Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy Birthday to Ryan


Ryan celebrated his 3rd birthday on December 28th.  He says he is now 6 (he was 5 before).  I am not sure who was more excited about his birthday…him or Ari.  Below she gives him an unexpected hug when he is opening the gift she picked out (Scooby Doo) figures. 

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Ryan’s “transformer” cake.  This was a flop.  I couldn’t find my round cake pans so I decided to make just a rectangle cake and cut it in half to make it 2 layers (hence the name transformer—rectangle to square).  Well I couldn’t get the icing to stick to the sliced side.  Hence the many many sprinkles trying to hide the mess.  If I flipped the cake around, it would like mice had been having a cake fight.  Ryan didn’t care, he loved us singing happy birthday and blew the candles out before I could get a picture.  We didn’t have a big party for him since we are doing a 3.5 year party in July.  He wanted to have his buddy Aaron over and Canaan.  We had a small transformer party. 



The kids enjoyed trying to bust the pinata. 


Ryan’s favorite present was his Fisher Price Smart Cycle that he got from Nana and Dala. 


I also had a birthday recently on December 26th.  It was one of my favorite birthdays.  Chris really makes me feel special on my birthday which is tricky since it is the day after Christmas.  The day was spent being spoiled by my 3 favorite people (Chris, Ari and Ryan). 

Catching up from Christmas


We did several activities to count down to Christmas.  We did a daily advent which began with creation and followed each day with the lineage leading up to Jesus’ birth.  Also, the kids got to pick a piece of candy out of their stocking each day before Christmas.  I also wrapped Christmas books(from library and our own collection).  The kids chose one book per night and we read that book before bed.


Arianna sang for the second time on stage.  She was very excited!  This picture was actually from rehearsal.  She sang Christmas Lullaby by Amy Grant.  She loves to sing on stage! 454

Donna/Nana/Chris’ Mom, Chris, myself and the kids at church on the day of Arianna’s performance.


This is my wild girl!  One broken arm and riding a bike.  The cast has not slowed her down a bit.  Many times we have told her she better be careful or she will have two broken arms.  She is adjusting really well to the cast.  It is amazing how well she has learned to draw and color with her left hand.  What a trooper!!


We kept hearing all of this rave about Monkey Bread.  I have never had it nor did I have any clue what it was.  So we decided to give it a try.  We had a blast making it and even more we enjoyed eating it!



We spent a lot of time during the month of December talking about the birth of Jesus.  My kids know that Santa Claus is actually Mom and Dad.  We try to emphasize that Christmas is about celebrating Jesus’ birthday instead of focusing so much on Santa and receiving gifts.  This is tricky since my kids get so many gifts from our families (I am guilty about it too:).  Above they are playing with a nativity set that they received.


Arianna went with the Childrens’ chorus to sing at a local nursing home.  I was so proud of my typically shy girl.  She was looking the patients in the eyes and smiling at them.  We discussed how the best gift she can give them is her smile.  I was surprised at how comfortable she seemed.  I guess she has had a bit of experience lately with this sort of environment since we visit my Dad frequently.   We look forward to visiting a nursing home again soon!! 006

This is Ryan posing in front of our way too full tree!  Most of those gifts are our children’s gifts.  Not like we didn’t already have too many toys!  The kids packed up 2 bins of toys to give to needy children before Christmas.  I hope our children realize how blessed they are to have so much.  It is very important to me to try to help them to be grateful for what they have and not to be spoiled brats.  

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Ryan and Ari posing in front of our holly tree.

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We went to Disney on Ice with a large group of homeschoolers.  We spent the evening with Arianna’s best friend Alana and Ryan’s best friend Aaron. 



Yaya’s Grandbabies at bath time (except for sweet baby Katelyn)


Arianna enjoyed helping dip pretzels for a tasty treat!  She loves to cook!


Ari and Ryan posing in front of the tree on Christmas Eve.  If you notice, Ari’s cast is now pink.  She had it changed 3 days before Christmas.  She was very disappointed (as was I) that she had to get another full arm cast.  We had been told that she would only get a half arm cast.  She should get her cast off January 19th.  We cannot wait!!


I thought it was so sweet, Arianna wanted to sing her chorus song before we opened presents with my family.  I missed the picture of her singing but I got a picture of Papa doing ballet during the interlude of the song:)  After Arianna’s solo performance with her backup dancer, the three kids (Ari, Ryan and Layla) sang several Christmas songs.  I have video but no pictures of this. It was very cute!


Arianna and Ryan picked out gifts for each other.  This is a picture of Arianna thanking Ryan for his gift.


Here is what Santa Claus left.  Again my kids know that it is us but we still carry on my family’s tradition of setting out a special gift and stockings.  Ryan got a blue bike and Arianna got a new doll house.  Also the pups got some special treats that Arianna picked out (see 5 stockings to right of doll house).  Our rule is that it has to at least be past midnight before you can get up to see what “Santa” left.  This year is the latest I have opened gifts in many, many years.  The kids didn’t wake up until 7:30am.  In years past, we are usually up soon after midnight.  This is also a tradition from my childhood. 


Arianna got a dress up bridal gown.  She was so cute.  Papa told her she was way too young to get married. 

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Our pups love gifts as much as we do.  They also loved their stockings.  They enjoy opening gifts especially if it smells yummy!

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Arianna was very excited about Christmas!  She said her favorite present was her dollhouse. 


Ryan loved his bike!


Chris has been wanting to learn to play the guitar.  I got him a guitar for Christmas.


These are my 2 favorite gifts.  Chris gave me a new camera…a Nikon D60.  I LOVE it!  Also below Chris’ Mom got me a Cricut! 


We had a great holiday but are enjoying getting our house back in order and beginning school.  Maybe I can actually get caught up on my blog and not have to post 1000 pics in one post.  I still have mine and Ryan’s birthday to go but then should be almost caught up. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Arianna’s 1st Day of Kindergarten


Today was Arianna’s first official day of Kindergarten.  She has exceeded most preschool expectations so we decided to go ahead and begin Kindergarten.  She was very excited about her first day of Kindergarten.  We began with a devotion on Adam and Eve from Little Hearts for His Glory.  We then got an unexpected phone call to spend time with their best friends Alana and Aaron.  So we decided to take an early break for “recess” and go celebrate Day 1 of Kindergarten with best friends.  After lunch with friends, we went to the library to pick up a few books.  In the library parking lot, the kids found earth worms.  What I love about homeschooling is that the best lessons are life.  Instead of coming home and doing the planned circle time activity, we came home and made a habitat for the earth worms.  We discussed their importance, what they ate, how to care for them and how they felt.  They named their earth worms Sally and Zach.  The kids were excited to find even more earthworms in our driveway. We now have a home for our earth worms in the sensory table.  



Arianna and Ryan cutting out the pictures for our daily schedule. 


In the afternoon, we had our first lesson from Five in a Row.  We read and discussed A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako MatsunoWe talked about Japan and also about being truthful.

We did an obstacle course for the letter R.  The obstacle course consisted of the following: tracing a foam puzzle piece of the letter R with their fingers, jumping on a blanket shaped like the letter R and saying “rrrrr” while they jumped, riding on a boat (collapsed ironing board) and saying  “rock, rock, rock”, looking through a pile of shaped blocks to find the letter R and lastly, writing the letter R on a piece of paper.  I am trying to help Ryan learn the letters of his name.   They loved the obstacle course.


I am worn out after our busy day.  Arianna kept wanting more and more activities.  She would say, “What are we doing next in Kindergarten”?  I am glad she enjoyed her first day but I already need a vacation day:)