Saturday, December 12, 2009

I Wish I Was a Preschooler...

I volunteered in Haylie's preschool class last Friday. I gotta' tell you...I've always said I'm not a big fan of other people's kids...and I mean that in the sense that - I don't like being responsible for other people's kids. It kinda stresses me out. Over the last 6 months or so, I've been suffering from a bit of anxiety...and being with a bunch of 4-year-olds would seem like the last thing I'd want to do. Well, I've volunteered 3 times now and I think it is quite possibly the best therapy ever. I have come to know all the kids in Haylie's class and I absolutely adore them! On Friday, it was raining outside so the kids didn't get to do their normal outdoor activities to get their wiggles out, so they did some indoor singing and dancing time. I captured this video and I laugh out loud every time I watch it. Can you believe that I actually had the thought that day that it would be fun to teach preschool?? But you know, I had the thought that we are counseled in the scriptures by Jesus Christ to become like little children. Sometimes you just have to get down to the basics and laugh and have fun - I hope this brings a smile to your face. :-D

video

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Fun, etc.

Now that I have my camera back I just can't stop taking pictures. I've really been wanting to make Gingerbread men so we invited our friends over to help. (Anna slept through it all - that is why she is absent from the pictures)


Haylie, Elora, and Cami looking on while I roll out the dough


Cami is ready to cut out a Christmas tree!


Haylie, Elora and Erin

Watching the little men bake - we can't wait to eat them!!

As I was cleaning yesterday, Anna really wanted to help out...so...

She got to sweep some...

Then...

She found a spider and followed him around the room. At one point she was almost "nose-to-nose" with the spider because she wanted to get a real good look at him. Definitely no arachnophobia here!


Enjoying some spaghetti O's



Haylie has a very unique "style" (if you can call it that). Lately she has been under the impression that tights are actually leggings - to be worn alone...I humor her in the house but have to put my foot down when it is time to leave the house. This is one of her more creative outfits. Notice the princess note pad tucked in to her tights. And her snow hat topped with reindeer antlers that are broken so she has to hold them up with her hands. And the bare midriff is incredibly attractive, is it not? One day she is probably going to be very unhappy with me for posting this...;-)



And here she is eating the gingerbread house she made at preschool. She said "Look, Mommy, I'm eating like a pig!" Yup.


Notice the frosting on her nose? Must have been good!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter Wonderland

My camera broke the day before Halloween, so that is one excuse for being such a blog-slacker. We just bought ourselves a new camera for Christmas so I've been snapping away!

First, I have a couple pictures of our FREEZING cold morning this morning. Our outdoor thermometer read 27 degrees!!



I don't think this picture captured the frost real well, but it was WHITE outside. The field at Haylie's school was completely white, it really looked like it had snowed. Brrr!

Last Saturday, I got to go to a Scholastic books warehouse sale and got lots of books for the girls for Christmas. I decided that this year we were going to minimize, so the girls are only getting books and a few little articles of clothing for Christmas. In the afternoon we all decorated the tree together, then that night we went to the Clovis Christmas parade. Here are some pics (in no particular order!!)


Haylie and Mommy at the parade - it was COLD!


Anna and Daddy - Anna is pointing at the horses


Here are the girls playing with their Little People Nativity that Grandma Jo got them last year - it is the BEST gift because they can play with it and they leave my other Nativities alone! The only thing I don't like is that there are a lot of pieces and Joseph is currently missing - it makes me crazy when I can't find all the pieces (yes, I'm a little OCD!)

