Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pinecrest 2012

This past Sunday Jeff and I packed up the kids...well the two little ones anyway...and headed out to try a new camping spot that many recommend.
(This was the first family vacation that Dominic had to forgo, due to other commitments. Sad.)
 We were joined by some friends...Alan and Mary!
 We took our bikes.
And Emmy's skates:) 
We had lots of fires. 
And lotss of smores! 

Bunga and Papa came up and joined us for 1 night and most of the next day. 

Pinecrest is an awesome place to camp! It is so family-oriented, with movies and programs for the kids every evening at the ampitheatre, an amazing lake for the kids to swim in, a snack shack for soft serve ice cream...the list goes on!

We spent lots of time at the lake.
Thank the Lord for our new Tommy Bahama "Beach Comber" from Costco to lug all of our stuff to and from the lake! 
The kids had so much fun! 
Papa got some relax time. 

The kids loved their ice cream:)
I had to finish Emmy's. Darn! 
There were splinters... 
And evening walks along the water...

More lake time... 
Emma Kate is a sweets girl...just like her momma. 
 Most of the adults didn't get much sleep at night. It was FREEZING!
And in our tent there were children up many, many times during the night:(
Alan and Mary got some naps in in the afternoons though.
I remember a time when I was able to get a nap in.
Connor learned how to play frisbee while Emma napped. 
The kids loved having Alan and Mary with us!
We were all sad when they left a day early due to lack of sleep.
The last night we decided to walk for ice cream instead of having smores... 
(Another friend of Jeff's who lives about a half hour away from the campground joined us for the was so cool to have so many visitors!)
I am so conflicted about camping. It is SO much work!
As we were setting up camp, Jeff looks at me and says, "We could've saved ourselves a lot of energy by just setting up the tent in the backyard!"

To which I responded, "We are making memories for the kids!"

This became the saying of our trip.
Jeff reminded me, "We are making memories." as I slipped back in bed in the middle of the night for the 5th time.
As Emma Kate was having a meltdown at the lake because we had pushed off her nap too long.
As the kids had dripped ice cream from head to toe.
And as we had packed up the car to leave, bikes on the van and all, tried to start the car, only to find the battery was dead!

"We're makin' memories!"

But those smiles on their dirty dirty faces throughout the trip made all the work...
almost...totally worth it.

And as far as the Pinecrest Campground goes...
The Schwab Family will definitely be back!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Anniversary

9 years ago today, I married my best friend.
(We started dating over 14 years ago!)
It's kinda crazy how it can feel like just yesterday and also like a lifetime ago.

Jeff worked today and I spent the day running the kids around.
At the end of the day we were able to get away.
Thanks to Jeff's parents, who stayed with the kids,
we were able to take off to San Francisco for dinner together.

We were headed to Scoma's, a favorite from before we were married, but as we were headed down
The Embarcadero, we came across a restaurant we went to on my birthday...

...Jeff started talking about the steak he had eaten there the last time.
And, well, our mouths started watering, and Hillstone won.
I did make him promise to bring me back to Scoma's on a Date Night sometime soon.

The food did not disappoint.
And we saved room for dessert this time:)

Over dinner we talked a little about our wedding.
Funny how during the first several anniversaries we reminisced about the actual wedding date,
but now as more time has gone by, we spend more time on what we have accomplished together, as well as all that we have endured through the years.

I love anniversaries. Each year it's like getting a little reminder of how special it is to have found a partner in life. Someone to always wake up to in the morning.
Someone who always has my back.
Someone to laugh with.
And cry with.
Someone who knows me better than anyone else on this planet.
Someone who is always the last person I see before I go to bed at night. 

We agreed that we bring out the best in eachother, and yes, we also know how to bring out the worst.
Anyone who tells you that marriage isn't work...
well...he is a liar.
Or just isn't married.
It is.
It's A LOT of work.
But we've made it thus far.
We've changed a lot over the years.
And so has our love.
It keeps getting stronger as time goes on.

Happy Anniversary, Honey!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Father's Day 2012

This Father's Day was a lot more relaxed than it normally is.
All the other father's in our lives, except for J, were out of town for most of the day.
So that allowed us to relax and enjoy the day together.

We had time to play a game. 
 Jeff wanted a special lunch.
The boys worked on putting together a new rocket they're planning on launching soon.
(Don't be's a pretty simple engine powered something or other....I'm not really involved in this little venture, but I am assured it's safe. I hope.) 
 We had some special surprises for J.
Dominic had gone and purchased his own gift for him...
The clock was a huge hit!
And Dominic even offered his help in putting it up. 

I also rallied the kids and we filled out the following questionaires about their dad.

Dom's version: 

 Connor's version:
And Emma's version:


and Connor

 had even decorated their own poster board signs to hang in the house.

After Emma Kate woke from her nap we headed down to a local bbq cook-off/fair.
We walked around a bit and told The Littles they could ride one ride.

The following are my favorite ppics from the day

I was so surprised because typically Connor is my Nervous Nelly and Emma Kate is my Dare Devil.
(Thank you to Tegan who suggested PicMonkey for collaging!
It's not perfect, but ok for my first try.)

We ended the day with my parents and my brother's family all joining us for dinner at our house.
It was so relaxed and if not for a few glasses of wine, I would have some pictures of our time together as well.

