Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decade in Review

What a life changing decade this was for us!

2000- I rang in the Y2K New Year in Orlando, it was my first full year working for Southwest and living on my own in my first apartment in Phoenix. Rick was in the midst of teaching, earning his Master's degree and also purchased his first town home in Gresham.

2001- Who can forget the year when the world changed forever? My job as a flight attendant specifically changed drastically.

2002- I have many memories traveling the country and enjoying as much on my overnights as possible, including many Mariners games. I also moved from Phoenix to Portland in the summer of 2002- the beautiful Northwest was calling me home! Rick's family suffered a big loss in 2002, his sister-in-law Julie lost her battle with cancer in June, while my own family was saddened by the sudden passing of my grandpa. It was also the year Rick took a leave of absence from his district and tried teaching down in Las Vegas... he lasted about 3 months before returning home.

2003- More traveling for me, I was commuting from Portland to Baltimore a few times a month for work and loving life. Rick was also baptized at Abundant Life in the summer of 2003, the same church we currently attend.

2004- The year that changed our lives forever... After an ice storm in the Portland area that left Rick and I stranded in our (separate) apartments, we both set off a chain of events that would lead our life paths to each other. One word: Our first date was March 30, the day after Rick turned 30, and by August we were engaged! We had a fantastic summer of travel, visiting Scottsdale, AZ, Orlando and Disney World, Baltimore, Washington D.C., New York, Honolulu, and Kauai. We also stumbled across our first home in October, something completely unexpected. It was a great year! Tim, Rick's brother who had lost his wife Julie, found love again and was married to Debbie in May, making my life a little easier- two sister-in-laws named Debbie! :)

2005- We were married on March 5th- a wonderful day filled with family, friends and lots of love! We also welcomed our niece Cassidy in February and found out in May we were expecting our own little bundle of joy. Rick's job also changed a bit in 2005, moving from elementary school to the middle school. He went from teaching all subjects, to focusing on math, science and health.

2006- We were blessed with Riley on February 9th and then pleasantly surprised in June to learn we would be adding yet another member to our family right around Riley's 1st birthday. We also said goodbye to Rick's dad, Cecil, in late November, he passed away after struggling with dementia for many months. We visited Honolulu again in August, spending time with my family and also spent some time in Las Vegas with Rick's mom, Doris.

2007- Tyson was born on February 11th, just 2 days after Riley turned 1. We also "upgraded" to a minivan from our Highlander... a sad day in Rick's eyes!

2008- After a long battle with cancer, Rick's mom Doris passed away in mid-February, leaving a large hole in our family. We still miss and think of her often. The day of her memorial service, we found out we were pregnant with baby #3. On November 1st, I was elated to hear Rick say "It's a boy!" after many months of speculation from everyone- Cooper Allan had arrived! In the middle of all the child bearing and craziness, I managed to attend college and graduate with my Bachelor's degree in May and then begin my Master's program in October. We traveled to Disney World in June and enjoyed seeing the kids so excited to meet so many characters they adore. I also reached a milestone birthday in June, the big 3-0!

2009- After consecutive years of engagement, marriage, Riley, Tyson, and Cooper, we really expected this year to be quiet and not too life changing- then we found our dream home! We were blessed to have sold our house so quickly and moved into our new house the week of December 9th, just in time to get a Christmas tree up and enjoy the holidays in our beautiful home. And as our loyal readers know, we also saw not one, not two, but THREE weddings in our extended family this year! Congratulations to the newlyweds: Aren and Jamie, Bryan and Lauren, and Michael and Sarah! Rick and I also took a couple of solo trips this year, staying at Skamania Lodge for Rick's birthday in March and visiting Disneyland in June for 4 days.
**Update** I forgot to add another important milestone in our family for 2009- Riley began preschool! It's fun to see her so excited about learning and her 5 little friends from class!

We can't wait to see what adventures the next year and decade have in store for our little family!

Happy New Year to you all!!!
2010, here we come!!

Tyson, the barber

Well, the inevitable happened... Tyson took the scissors to Riley's hair.

