Monday, July 30, 2012

Game Giveaway!!!

My Uncle is "Grandpa Beck" and he and his wife, my Aunt Tauni, make games.  How cool is that?!!! The best part is that the games they make are really fun.  So far they have two games and more on the way.  Just recently they started showing up in stores and are also available online (Here) or Amazon.

We play Cover Your Assets ALL the time.  If we ever have friends over we pull it out and everyone loves it every time.  In fact last night we played with new friends and they loved it. 

So in honor of my Uncle and Aunt and their awesome game I thought I would give one away on my blog.  Leave a comment and I will randomly select a winner at the end of the week (Friday) and mail it to whoever wins. 

If you don't win be sure to check it out....It's so fun! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Moments

Summer in Washington is perfect (it really is).  Seventies with just the right amount of humidity.  I love it!  I also love the mornings when we wake up to fog- it's so cool!

Anyway these kids of mine love the warm weather too.  Most everyday they start off by filling one bucket with weeds.  They are pretty good about doing this without complaining.  Adele gets distracted A LOT and pulls one weed then sees a snail and has to go hold it, pulls another weed then builds the snail a home....etc.  But she does eventual pull her weeds.  (Don't tell her this but one day it was taking her so long but I had told her she had to fill it before she could play...and I am known for sticking to it.  It was torture reminding her over and over and I was wishing I could take it back or that I hadn't said the whole bucket.  I whispered to Garret "do you think you could sneak a weed into her bucket without her noticing.  He is into spies and secret things so he loved that idea.  Somehow her bucket was filled shortly after that.  She takes all the credit and I was glad I didn't have to get on her case any longer.).

They have also been enjoying their pool any day it's warm enough for it. It always starts out as swimming.  They swim and splash and run and jump into it.  Then they get more creative and some days the pool becomes a pot and they make magic potions, other days it's a submarine.  It's always fun watching what they come up with.  Although when they made it into a pot it was such a pain to dump because it was full of rocks and sticks and now if I walk barefoot I have to watch out for rocks- ugh.

 My kids are getting reacquainted with the idea of having neighbors. They got in the habit of peeing outside when we had land.  I didn't mind, it saved me having to wipe up muddy footprints all day long.  But now I can't get them to stop, especially Adele.  She is forever peeing on the brick or the rocks.  Don't worry our house is not disgusting I spray it off .  I just hate the idea of the neighbors seeing more of that little beauty then they wanted.  Luckily it's still fairly private where we are and most of our neighbors are older and don't spend a lot of time outside. 
 My kids are also SO loud.  I keep telling them to stop screaming.  Sometimes they are screaming because they are mad but normally it's just how they talk to each other.  I hate telling them to be quite when they are outside but I know it's got to be driving people crazy.
 We had a little time this afternoon so we continue exploring the local parks.  We went to four. One was a private beach (didn't mention that online), one was a little too packed, one was closed and finally we ended up playing at the baseball fields.  They did have a small playground so the kids were happy.  We eliminated a lot from our list but didn't really find any gems.
 The kids played imaginary baseball because we didn't know we were going there and didn't bring our balls and bats with us.

Garret told me the other day that he would like to live in the woods.  For lots of reasons; he wouldn't have to worry about money (I guess he worries), he could live off the land and it would be fun.  He asked me if we have land if he could do this.  I said if he wasn't running away and I knew where he was and he was older, maybe he could for a little while.  He asked if he could go to Grandma and Grandpa's and do it now (he would take his pocket knife).  I said NO.  I am such a dream crusher.  He pouted (he is good at that) and I felt bad.

The kids all got books (Adele got a sticker book) from the reading program at the library.  I told Spencer to write his name in it because it was his book and he could take it with him when he left someday and it would be his forever.  He looked at me and burst into tears and said "I don't want to live with anyone else".  He cried and cried and cried....It totally made me want to cry and say "I don't want you to ever leave".  But I held it together and just reassured him it was not for a long time and that no matter where he was or how old he was I would still be his Mom and love him.

Adele can be the feistiest little thing but she is also a total and complete doll.  I love her and adore all of her little sassyness.  I am constantly hugging her little chubby cheeks and telling her I am going to keep her forever.  She says I can but Daddy gets to too.

Titus is perfect....except for his new obsession with the computer.  He is always crawling over to it stealing the mouse and laughing hysterically.  I can't help but laugh and I know I am reinforcing it but if you have seen his smile you would understand it's priceless. He is totally going to be a brat I just know it and I am going to look back and say why did I laugh at his naughtiness but I can't help it.  I just love everything about him too much.

