December 2012

Life31 Dec 2012 03:41 pm

The kids have been pretty good travelers.
Joel still gives nice smiles but Leah is in a stage where she thinks it is hilarious to make funny faces at the camera.
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Magnetic gears and a rock climbing wall.
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Costumes on a big stage with drums.
Do it yourself face painting (I helped upon request).
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A huge lite brite and shape pictures (which are so much more exciting here than at home).
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Lots of eating out.
A big truck pit area with a conveyer belt. There were so many great play areas there that would be in my dream daycare. All the bits were rubber pieces so no mess at all.
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My little bear crawling through a log.
Leah and I had fun with clay.
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Joel playing while Morgan reads a Dr. Seuss book as he waits for Leah and I to be done with clay. Leah with her creation.
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Sitting down for story time.
Water play! Water flowed from one side to the other while you could set up fences to determine where the water would go. Ducks and boats could be released at the top and you could watch them go down the maze you set for them.
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It was a great day. I would love to have a children’s museum near our house.

Life31 Dec 2012 03:41 pm

On Boxing day we headed off to Portland. The drive was pretty uneventful which was good. On our first full day, we went to the zoo.
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Leah comparing her arm span to that of an eagle’s. Leah standing by a man made eagle’s nest.
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Joel checking out the fish.
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Morgan and Leah checking out the cougar. Leah and Joel comparing their size to that of a bear.
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Leah and Joel were awesome during the five hours we spent at the zoo. The exhibits were great and had many viewing areas. I’m so glad we have this time to enjoy our surroundings and each other.
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On the way back, we rode on the tram. Portland is an impressive city full of overpasses, bridges and some tunnels.
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Joel has fallen in love with hot wheels cars and generally has one in each hand wherever he goes. Daddy helped set up Joel’s new hot wheels track in the hotel.
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Life28 Dec 2012 05:39 pm

We spent Christmas eve as a family and went to our church’s Christmas eve service. The kids made it through the whole service with the help of Cheerios and raisins. After the service, we came home and let the kids open one present.
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They opened a nativity set.
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On Christmas morning they opened Mr. Potato Head. The kids and I each decked out a potato. Leah and Joel were thrilled and we had to encourage them to open up more gifts.
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Joel was into opening presents this year. Leah made us a Christmas candle at preschool.
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Our Christmas tree. Leah and her buddy at daycare each painted a snowman and both helped paint and decorate the tree picture above our mantel.
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We hosted Christmas for our families this year. It was busy but I had lots of help from my mom and my sister. This year was a great Christmas.

Life23 Dec 2012 08:43 pm

Leah was Mary in her preschool play. She did a great job of reciting her lines and enthusiastically sang and did the actions for the songs. Leah’s face alternated between a smile and serious concentration while she made sure she performed exactly as they had practiced.
We got some snow the other day. It was short lived but we enjoyed it while it was here. Joel isn’t much for the cold and preferred to just stay in the wagon. He refuses to wear mittens which is why I think he doesn’t appreciate the cold because his hands hurt after awhile.
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Here are our snowmen. There wasn’t much snow but it packed very well.
Gingerbread house making with a pickle bandaid on her chin.
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Leah playing Mary as we attempt to act out the Nativity scene with friends.
The kids and I went to see the Journey to Christmas as we have done many years at Christmas. Joel only lasted half way through the walk but we enjoyed some nice hot chocolate and goodies with friends afterwards.
Joel and Leah eating breakfast. Joel has become a fan of cold cereal in the mornings.
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Leah and Joel helping me decorate our Christmas tree. When I asked Joel if he would like to help I passed him a decoration which he promptly threw at the tree. After demonstrating the proper way to adorn the tree, he wasn’t too interested.
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He would much rather play with cars and trains.
Morgan and I went out for some Pho. It was so nice to get a date night and be able to spend some quality time together.
When we went back to my parent’s to pick up the kids, my mom had put Leah’s hair in soft rollers after her bath. My mom used to do this to my hair and my sister’s every Saturday night so we would have curly hair for church.
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Being silly. On the way home we checked out some great Christmas light displays.
Here we are dressed up for church on Sunday. (Disclaimer – usually I dress the kids up nice and Morgan and I wear jeans.)
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Merry Christmas!

