The Mercado Family

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Steelers Homecoming

It's been a whirlwind for Steelers cheer leading since school started. They had the opportunity to cheer at the high school football game with the Salem cheerleaders 10 days ago, then last Saturday it was the homecoming game. It was supposed to be later, but for some reason was bumped up about a month, which made prepping for it more urgent. Karissa had to go to extra practices, including a 2 1/2 hour practice before the actual game! Yes, JV is pretty intense!

Karissa is the flyer in the middle.

JV squad. She's right in the middle.

 The morning of the game they had a quick practice and then went to breakfast with the football players. I drove back and forth between cheer and dance on Saturday while Jason took the boys to soccer. Not to mention, I was on the homecoming committee, so I got to help decorate as well. Karissa had to miss the BYU game-watching party at our friend's house, who host at least once a season, to go back for the 2 1/2 hour practice before the game. Well, she didn't miss much at the BYU game :(.

The Steelers didn't have a great game either, and their star player snapped his wrist just before the 4th quarter- OUCH! But, the cheerleaders were great and always fun to watch!

Jason and Karissa running out the the 50 yard line before the game.

After meeting me at the 50.

Passing out candy at the half.

Karissa's nickname this year is Peanut. There are three 5th graders on the squad and the rest are 6th and 7th graders. Considering she is about the size of an 8 year-old, you can see where she got her nickname. She didn't end up flying for homecoming, though. There's another girl who wants to fly and can't be at competition this year, and Karissa can, so she was a front spot for the stunts in the performance. It's so fun to watch her really get into cheer!

They changed into "80s" attire (leg warmers and all, though you can't tell since they're black) for the big performance at half time.

Here's the routine. She starts in the middle and spots the stunt on our left.

Go Steelers!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Where or Where Has the Summer Gone?

Can you tell I'm teaching preschool again? Everything has a song to it. We started back last week. I have been awful at blogging recently, but I have to say it was probably the best summer with my kids ever! We had those great vacations I blogged about and in between we had some great activities going on around here. Even when we were at home, the kids played great with each other and we all really enjoyed being together. The girls played a lot of Our Generation Dolls together and they made some YouTube videos. The boys enjoyed playing in the front, Austin on his roller blades and Erik on his bike. All four of them played many rounds of Cover Your Assets. I played with them a few times too, but it was nice for them to initiate some "real" game playing on their own.

Their doll set up.

Cul-de -sac riding

Waiting for butterflies to land on them in the butterfly house at the zoo.

Roller skating

Splash pad

 Austin went to scout camp and I got go with him one of the days. Victoria went to girl's camp and Karissa stared cheer in August. All except Victoria took swimming lessons. Luckily, Erik ended up winning a rubber ducky race and we got free lessons for him because he decided half way through that he didn't want to do them anymore. I was a little worried about what that would mean for all day kindergarten this year...

Well, here we are on day 5, the 4th full day and he's loving it! He has the same teacher Karissa did for kinder, which is nice. She's a great teacher! He has snack in the morning and snack in the afternoon, plus they have some quiet time after lunch. So far, each day he has come home, he has eaten all his food! He even commented how he was able to play cops and robbers at school because he had eaten all his food and felt so good.
Open House with his name for the class.

Kindergarten playground

Austin is thriving in 3rd grade with a fabulous teacher who Victoria had for science when she was in 4th grade. Austin walks Erik up to his class and waits with him until the first bell rings after I drop them off. He's being very responsible!

Karissa is the big shot 5th grader at Gallimore and is so responsible about her schedule for school and cheer. It makes me happy to see her thriving!
Just off the bus.

Good facials!
Victoria is continuing on with early morning orchestra playing the violin. Her dance classes are on Mondays and Saturdays now, so we decided to try cross country for the short 6 week season since she will be able to make the Wednesday meets now. She'll be pretty busy the next 6 weeks, but hopefully it's fun for her. She's loving cross country so far!
Picture day!

Grandma Pat and Grandpa Jim came for a visit right before school started. It was nice to spend the last of the summer with them and have them help finish up a couple of projects and get ready for school.

Farmer's Market

Game time

Building a soccer net with Grandpa.

Showing Grandpa how to play mine craft.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Eclipse Trip

"That was the coolest thing I ever saw!"

"It almost made me cry!"

