Monday, May 31, 2010

2010 05 Memorial Day

We went to the cemetery with Gramma and Grampop today.  Daddy's Pop and Gramma Ardell are buried there and Grampop wanted to clean their marker and leave roses from their garden.  The girls ran and wandered about.  Hannah and mommy read names and dates on many of the markers, finding a small group of babies and children.   Alyssa found a marker just the right size for standing on and jumping off of.  Following this outing, we had a bbq after the girls played in the hot tub with daddy.   Picture take by Hannah.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

2010 05 How Does Your Garden Grow?

There was a lot of planting going on today... we filled pots with seeds to grow chives, basil, parsley, strawberries, assorted flowers, tomatoes and then there was the garden with future crops of peppers, tomatoes, green beans, peas, squash and red corn... did I forget anything????  Soon we will plant the Olallieberry plants that still need a home too.  Hannah practiced her penmenship by writing the plants names in chalk on the wall.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

2010 05 Butterfly sandwiches

Hannah wanted mommy to make special butterfly sandwiches for lunch... she had very specific ideas of what I should use for the eyes and mouth... had to be blueberries... and it must be with a grilled cheese sandwich.. As the girls were chatting as they ate, Alyssa said to Hannah, "I like bees more than butterflies..."

Friday, May 28, 2010

2010 05 Pizza Box Art

Awhile ago I read in some parenting magazine or something, that pizza boxes make really great storage boxes for kid's art work and things they collect.  They are sturdy and can hold hold some of those 3D treasures like macaroni art.  For me, I just want a place where the girls can store all those papers they can't part with (especially Hannah.)  Finally I decided it was time to go to a pizza shop and ask for some boxes.  They charged me 25 cents a box.  We had a play date scheduled with Robert, so I thought it would be fun to do it with him too!  It was funny to see how differently boys approach art (limited attention span) than girls (well, my girls...)

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2010 05 Park Day with my Baby!

After walking Hannah to school today, Alyssa made a detour and spent the rest of the morning at the park.  She loves to take mommy through her "house."  We both got some skin scrapped off our elbows from going down the slide on our bellies... there is a bend in the short slide, which makes it very hard for this mommy to do it comfortably!  What a fun, easy morning. We got home just in time to get in the car to go pick up Hannah at noon.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

2010 05 Rainy Day Art

Hannah has mentioned earlier this week that she wished it would rain so that she could draw on the wet pavement with the chalk.  Today she had her wish fulfilled!  What fun to see her sitting on the wet pavement, without a care as to how wet her bottom was getting, feeling the chalk in her hands and how it glided over the wet pavement with such ease.  She first created a long curly q line and then proceeded to make several hot air balloons.  Alyssa got into the action for a bit too.  When our neighbor, Kayleen, stopped by and commented what a wonderful artist she was, Hannah quickly told her that she learned to draw from her mom! 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

2010 05 Serve Day w/ AFCC

We joined our church as they went to a local school to do several projects around their campus. The school is down the street from our church and spans grades kindergarten to 8th. It was a church-wide service - there were families, young and old and everything in between doing various cleaning, repainting, replanting and other tasks. We also worked alongside students from the school who are part of a service group that goes out into their community to do work outside their school campus. This was a good way for the girls to start seeing the big picture to serving their world beyond the prayers and Christmas boxes that we usually do.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

2010 05 Tadpoles!

We went to Eaton Canyon with our friends, Elle, Josh, Nate, Catherine and Elizabeth today.  A short hike in from the parking lot, we came upon the creek and had a fun morning of discovering... mostly about the effects of water on your clothes and those around you when you run through and fall into it.  Can't wait to go back and see how big the tadpoles have grown!

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010


As Ryan opened the front door to head out for work this morning, he found this dog lying right up against our screen door.  She sat up a few times to bark at a bird or passerby from her perch, but chased no one down.  It took a little coaxing to get the rope-made leash around her neck, but Ryan is patient and quickly gained her trust and into the backyard she went.  She is really sweet and gentle and we figure she must be from a family who loves her.  Our next door neighbor has a dog, so instead of the proverbial cup of sugar, we asked for a cup (or two) of dog food, which "Isabella" quickly scarfed up.  Hannah has already named her Isabella.  There's talk by the girls of moving so that we can take Isabella with us... they are quite aware that our lease doesn't allow for pets.  Instead, we'll be off to the vet to see if she has a microchip so that we can try to find the owner... and a walk around the neighborhood to post up signs.

