Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stand By Me/Playing for Change Around the World

Very cool look at how a song can be universal... many countries, peoples and instruments are part of this music video. Enjoy!


Hello Santa!

We went to The Huntington Library for their members only holiday event. It was a lot of fun and a great way to say hello to Santa. We got there early enough that we beat the crowds. Hannah ran right up to Santa like she's know him for years. Alyssa was very excited about seeing him until we got close and then she insisted that mommy be in the picture with her. I was lucky enough to get her to sit on Santa's lap, but not lucky enough to get someone to take the picture without half of it being the ceiling! That's what Hannah must be looking at...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree!

Our tradition for the past three years has been to get our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving and decorate it over the weekend. This year instead of going to a tree stand and having lunch, we opted for the more cost effective trip to Home Depot and Thanksgiving leftovers at Gramma and Grampop's house. It's too early to get a tree, especially since we keep ours up through the twelve days of Christmas. By the time we have our Epiphany dinner, the tree is a screaming fire hazard. But it's our tradition and we are sticking to it! The girls have their own boxes of ornaments and they are placed one the tree first. Then out come our Disneyland ornaments that we have been faithfully collecting on our family visit to the Happiest Place on Earth each December and then an array of other favorites. Finally the angel that I salvaged from my mom tops the tree.

We are looking forward to a peaceful, joyous Christmastime and pray the same for you!

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Annabelle's Ladybug Birthday

What a fun birthday party... there was a bounce house, a sack race and a pinata. The sack race was the cutest... reusable shopping bags were used for sacks!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Goodbye to Mr Steven

We have been going to The Little Gym since Hannah was three years old.  That is how long we have know Mr Steven.  He is a great guy who is loved by all the kiddos.  Hannah is really glad to have had him as a teacher for her karate class.  We said goodbye to Mr Steven this week because he is transferred to the University of San Diego.  We will miss him, but wish him well on his new adventures!

On the card Hannah made for Mr. Steve, she drew herself in an "almost kicker" pose.

Preschool Thanksgiving

This was Alyssa's first Preschool Thanksgiving as a preschooler. Though not her first time at AFCC for this annual celebration, this time it was Hannah who came to visit and not Alyssa. Alyssa has class with three other children, Samantha, Daniella and Evan. Samantha was the only one who wasn't at school today. As you can see, ALL the kids come together to eat their way through plates and bowls of popped corn, brownies, string cheese, grapes and even pumpkin pie!

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We went to Disneyland with the Polages, friends we met at Malibu Pres who now live in Washington state.   My girls had fun meeting their "new" friends and had a blast with their grandpa who carried them on his shoulders (and had BOTH of them up on his shoulders at ONCE!), swung them around and rough housed with them in the middle of a crowded walkways.  Danielle's sister who brought three month old Alexis for her first Disneyland adventure.  We also managed to get 9 people into Buzz Lightyear with only 6 Fast Passes with a bit of fast talking and fancy footworks by Danielle and her dad!  It was a fun day even though it was packed!

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Alyssa the photographer

When you discover that the camera is gone and the house is waaaaay too quite...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Move over Jackie Evancho!

 Seriously, has anyone heard Hannah sing in her very best vibrato?  And Alyssa asks to watch the Jackie Evancho DVD Gramma bought the girls ALL the time!

Counting Pumpkin Seeds

There were 570 little pepitas in all.  Daddy and the girls worked on cleaning out the pumpkin to get out every single seed.  Hannah had a meltdown (not pictured above) because we weren't doing it right... "What!?! No alcohol?!?  Why are we using a slotted spoon!  You don't use slotted spoons!"  A call was made to Gramma who did pumpkin seed activities with Hannah a week or two before so that she could explain to Hannah that it was ok that mommy and daddy were doing it differently.   Hannah had specific directions as to how to count out the seeds as well.  Using two bowls, you had to count them by putting "one" into one bowl, "two" into the other and so on... AND she counted out loud, so it made it really hard for mommy to keep her count!

The other night...

We have been working on finding a way to help Alyssa to feel secure enough so that she doesn't wake mommy and daddy up at night. Mommy has finally said that if it isn't an emergency, I won't get out of bed. She can come in and give us hugs and kisses, but don't expect that I'll be getting up to tuck her back in. It seems to be working, but the other night, after giving mommy and daddy their kisses at 12:30 am Alyssa could be heard crying as she went back to her room. Daddy couldn't keep from going to her. Mommy stayed cozy in bed.

Later, Mommy noticed that there was a visitor IN BED with us. Sighing, Mommy got up to take the little missy back after daddy said she had climbed in 15 minutes AFTER she has been tucked in her own bed by daddy. Walking around to daddy's side of the bed where the intruder lay sleeping, mommy discovered that it wasn't Alyssa as suspected!

All church picture

We celebrated 22 new members and 6 junior members at our church this morning. It was surprising to see a number of people who have been long time attenders become members today... Who knew!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mom's Day at Preschool

It was a rainy day... a down pour, in fact... and Alyssa insisted on wearing her "flip flops" so her little toes were quite wet.  Alyssa enjoyed each and every activity she did whether mommy did it with her or not... she even shooed mommy away at one point saying, "Color your own picture!"  WE made a turkey cookie, a turkey hand print painting a Thanksgiving cross and a turkey out of craft foam.  Mommy also avoided getting her nails painted... not all the moms were as lucky!  Thank you for a fun day Alyssa!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Love Notes

It's not easy to see in this pictures, but Hannah drew her changing smile as she sees it in the mirror... she's lost her two bottom teeth...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Embrace Thursdays

My friend Raeanne has started taking pictures with her kiddos on Thursdays, something she saw on another blog.  The idea is to get the mommy on the other side of the camera and not miss out on being in pictures.  I think it's a great idea, so I'm going to try my best to do it too.  Every Thursday, I will take a picture with my girls.  This is the first of a series taken using our self-timer and 3 shots at a time function.  It's a bit off centered, but it was the best.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Child's Heart

This past week, a family we know through our church had a devastating loss.  At the age of 39, Michaela and CC's mom died in the hospital.  It was sudden and shocking.  The girls are left with no other family and nothing in place for their care.  My girls were so sad for Michaela and CC and even though haven't seen the girls very much in the past year or so, Hannah and Alyssa always immediately take to them whenever we do.  They decided that we should adopt them and had the living arrangements all figured out...  CC would sleep with Alyssa and Michaela with Hannah... we won't be adopting them, but will be praying for them and doing whatever we can during this time.  Please pray for these girls... CC is 7 and Michaela will be 15 soon.

