Okay seriously with ALL of the digital scrapbooking supplies you would think that I would have the most beautiful birthday invitations and thank you cards (I won't tell you that I am the WORST at sending thank you cards) I know that is horrible of me! But here we are just about a week away from Bella's birthday party and I have yet to even decide where we are having it and at what time! Actually I found a company that has jump houses and carnival items to rent. So I found a basic PRINCESS jump house that surpringsly available on her birthday and sadly the football toss is NOT available (thought that would be great for the boys and the adults men) but the popcorn machine is. I was happy to see that the popcorn machine was only $35 for 4 hours. I thought that was a decent price and then basically have some cake. Silly me forgot that you would need a plug in for the jump house so it does limit where you can have it. Personally I would double check the size of the jump house and then I would just have it at our house. I think the only problem is the way our yards are set up is that the backyard is super small =( and so it would be a possibility that it would have to be in the front yard and well then you would have neighbor kids over and well sad to say I don't want them over =) and then everyone that drives by would see the kids jumping! So sounds like an email to the bounce house company is in order to find out the size and then CROSS MY FINGERS that it will fit in the backyard. I just think it would be super fun for the kids to have the jump house to play in....who doesn't like them. So we will see what happens!
Enough about that ..... I was playing around on my smugmug account and found this photo...
So I see yet again I have failed to stick with it...I am hoping that once the kids are back in school that I can go back to my WW meetings like I should be! =( I have seen a bunch of my online friends start doing the C25K program and am thinking I will have to start that back up again. I did really enjoy the running! So to just get back to it....everyone I read about starting it, well it just seems to jump start soo much more!
Why not share a few more pictures while I'm here...
Here are just a few of my favorites from the 4th of July:
I just love this picture, dirty face and all. She HATES fireworks yet hates. I tried to hold her in the yard to watch them and she was sucking her thumb trying to cover her face with her blanket and crying and just simply shaking. I finally gave in and let her go inside. I honestly don't think she has ever watched the fireworks. So in this photo she is holding a SPARKLER and really didn't know what to do, she wanted to cover her ears but she had to hold onto the sparkler too. =)
My boy on the other hand loves fireworks and everything else involved....
See just his happy smile and don't you just love the new sports goggles! Actually he wears these glasses quite a bit too... I think he doesn't have to worry about them falling off, but they have been such a blessing... no more runs to the glass shop because he took a basketball to the face or he was wrestling in the floor!
Before the fireworks we watched the local parade and well again Miss Bella does NOT like the noise and Ethan being my helper was trying to get Bella to smile for a picture!
Oh and one last photo for the day... as you can see in the photo above the boy had some hair, well he wanted it shaved! So this was the best mom could do...
Well I always have the best of intentions of keeping up with the blog...ok so maybe not daily, but at least weekly and not here it has been just over 2 months since I have blogged last! Lots has happened in the past couple of months
The 4th of July
Annual trip to Sunriver (will have to post a recap, but these are a few of my favorites)
Trip to local outdoor water park
Trips to the libraries (Both kids have earned their book bags)
The start of flag football season, so far so good Ethan is really enjoying it!
Girls night out to see Eclipse (and hopefully getting ready for another girls movie night the first week of September)
Trip to Medford with my inlaws and my BIL and SIL and their 3 kids (uploading those pictures tonight) We finally took a picture of all 5 cousins together first since miss Lily is turning 8 months)
In a matter of a couple weeks my Bella turns the BIG 5; now to get her birthday party planned!
Nearly not enough scrapbooking has happened over the summer, I have still bought a few kits and some a few album templates so I've got a few projects in mind to get started on, now to make it happen!
I've been trying to think of some fun activities to keep the kids busy this summer. I've been looking forward to trying Letterboxing (or check out this link). Whether we try one that is already hidden or "make our own" and let the kids find them, I think they will enjoy following the clues and find what is hidden. Heck I'm not above buying the cheap party favor animals, you know the bag of 6 or 12 little plastic themed animal packets and spreading them in the yard, the park and sending the kids on a hunt for the animals! =) Lately all Bella wants to do at daycare is look for bugs so I'm thinking a simple kids bug catcher might be in store for her!
