Friday, October 26, 2007

Sweatin'

The sweat equity has begun. It is wonderful to finally be at this point (Please oh Please let us get into our house soon!) but we sure are exhausted. It began with the tile. After three nights of work, we have all the backerboard (except for two pieces in the master bath that are not yet framed out) installed.

Jason's dad has been a HUGE help to us during the installation. He has spent three nights with us at the house and is quite a whiz with power tools. Thanks, Dad!
We have done tons of hauling. Thank you to my Mom and Dad for watching the girls at night and during the day as well as lending us the trailer over and over. We hauled in a ton (literally, 2000 lbs) of travertine for our bathrooms and carried in all the backerboard. I know that we'll love it when it's all done, but man, my arms hurt now.
As a status update, all the drywall is in and textured. The garage door has been installed. They are finishing up finish carpentry today (well, they've promised and we are keeping our fingers crossed that it actually hapens) and we should be able to paint tonight. Seeing things like doors, mouldings, etc. makes me believe that we may actually live in our house someday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sunday Specials

Laura got to participate in her very first Primary Program this Sunday. It was awesome that we finally got to be some of the proud parents watching their kid in the Primary Program. And though she is so short that we could only catch small glimpses of her, she seemed to be a great singer and knew all the words to the songs in the program. She also showed off her picture of her family and said her line, “My family can follow Jesus by listening to the prophet” very clearly and well.
That morning before the Primary Program was the very first big snow of the season here. Laura has been looking forward to making a "snowgirl" with grandpa for ages now, so he indulged her and out they went.
We think the "snowgirl" turned out wonderfully. Though, by the time we got home from church; in the sun she melted.

She also loved making snow angels, rolling snowballs and just running in the snow.
Laura met up with some other friends and made an actual snowman as well. She had a great time and was outside for over an hour. It was straight to a warm bath and "warm" chocolate with her when she got in.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Little Miss Personality

Darling Sara has decided to really develop personality this week. Perhaps the big people food has made her get a big personality as well. Or maybe it's the hair...it has really grown this week too. Sara loves to "talk"; goo-ing and ga-ing in response to conversation with the family. She loves to "play" -- getting lifted up, tickled and kissed, bathtime (btw, I was bathed in this bathtub as a baby), and "guys" with Laura. In fact, they played on the floor for almost an hour the other day and both loved it. Sara loves to watch her sister more than just about anything.
And yesterday, she really discovered her belly laugh and hasn't stopped laughing since. She found it playing with Laura of course and here is a movie of her laughing with Daddy. (Getting this video was a serious trick because Sara seems to be obsessed with staring wide-eyed at the camera and therefore losing all interest in the reason we were filming her in the first place.)
video
Sara's smile is contagious and I often find myself doing anything (despite looking ridiculous in Walmart) to get a grin from her.
She is an excellent kiddo. Sara is a great eater -- real people squash prepared in the food processor is her current favorite and she will now eat someplace other than the bathroom. She is easygoing -- Sister can harass her and she never minds. Finally, she is a marvelous night sleeper -- we're talking a 12 hour stretch here, every night. Naps, well, she doesn't want to miss anything so they are rare, but who can complain with that great night sleeping. She is also getting very strong and loves to sit up in her carseat to play with her dingalings and new cover. Needless to say, we're obsessed and the kid gets a lot of love and kisses from all of us.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Projects

Before the major home improvement/sweat equity projects begin, we have all been working on a few other projects.

