Monday, February 25, 2008

Leaving for our Mother Daughter Disney trip

So, tomorrow we are off on our trip to Disneyland. We are all excited. I had to laugh when Elisabeth told Alan tonight, "Dad, you'll have to be the boss while Mom is gone." Hmmm, what does that tell you about our house?
We just broke the news to Emilyanne and Elisabeth that we were going to surprise Leilani and let her go with us in the morning. (It is almost more exciting to pull off that surprise than to go to Disneyland!) They took it much better than Alan and I thought they would. They were actually excited for Leilani waking up and being surprised. Emily asked, "Don't you need to tell someone that she is going or something?" We told her that we already had her homework from her teachers, and we had let her gymnastics coach know and her piano teacher know. Then Emily asked, "Well, don't you have to pack clothes for her or something?" When we told her that Leilani had a suitcase already packed in Grandma's car, she thought we were really cool parents. They also thought it was cool that they knew she was going and she didn't. I can't wait to see her face in the morning!
We have a cool surprise planned for Emilyanne and Elisabeth too. We took head shots of them and printed them out 8 x 10 size. (of course they don't know this)We are going to take a picture of their favorite characters holding their picture, and then have the character autograph the head shot for them. I think they will like that. Especially because Emilyanne really wanted a picture with Mickey Mouse in his kimono (Disney is celebrating the Chinese year of the rat (mouse) during the month of February) Oh well, it will be her turn to have a special trip next time.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Puff the Magic Dragon

I came across a few towels that I bought at Gymboree about 4-5 years ago to sell on Ebay, but hadn't got around to listing yet. Now that I have a son (which I didn't have back then), I decided to save a few for him and sell the rest.

This dragon towel is his favorite. Elisabeth got a book and cd about Puff the Magic Dragon for Christmas, and they like to listen to the song a lot. He gets in his towel after bath time and runs around singing and pretending to be Puff the Magic Dragon.
He has a doggy towel and a shark towel too, but this is his favorite.

He had a monkey towel too, but I repossessed it today (he hadn't used it yet). I sold one on Ebay the other day for a ridiculous amount, and decided that he didn't need it if I could get that price for it :) I guess that won't qualify me for a good mommy award, but if someone else out there really wants it...who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's Time For Cookies

Yesterday I helped the girls make cookies. I am ashamed to say that I haven't done that in a LONG time. In fact, I can't even remember ever doing it, although I am sure I must have at some point, right? I have come to rely on the baking skills of others. My kids have lots of fond memories of making cookies with Aunt Kim. But Aunt Kim is pregnant, and is not usually in the baking mood anymore. In fact she has been trying to get Leilani to make cookies for her. She has tried to make me feel guilty that Leilani is almost 10 years old and can't make cookies by herself. (Did I miss a benchmark somewhere? Is there an age that kids are supposed to make cookies by themselves that I have missed?) So, Leilani had the seed planted in her mind that she should be able to make cookies, and has been nagging me to teach her. So, yesterday I finally made the time. They had lots of fun, and I know it is a good skill for them to have.
My problem is that I would much rather sit down and eat the entire bowl of cookie dough then to eat the baked cookies. But what kind of example would that be? We are not supposed to let our kids eat raw dough anymore because the raw eggs might make them sick. There are so many simple joys in childhood that are suddenly bad for you now. So, I had to sneak my bites of dough. As you can see in the pictures, though, I did let them lick the beaters and scrape the bowl. Amazingly enough, nobody go sick.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's a Fiesta!

We had a busy weekend, with a gymnastics meet for Leilani, stake conference primary choir, Asian Celebration and Isabella's birthday party. The only thing I have pictures from at this point, though, is the birthday party. Estela put a lot of work into the party, and the kids had a lot of fun. They ate mini pizzas and drank lemonade.
They had fun playing freeze tag and several other games.
The freeze tag got a little rough sometimes.

But they really did have a good time.
A pretty princess pose.
They also played pass the orange...
and a match the shoe game.
Estela made a sunflower pinata.
They always make Leilani hit last, because she tends to hit hard and break it open.
Estela was smart and bagged the candy instead of having individual candy explode all over the gym floor.
I think Isabella had a great party!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

The munchkins with some of their Valentine treats.
Alan and I with our treats.
Alan and I ready for our date to the ward dinner/dance fundraiser. It was fun to go out and be together.

I hope everybody had a great Valentine's Day. We did, although I was put in my place by Elisabeth when she came home from preschool with a Valentine she had made that said, "To Daddy, I love you, Elisabeth." No, she did not have another one for Mom. But when I said something about it, she did say I could share Dad's valentine. I guess the moral to that story is do not tell your children that you are taking their brother to Disneyland and not any of the rest of them. (My Mom is taking me and Benjamin and Kim and Haylie to Disneyland at the end of the month to celebrate her birthday. This has not made my girls extremely happy. In fact, Emily has pretty much been giving me the "I like Dad and not Mom" treatment for a week...wait until she finds out we are surprising Leilani and letting her go because it is her birthday too...I will really be disowned as a parent. Elisabeth claims she would rather stay home with Dad anyway. Big Sigh........ I guess I better figure out some good souveniers to get back in good graces.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Why Is It So Hard?

