Archive for July, 2012

Funniest Moments and More Favorite Pictures =)

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

I like to copy over all the funny things I post from Facebook, so they don’t get lost =)  And here are some of my favorite pics of Serenity from the last year that didn’t make it into a post yet!

August 2011… almost the first picture with my new camera, and her feet are on the lens =) At least G had me buy a filter to protect it =)


September 2011… she made lots of funny faces for the camera this day. We had recently read, Funny Face so she likes making silly and surprised faces =)




Big Sister Serenity =)


November 2011



Christmas Day at the park =) It was a beautiful day, and such great family fun =)

December 2012

January 2012.. At Science Saturday with her teacher Mrs. McBride



February 2012




March 2012, from my Mother’s Day Photoshoot. Practicing her twirling =)

April 2012… Still falling asleep reading =)


May 2012 =) She asks for pigtails and ponytails a lot these days. Sooo cute! Hard to do though without pulling…

May 2012

June 2012



July 2012


July 3rd

Fireworks so awesome I thought about wearing sunglasses… And both my kids fell asleep in my lap…


July 7

potty training day one: ten pairs of panties and two successes… day two: only 3 pairs of panties… day three: still three pairs but no puddles and she used the potty at the restaurant and stayed dry on the outing!!! She’s doing so well!


July 21

Eric said, “Hold it!” when Serenity was having an accident. So she reached under and tried to hold the pee with her hand… Didn’t work so well. =)


July 24 (not really about the kids but memorable =)

Watching X-men did the one thing I never thought would happen… completely changed my opinion of Kevin Bacon


July 25

Found Serenity trying to be helpful today… She had a bottle of foaming hand soap and she was squirting it on the carpet and scrubbing it. Guess we’ve had our share of potty training accidents.


August 10

We registered for school! She’s so excited, she sang, “I’m going to school!” the whole way there.


August 23

So in the car this morning we ran into traffic, and while we were going slow Serenity told me, “I will cooperate at school today! At school you follow directions!” Finally we got to the reason for the traffic, a car was stopped on the bridge. I said, “Oh no, her car broke, poor lady.” And Serenity replied “She was NOT cooperating.”


August 24

Today, instead of pretending to be cartoon characters, Serenity has informed me that she is Peru, I am Venezuela, and Donovan is Ecuador.

August 26

Having to learn how to hold my pencil correctly. Bummer, I didn’t think that I’d fall behind Serenity’s homework so soon. In positive news she knows what horizontal and vertical means now =)

September 2

Serenity was telling me some things about Emerson, a girl at her school. I told her she should tell them to Emerson, because it makes people feel good to hear nice things about themselves. Then she looked at me and said, “You’re so pretty Mama” =)

September 14

She totally knows how to push my buttons =) “I love boogers yes I do, I love boogers how about you? Mom, do you have boogers? If you were a little girl like me you should TOTALLY have boogers.”

September 20

Great. Now instead of dreaming that I’ve forgotten to go to school or study for a test, now I dream I forget what time Serenity goes to preschool and she’s late. =)

September 21

Been watching too much Nick Jr. when the fact that Dora has moved out of the rainforest and evidently forgotten all about Boots makes me sad.

September 24

This morning, playing Stack the States, Barrett was marveling at Serenity’s abilities. He said, “I just don’t know how she is a magical baby!”


September 28

Serenity has started narrating her life story. Today we were playing outside and she walked up to me and said, “Serenity decided to give her Mama a daisy. And it made her happy!”

October 12

While I’m rocking Donovan in preparation for his nap, Serenity is in the other room singing, “Goodnight, goodnight GOODNIGHT Donovan!” At the top of her lungs. And banging on her triangle. It’s amazing he ever gets to sleep =)

October 24

Favorite quote of the day “Mother Teresa is more gangsta than Eric.


October 31

Serenity reached her Halloween goal of twenty pieces of candy. Yay!

November 13

Serenity sang Twinkle to Donovan when he was fussy in the car =) Soooo sweet

Nov 20

Serenity has been asking me for definitions a lot lately, which is a ton of fun. We talk about different words and what they mean, and then I usually hear her use them. Super cute, like when she told me her sock was askew. Then today, she asked me what often means. I was scrambling for an example, so I told her it’s something you do a lot, like peeing. I said you go pee a lot, so you pee often. Then she looked at me and said, “You talk often.” =) Lol.