We didn't get to see Jeff's dad at all:(

I'm not gonna lie...the day was exhausting.
I got up with the kids in the morning and let Jeff sleep in a little.
I also did bedtime routine on my own, letting him relax in the evening.

Not only did I go to bed exhausted, I went to bed thankful.
Thankful to our ultimate Father.
Thankful for my own wonderful father who is still in my life.
Thankful for an amazing FIL who has always been a great example to my hubby as to who a father and husband should be.
Thankful for a brother who is finally the awesome father I always knew he would be.
And thankful for an amazing husband, who not only has given his all to father my own son, but is amazing with our two other little munchkins as well.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Another School Year is...Over

Wow! How could it possibly be June already?
I am both sad and relieved at the same time.

The end of the school year really snuck up on me.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Connor's teacher is retiring this year and I had high hopes of putting together a really special gift for her. One that she would always remember as a gift she received on her very last day of teaching.
But I did give her a really "sweet" gift...
an idea I got last year from Mel over at The Larson Lingo and have used many times for various occasions.
I do love this gift. It is simple and thoughtful.
I needed to give something to Connor's afterschool care teachers as well.
So this covered all of them.
BTW...Did you see Starbucks' teacher inspired gift cards this year?
So cute.
I added one of those as an extra for Connor's Kindergarten teacher.

Dominic also likes to take a little something for his teachers. High school teachers don't get nearly enough thanks for the work they put in.
(My high school teacher friends- you can thank me later;)
But's true.
So he took these...
Very simple.
He said there was no way I was allowed to add a ribbon.
Or a note.
He ok'd a which he would hand to them separately.
(I wonder if they actually tasted them. Hmmm.
If you received cupcakes from a high school student, would you eat them?)

Anyway, let's get to the important stuff...
like how much my boys have grown this year!

Dominic...August 2011 
And Dominic...June 2012 
What a man, ehh?!!
I could brag all day long about this guy!
It is crazy to stop and realize that we are half way through high school!
Dominic had an incredibly hard year this year, with 2 AP classes, a couple of honors classes, running Track & Field...and we have... Four. Point. O.
That's right! In other words....
But aside from the grades and very high aspirations for his future.
He is genuinely a good kid.
With an amazing heart.
And an incredible, inspiring love for God.
The name "Dominic" does mean "Belonging to the Lord."
And boy does he!
Dominic also got his Driver's License this year and finished up the last month of school, driving himself to and from.
This also gave Mom an extra half hour in the a.m!
Thank God for any extra time!

 Then there's Coco...aka Connor.
(Emma Kate calls him Coco...and it's kinda sticking with us all!)

August 2011
June 2012

 It's a little hard to tell from the pictures how much he has grown, but I tell you this boy is a weed!
And he is the one who is going to eat me out of house and home!
Our Kindergarten days are over and 1st Grade is quickly approaching.
This year Connor read his 1st book...Bears on Wheels, by Dr. Seuss.
He was so proud, that he wanted to take the book to school.
Apparantly he asked his teacher if he could read it to the class, and she obliged.
He came home with a special certificate from his teacher for having read a whole book to the class.
(P.S. I have shy children;)
This caused so many other kids to want to read for the class, that his teacher made a
Sign-Up sheet for reading to the class.

Connor has a zest for life and learning that I wish I could bottle.
(If only I had a quarter for every time I told him "Keep your hands to yourself" this year, I'd be a rich woman. P.S. I think he gets that from his dad;)

You know I have to admit that life gets pretty crazy.
Many days I look around my house in complete and utter discouragement.
There just isn't enough time in the day to get everything done.
I sometimes feel like all I do is yell and I definitely don't laugh enough.
 I just sit down on the floor to actually play with the kids, when the buzzer of the dryer goes off...and before I know's time to leave for Taekwondo.
And then...
Dominic says something like, "What can I do to help?" as he shakes his head "no."
Or Connor says,
"Mommy, I want to stay with you forever."
Or Emma Kate comes running from the bathroom squealing, "Snake!"
after just using her big girl potty.

And it takes me right back into the moment, thanking the Lord for 3 amazing children.
Not perfect.
Not always.
Gifts from Heaven.

And nothing else matters.

Summer, here we come!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Promotion Tuesday

Even though today was officially the last day of school for the boys, Connor's school held a Kindergarten Promotion Ceremony on Tuesday.

It was so stinkin' cute!
And so was Connor.
The children all made their own hats.
They sang songs. 
 The teachers got into it too:)
 They marched to "Pomp and Circumstance."
 I included this picture to give you an idea of how tall Connor is compared to his classmates!
 They even received "diplomas!"
 After the ceremony they held a little party in the classroom.
Connor shared his seat with his sister. Love.
 And the children enjoyed one of their last Kindergarten Rug Time Stories. 
 After class we got some pics with some friends.

 It's kinda surreal that the year is over. I honestly don't know why it still comes as a shock to me...
every year I say, "I don't know where the time goes!"
...Well I'm sayin' it again!

Some day...before I know it...I'll be searching for the following picture to display next to a High School Graduation picture of this little guy.

He looks so thoughtful.
I wonder if he's pondering his future, the way I do.

Ehhh...he's probably wondering how soon he can get out to the playground with his buddies.
And that is perfectly fine with me.