Jason and Dad, and me a little bit, have made some major progress on the deck on the new house. It is made out of Trex and was a little interesting to get used to this new material. We ended up getting a new, corded drill and major saw blade for experience. Fortunately, it is turning out amazing. It is super solid and we are thrilled that building the deck is the last bit of work we will ever do on it. Yay for no maintenance materials. I think we are going to end up loving the deck more than we thought.
Laura has been working on a Halloween project with Grandma. She has made all sorts of fun art projects that are hanging from the kitchen chandelier. Here she is showing them off.
I worked on a sewing project. I made a new carseat cover for Sara. I was very glad that I had made a pattern for this project the last time I figured it out. That pattern and my newly found confidence with my sewing machine helped me go much faster with this project that I anticipated. The old cover (from the days of Laura) got stain on it while we were working on the deck and is now dubbed the "messy" carseat cover. I also made an identical cover for Karyn's baby Clara that will be coming in December. I am afraid the green will give me the "boy" comments from strangers, but I think it is just darling with the fleece and hot pink. What do you think?
Sara's project is the same as always. She is working on growing. She loves eating her solids now and is having three meals a day...always in the bathroom. Yep, the kid has to eat lying on her changing pad in the bathroom. It's totally bizarre, but she eats like a champ in there and screams if she eats sitting up in the kitchen. So, we feed her in the bathroom.

Preschool Outline - Kk and Farm Animals

The hit of this week was the new song for the months of the year. Laura has been singing it in the car all week since. Also, I have to note how much the girls are learning. They are really getting great at their numbers; they are making very few mistakes and just getting faster and faster.

CIRCLE TIME

Show and Tell
Pledge of Allegiance
Calendar
Recite the days of the week
Recite the months of the year – sing new song with the first 6 months of the year

LETTER - Kk

Tracer page
Write letter Kk and review letter Jj without tracer pages
Sound
Read Book “Kiss Goodnight”
Treat of Kit Kats

MATH – Counting and recognition

Count to 30 together
Flashcards of Numbers 1 – 20: recognition, put them in order
Number 1 worksheets and writing

THEME – Farm Animals

Movement and Music
Charades of Farm Animals
Sing “Old McDonald Had a Farm”
Instruction -- What the animals on a farm do for us:
Cow: Meat and Milk (yogurt, cheese, etc)
Chicken: Meat and Eggs (cakes. Bread, etc)
Pigs, Goats, etc
Art
Make a picture of the animals on a farm using stickers

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Field Trip -- Halloween and Farm

Because it was UEA and Laura didn't have her other preschool, Karyn and I took the kids for a field trip to Hee Haw. We took them to a Corn Maze that had lots of kid activities. We didn't do the Corn Maze, but we had a grand time in the little courtyard. There were lots of animals for the kids to look at. The HUGE pig was disgustingly fascinating, but I like this picture of all of them with the Turkeys the most.
There were also lots of fun activities. Laura loved the animal train and went on it at least 4 times. She also jumped on a hay trampoline (super fun), went down a big slide (where she tried her best to pretend that it didn't scare her), played in a Corn Box (think sand, but with Corn), rode on pedal carts (well, was pushed and tried her best to pedal), went in a haunted house (where she remembered her skills from Disney's Haunted Mansion and scared all the scary things).
However, Laura's absolute favorite thing was "the pony ride, of course!" I was so impressed how she just hopped up and rode without any fear. She patted the pony; chatted up the girl leading the pony and wore a huge grin the entire time.
We spent a little more than two hours there and had a great time with almost no trauma. Lovely Sara spent most of the time asleep...bless her. The only trauma came in the last 15 minutes when Sara filled her pants and I discovered the binky and strap were missing (never to be found). But, all in all, it was a GRAND time and it was a great intro to our new preschool themes of farms and Halloween.

Welcome Home, Aysha

We finally got to meet our newest neice/cousin last night. Beautiful Aysha is finally home from the hospital. The poor thing had a rough start and spent a little over a week in the NICU with pneumonia. But, thanks to a strong Mommy (Go, Keri, Go!) she sure is thriving now. Doesn't she just look so peaceful and happy to be home?!
We were thrilled to get to meet her and can hardly believe that only 4 months ago, huge Sara was as tiny as little Aysha is now.
Laura enjoyed playing with her cousin Emmy. Doesn't it just rule that Keri's family has two little girls each only 4 months apart from our little girls?! They will have a grand time growing up together and playing...even if Emmy wasn't thrilled about hugging Laura goodbye.
I was glad to finally give Keri the baby gift I had made for her. (The whole thing had to be homemade because what else can you give someone for their fourth girl.) I finally learned to make those adjustable bows and had to include one of those. And, FYI, silver thread does not show up on pink terrycloth...so, brown it is and I think it turned out almost as cute.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fabulous 4

