Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Year in Review 2014

This year was not a good one for sending out Christmas cards! I still feel like we need to have some record of what we did this year. For starters, it was our first full year in Maine--crazy! Time is a funny thing. In some ways I feel we've been here for a long time, in other ways, I feel we just left Wyoming. Here is a brief rundown of our eventful year:

In January, we had just closed on our house in Wyoming (Yeah!!!), so we started looking at houses again. We had until June to find something and it was nice to be able to take our time. Our kids were involved in swimming and we were still enjoying living in town.

Towards the end of February, we found a house we liked, a newer build, cape cod style and moved forward with the buying process.

In March, we were busy with home inspections and paper work. In addition, Abby and Brinly had been cast in a play, Les Miserables and we were busy taking them to practices for that, along with swim, violin, and piano.

In April, we moved into our new home! After one year in Maine, living in three different rentals, it was exciting to finally be a little more settled.

May was busy! Abby and Brinly performed in Les Miserables. Abby was little Eponine and Brinly got to play Little Cosette. They both did a wonderful job. This play lasted two weeks, with pretty much nightly rehearsals. Trevor was also gone for a work trip during part of that time. It was a miracle we all survived and I got everyone where they needed to be, when they needed to be there. Grandma Casey came for a few days to watch the performances!

June was another month full of end of school things. I was able to go on an all day field trip with Abby to another island close to ours. We got to ride the ferry and explore. It was a lot of fun. Because of a large number of snow days, we didn't finish school until almost the very end of the month. It was strange to finish school one week and celebrate the 4th of July the next!

In July, Trevor had another work conference in Washington D.C. We were able to drive through New Hampshire, Vermont, northern New York (with a stop in Palmyra to see the sights and go to the Hill Cumorah Pageant), on to Pennsylvania to see Amy and Matt and their kids, and then to Washington D.C. for a few days. Trevor went to meetings and the kids and I went to the zoo, museums, the monuments and memorials, and I think the most exciting part for the kids: riding the subway! We drove home up the coast and got to see things like the Statue of Liberty on our way back.

In August, my sister Lisa came for over two weeks. It was so fun to have her here and show her some of the sites. The kids really got used to having her around and it was a bit of an adjustment when she went back! We also got ready for school to start again. We also had a visit from Vickie and Brandon at the end of the month. It was fun to see them too and the kids were very excited to meet their new uncle.

School started after Labor Day in September. It was a big change for our family because Bryant started kindergarten. Jordan is in second grade, Brinly's in fourth, and Abby's in fifth. I was very nervous about Bryant starting school, but he's done great. He seems to be learning a lot and has made some good little friends. Abby, Brinly, and Jordan are also doing really well and it's amazing how grown up and independent they're getting. In our area, the schools are K-8 and then there's a high school. Even though it's all the same school, fifth grade is the start of "middle school" and switching classes. Abby was a little nervous about the change, but she's done great so far this year. Jordan turned 8 and was baptized in a lake. It was a great day. Jordan also started regular piano lessons this month.

In October, we found out we are adding a little boy to our family in March! Saying our kids are excited would be a huge understatement. Bryant's wanted a baby for a quite awhile now. The other kids love babies SO much and are very excited we are going to have one of our own. Jordan told me that we need to have rules about how long each of them can hold the baby because, "Brinly's kindof a baby-hog." I have to remember that Abby was only four when Bryant was born, so none of our kids really remember having a baby in the house. It's going to be an adjustment--for all of us!

The beginning of November we had our first snow/ice storm of the season and lost power for four days. We survived, but decided to get a generator for Christmas. We also celebrated Thanksgiving with some good friends.

December was also very busy. Trevor had another conference and brought home an award he got for his work at the hospital! The kids and I had concerts, swim meets, recitals, and the regular holiday craziness. We did have a lovely, very needed two week break from everything.

I'm sure I've forgotten some things, but hopefully I've gotten most of the big things. We had a great year and are looking forward to 2015.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Apples!


I was able to go on a very fun and educational field trip with Abby. We went to a historic home in the area and learned a lot about apples and what life was like in the 1800s. It was fun being able to spend some time with Abby and getting to know her classmates and homeroom teacher a little better too!


At this station they learned about old fashioned games. They also had stations where we learned about composting (Abby was excited to see her gardening friend Tom who was helping with this one.), gardening, the home, pressing apple cider, and apples in general.
 

 
It ended up being a beautiful day!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jordan turns 8

Jordan turned eight years old and decided to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Jordan had a hard time deciding where he wanted to get baptized. He finally decided that if it was a nice day he wanted to get baptized in a lake.
 
