Sunday, March 15, 2015

Horseback Riding

Kenna has been wanting horseback riding lessons for as long as I can remember! We always promised that if she achieved the goals she set for herself on her report card we would award her with them. Well - she struggled EVERY year since she was in kindergarten in the talking category...she always has so much to say! But this year she achieved her goal! So as a joint christmas present and goal achievement she got 6 lessons. Man is she stoked - and a natural. The teacher kept complimenting her on her posture and her natural ability to control a horse. Is there anything this kid isn't good at?

Green Eggs and Ham

I'm not sure who is the most excited about Zachary's love of, Zach or his brother. Here I caught them Grayson - mid getting jammied - as Grayson read the entire book Green Eggs and Ham. It is a LOOOONGGG book! His brother was completely enamored. Love it!

Grayson Fun

Prior to the last few days where it FINALLY warmed up.....we are talking 70 degrees people......we haven't even been inside its been so glorious......Grayson and I were going a bit stir we filled our days with rockin out, forts and building the longest matchbox car line ever. He is so fun!

Grayson's Lip

In typical toddler fashion Grayons was playing too hard with a barstool....the barstool won. It fell on his face and MAN did it bleed! With the advice of my go to Dr. Tara...:) We headed to urgent care just in case. They glued it up and he had a sort of hitler stash for about a week. Luckily the kid isn't a crier and quite the trooper....this would be #2 time Grayson has had to be glued!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Daddy Daughter Dance

McKenna and Daddy got a chance to go to the daddy daughter dance. It ended up being great because Chloe and Abby and their dads were at this same one as well! Sounds like the city did a great job of making it fun with different dances and treats. Luckily Chels helped me with Kenna's hair, it turned out so cute and she was all grins :)

Valentines Day Escape

Baca was feeling under the weather for a while and he suggested a little staycation in Des Moines. So, Valentines day weekend we reserved 3 rooms at the Des Moines embassy. The kids got to swim, Baca got a little time away and we had some great family time!

We got their early afternoon and the kids loved swimming. The water was warm, but pretty chemically - so much so that at one point Zach puked because of the fumes from the hot tub. Josh and I did a little dance around who was going to clean it up, so I did my best before finding someone from the hotel to bleach the area! Poor Zach!

Because it was valentines day we had a heck of a time finding a reservation for 9! Luckily Josh found a greek place only a few blocks from the hotel. We started walking to the restaurant, but the below zero windchills took us as far as the parking lot of the hotel before we decided to drive the few blocks :) They seated us, and I loved the food! Authentic greek soup, salad, mouscaca, flaming cheese (the best thing we ate and quite the show!) and they even had food the kids would eat. I really enjoyed it, but did take a few hours to get through the whole meal! Was fun reminiscing about our journey in Greece!

That evening we decided that I would sleep in the room with the boys, Kenna would get the fold out couch in the adjoining room. Auntie Em, Kade and mark stayed in their room, and Daddy bunked with Baca - I heard he had to hit him with a pillow to get him to stop snoring :)

I didn't sleep at all. How Grayson can kick, hit, poke me in the eye and shove me out of bed is beyond me...he is the biggest small person I know!

 It was a lovely getaway and I think the kids thoroughly enjoyed the swimming and all you can eat breakfast!

Look who wrote their name!

We do a little preschool work daily - look who wrote his name with a little pompting!


These pictures served two purposes - one, to capture my handsome son's gorgeous long hair before I cut it, and two, to show what setting a custom white balance will do! I love learning new things about my camera :)

I knew it was time to cut his hair when he got out of the bath and the wet hair was down to his nose in the front, and was definitely mullet-esque in the back. I hated to do it because he has the thickest, waviest hair. But, success in that he sat in the chair all by himself this time! One more of his baby milestones gone :(

Chicken Stock

We have been buying a lot more organic produce and meats as I read about what antibiotics and hormones are doing to our bodies....I couldn't let the chicken caracas go to waste so I decided to make chicken stock. Channeling my inner Martha Stewart was very successful. Tons of work - but well worth it, AND I got to use my new stockpot from Christmas :) 

Science Center

I have been so lucky to find Jessica to watch Mr. G. I was selected as one of the chaperones for Kenna's field trip to the science center. I had three ladies, including Miss Keelin and we had a great time. Kenna kept getting annoyed with me when I told her she had to read the signs and teach me some fun facts about dinosaurs - but I think it ended up being fine!

