Thursday, November 19, 2009
I personally thought the jeans, stained t-shirt and blonde pony-tail was a winning adult costume, but he wanted to go as a Bike Shop owner a.k.a his dad! This boy is so full of personality and for a majority of the morning I thought he was actually going as a rapper because he kept making word music noises, moving his hat around and dancing all over the house.
Next I was off to Gracie's Halloween Carnival at Bright Beginnings. She wanted to be a fairy this year and a sweet one she was. She wore those big wings all day long. She had a great time at her carnival winning lots of prizes.
After all of the school parties were through, we got ready for our Ward camp out/tent or treat. It was cold, so we had to adjust a few costumes to accommodate the weather. Unfortunately we couldn't camp overnight in the freezing cold (can you sense my disappointment) because we had to soccer tournaments out of town in the morning.
On Saturday we traveled back and forth between soccer games. Later that evening we got to eat dinner with some good friends before we went out trick or treating. All the kids had a friend to trick or treat with.
Friday, November 13, 2009
After dinner we headed downtown for the Princess Disney on Ice show (I think this might be where the castle idea came to fruition). To say she was thrilled is an understatement. She kept saying, "I'm so excited!" and this is so fun, "just Gracie and mommy." The poor thing, I seriously think it is one of the few times in her life she has been alone with just me. She loved the show and all of the characters. Her favorite princesses are Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, so she was extra attentive during their parts.
The infamous globe toy.
It was a great night and I loved the special time we got together. I really need to find the time to do this more with all of our kids. Here are a few pictures from our evening, but they got uploaded backwards and I don't have enough time to switch them around.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Last year Parker had to write a report on Veteran’s Day for his second grade class. He had to interview a war veteran and so he decided on our good friend Wayne Spence! We went to his home in November and spent a couple of hours with him listening to him, laughing with him and crying with him as he recounted stories from serving in both WWII and the Korean War. My only regret from that day was that we didn’t have 10 hours instead of just 2. Parker and I were both fascinated by his story telling and we both gained a much deeper appreciation for our veterans on that day. Wayne was a fantastic story teller. Ten years ago when Wayne first moved to Folsom he noticed there wasn’t a Veteran’s Day Parade, so he set about changing that. He walked down Natoma Street that first year all by himself, dressed in uniform carrying the United States Flag. Because Wayne was so persistent and charming, his parade idea caught on and each year it has gotten larger and larger (it lasted about 90 minutes today!) Organizations from all over the greater Sacramento area come and participate in what is now officially known as the “Wayne Spence Veterans Day Parade”. Sadly, Wayne lost his long and brave battle with cancer this past spring. Parker in particular was very upset over Wayne’s death and I believe it was in part because of the special afternoon they had shared together. A few days before Wayne passed away we went as a family to say goodbye to him and sing songs to him. Parker cried the whole way home and the rest of the evening because he loved this sweet man.
So today is Veterans day and the kids have school off. Although, my tired body was begging me to stay in bed and sleep in, I knew we had to make Wayne proud and head on over to save a spot for his big Veterans parade. As in years past, we were not disappointed. There was lots of military personnel, lots of boy scouts and school organizations and lots of candy. Now if “parade candy grabbing” was an Olympic sport, I seriously think I might have a few gold medalist on my hands. It seriously was an art for my boys today. We were sandwiched in between a ton of kids which doesn’t make for the best “candy grabbing” conditions. Not to worry, Parker and Carson quickly figured this out and came up with a superb (although a bit disturbing) solution. They would both run as fast as they could to the candy and if another child was going to beat them to the grab, one of them would kick the candy in the others direction before the non-Fellows kid grabbed it. I started feeling bad for the other kids and had to squash their gold medal efforts. I actually had donated some candy for the parade and sadly, I think we came home with more than I donated. We are in serious sugar overload after Halloween. Anyway, we had a great time and it was fun to see the difference Wayne had made in our Veterans Day observance and celebration here in Folsom.
I was shocked that Bay's arm didn't hurt by the end of the parade because he kept waving his flag over and over.
Gracie wasn't quite sure about the whole thing and took awhile to warm up to some of the more interesting parade participants.
It takes all types to make a parade, this guy was one of my favorites! I think he scared Gracie along with the clowns below. I have to admit, clowns kind of are creepy.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Gracie was happiest when we were inside the barn and out of the rain.
Of course she loved taking control of the giant umbrella too.
Last week was also great because Carson was selected to be the "Star Student" for the week. We have waited long and hard for his name to be drawn out of the hat. On Friday, he exploded through the door with the great news. I looked at the poster with him and thought, we'll wait until Sunday night and make this look really nice together. Okay who am I fooling, I always end up doing it for my kids with very little assistance from them. They are after all the star student and I don't want them to show up with a lame poster and have all of the other mom's think I'm the lame mom. We all know how it goes. Well Carson wasn't aware of this unwritten rule between mom's and he ended up doing the ENTIRE thing himself. I was running kids back and forth while Mark was working from home, when I returned about 3:45 he had the entire poster already filled out.
I was actually totally relieved I could mark it off my to do list and proud all at the same time. He took the initiative and did a really great job, he even picked out the picture of himself from the frame on our mantle and glued it to the poster. It's interesting to me how different each child behaves even though the parenting is the same. Some of my kids would never dare to do something like that on their own and yet Carson would have felt totally stifled if I had done it for him or even tried to help. It's fun to discover these little things out about my kids.
When I first looked at the poster I thought I would have to guide him on the question, "What three things make me a Star." I was a little worried maybe he wouldn't know what makes him so special. I love what he chose to write 1) I've been on TV (I don't remember this, but they say we were on the news in Vegas at the Christmas village with Andre Agassi) 2. I'm nice 3. I'm cool. It was reassuring to me as I sometimes worry about this little guys self-esteem that he so quickly came up with 3 things that make him a star. Here is a picture of his handy work. He is so cute, you can see he tried writing his first name in bubble letters. Naturally, I was proud to hand it in, even if I do look like the lame mom.
