Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our Little Man Turns 7

The title of this blog says exactly what I've been dreading.  That number 7!!!!  For some reason, the 7th birthday is a daunting one for me.  7 means no more 6 and under.  7 means reading chapter books and doing math facts.  7 means no more"little kid" stuff.  7 means Mommy's little boy is growing up!  But what a little man he is growing into.  Not only does he enjoy about every sport ever played, he loves to draw, and read and play games on anything electronic.  He can also build with Lego's like an architect. He is kind to the point of a pushover, unless he needs to stand up for his family or friends.  The boy can also tell a joke with the best comedian, and has the timing of one.  He's still a snuggle bug at home, but already doesn't let Mommy give him a kiss in the hallway at school.  Fear of the dark is about the only fear you'll find in my little guy.  Landon's future dreams are still as thrill-seeker extraordinaire...race car driver, pilot or an astronaut.  But for right now he is still my little man, albeit a little older and a little bigger.

Christmas Spirit

Well, each day the Christmas spirit gets a little brighter in our household.  After lots of events, we are finally down to the school parties.  They are tomorrow, which is the last day of school before break.  The kids are excited for these, but are taking to heart the meaning of Christmas more this year.  We have been doing some giving back this season..."Light 'em Up" is what we are calling it (thanks to Pinterest!).  The kids have been handing out candy canes with a thank you note to adults who make our lives easier, like the Sonic carhop or the man who held the door open at the store.  We've also donated toys to children who are less fortunate than us.  The kids made snacks for the people working in our neighborhood, the trash collector, the man fixing our door and the police officer at the school this week.  It's been heartwarming for this Mommy to watch the recognition in my children's faces of the feeling of kindness and generosity each time they light up someone's day; that Christmas is not just about the presents, the elf or school break.

Beyond Christmas, Claire earned a place in the spelling bee at school.  Each third and fourth grade classroom had their own bee and the top two students competed in the school-wide bee.  Claire was VERY nervous, to say the least!  But she did awesome!  She made it through the 6th round; and was awarded 5th place.  Pretty good considering the 9th round determined the winner!  Claire was a gracious competitor and was just glad to have that experience under her belt.

                                    Claire spelling at the bee.
                                Claire with her flowers from Daddy after the bee.
                             Christopher the elf has been a little naughty!
                                   But reminded the kids why he was there....
                                     And then was naughty again!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

More Christmas Fun

The kids created their gingerbread house and train with lots of icing, candy and precision.  This has become a tradition each Christmas.  They turned out darling!  Claire took part in the Bentonville Christmas parade with her dance studio.  Landon had the opportunity to walk with the school float this year, but opted to watch and get candy instead!  His quote "walking or brainer!"
                             Landon was very particular about the placement and spacing of his candy.
                                                               Claire...not so much!
                                                             Finished products!
                                                            Claire and some dance friends on the Christmas float.                            
 Christopher the elf appeared again for the Christmas season.  He's having a marshmallow bubble bath!
              Even Maddie is in the holiday spirit with a new haircut, bows and bandana!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Trim the Tree

Christmas is upon us, which means decorating trees, and the house!  The kids have always loved helping decorate and this year I captured a couple pictures of them doing it.  We have also started the "holiday rush" of parties and special time with friends.  Every day until Christmas has our calendar filled with not only the regular routine, but lots of holiday fun!  Exciting, enchanting and exhausting...
 Claire and her "big sis" from dance at the All That Dance Christmas Party 2012.
 Landon and his buddy David playing Kinect together...David slept over that night.
                          Landon with his tree for his bedroom.
                            Claire with her tree for her bedroom.

 Claire and Landon decorating the "kid" tree with our family ornaments.  This is their (and my) favorite part of Christmas preparations.  So fun to reminisce...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Walt Disney World!!!!

We surprised the children VERY early a couple weeks ago with a family trip to Walt Disney World!  Keeping this secret was so exciting for Geoff and I; between teachers, family and schedules it held up amazingly well!  They had no idea and were shocked that morning to hear the news.  Mommy had packed bags for everyone, school was informed and so without a care the kids took their first plane ride to Dallas and then Orlando.  This part may have been the best part for Landon.  He's been begging to fly for several years now!  We stayed at Polynesian resort on Disney property and were close enough to the Magic Kingdom to see Cinderella's castle and fireworks through our room window.  We visited all four parks during our seven day stay, plus played in the pool, at the beach on our resort and strolled around Downtown Disney.  Claire's favorite part was Animal Kingdom and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Magic Kingdom.  Landon enjoyed Aerosmith's Rockin' Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror, both in Hollywood Studios.  Parades, fireworks, live shows, old and new rides...the list goes on and on!  We also attended the Once Upon a Christmastime party the last night we were in Florida.  This was in Magic Kingdom and required it's own ticket.  There was a special parade, fireworks, stage show and even cookies and hot chocolate...all Christmas themed!  Best of all, it was snowing!  The magic of Disney did not disappoint!  Here are a few of the pictures...all of our family pictures were taken by Disney cast members and we can get them online but I can't post them to here until we decide which ones we want.  Also, the kids did get to meet Mickey, but those pics are on their website!
                                            First plane ride success!
                                      Our resort on chocolate...a gift when we arrived.
                                           Kids with their ears at Epcot.
                       Helping Perry the Platypus stop the Evil Dr. Doofenschmurtz in Epcot.
                               Practically Perfect in Every Way!  Kids with Mary Poppins.
                                     Geoff and the girl of his dreams...Cinderella!
 Kids and Cinderella's castle.  The lights were for Christmas and quite extraordinary!
                                Kids and Phineas and Ferb at Hollywood Studios.
 Kids with Minnie at our Character Breakfast at the Beach Club (why Minnie is dressed for the beach)
                                  Move it! Shake it! of the kids' favorites.
                              Water light parade outside our hotel window every night.
Landon received a haircut and both kids got Pixie and Pirate dust at the Main Street Barbershop in Magic Kingdom.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Park Springs Park

