Sunday, December 30, 2007

Scripture Challenge 2008

scripture challenge

I have decided to try something new this following year. I love to scrapbook, but hardly ever scrapbook about me. I am going to try a scripture challenge scrapbook. Each week there is supposed to be a new challenge, that we are to study on and then scrapbook somehow. I have never tried an 8X8 album, but think that I am going to try to do this in an 8X8 album. Now I have to go looking for an album. I hope I am able to stay on top of this and don't get to far behind.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas 2007

It is hard to believe but after several weeks of preparation and anticipation it is all over. At least this year we were able to spread Christmas out over 3 days instead of trying to cram as much as possible into one day. We went to my Mom's on Sunday the 23rd, and then Santa came to our house while we were at church on the
24th, and finally the evening of the 25th we went to Kurt's sister's house for Christmas.
I don't know for sure, but belief in Santa may be over or almost over. This was something that happened while we were opening presents last night.
Kristen really wanted the dress, sweater, turtleneck and skirt that she saw at the Disney store last month, I told her no because it cost way to much. I was able to order the entire thing off of Disney shopping with a couple of codes. Only paid about 50 dollars for all 5 pieces. Anyway as she is opening the box that had the everything in it except for the dress, she is saying a Minnie sweater, another Minnie sweater, A Minnie skirt and then all of the sudden, you got the outfit I wanted so bad. Thanks Mom and Dad. We looked at her and asked her why she was thanking us. She said that some presents were from Santa and some were from us. We reminded her that the present had the Santa wrapping paper on it. To which she looked at us and said, I think that you are Santa. I guess the end of an era has arrived in our house. I will admit I feel a little sad knowing that there is no one who believes anymore.

I won't admit to being Santa, but I have a feeling we will no longer be able to pull off the Santa thing. I guess it is just another sign that my family is growing up and the little kids are gone.

Monday, December 24, 2007

5th program

Sunday evening was Kristen's Christmas Program at church. It was a very nice program and well organized. Kristen was so excited to finally have a speaking part and not to be singing Away in a Manager anymore. As she explained, I really like that song, but I am getting bigger and it is time the younger kids sing it and I move on. Sometimes she is to old for her age. She had the first part in the entire program, but quickly ended up with a second part when the girl behind her didn't show up. It was cute, she had her line memorized, but the next line had a difficult word in it and when she read that word there was a question in her voice like did I say that right? Everyone thought that was very cute. The picture with Kristen and David is the only picture I have from the night. I know that there are many parents who take pictures and some that videotape the program, but I just can't bring myself to take pictures inside the sancutary during a service. Must be my old fashioned religious upbringing.

For those of you so inclined to pray, please pray for little David. He is a sweet little boy who has gone through much. Without going into much detail he lives with his grandparents but has been at a special home for the past year and a half trying to help him learn to cope with his life. One thing that they said about him was that he doesn't know how to be a child. Lets just say that he has seen many things that a young boy shouldn't know about let alone see or experience. Prayers to help this little boy overcome his early childhood and also prayers to help the grandparents know how to help him would all be good.

Kristen has liked David since they met. He had just come home on Saturday from his second stay at the home, so wasn't able to be at any rehearsals. Kristen took him under her wing and sat with him and showed his when to go up and down etc. I thought it was a little bossy, but everyone else told me how cute it was that she helped him. The little boy has problems understanding that anyone wants to be his friend. I am so proud of Kristen and how she really seems to care for him.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas 1

We had Christmas at my Mom's house today. The first picture is Kurt holding my niece Grace. She is 11 months old. The second is a picture of the 4 girls. The two middle girls were acting goofy. Notice how nice the 3 younger girls look all dressed up. Since Sarah has become a teen getting her to dress nicely is becoming a constant struggle. I think I might throw away all of her old clothes. She has such nice clothes but you NEVER see her wear them. The next two pictures are of the two girls Kristen and Sarah opening up a present from Grandma. Three of the girls have pierced ears and I am sure that Grace will not be far behind, so my mom gave all three the same pair of really nice dressy earring. Kristen kept exclaiming that is just the pair of earrings I have been wanting. Silly girl. If she really loves something, she will exclaim that is just what I have been wanting even if she has never seen the item before. The last picture was of Sarah and Kristen getting dressed up to attend the Christmas program at Grace Lutheran Church. Notice we were able to get Sarah into a little bit nicer clothes but they are still over a year old. I can't get Kristen out of a dress and we can't get Sarah into a dress. There really needs to be a happy medium between the two.
We gave Grace a huge stuffed Pooh teddy bear and Kristen was really surprised and shocked. I think she wished that she was getting it. Pooh is Kristen most absolute favorite character in the world. She has loved Pooh since she was 6 weeks old and Grandma gave her a stuffed Pooh for Christmas. When we went to Disney, we couldn't get her away from Pooh and actually have a picture of Kurt trying to pull her away and Kristen hanging on for dear life with Pooh holding her.
All in all it was a nice afternoon, Kristen was thrilled to be getting more grown up toys. She is so happy (most of the time) to be growing up and moving into a new age level.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Spectacular

