Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 Christmas Letter

Top Reasons to LOVE and to LOVE-TO-SAY-GOODBYE to 2010:

LATHAN: 7.5 years
*started and stopped karate in the first half of the year, which was a time-sucking activity, so I am so very happy for the next item...
*found his love for swimming and swim team.
*found out that Sierra slopes ROCK and is a die-hard ski fan.
*excelled in 1st grade and enjoying 2nd, while sneaking in the Percy Jackson series for his "down time" (sneaking because it is not 2nd grade material).
*loves hanging with his best friend, Weston.
*found out that he LOVES his cousins after visiting with them during our family vacation this year and realized they would totally be BFFs if we lived closer (but at least we are now only driving distance!)
*just returned from visiting his ol' best friend from Michigan (Steven) and had a blast remembering why we were always inside while we lived there!
*competed in his first triathlon, thanks to his swim team training and did VERY well.
*is loving to learn playing the piano and eagerly searches out the hymns to play them.
*gave a wonderful "talk" at church for his primary program about how he is looking forward to getting baptized this next year (ALREADY?!?!?!?)
*somehow got into a situation while we were out of the country where he was "jumped on" by some "friends" and received a bloody nose of a lifetime and had to be a key subject in getting some "friends" suspended from school. BTW, Lathan stood up for Weston and then Weston totally had his back, too. Way to go dudes.
*Continued on year-round swim team and is toughing out the cold entry and exit in the outdoor pool.

KAELAN: 5.5 years
*was the instigator of finally giving up on karate (thank you!)
*found his love for swimming, but NOT swim lessons.
*found his niche in mathematics at school and realized he was REALLY good at it!
*started in public school for Kindergarten, but switched to the charter Montessori nearby because of the over-crowded class and unmotivated teacher.
*is SO old-man in his soul, but has so much silliness and light to share that he has officially become our comic relief.
*LOVES skiing and asks to go skiing in the summer while he asks to go swimming in the winter.
*still my black sheep that doesn't care for carbs, LOVES fruits and veggies, and fatty meats like steak, meatballs, and bacon.
*started reading really well this year and is now onto the real scriptures just like his big brother.
*has decided to let Mom know that her short hair is not liked by him.
*Found his love for Star Wars and is very knowledgeable in all thing Star Wars.
*Always helping out around the house without being asked.
*A little bit clumsy with his growing limbs, but A TOTAL SWEETHEART.

Jeydan (J.J.): 3.5 years
*J.J found his love for swimming and developed the ability to swim any length of any pool.
*J.J. found his love for gymnastics and all things aerial.
*Is such a quick learner because of all the time he has to observe such great older brothers.
*Is still just as cuddly and loving as when he was an infant. He still finds comfort in grabbing a handful of hair and his "manta."
*A big boy with a big heart that wants to "kill" everyone around him because he is a "bad guy" with a light-saber.
*Is just as obsessed with Star Wars as his older brothers. What can I say? At least it's not Star Trek.
*He constantly jokes and makes light of any situation looking for a laugh - a lot of times to his detriment.
*Is anxious to join the swim team and even got in the water with the 7-8 year-old group during the trial week to see if he was up for it. He failed to realize that swim team is laps and not just messing around. We will try again over the summer.
*Visited with his BFF Trevor in Michigan and really can't get them out of his mind and says how he's so grateful to have visited them in his prayers everyday.

Haefan: 1.5 years
*Haefan found his love for the water, but swimming is still a relatively uneasy sensation for him.
*Was our darkest-haired boy, then after vacation on the beach is our most fair-headed of the bunch. Crazy California sun. We have pictures to prove it.
*He is the most clingy of all our boys. He has Mom or Dad days, but I'm finding there are more Dad days than Mom days.
*He LOVES his pacifier and "manta" so much that he looks forward to bedtime and nap time (since they are only allowed in the crib) and gets really excited when we bring it up.
*Has the BIGGEST appetite of all of us and has the most petite build, so we sometimes wonder where it all goes...and then we change his diaper an hour later.
*Has the most advanced development at his age; I'm guessing because of all the surrounding stimuli and examples that surround him. He has crazy coordination and crazy vocabulary; and boy, does he have some spirit!