December 16

Serenity bit Donovan today. After the hubbub of time out and tears was over, Daddy started saying, “Will you bite Donovan again?” “No Daddy” “Will you bite Mama?” “No Daddy” Will you bite Daddy?” Serenity responded. “No, I will be good. I will be good forever!”

December 22

I’ve decided trying to feed Donovan solids is like trying to play a really tricky hole of mini-golf. Gotta sneak it in the split second the door is open.

December 22

Sigh. So much for Serenity’s first haircut. Scissor practice turned into hair cutting time.

January 18

Barrett, “Mom why don’t we ask Aunt Chrissie if she wants to make me a Captain America costume. Why is she the builder and you are the cooker? What am I going to be?”

January 22

Playing bridge with serenity in the room… All of a sudden we notice she is tossing around her own cards and saying “I pass! I pass the cards!” guess she only knows one kind of passing 🙂

January 23

I said, “Serenity, you may have ONE cookie.” She takes an oreo, pops it open, and says, “Look Mama, I have TWO cookie!” Am raising a smartass.

January 24

How Serenity woke up this morning: “You guys, you guys! It’s the sun! It’s Tuesday! It’s a SCHOOL DAY!!!!!!

Been walking Donovan around the room. He keeps seeing a toy and sitting down to play with it, and then realizes, wait a sec, I’d have to let go of Mama’s fingers to play with this! And up he goes again. Last time he tried to grab the toy with his mouth without letting go of my hands. =) Wants to walk SO bad =)

Been doing solid foods for what, six weeks now? And the only thing Donovan seems to eat more than one bite of is puffs… Hmm. May have to give up on the Gerber purees. Any ideas?

February 11

Told Serenity not to stand up on Jif, her rocking horse. She responded, “That’s ok, I’ll do it when you’re not here.” In a tone of perfectly reasonable compromise. Sigh. =)

I’m not much of a speeder really, but it is nearly impossible to speed with your three year old in the back seat chanting the speed limits. “Speed limit 40!!! How fast are you going now Mama?!?!”

February 29

Donovan has discovered it’s fun to evade Mama. He’ll look at me, giggle, and crawl as fast as he can in the opposite direction. It’s too early for this, right? =)

Sat through a light because someone was trying to go straight in a left turn only lane that only got a green arrow… when she didn’t go the next time the arrow came, I said “I really ought to honk the horn to let her know she needs to go, but where is it?” Serenity pipes up from the backseat, “It’s under the H mom!” I drive a Honda. She was right.


March 13

Worked the book fair today =) Before school when Little Casey and Serenity were both there, he was showing off to his friends how well Serenity could read =) He kept grabbing random books and asking her what they said. I love that they go to the same school!

Donovan took his first real step today! We were waiting in the lobby for Barrett and he was cruising on a chair, and he suddenly let go, turned, and took a step totally away from everyone. Then he stopped, stood there for like ten seconds waving his arms around, like he was thinking, “Wait, what’d I just do?!? I need fingers to do this walking thing! Mama, why’d you let me do that?!”

Totally excessive number of posts today, but Serenity came up with the best game EVER and I had to share. She had her want and said, “Mom, make a wish!” “I wish for two kisses” and my wish was granted. Then I wished “I wish someone would pick up their toys on the stairs” and my wish was GRANTED! Sweet! And it went on and on! Yay!!!

March 18

Serenity does not put her pants on one leg at a time like everyone else. She sticks both legs in and then does the splits to get them on. =)

April 9

So Serenity came running out of the bathroom, saying, “look what I did!” First of all, never an encouraging sign. Then I saw she’d stuffed toilet paper in her panties. “If I need to go pee, the toilet paper will catch it!” Sigh. =)

April 12

Dear Donovan: Puffs, Crackers, and Envelopes are not nutritious enough to be the only things you will eat.

April 17

Serenity over the monitor: “NOOOOOOOW is it morning?” 7:33pm. Sigh

April 19

Have now watched the original Footloose with my sister, Jennifer Thorp Zandbergen and Diane M Hale, and now my sister can stop hanging her head in shame. Watching 80’s movies 25 years later is fun and a little bizarre.

April 23

Went to buy chickens with Diane M Hale… I find it funny that when you buy live chickens they put them in a Happy Meal box.

April 30

After I passed Serenity a cupful of pretzels to snack on in the backseat, I heard her say “Oh Donovan, Mama is the sweetest person I know.”

