Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, Jillian!

It's hard to believe that Jillian is 3 years old already. Sometimes, with her drama, I think shouldn't she be like turning 16 or something? But other times, she so sweet and kind and, well, just little, that I'm glad she's only 3 and I have another 15 years with her. 

We started her birthday celebration on Friday by going out to lunch at McDonald's and playing on the playland there. We then did some birthday shopping (yes, I was a little last minute on getting her some presents). Saturday, we continued the fun by going bowling. Annabelle and Jillian kicked my butt. But that's not surprising considering they had bumpers and I did not and I'm a really bad bowler (I mean, really bad). Sarah just loved looking at all the neon flashing lights.

(That's Annabelle-81

Today, after church, we decorated Jillian's Dora the Explorer birthday cake. Now, I am not a cake decorator in the slightest, nor do I have a single cake decorating tool, but I must say, I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. I don't think anyone really understood how proud of the cake I was. Well, maybe Annabelle did. She watched me decorate it and kept saying how cool it looked and how I was the best cake maker in the world.

If you can't tell, Dora and Boots must go "over the hill, across the bridge and that's how they'll get to Jillian's birthday bash".

After having her birthday dinner of spaghetti and breadsticks (and a couple of her tantrums caused by her exceptional stubbornness), we opened presents and ate cake and ice cream. As soon as she had one present open, she would lunge for another one before even looking to see what she got. It wasn't until she was done ripped off the wrapping paper of each present that she even cared to see what new things she was given.

Annabelle's Snowman

Annabelle's friend came over yesterday and they decided to build a snowman. Annabelle and I have tried building snowmen in the past, but they never really ever turned out well. Perhaps that's because I grew up in a place where we didn't get much snow and so I never learned good snowman-building skills. So I was skeptical that these little kids would make anything that resembled a snowman. But boy, was I wrong. They spent hours rolling snow around to make the different parts of the body the exact size they wanted. Once they had the second layer ready to lift onto the bottom layer, they immediately realized it was way to heavy for them. Annabelle opened the door to the house and asked if Michael could help them.

Michael was not in the least bit dressed to go out in the snow, but did that stop superdad? Heck, NO! He slipped on the first pair of shoes he could find (his church shoes) and went immediately outside in his basket ball shorts, light jacket and no socks and he helped shape that snowman a little more, then lifted it on top of the bottom layer.

By the time the kids were ready to come inside, they had a pretty darn good snowman. Way to go, girls! Please note the different sized eyes. They used a racquetball for one eye and a tennis ball for the other eye. They're going for a more modern, creative look.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Something you never knew about the Tooth Fairy

Annabelle lost another tooth. That makes 4 teeth lost before she's even turned 6. She has 2 more that are loose and 5 weeks before she turns 6 so that number could go up. This front tooth came out while she was brushing her teeth. She started freaking out because when she went to spit out the tooth paste, there was a bunch of blood in the sick. (And Annabelle doesn't handle blood well. If she sees it, she starts to gag.) After we washed out her mouth, we realized that her tooth was gone and we figured it had gone down the drain. Annabelle was very concerned that the tooth fairy wouldn't come if we didn't find the tooth, so Michael spent the next 30 minutes taking apart the pipes under the sink (and removing the disgusting gunk that builds up in them) looking for the missing tooth. He did eventually find it. He definitely earned the name "Superdad" for that. We put the tooth under her pillow and she went to bed.

The next morning, she looked under her pillow and found a tooth from the tooth fairy and a dollar bill. She was thrilled. But as she was getting ready for school, she happened to see her tooth sitting on her dresser. Annabelle was very upset that the tooth fairy didn't take it. I explained to her that probably what happened was the tooth fairy took the tooth out of the bag it was in, put it on the dresser so she could put the note and the dollar in the bag, and then left, forgetting to take the tooth with her. We decided to put the tooth under her pillow that night so the tooth airy could come back and get it.

Well, darn that blasted tooth fairy. She forgot again to take the tooth. We decided to try one more night. That night as I was going to bed and Annabelle was still awake, I asked Michael to make sure the tooth fairy was coming before he went to bed. 

The next morning, the tooth was gone and there was a gold dollar and the following note:

That might be too small to read, so here's what it said:

Dear Annabelle,

You are growing up so quickly! You lost another tooth. I am sorry I forgot to take it with me the first night you put it under your pillow. I feel so silly! I want to put to rest any concerns you may have about the integrity of the operation I run, so I have left a special Sacajawea dollar coin for you. I hope you like it!

The Tooth Fairy

P.S. Thank you for being a goof helper to your Mom and sisters.

When Annabelle read it, she had to ask what about 4 words meant. I had no idea the tooth fairy was such a logophile. Oh well. The tooth has finally been collected and that's all that really matters, right?

Annabelle at basketball practice

Annabelle has shown interest in getting involved with sports. So a couple of weeks ago, Michael took Annabelle to get her very own basketball (of course, it's pink and purple, Annabelle's favorite colors). They then went to the church so Michael could teach Annabelle basketball basics. It's now been 3 weeks in a row of Saturday evenings spent practicing basketball. Michael even took Jillian yesterday. I don't think she learned much about basketball, but she sure remembers getting treated to ice cream after.

Here's Annabelle and Michael doing a chest pass drill. Yesterday, Annabelle was even able to throw a full sized basketball up to the rim and make a basket.

Alphabet jump

For Christmas, my mother-in-law gave us a game called alphabet jump. She made one for her kids when they were little and it was a huge hut. So years later, she decided to make one for our family. It's a large floor mat in which she made small squares and wrote the letters of the alphabet in them. Then, you have to jump to certain letters to spell words. It's very useful since Annabelle is learning how to read. We played it for family night last week for the first time and it was such a hit that it stayed out in the living room for about 4 days after.

Welcome 2013!

We had a great New Year's Eve celebration this year. After a yummy dinner, we spent about an hour playing with glow sticks. Then, we let the kids stay up late eating popcorn and watching the movie Brave that Annabelle got for Christmas. It was some good, quality family time. Happy 2013, everyone!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Sarah is 10 months old! It's crazy how fast time goes by. She's still a very pleasant baby (as long as I a holding her- she's at that stage where she won't go to anyone else). Here's pictures and videos of her.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I know we're well past Christmas, but I have to post how our family spent the holiday. 

  • A horse-drawn carriage ride                          
  • Met the grinch and Santa Clause

  • Cookie making

  • Sledding (little kid version)

  • Made crystal balls (filled balloons with water and food coloring and then froze them over night)

  • And of course, the traditional picture by the tree