Thursday, November 19, 2009

Halloween Weekend

I need to get caught up here, so I'm backtracking now to Halloween. No theme this year which was a sad thing for this "theme oriented" girl. My kids had total opinions and since Halloween is about the kids I decided to let theirs count. The festivities started with Carson's grown-up day at school. He had to choose an adult in his life to dress up like. Can you guess who he chose to dress up as?
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.
Here is a class photo. She is sitting next to her best little friend Mason.
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.
McCall and Marin (Little Red Riding Hood and Witch)
Gracie and Clara (Fairy and Hermine)
Carson and Matthew (Ninjas)
Parker and Aidan (Harry Potter Quidditch Players)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Disney on Ice

Gracie and I got the opportunity a few weeks ago to go out for a special evening together! It was fantastic and she was eating up every minute of it. She picked out her outfit and then helped me pick out mine (I think she was trying to steer me away from my favorite uniform of jeans and a t-shirt). She felt that since we were going on a special date we should dress a little fancy. She wanted a picture of me and her outside the house before we left too. Her restaurant selection was Mimi's Cafe! She really loves the hot chocolate there. It was pretty delightful listening to this little lady talk a million miles a minute about all of her big plans and dreams for the coming weeks and months. A few of my favorites....1) She wants birthday gifts that start with each letter of the alphabet. 2) she would like to Santa to bring her a Fancy Nancy doll with the heart necklace (who knew there was more than 1). 3) She would like to learn how to read, so she can read to all of the boys in her pre-school class. 4) She thinks it would be great if we could sell our house and find a castle close by to move into (good luck with that one.)

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.

The funniest part of our evening involved a light up globe toy. I brought a light up globe toy from home (you know the kinds that spin around with all of the lights), so when she saw them selling there cheap plastic ones for $20, I could whip mine out . Sure enough, she saw a bunch around and wanted one, so out came ours. All was fine until this little girl came and sat down in front of us with a light up globe toy that put ours to shame. It had Tinkerbell on the top and then these long lit up strings with a princess hanging off of each one. It probably measured about 14 inches tall compared to our 6 inch beauty. The expression on her face was priceless. She looked at the little girls globe toy and then down at hers and got this "I've been ripped off" sort of look on her face and then she looked at me for validation. I just smiled and pointed out all of the fabulous attributes of our little globe toy and the fact that someday she would be so glad I put that $20 in her college account instead of spending it on a cheap plastic toy that would break before we got home! I don't know if she was buying into the college idea, but she stuck with her globe without further complaint.

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

Showing Up for Wayne!

Parker with his good friend Wayne Spence last year.

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.

Bayden soaking up all of the old guys on go-karts.
Carson and his mischievous "candy grabbing" smile!
Parker liked watching all of the different military units marching.
Gracie got to cuddle on Parker's lap when she got cold.
You can tell by just looking at him how much energy he had going on this morning.
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.

Thankfully she was all smiles by the end!