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Game Night





Can you guess what game we played?




















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Yep, our game night was old school.......we were playing Connect 4.




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And then we took it waaaaay back with this one:

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Chess.




That was all Jesse though. He broke out the chess set, and I picked up my Vogue magazine, so everyone was happy.


It's pretty cute though how the girls still remember all the rules after just the one night when he taught them, when our power was out.


If you move the bishop the wrong way, these girls (probably Mariah) will let you know...trust me. :o)



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I like this.

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(I don't have credits for it...who created it or where it originated, if I did I would post them here.)

"Doctor Martin Luther King Junior" Day

M&M were so excited for Martin Luther King day, you'd have thought it was one of their birthdays!



And it's so cute...they never call him "Martin Luther King" or "MLK"...
it's always:



DOCTOR MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR.



Makes me laugh.



And Mariah reminded me over and over again what a great man he was, to which I agreed. She went so far as to tell me "Doctor Martin Luther King saved the world!". I said whoa whoa whoa....he was a great man but I think you've got him mixed up with another King. The one we celebrate at Christmas. :o)



The most awesome drill team ever (also known as Sherry's Gotta Dance Drill Team) was in a parade on Saturday, which we all went downtown to watch:

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Mallory, smile with your Skittle for Mama...

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The MLK parade was not my favorite parade of the Drill Team season, for a few reasons.



1. It was so incredibly crowded


2. The people in the crowd (at least the ones next to us) were oblivious to others around them


3. We stood in the same place (because we couldn't move an inch....see #s 1 & 2) for about 3 hours before the Drill Team made their appearance


4. The little girl from the family next to us (who was crowding us out of our well-earned seats) spilled her juice drink, then proceeded to dip her pom-pom in it and shake it all around. Which caused juicey mud to splatter all over us. Her parents? Oblivious.


5. I got a parking ticket because I assumed we'd be in and out of there in 1.5 hours like every other parade of the year....the whole 3-hour thing, I wasn't prepared for.


6. And lastly, I've never felt so out of place in my whole life (except maybe in high school). I do realize it was a Martin Luther King parade, and that a certain group of people might find the day more celebretory than others, but still.


Look at this picture (I should have left the whole thing in color to show it better) and see if you can guess why we felt out of place:


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Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course! :o)


But there was one reason why this parade was extra awesome despite the factors listed above....



the girls won first place!


They always win first place, they've never not won first place....unless there was also a Sweepstakes award, then they won that one.


Even though it was hardly a surprise, it was a proud moment nonetheless.


It happens the same w/ every parade....you sit there and you watch countless other groups come through. And they're good, they're different, they're exciting. Some have super nice outfits, some have lots of skill, some are extra cute.


But then Arissa's group comes through and just blows you away. They sparkle and shine, their outfits and their sweet smiling faces. Their routine is amazing, they just look together and fantastic. They totally deserve every trophey or award or "oo" and "ah" from the crowd that they've ever gotten.

And I guess it makes them all the more amazing because we know & love each of these girls, and we know all their sweet, happy personalities. They are such a super group of girls.






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Everybody but Arissa is in this pic...we had to leave right after the parade for a birthday party. :o( Awesome photo though, isn't it? Thank you, Andrea (or Blanca, I'm not sure who took it)!




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Mini books...part 1

Q:
What was the very first thing I did when I found out I was pregnant with Arissa?
A:
I made a scrapbook!

And right after she was born, I promptly filled up 2 giant 12x12 books with pictures and memoires of her.

When Mariah was born, I immediately bought a book for her. I didn't have as much time as I used to, but Arissa started preschool around that time so while she was at school and Mariah was napping, I would sit at the table and scrap until she woke up. I filled up Mariah's whole 12x12 scrapbook.

Then came Mallory, and free-time became more precious and sparse!

Needless to say, poor Mallory only has about 3/4 of a scrapbook.

I just didn't have:

1) large enough blocks of time to work on their books
2) space to store any more monster 12x12 books
3) money to spend on printing out all the photos
4) time to use all the supplies I kept accumulating

To make a long story short, I got into making little "mini" scrapbooks. Little tiny things that maybe documented a special outing, or just a few pictures of the girls and some words saying how much I loved them. The mini-books were fast, so I got instant gratification, and they sure took up a lot less space than the big XL ones. Some of them were as simple as sticking a photo on a piece of patterned paper, some were just as intricate as the big 12x12 ones I used to do, but when placed all together, they make one pretty package of memories.

