infamous doodles, and went to lunch. When I asked what else she'd done, she showed me how she had organized Adam's desk drawers - one of the suggestions I gave Adam when it came to having her help out.  

It was a fun day for her, and great for the two of them to spend some one on one time together, a rarity. She was exhausted on the way home!


Brody's Soccer Debut

After years of dutifully keeping up this blog, I finally fell into the blog abyss as so many others have before me. My goal was to get everything caught up before posting current happenings, but if that was to be my method it would only fall deeper into despair! So, instead of falling even further behind I plan to do my best to keep up with items as they happen and back date older entries as I can. My blog is such an important tool when it comes to my yearly scrapbooks!

This morning was Brody's soccer debut! Yes, debut, even though this was not his first game. A few weeks ago he had a scheduled game, showed up, and then promptly sat in the field with his arms crossed. Not having it. Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend his first game since I was working and my fear came true. Nana was trying to help, Grandpa, Adam, Jodi and even the cousins. In the end, Aunt Jodi felt like maybe that was where the issue lay - too many cooks! Too many grown ups telling him to get out there!

After spring break and canceled games due to weather, this was his second game. He's been working at practice towards earning his Power Rangers Voltron toy. That, combined with a healthy dose of prep work the night before, I was confident I could get him out on the field. 

This morning, he completely exceeded my expectations! We started by warming up with some passing back and forth, which turned into passing back and forth with his team, and eventually he was there for the opening kick off. This kid not only participated, but he played almost the entire game! And in crazy heat! The high today was 94 degrees! He held his own and even scored a goal! He had a few fantastic drives down the field and looking like he was going to really sink the ball in the goal. Eventually one did connect and he was pumped. 

I was so proud of him! We left the game completely soaked in sweat and headed to McDonalds for celebratory milkshakes, but we couldn't go without first taking a picture next to an "original Bumblebee" (before he becomes a brand new Camaro model in the movie) in the parking lot. 


The Fun Run

Each year Autumn's school puts on a "Fun Run". You can do the single mile or they have a longer race as well. They must have really pumped it up at school, because it was all that Autumn could talk about. The words "Kelli" and "running" have never shared the same sentence comfortably, but luckily Grandpa runs races and is quite the avid runner. A perfect activity for the two of them and a perfect out for me! 

It was an early start in the morning. Autumn and my Dad headed over to the school early to make sure they would arrive for the start of the races. After Brody and I got dressed and found a place to park, we found them just as they were rounding the school. Despite Autumn's new "running shoes" and "workout outfit", there was a bit of walking. Luckily she and Grandpa finished strong when she saw the finish line! They both got medals, a lunch and a goodie bag! 

Clearly, however, she shares my affinity for running. When I told her I'd run it with her and Brody next year she said, "I don't think I'll do it next year. It was a lot of work."


Patriot's Day

This year, September 11th fell on a Sunday. A member of the ward suggested that all of our service men and women and first responders attend church in their uniforms. My Dad hadn't put on his uniform in years, so the holiday warranted a trip to the Air Force base for new dress blues. I have to say, it was awesome seeing all of our uniformed ward members today. It really was special and makes me so appreciative to live in the Washington D.C. area where we really see such a multitude of service. 

My Dad and his Bishopric. 

Our ward members who have served or are currently serving. 

Autumn, Brody and the Colonel!


First Days of School

I can't believe I have a first grader in the house! Autumn was so much more confident going into school this year. The bus, navigating the halls, lunch - all usual business for this girl. She did amazing considering we only came home from the beach the night before! She had a fresh beach glow and new clothes for her first day. 

Brody was excited to go back to school as well and do so just like his big sister! One more year of preschool and then he'll be off to Kindergarten too. Where have my babies gone??


Spring Pictures

Autumn's Spring pictures came back today. What a difference from the pictures at the beginning of the year. I love her big toothless grin!


Mr. Watchdog

Autumn's Elementary school has a program called the "Watch D.O.G.S.". It's motivation is to get Dad's into schools. Dads volunteer to spend an entire day in the school and get to know the students and spend time with their own kids. After seeing countless Watch Dogs come in throughout the year, Autumn asked if Adam could come in and be one too. Lucky for us, he obliged!

After a few weeks (it books up quick!) their turn finally came. On his day, Adam got his special Watch Dog shirt and a matching one for Autumn. They get to be on the morning news together, announcing who the Watch Dog is that day, and their picture goes on Twitter and the school website. Adam gets an entire clipboard full of responsibilities for the day. Lunch is free and he got to eat with Autumn and spend time outside with her during recess. It really is a neat program. Autumn was so glad her Dad could come!


