A Whole Decade

A Whole Decade

A decade.  10 years.  It’s seems like such a long time when you say it.  It can feel like an eternity.  But it really flies by.  It’s gone before you know it.  Jaren just had his 10th birthday this week.  We celebrated with a roller skating party per his request.  He had some of his friends there and we had a blast.  The entire time I was thinking, “Wow!  My baby is 10 years old now!”  It’s an incredible thought.

A big shout out and a “Thank you!” to my sister who helped out immensely with planning!  She caught the “Pinterest Bug” and put together a Minecraft Party that he was proud of.  Just take a look at his smile to see for yourself!

The Birthday Boy

Now that’s one happy kid!  Everyone had a fun time!  The twins didn’t skate, but they did enjoy the pizza and the music.  I have a feeling when they are a little older, they will be racing around the rink like their older brothers.

Pizza After her pizza All smiles!

The goody bags were all themed as well!

Goody Bags Goody bag contents

The skating was fun, too.  Olivia and Rhonin enjoyed skating together, and they both ditched the skating frames after a while and took off without them!  I am so proud!  Rhonin took a few tumbles, but another mother there put it well: “He’s a warrior.”  He just got up, dusted himself off, and kept going.  He’s fearless!


Jaren was a great host, too!  He spent some time skating, but when his guests wanted to play air hockey instead, he stepped off the rink and joined them.  We spotted a friend’s mother there as well and he went to go give her a goody bag to take home to her son.  It turns out it wasn’t her, but her identical twin sister!  Not only did Jaren give her a goody bag for his friend, but he gave away his own goody bag to his friend’s cousin who was there so he wouldn’t feel left out.  He gave it away without hesitation even though he doesn’t know his friend’s cousin at all.  He has such a heart of gold!  I am so proud of him.  He’s an amazing young man!

All in all, it was an incredibly fun party!  Good times with good friends!

After a long day skating with the best of friends!




We’ll miss you, Grandfather

We’ll miss you, Grandfather

Live each day like it will be your last.  You never know what tomorrow will bring.  Never skip an opportunity to tell someone that you care.  Never put off what you can do today.  And always take that moment for extra snuggles with your children, your mother, your father, or your grandparents.  They may not be there tomorrow.

Last Tuesday, I lost my Grandfather.  He was an elderly man, but it was unexpected.  He passed of a heart attack.  The news hit me like a bag of bricks.  It threw me off my entire reality and has shaken me up in a way I never thought possible.  I had experienced death and loss in my life before, but this was something different.  My grandfather helped take care of me when I was a child, as my mother was a flight attendant and sometime needed to fly for a couple days a time.  He and I tested each other as the stubborn streak in our family ran straight down the middle of us.  But I look back on the times spent with him and realize all of my vital life lessons were taught to me through him.  His strong hands were always firm, yet gentle.  I could always count on them to catch me if I fell along the way.  He taught me the value of honesty, loyalty, commitment, perseverance, hard work, and finishing all my food if I served myself.

I will forever remember his quick wit and how he never once “let me win” a game of chess.  If I won, it was because I tried hard and earned it myself.  I will miss the days of sitting on the toilet lid as a little girl in my nightgown and bunny slippers, watching him shave in the mornings, listening to him whistle a cheerful tune while taking in the familiar scent of traditional Old Spice soap.  I will miss the jokes, the songs on the piano, and the remarks about “going out to get cat fur to make kitten britches” when you ask him silly questions.  I will miss his warm smile, his joyful laugh, and his loving embrace.  He may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.

Just this last weekend, Rhonin has suddenly taken an interest in Jaren’s electronic chess board.  He’s seen it many times before.  Thousands of times.  But suddenly, it calls to him.  After putting the twins to bed, I came out to Rhonin and Mike sitting across the coffee table from each other.  Mike was asking Rhonin about the pieces.

“What piece is this?” Mike asked.

“That’s the knight!” Rhonin replied cheerfully.

“What’s special about the knight?” Mike asked.

“The knight only moves in an L-shape!” Rhonin was quick to respond with confidence.

