Sunday, May 31, 2009

Camping at Twin Coves Park

Another year, another camping trip with friends!

We decided to camp at Twin Coves Park again this year. Our "normal" camping group ~ us and Kevin and Lori and two of their kids M and J came along with another family ~Sheri and Patrick and their kids Big H and Little H. Ryan and I went out to Twin Coves in advance and picked out campsite #38 for this trip. It was big enough for 3 tents and had enough room still for all 12 of us.

We came out Saturday late afternoon after Little Miss's gymnastics meet. We set up tent around 5 pm. Kevin and Lori were already there, then we showed up, and lastly Sheri and Patrick. We got all our camp sites set up, the food/drinks/supplies in place, and put our chairs around the campfire. The kids were fascinated by the fire and started putting sticks in the fire and "writing" in the air with the tips. Somehow Little Miss ended up touching the end of her stick and burned the tip of her right index finger. Luckily Patrick and Sheri brought along a first aid kit and had all the necessary burn ointment and dressings but she was pretty upset for a while.

Ryan and I decided to head down to the lake before dinner. Most of the kids decided to join us and we walked down to the lake, threw some rocks in the water, and toured the campgrounds. When we got back to the campsite it was time for dinner. We had cheeseburgers and hotdogs for dinner followed by our favourite camping treat, S'mores! After S'mores we handed out the glow sticks and by then it was around 10 pm and definitely time for the kiddos to go to bed!

We woke up around 7 am this morning and had breakfast burritos, bagels, and cheese cubes for breakfast (I actually had a soda and queso - very healthy). After breakfast was cleaned up we all decided to take a hike. We hiked for about an hour down a trail by our campsite (in a van down by the river! ha ha ha ). It was really pretty and the kids had fun picking up campfire wood and just being in nature! By the end of the hike, Little Man had decided he'd had enough and sat down and cried until I finally picked him up to carry him the rest of the way.

Once back at the campsite we had lunch and then Lori got out the Jiffy Pop that she'd brought. We thought we'd see if it would work on a campfire. Note to all, the popping goes well on the campfire but the popcorn does not taste good! Once we appeased the kids (who didn't get to eat the smoke flavoured popcorn) with the last of the S'mores it was time to head out. Kevin and Ryan took down the tents while Lori and I cleaned up the site. Then we all packed up and headed home.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Little Miss's First Gymnastics Meet

Today was Little Miss's first gymnastics "meet". She's been doing gymnastics for about 2 years now and loves it. About 6 months ago she was moved up to the Superstars class which is a bit less "fun" and a bit more focused. They sent home a flyer recently about the upcoming meet and her coach encouraged us to let her participate. So we paid the entrance fee and signed her up.

They "competed" on each apparatus: vault, floor, beam, and bars. They were given scores and participation ribbons for each and a final super cool pink sparkle star medal for overall participation and sportsmanship. Little Miss got 3 blue ribbons and 1 red along with her medal.

Overall it was a chance for her to show off what she's learned and she did a great job. Nana, G, Meme, Mommy, Daddy, and Little Man all had a great time watching her gym meet.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Little Miss's First Sleepover

Little Miss's First Sleepover

Last night Little Miss had her first friend sleepover. I feel like it's some sort of milestone that I need to document. A true testament that my little girl is growing up and having friends stay the night.

Her friend and her family came over for Memorial Day to have dinner and drinks. The girls then decided that Little Miss's friend should stay the night. After her parents left the girls got in bed and stayed up talking and playing in bed for an hour or so. They finally conked out around 10:30 pm. They tried to wake up around 5:30 am and I promptly put them back in bed and told them that they needed to sleep a bit longer (fully expecting them not to fall asleep again). When I checked on them they had both fallen back asleep and didn't wake up again until around 8 am.

Her friend then stayed with us for most of the afternoon today because her mom had a hair appointment.

This first sleepover went off without a hitch and the girls had a great time!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Little Miss's Preschool Class

Little Miss's Preschool Class

I'm really going to miss this awesome class of kids and parents that we've been able to spend 3 wonderful preschool years with. Really, I'm going to miss this class of kids terribly.

