Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dig It

Tuesday night, we got to enjoy Trinity's third grade musical program. Unfortunately, Craig came down with the flu, spent all day and night in bed and missed the live performance. This is our third performance and each year still amazes me. We got there a little later than I wanted to this year and ended up on the back row. However, it was a part blessing because it allowed Kalyn and Xander to sit on the back of their chairs and see Trinity perform.

One interesting thing about this year's performance, called Dig It, was that it matched up with their social studies curriculum. Their songs were about Ethiopia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Asia, Greece and Rome. They did a great job - singing, speaking parts, motions, it was quite the show. Here are some of the still shots from the performance:

before the show started, the kids have a time to find their parents and wave to them

this is part of the 3rd graders - my camera couldn't easily capture all of them

Now for the grandparents (or whoever else has time to kill) - here are the videos of the songs. I switched cameras recording the video after the second song and the other video was just not zoomed in enough. So, I'm not uploading the Ethiopia or Mesopotamia songs, however, just know they were quite entertaining.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kalyn's Birthday

We had a good time celebrating Kalyn's birthday. Poor Craig was feeling horrible and barely had the energy to join in on the singing. Kalyn hopped off the bus asking if she could open her gifts. We made her wait a little bit until everyone woke up from naps. It was great watching her excitement throughout the afternoon.

the birthday girl is ready to begin
she got a bag of silly band rings - our glamour girl
she received a couple of puzzles to put together (princesses, of course)
Trinity made Kalyn her own personal card
a racing Barbie from our friends, Ben and Geof
(Kalyn then told me that Barbie needed a race car)
time for her "big gift" . . .
big hugs for her new pillow pet
what's a party without cake

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kalyn's Family Birthday

We knew that Trinity's school performance was scheduled for the night of Kalyn's birthday. So, we planned to celebrate her birthday dinner the night before. Our new family tradition is to celebrate at Chuck-E-Cheese. We can usually find a great deal on tokens and pizza and the kids have a blast playing the games and racking up the tickets. It is a great special treat for everyone!

The boys playing the racing boats game
The girls really enjoy the marathon run game - but it takes both of them to make it spin - like two little hamsters in a wheel

Trinity was good at helping Xander try to dunk the alien

Craig rockin out at Guitar Hero

All the kids had a blast riding the simulated roller coaster

Trinity's favorite gate - the pirate shooting game

Yummy pizza is always a plus
The birthday girl!!

It was a great night of celebration and fun.

Happy Birthday, Kalyn

Six years ago yesterday, we were rushed down to the hospital to deal with my high blood pressure. A little over 24 hours later, we welcomed precious Kalyn into our lives. The midwives' goal was to get her to 35 weeks gestational and she made it - to the day. She's kept us on our toes ever since.

Kalyn is a such a gift. She is a crazy, wild bag of emotions - from ecstatic about the latest exciting thing to crying over a sad point of a movie. She is so tenderhearted, but knows exactly what she wants and is not afraid to say it. She is a constant musical show - dancing, singing and performing for whoever is around. She is loving kindergarten this year - all the new friends and new experiences it brings daily. She is always willing to try anything, wanting to do whatever those around her are doing.

Enjoy her year's montage!!

Happy 6th Birthday, Kalyn!!

We love you!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Happy Birthday, Xander

This morning, I heard Xander's little feet bounding out of his room and saw his precious smile peer into my room. His face was beaming as he said, "It's my birfday!" He was so excited. He's been asking for almost a week, "Is today my birfday?" He knew today was the day.

Xander is a fan of anything that goes - motorcycles, firetrucks, monster trucks, really any kind of truck. There are days when he is disappointed that he doesn't get to ride in "Daddy's truck". He makes anything into a drum set. He is pretty much in constant motion and constant sound. He loves his superhero guys and playing dress up into various characters where he can fight off the bad guys himself. He is continually trying to keep up with his sisters. He gives wonderful hugs that start my days off on a wonderfully precious way.

This year, he began joining the AWANA program Cubbies and he is doing so well remembering his verses and saying them with such pride. He also began preschool - three days a week. He enjoys all the new friends he's able to meet and things he's able to do.

It has been such a blessing watching him grow this year. We look forward to watching him continue to become his own special person. Enjoy his past year in pictures!

Happy, happy happy fourth birthday, Xander!!
We love you so much!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Today, Craig and I celebrate 14 years of marriage. In the grand scheme of life, 14 years doesn't sound like long. Compared to some marriages, 14 years is a blink of an eye. However, we are proud of our 14 years. We've had ups and downs, moving forward and moving back, joys and heartaches. However, we have always had each other. We have always maintained our faith and our personal walks with God. We've come a long way. Together. Here's just a glimpse of where we've been in just the last 12 months.

My dearest Craig,

I love sharing my life with you. I love the life we have created together. Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for being willing to talk things out and so often leading that discussion. Thank you for being a spiritual leader and leading our family in such wonderful ways. I love the way you love me and our kids. Thank you for being such a wonderful dad and a great husband! Thank you for working so hard and allowing me to stay home with our kids. Thank you for all you do to protect our family and protect our marriage. I look forward to so much more in our years together to come.