The pictures are from the annual Dance show for December. The studio used to do "The Nutcracker" when Sarah was little, then when Kristen got old enough to dance the only boy at the studio graduated. They have not done "The Nutcraker" since, but instead have done a take off from the Radio City Rockettes with their Christmas Spectacular. It is a cute show that involves tap, jazz, ballet, and a live nativity at the end. I was talking with some of the parents I know with kids in the preschool classes. They were complaining about how little their kids were on stage compared to the older ones. That is when it dawned on me. I used to be that parent who wished I was able to see my child dance more, now I have realized that my child is the one that is doing most of the dancing. Sarah was probably in about 3/4 of the show. Kristen still doesn't have a lot of dances, but she is in more than just a 2 minute song. I have also come to realize that the reason the little kids (babies as they are called at dance) don't have longer parts is because it is harder for them to learn the part they have and because they still don't know many steps and need to work up gradually. To those parents who were complaining about the lack of stage time for their children, I want to say; Just wait, before you know it they will be the older dancers who have all of the roles. It seemed like just yesterday that Sarah was in the baby classes and now she is in the Advanced level and Kristen is in Junior III for both of her classes. Before I know it she will be in the Intermediate level.
I was surprised tonight to see just how far my girls have come in dancing. Sarah as always looked good on stage, but tonight she was smiling like she was having a good time and looked so grown up. Just another reminder that she is growing up and is no longer my little girl. Kristen also did much better this year. Other years she has looked like she didn't know the routine, but this year she had it down. I also noticed that during her tap dances, she has learned to do many steps and can actually tap now more than just a couple of beginning steps.

It is nice to see signs that your children are growing up, but it is also a little scary. Sarah only has 4 more Christmas shows before she graduates and leaves. So little time, so much more to teach. What happened to my little girl.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Kurt At work

Finally some pictures of Kurt working that are actually decent. You can see what is happening in the picture and the lighting is okay. Gym pictures are so hard to take.
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We are 1/2 way there.

Tonight was Kristen's school program. This was program 3 out of the 6 programs that we need to attend this month. Kristen did a nice job and so loved wearing her new dress with pantyhose instead of tights. My kids are getting older every day. Whittier divides their program into 3 parts K-1; 2-3; and 4-5. Each grade sings a couple of songs and then the younger grade comes back out and joins the older group for final song "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". It was a nice program and Teddy even made an appearance during the middle section. Teddy is the Therapy dog for Whittier. The third grade class say a dog version of "The 12 days of Christmas" and the 12th day was a Teddy. Since it was also Teddy's 6th birthday we then sang "Happy Birthday" to him.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dad's favorite way to spend a day off

I couldn't resist taking this picture. He looked so relaxed and peaceful.

How do you spend a day off

After lunch today we put in some Christmas movies and the girls had a blast playing with items from the Family night basket while I worked on a little scrapbooking. We then had a light supper and a rousing game of UNO. We played 4 rounds. Kurt won once, I won once, and Sarah won once. The final round ended in a draw. We used up the cards in the draw pile 5 times. We finally called the game so that Kristen could get to bed. The pictures are of everyone playing today or whatever we choose to do for the day. Kurt and I were trying to remember, but we believe that this may be the first time in a couple of years, where no one has left home at all during the day. All in all, I think that this was a great way to have a relaxing and non stress ful day during a very busy season.

Snow er I mean Ice Day

Today was a rare day. No one had to go to school do to the ice, even Kurt got to stay home and that is a rarity. The girls and I spent the morning making Christmas Cookies. Yummy, I guess Santa will have plenty of cookies this year at our house (if the Cookie Monster doesn't eat them first) Normally I am lucky to get one batch of cookies done by Christmas so that there are some to put out for Santa. Today we made Andes Mint cookies, Spritz cookies, and Pecan Tassies. Since we are done by lunch now we get to play this afternoon. In October I won a family game basket in a silent auction. I have been saving this for the first snow day, so this afternoon, we are planning on a mean game of UNO and putting together a Star Wars puzzle.

Secret Pals

Since May I have been participating in a Secret Pal club. I have a pal for a year and each month get to choose and send my pal something super special just for them. I have also been emailing and sending snail mail letters to my pal. Of course someone else has my name and has been sending me the same thing. I have to say, I am really enjoying both the giving and receiving in this exchange and am considering signing the girls up also. Yesterday I received my December package and it was so much fun to open. My pals timing couldn't have been better.