There are lots of things going on in our lives that center around the #4. First of all, here are Sara's 4-month pictures. Please note the fabulously fuzzy hair that she has grown in the past month. Also, at her appointment she was 26 inches long (above the 97th percentile) and weighs 15 lbs 13 oz (95th percentile).
Laura at her 4 year old appoinment came in at 39 inches tall (50th percentile)and 32 lbs (25th percentile). Can you believe that like Sara, Laura was in the 90th percentiles when she was a little baby as well?! Here is a picture of my beautiful girls dressed by my brother Dave and sis-in-law Mel. (Thank you Mel for the intro to leggings...Laura is wearing them all the time now. They are ideal for my daughter who doesn't understand that in a dress you should sit like a lady, not a baseball player.)
Another fun 4 thing, is that I had a wonderful girls night (4 of us) to celebrate both Andrea's birthdays. (Despite much pushing to let me throw her a party, Andrea B. only let me do this for her birthday.) We had a wonderful night. We did some shopping at the outlets (where I only had success for the girls) and went to dinner at Squatters. Here is a picture of all of us with our (root) beers. It was a lovely night and I must acknowledge God's hand in my life for putting the 4 of us together in YW...they are some of the best friends a girl could ask for. They truly bless my life.
Finally, the best 4 of all: we passed our 4-way inspection with the house. This seemed to be a big hold up in getting into the new house. Now, we hopefully should make great progress and should be in the house in about 4 weeks. We are doing our (well, Jason and Dad are doing most of the work) best to make progress on the deck so that we can start the indoor sweat equity as soon as we can and not delay anymore. Can you tell that I am REALLY anxious to move in?! Today, insulation is going to be finished and drywall begun. Hooray...it will start to feel like a real house!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Conference Weekend

We had a wonderful Conference weekend. I decided to get Laura new and fun crafts that she could do only during the sessions. They were a big hit and we got to watch and pay attention to almost every talk for all 4 general sessions. She worked on some cool peg boards and made a scrapbook. The scrapbook is going to be a new tradition; Laura will get to work on it every Conference.
She also did two other things during Conference. She played Conference Bingo that was dropped off to us from the YW in the new ward. Laura did remarkably well with it and caught many of the words herself. My compassionate girly also got very concerned about Elder Wirthlin after his talk and made and mailed him a "Feel Better" card.
Jason got an extra special treat this year. My Dad was able to procure tickets for all the boys to the Priesthood Session of Conference in the Conference Center. It was a super neat experience for Jason. Here is a picture of my Dad, Jason and my nephew Jordan; some of the men who went together.
As always, I was incredibly uplifted by this Conference. My testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was strengthened as I was inspired to do better in my life. And finally, for the first time, one of my resolves was not to do better in journaling as requested by President Eyring...this blog is keeping me good in that regard. However, there is plenty more for me to improve upon. Also, I am going to try to mention a place where I can see God in my life in most of my posts: today I see Him most of all in the worthiness of the men in my life and their excitement at being able to participate with other Priesthood holders.

Preschool Outline - Ii and Under the Sea

CIRCLE TIME

Show and Tell
Pledge of Allegiance
Calendar
Recite the days of the week
Recite the months of the year

LETTER - Gg

Tracer page
Write letter Ii and review letter Gg without tracer pages
Sound
Make letter I out of pretzels
Read Book “Mice are Nice”

MATH – Counting and recognition

Count to 30 together
Flashcards of Numbers 1 – 20: recognition, put them in order
Number 9 worksheets and writing
Write #s 8 and 9 without tracing