Last week, Tyson decided to play barber and cut A LOT of Riley's hair off... It doesn't seem so bad now, but I was devastated immediately afterward. She has such beautiful, curly hair and I was sure we'd have to have it all cut off in order to make it look normal. But, Lacee (my wonderful hairdresser) was able to figure out a way to blend it in and salvage her beautiful hair. I have to admit, I cried a bit. But, I'm over it now. I just hope it NEVER happens again...

He cut it about ear level, on the right side... even with it pulled up in a pony tail, you can still see how short it is.

Some of the hair he cut... some.
Gotta love brothers, right??

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Day 2009

Santa was very busy on Christmas Eve at the Thames house, making sure everything looked just right for Riley, Tyson, and Cooper on Christmas morning. I think he did and amazing job!

This was the view on Christmas morning...

And the beautiful view of the kids enjoying their loot. :)

How did Santa know that Cooper loves these Gerber Yogurt Melts so much?? Smart guy.

I just love this one of his hair sticking up and enjoying Tyson's Buzz and Woody dolls.

Riley and Cooper checking out her Barbie stuff.

Tyson has been talking about the Handy Manny Repair Shop for a long time... it was fun to see him so excited about it.

Riley was pretty excited that Princess (her Build-a-Bear friend from her 3rd birthday) also received a present for Christmas... a new outfit! She has a ballet "dress-up" outfit now.

Cooper, sporting his awesome shirt Sarah made him for Christmas... love it!

And Riley in front of the tree...

As for the rest of Christmas Day, there aren't many pictures, but many fond memories. Rick's brother's and their family's all came over for a Christmas dinner of ham, turkey, twice baked potatoes, salad, rolls and much more. Then we all sat around the family room playing Wii and great conversation. It was just a great day.

We try to ask the kids every night at dinner (or at some point during the day), "What was your favorite part of the day?" On Christmas Day, I asked Riley and her answer made my heart happy... because she answered the same thing twice, once when I asked her and again later in the day when Rick asked: "When the family all came over." Not, "When I opened my presents." or "Getting new stuff." She was happiest when surrounded by family and having them all over. I love that girl.
(Here she is enjoying one of her crafty presents from Uncle Tim and Aunt Debbie)

We had a wonderful Christmas around here, I truly hope you all had a blessed and happy Christmas as well. I'm so excited to see what 2010 has in store for us all.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Let it snow!

Today while the kids napped, Rick and I decided to try out our new Wii game- Toy Story Mania. We took a little break and I glanced out the window, seeing a few snowflakes beginning to fall... about an hour and a half later and WOW... there was snow everywhere!! We got the kids up and went outside to enjoy some of the beautiful white stuff!

The view from our driveway, out over the valley.

Up the street...

Our house.

The kids had so much fun!

We threw snowballs at eachother...

And built a mini-snowman.

It was just a fun afternoon!

I can't wait until Cooper can enjoy the snow, too. He was still napping when all the fun was happening. Maybe tomorrow, if the snow is still around.

Don't miss our Christmas Eve 2009 post below... still coming soon, more on Christmas! :)

Christmas Eve 2009

We had a busy Christmas Eve this year. Rick and I have both been battling a sickness for over a week now and had some last minute shopping to do on Christmas Eve (for each other), so we split up and ran the errands we needed to. We tried the 6pm church service, but after realizing there were no classes for the kids, plans changed. Cooper lasted about a song before his squirming and fussing began... so we decided to drive around and look at Christmas lights instead. The kids LOVED it!

Then we made our way home to get ready for Santa's arrival!

Cooper was the first to go to bed, but not before a cute picture. :)

Then Riley and Tyson decorated some cookies for Santa and poured some milk... they insisted he likes chocolate milk (because of Max & Ruby), but we only had white milk.

It was a fun evening... except Tyson refused to go to sleep (what else is new) because he wanted to see Santa.

