Saturday, February 27, 2010

Little Man turns 4!

Little Man turns 4!

Another year has come and gone and my Little Man has turned 4!

Little Man is so amazing! He is extremely intelligent, thoughtful, and full of energy. He constantly surprises me with insightful observations and his ridiculously funny comments. (I asked him the other day why he pushes his straw into his juice box so that he has to drink it like it's in a cup. His reply - "So that I can drink it like a beer." - So matter of fact that Ryan and I burst out laughing!)

He is always surprising us with his observations and the way that he sees the world. I love it that he is still at home with me 2 days a week so that I can help cultivate his blossoming creativity. Just this year he started drawing people in his pictures and has been writing his name for at least 6 months. His teacher says that he won't let her write his name on anything - he wants to do it himself - so independent. Little Man also loves to be the center of attention and will break out dancing, doing karate chops, or quoting from his favourite movie "Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" if given the opportunity. And of course, he is still "all speed and no direction" and we wouldn't have it any other way :)

Little Man, I love watching you grow and mature and can't wait to see what the future brings. Happy 4th Birthday Son!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lipizzaner Stallions at the American Airlines Center

This afternoon we all went to see the Lipizzaner Stallions at the American Airlines Center. Both sets of grandparents and my sister and her boyfriend along with me and Ryan and the kids sat in row K (pretty close to the floor) to see the show.
The kids snacked on popcorn and cotton candy while watching the stallions do some amazing stunts.

The show is mainly an "equestrian ballet". The horses do maneuvers set to classical music. There is also a lot of history incorporated into the show.

The Lipizzaners were originally bred as horses of war and have now become a living form of equestrian art. Included in the performance was a section called "Airs above the Ground" where the horses perform spectacular leaps and maneuvers once used by riders in the saddles to protect and defend themselves on the battlefield.

The show was great and we all enjoyed it!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Little Man's 4th Birthday Party

We had Little Man's 4th Birthday Party this afternoon and what a party it was :)

Little Man wanted a snake party this year so I called up Grisham Farms and we made it happen.

When the kiddos arrived at 3pm I had colouring sheets and stickers for them to work on. Once they finished with that most of the kids went outside to play in the sandbox or on the playground. We then called them inside for the animal presentation.

Stephanie from Grisham Farms brought out 8 animals including a rabbit, hedgehog, pot bellied pig, bearded dragon, green eyed tree frog, chinchilla, tarantula, and a ball python. She did an excellent educational presentation about each of the animals and let all of the kids pet or hold the animals. Even the parents were quiet and paying attention :) It was so much fun and Little Man had a blast holding and petting all of the animals - especially the pot bellied pig and the python!

After washing all of our hands, we snacked on munchies and then played outside some more.

Then it was time for cake. I made a super cool diamond backed snake cake this year that turned out really great! After cake we opened presents and then it was time to go.

Little Man had a BLAST and the party went off without a hitch!

Little Miss's First Soccer Game of the Season

The veteran Superstars team had their first game of the season this morning! They did pretty good too :) The score at the end of the game was somewhere around 3-9 (we lost but had a great time). We had two new players join the team this year and the practices are going well (when it's not too wet to practice). We're looking forward to a great season and hopefully a couple of wins!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Valentine's Day Parties 2010

After two snow days last week that put Valentine's Day Parties on hold, we were able to have both of the kids parties this week at school.

Little Man's party was on Wednesday. The kids decorated brown bags that I had already put their names on with stickers and markers and then went around the room distributing their Valentine's Day cards.

We then snacked on doughnuts and juice and called it a morning.

Quick and fun party!

Little Miss's party was rescheduled for Friday. So I picked up Little Man from school today and headed over to Little Miss's elementary school for the party. I didn't have a hand in planning this party so it was nice to show up with my 24 red plastic bowls and help out as needed. The kids decorated foam picture frames with their pictures already in them (love that) and then snacked on marshmallow chicks and ice cream sundaes.

