Back to School for Sloan

It’s back to school in the Reser household! After a successful Pre-K 3 year, Sloan returned to St. Mary Catholic School today for the beginning of her Pre-K 4 year.

Photo we took of Sloan prior to her first day of school as a Pre-K 4 student at St. Mary Catholic School in Spokane Valley.

It is bittersweet now that Sloan’s summer has come to an end. I enjoyed having her around the house five days per week. But this is a situation that is more sweet than bitter because I know Sloan was so excited to return to the classroom. St. Mary had its welcome back orientation last week and Sloan connected with her new teacher and couldn’t contain her enthusiasm seeing all of her classmates’ name tags.

Sloan cruising in the car to her first day of school.

So it goes without saying that Sloan was chomping at the bit this morning. We carefully put on her uniform and loaded her backpack. When it was time to head to school, she didn’t show the least bit of nerves as we helped her into the car.

Sloan confidently held her mommy’s hand as she skipped through the parking lot and into school.

Once at St. Mary, there was no hesitation. We walked her to the classroom and without hesitation she ventured into the big world…ummm…I mean ventured to her desk.

Sloan standing inside St. Mary Catholic School right after arriving. She was ready to go!

When she returned home, Sloan was still ecstatic about school and ready to return tomorrow.

Once Sloan sat down at her desk she was in the zone and ready to learn!

Please pray for a fruitful school year for not just Sloan and her classmates but all students returning to school. May everyone learn lots! Don’t Blink.

Prayerful Thursday Rundown

Happy Thursday, friends. Thanks for your continued readership of Don’t Blink. Without any unnecessary delay, let’s jump into this week’s Rundown…

Praying For… – I always say that students who attend St. Mary School come home with some of the best crafts. Recently, Sloan made a figure that resembled her and attached a heart that contained the names of people (and…umm…things) that she is praying for. Her list included Jesus, Sid, myself, and…Muffin? Yep, that would be my parents’ cat. Sloan loves felines, especially the one belonging to her grandma and papa and felt the need to pray for it.

Sloan brought this home from school the other day.

We Remember – Speaking of people we pray for, a man named Dr. Robert Cina is always in our nightly prayers. He was the surgeon who performed corrective Pyloric Stenosis surgery on Sloan four years ago today. For those who don’t know, Pyloric Stenosis is a very rare condition in infants in which food is blocked from entering the small intestine, causing constant projectile vomiting and dangerous dehydration. Sid and I didn’t talk to anyone about the experience for a year after it happened but these days we are much more open about it. We promote Pyloric Stenosis awareness and try to support those parents and babies going through what we did. To commemorate the four year anniversary, I made this TikTok video.

During Sloan’s bout with Pyloric Stenosis and for over a year afterwards, we kept it between immediate family. Sidney and I are so thankful for the support of our parents. This photo shows our moms and dads with Sloan at MUSC.

Riverfront Park – We took advantage of the absolute gorgeous day last Saturday and met Miranda and her kids at Riverfront Park for a day of fun. We broke in the newly opened playground, admired the Spokane Falls, rode the carousel, and fed the garbage goat. Sloan and Beau absolutely loved it…and the adults did too.

It was a pefect day at Riverfront Park last Saturday.

Eating Outside – Spokane is pretty much the “Eating Outside Capital of the United States.” Pleasant temperatures and low humidity make it a great place eat dinner outside during the late spring/summer/early fall months. In fact, taking it outside for breakfast works too. This past weekend we were able to enjoy brunch and dinner out on our back deck as we ate waffles in the morning and then tried out our new grill in the evening. With a view like we have, there is plenty of incentive to eating outdoors.

It was nice to get an early start on “eating outside” season this past weekend. We ate waffles for brunch on Sunday.

National Jelly Bean Day – There is a day for everything, right? Today is National Jelly Bean Day and just like there is a day for everything, there is seemingly a Don’t Blink blog post for everything too. Back in 2017, I ranked my top 5 favorite Jelly Belly flavors. I won’t reveal my entire list in tonight’s post (you have to go here to read it) but buttered popcorn and Dr. Pepper are both on the list. If the subject of jelly beans seems redundant to you, I did write about sweeTARTS jelly beans just a couple weeks ago.