After school and before dance there just isn't enough time to trek all the way home and then get back to the dance studio.  It just doesn't allow for much time other than driving.  So the kids and I go out and about to run errands or play at a park.  This park was so beautiful and the kids had so much fun I thought I'd capture it.

On a side note...Claire was voted by her class to be their female representative on the Fourth Grade Student Government.  This job will entail running fundraisers for the class trip and charity events such as a food drive in January.  She was very excited and honored to be chosen.  Proud of her for having that outgoing personality!

 There is a ring of climbing rocks in the middle of the park.

 Going on a hike around the back end of the park...hoping to find the actual Park Springs.
 We found the springs!  The area was so beautiful...we saw TEN deer run across the stream while we walking and then discovered where there was a pooled up area at the base of of the springs' falls that would be fun to swim around in when it's warmer.
A fun discovery...we will come back often I think!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Halloween and Toyland

Halloween came and went so quickly this year!  We hardly snapped any photos, which makes me so sad in retrospect!  We had fun with the usual things, though.  Carving pumpkins (which there are no pics of), class parties, and trick or treating with friends.  The picture of Claire dressed up as a witch is on Geoff's phone so I will add it soon.  Her costume was homemade with the exception of the shoes and hat.  Landon's football uniform was obviously bought...there is no Green Bay gear in this house!  But this is his new favorite team.  The class parties were fun for both and we trick or treated that night with our friends the Tuckers, who live in our old neighborhood.  It was fun to see some old friends that night too!
 Landon dressed as a Packer Quarterback.
 Landon getting wrapped up like a mummy at his class party.
Kids sorting and trading their "Halloween loot".

We attended the Downtown Bentonville Toyland event last Friday evening.  A child's dreamland of every toy maker possible lined the streets of downtown.  Some were giving away freebies, others offering pictures with characters.  The kids had fun...the parents not so much!  The crowds were ridiculous!  There was lots of neat things to see and do though...
 Landon waiting for the Batmobile to rev it's engine.
 The kids in front of the Coca-Cola truck with the polar bear.
Scooby Doo's Mystery Machine.

We have a big surprise headed our way at the end of the week.  Can't wait to blog about this one!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall Pics

 Crazy Hair Day at school...they are both painted purple.
 Landon's pumpkin for the decorating contest at school.  This is a remake from last year, but he loved it so much he wanted to make it again!
 Claire's pumpkin.  That is candy corn hot glued all over...
 Crazy Sock Day at school...Claire had on stripes and decided they were too itchy and I got a phone call from Geoff on the way to school that Landon needed different socks and shoes.  Obviously sock day was not a hit!  And I have to point out that they are both holding money for the book fair.  I love that my kids love books!
 Decorated pumpkin stack at a park near the kids' school.  It was so cool we had to get out and take some pics!
Autumn in the park...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Hooper's Visit

After a quick visit from Nana and Papa on Tuesday evening...Hoopy, Ling, Goose and Bug (aka: the Hooper's) arrived in NWA Friday afternoon.  The cousins were so excited to see each other, and immediately started playing together as if they hadn't been apart.  Friday evening we enjoyed dinner together and s'mores afterwards.  Everyone had fun roasting their marshmallows and making the s'mores; although I'm not sure how many actual s'mores were eaten.  All the parts separately seemed to be much more fun!  Saturday morning we all watched Landon play football, and win!  He ran for a touchdown, and almost made a second at the end of the game!  Landon decided the Hooper family was his lucky charm.  Saturday afternoon was more playing:   inside, outside, every-side!  We went to our favorite pizza joint for dinner.  After a few tears and sad faces, the Hooper family headed home Sunday morning.  This house, without the cousins, is quiet and "BOOORRRIINNNGG" according to Claire!  Good times...good memories!  Thanks for coming to see us Hoopers!
 Enjoying some s'mores!
 Landon the marshmallow roasting technician!
 The girls roasting their 'mallows.
 Landon and his flaming marshmallow!  Maybe not such a technician...
 Girls relaxing in the theatre room watching some TV.
The gang watching the pizza maker throw the pizza dough.