Friday, December 16, 2011

Winter Wonderland

I'm gonna get you!

Tonight was the Pennypickle's Workshop Winter Wonderland.  We scrounged up all the pennies we could find so we could take Kyle to this fun event...and boy did Kyle have FUN!  =)  Upon arriving you bought tickets.  1 ticket = $1  Everything is then paid for in tickets.  We bought 15 tickets, and we had a lot of fun with that $15 tonight!

The first thing we did was take a family photo. Which was downloadable online. Let me know if you would like a copy, and I can email it.  It didn't turn out as great as I had hoped, but we don't have many photos of the 3 of us because Josh is always the one taking the photos, haha!  So, I will be happy with what we got.  ;o)

Josh, Beth, and Kyle ~ Dec 2011

After our photo I asked Kyle if he wanted to meet the Snow Princess, and he said off we went.  She was hidden away in a secret tent, where she individually meets with each family.  She gives each child a snowflake with a secret message on it.  Kyle's message was "You won a prize!"  So, Kyle won a cute little pin that says "imagine Temecula".  He thought that was pretty neat, and we promptly pinned it on his winter vest.  ;o)

Next we stood in line for the SNOW!  Yes, they had a machine that made real snow.  Kyle got to throw snowballs, and we even built a miniature snowman.  (And I really mean miniature, lol)

Would you like to throw one too?

Kyle has been asking to play in the snow ever since our visit to Tucson this month.  Mt. Lemmon was covered in snow, and he wanted to go play so bad!  We promised him we would take him to play in the snow in California...and we delivered that promise tonight.  ;o)

After our snow play, Josh took our picture with this cute sled that was playing music, had all kinds of lights and moving parts.  In fact the whole sled was moving around.  Pretty neat science experiment made by Mr. Pennypickle.  ;o)

They had a special "kids only" shop...where children under the age of 10 years old can go in and pick out a present for Mom and Dad for the cost of 5 tickets.  We weren't allowed in there...Kyle did this all on his own!  But what I heard them say was that they had examples out of each gift, and the child would pick what they wanted to "buy"....and they had wrapped ones all ready for the children to take (so that Mom and Dad don't know what it is, of course!).  Kyle came out of the room beaming with the biggest smile and handed me the gift that he chose.  I could tell he was so proud of himself for getting us something for Christmas.  In fact, he feel asleep in the car just before we pulled into the driveway...but the first thing he said when we got in the house was, "Where is the present?"  He wanted to put it under the tree....and he did.  Then he said, "You will wonder what it is going to be.  It is fragile."  What a sweet boy!

Here Mommy, I picked this for you and's a surprise!

We ended the night by getting a small bag of home baked cookies with our last 2 tickets, in which Kyle enjoyed munching on while Josh and I had our free glass of wine at Lorimar Winery.  (We are members there, so we get a free glass every visit...and we also get free tasting for our guests.)  So, if you are ever in town.... ;o)

Kyle had so much fun!  When we got in the car he immediately said, "I want to go there again."  The next adventure will be ice skating!  They have an outdoor ice rink that opened up tonight, and it brings back memories of when I lived in Salzburg, Austria.  Josh has never been ice skating it will be so fun to take both of my boys for their first time!  What a charming little town, I just love living here!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas....

For the first time since my Mom passed away, I am truly feeling the holiday spirit all on my own this year.  Mom passed away 8 years ago... on November 23, 2003.  It's always a tough time around the holidays, but I can't help but remember all the wonderful memories Mom created through her decorations and holiday spirit.  It wasn't until this year that I was able to put up Mom's hand made decorations.  She was so crafty, and made almost all of her decorations!

We started with the tree, which we were gifted last year by some dear friends of ours.  It was such a blessing last year, and continues to be a blessing for us this year.  Kyle helped me decorate the tree with ornaments my Mom hand crafted, as well as ornaments that Josh and I have acquired over our years together.  Josh held Kyle up to put the angel on the top....this was my Mom's angel, that she put on the tree every year.  I don't have a memory of Christmas without this angel up top of the tree.

Our beautiful tree!

One of the first things Kyle said when we got the tree all decorated was, "I want presents under this tree."    ;o)  I can't wait until there are packages under the tree for Kyle.  It will be fun to watch Kyle's excitement grow as we get closer to Christmas day.  I want to get Kyle a chocolate advent calendar, so he can understand the countdown to Christmas day a little easier.  I loved those when I was a kid!  =)  The other thing Kyle has requested:  "I want a big train around that tree.  Okay Mommy?"  We'll see about that.....  ;o)

I took out some of Mom's other decorations, and put them up around the house {for the first time}.  I put on Christmas music while decorating, and truly felt the spirit of Christmas in my heart this year while preparing for the season.  It makes me feel so good to have holiday cheer around the house, and to leave joyful holiday memories for my beautiful son.  His eyes danced with excitement as he turned on the tree lights.  And he giggles at all the Santas around the house.  Maybe it is moving locations, maybe it is less stress, maybe it is 'letting go', or 'letting in'....or maybe all of the above.....whatever it is, it feels like Christmas this year in our home!  All I know is that it's time for this Mommy to create beautiful holiday memories for my beautiful child... just as my Mom did for me.  I feel ready!  =)

Holiday friends above the fireplace.

Mom's hand made Santa.

Another one of Mom's hand made decorations.

Mom made the snowman, and we bought that little tree together many years ago.

"Music Shop" all lit up, and a Christmas rocking horse.

I am thinking of my Mom this year and all of the wonderful memories from my childhood.  She was the best Mom I could have ever asked for, and she was my best friend!  I miss her more than words can express, but her love and memories fill my heart every day.

