Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Nathan at 9






Nathan was 9 years old yesterday!

He is now 65 pounds and 52 inches tall.

He loves animals. He has 117 stuffed animals in his collection. When he grows up, he wants to be an animal scientist and says he wants to go to WSU.

He loves to read. His favorite books are:

1. Harry Potter
2. How to Train Your Dragon
3. Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales
4. Who was/What Was series.

He also reads every non-fiction book he can find! He says he's read all the non-fiction books at the library.

He watches these TV shows/movies:

1. My Little Pony with Elizabeth.
2. How to Train your Dragon
3. Chasing Monsters (a non-fiction show about large, scary animals)
4. Other non-fiction shows about animals.
5. Harry Potter movies

He loves to play games with his sister where they pretend play:

1. Harry Potter
2. My Little Pony
3. Chronicles of Narnia
4. Little House on the Prairie

They can play together really well for hours and hours. Other times, they just fight and bicker and don't do well together at all. It kind of depends on the day. But most of the time, they seem to love each other and love to play together. When Elizabeth had to go to the ER a few months ago, Nathan said he was so scared and was worried he would lose the playmate he loved.

He's pretty healthy. He doesn't get sick too often. He's got environmental allergies that stuff him up once in a while, but it doesn't seem to bother him too much. His food allergies remain the same: milk, eggs, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, and kiwi.

Recently, he got diagnosed as an official "anosmiac." This means that he is unable to smell. For the last few years, we realized that he didn't seem to smell. The allergist seemed to think that maybe it was just a constantly stuffy nose. We tried nose sprays and anti-histamines. Nothing worked. He told us he couldn't smell and had never been able to smell.

We took him to the ENT. They snaked a camera up his nose and said there were no sinus problems and everything looked clear. It shouldn't have been causing any kind of smell problems. Plus, they said if allergies were his problem, he would be able to smell something-even if it was strong scents. Or he should have been able to smell during the winter when he wasn't having allergy problems.

After doing an MRI to check for defects in his brain, we were told everything that should be in his brain was in there! Everything was formed like it should have been. However, something just isn't working and never has.

He did a smell test at the ENT where he had to smell 40 different scents. He smelled nothing.
After this, he was officially diagnosed as having anosmia. I guess some people can't see and others can hear and others can't smell! They told us this is nothing they can fix. He will be unable to smell for life.

We do have concerns. He won't be able to ever smell smoke or leaking gas. He won't be able to smell if food is bad or if a food contains peanuts or something else he is allergic to. Luckily, he's never had a sense of smell so there's nothing for him to miss or feel frustrated about. He never had it! Apparently less than .5 percent of people have no sense of smell. This kid is good at being unusual!

At school, his favorite subjects are reading and science. His teachers tell me he is very well behaved and they never have problems with him. He is good at helping his classmates and working with them.

He's taking piano lessons and his favorite song to play is "Ode to Joy." He plans to try out for the school steel drum band next year.

When he's home, he always has a weapon in his hand. He runs around the house with either 2 swords in hand or with a dart gun. He's a big fan of weapons. Right now as I type, he is using a bow and arrow set that uses suction cups.

He's pretty sporty! He is really interested in archery. He does pretty well! Other sports he enjoys are tennis and running. He loves to do "Junior Joggers" at recess. He likes to play tennis with me. We also play basketball together sometimes. He is really good at stealing the ball from me! He LOVES swimming. He and his sister have taken 6 week of swimming lessons so far this summer. He knows all the strokes and is working on his diving. He likes gymnastics too.

A new hobby that he enjoys is fishing! He would like to get into it more. He loves to fish. I think partly this is because he gets to spend time with Jeremy. I hope it's a hobby they can do more together.

Here are a few things he doesn't like:

1. Math
2. Clothes shopping-he hates this
3. Wearing a tie-he DESPISES this
4. Classmates that don't follow the rules
5. Anything that has to do with dressing up and looking nice.





Monday, August 15, 2016

Nathan's 9th birthday party!


Nathan had his 9th birthday party! It was  Harry Potter birthday. 

Here are the balloons with the 4 different house colors. 


The kids watched as Nathan opened his presents. 


Papa Ray played some games. 


A fun new game!


A new fishing net!


Some new weapons. 


Everyone  hanging out at the party. 


His new bow and arrow set. 


His new stuffed animals. His cupcakes were blue frosting. All the sprinkles matched up with Hogwarts house colors. His plates were blue and gold for Ravenclaw colors. 


Finishing blowing out his candle. (Papa Norm is pointing out our great grapes outside). 


Family photo

He set up different Harry Potter animals around the house. Here, he tied his 3 stuffed dogs together to make Fluffy. He also had a snake, a white owl, etc. 


Nathan in his Ravenclaw robe with Firebolt and wand. 


Elizabeth in her Hufflepuff robe wtih Firebolt and wand. She's also wearing the "sorting hat." 



Our front door was decorated like a castle staircase. 



Giving his new stuffed animals their checkups. He says before they come to him, they are in a deep sleep. He wakes them up and gives them shots and fat deposit systems. Then, he names them. Good luck Gram! 

Thanks for coming everyone! 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

August Sunset

One of my favorite things to do is to take a bike ride or walk when the sun is setting. I just love watching sunsets and how the colors change. This summer, I've been into bike rides in the evenings. There was a beautiful sunset the other night! 

When I rode into the sunset (I'm always chasing sunsets), it was a yellow/light pink everywhere. 




After I took these pictures, I turned around to go home. However, the sunset was so beautiful that I rode back to the same spot to keep watching. This time, the colors had changed a bit and now were a bit more purply. So the below pictures are from the same spot, but like 5 minutes later. Funny how the colors changed from yellow/pink to purple!

