Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Reflection

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a wonderful day filled with family and good foods! A nice afternoon of visiting while enjoying a good meal... can't beat that! Mostly though I really want to reflect on all that I am thankful for - which I am not sure you can always put into words. But, I am thankful for our family~ my immediate family, my extended family as well as my family of friends! All the people in my world who make our life so wonderful, peaceful, well rounded, fulfilled, exciting, calm, adventurous, traditional, amazing, educational and loving!!! I can't imagine our lives any differently and I am thankful for everyday with you in it!

Look who did the dishes....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


See all of those cards up above... Holly can read all of those words now! She can read more than those, more than just three letter words. If a word has basic phonic sounds - she can pretty much work her way through it and get it. She has been interested in reading for some time, we have not really pushed it but will sit once in a while and sound out stuff. And, with like anything it's starting to really click for her. It is awesome!!! She is super proud of herself too -- like last night when she read all of these cards her sweet little face was beaming... simply beaming. We'll slowly start adding some other rules to reading now, other sounds - but for the mean time she is busy reading her little books on the couch as I type this - Wow! Not bad for 3 1/2 years old.

One proud mommy here!

My 'Scope'

Holly received a gift from Grandma Annette, a microscope or as Holly puts it her 'scope'. She has taken to this new little device like a fish to water and wants to use it all the time. Last night she asked to break it out again, so we did. She took her little dish around and collected things to instpect, Bryan set up some juice and beer to look at -- beer yeast is very cool looking, we looked at animal fibers, cat hair and more. It was a lot of fun and the best part is that Holly really loves it!

Not the hand over one eye to help her see in the microscope - cute!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fantasy Lights

Sunday night we took in a local holiday light show for the evening. This light show only opens one night a year as a walk thru light show, typically it is a drive thru show. However, we enjoy walking it way more. Driving is so hurried - walking allows you to stop and enjoy, talk about the light displays, answer questions from your child, listen to carolers, sing Ruldolph the Rednosed Reindeer at that display and visit with your company. Much nicer and not hurried at all!

I'll admit we meander, but I am amazed at how many hurry through this kind of activity... especially after rushing to get there I can't imagine rushing to get done. We like to be a bit slower and take it all in, something I really hope to instill in Holly... which will be hard this day in age when everything is rushed.

We had a really nice night and wonderful company! Afterwards Grandma Annette invited us all out for dessert and cocoa. So we met up and enjoyed a nice night sipping cocoa and visiting some more. Made for a great kick off to the holiday season!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fall Walk & My Camera

It just doesn't get better: a beautiful morning, my family, a morning walk and my camera... with a little time to play too! Saturday morning we headed out to take advantage of the crisp morning sun and took a morning walk. This is one of our favorite paths in town, a good length and the park is simply fun.

This morning I brought along my camera - I just don't get enough time to play with it and try my hand and different kinds of photos. So, this morning I captured some fall berries and mushrooms of sorts. There were some really cool items to photograph... it was hard to choose and keep up with Bryan & Holly on our walk!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Scrapping Fun!

So, last Thursday night and all day Saturday I attended our annual scrapbook convention with Annette. We took in four classes that were filled with a lot of great project ideas and some new techniques! We walked the show and shopped for supplies for a long time and picked up great ideas there too. I think we both had a great time! Saturday night we finished up with stopping for dinner at Red Robin - what a fun day!

Here are some photos of the projects we did. The first night we made an altered scrapbook into a recipe collection. Each person who attended the workshop brought with them scrapped recipes and we all swapped. This class also had a fun candy wrapper, bread wrap and a cute chinese food box.

On Saturday we did three workshops. The first one was making a wonderful altered canvas that is used to display photos and memorabilia. You can set it up as a tri fold frame or a wall hanging lengthwise. This was by far my favorite class!
Then we learned some new paper techniques for scrapbooks where you can work outside of your protective page. The ideas were cool and I might use some in other kinds of projects, but really not too much my taste. However, it is always good to learn something new and often times it makes a technique not seem as intimidating.

And, finally we made this adorable winter themed board book. It is just cute as pie, was very easy to do and a lot of fun!

We welcomed our tree....

This past friday night we put up our Christmas tree and enjoyed a fun family night of decorating it as we listened to holiday music. It was a fun night. Now, before I hear "What?"... it's not *that* early! And, Thanksgiving is so late this month we are losing a whole weekend of holiday decor. As well, we will be gone in a couple of weekends to Leavenworth - hence losing an entire weekend of our decor. That coupled with the fact that Holly is just beside herself for all things Christmas - we dicided, what the heck and suprised her Friday night with our tree! She loves it!

This week I will continue to decorate the house - although I am toning it down a lot simply because it is a lot of work to put up, we are busy and it is a lot of work to clean and take down. So, I will tone it down some this year and relax to 'enjoy' the season! We have already broke out our holiday books and have been reading them, watched a movie or two and this weekend we will take in our first holiday light show - I cannot wait!

Friday, November 14, 2008

At The Park

After the library on Monday we played at the park for about an hour. Holly met a couple of little girls on the playground and they played hide & seek for quiet some time. And, let me say there is nothing like watching a bunch of preschoolers play hide & seek when there are not many places to hide. Holly curls up in this little ball and tucks her head - kind of the whole "I can't see you, so you can't see me" kind of thing. It is funny!