Our local library has a great reading program. Every year they have a "theme" and then you sign up and read all summer (you choose whether you are tracking in 15min, 30min, or 60 minute increments) and you keep track of how much time you are reading, being read to, listening to audio storybooks, etc and then I believe it is for every hour you get a BOOK BUCK to be spent in their "store" (aka trinkets or used books) or they can be used for a raffle ticket for multiple different prizes. At 10 hours of reading you are rewarded with a new reading bag. Here is this years bag.
They are great quality bags and quite large. We are still using our bags from last summer for vacations, simple playing around the house and of course for trips back to the library!
I am hoping to talk with our local fire department about making a trip there or having them come the the house and get a group of people together for that. Kind of hope to work a whole safety them for a week or two. We have recently taught Bella our phone number so next we will work on our address and Ethan slips up a little still on that one (usually just the house number).
I would love to work with Bella a lot more on reading. She is getting really close to figuring it all out. I hope to work some on the sounding out and the Dolce sight words too. I found this great Kids Zone website that has multiple grades and options which works perfectly for both my kids.
Now of course we are still planning on hitting a few fun places too; like the park/carousel/water fountains, the local water park, play dates and just general fun stuff! Looking forward to a great summer....Only one more week of school.
Tonight we had a beautiful evening. Mid 70's and sunny with a few clouds, with all the rain we have had lately it was a welcome evening. Something we all needed. I believe though it gave us a glimpse of what our evenings will be like this summer! Bella being a beautiful ballerina! Nevermind the dressed up baby doll, the string headband or the hair scrunchie bracelet! (Oh yeah she had on her pink ballerina skirt which I told her I could see her undies, so she left the room and I hear some commotion and she comes back asking, "How is this?" She had went in and took the skirt off her "jumbo Barbie" (which is as big as she is). LOL
and Boys shooting hoops. Ethan wakes up talking about "his team" and who will be on dad's team. He talks stats, he talks player names, he talks about anything having to do with basketball! Seriously he talks non stop about anything basketball. He does mostly shoot on the big hoop, but usually can't pass up "dunking" on the little hoop!
Before I go.... you can never have too many purses right? Okay you probably can that is why I am going to go through and clean out my old purses because check out the new purse I bought from a Miche party.
I am in love with the yellow color and it has great pockets inside and lots of room so I can still carry my camera with me! (A heads up...Miche consultants can set their own prices, so if you are interested I can hook you up with this consultant!)
Don't the weekends always go too fast? This weekend was NO different! Saturday morning we hit the nursery and spent too much money for what we got (actually we spent quite a bit, but we got quite a few plants and it was worth it) and even though the kids were barely any help we got it all planted and now crossing our fingers that it all grows and fills out the areas they were planted in!
What you don't see is all of the vegatables we bought. Todd had already moved them to the backyard to start planting! =)
I am really loving the "orange" flowers we bought to plant in our concrete planters. This main/middle one also has a salmon geranium on either side of this orange one. I can't wait to see them all bloom together!
We dug up the "tall" flowers out of this bed, they were bee attracters and I love the hostas we have in the very front yard so last year we planted 3 in this side yard and now adding 3 more (a different color though) and then some ground cover. Now for the ground cover to "take over" the area and the hostas grow together with the other ones. =)
As much as it was a beautiful day out (read I got my first burn of the summer) the kids seriously walked around like they were bored and didn't know what to do. Ethan was tired (up at 6:45am) and thankfully Bella had slept all night in her own bed..........yeah for her!!! They just didn't know what to do with themselves...we got our stuff done and Ethan got a little basketball in.... (too bad it wasn't in better focus)
I would say let summer begin, but we woke up to a night full of rain on Sunday morning... I am ready for the sunshine! =)
I love reading other peoples' blogs and finding fun new things! First I will start off with my newest favorites: Knock Off Wood, what an amazing site! Ana is the "owner" of the site. She has posted tons of "plans/blueprints" on how to build soo many fabulous things from kids tables and chairs to family room tables, dining room tables, to beds! My I want to build list is very quickly growing! I have started my first project: kids picnic tables (for my moms for mothers' day...now to finish them). I am making my MIL (mother in law) the toddler version and for my mom the bigger kids version! Here is a great example from another blog readers picture in the difference in the tables!
