Tag Archives: Maria

The Longest School Year in the Entire History of the Universe


This year was simultaneously the hardest and the best year we’ve had yet with the kids. We had lots and lots of rough patches when it came to school but we figured it out and the day we did, the year turned into something wonderful. We had great times during those rough patches – family getaways and playing with friends. Fun school outings and lovely get-togethers. Each great period of time has hard times, too, but we have learned that sometimes hard changes are necessary to discover what’s really best for us.


Our school year is over today and here’s what’s happened:

  • Alice learned to read! She loves reading and the pride that washes over her face when she finishes a sentence and an entire book is the best.
  • Jamie has spent time with an aide at school and has been so busy with different projects. His creativity has been encouraged and he comes home with stories and hilarious crafts he’s made. His time in the classroom is good and we’ve seen great things happening for him.
  • Maria has made some really great friends at Asotin and that time of ‘mean girl’ stuff seems to be over thank goodness! She has pointe shoes and in her life, that’s the best thing that could ever happen – EVER.
  • Charlotte is gearing up for Kindergarten and is trying to keep up with Alice when it comes to reading and math. She’s pretty good at spelling “play-doh” on Youtube….Lord help us.
  • Ollie continues to be the happy sprite.
  • Franci has turned into the sassiest sass monster you could ever imagine.

So what have we learned? When things are really hard, that doesn’t mean they weren’t worth it. Our time at the old school was absolutely worth the time spent. We made friends there and so did the kids. They got to do fun activities and their education got a really great start. We learned, too, that change is necessary sometimes to keep kids on that path where they thrive. Jamie was finding it hard to keep his curiosity sparked and his brain busy.. It took lots of sleepless nights and tears until we discovered that maybe changing things up was what we needed to do. We left our comfortable bubble and did it and now we have a new comfortable bubble. Funny how that works sometimes, yeah?

This summer we have huge things planned.

Just kidding. It’ll probably just be full of lemonade stands and slip n slides and swimming and bike rides and escaping the heat with inside TV time. No shame in my game.

Happy Summer!




Do you ever have those moments when you’re like

“Dude. Is this real? Because it seems just a little too good to actually be real.”

But it is real, and you can’t help but just be super happy and thankful?


Yeah, that’s our life with Maria.

I know it sounds like I just spout off every good quality in a kid and say that’s Maria and claim her as ours because it makes us look really good.

The truth is that Maria is genuinely, truly, honestly, scout’s honor, the very best. She’s so much better than Danny and I so we can’t even take credit.

She’s beautiful. She has beautiful eyes and an eyebrow that rivals Frida. Her skin is the perfect hue – a beautiful shade of brown.

Her heart. She has the most empathetic heart of anyone. She feels others’ pain and it effects her. When she sees an injustice, she tries to right it. If she’s watching something on television that is hard and painful, she cries. She’s not embarrassed by  it, which inspires people around her.

Her brain. She’s smart. She makes really smart choices and tries her very hardest in every situation. She doesn’t give up and she’s willing to do new things, even if they aren’t easy.

Her hands. She’s so helpful. She would do anything I ask for as long as I ask it of her. She will change diapers, do the dishes, watch the kids, vacuum, cook, hold little ones’ hands, you name it.

She was our first and from the very beginning, she was almost perfect. The pregnancy? Easy. Labor? I laughed through it. Delivery? I pushed maybe twice before she was born. She arrived and made our lives so much better than we ever thought it could be. Every day, she proves to us that people are good. That tiny souls can do big things and that surprises (and maybe some poor choices at young ages) can be the most amazing thing.

Happiest eleventh birthday to the sweetest of all.




She’s 10 today.

10 years of this lovely girl has been just as lovely as she is.

If you can believe this, she is as beautiful inside as she is on the outside. I’ve never met a child who cares so deeply for other people. She goes out of her way to be helpful, even when it interferes with her fun. Sometimes, I’ll come out of my room from taking a shower and getting ready and she has gotten the kids fed and dressed and shoes on. She doesn’t get any special reward for doing it, she just does it.

She loves steak and ahi and pizza and ice cream. She rollerblades like you wouldn’t believe and her love of fashion is equal parts hilarious and awesome. She loves sunny days and swimming with her friends and siblings and she loves rainy days and being cozy inside. She is a clone of her daddy in both her looks and his easy going way. She doesn’t care about being the best at anything or beating anyone or one-upping at all. She’s content with who she is and is proud of who other people are.

She can make friends anywhere she goes, but her very favorites are Anna and Sophia. Every day she asks to play with them and she always is thinking of them, in everything she does (“Oh, Anna would LOVE this….I think Sophia might wanna read this book sometime….”). She loves our big family and wants me to have ‘lots more babies.’

When she’s older she wants to be a ballerina. Or a zoo keeper. Or a fashion designer. She wants to adopt kids. She told me the other day that she thinks it’s really weird that some people think boys shouldn’t be able to marry boys and girls shouldn’t be able to marry girls. “Because it’s okay to love whoever you want, you can’t help it.” And that makes me so proud of her. She’s compassionate and she’s an advocate without even realizing it.

She loves ballet and violin and guitar and snowboarding. She happily goes to each one’s practice times and leaves happy and excited. She’s busy for a 10 year old and she loves it. She’s a dream to homeschool and is curious about anything and everything. She fills out worksheets with the same enthusiasm as doing an art project.

And you guys…..she’s 10. Double Digits. 1/2 way to 20. A decade. TEN!!!

Happiest of days, Maria Grace.

Blue Water






Are you jealous of how blue our water is in the valley?


Don’t be.  We went to Charlie’s birthday party last night and one of his gifts was a bunch of bath toys.  Well before we left, Lydia must have slipped Maria a little blue “pill” (that’s what Maria called it!) that colors your bath water.  In the bath it flew, before I could stop it.  Thank goodness we got a blue pill and not a pink one.  That all sounds really dangerous, doesn’t it?  Pills?  Let me assure you, they weren’t really pills.  “Bath colors.”  That’s what they were.


Ah, I will miss these toddler days.  When all of my kids can take a bath together and it’s not weird.  When they play and play and laugh and squeal and smile and think everything is great and fun.  When the highlight of their day is making their bath water a magical blue.  Ah, yes, I will miss these days.