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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Kevin Versus Haleakalā

Last week when we were in Hawaii Kevin and my sister Jessie rented some sweet bikes and rode up Haleakalā. Most people drive to the top, look at the sunrise, and ride down the volcano. Not these two. They trained and prepared and then conquered going up the volcano. It was pretty cool.


Despite riding in a downpour the entire way up the volcano (while climbing 10, 023 ft)... they didn't give up!


If it had been me, I would've quit at the beginning. So proud of these two!!



Sunday, April 6, 2014

Maui Trip Journal by Andrew

Andrew had a big packet of homework to do over our week trip to Maui. One of his assignments was to write a journal. Here's his Maui Trip Journal. He has two more pages to finish tomorrow, which I will add in when he is finished. It is funny to see what things were important to him on this trip and I just LOVE his invented spelling for some of the words too! I helped remind him to add periods to the sentences otherwise this would've been one big run on sentence. See if you can decipher some of the more creatively spelled words.

Love this kid!











Saturday, March 22, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Mayhem


I love holidays, but I think St. Patrick's Day is my least favorite... maybe because I don't own anything green?

As a teacher I always created total mayhem in my classroom on St. Patrick's Day with footprints and chocolate coins scattered about along with tables and chairs knocked over. I always hate cleaning up the mess, but the reactions from the kids was always seriously awesome.

Fast forward over 10 years (can you believe I started teaching over 10 years ago?? I feel old)... and when Andrew was two I started doing sneaky Leprechaun stuff at our house too.

Typically it involves making a leprechaun trap the day before- nothing fancy... it is all kid created... and then the leprechaun comes the next day.

This year we forgot to make traps before we left for Utah and Andrew would not let the idea die. I think he got brainwashed in kindergarten ;) He spent all morning today looking for the perfect box for his trap and then got Catie all excited too... so after school they both worked on their traps for awhile.

I felt terrible because we didn't have any coins, so we swung by the party store and grabbed some.

The Leprechaun ended up sneaking into the house while I was taking a "nap" and destroyed the kitchen. Catie came downstairs and found me asleep on the couch and the kitchen covered with gold coins and candy. I think she must've scared him! He left the screen door wide open when he left. Can't believe I never heard him! ;)

We ended the day with green pancakes and green milk for dinner along with shamrock green rice crispy treats!

The day after St. Patrick's Day we had two friends and their kiddos come over for a low key party. We ate green mac & cheese, made fruit loop rainbows, went on a chocolate gold hunt, and ate Lucky Charms rice crispy treats. It was so fun!



Next up... EASTER! Definitely a holiday I like better. Can't wait!

New Bed for Catie!

Ever since Catie turned 2 and started climbing out of her crib and stopped sucking her thumb she's struggled with sleeping. She used to sleep from 5:30pm until 9am every day... and never woke up.

Now we are lucky if she only wakes up once a night, but often it is three times or more. Things could be a lot worse, but we are still super tired all the time!

We have been trying lots of things to help her sleep better. This week we decided that her uncomfortable toddler bed needed to take a hike. She was so excited when her new big bed arrived!! There was lots of jumping involved.



She and I had a lot of fun rearranging her room too. Here's what it looks like now. 


At some point this weekend I plan to actually iron the pillowcases and bedding, but once I tried the bedding on the bed to see if I liked it, I was too lazy to pull it off right then and iron it.

When I put the flowers on Catie's table she said, "Oh! that is so sweet!" and just sat and admired them for awhile. If I knew Ryan wouldn't smear dirt all over her room, I'd leave them... but I know better. They looked cute while that lasted though. :)

I want to find some other cute accents and a white headboard sometime soon as well. Someday hopefully we'll repaint it too... If you look closely you can also see the tip of a princess castle hidden behind the bed. Catie now plays with all of her princesses and animals in that back corner.

Her new bed is SOOOOO COZY. Both Kevin and I have fallen asleep on it while "playing" with the kids. 

Let's hope she decides that the bed is too cozy to get out of at night and stops waking us up!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Andrew's EASIEST and BEST EVER LEGO Birthday Party

I love when the words EASY and BEST EVER go together.


Remember this LEGO birthday party when Andrew turned four? It was definitely the best ever... but it was not easy.

I love putting 150% into throwing parties and fun events, but I've realized that when it comes to my kid's birthday parties I want to enjoy the party, have fun with my kid's friends, and not be stressed.

We discovered the best place ever for LEGO-obsessed kids called Play-Well Teknologies. There is one about 20 minutes from our house and Andrew takes a weekly class there.

Although the birthday party package is not cheap it was worth every penny to me with how fun and easy the party was today, Hooray!

I was sick for a good chunk of last week. I thought I was better on Thursday and then Friday was the worst day of the week. Nothing contagious, just a bad reaction to too many meds from earlier in the week when I was actually sick that made me feel terrible! Kevin was sweet and stayed home from his YouTube ski trip to watch the kids while I just slept a good chunk of Thursday and Friday.

