Saturday, August 19, 2017

Workin It!

It was a LONG week getting back into the working mode after being off all summer! I spent WAY too much in child care and felt bad that I had to suffle the girls around from the Fosters, to the French's, to the Blacks. It was five super busy days. But I am SO grateful to have the job I have! I'm so thankful to work at Mahaffey with the most incredible people that I love! Plus I get summers off and the girls get to go to the best elementary school ever! We are definitely all SO glad to be plaid! 

Love this girl right here, my partner at work, Chantel Krenek!

I taught a technology break out session on Monday about blogging which was fun and we worked our hineys off the rest of the week. The girls hung out with Sami in the mornings and then went to either the French's or one day the Blacks in the afternoons. The girls had fun but they are definitely happy to be home today! Sami took them shopping one day and they played a lot of checkers and iPads. Reagan did super fun chalk art with them and the girls finally broke in the craft drawer Miss Taryn set up for them at her house. Reagan also played board games with them and hide and seek! It should be recorded that Riley is the abosolute worst hide and seek player there ever was because she can not stop laughing!!

They came with me to school bright and early yesterday morning to decorate the workroom for Chantel's birthday. The plan was to take them to Sa's house at 8 but they just ended up staying because they were awesome helpers! They worked together to cut yarn for Mrs Thompson, sharpened a serious amount of pencils for different teachers and then helped deliver books and manipulatives all over the school. That may have been their highlight of the whole week! 

After a long week we ended up helping Miss Taryn with lula stuff last night because I of course always want to support my bestie and I was so thankful she was willing to babysat for free! We left her house at 8:30, I had been up since 6 after 3.5 hours of sleep and working on my feet all day! I was painfully exhausted and we still hadn't eaten dinner! I drove thru McDonalds and was trying to stay awake as we waited for our food. When we got home Keagan said "mommy just put Riley in her high chair and I will feed her." I barely finished a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before I collapsed in a chair. My sweet, sweet Keagan not only helped Riley eat but she also loaded the dishwasher, cleaned out the sink, wiped down the counter and threw everything away and I didn't even realize she was doing it til she was done! I was so amazed and SO thankful for her kind service to her tired momma! 

Everything combined shows me we are going to have such a wonderful school year! I feel SO blessed to be where we are with so many outstanding people around us! Today the girls picked out their first day outfits, I did tons of laundry and filled their drawers and their new back packs their dad bought them are packed! Right now they are playing with their friend Lauren and of course they are all teachers at none other then Mahaffey.

I think we are ready! Third grade here we come! 

Friday, August 18, 2017

They Are Ready!

Everyday we have been doing a countdown til the first day of school. Each day I hold up how many more days we have left and Miss Riley responds with her cute little 1 finger saying "no ONE day!" And then we banter back and forth between how many days we actually have and how many she wishes we had! She is just SO excited for school to start! And Keagan is just as ready! Everyday this week as I have gone to work she has wanted to come with me! She has said multiple times "are you sure you don't need a helper?" 

These girls are both bursting with excitement for all that 3rd grade has to teach them and I am sad that they are so old! How did we get to third grade already?! And unfortunately this year they take the state test known as STARR for the first time. We are all REALY not looking forward to that! 

But I know it's going to be remarkable year. Riley is back with the dream team of Mrs Merillat, Mrs Brown and Mrs Akers! Thank heavens, literally! And so much thought, stress and prayer went in to which teacher Keagan would have. The good problem to have was they were all great choices! Ultimately we put her with Mrs Merrbach who is the dyslexia teacher and in a self contained classroom. The two of us actually had a really sweet experience praying about this side by side the other night. The bonus is Avery is in there with her! It's going to be great! 

We loved seeing our teachers and lots of friends tonight at Meet The a Teacher! It got the girls even more excited for 3rd grade! Monday can't come soon enough! 

See we saw lots of friends including nurse Hudson who posted this picture of "her future daughter in law" on Facebook! She's the best! 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

So Cliché

Are you ready for some classic clichés? Cause  I'm gonna give em to ya! 

All good things must come to an end. 

That is exactly what I am thinking as I go to bed tonight and close the books on another wonderful summer with my girls! I go back to work tomorrow to help prepare the school for the following week when all the kids come back. But I am totally content with how we made out for summer 2017. We had a ton of fun! We had a great mix of busy days and lazy days. We did camps and hung out with friends.  And we did my very favorite thing which is make memories together! This week we fit in a few more. 