Haylie decorating
Daddy and Haylie and Anna
Anna LOVES the bells we put on the tree

The finished product
We are all so excited for Christmas. Today we are going to be making Gingerbread dough to roll out and cut out gingerbread men tomorrow. Cookies and treats are some of my favorite things about Christmas! And, of course, celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I do hope I can be a good example to my children and teach them the true meaning of Christmas and help them to know what really matters.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rumor Control / Miscellaneous

So a couple weeks ago, Haylie asked me why she doesn't have a baby brother. I told her that maybe she would have a baby brother someday. Then I asked her what she would want her baby brother's name to be (this has been a topic of discussion between Eric and me forever since we don't ever agree on names). So we had a lovely conversation about Haylie's imaginary baby brother. Another time she asked me I told her she should ask Heavenly Father for a baby brother when she says her prayers. So every once in a while she asks for a baby brother when she says her prayers. Well, the other day, we brought her friend Mason home from school with us and when we all got in the car she turned to Mason and said "I'm going to have a baby brother." Uhhh.....Haylie....how many people have you said that to? So, for the record, I am not pregnant - if Haylie has told you she is going to have a baby brother, it is merely a wish and not a statement of fact. I'm quite confident that she has told her teachers at school too - I wonder if they'll start looking at me funny when they don't see my belly expanding...Anyway, I just felt the need to stop my 4-year-old's rumor before it got out of control. :-)

Speaking of Haylie, her teacher pulled me aside yesterday and told me that Haylie has been making other girls in the class cry. (WHAT?) She said that Haylie will say to them "You're not my best friend anymore." - and they get sad and cry. She said that she was not going to say anything to me but it has been happening on a daily basis and she has tried talking to Haylie and it has not stopped. When did my shy little Haylie become the kid that makes other kids cry?? So when we got home I had a talk with her about being nice to her friends. We'll see if that helps. I'm so glad that she has come out of her shell, but I do hope that she learns to keep it under control!

So I've made some changes to the blog - I've been getting spam in my comments so I disabled anonymous comments and did some other things to keep the spammers out - hopefully it doesn't make much difference.

I'm going to try to do better at posting - it's been an interesting couple of months and I have a lot to write about...just haven't been making the time to do it!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ariel and the Speckled Egg

So I guess I was right! The peer pressure finally got to Ariel and she laid her first egg yesterday! It was the strangest egg I've ever seen! Brown with white speckles and one super dark brown smudge. The white speckles are sort of raised up too...very strange. From what I have read, the color of the egg comes from the chicken's skin pigment. For example, Cinderella's legs were a yellowish color before she started laying eggs - then the pigment went out of her legs and into her eggshells...so now her legs are almost white. So, Ariel's legs are still very yellow - my guess is that the her body is still working on getting the pigment into the shell. But in the meantime - I think we have to coolest eggs ever!


Here is a sampling of all the eggs. Snow White's blue eggs, Ariel's speckled egg, and Cinderellas light brown eggs.


A close-up of the speckles.

;-)

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Welcome Autumn!!

I posted on Facebook that I had my decorations up for Fall - and a friend asked me to post some pictures so she could get some ideas. I don't have many decorations, and I just realized that most of them are homemade! So anyway, here are some pics:


I bought those fake flowers at the dollar store - a very cheap and very easy way to decorate! The "Pumpkins 25c" sign I made at Enrichment a couple years ago - I painted those pumpkins! The other little pumkins and candle I've received as gifts over the years.


I made this wall hanging 2 years ago I think - I believe I posted it on my blog before - but it was very easy to do - especially if you enjoy embroidery...I have the pattern if anybody is interested.


I like this picture cuz it shows my wall hanging, my Fall quilt, and you can see my other decorations in the mirror! That is pretty much the extent of my decorations...


And lastly, the candy corn on the front door - don't know if you can see that it says "Trick or Treat" on the largest candy corn. This was a gift.

I also bought some window clings at the dollar store yesterday - I'm planning on letting the girls stick them to the front window this afternoon - I'll post a pic of that later.

So there you have it - nothing fancy...but I sure do love this time of year!

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Snow White and the Blue Egg

Snow White finally laid her first egg today! We have been anxiously awaiting this day because we were told she would lay blue eggs - and she did! It is a little bit of a gray blue - but I think after a few days it will get more blue. When Cinderella laid her first egg it was a very light brown - and it got a bit darker after a few days - so I imagine the same thing might happen with Snow White. Anyway, now we'll be getting 2 eggs a day and hopefully Ariel will join in soon - nothing like a little peer pressure from the other two, right?


