Archive for June, 2015

Donovan’s Favorite Things (4th Birthday Update)

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Donovan’s Fourth Birthday Update!

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Donovan’s Favorite Things

Four years old! Donovan is truly an amazing boy. He is thoughtful and silly, cuddly and kind. He thinks of things like mailing hearts to friends at school, and making funny sounds to make Maia laugh. He loves to catch bad guys in traps and swing his swords, and he loves to make snuggly beds for his stuffed animal friends and care for animals. He is best friends with his big sister and takes care of his baby sister. I love being his Mama! I am so lucky!

The first time Maia went up stairs, Donovan was the first person to notice.  He ran up right behind her to make sure she wouldn't fall, and called for us so we'd see. =)

The first time Maia went up stairs, Donovan was the first person to notice. He ran up right behind her to make sure she wouldn’t fall, and called for us so we’d see. =)

I like to record some of his favorite things each year. His absolute favorite from this year is definitely animals. All year he has had a special animal that he is drawn to. At first it was Arctic Wolf. We watched Frozen, and he decided that wolves were Elsa’s special friends because they try to stop Anna and Kristoff from getting to the mountain. So whenever Serenity was Elsa, he was her Arctic Wolf friend. He even wore wolf ears to Disney. =) He wears his arctic wolf pajamas as soon as they come out of the wash. Right now his animal is the tiger. We’ve had tiger school, and he asks me to grow trees and grass to make tiger habitats. He will be making a tiger garden instead of a fairy garden at his sister’s birthday. He loves dogs too. We will be having a Paw Patrol birthday because of it =) His favorite show is still Diego, and he adores rescuing animals.

Arctic Wolf, friend to Elsa

Arctic Wolf, friend to Elsa

Tiger!

Tiger!

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For Christmas Movie night we got arctic wolf pajamas and a Diego dvd, Donovan’s ideal evening =)

 

Donovan’s favorite toys are probably balls and swords. He plays longshot with Daddy, throwing balls across his room, and he plays with basketballs, snowballs, oh just all the balls. =) He told me he especially loves his swinging soccer ball, which was the subject of his first ever letter to Santa. He also has quite a nice collection of swords. He has a Leonardo sword, and asked me to sew him a Leonardo mask to go with the shell he got as a birthday gift last year. His favorite Disney souvenir was the sword he got at Cinderella’s castle. That has had to be wired back together it’s been loved so much. And he loves the sword he got from the circus, which has also been hot glued back together. =) After that, it’s probably his animal collection. During quiet time he will often collect his favorites, which include Ziggy Zaggy the dinosaur we got at the zoo, Jaggy, which also came from the zoo the day we met the baby jaguars, and Arctic Wolf, (who is technically a fox, but we got him from the World Wildlife Federation because Donovan wanted to support arctic animals as his charity of choice this year.) Oh, and Okapi! Found on our trip to the Great Wolf Lodge, and chosen because of one of his favorite Diego episodes.

His new swinging soccer ball, which was so big it had to be wrapped by the gingerbread house =)

His new swinging soccer ball, which was so big it had to be wrapped by the gingerbread house =)

Playing swinging soccer with Daddy

Playing swinging soccer with Daddy

Dual wielding his sword from Cinderella and the sword from the circus =)

Dual wielding his sword from Cinderella and the sword from the circus =)  With an awesome crazy fort in the background.

Loving the arrangement of all his favorite animals to snuggle in his bed =)

Loving the arrangement of all his favorite animals to snuggle in his bed =)

He adores Legos now. He especially loves following instructions, and can even do the Lego Junior sets independently. I’ve set him several Lego Challenges, and he liked that too. At Christmas, he and Serenity shared a really big lego set that we set up as an advent calendar, so they could do a little every day. They would bounce out of bed and run downstairs to get to that days Legos =)

He loves big boy legos =)  This is his ninja turtle set.

He loves big boy legos =) This is his ninja turtle set.

