Vacation Report

Well now that we are through the holidays and getting caught up on most of the stuff around the house (except for cleaning up all of these Christmas presents), I have a moment to write about our trip to Florida.

Not sure I will remember everything, hopefully I will, but there is one thing that I remember for sure.  It was cold, not some sissy Florida cold, I mean it was freezing cold.  Highs during the day were in the low to mid 50's and when the sun went down it dropped into the 30's.  When you are outside all Florida, that is absolutely freezing.  In the six years that we lived there, there was never a cold spell like the one that happened when we were there this year, and I believe is still going on.  It would get cold like that occassionally, maybe two nights tops, a week and a half was unheard of.  We had to buy jackets, hats, gloves, scarves, the whole kit.  We had two days in the 60's, so we took advantage of one of them to go swimming.  Luckily the pool was heated, but when you got out of the water it was really cold.  At least it was sunny the whole time....

Christmas at the Wynn's

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope everyone had a very jolly day.  Here at the Wynn's, we had an excellent, very relaxed day.  This was the first Christmas that we spent with just us since having Ella 6 Christmas' ago.

Each of the last 6 years, we have either had family come to us, or we traveled back to Michigan to see friends and family.  This year we decided to vacation a few weeks ago and then stay put for Christmas, keep it nice and quiet.

Max's Birthday(s)

Max really lucked out this year and scored the birthday trifecta, he ended up getting cake 3 different times because we ended up being all over the place around his birthday so he scored 3 little parties with presents, cake, and ice cream.  The only trouble was getting all of his presents from Florida back to Seattle.  We had to buy 2 new bags to pack stuff in to take back with us, we didn't have enough room in our luggage.

Max kicked off his week of birthday celebration with having a few friends over to the house to watch Star Wars and have some cup cakes and ice cream.  It was nice and simple, we ordered a few pizzas and made "light side/dark side" cupcakes.  They were just chocolate cupcakes with either red or blue frosting in the middle, the kids had to choose wisely to see which side they ended up on.

Soccer Update

Finally getting around to another update here.  This time a little sports news before we can post some info from our vacation and Christmas.  Both Ella and Max played soccer this fall.  Soccer is pretty huge in these parts, there must be a million kids in soccer here.  The professional team, the Sounders, are routinely sold out and the games are supposed to really be something.  Most everyone stands through the whole game, we haven't had a chance to make it to one yet, but we would like to next year.

Ella played on the local youth league.  She got teamed up with a few girls in her school along with a few in nearby charter and private schools.  It was a fun team, all girls which was new as Ella played co-ed in Florida.  I will say the Apopka league in Florida was really good now that we have a comparison.  The program there was really top notch (good uniforms, excellent fields, thoughtful scheduling, etc.).  Here in Seattle it feels not quite as good, but Ella still had a lot of fun playing for the Golden Tigers.  I did not volunteer to coach this year as I wanted to keep some time to myself, I have to say that I missed it a bit, it is incredibly rewarding to coach little kids in something.  Ella's skills increased quite a bit through the year, I think it is starting to click with her.  We will probably sign her up in the spring again, though she is asking to try basketball, so we may give that a go at some point.  I think I also might try to get her into golf this coming summer, she has the long arms and body to develop a good golf swing.

Ella is hustling to play some defense here

Ella needs to learn the finer details of helping out her teammates, never leave a man behind

Max also played at a nearby indoor facility since he is not old enough for the local youth league yet.  They run a nice program just to get kids having fun, they learn some skills and scrimmage every practice.  We signed him up again for the winter session, and will probably try baseball in the summer.  Max has a real knack for hitting the ball, he might be a good golfer one day too.

Halloween at the Wynns

Halloween has come and gone and it was the busiest one yet for the Wynn Family.  We had a full weekend of activities and a surprise house guest.  We had trick-or-treating at Chris' work on Friday, we were having a party at our house on Saturday, and then another party and trick-or-treating at a friend's house on Sunday.  Then of course Monday, the 1st was Sarah's birthday.  And on Friday, Sarah's mom's boss' son came down to stay with us for the weekend.  He lives in Vancouver and was having a car delivered here, so he thought he was going to pop down and pick it up and go back to Vancouver, but the delivery got delayed so he had to stay and help us all weekend.

Pumpkin carving was a fun event.  Ella drew a design on hers for Chris to carve.  Thinking it would be easy to do some silly face, I went over to check it out and she had drawn 2 trees with a big spider web in between.  That was a bit tricky to carve.  Max was literally gagging from the smell of the pumpkins and kept his distance.  I had to do his whole pumpkin, he didn't really have any interest after getting a whiff of the insides.

