It is safe to say that the birthday celebrations for me are over for another year, but once again, the day did not go by unnoticed!! I feel so blessed by my family and friends that they would make my birthday truly a joy! The weekend of celebrating kicked off with a party for one of Faith's friends, but it got things rolling!
That evening, Steve planned a little romantic getaway for the two of us for my birthday! It was great!! We were able to go out for a nice dinner, and relax in a beach condo! For a busy mom, it was the most perfect gift!
On Monday, after an appointment I had, I came home to this!
Steve and the kids went and picked up cupcakes (red velvet for me - my favorite!!), ice cream, flowers and a card and had a little surprise party waiting for me! It was so sweet! The kids think that it is so fun to celebrate birthdays! And they even sang a "Happy Birthday"! And if that was not enough, Steve watched the kids that evening while my girlfriends took me out for dinner!
Not exactly a flattering shot, but this was the Tiramasu brought out for me at the restaurant!! Tuesday was the actual day. Steve had to work, so my dear friend Julie took me out for lunch! We felt wild and crazy enjoying a two hour lunch on a Tuesday afternoon!! We are moms after all, so this was highly unusual for us and extra exciting! The kids had a blast all together - all six of them! - and we enjoyed our leisurely lunch! Birthdays really are the best - even when you get older!
This picture was from today. I have been trying to get a picture showing Shane's new haircut! Finally he agreed to smile if we took one together! Such a character that boy is!
Today we had a first in our house - Shane received his first haircut at home! And no, it was not done by Faith without permission! Since Shane's hair grows so fast and is so thick, and he hates having it combed or styled, the buzz look is best for him! And the rest of us!! So today Steve got out the clippers and the whole fam participated in the haircut!!
Steve was the primary clipper, while I took the pictures!
He did a great job! And Shane sat well too, until the very end when he got itchy!
Faith (no comment on the condition of her hair at that moment!!) was in charge of the brushes in that she would occasionally brush Shane off as she saw fit!
Nearing the end. Of course a final, cute pose was not captured! Shane still is in this phase where he does not like having his picture taken!
Isn't it great to get a little help sometimes?! Today operation project make-the-kids-a-car-out-of-a -box receive a big boost! Steve was home today and really added a great finishing touch to the Awana bus and race car!
Steve spray painted each car, and I made some wheels! The kids were thrilled!!
And Shane's race car actually had two more wheels put on as we finally convinced him that cars need four wheels! I am looking forward to picking them up in a few minutes and hearing all about their fun drive in movie night!
Also today, Steve took off the baby swing and put up the acrobat bar. The kids both loved swinging on it! It's so funny how something new is just that much more exciting!!
They would both swing, and then let go landing with a "ta da!" It was pretty funny! So today I am thankful for the help Steve brings to me - not just today, but every day!! I am so grateful to have him as my husband and helper!
My kids often think I am the best at everything! I know this wont last forever (or probably even much longer!!), so I am trying to savor it while it lasts! This afternoon's activity is case in point. For Awana tomorrow night, it is "Drive in Movie" night, which means that they need to bring a car to sit in at the movies! Insert making a car out of cardboard. Creative projects, easy or difficult, are not my forte! I am so artistically challenged! But as I assembled what totally does not resemble a race car for Shane and a bus for Faith, they were both beyond thrilled with the results! They are totally clueless that their mom seriously lacks talent in this area!
I am thankful that they still look at me as great, even when I am not! What wonderful love that is!!
One other story from today...we were playing letter BINGO this afternoon. To enhance the game a bit for Faith, I had her come up with the sound the letter makes as well as a word that starts with the letter. For the letter M, I was hoping she would choose my favorite M word - Mommy, but instead she said molecule!
Usually I am thankful for things that happen in our daily life...today I am grateful for what did NOT happen! This morning started out pretty normally, and I was preparing for my MOPS steering team to come over for a quick meeting. Since a gathering of women is not complete without food, I had planned to make a new recipe - Bubble Bread. All was going well, and I put it on the oven, anticipating how good this gooey bread treat would be.
As I finished up school with Faith, I noticed that it smelled a bit strange. So I look in the oven, and there was some smoke in there! I figured some of the butter, sugar mixture must have melted and leaked out of the angel food cake pan in which the bread was baking. Putting the pan on a baking sheet, I thought I had solved the problem. And in one sense I had, preventing more leaking to the bottom of the stove, but I didn't think about that which had already leaked! It continued to burn! Thankfully, I had enough sense tofinally turn off the oven and prevent further disaster!
So as my MOPS friends arrived, I did not have delicious Bubble Bread waiting for them, but a bit of a smokey scent lingering despite the open windows and candles! But, I was thankful that no fire actually started, and that I had bagels to serve my friends!