Another quick and easy party!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

SNOW 2010


Can you believe it - it snowed ALL day on Thursday

Can you believe it - a new snowfall record for DFW - 12.5 inches of snow in one day (previous record was 7.4 inches)

Can you believe it - we were able to build 4 snowmen in our front yard - LIFE SIZED snowmen - and Little Man and Little Miss made two of the "biggest snowballs ever"

This past Thursday we had the most snow fall in one day here in DFW. It literally snowed ALL DAY LONG! I know that's not a big deal for many people but here in Dallas, it's a HUGE deal. We are not equipped to deal with that much snow :) School was closed on Thursday and Friday due to snow, slush, and ice. The kids and I played outside on Thursday making snowmen, having snowball fights, and rolling the biggest snowball we could roll. Then we came in and warmed up in front of a fire.

On Friday, Ryan stayed home from work in the morning. He ended up spending 3 hours or so helping our neighbor get a tree off of his house. There were a lot of trees down in the neighborhood and around town. Our trees aren't used to that much snow :)

Then after lunch, we all went outside to throw snowballs, play in the snow on the playset and run around the backyard. The kids were cold and worn out by the end of the day.

We all had a blast in the monster snowfall that befell our city!

Ryan's Grandfather

2010, what a crazy year. To lose two Grandparents in a week. Yes they get the capital letters in my dictionary! I lost my Granddad, Juby, as I always called him, several years ago when his mind left. I love him dearly to this day as we all have, but he has been gone a long time. Juby loved life, my fondest memories of him were of loving, cooking and hunting. My Granddad loved his wife, loved his kids and loved his grand kids and loved to cook for all of them. I will always remember him working in the kitchen with Glenna and teasing her of this or that, always in a loving tone. I will remember cooking chicken for 2 days in his homemade smoker behind the house, potato rolls, the family all there, the porch, the rocking chairs, the organs, the BMW motorcycle (which I am sure inspired my Dad in 1972 to buy his first Bavarian Motor Works), the huge antenna behind the house for Juby's shortwave radio, Dad and Hinton's grand champion Ewe in 1950 something, 1955 Chevrolet, the Gold Oldsmobile that Juby loaned Dad to go to Colorado in and he got tar on the fenders, the fact that Daddy Ham (my Great Granddad) took Juby, (my Granddad) to Colorado as my Granddad took my Dad as my Dad took me and my Brother and the rest of our family and extended family to this day back to the South Central part of Colorado! Don't forget that I shot my first rabbit on the farm when I was 12 with Dad, after seeing 200 turkey on the pasture that day. I learned to hunt there, be it going after the turkeys, rabbits, or looking for arrow heads. He showed my how to run a tractor and love a wife. I will miss my Granddad, his garden, his beige '85 Ford, the '48 Ford N tractor, his smile, white hair and understanding of the world, quartz donkey's and all the things that make life GRAND! Remember Life comes at you fast, So Enjoy it!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Father/Daughter Valentine's Day Dance

Tonight was Little Miss's first date with her Daddy!

Ryan came to Little Miss a couple of weeks ago and asked her if she would like to go to the Father/Daughter Valentine's Day dance. She said yes so Ryan picked up the tickets on his way home from work.

Little Miss and I went to Kohl's today and picked out the perfect dress and tights. Then we came home and did her hair and got her all ready to go. Then Ryan came home, we took some pictures, and they set off for the dance.

After dancing the night away, they sat down for a dinner of chicken strips, butter corn, mashed potatoes, and cookies. After dancing a bit more, they sat down to listen and see if their door prize ticket number was called (no luck tonight). They left shortly after with two balloons (one for brother) and a rose for Little Miss. She had so much fun!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Little Man's Preschool Singing Program

OK, so Little Man's school has trouble getting parents to show up for the PTO meetings so at every meeting they have a class do a little singing program to get at least some participation at each meeting. Pathetic parent involvement? - Yes .... Super Cute Singing Program? - Definitely!

Tonight was the scheduled time for the 3 year old classes to sing so Ryan, Little Miss and I along with my parents and Ryan's parents showed up at the PTO meeting to watch the show.

They sang three of the songs that they learned in music class this year and did all of their little motions with them. They were very cute :) Then we all went into the banquet hall for cookie and juice time.

