Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Wrap Up

So lame that it's been six months since I made a blog post! I was really considering giving it all up when I saw my friend Jamie's confession in her Christmas card that she has missed the past three months in her blog--and this girl is DEDICATED. So here's to second chances and to wrapping up the year in a nice red bow…or at least a brief blog post.


  • We spent a week at the Outer Banks with the Frosts.
  • Stacie and the kids travelled to UT and enjoyed time with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.


  • Sydney was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by her father in Brigham City, UT
  • Logan started practice for his first season of tackle football
  • Mikelle attended a performing arts camp and turned in a great performance in their original play, New York
  • Stacie started her duties as Hillside PTO president with a bang….Kindergarten orientation, back-to-school night and a back-to-school picnic and Open House---all within three days!
  • Dan turned 40 and worked until 2 am on his birthday:( We kindly saved him a piece of his German Chocolate cake.

  • A year of firsts for three of the kids 1-Mikelle's first year of High School at Briar Woods 2-Logan's first year of Middle School at Eagle Ridge 3-Ethan's first year of Elementary School at Hillside afternoon kindergarten
  • Sydney started 3rd grade in Mrs. Bartell's class at Hillside Elementary

  • The Saturday sports schedule was a bit CRAZY….Ethan's flag football, Logan's tackle football and Syd's Volleyball
  • Thursday was the only day crazier than Saturday. I would often get in the car at 4:40 pm and spend the next 5 hours running kids to practices, classes, tutoring sessions etc. Cooking dinner was useless since we weren't even home to eat it!
  • Logan turned twelve and was ordained a deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood. Grandma and Grandpa Kotter and Grandma and Grandpa T. all came to share this special occasion with us.
  • After 10 years of driving the Grand Caravan, Stacie trades up for the Infinity QX80. I love, love, love my new ride!
  • Dan and Stacie spend a week in Palm Springs, CA for EY's SGF Convention and Entrepenuer of the Year Gala. 
  • Mikelle performs in the Loudoun County All-District Chorus for Freshman and Sophomores
  • We all flew to Hawaii to visit our dear friends the Candlands for Thanksgivng. We spent 3 days on the Big Island and 4 days on Oahu.

  • Mikelle performed with the freshman women's choir in the BW Winter Concert combined with the band and orchestra. She also made the honor roll for her first semester at Briar Woods.
  • Logan performed with the sixth grade chorus in their holiday concert. He was honored for all-A's for the first semester.
  • Mikelle, Logan and Sydney played in their Christmas piano recitals
  • Stacie sang in the annual Christmas concert with the tri-ward choir from the Brambleton, Ashburn and Belmont Ridge Wards
  • We hosted our annual neighborhood Open House and hosted our ward's four missionaries for Christmas Eve, plus our good friends the Van Horns
  • Dan and Stacie celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary!
  • What a wonderful Christmas season! We are so grateful for our good health, our loving families, our kind friends and our Savior's life and example. We know He lives and loves each of us.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Who Let the Dog Out?

Syd and E have a new favorite past time: walking the neighbor's dog. The Bridges across the road have an adorable miniature Doxie named Mocha. When Melissa had surgery a few weeks ago, Syd and E were jumping up and down to volunteer to be the dog walkers. It really was cute to see them take turns holding the leash and try to keep up with her once she caught the scent of a squirrel. But I had to set some limits when they woke me up at 5 am one morning to ask, "When can we walk Mocha?" It was then that I (kindly, I'm sure) set the rule that we would only walk Mocha in the evening--after dinner. Let me tell you, they look forward to this duty all day long.

All-Star Baseball

Logan was selected to play for the DLL National All-Stars team. He played catcher, 3rd base and outfield. The team showed great improvement over the course of a few weeks. They started out with a "mercy rule" loss where the other team was 10 runs ahead, so the umpire called the game. They went on to win the next 4 games....one game they "mercy ruled" another team....and then they lost their 5th game in the district championship game.

It was a great series and the kids played tough. We thought the coaches and managers were excellent at letting each player contribute their strengths. Logan played tough and enjoyed his all-star experience.

The Mystery of the Paw Print Boxes

We did have a big of intrigue surrounding Syd's birthday. It all started when 6 large boxes with a puppy paw print arrived on the doorstep.

The kids piled them in the den and wondered and imagined what was in the boxes and who could have sent them. Ethan was convinced a real dog was inside. Syd was convinced the good "birthday" fairy had mailed her lots of wonderful toys and Mikelle and Logan were just dying to open those boxes.

Being the calm, patient soul that I am, I explained that they were obviously for Syd's birthday and it wasn't fair to open them early and so we all just needed to wait for her big day. I thought that Mona or Uncle Tom must have sent them.

Fast forward 2 days to her birthday. The anticipation has been building and she can hardly stand it a moment longer! She opens the first box.......and.........a decorative pillow falls out!

Oh no! I say. I am so sorry, Syd! Those are the pillows I ordered for the new outdoor rocking chairs. I am so sorry!

Poor Syd! She was so disappointed and I still can't figure out why my pillows came packaged that way. Just a crazy coincidence!

Syd's 8th Birthday

Sydney turned 8 on July 5 and we had a nice family lunch, opened gifts and went to see "Despicable Me: 2." During lunch, we took turns saying what we love about Syd!

Mom: Syd is very consistent. She has loved doggies for many years and hasn't changed from turtles to gerbils to bunnies. Oh no! She's loved doggies for so long...we're wondering when does a "love" turn into an "obsession"?

Dad: I love Syd's laugh! Especially when we read "Junie B. Jones" or "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books together.

Mikelle: Syd is very outgoing and friendly and can make a new friend anywhere we go.

Ethan: I like to play legos with Syd.

Logan: Syd is easy to get along with and fun.