Monday, December 31, 2012


Christmas was a busy but fun time for us.  My mom, step-dad, grandmother and aunt all came down to spend the holiday with us.  There was lots of eating, shopping, mahjong playing, and present opening.  It was a wonderful Christmas spent with family.  Here are some pics of what we did this holiday season.

Ava's holiday concert.

Alex's holiday concert.

Decorating the gingerbread house.

Christmas Eve presents they get to open.

Finally!  Christmas morning!

The aftermath.

At the Nutcracker performance in Chicago.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Fall Break and Halloween

The end of October brings about 2 things-fall break and Halloween.  Since the kids had a nice 4-day weekend, I thought it would be fun to spend it in Chicago.  However, we first had our ward Trunk-or-Treat activity and Alex and Ava had a lot of fun.  The next day we headed out to Chicago for the kids' yearly allergist appointment.  I was getting Ava tested this year because she was showing signs of allergies this past spring.  Turns out that she only has seasonal allergies and mild allergies to dogs, cats, and horses (of course my horse-loving girl would be allergic!).  After lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, we checked in to our hotel and the kids went swimming in the indoor pool.  They probably could have stayed there all day but I also took them to the Chicago Children's Museum-it was their "Family Free Night" and the kids really liked exploring the museum.  The next day we headed to the Field Museum.  Alex and Ava weren't as excited but I think they were tired of walking around.  Afterwards, I had to drop the kids off at a church for a wedding rehearsal.  Their grandfather was getting married that weekend and Alex was going to be the ring bearer and Ava was the flower girl.  The next day was the wedding.  I loved seeing them dressed up and they did great!  They had a fun time at the reception playing with friends and were thoroughly exhausted when they came home on Sunday.  A few days later was Halloween and as usual, Alex and Ava got a nice haul of candy.  They could not complain as October ended on a sweet note!

Trunk or Treat.

Loved the pool at the hotel!

At the Children's Museum

Field Museum

At their grandfather's wedding.

Halloween-Rapunzel and Darth Maul.

The loot!

Monday, October 29, 2012


With the start of school comes the start of after school activities.  I try not to get the kids involved in too many things because well, it can get a little crazy driving them everywhere and these activities cost money.  This year, I started Ava in horseback riding.  If you know her, you know that she loves horses.  This is not just some passing fancy, the girl has been crazy about them for 2 years.  Ava has been in lessons for a little over a month and she loves it and has learned quite a bit.  I also started her in dance class once a week.  She takes an hour-long class which is 1/2 hour tap and 1/2 hour ballet.  She likes the class but prefers gymnastics, so we'll probably be switching back when dance is over.
Alex is continuing his martial arts and has recently earned his green belt!  He really enjoys it and it helps that he really has to pay attention in order to learn the moves.  Alex is also continuing in his piano lessons and is really improving.  He is still involved in scouts and is working on his bear badge.  And if that wasn't enough, the kids are enrolled in an after school art class once a week.  Whew!  Actually, it's pretty manageable (of course, I only have 2 kids) and we are busy Monday-Thursday but the weekends are free which is really nice.

My little equestrian with her pony, Lucy.
Green belt!
On her way to dance class.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Well, my baby is now 6.  Crazy!  Her birthday was a few weeks ago and as long as we live in NW Indiana, it will always fall on the first week of school.  This year her birthday was on the second day of school but we still managed to make it a fun day.  At school she got to wear a special birthday crown, I brought in Subway for lunch (her request) and we all went out to CiCi's for dinner (her choice again).  Afterwards, we came home opened presents and had some ice cream cake.  Not too shabby for turning 6!
Fun facts about Ava:  She is very much a girly-girl-she is often wearing a skirt or dress but at the same time, she loves to play outside and doesn't mind getting dirty.  She absolutely loves horses.  She cannot get enough of them!  She loves pink and purple, playing with friends, riding her bike, pizza, blueberries, strawberries, cheesesticks, legos, swimming, and just about every animal.  Ava is such a joy to have around. She is friendly, inquisitive, helpful, and clever.  Happy birthday to my sweet girl!

Blowing out the candles.

Money!  Thanks Pau Pau and Goong Goong!

Horse books!

Ava was so excited to see that she got this:  Barbie and a walking horse.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

4th Grade and Kindergarten

Say what?  That's what I thought as I got my kids ready for the school year.  It's a bittersweet time.  I love that they are growing and learning new things, I just wish it wasn't happening so fast.  This year Alex is starting 4th grade, which sounds crazy to me and Ava is (finally) beginning kindergarten.  She is so ready and excited to join her brother at school.  Here they are on their first day:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Rest of Summer

Summer vacation seemed to have flown by this year.  After we got back from Canada, the kids went back to camp for a few weeks, Ava had a birthday party, we went to the beach again, went to a fun cub scout bowling and mini-golf activity, and my mom and step-dad came down to visit.  The kids had a great summer and are looking forward to fun, new adventures next year!

Uncle Tristan and Bosko visit for a day.  My brother and his dog stopped in Indiana on their way back to Utah.

Lip synch performance at camp.  Ava is in purple.

Alex performing a Blues Brothers act at the camp lip synch performance.

Ava's birthday pool party.  So much fun!

Goofing off in Chicago.  Day trip with the kids and my mom and step-dad.

Outside the LEGO Store-Chicago.

Friday, August 3, 2012


The kids and I made our yearly summer trip to Canada in July.  Alex and Ava could not wait to go and as always, they had a blast!  We had so much fun at the zoo, going to the water park, swimming with friends, picking blueberries, visiting Montreal, and spending time with family.

At the Granby Zoo.

Feeding birds at the zoo.

At the Montreal Science Center. Alex concentrating hard in order to move the ball to the opponent's side.

Bubble girl.

At the Montreal Science Center with friends Aiden and Jacob.

Star Wars exhibit at the MSC.

Celebrating Uncle Tristan's birthday at Gibby's in Montreal.

At my mom's annual summer picnic.  Someone brought a couple of puppies.  Ava was in heaven!

In Montreal.

Picking blueberries.

Holding a baby duckling.

Holding a bunny-at Granby Day.

Pony ride!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer so far

Well, we are a month into our summer vacation and the kids and I wasted no time in having some fun.  First up was the beach.  Perfect day, perfect weather, and perfectly calm water.  Next was the movies.  Our local theater has dollar movies twice a week all summer long.  Happy Feet 2 for $3 total and the bonus was that none of us had seen it.  Mini-golf was also on our to-do list.  It was fun and all of us got a hole-in-one!  Alex also finished martial arts for the summer and earned his orange belt.  Finally, we went back to the movies-this time the drive-in.  We have lived here 8 years and this is the first time we have gone.  The kids loved it and thought it was so much fun to sit in the car and watch a movie.  We've had a great summer so far and squeezed in with all these things we have been doing was a week a cub scout camp for Alex, a pack meeting where Alex received his Wolf badge and 2 weeks of day camp for both kids.  Tomorrow we leave for our trip to Canada, ready for more fun!
Buried in the sand.

Ava's turn.

Loving the beach!


Orange belt!

Waiting for "Brave" to start.