May 29

Bought a watermelon at the grocery store today… Donovan saw it, yelled “Ball!” and tried to kick it. Unfortunately, it was too heavy so he instead tripped right over the top of it. He was undeterred though and decided to roll it instead. =)

June 8

Conversation at my house tonight:
Eric: “Serenity, you’re not listening to me. Serenity, you’re not listening to me.”
Serenity: “I am listening… to me!”

June 14

I had to give Serenity her milk this evening in a bowl so she could lap it up like a kitty. She actually drank the whole thing, a new record. =)

June 17

Serenity: Is God still building things?
Me: Weeelll… he still builds people…
Serenity: With like nails, or what?

June 19

Serenity is making edible structures thanks to her awesome take home from Mrs. McBride’s summer camp. She made a bunch of bracelets and wands out of pretzels, marshmallows and red vines. She offered to share a bracelet with me but then when I told her I’d rather eat a wand she said, “Oooohkay, but if you eat a wand you have to do magic!”

June 20

Thanks to his sister, Donovan understands the word “fetch.”

June 25

Ahh, dance class. Serenity loves to twirl, tap, and pick her nose in the mirror. So glad she’s learning grace 😉

June 26

Thought maybe I had a little success at feeding Donovan today… oatmeal that was sticky enough to stay on the spoon when I handed it to him so he could feed himself. And he did well, he ate six or seven bites (which is a success for him.) Then he took off his bib so I thought he was done, and then he said “More!” emphatically. So I thought , yay, maybe a food he’ll actually eat! Then when I handed him the spoon he threw it across the room. Yes, Donovan, I get it. You were all done.

July 4

Managed to paint a room and not get paint in my hair… amazing! I did manage to put footprints on the wall though.

July 9

So I have a climber. And not a good one. So far today he made it almost to the kitchen counter according to Daddy, and then fell off his high chair onto his head. And off the little white chairs into the toy box. I think the problem is, when he gets onto something, he just doesn’t sit there or stand there. He starts shaking his booty and saying “Dance, Dance, Dance!”

July 10

Went to see Brave today with Serenity. Loved it! Later she was playing with the little Merida figurine she got from her birthday. I saw her shake her little finger at the doll and say, “Merida, you need to listen to your mother.” I think that was a good moral to take away from the movie 😉

Serenity’s Favorite Things

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Serenity’s Favorites:

Big Sister Serenity =) She is such a good big sister. She loves him so much, although occasionally too exuberantly. She tries to make him laugh, and calls him her buddy. =) He adores her and already wants to do whatever she does.


The biggest change for Serenity this year (besides becoming a big sister) was definitely starting school.  As you might imagine considering her very favorite toys, books and dvds for her first three years were all ABC related, Serenity was VERY excited about school.  She never hesitated a minute about going into her classroom.  She’d always walk right in without a backward glance at Mama, ready for the next adventure.  We got mostly very good reports from school.  She had trouble with certain things, like changing activities when told to by the teachers, which wasn’t really surprising since it was her first time in a place with strict rules to follow.  But the teacher’s weren’t concerned, and said she was improving very nicely.  She’d wake up in the mornings before school yelling, “The sun, the sun, it’s up!  It’s a SCHOOL DAY!”  And she’d sing in the car on the drive.  I’m so glad she loves it, and I hope she always does.  When I’d ask her about school, the first thing she would always tell me was whether she was in the “first science” or if she had to wait for the “next science.”  She just loved science. (And that inspired her birthday theme.)  She had five teachers, Ms. Parent, Mrs. McBride, Ms. Poleman, Mrs. A, and Mr. Woytias.  Plus other teachers for music, Spanish, and library.  I got to be the classroom rep, so I got the opportunity to help plan a few parties, crafts and teacher gifts.  I loved that!

The Jogathon at School. It was tough for Serenity, because she had to step on every letter. Here she is leaping from the U to the T.

Field Day was so much fun! Eric helped set up and run it, and I got so many compliments on my husband! One teacher in particular went on and on praising how well he refereed the Capture The Flag. He made it fun for the students, fun for the teachers, just perfect. =)


For her class Valentine Party we had a mailman theme =) I built this mailbox and made mailbags, and we decorated tin mailboxes. Fun!!!



National Geographic Kids Beginner’s World Atlas.  She spent a lot of time this year reading this book, either with us or by herself.  She would examine all the maps so carefully.  I loved finding her asleep in bed with this huge book in her lap.  She reads so well, even crazily big words, but one funny thing she did while reading this book is how she pronounced Europe.  It was Ya-Roop.  =)
Ladybug Girl: We got these from the library, but I think I need to add them to our own library.
Pete the Cat: This is one we got at the book fair at school.  It’s hilarious!  I can’t be trusted at book fairs, I would get every book in sight.  But this one was a worthy addition to our library, and we’ve borrowed all his other books from the library now too.


