Sunday, January 26, 2014

Clyde's 10th Birthday

Throughout the day of Clyde's 10th birthday, he received MANY phone calls from his awesome family and got to hear several renditions of "Happy Birthday."
He really enjoyed that.  Every time the phone rang, he started grinning.  :)

He had already opened his money since it all came at once on Lu's birthday; somehow I sadly didn't get a picture. :(

Here he is opening Rita's card!

And Grandmom and Grandad's present and card, which contained the other half of his Dollywood pass too!

Not long after, we had his birthday dinner with Nena, Papa, and Sherry.
He wanted to eat at Logan's and asked if we could also swing by PFChangs afterword for some dessert.

While we waited for food, he began opening gifts. 

I just had to include the pics of him opening the cards his sisters made him, because they're so cute..

Here he is with Iris's WAS pretty funny!

She bought him and's a robot fish, that can swim in the bathtub.

Here he opening Lucy's card.  On the front there was a pouch...he's unfolding the object he found in the pouch....

Turns out, it was an AngryBirds green pig mask, that he's supposed to put on before he opens the card.  When he opened it, there was a 3D red bird coming towards him :)

Lucy bought him a starter Chima set, which was the main present he had been asking for.

Sherry brought them each a present again...

Gardening gloves!  They are already planning their gardens for this year...won't be long!

Nena and Papa bought him this awesome wooden game called Destruct 3.  It's all about destroying things with different mechanical wooden structures.  Very Clyde!

Stephen and I kind of went eclectic this year.  None of the kids wanted anything huge, so we sort of got them each an assortment of stuff in one bag/box.  I think Clyde liked everything....not sure what was his favorite, the Camp Half-blood t-shirt or the beyblades.

Then we were off to have dessert.

Here's our Fonzie cooly waiting on his dessert.

He broke the 'cool' facade and blew out his candles and began to gulp his entire dessert down effortlessly.

Later we went to Nena and Papa's where Nena and the kids played a couple rounds of Destruct 3!

Happy double-digit birthday, Clydie Monster!

A Historic Evening

Mrs E, Lucy's wonderful Historic Girls teacher, put on a beautiful Twelfth Night celebration for all her girls and their families.  We are so thankful for her and all that she teaches Lucy, and the other girls!  They've had such beautiful and unique experiences with her!

Here is Clyde enjoying himself with Pierce, Teva, and Mrs Tammy.

Iris and Sylvia enjoying their first dance...

Lucy and her friends demonstrating the  many dances they've learned and having a beautiful time!  There were many periods of dress represented at this dance, Lucy is wearing her Victorian dress here, as that is the era she presently studying.

Little girls snacking...

Stephen getting in on the fun!

This is how Stephen and Clyde looked most of the time.

A room full of dancers.

I thought this couple was particularly fun to observe.  :)

Mrs E helping Clyde read his question during the Victorian parlor game...

The little girls gathering under the coffee table for some more modern entertainment...

The big girls taking a break for snacks!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Finally Learning to Ride Bikes!!

I am about to expose one of the areas where we have really dropped the ball as parents!!

My Dad taught me to ride a bike VERY early.  It's one of the few EARLY memories I still have.  Then he made me make the jump to a 10-speed early, and I'm glad he did.  I've always been quite good at riding a bike, and have always enjoyed it.

Stephen taught himself in his front yard with a bike that he and his brother shared...also at a young age.

Our kids DO NOT know how to ride a bike without training wheels.  NONE of them.  Even though they are 7, 9, and 11.  Oh wait, the oldest two are now newly 10 & 12!

This REALLY bothers me.  I've mentioned it several times to Stephen.  The problem is, we've never lived on a flat street that wasn't a busy street.  And hauling bikes somewhere flat is fine every once and a while, but  not very practical to do often enough to learn.  The kids have been SO incredibly wobbly that I have trouble holding them upright while they try to get started, so I've been bugging Stephen to teach them.

So while he and I have been painting the living room, we sent them out to play in the front yard every once and a while, but Stephen gave them a new requirement.  They each had to take the bike that he removed the pedals from and glide down our driveway, to learn to balance better.  They had to each do it 30 times, each time they went out. 

I just have to include how much Clyde encouraged the girls in this endeavor.  They DID NOT enjoy this.  Here he is being Iris's cheer-leader.  She was really dragging and miserable, and he started yelling, "Here comes Iris, trying for gold in the Olympic gliding bicycle event, watch her go!!  Wow!  Look at that, in first place again and with an all time world record!!  Give me an 'I'...'I'! Give me a 'R'...'R'! Give me an 'I'..'I'!  Give me a 'S'....'S'!  And what does that SPELL?!........IRIS!!!"  Having him cheer her on really perked her up, and she started enjoying herself :)

However, we are NOT allowed to cheer on Clyde.  It's makes him embarrassed.

After the second or third time they did this, they had improved significantly.  Iris finished first, so Stephen carried Lu's old bike down to our neighborhood's flattest street to let her try REALLY riding WITH pedals, but WITHOUT training wheels.

And she did it!

And she was SHOCKED!!

Then she was just determined to do it for a longer amount of time. :)

Clyde came down and he did it too!  He was a little embarrassed to be riding a girly bike, so after a while a neighbor boy let him try his...very sweet :)

AND then Lucy came down and tried it and she did it too!!  So all 3 kids learned to ride without training wheels the same day!

It was awesome!  They still have a lot of work to do, they're wobbly, nervous, and have trouble starting, but I'm just so glad to be at this point and very VERY proud of them and their efforts!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Lucy's Birthday Dinner

Lucy turned 12 on Christmas Day.  TWELVE!  That is SO crazy.

For her birthday dinner with Nena and Papa, she chose to go to her favorite local Chinese restaurant. 

After we ordered our food, we decided to go ahead and let her open gifts while we waited.

Here she is opening a birthday present and card from Aunt Rita and Uncle Allen.

Sherry decided to give them all their birthday Barnes & Noble giftcards at the same time, so they could all be surprised...

Clyde was actually quite excited about his gift card, contrary to what you may think from the picture.  What he was not excited about was how I kept making him move for the  picture ;)

Iris bought Lucy an American Girl book about service and volunteer work, which she has already devoured.

Clyde had plan for when Lucy opened HIS gift.  She was to promptly hand him her card when she pulled it out of the envelope.  She did.  After opening it to it's full size, he pushed a button on it, which made it play 'Happy Birthday' on acoustic guitar.  So he serenaded her while it played and then gave it back to her...

He also bought her Rick Riordan's Demigod Diaries, which she has already devoured and thoroughly enjoyed!

She seemed pretty happy with the lime green purse, lime green book light, and chewing gum her Daddy and I got her :)

Here she his with Nena and Papa and all the amazing soap-making stuff they got her...along with the awesome container for it all with the lime green handles.  You'd think the girl had a favorite color or something!

Fun was had by all!  Silly girl!  We need to put a book on her head!  Happy Birthday, My Wonderful 12-year-old!!