In other news.  The dental office has survived the first two weeks of our ownership.  I am learning to do the books.  I am sure they are full of errors and the accountant is going to charge me an arm and a leg to correct them (but this shouldn't shock me, everyone wants our money right now).  But I am enjoying figuring it out and someday I think it might all make sense to me. 

Tyler is enjoying the patients and staff and if we had more hours in the day there is so much we would like to do.  But since there are a mere 24 we are just slowly crossing things off our to-do lists.  I would be lying if I said that it has had no stressful moments- it has.  But overall it's been exciting and so far (fingers crossed) Tyler and I have enjoyed sharing this part of our lives together.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Pool...

Tyler has been out of town (for his Grandma's funeral, more on that later).  So we have been chillin at the house (with no car...but a good double stroller). 

We decided we needed something to do since our back yard is lacking (we were really missing having land this weekend).  So to spice it up we walked to the store.  The only way to get the pool was to carry it.  We discussed it at the store and the boys decided they could carry it up.  They did!

Then it rained a lot of the weekend so we had to wait and wait to use it.  But finally today it was warm enough (by their standard not mine).  They spent the afternoon in it and had a great time.  I was grateful they were out playing.  It helped with the cabin fever we have had.
 We played with ALL the toys we own this weekend.  Which was fun at first but it seems like we had a lot of drama between kids.( It's like one day they are best friends and so so so kind to each other...and then there are days when they seem to have forgotten all the lessons I have taught them on manners and kindness- we had one of those days recently) we spent some of our time with different toys in different rooms and I would yell rotate every hour or so.  It kept the drama down but I had to spend the whole time going from one room to the next looking at everything they were doing (they love showing me EVERYTHING).  Spencer was also notorious for peaking his head out and asking "how many minutes until we rotate?"   It felt like musical toys!

 Titus is an angel (he really is)...but even the best angels are a little labor intensive at his age.  He still doesn't walk but he gets into everything. He puts everything in his mouth.  He wants me to hold him basically all day.   Luckily we are all smitten with him and the kids don't seem to mind when he ruins their towers or requires extra attention from all of us.

He is also a huge mess maker at meals.  I do a lot of sweeping and mopping after meals thanks to this little guy. 
 But he is just so stinkin cute that we don't mind (Adele was a little jealous of the attention Titus was getting for being so cute and messy, she tried putting Spaghetti on Garret's head...not so cute.  It's just so hard to explain to them that some things are only cute when babies do them...needless to say she spent an evening cleaning spaghetti up herself...I don't think she will be decorating Garret in Spaghetti again anytime soon).
We really had a fun weekend together.  The kids are such good kids.  As good as they are and as much fun as we had it's always better when we are all together.  We are all ready for Tyler to get home.  One night Adele just laid in bed and cried "I want Daddy to give me a hug and a kiss" (So do I Adele, so do I!). 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Grandpa Camp 4

I just made a nice long book about Grandpa camp for my parents to have...the blog is going to get the abbreviated version with side-ways, out of order pictures...but at least it's better then nothing.

Four years ago my parents started "Grandpa Camp".  It has become a tradition and the kids look forward to it all year.  They really do.  In fact when we left this year Garret was in tears saying "I can't wait until next year."  He also wanted to add days because it felt like "7 seconds".  It was all so fun and went by so fast!  

A lot of things are the same from one year to the next but there is some variation as well. As usual we all "checked-in".  The kids got shirts and bead necklaces, were weighed and measured and signed their names.

 There were weapons built in the shop.
 Lunch with the Great Grandparents.
 The boys didn't like the smoke in their eyes!

 This year there were animals!  They caught and alligator lizard and we rode a horse.
 The kids played in the woods.

 Rode in the truck.
 Played Poison.
 Enjoy the sun and water.

 Swung through the air.

 Kayaked (and I hear they were good).
 The parachute was new and a hit.

 There was a talent show (our acts included- the Pledge of Allegiance, Oats and Beans and Barley, Rumor Has It and a card trick).

 What else...there was a treasure hunt, a beach hike, tent time, sleeping in the cabin, Hector was injured (but not too bad), good food, Jars of money (my mom decided it would be fun to mix up her candy guessing jars with jars of money), and lots of good quality family time.

