Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Visiting Zachary

One of Hannah's classmates and friends, Zachary, had surgery on April 13th and has been out of school since then. In a post op appointment earlier this week, his doctor put him on medical leave from school for the remainder of the school year (which for us is only 4 1/2 weeks!!). So when we took his twin brother Alex home from school today, we stopped off at the grocery store and suprised Zachary with the makings for ice cream sundaes! Zachary's been housebound, on strict couch potato orders and has been missing his friends and going stir crazy (as is his mom!). So we visited for while, enjoying our sundaes. Hopefully it made Zachary's day go faster getting to see Hannah, and Rachel!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Carlsbad Beach

After spending over two hours at the Flower Fields, we drove across the highway to the ocean. We strolled along the beach for about half a mile. The girls had a lot fun picking up pretty rocks and sea shells and just exploring what the waves had brought ashore. Hannah had fun. It also brought back the memories she has of our vacations at Pismo Beach and she wished she was there. While we don't have any plans to go to Pismo Beach in the works, perhaps we'll make several day trips to the beach when she goes off track in 5 weeks. We're even thinking about spending a couple days at Uncle Bart's condo. After the beach we went and hung out at Uncle Bart's condo for a while and then went to dinner. After a quick stop back at the condo to change the girls into jammies, we headed for home. We had a really nice day. We talked a lot our upcoming camping trip at the end of June to Mammoth, something Hannah is very excited about.

Carlsbad Flower Fields

Today we drove to Carlsbad to spend the day with Uncle Bart. Earlier in the week we arranged to go to the Carlsbad Flower Fields. The flower fields are in full bloom and simply beautiful.

It has been pretty gloomy here the last few days, so it was wonderful when we reached the coast and there were blue skies and the sun was shinning. Made for some really pretty pictures. I was also pretty happy that Hannah was in a very cooperative mood for letting me take so many pictures of her!
The Flower Fields streched on and on. This particular field of flowers made me think of the Poppy Field in The Wizard of Oz and the Wicked Witch of the West saying "Poppies... Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep". LOL. One of the neat things to do at the Flower Fields, was the Sweet Pea Maze. The Sweet Pea Hedge was about five feet tall and just kept going and going, with lots of deadends and backtracking. After about fifteen minutes of not being able to figure it out, and starting to feel a little claustrophic as to not being able to find my way out, I went out the way I came in, through the entrance. LOL. Hannah, Steven, and Rachel on the other hand were troopers and figured out the maze and came out the EXIT. Going to the Flower Fields was really a neat thing to see and do. I'm not sure how much Hannah really enjoyed it, but she was a good trooper with all the walking and had fun collecting stamps in her little booklet.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Writing Thank You Notes

The parties have come and gone. The presents have been opened. And now comes the writing of the thank you notes. Hannah has over twenty notes to write. She started this afternoon after her homework was done. I told her she couldn't play with any of her new toys until she'd written a thank you note for it. LOL. That got her moving.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Birthday Celebration Continues

It wasn't even 7:00 this morning before Hannah was in our bed asking to open her presents from us and Aunt Kim and Uncle Ed (I always save ours and Aunt Kim and Uncle Ed's gift for her actual birthday). Since we had church this morning, and plans the rest of the day, she went ahead and opened her presents.

For some reason, ever since Rachel became part of our family, it's a big thing for Hannah to get a gift from Rachel, and for Hannah to give Rachel a gift come birthdays and for Christmas. This is Rachel giving Hannah her present from her. After opening the last of the her presents, it was time to get ready for church. Here she is wearing her new outfit she got yesterday from friends, she looks waaay older than she should.After church we headed up towards Gramie's. Meeting Gramie and her friend for lunch at our favorite Mexican Restaraunt, we then went to the circus that was in Gramie's town. Steven broke the news to me yesterday that circuses no longer have animals, so I was pretty skeptical of just how good this circus could possibly be without elephants and lions and tigers. LOL. But much to my suprise, it was pretty good. The circus was called Circus Chimera, and it was a "unique, theatrical-style circus that celebrates the Circus Arts". These are just a few of the many pictures I took.