The following morning, I passed by Rhonin’s room, where I found him setting up a chess game, talking to himself.

“That’s the rook, and that goes there.  That’s the knight, and that goes there!  And that one is the bishop, and he goes right there…” he was saying to himself.

I don’t pretend to know everything about what happens after we pass on.  But I believe it is possible things happen that we simply cannot explain and do not understand.  For example, I do not understand why Rhonin suddenly has an interest in Grandpa’s game the weekend after he passed away.  I also cannot explain why he knows all these things about chess when he didn’t before.  I didn’t explain them to him.  Perhaps Mike did.  Or perhaps Jaren did.

Or maybe, just maybe… it’s safe to say that Grandpa won’t ever be forgotten because he will always be with us, in one way or another.


Christmas 2014 – Grandpa and Jaren

Donald Welch, loving father and grandfather
1929 – 2014

Fall Family Times

Fall Family Times

So a quick update about life in general for you guys!  Everything is going well.  All the kids are awesome!

Jaren has recently gotten some glasses and he looks so sharp!  He looks so smart with them on!  Well, we all know he is smart, but the glasses really suit him well.  He’s still playing soccer as well.

Rhonin is having fun at Merryhill soon.  And every day he shows me a little bit more of his Big Boy side.  He will say the cutest things, too!  I’m a real proud Mama.

Rennie now has a couple teeth and is sitting very well on her own.  She’s such a happy little girl!  Solid foods are a breeze, and she’s even on finger foods now.  She’s a big fan of Kix!

Merrick has a bunch of teeth now, loves sitting up, and enjoys his finger foods, too!  He has even learned how to pull himself up to a standing position!  I had to lower his crib mattress because of this!  Such a happy little guy!

Sonoma State is going well.  I am extremely busy, but it’ll be worth it in the end.  I have been offered an internship position at The Buck Institute for Research on Aging, and I’m really excited about it!  I believe I will be working on the Mouse Project, where they are conducting research on Type II Diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease.  I’m hoping to stick with this internship for a while, as this is right up my alley!  I’m going to be conducting PCRs and Western Blots on the mice.  So excited!!

Halloween is rapidly approaching, and the twins have their costumes already.  Rennie will be a kitten and Merrick will be a puppy!  They will be darling!  I’m not sure what the older boys have decided on, but I’m sure they will be adorable as well.  Maybe Spiderman or Batman this year?

After Halloween, the twin’s first birthday will soon be here.  It lands on Thanksgiving this year.  I’m hoping to have a little celebration for them, so I’ll keep you all posted for that, too!

Til next time!

Kids, Cats, and Clothes

Kids, Cats, and Clothes

Wow, it’s been quite a while since I’ve updated!  Lots of happenings around here!

Let’s see… first, Mom is still doing well!  She has been enjoying the peace of being home and just taking care of herself (finally!)  We went to go see her shortly after she returned home and she is looking good!

Jaren has started soccer and karate again and is loving them both, as usual.  Our weekends with him are pretty packed!  Every time I see him in karate though, I always wish I could do it, too.  Maybe someday when I can get over how silly I think I’d look, I can try it.  It’d be nice to get Mike back into karate, even though it’s a different style than what he previously trained in.  I think it would be good for him.

Rhonin has had his birthday and he’s a whole 4 years old now!  He had a Superhero Training Camp party at the inflatable gym.  The party went well and he really enjoyed himself.  Lovinia did a great job on the party favors and every guest took home a Superhero Cape!

Kerensa is doing well and almost has two teeth now!  She was working on one for a while, but the second is mostly through now.  She’s also really taken to rolling herself over and seems to show a lot more interest in it!

Merrick is having a great time at daycare and being a happy little boy!  He is sometimes pulling himself up to his knees!  The twins just keep getting more mobile, so we made a whole play pen arena in our living room so they have a safe place to roll around.  They really seem to love it!

We also have added another member to the family: Oryan is back!  Will said that she wasn’t getting the attention she needed at his home, and that the dog would pick on her quite a bit, so he was going to rehome her.  I immediately texted him and asked for her back.  She adjusted very well to the other kitties.  I can’t really say they all adjusted to her well though!  They have all taken their turn bugging her, but she doens’t seem too phased by it.  She’s been taking up her old usual spot next to me on the couch and at night.  :)  I’ve missed her so much!