I know I'm behind on blogging... I'll try to make up for it this week.
Next up: Christmas Day 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Neighborhood shindig

In moving to Happy Valley and living on a cul-de-sac filled with children, Rick and I were hoping to meet our neighbors and finally have a feel of living in a community- something we didn't have on our little street in Gresham. We had no idea we would be meeting many of our neighbors at one time, a short week after moving in! It was a bit overwhelming and I don't think I will remember all the names to faces, but it was so much fun. There were A TON of kids there, ranging in age from 14 mos (Cooper) to teenage, and many, many others in between. It bordered on chaotic at times with the kids running between the playroom upstairs and the playroom downstairs, but Riley and Tyson seemed to really enjoy it! Rick and I spent the time chatting with everyone and making sure Cooper didn't get trampled! Not only did we meet neighbors- SANTA was there!! Mark and Suzanne, the couple who host the party, have a friend who comes each year as Santa and hands out gifts to all the kids. Parents bring a small wrapped gift for each of their children with their name written in big, black letters and Santa passes them out. The kids LOVED it!

A shot of the kids surrounding Santa, waiting for their turn to sit on his lap!

Cooper's name was called first of our three kids, he did really well!

Riley helped him open his new little camera- she is such a great little helper!

Then it was her turn... she didn't want to leave Santa's lap. She's at such a fun age! Luckily, Santa got the letter we wrote and Riley received a baby My Little Pony. Although she was a little bummed later that night when she realized the baby pony didn't come with a bottle, something her letter specifically mentioned. :)

After her turn, Riley decided she need to be Santa's little helper and pass out the candy canes! She is her mother's daughter... poor girl. I wonder how long it will be before her brothers start saying things to her like "Okay, mom!" when she tries to tell them not to do something...

Finally, Tyson's turn- he took it very seriously, telling Santa he wanted a scary monster. At least the kids are consistent, that's what his letter to Santa asked for!
(He got a Toy Story/Buzz Lightyear "fishlight" (flashlight) instead. He didn't seem to mind.)

Earlier, Tyson was begging for a candy cane. I told him he needed to finish his pizza first... about 3 minutes later he return with a mouthful of pizza, saying he'd finished and wanted his candy cane now! I tell this story because in the pictures, you can see all of the pizza grease and sauce around his mouth... next time I'll pay attention to that and maybe clean him up a bit! :)

Cooper decided once was enough on Santa's lap!

So he sat with mommy instead!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

We met Santa...

... and some of our new neighbors!

Here is a preview picture from a neighborhood Christmas party we were invited to on Friday...

I'll post more photos and stories about it later today or tomorrow... I'm off to work for the day, but wanted to at least get a new post up!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The newest Mrs. Thames

This past Saturday, our nephew Michael married an amazing woman, Sarah!

Riley served as a flower girl and Tyson was the ring bearer, they're getting to be pros at it!

Cooper just got to look handsome-- something he does pretty well.
I have ZERO pictures from the ceremony, which I missed 90% of because of loud kids, but there
are plenty from the reception. It was so fun!

The new Mr. and Mrs. Michael Thames, being announced at the reception.
Riley loved her dress and was happy to pose for several pictures...
She also twirled and twirled and twirled, loving every minute of it! She was great entertainment!
Cooper played peek-a-boo to occupy this time!
I love my husband!
Brother-in-law, Randy and sister-in-law, Debbie.
The kids got small gifts from Michael and Sarah. Tyson got a Cars toy, which he enjoyed playing with all over the dance floor.
Riley got a princess dress-up kit with gloves, a purse, necklace and Sleeping Beauty Polly Pocket.
Cooper got some play keys, but I didn't get a picture of those...
Newlyweds, Jamie and Aren!
Riley and aunt Debbie
The boys found the speaker very fascinating!
And Tyson had LOTS of cake... like 2 or 3 pieces. Yikes!
The first dance.
Nothing like two little flower girls dancing together... the other little girl's parents were smart and brought a change of clothes.
Riley was too busy dancing to be a part of our "family" picture.
Sarah and Cooper
The kids were exhausted by the time we set out for home- they had so much fun dancing!
One of about 20 pictures I have of Riley really cutting a rug- she's good!
And a part of the conga line! I think she would have danced all night if possible!
Welcome to the family Sarah- we are lucky to have you!