Here is what I have started soo far............Yes I know I need to get busy! If you can't tell that is the top of the picnic table (it is sitting on the saw horses).
Most of the plans have been taken directly from the Pottery Barn catalogs, West Elm, Land of Nod, and many other very popular magazines! My list of wants to build is very quickly growing!
While we recently redecorated Ethan's bedroom (just went looking for the post about Ethan's bedroom and it looks like I never posted it....look for that maybe tomorrow) Back to my point... we got Ethan's room all decorated, but I am still struggling with putting together Bella's room. I have lots of little things to be hung up or great ideas but haven't followed through with them! Here I talk about what I bought for Ethan's room and some of the stuff for Bella's room...but I found this great canvas and would love to hang it somewhere in her room. I really love the brown canvas they show, but the pink would match her room! Now to see if I can find a spot so I can purchase one (or make my own with my scrapbooking supplies). I would save a lot by making one myself!
I am super thankful that Ethan likes to dress up. I guess I can thank private school and their uniform policy. I mean when you have to wear a polo and "khaki's" everyday. He CHOOSES to wear ties to school all on his own or to church on Sundays. I found My Favorite Pal that sells matching ties for adults and kids (clear down to new babies!). This one is my favorite. I actually sent them an email...it looks like the kids ties only come in the zipper ties and we have never had luck with them... I want a "real" tie in the kids sizes! Don't you love this one too? I look forward to getting an email back....cross your fingers for me! Won't daddy and son look fab in this tie?
With summer coming it also means lots of BBQ's. It means thinking of something to take along. My usual take along is brownie muffins (again will post soon on those!) I saw on someone's blog about this Picky Palate site and OMG do these not look delicious or what?
I seriously can't wait to try these and they sound super simple!!! If you try them before me you have to let me know what you thought!
Along with those summer bbq's comes trying to find new things that keep the kids busy. I recently took a walking/running class at a local running store and I heard one of the other ladies talking about Letterboxing. I actually forgot all about it until the other night on Facebook when a "friend" was asking about what to do over the holiday weekend and it came up again. I read up on it and it is a super family friendly activity and something that the kids can get really excited over. Matter of fact when I explained it to both of the kids, they were both very excited to go out and try it (granted for us basketball and princesses took over our weekend instead). I plan to try it in the next couple of weekends though! Has anyone else tried it? I hope you check it out too, there are "letter boxes" everywhere and you can even make your own to "plant" around! HAVE FUN!
I have a couple more things to share, but I think this has got long enough... I will post them real soon!
First off can you believe we had a nice long three day weekend and I didn't even take ONE picture! I haven't taken very many photos lately period and it has been kind of freeing lately ... Yes the camera still pretty much lives in my purse, but it is nice to not have it attached to my face! (But that means no pictures for this post) =(
We had a great relaxing weekend, nothing super fantastic, but lots of family time. Last week I had my bike tuned up (it had been since we bought our bikes back in 1996 so it was due) so we took a simple bike ride to the local grade school where we saw a fellow school family. I chatted with the mom for a few minutes while the kids played. Hubby came back over to where I was at and was smiling from ear to ear. It sounded like the other little boy (B) has Ethan if he had ever received a referral at school (a bad letter, you are in trouble letter) and Ethan said NO, I have only had one when I was born! (For those that don't know that is what it is called when we received his medical information and the first picture of him). It just made us smile. I'm sure the other boy was royally confused at what that meant!
Seriously all Ethan wanted to do all weekend was either play Wii NBA 2K10 (he is good; there is NO letting him win!) or outside shooting hoops in the driveway. Basketball is ALL he seems to be talking about these days! He talks about who and when they were drafted and I'm not talking about only current players he goes way back. A lot he has learned from the Wii (who says video games aren't educational), some from watching the games on TV and well he reads the back of old basketball figurines and well who knows where else! He is a walking bit of information. He wakes up talking about basketball and goes to sleep talking about basketball! Poor Bella she just ever so "patiently" waits her turn to play Wii or for Daddy's attention. It is a little hard but she has done great....
