Friday, February 27, 2009

A little rock n roll......

Xander is really enjoying our new piano - he plays on it daily.

Occasionally he even lets me show him some things from the book - we all know that his musical interests and talents far exceed mine!

This week he has decided that he likes to play the drums and the piano - at the same time - and is using the book holder on the piano to hold his drum set.

God help me - I don't know which is more challenging - the noisy music or the boisterous super hero light saber fighting.......

but, as we always say, Xander's personality has personality and for that, you've just gotta love him!


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Happy Birthday Aunt Ashleigh!



Happy Birthday Aunt Ashleigh!

Our dear Aunt Ashleigh came for dinner the week before her birthday to celebrate with us.

Before dinner she fought off the dark side with light sabers, received a full make over in the Girls Rock Salon, and bought many items from the Thrailkill Market!

The kids were so excited. They worked so hard on her birthday cards.

We ate chunder, chips and salsa - a family fave, made peanut butter cookies for dessert, and couldn't wait to give her a present!

We got her a thermal lunch tote (http://thirtyone.dirxion.com/WebProject.asp?BookCode=t3109flx#) - we got her a UGA red one with her new initials monogrammed on it!

The kids favorite part of the evening is Aunt Ashleigh reading their favorite bed time stories.

Lovin My Cars Tent




Xander climbed in his tent last weekend to watch Return of the Jedi with me (AGAIN) and within moments was fast asleep.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Here comes the big boy beds....






NEVER - and I mean NEVER has a little boy been more excited about anything than Xander has the arrival of his new bunk beds.

For the last two weeks, we have counted down the number of days until his new beds come.

In the last week, he has told EVERYONE we have encountered "In 2 more days I am getting new bunk beds - big boy bunk beds!"

And at last, today the great Nana, PaPa and Daddy delivered the new bunk beds.

And they were just as exciting as we thought they would be.

Xander and I have thought long and hard over the placement of each item into his new big boy room. All action figures have been sorted (and I took pictures of each bin, printed them, and posted them so he can put them all away....all by himself!), all missing pieces to all items have been located and put in their proper place, all items not worthy of big boy status have been thrown away, tagged or donated.

And now, each pencil, notebook and sticker have its place in his new desk - attached to his new bunk beds.

Each book has a rightful home on his new bookcase- inside his new bunk beds.

Our pjs have been folded and put away in our reach - in our new drawers, in our new bunk beds.

And lastly, we placed each webkinz and superman on the shelf, right next to his head, in his new bunk beds.

Happiness is so catching.......I might have to sleep on that top bunk tonight.....

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Greatest Show on Earth!!!!!










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We had a blast this past week at the Ringling Brothers circus at Phillips Arena.

We began our outing to the city with a necessary stop at the Varsity! YUMMY! Hats for all - and hot dogs....Xander has a thing for the onion rings (might have to start ordering him his own order!). Mikaela ate TWO hot dogs and her fries.

Xander said the blessing - he always is so cute, says it loud enough for all of Atlanta.

After we ate, this man approached Xander - shook his hand and said he hasn't seen a child say the blessing with such a kind heart in a long time.

Gave him $20 to buy a prize.

I tried to give it back, and he wouldn't take it. I am still amazed at the generosity of strangers. And touched, that others are touched by my children. Maybe I am doing an okay job parenting them after all - I'll keep praying just in case:)!

Then, off to Phillips Arena.

We located our seats - oh my - we sat in direct view of the music section - Xander LOVED that! We could see the keyboards, the horns, and the drums - definitely the drums!

Next, we headed down to the floor to see the pre-show. So much fun! The kids got cool clown noses, dressed up in the circus attire, sat on horses (wooden) and motorcycles (real), and interacted with the performers.

Then, a quick trip to the snack section. I will save my ranting about the circus prices (who pays $20 for light up toys at the circus....?????) - and just say that the nice man at the Varsity bought each child a snow cone in a souvenir cup. A yummy treat and a souvenir in one!

The circus was so cool - more fun than I remembered.

The clowns were a family fave - even for Tommy. Clowns now look like alternative high schoolers (see the picture of Xander with the guitar case toting clown above). They are funny - really funny. Not so funny two days later when the kids are still qouting all the jokes, but still humorous.

Xander loved the motorcycles - seven motorcycles in one big ball cage - at the same time (see the video if you can!).

Mikaela liked the beautiful girls (not so great for self images for the mommy people - really who is that skinny and that limber?) - but very cool if you are six and don't know better.

I thought the contortionist guy was a little freaky - but did really enjoy the elephants - so cute!

Daddy was suprised at how much fun he had -

We all enjoyed singing along with the clowns and all the opportunities for crowd participation.

All in all, the greatest show on earth.

Monday, February 16, 2009

INK

































We spent President's Day at INK Kid's Museum in Gainesville, GA.

http://www.inkfun.org/

My friend, Dawn, and her two children joined us for our fun filled day out.

Something for everyone:

For Xander: Dress up like a crazy monkey or construction worker, ring up all the purchases in the grocery store, X ray in the animals - and shove them into cages, check all the heartbeats of anyone in our party in the hospital, drive the train, drive the fire truck, drive the police car, drive the airplane (see a theme?), and play in the big playscape.