I wrote about my favorite Jelly Belly flavors four years ago.

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It is going to be tough to top last weekend but we will try. Have a great evening and we will catch up next week. Don’t Blink.

Easter 2021

You can’t call it an Easter of redemption because every Easter is one of redemption. But I think I can say it was more of a “normal” Easter in 2021 compared to what we experienced in 2020. And, to be honest, I was glad. To celebrate Easter Sunday with my family after missing them so much last year was extremely sweet. Here is a look at our day…

Sid and I were up bright and early so we were ready when Sloan and Beau awoke. Once they were up we led them downstairs to their Easter surprises. Although Beau didn’t say much, Sloan sure was excited.

Sloan and Beau on Easter morning.

Next came the most significant part of the day. We went to St. Mary Catholic Church for 9 a.m. Easter Sunday mass. After not being able to gather last year for this most holy mass it sure meant a lot to celebrate in our sacred space once again. Fr. Jeff Lewis celebrated the beautiful service and delivered a homily about the strength of the Church throughout the past couple millenniums. We sat with my brother and his fiancée and truly found ourselves in the Easter spirit.

Dressed for Easter Sunday mass!

After mass we drove out north to my parents’ house. We ate a brunch of pastries that included muffins, breads, and donuts. Sloan and Beau also opened Easter baskets that grandma and papa got them.

A look at my brunch plate.

We then took a couple hours to just relax. As is a tradition, I played some Easter hymns and we just took it easy and chatted.

Soon enough my brother and his fiancée joined us at my parents’. They were followed shortly by my sister, brother-in-law, Mikayla, and Johnny. We all gathered in the living room and chatted. That is simply what us Resers do when we gather—we talk. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It wasn’t long before we were all sitting down for the Easter meal. This year we had ham, corn casserole, mac and cheese, scalloped potatoes, asparagus, salad, and more. The dinner marked the first time that my wife and kids got to spend Easter with my parents and siblings so I made sure not to take it for granted.

A look at our Easter meal.

After we let our food settle, it was time for the annual Glen and Carrie (brother and his fiancée) Easter egg hunt. They hid a whole bunch of eggs in my parents’ backyard and then Sloan, Mik, and Johnny went out and found them after a quick pep talk from Glen. Backyard egg hunts are the best hunts.

Glen and Carrie always do a great job of putting on this Easter egg hunt.

Finally, it was dessert time. My mom made ice cream cake in honor of Miranda’s birthday (which was on March 28) and my brother made peanut butter pie. Despite eating myself silly at dinner I still managed to eat a little bit of both.

Miranda, Glen, and Carrie enjoying dessert.

We all talked for a little bit longer and then we all departed to our respective houses. It was a special day after a meaningful Lenten season. But as a priest from my past used to say, we don’t look at this present time as the end of Lent but rather as the start of the Easter. So, happy Easter my friends, let’s joyfully celebrate the resurrection of our Lord over the next several weeks. Don’t Blink.

Holiday Cheer Thursday Rundown

We are mere single digit days away from Christmas! How are you doing with your holiday shopping? If you are anything like me, your time might be better spent on Amazon as opposed to Don’t Blink. Well, at least I can make it quick for you. Let’s get started with our five topics…

Christmas Cheer – Another holiday tradition our parents introduced to us was something they called “Christmas Cheer.” On a couple different random nights close to Christmas, my mom and dad would gather us around the tree in the living room and serve us hot chocolate. They would dim the lights and play Christmas carols from the boom box. It was always a relaxing, festive, and slightly magical experience. Sidney and I have introduced the tradition to Sloan and she is hooked. For the past several days since we first did it last Thursday night, she will come up to us and ask, “Can we have Christmas cheer again?”

My cup of hot chocolate from last Thursday’s Christmas Cheer session.