She is very excited for summer to be here, but is soo excited to start kindergarten in the fall! She is very excited about getting 3 recesses and taking her own lunch too. Just tonight she was saying how we haven't gotten her new backpack and lunch box. I tried to explain how we would do that shopping over the summer. We will see how excited she is when she has to get up EVERY morning and dress in her uniforms ... She will be one tired girl, I'm thinking she will be having a 7 o'clock bedtime! =)
I think we may even find out which kindergarten class she will be in next year. Hubby wants one teacher and I want the other one. I think she will end up with my choice, but I think in the end hubby will be pleased with that decision too (not like it is ours, the school is making it).
Maybe I will take a few pictures for tomorrow's post or find some that I haven't posted before! =)
Yeah tomorrow is already over the hump day! Gotta love 3 day weekends!
This ballet stuff is pretty new to us. This is our first year (it runs just like the school year does) and some of the "rules" and the way it is done is taking some adjusting. Prime example is I believe Bella is the only one with short hair and for their upcoming recital there hair is to be parted on the left side in a bun at ear height, no bangs and no stragglers! Um have you seen Bella's hair? All I can say is Thank God for our bestest friend Miss K (aka her preschool teacher) She was so super kind to do Bella's hair before she sent her home from preschool. She we won't tell any other parents! LOL Yes she really is one of my best friends now and she said it only took her a few minutes to do!
Doesn't she just look so beautiful! After dress rehearsal tonight Bella was soo excited to tell me all about her costumes...I can't wait to see them! Only a few more weeks until the recital!
Ballet days kind be kind of long, so most Wednesday's I have Bella take a nap. Since her hair was done up today we didn't let her lay down for her Wednesday nap. They hit a little bit of traffic on their way home and that gave Bella just enough time to fall asleep in the car. She was so far out of it that I set her up to the table for dinner and this is what I got:
Not quite sure how she is going to make it thru all day kindergarten next year? =) (As long as you keep her moving she is good to go) LOL
I can't thank my friends and family enough for their support. My goal was to finish in 45 minutes with a pace of a 15 minute mile...So I can say I am very proud of myself and with how I finished! Looking forward to my next one and finishing even better! =)
P.S. Don't you just love reality TV. Monday nights are back.................with The Bachelorette. I think my very early pick is going to have to be FRANK. He was super funny, but I hate reading spoilers, but if they are right then he may end up being a jerk! Not sure who will be my "runner up".
Sadly The Biggest Loser is over for this season. I like so many others I'm sure get "attached" to the contestants and I love hearing how they are doing and following their stories! I was so split on who I wanted to "win" this season, but am super glad that Michael won! He deserved it! They all looked absolutely stunning! What an inspirational show!
Really are we hearing GO BOSTON CELTICS in our house. I have always been a basketball watcher but haven't really had a preference for or against the Celtics, but well Dad has... He has never really been a Boston Fan. So much to Dad's dismay Ethan is a die hard Boston Celtics fan. It seriously is amazing what kind of information he can tell you. It does help that he loves to play Wii Basketball game and they use the real players from the game. It is another one of those he hears it once and well he can remember it. Stats, names, scores, the year they were drafted...yes you name it and he probably knows it!
So we live in Oregon and have the Portland Trailblazers. Yes we like our Blazers....and they are such a better team than they used to be ON and OFF the court. Portland is about an hour away from us and not sure how that factors into the fact that NO ONE carries anything but Blazer hats. We were luckily able to find a Celtics t-shirt and a Ray Allen jersey this past weekend. Yes I have voiced my displeasure in the fact that you simply can't find anything but Blazer gear.... really people not even with the playoffs?
Ethan was beyond excited when we gave him the shirt last night and even more excited tonight during the game when we gave him his jersey!!!
and my question is when looking at the picture just above with Ethan in the t-shirt....WHERE DID MY BABY GO? Doesn't he look soo grown up in that picture? Like such a young MAN and not a boy! All too quickly that will really be here!
Bella wasn't left out of anything. She got some super cute new earrings. She has recently figured out that it doesn't really hurt when we change her earrings. We picked out some really cute ones! One set had cupcakes, ice cream cones and donuts (with pink frosting and sprinkles---just the way she likes them!). Dad picked out a great set of smiley faces and then we got a 3rd set free and we picked out some flip flops (cuz we all know she loves shoes!)
