Saturday, March 28, 2009

Family Day at the Park

The Young Families Ministry at our church had a gathering today, a picnic at the park! It was so much fun! Everyone packed their lunch and brought bikes, scooters, balls, kites, just about any outdoor toy you could name. We had a GREAT time with our church friends, out enjoying the beautiful day. Here are some pictures from our day.

We were missing one family of kids for this picture,
they took off before we could gather all the kids!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An Adventure

The original plans we had for today fell through, but that didn't stop us from having a new adventure.

In January, I read of an exhibit that was coming to a 'local' museum (local being still 40 miles away). It was a Disney exhibit called "The Music Behind the Magic". The exhibit was to tell the story of how Disney uses music to "engage audiences, drive its timeless narratives and succeed in cartoons, television, theme parks, live action films, on Broadway, and the Billboard charts."Sounded interesting to me, so we got ourselves ready, packed a lunch, and were on our way. The Disney exhibit itself was a small one, but very interesting to say the least. Hannah and Rachel both enjoyed the little room where you made your own sound effects for a cartoon with a little slamming door, barrel of rice or beans when turned it sounded like rain, etc, etc. That was fun!.There were costumes on display from the Broadway play, The Lion King, and a dress from Beauty and the Beast, as well jackets that Burt wore in Mary Poppins . There were a lot of listening stations where you listened to music and how far it's come over the years, as well as some cartoons. The admission also got us into the regular exhibit of the museum. The museum, while very small in exhibits, was still very interesting to say the least. We learned that all of the fossils and artifacts that they had on display were found in the neighboring Diamond Valley Lake (aqueduct) while it was being dug out over the last several years. We learned that in this very area, sloths and mastodons roamed. The museum offered a lot of hands on activities for kids. One of them was to make your own fossil, which the girls both loved doing. The other one they enjoyed was using paper at each of the exhibits to trace over the animal they were talking about. All the stations were very cool and Hannah most definitely enjoyed it. After our adventures at the museum, we attempted to have our lunch at the nearby lake, but it really wasn't all that inviting for people just out to have a picnic, it's basically a watercraft lake and you had to pay to park. So we went back down to the museum parking lot, backed the car in to look at the pretty surroundings and picnicked out the back of the van.Today's adventure was a fun and a new one. And despite the whining and protests before, both the girls, especially Hannah enjoyed our trip to the museum. She really loves the whole study of archeology and paleontology. She did say she enjoyed The LaBrea Tar Pits better, there was more to see there. LOL.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Karate Tournament

Hannah had a Karate Tournament today. As always, she wished she didn't have to participate, but once there, she always looks like she's having fun.Because she is a Brown Belt, all the lower colored belts go first. So there was a lot of waiting for her first competition, which was Forms, she ended up placing 1st, much to our surprise! She was so proud of her 1st place trophy, it's the only place she hadn't placed yet and now she's got a trophy for every place sitting atop her dresser.

With her at home coach and instructor, Daddy.
The rest of the tournament dragged on for us. We literally were one of the last age/belt groups to spar. The referees and tournament officials actually started picking up and packing up the surrounding mats and an announcement had been made that there might not be enough trophies to go round. It was after 4:00 (we'd been there since shortly after noon) and her time came to spar. There were only two of them in her age/belt group so they had to spar for 1st place and 2nd place. Hannah ended up with 2nd place, but claims the 1st place should have been hers since the referee was giving the other girl points incorrectly. But she was still happy with placing.

Hannah is the one on the left, with black gloves.
Following the tournament, we celebrated with dinner at The Spaghetti Factory with Gramma and Papa and Gramie. She's been beaming ever since we left the tournament! And is very happy to have today behind her!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Celebrating a Friends Birthday

Yesterday was Hannah's friend, Emma's birthday and to help her celebrate, we met the family at Disneyland this afternoon! The parks were crazy crowded as it's officially the Spring Break season at the Disneyland Resort. But it was fun hanging out together and being the birthday girls entourage. By early evening, her entourage had fourteen people! All family friends who had passes and came to help celebrate the day.

We got to the parks before our friends, and used our time taking pictures and counting how many were wearing green. I've never seen so much of one color being worn in one place before! LOL.After we met up with our friends, into California Adventure we went to find long lines and lots of people! It ended up being a very warm afternoon and very much felt like Summer was here. Hannah and Emma were the leader of the pack and very much enjoyed being together at Disneyland. Early evening we made our way into Disneyland (where the crowds were even worse). We did fun things as a group and then some broke off to do more exciting rides like Space Mountain. We went and rode It's a Small World and the girls enjoyed finding all the new characters within the ride. The ride broke down temporarily and we got stuck, sitting in the boat for a while. There's a song that was stuck in our heads for the remainder of the day. LOL.

As the evening went on, rides were going on that Rachel doesn't yet do, or won't do, so I found myself sitting out with her and she was falling asleep. So after Hannah got off Pirates of the Caribbean, I said we were heading for home. Emma's mommy asked if Hannah could stay with them and they'd drop her off on their way home! And so she did! She got home shortly after midnight and had a wonderful, wonderful day with her friend!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Spa Birthday Party

Hannah's long time friend, Emma, whom she's been friends with since birth, literally, had her birthday party this afternoon and it was a Spa Party!

Our soon to be 9 year old!

The shades were all drawn and the house was dark, candles were lit everywhere, and relaxing instrumental music was playing. The girls were each given an appointment card for the order in which they'd go about their spa experience. Each girl got a pedicure, a manicure, a facial, and neck massage. The girls were told ahead of time to wear shorts and tank tops and could bring a rob if they had one. There was a snack table with fresh vegetable and dips and crackers and cheese and even chocolate dipped strawberries!