She sent me Christmas towels and potholders. With the (snow) ice day the girls and I plan on baking lots of cookies. She also sent me a tin full of homemade cookies. Since all 4 of us are actually home today, I am sure that the cookies will be gone before the day is over. I hope my person loves her stuff as much as I love mine.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Choir Concert

Thursday night was the annual holiday choir concert. Usually the concerts last for 2 hours or longer and I have learned to dread them. Tonights concert was a sweet 60 minutes. I was also surprised to see that Sarah had been selected to sing in the 8th grade small group ensemble. Out of the 40-50 members only 9 were selected to perform in this special group. She did a great job of keeping it a surprise and of course of singing.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Strike up the band

The marching band season has ended and it is now time for the concert band season. Tonight was Sarah's last Holiday Concert at Washington. I still can't believe that next year she will be at the high school. It seems like only yesterday she was in 2nd Grade. (whoops, that is Kristen that was in second grade yesterday) Anyway for only having a month to learn the music the band sounded great. I am not sure that we sounded that good when I was in high school. Look at the size of this band. They are huge only about 93 in the band. Because of their size they have a wonderful sound. I also have to say I love my new camera. I was able to zoom in and get close ups of Sarah even though I was towards the back of the balcony.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Baby its cold outside

This afternoon, Lyons had their annual Christmas Walk. The girls dance studio always participate in the walk at the Sterling Federal Bank. This year I took the girls down at 3:30, then ran home and did a few errands. Kurt and I went back down around 5:00. While it was fun to walk around together and spend some time talking without the girls around boy was it cold. I actually not only had my winter coat on, but put the hood back on my coat, had on gloves, earmuffs, and a scarf. By the end of walk, I couldn't feel my legs they were so numb from the cold. This year it didn't seem like there was as many businesses participating. Some just had a still display in the window. I really like the few that had a live show. Besides our group, there was a church putting on a puppet show (lambs were telling about the birth of Jesus), and one of the elementary schools had their second grade class in a window, with the teacher reading them Christmas stories. How fun would that be? One group had a live nativity scene and the seemed very proud of the fact that they had a 3 month old baby for the scene. I am sorry but that turned me off. As cold as it was today, look at what all I was wearing and I don't normally put all of that stuff on, I think the baby should have been home where it was nice and warm. A doll would have done the trick just as well without taking the risk of getting the child sick. All in all it was a fun afternoon, and I enjoyed having my husband with me for a while and not thinking about other things like the football game that is on tv at the moment.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Whose got a beard that long and white?

Santa's got a beard that is long and white. Whittier elementary had their annual Santa shopping day. This is a great program where the kids get to go to school on a Saturday morning and pick out presents for their family without any help from Mom or Dad. One of the PTA parents helps the child pick out gifts from a list that Mom has given the child. Their is a wide array of items for the child to choose from; all priced in the child's price range. Kristen loves that she gets to give her family presents by herself. She also gets to meet with Santa. I think that this must have been the real Santa as he actually knew that Kristen dances, loves music and has a sister in 8th grade. The kids were also able to make a Christmas craft, color a picture, decorate a cookie and the entire family was able to enjoy doughnuts and milk/juice/coffee while waiting for their student. A nice way to start the Christmas season.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Beautiful Start to the Day

This is the scene that greeted me Monday morning when I arrived at school. With such a beautiful sunrise the day just has to be awesome.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A fun time

The girls and I were able to spend the day together. We started the morning by heading to McDonalds to pick up breakfast for Dad and take it to him at the high school. Of course, we had to have some also. After this we headed to Davenport. 1st stop was Scrapaganza to pick up the items from the classes we missed last week due to the car being down. I had forgotten that they were starting make and takes on Saturday morning so both girls were able to make a card and an ornament.

When they finished Mom was able to look around for a while and create a short wish list to give loved ones for Christmas. If you bring in the list on the paper from the store they will give the person buying a 15% discount. From here we went to Build a Bear (see earlier post) and then check out the Disney Store. After this we headed to the far end of the mall to see Santa (of course) and also to do a little shopping at Bears, Bobbles and More (yes presents for Kurt but shhhh don't tell him, it is a secret) After this back to the food court for lunch. The girls love eating at Chick Fli A. As we were walking back to the entrance where we came in at Kristen saw a cow (okay not a real one, but the one from Chick Fli A) She had to have her picture taken with him. The cow's handler then handed me a coupon for a free meal with purchase. Where were they 30 minutes ago? We left the mall and headed to Dancer's closet but they were closed so headed instead to Old Navy to spend a gift certificate that Sarah had received for her birthday. Even though she is picky she was able to find about 4 different sweaters that she will wear. Kristen is not near as picky but very fashion conscious and she also found an outfit that she thought was cute. From here a quick trip to Michaels where I was able to pick up a couple of items for my secret pal. We decide at this point to head back home making a short stop at Scrappin For Keep in Eldridge. I just discovered this store and even though they are not as friendly as Scrapaganza they have a large store with a slightly different selection of items. Handed Sarah the keys and we left to go home. Decided about half way home that we would stop and see Dad. He already knew that Sarah was driving as someone from DeWitt was on the way down to Clinton for the basketball game and told him that they passed his family but his wife was in the passenger seat and his daughter was driving. They did say not to worry as she was going the speed limit and they were driving a little fast. Stayed for 1/2 a game and then left to get the car unpacked and dad's presents hid before he gets home. Everyone enjoys having days like this together.

