Sunday, May 8, 2011

Gardner kid updates

Caught smiling on a warm beach in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, one might wonder what is going through this mother of seven active children is thinking: Is she having fond memories of her little angels or is she just enjoying a quiet break from the demands of life? No one may ever know but below we will try to give you an idea what those little angels have been up to in the last little while and we will let you decide for yourself which it is.

Shelby is 16 now and a sophomore at high school. Here we catch her off on a date to the LDS Prom with a member of our ward. (Daniel Murphy) She hasn't dated a lot yet but has enjoy the couple of dances that she has attended. She is busy with school. Along with many projects, she is getting ready to attend Clark College in the fall as part of the Running Start program. This will allow her to get both college credit along with her high school credit. She has passed her written test for her driver's license but still needs to build up the courage to take the actual driving test. Then we should have another driver in the family! There are days when we are ready for help getting everyone to the places they need to be.

Saturday, Shelby, Coby and Abby went hiking to Moulton Falls to get ready for the Pioneer Trek this summer and for girls camp along with most of the kids from the ward. It was an easy hike and Abby was hoping for something a little more rigorous. We had a good time. This picture is taken at Sunset Falls along that trail. Now that the kids have finally finished all their after-school activities we are hoping to do a few more hikes this spring (and summer if we can find time.)

Coby just finished his soccer season with Hudson Bay High School. He played on their JV team this year as a freshman. His team struggled a little as they had 5 boys that never played soccer before. The team didn't have a lot of wins but there was a drastic improvement over the year. Coby will be glad to get a little time back as they practiced or played every day including Saturdays on occasion. School-wise, Coby pulled straight As for the first half of the school year and continues to do very well.

Abby (6th grade) is probably our most active kid at the moment. She loves to have her hands in everything. She just finished competing in Science Olympiad where her team placed 9th overall in state. Abby's favorite event was Battery Buggy where she built a car running on 4 AA batteries. The goal was to get as close to a point on the floor between 6 and 10 meters (they tell you after you turn in your car) as quickly as you can. Abby placed 5th in state in this event. Her car was the closest but she needs to work a little on speed now. Way to go Abby! Abby is also still playing the violin, loves to bake and keeps us hopping from activity to activity.

Maggie is now in 4th grade and doing well. She is trying track in the spring and having fun. Maggie and Ellie are also doing gymnastics right now and really having fun. They do cartwheels and handstands all over the house. (and don't forget round-offs.)

Ellie is in 1st grade and is being home-schooled by her mom. She does very well at math and is becoming a good reader. She reads books to her little sister Blakeley often. She was just moved up to Maggie's gymnastics class so she is doing well in that activity.

Blakeley is a good helper at home. She loves to help with her little brother Grady. (As you can see her feeding him a bottle.) She is a quiet kid but is working hard to try and get her thoughts across. It seems that every other word is "eee" coming from her mouth which can make it challenging to figure out what she is talking about. She is slowly getting people's names down though as Ma'ee (Maggie) let's me know. The last few days she has had a bad earache and has been in a lot of pain. We finally got a second dose of antibodies to help. Hopefully she will be back on her feet shortly.

Grayson (Grady) is a pretty happy kid. (What is not to be happy! He has 8 people who adore him and meet his every need.) He has learned to crawl and is into everything now. He is also starting to pull himself up into standing positions so it won't be long now until he is cruising throughout the house. Anyway we know who runs the show at our house.

So again, we will let you decide whether the lady in the beginning of this post was smiling because of a well-deserved break or because she was reminiscing all the times she spends with these great kids. (It was probably a little of both.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Quarter of Prophecy

When Jill and I went in for our ultrasound for this pregnancy, I decided that I wanted to know if this was going to be a boy or a girl while Jill decided that she wanted to be surprised. We decided that to make sure that it stayed a surprise, Jill needed to be the second person to know. This drove our kids nuts, especially Coby. They were relentless trying to get me to tell them what sex the baby was going to be. It almost became a game for the kids to try and trick me into telling them what it was.