We had a fantastic afternoon at Itz with the Lakes. Not only did we have free passes courtesy of the Lakes but we almost had the place to ourselves! 

We did a super fun craft camp at my friend Ambers house! 

What's a week without a doctors appointment for the Kikuchi girls?! Riley got a great new lift put in the right foot of her new school shoes. They are light up Paw Patrol shoes of course. I have learned to forgo my no character policy for Miss Rileys shoes only. 

We had a wild, crazy and hilarious night at Fuddruckers with the Fosters, French's, the Scharkoph's, and the Beyers. And if that wasn't enough fun, we also had a big family dinner at Sweet Tomatoes and then all went shopping at Sam Moon together. With 14 of us we were quite a crowd, and we Ginns aren't known to be quiet people. 

On Friday I sat at a body shop to start the process of getting the hail damage on my car fixed so I can trade it in while Coach took the girls bowling! The girls were SO excited and of course had a great time! It was SO sweet of Coach! We are blessed to have him in our village and makes us even more ready to have Gamas back from Wyoming!

We painted, made homemade shave ice which Keags took very seriously and busted out the Wii games again.

We settled lot of tantrums and Keagan probably settled just as many as I did! She is incredible!

We had a fun sleepover with Campbell that included big messes, lots of pretend play and swimming of course! What it didn't include was lots of sleeping and we all paid for it the next day. That is just one more reason we don't do sleepovers except for the occasional cousin sleepover. 

And apparently Keagan took lots of selfies this week as well! Should I be scared?!

Well when one door closes, another door opens. 

See? So cliché! But it fits because although I am sad to see summer go with its slow mornings, late nights, open schedules and freedom, I am excited in anticipation for what this next school year has to offer! I know this year is going to be one to challenge us and help us grow! So Ive just got one more cliché for ya! 

Bring it on! 

Monday, August 7, 2017


It was a great Sunday at church my friends! Maybe it was because Riley slept all the way through Sacrament meeting on the bench next to me so I really got to pay attention. Maybe it was phenomenal teachers and testimonies. Maybe it was because I actually listened to the messages the Lord was trying to get to me. I'm thinking it was that last one. 

Things have been a little rough lately. Riley's tantrums have been brutal, I have really not been feeling well after a super rough procedure this week, potty training isn't going so well, I'm not doing enough academically with the girls for the summer, those I love most are struggling, I'm poor and fat which is a terrible combination, and the Texas heat is frying my brain. I mean we are still great and have literally millions of blessings to count, but things have just been heavy lately. You know how it is, we've all been there. 

But at church today I truly felt the love of my Heavenly Father, my Savior Jesus Christ and of the Holy Ghost. It filled my heart which has been a little heavy lately and I rejoiced, quietly of course, cause you know, I was at church. My testimony was renewed in every way that they are constantly trying to bless me, to help me, even in my day to day of this crazy life! I just have to listen, to follow, to receive, to act. All with their help of course. And although it seems quite silly, I was thankful today for the whispering of the spirit that twice helped me find what one kid was desperately searching for. I was thankful for an answer to a prayer for Keagan to solve Riley's tantrum when I couldn't (she is amazing!) I was thankful when someone unknowingly answered a question I've had with her comment at church. And mostly I was thankful for the unconditional love that I have felt so many times before and particularly today. No matter what I do, no matter where I go, that love remains constant. It is what I so desperately hope I can teach my girls how to feel and what that means. For I have no doubt that they are loved unconditionally too, by so much more then just me! I mean just look at these faces! 

More from this past week...

A little Sunday spa time with my girlies. Keagan begged to paint my toes and then did her sisters as well. She did pretty stinkin good for an 8 year old and now we are all matching! 

And obviously this is a trend because the girls had a full on spa going on the other day when Avery was over to play. They are so cute together! 

Keagan getting Riley to stop tantruming by letting her do her makeup. This was the seeetest thing! 

Riley had a big doctors appointment this week which I totally let her wear a pink pirate costume to! She just has had SO many appointments lately and I felt bad for her. That girl can sure rock a costume even when it is to meet the head of orthopedic surgery at TCH! 

