Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Level 8?

Ainsley was a bit behind after the summer because she had a lot of fear.  Ryan gave her a pep talk and let her know awhile ago that she only had a month and a half to learn her new skills.  She came home in tears that night, freaking out that she was running out of time.  I told her, forget 8, let's do level 7 again and have fun, no stress and let it go.  She was much better and somehow after that, she decided she was going to get her skills and it has been amazing to see her overcome her fear and see what she can do when she really wants to.  She is supposed to find out on Friday if she moves up, but you can see from the videos below, that she has her skills.  I am happy for her, but she has lots of aches and pains that we are constantly working to overcome.  Part of me was wanting her to do 7 again (the vault is a little scary to watch) or try something else like trampoline or volleyball, but she lights up when she is at the gym and loves her friends so much. 
I bought a rife machine, so I have been treating her much like the acupuncturist and it has been amazing!  Her Achilles have been bothering her at times, her wrists, her back, ugh, but the frequency treatment is really effective for her.  We have been using CBD ointment (medical marijuana) and that is pretty amazing stuff.  I also bought a cupping set and have been using that on the whole family.  Surprisingly, Reggie's back is always the worst.  He feels just fine though!  The chiropractor seems to have fixed his headaches because it has been several weeks without having one, so thank the Lord for that!

Floor-layout full

I don't have a recent video of this, but she is up on high beam, making these almost every time.

Sleep :(

It seems that when I turned 41, my body started falling apart.  Started with my groin, that was irritated for 6 months on the right side and then finally went away, only to show up on the left side a week later.  My left shoulder has also been freezing up and causing pain, but, my upper back has been the most life interrupting.  It started in early June and was intermittent at first, but now I can't sleep through the night.  It has been months since I have had a good night of sleep :(.  Starts at about 3:30 a.m. and every time I move, it feels like my upper back is going to break.  So, I have been getting up and sleeping in the recliner couch for about a month and it has helped a lot.  I've been doing chiropractic, massage, acupuncture and physical therapy and now instead of sharp shooting zingers, it is a deep ache, so I guess that is some improvement.  The foam roller has been the biggest difference maker and I'm now realizing that stretching after exercising includes your upper body!  I'm hearing the same things from everyone, that I'm very tight and need to stretch and stretch some more.  I need to do yoga, but it isn't something I enjoy, but I will have to start doing it on a regular basis or I might be in pain forever.  Here's a few picture of my therapy (torture)...clearly there are issues!
 This hurt sooooo bad
 I didn't even think I was bruised after this treatment, but no such luck

Monday, October 30, 2017

Firsts for Khalif

Khalif had his first swim meet this weekend and it was perfect weather!  Mid 80's!  Unfortunately, he learned a very important lesson....check your goggles before you dive.  I guess he forgot to suction them to his face and they slipped right off his eyes and it made for a very rough swim.  He was a bit rattled, started with the wrong stroke, but pulled it together and finished.  He was very upset, but we were very proud that despite the curve ball thrown at him, he finished! 
Video of his race: 
The night before the swim meet was multicultural night and there were all kinds of booths and new foods to try and we agreed that the shortbread was best, but the Chupati (sp?) from Kenya was a close second.  There was a booth from Norway, but no treats, just cool sweaters.  Khalif's grade did a song in Spanish...doesn't he look excited and comfortable having the spotlight on him??!!
Ainsley was at practice and Reggie was with his friends, so Khalif got all the attention!  

Multicultural night was part of UN week and since we are an IB school, they have a lot of awareness around that week.  The kids played games from other countries and cultures, had guest speakers from other parts of the world and did Kids Against Hunger again and put together thousands of meals to be sent to Puerto Rico!  2nd grade is the first opportunity to actually pack the food and I just happened to be volunteering when Khalif's class went through!
 Isn't his toothless smile just the cutest!!!

Friday, October 20, 2017


Well, KOA was different this year without mom and dad.  We couldn't pull together a group costume either, so we all dressed up in whatever and Ryan didn't even wear a costume!  But....we made it and the weather was absolutely beautiful (probably the best its ever been) and we had such a nice relaxing time.  It was 2 o'clock on Saturday before I even looked at my phone.  We met some new people and I had a great time catching up with old friends.  The kids were MIA nearly the whole time and had their own fun.  Reggie brought his buddy David since we had extra room in our cabin and that was good since we said no electronics.  He was very bummed about that and wondered what they were going to do.  I suggested they bring nerf guns and that was a big hit, plus they went swimming and rented banana bikes.  They spent a lot of time with Noah too.  Ainsley was glued to Camille and Khalif to Sophia and everyone was happy!
This was brilliant....he rented a uhaul and had all his smoker/cooking supplies right there and there was even enough room for a couple chairs.  I am not a fan of ribs, but his were delicious!

 Thank goodness we brought a football!
 The old lady

 These people transformed their cabin into the movie "It" and it was amazing.  I didn't even realize there was a cabin back there.