UPDATE: Naomi wrote the original post. I, Ryan, am going give you my version and then tell you how it all turned out.

Hannah ran to open the front door for me to leave for work this morning. I was about ten steps behind her as she swung it open and turned back toward me. So she didn't immediately see what made me jump. There a foot and a half from my 5 year old daughter was a startled, pure-bred pit bull, with nothing but a screen door between them. After we all took a beat to assess the situation she didn't seem too threatened or threatening and she sat there with all of her 35 to 40 pounds fully pressed against the screen door. Hannah loves dogs, has no fear of them, and is sooooo trusting. She knelt an extended a closed hand for the dog to sniff. The beautiful but collarless pooch sat up straighter and stuck her massive snout as far as she could through the metal grate at the bottom of the door to get her nose on that hand. Alyssa soon joined us and our new friend twisted her body and pressed her powerful, muscled body even harder on the door. Nervous dad, I wouldn't let the girls open the screen but that also meant I couldn't get out and I was now looking at the clock, realizing how late it was getting. When Naomi arrived to the living room we had a quick discussion and decided to TRY to pen the pit bull up in our back yard and find it's real home later in the day.
I grabbed a rope from the garage and fashioned a crude leash. With a considerable amount of effort and time I inched her back off the door mat enough to squeeze myself out onto the porch with her. On my knees, moving slowly, I gingerly slipped the loop over her head. Much easier than I expected. I stood and gave a slight tug to head down the steps. I got a "slight" tug back as she shifted her weight and pulled against me. A tough task I thought. I let some slack out and just started walking. Before I knew it she was at my side literally rubbing against my leg with each step as I led her through the gate into the back yard.
Naomi brought some water out to her which she ignored, but while I had her on the leash we let the girls come out to meet her up close. Immediate bonding between all three.

Here's the UPDATE:
While out posting "found dog" fliers in the neighborhood, Naomi came across a "lost pit bull" sign. She called the number to discover that our new friend, Abby, had been missing from her real home since early this morning. Turns out she lives just around the corner.  Abby's owner was so happy she was safe that he gave Hannah and Alyssa a reward for taking such good care of his 6 mo. old pup. A happy end for everyone, and we can go visit Abby whenever we want.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

2010 05 Bird Study

We spent the morning with Matthew, Eric, Catherine and Elizabeth exploring birds in many fun ways... first we listened to music and acted out the activities of a robin, we played with bird puppets, learned about why different birds have different beaks, tried to use different utensils to pick up food to understand why they have different beaks, and watched Leo Lioni's Inch by Inch book as a video story (from the library). The mommies let the kiddos pour the different ingredients to make bird nests which we enjoyed later that day (chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, Chinese noodles and pecans).

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

2010 05 Preschool Open House

Hannah's last open house at AFCC Preschool... happy times!  Alyssa's turn this fall!

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Friday, May 14, 2010

2010 05 Criss Cross Applesauce

Criss cross applesauce
Spider crawling up your spine
Warm hug, cool breeze
Now you've got the chillies!

Do you remember the days of simple little rhymes and songs?  Hannah started doing this a couple of weeks back. She learned it from her preschool teacher, Mrs. Lynne.  Alyssa has picked up on it too... it is so cute to see these little girls giggle as they take turns tickling each others backs. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2010 05 What's in a Name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

I woke this morning to being called "grandmother." Hannah and Alyssa go by many names and have called me by different names as a result.  This morning, Hannah was pretending to be Alyssa's daughter and thus I became, "Grandmother." As the mother, Alyssa called Hannah, "Sweetie" most the morning.  Thought it was sweet to hear the girls talk to tenderly to each other, I'm pretty sure I'm not ready to be called anyone's grandmother!

Their role playing is in constant flux and I can never be sure who to call what.  Often Alyssa corrects me with, "I'm Miss Cindy." (She name her baby doll, "Sammy" after my friend Cindy's baby girl.) She also will tell people that that's her name.  Alyssa pretends to be Jana Alayra and Miss Cherylynn (Hannah's teacher at The Little Gym) too.