I eventually ventured into other crafts, and our schedules got busier still, and I stopped doing even the mini-books after awhile.

But they're proudly displayed on my dresser, and the girls (as well as me, too) love to look thru them now and then.


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One of the girls' favorites is this one, with little "peek-a-boo" pages:



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Another much-loved one is our "Little Girl, Little Girl" book, which I copied the idea for.
When the girls were in nursery at church (until they were 4), one of the books that the teacher there would read was "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?". The girls loved that book, so I made one for us:



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and so on and so forth.....with pages for Mama, Daddy, Nina, Nana, Grandma, Grandpa, and I wanted to include my Mama too:

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Then, to tie it all together and come to an end:

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That book couldn't be simpler but it's one of my favorites. :o)

To be continued!!

Rainy days & sad hearts

Poor, sweet Mr. Mendoza passed away Sunday morning (January 17).

Apparently he took a turn for the worse the day after Christmas, the day after we visited him.

When I heard the news, I felt saddened of course, but also glad for him, and mostly so thankful that we took time out of our holiday that day to stop by. I'm so glad that we didn't put it off and that we stepped out of our comfort zone to hopefully brighten his day just a little bit.

The girls had a discussion amongst themselves about which part of Mr. Mendoza went to Heaven, which part stays on Earth, what exactly a soul/spirit is, etc. I hope that, like me, they are touched by the way that man was so happy with a simple little sign we made him to welcome him home from his initial hospital stay, and that they have learned to never underestimate the power of some crayola crayons, a blank piece of paper, and happy smiling faces of little girls.


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A Red, Pink, & White State of Mind

I don't need an occasion in order to bake.
:o)
I just need the right mood to strike, and I'll spend hours in the kitchen. Sometimes we'll use the baked goods to celebrate whatever day it is ("Happy Tuesday, have some pie!"). And sometimes we distribute the delectibles to our neighbors, friends, and family.

I've also (since January 1 to be exact) been so ready for Valentine's Day. I've put up all our decor, and I just love being surrounded by hearts and ribbons and glitter and red, white, and pink all around.

So when the baking mood hit me recently, the girls & I combined baking w/ papercrafting & made some 'sweet' treats:


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We gave some away, and of course we ate some.
I hope the people we gave them to felt as much love receiving them as we did eating them!
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I love the little butterfly on this one:

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So sweet!!

u & me time

Last weekend, Arissa & Mallory both had birthday parties to go to.

So since that left me & Mariah home alone, we decided to do (what else) some arts & crafts!


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We bought little wooden birdhouses & 3 colors of paint each, and spent an hour painting and decorating them, talking & laughing w/ eachother, and just hanging out.

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When Mariah made a small boo-boo on hers and I offered a suggestion on how she could correct it, she said to me:

"You're a good artist, Mama. I like to do art with you because you teach me good art skills."
:o)
She's such a sweet girl.


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So that thing I was working on during our recent "do nothing day"?

I finished it.

Meow!

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The little mouse slippers are my favorite part :o)

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Yep, I think she's a keeper.


And just like our real cat, Bellie, she comes without a litter box,

she's sweet to look at

and soft to cuddle with, so.....

the more cats like that, the merrier. :o)



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Do Nothing

Days with nothing to do are the best.

When all 5 of us are at home, in the same room, just hanging out. Maybe doing our own activities, but still doing them together.

These days are fewer and farther between, and so I've tried to take some snapshots to remember them before they're gone completely.

Here's a typical "nothing-to-do day"...


I was working on this:

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Arissa was putting together her "American Girl" bulletin board mirror that she got for Christmas:

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(and sporting the tiara & colorful hair extensions she had bought with some of her Christmas money)


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Mallory played with her dolls (this girl has never met a Barbie doll she didn't like!):

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And Mariah entertained me while I took 30 shots or so of faces like this:

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Jesse was working on making a DIY silkscreen so we could use it to embellish the girls' costumes for their upcoming recital.
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He and the girls thought I was kind of wack-o for taking pictures of ordinary everyday stuff.

But that is my favorite kind of stuff. :o)

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