Saturday, August 30, 2008

Karate Tournament

It's the end of a quarter and that means a karate tournament! Hannah's been practicing her form and kicks and punches most nights. She did a great job in both her competitions, and even placed in sparring, she earned a 4th place.

Warming up with stretches and push ups.
First competition, completing her form.
One competition down, one more to go.
Sparring competition, Hannah is the red belt.
Look closely, Hannah is airborne with her kick!
A 4th place in her sparing division!
Hannah and this little girl actually went to preschool together,
though neither of them remember that!
With her instructor, Grant.
After the tournament, we all, including the rest of Hannah's cheering team, Gramma, Papa, and Gramie, went to dinner at the Spaghetti Factory, Hannah's choosing.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First BIG School Project

Hannah came home on Monday afternoon from school with her very first BIG school assignment. And when I say 'big", it means she's been given two weeks to complete the project.

In class, they've been learning the differences between suburban, urban, and rural areas. Their project is to create a diorama based around the area they've been assigned. In Hannah's case, she has to develop an urban diorama. The project is due September 9th.

We started working on it this afternoon, thanks to Gramma giving up one of her shoeboxes. Hannah wanted to make sure the outside looked nice so we covered the outside with black construction paper and then started on the backgrounds of the 'city'. The goal is to work a little bit on it each day. She's very excited about this project! What she doesn't realize is this is the first of many, many big projects to come in her school career!


This came to me in an email this morning and I thought it warranted being shared on Hannah's blog.

What I learned from an 8 year old

"On Sunday we took Emma's friend, Hannah, home from church with us to play. Emma and Hannah have a sweet, loving relationship. They have known each other since they were babies, attended preschool together and just really enjoy being together. But now that they are school aged and busy with activities their time together is really limited. Emma is always complaining that she doesn't get to see Hannah enough.

As our church meets in a school, our Sunday evening services are held in a small office complex. The "childcare" consists of combining all age groups in one small room. No curriculum or lesson, just the kids messing around. The kids say it is kind of boring. Given that, here's the conversation I had with Hannah:

Me: "Hannah, do you want to go to church with us tonite or do you want me to drop you home on the way?" Given what I just said about our services, it wasn't a given she would go.

She looked at me, at Emma, thinking. Emma all the while is looking at Hannah expectantly. . .

Hannah: "Church!"

Emma's eyes grew wide as a smile spread across her face. "Really?? You really want to go?"

Hannah: "You know I would do anything to spend more time with you, Emma!" And she reached out and hugged her.

At that moment, my heart was so blessed. The selfless act of a little girl for her friend just struck me. She defined for me what true friendship is. Even if things are not easy or comfortable. Even if you have to go through something you don't enjoy, you do it for the sake of your friend. I don't know why this moment was so profound for me? But I just wanted to share it with you, friends. "

"A friend loves at all times."
Proverbs 17:17

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pizza and Skating Party

Hannah had a birthday party to attend this evening for a friend in her class. It was for one of the two friends in her class she's gone to school with since the very beginning. The party was at the local outdoor fun village where there's miniature golf, batting cages, go carts, roller skating, an arcade, etc, etc. First, the girls had pizza and then it was off for an evening of outdoor rink skating.

Having only skated once before, staying on the carpet and really not even stepping out onto the actual rink, I was a little nervous for her to skate. We threw her bike helmet in the car and my plan was to have her wear it no matter if she was the only one or not. Once she had skates on her feet and she saw how uneasy they were, she had me go get her helmet out of the car, and wore it the entire time she skated. And no one made fun of her or said a single thing about it!

Watching Hannah skate, most of the time hugging the rink walls, brought back a lot of memories for me. As a young kid I used to go skating at the local indoor rink a lot. I loved it. However, in the 6th grade (I think it was 6th grade) I fell roller skating and broke my collar bone! That did it for me, I was 'gun shy' when it came to getting back on skates. Hannah's friends, and even the other girls in the party who didn't even know Hannah, were all so kind to her. They'd do a lap around the rink and then come and hang out with her as she skated hanging on the walls. They'd hold her hand if she ventured away from the wall, and they helped her get back up when she fell. Seeing that really touched me. THOSE are true friends of Hannah's!

