Friday, December 24, 2010

Fancy Natalie Tea Party

Natalie loves to have tea parties so she was very happy when Gramanana gave her an adorable tea set for her birthday in November. She has had many tea parties with brothers and dolls, but when Gramanana suggested they host a 'fancy' tea party over Christmas, Natalie was especially excited.
Gramanana gave Natalie the book Fancy Nancy Tea Party with lots of creative simple ideas for hosting a tea party using french words and fancy frilly decor. Together they chose the menu and decor. But first we all had to have fancy hats, which involved glue guns, sparkle and jewels. As you can see even the boys participated. (I think PopPop's tie is the best!)
On the table, there were flowers, handmade placemats, name cards, fancy napkins, even bejeweled utensils!
Aunt Heather helped Natalie with the food prep including crudites, fancy jelly rolls, tea sandwiches, cookies and beautifully decorated cupcakes. The kitchen was a whirlwind of activity (with lots of sprinkles of course!)
Natalie was an excellent server and insisted that we all keep our pinkies up! (She is also pretty proud of those missing teeth if you didn't notice.)
Thanks Gramanana for planning and carrying out a beautiful event!! What a special memory for all of us!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 Recap from the Six Turbos

Sorry for the long delay in posts, but before I start with fresh resolve for the coming year, I'd love to record a bit of 2010 first. It was a wonderful year, full of adventure and joy in the midst of regular old life. Many days ran together, but themes did emerge...

Beach Days! We all love the beach, whether it is boogie boarding, playing in the sand, exploring the tidepools, making new friends, or even just sleeping in the sun. We camped at El Capitan beach near Santa Barbara for a week in June and loved it! I expect it may become an annual tradition. Carson is always in the water. He even tried a surf camp this summer- not quite successful yet but he did learn the basics. Henry is the engineer of sand castles while Natalie and Peter love to dig and collect sea life. We spent many Mondays (Eric's day off) as well as summer Fridays (with our homeschool group) at Corona Del Mar in Newport.

Rainy Days. Yes, it does rain in California and our roof leaked, but the kids love rain and run outside as soon as it starts for fear it will be over too fast. They play in streams on our culdesac and ride bikes in the rain. While camping in Flagstaff, AZ (Lake Mary) this summer with my brothers family, we had lots of rain and the kids were quite creative with their mudpies and mud houses. No, it's not snow; but it does get us excited around here.

School Days. There have been plenty of school days this past year. Carson (4th), Henry (2nd), Natalie (1st) and Peter (preschool) have each been excellent students in our homeschool here known as "Eagle Eye Academy". We studied the Roman Empire last spring and are finishing up the Middle Ages now. There have been lots of fun projects and field trips- the Getty Villa (a full scale reproduction of a Roman villa in Malibu) was a highlight. And of course the Middle Ages have been a blast learning about castles and knights and vikings. We've read lots of good books this year including Alice in Wonderland, Robin Hood, Peter Pan, Tales of King Arthur and the Secret Garden. We are also part of a home school co-op (Irvine Christian Academy) where the kids got to be part of their first drama production.

Saturday Sports. Carson and Henry were just the right ages to be able to play on the same baseball team this spring (Irvine Pony machine pitch). It was the first season for both of them and they did an awesome job as they improved. Natalie also had her first chance at a sport this year and played on a girls under 6 soccer team. Turns out she's a pretty intense competitor!

Sunday Church. We love Sovereign Grace Church of Orange County! It's exciting to have Sunday morning services at the OC Plaza since Easter and to keep building friendships with people here, including some brand new families. Eric is doing an awesome job preaching and leading. The kids and I love helping him out any way we can. We get to host guest receptions and home groups at the house and the kids are growing in their love and care for all the people around them. We get to send Dad off to meetings like the Preaching Practicum, T4G, and Leadership Conferences. And everyone loved going to the Sovereign Grace Together conference in San Diego (especially since we got to hang out with some old friends!)

Date Nights. I love date nights! And so do the kids. Eric and I get to go out alone together almost every week. We have some great babysitters. Since August, our friend Kipsy has been living with us while finding a new job. She is a dear sister who loves our kids and is quick to help around the house and send us out. Eric and I like to walk to the local coffee shop or go to the beach. We went away for a weekend in Beverly Hills in the spring and to a concert this fall. We are still in the stage of exploring Orange County and LA any chance we get.

