Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fun weekend with Grammy!

This weekend Shea and I had a Christmas party to go to, so my mom came to spend the night with Riley. Riley loves to spend time with Grammy, so my mom hung out for the day on Sunday. Our fun started out with making sugar cookies and then decorating them. Then, once it got dark, we headed to the Festival of Lights at Bull Run Park. It is a 2 mile long drive-thru light show that we go to every year. We really enjoy it and Riley was really into it this year, which made it all the more fun. At the end of the light show they have a winter wonderland festival set up with amusement rides, fire pits, a few craft stands and pictures with Santa. Even though Riley really wanted to ride some rides, it was way to cold for that, but we did visit with Santa. A few pictures of our day.....

Riley and GrammyCutting out cookies.Time to decorate!Don't they look yummy!Shea tried to get pictures of some of the light displays. This is the best he could do...Riley wasn't too excited about sitting on Santa's lap, but he was really excited about the reindeer, who was really cute actually!Finally Riley decided he would visit Santa, only if I sat on his lap too!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Preschool Christmas Party

Today Riley had his school Christmas party with his class. It was so much fun and the kids were all so excited. I actually stayed the whole morning and helped the teachers get ready for the party. This was really fun because I got to see Riley interact with his friends and observe how his day goes. I thought at first he would want to sit with me and not sit with the class. That was not what happened at all. I just sat in the back and he followed along with what his teacher wanted him to do the whole time. It was so cute. I even got to see the sign language teacher have her session with the kids. That was really neat too. After morning activities, the party began.

Riley actually let me put something on him other than a t-shirt. I thought he looked so old in this picture....They started the party with some yummy food for snack.Then they did some activities, making a marshmallow snowman, decorating cookies, and making reindeer food.After the activities, they had a gift exchange. All the kids brought in a small gift to exchange with their friends. This is Riley picking his number for the exchange.
Opening their gifts.
After the gift exchange, several of Riley's classmate gave out goodie bags to all their friends. Riley did this as well. Here he is passing them out...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Random pics....

Shea tried to get a few pictures of our outside lights. This is the best we could do...

These are an attempt at getting a good Christmas card picture. Not what I was looking for, but they came out cute so I thought I would share. We decided to go with a family shot instead. Thanks Bethany for taking the family pictures and tweaking them to look good!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A birthday party for Baby Jesus!

Yesterday at Riley's preschool they had a little birthday party for Baby Jesus. I was able to volunteer and I'm glad I did. It was so cute. Before everyone headed to the sanctuary, Santa made an appearence in each classroom to talk about the spirit of giving. Then all the classes met in the sanctuary to hear the nativity story, read by Mary holding Baby Jesus...One of the teachers who just had a baby played Mary with her newborn son as Jesus. After the story was read, the children all brought gifts for baby Jesus and placed them on the stage. His preschool then donated all the gifts to an area shelter for families in need. I thought that was a great idea! After they gave their gifts, they headed down to the fellowship hall {I helped hang the streamers:)} for snack, yummy cookies, after singing Happy Birthday to Jesus!


Last week we finished all the decorating we are doing this year. We have so much stuff that I only really put out what I'm in the mood to put out at the moment we decide to decorate. Does that make any sense :)? Anyway, one thing I always do is put up 3 trees. Ones only a table top one, but the other 2 are regular size. Riley was a big help with decorating this year and actually spread the ornaments out really well on the trees.Here is our fun tree....with colored lights, random ornaments and the train.This is our "nice tree".....with white lights and glass ornaments, set up in the dining room.Then we have our VA Tech tree.....a table top scene of Hokie Pride!!

A train for our tree!

I decided that with Riley's obsession with cars, trucks, trains etc., that this year would be a great year to get a Christmas train for our tree. I should have picked one up earlier in the season, because by the time I went to get one there were not too many to pick from. I just wanted something simple, and inexpensive since I knew it was going to get a lot of use :). I finally found this one.... .....and Riley loved it. He played with it nonstop when we first put it up. It didn't take him long to figure out how to work it and put it back on the track. Bentley even enjoyed it too!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Riley had an exciting day.

