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Sunday, April 17, 2016

February 2016 and His Little Feet Choir Visit

Watching a movie in their 'race cars' - custom designs by Caleb and Landon themselves.  They thought it was pretty cool. 

A few general observations and things I want to remember:

Caleb has been into mouthing words to us instead of saying them with an audible voice.  He also sometimes says just the first letter of words as an answer, like "I want M for naps (movie)" or "Can we have a T?(treat)"  

Landon still interacts with kids shows and calls out answers, like on Ruff Ruff, Tweet and Dave, a show he loves

In December and January, Landon, who had mostly stopped napping, went back to consistently napping every other day.  I was thankful for the predictable pattern and that he was still sleeping a few days a week again, but then toward the end of January that stopped.  I wondered if it had been a growth spurt, so I measured him, and sure enough, he had grown AN INCH AND A QUARTER since November!  For those of you who have noticed him looking taller, he absolutely is!

I am really loving the age the boys are at, Preschool and Kindergarten, and the innocence they still have.  It makes me happy that the worst things they can think of to call each other are things like "You're a Toe!"  Can it always stay that way please???

His Little Feet International Children's Choir:
Last year was our first time hosting children from the His Little Feet International Children's choir.  We couldn't wait for them to pass through Lodi again with a new group of children this year, and with last minute changes to their scheduling, we had the opportunity to host again, which we were so looking forward to.  It happened again on a very busy weekend.  Thank you Jimmy for your willingness to serve and keep these guys (and our little guys) fed, safe, and entertained for half the weekend while mommy was at a women's conference (on the books prior to knowing when the choir would be in town)!  

The boys we hosted this year are from Ethiopia and Mizoram, India (where our child from last year lives - in fact they are friends, and live in the same orphanage in India).  Biruk (Ethiopia), and David (India) are both eleven years old.  

We wanted to give these guys a break from heavy pizza and pasta type dinners, so we took them to sushi (also our boys' fav) and it was a hit!  C & L have so much fun with the choir children - you would never know by this picture that they had only met the day before :)

Eggs for breakfast and David and Biruk wanted to learn to make theirs themselves.

Bike ride around our neighborhood.  In the middle is "Uncle Sam", the HLF staff member who stays with the boys at each house, responsible for them like a parent would be. 

Biruk is such a sweet boy.  I could tell at a few points during the weekend that he is at an age where he is trying to figure himself out, concerned about looking cool and grown up.  He wanted me to take his picture with this hat on... this is pose one, then pose two - I think he likes the second option best!  Doesn't he look like a little model kid?  Handsome guy!

Sports Day at school... and then there is the Red Sox fan... :)

Landon and his preschool buddy Billy had a fun play date at the park being goofy together, followed by a movie date to see Kung Fu Panda 3 the following week

Caleb is such a lover, and although this picture on the left looks a little bit like he is trying to choke Landon with big smiles, these are versions of Caleb's current pose of choice when he and Landon take a picture together - Caleb standing behind with his arms around Landon.  L-O-V-E it!

Family fun at the bowling alley after daddy returned home from a work trip. Landon was ahead nearly the whole time and almost beat all of us, but Daddy pulled through at the end!

Big deal stuff here.  Even bigger deal than the clippers at home... Landon finally decided it wasn't a big deal to get his hair cut at the hair place.  After touching the clippers at home last month, and realizing why they vibrate and make the noise they do, and that it doesn't hurt you, he was ok with having a professional cut his hair, which I am SO happy about!  He sat perfectly still the entire time, then was silly afterward for the post-pic (which you can't even see the haircut in, by the way)

Excited to have a chance to use his new umbrella, and the pose he gave me for this picture cracks me up.  I feel like its a little preview of how he will look in high school, minus the arms out holding the umbrella, but how he is standing with his weight back on one foot.  I don't know, something about it makes me smile.  

Tokay High School hosted a big science fair type event, and they had different hands on activities set up in the classrooms and gymnasium.  We had fun trying to make homemade speakers out of styrofoam cups and wire, among other things.

As we've started purchasing some of the gear Caleb needs to play t-ball this Spring, he of course can't wait to wear all of it.   So this was before his first practice (right after eating or drinking something red I think) and he insisted on wearing his new baseball pants with his 'baseball shirt' (aka Giants jersey).  Then the helmet, socks, belt, cup, bat, cleats, and glove all had to go on too.  He wanted to practice in the front yard wearing his helmet and cleats any chance he could get.  Like I've said to a few people, he seems to be enjoying baseball, but not sure if its the game or the gear that he likes more!

Our chocolate lover, Landon, has also recently discovered that he really likes mommy's chocolate protein shakes.  Get this:  When asking me for a piece of his Easter candy for a treat, he looked through his bag of goodies, checked out several options, then put the bag back up in the cupboard and said, "No, I don't want any candy.  I want a chocolate shake!"   Um, YES!   How can I say no to a healthy shake being requested INSTEAD OF CANDY?!  

Grandma Stanford has finally agreed to move into an assisted living facility, which is very much what she needs with all of her 94 years of age, and the boys got to have a bit of fun riding back and forth on the dolly the day we moved her out of her apartment.  Grandma is doing great and has put on a healthy amount of weight now that someone is preparing regular meals for her!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

January 2016

Train Ride and Ice Skating!  We have thrown around the idea of taking the Amtrak train to Sacramento for several years now, but it has such a goofy schedule on the weekends that in the past with kids still napping we haven't wanted to do it.  Well we finally got to go, and it turned out to be a very fun day - "Who even planned this day?? This was the best day of my life!", said Caleb.
Nana Gigi, Aunt Aly, Tess, Beau, Wren, Caleb, Landon, and I all rode the train to Sacramento, while Uncle Joey and Jimmy drove up separate cars to meet us.  Gigi and our family went ice skating at a little outdoor rink in Downtown Sac - first time for the boys and they had such a great time.

There was a little mini lesson before the skate session began in which they taught the kids some basics of ice skating, which were really simple but helpful tips.  They taught them how to catch their balance if they felt themselves starting to fall, how to push off the ice to make themselves go, and even how to make yourself spin.  The boys wanted to hold our hands while they skated a lot of the time, but they actually skated far better when they let go of us, simply because it didn't pull their balance to one side holding our hands.  Caleb did especially well for his first time!

And an added surprise - I ran into an old friend, Rachelle, whom I haven't seen in years.

I Spy....little Landon's hiding....under the clean clothes pile, and fully asleep napping with his entire body and head tightly tucked under his blanket.

January 10, 2016: Big moment in the life of this 4-year-old (or at least as far as his mommy is concerned...) : this guy FINALLY let me use the hair clippers on him after two years of absolute meltdowns at barber shops and only scissor cutting it myself (with no training whatsoever)! I'm very excited that we may be rounding this corner... 

Can't get this picture to rotate the right direction, but its still very fun - painting with shaving cream at preschool with his friend, Otto. Don't you just want to jump in and join them??

You can always count on Mr. Drouin to be in costume for any sort of dress up days, which the kids of course love.  This was pajama day :)

Downed tree at Lodi Lake - this is the underside of what was left of the tree roots - looks mostly hollow inside so you can imagine how it tipped easily up and out of the ground.