If I had been throwing an intense party I probably would've had to cancel it... but I woke up today about 75% better. Hooray!

We had basketball this morning... then t-ball for two hours... and then I put goodie bags together and cleaned our house and we were off to Play-Well for Andrew's party! We also hired our fabulous babysitter Melissa to watch the two younger kiddos because I've decided that birthday parties are a celebration for me too... and a LEGO place filled with tiny bricks is no place for a crazy 16 month old or his emotional little sister.

Here are some photos from Andrew's Star Wars LEGO birthday party today!


The party included about 20-30 minutes of free LEGO play. Then the instructor taught the kids how to make an AT-AT walker (from Star Wars) and they added battery packs to the walkers and got to drive them around the room.



Since Andrew knew how to make them from class, he zoomed through making his and helped his friends work on theirs too. Such a sweetheart!






After everyone had their walker made the boys had a battle with them... replicating The Battle of Hoth... Andrew was in heaven. The kids had a great time!


Meanwhile Cara and Aunt Jessie were my party helpers and Kevin was my good-looking Party co-host & pizza orderer extraordinaire. The table looked pretty fancy with with ONE tablecloth I bought. :) Somehow I thought 16 kids could all share one tablecloth... Not my finest moment.


After a few worrisome minutes... the pizza finally arrived and the kids inhaled all of the pizza plus my super snazzy Star Wars Cupcakes (courtesy of Safeway and Williams Sonoma).


Andrew had really wanted Darth Vader rings and light sabers on the cupcakes... which I ordered on Wednesday and should've arrived for the party. In my sick haze I missed an email about my payment not working... so on Friday when we realized that they wouldn't arrive in time from Amazon, we cancelled the order and SUPER DAD Kevin drove to Walnut Creek to grab some of the last Star Wars cupcake liners & figures before they all got sold out (apparently they were on sale for under $5 last week and were flying off the shelves).


All I kept hearing from Andrew was that it was the best birthday party ever once the party started. His friends seemed pretty happy too.


I sure love this cute kid! Andrew was so appreciative of all of the presents he got, the nice notes his friends wrote him, and he just was seriously the happiest kid all day today. LOVE HIM! What a fun birthday party!


Now hopefully he goes to bed at some point... instead of staying up all night putting together some of the new LEGO kits he got at his birthday party. I think we might need to hide them.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Run with Patience

I'm loving this quote from Believing Christ by Stephen E. Robinson today...

"The gospel race, there are no losers, only quitters. Those who run across the finish line in minutes, those who walk across it in hours, or those who crawl across it in days all win the prize... Paul used this analogy, writing, "Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." (Heb. 12:1-2)



Too many of us expend precious energy worrying about our relative times instead of keeping our eyes on the goal, putting one foot in front of the other, and enduring to the end."

Such a great reminder!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Andrew Turns 6!

Andrew had a great birthday!

We kicked off the day by waking him up singing "Happy Birthday!" around 7:15am. For once he actually slept in.


He was super excited to see that Kevin had decorated his bedroom door with a few balloons and streamers.

Then we headed downstairs to a birthday breakfast of sprinkle waffles with whipped cream (made by Kevin)... and the kids snuck some treats too.




Andrew opened a few presents from Grandpa Kim & Grandma Julie and got some Lego building time in before school. He was in heaven!

During Kindergarten snack time Catie, Ryan, and I went over to school to help Andrew pass out his Star Wars Death Star rice crispy treats. We also made goodie bags for the kids in his class and he loved getting to put them in everyone's school bag.






Catie and Ryan got lots of attention from the kindergarteners and thought it was so cool to hang out with Andrew at school!

After kindergarten was over, we went back and picked up Andrew and a friend and we all headed to Super Franks!! We stayed there from 1:30pm all the way until it closed at 4pm. We could've partied even longer.

Andrew thought it was so seriously cool to get to bring a friend with us to Super Franks. Catie and Ryan were pretty well behaved and we even got to meet up with my friend Kaari who came up from the South Bay. Perfect day!

The day almost got ruined when the arcade games got turned off early... but after a quick chat with a worker, they turned a few back on for us. Andrew was so happy!

On the drive to drop off Andrew's friend the boys said again and again what a great day it had been. Andrew just kept saying, "Being 6 is awesome!" Let's hope he feels the same way still tomorrow.


In the evening Andrew played Legos and I made him a special mac n cheese dinner (his request). We ended the night with birthday cake and more present opening. He especially loved the Anakin to Darth Vader two colored light saber we got him... since all of his are currently broken. He felt so spoiled by his Grandma Shari, and G&G Kim & Julie and was so happy they gave him so many things that "he's always wanted!!" (his words)

We can't believe he is 6! How crazy?! Definitely was such a great day. Happy Birthday to my favorite 6 year old!