Favorite Christmas Movies – I know you are curious so I suppose I will give you what you want. I have five favorite Christmas movies and this is how I rank them…#5 – “A Christmas Vacation” (Clark is hilarious), #4 – “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” (first Christmas movie I ever remember watching), #3 – “A Christmas Carol” (I love all versions), #2 – “Home Alone” (very underrated musical score), #1 – “Miracle on 34th List” (the old one). If you really want to pick my brain on these choices, I gave full analysis two years ago. Hope you watch a some of your favorite Christmas favorites this weekend!

Pull up your Santa chair and let’s watch some Christmas movies!

While on the Subject – A Twitter account I follow posted this rather intriguing question: Which movie’s version of The North Pole do you want to visit the most? (“Elf,” “Polar Express, “Fred Claus,” “The Santa Claus) Although I thought it was a creative question, I didn’t think twice about my choice. THE POLAR EXPRESS! In my humble opinion, “The Polar Express” nailed it with both its depiction of the North Pole and Santa Claus. The movie really captures the magic of Christmas that many of us had as kids. 

Interesting but easy question.

Holiday Winner – Last week we had our WSU University Marketing and Communications virtual holiday party. The staff members in charge of the party did a superb job as they put together a Zoom gathering that was about as good as you can get. A scavenger hunt, holiday trivia, a recipe book, and a discussion about Christmas traditions all made the party engaging and fun. Another component of the morning was a costume contest. Yours truly pulled out the elf costume and won the award for “Most Festive.” The social media people always have the most fun!

I won “Most Festive” at our office virtual holiday party.

A New Special Ornament – You won’t find a school that does better arts and crafts than St. Mary. Sloan has brought home some really awesome projects over the past few months. On Tuesday she surprised us with our new favorite ornament. The two candy canes on the bulb form a heart and the card that came with it was beyond precious.

If you look closely you can see the reflection of Sloan and Sid!

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Okay, get back to Amazon now. If you need my address, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Have a great rest of your week. Don’t Blink.

Sloan’s First Day of Preschool

After seven months away from school, Sloan returned to the classroom today. She is the newest student in the Pre K-3 class at St. Mary Catholic School in Spokane Valley.

This was Sloan this morning prior to Sid driving her to school.

For more than half a year, we had the pleasure of keeping Sloan home with us. After I worked my last day at CCU in February, I took Sloan out of daycare and spent the next three weeks doing fun stuff with her non-stop. I then left to work at WSU and Sid watched both kids fulltime as they prepared to make the move west themselves. Two months later in early May they joined me in Spokane. For the past five months, Sloan has spent every minute of every day with us. It has been incredibly nice—and I suppose a little challenging at times too.

But no matter how sweet it has been having our little girl at home with us, we know it is best to give her a little bit of structure with kids her own age. So, Sid dropped her off at St. Mary for her first day of preschool this morning. The primary reason why we decided to enroll her as opposed to keeping her at our house until she turns 18 is because we are extremely comfortable with the school. St. Mary School is the parochial school of our new church, St. Mary Parish (shocker, right?). This connection and the desire of both Sidney and I to have our kids receive a Catholic education made St. Mary a no-brainer for us. Sloan is in great hands…and she also looks really cute in her uniform!

Sloan is attending St. Mary Catholic School in Spokane Valley (photo courtesy of the St. Mary Facebook page)

It was still just a little sad watching Sid and Sloan drive off today. Saying goodbye to her after getting so used to having her around at all times was a bit hard for this sappy dad, even if she is going to school for just three hours per day…two days per week 😊

Sloan had a great first day at school.

Let me tell you this: If you ever have the means and opportunity to keep your child at home for an extended period of time during their toddler years, do it. I am not saying never send them to daycare or preschool, but if they are going through a major change (like we were), easing the transition by keeping them close by is good for the child and rewarding for you.

We are proud to send Sloan to St. Mary (photo courtesy of the St. Mary Facebook page).

I am excited to see how Sloan grows intellectually, socially, and spiritually at St. Mary. Thanks be to God. Don’t Blink.