 Lots of adult goodies! 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Cute little bird that consumed our afternoon.  I saw something fluttering in the water and we've had all kinds of things in the lake, including a snake, so we ran down to see what it was and it was this poor little bird.  I told Ainsley to jump in and get it and she swept it up and it became her friend.  We let it recover and dry off and took it to what we thought was its nest, but it didn't take long for it to end up in the water again.  The kids were infatuated and were bringing it ants and bugs and it ate every one very quickly.  Khalif was a very good ant catcher.  It seemed to gain its strength back and took flight, but it wasn't flying right and it became clear there was a problem.  So....what do you do?  Keep this bird or let it be and watch it die to the hands of the cat, Maui.  Liha was on it, looking up places we could take the bird and after talking with them, she thought it had a neurological problem.  After a bunch of back and forth we decided it would be better for the bird to be with people who could help it, so we drove to Arlington and gave it to the bird sanctuary.  I should've followed up, but didn't really want to hear bad news, especially since Ainsley was so attached to this bird, so we will assume it recovered and is living a healthy life!  Quite the adventure :)
 She didn't seem to mind all the poop

 Turns out the sanctuary has a lot of birds with neurological problems, most from falling out of the nest or getting hit by a car.  It was a very cool place! 
This guy clearly had issues.
Beautiful owl
Aunt Pam was up visiting while all this chaos was going on and I'm sure the elders thought we were nuts!  They were toasting to mom who officially RETIRED!!!   YAY!!!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Birthdays and Lummi

July is a busy birthday month and since Ainsley is close, we throw her birthday in there too.  We have traditionally celebrated Khalif and Ainsley's birthday at Lummi and this year was no different.  Lots of fun and good food!
 Angel food cake was Khalif's request and Grandma Pam had a pie ready to go, so Ainsley was all over that!
 Liha suggested we tie-dye while we were there and I've always wanted to do it, so we went for it.  It was pretty easy looking back, but when doing it for the first time, it doesn't seem that it will work at all and it was pretty messy, but overall a great time.
 Working hard
 Beautiful.  We did learn that rinsing the next day was not necessary and actually bled the dye, so we stopped after a couple and the others seemed to turn out better just letting them sit for several days and then putting them in the washer.
The kids have such great memories exploring the beach and looking for sea glass, jellyfish, starfish, crabs, cool rocks on the rock beach and whatever else they can find.  And they love the ice cream from the little store before getting on the ferry.  Ainsley asked me as we were going over if orca's were ever seen and sure enough a couple weeks after we went, they were right by the Lummi Ferry!
Here they are looking for treasures.
 He is starting to get old enough where he can really help out.
We decided to do cousin pictures in their tie-dye
And Harry Potter...It has been very popular with our kids in the recent months.  Good looking bunch of wizards :).  Stella and Ruby are very much into Harry Potter, so the kids had a lot to talk about and they learned of a new website to find out what house they were in.  We had representation from every house.  I was pleased with my placement into Gryffindor, haha!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Summer Travels-thought and memories of Hong Kong

Turbulent plane ride/Khalif throwing up
Strangers taking pictures with the kids (Random boy and his selfie with Reggie)
Fast escalators
Inexpensive toys and electronics
Ainsley's food poisoning-coming out of both ends
Our awesome tour guide "uncle" Johnny
Good breakfast -interesting new fruit
Crazy taxi driver (jerky)
Lots of treats from uncle Johnny
Ocean park-incredible amount of sweat, Gondola, koala, container with french fries on top of soda.  Reggie waiting it out to see the Panda and getting an awesome show.  The rest of us trying to get back on the subway in time to see it-no luck :(.
Ryan buying movies in China and being taken into the back room and told to put his phone away 
Really awesome fidget spinners
Roll-up piano
Huge hotel room/great service 
The discovery channel-something the kids didn't really know existed until Ainsley got sick 
Street names
The boys ability to change time zones so easily
Girls thankfulness for benadryl!
Different and big minivans
Reggie unable to keep his eyes open for the first time ever!
Observations from a stranger in the elevator regarding the "handful"
Fight over Harry Potter Legos
Lightning show and booming thunder in the middle of the night
Lots and lots of shopping and no complaining 
Liked the pool/hot tub area-ryan's hour and a half sunburn
Delicious pizza at Stanley waterfront
Four of us in the back of a taxi
Reggie overcoming his fear of heights:
So tired!

View from our hotel

Uncle Johny
 Notice the street name
 Waffle Hong Kong dessert
 Photo bombed by a ray at Ocean Park :)


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Summer travels-Thoughts and memories of Japan

Warm toilet seat
Going Pokémon, Mario and Star Wars shopping-cool plush stuffies and an amazing amount of figures
Enjoyed the sweet bread ice cream treat
Chocolate looking water :(
Too too many people in too small of a space
Too many buildings and banged up
The smell of fish 
American food taste a little different
The priciness of cats and dogs (600,000 yen)
Cheap, but confusing transportation 
Loved the green Fanta
More English than anticipated
Hot and humid!!!  Tiring 
Underwater tunnel -view from hotel 
Temple and all the people 
Clean city despite no garbage cans
Had to pay extra at the hotel for swimming, exercise and even a pool side chair. No jumping in the pool
Very expensive 
Line for food almost everywhere
Loved the hotel breakfast buffet 
Conservative and traditional (no tattoos in workout area)
Lots of fun at inflatable water park 
Relatively easy time adjustment 
Doors of the subway closing and having to pry them open to get to Reggie and Ainsley inside-SCARY!!!

 Lots of people shopping

My souvineer!
Funny videos of the water park