The Mercado Family

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

End-of-the-year Activities

It's been not-stop fun since Austin's birthday party. The Thursday before his party was Gallimore's fun fair. The next Thursday was Red Bell's clap out. (In between those two evening activities were various fun events at school, like a roller skating field trip for Discovery Middle School.)

The shuttle to the fun fair was pretty fun!
Bouncy horse races.

Erik in the human bouncy ball (that's not really the name of it, but I can't think of what it's called!) 

Hours of bouncing!
Karissa's Unicats club at the Fun Fair. They allowed Victoria to be their honorary guest!

My class' clap out.

The day school got out, on Friday, was a short day. I wanted to finish out my last day at Red Bell to the end, so I had Austin ride home with Dallin. It turns out he was picked up in a limo, in honor of the last day! Karissa went to the park with a group of friends (her Unicats club friends) and Victoria came home with Bethany. After I gathered all my children when I finished at Red Bell, we went to see Cars 3 on our orthodontist Dr. Tiefer, snacks included!!
Waiting for the movie!
 The next day, Victoria and I went on the orchestra end-of-the-year field trip to Cedar Point. It was a great deal, so I signed up to chaperone. Jason doesn't like roller coasters, so I have only been on one in our 18 years of marriage! Victoria was excited to try some. We worked our way into them and she eventually went on one of the more "scary" ones. We might have gone on more of the bigger ones, but we separated from the larger group we were in, who were wanting bigger rides, to accommodate our friend Jing, who looked so scared on the first ride we went on (it was kinda mild) that I knew she was not going to have fun on the bigger rides. I think she and Victoria were on about the same ride level.
Chartered bus ride, not bad!

Cedar Point is on a peninsual in Ohio. It's gorgeous!

The Gatekeeper ride. Victoria saw it first thing and knew she wanted to work her way up to it. That's exactly what she did!

We didn't mean to match...Her legs are almost longer than mine, now!

Their favorite ride, Iron Dragon.

Ocean Motion, the other favorite. Victoria's hands are up in the very back. She actually liked the Gatekeeper more than this, but Jing didn't go on the Gatekeeper, so we can't say it was the group favorite. 
Meanwhile, Karissa went to the local Liberty Fest here in Canton with a friend and a birthday party at Skating Station. The boys went to Jungle Java with Jason and enjoyed the day with him.

Needless to say, father's day was very low-key the next day. We were all recovering from long days! We ate some good food, though, and the Elder's Quroum at church had a special program for the men.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Austin has mentioned a couple of times that he wanted to have a surprise party sometime. I kind of brushed it off, thinking it probably wouldn't happen. I'm so used to my girls planning their parties months in advance, I just didn't think it would work out. Well, as it got closer to his birthday and he made no mention of a party, I thought that it might be a good year to do it. Especially since we were so focused on the baptism.

Communication is so easy nowadays with texting. I texted four of of his best buddies' parents and Austin didn't even have a clue! The trickiest part was choosing the best time during this crazy time of year with graduation parties, sporting events, and end-of-year-parties, etc.

Since we are now member of the Summit and our family can swim for "free", the open swim time on Saturday sounded like the perfect place. Jason took Austin on an errand and got him a Slurpee. Austin's friends arrived at our house, along with my friend Gayla who he had give the opening prayer at his baptism. When we knew they would be arriving, everyone hid behind the kitchen counter. One friend, Owen, wanted to play the piano when Austin arrived (he's really good for an 8-year-old!), so I let him hide in the living room with Erik who was blocking him. Of course, Erik ran to Austin with his silly spray before I said the secret words that meant "jump out", but Austin just thought it was Erik being crazy. I quickly guided Austin to the kitchen and said the secret words, "How did it go?" and everyone else jumped out in surprise and sprayed him with silly spray and blew horns at him. He was very surprised and excited! We sang to him right after wards and they played for about 15 minutes before we left for the pool.
Playing hot potato while waiting for Austin.

Our piansit, Owen.

Hiding for the big monent!

The girls put together the spread. We have had enough cake, so we opted for doughnuts, someting Austin has been wanting lately. Cheesy pretzels are his fav, so we got tons of those!

Don;t know why, but I thought silly spray in the house wouldbe fun...

He was covered!

There's his surprised face!

It was a very loud Happy Birthday song!!
Before Gayla left we took a picture. 
At the pool they played catch, enjoyed the water slides, lazy river, and jumping into the water. Three of the boys, including Austin, took the swim test there and passed! So they were able to go to the big pool without an adult.

 Kaleb, Victoria, Dallin and Tyler, Owen and Erik, Karissa and Austin

Erik playing catch with Austin, Owen and Dallin.

Mermaid girls

Austin, Kaleb, and Tyler in the big pool.
When we came back, parents were already arriving (we took a while to get out!) Austin quickly opened presents and they all grabbed some more food before leaving. It was a very fun party!

This week we're trying to recover from a graduation party on Friday night, Austin's birthday party, a graduation party Saturday night, and a farewell party Sunday night! Phew- we are tired! We need a break from parties!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Piano Recital

Here's this year's recital, Austin's first. I love listening to them play! They are all becoming very talented on the piano.

After the performances.

With their teacher, Sister Beer
 In addition, here's some of the other things we did with Grandma Pat, besides birthday, baptism, and piano recital.




Yoga with my class

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Austin's 8th Birthday

Austin turned 8 last week which means he's accountable and eligible to be baptized! Lucky for us, his birthday was the day before the first Saturday of the month, which is the Saturday they encourage us to hold baptisms. He was baptized the day after his birthday! Grandma Pat was able to be here for the birthday celebration and the baptism.

