Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pictures of my Princessas

I love taking pictures of my two beautiful girls.  They just light up my life in the little things they do everyday.  I love catching their smiles and their antics on camera.  Here are some of my favorite photos from the past week.  

Katie has figured out how to turn on my radio.  They laid on the floor in my room like this for 15 minutes listening to Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano concerto.
 Katie is completely obsessed with backpacks.  I think that she learned it from Dora.  She is constantly taking Kirsten's school backpack and running around with it on.
 Thank goodness we have a spare, or Kirsten might not get hers back to go to school some mornings!
 Katie and Kirsten took turns pushing each other around on Kirsten's chair for over an hour one night.  I am so glad they can entertain each other!
 Tonight after dinner, Kirsten decided to give daddy a back rub because he had a hard day at work.
 I took the girls swimming today after school.  We spent over two hours at the pool.  It was a little cold, but we still had a blast.

Once we got home, Jeremy tried to change Katie out of her swimsuit and she completely flipped out.  So the compromise was wearing her swimsuit top over her nightgown.  And yes, she is sleeping that way right now.
 Katie loves to play dress up.  She is constantly going through outfits and loves to put new creative ensembles together.  She also loves having her friends over to play.
 One of her favorite things to do is play outside, and in particular she loves to swing.  Last week when my visiting teachers were here, she went and got her shoes, climbed into Sister Dougherty's lap and had her put them on her, then jumped up and grabbed her hand and dragged her outside to go play.  I think she would live outside if she could   We have taken advantage of the beautiful weather this week and my new ability to walk and headed to the park a couple of times.
 When we were at the park on Wednesday she saw the  pool and very excitedly exclaimed "big bath!"  She has been asking for a big bath non stop since, thus the pool trip today.
 After we gave Jeremy his presents on Sunday, Kirsten tried to put herself into a gift bag.  When she did not fit, we caught her putting Katie in it.  She carried her out and gave her to daddy as a birthday present!
 I seriously love these girls.  I love their smiles and laughter and the joy they bring to our lives.  I especially love how much they love each other.  I think that as a mother there is nothing more I could ask for.

Birthdays

The greatest part about Jeremy and my birthdays being back to back is that once a year we get to party for 48 hours straight.  This year was no exception.  Friday  morning I went to the podiatrist and am off of my crutches!  I can actually walk, cook, shower, pick up my kids, go shopping, and do laundry.  It was seriously the best birthday present I could have received!  

Friday night we started our celebrations by going out to dinner at Genghis Grill with the Lendermans.  Katie did not want to say goodbye to "her baby", Rebecca.  They are seriously so sweet together.
Saturday morning, Jeremy made me crepes for breakfast and then I ran out the door to the Girl Scout Thin Mint Sprint.  I could not run the 5k, obviously, but I was in charge of check in, timing, awards, ect.  Then I headed to my friend Liz's baby shower.  I spent the afternoon lounging around and snuggling my kids.  Saturday night, Jeremy and I enjoyed a wonderful, quiet dinner at Cheesecake Amor followed by a session at the temple.  We topped it off with cheesecake and a movie when we got home.

Sunday morning I actually got up before Jeremy (that never happens!) and made him omelets for breakfast before heading to church.
 We spent Sunday afternoon and evening making the rounds to parents' houses.  We started at my dads for "celebratory nachos" per Jeremy's request.  The girls had a blast in the backyard playing with bubbles with my dad.
 We had delicious cupcakes that we saved and ate the next day - great foresight on Patty's part.
 We ended the day at Jeremy's parents' house where we also celebrated his brother Zach's birthday.   Alison made a delicious chocolate cake that was dusted with powdered sugar.  When the three of us blew out the candles together the sugar went everywhere in a big puff.  It was hilarious!

We had such a great weekend and are so grateful for the time we were able to spend sharing it with our family.

