Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Penny's Playful Preschool

Penny started going to preschool this year. For the first two months, she cried every time I picked her up because she didn't want to leave! On more than one occasion, she actually tried to jump in another mother's arms so I couldn't take her home. I shudder to think what Penny's teacher must have thought about her home life! Thankfully, now that the "newness" has worn off a bit, I get a nice big hug when I pick her up.
Maybe Penny needs a smaller backpack!
Playful Preschool is once a week, with only a handful of toddlers and it's been a perfect fit for my little Penny. Her teacher, Natalie, is so sweet and cute with all the kids and Penny just adores her!
Today, they put on a little Christmas program for all the parents. They sang and danced to a few songs and it was equal parts adorable and humorous. Penny loves singing and learning actions to songs. 
Even though the lighting in the picture below is terrible, I can help but love it. It really captures my Penny's sweet little personality. 
Penny is loving, thoughtful, and bright. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

I have always maintained that if I were ever going to cook a Thanksgiving dinner, I would not cook turkey. (Roast chicken or beef anyone?) But when it came down to planning a little meal for just Andrew and the girls I couldn't bring myself to break tradition. And that is why I bought an 11 pound turkey for four people, two of which are small children. I also planned half a dozen side dishes, including homemade rolls, and three pies from scratch for desert. 

As Thanksgiving approached, Andrew and I hoped to find another family to share our meal with but everyone we talked to already had plans. It was less than a week to Thanksgiving, and we had resigned ourselves to the idea of keeping the dinner a small family affair, when I decided to check if the missionaries had a place to go. To our shock, they had not been invited anywhere yet, and we were excited to have guests! Days later, Andrew ran into our neighbor, Doug, and discovered he too needed a place to go.  It was a Thanksgiving Day miracle! 

I made way too much food and probably didn't need to make so much of it from scratch, but the result was delicious and the company was even better. Thanksgiving it seems, is a case of, "If you build cook it, they will come!"
After sending home a huge bag of food with Doug, we still had enough food to eat leftovers for the rest of the weekend! After cooking for days, it was nice to relax. I discovered a great way to reheat leftovers. I put everything (except gravy) in a oven safe dish and warmed it through in the microwave. Then I put gravy over the potatoes and put the food under the broiler for a about two minutes to get the green bean casserole, sweet potatoes casserole and stuffing crispy again while the gravy warmed through and protected the mashed potatoes from getting burnt.
Perfection!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Halloween 2014

For Halloween this year Eloise wore a darling pumpkin hat that was once worn by my sisters.
Penny dressed up in a kitty costume that my mom made me when I was her age. She loved Halloween! The decorations, the pumpkins, and especially the candy! She still talks about trick or treating on a regular basis.
Showing off the pumpkin she painted at preschool
We went to the our church trunk or treat a few days before Halloween and hit the neighborhood the day of. Penny's neighbor friend, Jase, and his parents joined us.
Our neighborhood was overflowing with trick or treaters! 
I had my parents dig up some old Halloween photos of my sisters and me. It is fun to compare them to my girls!
Me in the kitty costume
Aunt Stephanie wearing the pumpkin hat
Aunt Stephanie and Me
Stephanie and Me
I think my girls might look a little bit like me after all!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Penny's First Haircut

Penny's first haircut turned out so cute! I have been crazy sentimental about her baby hair and I worried that too much would get chopped off.  Before we moved to Texas, Penny's hair was mostly straight, the humidity here made her hair curlier, but only the bottom half. The top half stayed stubbornly straight. She also has the most impressive bed-head I have ever seen.
For posterity's sake, here are some more before pictures:
I took Penny to a special kids salon, cutely names Pigtails and Crewcuts. They get keep the kids so distracted with special car chairs,  suckers, and movies, that Penny hardly seemed to notice her hair getting cut.
She got to pick a prize at the end, she choose a pencil, which she was really excited about until she asked me to open it for her. I am not sure what she thought she was going to find inside the pencil, but she was frustrated I wouldn't unwrap it. 
The back of her hair looks a million times better now--I should have had it cut sooner!
It was nice to spend a little one-on-one time with Penny. We need to go on mommy-daughter dates more often! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Father and Daughter

Daughters have been good for Andrew. His girls bring out a tender side of him that would otherwise hide behind his tough, logical exterior. Andrew is very protective of his girl's comfort and schedules. Nap time will not be interrupted for anything, not even his own parents. When he picks out clothes for the girls, he likes to dress Eloise solely in loose onseies, since those are surely the most comfortable. Meanwhile, Penny has upgraded from onesies to leggings and a comfortable t-shirt.
Penny adores her dad. All day she asks me where he is, "Daddy's at work Penny, he will be home after your nap." Every time she sees or hears a car pass she perks up and yells, "Daddy's home!" and I explain, "That's not Daddy, he's working, he will be home later." When he finally does come home, he is greeted with many cheers and hugs.
 In the evenings, Andrew watches the girls while I go to a CrossFit class. While I am gone, they like to build forts, play outside, and go for walks. Penny and Andrew went on one such walk last Saturday. Although I was home, I was not invited, but snuck out and found them as they were coming home, and greatly annoyed them both by snapping a few pictures of them.
It's not hard to see why Penny adores her dad so much :)