Labor Day fun

Our friends recently moved to a Lake house and for Labor Day decided to host a party for friends and family. We took advantage and rented some paddle boards for the day. I recently discovered this new sport while on a trip to Leavenworth with a girlfriend. We tubed the Wenatchee after a morning hike and observed several paddle boarders. It looked like so much fun and since then I've been wanting to try. Now that i've done it pregnant, I can't wait to do it with a little more balance above my belt.
After observing for several hours Chi finally decided to trust his daddy and get on board, but of course our most ambitious was JoJo. She could not wait to get on. The water was so smooth that she ended up falling asleep in middle of lake with Johnson, leaving him stranded out there.


WA to KS

9 States, 3 time zones, 1,900 miles, 3 long days, 32 hours in the van and 3 young children going along for the ride...literally priceless!
I really did not have high expectations for my kids on this trip, granted we're only 1/2 way through, but they did soooo much better than I would of imagined. I don't know if it was all the electronics, books and toys we packed or the fact that my parents and sister came along, but they did WONDERFULLY! I am so very grateful to have made it to my brothers home safe and sound and look forward to days of getting to know my 2 new nieces, Kaija and Devon.

Devon Lovin on Chi

Day 3 WA to KS

June 22, 2011- Finally! Cheyenne to Lenexa KS, 646.41 miles, and 11 hours, making our grand total 32 hours in the car. Another time zone, equaling another hour lost, but that's ok. We made it safe and sound. My uncle Lou, Aunt Paulette, Grandma Mattie and 2nd cousins Jordan and Hezikiah arrived about 10 minutes after us, safe and sound from Columbus Ohio.
At the end of the journey we were afraid that we were going to encounter our first delay with the flooding in Missouri, but luckily they had just opened the road we detoured on.
Highlights of our LAST DAY were:
1. Picking our battles with Boo...She did not want to wake up that morning and the day was destined to be trouble.
2. Letting JoJo use my toes as a joy stick.
3. JoJo clapping with pure Joy every time her door opened to get out.
4. Watching JoJo layed back in her seat with her foot up like Shar, texting away on her phone.

Day 2 WA to KS

June 21, 2011- Ontario to Cheyenne WY, 789.96 miles and 14 hours. This was a long day, but it had to be done. We started at 9 a.m., which actually turned out to be 10 a.m. arriving in a new time zone, making our day even later than we anticipated. We made it and that's all that matters.
The best parts of this day:
1. Dropping off Dakota to Paige in Ogden, UT at Cafe Rio (nice bonus, even got to start a punch card).
2. Being able to drive 2.5 to 3 hour stretches with out stopping...miracle!
3. All 3 kids sleeping at the same time.
4. The prairie dogs that provided pure entertainment at our dinner rest stop.
5. Boo getting tatooed by grandma with markers.
6. The iPad performing its own miracle and lasting the last hour of the day on 8% battery....amazing!
7. When Boo decided to finally stop talking and singing at 2 a.m.

Day 1 WA to KS

June 20, 2011- Tacoma to Ontario Oregon, 420 miles, and 9 hours. We had a late start today, but we made it. Our plan was to stop in Boise ID, but for some reason everything was booked and apparently we were lucky to find anything in Ontario due to the Weezer Fiddle Festival. Luckily Colonial Inn- Budget Luxury had rooms, thanks to their lack of technology no one really knows they exist unless they come to town. Shar wanted to give them a review, but without a website it's pointless.
The Best parts of this day were the following:
1. Boo singing "Old McDonald" all wrong... "With a duck duck here and a cow cow there..." She also gave us a rendition of "Old Christmas Tree."
2. Grandma teaching Boo the smell your hand slap trick and it totally backfiring on her with Boo throwing a fit.
and 3. Chi Chi and Grandma knocked out on each other...too priceless!


Field day

Chi Chi's school had an end of the year barbecue and field day Thursday. The girls and I ended up spending the whole day at school....exhausting to say the least. But we had a blast. It was fun to see Chi with his buddies and Boo maneuver her way into the class like she's been there all year. I think the most entertaining game the kids played was tug of war...the girls took the boys down hard.