Serenity reads fluently now, just about anything you put in front of her. At the book fair, Little Casey brought over all his friends and said “Hey, watch this. Serenity, what does this say?” She read the title of the book and then went on “Illustrated by…” She could even read the illustrators name! The kids were all like, “Do it again!” =)

She read lots of other books, and I’ve listed a lot on my clever faeries blog.  Recently we started reading chapter books!  We are starting with the Ramona books she got before she was born, but we’re looking to get more!


Magazines:  She got two magazine subscriptions for her birthday, My Big Backyard and Highlights High Five.  She loved getting the mail every month and reading the stories in them.  She got really good at the Hidden Pictures in Highlights.



We still get most of our television shows from Papa, so Serenity works from limited options.  We still watch a lot of Dora and Diego, Backyardigans, and only the occasional SuperWhy.  We added Little Einsteins this year.  Serenity really identified with June, the purple dancing girl.  She spent a lot of the year twirling and dancing around, which led to her dance lessons this summer.  We also got some Sid the Science Kid since she loved Science at school so much.  She doesn’t watch that one much, but when we do it’s fun to talk about what they learn and try our own experiments.



Serenity loves playing dress up!  Now she can get into the dresses on her own, so she often comes down stairs all decked out.  She got some new outfits from Raegan, including Fancy Nancy and “Angel Baby” dresses.

This was her outfit from her Rainbow Birthday =) She still loves doing Rainbow Parades all the time!


Cinderella dress and Ladybug Boots. Love it


I made these rainbow wings for her. Recently when she wears them she is Dragonfly Girl. (From the Ladybug Girl bug squad)

We’re knights that’s right, always polite, our knightly skills are out of sight.


Her gardening endeavors still include picking wildflowers and then “planting” them in the sandbox.  We’ve talked about roots and such, but she still likes to pretend this way.  We started some flower seeds indoors this year, and for Mother’s Day she was sure I wanted seeds and flowers for the garden.  I got a beautiful lily that she helped me plant. =)  She loves to help dig and even weeds occasionally.  I only weed occasionally myself for that matter.



We enrolled Serenity in gymnastics classes this year!  She LOVED it!  Especially jumping, which is what she’d tell us was her favorite thing when asked.  She loved rolls and does dive summersaults onto her bed, and seat drops. When Daddy gets home from work he always gives “home hugs” which are basically throwing her up in the air.  After gymnastics she started doing “pike” and “frazzle” (which are actually called straddle jumps) with daddy’s home hugs.


Home Hugs with Daddy =)


There were some things she really did not like, such as climbing on the rope.  She’d only go up two knots, and then she’d nearly always just let go instead of climbing down.  So at the end of the year performance where the parents got to come to class, Miss Kay was really proud when she climbed down on her own.

Poptarts were another thing she wasn’t too sure about at first, but now she does them on anything, including counters, bars, chairs and Daddy.  She can now flip over and hang from her legs on bars.

Frazzle Jump

Computer:  We spend quite a bit of time on the computer.  She has recently become addicted to YouTube.  We usually look up Alphabet Songs or Butterfly Songs and let her go from there.  She only gets this ten minutes at a time though, mostly because it just doesn’t feel like it’s that good for her, and partly because I have to monitor while she’s on YouTube much more than when she’s on NickJr or Starfall.  We still do pbskids, nickjr and starfall a lot too.


Stack the States/Countries: Patricia always finds great Ipad games, and this is one of the best!  After they came to visit us for Serenity’s birthday, I downloaded these.  Serenity learned ALL of the states and their capitols from this!  In Stack the Countries, her favorite country was South America.  This started her love of maps!  =)


Stepstool:  Serenity loves her stepstool.  It is her favorite kitchen tool =)  She always insists we get it out whenever she helps cook, even if it would be easier to just get a chair and work at the table.  She likes to help make her own quesadillas (She spreads the cheese, I microwave.)  She can nearly do a pbj by herself, right down to the cookie cutters we almost always use on sandwiches now that she is anti-crust.  I have to keep an eye on her because she has a tendency to lick the jelly spoon and then dip it back in to get more.  She’s a big help with baking, and loves to measure, break eggs, and stir.

Favorite New Games:

We still play all the old favorite games, so I just want to share a few new ones from this year.