Hannah and the birthday girl.
At the end of the skating time, after the helmet came off, this is how sweaty her face was and her head was from all the hard work of skating, and wearing a hot helmet. Her face and arms and even her legs were filthy from the dust of the outdoor rink. Needless to say, she got a good scrubbing once we got home. Hannah had so much fun tonight! She wants to go skating again too! So I think a trip to the local indoor skating rink will be in our near future.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Changing the Room Around

Hannah has been wanting to move her room around for months. I don't know what it is about moving ones room around, but I know I used to ask my Mom alot when I was little. There weren't a whole lot of options with the closet, the window, and a weird alcove, all on different walls. But I always tried.

Hannah finally caught me in a mood today where I was willing to listen to her suggestion of how to move things, and well, we moved her room around. LOL. I probably would be more willing to move her room around more often if she didn't have that wickedly heavy trundle beneath her bed. Even when it was empty, it was heavy, now it's just a storage place for the crib.

Here is the BEFORE picture.

Here is the AFTER picture.
Everything had to be moved out into the hallway in order to move her bed and trundle to the opposite side of the room. And then I moved the computer desk and the bookcase to the wall where her bed had jetted out from.

The bulletin board has been wiped clean and I'll work on getting new pictures printed this week for a new collage. She now wants animal pictures from our recent trips to the zoo and Sea World. We periodically switch out pictures on the bulletin board and it's been a while since we've done anything new. It once had tons of pictures of Hannah posed with characters at Disneyland. The pictures that were up there until today were of her with friends. Some of the pictures dating back to Kindergarten! Yep, time for new stuff!

At any rate, Hannah is happy to have a 'new' and fresh room! I for one am worn out and done for the rest of the day! LOL.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Terra Cotta Warriors

The entire third grade at Hannah's school took a field trip today to The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana to see the current on tour exhibit, Terra Cotta Warriors. With five classes, it took two buses to hold all the kids. And there was enough room for the parents who wanted to go on the bus, rather than follow behind the buses. After securing our boxes of sack lunches and loading everyone on the bus, we were on our way shortly after 9:00.Our class was split in half between the two buses, so I had eight kids with me on our bus, and Mrs Tatman, our teacher, had the rest of the class on the other bus. We scored big time because our bus had air conditioning!!!! The other bus did not. Our bus must have been a pretty new one because not only did it have A/C, but it looked like there was a CD player in the radio unit and there were nice speakers throughout the bus. It wasn't used on this trip, as you can imagine the noise and commotion with 50 kids on the bus, and just the noise of the freeway and riding the bus.

The bus ride took about an hour, it was a long and bumpy ride. But it was fun sitting up high and looking out the windows. Hannah was excited to see some of the taller features of Disneyland from the freeway, and all the kids were excited as we drove past Anaheim Stadium.Once to our destination, classes regrouped and we entered the museum grounds. We had an 11:00 tour and had about half an hour to wait. Parents took groups of kids who brought money (or were lucky enough to have their parents with them) into the gift shop while we waited. Once inside the actual museum, there was no photography allowed, therefore I have no pictures of the Terra Cotta Warriors. The exhibit was a self guided audio tour, which was interesting to say the least. The classes stayed together and met up outside once done.After our time at the museum, the bus took us about a mile away to a nicely shaded park to eat our sack lunches. We had fifteen minutes before we needed to be back on the bus in hopes of making it home to the 2:15 school dismissal. But between bathroom trips and lingering eaters, we weren't on the road until 1:15!! And despite an accident on the freeway, we made it back to school five minutes after the bell rang! Hannah enjoyed the field trip and had fun. I'm not sure how much the kids learned with the audio tour, but observation of the artifacts was amazing nonetheless!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

State Testing Results

Last Spring, in the final months of 2nd grade, Hannah and her classmates participated in taking California State Testing. It took nearly two weeks for the kids to complete.

This past week, we received Hannah's results in the mail.

The report was pretty interesting, and we're happy to report that Hannah scored "Proficient" in both areas of Mathematics and English Language Arts. Looks like we officially have "one smart cookie" on our hands!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Meet Brownie

This afternoon, we went to Color Me Mine and picked up our ceramics that we painted last week.

