Friday, July 6, 2012

Mabel Dance Recital May 2012

Ever since Emmeline had her dance recital last year (2011), all Mabel has wanted to do is dance in her own recital. Mabel loves fancy, pretty things. She was excited about the beautiful costume, make up and flowers (maybe even more so then the dancing itself.) Well after a year of waiting, she finally got to participate in her own recital on May 19. She looked beautiful and she did a great job. Here are some videos of her ballet and tap dances. These were actually filmed at the dress rehearsal and neither are quite as good as they were at the actually recital, but you get the idea. Also, Mabel participated with Brett in the daddy/daughter dance. This year they danced to "My Girl" and it was so sweet. Besides the bouquet of flowers I got for Mabel after the recital, the daddy/daughter dance was definitely the highlight for her. She loved everything about it including the special extra practices they had together. One night Brett even took her out for ice cream after the practice. :) The daddy/daughter video is horrible and shaky. I wasn't in a good place for filming. Also, Mabes and Brett are in the back and there are moments when you cant see Mabel. But it is still sweet and you get an idea of the overall feeling of the dance. I didnt take any video of Em and Bretts dance and I have regretted it ever since. So even though it is not great, I have included the daddy/daughter dance video here.

Mabes pants are a little to long in her tap dance and she keeps pulling them up. oops. But yeah, it doesnt get much cuter then this!!  :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 4th of July 2012

We had a great 4th of July this year. Our ward had a flag raising ceremony followed by a children's bike parade and pancake breakfast in the morning. It was very great to watch the flag raise and say the pledge of allegiance with a large group of people. I haven't done that for a really long time but it does provoke very powerful emotions. Despite the uncertainty and divisions within this great country, I still feel blessed to live here and enjoy the freedoms that exist. I feel privileged to be a citizen of the United States of America and reciting the pledge helped me remember that. 

We currently don't have any bikes or scooters. These are things we will be getting but with the apartment living and moving. . .we currently don't have any. The girls still wanted to participate in the parade so I helped them decorate the double stroller. Emmeline called it "The Float." Brett and Emmeline pushed the float with Mabel and Maddie onboard. They were very cute.

This is our first picture with all 6 of us. :)
While we were at the picnic, some new friends invited us over to their house for a bbq. They had invited several other families as well and we had a good time swimming, getting to know some new people, and of course eating great food. You just can't not have a bbq on Independence Day. :) They also gave us some insider tips on watching the city fireworks. They told us the Stake center is just down the street from the high school (where they launch the fireworks). Not only will you get a great seat but if you park on a certain side road you will miss most of the after firework traffic. We tried it out and they were right. The stake center was an awesome place to see the fireworks. There was a huge grassy area for families to sit and many people were playing frisbee and tossing around balls. Plus many of the kids had glow sticks and other glow toys. They were all playing together and comparing. There was just a great feeling of community. The fireworks were nice with a pretty long show. The only negative for me was that there was no music to go along with the fireworks. (In Birmingham there was a musical score created and timed specifically for the fireworks show which was aired on a certain station. You just cranked up your radio and enjoyed. It was awesome!!) But I'm thinking I'll bring my own little patriotic mix next year to play from my iPod. :)

Happy 4th of July. God bless America!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Emmeline Kindergarten Graduation 2012

Emmeline graduated from Kindergarten on May 31. She had a great year and loved learning and meeting new friends. During the last week of school all the families got to come to a special awards ceremony. Emmeline received several participation awards. I am very proud of her achievements. Here is a video of her class singing "Mr. Sun" during the awards ceremony. Emmeline is on the second row in the middle. . .with the braids. :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mabel-7 days in the week

This is Mabel and her preschool class singing a song they learned for their preschool graduation. 

Homemade Preschool: Review from last year

Last year (2011-2012) I had a friend who set up and organized a rotating preschool for our 4/5 year olds. The classes were on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 - 11:30. For the first semester (September - December) we rotated houses every week then for the second semester (January - May) we switched every two weeks. I personally preferred rotating every two weeks. This preschool was so good for Mabel. Before preschool, she didn't play well with others. She wasn't mean or even particularly shy, she just didn't seem to think she needed other friends who weren't Emmeline. Emmeline is sooo social. She is always trying to make new friends and she brings Mabel along with her. Through preschool though, Mabel learned that its fun to have other friends and Emmeline doesn't always have to be with her for her to be able to play and have a good time.

Brush those teeth
National Pizza Day
We did purchase the Funshine Preschool curriculum. It was helpful to have pre cut craft materials and a handful of ideas. (However, I wouldn't mind just doing my own next time. . . there were some things I didn't like about the curriculum we got) It was really fun to see the different activities the teachers planned for the kids. Mabel would always come home with neat art projects and tales of great activities and snacks. A few of the themes I got to teach about were Dinosaurs, Teeth, Healthy Bodies, the Arctic, Pizza, Patriotism (presidents day) and Teddy Bears.

I also seemed to get a lot of holidays (which is the way I like it), so we had a Halloween party and a Valentine's Day party at my house, complete with chocolate fountain. mmmmmmmmm.

A few of my favorite activities were:
*I cut out a bunch of different shapes from poster boards and I hid them in the rocks at our little playground. I had the kids come out and "dig" for the "dinosaur bones." After they found all the shapes, the kids got to put them together in the shape of a dinosaur.
*When we talked about arctic animals, I had them put their hands in a bowl of ice. Afterwards I had them put their hands into a lard glove I made using two ziplock bags and some shortening. Then they put their hands back in the ice. They couldn't even feel the cold. It was pretty awesome.
*My favorite things to have the kids do every day were dance to music, put together puzzles, and listen to read aloud stories. 

We also had a couple of really neat field trips. We went to the fire station and the grocery store. At Kroger (the grocery store), the kids got to see a live lobster and go back in the cold rooms filled with dairy products. Plus they gave them a ton of treats. . .cookies, oranges, crayons, and popcorn. It was really fun.


At the end of the year we had a preschool graduation party for the kids. It was very cute and Mabel was so excited to be the center of attention and have this party. She really loved preschool. Some mornings she would get dressed and have her backpack on before I even got up and going. It was neat to see her develop friendships, have a fun time and be inspired to love learning new things.