Friday, December 18, 2009

Madeline was a bit timid at first to try the sled run. But she finally warmed up to the excitement and went on 3 or 4 runs on the smaller snow hill.

This is her best friend at school, Eden, with whom she spends every recess and lunch pretending to be jaguars. I'm glad she has such a sweet friend.

Madeline is truly Mason's best friend. He just loves being around her. But he didn't really care about all the snow; he liked climbing on the big kids' play structure and throwing balls. He did get a run in, though.
Jay came to help shovel snow and at the end of the day he asked Mason if he'd like to sled. Mason agreed (ignorantly) and Jay took him to the top of the taller sled run. They started down and Mason was slipping all over the sled in between Jay's legs. But he loved it!

Mason's smile says it all at the end of the run. When Jay asked him how he liked it, Mason replied, "It was so fun!"
Today was Madeline's Christmas party and Snow day (see pictures in next blog). Basically the Kindergarten's schedule was to have breakfast, play, decorate cookies and then teachers, play, have a visit from Santa, eat lunch, play and then go out to the snow. The kids had a blast!
This was a picture I took of the 3 of us at the party. Mason did a wonderful job of playing along with the kids or just reading books while the kids were busy doing something else. He was also my photographer; he took lots of pictures of the kids, their feet, the floor and the hanging decorations. We need to take a photography class.
This was Madeline's first time to ever sit on Santa's lap (that I can remember). She wasn't scared.
I have yet to ask her what she told Santa she wanted for Christmas, but my guess is that she asked for a doll whose eyes open and close. I wonder if she'll get it! :)
Well, the party is done and we're headed out to the snow. Who's excited?

Christmas performance

Although this picture is quite dark you can still make out our main attraction. Madeline had two lines to say: "Please save your applause until the end. We hope you enjoy our show." She did super!
This is Mrs. McNeil, Madeline's teacher, introducing the play, "The Night Before Christmas," her class will perform.

This picture is of both Kindergarten classes singing. There are about 46 Kindergarteners at Legacy.

This is Legacy's principal, Matt Jackson. He is about my age (30 something)and does a stellar job at running the school. He is committed to seeing the children love Christ most of all, so he's #1 in our book.
I think this picture is darling. Brother and Sister really do love each other!

Kindergarten starts

One of those snapshots of your life: your first child's first day of Kindergarten. Wow. It was fun, it was scary, it was all new but exactly what we expected. Madeline loves school and her wonderful teacher Mrs. McNeil.
Mason kept asking if he could get his backpack and go to school, too. Mom's not quite ready to have him leave the house yet, though.
One of the best days of school was when Gramma went with Madeline and helped in her classroom.
This is Gramma hard at work tracing and cutting those fabulous art projects the kids will work on. Thanks, Gramma.
Before school Madeline likes to play in the sand outside her classroom. I sure wish I could still squat down like that.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Grit, Grit, Grit

Jay thought it would be a good idea to take the family to the beach in Oxnard. The kids had never been to the beach here, and the weather was beautiful. So, we loaded up the car and took off. The kids were so excited, and although the water was pretty chilly, they ended up wet all over.

What a great picture of Jay and the kids. Mason is so fair he looks like the cream between 2 vanilla cookies.

Most of the time, Jay would throw the football into the waves and the kids would wait for it to return and then retrieve it for him to throw again. They found this much more interesting than digging in the sand or building sandcastles.

Here's Mason trying to run from a wave.

And Madeline ran and ran and ran up and down the beach. She just loved trying to beat the waves to the shoreline.
Where's Mom? Well someone has to lay on the blanket and take the pictures!

Mason's Big-Boy Bed

After nearly 3 months of waiting, Mason's bed finally arrived. It's beautiful and well made. We bought him a full-sized bed with a trundle because we anticipate that he will be very tall and need the space to stretch out. The bed will also be great for visitors (come on over!) and sleepovers for the kids.

This was one of the two guys who installed the bed. Here he is laying out the slat roll. They installed it in about 30 min; they knew exactly what they were doing.

The kids loved laying down all over the bed to see how comfy it was. They look so small on the bed now; I know that will change.

I wondered if Madeline was happier than Mason about the bed; she kept hugging him and kissing him.

Here's the happy boy; what a smiler.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Mother, My Friend

"There's nothing new under the sun." There's great encouragement in that truth, especially for young moms. As I look back over these pictures of my own dear mother doing for me what I'm attempting to do for my children, I see that, really, nothing has changed (except those diapers, of course). There is no invention, no super-duper deluxe machine that can replace or outdo what the touch of a mother's hand can do. And I am the wonder-filled child of a Mom who was excellent in all she did for me. What beautiful (high-heeled) shoes to fill! I thank the Lord for you, Mom. And I love you very much.