Go Fish

Last week Kirsten participated in the First Grade School Performance of Go Fish.  They have been doing an ocean unit and so they continued that theme into music class.  Kirsten sang her little heart out to the songs  Fun in the Sun, We're Sharks, Commotion in the Ocean, Roundup Under the Sea, and Colors of the Sea.   She was so brave and even had a speaking part!  
 She wore a necklace and a hair flower that my dad brought back from Hawaii a few years back. They made her feel extra special.
 Kirsten and her teacher, Mrs Bolling.
 She was lucky to have not only mom, dad and sissy there, but Grandma Lowe and Grandma Alleman as well.
 Everyone in first grade drew pictures of different ocean animals for art class using new techniques.  Most the artwork was displayed by class in the cafeteria.  Kirsten's was one of the few chosen for a special display in from of the art room.
 She drew a dragon fish from the "dark zone" of the ocean.
She did such a wonderful job and has learned so much about the ocean.  They learned about each of the zones and what lives there, the food chain of the ocean and about all different types of ocean life.  They even did their first research project in the library and each person in the class wrote a paper about a different animal and then shared it with their class. I am thrilled with all of the wonderful things she is learning in first grade!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter

We had a fabulous Easter this year.  On Friday morning we headed out early and I got my cast off!  Then we hit the road and made the drive up to to Kansas to see my mom.  My sister and her family drove down from Chicago to meet us there.  My mom was spoiled having her 5 granddaughters together for Easter.  On Saturday we were joined by my Aunt Iva, Uncle Cole, their son Bryce, and my Grandma.  We went to Kansas City and visited the Independence Visitors Center.  We enjoyed a wonderful presentation on families and had four generations present for it.  It was really powerful. They also had an exhibit of Liz Lemmon Swindle paintings depicting the life of the Savior.  Afterwards, we headed to lunch and then to visit the Liberty Jail.  

The highlight of Saturday was attending the open house of the Kansas City Temple.  It is truly beautiful, and has beautiful murals throughout painted by local artists. I love that Kirsten is old enough to remember being there.  As we were leaving the sealing room, she told me that she could "feel the Holy Ghost stronger than ever in my whole life."  She is such a special girl.  Katie was even relatively well behaved and went silent when we entered the Celestial Room.  It was a wonderful experience to share with my family.

Sunday morning we woke up early and gave the girls their Easter Baskets.
 Then everyone else joined us for an Easter Egg Hunt in my mom's front yard.  Here are Kirsten, Bryce, Emily and Katie all lined up and ready to go!
 Kirsten and Bryce were very patient and gave the two little ones a few minutes head start.
 Katie kept trying to talk to the different sculptures in my mom's yard and wanted to share her eggs with them.
 Kirsten started collecting her eggs, but stayed very close to Katie.  She said that she wanted to help her sissy.
 The adults out numbered the kids 11 to 4, so we had plenty of people to keep them corralled and take tons of pictures.
 Sarah and Kaley did not hunt for eggs, but they had fun watching the little ones enjoy themselves.  It was so great to see my nieces.  I can hardly believe how grown up they are!
 Katie came right inside to show my grandma and me her spoils.
 After the egg hunt we got the girls dressed for church.  My mom bought matching dresses for Kirsten, Katie and Emily, and I had matching bows made.  They sure looked beautiful.  We took over 40 pictures of them, but here are a few of my favorites.





After church on Sunday we made a ham and twice baked potatoes for our Easter Dinner and enjoyed a quiet evening with my mom.  Everyone else left that morning, so it was nice to have some one on one time.  We headed on Monday morning to start the long drive home.  We pulled U-haul trailer back with us with the piano in it, so it took 13 hours to get home.  We were all tired of the car by the time we made it back and were relieved to back in our own beds.  We had such a wonderful weekend and were so happy to share the temple and Easter with my family.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Viewer Discretion Advised

The following images may be disturbing to the weak in stomach...