One of the privileges of being the Star Student is that you get to bring something that is special to you to share with the class. It melted my heart big time, when he asked to share Gracie and Bayden. Here they are the day of the big share. Bay was running all over the place.
We also had McCall's first Middle School Orchestra performance last week. I was shocked what a difference daily music class makes. I was really impressed with all of these kids and the music was beautiful. No more Mary had a Little Lamb. They played a Korean folk song that Mark remembers hearing while serving his mission there. They also played some other lovely classical pieces. We were really proud of McCall. She is so good to always practice her viola. It was quite the challenge to get a good shot of her because the lady in front of me had big hair and kept moving every time I moved. Add to it the fact that the conductors hands kept swinging down in front of her face in almost every picture and well you start to get the idea.
The cap to our fun week was our good friend's wedding on Friday. Blake is the oldest son and their family is like our second family. His parents worked so hard to make it a beautiful day for the two of them. Aren't they a cute couple? They looked so beautiful and they had a perfect day. I loved the words of wisdom that his grandfather gave him before he married them in the Sacramento temple. I learned so much that day.
Later that evening we got to attend a fabulous dinner and party in their honor. Here is McCall with one of our favorite ladies, the fabulous Vicki Wolf.
The best part of the day was when I got to dance with this little boyfriend all night long. It was one of those nights when I wish time would stand still and that my kids would never grow up. (That was of course until 11:00 when I was trying to get 5 tired kids into bed while Mark stayed to help clean up. Then I wanted everyone to act a bit older)
Sunday, October 18, 2009
One of those was McCall's soccer tournament in San Francisco. We turned it into a girls day out together with Gracie, McCall and I leaving early on Saturday morning and returning very late that night. We LOVE San Francisco, so the girls were really excited to head down there. We were lucky enough to have one of McCall's teammates, Annelise and her grandmother Carol join us for the ride down. Grandma Carol used to live in San Francisco and was a total riot, we hit it off immediately. We were lucky enough to play at the beautiful Beach Chalet fields with the beach just across the road from the fields.
I think one of my favorite parts of being a parent is watching my kids learn, work diligently at and then hopefully progress in a task. Sometimes the progression is slower than they hope for, which can be frustrating. However, when they finally see the fruits of their labors it is magical. This has been particularly evident this year for McCall and her soccer. She started playing soccer when she was four and this is her 6th year of playing. She is small and has never been a stand out player. She has held her own and had a few good games here and there, but she definitely had things she could work on. Earlier this year she decided she wanted to try out for a select soccer team. I remember how nervous Mark and I were, especially since we were out of town during the try-outs! She worked hard and made the team.
Practices started and this came with some challenges because she was the new player on a team that had previously played together a couple of years. Some of the girls openly questioned her abilities and although it was challenging she forced herself to go to every practice. She even started doing conditioning on the off days of practice. A few of her first games were hard and again she had some areas that could use improvement and she kept working at it.
Then the last few months something has clicked. All of her extra effort, years of building skills and hard work have come together and now she is good...I mean REALLY good! She has finally discovered her speed and how to use her size to her advantage. She is more comfortable in her ball handling skills and she now gets the fact that if you ever hope to make the shot you have to take the shot (even if it is with your left foot.) Of course, there are still things she can work on improving (putting more power behind her long kicks), but she has really come a long way. She has worked so hard for so many years and it is so wonderful to see her develop into such a great player (I really hope this doesn't sound too boastful, that is not my intent, but she is my girl and I am so proud of her)
She had the best two games of her life in San Francisco. It was the most fun I have ever had watching her play. My only regret was that Mark wasn't there to see it! Luckily, she has kept her stride and he has gotten to see her play in some other really fabulous games. The highlight of the tournament was hearing the other coach yell, "Watch number 12, mark her and don't let her out of your sight!" It took me a minute to figure out that he was talking about McCall. I was so proud. She was on fire. She was all over the place and it was driving him crazy (I feel bad that he was frustrated), but I was still proud of McCall.
Here she is playing sweeper taking the ball up the side.
He was more than happy to pose for me in some of Gracie's clothes.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Carson started out strong with the ladies. His team was the 1st Grade Road Runners.
Still going strong and working hard.
Hmm...someone is slowing down and breathing really hard.
Can you say asthma attack. Of course Carson insisted he was fine and did another lap before he almost collapsed.
Thus ended Carson's jog-a-thon dreams. He got his inhaler and sat out for a bit until he had things under control.
Bayden being cheesy while I took care of Carson.
One tired little guy holding up his lap card. He got the whole front side filled up. And then he got to enjoy a cool treat with his two best buddies.
Next we were off to cheer Parker on. We met up with him at recess. He was sitting in the quad trying to "save up all of his energy for the jog-a-thon". I love how sweet Parker is with his siblings. I love how he is holding Bay's hand.
Then it is time for a little snuggle. Bay is a much loved boy and is adored by his siblings.
And who wouldn't be in love with this boyfriend? Look at the smooch he is giving Parker.
We headed up to the field where Parker's class would start. I was helping out with his class. Luckily the teacher took one look at me and suggested that I just cheer from the sidelines (something I do quite well) instead of running with the kids (something I don't do quite as well!)
I think this was around lap 19....remember it was hot! Do you like that he is at least 1 head taller than his classmates.
This is his intense look. He is really trying to focus here.
He stopped for a hug and a picture from his favorite cheerleader.
All in all I think it was a successful jog-a-thon. Hopefully we earned enough money to have our library open this year (you got to love California and its budget crisis!).