Monday, November 28, 2011

Catching up, once again!

As I was downloading the pictures from Thanksgiving, I realized that I had neglected to download some other pictures from the past few weeks.  And since they were still on my phone or camera, I had not blogged about them!  And some were totally blog-worthy, so here they are!

Faith with pink hair!!  At Awana a few weeks ago, it was crazy hair night!  And of course Faith had to participate!  We went on a search for pink hair spray, and thankfully we found it!!  It washed right out the next day, but she just loved having pink hair for a day! 

A new nickname has been given to Faith - Erin Andrews!  For those non-sports fans, Erin Andrews is in my estimation the most well known female sports reporter at ESPN.  Faith has earned this nickname as she has become quite the sports fan!  And with the help of the ESPN app on the iPad, she keeps us all up to date with all the sports!  She tells us which teams are playing against each other, when the game is, and then who wins.  It is really pretty cute!  She is so in the know, I think she may even give Uncle Dave a run for his money!  In the picture she is checking the app and telling me about the upcoming College Football games!

Last week we watched parts of the Maui Invitational as two of my favorite college basketball teams were playing - Duke and Michigan.  In the finals of the tournament, Duke played against Kansas.  While watching the game, Faith thought that they Jay Hawk mascot of Kansas was really pretty cool!  She liked it so much that she decided Kansas is going to be one of her favorite teams! And when I informed her that she actually has a Kansas t-shirt, she went right in her room and put it on over her pjs and proceeded to sleep wearing the t-shirt! 

One more funny Faith story - last week she was asking Steve to take her for a bike ride. Since it was getting dark, he suggested that they do it on Saturday when he was off of work.  She replied, "But daddy, I can't go then!  That's game day!"  As in college football game day!

Thanksgiving Weekend!

Now that it is Monday, I think we have all recovered from a fun-filled Thanksgiving weekend!!  Steve was off for the entire weekend, which allowed us to see many family members and just spend timetogether as a family and do some fun things!  On Thanksgiving, we spent the day with Steve's family at his mom's house.  She made a wonderful meal, as always, and it was nice to relax and enjoy the company!  The picture at the top is from Thanksgiving - Shane insisted on being a cowboy! 

Shane and Daddy having fun at Grandma's house!

On Friday, we hosted a Thanksgiving meal at our house for the first time!  More of Steve's family came over, and it was again an enjoyable day of spending time together!  Since this was my first time hosting such an event, I was a bit stressed!  But thankfully all the food turned out well!  And I was ever so grateful to be cooking in our remodeled kitchen!  While I am always glad we did that, days like Friday (and Wednesday when I spent quite a few hours in there making the preparations for Friday!) made me especially glad! 

After watching a great Michigan victory over that school in Ohio Saturday morning, we took the kids to Bakersfield to see a show at the Crystal Palace.  It had been about six months since we had been there, so the kids were extra excited! 

The boys eagerly awaiting their ice cream at Dewars!  We couldn't go to Bakersfield without stopping there!!

And the girls!  Faith is thoroughly enjoying her mint chip ice cream!

Not the greatest picture of the kids, but they had fun posing by the statues as we waited to be seated.  And once again, cowboy Shane was in full getup!

He kept his hat on the entire time!  It was pretty funny!  And while I didn't capture any good pictures of the kids dancing, I think that was the highlight for them!  They were dancing machines!  Shane even pulled out some moves that we had never seen before!  They loved the music, as Chuck Mead sang with the Buckaroos, and did many of the classic Buck songs!  Two little boys asked Faith to dance, and it was cute to see them dance together.  She thought it was special to be asked to dance!  It was a fun night!  Thankfully Sunday was a bit of a slower day that allowed us a bit of a recovery!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Faith's First Football Game!

Faith has officially been to her first football game!  Tonight she and I walked to the local high school game as it was the first night for high school playoffs!  She was so excited about going that she literally skipped the entire way there!!  Since watching the Detroit Tigers in the playoffs, Faith has been quite the sports enthusiast! And she is interested in every sport!  Frequently she checks ESPN to see what teams are playing that day, and of course she asks which team I think will win!  So to actually go to a sporting event was extra exciting!  We stayed for the first half of the game and saw the undefeated Ventura team surge to a 28-8 lead!  She had a great time, and we may be able to go to a few more games yet this season if the Cougars continue to win!

Preschool Thanksgiving

We had our first Thanksgiving meal of the year yesterday at Shane's preschool.  It was complete with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and the like!  Quite the feast!! 
The tables were decorated very nicely with hand print turkeys made by all of the kids! 

It was fun to share a Thanksgiving meal with all the other preschool families!  Shane was actually having a way better time than the picture indicates!  He wasn't thrilled to have to stop eating to pose for a photo!  We're looking forward to a few more great meals in the week to come!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A little of this, a little of that...

Over the course of our last few very busy days, we have done some fun things that warrant the need to be shared!  So here they are...

This picture was taken a few mornings ago as the kids were working together on a princess puzzle together.  Since this type of great cooperation without fighting or arguing doesn't always occur in our house (shocking, I know!), a picture to capture the moment was needed! 