I picked Riley up from preschool today and he was so excited to tell me about his day. They went on a field trip to a local kids gym and from what Riley said, they had a fun time. Of course, how they got there was the highlight of the school bus! Yes, Riley is still obsessed with vehicles. It wasn't your typical yellow school bus though. It was a small little white bus, but Riley was still very excited he got to ride a bus. His mind was going a mile a minute and he was just talking the whole way Ms. Sandy(his teacher) was the bus driver, and that he got to sit with Jesse(his best friend at school) on the bus, and that the bus has wheels, and that it was so cool, and that they all yelled when they went over the railroad tracks. I knew he would be thrilled, but he was so excited. It was so cute. He continued to ramble on and started talking about "buses have wheels, and so do trucks, and my friend Mason has a truck with wheels, and I have a truck with wheels and Tanner has 2 four-wheelers with wheels so our 4 trucks all have wheels." Seriously, did he just do a math problem?! The way he just, without hesitation, said "our 4 trucks" really amazed me for some reason. How he counted them in his head that quickly is crazy to me. Then he starts naming all things that have wheels, "but not airplanes or helicopters." I told him that airplanes do have wheels and that they only come out when they take off and are going to land. Then he starts with, "the wheels come down to land, abajo and go up when it's flying, arriba. Abajo down, arriba up." Now the fact that he knows these spanish words didn't totally shock me because he loves to watch Dora, and these 2 specific words are used a lot in her shows. What did surprise me is that out of no where he used them, and correctly. I have never heard him use Spanish before this, except for an occasional word that he hears from Diego or Dora, but never really in regular conversation. I know that as part of his preschool curriculum they go to Spanish class twice a month or so. Maybe that is where he is learning to actually use the Spanish he knows. Just another reason why I love his preschool!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Weekend at the Femrite's

This past weekend(remember look at the date, still trying to catch up) we visited with our good friends, Mark and Sherri Femrite and their family. If you know us well, then you know we have and continue to spend many fall weekends down at VA Tech. We are so grateful for our wonderful friends, who are really like family to us, who open their home to us every time we are in town. The Femrite's used to live right outside the town of Blacksburg, just minutes from campus. Several years ago they built a house on many, many acres in the middle of the woods out in Floyd, basically on the other side of I81 from Blacksburg. Even though they are now about 20-25 minutes from campus, we still say "we are going to Tech." Just habit I guess. We love when we get to visit the Femrite's because it is always such a relaxing, fun time. Hanging out in the woods by the fire pit(one of my favorite things to do), tailgating on Hokie game day, and just spending time with good friends. This particular weekend all of Mark and Sherri's kids, and grandson were in town for Thanksgiving. We don't get to visit with them often, so it was nice to catch up with everyone. Riley loves playing with their grandson Josh too. I have put togehter a slide show of our fun weekend. Enjoy!

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Riley's Thanksgiving Project

Riley made this place mat at school for Thanksgiving, along with his Indian head band. Most kids were thankful for their parents, brothers or sisters, or some toy...Riley was thankful for cows, horses and chicken. Not sure where that came from!

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. (I know I'm a little late.....trying to catch up.) We went up to my brother Don's house in Maryland and had a great time. My mom, grandma, and Aunt Donna were there along with my SIL Cheri's family. It was so nice to spend time with family and Riley really enjoyed playing with his cousins. I thought I would share some pictures from the day....

My brother Don and Aunt Donna
Gathered around the table.
Riley enjoying his meal.
My niece Callie, her cousin Loren, and my niece Jessie.
My grandma, Riley and Me
My mom's yummy Texas sheet cake, Thanksgiving style. Good job Mom!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Our glasses......finally.

I have been saying I would post a picture of Shea and I in our glasses....not too exciting, but here ya go.....

