Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving/ Happy Birthday Lauren

This Thanksgiving was a double hitter. Lauren's birthday fell on the same day. We had a great time celebrating.

During the month of November we created a "Thankful Tree". We'd write what we were thankful for on leaves and by the end of the month, our tree had full foliage.

Our Thankful Tree

In Lauren's preschool they held a "mock" Thanksgiving. Lauren was so excited that she asked for her birthday dinner to be a Thanksgiving dinner! No problem!

For Thanksgiving we were invited to a friend's house. At first, I was hesitant because she asked me to bring dishes I don't normally make on Thanksgiving, but it turned out to be a huge feast and we had a great time!

The Thanksgiving table...not quite finished. We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, ham, funeral potatoes, macaroni & cheese, deviled eggs, rolls, pickles and olives, green bean casserole, salad and corn.

The Dessert Table! For dessert we had apple pie, pumpkin pie, banana cream pie, peach pie, baklava, some Brazilian dish that I have no clue what it's called, chocolate cream pie, Jello, caramel apple cheesecake, sweet potato pie and a pumpkin roll (thanks to Lauren--at preschool they had a pumpkin roll and Lauren insisted that we have one too).

Brynlie and Kamary hanging out.
Hanna had fun talking to the missionaries-- at an appropriate distance. :)   The missionaries ended up having 5 eating appointments that day. I don't know how they survived.

Dishing up.

Everyone eating dinner.

Lauren the Birthday Girl.


Even the cat had a feast! She loved the shrimp.

After dinner some of the kids put on a Thanksgiving play. They wrote it themselves. Kamary was a servant.

Here they are performing a song in the play.

Asking the Native Americans (Kohler) for help.

Kohler played the part of the Native American. I'm not sure what his name was...Myexo. We might just start calling him that from now on. 

Here is Kohler and Alyssa playing the game Mousetrap. There were a lot of things to do and the kids had a great time playing while the adults talked.

We ended up getting home at 9:30 at night. Since we didn't have time to throw our regular birthday party for Lauren (although she did open some presents on her birthday), we decided to celebrate the next day as well. Lauren was all for that.

So Friday she opened her presents from her Grandparents.

She was so happy and really content on her birthday. She didn't whine or complain about anything. She really is a sweetie.

From Grandma and Grandpa Wheeler, she got a princess painting set and a giant Tinkerbell coloring book. From Grandma and Grandpa Smith she got a Lalaloopsy bus. She loved her presents.

For her birthday she wanted chocolate cake. That's it--nothing special--just chocolate cake.

Lighting the candles.

Blowing out the candles.

The kids got silly straws to drink from. They liked that. We also had peppermint ice cream (since pink is Lauren's favorite color).

After cake and ice cream, Lauren got right into playing with her toys. Here she is coloring her giant picture. :)

Fun Facts about Lauren

Favorite Food:
Pumpkin Roll & Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Pie

Favorite Color:

Favorite TV Show:
Go Diego Go

Favorite Movie:

Favorite Song:
Year Without Rain-- Selena Gomez

Favorite Scripture Story:
Where Jesus Dies on the Cross

Favorite Church Song:
Heavenly Father Loves Me
 (She says that whenever she hears that song she just feels that Heavenly Father really does love her)

Favorite Thing About Preschool:
Having Snack

Favorite Thing to Do:
Dancing, Color, Draw, Sing, Play with her siblings, sing, listen to her MP3 player

Special Things About Lauren:
Lauren is very loving...sometimes smothering, but she just loves and accepts everyone. One time in preschool when one child was picking on another--making her sad, Lauren helped her feel better and was her special friend the entire day. She really cares about others and is compassionate. Often if someone is sad she'll try to help them feel better, even if it means giving up something she likes. She gives the sweetest hugs.

We love Lauren and are so happy that she's part of our family.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Stake Service Day

In commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the welfare program of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints our Stake held a day of service.  We traveled to the little city of Ajo, AZ, less than an hour from the US Border. We spent the day pulling weeds and grooming the grounds of their local cemetery.

Alyssa's plugged in and ready to go. 

