Friday, January 9, 2015

Griner 2014 Newsletter

Griner Christmas 2014
We’ve had a busy year on our Yellow Brick Road, always something to do and places to go.  A summer of musicals, water parks, and days at the lake!  Turtle and frog catching, exploring, camping as a family and sailing for the first time!  The kids enjoyed their weekend turn at Grandpa/Grandpa Griner’s house, cooking on the fire pit, playing board games, and watching the Royals in the playoffs and World Series!

Andy (35) Enjoys working at Garden Terrace, his patients, and co-workers.  He played the guitar for Ainsley’s kindergarten class and the kids loved listening to the new songs he has written! He went to the Monday Night Football game with his brother Nate, big win!  He also went on a couple of elementary field trips!

Aubrey (10) Knows who she is and what she stands for.  She loves to write stories, draw, and go to activity days.  She joined Choir and made the Student Council, which keeps her very busy.  She HAS to pack her own lunch and pick out her own clothes.  She loves bike riding and playing tetherball!

Caleb (9) Went to scout camp for the first time (rain, tornado weather, AND shine), loves skateboarding, reading, playing basketball, and running fast.  He enjoys science and cool planes/jets.  Grandpa Griner took him fishing for the first time and he caught some big ones!!!

Ainsely (7) Is a dreamer, a pretender, and a dancer.  She loves everyone, loves to dance, and loves food!  She loves school, homework, and helping others.  She has had a blast playing soccer this year and recently started gymnastics!  She participated in the high school mini cheer camp and cheered at the high school football game!

Tate (5) Is easy to please, strong willed, and always dirty.  He loves to explore, swim, and can get into mischief so quickly it makes me scared to turn around!  He loves his grandparents, preschool teacher, and always has something in his hands or pocket!

Winston (1) Family favorite, giant fat beast, and lazy.  He likes to play tetherball, skate board, and play keep away ball…we all love to watch him!  He is Tate’s right hand man for exploring and trouble!  He is loveable and affectionate and our family wouldn’t be the same without him!

Sara (29) This year I learned that volunteering in kindergarten is rewarding and I love every minute of it!  I learned that being pregnant while having older children isn’t easier it’s just a different kind of busy with extra hustle and bustle!  I learned that snow in May is not my friend and snow in early November well…no kind words.  I learned how much I love watching my children participate in musicals, sports, and receive awards.  I learned that being called to serve in Young Women’s isn’t scary and it is a blast.  I learned (but haven’t discovered) that there has to be an easier way than hours of Common Core with your kids, if I leave my boots out Winston will eat them, and I love a house full of people!  I learned that through loss comes strength and love, through gospel lesson preparation comes personal strength and compassion, and through silence comes the ability to learn and grow.  I can’t wait to be 30!

With all the after school activities, swimming fun, and play dates we are adding one new adventure to our daily lives…a baby boy in early 2015.  We are excited to welcome a new little person/personality into our family because after all…There is no place like home!
Andy,Sara,Aubrey,Ainsley,Tate, and Winston

Christmas 2014

 The joy of family pictures. I announced that we are taking a quick picture before church.  The special Christmas service, and all the kids come down in random dress clothes?  Making them all go change into their Christmas clothes was not a good way to start off pictures.  They looked at me like I should have told them to put on Christmas clothes….I would think it would be obvious!!!  I think 11 tires in all…then out the door to church!

 This is what timeout looks like.  It's a serious thing that happens when you plow down my nice, nicely decorated, extra tall Christmas tree.  It was recoverable but it took forever and a box of ornaments were shattered!:( 
 Christmas Eve was a lot of fun.  Our 3rd year tradition…fancy dinner that everyone helps with while dad is at work.  Fancy table setting, sparkling juice, and fancy cups.  Afterwards we opened pj's from the Clark Grandparents, did Chimes, and watched It's a Wonderful Life.
 Aubrey's note to Santa and Mrs. Clause.  This was a tough one.  She wanted to believe so badly, she asked me point blank and I just couldn't break the spirit.  I asked her "How does Christmas make you feel?..What do we do differently during Christmas?…Why do we really celebrate Christmas?  I told her told hold onto those feelings and thoughts.  I think it bought me one last year!
 After the kids were in bed asleep we brought the presents down (I am not cool enough to leave them under the tree…no no).  We were extra sneaky this year.  Waiting until 2 or 3am.  We knew Aubrey would be waiting/listening….we did great.  
 Filling the stockings that Grandma Griner made us almost 12 years ago and laying stuff out.  This was a fun year.  Of course, the kids were up by 5 tip toeing downstairs.  We made them wait until 6 until we came down.
Caleb got the skateboard he wanted so badly, metal detector, and fishing pole.  "Santa" aka. Andy also put a Mine Craft shirt in his stocking…which Caleb said, "Santa must be real because Mom would never let me have a video game shirt!!!"  True that is!!!  Andy added it last minute!
 Ainsley about died when she saw the One Direction blanket Grandma Griner gave her.  
Tate was very excited for all the boxes…"Oooo, is this my box I asked for?'  The fact that things came in the box was a bonus.  

