Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week 30: Project Life

Sunday was the last day of our girls trip in southern California. We spent most of Sunday on Balboa Island and took a two-hour boat cruise checking out all of the gorgeous homes. We were even lucky enough to capture seals swimming next to our Duffy boat. I enjoyed taking photos of this beautiful place!

More photos from our harbor cruise.

Soaking in the last minutes of the awesome weather before heading to the airport for our flight home.

This week also included photos of Landon at his karate class and Taylor at her dance class. I brought home candy kabobs for the kids with soft gummy candies shaped like sealife creatures. I didn't know if Landon would have a hard time eating the Nemo candy, but he gobbled it up. And I took this photo of Ryland as we drove through the automatic carwash this week. He recently started to cover his eyes when he gets scared. It's so sweet and whenever I see him covering his eyes, we ultimately find each other for to comfort my baby and for him to be safe with his momma.
Thursday, July 28, 2011

Week 29: Project Life

Week 29 was a busy week for me. I worked more than normal, squeezed in two little trips, and stayed busy with the kids even when it's 110 outside. The kids have less than a month before preschool starts!

Sunday, July 17: Hank and I took our friends, Jim and Shannon, who we lead Wyld Life with up to visit Lost Canyon in Williams, AZ. The weather was gorgeous. And seeing camp life in action brought back so many wonderful memories. We ran into so many people who impacted our lives one way or another. I was able to visit with Kathy, one of my leaders from Arcadia HS. She was so surprised to see me and overjoyed with tears to hear that we are still a part of the Young Life Ministry.

Three more photos from our trip up north on the front side of a 12x6 photo divider.

On the left side are the three photos on the back side of the 12x6 photo divider. One photo is of Ryland laying on the kitchen floor with his beloved blanket enjoying fresh strawberries. The next photo is from a playdate at Monica and Rylan's house. All 4 kids came out of the princess play room all dressed up. This will be good ammo for the future. Ha! And the last photo includes our hospital visit to see our babysitter Hannah who broke her hip this week. :-(  The right side of the album includes a map of southern California and some photos of the view from my parents house. Every summer, a group of 12+ of us have an annual girls trip to San Clemente. This was our 9th trip and I think I've made all but one of them because I was still nursing Landon and couldn't leave him.

The back side of the San Clemente page includes my travel itinerary and some photos of our weekend!

On this side, I included the daily events and more photos of our time together. I also included historical information about San Clemente on a 4x6 journaler.

I have some really awesome photos of our harbor cruise in Balboa but since they were taken on Sunday, I will feature those photos in Week 30. I'm so thankful for this photography/scrapbooking preserves our memories in detail and feeds my creative drive.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011

NEW 52: e-mealz

Today I signed up for a new meal plan makeover system. I am finding I have little time to search for meals, cut coupons, and grocery shop. I can't do it all and honestly, I don't want to do it all...I don't want to spend every waking free moment devoted to getting the best deal and providing a healthy meal....even though that is my goal. So I am going to depend on some outside help from e-mealz for just $5 a month. Let's hope this one works and saves us money!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Week 28: Project Life

The Lord knew this coming week was going to be CRAZY for me so he allowed last week to be simple and easy. I found a fun little pool on clearance and the kids have been in it every day. Highlights from last week include getting ice cream for the first time from our neighborhood ice cream truck, a birthday party for Landon's little girlfriend named Margot, Ryland carrying at least one blanket at a time with him around everywhere, and an overnight trip up north to Flagstaff without the kiddos. 5 weeks left until school starts!
Monday, July 11, 2011

Week 27: Project Life

Our week told through pictures:

{On July 3, we took the kids to the Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe. First we ate a yummy lunch at the Rainforest Cafe (the best restaurant for kids/families in my opinion) and then we walked over to the AZ Sealife Aquarium. We have been to a few different aquariums before, but we really enjoyed this one. It was air conditioned, clean and got to see the animals we wanted including seahorses, sharks, starfish and eels.} 

{After our excursion in Tempe, we drove over to our friends, the Migrays, to swim, eat dinner and walk over to the Wigwam Resort to catch their annual July 3rd fireworks. As we were walking, it lightly started to drizzle so it cooled off the evening and we sat on the golf course and enjoyed the show. I brought my tripod and captured some amazing fireworks. I wanted to include those in my Project Life book so I did! On the evening of July 4th, we headed to the Peoria Sports Complex and parked in a randon parking lot to get a good view of the fireworks. Who knew lots of other families had the same exaxt idea. We had a tailgate party from the back of our cars and enjoyed the show with family.}