FOZZIE BEAR: 1 year-old Labradoodle
*Has learned how the Skeehan household pecking order works and has relinquished any thoughts of being top-dog. Because of that, he is the MOST cuddly and loving and PATIENT dog of all time.
*He loves his brothers and misses them when they are not around.
*Loves to explore, so we put an invisible fence around our 1-acre property, only to still get calls from neighbors that they have him. I have made a decision that we need to bring the zap up to electrocution status because that dog knows what's coming and still bolts out.
*His new nickname is Fozzie Burr because of his backyard antics and all the weeds and stuff he brings back with him in that fuzz ball of hair he has for a coat.
*Funniest feature is that he sleeps on his back at night with his hind legs up in the air. It's really quite precious.

GRISELDA (Mom):
*Learned that I can multitask and juggle many balls at once with the extracurricular activities for the kids; but decided that it's not great for others to pinch hit. I have stepped back from the craziness - a little.
*Ran an 8-mile trail race to support David in his long trail run. It's really the only running I've done both racing and training. When it's trails, it's so lovely that my body hardly seems to notice the distance or work (if I'm not aiming for a time).
*Became a swim instructor/coach at yet another swim/country club.
*Found my love and some time for tennis again and many nice senior ladies to play doubles with during the week.
*Enjoyed a wonderful vacation to welcome back our Nana and Pops from their 18-month mission.
*Stung by the pussy-cat of the sea (stingray) at said vacation. Treated by Baywatch-worthy lifeguard, saved by hero husband, and left with a 1/2 inch gaping hole, a puncture wound 2 to 2 1/2 inches deep, LOTS of pain, an infection from an open wound, and nerve sensitivity for a lifetime. Priceless. Oh ya and PTSD for beach entry swimming.
*On a happier note, I finally can feel a clean conscience that I now am ACTUALLY the weight on my driver's license, 27 lbs later. Yikes! Bye, bye baby weight!
*Accompanied Lathan during his triathlon and was his escort at a stranger's house while he emptied his bowels during the running portion. Their house was quite beautiful!
*Love my friends! I also LOVE that my friends are getting married in fun and exotic places like
**Monterey, CA, where Davey and I got a quick couples getaway for a night while the kids were left with Auntie and Uncle.
**Madeira (a Portuguese island in the Atlantic, between Africa and the Iberian Peninsula), where Davey and I took the opportunity to go a few days early to tour Barcelona, Lisbon, then Madeira for a rare 11 days away while the kiddos stayed with Nana and Pops and had a fab time. We even ran into my Dad in Barcelona without ANY previous arrangement. Crazy!!!
*Started a new business thanks to many friends. We are going full-speed ahead with a dance studio, tumbling, music/voice/musical theater, and child-watch business. I'm hoping and praying for miracles and patience as we go through the launch phase of this venture.

DAVID (Dad):
*Has been working SO hard at his job and has been rewarded handsomely with respect and referrals.
*Made partner with his group and is officially on track to be fully vested in a year or so.
*Ran a 50k race (actually it was 34 miles - a bit more than 50k) on trails and did very well coming in under 8 hours. He now has it in his mind that he should do 100-mile races. I think he has recently rethought that and now is shooting for Kona. I will support him either way, but I'm thinking HAWAII all the way!!!!
*Decided it was time to let the minivan go since we committed to the Sierra commute by buying Northstar at Tahoe ski passes for the family. Between just the cargo and people, we couldn't have supported that trip with the van. Then adding snow? No way. So we have moved our family into "the Beast" (a black Yukon Denali). It was just perfect for our first go this past weekend.
*Swims during his lunch break at the club most days to get some exercise time in. He looks good and says he feels even better getting out and moving after so many years of being confined indoors for days at a time.

We remember the reason for the season and wish you a very Merry Christmas. We know that the Lord is our Savior and that his birth marks a special time in the Plan of Salvation. We remember all He has done for us and we use that knowledge to strengthen our foundation as a family. We hope you also find comfort in Him. Where there is comfort, there also, you will find peace.

We have had a fabulous year and hope for only great things for you and your family.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dave's Update

Ok, so here is my weekly update.....

2 weeks in my pseudo weight loss period and now my weight is.....

Dec. 12, 2010 - 202 lbs.

Still a far way off from my 185 but headed in the right direction.

So Griselda had been gone for four days and just got back with the boys yesterday. We ended up watching a movie after Griselda changed into her pajamas. So as we are laying there I start to smell something so enticing, desirable.......yep that's right, BACON!!!! Little did grisleda know that she reaked of bacon after cooking bacon for breakfast with the boys. What a nice suprise. mmmmmmmmmm bacon mmmmmmmm.

Dave

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So my time has come....

