Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dino Shane

Shane has a new obsession.  Dinosaurs!!  While he still is really into Buzz and all things Toy Story, he is really into dinosaurs right now!  His favorite show: Dino Dan!  And then he found this shirt...which he has worn now three times this week!! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Faith's New Ride!

One of the things that Faith wanted for her birthday was a bike.  So we got her one...that attaches to our bike!!  Last spring we bought each of the kids seats that attached to the back of our bikes.  It turned out to be one of our most fun purchases as we had a great time riding our bikes to the beach with the kids.  We knew that Faith had outgrown the seat, so this type of bike seemed to be a natural progression!  Our biking to the beach days can still happen!!

We had mentioned to Faith the idea of getting a bike for her birthday, which she thought was a great idea.  Well Steve went and picked up the bike this morning, and then picked Faith up from preschool on his bike with her new attachment on it!  She was beyond excited!  Since I knew what was happening, I was ready with my camera to capture the moment of them arriving home on the new bike!
She's already a pro at it!!

They did a few passes in front of the house so I could get a few pictures!!

All smiles!!

Our plan was to go to In N Out Burger for lunch with the kids after Faith was finished with preschool.  Faith loved the bike ride so much that she and Steve also biked to In N Out!!!  It was so fun for Shane and I, driving, to see them in action on the road! 
Coming home from lunch!  And if that wasn't enough, they went for yet another ride after the kids had their swim lesson this afternoon!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!  What a privilege it is to serve a risen Savior!!  The glory and hope revealed in the events of Easter can not be matched!!  With the kids, I love that each year they glean more of what Easter entails!  We enjoyed a nice Easter Sunday.  Some of the highlights...
  • listening to Faith sing "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" in church.  She didn't know the words, but quickly caught on to the "Alleluia" parts!
  • seeing Faith and all the other children in church singing "Jesus Loves Me" at the front of church before heading out to Sunday School
  • Singing the "Hallelujah Chorus" in church
  • the kids loving their new Easter clothes!  Shane loves his "handsome clothes"!
  • not having ham for dinner!!!  Being one who does not care for ham, we had Tri-Tip on the barbecue since I was planning the menu!!
  • Spending the day together as a family

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Birthday Party with Friends

Tonight we celebrated Faith's birthday with her friends!  A few months ago I gave Faith the choice of going to Disneyland or having a party with friends.  Obviously, she chose the latter.  I was hoping for Disneyland!  We decided to have the party at a very fun place called Clubhouse Fun Zone with her buddy Bodie, who has a birthday on Saturday.  While I stressed the days leading up to the party, the kids had a blast, Faith LOVED it, and it was a joy to see everyone having so much fun!  It makes it all worth the stress and work that goes into planning it!!
Here is Faith with some of her preschool friends

Shane insisted on wearing his Buzz wings!  Originally, he wanted to wear just the wings, as in no shirt underneath!  So we compromised in him wearing a shirt and keeping the wings!!  And he wore them the entire time!

Prepping for "Happy Birthday"!!

lighting candles for the birthday buddies!

After watching me make cupcakes today, frost them, and then seeing then at the party, Shane was more than patient in waiting to eat one!!

Enjoying their party!!

Shane was thrilled to have his friend Miles there!  They play so well together and have great fun!

Happy 5th Birthday Faith!!

It is hard to believe that our little girl turns FIVE today!  Wow!!  Time seems to fly every year, but for some reason turning five seems like a monumental occasion!  We are so thankful for each day that our lives have been blessed by this little girl!  Leading up to this day, I have really been noticing those moments where I can see her acting older.  From her wanting to order her own food at restaurants, asking the librarian who the author of a book is all on her own, and thanking me for serving carrots for dinner because it is a good source of vitamin C, I am constantly reminded that she is getting older and more independent!!  While I love seeing this independence, it also makes me realize that she is only going to become more so, which really is a good thing, but also hard at the same time for me!

So today we celebrate Faith and who God has created her to be!!  We celebrate her helpful personality (I am always amazed at how much she wants to help Steve and I out!!), puzzle-making skills, curiosity about learning new things, love of books and music, and her love for her family.  May God continue to bless you, Faith, this year and many, many more!!  We love you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Traditions

Over the past week, many friends have been posing questions about Easter traditions with kids.  In light of those conversations, I decided to share two of the traditions I do with Faith and Shane.  The first is Resurrection Eggs. 
We started this tradition a few years ago as a way to tangibly teach the kids about the Easter story.  The kids LOVE this!!  And I am always amazed how much they absorb and can retell!  With the Resurrection Eggs, starting twelve days before Easter one egg is hidden each morning.  Inside the egg is something related to the Easter Story.  For example, on the first day a donkey is in the egg.  And the finally on Easter morning is an empty egg symbolizing the empty tomb. 

