Thursday, September 29, 2011

The rest of our Mini-Vacay!

We are home and in recovery/catch up/laundry mode (except for Steve who is back at work!).  We had a great mini-vacation, and look forward to hopefully going to the lake one more time this fall!  It is such a blessing to be able to make such fun family memories! 

On our second day on the water we headed across the lake to the Colorado River.  The kids discovered the excitement of sitting in the front of the boat!  It was cute to see them up there together. 

One of the highlights of being on the River is boating through Topack Gorge.  It is just beautiful!! 

Here is Faith enjoying her time on the boat! 

And Shane man doing the same thing! 

After stopping for a tasty lunch in Moabi, we stopped for a quick swim in Topack Gorge.  Besides swimming, Faith found a hiking trail she just had to climb! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall Havasu Trip - Day 1

We decided to take advantage of two great schedules in our family - Steve's work schedule and Faith's school schedule!  It is great that they both allow us to take a mini-vacation in the middle of the week in September.  So we are enjoying perfect temperatures (about 100 degrees) and an empty resort!  To me it seems extra relaxing to be on vacation when no one else is here!  In an effort to help me fully enjoy the surroundings, Shane made sure that he and I were both up to see the sunrise this morning!  Thankfully it didn't rise until 6:30am!!  And of course he thought that since the sun was up (barely!!) it must be time to put on swim suits and go swimming!  I did inform him that it would be some time until we could do so, and that tomorrow he could forgo the sunrise wake up call!

The very excited little boy watching the sunrise!  At least I had some enjoyable company!

We did make it out to the lake and the pool both before lunch!  Shane conquered his fear of jumping into the water - last trip he needed to hold someone's hand to jump in! - but now he can do it all by himself!  Then the kids thought it would be fun to jump in together!  Not the best quality picture, but I thought it was pretty cute!

Once he started jumping in, there was no stopping Shane!!

After lunch the boat was ready to go!  Grandpa Poelstra showed up too ready for a boat ride!  And Faith was very excited to go on her first solo tube ride!

She did really well and really enjoyed herself!  She did fall off, and after she realized that we were coming back to pick her up out of the water, her fear went away and she thought it was great!!  I think she actually liked it that she fell off!

It was Grandpa's turn next to be pulled on the tube.  He gets the prize for the best crash today!!

Ready to take the wheel!!

For now, she better only do that with the help of Daddy!!

Pretty funny...last time we were here, Grandpa and Grandma Bruinsma bought some Double Stuffed Mint Oreos for everyone to enjoy.  While we all loved them, Shane especially thought they were pretty great!  When we arrived yesterday, one of the first things he asked me was, "Mommy, can I have a mint Oreo please?"  Proving once again that these kids do not forget a thing!!  And he keeps asking for them, as if they just appear when we stay here!! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Movie Night!

The past two Friday nights Steve has had to work.  That means no date night for him and I, which is a bummer.  To make the most of the situation, the kids and I started having movie nights on those Friday nights that he works.  And with a popcorn loving little boy in the family, making popcorn is almost as exciting as watching the movie!!  Shane loves to help make the popcorn.  That outlet on the side of the island sure comes in handy! 

Up comes the popcorn!!  Tonight's movie was "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command".  I am sure you can guess which child picked out that one!  Friday night movie night - a good time had by all!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Latest from the School Room

Another week...another letter on which to focus!  This week's letter is the magnificent letter M!!  Once again, Faith enjoyed finding pictures in magazines that start with the letter M.  Now, I will admit, I am going to brag about her for a moment, so if you don't want to read that, skip to the next paragraph!  Beginning to brag...I was amazed at the word pictures that Faith found!  The first one she found was mascara, which she was so excited about because she told me it is a double M as mascara is also make up!  Wow!  Then, she found a mint leaf.  How in the world does she know what a mint leaf is, let alone what it looks like?  This little girl never ceases to amaze me! 

In science we have been learning about weather.  For our experiment this week we made a weather vane.  Unfortunately it was an extra still morning, so we couldn't test it out right away.  But, Faith noticed as soon as there was a breeze this afternoon, and she was able to see her weather vane actually work!  Oh, and if you ever want to know what type of clouds are in the sky, just ask Faith!

We were at the park for a picnic on Sunday afternoon.  Shane had a blast riding on the sea horse!

He also has been calling himself Bubble Man in the bathtub as he tries to put the remaining bubbles all over his body once the water has drained out of the tub!

This is pirate Faith!  The kids have been playing really well together as of late, creating stories that they are part of!  When they play pirates, Faith wears this headband as an eye patch!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Week in Review

It's been another busy week, thus the one big blog post to catch up on the entire week!  While the kids were at Awana this week, Steve and I were able to go to Costco - together and without kids!  I don't think that has happened in over five years!  I am sure the kids hope that we do that again as we came home with a Lightning McQueen "beep beep" for Shane and a two movies for Faith!  Shane has loved riding Faith's Winnie the Pooh "beep beep" (that is Shane's name for the car thing!), and we just couldn't pass up one for just him!  And he actually does like it, despite the picture above!  He just isn't into pictures these days! 