AnimaLogic: My favorite is AnimaLogic.  When we got it I thought it might be awhile before she could figure it out and really do the game.  So at first we just played by having her set it up and match the picture.  But after a month or so she could really figure it out!  You have to figure out how to get all the animals across the river.  Each animal can follow an animal of the same type or the same color, and there are four animals and four colors.  She knows how it works, and if she gets stuck (An AnimaLogic Knot!) She can backtrack and try a different way across.  It’s a fantastic game and we all love it.  It’s fun for adults to figure out too!


Puzzle Day! Eric and Serenity took out all her puzzles, mixed them all up in the floor, and then put them together! It took a whole day and was SO cool!

Where’s Sock Monkey:  Aunt Judy got us this game.  It’s genius!  There are only so many hiding places for adults, so this game makes Hide and Seek much more fun.  Especially since Serenity still giggles and says “Here I am!” when it’s her turn to hide.  =)  You hide sock monkey somewhere, and then you draw cards and the hider answers questions about the hiding place until it’s time to Go Look, and then you have a certain amount of time to find it before you ask more questions to narrow down the location.


Chutes and Ladders: This was Serenity’s choice for her Christmas money from Papa.  She chose the princess version, which I like because the pieces are nice rubber figurines instead of the cheap paper kind.  Eric and I discovered this game takes a lot more patience than we remembered.  It’s really easy to slide all the way back to the beginning!  Serenity sometimes gets tired and just wants to swoosh her pieces around the board, but usually she follows the rules really well.  We have a lot of fun with Candyland too.


Rush Hour: Uncle Colen gave us this!  We love it and have already gotten one for another friend.

Favorite Crafts:

Sewing:  Whenever Serenity sees me sew, she wants to help.  So I came up with several ways for her to sew.  She pulls out pins and steps on the pedal when I sew.  I tried plastic needles and letting her sew felt buttons onto felt and embroidering into burlap. We also did a little plastic canvas.  She loves doing what I do!  It makes me so happy, because that is just how I was with my Mom.  Whenever she did a craft, she’d find a way for us to all participate.

Weaving Yarn (spiderwebs and Christmas ornaments): This was a huge hit.  She asked to do it on several different occasions.  At Halloween, I cut notches in paper plates and she weaved yarn around and around to form a spiderweb.  We added little spiders made from pipecleaners to the end of the string.  She made maybe a dozen of these, so at Christmas when I saw circles cut from cardboard and wrapped with embroidery floss I knew she’d love that too.  Eric got in on that project as well.  If you wrap carefully you can make fancy stars and stuff.

Painting (Pic from Jo-Ann’s):  One day Serenity saw an ad for Jo-Ann’s that came in the mail.  She ran to me with the flyer and said, “Oh Mama, can we make this?  Can we go get supplies and make this right now?  Well, the project she saw was a really involved crochet project, but I was so thrilled that she just knew we could do it ourselves that we figured out a way.  We made our own interpretation of the craft in paint!  It’s one of my all-time favorite projects, it turned out really cute.  I might even frame it =)

Writing: She started to learn how to write letters in school, and can occasionally be coaxed into writing on our craft projects now.  She made me this Valentine all on her own, and it’s one of my favorite things ever. =)

Colored Tape:  I got her a set of colored masking tape for a present on her rainbow birthday.  She wanted to use it to wrap her Christmas presents this year, and the packages turned out darling. =)

School:  She of course came home with tons of adorable things from school.  I especially loved one day when she came home with a paper scribbled with lots of colors and told me “This is Ecuador!  It looks just like the country Ecuador!”  It was the first time she’d ever told me that she drew something in particular, and it was too funny that that is what she drew. =)

Scissors:  She is getting much better with scissors.  She doesn’t do fine cutting yet, but she can use the scissors by herself.  She loves to do scissor practice and makes some nice confetti. =)

Serenity made this toy for Donovan. We filled a bottle with different colored strips of paper. It was one of his favorite toys. We decided Evan needed one too, since his Daddy likes recycled things so much =)


We really enjoy the holidays around here =)  We went on our traditional pumpkin patch outing with the Thorps.  Serenity rocked her blue heart sunglasses =)

She enjoyed every minute of helping me decorate for Christmas.  She stood on her little white chair placing ornaments so carefully around the tree, and then when she was done she ate her pbj sitting on that chair right by the tree so she could enjoy it.  She remembered the advent calendar from the year before, and rushed downstairs every day to see what fun was in store.