Every day Cinderella lays her egg in a new spot (well, she has about 5 or 6 favorite spots that she alternates between) - it's like an Easter egg hunt every single day! We'll find out soon if Snow White will send us hunting as well!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Haylieisms

Haylie has been saying a lot of funny stuff lately. I think she is picking up a lot of new things at preschool and it's pretty hilarious.


Every time we go out and collect the egg from our chicken (once a day) she says, "Thank you, Cinderella". One time she said "You're the only one who lays eggs for us!" We have 2 other chickens who have not started laying yet.


One day, we were playing ring around the rosie - and I think it was the first time Anna played with us - and Anna fell down right on cue. We all laughed and Haylie reached over and hugged Anna and said "Oh, I'm so proud of you!"


One of Haylie's teachers called her a silly goose one day, so at least once a day she calls me a silly goose.


Yesterday, I found out that there is a "thinking chair" in preschool. That is another word for a time-out chair. My friend's son always tells her who sat in the thinking chair that day - but Haylie doesn't tell me anything unless I ask her directly. So yesterday I decided to ask her if anybody went to the thinking chair. She calmly replied, "Yes, I did." Like it was no big deal! She said "Me and Crystal were running around and we didn't clean up." So they each took a turn in the chair. She was so completely unphased by this! So I told her that she needed to make sure she listened to her teacher and didn't go back to the thinking chair again. The strange thing is that "time outs" have been the most effective "punishment" we've used with her. She gets very upset and it is usually the best way to get her to behave. I was shocked that she wasn't upset by this at school. Perhaps because they do not call it time out?



A conversation we had just a few minutes ago:


Haylie: If I was a real girl, then I wouldn't be me anymore, and I would be sad.
Me: (???) You'll always be you, no matter what.
Haylie: I knoooow. (in a "DUH, MOM" sorta' voice)


She has such a fun, silly personality:

Yes, those are chicken feathers in her hair. Silly goose.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Extreme Home Makeover

Ok, so not that extreme, but I just finished painting my bathroom and the change in color is pretty extreme. When we first moved into this house, I wanted my bathroom yellow. I wanted a nice buttercup yellow, but as I was looking at samples, a lot of the yellows looked like off-white. So I decided on a fairly bold yellow because I wanted to make sure it could not be mistaken for off-white. Well, it turned out much more bold than I had anticipated - pretty, but wow, it was loud. Here's my yellow bathroom (I forgot to do an official "Before" picture, so this is just one I found in my archives):

I think the picture may make it look a little more neon that it actually was, but you get the picture - it was bright. When I first did it, Eric said "Well, it'll definitely wake me up in the morning!" So I've never LOVED the color, but we've lived with it for almost 4 years now...time for a change.

Ahhh...isn't that refreshing? A nice, calm, soothing blue. It's such a different room now!
Thanks for all your help, Erin! We banged this project out in just a few hours - it's so much more fun painting with a friend!
And while we're on the subject - I never posted a picture of our finished living room - I painted one wall of the living room burgundy back in March. But then I (and Erin!) went back and painted the other 3 walls off-white. And then Eric got his dream TV and a new entertainment cabinet with a portion of our tax refund. So here is a shot of our "finished" living room (at least one side of it):
I love having the freedom to paint and do what I want to beautify my home. The only room I haven't painted is the office - hmmm....