Anyhow, she had a great time and that is what counts!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Library Days

In the living room I have a large worn wicker basket plopped next to the couch that is always overflowing with books. The coffee table is stacked with seasonal books or books on topics we are learning about that week. The car... is always loaded with books. Books are just part of our every day! Our personal bookshelves are filling by the day as we all love books in this house. The bookstore is a favorite past time for us. And, the library is a big part of our life! We head to the library at least once a week, every Monday, and typically more than that. It is just part of who we are.

So each week we sort through our books (music & movies) and decide which ones are ready for return, which ones we would like too keep an extra week and which ones we may want to check out again some day soon. We load up the book bag till the seams are bulging, I carry the extras with me in hand and then we head out the door for the library.

The next hour is usually spent returning books, selecting new ones to enjoy and a little bit of library entertainment - like puzzles that are out, we read a few stories and if the computer is open with kid games on it then we partake. I also choose a subject we have to 'look' for each time - sometimes we use the computer together and sometimes we recruit the librarian for their help and then we go on a book hunt together. I want Holly comfortable with this process as we emerge into reading and schooling.

We love our library days... I hope you do to!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mini Mud Puddle

Yesterday Hawk & Bryan were brewing all day... a Christmas brew. With brewing comes the hose and lot's of excess water, creating some small mud puddles in our drive area. As well, it is fall and it has been raining so in general the grounds are a nice muddy mess right now.

Holly bundled up and headed out for some wet play in the mud. She adores being in mud puddles - in fact we quiet often bundle up and head down our drive to the largest puddles for enjoyment! Before Bryan fixed an existing drainage issue we used to get mud puddles that would require life guards on duty - fun for boat play in the dead of winter! Not too many can lay claim to that. However, now that the drainage issue have been resolved - we have nothing but mini mud puddles to enjoy... so enjoy is exactly what Holly did!

Look at that face.... What a stinker!

Okay, that's better!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Holiday Singing....

This morning I caught a wonderful moment when Holly didn't know I was listening (or holding back tears from laughter) as she belted in song 'Santa Clause Is Coming To Town'. I think this is 'the' year that the holidays are going to be the most magical for her and the idea of Santa is just a glittery-glimmer in her eyes and mind right now! We have been listening to a bit of holiday music, Bryan has been playing tunes on his acoustic guitar with her and she has already asked when we will have our Christmas tree. Such a magical time of year and a magical time in her life -- I love it!

Here are some clips of Holly's rendition of Santa Clause Is Coming To Town:

"You better not cry, you better not sigh
You better not cry in bed all night...
Santa Clause is coming to town"

"He sees you when your good, he sees you when your peeking"

"You better not cry >pause<....
But I'm not really sure why
Santa Clause is coming to town"

Friday, November 7, 2008

Cookies With Uncle Don

This summer the boys purchased dutch ovens and have since been working on perfecting some recipes. Uncle Don has become know for his pineapple upside down cake, which Holly enjoys. The other day Holly was playing in her kitchen with 'Uncle Don' making pineapple upside down cake... all pretend. I shared this with Auntie Sue knowing she would appreciate that and Uncle Don heard all about it. Uncle Don then came up with the idea to come down and bake cookies with Holly... coking together for real.

Last night was the night they had planned. Uncle Don came down and they made cut out cookies with shortbread and icing. Kristina and Sarah also made them with her too! The cookies turned out great, Holly had a very hands on fun cooking time and Uncle Don had a good time, I think! :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gray Days

The rains have began, better known as the 'pineapple express' in our region. Rain, cold, wet, chill, gray days... it is all here! While I love fall, I do not like this wet weather. The rain is harder to take now that Holly is in our lives, simply because we cannot get outside nearly as much for true solid playtime (except for rain boot & mud puddle fun). Summer months are filled with hours of outdoor play on the big toy, running in the grass, riding her bike, chasing the butterflies, playing at the park or swimming in her kiddy pool. Fall starts out nice with crisp clear days checkered with the beautiful warm colors of leaves... the kind I love, then it slowly fills up with the weather we are experiencing now. Forcing us inside, a lot!

We are venturing out to find indoor activities to enjoy that are not 'home'. Today was a good example as we tried out a new indoor play center called Charlie's Safari and it was great! We went with a friend and the kids had a nice time. We will also start seeking out the indoor mall play areas, bouncy house places, friends to play with at home, etc... which is fun. But, the gray days do make it hard to want to head out at all - even though it is good for us to do.

This wet time of year mainly makes me want to snuggle down and be cozy at home! Turn that fire up, cuddle with Holly and read some stories or catch a good kids movie. Cancel out the calendar and just say no to 'stuff' and yes to simple empty days filled with comfort foods for dinner and a cup of cocoa over a good board game at night. I have that cozy urge right now, stay in and stay dry! Maybe it is time for a sun filled vacation?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Children's Museum

Monday I took Holly to our local children's museum in Tacoma. This is a cute little spot that is never crowded, just the right size and offers some great playtime, especially when it is rainy outside. The museum recently changed out their exhibits to a 'story' theme - The Adventures of Raven and Coyote. These two stories are tales/lore from the Native Americans - The Raven was about how the sun came to the sky and The Coyote was about how he obtained his dark grey coloring. It was fun and really Holly's first interaction with this kind of tale, Native Art and culture - made for a cool day!

They recently revamped their art studio too, my favorite part by far. The new studio has more painting space, lot's more crafty selection out for kids to enjoy. A hug magnet wall, a weaving wall, a window wall to draw on and a building area with lot's of different building toys and sculptures. Such a fun, fun room!!!