Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pom Poms

For Memorial Day, I wanted a little bit of patriotic decor for my house. I could also use the same decorations for the 4th of July. I didn't want to spend tons of money on table centerpieces, so I decided to go simple. Very simple. Tissue Paper Pom-Poms are popping up everywhere and are so easy to make. They're great for party decorations or holiday decor.

I first read about these pom-poms years ago from the Queen of Crafts, Martha Stewart. Here is a simple tutorial. I made my pom-poms one sided since they would be placed on my tables.

Here are 3 solid colored poms I put on my formal dining table.

This one is made from 2 sheets of tissue paper in each color.

Very simple, easy, and I spent less than $5 for the tissue paper and floral wire (I used a 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby for the wire).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Preston is the big 0-5!

I clearly remember June 18, 2006. It was a Sunday and it was Father's Day. At 1:36 am, Preston finally decided to make his entrance into this world (after 13 hours of labor and a round of pitocin!). He was almost 9 lbs and 20 inches long. No wonder I was so miserable towards the end of my pregnancy. Hard to believe that was 5 years ago!!!

Preston and Kaitlyn wanted a horse back riding birthday party. We told them they can have that, but it has to be a joint birthday party in the fall. The kids surprisingly agreed so we just had a very casual gathering for Preston's birthday with Granna and Granddad.

For dinner, Preston wanted his favorite brown chicken, which is really called Cranberry Chicken. I made that with a special green beans dish, white rice, and rolls. Yummy!

Everyone is ready to eat.

Preston opened gifts afterwards. Kaitlyn got him a pair of Batman sunglasses.

She also made him a card.

My parents got him his first big boy Bible. It's Veggie Tales and has his name inscribed on the outside. Preston loved it!

Then it was time to reveal the present from Mommy and Daddy, a Mongoose bicycle. Preston saw this bike at Target a long time ago. He wanted it because the picture on the box shows a boy doing flips and that's what Preston wants to do (oh no!).

He had to sit on it right away. Perfect size!

Craig's parents and grandparents knew we were getting Preston a bike. So his parents bought the knee pads, elbow pads, and gloves. Craig's grandparents bought the helmet and a bell to go on his bike. Preston is ready to go!

It won't be long until Preston can take off the training wheels. He was doing great! If you look close enough, there is a black bar on the front wheel that is used for doing tricks. I'm sure he'll be figuring out someway to use it.

Finally, we headed inside for ice cream and cake. Preston has been saying for a year that he wanted a Lightning McQueen birthday cake. So, that's what he got.

What birthday wouldn't be complete without a rainbow? Preston said God put it there just for him.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Music Camp 2011

Throughout last school year, I did a music class every other week at an in-home daycare. It's run by my two friends, Cindy and Mallori, that are also mother and daughter. Since the summer gets a little crazy for them, we agreed to a one week music camp and end the week with a performance.

They let me choose a theme and songs, so I selected some 50's style songs from the album Hallelujah Hop. Every day this week, we practiced the songs over and over. Then, it was showtime.

Cindy and Mallori reserved the community center and parents were invited to come see what the kids had learned.

The first song was "At The Hop". It's similar to the old version except some lyrics were changed to make it more of a Christian song. For example: Let's go to the hop, the hallelujah hop (oh glory)...

Getting ready to do the twist...

Doing the handjive...

Then the next song was "I Feel Good/I'm A Soul Man". The kids are playing the air trumpet.

For the finale, the kids performed to "Shout".

I'm so proud of the great job the kids did during their performance.

Thank you again Cindy and Mallori for the opportunity!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Horse Is A Horse...

Kaitlyn LOVES horses. She especially loves riding them. So, we got a great deal on for a 1-hour horse back riding lesson for only $30 at Rising Star Ranch. We immediately jumped at the opportunity. Wednesday evening, Kaitlyn had her lesson.

As we came up to the stalls, there were several big, gorgeous horses, like this one.

Luckily, Kaitlyn got to ride a smaller, older horse named Grammy. First, she had to brush the horse.

After getting the helmet on, Kaitlyn walked Grammy out of the stalls over to the pen.

And she practiced walking Grammy around the pen to learn to guide the horse.

Finally, Kaitlyn got to get up in the saddle.

You could tell Kaitlyn was a little timid at first, even though she's ridden several horses before. The trainer, Jessica, decided to try an exercise to make Kaitlyn more comfortable. She made Kaitlyn go "Around The World" on the saddle. That means she had to sit sideways, then sit backwards, sit sideways again, and finally face forward while the horse was standing still. Kaitlyn did great and was actually riding backwards while the horse was walking. Towards the end of the lesson, Kaitlyn was able to do this exercise while the horse was walking.

Kaitlyn then learned how to guide the horse all by herself while riding. She was getting pretty good at it too. Finally, the trainer took them for a walk out into the pasture.

It was a great experience for Kaitlyn and she loved it. We will be looking into some more horsemanship classes. In fact, Kaitlyn and Preston are having a joint horse back riding birthday party in the fall. Who knows, we may be horse owners one day. We do live in Texas after all!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Good-bye 1st Grade!!!

We have been so busy this past week with all the end of school year activities. I am so thankful that I was able to attend each event. Craig and I are really going to have to manage our time well next year when we have both kids in elementary school (YIKES!).

First, Kaitlyn had field day. It was a half day of non-stop activities and each class tried to get as many points as they could. Well, Kaitlyn's class wasn't really that competitive so they took their time on some of the games. However, they all had so much fun.

There was the Sponge Race: soak a sponge with water, run to the bucket, squeeze your water out, and try to get the bucket full.

Potato Sack Race-look at Kaitlyn go!

Tire Race

Basketball Toss: they had to throw the ball through a hula hoop

And so many more games! They also stopped for a water and snack break.

Then, there was the Wildcat Math ceremony. Wildcat Math is a 12-week extracurricular math program. Any student can participate by completing a worksheet, turn it in by the end of the week, and earn points. At the end of the year, all students that participated receive a goody bag. If 11 or 12 weeks are completed, they receive a shirt. If all 12 weeks are completed, they receive a medal at the ceremony. (On a side note, I've agreed to chair the committee to get this program implemented in the new school Preston and Kaitlyn will be attending next year. I'm sure I will have plenty to blog about when it is up and running)

Kaitlyn is going up to receive her medal.

The principal is offering her congratulations to Kaitlyn.

Her she is posing with her medal.

Finally, it was time for the End of Year party. I helped a little on the planning committee and making goody bags that was handed out to each 1st grader. Kaitlyn was ready to start the party.

Kaitlyn is at the shaving cream station. Another mom and I supervised this station and it was a hit! Notice Kaitlyn's fish tattoo on her arm?

Here is another tattoo she got on her other arm.

It was a very hot morning and Kaitlyn decided to take a break in the shade of the monkey bars.

Throughout the school year, I went in to Kaitlyn's class every Friday and read with the students. I enjoyed helping out, Kaitlyn loved having me there, and I got to know all her classmates and teacher pretty well. As a thank you gift, they all made me this frame. These are their thumbprints made to look like different animals. I really, really love this gift. Kaitlyn's thumb is the white bunny in the bottom right corner.

So, we say good-bye to another school year, good-bye to 1st grade, and good-bye to the elementary school where Kaitlyn attended for 2 years. We really enjoyed being at this school and won't forget the wonderful teachers and administrators that we met. We will miss some of our friends, but look forward to seeing some of the same ones next year and meeting new friends.