December 31st I took down all the decorations from the tree… a new record for me.  Serenity objected, until she saw what I had in mind.  A New Years Tree!  We decorated the tree with streamers and our rainbow ball, and hung streamers all around.  And we made party hats!

We started another new Easter Egg tradition this year.  Instead of hiding only candy inside the eggs, some eggs had little coupons for different treats!  She got ice cream, games with Daddy and Mama, 30 minutes of undivided attention, and her favorite, stay up as late as you want night!  We turned that into a sleepover, doing every single activity from her Strawberry Shortcake sleepover book.  Mom and Serenity fixed their hair in pigtails, we danced, had snacks, and cuddled up to watch a show!  Daddy stayed downstairs with her all night.  She made it later than Mama did!



Bells: I got the rainbow bells for a present at her birthday, and so we could use them at her party.  They are rainbow colored metal bells, one for each note in an octave.  She uses them all the time, and we often hear them through the monitor even after bedtime.  It’s very cute though!

Felt Food: My mom got me patterns for all sorts of felt food, so Serenity got quite a few different kinds to play with.  She especially loves the donuts and cupcakes.  We mostly eat them, but sometimes she pretends to make them as well. =)

Play-Doh:  Serenity really loves play-doh.  This year she actually started making more things on her own instead of just directing me to make what she wants.  At one point she taught her pig her letters with her alphabet letter cutters, which was adorable.  She got an ice cream play-doh maker at Christmas, and a Mr. Potadoh head (use Play-doh for the potato with all the parts you’d get for a normal Potato Head.)  She is starting to mix colors more now, so we end up with a lot of shades of brown.  Which works for potatoes later so it’s good.

Strawberry Shortcake Dolls: Serenity is not really into dolls that much, but she does love the characters from Strawberry Shortcake, and she asked to be Lemon Meringue for Halloween, because she has yellow hair just like her.  We have the little doll house size dolls (and a slide for them she picked out herself), a remote control car, and several books.


Samantha Vo:  I call Samantha Serenity’s invisible but not imaginary friend.  Ever since we visited her in the Spring, Serenity pretends Samantha is always around.  When she was sick, we had to give Samantha medicine too.  She was a good girl and always took it. =)  She’d say Samantha was sitting next to her in her car seat, and that Samantha needs her own pillow on Serenity’s bed.  Samantha had a lot to live up to when she came to visit, and Serenity showed her usual exuberant affection.  She only tackle hugged her a few times, and she told her “I love you” and “I like you” a lot.  Samantha I don’t think enjoyed the tackling as much as Serenity, but hopefully she had fun playing with Serenity too. =)

Maps: For Easter, I drew maps of our house and put stickers where I hid the eggs.  She LOVED this and wanted to do it over and over again.  We also drew little road maps for places we go often, like school, so she could sit in the backseat and navigate as we went.  She often asks which direction we’re going, North, South, East and West.

Easter Egg Map Hunt


Serenity got to be a flower girl for Tina’s Wedding! She did an awesome job. She sprinkled all her petals, and then picked them all back up so she could sprinkle again… just like we practiced. Whoops! Adorable. =)



Flamingo Day! For awhile Serenity really loved flamingos, so I made her shrimp to feed them, and she set up a river for them to play in, and made a brown nest with an egg. Such fun!



Fourth of July

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

We spent the weekend before the 4th up at the cabin for their Fourth of July Celebration.  We have decided to make this a yearly tradition.  The family games are so much fun, especially the volleyball and three-legged race.  This year for the kids they had a donut dangle, where you try to eat the donut without your hands.  And they also had a treasure hunt.  They buried gems, dinosaurs, and arrowheads in the sand pit at the playground and turned the kids loose.  We came in second in the golf cart decoration contest.  We lost to the cart that turned their cart into Uncle Sam, with a huge hat on top and an adorable face.  My favorite part is the fireworks show.  I love it because it’s a great show, we can easily get great spots without being crowded, and we can get home in two minutes afterwards!  The kids did not fall asleep during the fireworks this year.  Kelly had gotten glowsticks for each of the kids, and Serenity’s was a wand with a star on top.  She said she was a night light fairy and kept waving her magic wand. Each time a firework went off she’d say, “my spell worked!”  She loved the ones that were all glittery, which were also my favorite.  (Partially because they are beautiful, partially because they are quiet.)  Donovan was fascinated too, and even said “Firework!”  Mike heard him too =)  Mike is a special favorite of Donovan’s, he snuggled with him nicely when I was gone for awhile at the games.