Tuesday, July 3, 2018

May 2018

Wow, I'm tired just thinking about all that happened in May this year. 
Erik's last week of 1st grade, and last week at Discover U were the first week of the month. He sure loved his teacher, Mrs. Tuhy, and all his friends there. This school was so good for him!
 Erik's last day was on the 2nd, and the next day we headed out for Nevada. The night before we left the kids went to play at a friends house and some of our ward members came to help us load the truck. It was sure hard to drive home to our empty house after picking the kids up and saying goodbye to our dear friends!
The first day of the move we drove 7 hours to our hotel in Las Vegas, and boy were we excited to get out of the car! We got settled and then headed down to the pool to burn some energy. Everyone had a ton of fun, so much so that Maren decided to bring along a souvenir and imprinted the pool deck on her forehead. Poor kid, that had to have really hurt, and the mark stuck around for a couple of days.
 After we'd finished swimming we headed back up to our room to watch TV until the kids were ready to crash.
 Sharli was the first to pass out, and looked so tiny in that big hotel bed.
 Day 2 we woke up bright and early, ate some cold cereal for breakfast, and hit the road. After 10 very very long hours of driving we finally made it to our new house. Members of our new ward were waiting for us when we pulled up and had the truck halfway unloaded before I ever got to even set foot in my new home. People kept asking me where to put things and nearly fell down when they found out we'd never seen the place before. Luckily for us we really like our new home, and you just cannot beat the view from the front porch!
 Amid all the hustle and bustle of un-packing and settling in, Erik started loosing teeth left and right. The poor tooth fairy was kept pretty busy during our first few weeks here!
 A week or so after we got here the kids and I were getting a bit stir crazy in the house all day, so we piled in the car and headed up the mountain to check out Lake Tahoe. The first thing we did was find a park where we could have a picnic lunch. The kids couldn't believe the size of the pine cones around here!

 At this point we hadn't seen more than a glimpse of the lake through the trees, but even that much was beautiful! I couldn't wait to finish up our lunch and get down to the lake.
 I had not really made any plans, and didn't even really know where to go up there. I just followed signs until I found a beach the had free parking that day. The kids hit the ground running and were so excited to go check out the water.
 They did pretty good staying in the shallows and mostly keeping dry, but poor Maren ended up face planting right into the water. Talk about cold!
There was a big beautiful Canada Goose that kept bobbing past to check us out. He was probably hoping we had something yummy for him. 
 In between adventures life went on as usual. Lots of unpacking, cleaning, and organizing. We did discover that our local library has a Lego club, so we started going to that every week and we love it!
 One of the first adventures that Ethan got to come on with us was to check out Washoe Lake State Park. They were having a big event that allowed us to get into the park for free. There were all kinds of fun booths and displays to see, but our favorite was the handcar they'd set up for the day in the parking lot.
 After exploring the event we went to check out the rest of the park. There is a really fun little maze for the kids to play in and we spent quite a while in there!
 Near the maze was a sign for a trail to the beach, so we decided to check it out. A bit of a walk, and a scramble over a sand dune and we were there. Not as pretty as Tahoe, but still a fun place to sit and watch the water. The kids loved dipping their toes in the water and making sand castles.
 Of course we also had to get Ethan up to Tahoe for his first visit, so on a day when he wasn't working we loaded up the car and headed up the mountain again. It was a cold day (about 49 degrees), but we didn't let that stop us.
 We found ourselves all bundled up at Nevada Beach. While it was too cold to even put our toes in, we did have a lot of fun just watching the water and playing in the sand.
 What started out as a beautiful, mostly clear day changed pretty quickly on us. It was pretty spectacular to watch the storm roll in over the lake and take over everything. We found a library that had a great kids' area and spent a long time playing there and waiting for the storm to blow over. It was really a fun day and I can't wait to go back up there again, though we'll probably wait until Fall when most of the tourists leave.
 Our first few weeks in Carson saw more rainy weather than our kids had seen in the entire year we lived in Arizona. It was hard to keep everyone busy while things were so cold and wet, so we were on the look-out for fun (indoor) places to blow off some steam. One of the kids' favorites was the Nevada Railroad Museum. It was pretty cheap, and was a lot of fun for all of us.
As the rain continued we finally got unpacked enough that I could start thinking about decorating. It's fun to have some new pictures of us all on the walls, and really made if feel more homey in here.  
 The kids weren't too sure about all the wet everywhere. I even turned a blind eye one day and gave them free run of a huge puddle, and they didn't even know what to do with it. Next time it rains here I'm going to have to get out there and show them how it's done.
 Probably our very favorite Saturday of the month was when we went down to the railroad museum to ride the trains! It was a cool day, and there weren't very many people there to ride, so we nearly had the place to ourselves.
 We went into the Wabuska Depot and bought our tickets, then climbed aboard.
 The kids were SO excited, and Ethan and I weren't too far behind.
 We got our tickets stamped by the conductor and we were off!
 It was really incredible to watch these machines in action. We really enjoyed our ride, but it was just as fun to sit in the grass and watch the trains go by for the rest of the morning.
 Because it was the first run of the season they tried to make it a big event. Smokey the bear was there to great the kids and hand out free trinkets. The kids were pretty thrilled to walk away with all the puzzles, frisbees, book marks, and coloring books they could get their hands on.
 We ended up playing frsibee (thanks Smokey!) for a long time on the lawn while watching the locomotives go by, and it was just a really really enjoyable day.