{Grandma Carol takes the kids to the city swim lessons on the days I work. Thankfully, she joined me one day so that I could let her be in the pool with Ryland while I took photos of all of these kids during their class. I have lots of photos from this second day of class.}

{More photos of swim lessons and some journaling.}
Sunday, July 10, 2011

NEW 52: Neighborhood Ice Cream Truck

As a little girl who spent my summers in Canada, neighborhood ice cream trucks were common...not so much in Arizona. So when we saw a "van" rolling through our neighborhood with its loud, obnoxious music blaring, I knew exactly what it was. I quickly grabbed some money and my camera and took a photo of Hank walking the kids over to the ice cream van. They loved it! They keep asking when the ice cream man will come back by. Ryland wasn't willing to share his coconut popsicle with me, but Landon was eager to give me the last piece of his ice cream sandwich. Taylor scarfed hers down before I could even ask for a bite. I love reliving my childhood memories through my children.

{a challenge to try something new one week at a time...}
Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fireworks & The 4th

Sunday afternoon we headed over to our friend's house to swim and eat dinner together before heading to the Wigwam for their annual fireworks show. Since they held their show on Sunday, July 3, we were able to catch two nights of fireworks back-to-back. Monday night we headed over with Hank's side of the family to watch the fireworks at the Peoria Sports Complex. Now my kids don't understand why they have to wait a full year to see the fireworks again. I asked Landon if he liked the fireworks, he told me he liked the colors but not the loud "bam". That's OK because he sat on my lap during both shows, and I got to cuddle with him while Taylor was socializing with everyone else and Ryland was laying low with his Daddy.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011

NEW 52: Rainforest Cafe & AZ Sealife Aquarium

This week Hank took an extra day off from work and we had a 4-day weekend together. Of course I took on the task of planning our days together here in the heat and wanted to make the most of our time together. Since we couldn't be in southern California with my family, we had to make our time here enjoyable and incorporated lots of indoor activities.

I've been to the Rainforest Cafe a couple of times, but we have never taken our kids there. I knew they would love it.... I guess I just forgot how awesome the restaurant is with their jungle animals that move and make sounds, rain encompassing us while we eat underneath the stars, and the live fish...even Nemo was there!

After lunch, we walked over to the AZ Sealife Aquarium and checked out the 5,000 sea critters including sharks, eels, seahorses, starfish and lots of Nemos. Taylor and Landon were brave enough to pet the starfish...not even I would do that. Ryland was content in the stroller checking everything out. We stayed long enough for the shark feeding. It was quite obvious that these sharks are well fed because they weren't interested in eating off the poles to entertain us. It's OK though, they came close enough to the glass to make our hairs stand on our necks. Even Taylor was a little freaked out when they got so close...only and inch of glass separating us from these sharks. I would definitely recommend this place!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Week 26: Project Life

<>Cousin Christopher's 3rd birthday party
<>Visits to the library
<>Making a care package for Ella
<>Dinner at Peter Piper Pizza
<>Landon's introduction in Kinder Karate
<>Making paper quilts and painting with Qtips at Gymboree
<>Discovering Where's Waldo?
Saturday, July 2, 2011

NEW 52: Teaching My Children Empathy

This week, my friend Stephanie who lives in California told me that her daughter Ella, had been to the doctor repeatedly for a week-long fever. Finally this week after some blood tests, the doctors were able to diagnose sweet, little Ella with mono. I remember a good friend in elementary school had mono and it was awful. She had no strength and missed several weeks of school. When Stephanie told me that Ella had to have blood drawn from her tiny arms, I was sad. Personally, childbirth is almost as bad as the blood draw and IV setting process. I hate it, and I am a wimp. So knowing Ella was being picked and prodded made me sad.

So I came home and told Taylor the news...that her friend Ella was very sick and probably could use some cheering up. I've sent a few care packages in my past, but I've never taught Taylor how to do it. This was a great lesson on empathy. So after Taylor and I decided on a care package, we headed to Target to get our supplies.

Of course my kids wanted "stuff" too, but I was trying hard to not make this about them and told them we were only here to get stuff for Ella. Honestly, I did pick most of the stuff out myself, but Taylor had a say too. She really helped me while I managed the boys.

{our loot from Target}

{Taylor decorating the mailing envelope with stickers}

{after we stuffed and sealed the package, I took a photo of Taylor and her very first care package}
So this week I mailed off the care package and knew Ella would be receiving it today. All day I was reminding Taylor that today was the day to surprise Ella. I told her I had asked Stephanie to take some photos and email them to me to show Taylor. As soon as I saw the smile on Ella's face and pointed that out to Taylor, we both smiled together. This was such a unique way to teach my children, mainly Taylor, about empathy. And the results were successful in brightening a sick little girl's day!