I know that was a very quick summary but the point of it all was that we were together and we were having fun.  And we were doing little things that made it fun for the kids.  It was a great weekend and one that we will all remember.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Big Reveal

I am sure that everyone is anxiously awaiting news of where we are and what our plan for the future is.  So let me tell you already!
But this story can only be told right if we tell it from the start...the very start!

When we began dental school we started with the intention of owning a practice someday.  We loved the idea of being able to take time off if our kids had something going on and then the flexibility to work harder other times to make up for it.  Tyler had been a dental assistant before dental school and realized he wanted to treat employees different than he was treated.  We liked the idea of the kids being able to stop by the practice or hang around there a little if they needed to.  We liked the idea of them being able to work at the office when they are old enough. 

We also knew that owning a practice would be hard and that we had lots to learn first.  A couple years into dental school we started talking to all the dentists we knew and learning from them.  We met with a dentist from my home town that we didn't know before but has proved to be a great help to us.  He suggested we send out letters to dentist in areas we were interested in that were nearing retirement age.  We spent that summer sending letters and answering inquiries.  We met with a couple dentists as a result of this but nothing much came of it. 

When our fourth year of dental school rolled around we browsed the internet ads for offices but just didn't feel like it was possible to make it work from so far away.  We decided that doing a residency was the best route to take.  The residency helped Tyler fine tune his skills and brought us to Washington State where we were much closer to look for the practice we wanted.  Early in the residency year we met with brokers from different companies and talked about some options.  We emailed about some in different areas we were interested in.  We got a little excited about one in Eastern Washington, it had some good things about it but never felt totally right and my Mom was sick that year and we decided if we are going to be somewhere for a long time we wanted to be even closer to family.

In January of that year we got a email saying that a practice we had previously inquired about was available to look at again.  We decided to go and look at it.  It was in Port Townsend Washington.  Even if nothing came of it we thought it would be fun to go look.  You see, we went to Port Townsend for our first anniversary and thought it was a great little town so why not go back for a little trip?

The funny thing was as we drove up the 101 we started getting excited.  Different excited then we had  felt before.  It was beautiful, mountains on one side the water on the other.  We drove into town and we remembered how cute we thought the town was.  We went to the office and met with the dentist.  We thought he was very nice and the office was nice and the good feeling we had when we drove up there was still there.

After we left we both thought. let's pursue it and see what happens.  And we did for 7 LONG months.  We dug into the office and learned what we could.  We went and visited several times.  We got to know the dentist better and liked him.  Tyler worked there a week and liked all the staff and patients. We talked to others that have gone before us for advice. Things seemed daunting but all good things take hard work so we kept going.  It was banks that were making life so difficult (let me add in that I was VERY pregnant through most of this).  We finally decided if we did not have a solid assurance of financing before his residency ended that we would need to pursue other options. We never really thought we would have to do that because we continually felt right about Port Townsend. 

His residency came and went, Titus was born.  We had thrown out a couple applications and interviewed a couple places but we hadn't been too serious about it all since we had worked so hard on buying the practice and it felt so right  (it couldn't possibly fall through). 

There we were unemployed.  We worked out a week to week rent scenario, thinking any day a bank will approve the loan and we would move to Port Townsend.  But week after week it didn't. We were poorer than in dental school. We filled out paperwork for temp agencies hoping that would buy us some more time.  One agency said we had to come in and meet with them before they would give us work.  It was near my parents so we came to stay with them while Tyler met with the agency.  He called me from the agency and said "they said that just today someone came to them looking for a permanent dentist in Olympia.  I am going now to meet with them".  Then later he called and said "they want to meet you and they might want me to start next week".  I met with them that day.  There were promises of partnership and raises, mostly it was a real job (something we had not yet had).  We decided to go for it and headed back to Yakima, packed up and moved. 

I threw a grown up tantrum about it (but hey I had just had a baby so don't judge me too harshly).  It just didn't make sense to me and even though this new job paid money it wasn't what we had wanted and I just didn't know how it was ever going to work out.  But it was a job and we needed one.  I got over it though...eventually and decided to make the most of the new path we were headed on.

Turns out we loved a lot of things about Olympia.  We loved the school, the Church, the proximity to family.  The job started off alright and held promises of being better.  We tried to sacrifice our dream of owning and latch onto this new dream.  With time though this grew harder and harder.  Things at the new office were not good.  By January we knew it wouldn't work out.  We went back to the drawing board.

