Sunday, October 31, 2010

No Tricks, All Treats

It's been another insanely crazy busy weekend for our family. The highlight of the weekend was spending a couple of hours with our friends, the Pollings, at the park on Friday. Saturday was too busy for our liking. Landon had soccer, we played at Vistancia's HarvestDaze fall festival, my parents came over, and then Hank and I attended a very special fundraising banquet for Young Life.

After a crappy night's sleep, we were back at it this morning with Taylor singing with her preschool class at a local church, chores, bike rides and park with Oma and Opa, and all of the costume prepping for a fun-filled night of trick or treating. I have so many cute photos, but I am just too tired. So for now, here are some photos of our cute little characters.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Report Cards

This week, Hank and I went to parent-teacher conferences for Taylor and Landon. I was excited to hear how the kids were doing. I was really eager to hear how Landon was doing as this is his first experience in a classroom setting. Hank and I met with Miss Dawn for a quick 15 minutes. She started off by saying that Landon is such a "happy, easy-going" child and that he is a pleasure to have in class. Miss Dawn also said that Landon is just like Taylor. That kind of caught us off guard because we think the two kids are really different. One compliant, one not so compliant. We questioned the teacher about Landon's speech. She said he is getting better and that he is at the same level as most of the other kids. She didn't think there was any speech delay at all. That was great to hear! When we asked if there was anything Landon could improve upon, she chuckled and said, "Well, the only thing I can think of is that he can get a little lazy." Miss Dawn said that Landon likes to lay down on his belly with his chin propped up in the palm of his hands and just lay there watching all the other kids "work". She said that sometimes she has to remind him to get up and work. Ha ha!

Then we moved on to Taylor's classroom and met with Miss Jennifer. I was able to walk around the classroom and see all of the different work stations. It's nice to see what Taylor is experiencing every week. Taylor has been in the class for two months and has progressed from level one to level two in language. This just means that she has mastered the sounds for prominent letters and is moving on to the harder ones. I asked Miss Jennifer what work stations Taylor prefers. I already knew the answer, at least for the most part. I was told that Taylor loves language, outdoor environment (crafts and outdoor activities), and practical life (pinning, beading, etc.). Taylor is doing great and there were no complaints or areas of improvement. Miss Jennifer said Taylor gets along well with her peers and is a great kid.

Every parent thinks their child/children are great and special. It's a real treat when others confirm that thought.
Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week of Festivities

{THURSDAY} I was asked to organize a craft project and a couple of games for Landon's upcoming Halloween party in his toddler classroom. So for prizes for the games, I made ghost lollipops. The two year olds loved them!

{FRIDAY} (This event actually happened on Saturday, but I needed to move it up a day to include it in our weekly photos.) Taylor's Christian preschool had an Octoberfest for the students and families. We went and participated in a family scavenger hunt, jumped in the bounce houses, and took a hayride. Besides the good, free food, the hayride was my favorite part. Taylor would say the swings were her favorite as she wanted to be on them almost the whole time we were there.

{SATURDAY} Landon started soccer today through the City of Peoria. He was with a group of other two year olds who were exploring soccer for the first time. I was quite impressed with the class, and Landon loved it. It is amazing to see how quickly he was able to pick up this new sport. I absolutely love this photo because it captures Hank instructing and encouraging Landon on how to kick the ball. Landon is listening so intently.

{SUNDAY} I am so glad that I had the kids try on their costumes from last year. I was hoping not to buy any more costumes this year. Landon has a superman costume and a knight costume -- both were banned from his Montessori school. So the other option was to put him in last year's lion costume. He cried when I put it on, and really cried when I took it off because it was so tight. His head barely fit through the opening. A last minute run to Walmart led me to buy him accessories to be a cowboy...something he can definitely wear again. Ryland will be the lion this year!

{MONDAY} Michael's, my favorite store ever, has lots of different make and takes at their store this month. This week I took the kids to create Halloween shirts. The kids made hand prints to look like ghosts and spell the word "BOO". They had a great time and the event was free! 

{TUESDAY} Today the kids had a double fun day at Montessori school. They had a petting zoo and a surprise visit from the drug enforcement agency.  I guess one of the kids who attend the school has a father who works for the DEA. The helicopter was circling their school a few times before landing. I was across the street when this happened and was scared to death thinking that one of the kids was injured and was being air-lifted to the hospital. Then I started to think it was one of my children they were coming for. Thank goodness it was just a friendly visit and educational opportunity for the kids.

