Monday, April 16, 2012

March 2012

This cute boy finally lost his second front tooth! The funniest part is that he lost it during church. He got it out and gasped a little; everyone around us laughed and fortunately someone brought us a baggie to stick it in. We stuck it under his pillow that night and the "Tooth Fairy" brought him some money. Sadly, he's figured it out. He came in our room the next morning and told us the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus are all pretend. We told him he was right but he needed to keep it a secret for the younger kids. He is growing up much too fast!

On William's actual birthday morning, we had our traditional number pancake with candles but William wasn't thrilled with the sparkling candles we used.

Carter was recognized at his Honor Roll assembly, which happened to fall on the one day I worked. Papa filled in for us and got this photo from his phone. Thanks, Dad!

For St. Patrick's Day, leperchauns came and destroyed our house, leaving a trail of gold (Werther's) and turning the milk green. They also left some fun, sugary breakfast cereal and a note. :)
That night we had a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner brought my parents. I made whole-wheat Irish soda bread. It was sooo easy and sooo yummy! We got serious playing Connect Four x Four as well. It is an exciting twist on the old Connect Four; we really enjoy it!

We finally finished reading Indian in the Cupboard and held a themed night. Little Bear consistently asked for "Meat. Little Bear need meat." so we went with that. We haven't been eating much meat around here, especially red. But being that we aren't morally opposed to eating it I bought some organic, grass fed strip steaks and we grilled them. Wow! What a difference in taste. We cut them up small and used toothpicks to eat that and our grilled veggies (William may have eaten a few Fruit Loops as well;)). We also watched the movie with our popcorn (that Little Bear requested). Danny and I both were a little disappointed in the movie but the kids really liked it. We haven't started reading something else yet but we are thinking about Harry Potter for the summer.

We also went back to the "jumping place" and I couldn't resist both of these cuties in the swing together,

Carter jumped like crazy at Jump Rope for Heart,

and, we had fun at Nana and Boppies with extra foamy handsoap.

Besides William's actual birthday, the highlight of March was when we went a wonderful vacation in the middle of the month. One of William's biggest fans sent us to Disneyland for a few days. We met her and her beautiful family for the first time and had such a relaxing and enjoyable time enjoying our kids! Here we are with Angela and three of her four kids. She decked us out in Disney attire and literally spoiled us the whole time. William having been ill was incredibly difficult, but like all trials, there are blessings that come from it. We knew this trip was a tangible blessing from our experience and evidence of God's love for our family. We are so grateful to Angela and her generosity!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

William's Airplane Birthday

(I really am not a great photographer (see the bad lighting) but I did have fun editing these photos with the new Instagram-like features in Picasa (thanks Deanna for the tip)!

There were a few days last summer when we were not sure if William would see his second birthday. It was with extreme gratitude that we celebrated his birthday last month. His birthday was on a Friday the 9th and we had a gathering the next day. We wish we could have invited everyone we know but we held it at home so there had to be some limits;).

William LOVES airplanes and I love themed parties so I scoured the internet and used ideas from various sites to come up with a "high-flying" day.

We created a landing strip for the guests when they walked up.

I gave the kids "passports" with activities to complete before they could "board the plane." The activities were:
Baggage claim (decorating the treat bag)
Pin the propeller on the plane (Carter freehanded the plane for us:))

Color in the airplane--note about these--Danny has been on a LOT of trips for work recently...I asked him to ask the stewardesses if we could buy small packs of peanuts...he told them William's story and batted his pretty blues and they gave him a ton of peanuts and these fun post cards!

The last station was Make and fly a glider. I bought them from Oriental Trading. The kids put them together and had to throw them through a hula hoop.

Then, we were ready to board the aircraft. We had First Class seats for grandparents.
Our kids and nephew Ryan were flight attendants and handed out above mentioned peanuts, pretzels and waters. We then showed a video we made of William's life thus far. We were thrilled with the final result. We put it on Facebook but if you haven't seen it, it is worth the watch (although we are biased;)). Here is the link:

For lunch, we had "sammies" (sandwhiches but I'd like to think they were fancy) and BBQ flight wings, "plane" chips and "not-so-plane" chips, veggies, and "Captain's Cuties." Can you tell I had fun with the theme?

My mom's friend makes delicious and beautiful cakes and made this one for us.
And, William is so loved Boppie made him another cake!
Carter learned to play "Happy Birthday" on the piano and was our accompaniment. :)

Getting ready to blow out the candle!
And, although I got very few photos of the people here, I did get some of Uncle Eric with all the kiddos on the hammock. The kids love him because he is really just a big kid himself!

We had a great day! We feel so blessed to have experienced many miracles with William and to have such a healthy boy! At his last check-up the doctor was able to decrease his blood pressure medication even more and he no longer requires iron supplement. During some of the "dark days" in LA it was hard to imagine how well he has recovered. William has truly "turned two" and learned to say (shout) "no" and is doing his best to exert his independence. He is a joy to have in our family, even when he repeats himself for twenty minutes at a time;)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"Flat Alaina"

Cousins Mark & Louise's daughter Alaina is in second grade in Utah and sent us her "Flat Alaina" (after reading the Flat Stanley book) that we got to tote around our city. It is always fun to look at our area as more of a tourist. We took the kids to the snow in Wrightwood and brought "Alaina" along to enjoy the mountains.
Then we had fun with her in good ole' Rivercity. We hiked Mt. Rubidoux with all the Todd gals while the Todd boys were fishing one morning and brought "Alaina" along.
Carter has been taking an art class in downtown so we walked around during his class so "she" could see more of Riverside.
We got to write up a little about Riverside in the questionnaire that came with it as well. It was fun to go exploring in the name of education and helped remind us that although Riverside is no NYC, it is pretty cool in it's own rite:). Thanks, Alaina!