It was a very busy day on his birthday with school and a baseball game, but we were able to fit in a pizza dinner before the game, with some presents, and cake after wards with more gifts! Austin woke up early that morning and got to open his gift from Karissa and play with the clay/mythical beasts gift with her before school.
Birthday Boy before school

 The best part about his birthday was when he opened his new set of scriptures with his name engraven on them and his own mini hymn book. He was so excited for those precious gifts! He started looking through them that very night and highlighting scriptures. In sacrament meeting on Sunday, he started reading the Bible and read through the third chapter of Genesis! I'm not sure that he retained much, but he he really enjoyed it!

He got an emoji bouncy ball from Victoria.


He woke up early on Saturday, the day of his baptism, which was nice so that he had time to play with his marble set that he got for his birthday and put together some Lego sets, undisturbed by his brother.

There weren't a ton of people at his baptism, probably because it was a Saturday morning in the spring when a lot of sports activities were finishing up for the summer, but the Spirit was very strong and we enjoyed the company we had there. We had three special visitors: one was Grandma, of course, one was a friend from our old ward, Gayla Grubaugh who still visits with us and our kids and loves them as her own grandchildren, and finally, our neighbor Barb, who wanted to surprise Austin and see what a Mormon baptism is like. She is Catholic and says she has never seen a baptism where the person being baptized knows what they are doing and has chosen to be baptized, like Jesus was. It was pretty cool that she came!

Victoria and Grandma gave talks. Victoria's on baptism and Grandma's on the Holy Ghost and how it gives us light. Since Austin loves lights and is a light to those around him, it was very fitting! Gayla and Karissa gave prayers, and Austin and his friends Owen and Dallin sang I Am a Child of God. It was beautiful! We had peanut butter cookies, brownies, strawberries, watermelon, grapes, and lemonade for refreshments.
Look at that face, he's glowing!

Owem, Austin, and Dallin

Erik was finished by this time... ;)

Later that day, was Austin's (and the girls') first piano recital! They all did great! What a special day!

Austin is into Harry Potter and read the first four books before Christmas! He's currently reading the 5th after taking a break when he started having nightmares. Since he was still only 7 1/2 when reading the 4th, which gets kind of scary, I encouraged him to take a break. He decided to start the 5th a little while ago, but is going more slowly this time, which is good. No rush, those books are long!!

He loves Pokemon, Minecraft, and his fidget spinner, pretty much like every other boy his age, I guess. He enjoys reading, playing games, and putting things together. He loves to try different sports and be active, as well as his "screen time". He is playing baseball right now and has taken piano lessons this year, which he has enjoyed, as well as cub scouts.  He is very social and will talk to anyone as if they're his best friend. The Sunday before his baptism he personally went around inviting anyone he knew, somewhat, to come! He is definitely a light in our family!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Yearly Visit

My dad and Mary Lou came for their yearly visit last week. I can't believe it's already over, it went by so fast! They took Erik and I to Red Bell most days and were able to get a few things done ,or relax with our lovely weather here on those days, until we were done.

They came Wednesday night after a very busy day. Thursday, they came to Red Bell for a little bit and we went to a triple birthday party with Erik at the park. Three of his friends from church have birthdays the same week (two on the same day). After only a little rest time, it was the Thursday evening piano run. My dad and Mary Lou sat for some of the lessons and enjoyed the kids' talents.

Erik avoided all food with the party, until it came time for the cupcakes. He ran right over for that!

Friday, after school and a lot of rain, we went to Austin's baseball game. It was was chilly and wet and we actually had to cancel our time at the Summit canoeing after the game. It was a Family Fit activity, so it was very inexpensive, but no one wanted to go on the water when we were already wet and cold. My dad gave Jason a swimming lesson before the game so he could get some tips for our upcoming triathlon.

Freezing the Californians out!
 On Saturday, I got my swim lesson and greatly benefited from it! We did some yard work, then went with the boys to a free pickle ball activity at the park where there are new pickle ball courts. The girls wanted to have some time at home without the boys getting in their way, so they missed the great picke ball lesson and free Jimmie John's sandwiches! They also missed the Healthy Kick-Off at the local urgent care, which included rock climbing (we didn't know that was there!), a hockey shot area, Teddy Bear doctor, healthy eating display, skin exams (my dad and Mary Lou did this), and other displays related to health. We stayed longer than we thought and rushed back to get the girls for the promised swimming at the Summit.
Saturday morning practice.

Pickle ball boy.

I decided to support his climb with a climb of my own.

I made it to the top!

Sunday was Stake Conference and a good laid back day. It rained, a lot!

Making cow pies.
Monday was low-key. After Red Bell Grandma and Grandpa treated Erik and I to ice cream. A few of the days Grandma and I got to go shopping for a few things, including some garage sales.

Ice cream fans!

Erik giving Gramdpa a head massage.
Tuesday I had off, but I also had to take Karissa to her eye doctor appointment. My dad gave me another swim lesson and they treated Jason and I to lunch! (He worked from home in his pj's that day, becasue he was sick, but we'll pretend he just got to stay home for fun.) I had a primary meeting and then Erik and I walked to the park with Grandma and Grandpa. We played in the yard that evening and took Austin to baseball pictures.

Wednesday morning I took them to the airport, see I told you it went by fast! The rest of the day was busy including Karissa's music concert and Erik's kindergarten round up. Luckily, Austin's baseball practice was cancelled because his coach was sick. too bad for the coach, but one less thing for us! Thanksf for coming, Grandma and Grandpa Anderson!