Ella decided to dress up as Wonder Woman this year, and she was pretty excited by it.  Max had a Captain Rex costume from Star Wars, then on Sunday he decided that he wanted to be Darth Vader without the mask, which we already had a costume for.  We went over to a friends house for a halloween party and to go trick-or-treating with a whole group on Sunday.  They were a pretty crazy group of kids, running from one house to the next in a race to get a ton of candy.  Luckily the weather cooperated and we didn't have to contend with any nasty rain or anything.
Ella & Max in their costumes on our spooky porch
Check out the whole gang of trick-or-treaters

A Day at the Pumpkin Patch

With Halloween quickly approaching, we spent the afternoon at the pumpkin patch this past Saturday.  We had to get some pumpkins after all.  The place was jam packed with people, the kids played around on some hay bales while I went in search of a wheelbarrow to carry the bounty in.  We figured, there was no way we would be able to carry them all throughout the field.  It was quite the contest to secure an unattended wheelbarrow, I finally found one hidden by a tent and scooped it up before anyone saw it.

Ella the Song Writer

Ella has been getting into pop music lately, her musician of choice right now is Selena Gomez, I must have listened to that CD at least 5 times today driving around with her.

With her new interest, she decided to take up song writing maybe in hopes of becoming a pop-star.  She has decided to call herself, Lady Googoo, an obvious spin on Lady Gaga which she finds to be a funny name.

Her first single is titled "Nachos and Cheese", here it is in its entirety.

Nachos and cheese
Olives, sour cream
And meat

Ham, ooh ooh ooh oh
Reach to the sky
Ooh ooh ooh oh
I love you mom

Not bad, I think she might have some talent here.

Ella lost her first tooth!

Today was a big day for Ella.  She lost her first tooth!  She lost her bottom front tooth.  The little sucker had been loose for about a month, maybe a month and a half.  She was playing with it constantly tonight, distracting her from paying attention at soccer practice.  I thought that it still had a few weeks to go before it popped up.

But after coming home from soccer, she was out playing with some friends when she and her friends came running in yelling her tooth was going to come out.  So we went into the bathroom to check it out and she was wiggling it all over the place.  I told her to just pop it right out of there, and she did.  She was pretty excited, and surprised that there was no blood.  We had been preparing her for what it might be like.

She couldn't wait to eat dinner to see what it felt like, "funny".  And she is lining up Lucky Charms for breakfast (her favorite) to see what that is like with a missing tooth.

She put her tooth in a little jewelry box that Sarah gave her for the tooth fairy.  The tooth fairy already stopped by and left her $2, hope that is a pretty good rate.  Now we just need to get her to save it, she is kind of careless with her money just leaving it all over the place.

We also just happen to have received the Tooth Fairy from Netflix, the movie starring the Rock.  She will probably enjoy watching that this weekend.

Back to School

Well the kids went back to school about 3 weeks ago now.  The end of summer also means the end of the nice weather that we had here.  Back to rain and drizzle, kind of a bummer, I could have used another month of sunshine.  So we booked some tickets to Florida in December for Max's birthday.  Head back to the home of the Mouse for a week to get some sunshine, have some fun, and visit our friends in Florida.

Ella started 1st grade this year, she is back to all day school again.  She is really liking it, she has 2 teachers instead of 1, and they seem to be doing a really good job.  She picked up reading pretty well over the summer and is turning into a bit of a bookworm.  Ella took up running club, I think with all of my running, biking, and going to gym, she has a big interest in working out.  Every Tuesday night, she and a couple of hundred kids just run around a makeshift track at school.  At the completion of every quarter mile lap they get a cube, or a block or something.  Then when they get done, they count their blocks to see how far they went. I guess she ran 2 miles this last Tuesday, that is pretty impressive in my opinion.

Summer Update

Well, it has been quite awhile since we have updated the site.  That is because it has been a pretty typical summer for us.  We haven't done a whole lot outside of normal summer stuff.  There is some adjusting into only having the sun for the summer, it makes you want to go out every day and get as much of it while you can.  Here are a few highlights from the summer so far.

There has been a whole ton of birthday parties for the kids, seems like there is one every weekend.  One of the cooler ones was for a little girl in Ella's class.  Her family has some friends who work at the zoo, so her party was at the zoo.  All of the kids got to feed the giraffes, and then spend all day at the zoo checking things out.  It is really quite a nice zoo, very big, the animals have very natural enclosures so it doesn't feel like those old zoos full of cages.


Trip to Aruba

It has been a long time since I last posted here.  We have been quite busy lately and updating the site has not been my top priority.

About a month back, Sarah and I took off to Aruba for a week for my friend, Jamie's wedding.  Getting to Aruba from Seattle is a bit of a hassle, but we preserved.  The flight there wasn't too bad, from here to New York, then a short layover before flying to Aruba.  However, on the way back it was a big pain, we flew to New York, and then had an overnight layover before leaving for Seattle the next afternoon.  A quick recommendation, we flew on Jet Blue, great airline, I highly recommend them, and I have tried a lot of airlines lately.

