Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving with the Roedas

Sunday we were able to spend the afternoon with part of the Roeda side of Steve's family to celebrate Thanksgiving.  It is always great to see them, but it was extra special as Steve's cousins who live in Ontario, Canada were in town as well.  They have a little girl who is almost 2, so it is fun to see her and to have the little kids play together!  As always, our kids had fun - they were able to play with a dog and some "new to them" toys, so life was good!  With good weather, great food, and even better company, a good time was had by all.

The kids just loved Bella, the dog!  Faith especially was interested in playing with her!

Uncle John and Aunt Sue with their granddaughter, Haley, who was very excited about some new books she received!

Here is Faith showing off some new pjs that Grandma Poelstra gave her.  She was very excited to wear them to bed tonight!

All the kids with John and Sue

Shane spent quite a bit of time playing with the puzzle that we gave Haley for her birthday.  He tried to take it home with us - he put it down by the door and tried to open the door! - but thankfully he returned it when asked with no tears!

We tried very hard to get an absolutely adorable picture of the three kids together, but surprise, surprise, it was quite a challenge!  This was the best my camera came up with!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Big Boy Bed!

Today our little Shane took one more big step away from infancy and toward being a little boy!  Not only is he wearing the big boy undies, but now he has a big boy bed!  At first he wasn't so sure he wanted to let go of the crib as he saw it being taken apart.  But once the bed was brought into his room, his face lit up, and he was excited!  And of course, Faith was thrilled as well!  Along with the tinge of sadness that our little one is growing up so quickly, I was a little nervous about how it would go tonight!  He has gone to bed so well and so easily for us in the crib; I was not wanting that to end! 

Here is the excited little guy all ready for bed

He was so happy, especially holding his gorilla and zebra.

But he was also getting sleepy!

And 20 minutes later when I went to check on the kids, they were both out!  No issues, just sleeping!  Yeah!  So far so good!

And the microphone did make a brief reappearance today!  Faith serenaded us as we put the finishing touches on the bedroom!  And Shane worked as the sound man once again!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Just wanted to take a moment and say Happy Thanksgiving!  As the day draws to a close, it is once again my goal to have a more "Thanksgiving" heart and attitude all year long!  As a family we have so much to be grateful for, and I am enjoying my children beginning to pause in their days and let me know they are thankful for something.  And I love it that Faith will ask me, usually at a time when I really need to be reminded to be thankful, what I am thankful for! 

We had a nice day with Steve's family, even though Steve had to work.  We stopped by to see him at the station, which was so great as it was day 3 of 3 that he has worked!  Once again the kids were in awe (and a little scared) of the fire truck and engine.  A definite highlight was seeing Daddy slide down the fire poll twice!  Faith clapped for him and beamed with pride!  Once again, Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Preschool Thanksgiving

Today at Preschool it was the big Thanksgiving chapel and feast.  Faith has been talking all week about how she made a special hat to wear (as shown in the picture!), and how Shane and Mommy would be able to stay at school for part of the morning.  And we made pumpkin muffins yesterday as our contribution to the feast, of which Faith was very proud!

Not the best picture in the world, but it shows Faith up in front of chapel participating in the singing.  And Shane actually made it through the entire chapel  without having to be taken outside - the first time that has happened!!
Here Faith is enjoying her feast - in hand is one of the delish muffins she helped me make yesterday.  Shane was too busy to eat...
He was so excited to have the chance to stay and play at preschool, he spent most of the feast time playing!  No food could sway him away from this spinning thing!

He took his spinning very seriously!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Tree

Am I the only one, or is anyone else in shock that next week Thursday is Thanksgiving??  I don't know if it has been the warm weather here lately or just the busyness of the days, but I do a double take when looking at the calendar and seeing that today is November 17!!  Wow!  It seems to me as though Thanksgiving has become one of those "back seat" holidays (like Labor Day, Memorial Day, St. Patrick's Day) that are celebrated and exciting on the actual day, but there isn't much "build up" to them.  I personally blame the stores.  The Halloween costumes and candy are not even out of the stores sometimes when the Christmas tress and holly are being displayed.  And while I love Christmas and the decorations and music, I have moments when I am disappointed Thanksgiving - a holiday in which we give thanks to God for all the amazing things we are blessed with - is overlooked.  I suppose one way to look at it is that we are to be thankful every day, thus the one day that is set apart for being thankful is not as emphasized.  However, I don't think that most people view it that way.  And as we attempt to raise our kids to be thankful and grateful for all things, I was wanting to find a way to encourage a more "hands on" approach to thinking about all of the blessings in our lives.

At MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) today, we did a craft that I loved.  For me to say that, it must have been good!  I thought it was useful, relevant, and easy to do!  We made Thanksgiving Tress.  Our creative leader brought in tree branches, and we punched out leaf shapes from construction paper to put on our trees.  And the idea behind it is to have your family write something they are thankful for on a leaf and attach it to the tree.  The answer to me wanting something tangible for Thanksgiving!  The past few days I had been talking to the kids about being thankful and of course asking them what they are thankful for.  And I would get the same answer every time from Faith - "food".  Maybe she was hungry??  Anyway, when I showed her the tree, explained the idea, and asked her if she wanted to put a thankful leaf on the tree she was very excited!  And the thing she said she was thankful for was love!  For Shane's turn, he wanted me to write he was thankful for animals!  Here is a picture of our tree so far...

As the days continue, I look forward to hearing the things for which my children are grateful.  I know I have so much that I can offer up in thanksgiving.  And who knows, maybe our Thanksgiving Tree will stay up all year!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Family Time

Tonight we did something new with the kids!  We had a fire in our backyard fire pit with them!  While we have used the fire pit before, this was the first time the kids had the chance to experience it!  They were so excited as we were talking in the afternoon about having a fire.  After getting their pjs on, we headed up the top portion of our terraced lawn and enjoyed a great fire!  They were amazed by the sparks that would fly at times.  And of course they absolutely loved seeing the moon and stars!  At one point, Faith explained to Shane that stars were pieces that had broken off the moon!  It was cute!  We even read some books up there. 
It was a great fire!

Shane kept a tight grasp on his flashlight!

Here are a couple pictures from yesterday before church.  Of course I was trying to get the two kids to sit nicely next to each other so I could take a cute picture of them.  As is the pattern, they would have nothing to do with "posing" for a picture!

So we have the lots of love picture...

And the attack mode picture! 

On a side note, we became a couple steps closer to our kitchen remodel today!  The guy who is designing our cabinets came out as well as the counter top guy!  It was great to see a computer created picture of what our kitchen will be like!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Imaginations at work!

As the kids grow older, one of the really fun things to see develop is each of their imaginations!  The ideas they come up with make me smile!  This morning, one of the more regular imagination situations was in full works.  The kids call in "roller coaster."  They both climb into Shane's crib, Faith collects quarters, and then they put on their seat belts, which are also known as blankets!  Then they go up and down, round and round!  And squeals of glee accompany each imagined twist and turn!  Here is a picture of them in the roller coaster!

After a few rides on the roller coaster, they decided to take the bus to the airport.  That is of course after they took the correct freeways and parked their car!  Here is Shane waiting on a bench for the bus...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When I grow up...

As I drove Faith home from school today, she was unusually chatty.  I don't know if she was still excited from the extra time she spent there (took her lunch again today!) or the undivided attention she had (Shane was home napping!), but it was really nice!  She shared many details about school, and even let me know that when she gets big she wants to be a teacher!  And a teacher of little kids like her!  Of course that brought a smile to my face!  And while only time will tell what she will actually choose to be when she "grows up", it wouldn't be all that surprising if she did choose the teacher road.  After all, she has quite a few relatives who are teachers!  But even beyond that, it made me happy to think that she must really like school and her teachers is she would want to do the same thing some day!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Summer in November?

So it seems as though the weather in Southern California is on a bit of a delay.  During the summer months it was cool - highs in the mid-60's and kind of cloudy.  The joke was that once school started in September the heat would come.  We waited...still cool weather.  Then October rolled around and we had a week of heat - record heat!  It was thought at that point that summer just decided to come in one week.  Well, now that we are in November, each day so far has been above 80 degrees!!  Yes, November!!  Being a Midwesterner, when November rolls around I start thinking about adding wool sweaters to my wardrobe, scarves (not just for fashion reasons but out of necessity!), Ugg boots (see note on scarves), and other fun things like hot chocolate!  Since that is not our reality this year, our family took yesterday evening and embraced this crazy November heat and took an evening beach walk.  It was enjoyable to feel the cool ocean breeze, watch the waves crash, laugh with the kids, see the sunset (a definite highlight for Faith!), and just be together as a family.  Family time is so precious, especially after having Steve at work for four days, and we just loved the time we could spend as a family.  And I actually remembered to bring my camera on the walk, so we have some great pictures to show what a beautiful day it was!

As we began our walk at Emma Wood beach we were able to see an Amtrak train go by!  Naturally, this is a highlight for the kids!  It's hard to see, but Faith is totally excited about the train.  And of course the ocean on the right...!

Just cruisin' along!

This is our favorite spot to walk since we are able to be so close to the water

Sunset shot

Faith and Steve went down closer to the water while Shane and I started to head back.  It was getting late; he needed to be carried the whole way back!

On a different note, Faith for the first time ate her lunch at preschool yesterday!  She had been asking to do so for a while since some of her friends do that.  The excitement she had to pack a lunch, bring it to school, and then stay and eat it was so cute!  And of course on our way into school in the morning she had to stop and show everyone her lunch pail and tell them that she was staying for lunch!  Thankfully, it was a MOPS morning so I dropped her off early and we didn't see too many people!  It was a good reminder to enjoy even the little things in life!