Lego Duplos are still fun too.  We built a Paw Patrol Lookout =)

Lego Duplos are still fun too. We built a Paw Patrol Lookout =)

His favorite books are his Paw Patrol books and 5 minute Marvel Stories. He really loves super heroes. This year he told me way back during the summer that he wanted to be Batman for Halloween, and he never wavered. Thanks to his determination, he got to have his sisters dressed as “BatCat” (Serenity’s own superhero creation), and Supergirl. Eric dressed as Green Arrow. And even Ann and John participated, dressing as Batgirl and the Riddler.

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The thing Donovan asks to do most is play games. He LOVES board games. He even says that he wants to learn to read, just so he can play even more of Daddy’s games! =) His favorite game this year was probably X-men, which he has gradually added all the rules to until he plays it just right! With Mama, his favorite is Lost Puppies. It’s a really good game we all enjoy actually. He also does really well with Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert, and Castle Panic from the Daddy Games list. He has a great attention span for games. One day Eric tried to play as many times as Donovan asked and he just barely managed. Oh, and Donovan went through an UNO phase where we played for hours on end!

X-men

X-men

Donovan loves electronics. He can often be found with sitting with Serenity, their heads bent over an ipad. He especially loves playing Moose Math and helping Mama with Farmville. On the computer he plays Animal Jam and Nick Jr. (Especially Paw Patrol and Diego!) Which leads directly to his favorite shows, again Paw Patrol and Diego. =) His favorite pup is Zuma, the water rescue dog. He also had times where Rocky the recycling pup was his favorite, and Chase the police pup.

 

Donovan loves to dress up =) Especially as Batman, but also as Jake the Pirate, as a Knight, a Guard, or some random creation all his own!

Jake the Neverland Pirate

Jake the Neverland Pirate

He's a bumplebee!

He’s a bumplebee!

Fireman DZ, using an Indiana Jones whip for a firehose

Fireman DZ, using an Indiana Jones whip for a firehose.  He wore these rubber boots or the dinosaur boots daily.

Sir Donovan being knighted with his new dragon friend Fire

Sir Donovan being knighted with his new dragon friend Fire

Leonardo

Leonardo

Donovan’s extracurricular activities this year included swimming, soccer, and a little baseball. He liked them, but not so much that I felt a need to re-enroll him. I think he needed downtime more than activities.

This was Donovan’s first year of school! He LOVES school. Except for two weeks when he fussed about being left (not the first two weeks, but a random two weeks), he skipped into class every day with a smile on his face and barely time for a hug from Mama. His teachers say he is a happy boy who is friends with everyone. So true! He loved telling me about his day, which was so nice and a little surprising =) He would sing me songs he learned, or tell me about things he made. He went three days this year, and he is VERY excited about going more days next year.

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First Day of School

First Day of School

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He loved getting to build with the wooden blocks =)

He loved getting to build with the wooden blocks =)

This year, Donovan learned to swing on his own, he longs to be able to do monkey bars at the park, and he asked for his own big boy bike (with training wheels).

His favorite food is cinnamon rolls. He pretty much only likes cinnamon rolls. That’s not exactly true, he does like oatmeal and cinnamon toast at his Papa’s house.

Some more highlights of this year:

Donovan’s first trip to Disney World

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Fantastico in Texas, including the Great Wolf Lodge, and a Super Fantastico Indiana Jones Adventure.

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Serenity in May

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

6/2

End of the Year picture!  Last day of Kindergarten!

End of the Year picture! Last day of Kindergarten!

May was a busy month! Serenity especially had a lot going on. She performed Flounder in the Little Mermaid with her musical theater class twice! She did such an amazing job! You could hear every line she spoke clearly, which was a definite challenge in the warehouse they were performing in. You could even hear her adorable little stage whisper when Flounder is asking Ariel about sharks. She learned her lines well, and even remembered to act when it wasn’t her turn to talk. We talked about it some, because of an incident at the dress rehearsal. Since Flounder is Ariel’s best friend, she’s often on stage with her. When Ariel was singing “Part of Your World” for the first time in her costume, Flounder was right next to her, with her mouth wide open, trying to eat the long red hair from the wig!!! It was hilarious! She also kept trying to pick scales off of costumes, or feathers… At any rate, she didn’t do it during the real performance, which was a heroic example of self control for my baby that just loves to fiddle with things. It was wonderful! She says she wants to take musical theater class again, and when Eric suggested that she could put on plays for friends and family, she said, “But I want a BIG audience!”

