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Serenity in January and February

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

Serenity Year 9 2017


Serenity has been really busy with Girl Scouts the last two months.  It’s cookie season!  She wanted to sell 500 boxes so she could earn an adorable music box.  That was more than double what she sold last year, so I was hesitant.  I ordered enough for her to sell about 275, and she managed that  by doing two booths at Papa’s house, going door to door in our neighborhood once, and selling at Eric and Kyle’s work.  Plus, Papa is a big fan of the new S’more’s cookie, and so are his students, so he bought a bunch of those.  So she made it to 275, but I thought she was pretty much done after that.  She went to all the booths, partially because I had to go to take the cookies, and so she got about 80 more in sales.  So I told her, if she really wanted that music box, to sell all the leftover cookies, and if she did that then I’d get her more to keep going.  And she DID!  She sold out of Samoas and was down to 7 thin mints, so I got her two more cases, and she sold all those and all the boxes in our donation box to get more.  So I happily replaced those boxes and now we’re DONE with cookies for the year.  I’m so excited that she made it to her goal, and that she actually went out repeatedly until it was done.

Besides cookies, her girl scout troop finished their Home Scientist badge, thanks in part to Science Saturday, their Household Elf badge(making natural air freshener, reusable bags, saving water and electricity, and other helpful things around the house), and their Water Journey(Love Water, Save Water, Share Water).  They finished the Water Journey by making reusable grocery bags with slogans that urge people to save water.  Hopefully it starts lots of conversations so they can talk about what they learned on their journey.  They also decided to spend some of their cookie profits helping an orphanage in Tanzania with their water needs.  Lillyan voiced the idea that they should help an orphanage, and the girls unanimously agreed.  So sweet =)    They also earned their World Thinking Day badge.  That was a fun one.  A few girls came to my house and helped me cook some Tanzanian food, coconut rice, fried plantains, and chai tea.  We listened to African music and did a craft project designing Kanga fabric. So fun!

Besides Girl Scouts, Serenity is learning to play piano!  She had lessons in the fall, but didn’t practice often enough to get to continue them.  I told her if she practiced enough on her own, she could have the lessons back, so I’ve been teaching her the little bit I know.  She’s been playing scales and learning to play Do a Deer from her Sound of Music piano book.  It is sounding really good!  She plays mostly the right hand, and I try to do the left.  I need more practice too.

Serenity spends about half her playtime upside down these days, doing cartwheels.  It’s so cute and fun, at least until she kicks someone in the head.

She still loves reading. We checked out the whole Sisters 8 series again so she could reread it.  =)

Ann and John came for a visit, and Serenity is learning card games!  She asked to learn bridge, but we are starting with Spades.  She also learned Own Trump.  She went on lots of walks with Vanaema.  She’s fascinated by her fitbit, and she loves being in nature.

We are gearing up for the Drama Festival.  Serenity is Loki!  Eric and I both geeked out over that.  I got to make her a costume =)  And I made a few other props and costumes.  Two ravens, a Frost Giant, a belt, and Mjolnir.  Thor’s Hammer was so much fun to construct!  Thanks to all the Samoa boxes in my garage from cookie sales it was a breeze.  One Samoa box filled with floral foam for the middle, two more ends of boxes angled to add some dimension to either end of the hammer, a cardboard tube wrapped with duct tape and leather for the handle.  Some black paint covered with silver paint, and some runes on the circle on top of the hammer.  Easy and fun!  Hopefully it stands up to some abuse as they rehearse.

Hovercraft from Science Saturday

Diorama from Esperanza Rising. It was a long and complicated book, and very emotional, but she loved it so much I read it too!

Serenity loves this little fox she named Lyra. She sleeps with her often! It’s soo sweet. She got it because she wanted to donate to save foxes this year.


Water Journey

Card games!

Little Hikers at the Book Fair

Maia in January and February

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

Maia Year 4 2017


Recently, in response to someone asking how she is, Maia responded “I am Strong and Powerful!!”  I’ve heard her say it several other times since, and it’s true, she really is!  She also responded “I’m adorable” which is true too.  =)  She wants to organize things her way for sure.  She loves to snuggle, and is still obsessed with elbows.  Which I’m sure we’ll look back on as an adorable stage, but right now it just makes me laugh as she adjusts my arm to make my elbow in the most interesting position.