A couple days before the baby was due, Coby was pestering me relentlessly and I finally told him to go get a quarter. He did so and I told him to flip the quarter. If it landed heads, then it would be a boy. If it was a girl, then it would land tails. Coby flipped it and it landed tails. Not satisfied with the result he flipped it two more times, both of which landed tails. Coby then spoke to the quarter and said that it was opposite day. The next flip landed heads. I was laughing pretty hard as were several of the girls. Coby kept saying that it was just warming up and kept flipping it until he got the result he wanted.

Since now we know that Blakeley is a girl, we have decided to keep this quarter and use it to determine important events in our lives. We are even contemplating playing the lottery. ;-) If anyone is interested in making some money or learning important future events, Coby is willing to flip the quarter in your behalf for a small nominal fee. ;-)

Never trust a man to do a woman's job

Yesterday, Coby and I were at soccer practice and we get a phone call from Jill. She is desperate for us to stop at the store on the way home to pick up some underwear for her that will fit. She can't find any of her pre-pregnancy stuff and most of it would not fit at this time anyway since she just had a baby. She says that she needs like a size 12 or 14. No problem I say. I am always glad to serve.

After practice, Coby and I head over to Target. With a little searching, we locate the Lingerie section of the store. Amist a sea of bras, panties and other unmentionables, Coby and I locate what we think Jill is looking for. We begin to search for the right size. We search high and low, (getting quite a few stares from other women shopping in the section of the store) but the biggest size we can find is a 10. It seems fairly strange to me that a 10 would be the biggest size since Jill is not a big person, even just having a baby. I guess we must be looking in the wrong section. I go find teh Plus Sizes section but we can't find underwear anywhere in that section. I decide to call Jill. I tell her that we can't find a size 12... 10 is the biggest they have. Jill tells me to look for some help but don't come home without something. She is desperate!

Coby and I start looking for the well-hidden store employees. We finally find a young man (probably mid-20s) who asks us if we are finding everything alright. I explain to him that my wife just had a baby, I need to find her some underwear but I can't find any that are big enough. He lets me know that I am way out of his leauge on this one (tell me about it!) but he will help me find someone that can help. Finally we find a lady in the baby section that he quickly dumps us off on and hightails it out of there. I tell the lady what we are looking for and she proceeds to take us back to the wall we had searched high and low. She lets us know that they once had some that size but they must be all out. (I my mind I am wondering where this lady buys her underwear since she may have been about Jill's current size but it wasn't something that I was willing to ask her.)

By this time I am getting fairly desperate myself. I decide that since Jill told me not to come home without something, I grabbed the first package of size 10 I could find and figured if those wouldn't work, maybe I could go to Walmart later and see if they service more rounded women. Again the lady at the check-out counter gives Coby and I a funny look as we purchase some underwear that doesn't look like will fit us and we head home doing our good deed for the night.

We get home and I take the newly purchased underwear to Jill. Still a little groggy from sleeping she takes a look at what we had bought and throws them back at me with a lament that can't a man do anything right. First, I had bought the wrong kind of cut. I was smart enough to not buy the bikini kind but I had bought the "high-cut" rather than the "brief" ones. (Way too many different choices if you ask me.) Second, I am a guy and I don't read instructions. Jill told me she needed a 12-14 and so that is what I had looked for. She told me to read the back of the package and here is the chart that I find...

This is a little hard to see but of course, sizes do not line up. Jill had wanted a pant size of 12-14. I should have bought more like a size 7 or 8. The light finally goes on why I had not been able to find the size that I thought I was looking for. (Why the lady at the store and not been a little more helpful was beyond me. I think she would have asked why I wanted such a large size or how big is your wife?) I tell Jill that I will go back and get the right size but she is fed up with me by now and calls her friend to go and get what she needs. (Which is what she probably should have done in the first place.)

