Monday, November 30, 2009

"In the year of 1620 on a cold December day
102 pilgrims sailed into Plymouth Bay..."

Those are the first two lines of Lily's recitation for November. I love her school. She is learning about the history of our nation in ways that are fun and exciting. She has learned about the creation of our nation and the pilgrims who came here for religious freedom and fought with God's power to make this a nation of liberty. I love that the school is patriotic. Every morning they say the Pledge of Allegiance, then have a moment of silence for individual prayer, and then sing the Star-spangled Banner. I was at the school this morning for an assembly and felt a calm, yet powerful feeling as we observed those moments of patriotism and respect for God.

Lily receiving a "coup," an honor, from her teacher during their native american unit. Parents were invited to attend their Thanksgiving event in which the kindergarteners dressed as native americans and the first and second graders dressed as pilgrims. They taught us a little about the first Thanksgiving and then the children sampled a few Thanksgiving foods. I am so impressed with what Lily has been learning and making at school: the tunic and headdress shown above, wampam belts, native american musical instruments, a diorama, pottery and basket weaving, and the pilgrim costume in the top picture. I can't say enough good about her school.

Monday, November 23, 2009

All the North Pole!!

We took a magical ride on the Polar Express to see Santa Claus. It was so magical!

Carter adores trains so this was amazing for him. In the days leading up to our train ride he would ask me if we could go now. "Pleeeeeease?" He was so patient.

Looking out the window.

Kids can wear their jammies on the trainride like the boy did in the story. We usually give the kids a new pair of jammies on Christmas Eve, but they got them early this year. I made these jammy pants from adorable cowboy and cowgirl fabric I found last year. I finally got them made!

We ate cookies and drank hot chocolate on the train. Beforehand we talked about the cookies and wondered if they would be yummy. The chefs on the train announced that the cookies were made by Mrs. Claus herself. Lily excitedly said, "They'll be delicious because they're homemade!" She was right. They were good...homemade is always the best! Aaron's cookie disappeared really quickly!

This was such a magical evening! As we read the book on the ride to the North Pole (we went through a magical tunnel that put us out close to the Pole), we wondered if we were in the same places the boy in the story was. Lily's eyes got big as we said, "Maybe we're going through a forest and wolves are watching our train speed by, " and "Maybe we're on a mountain too!"
I love this picture of Lily peering out the window at the North Pole. She was in awe.

Santa came onto the train at the North Pole!!! He gave each child a bell. I must say, those are the best jingle bells I've ever heard ring!

We had such a wonderful time together! The evening was just as magical for me as it was for the kids. I loved watching them enjoy the magic of Christmas!

Yes, if you didn't know, I'm pregnant and this photo makes my tummy look huge! I guess it is, but I've still got 9 weeks to go!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Another birthday

I had a very happy birthday. My family made me feel very special that day. My mom made me a delicious zucchini cake. The zucchinis were grown in my dad's garden and the walnuts were grown on my grandpa's tree. Lily and Carter helped mom frost the cake. They love licking the beaters!

Dad was so sweet and thoughtful. He sent me off to get "that thing done to your feet." My first pedicure ever. Isn't that so thoughtful for a dad to come up with?! We had dinner at a restaurant that I love. It's called Neapolitan. It's delicious italian food.

As you can see, for Aaron it was more work than pleasure. He sure did give me a break by wrestling Carter that evening. He also made me crepes for breakfast that morning. What a dear.

Growing up my mom put a special table cloth on the table for our birthdays. To me, it's the epitome of birthday. You put that on the table and the whole house feels birthday-y. She was so sweet to bring it with her and put it on my table for my birthday.

Thank you, Aaron, Lily, Carter, Mom and Dad for a wonderful birthday!

Friday, November 6, 2009


In a word, "Wow!" is my description of William Joseph's live performance. Aaron and I went to his concert last night. It was a fabulous show. His music is new to me and I completely enjoyed the performance. His music is very powerful and full of energy. Aaron and I loved the show. So did Hazel. She was awake and moving through the whole performance. The other performers in his quartet were extremely talented too. He had a violinist, cellist, and percussionist accompanying him.

My very favorite song was Kashmir. I also adored an unnamed ballad that isn't on his album, as well as Shine, a new song. Check out his website (linked above) and you can hear his fantastic music. Thanks, Michelle, for introducing us to your talented brother's music!

He's an incredible musician! His performances are amazing. He'll be performing Saturday night at the Mesa Arts Center. Go see the show!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween spookables!

My mom and dad came to visit for Halloween! We're so happy to have them here!

We made our yummy sugar cookies. Grandpa got pretty fancy with the frosting.

Carving pumpkins was a lot of fun. Lily drew the cutest face with star eyes. Carter requested moon-shaped eyes.

Left to right: Carter & Jill's, Lily's, Grandpa's, Aaron's.

Lily dressed up as Tinkerbell when she was born. If you have a little girl, you probably know that Tink was not born an infant.

Ah! A witchy and a princess! That's the sweetest witch I know! Lily designed this costume for me. As I was hurriedly finishing sewing the kids' trick-or-treat bags, she came to me with this outfit and said it was my princess costume. It ended up winning the "cutest adult costume" at our church's trunk-or-treat activity. Way to go, Lily!

Our un-traditional Halloween dinner. I used to make pumpkin stew. But seeing as how Aaron and the kids don't like it, I've quite making it.

Look at those Halloween spookables! Carter did not like Grandpa's costume one bit. He didn't want to go anywhere near him. Hence, the crying. Lily wasn't too impressed with his costume either! I can't understand why.

Tinkerbell and Peter Pan! Carter loved being Peter Pan. After his bedtime bath he insisted on wearing his Peter Pan costume to bed. He was the cutest little Peter Pan!