What a fabulous group of kids and parents we've been able to get to know these last 3 years. For the last 3 years we've gotten together for playdates, field trips, craft days, and Mom's Night out at least once a month ~ even over the summer. Little Miss has had INCREDIBLE teachers at our amazing preschool. The teachers and staff there truly do love our kids as their own. I have complete trust that they will always keep my children safe.

We couldn't have asked for a better group of kids to be together. The 10 of them get along so well, they are polite, intelligent, and really a delight to be around as a group. For me, one of the best parts about Little Miss going to school was meeting the moms. Our moms have become so close over the last 3 years. I really hope that we continue to be friends. We've gotten together for some great field trips to the Museum of Nature and Science, the Heard Museum, and we're planning a trip to Fossil Rim in June. We moms try to get together every month or so for a mom's night out as well.

Here's to the last three years... A wonderful preschool, a fabulous group of kids, and an amazing group of moms!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Little Miss graduates from preschool!

I've been going to my preschool
All the whole year long
I've been going to my preschool
And I've learned a lot of songs
I can count and say my letters
I know my colours too
I've been going to my preschool
All the whole year through

Graduation day, graduation day,
Graduation day is finally here
Graduation day, graduation day,
Graduation day is here... Yipee!

Little Miss's Graduation Song
(Sing to the tune of I've Been Working on the Railroad)

It's official. My daughter, my oldest child, has graduated from preschool. I can't believe it. She is so old!
What a wonderful ceremony they had at school today. I volunteered to help set up (pretty much so that I could get front row seats). We started setting up at 10 am. Graduation was at 11:30 am. My parents, my mother in law, and Ryan and I were there - sitting front and center.
The kids were so cute! They had them all walk in to the graduation song. All of the kiddos sat down and the program started. The kids got to sing some of their favourite songs for us including the Ten Commandments Song, Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory Glory, and the Goodbye Song. Then they had them come up class by class to get their "diplomas". Little Miss was in top form today and was such a ham!
After the ceremony we had a pizza party followed by Graduation cake!
We were also able to give our AWESOME teachers their super cute presents. One of the moms from our class made each teacher a card out of poster board (they were fabulous) and then we got each of our three teachers a kind of "directors chair" and had their names embroidered on the back. They turned out so great - I think I want one for myself that says Mom :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Little Man's Music and Movement Program

Balance balance balance beam
Balance balance balance beam
I am balance balancing on my balance balance beam

One foot other foot in a row
I can do it fast and slow
Front ways side ways always my way
On my balance beam
~Balance Beam by The Laurie Berkner Band

Little Man had a little program at school this morning called Music and Movement. It was a 20 minute program where the kids got to show off some of the songs that they sing in class and some of the movement activities that they've been working on this year.
Little Man was too cute! I didn't tell him that Nana, G, and Meme were coming. So when the program started he was led into the room with his class and he looked out into the audience and said (very loudly), "Nana, G, Meme." As he said each person's name he got louder and louder. All of the parents were laughing :)

The kids sang their Hello song first. Then they showed us their Yoga stretches and their Balance Beam activity. Then all of the parents were invited to the floor with the kids and the kids then sang Where is Thumbkin and Grand Old Duke of York. Then the kids did some Instrument Exploration where they shook plastic eggs full of rice. We finished off the movement with the Parachute. The kids got to launch spongy balls off of the parachute. Finally they sand He's Got the Whole World and the Goodbye song. Little Man and his class did a great job!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

Mother's Day was wonderful this year. We had been at Sea World all weekend and my parents decided that we all needed to get together to celebrate Mother's Day.
Ryan and I really wanted to have the party at our house because we left San Antonio Sunday morning around 10am. Since the party was Sunday night, we didn't want to have to drive anywhere once we got home :)
So my WONDERFUL parents came over to our house and cleaned the house for the party. My parents, my sister, my in-laws and my parent's friends came over Sunday night and we had a great Mother's Day dinner at my house. We actually got home around 5:30pm and everyone showed up at 6pm. We were still unloading the car when everyone got here!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sea World ~ May 2009

Who's that calling ?
Who's that who can show the way ?
The child inside,
The child who lives still in your eyes
~The Child Inside by Qkumba Zoo

We can all be a "child inside" when we visit Sea World :) What a great weekend we had in San Antonio. We drove down Thursday night and got in around 1 am. We stayed with my best friend from high school, Amy, as we normally do. I really love it that we live so close. Our kids call each other "cousins" and play so well together.