She has also been talking about the new iCarly CD. I know she watches iCarly, but really when did she start paying attention to CD's? So I finally figured out that the girl that plays iCarly is named Miranda Cosgrove and that she has a music CD out. She was thrilled to see that she got it! She rushed right into the playroom to listen to her CD. She quickly decided to lay down and color while she listened to the CD. I was pretty surprised to see/hear that she knew most of the words to the very first song, but then the second or third song came on and I was doing the dinner dishes. She calls me into the playroom to tell me that "that girl just said DISGUSTING. It was probably the funniest thing ... I say YES that is okay honey... that is the name of the song! So next thing you know she is "singing" at the top of her lungs DISGUSTING, I hope you change me!
Aren't those super cute earrings (wait until you see the others...don't worry you don't have to look at a ton of them)
Yes she dresses herself! As she likes to say, "Mom, Look aren't I fashionated?" Yes Honey you are!
It is soo hard to believe that is was 7 years ago that we brought Ethan home from Korea!!! It had been such a whirl-wind time. It took us years to get to that point and then in a moment we were a FAMILY of 3! Ethan has been soo excited this past week. Talking all about it being his Family Day! It ended up being a pretty basic day. I left early to do my first real 5k (yea for me...I finished in about 46:47 and I had a goal of 45 minutes so I am proud of what I have slowly been accomplishing)... But Todd and the kids stayed home.
They had a pretty simple morning of breakfast and some basketball Wii. I got home and we relaxed for a bit, did a little house cleaning. I love that the kids help (after minimal whining -- usually). A game of Sorry ... then dinner at AppleBee's followed by the movie G-Force. What a cute movie...but I don't think I can count the number of times I have heard "POOP IN THE HANDS!" If you have seen it then you know exactly what I mean! =)
Now to plan better to do something special for Bella's next year (February 6th).
I did happen to snap a couple pictures at Applebee's! The story behind Ethan's photo is that he asked if he could keep the french fry until next Friday when he had Sharing at school... um NO, lets take a picture instead! Bella...well she can't be left out and OMG look at how you can see how brown her eyes are in this picture!
I just LOVE my babies! Happy Family Day to both of you guys!!!
I have been doing a walk/running class on Tuesday nights and our class ended this past Tuesday...Today was I guess you could say our "graduation". It was what we have all been working towards (some were even doing the 10k or the 1/2 marathon the next day). I will admit I didn't do my "homework" like I should have been doing so I wasn't ready to run the whole 5k, but I had been doing a few walk/runs where I was doing 2 minute runs and then I would walk until I felt ready again. Today I did it... I had a goal of finishing and finishing in under 45 minutes. It doesn't sound like an amazing time, but it was my goal. (Last year I did WALK a 5k with my parents on a very hill course =) but were pretty much last place and did it in just under an hour) So if I could do it in 45 minutes that was pretty much putting me at 15 minute miles and I felt that was a decent goal.
I finished my race and according to the big time readout I finished in 46:47 so almost 2 minutes over my goal time. Looking back even though my shins were killing me (I need to figure out how to stop them from hurting everytime I walk) I think I could have ran/jogged some more which would have put me in under 45 minutes. It is done and I can't go back and change it, but looking forward to my next one (possibly June 5th).
I've only got a quick cell phone picture from just before we started and it isn't the best =) I am hoping that since they had a photographer there that there will be at least one decent one of me during the race. I know he took at least one just before I turned to cross the "finish line" LOL I didn't know if I should be looking at the camera or just looking ahead of me =) Ahh we will see. I hope to post pictures later!
Thanks to all my friends for such great support and I can't wait to do another one!
It took us a couple weeks but we started noticing that Ethan was squinting while watching TV at the kitchen table. Yes I know we shouldn't be watching TV during dinner, but well what can I say the Basketball playoffs are on and that is pretty much all Ethan will talk about. (That is a whole different post in itself) So yes we have allowed the TV to be on during dinner a few times so the boys could watch the game too. So we finally asked E if he could see the TV or we would ask him what the score was and when he couldn't tell us or he had to watch 10 steps in order to see it clearly we decided he wasn't joking around with us. Todd called that next day to see when he could get an eye appointment and thankfully they had a cancellation that afternoon.