So the next tradition is one that I am starting this year.  It is called Resurrection Rolls.  On Friday (since there is no school!), the kids and I will be making them!  I am excited to once again create a way to reinforce the concept of Easter!  Here is the recipe for the rolls...

Resurrection Rolls
•1 can refrigerated crescent roll dough
• 8 large marshmallows
• Melted butter
• Cinnamon
• Sugar
1. Give each child one triangle shaped section of crescent roll. This represents the tomb.
2. Each child takes one marshmallow which represents the body of Christ.
3. Dip the marshmallow in the butter and roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture. This represents the oils and    spices the body was anointed with upon burial.
4. Lay the marshmallow on the dough and carefully wrap it around the marshmallow.
5. Make sure all seams are pinched together well. (Otherwise the marshmallow will "ooze" out of the seams)
6. Bake according to package directions.
7. Cool.
8. Break open the tomb and the body of Christ is no longer there!!
9. Celebrate God's love!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weekend Recap

We had an extra busy and fun weekend!  I feel as though I am still recovering...thus the "weekend update" on Tuesday night!  Saturday started out with Faith going to ballet, and afterwards we were able to attend a Children's Easter Celebration at church.  The kids learn about the different events of Holy Week by making something or doing something fun. A few the Palm Sunday station, the kids learn that Jesus rode on a Donkey, and they play pin the tail on the donkey!  In learning about how Jesus cleared the temple, the kids decorate a bottle of bubble bath to take home!  It was really a fun way for the kids to learn about the events leading up to Easter.  The highlight was making paper rockets (to symbolize Jesus' ascension!), and then launching them! 

After the Easter Celebration and an attempt at naps - how could Shane not nap after all that excitement??  Maybe it was too much excitement! - we went for a walk down at the beach as it was a gorgeous afternoon.  We went to our favorite walking spot which allows the kids to ride their bikes as we walk.  And for the first time ever, we did not end up carrying one of them because they couldn't make it the whole way!  Since they did so well, we went out for pizza to celebrate such a great family day!
And finally the little guy is tuckered out!  I thought it was funny how he had his trains lined up on the dresser!

Sunday was a another event filled day.  We started out with church and Sunday School, and then headed to the ever exciting Chuck E. Cheese for a birthday party!!  This party the kids have been looking forward to for weeks!!  Is there anything better for kids than a party there??  They ate pizza, played games, won prizes, had cake - an exceptionally good time was had! 
Faith loved this roller coaster game!

I was glad some of my friends were there too!

Now that we are just days away from Faith's birthday, life has not slowed down!  We made muffins to bring for a birthday treat, are planning a party for Faith and her friends, and of course keeping up with our Easter traditions!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Afternoon at the Beach

It was another gorgeous day, so the kids and I took advantage of the weather and headed to the beach after nap time.  The kids were able to play at the park right on the beach, and we all enjoyed being outside and just walking on the sand.  While it isn't quite warm enough to go in the water, Shane would have if I would have let him!  He tried numerous times to take of his shirt and shoes!!
Enjoying the usual!

Climbing through the hoops

And this picture pretty much sums up Faith and Shane right now!  They LOVE to chase each other! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Another Zoo Adventure

Today was yet another trip to the Santa Barbara Zoo!  The weather was beautiful, the excursion fun, and the kids well-behaved!  Since it was a nice warm day, all the animals were out and most were active!  We even saw the baby giraffe for the first time!  The kids weren't too impressed as Faith said, "He's a baby?  He is already bigger than me!" 
Here the kids are with the elephants.  Shane was not in the mood to have his picture taken!

We spent plenty of time sliding down the ant hill!

The baby giraffe...that only I was impressed with!

The kids decided to play on the stage at the zoo.  They put on quite the performance for me!  This is a glimpse of their singing and dancing to their favorite Jana Alayra song "Jump, Jump, Jump", which can be heard quite frequently around our house!

Here Shane is thanking me for coming and thanking me for the applause!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Shane's First Swim Lesson!

After watching Faith's swim lessons Monday after Monday, today was finally the day that Shane was able to have a lesson too!  He was so excited to get his trunks on as we were getting ready to go.  Thankfully his enthusiasm continued as we arrived at the Y!  He started out a little cautious - I wouldn't say scared - but more unsure.
He was pretty clingy to Megan at first!  Faith demonstrated many things to Shane!

She has come such a long way from when she first started!!  It's hard to believe that she was very scared of swimming before starting lessons, and yet she made such progress so quickly!!  Shane would scream with delight when Faith would jump in!  It was pretty cute!

