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!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Little Early Anniversary Celebration- 8 Years

Our 8 year wedding anniversary is next Tuesday (February 18th). 8 years ago on President's Day weekend we got married in the Manhattan LDS temple. It seemed only fitting to commemorate our anniversary with a temple trip... this time to the Oakland Temple.  

Jessie was planning to go to the temple on Saturday too, so we were excited to go to the same session together.

Afterwards Kevin and I enjoyed a nice leisurely dinner at Fentons followed by big ice cream sundaes. I love that we both don't need anything super fancy to have a fabulous anniversary-->> just good treats and each other.

Just like all celebrations in our house... I enjoy having them last longer than just a day... so maybe we'll dub this week our "anniversary week." Looking forward to hopefully celebrating again just the two of us on our actual anniversary on Tuesday.

I am so grateful to be married to Kevin! I still ask myself how did I get to be so lucky?  

Valentine's Day #100actsofkindness Family Celebration

For the past 26 days we've been participating in my Toddler Approved blog's 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge.

Today we ended the challenge with a family Valentine's Day celebration.

While Kevin and the kiddos were off taking treats to some friends, Ryan and I decorated and got dinner made. We got the idea for "Cupid's Cafe" from my friend Jenae at I Can Teach My Child.

We made sure to hang up our 100 acts of kindness challenge completed poster... 

We had heart pizza, veggies, and sparkly martinellis.

After Ryan and I decorated we patiently waited for everyone else to get home. He thought the candles were pretty cool... so did the big kids. 

The big hits at dinner were the cool big cups and the sparkling cider. My kids would rather drink their dinner than eat it.

We ended the evening with heart-shaped brownies & ice cream watching Olympics with the kids.

The other highlights of the day were getting loads of valentines from school and getting presents from G&G Smith and a few other friends.

Kindergarten valentines rule! Andrew ate candy all afternoon. 25 valentines... he thought he was a rock star.

G&G Smith sent some pretty cool V-day surprises for the kiddos. Catie got Elsa... and didn't put her down all day long.

Andrew made Kevin and I the most adorable valentine picture frame and card.

Kevin & Catie surprised me with flowers and cadbury mini eggs and G&G Smith send some Mrs. Fields cookies in a cute jar that I desperately tried unsuccessfuly to hide from everyone. Catie's darling primary teachers sent her a valentine and she LOVED IT! It was one of very few she received, so she felt totally special.

Andrew loved his lego v-day gift from G&G Smith and made it all afternoon... and then talked about it all evening. He thinks it is AWESOME.

We also started off the day with heart shaped waffles made by Kevin... so the day started and ended with some yummy food. That is what I call a great day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My first E-book!

This past week I launched my first eBook along with some friends! My friend Cathy from the blog Nurturestore was the mastermind behind it. If you have a baby or toddler you might enjoy it for extra ideas of things to do. I think the activities inside the book are pretty fun and creative.

You can read my entire blog post about the book here and see the video teaser. It is called Zero to Two: The Book of Play and is filled with activities for kids ages 0-2. We've sold over 500 books in the first week already, which is pretty cool. Baby Ryan is featured in the book sharing our favorite baby play activity... which is of course related to knocking things down (his favorite thing to do). :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lego Engineering

A few months ago a friend told us about a local spot created by engineers that was filled with Legos.

I've been dying to take Andrew and I managed to pull up their website the other week and check out their after school classes.

Lego Jedi Engineering was the first one I saw. I read the class description to Kevin and he said something to the effect of I don't care how much that costs we are totally signing Andrew up.

If you didn't know already from seeing my photos on Instagram... Andrew is obsessed with Legos... and most specifically with Star Wars Legos.

Last week he had his first class. They each made their own forest of Endor with Legos (the forest where the Ewoks live). He was so excited to show us his creation when he picked us up. This is him explaining it to Kevin.

Meanwhile, the class is only 5 minutes away from the mall... so as you can imagine, this is a win/win for me too. Catie, Ryan, and I get to spend and hour and a half once a week roaming the mall eating Mrs. Fields cookies.

Today we found a sweet deal on jewelry, so both Catie and I came home with a new purchase. :)

Ryan came home with a chocolate covered face (good thing I brought him an extra shirt).

We also made sure to visit Olaf at JCP. The kids think it is like Disneyland.

Love it! Best day of the week.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Family Valentine's Day Dance

On Saturday night our ward had a Family Valentine's Day Dance Fundraiser to help the Young Women raise money for girl's camp. There was a dessert auction, cookie decorating, valentines making, snacks, and lots of fun music for dancing. Our kids kicked off the dancing since they were some of the first kiddos there. No shyness at all.

They had the best time. Andrew was cracking us up the whole time with his dance moves and Catie and Ryan did pretty well too. Andrew also just ran around with his buddies the whole time and got lots of energy out. I'll have to post some videos here later when I have more time.

Catie managed to collide with a bigger kid within the first 20 minutes so that soured the evening a bit, but the arrival of two of her buds helped her shake it off and get her dancing groove back. My favorite was when all the kids were dancing and singing around to the Frozen soundtrack.

Ryan only wanted to steal other people's cups and decorate cookies at the cookie station.

He made at least three, never ate them, and then proceeded to roam to try and steal other cookies he found.

At one point I saw him stealing entire handfuls of sprinkles (see the giant cup in front of him... I didn't notice that) and big pieces of licorice. He was in heaven.

Here in this album are a few more photos of the decorations that I got to help with as well as the amazing desserts that got auctioned off. Kevin made peanut butter bars for our auction entry. He also watched the kiddos practically all afternoon Saturday while I helped set up at the church. He is a rock star!

The Young Women made almost 4,000 dollars which means that each girl will only have to pay for half of camp out of pocket now. So exciting! The idea for a ward dance was such a great inspired idea from our Young women's president and everyone had such a fabulous time. I hope we'll get to do it again next year!

I am so exhausted after being on my feet from setting up and then dancing and then chasing after Ryan all night, but it was totally worth it. What a great night!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Andrew's First Basketball Game

Today Andrew had his first basketball game. Several of my friend's kids ended up on his team so we have quite the fun cheering section during the game.

His coaches are very nice and supportive and Andrew had a blast!

I was impressed with how well he dribbled the basket down the court considering he's never played in a real game before. He still has a lot to learn about traveling and double dribbling. They didn't call any of that today though... so that was great.

I think they decided to call themselves the Warriors. Their goals are to have fave and make baskets. I think the coach said every kid on the team except one made a basket today. I don't think Andrew made one... or at least he doesn't remember making one... so I think he was that one kid.

Good thing he is not a depressed sort of kid. He was just excited that his team "won" (an unscored game). 

The littler kiddos were CRAZY while we watched Andrew's grame, but were still a lot of fun. Ryan had a blast climbing up the bleachers and make graham cracker messes and Catie tried to see how many times she could go use the bathroom in an hour. She liked having 1:1 attention and the long walk to the bathroom.

So proud of Andrew and his hard work today!