This is the card that Alyssa dictated to me...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Praying Mantis

This past April, we were asked to care for two eggs sacs of praying mantis eggs.  We were able to see them hatch and let some free around our house.  Now we keep seeing full grown praying mantises around our property... I wonder is it's the same one sighted in the back yard, on the front door and even at our neighbor's back yard.  

Alyssa's Art Gallery

Alyssa has been showing a greater interest in drawing than she has before.  It has been fun to see her excitement over her new works of art.  And EVERYTHING gets hung upon the wall with LOTS of tape (did she learn that from Grampop?).  The other day I asked Alyssa to draw me a person because her art work doesn't have people in it.  After her initial frustration (nice way of saying temper tantrum) of not being able to get the eyes just right (one was drawn too close to the edge of the face), she did several wonderful faces.  The purple person came with a story.  She's wearing roller skates and she is crying purple tears because "all of her family died."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pilgrims Place

We met with the Pilgrims and Indians today... and the Wong family too!  There was a woman spinning yarn, butter making, an Indian drum circle and story time... and what early American doesn't know about face painting, glue-ins and a Mayflower on wheels?  We had a fun day, wandering about and exploring.  We did learn a few tidbit here and there about the Pilgrims and Indians and why we celebrate Thanksgiving. 

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Look! It's a Flimp!

It was Alyssa who discovered the blimp from her view at the back door. When Hannah was little, she called them flimps, so mommy and daddy still do, even when we get strange looks from Alyssa. It wasn't easy getting the girls and the blimp in the pictures at the same time. Those blimps don't move as slow as they look!

Operation Christmas Child

Today we helped fill boxes at our church and preschool for Operation Christmas Child. It was fun to have the girls help and be very excited about what the child who would get the box would like to have. Of course it centered around what they would like. Alyssa even said at one point that the girls who would get one of the boxes she filled, "would want to share it with me." I explained that these boxes were going to go to kids who may not have any Christmas presents otherwise. They may not even have a mommy or daddy to take care of them or a place to live that could shelter them like we do. Hannah really understands that what we did today was a was of serving God. Hannah really impressed us by the way she was able to fold up the pre-printed Operation Christmas Child boxes all by herself, even reveling in the act of teaching mommy what to do.

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Can we play rock music?

The girls asked me if they "could play rock music." What they meant was that they wanted to be loud while they did their music. These girls love to sing and perform!!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Santa Ynez for Britt's Birthday

Don't let these pictures fool you... we went wine tasting with 25 of Britt and Eric's closest friends. We had a fun time on our weekend get away from the girls who had a blast and Camp Hillcrest.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Park Days

We joined a wonderful home school group called Park Academy. We meet once a month at a nearby park to discuss group business: our calendar of events and activities (field trips, book clubs, chess clubs, parents time out, etc.) It's a great group of parents with a wide range of home school styles and student age ranges.

Today was our third park day and each time, I've been watching to see how the girls interact with this new group of kids. Hannah does really well in smaller groups even with a group of people she knows, so this is stretching her. Alyssa still likes mommy to do everything with her, but she has Hannah.

Our second park day, I was really excited when the girls came running over to me to say that they made a new friend. My girls are social enough and make friends easily when they feel confident. The new friend, however, turned out to be just another park goer, not one of the many girls from our group.

Today, I encouraged the girls to see what the other girls were doing after watching them wander around together and end up back with me several times. "Go see Elyse," I told Alyssa. Although in another class, Elyse goes to preschool with Alyssa. Off the two went, ever so cautiously to the group of girls sitting on the ground underneath the shade of a tree.

After a little while, Hannah appeared by my side saying that the girls were making necklaces. "They'll let you make one if you want," I encouraged, "go ahead and ask." They headed back over and then I noticed one of the girls go to Hannah and ask if she wanted to join them. I saw Hannah shake her head no. I stopped paying attention to my girls for a bit and when I looked again, there they were sitting on the ground with the older girls bending their heads close to my girls to help string their beads.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Boat 2010

"When do we get to go on the boat?"  asked Alyssa as we headed to our polling location at midday.  Puzzled, both Hannah and I asked her to clarify.  We weren't going on a boat... when did we say anything about riding a boat?  Hannah thinking that she understood what Alyssa was talking about said, "Yes Alyssa, we were on two boat rides at Disneyland..."  But that wasn't it... after a little bit more pondering as Alyssa kept insisting that were were going to a boat, it dawned on mommy... we're going to vote!  I think she was a little bit disappointed that there wasn't going to be a boat ride today.

The girls charmed the ladies at the polling place. So much so that when daddy arrived to vote later in the evening (and Hannah gave him the run down on what to expect when her got home from work), he was taken back when the ladies told him how much they enjoyed his family.  He wondered if he was supposed to know them.  We actually went to the polling place twice today.  We returned later in the afternoon to pick up the jacket that Alyssa had left there earlier.