Thursday, January 31, 2008

Are You a "Beluga Grad"?




I'm not. I wasn't aware of Raffi or his music until I had my own children. We used to check out videos of his concerts at the library and my kids loved his songs. I had kind of forgotten about him until we ran across a video of one of his children's concerts at DI. Watching it again got me thinking - what is that old Raffi up to these days?



I found his website at http://www.raffinews.com/. He is busy making speeches and appearances to spread his philosphy called "Child Honouring." Basically his ideal is a child-centered society where children are recognized for "the creatively intelligent people they are, respecting their personhood as their own, recognizing them as essential members of the community and providing the fundamental nurturance they need in order to flourish." I think his ideas are interesting but what I really admire about him is the fact that he has consistantly refused "all commercial endorsement offers, and his triple-bottom-line company has never directly advertised or marketed to children. He is a passionate advocate for a child’s right to live free of commercial exploitation. Recently, he sent an open letter to Rogers Wireless urging they stop marketing cellphones to kids, and turned down a Baby Beluga film proposal laden with exploitative advertising and merchandising." I think that is pretty cool because there are not many celebrities (I guess you could call him that) these days that can resist the money that comes with commercializing themselves.

Anyway, regardless of his philosophy - Raffi will always mean "Down By the Bay" and "Baby Beluga" to me!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Friend

My friend put this quote by President Hinckley on her blog. I loved it. He had this way of making you want to improve your life and do better without making you feel guilty or feel like a failure. I loved his guidance and insights - he was always positive and hopeful. I have many other favorite quotes that I will try to post in the future.
"I have discovered that life is not a series of great heroic acts. Life at its best is a matter of goodness and decency, doing without fanfare that which needed to be done. I have observed that it is not the geniuses that make the difference in this world. I have observed that the work of the world is done largely by men and women of ordinary talent who have worked in an extraordinary manner."--President Gordon B. Hinckley.

This same friend has been doing a series of posts on her blog about "going green." She is very informed and well-read and gives some great suggestions. It has really made me want to find ways to live my life in a way that is more favorable to the world around me. I recommend reading her "installments" - she has done four so far.
Installment One
Installment Two
Installment Three
Installment Four

Hooked


With all of its annoyances, twists and turns, soap opera romances, and unexplained sci-fi stuff - we still enjoy watching Lost. I am pretty excited for the return of the series tonight - I wonder what they will throw at us this time?
****Sorry - tonight is a recap. Tomorrow night is the when the new episodes start. I am just used to Lost being on Wendesday night.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Glimpse of a Milestone

She took her first steps last night and we caught some of them on video! She's growing up too fast...
video

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sad Sad News

I just received this very sad news. Gordon B. Hinckley, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, passed away about 7:00 pm this evening. He was 97 years old, he lived a long and full life, and he lost his dear wife several years ago - so this should be a happy event. But I truly loved our prophet. I will miss him dearly. I wish I could express my feelings better right now but I really am at a loss for words.



Details can be found at www.ksl.com

Sibling Rivalry

Addie drew this sweet little picture of a bear holding a flower.


Shortly after, Isaac got a piece of paper and drew this:


Addie complained, "Isaac! You copied my bear!"


Isaac replied, "No I didn't. I drew someone holding your bear."

Friday, January 25, 2008

TV Worth Watching




I am thoroughly enjoying this ...



Masterpiece Theater is currently airing The Complete Jane Austen on PBS. For the next few months they will be showing movies based on all six of her novels. They have already shown Persuasion and Northanger Abbey (which I loved!). Sunday nights don't come soon enough around here!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Vacation Review



Isaac drew these for his school teacher because he felt so bad he didn't bring anything back for her from Disneyland.
It was a great trip! Yes we all got sick of eating out, using public restrooms, driving and driving and driving, and sleeping in the same room - but overall it was a successful family vacation.
After a two day road trip, we arrived in Anaheim where we checked into our hotel and scoped out the dinner options. We decided on The Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney. Pretty cool - rainstorms every 20 minutes with loud thunder and lightening, robotic animals that move and growl and hoot and howl - needless to say, this wasn't Cate's favorite place. The gorillas really freaked her out and she was even nervous about the lion and tiger pattern on the back of our booth! After dinner, we walked around Downtown Disney which included a look in the Lego store.

Addie is really into frogs these days.



The next day was our big Disneyland day. It was so fun - a nice day and no crowds.



Any ideas as to what Cate's favorite part of Disneyland was?