Poor puppy. She wants to go too. 

Sorry about the sideways picture. It's straight on my computer. Anyway, here's Dad and Hanna working. 

Kamary and Hanna. The kids were really good. They all had great attitudes and helped out without complaining. I wish we could get them to do that at home with their regular chores. ;) 

 Dad and Alyssa. You would think that I didn't do anything but take pictures, but that's not true. :)

In the morning, the little kiddos were at the church doing some activities while the 3 older girls helped us in the cemetery.

 Here we are at the church having lunch.

Dad helping Kamary over the fence. I think it was the first time our kids have ever jumped a fence-- pathetic.

After lunch the littlies came out and helped us work. Here's Lauren using the hoe.

Kohler tried out the rake.

Even Brynlie wanted to help out.

Pulling weeds out of a grave.

 We were satisfied to see that the little bit we did, made a difference.

Brynlie loved all of the colorful rocks.

One of the caretakers (not really a caretaker but she maps out the cemetery and records who is buried there) took the kids around and told them about the people that were buried there. It was a great experience for them and it made it even more personal for us to be helping. There were a lot of babies there. It was sad. She told us that in the 1920s the infant mortality rate was really high. There was no refrigeration and because of the Arizona heat, the food would get spoiled and the babies and children would get sick and die. So sad.

Jason teaching the kids the "proper" way to jump a fence.

On the way home, tired but happy after a day's work! :)

It was a great experience. My kids asked me if we could do that every Saturday! I don't know about that-- but we did enjoy working together as a family.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Brynlie!

This past week we celebrated Brynlie's 3rd birthday!  I can't believe that my baby is 3 years old! She sure has been changing. She talks all the time and has really gotten into imaginative play. She's now potty trained and wants to do everything herself. She is a joy to have in our home!

Here is a "twirly skirt" I made for her birthday. 

Brynlie is obsessed with Scooby Doo and wanted a Scooby Doo cake. Here is my attempt. Luckily she's only 3 and didn't care if the decorating wasn't perfect.  

A close up of the cake. 

For dinner we had homemade chicken nuggets (Chick-Fil-A style) and french fries. 

Lighting the candles. 

Blowing out the candles. (Luckily she didn't catch her hair on fire!) 

 We got some Scooby Doo party blowers. Brynlie liked those more than the cake.

They look like little puppies! :0

 Opening presents. Her siblings had a hard time not helping her, but really--she's 3-- she's got the opening presents thing down!

She got Strawberry Shortcake Dolls from Grandma & Grandpa Smith

Here is everyone playing with her toys. It's a good thing Brynlie likes to share.

Kamary and Brynlie are best friends. Here they are playing together.

Brynlie will walk up to you and say "Play with me?" How can anyone resist?

Here is the big teddy bear Brynlie got from Grandma and Grandpa Wheeler. She loves stuffed animals and likes to sleep with it at night.

Fun Facts about Brynlie

Favorite Color:

Favorite Movie:
 Scooby Doo, Diego and Dora (going back and forth from one to the other, several times a day) 

Favorite Food:
 Chicken Nuggets, Fries and Mac & Cheese

Favorite Song:
 Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, How Much is that Doggie in the Window

Favorite Story:
 Anything Princess

Favorite Activities:
 Drawing on herself, Dressing up like a princess, making messes, watching TV, singing songs, playing with toys.

Favorite Friend:
 Kendra (her cousin)
Kamary (her sister)

Fun Story:
 Brynlie likes to wear a hooded towel and pretend she's rapunzel. She'll sing the song from Tangled while Kamary pretends to comb her "hair". It is so cute!

Other fun facts:
 Brynlie always refers to herself in 3rd person. "Brynlie wants a drink."

Brynlie is extremely independant. Most of my kids are, but Brynlie is by far the most. She HAS to do everything herself. From unbuckling in the car, getting dressed, putting on her shoes, turning on the light, lifting up the potty seat, going potty, etc. Sometimes it drives Mom crazy, but she's really getting to be a big girl.

We love Brynlie so much and are so happy she's in our Family!