I love you.

Happy 14th anniversary.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Off They Go

This morning, the alarm went off extra early. Our new routine as the school year begins. We've all been looking forward to this day for a while. Kalyn has been so excited to join Trinity at her school, ride the bus and meet all her new friends. Trinity has been excited to show Kalyn around the school, be back with her friends and learn cursive writing. We've done our school shopping, gotten lunch goodies to pack and pulled out the new school clothes (which is really just some longer shorts for Kalyn and some new shoes for Trinity).

We headed out to the bus, stopping for the traditional first day pictures, of course. The girls had picked out their clothes the night before and were ready to start the day. They both looked so cute in their little skirts (with the shorts attached underneath) and their backpacks.

We headed down the street to the bus stop.
Waiting for the bus on the bench Craig built a couple of years ago. We may outgrow it pretty soon.

The bus is here!!

Send our big girls off with our "I love you" sign.

I am already looking forward to hearing about their first day, their new friends and the general excitement! It will also be interesting to watch Xander as he adjust to not having his best buds with him at home. As he sat down for breakfast this morning, he called out, "Come on, guys. When are the girls coming to breakfast?" He was a bit sad that he had not been able to give them hugs before they headed off to school. He'll have fun today though - his buddy Asher is coming over.

Let the fun of the new school year begin!!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nashville's Tomato Art Festival

As we planned our trip up to Nashville, my mom mentioned that we would be in town for the annual Tomato Art Festival. Yep, they have an entire day and an entire festival dedicated to the tomato. I knew it was bound to be tons of fun. We woke up Saturday morning and walked the couple of blocks over to the festival, of course in proper shirts that would pay homage to the tomato.

I will say that my mom had the material in her grand arsenal of fabric. How handy!

Off we go~

The festival was lots of fun. It kicked off with a "parade" that was lead by a New Orleans-type jazz band. For this event, "parade" is defined as a group of people who follow behind the band walking down the street. We jumped right in as it passed by. We took some time to enjoy the wonderful music as the band hit the main stage.

The streets were filled with vendors of all kinds. It was amazing to see the creativity! There was one corner that was dedicated to kid activities.

There was an inflatable jumpy house which our kids greatly enjoyed.

They had a spot to spray paint the kids' hair (red and green only of course).

There was even a cute craft section where the kids could make tomato puppets.

We grabbed a popsicle and headed back to the main stage. My sister had a good friend performing and we didn't want to miss it. Her band, Coal Train Railroad, was amazing. It is a great mix of kid music in jazz form. It's one of those kid CDs that I wouldn't mind listening to over and over. Their songs included titles like My Bellybutton Stays the Same, What's Mine is Yours and Just the Juice, Jack. So fun to listen to and dance to.

The only bad thing was the heat. After being out in it for a few hours, we needed a break. We headed back to my parents' home for some lunch and much appreciated air conditioning. A couple hours later, we all headed back out to the festival. We couldn't pass up this photo opportunity~

We also couldn't pass up enjoying a huge snowball. Shaved and flavored ice on a hot day was a necessity.

The kids even were given a special tomato treat - yummy sugar cookies in the shape of (of course) tomatoes.

What a great (and interesting) way to spend a Saturday.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nashville, Part 1

A couple of weeks before school began, we travelled to Nashville for our summer vacation to my family. It was a very hot trip, but a fun one. It was wonderful to spend some time with my parents, grandmother, sister and brother-in-law.

Every trip to my parents' house includes a lot of time playing with my mom's collection of rubber ducks. The kids love the ducks.

We also visited their downtown library for a puppet show. This week, they were performing Many Moons. The kids really enjoyed watching it and getting the chance to see one of the marionette puppets up close afterwards.

Trinity found a jar filled with buttons. That lead to an afternoon of fun sorting and creating a "button museum". She had a wonderful time sorting the buttons and then showing them off to the rest of the family.

Xander is a motorcycle fanatic. He points them out whenever he sees or hears them on the road. So, he just loves the fact that his Papa has his own motorcycle. He talked all weekend about going on a "motorcycle ride". At one point, Papa took Xander out to the garage for the ride. He reved up the bike, and moved it back and forth about two feet. The look on Xander's face was one more of sheer terror than enjoyment for most of the "ride", but by the end, he was loving it.

Then Papa had to get a picture with his "little Buck".

Craig and I got a couple of nights out that we great enjoyed! One night, we got to have dinner with Ashley and Jeff. No pictures, but lots of laughter and smiles and just relaxing together. The next night, we were able to walk a couple of blocks up to a neighborhood ice cream shop, The Pied Piper. Their homemade ice cream is delicious. Craig enjoyed Strawberry Fields while I loved my Minty Python. A great way to cool off in the evening.

A couple of more Nashville posts to come, including our trip to the Tomato Festival. It was a great family-filled weekend.