Monday, January 31, 2011

A Sunny Weekend

The weather this past weekend was really nice! We had temperatures in the 70's both Friday and Saturday. This meant lots of time spent outside. I had planned to take Grace to a park Friday afternoon but then decided to try and meet Dustin on-post during his lunch break for a picnic at a park. After hurrying to get to the park I was informed that he was done for the day. We spent a couple hours at one of the many nice parks on-post. Grace had tons of fun! Before we headed home we stopped by the community office for a bathroom break (Grace is almost potty trained!!) and we got free cookies. I didn't take my camera Friday and I haven't got the pictures my Mom took that day, sorry!

When we got home we pulled out the bounce house. Grace really enjoys jumping in it! We pulled it out another time (I think it was Thursday night) too. We had some neighbors stop by to play and we talked to several other neighbors who were out on walks enjoying the nice weather. We invited them all to come back and play next time we have the bounce house up!

We pulled out all of Grace's outside toys that we have been waiting to play with. She got a Dora trike for her birthday and a Barbie Jeep for Christmas. The weather has been a little too cold for her to enjoy them much but this weekend she got to ride on them a lot!

The birthday hat she is wearing in the picture of her in the Jeep was from a birthday party we attended last weekend. A family walked by and saw Grace riding her Jeep and wearing a birthday hat and the bounce house in the yard and thought we were having a birthday party. They were so nice and told her "Happy Birthday!"

On Saturday we went to the park in Cyril. We had never been to this park! Since it is the same town my cousins live in we called to see if any of them wanted to come play too. And Papa Bill came by to see us!

There are swings and slides and Grace would rather play with rocks!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Just a Little Update

We are finally feeling a little more settled. It was very time consuming trying to unpack and organize everything while getting ready for the holidays (Thanksgiving, birthday, Christmas). Both of the girls' rooms are almost complete. We just have to hang things on the walls and then they will be done! I think we have everything we need for Olivia's arrival. We are very well stocked on clothes, diapers, wipes, burp cloths, and blankets! And I think Grace is getting excited seeing all of the things that are Olivia's.

And we found out this week that the girls will be able to enjoy the wonderful paint job Dustin did in their room for many more years. After Dustin's course is over he should be staying in the same brigade!

We have been finding some really great things to do on-post here. I have gotten involved with PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel). I went when we first moved back but then things just kept coming up that kept me from being able to go each week but now things are slowing down and they just started up the spring semester. I have been taking Grace to a playgroup that is put on by ACS (Army Community Service). They have a playgroup for her age Mon-Thurs. So far is has been a lot of fun for her! And we are going to try and go to story time at the library most weeks. After the story there is a related craft/activity. Last week Grace got to color and then glue sheep and sticks onto a paper to make the sheep jump over the fence. We had to miss story time yesterday since I was "helping" (I don't think I was really THAT much help but I did have to buy thread) my Mom make burp cloths for Olivia. And today our plans of playgroup and grocery shopping were nixed because the roads were too slick for Dustin's car and he had to take my van. They are better now but since we had already missed playgroup we are just going to stay home and let Dustin pick up the necessities on his way home.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nations of Fun

On Saturday my parents stopped by and wanted to take Grace to Nations of Fun. This is an indoor playground/arcade. They also have a pizza buffet so we had lunch there as well. It reminded us of MonaKids Jungle in Okinawa. I think Nations of Fun is a lot nicer and not even near as busy as MonaKids.

Grace had a great time!

They had several games where you won tickets to trade in for a prize when it was time to leave. Grace enjoyed getting the tickets and putting them in her pocket. She ended up with 166 tickets and about 4 little toys. I think we will be heading back. It would be a great place to spend a rainy day! We have even thought about having her next birthday party there!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Grace's 2 Year Old Pictures

Grace has had her pictures made a few times since turning 2.
One of the nice things about living so close to my Mom, who is also our photographer, is that I can just drop Grace off if I have something I need to get done and come back and have lots of wonderful pictures. And we can do lots of short sessions which is great - we don't have to change outfits and we get more good pictures!

Here is just a glimpse at some of her 2 year old pictures

Her Uncle Deuce got her this cowgirl outfit so my Mom borrowed a saddle. Grace tried to rope her calf - Abby, my Mom's dog - but she got away!

And I didn't even know they were doing pictures this day! I had some Christmas shopping to do and when I came back they surprised me with pictures!!

To see more go HERE and select one of the Grace folders.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Our Christmas 2010

This year we decided to start a new family tradition. We opened our presents on Christmas Eve! Since Christmas morning can get sort of hectic when you live near family we thought this would be a way to really enjoy everything more and also put more focus on the reason for Christmas and not just opening presents. So that evening after dinner we made some hot chocolate and a plate full of Christmas cookies and candy then we pulled out our book that tells us the real Christmas Story. After we were finished reading the Christmas story we let Grace open her presents.

