Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, 80's style!







Kelly celebrated David's big 4-0 birthday with an incredible 80's party. It was totally "rad"! We were all decked out in our 80's best attire, sang 80's karaoke and were surprised at all the weird 80's trivia that the party guests knew. Thank goodness this era is over, right???? Thanks also to Dad for supplying the menswear right out of his closet.

Shades



Micah looks a little like Elton John, but Evelyn is too cute in these shades. We were headed for a swim at grandma's.

Micah's First Food




Can you call rice cereal real food? Here are Micah's first bites of non-milk substance. He didn't like it, but has a smile for Dad anyway.

Danny's Classroom









Have you ever wondered what Senor Allen's high school Spanish classroom looks like? It's filled with authentic South American art, photos and souvenirs -- along with a whole lot of "arte de Daniel" (Allen).

Yard Work in the Buff



No, not Danny in the buff.... Evelyn is going through a little stage right now where she likes to strip down in the backyard. It IS hot out there, I guess... She has a water table on the back porch that she likes to sit in while she's clothes-free. I think the parenting advice I've heard is to not make a big deal out of it and the stage will pass (sounds like the same advice for a lot of things actually....). When I took these pictures, Danny was working on the yard and Evelyn was being a helper. I edited the photo a little for Evelyn's sake. In the second photo you can see what a hottie yard-worker I have as well as the bandaged finger on his left hand. He just about cut his finger off that day while trimming the hedges out back and had to go to an urgent care clinic for a few stitches. I begged him to stop with the yard work at least for the day, but he was determined.

AVID Graduation


Danny has taught an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) class at Westwood HS for a few years now and conducted the graduation ceremonies for Westwood's AVID program this year. AVID helps kids who are usually from low-income and minority households become first-generation college students. Among other things, Danny helped his students write competetive college application essays, obtain scholarships (Gates Millenium, Dell, Horatio Alger, Obama Scolar, etc.) and learn necessary college study-skills. I think he also wrote probably a hundred very thoughtful and individual letters of recommendation for his kids over the years. I believe this program has given him more of a sense of fulfillment than any other during his teaching years because the results of his work are tangible, measurable and hugely impact the future of these students. This year's AVID graduation ceremonies were emotional for Danny and his students as they together felt an enormous sense of accomplishment.

Arts & Crafts with Dad



Danny is very concerned about developing creativity in our children and often does art and craft projects with them. It usually starts with a few pieces of paper and can turn into all kinds of sometimes strange and sometimes beautiful objects. Don't they use hats like this in the electric chair?

Westwood High School Farewell


The past few months have been bittersweet for Danny as he buttons up the teaching portion of his career. He's told me on many occasions how fulfilling it has been to work in the classroom with high school students and help them grow and achieve these past five years. Knowing Danny, he'll find just as much joy in working as an administrator for a high school after he's completed his master's program that begins this Fall.

The World Languages Department at Westwood High School held a farewell party for him complete with a cake in school colors (blue and orange, of course). His fellow teachers there were incredibly kind and went above and beyond to show their appreciation for his work there with beautiful gifts and well-wishes. I know he'll be missed!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Micah's on the Move





Micah gets better every day at getting around. At first he was like a little steam-roller, but has progressed to a belly crawl pulling with his arms and pushing with his legs. He's able to get anywhere on the floor with enough motivation.

New Teeth



Micah sprouted his first tooth at six months old and the other bottom tooth about a week later. Since then we've been trying to introduce rice cereal and other baby foods, but he refuses to eat anything that he can't hold in his own fist and feed to himself. When I try to feed him, he clamps his mouth shut and crys - even at applesauce. We'll have to be more creative...

Family Pictures





We had some beautiful family pictures taken with the Allens in April. Debbie said it took an "act of Congress" to coordinate everyone's schedules, so thank you, Debbie!

Bath-time



We have community tub-time for Micah and Evelyn in the evenings before bed. Evelyn has perfected the skill of lying on her back and submersing every part of her body except her eyes, mouth and nose. Micah starts giggling and jumping in your arms when he sees the bath water running for him.

Happy One and a Half!


On Evelyn's one and a half birthday (April 28), we celebrated with confetti dipped cones from Dairy Queen. She was in heaven with a whole ice cream to herself. Max stayed close by for the drips.

Yoga Poses



In yoga, they call this the "Happy Baby Pose". Micah can also suck on his toes. What talent at such a young age!

Phoenix Zoo






We were invited to join cousin Kate's preschool class at the Phoenix Zoo on April 21. It was a strangely windy and almost cold day (for Arizona in late April), and we felt like we were at the San Diego Zoo instead. Evelyn and Micah got to pet the sting rays, rode the jungle train for a tour of all the animals and ate an awesome picnic lunch (thanks, Aunt Kelly). Evelyn's favorite part by far was the hand-wash station at the entry to Stingray Bay where all the school groups stopped to rinse off before petting the rays. Between the multiple faucets and the constant stream of little kids, I could hardly get her away to see the other animals. She and cousin Sophia are close in age and therefore usually want the same thing at the same time. The last photo is of them both trying to claim Aunt Kelly's lap on the train.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Eating Well



He looks hungry, doesn't he??? Danny says these legs come from his side of the family...

Wet n' Wild




We kicked off summer with a new slip n' slide in the backyard. Danny helped Ev get a running start. It was one of the best $10 I ever spent considering how long it kept Evelyn entertained. It was also good that it was only $10, because Max had it chewed beyond recognition within 2 weeks... He can't resist plastic.