Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Daddy

Daddy got a good evening of birthday celebration tonight..and we took him to dinner last night. He says he had a pretty good birthday (after a bad day of work anyway!). So, thank you to all of you who wished him well and sent cards and gifts.

Mommy made him an Angry birds cake, and I think it was as big of a hit with the kids as it was with him.

Oh, and he got one of those fancy-shmancy coffee machines for his birthday (well, he got it early because he couldn't wait ;) and a coffee carousel holder to go along with it. Gracie made him a special mug, and Thomas gave him a box of coffee.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year

Second Grade Chinese New Year

Thomas and I got a chance to watch the festivities at Gracie's school today as they celebrated the Chinese New Year.

2012 is the year of the dragon, and Gracie and her class were apart of the 2nd grade parade of dragons (too cute!!!) and Thomas and I watched and cheered them on.

They went all around the school, but we were happy to wait inside after we saw a few earlier sections of it (it was cold!!), and I grabbed the below video.

After the parade (and a class picture!!) the kids got to taste Chinese food. That was so neat to watch. A few of them were trying food for the first time, and one child had never had Chinese food at all. But, more than half not only had eaten it--they loved it! Usually we have tons of leftovers after a class party, but these kids nearly licked the pans clean!

The second grade classes collected money ($2 per child) and ordered from Peking, a local place. They were extra great and sent the kids each chop sticks, a fortune cookie, and a paper place mat. The classes all got the same things, and the kids had the choice to sample all or none of beef & broccoli, sweet & sour chicken, lo mien noodles, and of course rice.

And, yes, Thomas got in on the food as well as the parade. He didn't attempt the chopsticks, and he found the plastic fork to sharp, so he slurped.

Gracie was ready for the day, since we planned her outfit on Friday when she told me about it. Uncle Brian brought back Mariah (his daughter) several kimonos from Japan during his tour there while in the Marines. She passed them on to Gracie since she has long out grown them.

Gracie looked very festive today, and we even did her hair in a bun with colorful ribbons and sticks!

(Yes, I know that is Japan not China, but they are studying Asia as a unit, so I decided it worked ;)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Potty Rock Star!

We all got over the stomach bug/flu (just) in time to celebrate Thomas' potty success tonight.

When searching the net for ideas on my party, I came across the line "potty like a rock star." loved it! Had to do it!

So, I made a rock and roll themed potty celebration party.

I even put mousse in his hair and gave him a rock star do. (No, he didn't like it and fussed and smashed his hair down. I fluffed it back up though)

Not that it lasted, since he freaked when I pulled the camera out a few moments after he eagerly climbed into his seat.

So, a rock star tantrum later, we returned to the table and tried again. Once he learned there were presents involved--he was good to go.

He loved opening his packages of undies from Grandma and Grandpa and Mamaw and Papaw. He wasn't as impressed with mommy's undies cake--but that's okay--I like it. And, Aunt Sharon sent him some funds to pick out some more big boy undies, so he is set for a while.

The "party" was pretty simple, but very cute and he had a good time. I made him a certificate and he happily ate his cupcake.

A special thanks to Mamaw and Papaw for foreseeing the green-eyed monster and sending it something to open too. While that tamed the "beast," she was sure she didn't get as many undies as she did. I told her (again and again) that she had a party just like this one and people even came over to celebrate with her and people mailed undies for her too. I went back and showed her the pictures too.

Many thanks to all of you who congratulated our big boy on his big success.

I think you can see the pictures from this link...try it...

PS: I apparently didn't blog about Gracie's potty party (I was (am) a little uptight, anyway, I added those pictures to the above link so you can see them both :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Apparently she has it at school.

Well, she has it here too, most of the time.

Gracie was honored today for being one of the most respectful second graders in her school at the awards assembly.

You may remember last year she won the award for citizenship.

Thankfully her teacher emailed me this weekend and told me about it, otherwise we would have only gotten 8 hours notice! And, we all know that isn't enough time for me to make her a special dress!

Yeah, I made her a special dress to wear--and she loved it.