Griselda has encouraged me to pursue my endurance stuff when the kids were a little older. Last night she said that I had a green light to pursue the distance running dreams of mine.....IF......I happen to get down to my wedding weight of 185. So to get started I plan on giving weekly updates as I start dropping the pounds.

Nov. 29th, 2010 - 205lbs.

Inspiration : "Run Fat Boy, Run!" (a great movie if you haven't seen it by the way)

Dave

This is Griselda's explanation of Dave's words: I "let" him run whenever he pleases when it doesn't over-burden our family life. What I told him just recently is that I would support him and his training schedule if he wanted to pursue one of his 100-mile races that he wants to do so badly (only he has to work for it). Before, I had said that yes, I did agree to support him, but he had to wait until the youngest boy (now 1) was in half-day preschool before pursuing it. So you see, I'm hoping that I don't come off as such a tyrant. I'm simply a struggling mother that needs a Daddy...but I'd take an au pair, too. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pics

Here is our Big Haefan swinging by himself, in spite of his older brother trying to help him stay
on.

Just a little teaser of what is come...








Kaelan's Goalie Sequence....



















He was quite a goalie stud that game. Never afraid to dive in front of someones kicking feet.






Great catch Kaelan!!!!











Lathan showing off his kicking skills.












Haefan, hanging out with his older brother.

















Who said kids don't know how to pose. He must get it from Griselda. All my pics as a kid look like I could be mentally disabled........seriously.......maybe that's why my parents never have just pictures of me alone as a child. hmmmmm.....







Handddddsome!!! AKA the lady killer.


















This is the moment of pure enjoyment that precedes the moment of shear terror when he realizes that he is actually hanging on for his life.















Boys with weird facial expressions.....













Facial expressions continue.

















One of the rare instances where Lathan is actually running towards the ball with purpose as opposed to just running on the outside of the herd......









A sleeping baby.













Isn't she beautiful.....the kids not bad looking either....











This is a building in Portugal where they basically gutted an old building, built a sky scraper instead, but than kept the old face of the building. Crazy to look at......















So these are here to just wet your appetite. More Europe photos to follow.

Dave

Monday, November 8, 2010

Time to Catch Up....

.....So its been a while since we posted....anything.

So here is Dave's quick and dirty.

Haefan -

Hair has changed from brown to blond in the last year. Way to smart for his own good. Causes trouble like you wouldn't believe. He knows how to put a cup over the bath drain to keep the water in longer even when we open the drain up. Figured out how to recharge his LED flashlight so parents are no longer necessary. A little violent when compared to our other boys, but I guess as the youngest he needs to be.....

JJ-

Such a sweet, sword fighting, gun weidling little brute of a kid. Smart like you wouldn't believe. Active. Running everywhere. Can't wait to grow up so he can do the stuff his older brothers are doind.

Kaelan-

Reading. Seriously. Reading well. Trying to catch up to Lathan. Always falling asleep in the car. Griselda keeps him awake with math questions and windows open. Seriously something to see. Kid with his head back eyes closed doing addition at 9 pm with wind flying through his hair all the while his brothers are screaming and trying to hit him to keep him awake. Does he wake up. Not really. Still gets the math questions right though.

Lathan-

Swimming and school. Not liking soccer so much. Likes the running. Hanging out with friends. If people weren't trying to kick him all the time that would be much better. Also crazy reader. He is on the third book of The Percy Jackson series. Recently started asking for the Lord of the Rings stuff. He loves math. Already likes Star Trek. Its probably too late. He is probably going to be an engineer.

Grisleda

Busy, busy, busy, and then more busy. Starting a business, raising four boys, juggling tennis, four boys school schedules, PTA stuff, the new business, and all the kids schedules can make things a little stressful.

Dave (Me)

Busy, busy, busy. Some one has to watch the kids while Griselda runs around doing everything she has going. What a role reversal from residency. Also crazy busy at work. Good to be busy there though.


Our recent trip.

We went to Europe for a few days and had a blast. No kids thanks to my parents. So pics and more explanation will follow in later posts. Probably much late according to our recent posting habits.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dave´s Take

So, I don´t know what I liked more about Barcelona today......

Was it waking up at 1:30pm and thinking that it was the early morning?
Maybe it was Griselda sneaking shots of Picasso´s art without getting caught by the security guards. It also could have been seeing the two tough guys with pants sagging in the Metro while blasting techno music on their phone. Who knows. You have to love the Europeans. I mean, who else could make dreadlocks, a mullet, neon sneakers and techno music all on the same person at the same time appear normal and possibly cool? And yes, Griselda even managed to sneak pics of the techno boys and the rasta mullet man. She is tricky.....