Ella's 6th Birthday

Yesterday was Ella's big 6th birthday.  Sarah threw quite the party, I think 17 kids were here in the house for Ella's Princess Pajama party.  Everyone wore princess pajamas and Sarah had them all do some activities, some games, then after eating some pizza, they all watched Princess and the Frog.

Setting up a saltwater aquarium

Well the last few weeks have been occupied with setting up a saltwater aquarium.  Sarah promised Ella a fish if she would stop sucking her thumb.  Sarah thought it would be a simple Beta fish, small, easy to take care of.  But Ella showed me a clownfish, no doubt due to Finding Nemo.  Saltwater are significantly harder to setup and maintain than a simple beta fish, but I have a tendency to overdue things.

Max's new tattoo

Max celebrated our move to Seattle with a new tat.  He took off and was gone all day, and now we know, this was some serious ink.

He also took on a new costume for his late night crime fighting.

A Hatred for Bank of America

I really hate Bank of America, I really do.  This all started when it was next to impossible to get access to my money in the local BOA branch, it took manager approval.  You see accounts in Florida, are very different than ones in Washington.  Each state is treating seperately (I didn't look into why, but there probably some stupid laws that our over bearing government have passed at some point).  So the easiest thing to do was to open a new account here in Washington.  But most of our money is still in the Florida account.  All I wanted to do was go online and transfer my money from the Florida account to the Washington account.  Something that in theory sounds very easy to accomplish.  Well I ended up in a live chat with a bank representative, which I post here for your enjoyment.  Hopefully you will also see the absurdity that this is just to get money from one BOA account to another, both of which are in my name.  And, in my haste, my spelling was awful, so I hope that makes it a little bit funnier.

Our Olympic Adventure

We decided to head into Vancouver yesterday because we are so close just to check out the Olympic atmosphere.  We had some grand plans to check out the city, and then go to one of the venues to see if we could scalp some reasonable tickets.  I looked online when we decided to move to Seattle and tickets were crazy expensive, so we passed at that time.  Things didn't quite go as planned.

We got a late start and left the house a bit before 11am, expecting a 2.5 - 3hr drive.  Well, after a short stop for lunch, and an hour long delay at the border, then finding parking, it took us 4 hours to get into Vancouver.  Ella got a hold of the camera and took a great picture of someone getting a ticket in her boredom.  And we had to park quite a ways away on the street.  We parked close to a subway station and rode the train into the city.

Our first order of business was to check out the Olympic torch.  We got sidetracked on the way there by some shopping.  After spending way too much money getting outfitted in the official Team USA Olympic gear (except for Sarah, she couldn't find anything that she liked), we turned our attention back to goal number one.  When we got to the site, it was absolutely packed.  It didn't help that they have the whole area fenced off.  You can only get about 75 - 100 yards from the torch by pressing up against a big fence.  They had an elevated viewing area, but the line for that was probably an hour long.  It would have been a lot smarter to have fenced right around the cauldron, then put security around it (which they had anyway).  It is in the middle of a big plaza that was not being used, so all the people needed to cram into a little space to try and get a shot of it.  It was really nice looking in person.

Settled into Seattle

It has been awhile since our last post.  We have been pretty busy getting moved into our new place in Seattle.  There are a few more boxes to unpack still, and need to buy some bookshelves, but other than that we are pretty well settled in now.  Here is the house that we are renting in Redmond.  I am just about 5 minutes from work, although we just announced that my group will be moving over to the main campus which will take another 10 to 15 minutes which is kind of a bummer.  The job is going really well so far, Microsoft does not act like the huge company that it is.

Ella has gotten into her new Kindergarten class at Alcott Elementary, and Max just started pre school at a Timberlake Christian, which is a local church that we have tried out.  Both of them are really enjoying it, Ella gets to ride the bus to school, I think that is her favorite part of the new school.

The family has Olympic fever again, we have enjoyed the first 2 days of coverage so far.  We are planning on heading up to Vancouver next weekend to check things out.  We don't have any event tickets, but we'll check it out when we get up there to see if we try to see something or not.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone, here is hoping to a slightly calmer 2010 for the Wynns.  I am currently in Sweden wrapping up my affairs here and will head to Seattle as soon as I get back to the States this week.  Sarah has been busy getting everything ready to go in Michigan so we can get settled in as quickly as possible.

We had a fun New Years party over at the Vernagus's again this year.  They really went all out for the kid's New Year at 9pm or so to get them all excited.

Here is to a great 2010 from the Wynns to all of you.