Allison asked Grammy where her dress-up stuff was on one of our first mornings in Alaska. My Mom dug up some of my Grammy Kroon's costume jewelry and clothes. Allison & Grammy had a great time getting her all fancied up - clip-on earrings included. Mark and I were both excited that the earrings didn't stay on long and she wouldn't try on any more because they hurt. We'll keep her thinking earrings hurt for as long as possible!
I saw winter holiday decorate-your-own mug kits at Starbucks this December and knew Allison would love to make one. She sat down one Sunday evening and decorated her mug using every last sticker provided in the kit. I guess I shouldn't be surprised about that knowing how much she loves stickers. There was a little bit of coloring involved too, and she insisted I write her name on the back of the paper (where you can't see it!) She loves drinking hot chocolate out of her own special mug.
We've started playing games together as a family occasionally in the evenings. We recently tried Yahtzee even though the recommended age was well beyond Allison's years. She did enjoy shaking rolling the dice and was set to beat both Mark and I until she got bored and started cutting up her Yahtzee card! I won't complain, I ended up winning that way!
We went to a local tree farm to cut down a tree this year. However, Mark has a definite preference for noble fir trees and all of the nobles were pre-cut so it was much simpler than we planned. We came home with our tree in less than a half hour.
Allison was very excited to decorate the tree this year. She couldn't wait for Mark to bring it in and get it set up. She opened her 2012 ornament - a girl holding her doll - perfect for our little doll/baby loving girl.
And here she is with her whole stash of ornaments.....I think I need to get off the Precious Moments kick next year to add some more variety!
(Allison cut the magazine picture out herself, she loved it!)
And DOG MASKS
We have to admit - the 'D' letter is one of our favorites! Allison loved making homemade donuts, it was quite the adventure and I don't know that it will be repeated anytime soon but it was fun to try!
Hello all of you faithful blog checkers out there. I have run out of photo storage space. I've decided I'm going to 'clean up' the blog a bit rather than purchase more storage.....I do have a collection of posts coming as soon as the blog is cleaned up enough. Sorry for the delay!
Allison's preschool was closed for Veteran's Day so we took advantage of a day off and visited a nearby Children's Museum. I had taken Allison once before almost two years ago so both Mark & I were surprised when we pulled in and she announced 'MY SCHOOL IS HERE.' Translation: her preschool took a field trip here back in May which we had completely forgotten about.
The fun part of the visit was she remembered things pretty well (even some missing things like a huge stuffed panda bear in the China room). I think the China room was her favorite, she would have stayed there making tea for anyone and everyone as long as we would have let her and painting Chinese characters with water was a hit, too.
Jodi & I took our pink loving girls to see Pinkalicious in Portland, a play by Oregon Children's Theater.
We were sure to give ourselves plenty of time to find parking, get to the theater, etc. so we had enough time to find a Starbucks before heading to the show. Luckily in Portland you don't have to walk far to find a Starbucks....we found one on the same block as the parking garage we used. And Allison got her first kids hot chocolate in a holiday cup!
There was a giant cupcake the girls were able to take a picture with. Unfortunately the lighting wasn't spectacular but you can tell they were both excited. Allison kept calling it the 'Cupcake Show' instead of 'Pinkalicious.'
And our two pink-loving girls after the show (which they loved!). As we were leaving Jodi & I commented we felt like we were at one giant pink convention. Believe it or not, these two girls were dressed rather toned down compared to many there!
We've been (very) slowly learning our alphabet around here, covering the letter 'B' in the last few weeks. We started with two of our favorite things, bikes & beavers and we've also done a few other 'B' focused activities:
We made banana pancakes on a lazy Saturday morning with a recipe I found online. It was a fun treat (although I think we all generally prefer regular pancakes).
And Allison was thrilled to get to use a box of band-aids to decorate her letter 'B' card!
And, finally, we stamped some bugs. This was probably her favorite 'B' activity.
I also wanted to note this was the first time I've noticed Allison taking great pains to ensure good quality in her art work. She was trying really hard to make 'good' clear stamps (like the one circled in yellow) as opposed to the blurry one circled in blue. When she made a good stamp she'd say a little 'YES!' and when it was bad she'd make this little 'Erg!' noise. We're glad to see she's taking some pride in her work!
This past Friday we said good-bye to our fabulous fall weather and the typical Oregon fall rain moved in. I had been saving Allison's umbrella and rain boots for when rain arrived, so I told her I had a surprise for her when I picked her up from pre-school. She was so excited to see her umbrella (or 'cumbrella' to her) and boots and that they matched her rain coat (I bought it big last year and picked up the boots & umbrella on clearance last spring!). She instantly wanted to go for a walk. And has asked for walks all weekend...she won't let a little rain stop her from having fun!
We took advantage of some gorgeous fall weather last weekend and headed to our local pumpkin patch. Our good friends, the Wagners, joined us. We love this farm, it is a smaller local farm and the owners let the kids 'drive' the tractor for the hay ride. It helps when you are the only folks on the ride to get a chance to drive (we went during the football game - the place was pretty empty!). Allison was afraid to drive out, so Bekah & Nate took drove us to the pumpkin patch.
Our girls and their pumpkins! Or 'pumpquins' as Allison likes to call them.
We had plenty of time to wait for the hay ride to come back and get us so we took lots of pictures in the beautiful sun!
Allison & Mark drove us back to the main building.
And when we were done we picked up a few donuts. These donuts are seriously some of the most amazing donuts ever (and that means something coming from a Kroon!). They are cake donuts rolled in cinnamon & sugar, crispy/crunchy on the outside but nice and soft on the inside. The cinnamon & sugar add just a touch of sweetness but they actually aren't that sweet. They are fabulous. It is a good thing I only get to eat them once a year!
And then we tried to get a family photo with the pumpkins but someone was being quite the stinker.....she cracked Miss Jodi (the photographer) up!
Eventually all good things must come to an end. Allison was quite sad when Bekah drove off. We left shortly after!