Sometimes they call each other Beth (Hannah) and Chloe (Alyssa)... and they are frequently Mary (Hannah) and Laura (Alyssa) (they are new fans of the Little House stories... and Alyssa has dubbed Daddy, Jack!). 

On a rare after dinner walk today, Alyssa was calling Hannah "Olivia" and was told by said, "Olivia" that her name was "Ava."Ava and Olivia are sisters, friends of the girls...

Monday, May 10, 2010

2010 05 LA Zoo Bird Walk

We went to the zoo early Saturday morning before it opened to the public to walk the grounds and do some bird watching.  With binoculars in hand, we were ready for a new adventure.  Our bird walk ended up being more of a guided tour of the birds caged at the zoo instead... as well as learning a bit more facts and tidbits about the other animals too.  It was fun for the girls as well as their friends, Matthew and Eric, who also were along for the tour.

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2010 05 Family Portrait

Hannah loves to draw pictures of her family.  She has a way of capturing the essence of each person.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

2010 05 Mother's Day

What a fun Mother's Day for me this year!  Hannah understands how to keep a secret and even tried her hand at throwing mommy off by telling a different story and saying, "Right dad?" She even tried to teach Alyssa to keep the secret about the gift she made at Kid's Night,  Alyssa still doesn't get it, but it was so cute watching the interaction between them as Hannah tried Alyssa who was super excited about making something for mommy like the big kids.  In the morning, Ryan tried to let me sleep in and had the girls make beaded necklaces and bracelets for me (see picture)... though didn't realize that when Alyssa disappeared, she was running into the bedroom to show me my new treasures.  Ryan did a great job of getting the girls to decorate picture frames for me and taking and printing pictures to put in them.  

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Friday, May 07, 2010

2010 05 Alyssa's First Kid's Night

Alyssa attended her very first Kid's Night at church.  These monthly Friday night gathering usually fall before a holiday... this month was Mother's Day.  They do the usual activities: coloring, craft, pizza dinner and a movie; all giving moms and dads two hours to themselves.  Alyssa usually hangs out with mommy these nights and daddy picks up Hannah on his way home from work.  Tonight was different!  Not only did Alyssa get to stay, but daddy came home early enough for a date night with mommy!

Alyssa was so excited about what she made for mommy... she was determined to tell mommy something about kids night when daddy brought the girls home.  Hannah gently tried to remind Alyssa to keep the secret about it and although it looked like Alyssa was processing that info, she still couldn't help from spilling the beans!  She was just sooo excited about her night!
Now we ca say, "You can do that!  You're a big girls now, remember?  You can got to Kid's Night!"

Monday, May 03, 2010

2010 05 Jokin' Baroque

Today was the third in a series of Childrens' concerts held through the LA Chamber Orchestra.  Each had it's own theme.  After the first one, Hannah came home wanting to play the violin.  She didn't get to play one of the instruments because of the volume of kids attending at the previous two.  Today she got her hands on both the viola (pictured) and the violin.  She moved the bow really fast, making screeching sounds come out.  But she enjoyed the experience.  I think that lessons are in her future...

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2010 05 Math Anyone?

Hannah is interested in math.  She asks me to quiz her while we are driving in the car.  She sits down with a paper and pencil at our coffee table and wants to do math.  Today she took her math education in her own hands.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

2010 05 Happy Birthday Miss Aisha!

Miss Aisha is by far one of the girls most favorite people.  I met her at our MOPS group when Alyssa was just a baby and her son, Christopher, was just a few months older.  Once we found out that she lived just around the corner from us we spent a lot of time together.  Alyssa loves that her hair is like Miss Aisha's (big and curly) and Hannah has always loved her sense of fashion and comments on how her skin is brown like Aisha's.  Though we called and sang Happy Birthday to her on her actual birthday, we celebrated with lots of other people who love Aisha at her 40th surprise party. 

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Saturday, May 01, 2010

2010 05 May

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2010 05 To Catch A Breeze

It was a windy day and though we were doing some yard work, Hannah decided that it was a good day to fly a kite.  The picture makes it seem as though we enjoyed the pull of the string as the wind kept our kite afloat, but alas, no sooner did it take flight, the kite banked to the right and came straight to the ground every single time we tried.