The acrobats did cartwheels, flips, and jumps through the hoops.
Juggling their hats,
changing out the one on their heads while doing it.
The final stunt was amazing or stupid, depending on how you look at it. LOL. It was a pretty intense stunt. First there was one motorcross riding all about inside the ball, then another one joined him. It was at this point that I said to Hannah "the birthday girl gets to do that next". I had no idea that the next thing was that a lady was going to go into the ball and stand in the middle while the two motorcross riders rode about her. LOL. My comment put Hannah into tears and she was mad at me for a couple of hours following that.After the circus, we said our goodbyes to Gramie and to her friend, and headed down the hill, stopping off at the mall to visit the Build a Bear Workshop so that Hannah could get her bear, Snow White, a birthday present, as today was her birthday as well. From there we called Gramma and Papa and asked if they wanted to meet us at BJ's for dinner. We had a great meal and ended it with a mass feeding frenzy of the two Pizzookies. LOL. The birthday girl's day ended with putting up her castle for her bear, and looking over some of the presents she's gotten. An end to another weekend of a birthday celebration. She's officially 7 years old now...and the clock proves it!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Big Birthday Bash

Today was Hannah's High School Musical birthday party. I've been doing birthday parties ever since Hannah's 1st birthday and I think today's party, despite there being 33 people here, was the easiest party we've ever done, and the least amount of stress for me. Last birthday, we had the grandparents and local Auntie and cousins over for pizza and cake. Shortly following that birthday, Hannah asked for a party this year where she could invite her friends from school. And that's what she got this year...a birthday party with all her friends from school....about 15 of them, throw in a few friends from church, parents who stayed, siblings that were brought, all Hannah's grandparents, an out of town great aunt and her son, and her Auntie and cousins, and it made for one rip roaring party!For the first time ever, we rented a bounce house for the occassion. We went to a lot of work preparing for this thing. We lost most of our grassy backyard when we put our patio in, so it took me a while to find a bounce house that would fit in the area we did have large enough for a bounce house. Once I found one that would fit, it required the palm tree being trimmed up. With as many kids that were here, I'm glad we had the bounce house, especially as people (more than one) called asking if it was alright if they brought someone along with them. Lunch was served. We barbequed hot dogs and had a couple different kinds of chips, and I made a pasta salad. I wasn't sure who's parents would be staying or who would be bringing their sibling, so I had a friend stop at the store and get more hot dogs on her way...turns out we had way more hot dogs than needed. But better to be safe than sorry when you have this large of a group.In addition to the bounce house, we turned the living room into a Kareoke stage. Steven rigged the computer and projector together to project the song lyrics up onto the wall so the kids could sing the songs that are in High School Musical. This turned out better than we thought it would and the kids really enjoyed it, some more than others. :) With lunch done, it was soon it was time for presents. The party invitation read that the party was from 11:00 - 2:00, and some parents said they would be coming back earlier. Opening presents took F-O-R-E-V-E-R. With Hannah knowing how to read now, she read all the cards outloud, and slowly opened her presents.

This is the gift table before the opening of gifts.
Hannah's room, after all the presents have been opened!
It was the year for Polly Pockets!! Oh my gosh, Hannah must have gotten at least seven different Polly Pocket things, none in which were duplicates!

After all the presents had been opened, and "thank yous" had been said, it was time for cake and ice cream. I was so excited when I found this edible cake decal on Ebay months ago, and was bummed that the plastic wrap over the cake had fallen in the night and had stuck to it, and tore it as I tried to remove it, so I just left the plastic wrap until we served the cake. Parties past, I would have been stressed out over such a mishap. But there was nothing I could do about it, and there was still a cake to serve. We served just about the entire cake! After all the party guests were gone. It was time for us to have some fun in the bounce house. LOL. So the four of us got in that thing and made use of having it in our backyard. We ended the big day with going to Applebees for dinner, whereas Rachel was so worn out, she fell asleep on my lap. Hannah almost having fallen asleep in her bath. They were two tired girlies. Hannah had a great day and loved having her friends come to play at her house. We had a great time too! It was the first official event hosted on our new patio!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Let the Festivities Begin...