Friday, September 11, 2009

National Day of Service and Remembrance

Did you know that that is the official title for 9/11? Kinda' silly, I think, but I've seen a lot of people posting about what they were doing that day and I don't think I've ever written down my experience...so for posterity's sake, here it is:

At the time, I was 22 years old and living at home. I had been working as a civilian contractor on the U.S. Naval Weapons Station in Fallbrook, CA (where I grew up). This is basically a huge storage area for Navy weapons - right next to Camp Pendleton, CA. I was the "Ordnance Secretary" - for those who don't know, ordnance is just another word for ammunition or weapons. On the base, there were probably about 50-60 personnel who were also civilian contractors who took care of the ammunition - that included cleaning out the bunkers where they were stored, moving the ammo if the need arose, etc. It was my job to make sure those personnel were taken care of. They had to have yearly physicals, eye exams, etc. They had to wear protective equipment such as respirators and safety glasses, etc. I made sure they got their physicals on time and kept all their licenses, etc. current.


I had to obtain a security clearance in order to work on the base. They did a huge background check to make sure I was a good person and I obtained a "secret" clearance. That's one step below "top secret". I sometimes felt like a spy. ;-) With that secret clearance, I was responsible for downloading secret navy messages that would come in from the ships out at sea - I would deliver those messages to the head of security on the base. Pretty important stuff, if I do say so myself.


Ok, so each morning to get onto the base, you have to show your badge so they know you are cleared to be on the base. I lived about 5 minutes from the base. A very nice commute!


On 9/11/01, I awoke at my usual time (prob. around 6:45) and turned on my radio and began getting ready for work. I heard something about a plane crashing into a building in NYC and went out to see if my mom had heard. We turned on the TV and saw the footage of that first plane going into the building. Then we witnessed the second plane hit. I watched as much as I could then finished getting ready for work and left the house. Clearly, I was not thinking, because I did not anticipate the line of traffic to get onto the base that awaited me. Duh...this was a terrorist attack - of course the base is going to be on high alert! So, my usual 5 minute commute turned into an almost 2 hour commute. I sat in my car - in line with civilians and military personnel - and listened to the radio. I cried. I'm sure there was not a person in that line that wasn't crying. All those people that were trapped. All those firefighters running towards the rubble instead of away from it. (My dad was a firefighter - he just retired after 35 years of service) Thanking my lucky stars my dad was in CA and not NY.


So when I finally got to the gate, I found out the reason it was taking so long to get onto the base. The Military Police who man the gate had to search every vehicle that drove through for any sign of foul play. They had mirrors attached to poles that would allow them to see under the vehicle, they popped the trunk and searched, they had me get out and proceeded to search the entire inside of the car. Well, I passed and finally got to go to my office.


We were not allowed to park next to the building. Just in case, for some reason, a car got past security with a bomb attached, it would not be within 100 ft. of the building in case there was an explosion. (It was like that for MONTHS after). As you can imagine, the military personnel were very busy. There was really not a whole lot for me to do - so several of us "civilians" sat together and talked about what this could possibly mean. Are we at war now? Is it going to happen again? Could something terrible happen here on our little base? After a couple of hours of accomplishing nothing, all "non-essential" personnel were told to go home. Mostly just the military personnel remained. I went back home and glued myself to the TV. It all felt so surreal...could this really be happening?

I have a hard time remembering now - I don't think I went in to work the next day - and maybe even a couple more after that. But the long line to get onto the base continued for some time.

I'll never forget the amazing patriotism that was shown as a result of the attacks. Seems like one of the only times we all came together and we were just Americans. We were not Republicans or Democrats. We were Americans and we all felt the pain of being attacked. Seems like, politically, we're in a pretty yucky place right now - if only we could feel united like that again (without the devastation, of course).

