Friday, October 26, 2012

Laura at 9 Years Old

We celebrated Laura's birthday before we left for Disneyland. She went shopping with Grandma and Grandpa and got presents from us. It was the birthday of crafting bracelets and tween-y things. She also got a lava lamp and CDs.

But I think her favorite present was going shopping with us to pick out the birthday outfit that she is modeling below!
Laura is currently 52 inches tall.  Here are the results of her birthday interview...
Best Friend: Lily, Mia, Halie, Keilani, Angelena
Favorite Toy: Swings
Favorite place to be: Disneyland
Favorite movie: The Secret World of Arietty
Favorite music: One Direction
Favorite food: salmon, sushi
Favorite treat: Hershey's Bar
Favorite activity: playing with friends
Favorite TV show: Good Luck Charlie
Every day after school Laura diligently practices her piano and voice. She has become exceptional at both and has scads of musical talent. She continues to get straight A's; in fact the standardized tests she took last year had results of 100% (zero missed answers) on the math, language arts and science. Yep, she was perfect on every aspect that was tested by the state. She is reading at a 10th grade level and does math at a 5th grade level. Laura is sweet, perceptive, and strong. She is also brave, funny, and friendly. I'm so proud of the exceptional girl Laura continues to be!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Laura's Birthday Party

Laura discovered a cooking party for kids and decided that's what she wanted to do for her friend party this year. The facility was beautiful and I was thrilled not to be hosting it at the house only a few days before we left on vacation. We decorated the facility and had a party!
Laura invited neighborhood friends, friends from school, family and old friends. All the girls seemed to love being able to cook by themselves and decorate their own cakes! The girls are in order pictured: Abbie, Angelina, Kaitlyn, Keilani, Lily, Mariah, Mia, and Natalie
Eliza and Sara got some help decorating from Mom, Dad, Grandma and Rylie - Laura's very cool older girl cousin who came last minute. Laura loved some special attention from the chef, who was great.
The frosting making and cake decorating took half the time (45 mins instead of 1.5 hrs) they said it would when I booked. I quickly realized the trouble and my Mom saved our bacon by running to Maceys (during present time)and buying candy bars for the spin the bottle candy bar memory game. It was a big hit and I don't think the kids even noticed the scrambling. Thank you, Mom!!
Something I have to share was a lesson learned; one I didn't have to teach. An adorable party guest had recently been adopted out of the foster care system. Off-hand she mentioned to Jason that this was the first birthday party she had ever been invited to - at nearly 10 years old. When we told the girls, adorable Laura cried for her. We are truly blessed, and she helped us all remember that!

The party was a success - Phew!  The birthday girl loved it and was thrilled.
However, I can't say I would recommend doing this for your kid or would I do it again. Melanie's Gourmet Party review: chef was amazing and facility was beautiful, other staff made us feel rushed and time was not as promised.

Disneyland: Delayed Post, just so I remember

So, we went to Disneyland. It was wonderful. We were able to go with our good (and massively long-time) friends Andy, Marie and their daughters.
The highlights of the trip were: the Halloween party, specifically the fireworks, parade,and meeting characters; Voices of Liberty; pervasive girliness; riding on the "pirate ship".
But, the biggest treat was getting chosen to open Disneyland. Yep, we were the family counting down and welcoming everyone to the park!
I made an absurdly long movie for the girls, but I will NOT post it here. Needless to say, being with our amazing family friends in our favorite place was heaven!

Even later, I did make a shorter video...posted below.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Sara's Soccer

Sara's soccer season is now half over! She says she loves it, but all that running makes her tired. She is utterly adorable. She has a game each Saturday and a practice every Wednesday. Here are some of my favorite pics of our soccer girl!
She loves being on a team with her friend, Olivia. They have shaken up the all boys team and practice half the time while holding hands! Yay for tough and tender girls!
Sara finds the game a success if she gets a turn to kick the ball. So, we bought some goals for our house to practice aiming.
Grandma and Grandpa came to a game and enjoyed the happiness and cheering that is non-competitive soccer with 5 year olds! Sara loved the support! Thanks for coming!

Monday, October 01, 2012

September Catch-Up

I've got to get caught up!  Here's my final quick and dirty attempt.  Then I'll get to "real" or "quality" posts.

Eliza started dance class.  I couldn't put her in any of my favorite studios as all their pre-K classes interfered with Kindergarten pickup.  But, she is dancing and in heaven!!
I went and heard Mo Willems read his newest book with ladies from my book group.  Also, I hosted book group.  Book group is one of my favorite things that I do for myself.  And, I've lost some serious weight by tightening my diet and gotten back into shape with help from Danyelle!  (Dang menopause taking away all my treats.)  It was worth it as I'm solidly back into my skinny pants.
Laura got her braces off and looks so much older and incredibly beautiful!  She also completed a huge school project on the water cycle.
 Sara made sure we did some finger painting.
We welcomed home my nephew from his mission.  And we heard his wonderful homecoming talk.  I took all the pictures with my brother's camera, so all we've got is this lame phone pic of the sign we made.  But, the whole experience was beautiful and I cried a lot, and the girls got to see a wonderful example!
Finally, we've been having tons of fun making popsicles with the zoku.  Seasonal fruit makes the yummiest pops!