We made blueberry muffins and watched The Christmas Story.  We played HiHo Cherry-o, Don't break the ice, and spent the rest of the day being lazy!!  The kids all agree it was the best Christmas Ever!

Let's DO December

Let's DO December!
December has come and gone.  2 musicals, 4 choir performances, 3 kids in gymnastics, party decorating for 350 people, Christmas Fiesta, lights, painting, and preparing.

I do not think we could have squeeze more into December than we have.  With the kids getting older there is more to be done, more places to go, more projects to turn in, and more homework.  Oh the dog….yes, he is still around if only by default (the default is that the kids count him as a family member…he ruined my tree, ate my boots, and is a GIANT LAZY BEAST)!
 There were so many lights to see..The Magic Tree in Lee's Summit was amazing, LongView Lake lights, Edgerton lights, and lights near Olathe Lake.  It was Tate's first Christmas that he could remember (last year he was so sick and recovering from what was suppose to be a minor surgery, nothing is MINOR with Tate).  Everything was amazing, and magic!
 I signed Ainsley up for gymnastics.  With Ainsley signed up Aubrey wanted signed up (because before school Chior and Student Council aren't enough).  Then Caleb was watching the boys pro team and was signed him up for 2 classes a week by the end of the night.  3 nights a week at gymnastics…at least they get all their energy out and they really like it!
 So many performances….Aubrey's 4th grade, Caleb's 3rd grade, and it was so fun to watch them.  Aubrey has a speaking part and did great…Caleb had a main part/solo.  Add, Christmas in the park…at the school…at the high school.  Lots and lots to do!
The kids also had field trips to the Baseball stadium the last week of school in the rain/sleet.  BURRRR!
Ainsley turned in her Family Christmas Tree Project and Aubrey turned in her project with help from Grandma Clark's trip to Israel it made the project memorable with a scarf, wooden flute, and bracelet from Jerusalem for her presentation.
Add a half birthday celebration and it was a wild busy week before school got out!  Me personally, I do not understand half birthday celebrations.  I did birthday, but it was important to Aubrey for me to eat lunch with her and her friends, its rare that Aubrey lets me into her world.  I'll take it!
 Painting the babies room, re-painting the babies room because the colors weren't right.  Having a friend make an awesome Hosmer matted picture…..AWESOME!!!  
 Shifting room furniture, putting together a crazy old crib, all while dealing with the girls sharing a room.  Sharing is going to take some caring…the motto I seem to be hollering more often then a 10 and 7 year old should need to hear it!
 Being asked to decorate for the churches 350 people "ALL OUT, MUST BE EXTRA FESTIVE"Christmas party.  Note, if I ever get asked to do it again do not underestimate set up time!!! Hand painting pine cones, glittering up branches, and cutting out names of the Savior was fun…the gold glitter might never come out of the garage floor.
 I have been trying to learn how to tie the boys ties, I think I am doing a pretty good job!   Although, Caleb always rolls his eyes and says "OH, MOM!!" 
All the kids sang in the Talent Show, Tate next to his best buddy Livvi!
 Caleb was here and there.  He decided to sit with friends for dinner instead of his AWESOME mom!  
Ainsley's brand new, arrived the day before the party Christmas dress.  It lasted 15 minutes (tops) before the tool was torn.  Tom Boy is loosely used…when ALL BOY should be her description.  The 3 older kids sat on santa's lap and Aubrey's "awesome" friends explained in detail about Santa not being real.  
We decide to forgo our New Years Day party because I have been so sick so we had a Mexican Fiesta with 6 other families the Friday before Christmas.  It was a lot of fun with trivia, Christmas Chimes, all the homemade mexican food you can eat, Christmas slushy, and Homemade Hot Chocolate with endless toppings!  
I took the kids to the new indoor pool 2 times, we saw a couple of movies, and the kids tired Chinese…not big fans (except Ainsley who will eat everything and anything).
We had Andy's sister and her 4 kids stay with us for 2 days, we made cookies and watched fun Christmas Movies!