And here is Hannah's dog she painted, whom she named, Brownie.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Going on a Field Trip

Hannah came home from school on Wednesday afternoon with a permission slip for a field trip next week. I asked her where she could possibly be going that would tie into what she's already learned in her short 8 days of school. Turns out they are going to a museum in Santa Ana that has a special exhibit running through the first week of October.

Only one parent from each class will be allowed to join the class on the bus. The teacher said she will put the names of the parents wishing to go on the bus into a hat and draw one out to be fair. Other parents will be allowed to follow in their own vehicles, but once at the museum, they will have to pay the $25.00 to get in.

So, in anticipation of not getting picked, another mom and I were already talking about gathering a few other moms to pile into my van. We'd pay the $25.00 to get in and all chip in for gas and parking. We're all still too protective to send our babies off on a school bus 40 miles away without us. LOL.

Fast forwarding to this evening, I received an email from Hannah's teacher. And low and behold, my name was chosen out of the hat!! I have a spot on the school bus! AND I don't have to pay the $25.00 to get in as a result of me being a parent accompanying the class on the bus. Yahoo!

Forty miles one way on a school bus. Let's hope we get a bus with air conditioning.....

Beside Still Waters: Up and Running

Still no word from Google on retrieving my Mom's accidentally deleted blog from earlier this week.

Therefore she has gone ahead and started fresh.

You can visit her new blog, Beside Still Waters. Be sure to bookmark it, it has a new URL! The updated link can also be found in the sidebar of all three of my blogs, under Family Blogs.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Beside Still Waters - My Mom's Blog

For those of you having trouble accessing my Mom's blog, Beside Still Waters, we are having technical difficulites that might have resulted in her blog being deleted.

We are waiting for blogger/google to contact her in hopes of attaining ber old blog back. If she can't get her old blog back, she'll start a new one.

Blogger Friends, don't worry, nothing bad happened. It was just a case of 'user error'.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Start of a Family Hobby: Geocaching

Geocaching, or treasure hunting as Rachel called it, is something we've expressed a desire to do for a while now. My sister-in-law and her family have been doing it for years, and it always looks like so much fun. Last Christmas I priced different GPS units to purchase for Steven for Christmas. They are expensive! And with the recent purchase of Steven's iPhone, that comes with a GPS, I'm sure glad I didn't buy one last Christmas.

This evening after dinner, we set out to find a couple local caches. We had warned the girls up front, that the first one we found, we weren't going to take anything because we didn't have anything to leave in it's place. We searched for unused Happy Meal toys, or little trinkets, and came up with nothing. So we decided we'd find the cache and sign the log. And then next time we went out, we'd bring trinkets to exchange out with what we took.

The first one took us about half an hour. Mostly because we're still trying to figure out the whole GPS and compass thing on the iPhone. Once we found it, we were tuned it to really paying attention to the hint, as well as the name of the cache. This particular find was named Country Club Cache. And had we been paying attention, we would have figured the cache was hidden near the Country Club storage facility. But we started on the wrong side of the street. And then made our way to the right spot, and it wasn't until after we'd found it, that we put two and two together and realized the name of the facility of where the cache was hidden. DUH!

Heading in the right direction,
but later discovered the cache was across the street

After searching in the planter,
and having a little help from Daddy, we found it!
Once we opened up the cache, both Hannah and Rachel discovered something they wanted, a beaded bracelet and a little plastic elephant figure. Nothing big, but they sure wanted them! So we made our way to the nearest Dollar Tree (I love that store) and bought some small trinkets and prizes to put in a bag for geocaching. We had planned to go back and make the exchange, but first we stopped to try to find another cache.

This one was along a little river (we never knew there was a little river there!) near a new park by our house. Long story short, we searched for a while. Even had to resort to the encrypted clue that leads us over the fence onto the soccer fields. At this point, it's getting late for a school night, and then the soccer field lots were locked, so we decided to go exchange our loot for the loot the girls wanted at our first stop and call it a night.
The GPS coordinates pointed to across the little river.

So across they went, in search of treasure!

Back to the first cache to redeem their prizes
and replace them with something else.
We had a really fun time! The girls both enjoyed it, and we're looking forward to doing it again...soon!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The First Day, The Last Three Years

First day of Kindergarten, July 2005.

First day of 1st grade, July 2006.

First day of 2nd grade, July 2007.

First day of 3rd grade, July 2008.