I got my cast off this morning.  It feels quite liberating to be out of it and into a walking boot.  I still have to leave the boot on unless I am taking a shower, I even have to sleep in it.  I can start putting some weight on it, but I still have to use the crutches to walk.  I put my foot down today and it felt like I was stepping on hot coals and nails.  I am hoping that it gets better quickly and I can start walking on my own.  

When I took a bath this evening, Jeremy took some pictures of my foot.



I was surprised at how much smaller my left leg is than my right.  I always thought that the way to slim down my legs was exercise, but apparently it was the opposite!  I hope that I am on the upward slope to the end of this now.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Flutter

Over the past few weeks, Kirsten's class has been doing a science unit all about butterflies.   I am going to let her tell you all about her experience.

Two weeks ago, our class got caterpillars.  I named one of the caterpillars Flutter.   She was a really pretty caterpillar, she smiled everytime I looked at her.  Caterpillars eat leaves and get fat so they can make a crysalis.  They get in it and stay there for one week.  During that week we learned all about their life cycle. They start as an egg.  Then grow into a caterpillar, then they make their crysalis, then they turn into butterflies. Then this Wednesday Flutter came out of her crysalis as a beautiful painted lady butterfly.  We watched her in our classroom and even saw her eat watermelon with her proboscis!  On Thursday we let them go.  When Flutter went out, I was really sad, I now I am writing poems about her and drew her pictures so I can always remember her.  I even think I saw her on my way home from school today.  These are pictures of my class releasing all of our butterflies



   I love my sweet little girl and am heartbroken to see her cry over releasing her butterfly.  I am thrilled that she had this experience though to learn about one of her favorite things so personally.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Easter Egg Hunts

This weekend we had two Easter Egg Hunts!  On Saturday morning Jeremy took the girls to our neighborhood's HOA hunt.  Kirsten had her picture taken with the Easter Bunny.  Jeremy said that he tried with Katie but it was basically reminiscent of the Santa incident at Christmas.
 Kirsten and Katie waiting for the hunt to start.
 Kirsten and Katie with their friends Racel, Michael, Logan and Lucas
 Then on Sunday afternoon we had our annual Craig Ranch Moms Easter Egg Hunt and Potluck BBQ.  It was a little overwhelming being in charge this year, especially with my foot, but thank goodness I have an amazing team of women helping me and the best husband ever.  Thanks to them we were able to pull it off.  We started with a line up for the toddler egg hunt.
 After Saturday's hunt, Katie knew just what to do and ran right into the middle of the action.


 They were only supposed to get 12 eggs each, and she ended up with 25.  We had to put some back, and thank goodness she was a good sport about it!
 After the preschool hunt, it was time for Kirsten to join in the school-aged hunt.
 It was slightly more chaotic than the previous two and ended much more quickly.
 Kirsten and Katie inspecting their loot!
 After the hunt we had a BBQ and potluck dinner.  Jeremy was such a good sport and grilled over 100 hamburgers and hotdogs.
 Katie was my helper as I prepared the raffle.  We had so many generous businesses and moms donate some great prizes this year.
 Kirsten had a blast running around with Koral and Kenna.  We had to constantly remind them that they could not play "beat up all the boys" in the bounce house.
 Speaking of the bounce house, we waited until everyone left and we were just waiting for them to come pick it up to give Katie a try.  The result...
I don't think she like bounce houses very much!

I know I have said this a thousand times, and I will say it a thousand more - I love our neighborhood.  I feel so blessed to live here.  When Jeremy and I first drove into this neighborhood 7 and a half years ago, we instantly knew that this was where Heavenly Father wanted us to raise our family.  It has been reaffirmed to us many, many times that we made the right decision.  I am so grateful for all the wonderful friends that we have here and for the great support that we are to each other. 

I am also glad to have the Easter Egg Hunts out of the way a week early so that we can spend this week focusing on the real purpose of Easter - the death and resurrection of our Savior.