On Friday we went to the Santa Barbara zoo.  Grandpa and Grandma Bruinsma were visiting us, and so it is always fun to go to the zoo with them!  One of the highlights of the zoo trip was seeing the elephants eat pumpkins!!  Who know they ate them?!?  According to the zookeeper, the elephants eat four pumpkins a day this time of year since they have are available.  It was amazing to see how the elephants would pick up the pumpkins and smash them in their mouths, and then continue to eat every little piece!  What dexterity elephants have in their trunks!

A close up view of the pumpkin eating!  We also saw the gorillas eat lunch, and the flamingos sitting on their eggs on mud nests.  The neat thing is that Faith and I had just read about the flamingos doing that the previous day in our science book!

Last Saturday the kids went to a first birthday party for one of our friends!  They had such a fun time playing with their friends and playing the fun games!  Here are all the kids eating lunch!  It was adorable to see them all at the table together.

Shane is getting all ready to play pin the tail on the donkey!  In his hand he is holding Zurg, one of his favorite toys to play with at his friends Miles' house!  He may have carried it around most of the party!!   Zurg is part of the Toy Story movie!  And Faith actually won this game.

Faith taking a few swings at the pinata!!

Me and the little man!!  Yup, still holding Zurg!

Shane and Miles!!  Such cute little buddies!  But apparently none of the boys wanted to smile for the camera!!

Trader Joe's Field Trip

Once again I find myself playing catch up with the blogging!  It has been a busy couple of days!  Last Thursday Faith and I had the opportunity to go on a field trip to Trader Joes.  Since this is one of the grocery stores we frequent, it was especially exciting to get a behind the scenes tour!

We began outside the store, hearing the rules, and were already being entertained by our humorous tour guide!

One of our first stops inside the store was the produce area.  The kids learned about fruits and vegetables and what the difference is between the two food groups.  I think we all learned that peppers are a fruit!  They have seeds inside, making them a fruit!  I had no clue!!

Faith knew that celery was a vegetable!

Throughout the store tour, the kids carried shopping bags.  At each of the different stopping points they received something to put inside their bags.  Here the talk was on the breads and cereals, so they were all given a cereal bar.  Other things the received included an apple, string cheese, juice box, and Jo-Jo!

This is the ice cream section - they all had the chance to scream for some ice cream!!

The tour became especially interesting when the kids were able to go in the back part of the store!  Walking into the giant refrigerators and freezer were among the highlights of the entire tour!  In addition, we saw a demonstration of the box flattening machine - as seen in the picture.  It was pretty cool!

As with any trip to Trader Joes, one cannot visit the store without stopping by the samples area!!

The final step in the tour was to pay for the items in the kids' shopping bags!  Of course they didn't have to actually pay, but they all went through the line!  And I think that Faith actually thought she paid!  It was a fun, interesting, and actually educational trip! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Chumash and Acorns

Today's morning adventure was going on a field trip at the park up the street from our house.  We were all thankful for a beautiful day (it has been a bit rainy as of late), and a fun time with friends!  The field trip was put on by the city of Ventura, and it taught the kids about the Chumash Indians who used to live in the area and acorns! 

Here the kids listened to stories about how the Chumash lived - how they gathered food, used the resources they had, and how they worked together. 

Faith and two other girls were selected to help tell an acorn legend story!  They were quite happy to help!!

I think at this point in the story they are falling off the tree!

Next we had the chance to see just how difficult it was to make meal from an acorn and the long process of how to do it!  Shane already cracked open the acorn by using rocks, and now he is attempting to crush the nut portion.  And as a side note, I learned that acorns have a toxin in them, and in order to by used in food, water was needed to wash out the toxin!  The things you learn when on a field trip designed for kids ages 4-7!!

Faith and Shane also learned that kids who lived a long time ago could not go to a store to buy toys - they had to make them!!  This is one of the toys - a stick, rope, and stick made into a circle, with the goal being to get the circle portion onto the stick! 

The final portion of the field trip was painting!  In order to paint, the kids had to crush some rocks into a powder and then add some water to make a paint like substance.  Back 200 years ago we learned that squirrel fat was added to such a substance to make it more sticky!  Thankfully, we did not do that today!!  The kids learned quite a bit today and had lots of fun doing so!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I am finally getting around to downloading and posting the pictures from Halloween!  And this picture may look vaguely familiar as each of the kids decided to wear their costumes from last year!!  They were both so excited all day about going out trick-or-treating!  Shane actually asked when he woke up if it was time to go out, and I told him that we would go trick-or-treating after dinner.  Naturally, he asked to have his dinner then!  It has become a tradition to go to my friend Melissa's Halloween party with other family friends, which is always very fun!  And the parents are always excited to do this holiday as a group!

Faith with two friends at the party.

Shane and I!  Once again, I was a cowgirl!  It's just such as easy costume!!

Such a cute little Minnie Mouse!

Out trick-or-treating!  It was pretty cute as he would go up to the door, receive some candy, and then instead of putting it right in his pumpkin, he would run back to Steve and I and show us what he had received!  He was especially excited about candy corn!

Finished for the night!  So the question then was, can I have this??!!

This was part of the food that I brought to the party!  Apple slices and vanilla wafers with pumpkin dip!  The dip tasted just like pumpkin pie!!  Yummm!