Friday, August 30, 2013

Eliza's Birthday

Eliza had a wonderful birthday.  We began the day with early morning presents!  She loved everything she received and was utterly adorable.
I think her favorite was all the princess Sofia gear.  My goodness that stuff is hard to find!  We had to curl her hair to match that day and regularly. Also, she had to wear the full costume any time we were in the house for weeks. 
She went to Build-a-Bear with Grandma and Grandpa and brought home a panda named Laura.  Eliza wore a huge smile and loved every minute.

The other Grandma and Grandpa brought her a present and joined us for lunch at Tepanyaki.  Eliza calls it "my fire house" and would eat there for every meal if she could.  I think her favorites are the salad and the noodles.
That night we had cake and she blew out candles.  We were all so full from lunch that we had shave ice for dinner at her request.  It was a magical day!

Laura's Summer Performances

Laura couldn't do the summer play with AFYT this year because the performances were right over the family reunion. She had some other good experiences instead. She went to AFYT theater camp and fell in love with the new director, who also owns this local theater.
She continued voice lessons with Dave at Hale and made us all cry at her summer recital.

She's working really hard, and it shows. Well done, Laura!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

First Day of School 2013

The girls are getting so big! It's unbelievable that two of our kids are in full-time school at Lincoln Academy.
Laura is in 5th grade this year and has Mrs. Roberts.
 Sara is in 1st grade and has Mrs. Lindley.
Eliza started a week later and is still with "My Makayla" at Miss Amber's Busy Bee Preschool, but moved up to the 4 year old, or Pre-K, class

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Swimming Lessons

We did another two sessions of swimming lessons this summer.  The kids improve so much more if I do two sessions back to back that we crammed them in again this year.

Laura is now competent enough that she can be done with swimming; it is not her favorite.
Sara is a fish and advancing so quickly.  I'm pretty sure that girl will do swim team someday.
Eliza became a water-lover as soon as I bought her good (Speedos that don't leak) goggles and she no longer got water in her eyes.
It was a good year of progress and I feel my kids are much safer around water for the effort.


Did I mention that we purchased bows, arrows, and a target?  We needed a new family activity that was more active and strangely enough, the one we agreed upon was archery.  We are all loving it and improving!  And even though there is no picture of me, I shoot too.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tour of Utah

We were so busy this year that we were only able to catch one day of the Tour of Utah.  Fortunately, we did get one and it was amazing.  The peloton is breathtaking and it so cool to see so many of our favorite riders!  Unfortunately, this year they weren't allowed to toss water bottles, but we did get some keychain swag.  And we even caught the ear of a couple of our favorites (esp. Fast Freddy Rodriguez) and turned their heads as they rode past.  Our girls can yell wonderfully.
We chalked the road and loved that all the caravan of cars made sure not to drive over the chalk messages before the riders arrived.
The girls waited with anticipation and were very safe.  Our spot gives us several chances to watch them and is so fun.
Since it was so close to Eliza's birthday, we had to stop by "her waterfall" on the way home.  What a lovely day!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Eliza's Paint Party

Eliza knew she wanted to have a paint party for her fourth birthday a week after we finished her half birthday party. So, the excitement when it was actually coming was incredible. I loved that it was a party we had done before and I could just execute on nearly the same plan!
She adored shopping for the supplies and handing out the invitations. The invitations came with a set of colored pencils for each family and an invite for each kid to color. We did a families party. She invited our best family friends from the neighborhood (favorite primary friend) and her cousins (favorite preschool friend) to come.
I made the aprons differently this time around. I cut out the names on freezer paper with my silhouette and then stenciled them on with fabric paint in each child's favorite color. It went a lot faster and I think turned out really crisp and fun.
When the guests arrived, the first thing they did was to personalize their own apron. We did it using fabric markers. They set and dried almost immediately this way and the kids were antsy to wear them.
After aprons, we did the same make-your-own pita pizza that we did for Sara's and included a lot of Eliza's favorite fruits. I forgot to take a picture. My favorite discovery was lids from Costco that fit on the clear or big red solo cups. We had colored straws for fun and lots of two liters. The lids made for so little stress!

While Jason cleaned up lunch I took the kids outside for the main event: painting. Before the party, we hung big sheets of paper on the fence for each child and gave them each a paper plate palette and many brush choices. It was a huge hit!
The kids then came inside for dessert. We decorated cupcakes and sugar cookies. I made two batches of cream cheese frosting - white and pink. Then we let the kids go to town on decorating. Eliza liked sprinkles. She may have gone a bit overboard, but it was her birthday.
A few weeks previous, my girls encountered printed cookies at Steph's house and decided Eliza needed them for her birthday. So we bought two sets of these letters and printed them on Danyelle's amazing sugar cookies. They were so cute!
We did presents and then sent the kids home with a paint bucket. It was so wonderful to have the back-to-school supplies sales on right at the same time as her party! The buckets were sand buckets from the dollar store and everything else came from the school sales.
Eliza loved every minute of it. It was so exciting that when it was all over, she fell asleep on Grandma's lap. It's hard work being a 4-year-old hostess!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Eliza at 4 Years Old

Holy Moly! My baby is "Fow". Something about turning four really has made her grown up. She runs into preschool by herself and hikes around everywhere.
Here is the yearly snapshot of Eliza.  If I ever get to the doctor, I'll include her stats here as well. 
Favorite color: dark pink and purple
Best friend: Makayla, Tess, Sisters, Grandmas and Grandpas
Favorite toy: dress-ups, princess castle, rapunzel tower
Favorite place to be: Disneyland specifically the Minnie Breakfast, in the love circle, my fire house restuarant (ie: Tepanyaki)
Favorite movie: Barbie Princess and the Popstar, anything Strawberry Shortcake
Favorite book: What Do You Do With a Tail Like This, Home for Bird, Creamed Tuna Fish and Peas on Toast, Extra Yarn, anything by Kevin Henkes
Favorite food: Noodles, strawberries,
Favorite treat: ice cream, cookie dough, double lollies
Favorite activity: color, swing on swings, dance all around the house, make up performances, try to be as big as sisters, doctor make-believe, play Uno
Favorite TV show: Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins
Most days you will find her dressed up in a princess dress and dance shoes. If not, she will still be in a 'kirt - no pants or shorts for this kid and slipon shoes worn on the wrong feet. She is really excited about reading and we are making good progress through the 100 lessons book. Eliza adores playing Uno and we play it at least five times a day. She loves bandaids and keeps piles of them and lip balms, along with coloring supplies, in purses and bags. Minnie Mouse anything is always a hit and she asks me every morning if we can go to Disneyland. She comes with me everywhere and is my special buddy. As the youngest, she is always busting out funnies in her little tiny voice. Oh,I love this girl!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Fitzgerald Family Reunion: Bear Lake 2013

Best reunion ever! Yep, this was the best one, in my humble opinion. Things that made it the best: all in one house, catering for dinners, hilarious and so fun treasure hunt, late nights chatting, kids in rooms with cousins, slideshow, new family pictures. I'm ready to do it again.
The family pictures. I was in charge of these. It was brutal to find outfits that weren't difficult, a photographer that would drive and do a CD; oh and it rained. But, I think they turned out nicely. Most importantly, everyone is in them!

My kids all said that the highlight was the "Bear Hunt" treasure hunt. (Well, other than staying up late with cousins) My parents outdid themselves once again.  Also, check out my youngest brother in a bear suit!
We also spent some time at the lake. It was cold, but fun!
Really it was all about the heavenly family time.