Thursday, December 20, 2007

Preschool Party and Dance Class

Kail had a preschool party today. They sang six Christmas songs, ate breakfast and had a visit from Santa. Notice Kail is sitting on 'his' lap this time. Possibly because the Santa was very obviously female. Maybe the Santa suit only came in x-small? Kail very matter-of-factly explained to me that this was not the real Santa. And I of course agreed that this was just a helper (an unusual choice of helpers I must say, they must not have realized quite how observant 4 year olds are!).

We spent our afternoon at Kail's dance class. They invited the parents to come and see the dance they've been working on. It was really cute and Kail did great! (Now, if we can just get her to keep that tongue in her mouth. . . !)

Kail's Birthday!

Here's our sweet 4 year old opening some of her presents. We went to breakfast for pancakes and lemonade (Kail's favorites) and then opened presents.

Kail's Hula Girl Party!

Kail turned 4 on the 15th of December. In celebration, she requested a 'Hula Girl' party. It's obviously not summertime, but we decided to go for it anyway! Here is a copy of the cute invitation that my sis Brooke put together. I just sent her the poem and the pic (which she took this summer) and she created this little lovely. Thanks Brooke!

Here are some photos of the party. The girls seemed to enjoy their hula skirts and leis and a few brave souls attempted the limbo. It was lots of dancing, giggling and CUTE girls! Our menu included hawaiian pizza, pineapple, veggies and dip, and a tropical punch with cupcakes for dessert. Who says you can't Hula in December? Happy 4th Birthday Kail!

Happiest Place on Earth at the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We HAD to go again, there's snow now! The girls had a great time decorating cookies, seeing real reindeer at the "Reindeer Roundup", visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus and seeing Sleeping Beauty's castle change into a winter wonderland with 'real' snow! We decided last minute to go with our friends Tabitha and Hallie and even though we both had lots of other things we needed to do, it was fun to do something we wanted to do! Good times.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

You better not pout I'm telling you why. . . .

Hooray for Santa! On a fire truck?! Apparantly his sleigh was in the shop. We spent the afternoon today at a Christmas party that the association in our neighborhood put on. Lots of fun for the kids - crafts, cookies, and candy canes. The highlight for sure was Santa and Mrs. Claus. Unfortunately for us, the anticipation was much better than the actual encounter!

Here we are anxiously awaiting the arrival. (Please excuse Kail's Pippi Longstocking outfit. I thought the heart tights were really cute when I bought them, just NOT paired with her favorite green dress. In Kail's defense there is the smallest amount of pink at the top of the dress, which in her mind justified the choice in tights. This was simply not a battle I was interested in fighting today, especially because she was so pleased with her choice!):

I was pleasantly surprised at how excited Mia was about Santa. She was waving and yelling "Hi Santa" at the top of her lungs (she sometimes has a problem with volume control). As we waited in line she kept saying/signing/gesturing as she does "I want a hug Santa!" It was really cute. Mia quickly became less enamoured with Santa when she thought I was abondoning her to his lap. This is, unfortunately, why I am in the picture. Here we are with the Claus family. . . .

I'll bet you are wondering where Kail is in the picture? Well, here she is sitting in the corner. She's not really sad or crying. . . . more like mad. I'm not really sure what Santa did to make her so unhappy, but I DO know there was no persuading her to stand in line (let alone sit on his lap)! Oh well.

Here's a picture of Mia saying "Bye Santa" as he left on the firetruck. At least one of them was happy!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

UPDATE!!! (finally)

So I know it's been awhile. . . things have been busy (come on though it's December, what more can we expect!). However I realize I have made no mention of my lovely Thanksgiving and our trip to AZ. We spent 4 days in AZ and stayed with the Rogers; ate dinner with the Smith's. It was a really great time. We ate lots of yummy food, did some Christmas shopping with just the girls, played at the park, watched movies, made Christmas tags, and enjoyed being with family. I have a mere two photos that were taken of the trip from Thanksgiving Day. Here they are:

It's definitely Christmastime around our house. The girls are so excited about everything. We put our tree up last week and then we put up the lights outside yesterday for Family Night. Ryan bravely risked his life for the sake of the iscicle lights, but the final result was well worth it! I just love this time of year. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is turn the lights on the tree and the garlands on the stairs. I know I probably shouldn't, but I keep them on all day when I am home. It just makes me happy. I probably won't be happy when we get our bill for the month. . . . .

And just to back track a bit. . . this picture was taken the weekend before Thanksgiving. Ryan and I decided to tackle the daunting task of cleaning the garage (we decided that it was time as we have lived here since June and were only parking one car inside). So to keep the girls occupied, they put on their swim suits and went to town with the hose and blow up trampoline. I guess the desert has some perks. . . . . I am happy to say that we are officially wearing long sleeves (some days) and jeans. Ok, so the girls are mostly just wearing tights because it's hard for them to go a day without a skirt or dress. But it IS cooler, and that for that I am grateful.

Whew! So now I'm caught up. Time to wrap some presents!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tagged x 3

So I have been tagged three times this week (I know, I know so popular) and decided I had better comply (I am not sure if the 'tag police' come after you or not, I am a little new to this). Here is my list of 7 unusual things about me:

1. I am really bad with directions. Ryan and I always joke that I didn't come with the 'internal compass' package. I just don't understand how people just KNOW which way north and south is. I have to think about it really hard. I have improved some, especially when I lived in LA and there were a zillion freeways to choose from, but it's still a struggle.

2. I can only wink with my right eye. My left eye has what's called a 'jaw winker' (weird I know) and looks like a lazy eye sometimes. It seems to have improved as I have gotten older, but it caused me lots of distress when I was a kid. Kids at school can be MEAN.