So on semi-related note, about a month or two after the attacks, I was at work and I was in my "secret room" downloading my secret messages when a man came to the doorway and asked me where Linda Dresser's office was (she was a co-worker of mine). He was a white man wearing jeans and a t-shirt and a baseball cap. (you'll know why that is important in a minute). I gave him directions to Linda's office which was right down the hall. He said "Well, I don't have a lot of time - she left this (points down at a large black briefcase) down at the cafe - can you return it to her?" I was kind of annoyed because her office was literally not that far away, but I said sure, I'd deliver it. The man turned around, and as he began to walk away, he yelled "Long live the Taliban!" and RAN OUT OF THE BUILDING! Then... slow motion...I hear him yell that and I look down at the briefcase and I immediately knew that I was looking at a bomb. I ran out of that room so fast (which, by the way, I'm not supposed to do because I left all the secret messages on the computer screen for anyone to see, but I wasn't exactly thinking about that at the moment!) that I was probably no more than a blur...and ran into someone - he caught me and had to restrain me because I was still trying to run - I wanted nothing more than to get out of that building - and FAST. "Kristie, it's ok...you're ok". I looked up and realized that it was the head of security. Then, instead of restraining me, he was holding me up because I crumbled. I was bawling and he had to tell me repeatedly that it was only a drill. "Kristie, it's not real, it's only a drill - I need you to go tell everyone else in the building that we are having a drill for a bomb threat".


Even though I knew it as not real, I still couldn't pull myself together. The feeling was still too raw - it was too soon after the attacks. So I walked down the hall with the head of security, whose name I am trying desperately to remember...I think it was Kenneth...something along those lines. Anyway, I get to one set of offices and let them know we're having a drill and everybody needs to evacuate. They all look at me like, "If this is a drill, then why are you crying?" - hello embarrassment. Then I had to do the same for the other side of the building. So we all met outside at our rendezvous point where I finally get to tell my coworkers why I am hysterical. We remained outside for some time where we were all questioned. They asked me about the man who brought in the briefcase - I had to give them a description of him. Have you ever thought about that before? Like when you see TV shows where people are asked to describe a person they saw for only a few seconds? I don't think we realize how much we DON'T pay attention to the details a lot of the time. So I did my best. Then not long after that, the man approached me. I must say, my description was fairly accurate. Probably could've been better, but nobody scolded me. (-; He shook my hand and apologized for scaring me. A few days later, he came to my office and handed me a folder with an x-ray image of the "bomb". Now obviously, it was not a real bomb, however - they had it rigged so that if I had picked up the briefcase, it would have triggered a reaction. It may have just shook the briefcase or made a popping noise, I don't know exactly. But if I had picked it up, something would have happened and scared me even doubly bad!

I've kept that x-ray all these years...


This note was attached...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Fun

We had such a fun day today! Eric made pancakes for breakfast then we hit the road and went to the zoo. The weather was fantastic! We had lots of fun seeing the usual; we asked Haylie what her favorite animal at the zoo is, and she responded with a list of just about every animal at the zoo! She loves it.


Thank Heavens she was not 6 ft. at birth!


I thought this was a cool picture - the snake was "crawling" up the glass.



Me and Haylie in front of "Marty" the zebra (that's what Haylie calls them cuz that's the zebra's name on Madagascar)


Anna wanted to help push the stroller. That maternal instinct kicks in early, doesn't it?


Anna Banana

After we got home from the zoo (Anna zonked out in the car and napped for a couple hours), we played outside for most of the afternoon. Haylie and I weeded the garden and caught rollie pollies, Eric made some improvements to the chicken coop, etc. Speaking of chickens, it's been a while since I've posted pictures of them:


Snow White - she is supposed to lay blue eggs, but has not started laying yet. I love her puffy cheeks.


Ariel is on the left and Cinderella is on the right. Cinderella is laying an egg a day! Looove it!

I was playing around with the camera...you get a gold star if you can tell me what insect is in this picture!
We decided to have a nice barbecue at home as a family. Tri-tip, potato salad, and corn on the cob!
I wanted to get a picture of Anna eating her corn on the cob...when I grabbed the camera, she actually posed for me!! That is the first time she has smiled on cue for the camera! She looks so funny, but so cute!!


Pinkies Up! She LOVES corn on the cob!
Well, needless to say, we had a fabulous day. The girls were wonderful, the weather could not have been better, and the food was DELICIOUS!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'm About to Be Replaced

Haylie really wanted to take some books to preschool with her today. She wanted her teacher to teach her how to read them. I told her that the teacher had other things to do, but that I would read them to her when she got home. She did not like that idea. She said "Mrs. Garcia is going to be mad at you and she is going to call the police and I'm going to get a new mom."

