Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Girl Scout Bridging

Tonight was our Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony.  We met at the bridge and pavilion over the pond in our neighborhood.  We hung ten balloons on either side of the bridge, one for each color representing the ten parts of the girl scout law.  Here are all my Daisy Scouts.  I cannot believe that we have been doing this for two years!
 The girls did their first flag ceremony tonight. I was so proud of them for practicing so hard the past few weeks and being able to do this.
 During the National Anthem all the girls saluted the flag - so of course Katie had to also.
 Then they lined up and said the Girl Scout Promise, and then they each shared one of the ten parts of the Girl Scout Law.
 We had them line up on the far side of the bridge and come across one at a time.
 Once on the other other side, their parents removed their Daisy vest,
 And then replaced it with their Brownie Vest.
 Then I did the Girl Scout hand shake with each girl and presented them with a certificate, pin, patch and a gift.
 After we sang our "Brownie Smile Song"  each girl picked a balloon from the Daisy side of the bridge and we released them into the air.
 Then we moved over to the Brownie side of the bridge where they each picked a balloon to take home.
We spent time afterwards visiting and enjoying refreshments and the cool spring evening air.  I love being a Girl Scout Leader and have grown to love these ten little girls so much.  I am grateful for such a wonderful program to help teach our girls and build their bonds of friendship.  I cannot believe I have a Brownie in the house!

First Lost Tooth

Kirsten lost her first tooth!  And believe that no one could be more excited.  She was literally the last person in first grade to loose one.  She was so excited that it happened on Monday.  Only four days left of school - and that means that she gets on the first grade tooth chart!

She was so good for Jeremy and he just popped it right out!  I think he was secretly thrilled too.  I think it is one of those parental rights of passage - kind of like when he taught her to ride a two-wheeler bike.
 My beautiful toothless princess!
 She put her tooth in her tooth fairy pillow
 And then promptly put in under her pillow.
 Of course, not being one to be left out, Katie had to show us her mouth....
 And then put her little purse under her pillow too.
 Right before bed, Kirsten wrote a sweet letter to leave for the tooth fairy.
 And wouldn't you know - Tootheetori came and left a note for Kirsten and $2!!
She was so excited to show her teacher at school today and took the note with her.  She sure is growing up!

Memorial Day

We had a wonderful Memorial Day this year.  We started off the day with blueberry waffles made by Jeremy and Kirsten.  Then we all headed to the gym to get a workout in before the day got too crazy.

After quick showers we headed over to the Grove at the Villages of Allen.  We met my friend Jennifer there with her adorable little boy, Ryan.
 There are several little buildings that the girls had fun playing in.
 Katie's favorite was the red caboose.  She is completely obsessed with "choo choos" right now.
 Kirsten spent most of her time running around the hedge maze that is shaped like the state of Texas.
 My two little angels looking out the train window.
 When we got too hot to play anymore, we headed across the street and enjoyed an early lunch at Which Which.
 Then we went next door to Bliss Cupcakes and bought two huge cupcakes to share.  (Can you tell which coupons I clipped from Ad Pages this week?!)
 During Katie's nap Jeremy, Kirsten and I played a game of Super Munchkin.  She is surprisingly good at it!

After her nap we headed over to my dad's house for a Memorial Day barbeque.  He had also invited his neighbors, the Christensens.  Patty made potato salad and my dad grilled hamburgers and we topped it off with strawberries in the chocolate fountain.

After dinner the kids headed outside for some bubble blowing.  Kirsten loved having Kinsley there.  Apparently they are bffs too (I think she has about 20 of those).
 After some practice, Katie was finally getting the hang of blowing bubbles too.
 Then the kids changed into swim suits and enjoyed playing in the sprinklers.
 Katie kept trying to get Luke and Owen to join her in getting soaked, but they seemed to like the bubbles better.
 Once we had thoroughly exhausted my dad and Patty, we headed back over to Jeremy's parents house.  We have to get in as much time as we can with Kacey while she is here.  It was a bonus that Rachel was there too.  They had just finished up a graduation party for the kids from church.  I can hardly believe that those two graduate in less than a week.  Megan was Kirsten's age when Jeremy and I started dating.  She is not allowed to grow up as fast as Megan did!
We are ever mindful of those who fought and continue to fight for our country and our freedom, especially my brother, John.  We love you.

Family Time

Family time is sacred around our house and we are sometime quite selfish with it.  We do whatever it takes to sit down, all four of us, every night, seven days a week, for dinner.  No exceptions.  Sometimes it is crazy and the girls have gotten accustomed to eating anywhere between 5 and 7:30, but we do it.  We also spend time every night doing something together.  Some nights it is more grandiose, like a bike ride, going to the pool or a movie night, but sometimes it is simply tagging along to a Girl Scout activity or dance class, putting together a puzzle, playing a quick game of UNO, or our favorite - marshmallow roasting in the fire place.
 We have realized that it doesn't matter what we are doing, just that we are doing it together.  There are no three people in the world I would rather spend my time with.