2011 update

I'm totally envious of those who blog everyday, every other day, once a week. I don't get it. How do you have time? Not to mention I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make this blog better. Please let me know if people are willing to help because I think I'm down to once a year....yikes! Here's just a quick update of my kiddo's, also known as the main links in "The Chang Gang."
Chi Chi is finishing his final year of preschool next week. Kindergarten here we go. JC and I made a tough decision back in January to move him to another school, guaranteeing him a spot for Kindergarten. Best decision ever! He's currently attending one of the only two public Montessori schools in WA and it has been such an amazing change for him. He has grown in so many ways socially and intellectually, definitely a great investment. Although it was probably a little early for the morning rush of get dressed, eat your breakfast, brush your teeth, wash your face, back pack, lunch, jacket, shoes....he's happy and we're happy.
Some of my favorite things about Chi Chi right now are embarrassing him in front of his friends with hugs and kisses from mommy, listening to him read (amazing), watching him break dance, listening to him beat box (no idea where that one came from, probably the playground), listening to him sing primary songs that yours truly taught during singing time, watching his sisters adore him as he freely helps them in any way he can and most importantly watching the testimony of our Savior grow within him. He loves to memorize articles of faiths, is our best listener during FHE and always tells me what he's learned in class on Sundays. He's my baby boy...yes Chi Chi even when you read this for the first time as an adult, you'll still be my baby boy!

And then there's Boo. I was looking at a picture tonight of myself around age 5 and I totally saw Boo in me. This girl and I, we go round and round almost everyday. I just know she's gonna be my best friend for life (isn't that what BFF's do?).
Boo will start preschool next fall and man she is ready to go. Everyday that we drop off Chi Chi she asks if she's going too. It just breaks my heart to tell her "not yet baby, next school year is when you start." And then I'll probably have to explain why she's not going everyday, which trust me is tempting. Boo is for sure my little spit fire. She can go and go all day long. I had to take away her naps this year just because I couldn't/ can't get her to go down at night. It's amazing to me how long her battery life is.
My favorite things about Boo right now are her warm hugs and kisses (genuinely the best ever), her adorable feminine voice, her enthusiasm to help me cook, the fancy B's she writes in her name, and her nurturing nature towards her baby sis.
Boston loves almost everyone she meets and has a magical way of sucking people into her bubble. While I don't appreciate her firm, sometimes stubborn, 3 year old confidence on most days, I know she's on her way to becoming a familiar face and personality, which I can appreciate for sure!

And my Jo Jo. This baby girl is growing up way too fast. She tries so stinking hard to keep up with big bro and big sis. Tonight she had me in stitches as she tried to mimic Chi Chi's break dancing. Her little feet never left the floor, it was hilarious. From birth JC and I have said that there's something about this girl and we still feel the same way. For 14 months now she has warmed our hearts with her intoxicating smile.
My favorite things about little Jo right now are chunky cheeks that I can't get enough of, her wild hair that I let fly free most days bc it just fits her personality, her waddling diaper booty, when she yells at the other kids and I only understand one word...NO No!, when she dances around her one little stable foot in a circle while clapping her hands and laughing hysterically at herself, her yummy wet kisses and the warm welcome home she gives daddy everyday.
People ask me all the time if she's more like Chi Chi or Boo and I honesty can say she's holding her own. She's her own little person and I love every second of everyday I spend with her.


Yes she can!

My favorite words spoken by Boston's very distinct and tiny feminine voice right now are: "Oh! I need to go potty!"

After running out of her diapers last week I decided to take a serious leap of faith with my Boo Bear. I've been putting off what was probably due months ago, with very good reason I feel. She's not the neatest child I have. I am still fearful of the clogged toilet I'm sure will come, nasty public restrooms she'll insist on using, touching of toilets I have not cleaned or other disasters I dare not utter. But for now she's doing much better than I thought. I'm very proud of how well she's caught on, especially since I just had the carpet cleaned and we have had zero accidents on it (knock on wood, it probably helps that towels are everywhere). She's even been accident free in public. I'm especially impressed that she's grasped my methods of madness, because mommy has done no research. This is all on the fly: by Alisha P. Chang.



It's always a good sign when there's talk of the next camping trip before we're even close to being done with the one we're on. This was Johnson's 4th camping trip in his life and he survived!!!! Yay!!!! We had a great time with great friends. Unfortunately the weather wasn't great, but it was good enough. Good enough even for all the kids to jump in the lake. Thanks everyone for making this a smooth and fun filled weekend.