Valentine's Day Card making

Each year the kids like to make their own Valentine's Day cards. Since both of the kids are at new schools this year, we decided to make the same cards we made last year because they were so much fun!

Last week, the kids and I took all of their old crayons, took off the paper, broke them up, and put them in heart molds. We melted them in the oven for about 15 minutes at 250 then took them out and let them cool. We ended up with cool looking multi-coloured heart crayons!

Then I went and got some red and blue posterboard and wrote "Have a Happy Valentine's Day... for "crayon" out loud" on the cards. For Little Miss's cards, Ryan drilled a whole in the top of the heart crayons and we made them into necklaces and then used double sided foam dots to attach them to the cards. For Little Man we just attached the crayons to the cards.

The kids will hand them out at their Valentine's Day parties on Friday (Update: We had a snow day on Friday because we got 12" of snow on Thursday so the Valentine's Day parties are delayed until the week of the 15th).

What a great Valentine card idea - I love it that we are not handing out sugar filled candy and the kids had a blast making them :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ryan's Grandmother

Last Wednesday, February 3, 2010, Ryan's grandmother, Louise Clack, lost her battle with cancer. While we are all sad that she is no longer here we take comfort in knowing that she is no longer in pain and is up in heaven with her husband of 62 years.

The funeral was this past Saturday. Ryan's brother, Denver and his wife Laurie flew in for the funeral on Friday afternoon. We drove to Abilene Saturday morning for the viewing which was followed by the graveside funeral. The pastor who did the service was wonderful ~ he really captured Grandma Clack's life in his sermon reading her favourite Bible verse - Psalm 23.

Psalm 23
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love with follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."

He ended the service by talking through Ecclesiastes 3 which talks about a time for everything.

Ecclesiastes 3

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace..."

Again, it was a wonderful service that really celebrated her life and accomplishments and her dedication to the church. While it wasn't the best circumstance, it was also nice to get to see all of the extended family especially the cousins and all of their kids.

After the service we talked with some of Ryan's cousins about getting together at another time for a family reunion where we could get all of the kids together for an afternoon.

After we left, we went over to the nursing home so that Ryan could visit his grandfather (his Dad's father) before we left.

Then we drove home to Dallas, picked up the kids from my parent's house, and spent that evening and the next day with Denver and Laurie and Ryan's parents.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rock Climbing at REI

Today we (Ryan's whole side of the family) all went to REI to shop. As we got there the kids saw the huge rock climbing wall at the front of the store. It was "open" and there we people waiting in line to climb it.

Little Miss was fascinated by it and so I asked her if she'd like to climb it. She told me that she'd think about it while we shopped. As we were coming down the stairs she decided that she'd like to try it. Once Little Man saw that she wanted to climb it, he of course decided that he'd like to try climbing it as well.

Little Miss buckled in and was all set. They told her how to indicate that she was strapped in (say "belay" and wait for a "belay" response from the spotter) and how to indicate that she was ready to climb ("climb"). Then she was on the wall. She did pretty well at first. Once she realized that a crowd had gathered to watch her, she got a little overwhelmed and a bit embarrassed (she's not a "center of attention" kind of kid) and wanted to stop. She probably could have gone a bit further but really wasn't comfortable. So the spotter told her to hold onto her rope with both hands and she repelled down the wall. She was excited that she'd gotten halfway up the wall and had fun repelling down.

Next it was Little Man's turn. He strapped in, said "belay", and "climb" and got busy with climbing. He also did great. He got up to about the middle of the climbing wall and by accident realized that if he wasn't holding on the wall that the spotter would "catch" him on the rope and thought that was super awesome. He's definitely a "center of attention" kid. He let go of the wall, held on to the rope, and started swinging. Once he saw that the people watching thought that was cute all climbing went out the window. He started swinging from the rope, then would grab onto the wall again and then let go and push off to swing. He's such a ham! We finally got him to grab the wall and repel down. Once he hit the floor he did a spread eagle on the ground because that's just the kind of kid he is :) It was really funny!