We are always proud of our Gracie, but it is days like to day that we are extra proud.

Congratulations Gracie!

(want to see her get her award? I knew you would ;)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cookie Temption

This morning in church Thomas and I listened to Pastor Jay as he talked about temptation...on a child's level. He ate a freshly baked cookie in front of them and ohhed and ahhed over it. I think they got the message, but weren't prepared for the challenge.

He handed each child a baggie with 2 cookies in it and told them not to eat it until after lunch.

The adults in the congregation giggled and the associate pastor mockingly gave out the Pastor's email address for those parents who wanted to "complain."

This was a struggle for Thomas since he being of only 2 years had no real ability to wait until after anything--he had cookies in his hand and he wanted to eat them now!

Thankfully I had a small supply of Smarties in his church bag and we were able to curb the thought of them.

As for keeping his promise, he did. Not only did he wait until *after* dinner, but he shared the second cookie with Gracie (his idea, not mine!).

I decided that we would respond to the Pastor's idea to email him and tell him how the children did. I included the above picture collage. Here was his response:


I'm so proud of you and I know God is smiling too.

Pastor Jay

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Daddy Takes The Kids To Work

As you may know the General Assembly here in VA is in session and daddy is working longer hours, suffers from more heart-burn and dresses up even nicer.

Daddy turned on the Governor's address this week to watch it himself and to share it with Gracie. Gracie seemed to spark interest what was going on, so he decided he would take her to the capital building this weekend.

It was cold, but sunny, and the kids were reasonably well behaved for the tour.

Daddy couldn't get us inside the actual gallery rooms to see where "it" all happens--but we saw everything else, even where the elected officials of centuries ago sat to make our laws.

Gracie was very impressed.

Thomas just wanted to push the elevator buttons. :)

Daddy was very proud to show his family where he works and what he does.

Mommy was left carrying everything we brought on the trip, and took pictures, and was smiling as her husband beamed. Also, she was on "Thomas Duty" and that was a very large job.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Teachers Here Do It Too

Apparently Candice isn't the only one who tells her kids to wear their pajamas backwards and sleep with a spoon under their pillow, becuase tonight I found Gracie dressed like this, and she went and found a spoon to sleep with.

I thought Candice would get a kick out of it.

Apparently this makes it snow.

Sorry teachers, didn't work for Hanover County.

Sunday's Devilish Child

The older lady sitting in the pew behind Thomas and I this morning, took my hand as we were leaving services this morning and told me...

"have a blessed week. I will be praying you have the energy to make it though."

She gets it, she really does! And she only witnessed ONE HOUR worth of him!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Working Hard On The Potty

**note: trying to go back and post date and add entries is overwhelming and completely drains my excitement for blogging, so I am just going to start today--you really didn't miss much :) ***

Thomas is doing so wonderfully (now!) at potty training. In fact we have been out of the house 3 times this week without diapers!

I read somewhere that using disposable pants for training actually prolongs the process. Maybe that is why Gracie was 3 and a half before she would use the potty! So, I took the advice to heart and while the article suggested you could potty train a child in one week, I would say we are well on our way to a potty party at the completion of week 2!

Now, had we been extra consistent, and he had been less onry, we could have done it. But the fact that he will be potty trained before his 3rd birthday is a HUGE success for me--so I am not going to beat myself up over the data.

I snapped this picture (with my new phone--sticker for me for figuring that contraption out!) and it will likely embarrass him to no end when he is in high school--but it was rather fitting don't you think? He was "fixing" things in the bathroom with his drill. He is a toddler of many talents (aim not being one of them!).

I do plan to have a potty party for him when he no longer has accidents (which is right now, but I want to give him more time to iron the kinks out and go out of the house a little more). So many of you participated when I gave Gracie one, so if you would like to send a homemade card or you can find them at Hallmark, and/or send him a potty book or undies I think it would make him feel super special. Now, if we plan a visit to Strasburg or Lynchburg this month we will do it there so he has more people to be excited for him and I will take anything sent in the mail with me. (No mom, I have not even planned a trip, I was just thinking out loud)