Monday, November 7, 2011


We are bad, bad parents.  We were supposed to get pictures of our children in their Halloween costumes, which I think is parenting rule #107.  I did get a picture of Alison in her costume when she wore it to preschool on the Thursday before Halloween.  I also got a picture of everyone when they did a trick or treat service project on the Saturday before Halloween.  But did I take a picture on Halloween?  No.  Penance may be to eat 5 pounds worth of the Halloween candy that is sitting on my counter, including the tootsie rolls and the smarties. I am about 1/2 way through my punishment.   We did have fun trick-or-treating in our neighborhood and at the Hub (in the afternoon).  Alison lost all of her apparent shyness when it came to asking strangers for candy.  Jacob and Ryan discovered that they did not like strobe lights.

 Here are the pictures we did take. 
Alison as a butterfly

Jacob (hidden behind the green bag) is Charlie Brown, Ryan is a ninja without his hood,
and Alison is a butterfly reaching for the candy she just collected.

endofschoolsummerfunstartofschool part2

Time to finish the rest of this post before it is time for the HalloweenThanksgivingChristmas post.  So here is the rest of our summer and start of school pictures. 

A few cousins gather to say goodbye.  One last shot in Camas before we headed home to California after the reunion. 
We left on the 4th of July which was  not a bad time to travel.  The roads were empty as we returned to the bay area about 9pm.

This picture is to represent Alison's 3rd birthday.  We had a swim meet on the day of her birthday and then Stovall cousins came all the way from England to celebrate the next day.  The next week, we went to Sacramento to celebrate Alison's and Nicole's birthdays.

A picture of cousins together before Luke, Zach, and Elizabeth headed back to England. 
We were glad that we could have so much fun with them while they were in California and wished we had taken more pictures.

Alison and her best-girl cousin Elizabeth. 
They had a good time playing together this summer.

We took a few stay-cation trips this summer.  One was to Land's End in San Francisco and another was to Monterey.  Each was beautiful
albeit a bit cold and foggy. 
We had fun in Pacific Grove and then enjoyed sea food at the wharf in Monterey.

First Day of School:  The weather heated up in time for the first day of school.  Jacob and Ryan started on this day and then Alison started her preschool a few days later.  September and October were very warm months and the weather seems to have changed with the start of November.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Endofschoolsummerfunstartofschool, part 1

I guess it is time to post on the blog again. The bunny buns post has been mocking me for months and I was in denial that months had past since Easter. It still seemed like last month even though it was not. So I guess I now have almost 6 months to catch up on. I guess it is better to start now than to have a year to catch up. Here we go:
Sometime in the spring, John's step-niece got married. All the kids got new clothes (and I got a dress) and here is one picture I took out of many where everyone is basically looking at the camera with a normal expression.

This spring, we entered the world of swim teams. The small picture is Jacob doing the back stroke and then there is superman Ryan. It is amazing how quickly the children learn to swim well doing the swim team. It is a lot of time once the meets start, but the boys really enjoyed it. They want to do it again next year but they also want to do baseball and this mother is not doing both. Coach French is the swim team coach and he mentioned that he was Facebook friends with Arnold. He says he has 2 more years at Washington and then he'll have been there 40!!! years and will retire.
Summer in Canada. We took an awesome quick road trip up to Vancouver, Canada. We decided to visit the ski resort, Grouse Mountain, on June 30. Here is a picture of us although this could have been taken when we went to the Grand Canyon last year, about July 30. Same vistas. Needless to say, it was a little cold and difficult to see the bears on exhibit, the view of Vancouver, and the birds of prey show.
Ryan finishes kindergarten! He had an awesome year and couldn't wait to start first grade (which he already has so I will post the first day of school picture soon). Ryan scored the most points of any kindergartner on the school reading program and received a special certificate for this. He had about 50 points while most of the other kindergartners had 5 or less.
Stay tuned for part 2....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bunny Buns! Now, it's really Easter!

I know, I know, I don't post for months and then three in a row but I had to get this up before Easter. My kids flipped out this month when they got their Friend magazine and saw BUNNY BUNS on the cover and the recipe for them inside the magazine. Bunny buns of the Stovall's youth. Am I the only one who remembers them? Apparently the original recipe was published in 1980(really, does time really go that fast?!) I am sure some of my siblings must remember them as well. Anyway, two years ago, I had a craving for the Bunny buns and I searched and found the recipe. I think I asked mom first but she couldn't find it. So, Jacob, Ryan, and I made them and had sticky fun glazing them and decorating them. We did not make them last year but they still remembered the experience (who can forget the bunny bun?) and so they were super excited to see the buns in the Friend again and have been asking for weeks to make them. So, we did it tonight and here are the bunnies of our labors. Sticky, orangey goodness.

The children and their lovely bunnies. It was a bit of a challenge to get this picture: Ryan was devasted because I chose his beloved bunny to be the one we "tested out", Alison was so tired she could barely sit there, and Jacob kept wanted to go lick the glaze bowl and throw more sprinkles in his mouth.

Glow Dome Love

Ryan received some money from grandparents for his birthday back in March so he decided that he needed to have a Crayola Glow Dome. His friend brought one over about a year ago and Ryan has coveted them ever since. So, we drove down to the "Mall" (yes, Newpark is still there and still as great as ever) and got Ryan a glow dome.

So, it is a toy that you can write on and then in the dark, your art glows and it will even spin if you like. Kinda like your own disco ball but it is on the ground and you can write or draw on it. Anyway, one night the boys were being sneaky and they told John and I that they had a surprise for us that we would discover later. They left the glow dome in our room with a note to turn it on when we went to bed. So, being obedient parents, we did exactly what our children told us. Here is a picture of the glow dome with their secret message in the light and then in GLOW mode. It does say "We love you" with all their names. It was very sweet and helped us forget anything that may have gone wrong in the course of the shower-pjs-brush teeth-read-pray-potty- mania that is bedtime.

Glow dome in the light - less effective

Full glow effect with the love note

Ryan at the school talent show

Ryan decided that he wanted to be in the school talent show. Jacob did not want to do it because there was a cub scout pack meeting the night of the talent show and Jacob LOVES cub scouts and could not miss it. But Ryan decided it was his turn to be in the spotlight. He decided that he either wanted to tell jokes or poems so we looked in our Shel Silverstein poem book and found two that he liked. He performed "Boa Constrictor" and "Smart" and did a great job. He memorized them and recited them without flaw. I will have John post the video since I don't know how to do it so stay tuned to see Ryan in action.

Ryan on the night of the talent show with his snake prop. Ryan does not like the camera lately.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Jacob's baptism

I thought I should put some pictures up from Jacob's baptism. It was a very nice day. We were lucky to have both sets of grandparents there as well as all of his aunts & uncles that live in California. I will have to write more about that day but the best part was after Jacob was baptized and was alone with his dad in the dressing room. Jacob turned to John, gave him a hug and said "I love you".