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So cute!

So cute!

Flounder!

Flounder!

Getting stage makeup from Miss Courtney

Getting stage makeup from Miss Courtney

Vana Ema and Papa are so excited to see Serenity's play!

Vana Ema and Papa are so excited to see Serenity’s play!

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The end of the year activities at school were wonderful too! Serenity got a Dynamite award from Mrs. Widdoes for excellence in geography. And she got a StarBurst award for being an excellent and dynamic reader. She got a Kumon award for math. And the class did their Sails Skit about the time periods, so she got to share her Queen Elizabeth lines again. Her spring concert was fun too, especially the Crescendo song. She and her classmates really got into that, throwing their whole bodies into it when the song reached the loudest part of crescendo and decrescendo!

 

Serenity almost made me cry with this dedication =)  "This book is for my mom.  She helps me feel better when I am sad."

Serenity almost made me cry with this dedication =) “This book is for my mom. She helps me feel better when I am sad.”

With Mrs. Robison

With Mrs. Robison

StarBurst Award

StarBurst Award

Serenity and Stuart are dynamite!

Serenity and Stuart are dynamite!

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I loved this work she did with Mrs. Widdoes.  They made paper dolls of themselves and filled out job applications.  If they did a good job with the application, they got an outfit for their doll =)

I loved this work she did with Mrs. Widdoes. They made paper dolls of themselves and filled out job applications. If they did a good job with the application, they got an outfit for their doll =)

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If Serenity were President, she would help families around the world.

If Serenity were President, she would help families around the world.

We also had our end of the year banquet for Daisies, which was bittersweet for me. We had an awesome, amazing year with her Daisy Troop, but the other USchool moms and I decided that since the troop had gotten so large, and since several other girls in the class had asked about joining, that we should start our own troop next year. I will be the troop leader, and I’m very excited about it, but we will definitely miss Harper and Ms Jennifer! The banquet itself was fun, with a mini-museum of all the amazing things the girls did this year. The list is incredible, including earning all their Daisy Petals, donating money to the Child Abuse Network and participating in the SuperHero Challenge, our first cookie sales, a cookie tasting event, making gift bags for a women’s shelter, gardening at Eisenhower Elementary School. Just writing it out I can hardly believe that six year olds did all this!

Serenity and Wren with the centerpieces they made for the banquet

Serenity and Wren with the centerpieces they made for the banquet

Serenity made sure everyone signed the book for Ms. Jennifer

Serenity made sure everyone signed the book for Ms. Jennifer

World Thinking Day

World Thinking Day

The museum of Daisy Scout activities =)

The museum of Daisy Scout activities =)

perfect attendance

perfect attendance

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Serenity slept with the cheetah she earned selling Girl Scout cookies

Serenity slept with the cheetah she earned selling Girl Scout cookies

 

Everyone is welcome in Tiger School =)

Everyone is welcome in Tiger School =)

Tiger School

Tiger School

Doing stickers with Ann =)  Serenity got an adorable cat family for her doll house from Ann.

Doing stickers with Ann =) Serenity got an adorable cat family for her doll house from Ann.

Serenity's second manicure, and my third =)

Serenity’s second manicure, and my third =)

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Serenity's favorite fairy friend, Ink.

Serenity’s favorite fairy friend, Ink.

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Serenity is declared a Lady of the Court

Serenity is declared a Lady of the Court

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Her haircut!

Her haircut!

Donovan in May

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

6/2

Donovan in May!

End of the year!

End of the year!