Benjamin was sweetly singing the "Happy Family" primary song (you know, "I love mother...") and I was wishing I had a video camera to capture it. I borrowed my mom's digital camera, which takes short video clips, and thought I had the perfect way to capture that sweet moment. Little did I know that NOBODY was going to love mother by the time her patience had been used up trying to capture the moment.
First he wanted ME to sing the song, not him.
Now it is his turn to sing, but he is not going to do it! So, I try taking him out of the stroller.
He is pushing his mom's buttons and he knows it.
Then he decides maybe he'll sing a different song (Down by the Bay), but gets distracted by a spider.
This time he gets a few phrases from "Down by the Bay," (by the bay, watermelons grow, back to my home) but he won't stay still to save his soul. Then he says he will sing "I love sister..." but he doesn't.
Now he decides to tackle mom's legs. I can't video him and he won't have to sing.
You'll notice dad in the side of the picture. He came out to help, because I was losing the battle, but he had no success either. Needless to say, I never did get him singing on the camera.

Why is it is so hard to get that perfect video or that perfect picture? I'm sure every one of you mothers have gone through this. It's the behind the scenes action. Sigh...I guess it just makes success that much sweeter!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Emily's Tray

Emily decided that today was the day to transform her football shelf to a Snow White shelf.
First she went to grandma's house to borrow brushes and paint. Then she got busy creating her vision.
Leilani decided that if Emily was going to create a Snow White shelf, then she was going to make her tray into a Cinderella tray and join the party.
Emily very meticulously planned every little detail.
Ta Da! The finished project. Isn't is cute? Much more girly than the football shelf it was intended to be.
Leilani's tray turned out cute too. I just couldn't get a very good picture of it because it was getting dark. There are better pictures on Grandma's camera. (which of course I do not have access to right now as I am blogging this)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Pretty Princess

My girls got a game for Christmas called "Pretty Pretty Princess." They love to play it every chance they get, and they especially love to have Dad play it with them! (It gives them a good laugh to see him dress up)
The point of the game is to get a full set of matching jewelry. Is it a good thing that my son likes the earrings the best? At least he calls himself a prince instead of a Princess. :)
The winner! What a pretty princess.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My Little Helper

Benjamin likes to help me do laundry. When I sort the clothes into piles, he throws them into different piles. When I put the laundry in the washer, he likes to hand the clothes to me and watch the water fill up the machine. When I fold the laundry, he likes to help by taking the clothes out of the dryer and throwing them back into the piles of dirty clothes. Yesterday, though, he tried a new trick. He got into the dryer and played in the clothes while I folded them. He had a lot of fun until the wheel inside turned and he fell sideways with all the clothes on him. I tried to get a picture, but he got out faster than I could take a picture. It was really funny! I guess I am just glad he wants to help. That seems to wear off as they get older :)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The First Saturday of the Month

The first Saturday of the month is always fun for my kids. This is the day that Home Depot holds its free Kids Club activities from 9-12. My kids have made many things: pencil holders, treasure boxes, castles, baseball holders, medal racks, trays, napkin holders, ect. This week they made football peg wall hangings in honor of the super bowl.

Leilani made a tray instead, and Emilyanne didn't put her football sticker on her project because she is going to paint the wood to look like a leaf and then hang Snow White (Disney Princess) ornaments on it. (She is very creative!)
Benjamin just started going, and he loves to be part of the gang. Notice the cute apron they give to all the kids.
After Home Depot, we went to Barnes and Noble for storytime and a visit from Raggedy Ann.

Next month they have Clifford on the first Saturday!

We always have to play with the train table before we can leave the book store. Benjamin and Haylie never want to leave.
The kids enjoy reading and looking at books too.

Alan actually took the two older kids back this afternoon for an activity to learn codes and coin tricks. They had a lot of fun. I am glad that we live in an area that has so many free activities for families.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Sunday Night at Grandma and Grandpa's

We are blessed to live around a lot of family. So, almost every Sunday night we all get together at my Mom and Dad's house for dinner, games, movies, ect. The grown ups (my siblings, spouses and parents) have fun and the little cousins all have fun. The kids like to have Grandpa play with them.
Grandpa makes a mean horse...
He bucks!
But he's willing to give everyone a ride.

Benjamin and Haylie are best buddies. We have to watch them, though, because Haylie will try anything Benjmain does - and he can be a daredevil! For instance, Benjamin likes to jump off the stairs (despite his mother's protests), and he has mastered it, but Haylie ended up on her face when she tried it .

It is not quiet when everyone is together (10 adults and 10 kids), but everyone has fun!