Monday, December 29, 2008

Fun for Kennedy

The last day before winter break was a totally fun day for our Kennedy. First there was a special chapel with parents and K-5 students. They celebrated the birthday of our Lord by reading the story of Jesus's birth from the bible and sang Christmas carols. We all know how much Kennedy LOVES to sing. Next came awards and you guessed it.. our Kennedy received an award for Kindness. This is an especially proud moment for me as a parent, because of the nature of the award. She was super stoked for a couple reasons.. one because she received an award and second because her best friend, Randalyn received one too (I was so caught up in Kennedy getting one that I didn't even find out what Randalyn received one for.. bad me). Then the rest of the morning was what she had been waiting for all year... building a gingerbread house with her Daddy. This is the third year that our twosome have done this and it's a BIG deal. This year, Darren was getting a little competitive with the other kids (parents).. he added a car! He was so proud. I have actually let the kids eat from it this year. I guess that was my gift to them :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We Three Kings..

Kennedy had her first piano recital last night. There were 7 or so students and all but 2 were beginners. They each played a Christmas song and entertained us with their new talent.
Although she was very nervous to play in front of the crowd, Kennedy stood up when it was her turn, took her place at the piano and let it rip! She played by memorization the song "We Three Kings" and played it perfectly. She was so very proud of herself. You could see it in her gigantic smile afterward.
I think the hardest part for me was waiting for her turn. She kept looking at me with those doe eyes; so nervous. My heart was breaking for her and the gut-reaction to rescue her was so strong. I don't even think that I took a breath until she was finished playing. We are so very proud of her. This recital gave her the confidence that she needed at that moment. Mrs. Beukelman, her piano teacher, knows Kennedy like a book. She knows that Kennedy strives for perfection and is hard on herself and has been working with her on that. Kennedy respects her a great deal and I know that it helps coming from her. Mrs. B was Kennedy's Performing Arts Teacher at Linfield for two years and they just "click". We both miss her terribly. She went on to assist her husband in starting a church in Menifee.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Busy December Already!

It has been so busy already that I have not posted in a while. Here are a few events that have brought us Christmas joy.

Kennedy's school program "Meet Me at the Manager" was the kick off to the holiday. Here is Kennedy with her friends before the program. Of course, Nana, Papa and Aunt Shell were there to share in this special day for Kennedy. She had fun and sung her little heart out. She, being the over achiever, lip synced everyone elses part. Go Kenn! Then Kennedy and the rest of the 2nd & 1st graders joined the Polar Express parade donned by their own train car (Kennedy's was Santa's Workshop) and they paraded through the elementary school, middle school and high school. The other students stood outside their classrooms and cheered the kids on. It was such a touching site. The kids really had fun.

Friday night our church put on their Christmas Festival with snow, crafts for the kids to do, vendors, hot chocolate, cookie decorating.. and more. This is a fun event that we would never miss.

Next on the list was Michael's big day at the March Airfield Museum for his buddy Grayson's 5th party. Who would have thought to have a party on an old WWII airplane? It was a HUGE plane and the kids got to play on the plane for the entire party; except for the fun scavenger hunt where they looked for items hidden in the surrounding planes. Michael got to pretend that he was flying the plane. WAY COOL! Darren probably had the same amount or more fun then Michael. He chatted with a WWII Vet that told him some hairy stories about his mission in this plane. Really Cool!!

Lastly, our visit with Santa at the Mission Inn. This was our first trip there. If you haven't seen it, put it on your list of things to do during the holiday season. The lights and effects are beyond amazing and so beautiful! There are soooo many people that you will definately need one adult per child just to keep and eye on your little ones (maybe I'm just paranoid). We had a lovely dinner at the restaurant at the Mission Inn, walked around the square and popped into shops. It was great to be with the whole family and continue traditions with the kids.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Old Town Parade

For the past 4 years our family has joined the Rings for the Old Town Temecula Parade. It's the kick off to the holiday season.

It goes something like this....Barry goes really early and parks the motorhome. We show up an hour or so later with kids, pizza, blankets, chairs, hats, scarves, etc. and we are in for what seems like "the night". Note: Michael runs around, plays tackle with Cleveland, rolls down the hill, etc. so he makes his own heat and doesn't require a jacket the whole time. The parade starts around 7 by the time we are stuffed and ready for hot cocoa. We have our chairs (don't know why we bring them as we rarely actually sit down) and blankets on a grassy area and watch the parade. The first 30-40 parade groups get really loud fun screams from our group.. the kids go WILD! The last 40-50 well... we give a few hollars and hoots, but by this time the kids are so over it and just want to play and run around. That is until Santa comes around. The kids are stoked because it's Santa and the grown ups are stoked because the parade is finally over. I mean come on, how many boy scouts, Mom's Clubs and Cheerleaders can we see in one night. It really is a fun tradition! Wouldn't miss it!!

This year was especially cool because our Kennedy marched in the parade!! She joined her brownie troup and the rest of the Girl Scouts of Temecula and march the whole long parade route singing Christmas carols all the way. She had a huge melt down right before we left the house to go to the parade. She didn't want to be in the parade. She wanted to hang out with Cleveland, Reagan, Lainey, Michael and the rest of us. She said that "she was going to miss EVERYTHING" if she marched in the parade. I explained (ok not so much).. mostly said that she made the commitment to brownies and she was going to march, have fun with her friends and better have a good attitude or.... FORTUNATELY... She had a BLAST!! She was glad that she did it. We screamed, hooted and hollared for her as she marched by. Here is a picture with her best bud, Randalyn.

The night ended with a slumber party with Michael, Kennedy and Lainey. Lainey became a "Big Sister" while we were at the parade as her Mom Lori, gave birth to Hudson James Hoopingarner - 8.8oz 20 1/2". We were blessed to have Lainey most of the day and overnight. The kids had so much fun.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Catching Up!

Ok I have 5 minutes alloted to me on Darren's computer (he's playing Mario Bros with Michael). Just to update you.. we have moved and are trying as best we can to get Christmas up and make our home a home. My computer will not be connected until Sat. then I will post some pictures from Thanksgiving and our tree decorating from last night, oh and my mini high school reunion. What fun that was! I needed that break from the action.

Thank you to all of you friends and family that have helped us (both physically, prayerfully and by loaning us your husbands) over the last crazy two weeks. We really do appreciate every single one of you. We could not have made this move without you.

Talk with you soon.
Much love