She is dressing up to the extreme these days.  She got a Sophia crown and amulet for her birthday, which she wears with her “purple princess dress” which is technically Fancy Nancy.  It’s adorable!  She still loves wearing her Paw Patrol Skye hat with her purple fancy shoes, wings, and her pumpkin bucket.  She also loves dressing up as a dinosaur, especially when dancing to her newest Laurie Berkner cd.  There’s a superhero song on that CD, so she’s worn a superhero cape to music class a few times.  I love it!

She loves Paw Patrol, and was thrilled when we went to Paw Patrol Live!  Once the show started she was enthralled.  And when she saw a Paw Patrol book at the book fair with a handle like a suitcase, her jaw literally dropped!  Along with the other book in her hand because she just had to hold the Paw Patrol book.  =)  She can read a surprising number of words, and often calls out words she sees on signs.  We were parked in the line at school, and she kept repeating “far book, it says, far book!”  I had no idea what she meant, until I saw the book fair sign!  =)

She’s doing more crafts these days, especially painting and play-doh.  She still likes stickers sometimes, but definitely not as much.

It’s been a fun winter, but we are thrilled to see the daffodils we planted in the fall begin to bloom!  Maia’s “gifts” are so beautiful!

I don’t know if I’ve written this phrase down anywhere yet, but it’s one of my favorites.  “oopsie daisy me!”  She says that when she falls, or makes a mess.  So cute =)

Fox Power and Flamingo Power! I love that Maia really plays with her siblings now! They are so cute together!!!

Ninja and his pirate sister =)

Maia got to play lots of tea party with Vanaema!

She sleeps with a pile of Super Readers most nights =)

Polar Bear Power!

Donovan January and February 2017

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

I love this outfit! Wolf ears, ninja Leonardo mask, fire wings, ninja outfit, and swords. =)


Donovan Year 6 2016


Donovan has had a fun winter!  He is absolutely amazing at games.  He can play Epic Duels, and is working hard on his reading so he can read all the cards and play all the guys.  He and his Daddy read chess books at bedtime most nights, and he spends his quiet time working on chess puzzles.  He understands strategy and can add big numbers in his head when he is adding up scores!

He loves to play with both his sisters.  It is adorable, all three of them play together sometimes.  Sometimes, he is the bridge between them.  He will pile up pillows and play silly little games with Maia, or he will build forts and create amazing pretend worlds with Serenity.  He is just a great friend and loves people.  His teachers at school rave about this.  He treats everyone like a friend and really enjoys playing with people.

After his parent teacher conference, Eric took Donovan on a special trip to see the Lego Batman movie with Barrett.  He’s so easygoing, it would be easy to forget all the ways he cooperates, and how enthusiastically he participates at school.  So he got a special treat to show we notice all those things.

He was a huge help during cookie sales.  He went to a couple booths with Serenity, and he did as much work as anyone, holding signs and waving at customers.  He also loved moving cookies around the garage and loading up the car with boxes.  I need to get him a cookie shirt next year!

Eric took Donovan and Serenity to see Cirque with Carson, Raegan, Mike and Kelly.  They adored it!  Then the next night, we all went to Paw Patrol Live.  It was a very busy weekend, but so fun!  I love that all my kids still enjoy Paw Patrol together.

Moana has been a big hit in our house.  After listening to the soundtrack and falling in love with the music, Donovan asked to go see it in theaters.  Eric was thrilled because he hadn’t gotten to see it yet, and he had heard such good things about it.  So they went together and loved it.  Donovan loves all the songs, especially the ones Moana sings, and the Maui song.  He asks for tracks 7 and 11 every single car ride.

Ann and John came for a nice visit, and the kids reveled in having their grandparents here!  Donovan and Serenity learned to play cards!  Vanaema taught them Own Trump, which was a childhood favorite of Eric’s.  So now they know a card game I don’t know how to play!  And they also began to teach them Spades.  SO EXCITING!!!!!


Donovan loves getting fancy =) And picking out clothes.

We added a few things to Donovan’s wall! Shelves to hold his favorite lego minifigs and the ships he builds during his Lego Advent. And the lightning bolt I couldn’t resist.

Ninja and his pirate sister =)

Cool volcano he made at school

Elephant toothpaste at Science Saturday

density experiment at Science Saturday


DZ got to be the line leader on a day I got to walk into school, so I got to see him lead calendar time =) He is SO happy when it’s his turn!

Card games!

He and FarFar played LOTS of board games =) He never gets tired of games =)

Homemade jungle play-doh

Donovan’s class got to have a Love Bug Valentine’s party that I planned. Bug glasses, bookmarks, and building mazes for hexbugs. Such fun!

Fox Power!

Fox power for book fair week =)

Our daffodils are blooming!!!