Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Act of Giving, Passed On

The Christmas season is upon us and just about everywhere you go, the ringing of the Salvation Army bell ringer can be heard, looking for donations from the passing shoppers to help those less fortunate. The sound of the bells ringing always makes me think of my Gramma.

When my Gramma was alive, and I'd be out with her with this time of year, she never passed a Salvation Army bell ringer without dropping some money into the bucket. When I was a little girl, she'd give me the quarters or a dollar to put in the bucket. Gramma always told me that the Salvation Army was there for her family back in the time of the depression, and putting money into those buckets at Christmastime was a way of giving back all these years later.

Every Christmas when I see a Salvation Army bell ringer, I drop a dollar into the bucket, for one it's a good organization to donate to, but mostly, I do it in rememberence of my Gramma who taught me how to do it. Having had Hannah witness my action of doing this over the last couple of years, and perhaps even prompting her a time or two last year to put a dollar into the bucket, she was first to spot the bell ringer at the local grocery store the other day, asking for money to put into the bucket. In asking her if she knew why we put money into the bucket, she answered that the money we give goes to help other people in time of need.

Maybe someday, Hannah will teach her children about the Salvation Army bell ringers and the act of giving will be passed on to yet another generation.

Edited to Add: After talking about this subject post with my mom, come to find out she too had been giving Hannah money to put into the buckets over the last couple of years. My mom remembered one outing when everywhere they stopped there was a bell ringer, and each time, Hannah asked for money. LOL.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Conversations with Hannah

On the way home from church today, we passed a McDonalds that displays three flags out front, the American Flag, the State Flag, and the McDonalds flag. The conversation in the car went something like this:

Daddy: "What's the flag with the bear on it?"

Hannah: "That's the California Flag"

Daddy: "What's the other flag?"

Hannah: "That's the American Flag"

Daddy: "What's the third flag?"

Hannah: "I don't know, we haven't learned about that one yet".

Mommy and Daddy had a good laugh at that one! LOL

Christmas Decorating

Thanksgiving has come and gone. And the next holiday approaching is Christmas. It's tradition in our house that the tree and Christmas decorations go up the weekend following Thanksgiving, and this year, I had quite the helpers. Hannah was is very excited for Christmas, or should I say the season of Christmas, she was so excited to get decorating and have the house be festive.

For the past several years, it's been her job to place the star atop our Christmas tree. Daddy tried to lift her high enough to get the star to the top, but Hannah has simply gotten too big, and too heavy to be lifted so high. This year the job was officially passed on to Rachel. Hannah placed the majority of the ornaments on the Christmas tree with a little direction from me. She did a great job and was quite pleased of her work. We finished up the decorating this afternoon. She was a great help in putting the finishing touches here and there, and offering her wisdom on decorating advice. LOL.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday Shopping

For the last several years, my mom and I have gone out shopping the day after Thanksgiving to take advantage of the great deals to be had. This year my mom suggested that perhaps Hannah be invited into the tradition. Truth be told, I was hesitant about that idea, her lack of patience in just going to the grocery store for a few things is enough to drive me crazy, so I couldn't imagine how she would do with standing in long lines, constantly be asking if she could have 'this' or have 'that'. Much to my surprise, she was a perfect angel all day long! Course who wouldn't be when you have your Mommy and your Gramma all to yourself all day long.

The last couple of years we've gone out shopping, we take the stroller to carry our packages, etc. Only once have we ever had someone actually ask where the baby was. LOL. This year Hannah filled the seat of the stroller. The night before, we packed Hannah's purse. In addition to her money and a few snacks, I had her bring a long a little notebook and a pencil so that she could write down things she saw that she wanted. How cute she was when she would take her little notebook out and sit on the floor and write down what she wanted. Here she is writing things down in the aisles of Target. Hannah said she had a fun day, I guess we'll see how fun she thought it was come next year if she wants to go again!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving at Gramma and Papa's

This year Thanksgiving was at Gramma and Papa's house. We had a wonderful dinner and afternoon with our family.The girls had a blast playing with their cousins. Gramma and Papa had quite the set up outback between the Little Tikes house and the pop up tent house. It pretty much kept the girls busy most of the afternoon.

Waiting patiently for Gramma to cut them some pie.

What I'm Thankful For:

When asked the question "What is she Thankful for on this Thanksigiving Day", Hannah answered:

1. My Sister

2. My Mom, My Dad, Gramma, Papa, Gramie, etc, etc - she named everyone in the family

3. My Friends - Emily, Zachary, Alex, Austyn, and Austin

4. My Toys - My Build-a-Bear, my dress up clothes

5. "Oh and Jesus, cause he died on the cross to take away our sins"

Although she didn't mention it, I know she's thankful for getting to go and play with her cousins today!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nighttime Adventure at Disneyland

Hannah got out of school this afternoon and now looks forward to a 5 Day weekend due to the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. So because there is no school tomorrow, the girls and I headed down to Disneyland for the evening to enjoy all the lights and the Christmas parade.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday Afternoon Roadtrip!