So the birthday festivities have officially begun. Today at the Birthday Girl's request, I brought in glazed donuts to share with her classmates at the end of their school day. Glazed donuts are Hannah's favorite and something different than the normal cookies and cupcakes usually brought in for birthday celebrations.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Haircut for the Girlie

Today after school, I took Hannah to get her hair cut. She's been wanting to get her hair cut just to her shoulders for a while now, and I thought since this week is her birthday party, we'd go ahead and get her a new "do". I didn't get it cut short as she wanted, because I wanted to still be able to put her hair in pig tails, etc. It's a couple of inches below her shoulders, but she was happy with it. Unfortunately this is the only picture I got of her. I forgot I had my camera in my purse until it was Rachel's turn.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Belt Ceremony

Tonight was the Belt Ceremony at Karate. In past Belt Ceremonies, if you went to tournament and passed the belt test, you jump two degrees in which belt you got. So we assumed Hannah was getting her purple belt tonight. However, Grant, the instructor, informed the parents tonight that they felt they were moving kids up too quickly in belt color (something we wholeheartedly agree with and were concerned about) and no longer would they jump a belt degree for going to the tournament. So tonight, Hannah was awarded her Senior Orange Belt. We've very proud of her accomplishment!

I'm also happy to report that Hannah has decided to continue on with Karate. This decision was made even when she thought she was getting her purple belt tonight. I prepaid for the whole quarter, so now she's officially committed. LOL.

Waiting for her new belt.
It's not purple, but she still appears to be happy.
Telling Hannah's he's proud of her for going to tournament.
These are the kids who went to tournament.
Grant said that was a huge accomplishment.
Hannah, Emily, and their instructor, Grant.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter at Gramma and Papa's

Easter dinner was at Gramma and Papa's house this year. The whole family gathered together in celebration of Resurrection Day. We had a delicious dinner made entirely by Gramma, and another huge egg hunt with the cousins. It was a great day of being together and relaxing. And as always, Hannah loves anytime spent with McKenzie and Haylee.

Gramma filled Easter tins for each of the girls.

There were 95 eggs to be found in this egg hunt.
Giving Uncle Bart a new hair-do.

Easter Morning

Easter for our family isn't about the Easter Bunny, or the baskets, dying eggs, or egg hunts, although egg hunts and dying eggs are a lot of fun. Easter is about Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins and then rose from the dead 3 days later.

With that said, I was once again very excited about the Easter activities that followed our early morning church service. It was the same as last years activities, with a couple more things added. But it was so good last year, I was glad to see it be the theme again thig year. It was called Holyland Adventures: The Jerusalem Marketplace. There were 14 stations all centred around what it would have been like to live during Jesus' last days. Most of the stations had something for the kids to make and take home to remember their experience.

At this station, you wrote your sins on a piece of material and then placed it into the tub of water. It demonstrated how our sins are washed away.

Decorating her crown. Someday our crowns in heaven will be made of
real gold and jewels, not just paper and glitter.

Grinding up spices and herbs that were in Jesus' day. Once the herbs and spices were ground,
they were put into a little sachet bag to bring home.
Learning the basket weave.
These are only a handful of the stations that the girls went to. Once again, Hannah enjoyed learning and doing all the crafts. This Easter activity really helps show the kids what living in Jesus' day was like and really is a great way to celebrate Easter!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter Egg Hunt

For the last four years, our Cul de Sac has always come together on the Saturday before Easter to do a HUGE egg hunt spanning the front yards of seven out of the nine houses on our street, with egg counts as high as 300. All eggs having something inside...candy, coupons for bigger surprises, and even money...the green stuff.

However, over the last year, our Cul de Sac has changed. And will change even more by the end of the summer when our dear friends and neighbors next door relocate to Maryland. Last year, we had two families where the kids got along with one another, move. One of the houses saw new kids move in, only they don't get along with some of the kids who've lived on this street for years. One of the other existing families who have participated in the egg hunt for the last four years, the kids turned sour and they don't get along with the other kids either. So this year...the egg hunt only spanned our backyard, had only five kids participating, but still had a massive amount of eggs to to be found...150 eggs to be exact. Because there were so few kids this year, I was able to do something I had read about in a magazine a couple years ago...I assigned every kid an egg color. You could only hunt for your designated egg color. I hid the eggs accordingly, leaving the toddler girls eggs low and easily spotted, while making it a little more difficult for Hannah, Emily, and Kayla.

"Hurry Mom, I have eggs to find.
Lending a helping hand to Emily in her search for her final four eggs.
The girls had a lot of fun as always. It was also fun having every search for their own colored egg. Defianately puts a new twist on an egg hunt with so many eggs to be found! I was also able to fill equal amounts of eggs so that everyone got 30 eggs. There's no doubt everyone got enough candy! And to think Hannah and Rachel have another egg hunt tomorrow at Gramma and Papa's house!