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I guess I haven’t logged into my blog for a few months. I really feel when I do that I’m being tortured with instagram being so user friendly. What have we been up to??

September had the most beautiful weather! It was sunny most of the month. We ended the summer visiting several national parks and lakes. We went to long lake a few times. And hit up my Grandma’s pool in September before they closed.

September was the start of kindergarten. I was actually really sad to see Olivia go.  It’s so different public school than preschool!! We really REALLY loved our preschool teachers. I had a few conversations with some mothers about the benefits of preschool. It’s not really always about what’s being learned during the 2 hours. There is so much more Olivia has experienced that sadly gets missed in kindergarten.  I volunteer on Tuesdays in Miss Liv’s class. The experience has been eye opening.  Each time I’m there I try and sneak in some music time and a few dress up outfits while reading. When did kindergarten become all busy work, listening quietly, and just boring? Olivia goes to a title 1 school. It makes me sad seeing the dysfunction in the classroom. But Olivia loves school and she seems to be doing great.

My little guy had a birthday. I can’t believe Cruz is 2. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”  Words Cruz lives by!!

We took the kids to Southern California in September. I had a voucher for 1 ticket, we came back before Cruzer’s 2nd birthday. And the other tickets were $170 so it was pretty cheap to fly. I booked a condo in Solvang, CA which is just East of Santa Barbara. It wasn’t that much money and only a few miles to the beach. We flew into LAX and stayed a day in Anaheim to take the kids to Disneyland. I am not a theme park/amusement person. The kids seemed to have a good time though. Although, the next day when we were heading back to DL, Olivia asked if we could stay and swim in the hotel’s little waterpark. Santa Barbara is one of my favorite places on earth. I visited with my friend Rachael Nielsen. We served our mission’s together. It has been 10 years since we last saw each other. It was great for our families to meet and play together for a few days. I do love Hawaii, I mean I lived there but for a vacation with kids. My vote is California for sure!!

October was spent watching the Seahawks! We had several Hawk family parties at my house. Even a few in Issaquah. My parents came for a couple and my grandma.  We had several play dates with friends as well. The weather started getting cold and we needed some extra fun inside. I really do love the fall colors and tried to ride bikes and walk the trail as much as possible. We painted pumpkins of all sizes and shapes. Some plastic with lights. Halloween was rad. We all wore costumes. We volunteered at Olivia’s school harvest party. Cruz didn’t enjoy dressing up much but he loved eating the candy!

November we visited Great Wolf Lodge. Liv thought it was better than Disneyland. We had a great time and ended up going back in December too. My cousin got us tickets to Disney on Ice. G and I went to Ben Harper Concert in Seattle. Thanksgiving was fabulous. All my siblings came home.

December we went to Suncadia in Cle Elum. It was a great resort. It’s alittle expensive but since it’s only a 2 hour drive you can get away with staying just the one night. We swam in the pool, ornament making, sledding, ice skating. It was a winter wonderland. I’m thinking we should go every Christmas.

This December was Olivia’s 6th Birthday. We saw the Nutcracker together. I tried to convince her to have a dance party or something girlie at the painted plate but she wasn’t hearing of it. She insisted it be at Chuck E Cheese. I’m not a huge fan but I will say it is really a great place for a party. It was really cheap. And they still only charge $.25 a ride! We had most of my family there and a few of Olivia’s besties!

Christmas was fabulous! We spent Christmas Eve with my parents. Christmas day with the Rosados. It had been a really long time since our kids saw their cousins. I was reminded how important family is. Olivia was thrilled to chase cousin Jax around the house. I am sort of a scourge when it comes to elf on the self, cookies and letters to Santa etc. I guess I’m ok with my kids knowing it’s the Savior’s birthday and so we bought you a present to celebrate. I know it’s terrible. Greg and I decided not to buy each other gifts for Christmas and only got the kids a couple small things. Instead we spent the money on extended family, coworkers, neighbors. It was a great experience for our kids to give. It makes me a little teary putting away the Christmas trimmings, the beloved music, and throwing out wrappings. So many things during the Christmas Season reminded me “it’s better to give, than to receive” Acts 20:35.

All of you friends and family that mailed us letters and cards. We loved it! Thank you!

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