Our first day visiting we took an easy day at home while the boys went to school and Michelle went to teach her class (she teaches Seminary every other day for half a day, which is awesome!). The girls had so much fun with their cousins and Evie loved going to the bus stop with the boys. Now, anytime she sees two intersecting green street signs she will say "Mommy! The bus stop!"
On Thursday we went to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma. My sister's family has a membership and they get guest passes to use so we were able to get in for free with them. It was a cold, rainy day, but we still had lots of fun. Elaina was not a fan of the time we spent outdoors and every time we stopped to look at an animal she would start crying. We saw Red Wolves, a Musk Ox, an Arctic Fox (much smaller than I expected), a Reindeer, three Walruses, and a few others. Then we had lunch and went inside to the Aquarium. Elaina loved looking at all of the fishes, sharks, and sting rays. Such a fun day and both girls crashed on the way home. That night, both girls were in bed asleep at 7:30pm and I didn't know what to do with myself! So I curled up on the couch with a snuggly blanket, cup of hot cocoa, and my book. Then I made a huge batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins which were devoured within 36 hours. Well worth it.
On Friday we went into Seattle. My friend Bailey is living on the University of Washington campus while her husband is in Dental School there. We drove in, found the very last parking spot on the street (the front of the car was lined up exactly with the sign that said "No parking North of here."), and spent the day with Bailey and her daughter, Lyla. It was a blast! We made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (if you know anything about my relationship with Bailey, you'll know it always involves treats or food of some sort!), played at the playground that's right behind their apartment, and went to a field that was super close and blew bubbles and played and played. Pizza for dinner, kids in jammies, then drove home and got the girls to bed.
On Saturday we went to Jefferson's soccer game in the morning. So. Much. Fun. I loved it! And his coach wasn't super into coaching as the game went on, so I took it upon myself to shout tips to Jeffers throughout the game :) We went back home, had hamburgers for lunch with Bryce's parents and sister and her family. Everyone else (except Connor, who was deeply engaged in reading The Order of the Phoenix) went back to the soccer fields for Peter's game that afternoon. I stayed home with the girls so they could nap. Bryce's mom brought a Halloween craft for the boys and Evie to do and she had so much fun with it! She was focused on her painting and loved picking out each item (the paper design, color of paint, etc.).
Sunday was church and we had a great time there, as always. I felt like I was able to pay attention a little better and get more out of it than I do on some Sundays. I noticed a theme of developing our own faith in Jesus Christ and how to pass that on to our children. Then we had a relaxing day at home, went for a walk, and Peter and Michelle made muffins again. Again, devoured within 36 (maybe 48...) hours.
Monday was our final full day and the weather was gorgeous! We played out in the yard a little bit, Evie made granola with Michelle, and we went to a neighborhood playground that afternoon while Jefferson had piano lessons in a home across the street. We had Family Home Evening that night and for the activity Peter chose to play "Chubby Bunnies." Evie fell in love with this game. Not only did she say "and thank thee that I could play Chubby Bunnies" in her prayer that night, but she asked every night for the following week if we could play it again. She kept saying "it's time for Family Night. We can play Chubby Bunnies!!" and then would shriek and giggle in delight. On Monday night, October 23 her dream came true. We played Chubby Bunnies for our Family Home Evening activity.
On Tuesday we said goodbye to the boys at the bus stop in the rain, finished packing up our bags, and, after one final art project, said goodbye :( The girls traveled so great again and we met up with our friend from our flight on our way to Seattle, Ms. Susan. We hadn't seen her while we got on the plane, but when I took Evie to the bathroom we saw her and she held Elaina again for me. On our last flight home (from Denver to Tulsa) we sat next to her again. She was so sweet and I am incredibly grateful we were blessed to have her as a travel companion. Our second flight was delayed an hour due to some computer issues, so it made it an even later night than expected. Graham met us at the airport (and surprised me with a new phone for my birthday!!) and drove us home. Evie was so excited to see him (we all were) and she ran up to him and gave him a great big hug, giggling all the while. Elaina was all smiles once she saw him too.
|I told her she could pick out a treat and we shared this tasty sundae!|