Beautiful mossy trails, tall shady trees, clear lake water, tents professionally set up by Brian, clean air, laughter, chubby bunny contest, warm smokey fires, bacon grease fires, smores, children at constant play in the woods, little boys peeing on trees, swimming out to the island, crying children on a log, late nights filled with funny stories, great camp fire meals, and zero bear encounters ...priceless.

This is all the kids did. Run and play. They were all so wiped out. One night the Croke boys were so pooped that little Kasen had to speak up and demand "mom take us to bed, please!"

As I was going through this picture I had to stop and think about where all the kids were when this was taken. Obviously from the previous picture the older ones were busy in the woods, but where were the babies?
Oh, if only Vince were here. The EQ tat clan missed their other brother. I personally missed his wife. I was so looking forward to some good ole' stories from sis. Greco.
I know Boston loved camping. She was in food heaven. We'll have to plan a pancake breakfast a little better next time. It probably took us about 2 hours to make pancakes, eggs and bacon. Oh, and in case you don't know this, bacon grease is flammable. I tried cooking our bacon on foil over a fire, not the best idea I've had. (sorry about your pan Trish).
Brian's probably not going to thank me for posting this picture (because of baby #1, i thinks that's what he called it), but his kids are so stinkin' cute. I'll always remember Titus' saggy diaper and the awkward jog I made back to camp to get him a new one.
My little bump on a log. I'm so glad the sun finally made it out on Saturday at like 4 p.m. Boston had a great time in the water with her daddy. Malachi on the other hand took a little convincing. I think once he saw how much fun she was having on this log, he finally changed his mind.

I love living such a beautiful state. I wish our weather was a little better year round so that we could enjoy the outdoors more.

Super Dad! On the way back to camp from the lake both of the girls fell asleep. I'm so surprised Boston didn't fall down, even more surprised she fell asleep up there. But like I said, these kids just kept going, all-day-long.
The chubby bunny winner. And we didn't use regular marshmallows. Nope, we used those honkin' huge campfire marshmallows. Trish was able to get 3 in her mouth and say "chubby bunny." AMAZING!
I only had 2 in my mouth and could not get one word out. This was my first attempt at this game and it was disappointing to say the least. From everyone's expressions though, I think I at least brought some entertainment value.
The Croke boys were so patient with Boston. She was all up in their business, the whole weekend. The night Kasen begged to be put in bed, I thought Kyler was going to loose it with her because she was all over him. Rubbing his face, shaking his head, laying in his lap, kicking her legs, and even yelling in his ears. They just kept having fun with her, allowing her to even wrestle them to the ground.

I guess the moss was soft enough to take a nap on. (Kyler, Chi & Kasen)
Oh wait...we did sight a bear. Boo Bear. This is Boston having a moment while we were taking one last hike. Mommy and Daddy were being so mean by making her walk off all the junk food she ate.
We should of known that she was just tired. Johnson left the group and headed back to camp with her. By the time they got there she was knocked out.
And just for the fun of it here is a cute shot I got of Jordan recently. I think she's 10 weeks old in this picture. This isn't from our camping trip, but since I didn't have many of her I thought I'd throw this one in. This was right after a shower with me. She was knocked out from the soothing warmth before I could even get out. I hated waking her up from this, but she really needed a diaper.



A few weeks ago Malachi had his preschool graduation, along with a little show the kids put on for the parents. All I have to say is "so stinkin' cute." I wasn't really quite sure what to expect from Malachi. He can be pretty passive in a big group of kids, but I guess he's become pretty comfortable with his classmates. His class theme for the show was the 50's and so he was a little multiracial greaser, not really what you would see in the movie "Grease," but cute enough. He really enjoyed styling his hair that night and now asks for the "cool" hair do often. I was really surprised that he willingly walked up to the stage and sang every song (2 short songs) and he even did all the little motions to them too. The place was packed with the family members of 4 different classes, plus extended family members and friends of families and so it took a lot of guts for these little kids to get up there. I was very proud of my greaser. All those people and it didn't see to phase him at all. All I have to say is that our daily dance sessions have paid off. We'll be watching this video often.