THEME – Under the Sea

Movement and Music
Walk like a Crab
Jiggle like a Jellyfish
Waddle like a Penguin
Instruction
Review the parts of fish – scales, fins and gills
Learn about different kinds of animals in the ocean: focus on the word “Crustacean”
Make a picture of the animals under the ocean using stickers and learn the names of all the different kinds of stickers

Friday, October 05, 2007

Golden Girl

Laura had her golden birthday yesterday. She is now a big 4 year old girl! And she swears she is bigger/taller because of it. I think she had a beautiful day. How I love my precious girl. Some times I can't believe she is 4 because it went by so fast, but most times I can't remember my life without her.
The day began with Mamaw and Papaw letting her open the presents from them. She was thrilled to open presents even before she got dressed for the day. She was super cute with the wishes she gave everyone this year. Mamaw and Papaw got to not go to the Hassa Henta anymore so that they could stay home and play with Laura. Daddy got to stay home and hug her all day. Mommy got to kiss Laura all day. And Sara got to grow up so that she could go to Disneyland with Laura. (I think it was all about us being together and playing with Laura; precious girl!)
Then she and I made the requested cupcakes. Laura was very specific about the kind of cake she wanted this year; cupcakes -- chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. She also picked out her candles herself. We had a grand time baking and decorating. Look at that face as we sang to her!
She also got to go to her new preschool for the second time. I put her in a preschool out of the house on Tues and Thurs because she has been so bored (and I needed the break from her boredom and consequent demands in the afternoon). Now she has something almost every day. It seems like a good school and she really seems to be enjoying herself. Here she is on her first day of preschool on Tuesday.
Naturally, Laura loved opening her presents. Yes, we totally spoiled her this year! She adored the fact that her pile of presents was taller than her. And, she enjoyed her requested birthday dinner of pink fish (salmon), broccoli and noodle-ys.
Laura got visited by quite a few friends: Lily, Grandma Linda and Emmy, and Kiki and her family. But her favorite part was putting together her new dollhouse with Daddy. It was a massive project and Jason did a great job. The dollhouse was a huge hit for our imaginative girl and we have been playing with it tons today. It should be a great thing for our girls to play with as they grow.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Super Sara

I realized that most of the posts lately have been about Laura and her goings on. So, here is some info about Sara. She has gotten wonderfully interactive. She loves to smile and laugh. Her laugh is adorable; it sounds like a cough with a little noise behind it. She also tries her best to talk and loves making sounds like: Gee, Agoo, and I swear she says Mama.

She loves to play with her sister. And now that Sara is so much more fun, Laura loves to do more with Sara as well. Laura instructs her about all the things she is learning. She also dresses them up to look the same.

Sara is growing up beautifully. She has started on some solids in order to give me some relief. She really enjoys pears and bananas and will take rice cereal as long as it is laced with pears or bananas. She is super long and I'm afraid she's going to have to go up another size to 6-9 month clothes. Also, Sara is HEAVY. As of last week, she weighs 15 lbs 13 oz.

Preschool Outline - G and Under the Sea

The best part of this preschool were the grandma books. I seem to be having less and less time with the theme. The girls are doing so great with their attention spans that we are spending tons of time getting down the letters, numbers and writing. They are doing AMAZINGLY. (Though, the "Gg's" were hard to write today)

CIRCLE TIME

Show and Tell
Pledge of Allegiance
Calendar
Recite the days of the week
Recite the months of the year

LETTER - Gg

Tracer page
Write letter Gg and review letter Ee without tracer pages
Sound
Grandma Book
Move like Goats Grazing on Green Grass
Move like Giraffes
Sing Grandparent songs from Primary CD

MATH – Counting and recognition

Count to 30 together
Flashcards of Numbers 1 – 20: recognition, put them in order
Number 0-5 worksheets and writing
Write #7

THEME – Under the Sea

Movement and Music
Swim on the ground
Instruction
Fish: learn about the parts of fish – scales, fins and gills
Read Book “Commotion in the Ocean”
Snack of Goldfish