In the last year or so she has lost some range of motion in her ankles. With her cerebral palsy she is a toe walker, which is common. Plus from her femur being broken at birth her left leg is longer then her right leg. Because of that she stands with her left leg bent and on her right toes and hyper extends her right knee sometimes. All these things combined have made her ankles really tight. There is a surgery they can do to loosen the tendons from the calf muscle to the ankle to allow the heel to drop more and to let her knee relax and her ankles open up. The worry is over time she will have long term issues on her ankles and right knee, possibly leading to a knee replacement when she is older. Also, my main concern is always if any of these issues are causing pain or discomfort. She can be in pain and totally not be able to identify where it is coming from let alone tell me about it. So I have to be vigilant about that. So they did some range of motion testing and we met with some PTs and then the head of orthopedic surgery who said he doesn't think she needed that surgery. Her cerebral palsy doctor had referred us to him as she thought Riley may need it. Instead we are going to do the Botox injections in both calfs and ankles that we have been doing in her right arm/hand and her salivary glands. I think that will be good for her and is much less invasive even though she still has to undergo full anesthesia which I hate. That is schedule for the end of the month. 

We shopped for new school shoes this week which cracked me up. Riley found the perfect shoes at the very first store we went to and they were the only shoes she tried on. Keagan tried on 83 pairs of shoes (small exaggeration) at 4 different stores and finally found ones that  she liked how they felt. I love her! 

We also all got back to school haircuts! Keagan cut off 6 inches and it looks great! Now we are officially back to school ready! 

She looks SO old! I can barely stand it!

This week we also swam with friends and the girls played at the Blacks house with Gracie, Maddox and Layla and at Campbells house one afternoon. Aunt Kari and Campbell even took the girls to dinner one night when they totally answered my prayers the night of my procedure. See? The Lord is truly ALWAYS blessing us with His unconditional love! 

How truly thankful I am! 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Summer Rollercoaster!

Nope we haven't been on any actual rollercoasters this summer, unfortunately. But the last few days have metaphorically been quite the summer roller coaster for sure! 

Let's get the low dips of the coaster out of the way first. Yesterday was straight up craptastic! I mean BAD! Literal poop everywhere, a cracked windshield, a very sad and left out little girl, mom shaming at its finest, sad news about someone I love, a headache, fighting an insurance company, arguing with one child, piles of paperwork that had to be done, bills I can't afford, and the day ends with NO POWER at our house! None. Which Houston in July means hot as Hades! See? It was rough! After driving Nana around for hours in the air conditioning I made the executive decision that we were going to Taryn's where she not only had power but she keeps the thermostat at 68 degrees my friends! 

Fortunately that is where the coaster began to tick back upwards to reach higher peaks! Not only did Taryn put together her couches to make the cutest "boat bed" for the girls which Riley absolutely loved and never wanted to leave, but she sent my exhausted self to bed before my girls even settled down and then let me SLEEP IN!! This is literally the best gift anyone can give me and the thing that makes me incredibly happy but never happens! I seriously slept good and hard and woke up a new woman! It was heavenly! Words of advice to those who love me who may read this...if you love me, let me sleep! Thank you Taryn!' 

We all spent the rest of the day hiding from the world watching movies, cracking eachother up, eating of course and working on Taryn's LuLaRoe. It almost felt like we were on vacation and we didn't even leave until bed time! 

So today was definitely a high of the rollercoaster and we have actually had lots of those, minus yesterday. Probably one of the highest peaks of the summer for both Keagan and Riley was last Friday night. They had worked hard to earn a fun party with their friends at our house. We invited their besties and a new girl coming to Mahaffey next year over for a viewing party of the new Disney channel movie "Descendents 2." Keags and Rys loved decorating and then having their friends over to play for a while, have pizza, change into jammies and then get snacks and beds ready for the movie. The girls liked the movie, but loved just being together more. It really was a cute night filled with tons of little girl giggles and one where I earned major mom points! 

Monday we had Avery over to play and we crossed shave ice off our summer list. Tuesday was a day for creativity and fun at Activity Day girls at Sister Hecker's. We made bookmarks with punch art and then swam in the best pool ever! I loved Keags Scottie themed bookmark! Wednesday we finally had our pool day with the Lakes that wasn't interrupted by rain! That was after my highlight of the month which was a morning spent at the temple and dinner with the Fosters at Taryn's house grilling steaks! And then yesterday while my suffocating drama of a day was blowing up in my face Keagan had a fantastic time with the Lakes at Pump It Up and Riley did a ton of therapy including a lot of testing to hopefully get physical therapy covered again, but she had fun! 


So when I put it all together like that I realize just how incredibly blessed we are and what an awesome summer we are having! I'm so thankful! Everybody has bad days sometimes, and yesterday was really bad! But just like every rollercoaster has to take some dips, it just makes the peaks that much sweeter! 

I'm sure thankful for our peaks! Especially the ones where we have power and I get to sleep!