Family Visitors. We love having extended family come to visit! It's always a sweet bonding time with cousins, siblings, and grandparents, And it's an excuse to do more fun things like the beach, whale watching trips, Sawdust festival, OC Great Park, bike rides, etc. I flew back to PA with Natalie and Peter to celebrate my Dad's 60th birthday and got to be with all my siblings in one place. Eric's parents and sister Heather came to join us for Christmas and we celebrated in high style.

Vacation Days. It was a great year for vacations. We try to get away as a family regularly even for a short time. We spent some time at a friend's home in Fallbrook, camping at El Capitan with a side trip to Six Flags, camping with my brother and family near Flagstaff AZ (with his boat!), then some time in the mountains dog sitting and four wheeling in the desert. What memories!

All the other days. too many to describe: sick days (gratefully few), holidays(with new friends and old), losing teeth days (many!), lazy days, grumpy days, lego days, birthdays, cleaning days, even a few video game days in there. I'm grateful for this past year, grateful for this particular season of life that the Lord has us in. He is always good, but He is choosing to show His goodness to us through a season of blessing and prosperity right now and I give Him all the glory for it!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

No More Training Wheels

It may be old news to some, but earlier this spring Peter decided he didn't need training wheels. One day he asked Natalie if he could ride her bike, and sure enough, he could! Pretty impressive for a 3 year old. He loves to ride bike and we are grateful for lots of place to ride near our house.

Here is a video of Peter riding at Gram and Gramp's house in Pennsylvania when we visited at the end of June. Can't stop that boy!

Pony Rides and Doctor Visits

Natalie has been asking for a pony ride for years. I had heard good things about the Pony Rides at Griffith Park in Los Angeles (near the Observatory and Hollywood Sign) so I promised her that we would go there the next time we went to see her doctor in LA.
She was a bit terrified to start (and maybe should have been since the pony took off at a trot as soon as it turned around). But in the end she loved it!
Although Peter was the right age and size for those ponies, he opted for the 'merry go round' ponies that were tied to a post and a bit safer. He loved it too.

We left Carson and Henry at home since it turns into a 5 hour trip with the driving and doctor appointment. But Natalie and Peter were good company for each other and motivated to put up with the drive since there were pony rides for a treat.

We need to visit the pediatric rheumatologist every 3 months to check up on Natalie's juvenile arthritis. She had a flare up back in November so the doctor increased her medication at that point but she has been doing excellently since them. Her joints looked so good that the doctor said we could begin to slowly decrease her dose of medication. Great news!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Henry's Haircut

It was time....
Still looking good!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy 9th Birthday Carson!

Our big guy turned 9 years old recently. He is a sweetheart- the gentle giant (5'2" and 130 lbs!) who loves to read and play legos. He dreams big and always has some major project underway. He's a great leader and does an awesome job taking care of his brothers and sister. He loves the water and will stay in the ocean easily for 4 hours until we make him come in. Happy Birthday to you Carson!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pink Picnic Table

Gramps was very kind to build a picnic table for Natalie identical to one she found in an American Girl catalog. She loves to use it with her dolls or for picnics in the yard with her other 'baby'. I'm not sure how much he appreciated it this day though.

Baseball Season!

We've been busy with baseball for the last few months. Since Henry and Carson are age 7 and 8 right now we were able to get them together on the same team (yeah!!). They are playing in the Irvine Pony machine pitch league on the Giants team.

This was the first season for either of the boys to play baseball so they have definitely learned so much and improved week to week. The coaches have been great and taught the boys all they need to know (like where is right field). Carson has been a strong hitter and was chosen as one of three boys on the team to be in the home run derby next week. Henry shown great perseverance and has never given up even when he has trouble hitting. He's also very attentive to the score during the game (just ask the scorekeeper!).
I'm surprised how much both of the boys love the game. They are always talking about it, wanting to practice more and looking forward to the next game. When I told them the season was almost over, they were heartbroken.

But the season is not over yet! They finished regular play in third place so now we are getting ready for playoffs to begin. If they make it to the championship game, it will be on May 22.

The boys have loved their teammates and coaches. After every game all the boys run over to an empty field and play their own pickup game together. Well, that is after they get their snack which I think they love almost as much as all other aspects of the game.
And don't you love the photos? Claire is the mom of one of the players and takes some great shots! Thanks Claire!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Orange County Great Park

Back in March we went to visit the Orange County Great Park for the first time while Gram and Gramps were here to visit. They have a huge helium balloon that takes people for a ride in the sky. Gram wasn't game for the altitude so she gave us someone to wave to while we floated higher and higher.

We were impressed with the view and how quiet the ride was. What a fun ride (and it was free!)

The kids also loved the big orange bike. They climbed and climbed and kept switching seats until someone got stuck.