Monday, January 17, 2011

Yellow Belt

Last Friday, Elliott earned his Yellow Belt in karate. Congratulations! He tested along with one other kid from his class. There were 19 other kids testing for various belts, but they were all kung fu students. He is having a blast taking karate. We got him a stand up punching bag for his birthday, so now he can punch and kick all he wants.

(maybe one day his name will be spelled correctly...ok probably not)

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Snow Day

We finally had a "big" storm last Tuesday/Wednesday. School was cancelled. There was about 6 inches of snow. The boys played outside for a long time, even though it was freezing! The snow was very powdery, so we couldn't build snowmen or snowballs, but it was still fun. Derek did better maneuvering through the snow. School was cancelled the previous Friday as well when there was only about an inch of snow. Pathetic.

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Happy Birthday, Elliott!

Wow! Elliott turned 7 a couple weeks ago! He's growing up so fast! He had a Ninja Party. He invited a bunch of friends from school and a couple from church. He had a good group for his party. The kids had fun. Most of the party turned into wrestling, but no one got hurt and they had a good time. It was fun to meet Elliott's school friends and their parents.

My creative side came out for this party. I found this great idea for karate invitations online ( Elliott came up with the idea of playing Pin the Sword on the Ninja, so I had to come up with a ninja, so I found a tutorial online for that as well ( Thank goodness for good ideas people post online. Elliott wanted a ninja cake, so I just printed a ninja online, cut it out, and used it as a stencil. That was tricky, but it turned out pretty well. I made all the kids Ninja headbands. I didn't get a picture of them alone, but the kids are all wearing them in the pictures. I thought they looked great. In keeping with the theme, I made the thank you bags for the kids. I was impressed with all my creativity. That is a rare thing.

We went to dinner at Red Robin that night. The bottom picture shows Elliott's embarrassment at being sung to. :)

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DaVinci (again)

I took the boys to the science center separately. It was nice for them to be able to do whatever they wanted at their own pace and for me to not be worried about keeping track of both of them. Over Christmas break, they had a Candyland exhibit, so I took Elliott to see that. They did a marshmallow demonstration where they heated a marshmallow in the microwave and then froze another one with liquid nitrogen. They could also make "candy glass" and creations out of toothpicks and gumdrops. They also had a new exhibit called Oh I See with a lot of stations about sight and perception. It was fun to do some new things. The following week when Elliott was back in school, I took Derek. We drove by the center one day and Derek talked about it nonstop, so we went the next day. He had fun exploring.

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Mountain Retreat

Since we were unable to travel to visit family for Christmas, I decided we still needed a mini vacation. I found a vacation rental in the Pocono Mountains where we stayed for 2 nights. It was a nice home. It even had a game room and video games. What more can you ask for. There wasn't a ton of snow, but we were still able to find a good place for sledding. The first picture is of Elliott laying down on the sled. He had a pretty good ride. Brent caught some air on one of his runs. He was spinning around and going really fast! Derek wasn't into the sledding, but I managed to take him down a couple times. It was really nice to just be away and relax for a couple days. We wish we had stayed at least one more night. We stopped at Country Junction on the way home. It claims to be the "World's Largest General Store." It was fun to walk through.

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Jingle Bells

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Christmas Fun

Air Products Children's Christmas Party - Brent's work hosts a party for all the employees' children. There were crafts, balloon artists, face painting, pictures with Santa, and even presents. It was a fun party. For at least a month after, when we dropped off Brent at work, Derek would say, Daddy going to Christmas party.

Making a gingerbread train. The boys did a great job. I didn't get a picture of decorating the tree, but the boys had lots of fun helping with that. I was proud of myself for allowing them to help more with decorating. I usually take control so things will be done my way, but I took a step back and actually let the boys just have fun and it still turned out great.

Christmas Eve cookie decorating - We were invited by our friends the Smiths to spend Christmas Eve in their home, along with the Bryce family. The kids all had a great time playing together. After a delicious dinner, the kids had fun decorating cookies for Santa and eating them as well.

Merry Christmas! We had a nice, quiet Christmas at home.

We spent New Year's Eve with more friends, the Southworths. We enjoyed yummy food and visiting with good friends. The kids had a blast watching Ryan set off fireworks. Derek was fascintated by them. We stayed until 10:45 when we figured the kids had had enough. I'm glad we've made good friends here who were so kind to invite us into their homes for our first holidays away from family.
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Happy Thanksgiving

We had our first snow storm of the season on Thanksgiving. The boys were thrilled to play out in the snow. It was perfect for making snowballs and snowmen. I helped Derek make the little snowman while Elliott made his own much larger snowman almost by himself. He did a great job!

Our good friends, the Nortons, invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner. It was so nice to spend the holiday with friends. Dinner was delicious! I made my first pecan pie. Brent and I have never been huge fans of pecan pie, but it was the host's favorite, so I attempted it. It turned out delicious! It was even favored over the pumpkin pie.
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Veteran's Day 2010

Well, it's high time I try to update my blog. I'll do my best to show all that we've been up to the past 3 months.

Elliott's school has the 1st graders do a Veteran's Day program every year. It was neat for Elliott to be able to participate in the program. I think it's great that they introduce the importance of Veteran's Day to the children at such a young age. The kids learned several songs that they performed to their parents and many veterans. They did a great job! There were probably at least 50 veterans in attendance. It was great to be able to honor veterans for all they have done for our country. In the video, Elliott is 2nd from the left on the front row.
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