She got a Little People farm! Our neighbor in Japan had one of these and she would play with it every time she was over there so I thought it would make a great present. I think it was her favorite thing she opened that night.

She also got Candy Land because I thought that would be something she would enjoy later. When she saw what it was she had no idea!! She kept asking us "What is it? What is it?" We told her it was a new game so then she would say "What is it? A new game!" We still haven't opened it but I know she will like it when she is a little bit older.

Then we put out cookies and eggnog for Santa. Grace even wrote him a little letter!

Then it was time for bed so we could wait for Santa to come. Grace woke up early but I think she was actually just cold and wanted to be snuggled with. She was trying to go back to sleep but I would let her because I knew it was almost time for her to get up and check out her present from Santa.

{Checking to see if Santa had been here}

Santa made a big mess in our house! He left a trail of marshmallows all the way from our fireplace to the back door. And he set Grace's coat, hat, gloves, and shoes all out for her. I wonder what he could have left?

Grace enjoyed swinging for a little while before she got cold and wanted to come in. And it was still dark out and she was still tired. She got to play on it a little more that afternoon and she can climb up the ladder and go down the big slide all by herself. I was quite impressed!

We headed off to my parents house to spend Christmas morning there. My Mom always makes breakfast on Christmas morning and this was the first time in a few years that we have all been there. This was Grace's first Christmas in the US!

Grace got even more toys and had a great time. After about 3 presents she was tired of opening them and we had to work hard to get her to finally open the last one. She got a Barbie Jeep, and books, and a baby doll, and Dora blocks, and a bubblegum machine, and lots more.

One of Grace's favorite things this year has been the Nativities. We have a little one and she will line up Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and all of the Wise Men. We were doing a little after Christmas shopping at Hobby Lobby and she wanted this HUGE outdoor nativity. She kept asking me if we could go see Baby Jesus again.

And then we all headed over to my Grandpa's house to open even more presents. We made it there right at 10:30 so you can see why we had to get Grace up early that morning. Papa Bill gives us money at Thanksgiving and lets us buy our own presents and surprise him. Grace got more Dora blocks and a swing for her swing set. Papa has a hook in the ceiling of his living room that we used to swing from growing up. We hooked Grace's swing up and she got to swing until it was time to play games and eat. Her little cousin even got a turn and fell asleep!

That afternoon we headed back to our house. Grace was having too much fun to sleep so she went outside to play on her new swing set.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Grace's Birthday

I was going to blog about our Christmas but then realized I hadn't blogged about Grace's birthday. Her birthday was on a Friday this year and we had asked her Daddy to come home after PT with donuts. He came home but forgot the donuts!! So, after he headed back to work Grace and I hopped in the car and went to the donut shop. I think this was the first time she has ever been in a donut shop and she enjoyed picking out her donut so much. It worked out great that her Daddy doesn't have the best memory. She got a pink donut with sprinkles. We came home and ate are breakfast and then she wanted more sprinkles. I think she put half the bottle of sprinkles on her donut! We decided that we would spend the day at her Grandma's house so she could have fun there and play with Abby. So after we got ready we took off.

That evening we had cake after dinner!

And then we went to a Christmas display and saw Santa again.

{She really liked Santa this year}

We had her birthday party the next morning at our house. There were about 30 people who came and our house was CROWDED! But I think everyone had a really good time. I know Grace did!

We set up a bounce house for the kids to play in. I wasn't sure how Grace would like it but she had a great time playing in it. And it was a big hit with the older kids!

{The Bounce House}

{Jumping with Daddy}

{Having fun in the bounce house}

Then it was time for the pinatas!! I had ordered a Dora pinata to go with the Dora theme but when it came in I realized it was only for about 8 kids and had little strings to pull instead of hitting it. I wanted everyone to have a turn so I got another pinata and we had two.

{Taking a swing}

We thought it would be more fun to hit the Dora pinata but that didn't really work out so well. After a few of the big kids took a swing her head was left hanging and the candy was still stuck so we had to hold what was left of Dora and have all the kids pull a string.

{Time for the Dora Pinata}

Then it was time for CAKE!! Grace loves to sing Happy Birthday. She was so excited that everyone was singing to her and she joined in and sang along.

{I think she was singing Happy Birthday!}

{Trying to blow out her candle}

I had bought 36 individual cups of ice cream but we forgot to get them from my Mom's freezer. So we didn't have any ice cream that day but we still have lots in the freezer.

Last came the presents. I think most of them followed her Dora theme. She now has almost everything from the Dora section at Wal-Mart.

{Having a blast}

{More Dora toys!!!}

{Opening presents is hard work}

{What a great day!!}


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