Happy Holidays!!!

Park Play

It's almost December, and the weather is heavenly out.  It has been such a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend!  Josh had 4 days off, we had my brother and family down from L.A. for the holidays, I got all the Christmas decorations up, and there was plenty of time for play with the little monkey.  Today we took him to the park to monkey around.  ;o)  It's so fun having a professional photographer for a husband, because we end up getting so many beautiful photos of our son.  Such wonderful faces, moments, and memories...captured forever!  I just wanted to share a few of these moments and silly faces from today.  Kyle has the most beautiful deep blue eyes, that I swear just talk to you when you look into them.  He has all kinds of silly faces and smiles....he is just a delightful little boy, and we are so blessed he is our son.  Enjoy some photos of our handsome 3 year old from the park today.

Handsome boy!

He's a climber!

Climbing UP the slide...

Swinging on his tummy.

There are those talking eyes.  Love it!!!

So sweet, just melts my heart!

What's the caption on this one?  Haha!

It is winter time, so why not make a sand angel....since there's no snow...  ;o)

Sea World Christmas 2011

One of the perks of living in Southern California is being close enough to have a membership to Sea World!  (At least I see that as a perk, lol!)  We made the journey down to San Diego on November 18, 2011 for their special members only event.  This was their special kick off for their Christmas Celebration.  As a member we got a special green glass blown turtle ornament, which is now hanging on  our tree.  We saw Mrs. Clause, real reindeer, played in real snow...Kyle sledded.... and we watched their special holiday Shamu show complete with fireworks at the end.  It was a very busy crowd that night, but it was fun to enjoy the festivities of the holiday season.  Here are some photos from the night.  Enjoy!  =)

Sea World Sky Tower

Kyle, Mrs. Clause, & a very happy Elf

Mommy & Son

Sledding in real snow at Sea World, San Diego!  ;o)

Daddy & Son waiting for the Shamu Show to start
Watching the fireworks show...look at his big eyes!  Makes a Mother's heart dance!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Choo, Choo!

November 5, 2011 was a very fun and very special day for one special little boy I know.  ;o)  Thomas Train was visiting in Perris, CA... a short drive from where we are living.  Kyle loves Thomas and his friends!  This event was being hosted by the Orange Empire Railway Museum (in which we are members).  The membership is only $60 for the entire family for the year, and provides unlimited rides on all the trains, and street cars whenever they are running (mostly just on the weekends).  Kyle LOVES it there, and we are happy to support the they are run completely off of volunteers!!!

Our train ride was scheduled for 10:30am, so we made sure to get there in plenty of time to get parked and where we needed to be.  I will never forget the *sparkle* in Kyle's eyes when he saw Thomas pulling up to the train depot!  It was such a sweet moment, that I will hold in my memory forever!  He lit up inside, and while he was trying to not be too excited on the outside (he's a boy...gotta stay 'cool' when possible, right?)...I could tell that he was dancing on the inside!  There he was, THE Thomas Train, chugging along with steam and all... and about to take us for a ride!

Our first glimpse of Thomas!

We boarded a passenger car, that Thomas was "pulling", and went for a 25 minute ride down the track and back.  Thomas wasn't really pulling the train...there was a diesel engine at the back that was pushing and pulling the train, in all reality.  But, Thomas was puffing steam, and for all intensive purposes, he looked like he was pulling the train!  =)

Front row view from the platform of Thomas pulling the passenger cars behind him!

Here is Kyle in anticipation, right before the smile, as he saw Thomas coming in the above photo.

"HI" Thomas!  =)

There he goes!  Choo, Choo....

We got to do some other fun things during the day as well!  We got to ride in the top of a Caboose, and Kyle really enjoyed that!  Here are a few photos from the caboose ride.

Mommy and Kyle in the Caboose

Hanging out the caboose window up top to "see what he could see"

His eyes are so deep - old soul right there!  ;o)

We got to see a real steam engine, although not running...they are getting it ready to run it soon I think.

Steam Engine

Kyle got to play with toy trains in a large tent with tracks and train cars galore!  They had temporary tattoos, and Kyle choose "Diesel 10" as his.  That one seems to be his favorite right now...even above Thomas it seems.  ;o)  We rode a street car around the museum, and got our photos taken with Thomas.  It was such a wonderful event!  We literally spent over 5 hours there!  We all had a great time....especially Kyle!  But I sure had a great time watching Kyle's eyes dance with excitement all day long!

Kyle and Daddy

Daddy, Kyle, & Mommy

Kyle's Tattoo
Riding the street car.

Mommy & Kyle, waiting to have our photo taken with Thomas

Thomas up close and personal

Thomas is #1!
 Photography by Josh Buchanan: J.B. Photography

This Proud Mother

Yes, this is going to be a total "brag" post, lol!  I got Kyle a couple workbooks a couple days ago (the erasable kind are the ones we are starting with).  Yesterday Kyle and I sat down to work on his new workbook, which he is super excited about, by the way.  I was surprised by his interest and continuous work for 45 minutes!  Kyle is 3 years and 4 months old right now.  This was our first intentional practice with doing "pre-writing" activities.  Basically that means he is learning to draw lines, and trace things.  I was so impressed with how well he did for his first time!  I will share some photos here, so you can see where he is starting out...and then I can track his progress as we go along.  =)  I took these photos on my cell phone, so I apologize for the lack in quality.

Vertical lines - Drawing Flower Stems
Horizontal lines - left to right
Left to Right, Right to Left, and Diagonal lines
Curves - like a rainbow  =)

And the grand finale- a Snowman, face and all!  =)