Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  We hope you had a wonderful day!  After a busy day, the kids are enjoying some time to relax and play with all of their new and exciting toys! 
Christmas morning!  Faith woke up early and Shane slept in a bit.  The kids were excited to open their stockings, and were so excited by what Santa brought them!

Next we were off to church!  The kids sat up front for part of the service to hear the Christmas story!  And yes, the little ones are all in their pjs!  Faith had a small speaking part.  It is clear that she enjoys speaking into a microphone!

Round two of opening presents! 

Shane was very excited about his first remote control monster truck!!

Using his new set of power tools to fix Uncle Joe's knee!  He has quite potential as a future orthopedic surgeon!

Where's Waldo???

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas, sharing in the amazement and the wonder of it all!  

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Daddy's little helper

Amidst all of the fun of Christmas week, there is work still to be done.  At least for adults!  But in the eyes of kids, even work can seem like fun to them!  Oh to have the eyes of a child!  Yesterday I looked out the front window to see this...

I thought it was just the cutest thing ever!  And what was amazing was that Shane not only walked the entire front yard with Steve, but he did the whole backyard too!  Even the terraced part!  And Shane just loved every moment of mowing the lawn just like his daddy!  As a parent these are priceless moments!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas week!

'Twas the week before Christmas, and there was much fun to be had!  From parties to movies, we have been enjoying it all!  On Monday night, Faith had her American Heritage Girls meeting, which was a Christmas party and cookie exchange!  At the first part of each meeting, the American flag is walked in, along with the AHG flag.  For the first time, Faith was able to participate in that ceremony!!

It is hard to see her in the picture, but she has the light blue shirt on and is helping to carry the American flag.

Here is the little Rudolph after playing a game!  They had to stick the red cotton balls on their noses without using their hands!  They had some Vaseline on the tip of their noses to help them!

On Tuesday night we went to a family Christmas party at the house of one of our friends.  These are all the kids!  This picture was taken right before heading home, which was a time later than all the kids' bed times!  But it was lots of fun!  They kids all played, while the adults could sit around and talk! 

All the moms!!  We love getting together!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Cookies!

Over the past few years, one Christmas tradition that has developed has been baking and decorating Christmas cookies!  Each year I look forward to it, but will admit that during the process I do have the thoughts of "What was I thinking?"  After all, baking with a 5 year old and 3 year old isn't exactly easy!  But, the kids love it, and when I let go of the disaster that my kitchen becomes and the quality of how things turn out, I too have fun! 

Shane's favorite part by far was eating!  He managed to dump most of the bottle of sprinkles out onto the first cookie he decorated!  And while in years past that may have been the end of the sprinkles, experience comes into play as I now have the kids decorate in a 9 x 13 pan!  That way, when darling child does such a thing, the sprinkles can easily be poured back into the container!  Ahh, the important things you need to know as a mom! 

Faith worked very hard on her decorating!

And he's eating again!  He asked to eat each cookie he decorated!

Sampling of the final product!  While they are far for beautiful, the kids sure had fun!  And regardless of the looks, they definitely taste good thanks to Betty Crocker!  She sure has a great sugar cookie and frosting recipe!

And as I type this now, the kitchen has been mostly cleaned (another thing I have learned - do this activity the day before you planned to clean the house anyway!!), and the kids are outside running off some of their sugary energy! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Preschool Christmas Program

As Shane had his final morning of preschool before Christmas today, the students put on a Christmas Chapel for the parents.  I don't know if the teachers mentioned to the kids the importance of looking nice, but Shane insisted on wearing a button-down shirt that he normally wears to church to school today!  He said he needed to look "extra handsome!"

Shane sang very sweetly and did the motions to the two songs!  His whole class did a great job!

After the show, posing for the cameras!!

We had a very musical day as Faith had her final Kindermusik class of the semester, which included a short performance time at the end of class. 

Ready position!

Playing "The Train is a Comin'"

The class sang and played bells to "Jingle Bells".

The final song was "Rock 'n Roll at the North Pole".  It was such a cute song, and like most things that include singing and dancing, Faith was very enthusiastic about performing the song! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

First Skating Party

Last night was the Christmas Party for Awana, and it took place at Skating Plus.  That's right - we went roller skating!!  Since neither Faith nor Shane had ever laced up some roller skates before, I was not sure what the evening would hold!  But much to my surprise, they did very well!  Steve was able to come with us, and I was so thankful as it was such a huge help to have one parent for each beginning skater at the start of the evening!!

This is a glimpse of a very unsteady Shane attempting to practice on the carpet before hitting the rink!  Based on how that went, I didn't think the night would go so well!  And even after the first lap, I was worried!  Steve and I stayed in our shoes, and walked with the kids on the skating rink to help them.

But it didn't take too long and they got the hang of it!  Yeah!!  They were both able to skate without holding onto us for dear life!  Shane was really funny to watch as he would move his arms as though he was running!