Riley wanted to get in the picture too!
We both have realized that we really do need to wear them more than we thought. Shea more than me really, but I need them more than I had hoped I would :). I'm getting more and more used to them and my eyes are definitely not as tired at night as they used to be. As I get more used to them and need them to see more often, I guess I will need to get a cool pair, but for now these will have to do.

Addison is home!

Our friends, Kyle and Bethany, have finally completed their adoption journey. Addison Veronika, or Nika for short, is finally home with her forever family. She has been home a week now and doing great....I've been a little behind on my blogging :)! We actually got to see Addison the night she got home. We greeted Kyle, Bethany, and Addison at the airport along with some of their family. It was so exciting seeing everyone reunited. Addison is just too cute! Here she is with Shea at the airport.....

Friday, November 14, 2008

A picture of the family...

Tonight, Riley decided to explore his artistic side. He has never really been into art. Coloring books and crayons have never been too exciting to him. He would and still does just scribble in them. He has for awhile now drawn people though, getting more recognizable each time. He also likes writing his name, but that's about it for letters. So when Riley sat down at his desk and pulled out his markers and paper all on his own tonight, which he has never really done, I asked him to draw me a picture. He said he would, one of "Mommy and Daddy"......I then asked him if he could draw one of the whole family. Not bad, even with 2 Bentley's!

Riley Counting

I have been meaning to post an update on Riley for a while now and have just now got around to it. I just figured out how to take more than a 10 second video with our camera too and wanted to add a video along with this post, so that has delayed things a bit as well. Anyway, Riley caught on to recognizing and counting numbers 1-10 rather quickly, moving on to 1-20 skipping a few here and there. So, around six months or so ago....not too positive exactly when, but it's been awhile now....Riley started showing more of an interest for counting and numbers in general. I decided to print out a 1-100 number grid and just had it laying around. The first time I showed it to him he read numbers 1-20, with a little help, and then I would read the rest. After only one or two more times of me reading the grid to him, he was able to read it himself with me only helping with the 10's......I would read 30, 40, 50 etc. and he could fill in the rest all the way to 100. I was amazed at how he was remembering the grid so fast, literally only after a few times of going over it. I left the grid out, just sitting on the counter or where ever, and we would pick it up whenever we noticed it. Before long, Riley was able to read it himself all the way to 100. He still couldn't recognize numbers above 20 for the longest time, just knew how to count them in order and only with looking at the grid. He can now pretty much count from 1-100 using his grid without messing up. He still sometimes will say "2-teen" or "3-teen" for 20 and 30 when he goes too fast. I have been trying to get Riley on video counting, but it would cut off before he got finished. I fixed the recording speed on the camera tonight, so we finally got him counting the whole grid. He is now working on recognizing all his numbers, not just 1-20. With a little warm up, he can point to most numbers 1-100 when asked and can tell you the number when you point to it. He sometimes will say the numbers backwards, but we are hoping with a little more practice he will learn to correct that. It just is amazing to me how fast Riley picks up on things. I know they say kids are like sponges and take in everything, but I guess it's just different when you see it in your own child...and he's only 3! I know being in preschool this year has really helped Riley get excited about learning as well. Here is the video of him'll have to excuse the crazy Bulldog nose and snorting, Bentley was curious as to what I was taping and tried to eat the camera cord!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

So excited...

Our friends, Kyle and Bethany, boarded a plane today for Russia. This is their second trip to Russia on their journey to bring home their new daughter, who they will officially adopt on Wed. We wish them all the best and can't wait to meet their new baby girl, Addison. I thought it was an interesting coincidence that this article was published in the Washington Post today....(thanks Dad for letting me know about the article!) The article mentions Reece's Rainbow, which I'm almost positive is where Bethany first saw pictures of Addison, waiting for her forever family. Follow their journey to bring Addison home here! We can't wait to meet you Addison....hopefully next week!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cheers To Us!

Today is mine and Shea's wedding anniversary.....8 years!! I can't believe we have been married that long! It seems like just yesterday that we walked out of the church as husband and wife.