This was taken this past Christmas (2008). We're still the same Mom and Daughter...with a few more gray hairs. And we're knit together at heart.

There are so many things about Mom in this picture that haven't changed a bit over the years. She's still gorgeous, paints her nails, loves plants, and has stunning taste in furniture and decor (notice the number of textures in this room alone).

And we still love to have a hot cup of coffee together! Notice the candles; Mom still has her house filled with yummy-smelling candles.

I don't know how long it took to set this tea party up or how long it took to clean it up. But you'd never know it was ever an issue with this smile on her face. I wonder what was in that tea!

Mom, Steph and Chelle about 1976. I don't know if I was yawning or talking. Probably talking.

Chelle and I will debate about whose birthday it is, but since this is my blog, I will say it was my 2nd birthday. Of course, my mother made beautiful cakes...and made every celebration beautiful. She's beautiful, isn't she?

Of course, Mother's Day wouldn't be commemorated accurately if we didn't show the behind-the-scene work. Your labor wasn't in vain!

Something else that my mother has always done with excellence: food. I wish I'd inherited that gene. Every day, 3 times a day, she would prepare and feed me...and clean up my messes. That's TRUE love.

It's hard to tell which one screams louder: the baby or the couch. I actually love that ol' couch.

This was Mom at my baby shower. I had actually already been born, so I got to attend with her and get passed around to all the ladies. I think I still have some of the gifts that were given to us that day.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Neighborhood Egg Hunt '09

This our third-annual neighborhood Easter egg hunt. There were about 40 kids ranging in ages from 6 months to 13 years. There were homemade treats, juice, fruit and snacks as well as activities like egg dying, races, and a friendly Dad's competition. The kids had a superb time and we came home ready for a nap! These were just a few of Madeline's eggs; she ended up with a full basket. Mason had great time picking up each egg, opening it, taking out the candy and throwing the empty egg back on the grass. Next year he'll understand better what the concept of an "egg hunt" is. The kids had 4 different buckets of color to choose from to dye their eggs. We put differing widths of rubber bands around our eggs before dipping them to create designs. To be honest, I was hoping Mason wouldn't remember how fun it is to throw eggs! I was in charge of handling them for this event. These were some of the kids. If you'll notice the poster hanging in the background, you will see how the hunt was regulated. We have so many little ones that it was important to allow them to find their own eggs without being trampled by the bigger kids. So, Mason found pink eggs, mostly scattered on the grass and path while Madeline found orange and green eggs hidden in and under the bushes. We have always had success with this method. And the older kids get to climb on structures and scale walls to get their eggs. What fun.

If you were to ask Madeline what the true meaning of Easter is she would readily tell you that it is NOT about eggs and bunnies. She would tell you that it is the day we celebrate Jesus' rising from the dead and that He died on the cross for our sins. Jay and I are amazed how the Lord can open the eyes of her understanding, even when she is so young. We continually pray that He will bless her and Mason with the faith that leads to salvation.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Ballerina Day

These are most of the girls in Madeline's Faith Kids class. They received a 30 minute lesson from a young ballerina, Natasha.
Madeline's favorite part of the lesson was, of course, twirling.
The first thing the girls learned was how to have the proper stance. This includes keeping your heels together while spreading your feet into a V and your hands are held together but your arms are out as if you were holding a globe. It's a lot to remember.
Another part of the lesson from Natasha was learning how to balance on one foot. Ballerinas start developing this skill by holding on to a chair and then slowly letting go while balancing on that one foot or on their toes. It is actually quite difficult but the girls did well considering that all they really wanted to do was twirl.
This picture of Madeline sums up her opinion of "Ballerina Day". Could she be any more elated?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fire Station Field Trip

This was taken just outside the fire station here in Stevenson Ranch.

We all gathered around to hear some of the important things firemen do to help us. Madeline was reminded to call 911 for help if Mommy bumps her head and can't get up. Fireman Ryan says that one of the calls they get most are for people who have had an accident while using their cell phones. The new law hasn't affected people's ability to drive and talk...or the same time.

Mason couldn't take his eyes off the trucks and firemen. His interest and attention span was better than some of our 4 year olds!

Fireman Ryan gave us an excellent tour through the paramedic truck, showing the kids all kinds of tools and bandages, gear and protective garments.

Included in the tools inside the paramedic truck were the jaws of life. Madeline kept her hands over her ears thinking Fireman Ryan was going to turn it on somehow.

This is the back of the paramedic truck 124.

Although Mason didn't get to do some of the activities that the class enjoyed, he did hang onto the side of the big firetruck.

Madeline learned that the driver of the firetruck is called the engineer.

What a precious pair!

All of the children had the chance to spray water with the fire hose and Madeline loved it!

This is our Faith Kids preschool class with a few siblings mixed in.