What I want to know is why do women have to have so many different size scales? Why can't a size 10 mean the same thing for everything? In men's clothing, if I buy a pair of socks and I wear a size 10 shoe, then I need a size 10 sock. If I have a 34" waist, then I need size 34". None of this trying to make the numbers seem smaller than they really are. Second, why can't the people that they have model the clothing on the package give you an accurate picture of what you are buying? The picture of the lady on the package I bought was probably a little smaller than Jill. Looks like what I am looking for, right?

Anyway, any of you ladies that need to have your husbands run such errands... save yourself the trouble of us messing it all up and get a woman to do the job. This is way too complicated for us to handle.

New member to the family

We are pleased to announce the arrival of the newest member of our family, Blakeley May Gardner on July 19, 2008. As our due date was quickly approaching, Ellie was getting more and more excited about being a "Big" sister. She has been telling us for quite awhile now that she is a big sister and stands very tall to show us how big she is. She was also insistent that, "It's a GIRL!"

Jill's due date was on Friday, July 18th. She had been having contractions the previous night and into the morning but things stopped throughout the day. Then the contractions started up again around 7pm. Coby had left with the Ewart's up to Tumwater (Olympia) for a soccer tournament. Derek and the girls took turns holding Jill's hand, helping her to breathe and timing the contractions as they started to get harder. The girls were a really big help. Finally about 10:30pm we decided that we needed to head to the hospital. We called Bud Mackey to come over and help Derek give Jill a blessing and then we were off.

When we got to the hospital, Jill needed a wheelchair to get in. She tried walking but the contractions were to painful and a kind lady saw us and ran and got us a wheelchair. I wheeled Jill up to the Labor and Delivery wing of the hospital. It was now 11pm. The nurse asked us to sign a waiver form but Jill's first question to the nurse was if they bill from midnight to midnight. She said yes and Jill, being the frugal person that she is (her dad would be sooo proud), said that she could wait until midnight to check in. Both Derek and the nurse thought this was a bad idea but she was insistent that she could hold out and that she didn't want to pay for a day when she only got an hour, even if the insurance was covering it. Derek reluctantly wheeled Jill back into the waiting room to wait for the bewitching hour to arrive. The hospital was very helpful by allowing us to get all the paperwork done during this time.

Finally after a long wait and many a contraction, the nurse came to tell us that the anticipated moment had arrived. They had a room all ready for us and we quickly got Jill in and changed into her lovely gown. (Which really didn't cover much from the back!) The nurse got her hooked up to the monitoring devices and checked her cervix. She was dialated to a 6. Good, plenty of time. Jill asked if she could get into the whirlpool tub that they have in each of the rooms. The nurse said fine once she got hooked up to an IV. She got that taken care of and started the water so she could get in. About that time, Jill's water broke. The nurse checked and saw that she was now dialated to a 9. She quickly ran out to get the doctor that was on call that night. By the time she got back, Jill was feeling the urge to push. The doctor asked her to try and wait so she could check her but that wasn't going to happen. Jill gave one push and out she came. The time was now 12:55am, less than an hour after Jill and decided to check in. It had only taken about 5 minutes from the time Jill's water broke to the point she delivered. Derek is very glad that they were not still out in the waiting room when her water broke. We really cut it pretty close this time. Jill was very disappointed that she didn't get to take that whirlpool bath.

The transaction for Blakeley was probably a little too quick. She was quite blue when she was first born. They moved her over to another table to get her to "pink" up a little bit while they checked her over. They found that she was having a little trouble oxygenating herself. When she would cry, the numbers would look normal but when she stopped, the numbers would go down. They decided to move her to another room where they had better equipment. After she warmed up a bit, she seemed to be doing better. They have several nurses and the ped doctor on call all look at her but everything seemed normal so after an hour or so, Derek and Blakeley came back into the room with Jill.

Derek caught a few winks at the hospital and then headed home to check on the kids. After a couple hours of sleep at home. Derek brought the girls over to the hospital so they could see their new baby sister.

They were all pretty excited about their new little sister. Derek then ran the girls back home and took off for Olympia to catch some of Coby's soccer games. When Derek pulled into the parking lot of the first soccer game it was just after half-time. His phone rang and it was his coach. He said that Coby had just scored his second goal of the game and it was the nicest one of the year. Derek felt bad that he had missed that goal by just about a minute. They won that game 7-2 and then had another one at 7:30pm that night which they lost 2-1 in a close match. Derek and Coby then drove home exhausted and got home about 11pm.