Hannah started off with a pedicure.
And then it was time for her nails to be done.
She was even brave enough to dip her hands in the paraffin wax!
And to end her spa experience, she had a facial.
She chose the brown sugar and honey facial.
It was a very creative party and Hannah loved being on the recipient of so much pampering!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

An Afternoon at The Park

Aside from the noisy landscapers that occupied the park this afternoon, it was a BEAUTIFUL day to spend the afternoon outside! We met up with Cathleen and her kids right after Rachel got out of preschool and spent the entire afternoon at the park. Packed lunches, played, sat around and chatted. Mid afternoon, we were joined by Amy and Bethany when Amy got off work. It was a great afternoon and we're looking forward to doing it again!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

"I'm Celebrating Being Off Track!"

Disney's new promotion for the year is "What Will You Celebrate?", which I'm sure by now, everyone has seen the commercials, promotions, etc. If you go to City Hall in Disneyland or Guest Relations in California Adventure, they'll give you a "I'm Celebrating" button. Today, we went in and got a button, because we were celebrating being off track, don't you know!! LOL. We went to California Adventure first. We wanted to sit and wait for the High School Musical 3 street parade. We've seen it a couple of times from the back, but we wanted to be in the front, so that was on our list of "to dos".The cost of food at Disneyland has been on the rise for a while now, and most trips I pack sandwiches, etc, today was no exception. We found a shady table and unpacked our 'picnic' lunch. And wouldn't you know, the pepperoni on Hannah's pizza Lunchable formed a Mickey head. She's sooo my daughter! :)After lunch we hit the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail for a while and other favorite attractions. But then we headed across the way into Disneyland, where the crowds were abundant! The girls had brought their things for pressing pennies, so we scoped out some penny press machines and they each added a few more to their books.We did a walk through Fantasyland and the place was just so busy and the lines were so long that we decided we were good and we'd come back one day during the week, seeing how Hannah is off track. Despite the crowds and people everywhere, it was a beautiful day for being outside. The spring flowers and planters are absolutely beautiful and these pink trees are in full bloom, which made for beautiful picture backdrops. We had a good time, and of course Hannah is very much looking forward to coming back with friends next time.

Friday, March 06, 2009

It's Official...We Are Off Track!

It's 3:00 on this fine Friday afternoon and that means school is out and we are off track!!! I'm so thankful to have the break that is ahead of us.

Hannah had already been told a couple of weeks ago that when she went off track, she wouldn't be wasting the days away in front of the television. She would once again have to earn TV time in the form of reading and educational computer games. She came home today with a packet of 'optional' work to do over the break. It became un-optional for Hannah and is now another way of earning TV time. If she completes it and turns it in, the teacher will be rewarding the students when they come back on track with ice cream sundaes and depending on how much work you completed, determines how many toppings you get on your sundae. LOL. State testing is in April, so she wants to keep the kids' minds working and practicing on what they've been doing in class, etc.

Needless to say, Hannah has already asked what we're doing on Monday...LOL.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Performance Day 2

Hannah's class was invited to view the performance yesterday. But half way through Steven's videotaping the performance, he realized he forgot to turn the sound back on. So I NEEDED to go again today and videotape again.

Originally, I was going to sneak Rachel in to see the performance seeing how she was at school yesterday and will be tomorrow, but last night she had a fever, and was still sleeping when I needed to leave this morning, she she stayed home with Daddy. She'll have to catch the performance on video tape.

I stayed at the school when I dropped off Hannah and managed to score front row seats. So I was able to get a few pictures a little better today. She was excited after the performance to tell me that news reporters were there today from the newspaper! Two days of official performances down, one more performance to go! And then for our class, we're having a breakfast cast party on Friday morning!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Kids Rock!

Day One is done for Hannah's performance and what a performance it was!!! All their hard work, practice, and efforts paid off and the performance was AMAZING!

Pictures were a little hard to take as our seats were towards the middle and the lighting made it difficult. One of the cool things is they took shots of the kids yesterday in dress rehearsal and are selling 5x7 group shots, etc. So when I get those when we come back from being off track, I'll scan those in and share them. This is Hannah's (and one other class) number. They sang and danced to "It's a Hard Knock Life" from the musical Annie. They're all dressed up as different jobs that parents would have because they changed the wording to sound as though adults are singing about their hard knock lives as working professionals. Not a real good picture of Hannah as a maid, but she was cute!!!Mommy and Daddy brought her a bouquet of purple carnations and she was surprised!! Tonight, we're having a special dinner in her honor for all her hard work and practice and effort she's put into this performance. She picked the menu (hamburgers and onion rings) and Gramma and Papa are joining us for her special celebratory evening!

An Exciting Day!

Today's the day! Hannah's performances that her class, and others, have practiced so hard on begin today and will run for the next three days.

It's only 6:10 and she is already up and dressed with shoes on. We don't normally even leave the house until 7:35. Can you say 'excited'!!!

I'm trying to make the day special for her, she's worked so hard and practiced so hard and wants to do well.

I went to Costco yesterday and picked up a bouquet of purple carnations to take and give her after the performance. I know she's going to love them. Then tonight, I'm making a special dinner - she planned the menu - hamburgers and onion rings. And I threw a few other things as well. LOL. For dessert, we'll have pizzookies (warm cookie pizza with ice cream atop).

With eleven classes participating, they had to assign when each classes parents and families could come, we're allowed to come and view today. Rachel has school today and is bummed she is missing it. But I'm pretty sure I'm going to sneak her in tomorrow to see it. She's proud of her big sister too!

Pictures to be posted later today!