I honestly thought he would come home saying that his eyes were just tired, but NO my baby needs glasses! It ends up that he is nearsighted...and for those of us that didn't really know what that meant before--it means that he can see up real close but not farther away. So basically he needs them all the time. We were at Binyons that next weekend (might have been able to get them cheaper somewhere else, but I was loving the fact that we got both pairs of his new glasses that same day).
We loved his sweet little photogenic face before, but I might be biased but we think he is still stinkin adorable!
This pair we got with the "transitional lens" so that he has built in sunglasses. This is the pair he wears the most often! It is just unfortunate that he has such a little nose that we've found it really hard to keep them up, we are in a learning process!
I really love this pair too... I call them his Clark Kent glasses!
The Dr. said in a couple years he could get contacts and so thankfully he will have that option before too long.
It has been a little bitter sweet. I mean we were pretty sad that at 7 he had to already start thinking about wearing glasses all the time. Being more aware of the fact that he wore them in general...he is 7 after all. We are very thankfully that he hasn't complained at all about wearing them and has pretty much gotten up every morning and put them on! I think it helps for the simple fact that he can SEE when he wears his glasses. It does make me a little sad to think that it could have been coming on for a while and we didn't notice or he didn't know any different to say anything to us.
Ethan has been pretty excited to be doing his science project this year. Last year they did group assignments and this year all on his own. I have to say while I was uploading the photos for his display board I was amazed at what a neat little experiment it is! I had researched a few ideas for him online and then a fellow mom from the adoption board I go to suggested this (and she was doing it with her whole 1st grade class and now I see why!).
Here are the photos we took (tomorrow we will finish putting the display board together and then we will have final shots to show! The big science fair is on Friday!
He is doing a RUBBER EGG . . .
1. Egg goes into a glass
2. Pour vinegar over the egg and let it sit for a few days
3. His comparison of the original egg (raw) and the egg after it has sat (this one actually 2 weeks) but it is only necessary for a few days
Oh my gosh don't you just LOVE the contrast of colors! We couldn't believe how much the color changed and it is still RAW!
4. It is RUBBERY now
Photos have been printed and tomorrow we finish gluing to the display board and writing up his description/story of his experiment!
We had a very nice and laid back Easter. We spent some time with hubby's side of the family on Saturday (maybe pics soon) and then Sunday morning we went to Mass and then came home to make some breakfast and simply hang out. Nothing fancy, but nice. Believe it or not the kids didn't go real fancy on Easter clothes and Ethan was changed out of his outfit minutes after being home. So no great photos, only a few snapshots. I think these few happen to be my favorite (I still need to edit a few of the other ones).
Ethan bless his heart continues to amaze and surprise us! Since we didn't even color eggs this year, when it came time to hide the plastic eggs, we told the kids to go upstairs to their room. I figured they were together in Bella's room listening to a CD. I couldn't have been more wrong. Bella was pouting ... she thought she was in trouble when we told her to go to her room and Ethan was quietly sitting on his bed. I could hear his music and was very much surprised when I looked a little closer and noticed something in his hand. He was PRAYING THE ROSARY. We didn't ask him to, we hadn't even been talking about it. All on his own. One of those little moments that you realize he isn't a baby anymore and what a good young man he is SLOWLY turning into. (Bless his heart he didn't even flinch or get upset when I "snuck" in to snap a few pictures).
Bella can't be left out either. We do give the kids Easter baskets, but try not to go too crazy with them. Always something religious and a little bit of chocolate and a couple small toys. I or we were very excited to give Ethan his first real Bible. I happened across this Adventure Bible the other day of all places Walmart. Matter of fact I would love to see these a requirement for school or something.... Well Bella got a new CD call Cat Chat...both of the kids LOVE it and have tons of it already memorized! She also got some little religious figurines....Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus! I can't find a link or remember the name brand of the figurines (they have lots of other religious figures too), but well here you can see the 3 of them in action!
I hope everyone else had a blessed Easter Holiday!
P.S... Almost forgot to add that at school all the first graders colored crosses and wrote down their Lenten promise. In typical 7 year old fashion, Ethan promised to give up COOKIES. He did sooo good, even when mom forgot and brought him surprise cookies and left them in his locker for lunch time, he still didn't eat them! Ahh our good little Catholic boy!