{WEDNESDAY} My mom came over for a overnight visit and watched Ryland while I helped throw a party in Landon's toddler classroom. I love being involved with the kids at their schools. At the end of the party, the kids participated in a costume parade around the campus. Here is Landon as a cowboy with my favorite teacher Miss Sheryl. 

{THURSDAY} Today Taylor had show and tell and Halloween dress-up day at Cross of Glory. She wore her princess costume and loved it. Here is a photo of the classroom with Mrs. Underwood.
Thursday, October 21, 2010

Project Smile

My cute, creative friend Brenda started Project Smile on her blog this month. I thought it was the sweetest thing ever! This simple post has really helped me. It snapped me out of focusing on the daily burdens and instead, enjoying life's simple pleasures...mainly my children. When the depressing news on TV and the reality of life starts to set in, I am reminded to look for the little things that really matter the most in the end.

So here are my top ten smiles for the past few weeks.

  1. Watching Ryland walk around like a drunk sailor. It's amusing and funny at the same time.
  2. FALL -- the change of weather and the cute decorations I see everywhere make me happy. I used to say spring was my favorite time of year, but as I've grown older and have's definitely the fall that I love the most.
  3. A text message from my father-in-law telling me that I am a good mom and do a great job with the kids. His message was in a response to a blog post, but it meant the world to me.
  4. Having supportive parents who we can call in times of trouble. No adult wants to call their mom and dad for help, but sometimes you have to.
  5. Watching Taylor color, trace, cut, paint,'s her addiction and I TOTALLY understand it. I get it. Creativity is what keeps me going, and I have a feeling she is the same way!
  6. Hearing the words "hold me" from my sweet, precious and sensitive Landon. He says it to me at least once a day. Something about little boys that grab a mother's heart.
  7. Hank using his birthday money to take me to a parenting/marriage conference that I've always desired to attend. And he also set up childcare with my in-laws so we can go!
  8. Taylor correcting me that her bad breath was indeed not the same smell as a dead moose, but it was the same smell of a dead bumble bee.
  9. Going on a family vacation to the Balloon Fiesta and watching hundreds of hot air balloons ascend above us. Quite a view!
  10. Taking photos each and every single day.

So now if you are up for the challenge, name your top 10 smiles and post them somewhere for people to see and be encouraged.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pajamas, Pumpkin Patch & Playing in the Rain

{THURSDAY} The kids love to wear their skeleton pajamas. The bones even glow in the dark! Taylor doesn't understand why she can't wear them every night. The three kids look so cute in matching pj's.

{FRIDAY} Tonight we had dinner over at my in-laws since Josh, Kendrie and Laila were in town. The kids love to see their cousin. Laila, who is almost two, plays well with Taylor, Landon and Ryland.

{SATURDAY} Today we took the kids to Tolmachoff Farms in Glendale. It's our family annual tradition. This year the V's joined us. Trying to get nine people to look at the camera and smile was not happening.

{SUNDAY} I met up with a couple of very special friends today, but forgot to take a photo to document our time together. So instead, I took this photo of Taylor who was quite proud of the Noah's arc that she made at church.

{MONDAY} Landon woke up from his nap in a bad mood. I couldn't get him to smile...until I broke out the water bottle and let him spray me in the face. I love this photo!

{TUESDAY} This plastic car is Ryland's new favorite toy. He will sit in it, get in and out, lean on it, etc. for hours if I let him. This toy is a must-have for parents. All three of my kids have loved it!

{WEDNESDAY} This moring the rain came pouring down out of nowhere. I wasn't prepared for the rain to come down so fast and so hard. In fact, Ryland was playing on the grass in the backyard when the rain started. I didn't want to get wet, especially since I had my camera, so I tried to coax him inside. He wouldn't budge. He honestly had no fear and loved the rain. After a few minutes, I ended up running out in the rain to retrieve my little fish. I didn't want him to catch a cold considering he was just in a diaper and spiderman pajama shirt.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Saturday we continued our annual family tradition of visiting a local pumpkin patch. For the past three years, we have gone to a cute little place called Tolmachoff Farms in Glendale. This year, our good friends, the V's, joined us.

We arrived shortly after 9:00 am and it was already quite warm. I think we lasted until noon, but eventually the heat got to us and we headed on out. We did almost everything except for the corn maze. Next year we might need to go in the evening or pick a date closer to Halloween. Here are some photos from our day.