Shelby had held down the fort at home and Derek was very pleased that the house was clean, laundry was done, dishes were done and Abby had made French bread. They really had done a great job. It is nice to know that we can leave them for a short and not so short period of time and not worry about them. Thanks Shelby & Abby!

We are now glad to have Jill and Blakeley home. Blakeley is having a little trouble nursing and we are trying to work that out. Thank goodness for electric pumps and syringes! Derek took the week off to help around the house and to help with the nighttime feedings. Each of us take what time we can find to catch a little sleep when we can.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spring break on the Oregon Coast

During our Spring break, Jill had some friends from Calgary come down to experience "Oregon." We decided to spend some time doing activities with them while they were here. They came on Saturday (March 29th) and we took Jill, Derek, Coby and Abby and the Johnsons (Jill's friends and their 4 boys) to a Blazer's basketball game. Shelby was kind enough to stay home and babysit Maggie and Ellie. It was fun. We then stayed up till midnight or so watching movies, eating nachoes, etc. The Johnsons then got up early (at least earlier than we did) and took off for Silver Falls in Oregon and Florence, OR where they were going to ride dune buggies and see the Sea Lion caves.

Tuesday morning, we got up and drove to Tillamook, OR where they have a cheese factory that you can tour and buy lunch, ice cream and cheese products. As we were running late, we skipped the tour and had lunch, ice cream and Jill got the cheese curds she as been wanting. We then took off down the coast to Newport where we met the Johnsons at the aquarium. We enjoyed seeing all the fish and marine sealife there. We especially enjoyed watching them feed the sea otters.

Next we found Abby's Legendary Pizza and fed ourselves. To work off a good and filling dinner, we found the local swimming pool and swam for an hour and a half. All the kids are becoming good swimmers. Coby pulled off a front flip off the diving board if you count landing on your backside.

We ended up staying the night in Newport and then going to see a lighthouse just north of Newport the next morning. We saw a mother seal and a baby seal swimming nearby. We also went down to a cobble beach which had these really cool "cobblestones" instead of sand on it. There were also a lot of harbor seals sunning themselves out on the rocks. Last we took a climb up the largest lighthouse in Oregon. It was a pretty good climb to get to the top.

After a quick lunch in Lincoln City, we went in search for a beach. We finally found one that we settled on. The sun was shining but the wind was cold and strong. We pulled out a kite and finally got it up. I thought the wind was going to rip it apart but it held up. Derek had to hold on to Ellie when she had her turn holding it so she didn't fly off. Coby had also bought a nice new frisbee that got caught in the wind and flew out into the ocean. We never did find that one. Luckily they are easily replaced. After a short time, we decided that the wind was making it less enjoyable and we decided to head home.

We were going to attempt Ape caves again Thursday morning but found out on the internet that the road is closed right now going up there so the Johnsons headed out in the morning on their own up towards BC to continue their adventure.

We had a nice visit with them and hope they plan a trip out this way again some time. Coby especially liked having some boys around.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Gardner family growing

It has been rumored that one member of the Gardner family is putting on some weight. After taking a closer look, things are a little fuzzy. It is hard to tell who has put on the most weight! Mostly I think that the Gardner family is just full of hot air.

Anyway, the Gardners have not been so excited about someone getting fat for quite a while. Hope you are all just as excited.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Harry Potter 5

Harry Potter5 was a blast. Here is a review on it. It was a great movie and I really enjoyed it. Some parts it was boring but after you get into it, it gets really fun to watch. This is probably the best out of the five so far. My favorite part was when Dunbledor and Voldemort where fighting and Dunbledor traps Voldemort inside a water ball and throws it at the ground when Voldemort is in the water ball.or when Voldemort makes a huge fire snake that Dunbledor disenagrates the snake with a spell. I think it was a great movie. By:Coby