The kids were real troopers and we stayed all day. We hit pretty much all of the favorite rides and saw most of the characters. Favorites included Space Mountain (Wes and Addie), Pirates of the Caribbean (We all went on this one - even the baby. The scary parts didn't even phase her. Not so for Cate who hid her head in my lap the entire time. This was Isaac's favorite), the Jungle Cruise (thanks to our hilarious tour guide), and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The parade was fantastic and then we left after that. The amazing (seriously cool!) firework show was seen that night from the balcony of our hotel.
The next day was the gymnastics meet so we had some time to kill in the morning. We shopped and ate lunch (again - at this point we were getting pretty sick of restaurant and fast food). See the post below for details of the meet. After, we went out to eat (ugh) with the team at CPK at the South Coast Plaza. That is one of the nicest, biggest, fanciest malls I've ever been to. Every high-end store you can think of is there.
Sunday was pretty low-key. My friend was nice enough to invite us over for a yummy home-cooked meal (hallelujah!) and delicious dessert (recipe found on her blog). Afterwards we attended the Manhattan Beach ward. We explored this quaint little beach town and walked along the pier. It really made us miss the ocean. We ran across a little aquarium where both Isaac and Addie kissed a sea cucumber!





Here's the kids in the hotel. It's funny how much kids love to stay in hotels. They were disappointed that it was too cold to swim but the fact that the hotel served waffles and donuts every morning made up for that.

We left for home the next day. The landscape slowly changed from sunny and green to white and freezing. We were lucky to make it in our driveway - with over a foot of snow that had fallen while we were gone. Oh well, back to real life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Main Reason...

The main reason we traveled to Southern California was for a gymnastics meet. We just decided to turn it into a family vacation that would include a much-anticipated trip to Disneyland. But we wouldn't have planned this if it wasn't for our little gymnast.
She did great! She got second place all-around and second place on beam and uneven bars (for her level and age). She ended up with two medals, a trophy, and a goodie-bag so that's all that matters. And she had a wonderful time!


She was delighted with these "toe socks" from the goodie bag


Gymnastics meets can be quite long and sometimes very slow while the team waits their turn for the different apparatus (plural apparati??). Anyway, it can be hard for the little ones. I think that these two also deserve medals - for being so patient! I tried to explain that their reward was the fun day at Disneyland the day before. They didn't seem to buy that.

I will see if I can get the some video of the meet uploaded.

Still working on the Disneyland post...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Where All Your Dreams Come True...

We did something for the first time this weekend. Any guesses?


More later...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Paper Toy

I saw this really neat little project on Design Mom today. In trying to figure out how I would remember to try this later (as we are headed out of town) I decided to post a link on my blog. That way I would be sure not to forget! I can't wait to try it with the kids.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I-Man

I-Man


I was in my son's room the other day and noticed his desk. My first thought was to do a little straightening and go on my way. Then I stopped and looked a little more closely...

I bent down and at eye level with the desk I noticed treasures and creations that gave me a window into the world of my little boy. I realized that most of the time I am too busy to ever really notice much of what is so meaningful to my children.

Plastic tweezers, a large bent nail, and a dried seahorse


A book he received from Primary

I-man loves to make things. He seems to be always working on a project. He created these "shoes" out of wood chips and pieces of yarn. He made them for the baby months before she was even born. I didn't know he saved them!

I-man loves to write "books." Some titles include "The Book of Optical Illusions," "The Bad Grinch," "Loosing Teeth," "The Sailing Boat," and as pictured below, "Indeins"

A paperclip chain and model helicopter

Our little slugger
Parachute, pipe cleaner creation, bag of addition flashcards, and a piggy bank we bought him in Chicago

I wanted to feature a couple more of his cute creations...

This is something he made for Daddy just yesterday. He made the football guy at school and then created the rest when he got home and added the sucker



I sure do adore my little guy! He is about as sweet as they come.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

We Took A Chance...

(I am being a little more obscure in the titles of my posts - as I am learning it is the words in the titles that come up in random strangers' internet searches)


We took a chance when we ordered this game from Amazon (for our 9 year old daughter for Christmas). At the time, there was a little video on Amazon that made it look really fun so we decided to go for it. The game is Hyperslide and it has turned out to be a great purchase! It is really fun for the whole family - adults can get into in just as much as kids. It is one of those "electronic" toys that require batteries and makes noise - my least favorite kind of toy. However, it isn't too obnoxious and we have enjoyed it anyway. I know that Christmas is over but if there are any birthdays coming up - this would make a great gift.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Finger Food Fun

A couple of cute shots of SJ discovering the joys of finger food.


Sniffing Kix cereal can be a little tricky




Banana and buttered toast adds a nice sheen and texture to the hair





Now you see the cookie...




Now you don't!