3. I LOVE to host parties or gatherings.

4. My least favorite chore at home is laundry. I really don't like all the folding and putting away and just when you think you're done. . . the laundry pile is huge again.

5. I have poor hearing in my right ear (all these ailments!). If I am laying in bed on my left side and someone tries to talk to me I have to lift my head up, or I can't hear. I've had it checked; it's not bad enough to need a hearing aid, just bad enough to be annoying.

6. I really enjoy change. I like a new haircut, a new furniture arrangement, a new house, etc. This is probably the reason that I have enjoyed moving 4 times in the past 4 years: new place, new people, new adventures. The only change I don't really like is a change in schedule (namely with the kids and naps, etc.), which leads me to the last item:

7. I really like schedules. I like knowing where I am going to be at 10am on Monday and planning out the week accordingly. I like having designated time for my kids and designated time for me. There is definitely room for flexibility, but I like knowing where I need to be and when well in advance. Which is why I always enjoy summer, but can't wait for Fall and the order that comes with it.

For the record, I am not tagging anyone else. I guess that's another unusual thing about me. I don't always enjoy playing games (especially Monopoly), and sometimes I quit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Silly Kail

So at church on Sunday, Kail's class was getting ready to leave Primary opening exercises and go to their classroom. The Primary President said "Ok boys and girls, it's time to dismiss". Kail blurted out "Hey, that's my last name!" The funny thing is. . .that's how she pronounces it (or maybe more like Smiff)!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My favorite Fall treat. . .

I love Fall. I love Fall colors, Fall leaves (if we had any here) and Fall food, namely pumpkin. So when I needed to make a treat for the girls at Mutual tonight, of course I made these. . . Pumpkin Bars. Yum. Here is the recipe (you won't be disappointed):

Pumpkin Bars
Mix Together the following:
6 eggs
1 1/2 c. oil
3 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 lg. can pumpkin (the last couple of times I have used Libby's easy pumpkin pie mix in a can - it seems like it has more spices and makes it extra yummy)
Combine and fold in:
3 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 t. soda
1 T. cinnamon
1 1/2 t. salt
Pour into 9 x 13 pan or jelly roll pan (I always use jelly roll pan. More frosting to bar ratio).
Bake at 350 for 30-40 min.

Frosting: (the BEST part)
1 pkg. cream cheese
1 stick butter
3/4 bag (1 box) powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
dash of salt

My friend Christy gave me this recipe. She is very Martha-esque about all things in the kitchen and all of my GOOD recipes come from her! :) When I make it, I think of our fun family memories together and Fall in Pasadena. That place is beautiful all the time, but there is something magical about it this time of year. The leaves are changing, the air is crisp and it is all set amongst the cutest old houses you have ever seen.

Christy and the rest of the Westover's are moving to Oregon this weekend. I am so happy for them; so sad that they are leaving California. It just gives us a reason to visit Portland though! They are wonderful friends and we wish them the best of luck! We love you Westover's!

Here is a pic of us at Ryan and John's graduation from USC.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween. . . . and MORE pink princess pics!

What a fun Halloween! We started out the day with Kail's preschool party. It was quite a party with pumpkin painting, games, trick or treating, lunch, and super cute kids in great costumes! Mia and I stayed and helped run one of booths and corral all the excited kids. The girls LOVED it.

Mia didn't want to sit with me. . .she had to be with the big kids!

Kail had dance that day and they were having a little party after class, but when she fell asleep at 10 till 3 (class was at 3:30 pm) I decided to forget it and save their energy (and my sanity) for the evening's festivities. We went to our ward's Fall Festival at the church. Ryan was in charge of the 'doughnut on a string' activity. The girls clearly enjoyed that, they just didn't understand why you couldn't hold the doughnut. They were really fun to watch . . . . and really sticky! We trick or treated at the church, got our faces painted, went fishing for fun toys, won yummy treats at the cake walk, and braved a very impressive Haunted House. All in all, a very fun day!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Our 10th Anniversary trip to HAWAII!

We just got back from Kauai where we celebrated our 10 year anniversary. We had such a great time! We dropped the girls off in AZ to visit their grandparents (thank you again Grandma Rogers and Grandma Smith) and then flew out of Phoenix. On our way to Kauai we had an 8 hour layover in Oahu and were able to visit the temple there and check out some sights. Probably the coolest thing we did once we got to Kauai was a helicopter ride around the island. LOVED IT. The island is so gorgeous and we got to see amazing waterfalls, canyons and beaches. It was a great time. Highlights of the trip included:
*Lots of Pina Coladas (virgin of course)
*Driving to Waimea Canyon in our super cute convertible
*Eating lots of mahi mahi, shrimp, crab, and other delicious seafood creations
*Sleeping in
*Renting cabanas by the beach and reading ALL day (twice)
*Chocolate & coconut covered macadamia nuts
*Snorkling at Poipu Bay
*Visiting Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona
*Sunset at the Beach House restaurant
*Jogging by the beach (ok. . . so the jogging not a total highlight but we had to do something to counteract all this yummy food)
*Shopping for hula girl dolls and coconut purses for the kiddos
*Not having to make the bed

So these are really the only pictures we took besides some blurry ones of waterfalls from the helicopter. We were so busy relaxing that we didn't have 'time' to take more pictures I guess! Pure bliss.

Trick or Treating at Disneyland!

So we went to Disneyland (again!) with our friends Kyle and Tabitha and their daughter Hallie. The kids wore their costumes (matching princesses of course - or as Kail likes to say, 'sister princesses') and trick or treated at California Adventure. We ate lots of candy, rode fun rides and stayed out way too late. . . . fun times!