Today is one of my favorite days of the year - the tip off of the March Madness basketball tournament! While the entire tournament is entertaining to watch, I especially love these first two days when there are so many game, usually some upsets, and often many close games. I love this tournament so much that when I was teaching I would incorporate it into a poetry unit as my classes would compete in March Poetry Madness!!
The kids get more into it each year as I have them fill out a bracket too for fun! Faith picked Michigan to win the tournament - not a wise pick, but I like the loyalty of it. And Shane was so excited to watch some games this afternoon that he wanted to put on some game day clothes!
While not the most accurate game day outfit (he put on a Lions jersey, which is pro football!), I liked his enthusiasm! We have had fun today watching the games, and will again tomorrow when our two favorite teams take the court as Michigan and Duke both play tomorrow afternoon!
Today I am thankful for the excitement March Madness brings and that the fun we can have watching the games!
Some days seem too busy, others a little boring, but today seemed to be a great balance! We had some fun things to do
- Breakfast out with Grandma Poelstra and Aunt Joan who spent the night at a hotel in Ventura
-Wednesday night church service
But yet nothing was back to back or overwhelming that would make the day a crazy day! I like the balanced days! The kids had fun playing inside and outside, and I even got some laundry done!
They had fun soaking up the sunshine while swinging away the day! So today I am thankful for a nicely paced, balanced day. It doesn't seem like much to be thankful for, but to me it is worthy! So much so that I am going to work harder for more balanced days ahead!
There is a good reason the blog posts have been MIA lately - I was sick! It was not fun at all as I must have caught a flu bug or ate something bad! But the thing I am so thankful for is that Steve was home the entire time! What a blessing! He is such a huge help to me, especially when I literally could not do anything! He is the best!!
Amidst me being sick, my parents came to visit! And thankfully I was better for most of their time here. We had an action packed day on Friday spending most of the day in Santa Barbara.
We went to two different parks - one being more of a garden park depicted in the picture above. The kids loved walking on the nature trails as well as seeing the ducks and turtles swim in the pond. Across the street from this park was a large wooden playground that the kids found very fun too!
The next stop was the zoo! It was such a beautiful day that it made being outside even more enjoyable!
While we try to make frequent visits to the local library, today was an "official" visit as it was the location of our field trip! The kids learned about how to search for books, how books are categorized, and what the different sections of the library hold. Shane wasn't too interested in listening to the librarian, so he found a book about dinosaurs and made himself at home!
Faith is looking for a bunch of books to check out and take home from the easy reader section!
Now that Faith is reading on her own, she reads 20 minutes a day as part of her schooling. She can pick what time of day to do this, but it needs to be done each school day. She really enjoys it, and we are going to the library more frequently as a result so she has more books to read! I am really thankful that she is reading! I will admit that teaching her to read was my greatest fear in homeschooling. I am so grateful that it has come to her somewhat easily and that she enjoys it so much. What a blessing it has been!
Today didn't go exactly as planned. The kids and I have been planning all week for a Big Blue Party today as Duke (one of our favorite basketball teams) was playing against their big rival, North Carolina. Earlier this season when these two teams met, Duke one on a three point basket at the buzzer! We were anticipating another great game! Since Steve would be working, we wanted to do something fun that we could look forward to and that would enhance our game watching experience. Thus, the Big Blue Party. The kids and I brainstormed about what blue foods we could have, and Faith helped me shop for our blue menu items.
Above is part of our spread - blue finger jello, blueberries, and blue chips! And Shane was hiding from the camera!
As the game tipped off, Duke did not get off to a very good start, and was behind, by a lot!, from the beginning! So our Big Blue Party started to lose some of its luster. And then this...
Shane fell asleep on me while watching the game! And even though our game watching didn't go as planned as I silently did some fist pumps at the small surge Duke mounted at the beginning of the second half, I wouldn't have traded the moment of Shane sleeping on me for the world! What a rare treat to have this 3 1/2 year old little boy fall asleep on me!
So often life works out better when it doesn't go according to our plans! And tonight I am thankful for those moments when it doesn't - when it turns out better!
It was a beautiful day (once the wind calmed down!), so we loaded up the car and headed to the Santa Barbara Zoo for the afternoon! Since we have not been there since November, the kids were especially excited to go! As is clear by the look on Shane's face!
It was exciting to see some animals on display that were not out the last few times we were there. This includes the bird shown behind Faith, the ring tail monkey, and the Channel Island Fox!
Of course we spent plenty of time playing in the children's garden!
The Giraffes were movin' and grovin' while we were there, which was fun to watch. And it is always great to be by the Giraffe's as they are fortunate to have a beautiful ocean view!
While this wasn't at the zoo, it was right before we left. Apparently Faith didn't have enough school work to do today, so she pulled out a book of numbers to do some extra work!