Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Breakfast

We were so happy that the camera worked still I took pictures of the kids and Kevin at breakfast and then Kevin took one of me. I made warm cereal (aka oatmeal) and surprised them with hot chocolate. The slow eaters picked up the pace as I handed it to the fast eaters. This was a great way to end our Thanksgiving holiday.

Surprise Snow

We got snow Saturday night unexpectedly. We had just finished the leaves and the weather was nice and calm without any sign of precipitation on Saturday. Samantha ran up the stairs to our room and said "IT SNOWED!" It was the beautiful kind of snow that falls gently without blustery wind. The kids put on their warm clothes and headed out, reassuring us that they can change into church clothes after. We just smiled...
Then I wanted to take a picture but...I took pictures the night before of the leaves and left the camera on the trampoline. Right when we figured that out, Samantha was opening the door holding it and telling us the same thing! We dried it off and it was working once the fog cleared off the inner lenses, YEAH! The kids made sure they were thoroughly cold and then came inside to warm up. Snow is fun here!
Then we went to church and everyone we talked to hates snow! How can this be? It's not like it sticks and you have to shovel your walks and driveway. There is only one day to drive slowly and carefully. All you do is make a snowman and then watch it melt over the next couple of days, what's the big deal?
Anyways, isn't it beautiful? We like it and we are grateful for the few snow falls we get.

Leaves, Leaves and More Leaves

Kevin and I used the leaf blowers and blew nearly all of our leaves to the driveway so we could put them in the burn pit. We accumulated so many that the blowers were not productive with the huge pile. Kevin hauled them in garbage cans while I did the leaves from the huge pecan tree. It took us about 2 hrs. Needless to say, my arm is sore from holding it so long! The leaves got done though! We will have one more round of leaf blowing since a few trees still have leaves.

Derrick's Birthday

This is Derrick's month! He has turned 7 years old and is so big! We are so proud of him. He is such a good boy and is learning and growing. He is finally getting comfortable reading and is well rounded in the other subjects at school. He could read before but he knows for himself that he can read. It is so fun to see that light come on inside him, and his writing has improved in the same way. Derrick has always done math with ease. When he comes home it is the first thing he chooses to do for homework and I rarely have to help him.
Derrick is into building things and loves playing with legos, the erector set and fixing things with his tools. He loves to see how things work and wants everything to be robotic! He loves his stuffed animals and enjoys taking them on adventures.
Derrick loves riding his bike and scooter, and he likes skateboards. He can play the piano really well now with his music classes and uses both hands together with chords and melody.
Scriptures was one of the things he really wanted since he loves taking them to church, so we gave him some. He really enjoys reading the scriptures with us as a family and his prayers are filled with thoughtful gratitude.
Derrick enjoys playing with his sisters as they pretend or climb trees together. He also enjoys playing with all those boys at school!
We are so grateful to have such a good son and really appreciate the love he shares in our family. He is the one who keeps track of the things around him. I know if I ask Derrick, he knows where it is and he will go get it for me with a smile. He is so fun to be around. I know that when I take him shopping alone with me that it is so much fun to be in his company. He listens well and is so willing to help. We love our Derrick and we are so glad he is part of our family!

1st Grade Thanksgiving Program

Derrick's 1st grade teacher puts on a Thanksgiving program every year, we know because Samantha had the same teacher and did the same one. Derrick was happy to learn the parts and did a great job during the program remembering them. He also did all the songs and poems so well. I never really knew how many songs and poems there are about Thanksgiving but now I know you can fill a 40 minute program with them!
Derrick has a voice that carries well and in the past has been heard over the other children. This year there was another little boy who surpassed them all! He had an incredible monotone voice that carried well and he knew all the words! That made us smile a lot. I am glad that Derrick is learning how to sing in tune and chant well with the other kids. It really is an accomplishment for most children!

Derrick's Friend Party

Since Derrick's birthday is always right next to Thanksgiving we planned to have his friend party the week before. I crossed my fingers so we could do it at the park with good weather. I sent the invitations on Monday and he handed out 22 to his friends. Usually only 1/3 show up but I was surprised to have 1/2 come.We planned a treasure hunt. Derrick was so excited and was making sure that I got the map ready and helped Kevin blow up some balloons. I went to the park before I picked them up from school and buried the treasure box (WOW, those chocolate coins are expensive!). I literally buried it in the wood chips and several more inches in the dirt. I should have brought a shovel! I tried to keep KayDee away but a 4 year old just wants to help.When I brought the kids over to the park, I had to hurry and use the bathroom. When I came back, KayDee had showed them where the treasure was hidden but they hadn't dug it out yet. I had specifically told her NOT TO TELL, but she is 4. So I had them go on a map hunt since I cut the map in pieces and had hid them throughout the park. I knew the treasure was still a success when I heard them shriek "It's a real treasure box" as they dug it up.
Derrick opened presents and we had cupcakes. Then I dumped the big bag of balloons on them and they stomped on them making it sound like fireworks. They played together on the park until their parents came.
Birthdays at the park are so great. I didn't have to clean my house before or after, and I didn't have to entertain them.

Fiesta Family Fun

Our cell phone company is changing to AT&T and they encouraged us to sign up for new phones early by giving us 2 passes to Fiesta Family Fun. Samantha was begging for time with me or Kevin by herself and we figured this would be fun. I took her with me and we had a great time. (Derrick will get to the next fun thing that comes along.)
We figured out which games put out the most tickets and got some fun prizes to share with Derrick and KayDee. Then we both rode the kiddie cars (They aren't made for adults but I barely fit with my short legs!). Then we did the bumper boats and of course waited in line for the race cars. That was by far the most fun! We spent a couple hours and called it good after we played miniature golf. I think it is fun to take our kids out individually and I know they like it too!