On Saturday we were able to go as a family to Meghan's baptism. I am good friends with her mom, Jeremy is their home teacher, and Kirsten and Meghan are self-proclaimed bffs.
 We had a special treat on Sunday and were able to go to my in-law's house and see Kacey, Tyler and Leah.  Katie and Kirsten loved holding little Leah and are totally in love with their cousin!
 Last week, my Uncle Larry was in town for the International Horn Symposium.  Among other things, he taught several classes, and debuted a horn sonata that he composed.  He was kind enough to take an evening away from the concerts and classes and come join our family for dinner.  Kirsten was thrilled to see him again, and Katie took to him instantly!
 We are so grateful to be blessed with such an amazing family and such a wonderful extended family and are thrilled whenever we get to spend time with them.

Swimming Lessons

We did swimming lessons early this year because of trips planned over the summer.  Kirsten's class was every Saturday in May.  Since she is already a great swimmer and knows most of the strokes, her teachers were working on proper form with her this year.  She is really doing great.
video
I love how she is taking to the water and how much she loves to swim and learn new things.  She recently taught herself to do handstands in the water - I remember doing that with my sisters growing up!
 Keeping Katie busy during Kirsten's lessons proved to be more than a little difficult.  I tried to get her in a mommy and me class again, but there were not any at the same time as Kirsten's.  She would only  last so long in her stroller.
I blame it mostly I blame it on the fact that she was staring straight at this....
 We resorted to playing in the locker room at times.  She saw the bar in the bathroom and ran up to it, grabbed it and started shuffling her feet.  She thought it was a ballet bar!! She really loves to dance.
 We have been frequenting the pool several times a week since it opened in April and my girls truly do love the water!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day

My two beautiful daughters and amazing husband treated me to a fabulous mother's day this year.  I woke up Sunday morning to banana pancakes made entirely by Kirsten. I was so impressed and they were delicious!
 I was spoiled with a book Kirsten made me at school, a necklace and earrings from my girls and a certificate for a spa day sampler package from Jeremy.
 Katie was sick and Jeremy was kind enough to stay home from church with her so that I could go on mother's day.  Jeremy and my dad spoiled us with a wonderful lunch of grilled steaks, baked potatoes, green beans and rolls.
 We topped it off with a chocolate cake that I made on Saturday.    I used the recipe for Too much Chocolate cake but I made it healthier by substituting sugar free pudding, fat free sour cream, apple sauce for the oil and egg whites for the eggs.  It actually cuts out 200 calories per slice!  No one could tell the difference - it was seriously amazing. Then I melted some chocolate chips and poured them over the top.
We spent the rest of the day just enjoying time as a family.  I feel so blessed to be a mother and feel that I have the most wonderful daughters I could have ever dreamed of!

Primary Temple Trip

On Saturday our ward had a wonderfully planned day at the temple.  I was able to take Kirsten and her friends Madelyn and Macy down there that afternoon.  It was such a beautiful day - in the 60's and overcast, and they enjoyed time mingling with their friends by the fountain.
 As 3 o'clock rolled around, the kids all met in the grass where Bishop Smith spoke to them about the importance of temples.
 We were somehow able to get all those kids together for a group picture.  We had a little less than half of our primary come.  I know it is hard to get out on a Saturday, but we were so glad to have as many kids there as we did.
 The highlight of the trip was when the kids were able to go inside the temple and sit on the steps in the foyer.  A temple matron came out and spoke to the kids and then they were able to sing "I Love to See the Temple" and some other songs.  It was amazing to see close to a hundred kids sitting in absolute silence for nearly half an hour inside the temple.  I know that it is a truly sacred place and that they were able to feel that.

While we were singing, the youth were finishing up their session of baptisms.  Then the kids divided into groups and the youth took them around the temple grounds to share a presentation about the temple.  Did you know that the Angel Moroni is 7 feet tall and that there are 40,000 marble tiles on the outside of the temple?!
Each primary child was also given a printed copy of the testimonies of the youth from our ward.  I thought that it was a beautiful way to bring them together and build unity across the ages.

I treated the girls to ice cream on the way home, which seems to be the only part they really remember.  I am glad that I was able to take them though.  I know that the more they experience the special spirit that is at the temple, the more important that it will become in their lives.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Field Day that almost wasn't

Friday was Field Day at Ogle Elementary.  We were a little worried that it would be cancelled because of the rain, but it held off and they were able to still have it (well, most of it).  It was much more pleasant than last year, 65 degrees and overcast as opposed to 105 and sunny.  Katie and I got there at 9, so we missed the first hour.  I wanted to make sure that I got to the gym first thing in the morning.  

They played tons of water games.  Kirsten ran really fast with her "leaky cup" to fill her team's bucket. 
We got there just  in time to join Kirsten for popsicles and let Katie enjoy time with her friends, Luke and Owen.
 They played another game where they took a soaked sponge and passed it over their heads and under their legs.
 The result was being completely and thoroughly soaked!  Good thing that we put her swim suit on under those clothes!
 Then they played a tossing game with soaked sponges.  Obviously, they were planning on it being hotter than it was.
Katie was surprisingly good in her stroller, although she desperately wanted to participate with her sissy.
 I think that the best event was the tug of war.
 After a few wars with random groups, they did boys versus girls.  They girls creamed the boys!  It was great!
After that, it finally started raining, so they called it a day after an hour and a half and took the kids inside to watch a movie.  Of course, they were already completely soaked, so we didn't really see the point of ending early.  It was sure fun though and we can hardly wait until next year's field day.