Luckily, it was a nice (enough) day.
 


Abby and Brinly sang. Brinly and Grandpa gave talks. During Grandpa's talk, two bald eagles circled the pond.

 
We love Jordan and are so proud of him and his decision. It was a wonderful day. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Our House--outside

I'm not quite ready to give an "inside" house tour yet, but I do want to show some pictures of the outside! The weather has finally cooperated and we've been able to get outside and start working on a lot of the outside projects.
 

Our front sidewalk. I'm excited to see what all of the plants are!
 

The steps to both doors are granite.  

 
The front yard. There is a good mix of trees in the front: oak, maple, cedar, and more that I haven't identified yet.  

 
Across the street is this little graveyard. They are everywhere here! The kids like to go over and look for our long lost "cousins".
 
 
Back yard. Abby and Brinly are learning about square foot gardening with a master gardener. It's a cool program! These are their beds. The trees in the back yard are mainly evergreens.  


Finally, our back deck. We've been working on staining it and it's finally done. (Almost!) 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Leaving Hancock Street

To say this last year has been stressful would be an understatement! We've had so many great experiences as a family and have been VERY blessed, but change and stress have been pretty constant. Earlier this month, we bought a home, moved in, and said goodbye to our rental.
 
We found this rental when we weren't sure what we needed to do in regard to housing. We had been in seasonal rentals up until last summer, but rent increases exponentially here during the summer and we needed to find something fast. We explored a lot of options and it seemed like nothing was working. Then, we heard about this house. It was for year-round rent for only one year. The house is owned by a church and they use it as their parsonage. However, the current pastor didn't need it and so they were looking for renters for a one year period. It was in town, close to everything (80 STEPS to Trevor's work!), had enough room for four kids, and....old!
  


When we first looked at it, we weren't terribly impressed. They were still cleaning it out, some areas were horribly outdated, and honestly, it smelled a little bit. We weren't sure what to do, but were really running out of options. We decided to go for it!


Living here turned out to be an incredible blessing. We were able to finally "unpack" our bags and settle into regular life. Our street connected to the Shore Path. We had wonderful neighbors and we got to live in downtown Bar Harbor during the summer!


Once we got settled, I really appreciated the house and it's beautiful details. We had FIVE mantels--all different, all beautiful, two stained glassed windows, and something I hadn't expected, but totally loved: a second floor laundry room! (Old basements can be scary!)


We knew we weren't going to live here long-term, and that did make it a little harder to feel settled, but all and all, it was a great place to start to feel a part of the community. We're SO glad we got the opportunity to live here!


When we did the final walk through after we'd moved out, the  man in charge of the property told us it took him about half a second to realize we were the right people for the house--he was right.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A few pictures from our fall

Fall is beautiful here. The weather dries out a big and the days are absolutely perfect.
 Queen Mary 2 was in port.
 
 Jordan's pointing at the ship, but these are also the rocks the kids like to climb on and find crabs. We're missing seeing the cruise ships!
 
 
Headed to Swim--the constant (possibly the only one??) of our lives. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fourth of July Weekend

We had an extremely hot, but fun, Fourth of July weekend. I didn't take a lot of pictures--probably because it required too much energy as I was sweating to death from the temperatures and the crazy humidity. July 4th is huge here and I was excited we live in a great spot for enjoying all the festivities. We walked down to the end of our street and enjoyed the parade in the morning. We checked out some of the other activities, including the lobster races. I had high expectations for the races, but ended up a little disappointed. I'm not sure what I was expecting, because I'm sure anyone else could guess how "exciting" it would be watching lobsters "race"!
Bryant had a small meltdown after watching for a minute, so we cut everything short and walked home to let the kids rest for a little while. When we got home, we discovered he had a tick embedded in his neck...the second one I've found on one of my children since we've been here. Gross!
We held a barbeque in the evening with some friends from the branch. The girls were excited that the new set of sister missionaries stopped by. (The elders did too, but they're old news.:o)) After dinner, we walked down to the harbor for the fireworks. They were great and the weather at that point was perfect!
When we got back to our house, the kids lit off a few fireworks that another family had brought. The kids LOVED this part.
Friday, Trevor worked, but we were able to go to the beach after he got done. I don't think the beach will ever get old.
Saturday, we drove down the coast to another little town. It was so beautiful! There were several beaches in this area, and we stopped to let the kids swim at this lake. They had a good time.

 


Brinly had a rough time with the humidity. It just seemed like that plus her regular allergies made it super hard for her to breathe. We're glad she's feeling a little better today!