Monday, December 19, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Smith Family
As usual, 2016 has flown by. This year was our year of traveling (last year was a baby year…Ryder). We started out in February driving down to Florida for Disneyworld! We stayed with friends and went to each of the four parks with them. Addilyn and Levi had a BLAST. We didn’t go to Magic Kingdom until our third day. So until then, they kept asking where the castle was! Their faces were pretty priceless when they finally laid eyes on it. We truly had such a great time with our family and so appreciative of our friends who helped make our trip possible. We even sneaked in a day at Daytona Beach. It was nearing sunset so it was pretty strange having the sun set not on the ocean (like Lori is used to). 
Seeing the castle
The last week of March we went north this time and stayed in New York City for a week. We stayed with Scott’s brother Aaron and his wife Caitlin in their tiny, true-to-NYC-apartment. We made it work with our family of 5! We had so much fun riding the subways and being true tourists. Lori wore Ryder in a front pack while Scott pushed Addilyn and Levi in our stroller. We got really good and folding the stroller fast and then going up and down stairs. Scott’s true New Yorker walking speed came in handy. The highlight was spending Easter with Uncle Aaron & Aunt Caitlin and the other half of our week seeing Lori’s brother Brian! Uncle Brian was there for a student field trip. It was great being able to leave the kids with A & C so we could have date nights in the city.
Brooklyn Bridge
May brought our month of birthdays. Addilyn turned 5, Levi 3, and Ryder 1!! We celebrated as usual with a party at our house. Everyone brings a dish to share instead of a present and then we play games in the backyard. Also in May we took a short trip to West Virginia. Then Memorial Day was spent with the Western’s in Atlanta helping with their new house (specifically their stairs). 

In June/July, Grandma Jadwin flew in the day before Lori’s birthday. We spent our time with her in true southern-summer fashion…swimming. We took a week and spent it in Savannah, GA! When we had pit-stopped on our way to Florida and realized how much history there was and how great it’d be to go with Grandma since she teaches what happened there. It was hot hot hot. The best days we all agreed were spent on Tybee Island, which is right there. Grandma loved the warm Atlantic Ocean and our kids had a BLAST in the waves. It was their first times swimming in the ocean. We even got to swim with dolphins! While in Savannah, Grandma & Grandpa Smith, Uncles Gunnar & Isaac stopped by on their way to Florida to go on a cruise. We showed them a bit of what we learned while we had been there. 

August 9 Scott and Lori celebrated 8 years of marriage. And in our true style we celebrated by eating downtown. 
Then Lori decided we needed to take a spontaneous trip to Philly. We spent the weekend with the Busby’s who moved to WV. We visited the Smithsonian with them and went tubing down the river by their new house. Both kids and parents had so much fun. The true reason we headed their way was to go to the Philadelphia PA temple open house. We stayed with Lori’s cousin Jason and his wife Nora (who was about to have their first baby!) in Philly. After the open house, we went to the market and stood forever in line to get our cheese steaks and then a dozen Amish donuts. The donuts did not make it all the way home…
West Virginia
Philly Temple
Thanksgiving break we went to Atlanta, GA for a Smith family reunion. All 8 siblings, all 6 spouses, all 18 grandkids, and 2 grandparents stayed with Shirley and Erik Western. We had a wonderful time. The cousins loved spending time together. And the Georgia weather was so nice for them to play outside! The newest Smith grandbaby was even there! Lori gets to brag and say she was the first (after grandma) to hold the adorable 1-week-old Joel Smith!
 Christmas we plan on not going anywhere…surprise surprise! In the end we took 6 trips. We visited: Florida, NYC, West Virginia (twice), Georgia (twice), and Pennsylvania. I told you it was the year of traveling.

Scott- Scott celebrated 5 years at B/E and 1 year in his newest position as Senior Certification Lead Engineer in his new department. He has not regretted his choice to change groups and take on this new challenge. He has shown his worth time and time again. Scott especially likes the people in his new group and his boss. They have their own book club where they read/listen to books/podcasts on leadership and other life-managing skills. Scott has been busy outside of work doing dad duties and showing the kids how to fix and build things around the house. They love spending time with dad! His newest hobby has been flying his new quad-copter that he got for his birthday.
Flying in a glider plane
Lori- Lori enjoys planning. Maybe this is why we’ve gone on so many trips? She also has been adjusting to the new life of having school-aged kids and having other after-school activities. It’s a balancing act of house projects, managing the kids and her calling in Young Women’s at church. Somehow she figures out how to do it all….or at least appear to! Lori spends her time planning and doing awesome family activities. We have been so lucky to have the job Scott has so that Lori can be home with the kiddos. 
Mother's Day
Addilyn- #thisgirladdilyn finished preschool and started kindergarten! She loves all of it. Whenever we ask her what her favorite part of school is, she always says, “all of it!” We get to enjoy visiting her at lunch too. Scott even makes the effort to have special lunch dates with her. She’s allowed to invite one or two friends to sit with her in the booth when we come. It has always been someone different, which shows how great she is with her friends. Along with school Addi has also taken up ballet. She adores every moment and is over the moon while she is there. We’re pretty sure she wants to be a ballerina. At least for today. 

Levi- #levisantics is busy busy! With Addilyn gone during the day, Lori has had to teach him how to play with his younger brother. It’s nice that he has a back-up friend, even though Ryder is still figuring out how to play with him too. Levi likes to play at the YMCA, do a dance class there, and he has his own ‘school’. Levi is participating in a pre-school co-op with some friends. The group has gotten a little smaller with one of his friends moving, but he loves it still. Earlier this year he broke the base of his first finger in his right hand and wore a cast for 6 weeks. Then just a little bit ago he split his chin open at a birthday party. He’s healed up perfectly thank goodness. Levi has a great imagination and likes to build things and play with his cars. He’s also an excellent climber.
washing an airplane
Ryder- #ryderjadwin is huge. This sums him up. At 18 months he was 30#s and in the 99th%tile. He likes to be one of the big kids. Ryder has a really sweet personality and is starting to talk more and more. He’s such a love. When Ryder sees his older sister and brother do something, you know he is right there to try and do it himself. He loves climbing on the table, licking our dog Lily (gross, I know, but I had to mention it. He’s just returning the kisses), and he’s quite the dancer.
doing big kid stuff

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