For Mikaela: Dressing up in EVERY outfit they had, shopping for all her favorites (and mine too) in the grocery store, signing in all the patients at the vet's office, being head beautician at the beauty parlor, weighing herself at the hospital, making a flag art project for President's Day, hanging out with a favorite friend ALL day, being allowed to hop/skip everywhere

For Mom: LOTS of benches to rest on, good adult conversation - hey, I'm easily pleased!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day











At some point, past the birth of the first child, we learned that Valentine's day isn't just for grown ups. Now our Valentine's begins weeks in advance (or since I am desperately frugal, a year in advance) with the decoration of the windows, the placing out of the Valentine books and movies and toys (you should see the fisher price valentine people and their cards...so cute!), and the endless decisions.

Mikaela made each card for her friends this year by hand. This was spawned by a scrapbooking girls day (Valentine themed) and then she was a chick on a mission! She made cards using the scrapbooking supplies, her cuddlebug kid, scissors, glue, stickers, and old Valentines that she cut up. You should see her desk.......

Xander wrote his name and his friend's name on each Valentine - carefully choosing who would have which Superman one - and insisting that all the girls get Pooh.....they were pink! He did such a great job and we were so proud of him!

We never do the candy thing for Valentine's day with the kids as they usually come home from school with tiny candy attached to tiny cards that I ration out for ......as many days as it takes them to forget it exists!

This year I lucked out with tent sets at Walmart - the tent, the sleeping bag, the compass, the flaslight and for their organization freaky father......a bag that holds it all!

One Hannah Montana for Mikaela and one Cars for Xander.

They were so excited to open their tents!

I can tell you that the extra hour and a half I spent in bed this morning was definitely worth two $10 tents! They woke early, and played and played!

The big hit this year though was the Hallmark sound cards. Normally, I am the sucker for the Hallmark commercial - but not this year!

In case you missed it, the commercial begins with three girls sitting at the lunch table. The first girl finds her ziploc bag decorated with heart stickers (I think...). The second girl opens her lunch box and finds a sandwich cut out like a heart - "cute" they all think. The third girl opens her lunch box to find none other than a hallmark card - when she opens it, it is a Hannah Montana card. Much excitement at lunch table. Then, upon opening the card - we all hear her lovely parent wishing her a happy valentine's day (fancy record yourself card) - and then Hannah Montana sings.

Must have the Hannah card says the Daddy.

I bought the Hananh card. To the tune of $6.99.

It was a huge hit - big lunch table favorite (reached its goal!). Mikaela loves her father....even more......desired effect achieved!

Then, Xander was sad - no sound expression card for Xander.

Now the wiser, the Mommy heads to Publix coupon in hand to get Snoopy sound card. Records her undying love to dear Xander. Xander upons it - very excited - then promptly records over me.

Happy Valentine's Day!

We did manage to eat a lovely dinner- by candlelight - shrimp scampi, garlic bread, .....no whining.

It was indeed a happy Valentine's day!

Valentine's Girls Day






Mikaela and I treated ourselves (with a little couponing help) to lunch at Applebees - her favorite place.

We lingered as we colored EVERY inch of the kids menu and giggled with our lemonades (okay, she had lemonade, I require coke.....).

Next, we were off to an official tea party birthday party at Sweet Aroma cafe.

Happy Birthday Elena!

Daisies Celebrate Valentine's Day






We had such fun celebrating Valentine's day in our daisy troop last week.

We began by making cards to give each other. The previous week we fingerpainted on paper, and then this week, we turned those pretty, original papers into cards for our sister scouts.

Every good party has snack - while I prepared snack, the girls decorated the table. I covered our table with wrapping paper (wrapping it backwords so they would see only white). They used red, pink, purple, and various valentine shades to create decorations on our table.

We had strawberry cupcakes, blueberries, and popcorn -with juice.

Every good party also needs a fun twist - so Twister it was!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Callaway Gardens




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We spent the beautiful Saturday afternoon at Callaway Gardens (http://www.callawaygardens.com/).

We loaded up the bikes, the cooler, the kids.....the backpacks, the water bottles, the snacks,......and the Chick Fil A coupons for a yummy breakfast on the road!

We arrived at Callaway about 11:00 - and the kids jumped on their bikes to begin our adventure. I am so proud of both of them. They each rode the full five miles - from the discovery center to butterfly house to vegetable garden to scenic route- and back!

Mikaela and Xander both loved the butterfly house - the butterflies were EVERYWHERE!

The vegetable garden provided entertainment as Tommy and I sat and rest in chairs and the kids ran around exploring and creating shows.

The chapel was so cool - the stained glass windows, the intimate setting - reminded me of our wedding......

The organ player was the nicest person we met all day. He took time to sit with the kids and show them how the organ worked, where the pipes were, how sound traveled, and how he played his songs. After noticing how VERY interested Xander was - he let him play the organ!

The organ player also played a special song just for Mikaela - The Star Spangled Banner in honor of her amazing birthday!

A good time was had by all.......by all.