The past couple of days have been absolutely beautiful with clear skies, warm (if you can call 90, warm) weather. Following church this afternoon, we decided to take a drive up to the San Bernardino Mountains with our good friends, the W******. We all piled into their suburban and headed up the hill. It was so nice that all eight of us could fit in one car and we could enjoy the roadtrip together and have that extra time for fellowshipping. Hannah, Zachary, and Alex were loving sitting all together in the way back of the car, being silly. We went to a quaint little village located right on Lake Arrowhead. There are shops and eating places, and some other touristy fun things to do. Despite it being 4 days until Thanksgiving, the Village was already decorated for Christmas, as were most of the stores. One of the really neat things about this village was the Carrousel overlooking the Lake. Rachel was excited to get to ride this because of her love for Merry Go Rounds and Carrousels. We were the only ones riding it and what a spectucular view. Another thing the kids all enjoyed were the ducks that were swarming the lakeshore. They also had a lot of fun feeding the ducks with the duck food that was sold in almost all the little stores on the lakeside of the village. We had a great afternoon, but sadly, like most good things, the afternoon had to come to an end and we had to head back down the mountain. However, we're talking about maybe making a weekend trip the snow in February when the kids are off track and staying in a cabin that they have connections to!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Birthday Craft Party

Hannah had another birthday party this afternoon, this party was a craft party held at Micheals Craft Store. The kids had such a great time decorating their own T-Shirts. When it came time for cake and singing to the birthday girl, the kids were excited to be singing over the intercom for the whole store to hear. LOL.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Silly Girls

We were at my mother in laws house over the weekend, helping her with some yard work and other miscellaneous projects. The girls enjoyed the goggles while they weren't in use. LOL.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Disneyland On Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day, an American holiday for honoring war veterns. Government offices and most schools often are closed to observe this holiday. Hannah's school was no exception. So with it being a three day weekend, we made plans to go to Disneyland, meeting my Uncle Bart and his girlfriend Peggy. All three of us girls were really looking forward to going. As often as I go, there are still times that I get excited about going to Disneyland. I was excited about going today because it was the official kick off of the Christmas Season at Disneyland. The Christmas tree was up, the Christmas decorations were up, Christmas music playing, etc. This is my most favorite time of the year for going to Disneyland.

I LOVE this picture!
I would love to enclose it in our Christmas cards this year.
Upon arriving to the the Disneyland Resort this morning, it was BUSY. Cars were everywhere and it took extra time in getting into the parking structure and onto the tram. Once inside Disneyland, the crowds were even worse. We waited in line for Pirates of the Carribbean, and then headed over to Tom Sawyer Island. Both Hannah and Rachel had so much fun playing and exploring. Hannah enjoyed doing some exploring with Peggy and going into the caves. The crowds were simply getting unbearable, so we decided to go across the way to California Adventure in hopes of it being less crowded. While it was more bearable, it was still extremly crowded. As often as I go to the Parks, I've not seen California Adventure crowded like this in a few years. After spending some time inside California Adventure, we heard Cast Members telling each other that Disneyland had closed it's gates because it had reached full capacity! It's no wonder we were so miserable! We spent some time in Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. And just like Rachel, Hannah had a blast at all the climbing and running and exploring. We spent the remainder of our day inside California Adventure, constantly checking to see if they were yet allowing people back into DIsneyland, and they weren't. Even when we were heading for home at 7:00pm, Disneyland was still closed!
Despite the crowds, we had a great time today!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Parent/Teacher Conference

This afternoon was our Parent/Teacher Conference with Hannah's teacher. We had already gotten her report card when she went off track at the end of September, so we already knew how she was doing. But it was nice to go in and talk to her one on one.

Just as her report card had said, Hannah is doing extremely well academically. Above average in most everything, and the two areas she wasn't above average, she missed it by a few percentages. We were suprised at some of the things her teacher said she how much coins are worth! LOL. It's no wonder she's been going around collecting all the silver change she can find! LOL.

One of the things we were curious about, was whether or not Hannah was a problem when it came to talking in class, cause when she's home, she talks NONSTOP!!! As just as we suspected, she's perfect in class. In fact, Miss Pettit said she purposely places Hannah next to the known talkers cause she tells them to be quiet. LOL.

We left the conference very proud of Hannah. She was rewarded with an ICEE on the way home! :)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Conversations with Hannah

On the way home from school this afternoon, the conversation went like this:

Hannah: "I already know who I'm going to marry"

Me: "Oh yeah, who?"

Hannah: "Austyn W*****"

Me: "Oh wow, he's a nice boy, how do you already know that you're gonna marry him?"

Hannah: "Because he's the only friend I've not had a fight with".

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Church at School

The church we attend does not have their own building yet, we are a church that meets in a school auditorium and uses the school classrooms for our Sunday School classrooms. The school that we regularly meet at is currently off track and is having some remodling and work done to the auditorium. So this week for church, we got to meet at the school that Hannah attends!!! She was pretty excited about having church at her school! Our school principal is a Christian and he was pretty excited about us using his facilities as well!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Eating with Chopsticks!!

We went back to the The Griffith Observatory this evening, this time taking my mother-in-law so that she could see the expansion and renovation.

But before we made our way to the Observatory, we stopped at P.F. Changs for dinner. Being the uncordinated person that I am, I can not eat with chopsticks. Forget it. Just give me a fork and let me enjoy my meal without having to work for it. My daughter, on the other hand, this being the first time she's tried eating with chopsticks, got it!! You should have seen her go. Never picking up a fork to eat. Must have gotten that knack of coordination from her father.