And as usual, the camera doesn't do justice! 



And no, that is not a big shadow on Rattlesnake Mountain. It's a big burn spot from a fire a few weeks ago. They had to burn that spot intentionally to stop the fire from coming down over the mountain and roaring down across Hanford. That would not have been good. 


Saturday, August 13, 2016

No More Headgear!


Nathan's mouth is metal free for awhile! 

His expander was put on at the end of January. It came off the end of July! He had to wear the expander and the nightly headgear for 6 months, but it fixed his bite. 

He had a crossbite AND an underbite. Now, his bite is normal! 

Next month, the orthodontist is going to fit 4 little braces on his front permanent teeth to make them straight and put them in the right places for spacing purposes. The hope is that by doing this, he won't need braces when all his permanent teeth come in when he's 12. I'm sure we won't get that lucky though. 

It's funny because when he had it all put on 6 months ago, he cried and hated it all! The expander made it so he couldn't swallow and so that food was always getting stuck in there. He hated wearing the headgear at night because it hurt and was hot and uncomfortable. 

THEN, when he had it taken off, he cried because he said he was going to miss it so much. He now liked the expander because he could crack food on it and pretend to be a wild animal. He liked the headgear because it was like a headmask or something a knight would wear. He kind of used it as a weapon. So he spent several days crying when it was gone! 

Now that it's been a couple of weeks, he's all back to normal. I'm so thankful he's talking normally again! He never sounded quite right wearing that expander. The spit sucking sounds are gone too! Yay! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Elizabeth for President

We've been watching a lot of the Olympics. There are a LOT of commercials. Some commercials are for president. Elizabeth has decided she's going to be president some day. She told me there are 2 things she's going to do if she's president.

1. No more commercials on TV.

2. No more taxes.

Sounds like someone I could vote for!

*She hates taxes because every time she uses her money to buy stuff, she has to pay more than what it actually costs and she doesn't think that's fair.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Silverwood


We headed off to Silverwood. We had to make a stop by Cabela's so Jeremy could find a new holster he wanted. I was worried the kids would be bored. NOPE! There were so many animals in that building that they were busy the whole time Jeremy was finding the right holster. 


Bears. 


Nathan was quite impressed with the polar bear and musk oxen. 


The African section was a big hit. 




 
After we finished at Cabela's we headed off to Silverwood. After we parked, we headed into the park and decided the first thing we would do was the train ride. It was my favorite part! 




We saw some buffalo. We had a pretty ride through the forest. We saw a sasquatch. Our train even got robbed! That was everybody's favorite part. 


While I hiked for nearly 30 minutes out to the car to make sandwiches in the parking lot (couldn't find safe food for Nathan in the park) , the kids and Jeremy did some waterslides. Then, Elizabeth was running along the pavement and tripped and cut her toe pretty badly. From then on, she didn't want to go on any water rides so she sat with me for a while and watched the boys go on rides. 


This ride was one of their favorites. Jeremy got good at winning since he was usually the heaviest! 



Wave pool. 



After awhile, Elizabeth and I went to the non-water rides part of the park since she didn't want her toe in the water. I took some pictures. 


Here they are on a log ride. 




This was the first roller coaster the kids went on. Nathan liked it. Elizabeth did not. 


Some pretty flowers. 



Bumper boats again. 




These flowers were so pretty! 



Saturday, August 6, 2016

Lake Coeur D'Alene and Triple Play


We drove over to Idaho to go to Lake Coeur D'Alene and then play at Triple Play.
Hi Idaho! It was Elizabeth's first trip to Idaho. Nathan had been there once before when he was 1 when we visited Auntie LeAnne. 





Playing in the lake. It was chilly! Elizabeth managed to fill up her pockets with rocks, sticks and gross old feathers as usual. 




After playing in the lake, we went to Triple Play. There were a lot of fun things to do there! 

We bowled a few games. The scores were pretty predictable. Every game, Jeremy got 1st, I got 2nd, Nathan got 3rd, and Elizabeth got 4th. 




There were fun bumper boats. 








The ticket to Triple Play included some arcade tokens. The kids and Jeremy played some arcade games. Here they are racing motorcycles. 

We also did a few fun activities that I couldn't get pictures of. Such as: 

1. Bumper Cars. The kids loved those! It was Elizabeth's favorite activity. 

2. Laser Tag. It was our first time ever doing laser tag.  This was Nathan's favorite part of triple play. A group of people get to shoot each other with laser guns. Elizabeth and I were not so good at this game. Jeremy, however, was excellent and was always one of the top shooters when the scores were displayed. I guess that makes sense though! He trains to do that kind of stuff! Nathan just liked shooting people. 

3. Go-Karts. For Go Karts, we got to drive around a course outside in little gas engine go carts. Nathan was really sad that he was too short to drive since he is a good driver! One kid got to ride with Jeremy and one kid got to ride with me. The kids liked riding with Jeremy better. He was always the best driver on the course and usually somehow lapped me and everybody else 2 times! But again, that makes sense his job at work is training people how to drive around courses at fast speeds. He knows all the tricks! 

4. Mini-Golf. This was probably their least favorite activity. They only wanted to do it once. Elizabeth seems to be a natural at putting! She was sinking putts every time and has never before putted. 

We didn't do the waterpark part. Since we were going to Silverwood the next day, we figured we could skip it. There was plenty else to do! 

After we got back to the hotel, the kids spent another few hours swimming in the pool. Jeremy and I ate the free cookies!