It's been quite some time since I've blogged. On November 18th 2015, Emmett was born. It's amazing to me how this new baby comes into your world, you don't know anything about him, and then soon enough the family would be totally incomplete without him. Getting to know Emmett as he has developed into the 2 year old he is today has been such a joy. He is definitely the biggest ham of the family, quite an entertainer. He loves to smile and laugh and he's quite good at both of those.
We've been living in Washougal for about 9 months now. It has been a really positive move for our family. We love our house, we love our neighborhood, and our little town isn't too bad either. The neighborhood is great because there is no through traffic, which makes it much safer for family walks and bike rides. At the end of our street there's a little Forest that's fun to walk through. The forest does get stinging nettle growing in it during the summer, and the children have come to refer to the entire Forest as stinging nettle. How is an excellent bike rider ripping around the neighborhood on his 14 inch bike. Eleanor rides really great on her balance bike, and is absolutely ready to ride on a pedal bike we just need to spend a little more time working up her confidence. Eleanor just celebrated her 4th birthday, and to work on that confidence I took Howie's old 12 inch black bike and spray-painted it purple, put some Frozen stickers on there, and tied on some pink and purple paracord tassels to the handlebars. I wield it into the living room on the day of her birthday and when she came out to see it she said oh my gosh a Frozen bike! I love my new bike! She didn't appear to notice that the bike was just her brother's bike with a makeover, but a few minutes later she exclaimed my bike has the seat from Howie's bike!
Eleanor has quite the sense of humor as well. She loves to invent hypothetical situations, and then declare them to be so silly. Sometimes she'll get her face right up in your face, and offer you some silly piece of insight in a soft dramatic voice. Usually when she gets to the Crux of what makes her situation so silly, her face will take on the cutest little look of sarcasm I've ever seen. I wish I could bottle it up somehow and keep it forever. Eleanor seems to be a natural princess. We tried not to push her too hard in any particular direction, but she just loves pink and purple and princesses. And daddy sure loves his little princess. She goes to preschool Tuesday and Friday from 9:15 until 12:40. The owner of the preschool is the wife of the con of our contractor, guy, who is done a lot of work on our house including the guest house outside.
How he started kindergarten last year, and seems to have taken very well to it. After his first day of school, we asked him how his day was, and he said it was the best day ever. The next day we asked the same question, and he said he's all done with school. But overall he seems to enjoy School, and is doing very well there. His teacher Raves about him for being adorable, well-behaved, and ahead of the curve academically. On the first day of kindergarten the kids are asked to count as high as they can. Howie counted to a hundred, which is the goal for the year. Within the last couple weeks how is reading ability has really taken off. He can read Beginner Books now which is really fun to do together. I bought a an app for Howie on his tablet called code carts. It's designed to teach children the basic concepts of writing code. He beat all 50 levels in 2 days.
Random story, when Howie was three he fell asleep in our minivan on the way to my parents house. Suddenly he woke up with a bit of a gasp, and exclaimed I almost got a little bit sleepy.
This last Christmas, my whole family came up to Washougal and it was awesome. The Walkers, Skelton, birdie and Casey, and my parents all came up. Everyone except birdie and Casey stayed at our house, and it worked out pretty well. This gave me a deeper appreciation for having a larger house. My parents stayed in the newly built guest room outside. Construction had literally finished the day before they arrived. I felt really proud to have them in there. The Walkers arrived 5 days before Christmas and then everyone else mostly arrived on Christmas Day. Our minivan had gone into the shop a week before, so we were in need of a rental vehicle. We decided we may as well rent a giant 15-passenger van, because at the weekly rate it just wasn't that much more than renting a minivan. It was a ton of fun having all three families in the van, the baker's Walker and Skelton. We had some fun outings including the Oregon Museum of Science and innovation. Earlier we had gone to the Oregon Zoo with the walkers, but that ended up being a little rough because it was 33 degrees out and Evelyn was very uncomfortable and very vocal about it the entire time. Poor little girl. It was really a wonderful Christmas, and so great to be altogether in our home. I had so many great conversations and interactions with my family which meant so much to me.
Today was my grandmother Rosemary memorial service. Her death hadn't really felt real to me yet as I hadn't been around. In the memorial service my emotions we're finally stirred up, and I was able to grieve her passing. I got to see extended family members that I did not even see, and had a lot of meat conversations with them and old familiar Twin Lakes faces. It was a very beautiful service, with very heartfelt words spoken. There were lots of laughs and lots of Tears. Debbie and Sue talked about things their mother had taught them it was cute and very funny at times, and a refreshing change of format for a memorial service. My dad spoke about his mom, and told the story of how Rosemary and Harold came to Faith on the same day. Most everyone's seemed to mention how outward Rosemary was with her faith, and how explicit she was with regard to Jesus. My dad also put together a very nice slideshow of her life which brought a lot of tears to my eyes. My mom talked about Rosemary's final 3 years how they decided to move her from her home into their home, and how six months later they decided it was time to move her from their home into de una more.
Julie invited everyone over to her house after the memorial service and most of us went. We ended up hanging out there all afternoon which was really a blast. Katie and the kids stayed home and Washington. Katie was willing to bring the kids down to California for the memorial service, but at 7 months pregnant, I figured carding three kids and car seats through the airports just didn't seem very practical.