Thursday, October 5, 2017

Ohio-Grandpa Bob's 92nd Birthday

When we lived in Michigan, we were close enough (about a 4 hour drive) to make regular visits to see James' grandparents for holidays. It's been 8 years since moving to California and some of our kids had never been to their house before.
So, when we found some inexpensive flights we jumped at the chance to go back for a visit.  
Bob and Georgine were excited to show us around.  At 89 and 92 they didn't have the energy that our kids do, but with the help of wheelchairs managed an active day at the zoo.
The Grizzly Bears were being fed, which kept everyone entertained for a long time.
And the slide through the otter exhibit was another highlight.
They took us to the Seiberling Nature Realm, close by their house.  They stayed in the visitor's center while we went out to hike the trails.
Georgine was very happy she was not around when Brielle found a baby snake.
One of Ethan's highlights of the trip was frog catching.  He got this one at the nature center, but also found one in the pond in the Grandparent's porch as well as many along the Sand Run River trail. 
They took us out to one of their favorite restaurants for a night out, but also made great meals for us at home.  Our kids loved the fancy dinners with candles lit and wanted the candles for every meal.
While we were there we took the kids up to see Lake Erie, wanting to show them how big the Great Lakes are.
And also went to tour Historic Kirtland to see some of the church history sites.
For Grandpa Bob's birthday we spent the day driving around Amish country.
And came back to eat our pie for dessert at home after a huge Amish meal.  The slices of pie were huge.  Preston asked if it was okay if he wasted some food after he was too full to eat another bite.  
Grandpa got to blow out his 2 candles to celebrate is 92nd year.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Route 66 Parade

Margaret was invited to be part of the Routee 66 parade again this year as Mayor of the City.  A lot of Finlay family was able to be in town to join the festivities.
James was excited to be able to drive our friend Larry's 1948 firetruck.  With no power steering and being a stick shift, it was a good workout.

Preston took his job of waving to the crowds very seriously and made sure to not miss saying hi to anyone.  He now wants to ride in a firetruck all the time and thinks that's a pretty great mode of transportation.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Sriracha Tour

We had a chance to go as a family to tour the Sriracha Factory.  They open up once a year for their chili grinding festival and allow public to come see how it all works.  The owner, David Tran came out to say hello.
The room is spicy!  With all the fresh chili's being ground you can smell it as you walk in and it burns your eyes.
But it was very interesting to watch the process of how the chilis are ground, stored, made into different sauces and packaged.
Afterwards they let us try different spiced snacks and even sriaracha flavored ice cream.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Back to School

Summer has past, school started.  I have a lot of catch up blogging to do, but I'll start with current and move back.  
Brielle started 5th grade and is loving it.  She enjoys school and learning.  She especially loves that her teacher reads to them after lunch, does obstacle courses with them in the mornings, and has a treasure chest to choose from for getting all homework turned in.

Ethan is in 3rd grade this year.  He loves being back with friends and mostly talks about the different activities he is doing during recess.  Kickball, tetherball, basketball...that's what school is about for him.
Preston is doing a preschool group with friends.  We rotate houses and have school twice a week and field trips a couple times a month as well. He loves to pretend to be like Brielle and Ethan and work on 'homework' after school along with them.  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

End of Summer Sacramento Trip

We were able to spend our last week before school up in Sacramento with cousins.  James had a conference to attend so it was mostly a work trip for him, but he did have the weekend to play.
We went to the airport in Auburn for a fun breakfast while watching airplanes take off and land.  

Preston chose this fun Mickey Mouse pancake which he loved and ate every bite.  Except he called it a quesadilla and ended up dipping it in ketchup after he ate the whipped cream.
The kids wanted to repeat the candy project they did last year.  
They were very creative with their candy chosen from Winco bulk bins.
We enjoyed going to see the Leonardo DeVinci exhibit on display at the air and space museum. It was very well done with a lot of hands one learning.
And while there we also took time to explore the aircraft outside.
I don't think my kids have ever been rollerskating.  Ethan and Preston were frustrated with how tough it was to figure out, but Brielle figured it out pretty quickly and decided she is now ready to work at Sonic.
I got to celebrate my birthday.  Summer time birthdays are the best.  We are almost always traveling for my birthday and I get to have so much fun!
As a family we went hiking to Clementine Falls on the American River.
It was a hot hike and we were all excited to jump off the rocks and play in the water to cool off.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Happy 4th Birthday Preston!

Preston asked for another airplane cake all year, just like the one from last year.  And then he decided it could be the same thing so 2 weeks before his birthday suddenly switched to a 'nemo' cake.  And then a few days before it was back to airplanes, but he wanted a runway cake this time.  

He didn't have any requests for meals for his birthday.  Anytime I asked if he wanted a special breakfast or dinner he insisted he just wanted airplane cake.
We partied hard for his birthday.  That morning was the last day of Volleyball for Brielle and Ethan, so we had a big potluck party after the award ceremony.  We then went to a friends house for a swim party and crawfish boil.
40 pounds of live crawfish delivered from New Orleans just in time for our lunch.
That night as a family we had a pizza/movie party at home and then went out to ice cream.  Although we played all day, he didn't think it was really his birthday until the next day when we celebrated with the cake and presents.
And he loved being the Captain a couple days earlier as we celebrated Gramma Finlay's birthday aboard the Arrowhead Queen.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Preston's 4th Birthday Interview and Stats

My name is: Preston (aka: PrePre, Friendliest Friend, PJ)
Height: 44" (98%)
Weight: 43lbs (92%)
Sleeping: About 12 hours 7pm-7am.
Preston loves life. No one finds common everyday things quite as exciting as Preston.  He has such an ability to light up the room.  If I had to describe him in one word it is definitely 'exuberant'.   He is a good buddy to have at home with me during the day.  He loves riding bikes, it was the ez-roller this past year, but he got a bike for his birthday and was so excited about it and runs to jump on every time the garage is open.  He is starting to read and loves practicing writing letters.  He makes up songs all the time and sings about anything and everything.  

Birthday Interview Questions
He started right off just talking and telling me about things before we got into the interview.  
What is your name? Preston
When is your birthday? June 10th
How old are you? 4
What is your favorite color?  Green
What is your favorite song? 'We Believe in God'
What do you want to do when you are a grown up?  I want to be a person that builds lights
Where do you want to live when you grow up? at California
What is your favorite food? Macaroni and Cheese
What is your least favorite food? I don't have any food that I don't like  (this is mostly true.  He is a great eater, but has always had a sensitive gag reflex.  He still often has to spit out food if he puts too big of a bite in his mouth.)
What is your favorite movie? Chuggington
Who is your best friend? Gracie and Nora and Abigail
What is your favorite book? I don't know
What does Daddy do? My dad does all the things that are good and nice.
What does your mommy do? My mom does all the things that is nice and good.
If you could get anything you want, what would you ask for?  Some treats I think
What is your favorite thing to do? Color
What was your favorite thing you did when you were 3? Do Chuggington on movies
What are you excited about with turning 4? My Birthday