That's what Austin and Karissa said right after we saw the total eclipse on Monday. I have to agree with both of them. I did almost cry watching that amazing phenomenon that we were so lucky to witness! It really was about the coolest thing I ever saw. I couldn't fall asleep that night, I kept picturing the "diamond ring" right before the total eclipse and right after.

It was in that amazing moment that I knew it was totally worth the effort to go. The cheering, the excitement of our kids and everyone around us, the darkness in the middle of the day, the 360 degree horizon that looked like the sun was setting, the crickets, the planet we saw (probably Venus), and the shadow snakes just before totality.

Honestly, watching the whole process, it's those last few minutes that really make it so extraordinary. There wasn't much difference between 70%, let's say, and 95%, except a little more of the sun was covered. It's the last minute before totality and of course during it, that really made it.

We had to miss many events over the weekend to be there. A bestie birthday party, cheer showcase, first football game to cheer at, library program party, and ward camp out. We will have another eclipse in 7 years and Toledo Ohio is one of the places to see the full, though who knows where Victoria will be then. We have invited everyone to come visit us then, but hopefully it won't be cloudy! Being in April, and in Toledo, it could be. We were very blessed to have been able to see this one without cloud cover (there was some off and on before the totality) and we had a perfect place that wasn't too crowded to view it. We did take about twice as long to get back to our campground afterwards, but like I said, it was totally worth it!!

Mammoth Caves, a couple of days before the eclipse.

"Fat man's misery"

This is not even the most narrow part of "Fat man's misery".

Pool at the campground.

Playing "Cover Your Assets", our favorite game lately. 

At the park where we saw the eclipse.

Playing in between peeks at the eclipse during the initial phases.
Playing catch during a cloudy part.

Starting to get exciting!

The horizon during the eclipse. This is from my phone, which I learned doesn't take the good pictures that Jason's does. My flash was on here, so it doesn't look as dark as it was. 

Horizon on the other side.

Eclipse from Jason's phone, mine just looked like the sun shining, even still no pictures or videos from us can do it justice!
Park sign as we left.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Lake Michigan

We made our annual trip to Lake Michigan last weekend. This time we stayed at PJ Hoffmaster. We had stayed there when Karissa was about 8 months old and Victoria not quite 3. I guess that would have been the summer we moved to this house. This time we stayed on the side with the campers. We got there late Friday night and so started our late schedule for the weekend, but it made it worth it for the highlight of the trip.

10 years ago at the same beach with Karissa in the backpack!

Watching Victoria play in the inlet.

Here's 2-year-old Victoria by the campfire!

We awoke late Saturday to the rain, but still were able to make our pancake breakfast. It cleared up but there was a red flag up for swimming in the lake, which meant no swimming due to dangerous currents. We hiked over to the beach to play on the dunes and noticed a fair amount of people in the water, despite the red flag. After running up and down some the dunes, we went to visit Hyubin (Logan's mom) and her family. They bought a house over Christmas and had a baby 6 weeks ago. The kids had fun playing with Logan and we ate pizza and visited with Hyubin, AJ, Jaden (the older brother) and baby Elliot. After a nice long visit, we brought Logan back with us to the campsite for some camping fun.

Red Flag

Dune fun

Trying not to get wet...

Running down the dunes

Inlet, facing the other way towards Lake Michigan is where those pics from 10 years ago were taken. 

Hiking up dune.

Victoria and baby Elliot.

 Jason prepared the dutch oven chili while I took the kids back to the lake. We did end up going in the water for a bit and everyone remained safe, but the water was freezing! The kids did some "cliff" jumping off the small dunes onto the sand and some dunes exploring. When it looked like the sun was about to set soon, I ran back to get our chili and chips and we watched the sun set over Lake Michigan while we ate our chili dinner. That was the highlight of the trip! (Also the fact that we were eating around 8:30 and the kids were so hungry, they ate so well, something that is rare in my family!)
Playing tag with Logan.

Living on the edge

"cliff" jumping

Sun starting to set
Got to have a dabber!

Sun getting lower.
Almost gone

The boys and Logan read books in bed, after roasting marshmallows and getting cleaned up. They read and then talked until after 11! On Sunday we awoke late again and headed over to a different part of the dunes after breakfast. Of course it was a green flag that morning, but we didn't plan on swimming. After packing up, we took Logan back to his house and said our farewells to everyone.
Late night readers

Calm Sunday water

Lake Michigan is amazing!