Life22 Dec 2012 10:28 pm

My mom’s work always has fun things at Christmas time so we walked there from my mom’s house to visit. Leah made a Lego tree ornament to help decorate their tree. The creativity shown through those ornaments was awesome. Angels, fireplaces and trees among other things were very well done considering only lego was used. The present under the tree is made of Duplo.
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Standing in line.
Leah took the face painter’s instructions to close her eyes very seriously.
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The face painter is very talented as you can see. My mom helped me make a wreath for my front door.
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Cloverdale has a Christmas truck parade every year. We don’t make it out every year and this year Morgan was working so my mom came along. Leah and Joel both enjoyed it with Joel saying ooooh every time he saw another truck.
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Joel in his first pair of two piece pajamas.

Life06 Dec 2012 08:54 pm

Leah and Joel have been practicing riding their bikes at my parents. I only took video of Leah so no pictures but she is doing awesome. She needs a second or two of help starting and can only stop using her feet but can go for a long while on her own. I’m so proud of her. Joel rides this trike by moving it with his feet without the pedals.
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I want to be more intentional about taking pictures together as a family. Even if they aren’t great with everyone looking and smiling, they show us being together which I think is important.
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I don’t get very much one on one time with Joel (in part I’m to blame as I try to be productive after my daycare kids leave and make dinner and clean). I treasure the time I have no expectations but to be spend quality time with them. Leah was off with Grandpa running some errands so I recruited Joel to help my mom and I make pudding. He refused to try it along with refusing chocolate cake and brownies.
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Leah painting like the artist she is learning about in preschool, Georges Seurat who painting only using little dots. It sounds all so academic.
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Joel loves puddle jumping, even when he falls because of the dip in the ground.
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Leah and her buddy thought it might snow sometime soon so they were adamant about wearing snow gear.
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Getting ready for preschool.
I took the kids to a Christmas carnival today. Leah had a blast with a good friend while Joel alternated between watching them partake in the activities and wandering around with me bringing him back to the group when he went too far.
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Life01 Dec 2012 05:31 pm

Painting. Joel doesn’t usually last too long but he does like the experience.
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Playing in the leaves.
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This is one of the pumpkins from our garden. We carved it together before baking, pureeing and freezing to make pie one day. I ran a local 5k called The Pumpkin Run.
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Joel is 100% boy. He loves trains, cars and trucks.
Morgan made us breakfast one day. As you can see he is participating in Movember. Joel loves to be a big kid and sit on the kid chairs instead of the booster and sometimes I let him. He is definitely not ready to make the transition as he likes to get up a lot but if he is really into the meal it works.
Morgan spent some time with the kids and made parachutes. He is definitely going to be in charge of helping the kids with their science projects.
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By far, Joel’s favourite food is banana.
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Joel has quite a few words now including Leah, Dada, Momma, Grandma, Grandpa, truck, duck, more, banana, boots (boo), please (peas), yeah, no (nay), woof (which he loves to say all the time regardless of a dog present). I’m sure I’m missing a few.
A few times, when it has gotten dark at night, Joel will go into the bathroom and bring his sleeper out. He has figured out how to undo the snap ones and I’ve found him with only a diaper on a couple of times now in his crib. He has told me a few times when he has gone poo in his diaper.

Joel is also becoming more “2”. He was whining at me the other day because I was helping him put on his pants and he wanted to do it by himself. He loves to put on his boots by himself (as well as any random footwear he can find) and would wear them all day around the house if I let him. I really have to keep an eye on him as he will wander off on his own without a care. Thankfully, he is still happy in a shopping cart (along with his sister who will be sad when she can no longer catch a ride).

Leah is quite the performer at preschool. She loves to yell out the answers to every question, sings loudly and does big actions. She is engaging in a lot of imaginative play. The couch cushions were boats the other day and went all over the living room for over an hour with much dialogue between her and her buddy.

Leah and Joel get along so well (for the most part). They love each other so much and Leah watches out for him. If someone is crying at daycare, Leah and her buddy turn on their sirens and rush over to the aid of whoever got hurt. Leah will distract Joel away from doing something that he is not supposed to. When Joel wakes up in the morning, he wants to find Leah and the other kids I look after. I think he would be so lost without her. At least in September when she goes to kindergarten full time, I’ll be looking after other kids he can play with. I’m so thankful they get along so well and are such healthy, happy, wonderful kids.