One of the first things we did after settling in was to go sign up for a Costco Membership. The kids love going there, and think the number one reason to do so is to eat all the samples. The next reason is to look at all the books. If Mom happens to pick up a few groceries while we're there then it's just a bonus. :)
 On Memorial Day we decided to take another trip up the mountain, this time to Spooner Lake. We took the kids for a 2.5ish mile hike around the little lake, and had a lot of fun. The kids were troupers, and even Maren walked almost the whole way. It did take us all day, but we did it!
 Really, the smell in these mountains is so amazing that you don't even have to bury your nose in the tree bark to smell it, but we did it anyway.

 We brought along our Naturalist's Adventure Pack that Grandma Kathleen gave the kids for Christmas and they each got to take a turn carrying it. They love getting to use all the neat tools for checking everything out!
 Our favorite find of the day was the Snow Flowers we found growing by the trail. We'd never seen anything like it and wouldn't have had any idea what it was if a passing hiker hadn't said something about it.

 Of course Maren hiked in style the whole time with her kitty ears and her shades. It was fun to watch the reactions from the passing hikers.
 We drove a little ways around Tahoe and decided to take a different route home than we'd done the previous times we were up there. We found a place that still had snow on the ground, and the kids were too excited not to stop. They didn't care that they didn't have coats or gloves, they just dove right in.

Looking back I'm amazed at how many fun things we packed into our first month here, and I'm excited to see what else we'll come up with to see and do. This place has so many neat opportunities.

April 2018

I have to be honest. The month of April is kind of a blur. We were so busy frantically packing, house hunting, and trying to find someone to lease our AZ home that everything else was an afterthought.
We did start of the first of the month with Easter Sunday. We went over to Nate and Kate's house and had a fun time with them and Kett and Cameron. The kids got to hunt for Easter eggs and play, while the adults visited. It was really nice. 

As long as we had all the Mower grandkids together in one place we went ahead and snapped another picture of them all. Who knows when we'll all be in the same place again. 
 After that bit of fun, things just got crazy. I started making almost daily runs to WalMart to scavenge for boxes (and buy leftover Easter candy on clearance...).
I tried to pack a couple boxes each day, as well as keep the house clean enough to show to prospective tenants. It was exhausting!
 The kids did a great job of entertaining themselves and each other. Erik was loving the mountains of cardboard laying around to create with. He even make a model of the solar system with one. 
 Sharli discovered that she can entertain Maren by retelling well-known books to her, which was a huge sanity saver! Thank goodness for her little helper heart!
 In addition to all the moving preparations, we were also trying to squeeze in as much time as we could with all our friends. With temperatures hitting the triple digits already we made several trips to the splash pads around town, as well as a super fun day at an indoor play place. We sure love our AZ friends!

Sharli continued to go to our twice-weekly preschool co-op right up until the day before we moved. Having those days where she was doing preschool and Maren was doing toddler swap with my friend Tiffany was such a huge help when it came to getting stuff done. Here they are waiting for their ride to their respective activities. 
 So much happened this month, I feel like there should be way more to share here, but it was just a ton of crazy tiny details that get lost in the big picture.