Dave

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dave's Take

Honest to goodness. This was JJ's prayer tonight when going to bed. It has been somewhat edited for content and formatted to fit this post:

Dear Heavenly Father.......bless us not to kick in the penis.....to not kick in the pee pee, to not smack in the pee pee, to not punch in the pee pee, to not smack in the bunda (bottom), and to bless the food, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Hard not to laugh when that kid is praying. Seriously.

Dave

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer [...and Winter???] 2010

You know it's been a long time since the last post when you unload the pictures onto the computer and find that there are pictures from when we went skiing. Hmmm.

I will go ahead and fast forward to the past few weeks to make things easier on me :)

We passed the one-year mark this summer of living in California!!! How wonderful things have unfolded and how marvelous our new friends and neighbors both in our community and ward have been to us! Dave and I will periodically talk about how we've been SO LUCKY about where we've moved, the house we've moved to, and the job he's landed. All things seem to have had a divine hand involved. Let me be clear in saying that perfection is not what I'm saying about all things in our lives. It will never be achieved, nor do I hope for it - there will always be something crazy to throw into the mix; but thankfully we have a wonderful ward family and ACTUAL blood relatives nearby (FYI: anything within driving distance is nearby!) to keep us sane and saved!

We've been busy this summer between so many activities and "fun stuff" that it has left me looking forward to that day where we can just do "nothing" on the beach on our family vacation. It's LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY!!!! Yippeeeee! That's really all the time I get to veg because right after the vacation we are starting school that very next week (seriously???). Summer vacation sure does fly by when you get out mid-June and then start up again mid-August!

Some of the highlights for us this summer:
-Lathan begins swim team and is doing AWESOME!
-Kaelan settles for swim lessons and is a champ at the different strokes, but is a sinker (not "stinker," although some of us may use those interchangeably). ;)
-J.J. learns to swim and can swim without floaties and with more confidence (or determination, rather) and longer distances than Kaelan! What a champ. It's too bad this doesn't motivate Kaelan to get his groove in the water more.
-Haefan finds his love for water, too.
-The three big boys take lots tennis lessons and are on their way to becoming big hitters!
-The three big boys take golf and can now chip, putt, and drive those crazy golf balls like no ones business.
-Haefan learns the art of patience in hanging out while the other boys get to do all these activities!
-I teach swim lessons at the racquet club almost everyday, and thus have worked on my base tan for our upcoming beach vacation :), started a 30-day Jillian Michaels workout regimen (that sorta lost its impact when I got sick last week) and am almost back into tennis after a couple of years off.

As for this last week, check this out:
Since lessons have been slow at the club, I've been getting private lessons more frequently and have been more free to do stuff with my own kids (yay!), so this last week we packed it in...
*Last Friday we actually LEFT the kids and went on a weekend getaway to Monterey for a dear friend's wedding. We used it as our celebration for our own anniversary (but a month late). My bro Fernando and his wife Lucy came by and managed the kids for the weekend while we were away, only to have sick kids, vomit, and diarrhea to deal with! I couldn't believe it. Here they are helping us with the FOUR kids (when they don't even have a cat!) and then this happens! Thank goodness for their Pediatric training, huh? Boy did my boys get lucky. My brother on the other hand, not so much. We love you Dito and Lucy!
*Saturday we had a couples massage right after a four-mile beach run, barefooted in the sand on a mostly secluded beach (We stayed beachfront in a little house on a state park, so no easy beach access for non-guests). Followed by a dip in the pool and then soak in the jacuzzi - where I started feeling "funny" and had to go back to the room anyway to get ready for the wedding. We arrive at the venue, have some good fun and where my stomach turns on me and it takes all I have to not vomit there at the table. Dave and I decide that salmon wasn't a good fix, so we left before dinner to make it back to the Skeehans house in Mtn. View, pick up a desk and make it home right after midnight. I didn't vomit in the end, but it was a delicate balance the whole afternoon.
*Sunday we stayed home to nurse our sick boys and Mama.
*Monday everyone was in the clear so we hit up Sunsplash (like Raging Waters, but smaller) with the boys and they had a blast! Haefan was loving the slides and tolerated the cold water super-well.
*Tuesday was club-duty with my swim lessons - but the three big boys swam right there next to me as I taught, so they got in another 2 hours of straight swimming. I got in my first cardio-tennis class with the tennis pro at the club and worked up a serious sweat in 100+ heat on the court. Bleh. Speaking of "bleh," it was Dave's turn for yucky-stomach syndrome this day...
*Wednesday we started with golf, then went to the gym for my swim lessons (the boys stayed out of the water this time), then went to Bounce U (inflatable gym) for a couple of hours with friends, then we went to a couple of golf stores to see if we could find bigger clubs for Lathan. No luck. We'll just wait until next year.
*Thursday our last golf class and then back to the club for my swim lessons. Easy day after that!
*Friday we were planning on going to the zoo, then Funderland (a VERY SMALL amusement park. Think small fair with only the small kiddie rides for the littlest kids). We were late with some of the house drama that is the Skeehans on some mornings, so we ended up skipping the zoo and going straight to Funderland. What a great choice that ended up being since the boys were WIPED after that adventure.
*I forgot to mention that everyday that passes (except Sunday) there is swim team practice after dinner that we made it to. Saturdays are the swim meets. Thankfully the last two were home meets, so we had little travel to do.

