Monday, December 5, 2016

William is 7!!!

I've been so bad about blogging lately, but I'm determined to do a better job this year! One of my resolutions is to keep up with the blogging at least once a month in order to preserve these great memories.

William is 7! He is getting to be so big now! William can fold the laundry, read chapter books, build ANYTHING out of Legos, ride bikes for miles, do karate, and swim laps in the pool. A lot of his likes have stayed the same, and it's really interesting to see how his personality is shaping.

William is very helpful, and almost always does what I ask, although sometimes gets distracted and needs reminders. He loves to learn new things and is very interested in space, engineering, animals, cooking, and karate. William will still spend hours with Legos, though during quiet time, he will also spend hours reading books as well, and I love listening to him read books to his brothers and sisters.

Here's the yearly survey:
1. What is your favorite color? Blue
2. What is your favorite toy? Legos
3. What is your favorite fruit? Cantelope
4. What is your favorite TV show? Wildkratts, Lego City
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Chicken Nuggets
6. What is your favorite outfit? Blue Striped Sweater
7. What is your favorite game? Hero's Quest
8. What is your favorite snack? Poptarts (something we've only bought once, lol)
9. What is your favorite animal? Gecko
10. What is your favorite song? Throne Room (from Star Wars)
11. What is your favorite book? Harry Potter
12. Who is your best friend? Max, Charlie, Daniel. Sam, Sage, Abror
13. What is your favorite breakfast? Waffles
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Squirt Gun fights
15. What is your favorite drink? Root Beer
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Baby Puppy, Boo Hoo (an owl), Hammer Whale (Shamu)
18. What is your favorite thing at school? Recess
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Sushi. A yearly tradition
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? An Astronaut

We had a great time celebrating his birthday with all his friends.  It was a fantastic Star Wars party, complete with Hutt dogs, Vaderade, and fruit lightsabers.  We did game rotations with a Lego starship building station,  a Sarlaac Pit throwing game, Storm Trooper lightsaber baloon games, and a Trench Run obstacle course. The party was a lot of work because Steven and I didn't plan so well and got tickets to Jim Gaffigan the night before,,,so all the prep was the morning of...which was a bit tricky. Next time I'll remember to keep that day free.  

I also made William an awesome Sarlaac Pit cake (his request) which turned out beautifully. And it was delicious too, because it was my classic chocolate cake with salted carmel frosting.  Yum!

On his actual birthday, we had birthday waffles for breakfast, and I made a surprise lunch with each item individually wrapped with wrapping paper.  He was so surprised and thought it was an extra present.  We did an after school activity at the library with the Gingerbread was something he did not want to miss and Miss Lisa was sweet enough to schedule it for after school and coincidentally on his birthday! I even let William invite Max along with us. 

 Dinner on William's birthday has become a new tradition of sushi, which even I am starting to look forward to. We gave him a new big kid bike with gears and hand brakes, something William has been wanting forever. And a magic set, because he just loves magicians.  We finished the day off by watching Elf. And until Steve became violently ill after the kids went to bed, it was a fantastic day in the Garff house!

Thursday, September 22, 2016


I'm so sad to see summer come to an end.  We started off with a long list.  We all contributed ideas, thought I will admit that a lot of them are mine.  We never get around to making popsicles, reading day, ice blocking,  grandma lunch, or math camp. But 45/50 still made for an awesome summer. 

Jane has gone down to one nap, which means our mornings are now free.  Which means lots of bike rides!!!

I've also taken some time to help Caleb and Lily learn to ride bikes. They are great at pedaling and balancing, but still need some work braking and starting on their own.  Hopefully next summer we'll get it down.
And of course, nothing says summer like parades.  We rode in one for the 4th of July, and rode to one for the 24th. 
We hung out with my brother Daniel a few times.  We loved the air show and seeing all the planes.
There was a TON of water time.  I am determined to get these kiddos all solidly swimming by next summer.  
William has it down, so he's mostly just learning various strokes now.
It wouldn't be summer for us without the library reading programs and events.  We LOVE all the fun shows and activities.  After the ballet performance, Lily now wants to be a ballerina. Yay!

One of the non-negotiable items in the Garff family is the Cabin. We spent about 10 days up there this year. Jane was a fan of her first time.
Something new we tried this year were summer "camps".  These were basically themed weeks with various activities to keep everyone entertained. 