The Dale City Derby

Today was the 4th annual "Dale City Derby!" It was a great success, with a lot of new families getting into the competitive spirit. We placed 4th overall. Adam really took the lead this year and we simply helped make the design a bit more jazzy. Since Brody is all about dinosaurs lately, we went with a T-Rex theme!

Autumn and Grandpa also designed and raced a car. They won 3/4 of their races in the first round and ours made all three rounds until the very end. We have to break a tie for 3rd, which ultimately put us in 4th. Out of 17 cars, it wasn't too shabby!


Autumn's Art Show

When Autumn started Kindergarten, each day she attends a different "special". This was a rotation between two PE classes, music, guidance, library, art and S.T.E.M.. Art quickly emerged as one of her favorites. It was a very nice surprise when a letter came home, telling us that one of Autumn's drawings at school had been selected to be shown at the county art festival. 

The day of the festival, we went to find what piece had been chosen to show. This was her "Picaso Self-Portrait". She was so proud of her work, and I was so proud of her! I remember having my work displayed for the school festivals, and it is so fun to see her following in her foot steps. Everyone agrees my kids are spitting images of their Dad, but they're more like me in other ways!


Easter 2016

Easter, like most holidays, is more and more fun each year as the kids get older and you can see their excitement. The day before Easter is when our Easter bunny comes with goodies, and then we spend Sunday thinking about the Savior and wearing our Sunday best. 

Autumn left a note and gifts for the Easter Bunny, just as she had for Santa a few years before. I just loved her sweet little drawing!

I normally don't go this overboard for Easter. At all. But we had gotten some really good deals on the Legos and Dinosaur toy for Brody. I think both were on clearance. Instead of holding onto them for a later holiday, Adam thought we should just go ahead and put them all together. The kids were very excited, needless to say, when they woke up Saturday morning!

Our hunts are usually pretty lame - this is probably my least favorite Easter activity. I don't know that we ever end up with the eggs we originally set out. The kids seems to be sad when the eggs are all found, or when they find one that isn't their color. But - year after year they continue to ask. It was over in all of 30 seconds, but memories were made regardless!

Sunday morning, Brody looked so handsome but unfortunately was not feeling well. He left after being in Sacrament at church for just a few minutes. He was a ticking time bomb, so he and Adam left and his sad, sad portrait is all I have to remember his studly little suit! Autumn picked out and chose her dress this year, and though we were a man down, our family was dressed to impress!


Spring Break

Over Spring Break, we headed to Virginia Beach for a short little getaway. While my sister and her boys did this awesome ropes course, my Dad and my two kids went to the aquarium right next door. If you can believe it, it wasn't crowded at all! It was really special to be able to have so many of the areas to ourselves, and get to talk one on one with a lot of the experts. 

The kids could have spent hours in this final area of the building, which had a lot of play sets for kids. It was hard to pull them away when we needed to go and get the rest of our group. We really loved this aquarium (especially compared to the one in the Outer Banks that was a huge let down) and were super bummed when we found out there are TWO buildings, not just one. We had no idea! If we ever go back, we will have to do more exploring of what we missed.

So as I said above, right next door is a ropes course that is part of the aquarium. The boys had a blast and spent hours here. There are different levels of difficulty, but unfortunately Brody just missed the cut. Watching the boys climb across the trees was just too much for him... He so badly wanted to crawl up and follow along! 

Funny thing about that big jump... While the rest of us were waiting for the boys to wrap things up, there was a woman on this post that kept letting everyone go in front of her. She must have been up there a good thirty minutes, maybe more. Nobody could convince her to jump. Not her friends, not the strangers passing her by and not even the workers. Eventually, they had to grab a ladder and climb up to help her down because truly, jumping was the only way out of it! Even Diego had to talk himself into it, but he pulled it off! 

The next day, we somehow settled on going on Go Karts. I don't even remember what the original plan had been, but Go Karts were SO. MUCH. FUN. Can you believe this was my first time!? I just didn't grow up with a place near by, so this was my first time. Again, it was not crowded at all, so there was virtually no wait for any of the tracks we wanted to try. Autumn and Brody weren't tall enough to drive all by themselves, but they could ride shotgun with an adult driver. Jodi and I took turns, and the kids had a blast! 

The first go around Brody rode with Jodi. I don't know how much driving he let Jodi do, because he grabbed for that steering wheel as much as his little arms would let him! The finniest part was at only 3 years old, Brody needed no assistance with his track talk on the track! 

The track that Brody could drive by himself on, was pretty lame. Essentially just Power Wheels, but man did he have a blast!

Even Grandpa got in on the action!

After Go Karts, we decided to stop by the beach and let the kids play for a little bit. The board walk has a lot of playgrounds right on the beach for the kids to play on. Brody would have spent the whole day using the sand diggers! The area certainly doesn't compare to the Outer Banks, but it was a really fun trip. A great way to kick off our first, official Spring Break.