Build a Bear the sequel

Both girls received gift certificates for Build a Bear from Kurt's sisters for their birthdays. The original plan was to go down last Saturday and pick out a new friend but a broken water pump put a damper on that. We were able to get down there this morning and the girls had a blast picking out their new friends. Kristen even took her bear "Kristen" with her so that her first build a bear could pick out it's new sister. As you can see both girls had a blast. Thanks again to Aunt Jean and family and Aunt Ardith and family you gave the girls a great morning out.

Black Friday

Wow, I didn't realize that it has been so long since I posted. I have been swamped and very tired at night so just didn't take the time.

The Friday after Thanksgiving I always get up and go shopping. In the past I did it simply because it was one of the few times a year I could go without children. I always had to be home by 7:30 so that Kurt could leave for practice. Last year Sarah, as a teen , was allowed to get up and go with me. I still can't believe that she actually helped me pick out a present for her and had no idea. Not so this year. I wanted a new camera (with no lag time and a few other options) and she also wanted a camera. Walmart had several on sale and after finding out ahead of time what they were and researching the camera online I picked out two. A simple one for Sarah and then one for me. Sarah was actually able to get closer to the pallets than I was with the cart so she is the one who actually grabbed both camera's. She then had the gall to ask me if the one was for her. She knew that I had been eyeing the other camera and that I wanted a better camera. I did make her promise to be surprised Christmas Eve when we open presents. She is becoming a good shopper thanks to excursions like this. She is quickly learning to check prices and that not everything is a good buy. After leaving Walmart (I did pick up a few other things for other members of the family) we went to Kohl's. I only had a couple of things that I wanted to check on here, but after spending 45 minutes in the checkout lane I found a few things for Kurt for Christmas. After this Sarah wanted to check out Target, we walked in, she quickly found an item for 1.oo that she thought would be cute for her sister but then saw the line and decided that she didn't need the item and that it wasn't worth standing in line for that long. We wrapped up the day of shopping with breakfast at McDonalds and was home by 7:00 in the morning. All in all a good day.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Happy Birthday to ?

Last night we celebrated 3 birthdays. Sarah's was last month, but she is getting so busy with band and 4-H that it was hard to find a time for her birthday. I was having a hard time finding a date when Kurt's sister Ardith came up with the perfect solution. She said that there was no reason that Sarah couldn't share Austin and Kristen's party. Austin and Kristen's birthdays are only 6 days apart so we have been celebrating their special days together. It is much easier than trying to get together twice in a little over a weeks time. It also helps that the kids are such good friends. Kristen and Austin are just a year apart but have so many things in
common. Both kids love to color and create things. They could probably spend hours coloring. Austin is Kurt's sister Ardith's youngest son. She also has another boy Zachary. Both boys also love Sarah. She is just old enough that she can do things they can't and I think they look up to her a little bit because of it. Zach was asking Sarah what it was like to be able to drive. You could tell that he was already thinking about how fun it would be when he gets his permit in four years.
Kurt's older sister Jean and her husband Marv, his older brother Dean and my Mom were also there. Kurt's dad wasn't able to make it last night. The kids had a blast and now can't wait to go to Build A Bear. They wanted to head down to Davenport right after church today. Thanks Aunt Jean and Aunt Ardith.
Kristen was also thrilled to receive what she calls Older girl gifts. She is thinking that maybe she is growing up and able to do some older girl things. We gave her a CD player/AM/FM Radio, a Disney Jam's CD, and an Ariel

colorng desk. From Grandma she received a couple pair of earrings, and a bath set. She loves getting bath things as she is then like her older sister. She also received a pair of pig earrings from Ardith, Carl, and the boys. (Pigs are her favorite animal)

Sarah received a couple pair of earrngs from Ardith and family, and then from Grandma she received a gift certificate to Old Navy (she loves to shop there), a bracelet, and a Secret Keepers book.
Uncle Dean gave both girls some money. Thanks Uncle Dean.
Austin loved the football and Aguadots that we gave him. After opening presents the younger two had a blast creating designs and coloring pictures.

Thanks to all family members for a wonderful time together and the great gifts for the girls.