By the end of the lesson, Shane was jumping in and even going under the water!!  Up until this point, blowing bubbles was his great accomplishment for the lesson.  Once he discovered how fun it was to jump in (while holding Megan's hands), we wondered whether or not we would get him out of the pool!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Masters

Growing up I watched and played just about every sport.  Including golf.  Yes, watching golf on television is enjoyable to me!!  The first golf tournament that I every paid attention to was The Masters.  The prestige of the event, combined with the fact that it always occurred during Spring Break, created a tradition in our family of watching each year.  Embedded in my memory are the dramatic victories as well as those who let it slip away.  For me, it truly is a tradition like no other.  So when my parents called this fall to say they had won the lottery - the lottery of obtaining Masters tickets that is - I was beyond thrilled! Attending such an exclusive event was always in the dream category as it is extremely difficult to get tickets.  This past Tuesday the dream to walking the course at Augusta National and watching The Masters came true! 

After a visit to the Masters Pro Shop, Betsy and I were properly dressed and ready to hit the course!  While it was a beautifully sunny day, there was strong breeze that kept the temperature in the 60's. 

This picture showcases Hogan's bridge with hole #12 on the right.  This is part of what is known as Amen Corner.  Something that makes Augusta National so special is how beautiful it is!  The numerous blooming Azalea bushes, Dogwood trees, and just perfectly green grass wherever one looks makes for a gorgeous golf course.

Here are Ernie Els, Charl Schwartzel,and Louis Oosthuizen - the South African crew! - walking across Hogan's bridge. 
Again, showing the great beauty of the course, this is looking to the side of hole #6

Two golfers practicing chipping on #6

This is Anthony Kim on hole #15.  He is originally from South Korea, which is also were Betsy was born.  She has thought for some time that he could possibly be her brother as they have the same Korean last name!  And while we'll never know if they are related, we did discover that it is highly unlikely for them to be siblings as he was born exactly 18 days after Betsy!!  But there is some resemblance...!

One of the traditions of the tournament occurs on hole #16.  After the players hit their tee shots on the par 3, they attempt to skip the ball over the pond and onto the green.  It was so fun to watch this!!  The crowd loved seeing the successes and cheered for second attempts by those who were unsuccessful at first. Even a few of the caddies participated in the tradition by skipping a shot!

Before heading home, Betsy and I had to have our picture taken in front of the scoreboard by the club house.  We had a great day at the tournament!  And now we look forward to watching the tournament on TV with a insider's excitement!!

Trip to Atlanta

The lack of blog posts in the past few days is not a result of nothing happening with us, but a result of me being in Atlanta!!  My younger sister Betsy lives in Atlanta, and so I went to visit her.  My parents drove down as well as we had tickets to The Masters - the biggest golf tournament of the year.  It was a wonderful weekend of spending time with part of my family, seeing Atlanta, eating out, shopping, and just changing up the routine!  And while I missed Steve and the kids deeply, it was great to getaway for a few days and come back recharged in my role as mom!  Since Betsy will also be moving this summer to Ann Arbor, MI to attend grad school at U of M, it was extra fun to visit Atlanta again as it may never happen again!

This is Betsy and I at a fun restaurant called Dante's.  They specialize in fondue, which was tons of fun, and the atmosphere added to the experience!  There was a ship in the middle!  A meal not soon to be forgotten!

On Monday Betsy had to work, so my parents and I went to the Georgia Aquarium, which is located in downtown Atlanta.  What a beautiful and fun place to visit!  I loved seeing all the different fish!  I am in front of a tropical reef.

A cool looking shark! 

This picture was taken on Betsy's front porch.  She lives in a very fun area called Inman Park.  Many old houses there are being restored, and there are quite a few restaurants to walk to as well as cute little shops.  We stopped for this pic before heading off to an amazing steak dinner!

The highlight of the trip, other than just being with family, was going to Augusta National for the Masters.  Because it was so spectacular, I will do a post just about that soon!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Urgent Care Adventure

Yesterday was our first adventure to the local Urgent Care Center.  The afternoon plan was to take the kids to the beach after nap time as it was a beautiful, summer-like day!  But all that changed right before Shane went down for his nap.  The little guy climbed up one of the book shelves in the living room to get a better look at a decorative vase filled with Scrabble tiles.  (I was trying to make our house look like something out of a Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn catalog!).  And to better examine things, Shane pulled the vase down, which hit him in the head along the brow line.  While the vase did not break, it split the skin.  So off he and I headed to Urgent Care to see if stitches were needed.  Thankfully, it was not busy, and we were able to be seen relatively quickly. 
Here he is at the urgent care waiting for the doctor to come back in and check on him before going home.  Shane was a great patient and was brave when having the wound glued (the doctor glued it rather than stitching it as she thought it would work just as fine and be less traumatic for him!). 

Back at home Shane wanted some extra protection while playing in the backyard, so he asked me to put on some knee and elbow pads!!
And he even kept them on while having a snack!  Thankfully he continues to do well!  Even though the whole ordeal turned out better than anticipated originally, I hope it is a long time before we have to make a return visit!