So, if you don't hear from me for a while - it's because I've been replaced. ;-)

PS...I asked Haylie if she wanted a new mom and she said no. Whew!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Spirit Day

At Haylie's school, Miramonte, all the kids wear orange every Friday. Someone was kind enough to donate t-shirts to Haylie's class so they all got to wear their school shirts just like the big kids! She posed herself in these pics! So cute!




Anna had to get in the shot too!

On an unrelated note, one of Haylie's teachers stopped me today when I picked her up. Let me back up a bit. In morning preschool, the kids all walk in a line to the cafeteria for breakfast. You can either pay $1 for cafeteria breakfast or bring your own. Well, Haylie always wants to eat cereal in the morning when she gets up - so I have just been sending her to school with a small snack. So today the assistant teacher asked me if a granola bar is all I feed her for breakfast. She said she felt bad cuz all the kids are eating a full-on meal and there's Haylie eating her little granola bar (she even made a small rectangle with her hands to show just how small the granola bar is). I was a little embarrassed and assured her that I do indeed feed my child more than a granola bar for breakfast. I know she was not actually accusing me of starving my kid, and that she truly was just looking out for Haylie. They have discount programs and stuff for kids who really can't afford to pay for breakfast etc. so she probably just wanted to make sure I knew that if I couldn't afford more, that I could get help if I needed it. Then on the way home she told me that one of the other teachers gave her juice in the cafeteria today. So that probably made it look even more like I was starving her because I didn't send her with a juice box - I told her she would have to drink from the drinking fountain. So she probably looked pitiful asking for juice and holding her little granola bar. Oh dearie. Who knows what else she tells them??

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Haylie's First Day of Preschool Part II

So when I went to pick Haylie up from preschool, she was kinda' quiet. I asked her if she had fun and she shook her head "no". Uh oh. I asked her why she did not have fun and she said "Because the boys were naughty and the girl with the braids hit me". Ok. Not so bad. Once we got in the car, she seemed to have gotten over the trauma and told me she had fun. I certainly didn't get a lot of details, but she wants to go back so it couldn't have been that bad, right?

This afternoon, she got on the Wii and created a Mii to look like her teacher. I thought that was cute!

Tonight, we had Family Home Evening and the lesson was on being a good example to others. I geared it a lot towards her behavior at school and being a good example for her new friends. When she said the closing prayer, she asked Heavenly Father to help her to be a good example. *sigh* She is listening to me!

Haylie's First Day of Preschool!


We have been waiting for this day for so long!

I am so excited for Haylie to begin her "formal education"! I have noticed that, while she is a good listener and has probably learned a lot from me...she listens and learns so much better from others! I cannot wait to see what her teacher does with her!
I also have to admit that I had an emotional moment after I dropped her off. Okay - last Thursday, all of a sudden it dawned on me that I was going to be dropping my little girl off for 3 hours and at that point I would have NO CONTROL! I trust her teachers, I know she is going to be fine, but I had a brief moment of panic that I was not going to be there to witness everything that happened to her! And today, after we left, it was more of a feeling of being so proud of the big girl she has become, and sadness that she is going to be getting more and more independent from now on. Don't get me wrong, I know that is a good thing..I just think it is going to take some time to get used to the idea of my little girl becoming a big girl. She walked right into that classroom with such confidence - and never looked back!
Poor Anna doesn't know what to do with herself. We played for a while together, then I turned on Baby Einstein and she fell asleep! At 9:30am! I guess I'm going to have to come up with some enriching activities for her since she doesn't have big sister to entertain her!
On another note, Haylie has been staying dry through the night for several months now, but she never ever wakes up to go potty in the middle of the night (which does sometimes result in accidents) - last night she got up and went potty! Hooray for my big girl!
I'll post again later to let you know how her first day went!
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