Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Brett and KG's Wedding, 10-27-12

Brett and Katie Gray Conner
October 27, 2012
We travelled to Blowing Rock, North Carolina for our niece's wedding in October.  Emily was very excited to be a flower girl with her cousin Ainsley and it was simply beautiful.  Here are all my favorite pictures.
The wedding party was huge!  13 bridesmaids and 13 groomsmen.  I love how the bridesmaids all had a different style dress and KG's colors came together beautifully for a gorgeous fall wedding.

A little fun... the flower girls were told to cover their eyes!


Love the french braids and sweet picture of these two cousins.  What a fun memory to share.

The beautiful church.  I have never seen rose petals arranged like this.  It's a shame they had to be walked on!

Proud Mom and Dad. 

 It's hard to get family pictures.  I'm glad we were able to take this one.  David looks like he's about to run away... and I think he did right after this picture was taken!

Sweet, handome Anthony.  Could he be any cuter?

Lia and her Godparents.  They framed this picture and gave it to her for Christmas.  We will treasure it always.

Emily is partying it up at the reception.  Anthony turned out to be quite the party animal!

And one with me and Lia at the rehearsal.  She is so happy because she just raided the "candy store."

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tae Kwon Do: David's Yellow Belt Test

David started Tae Kwon Do in January of this year and has really enjoyed it.  We are lucky to have the classes at our local YMCA.  He practices on Wednesdays and Fridays for an hour and has come a long way since he started.  His Tae Kwon Do instructors are strict and require the kids to focus, pay attention, make eye contact and even learn some Korean.   In the beginning he struggled with keeping his left and right straight and with overall coordination but I am proud to say he has come a long way!  While he got his yellow stripe within a few weeks, he struggled with the difficult yellow belt patterns for months until his instructor told me he was ready to test.  And even then, David told me he didn't know them well enough and was too nervous to do it!  But given all that, he was very brave and went through the test anyway.  You can see it all below in the videos.  It was a nice birthday gift for him and we are very proud of all he has accomplished.
David tests for his yellow belt.
David is awarded his yellow belt.
Sparring sample.
(yes, he is fighting a girl with a higher green belt)

David's 7th Birthday Serenade... (sort of)


David's Cake

One of our recent traditions has been to take the kids to Gigi's when they finish their math books.  Gigi's is a gourmet cupcake bakery with a lot of choices.  My kids pour over the menu and spend a lot of time deciding on what cupcake they will get for the "next time."  David finished his 1B math book a few weeks before his birthday and he selected a cinnamon roll cupcake.  Apparently, it was delicious because he talked about it for days and really wanted to make a cinnamon roll cake for his birthday.  And I hear this a lot at my house:  "Mommy, can we Google "fill in the blank?"  So, we googled cinnamon roll cake and printed out the first result.  Here is David with our plan.  By the way, Emily was at the zoo for girlscouts and David was excited to have the kitchen to himself...  He can handle Lia.

Let's get started!

What do we need?  What do we do?

Can monkey's make cakes?

Look out!  David's got the mixer.


And letting sister help... Beautiful!

Happy 7th Birthday David, Oct 14

David turned seven this year!  We have been meeting at the same park every year since his first birthday to enjoy the fall concert series.  This year, however, we received a lot of rain on this day and the concert was cancelled.  Lucky for us, by evening time, the rain cleared up and the sun came out so we were still able to celebrate his birthday at the park.  There was no live music, but there were no crowds either.  We were able to get a great picnic table under the pavillion and the kids were able to run around and play while the adults got in a good visit.

Chastity, Courage, David, Travis, Lia, Emiy, Emma

David wanted a cinnamon roll cake and I did my best to make this happen.  Visually, however, the cake wasn't a big sucess because it was really hard to get out of the pan.  The cinnamon rolls on top were my attempt to cover up the places where the cake just fell apart.  The transfer did not go well!  But most importantly, David was happy with his cake.  He wanted his name in red and the number 7 candle to be red.  When I asked him if the cake was okay, he said, "Of course Mommy.  It's perfect."  And so it was.

These pictures were a little blurry but I'm glad I got to document that David's very important people were at his party to help him celebrate.  Happy Birthday David!!!

HMNS: New Hall of Paleontology (October)

The Houston Museum of Natural Science opened up a new Paleontology wing last summer and we had been hearing how spectacular it was.  Since I bought a family pass last year, we wanted to go see it while we could still do so admission free.  We were not disappointed!  It was a great family outing.

The kids were unable to pose like normal children in front of these dinosaurs.  They morphed into T-Rex, Diplodocus, Stegasaurus... you get the idea.

This is a "virtual" prehistoric aquarium and I had to take a picture because David literally stood in front of it for half an hour.  The creatures in the tank were so strange looking that they literally looked like figures straight out of a little boy's imagination.  No wonder David liked it so much.  There was this one creature, he called "the ultimate worm digger" who tried really hard but never got the worm..."  He stood there so long he saw the virtual show multiple times and could narrate and point out all the cool things to kids who would come up and watch with him.  Do you think I can get it on dvd?