At Awana Faith was able to recite her memory verse to her leader, which earned her a vest!  As she continues to learn Bible verses, she can earn badges to put on the vest.  Faith was incredibly excited about earning this vest!  She told us all about how they called her name to go up to the stage, and they gave her the vest, and how is is just the right size for her!  It was adorable to hear her recall the event over and over to us with such excitement!  In the picture she is also holding her book that she earned which has the verses to memorize in the coming weeks.  What I thought was the best part of her learning Bible verses was when I heard her asking the ladies who work in the kids club at the gym if they knew John 3:16.  And before waiting for an answer, she spouted off the verse! 

Shane has been riding his new beep beep all over the drive way! 

He also has discovered the joy of hiding under this fake rock!  He thinks it is hilarious to hide under there and then move around while we aren't looking!  Quite often I just see this rock and the two little legs running around the backyard!

We had to get a quick picture of Faith before soccer practice this week as she was wearing her Calvin t-shirt!  I am sure she is the only five year old in Ventura with a Calvin shirt!

In kindergarten this week, the letter Faith learned  in terms of phonic and recogniction was B. She made another page for her alphabet book, cutting out pictures of things that start with the letter B.

And here she is showing all the letters that she learned how to write.  This week it was N, B, P, and M.  She also had to practice writing her last name.  While she still has a ways to go in all of her handwriting, she is making progress every day, which is great to see!  Upon asking what her favorite things that she learned this week, Faith mentioned marking dates on a time line, learning about the types of clouds, and ancient Egypt. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011


As I sit here reflecting on the past week, all I can do is think, "what a week!"  Not only did we start school for Faith, but both kids also started Awana, Faith had soccer - game and practice, her first music class, and Steve and I were able to squeeze a date in Friday night!

School went well this week.  While I wasn't exactly sure how it would all go, I am pleased with the first week!  In the above picture, Faith is showing the letters that she learned how to write in her first week of school.  Steve is amazed at all she has learned and is telling him about!  Let's hope that her love of learning continues!!

On Friday Grandpa Poelstra came over to see the kids, and also do some free babysitting so Steve and I could go out! We took him and the kids out for dinner to the Busy Bee.  I think the highlight was sharing a hot fudge sundae!!

Not only did Faith have a soccer game Saturday, but she also had team pictures!  So we were at the soccer fields from 10am-1:30pm!  And Faith's team won for the first time this season, so that was a definite highlight!!

We also celebrated another victory on Saturday - a Michigan football victory!  The kids and I had a little football party as we watched the first half of the game!  Sadly for them, they went to bed and missed the really great part of the game, but they were both excited when they found out it was a W for the maize and blue! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Afternoon at the Beach

We had a bit of a heat wave go through Southern California, so it was the perfect time to head to the beach!!  Since it felt really hot at home (it was only in the low 80's, but that is hot for Ventura!!), we knew it would be just right at the ocean.  And we were right!  It was a wonderful day to spend some time at the beach, and as always, the kids just loved it!! 

They spent most of their time at the shore, running in and out of the water.  Shane was more brave than we have seen him, but thankfully they both are not brave enough to actually swim in the ocean!

When the waves would crash, away Faith and Shane would run!  Over and over again!!

They loved having Daddy swim with them as they could go in a bit further with him! 

Later Faith and Steve walked down the beach to explore a jetty, and Shane and I played in the sand.  I think this was our most enjoyable and relaxing time at the beach!  The kids are at that great age where they can do things on their own, yet they aren't doing anything too crazy yet - such as surfing, boogie boarding, or swimming out too far!

All ready to shower off and head home!  We had to run home to get Faith ready for her weekly soccer practice. 

On another note, both kids started Awana this week and really enjoyed it!  They were both so excited to learn some Bible verses and play the games there.  Our fall is starting to fill up with activities, but it is fun doing so many different things.

Monday, September 5, 2011

First Day of Kindergarten!

Today we embarked on a new adventure.  Faith started Kindergarten!!  And this is an extra big deal because we have decided to home school her for this year!  While at first Faith expressed a desire to go to a "real school," once all the books and curriculum arrived, she was excited!!  We took advantage of being able to totally set our own schedule, and we started on Labor Day!!  Steve had to work and we had no plans, so I figured why start the year out trying to do five days of school in four? 

The official school day and year started at 8:30am, and by 10:00am we were finished for the day!  Faith loved what she learned today, with handwriting being her favorite part, and is already excited for tomorrow.  In the picture, she is holding up a small project she did today.  Since we are learning the letter F this week, she found some pictures in a magazine of things starting with the letter F, cut them out, and glued them on this paper.  Cutting proved to be the most challenging task of the entire morning, but she made great progress even within the morning!  Hopefully we'll all remain excited about learning as the year continues...!!!