Friday, June 20, 2008

The Lazy Days of Summer

Ahhh, the lazy days of summer. Despite the fact that David was gone all week, this first week of summer vacation was wonderful. The kids and I really tried to have fun but in simple ways. We headed to the pool a couple of times where Savannah was able to master her snorkeling technique. (We wanted to get lots of practice in before the VI!)

Lots of time was spent outdoors enjoying the beautiful weather and playing with friends. Savannah received some sidewalk paint for her birthday so the kids created some masterpieces on our front walk.

When Noah wasn't eating the chalk, he was trying to draw some abstract art.

The kids found this praying mantis so we all took turns holding him. Unfortunately for the mantis, Xander got scared that "he was going to eat me!" and dropped the mantis, half squashing the poor guy. I hated to do it but I hated even more knowing that the little guy was in pain so I sent the kids away and then smooshed him. It really bummed me out.

Bubbles are always a big hit with kids!

And little Noah just loves doing anything outside.

We also went to the local movie theater where they show free movies on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. We met Savannah's teacher and her son there as well as another of Savannah's friends and her mom. The kids got to see "Mr. Magorium's Magic Emporium". Where was I, you ask? Oh, I was outside, walking around with Noah who had absolutely NO intention of staying in the theater. Next time I'm definitely getting a babysitter. So far it's been a really nice start to our summer.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Savannah Turns 6!

Can it be? Is my little baby girl really 6?!?!?!? It seems like yesterday that I went in to have her and here she is, 6 years old and just finished kindergarten. It's amazing how quickly time flies.
Savannah has really been looking forward to her birthday this year, especially because she was having a Disney Princess Party on the day of her birthday. The party turned out to be a lot of fun! She had 9 of her friends come to our house...yes, a crazy decision on my part to have a party at home but it actually was just fine. All the girls came dressed as their favorite princess and they were all so cute. The party started upstairs in Savannah's room, renamed Sleeping Beauty's Tower, where the girls were made even more beautiful with make-up applied by my good friend Jeanne.

Savannah dressed up as her favorite princess, Jasmine.

Here is Sir Xander, the knight who greeted each princess as she arrived and then escorted her up to Sleeping Beauty's Tower. It was so cute to watch him take this job so seriously and carry his sword in case any dragons appeared!

After the make-up session, we all headed to our downstairs patio, renamed Ariel's Grotto. Blue and green streamers, sea creatures, blow-up fish, and bubble machines all worked together to create an underwater feel. The girls made a sand art necklace here and, although it required all adults present to help them, the girls seemed to enjoy making them.

Here are the girls in Pocahontas's Forest...we didn't stay there long, though, because it was extremely HOT! I had prayed really hard that it wouldn't rain, which it didn't, but next time I'll pray for some cooler weather. Don't they all look so cute?

One of my favorite moments of the party came when we played the game "Pass the Poison Apple". The girls passed an apple around the circle and when the music stopped, the girl holding the apple had to drop it and fall into a deep sleep. Once each girl fell into a deep sleep, she had to stay in that deep sleep until the knight, Sir Xander, awakened her with a "kiss". I assured the girls that the kiss would not be a real kiss but a kiss they would like. So, when each girl had fallen and we had a winner, I handed Xander a basket of little Hershey kisses to give to each girl to wake her up. Only Xander didn't understand that these little candies were the kisses. When I said, "Give her a kiss", Xander leaned down to give a real kiss. It was hilarious and all the adults started laughing. I quickly stopped him and explained what he needed to do. Little Xander...robbed of a GREAT opportunity to kiss a bunch of sleeping princesses!

Pocahontas sings that we should paint with all the colors of the wind so the girls got to paint ceramics...

...make princess bracelets...

...and receive a book from the book-lovin' princess, Belle, in Belle's Ballroom. The girls even got to sit on magic carpets while they received the books though unfortunately the game with the magic carpets was cancelled because it was too hot to be out on Jasmine's Balcony.

The party was over so quickly and was so much fun! Savannah has already requested another princess party for her 7th birthday.
We didn't have time at the party to open Savannah's gifts so we did that a little while after the guests left. Here Savannah is sitting on her throne, ready to open the many wonderful gifts she received from her friends. Some favorites included 2 webkinz, some make-up, and Ariel flip-flops.

We then headed to Red Lobster, Savannah's choice for her birthday dinner. She loves the crab!

When we got home Savannah got to open presents from family members. All in all, I'd say Savannah had a fabulous birthday. Thanks to all who called to wish her a Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Last Day of School

It's so hard to believe that Savannah has finished her first year of kindergarten. Where did the year go? Thursday was Savannah's last day and unlike most kids, Savannah was extremely unhappy about it. Savannah LOVES school, especially her fabulous teacher, Ms. Moretti. Her kindergarten experience has been everything I could have hoped for and I just pray that her love of learning and of school will continue over the years.