May was a busy fun month with all the end of school activities. Donovan’s class sang adorable songs about the time periods they studied. Donovan sang “Heavy Stone Walls” which is all about Romanesque architecture. Mrs. Fox taught him the song. When we were decorating the envelopes with the cards we made for his teachers, he drew heavy stone walls for her =)

 

Decorating envelopes for teachers =)

Decorating envelopes for teachers =)

Heavy Stone Walls, Heavy Stone Walls, Heigh Ho the Dairy O, this is Romanesque.

 

Donovan loved his first year of school. Nearly every day in May he’d ask me if it was time yet for him to get to go four days a week. He’ll be in EC again next year, since his birthday is on the border, but we’ll go one more day a week. He’s very excited about it. He actually asked to go five days a week for a while, but we’ll be doing that soon enough. At least soon enough for me =) He loves all his teachers! He said his favorite thing about school was studying reptiles in Science. They went on reptile hunts.

 

 

With his fantastic teachers!

With his fantastic teachers!

=)

=)

First Spring Concert!

First Spring Concert!

Getting ready to do his class skit!

Getting ready to do his class skit!

We LOVE Ms. Parent

We LOVE Ms. Parent

How is he so big!?!

How is he so big!?!

First and last days of school

First and last days of school

He is a sport for going along with this picture idea =)  getting flung into the air isn't his favorite thing =)

He is a sport for going along with this picture idea =) getting flung into the air isn’t his favorite thing =)

We also went to the Renaissance Fair at the Castle in Muskogee. I wanted to go last year but we just didn’t make it. This year we went to the very last day. May was a really wet month so it was probably the best day for the fair! Donovan loved it. He participated in a demonstration of how to use a pike with Barrett. They would “recover” or hold the pike up, and “present arms” and then stabby stabby stabby 😉 It was funny, and Donovan made excellent growly faces when poking the shield wall.   I was very proud because I told him he could buy one thing, and he saw a little pet dragon that he wanted. We said we’d get it later if he still wanted it because that was right at the beginning. Well, he asked for several other things, but after comparing it with the dragon friend, he decided he actually wanted the dragon the most. Which is pretty cool, because it used to be whatever he was currently looking at that he wanted the most.   Donovan made friends with a knight in red. The knight even gave him a necklace with a coat of arms on it. Donovan was dressed up as a knight too, so he would give his friend high fives whenever we passed =) We did the quest given by the king and queen, so at the end Donovan was knighted by the King of Scotland. He loved it all! I loved it all except for the very last minute. We were leaving the fair, and there was a line of some of the various fairy tale people we’d met. Peter Pan noticed our map of Neverland, and he and the other fairies were making a big deal about Serenity since she was the closest to me. Eric had Maia, and he watched Donovan walk over to me. Well, he was right by my side, but I got distracted by the fairies. In just one second, I guess he realized there were lots of people around him he didn’t know. He must have ducked under the benches, because he managed to get by Eric and he was charging out the gate to the parking lot! Eric had gone back, thinking he must have returned to the fair, and I ran toward the exit asking if anyone had seen a little blue knight as soon as we realized he was gone! I caught up with him just at the door to the fair. SO SCARY! We’ve had lots of conversations about not running if he thinks he’s lost. Hopefully next time he’ll freeze and just shout! AAACK. Still traumatized. And they’re all asking to go again next year =) Hopefully I’ll be over it by then.

On the way to the Renaissance Faire

On the way to the Renaissance Faire

Pikes!

Pikes!

In the Woodlands

In the Woodlands

Fire, his pet dragon =)

Fire, his pet dragon =)

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Getting knighted

Getting knighted

Fun with cousins!

Fun with cousins!

Wearing Barrett's vest =)  So handsome =)

Wearing Barrett’s vest =) So handsome =)

He is the best brother =)

He is the best brother =)

I love it when they drag all their stuffed animals to bed with them =)

I love it when they drag all their stuffed animals to bed with them =)

Ann came to visit us!  We were SO happy!!! =)

Ann came to visit us! We were SO happy!!! =)

He loves Legos!  Vana Ema got him an X-men set for his birthday

He loves Legos! Vana Ema got him an X-men set for his birthday