Silly and Sweet

We decided to take silly couple pictures. This blog needs to have more pictures of me and Kevin you know... It is fun taking pictures of the kids and they do interesting things so we always have the camera handy. We decided to do the one armed picture to document us too, jammies and all.

Dakota, Gracie, and Bella

We have 3 horses in our pasture right now for a couple of reasons. Dakota is here since he is getting old and needs to have warmer weather for the winter. Gracie and Bella joined because we have a lot of long grass that needs to be eaten so new growth can grow in the spring.
At first the kids were super excited to have 3 horses but they soon discovered that Gracie does not like to move much. She likes to eat and that's about it (she is Bella's mother). Bella cannot be ridden yet because she is too young and still growing. Dakota fell down during the deer hunt and we think was injured enough to be bugged. The kids rode him and he kept pulling on the reins and jolting the kids around, which is a little scary. We will let him recover a bit and try to ride him again.
Samantha had some friends over and they wanted to pet the horses. I was a little worried about Bella since she is still young and inexperienced. Kevin said she would be fine with the girls out there. I watched on the deck just in case as they went in the pasture. Everything was fine until Daisy kept provoking Bella and Bella would run after her. Then Bella would run to the girls and Samantha held up her hands and yelled "STOP". Bella stopped right in front of her without an inch to spare. I was a little worried at this point as I was observing that Bella had no boundaries. I walked down to tell the girls to come out and as they walked out Bella was trotting after them, nipping at their hair continually. What a STINKER! I had to push her out of the way so the girls could go through the gate. I've never pushed a horse before but she responded to me. She is a friendly horse and will be great after she is grown and trained.
In all, it is a great experience for the kids to see how horses can be and the differences in them. They will get to see a change in Bella as the years go by and know from experience how horses can learn. We do enjoy having them in the pasture.

Lewis the Goat

We have a new renter! He also has a goat named Lewis, which stayed here for a few days until he could find a place for him. He was a great goat who really liked people. He would follow me around everywhere. Lewis also liked the dogs our renter has and one dog would especially keep Lewis in line. Daisy did not enjoy the goats company and ended up being head butted a couple times.

Hallween 2010

Halloween Parade at the Elementary school. Sam was a nice witch.
Derrick a Cowboy and KayDee a pink Tinker Bell.Samantha's class did donuts on a string and made a big icing mess on the floor. I asked the teacher how she gets it out and she said she didn't know since this was the first year she did it.
KayDee and her preschool teachers. They did dry ice bubbles that were really cool!We trick or treated at the High School Friday afternoon and also went to our bank for some fun.
Then we went trick or treating on Saturday and then went to the park for the town party. They had a blow up house this year which was especially fun.


Saturday, November 13, 2010


We did it and we never thought we would get there. Our finances have always been tight but this year we decided we were going no matter what, especially since I promised Samantha we would go when KayDee was 4 yrs old. We set out to make some money. The kids worked in the neighbor's garden all summer to contribute. We sold pecans from our tree, did seed packets for our other neighbor and even sold some fruit from our trees. We earned almost half the amount we needed which was impressive considering the price of tickets! We told my parents we were planning to go and we invited them to go with us. They planned on taking us on a vacation and so we were able to go and have a great time with them. They went to Disneyland with us for the first day and then had some meetings for my Dad's business the next 2 days.We enjoyed the Adventures side of Disneyland first and Sam and Derrick loved Soaring Over California. All three loved the Bug's Life rides and then we went on The Tower of Terror. Samantha still claims it is her favorite ride. I don't think Derrick knew what he got himself into. We made our way around and we got to the big Mickey Farris Wheel and we got on a moving seat. It was the longest, scariest, devastatingly, helpless ride the kids thought they had gone on. There were almost tears of terror as we rolled backwards in an oval shape. Luckily my mom was there to hug and hold the kids with me until the ride finally let us off! Who knew a ferris wheel could be so terrifying?!We continued on and decided to skip the roller coasters since the wheel had taken all their courage. The kids enjoyed the Toy Story soldier program going on the street. They were bossed around by the green men telling them to freeze like a toy. Very entertaining.We went to the Resort side of Disneyland at the end of the day and did we get a reaction from KayDee as we came to the castle. She was prancing and galloping to each of us to make sure we knew the castle was right there. "There it is! We found it!" It was really a magical moment for her. As we continued walking around observing the long lines, we decided to head back to the hotel for dinner and go back early the next day.We went the second day by ourselves and were able to do everything we wanted to do before it started pouring rain. It's a Small World, driving cars, Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribean and of course we visited the Princesses and Fairies. KayDee saw Belle first and she asked if KayDee was a princess and she said yes. Then Belle asked if Sam and Derrick were her servants and she said yes. It was so cute. She told them to take care of their Beast when they left. Samantha loved that Arial asked if they swam there and to look out for sharks. We went on the Buzz Lightyear ride which everyone enjoyed except for KayDee. Once she saw Zurg she was hiding, crunched up, shaking next to our feet for the rest of the ride. Derrick and Kevin scored pretty high! It rained on and off throughout the day and we decided to shop for our souvenirs at the end of the day and the rain forced us into a store at about 4:30pm. We had window shopped throughout the day and were able to find the items the kids had seen and wanted. Derrick ended up with action figures from Toy Story, and the girls each got a large Minnie Mouse doll. Samantha's was a pink baby Minnie with a blanket and KayDee found a red Minnie.
We decided to head back to the hotel and my parents watched a movie with the kids while Kevin and I sat in the hot tub. We left for home on day 3 and stopped at Calico Ghost Town. It was a fun stop even with their not so classy Halloween decorations on the old carriages and buildings.
It was a great vacation and we are grateful my parents could join us and help us get there!