I picked Savannah up from the bus stop as usual and as she was running towards me I could tell by the look on her face that something was wrong. Just before she reached me her face crumpled and she burst into tears. She sobbed and sobbed and I could not figure out what was wrong. I was looking all over her, thinking maybe she had hurt herself and then I started worrying that someone had been mean to her. I kept asking with great concern, "What's wrong? What happened?" She was finally able to get out the words, "I miss Ms. Moretti!" and then continued sobbing. I just hugged her tight and, with a little chuckle, said, "It will be'll see her on Saturday at your party." It was a good thing that we were heading up to our neighbor's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese because Savannah was able to turn her thoughts to fun things other than wallow in despair over the school year ending.

Now, Chuck E. Cheese has to got to rank up there with my least favorite places to go so of course every other party we're invited to is held there...but my kids absolutely love it so I put up with going. One thing I do love about Chuck E. Cheese is that the workers stamp the kids' hands so I can feel safe to let the kids go off on their own without worrying that some looney child molester is going to make off with them. We did actually have a great time at this party, especially little Noah. He can't get enough of all the rides.

This is Xander escorting the birthday girl, Sofia, to the birthday table. Aren't they cute?

Hangin' with Chuck E. Cheese!

Backyard Fun!

Last week was so miserably hot so the kids were very excited when our neighbors pulled out their shark slip n' slide. The kids took turns sliding on it, getting wet and having fun!

Even Noah got into the action! He irritated the rest of the kids, though, by hogging the slide. He would stand right by the sprayer, playing with the water, and the other kids couldn't come down the slide while he was there. I had to keep pulling him off so the other kids could have a turn...Noah didn't take it too well.

We are so lucky to have such great neighbors! We have so much fun with them!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Glenn Beck Summer Tour

Two years ago I was vacationing with my family and we happened to be watching the news, trying to get an update on the killing of Icky Terrorist #1, al-Zarqawi. We were watching CNN, a channel I avoid like brussell sprouts (I can't really use the phrase "avoid like the plague" because, really, where in America do you find the plague these days?). Anyway, getting back on track, I hate CNN but since it was the only news channel available, I was watching it. I was actually enjoying the show we were watching of some crazy, funny guy showing Americans on the street a cake decorated on top with the outline of a dead body. He was having random people celebrate the death of this terrorist by slicing the cake exactly where the head was. It was pretty funny! So I turned to my family members to ask who this guy was. They looked at me in disbelief and said, "This is Glenn Beck. Haven't you ever listened to him?" Up until that point I hadn't but I now regularly tune in to him. He is one of my favorite talk radio personalities so I was so excited to learn that he was coming to Pennsylvania as part of his summer tour. Last Tuesday night my good friends, Ben and Jeanne Lawyer, also Glenn Beck fans,and I headed up to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to catch his live show. The journey there itself was quite an adventure: an amazing thunderstorm (only in the East and Midwest are there storms like this), wrong directions by Map quest, a trying-to-be-helpful-local who gave us directions a page and a half long, and arriving 15 minutes late. Oh, well...we got there and Glenn was fabulous! One of my favorite remarks he made was, "Did you ever think when you bought these tickets that the cost of the ticket would be less than the cost of the gas that got you here?" Oh, so true, especially for us who drove from Baltimore. I just love listening to Glenn and watching his body language and facial expressions. He knocked on Barack Obama for a bit which was hilarious. I'm still having a hard time believing that so many people in this country think he's qualified to run the most powerful nation in the world after only two years in the Senate. In any other business or company, two years on the job is NOTHING!!! Most top professionals spend a lot more time working their way up the ladder and here he is, after only two years. Anyway, Glenn spent a lot of time speaking as if he were a presidential candidate and he had a lot of great ideas. (I won't list them can check out his show for his ideas and opinions.) He ended his show by commenting on how great a country we live in and the opportunities still available and only available in this great nation. One of the things I love best about Glenn is his patriotism and his belief in God and he's not afraid to express those beliefs. I had a great night and am so glad that we got to go.

Here I am with Ben and Jeanne. What a great time we had together. I'm so glad that I have friends like Jeanne who are actually interested in politics! We have some really great discussions.

The only bummer of the night for me was that Glenn didn't do a book signing. I had brought my book just in case. By the way, if you haven't had a chance to read it you should. It's really great. You can tell how great a guy Glenn Beck is because on the back of his book he has quotes from all the people who hate him. Who else does that? He's hilarious!

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Nickname is Trouble

Last week the boys and I stopped at Jeanne's house for a little bit. Jeanne and I were in the living room chatting and Xander and Noah were playing with some toys Jeanne has. After a little while I realized that Noah was missing and it was pretty silent...the kind of silence that indicates trouble is brewing. I quickly headed to the kitchen and found Noah sitting in a puddle of water, holding the dog's water bowl to his mouth, drinking. I just had to laugh...Noah is such a mischievous little guy. I'll give him a look when he's getting into trouble and he just looks back at me with this grin on his face and proceeds to do whatever I don't want him to do. He's turning into quite the handful. Noah is definitely a devil with an angelic face!