Cooking Camp:

Star Wars Camp:
We also had a princess camp, science camp, and Lego camp.  I'm pretty sure we'll repeat them all next summer. It was such a blast!

We spent a Saturday at Liberty Park with Steve.  We rode our bikes there and went on the rides and played in the water features. It was a blast.

We had dinner at Grandma's with all the Garff cousins.

Graduated from summer and into year 2 of Mommy Preschool.
We ran a family race.  Caleb was the fastest Garff with a 5k time of 45:47.  I ran 12 miles earlier that morning so was definitely ok with his pace. 

We hit up Odgen's Dinosaur Park.  It was a lot cooler than I expected.  Plus, the tickets were free since I won some at a twins' club activity. 
The kids had fun pretending to be scared of the dinosaurs. 
And Jane just liked crawling around.

We were so busy with fun activities all summer, we never got around to watching much of the Olympics. So we sat and watched pretty much the entire men's marathon.  William was captivated.
Maybe one day he'll watch one of my marathons, too.

We also ended up getting a zoo pass when we went with the Garff cousins. My kids always love the zoo. Almost as much as I do.

It's been harder than I expected to get back into a routine. It's been about a month since school started, and I just now am feeling like we are settling into our routine of preschool and homework and extracurriculars. We miss the fun and freedom of summer, but it is good to have that structure back.  This was an epic summer and gave us some great ideas for next year.

Monday, August 22, 2016

1st Grade

William started his first day of first grade today. 

It was bittersweet. He's getting so big! I missed him while he was gone and getting homework done AND finding time to play and do extracurricular activities is going to be tricky.

But, other than short days, Willywill be at school from 8:30-3. My other kids all nap from 1-4. That's 2 hours of blissful quiet time for me to be productive and recharge for the rest of the day. And William is genuinely excited to learn new things and eat lunch at school.

The worst part, is that he no longer has Mrs. Jorgensen for a teacher. No one else will ever compare, I'm afraid.

But the best part is his bff Max is in his class! 

We've had a blast this summer and I'm sad to see it come to an end...we've learned a lot, gone many places, and had a great time keeping busy. Getting back into the daily grind won't be too difficult since we've kept a solid schedule, but there's something special about summer that I will miss. But I'm glad for the opportunity for growth and knowledge with my little ones this year! It's the last year before I'm only home with Jane so we'll have to make the most of it!

Driving Miss Janie

Grandma Karen got one of those little tikes cars at a garage sale a few years ago and it's gone in and out of fashion at our house, depending on how often we're in the garage.

The last few weeks, it has been a MAJOR source of fun for everyone. 

Jane especially. She cries when she has to get out! 

Her brothers love to push her around the park. It's a win for everyone! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Happy Birthday Jane!

I can't believe it's been a year since this sweet little lady officially joined our family.

It's been a whirlwind of a year, and there's been lots of adjustment as we figure out the best way to make our new addition part of the family.

We love our sweet Jane. She isn't always predictable, easy, or even happy, but the joy that she has added to our lives makes our hearts full.

Jane is her Mama's little buddy. One of my favorite things about her is how much she loves her mom. We have a special bond, and I hope it will be something we share throughout our lives.

I have enjoyed watching her grow and develop; each new change has been magical again. It's not like the first baby, when a parent is impatient to get to the next milestone. And with the twins, I was overwhelmed and couldn't appreciate as much because I was just fighting to survive. So it's been nice to have a little one I can truly just enjoy.

Every month, new skills develop. This month has Jane making the transition from infant to toddler. Jane now crawls! Not far or fast yet, but she can definitely get from place to place.

Jane has also added the words "nana" (banana) and "NANANANA!" (NO, NO, NO, NO!) to her vocabulary, along with lip smacking when she wants something to eat or drink. She also nods or shakes her head and is attempting to sign new words. I am loving that we can communicate more now because it cuts down on our frustrations.

She's still a little bug, 16 lbs 13 oz. but it hopefully means I just get to keep holding her for longer.

We had a great time celebrating her birthday. We decided to make lunch at Feldman's Deli a tradition. It was a hit.

We had just a simple party, with only the grandparents. All the kids picked her a gift and I made her an individual cake to dig into.

As her babyhood comes to a close, I am excited to see what the next stages of her life brings. She's been such a fun, sweet, necessary member of our family and we just can't get enough.

Happy Birthday, baby girl!