Faith even entered a skating race!  It was for girls ten and under, so while she was far from winning, she did it all on her own and didn't fall!

Little man was very serious!  Check out those cute arms!

Our little skaters!  They had so much fun and were asking when they could go again!  I love the skeptical look on Shane's face! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Faith's Field Trip

Faith and I just arrived home from our best field trip yet! We spent the morning at the Ventura County Sheriff Aviation Rescue Facility learning all about helicopters, the types of missions they are required to do, and the many different responsibilities this unit has.  It was fascinating, to say the least! 

Part way through our tour one of the helicopters that had been out on a call came back to the hanger.

The precision required to land was pretty amazing!

With so many mountain ranges in the county, they do many rescues of people who get lost in the mountains or who become slightly injured.  This picture is showing a demonstration of the type of harness used when someone is not injured badly. 

All the kids were able to sit inside both the rescue helicopter and the fire helicopter.  Faith is climbing out of the fire helicopter.

Below this chopper is a white water tank.  They can assist with fires by picking up water with a long tube and storing it in the white tank until it is time to release it on the flames.  So this particular aviation unit is a cooperation of the fire department and the sheriff department as both types of work is done with the aviation units.  As you can tell, we learned many things!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

First Christmas Party of the Year!

Let the festivities begin!  With Christmas being just two weeks away, we had our first official Christmas party yesterday with the Roedas - Steve's Uncle John and Aunt Sue and their family.  We always enjoy spending time with them, and each year we make a point to getting together near Christmas to celebrate with them!

Faith was thrilled to open her first present of the year!

Now it's Shane's turn!  Faith wanted to help him out and show him how to unwrap, but he assured her he could do it on his own!

The kids loved seeing cousin Katie again!  She is so fun!!  And even though I don't have a picture showing it, Shane really bonded with cousin Matt too!

"Welcome to McDonalds, may I take your order?"  It was a little scary how naturally Shane did that! Either we go through too many drive-thrus, or he has a future in working at McDonalds!!  He just loved being able to play McDonalds!

And here is Faith using her Crayola Glow Station.  She has had lots of fun creating glow-n-the-dark pictures!

After a great lunch and time of visiting, we went to a Christmas program at John and Sue's church.  We saw a musical performance, and then we were able to walk through the town of Bethleham!  The kids saw animals, made crafts, and even decorated cookies!  Faith was very proud of the sheep she made!

Annual Trip to Knotts Berry Farm!

It's one of my most favorite times of year!  While the month of December is always one of the busiest, I love the many activities, seeing family, and of course all the celebrations!  One even that has become a family tradition in December is going to Knotts Berry Farm.  Every year seems to be more enjoyable than the previous year as the kids can go on more rides, and they just seem to enjoy it more!  We had a wonderful time!  The picture at the top is from the front of the park as we were getting ready to start our day there!

Since Faith doesn't forget a thing, she remembered that this ride has to be the first one!  She actually had a mental list of the order she wanted to ride the rides!  Shane is finally tall enough to go on most of the Camp Snoopy rides!  They had a blast, and we could hear Shane laughing as he enjoyed the ride!

Watch out world!  Faith driving Shane!! 

Each year this is always one of the favorite rides! 

And Shane was tall enough for this ride too!  He loved it!  He was so proud that he could go on so many of the rides and that he was not scared!  After he exited each ride he would tell us, "And I wasn't even scared!!"

Faith showed her bravery by riding on the Dragon Swing with Steve!  She loved it so much that right after she exited she got right back in line with me!

Towards the end of our time at Knotts Faith spotted the old fashioned fire engine!  She asked to get her picture taken by it with Shane!  For the first time, we also went to the Christmas Snoopy on Ice show.  And it was so well done!  The kids loved it and so did we!  The skaters were very good, and it was the Charlie Brown Christmas story - including Luke 2!  I was impressed!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekend Fun

This weekend we took part in the second annual Ventura Winter Wine Walk.  For this event, people could purchase tickets and then redeem them for wine at numerous restaurants and shops along Main St. in downtown Ventura.  Since there was going to be a Christmas tree lighting at the Mission with Santa and snow, we brought the kids!

The kids traveled in style in the wagon! 

At one of the shops there was a band playing outside.  Of course Faith jumped at the opportunity to get out of the wagon and dance!

According to both kids, the highlight of the night was seeing Santa!  The REAL Santa!  Shane said it was because he gave them candy canes!

Tonight we attended an event for our former neighbor, Simms Taback.  Simms is a very famous author and artist, and his books and art work are being displayed at the Ventura Museum for the next few months.  The event tonight was a reception for Simms, celebrating the exhibit. 

Shane is standing in front of a character from the book The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.  There were stuffed animals for Shane to actually feed the old lady all the animals that she ate in the book. 

Faith is reading the book as Shane played!

Another one of Simms' books is Joseph Had a Little Overcoat.  Faith is standing by a replica of the overcoat from the story.