Because we had spent so many months trying to buy the Port Townsend practice we now saw the owner as a friend.  So we called him up just to see what has happening.  We learned from before though and did not put all our eggs in one basket.  We did pursue other avenues and even got job offers.  The crazy thing was we still felt right about Port Townsend. 

The job in Olympia ended and we were unemployed again (for the last time ever I hope, the stress of unemployment is not something I would wish on anyone).  We owned a home there and had sunk our roots in as deep as you can in 9 months.  But we knew we had to leave.  (Which proved to be another emotional and hard transition- but we would do it all over again- so many good things happened in our short time there).

This year we were able to find a bank to finance us and things have gone smoother (don't get me wrong it was still a long road).  The whole process is a lot of work, there are insurance to set up, things to order, and a million other things.  For the most part it's been fun getting it ready.  We feel blessed that we like the staff and the dentist we are buying from.  We have had a lot of people help us on our way (and to all of you we owe a big thank you!). 

We moved up here Memorial Day.  We found a nice rental (it's not my dream house but it's great for right now).  We have been spending any free time we have discovering what the area has to offer.  We have been surprisingly busy during this in between period.  Life has been hectic and lacking in rhythm.  We have been to Shelton multiple times and made a big drive to Colorado.  We have spent more time then I care to admit on the computer replying to emails from everyone.  We have been writing out checks left and right.  Everything cost money to set up and it's exhausting (if you know me you know I am not good at just handing over money).  But it's been exciting and fun working together.

Yesterday was Tyler's first "real" day at the practice. He survived and even though he came home realizing there are still lots of things to learn and do before it runs as flawlessly as he wants it to, it was a good day.  He is grateful to have staff that have been there and know what they doing.  Grateful to be back to work (the kids don't know what to do without him around, but they are excited too). We are grateful for the blessings that have come all along the way.

We have learned A LOT since this all started.  I think it was always meant to be the timing just was not right before.  Life after dental school has been hard and confusing at times but it is good and hindsight has a way of explaining the journey.   A lot of people ask if we are scared with the economy the way it is.  I guess I am scared a little, but if we were working for someone I would be scared a little too (we know about being fired).  Mostly we are not though. We feel right about it and so no matter the outcome this is where we are suppose to be.  We have prepared all we can for it.  We are excited and thankful! 

My fingers are tired from typing or I would write all about Port time!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Grandma Was My Pride and Joy

Helen Narancich Talcott (May 29th, 1912 - July 15th, 2012)

She looks at me and I see Love.
I see each hour spent rocking me in her arms,
The warmth of each hug
From the day I was born until now.

She looks at me and I see Happiness.
In all the laughing,
All the games that we played.
For both the times we won together
and the times we lost.

She looks at me and I see Time.
Time spent giving a little piece of herself
To everyone who had the pleasure of meeting her.
Years spent seeing the world change
Even as she stayed the same, ever amazing.

She looks at me and I see Loneliness
From those who have gone before,
Loneliness that is now cured in the arms of her Love

She looks at me and I see Life
In every story she told,
In every kiss she gave,
In every song she sang,
In every glass she threw,
In all that she was.

She looks at me and I see Me.
The part of her that she gave me
In all her Love
and Life.

She looks at me and I Live
and I Laugh and I Cry
and I feel a little piece of Me gone;
Not forever
Only until again one day She will look at me.

            My Grandma passed away today. She is part of most of the great moments of my life. Much of who I am is because of her. I sit here and think of her and how much I will miss her. I won't get to spend another Christmas with her or play another game of Pinochle with her and she won't get to see my kids grow. But I will alway remember that I was her Tyler Boy, and I will always remember her singing her old Serbian songs to me. I will always remember how mad I used to make her, but she always forgave me. I will always remember getting a double family in Pinochle with her and all the times she told people about it afterwards. I will always remember the way she looked at me and the hugs she gave me and the tears we shared. I will always remember her yelling at the umpires when they were calling one of my games poorly or sticking up for me when no one else would. I will always remember how much she love my children in the time that she knew them. She was my Grandma and I was her Tyler Boy and the world was better because she was in it.

I Love You Forever Grandma,
Your Tyler Boy

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Pics

It felt like summer this week.  It was warm and sunny and we had COMPANY.  Stephanie, Hector, Natalia and Sienna came for a couple days.  We had a lot of fun playing games, playing outside, going to parks and attempting family photos!  (Some of the kiddos were more in the mood for smiling than others!)