We also had to replace the carnival fish.  So now we have Pete 2.0!  He’s a fantail goldfish.  I told Jaren and Rhonin that since he’s their fish, they need to feed him.  So they’ve both been taking turns feeding the goldfish and even the kitties.  I think this was a great way to teach them some responsibility.  Plus, he’s kinda cute.  :)

And lastly, The Just Between Friends Consignment Event just took place and I sold a bunch of old Rhonin and baby items that we just weren’t using anymore.  I didn’t make as much as I would have liked, but given that it was very little effort for me, it was worth it.  I also did some shopping for the kids while I was there.  I’ve been going through all the clothes that are too small for the babies now and getting rid of those, too!  It feels good to purge things!  I think it would feel even better if I weren’t replenishing it all with larger sizes!  Let’s just say that all my kids have a wide variety of clothing options available to them!

Anyway, I’ll try not to let it go so long between updates!  School has just been kicking my bum lately and I’m too tired to do much else other than school, work, and kids!  See ya soon!

Intense Week

Intense Week

This last week was an incredibly intense week.  What started off as a typical week ended with my mother in the hospital.  My mother was struck by an incredibly severe gallbladder attack.  After suffering for about 7 hours, I demanded we go to the Emergency Room.  She protested, but Mike and I managed to get her into the car.  A heart attack patient came in right after us, so we had to wait a couple of minutes.  She began to pass out from the pain in the waiting room and I had to hold her up.  They took her into the E.R. and she stayed there for about 9 hours.  They gave her fluids and potassium to replenish what she had lost while vomiting for the night before.  She ended up in and out of conciousness the entire day.

After she was admitted to the hospital and moved to a room, I returned back home to help Mike with the twins.  The entire week consisted of my sister and I swapping places between sitting bedside with Mom and watching the babies.  By Friday, she was ‘well enough’ to have surgery to remove her gallbladder.  Surgery went well and she returned home on Saturday.

Jaren and Rhonin were very sweet and made ‘Get Well Soon’ cards for her!  Rhonin’s was particularly funny since it had a person on the front.  A green person.  We all thought it looked a bit similar to Mom when she was ill!  She didn’t think that was too funny though!

It finally hit me after she had her surgery and headed home how serious the situation was.  That visit to the ER was a little bit of a blur.  But I now remember the ER doctor talking to me.  “You’re her daughter, yes?”  “Yes, that’s me.”  “It’s a good thing you brought her in when you did.  She was so dehydrated and needed quite a bit of potassium.  Her pancreas is inflammed and the enzymes were starting to dissolve it from the inside.  If you had let this continue for much longer, it would have killed her.”  I think I didn’t really register what he was saying at the time.  I was overwhelmed and stressed, and honestly, I don’t think I could have handled that information well.  But now that that’s over, I feel very relieved that she is safe and sound.  I am a bit proud of myself for being able to make a good call to take her to the hospital.  I don’t even want to think of how bad the situation could have been.  (We love you, Nana!)

In other news, both Jaren and Rhonin attended a roller skating party on Sunday.  I honestly didn’t think they would enjoy it as much as they did, as they had never been roller skating before.  I thought they would be a bit frustrated at falling down a bit.  Boy, was I wrong!  They both enjoyed it so much, they wanted to go back.  Jaren went back the next day with Auntie Ali as a “Fun Day”.  Rhonin ended up with a huge bruise on his knee, but he was laughing and enjoying himself the whole time!

We were also able to go back to the Fair this last weekend.  I took the older boys myself.  They rode rides and played a couple games and just generally had a blast!  They both won goldfish, too.  I wasn’t expecting that.  But they were lucky and ended up with two!  So we welcomed home Saturn and Pete.

Hopefully this next week will be a bit slower paced, but I’m not holding my breath for it.  I start school and my schedule will probably be packed!  Here’s to hoping it’s not nearly as intense as this last week was!