Friday morning Ryan got up and left to go take his test (which was from 9am - 3pm). The kids and I stayed home. Little Miss and Little Man played with Amy's son, McQueen. I call him this because he has the biggest, baddest collection of Lightning McQueen cars we've ever seen. Little Man was in Car heaven. The kids love playing together so we decided to stay home all day. The kids didn't even change out of their pajamas.

Saturday was our day at Sea World. We've been numerous times over the last couple of years so I guess we are old pros at the park. We hit the Dolphin Cove first because that is Little Miss's favourite exhibit. You get to lay on the side of the pool and try to pet the dolphins.
Then we saw the Sea Lion Show after which we got to feed the sea lions. Little Man really got a kick out of that this year.
Then it was onto see Shamu. Little Miss has been into whales for a couple of years now. She loves the Shamu Believe show. As we were waiting for the show (and during the show) she made whale noises from her seat insisting that she was talking to Shamu. Ahhh Ohhh Ahhh I'm sure the people sitting in front of us thought it was just as cute as I did :)
We broke for lunch after the show.
Next came the beluga whale/dolphin show called Viva. This is also a favourite of my kids. It continues our whale fascination. This year one of the beluga whales had had a baby and so the baby was in the show as well. Too cute! The kids really love those beluga whales. In fact, Little Miss chose a beluga whale snow globe and little beluga whale for her gift shop purchases from Sea World this year. Little Man's gift shop purchase was a squeaky Shamu whale.
Little Man's gift shop purchase is actually a story in itself. He's such a negotiator that child! He picked up that squeaky Shamu toy and I immediately told him "No way!" I don't want to listen to that toy all day long. Little Man looked at me and said "I want this for a horn for my bike. Little Miss has a horn on her bike and I want one like hers." What a way to convince me ~ any other story and I would still have told him no. So of course, since he had such a good reason, we let him get the "Shamu bike horn" :)
After the show we played at the little kids water area for a while. The kids had their suits on under their clothes so we pretty much let them at it. They played at the water coming out of the ground, the pirate ship, and the enclosed water area that had a big contraption with water coming out all over the place. Then we dried off and rode on the Shamu roller coaster a couple of times. We finished out the day going through the aquarium and feeding the dolphins.
All in all it was another great Sea World trip and we had a blast visiting our friends in San Antonio.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cutting Down our Big Trees

If you are a big tree
We are a small axe
Ready to cut you down
To cut you down
~ Small axe by Bob Marley

It was a sad day at our house today. We had a tree service come and cut down both of the huge Raywood Ash trees that were in front of our house. They were BEAUTIFUL trees that provided a lot of shade and cover to the front of our house but they were planted too close to the house and have been causing a lot of foundation problems. Our foundation guy told us that he could fix the foundation but if we didn't cut down the trees that the roots would still give us problems and he'd have to come back out in a year or so and fix the foundation again.

All that being said, we understood that they had to come down but it didn't make the decision any easier. They really added charactor and a "lived in" look to the house. We really did love those trees. In fact, when the guys came this morning to cut them down I almost sent them home and as each tree fell a sense of sadness came over me.

I am happy though that my dad is a woodworker. I saved all of the large sections of the tree and my dad said that he would turn them on his lathe. He'll make me a couple of bowls, a vase or two, and some other items out of my grand ole trees. We'll also use some of it for firewood for next winter.

Here are some random pictures of our house with the trees and some pictures that I took today as the trees came down.