Friday, August 29, 2008

We've Come a Long Way Baby

I love, regardless of my political beliefs, that as of this November we will see either a minority as The President, or a woman as The Vice President.

Anyway you look at it, history is being made. One of the things I love the most about it is that I get to share it with my 10 year old daughter who is biracial like Obama and a woman like Palin. It's a little affirmation to her that anything is possible for her.

No matter who you believe in or who you vote for I think it's pretty cool!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back to School

New Clothes: $200

New Shoes: $100

New Backpack: $30

New lunchbox: $15

School supplies: $20

Meeting your teacher and gearing up for a new year: Priceless

Disclaimer: These prices are purely estimated and not in any way intended to be a true representation of the actual prices. If you cannot find these items for these prices Do Not think you can sue me for misrepresentation!

And lest you think that Ari was happy about me taking her picture on the first day of school this is her when I told her I wanted to take a picture of her first day.

Then I told her to at least try and look happy and I got this!

The thrill of the chase? OR Afraid to get caught?

This cracks me up every time I watch it so I just had to post it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Double Digits!

I am a little tardy in wishing my sweet Ari a happy 10th birthday (so I’m back dating this to her actually birthday). I wanted to put together a cute little slide show of my favorite pictures of her and post it on her birthday but I didn’t get it done and I don’t have most of my favorite pictures of her scanned into my computer (my pre-digital days) so here are just a few shots of her though the years.

Ari and I have an amazingly special relationship. It was just she and I for the first six years of her life until DH and I got married. She probably grew up faster than most kids because she was my best friend. One time when she was 4 or 5 years old I she overheard me talking about my struggles with money being a single parent. She came in and dumped two hands full of change into my lap and said that I could have it because I needed money. Oh course I let her know that it was very sweet of her to offer, but mommy wanted her to keep her money.
We did everything together. As much as I love my husband and now Devyn, sometimes I miss those days that it was just she and I. We were so much closer then and she would tell me everything. I know she is growing up and that separation is just a part of her becoming more independent, but I miss the closeness sometimes.

Ari is amazingly smart, sweet and caring. She LOVES to cook and has always been “creative” in the kitchen. Grandma was always better at letting Ari make a mess in the kitchen while making her “experiments” then I was, but she is now turning into quite the chef.
She is very thoughtful too. I remember in 1st grade when her teacher told me that Ari had been volunteering to stay inside during some recesses to help a fellow classmate who was special needs to work on math together. Ari had never mentioned it because to her it was no big deal. To me as her mom I was so amazingly proud.

Ari and I are both very bull headed so we definitely butt heads sometimes, but she is the most amazing daughter and I am so proud to be her mom!

As for her actual birthday celebration we ate sticky buns (I know, I know, my husband makes fun of my family's name for them but they are a birthday tradition and sooo good) for breakfast, then opened presents. Aside from going to see Wicked in LA, she got a skateboard (have I mentioned she's a tomboy?) with all the protective gear (I know, but I'm a mom and she has to have it), some books, a new outfit and an I-dog from Devyn! Devyn loves the I-dog almost as much as Ari. I should get a video and post it, too cute!

Then we went to the California Pizza Kitchen for lunch and the Cheesecake Factory for dessert (her choices, but I totally agree with them :)

After that we finished the day going to see The Longshots. Not the greatest movie in the world, but inspiring for a young girl, which was nice.

The next day she had her party at the swimming pool. I loved it because they take care of everything.

  • pizza

  • cake

  • party favors

  • drinks

  • plates, cups, napkins

  • decorations

  • hostess who runs around and plays with the kids

I know it costs a little extra, but not much when you figure in all you get. It is totally worth not stressing over getting it all done myself. Not to mention we don't have a yard and a townhouse to boot, where would I put all those kids anyway?

Anyway, it all turned out really well and I think Ari had a great time. Happy Birthday sweet girl and welcome to double digits!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Night of the Living Dead

Ok, not really, but it’s too cute.

Devyn took her first two independent steps on August 5th (you as readers probably don’t really care, but I have to get this down for posterities sake). I was so excited that I called DH in the middle of this class to tell him. They were only two steps and then she fell directly on her little bum, but I’m a mom, I get to be excited about things like this. The next day while I was at work DH tried to get her to recreate it to no avail. Then that night, while he was again at class, she walked three steps and then fell. The next day my parents arrived in town and she just kept walking a few steps at a time, getting up to five or six in a row, but DH was still in class taking his final. I sent him a really crappy video so he could see, which of course he thought was adorable. She finally walked for Daddy later that night after he got home from his class.

Well, then we went on vacation and she was strapped in car seats and strollers all the time, completely messing with her new found ability to walk, but whenever we got to a place where she could be let out and walk she did. She’s still getting the hang of it so she holds her arms out in front of her, just like a zombie in those really bad horror movies, to keep her balance. It’s too cute. I tried to get a video of it, but I don’t think you get the full effect of night of the living dead, but I'm afraid she's about to become a holy terror!

I have so much to say since I've been gone so long with the vacay and all, but it will have to wait for another time. Be watching for all my wonderful commentary on everything Southern California though:)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

We're Off to see the Wizard...

I just wanted to post a little something about how we are going on vacation for the next 10 days and I was really thinking in terms of the “we’re off” part of that phrase, when I realized that it’s quite literal. Ari’s birthday is the week after our vacation and we decided to surprise her with taking her to Wicked while we are in LA. I’m so excited. She LOVES the music and DH and I were lucky enough to see it while in Chicago last year for my work conference and have wanted to take her ever since. I can’t wait to see how excited she is.

This will be the longest vacation I’ve taken in probably 20 years. We don’t really do big vacations and such and it will be Ari’s first time at Disneyland. I’m already tired just thinking about all that we are going to try and pack into 10 days.

(We got our tickets from Citypass...I would highly recommend it for big vacations like this)

I’m going to need a vacation from my vacation!

Have a great 10 days.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Refining Fire

Well, I made it through the lesson I had to give. For a refresher on what I'm talking about go here.

I'm sure the entire first row could hear my heart beating because I was so nervous, but all things considered it went pretty well. I used the book "If God Loves Me, Why This?" as my inspiration. I actually didn't finish reading the book, but I used it as a starting point for my research. What I've read so far is good though. It's very common sense stuff that we just need to be reminded of sometimes.

I ended my lesson with a story that I have seen a couple of times and it was so well received (a number of women asked for a copy of the story at the end) that I decided to post it here in case anyone who reads my blog might enjoy it also.

Refining Fire
Some time ago, a few ladies met to study the scriptures. While reading the third chapter of Malachi, they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: "And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver"(Malachi 3:3).

One lady decided to visit a silversmith, and report to the others on what he said about the subject. She went accordingly, and without telling him the reason for her visit, begged the silversmith to tell her about the process of refining silver. After he had fully described it to her, she asked, "Sir, do you sit while the work of refining is going on?" "Oh, yes ma'am," replied the silversmith; "I must sit and watch the furnace constantly, for, if the time necessary for refining is exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured." The lady at once saw the beauty and comfort of the expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." God sees it necessary to put His children into the furnace; but His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for us. Our trials do not come at random, and He will not let us be tested beyond what we can endure.

Before she left, the lady asked one final question, "How do you know when the process is complete?" "That's quite simple," replied the silversmith. "When I can see my own image in the silver, the refining process is finished."
-Author Unknown

I hope someday I will be "refined" enough that God will be able to "see" his image in me!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Well I'm a leavin' on a jet plane

Ari went to visit Grandma and Grandpa on Wednesday...

and we miss her already!