I really do feel fortunate. I was surprised as to how many kids that live in Ankeny had NEVER been to the science center! We have a season pass and go multiple times a year....very very fortunate.

Dinner Party

I think I bit off a bit more than I could chew. It started with hearing that Chad and Tara had never played cards against humanity...which is terrible as the game is hilarious!

So, I thought - I'll invite a few couples to get together and eat and play the game one night! So, we found a date in december that worked and plans began. A few weeks before we could all meet, we had a cancellation based on a last minute wedding (planning a wedding in a month - that person is nutso!) So, I decided to reschedule. emailing all the couples a few dates we actually found one that worked for everyone....that meant 5 couples, 10 people at my house! Wow, I don't have a table that fits that many people....

So, Josh and his handiness created an extension that I could put a table cloth over and easily seat 10 - phew. So, the day before I am at the store buying a few last minute things and I get texts from two people canceling - NOOOOOO! I had enough prime rib for an I am literally putting things back and slightly freaking out because the people who cancelled were bringing the app and dessert! So, we had two couples bringing drinks and no app or dessert....I started to scramble.

It ended up being an amazing evening. We laughed well into the night and 6 people ate enough prime rib to feed 10, and we polished off the triple batch of was good! What fun! We had such a good time we are planning a second evening in April :)

So grateful to my sis who watched all my kids overnight at her house! They had a good time playing with their cousin, and sounded like they were on their best behavior! Thanks sis!!

Valentines Day

Thank goodness for pinterest, because it allows me to be a fun mom without being that creative! I put together the lunch below for the kids valentines day lunch this year. It was a hit!

The kids designed and created the valentines boxes. Kenna did a silly monster and Zach did a creeper from minecraft. His actually won for most creative in his class (I just think its because all kids love minecraft!)

Planning two parties at once has proven to be pretty crazy! I think I may just pick one class next year! But, for Zach's we decorated cookies, played pictionary and made valentines. Kenna's is slightly easier because we just have to plan one activity and the kids rotate. So, I planned a game where they had to open hershey kisses with gloves and eat it...proved to be quite hilarious!

Kenna and Keelin bought matching outfits for valentines day...she was psyched the morning of her party :)

So proud of my Kidlets!

We just got done with our second round of parent teacher conferences, man are we lucky! We started with Zachary. These were student led conferences and they had a presentation prepared to share with us. He showed us his writing journal which was elaborately illustrated and quite creative! He read us a story with ease and we looked at his progress behaviorally from the beginning of the year. This year has been challenging for both Zachary and us as his parents, but we are so proud of his progress! He transitioned to a much easier behavior chart because he is making excellent choices most of the time. I think he is very mature for his age when it comes to understanding how to handle problems, we just need to work into putting it into practice! The other day I caught him saying to his brother "are you upset buddy? It sounds like you are frustrated...let me help you so you can calm down." WHAT? This coming from a  year old? He is in the advanced math group as well and in the intermediate to advanced reading group. He is on level "D" books which is where he should be by the end of the year, so hoping he makes progress into the 1st grade level books. We really couldn't be more excited with his progress and are so proud of his hard work. I love that he loves school and enjoys learning. He is proud of himself as well, which warms my heart as his mom!

After Zach's conference, we drove him home quickly, and dropped him off with the babysitter and picked up McKenna for hers.

She showed us her writing, and math accomplishments and her reading was off the chart! She was reading nearly 200 words per minute with 99% accuracy...which was a 30 word improvement over last time! She is in the advanced math group and the advanced reading group. Mrs. Bowman made it a point to call me a few weeks ago to tell me how much she adores McKenna. She paired her with the most challenging reading partner because McKenna is so patient and kind. I was definitely beaming when I got off the phone. To summarize - our daughter is thoughtful, kind, a great helper and a rockstar academically. Not sure what more we could ask for as parents. She is also the kind of kid that is near tears if she does not meet expectations (was very emotional at the thought of not completing her homework on time as an example.) Her work ethic is admirable and we are so fortunate! The picture below is what Ms. Bowman sent me when McKenna was one of three kids that has 100% mastered her division and multiplication fact triangles. She was thrilled! That is usually the area I help kids in when I volunteer on Thursdays, so I was overjoyed!