YIKES!

Everyone managed through it all being happy (mostly) and safe. We've come to appreciate lazy days and are REALLY looking forward to some down time - AFTER Disneyland!!!! That will be a doozy; but then after THAT, we'll do nothing, right? Maybe? Please?

Pictures!!!
After a day on the snow...


I realized that I shoulda used more sunblock...


Look at those poor red cheeks...they eventually blistered :(


J.J.'s birthday celebration. Kaelan was summoned to help with the ceremony.


The delicious treats Daddy so creatively thought up - drinkable yogurt with whip cream and fresh berries on top...yummm.


Aunt Lucy hangin' with H


The boys would throw tennis balls for Porkchop up on the roof to get him to catch them on its way down. Sometimes they got stuck. Here Kaelan is taking care of business.


A little fun and a lot of trust.


Local swing at the nearby park at Nana and Pops place.


Tennis at the same park.


It's challenging for Kaelan to keep his face clean during a meal.


Apparently, faces were contagious at Abuelo's house that night.


This was the morning of cousin Tommy's blessing, and so I wasn't going to risk the boys ruining their Sunday clothes, so I just thought this was a better idea since I didn't have an alternative. The pull-ups were for a just-in-case scenario since we were crashing at Abuelo's and didn't want to have any accidents.


The other boys are still in their pj's and were attempting to pick some lemons off of the trees.


Post-blessing celebration at the Lowe's. Fun times, but at times a bit scary with all those swords.





At Kaelan & J.J's school for their May-Day celebration. This is just the set-up.


J.J. arrives!


They all had these wreaths to wear, but J.J. wouldn't have it.


Kaelan was happy to oblige, however.


Lathan was able to join us and we had a lovely picnic.


Kaelan's class singing/performing.


My good friend Tricia, who travels the country doing media stuff for those crazy skateboarders/snowboarders; so I felt lucky that she was close enough for me to say hi on her way out of town again. This is in Grass Valley.


Lathan at swim team practice.


Lathan turns 7!!!


Lathan's birthday outfit.


Fozzie and those crazy eyes.


Lathan getting his orange belt! Now he can spar.


At Kaelan's preschool graduation. Never leave home without these when you're a Skeehan.


J.J. had lots of fun playing with other people's toys.


Haefan's fun was wandering throughout the park and running away anytime I came close.


Kaelan and his graduating class.


J.J. got to sit with his class, too.


What a cuddler. He suckered his teacher into holding him while she was doing her thing.


J.J.'s turn to go through!


Kaelan receiving his honors.



And more toys...


Lathan trying to hold the nerves in check during time trials.


He did awesome.


He sure built up an appetite after that 100IM!


Our very own personal golf cart at the Monterey hotel.


The view out from the bedroom. Sweeeeet.


My BFF from HS, Kristie on her big day.


Taking a dip in our tub for a fun bath night.


Way too much fun!


Golf class. I can't believe J.J. is actually listening and paying attention...


This is what Haefan does during class.


Look at my handsome! What a strong little dude.


Snacks and more snacks keep us entertained at the meet.



...oh and movies.


Well, movies AND snacks.


A little nap can't hurt, either.



Believe it or not, that's not all folks! I just have to take time to upload videos and get photos off the phone to finish the job. Until then (think: next summer), enjoy!

Disneyland, we are getting ready for you!!!