And well, here you would have a boy sticking his head into a prehistoric crocodile's mouth.  Typical.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Emily is Diving!

Emily graduated from AcroKidz, the dry-land prepratory dive class we had her in last spring and is now in AcroDive where she actually gets to dive into the pool.  She trains at the Natatorium, which is the fanciest facility I have ever seen, and is loving it!  We are lucky to have her in the homeschool class because there are only 5 or 6 kids at her level.  Fewer kids means more attention and more times going off the board.  These kids get quite a work-out getting in and out of the pool so many times!  Here is a little sampling of what they are doing. 
In the first video, I think I comment something like, "That's better!" because the dive before her legs were kind of flopping all over the place and another dive her legs almost flipped over her head!  She was making good progress!
I think coach Stephanie is trying to help them with their "hollow body hold."
At the end of each class, the kids get 3 free dives.  The younger ones like to go off the high dive.  It kind of scares me to watch them do this. 

An Afternoon in Ancient Egypt, 9-28-12

A family from our co-op hosted a really fun Ancient Egyptian party back in September.  We study world history in order and our co-op is currently on "Ancient History" this year so it was a good fit with our studies.  As we walked up the driveway, we encountered a timeline on the driveway so we knew we were entering the realm of 3000 BC!  The kids were told to come dressed in white and were given an egyptian collar to decorate.  I love the way they decorated their pillar with hieroglyphics.  What a photo opportunity!  By the way, David promptly removed his collar after I took the picture and told me I could wear it.  ;-)

Mary had all the details covered.  Her guests brought dates, figs, lentils, cous-cous and she served grilled fish for us to eat.  The Egyptians ate with their hands and so did we!  As you can imagine, eating with our hands was not a problem for my family.  We felt right at home!  So why are the kids standing in a line with toilet paper?  No... it is not the line for the bathroom....

They were standing in line to make mummies out of themselves.  Now this is the easiest party game ever and the kids were occupied for well over an hour with this.  Mary took a freestanding toilet paper holder and told the kids to roll themselves up and not to break the paper while they did it.  Oh my goodness, they loved this!  And they waited patiently for their turn for a very long time!

After mummifying themselves, they got to raid the tomb... and found (stole) these little Egyptian charms.  (I found them on Oriental Trading... what a great idea!)

She also had twenty-sided dice to give as party favors... and again, my crew thought these were the best gifts ever.  What an awesome gift for a bunch of home-schooled kids!  Love it.  What a fun party!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

David is a Cub Scout

David started cub scouts this fall.  We found him a homeschooled cub scout pack and this will be his first year as a Tiger cub.  His Tiger den has 19 boys and David is loving the weekly meetings and being loud and silly with his buddies.  These pictues are from his first pack meeting where he received his bobcat badge for memorizing some important cub scout matters, making a family scrapbook and attending his first Go See It.

David's Tiger Cub den went to the Sam Houston Museum to see how family life was different many years ago.

The way things worked in the kitchen were certainly different... but the importance of feeding the family remains unchanged.  The kitchen was and still is a very important part of family life.

The boys also got to meet Wyatt, a boy scout, who will be their Den Chief this year.  The boys like Wyatt because he likes to play games with them!  At their last meeting they played several versions of freeze tag and Red Rover.  Excellent boy time.

Happy Birthday Emily Video

Emily's 9th Birthday Party

Eight was great, Nine is fine!  We decided to host Emily's birthday at the newly remodeled Sawmill pool.  We were very lucky to snag a table to celebrate on and really enjoyed having the party in the evening hours.  The weather cooled off a little for us and we stayed till the pool closed at 8:00.
Happy 9th Birthday Emily!

Emma, Elle, Emily, Maci, Rebecca, Mia and Lia

A friendly dragon.

And a splash pad for safety breaks!  What a fun pool.

Emily's Birthday Cake (August)

Hooray!  I made it to the big August post... Emily's birthday!  I'm on a roll and David's birthday is approaching so I better get to work.  Emily decided on a brownie/cookie cake and the kids are preparing the mix to go into the oven.  This picture makes me laugh because it is always very silly when I try to get all three of them to smile sweetly for the camera.  But here they are:
Emily is clearly in charge of this operation.

Look closely, David is missing a few teeth in front!
 Now it is the day of her party and the brownie/cookie cake has cooled and is ready to be decorated.  What will the theme be this year?  Well, the icing will definetly be pink.  Emily chose cherry icing from the baking aisle at Walmart.  And take notice, Peg... still using the special frosting knives!!!  Nothing else would do.

And now you can see the theme...  a penguin princess theme, of course!  I was actually out shopping when the penguin was drawn on the cake.  I think Emily did a great job.

And I put on the final frosting touches with the star tip to make Penguin look fluffly... I think it came out awesome!

And now, let's have a party!