Sunday, December 26, 2010

Finally 5

Look at this grown up girl! She is now 5, something she's been aspiring to for quite awhile.


We got home from the hospital with Anna around 10 p.m. and put on our game faces for the next day's birthday celebration. We'd been making some plans for the past while and if you know 5 year-olds they don't like changes in their plans. So we followed through.
Cyrena was so happy. She wanted to open presents right away. Luckily I had things wrapped and ready to go. We let her open 1 (the shirt she's wearing in the pic) then Dad took her to the store and let her pick out some fun breakfast items.


The girls are so lucky to have such a super Dad. He was amazing and helped make Cyrena's birthday really special. After breakfast the girls got ready and he took them to see 'Tangled' at the theater--what a treat! Then they came home and while Natalie napped and I worked on the cake, he and Cyrena put together the Gingerbread train kit we'd bought last week. After Natalie woke up we let Cyrena open up all her gifts and then we headed to Joe's Farm Grill (they take $10 off when it's your birthday) for a tasty dinner! We met up with the McKays and brought the pony cake for dessert.

I think the birthday was a success. She had high expectations that were definitely met, yay! She's such a special girl.

She requested a pony cake. Thankfully we'd bought the supplies last week so Dad and Mom worked together to make it happen!



*When she grows up she wants to be a: firefighter, cowboy, teacher, veterinarian, baseball player, regular doctor, a paleontologist, a Costco sample worker, and a mom

*She still lets mom pick her clothes everyday but voices her preference of jeans and a polo shirt

*Sings while she's going to the bathroom, washing her hands, making her bed, doing schoolwork, cleaning up, and hums while she's brushing her teeth
*Makes her bed every morning without being asked 90% of the time


*Loves her stuffed animals and still sleeps with some

*"I don't know" is a completely unacceptable answer to her endless questions
*Started soccer with dad as her coach

*Can't wait to go to school 'in a building'

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Announcing Anna

Anna LaVere Dean

December 19 @ 9:26 a.m.
Weight: 6 lbs 1 oz
Height: 19 1/4 inches

Labor started in full force early Sunday morning and we headed to the hospital around 5 a.m. Our girls like to make their debut quickly and Anna didn't disappoint. :)
A MILLION thanks to all those who helped take care of our kids--we are so grateful to The Spencers, The Griggs (super-star sitter Garrett!) and the McKay's! It made our experience so much less stressful to know our girls were in good hands.


Well now we're 3 for 3. Three beautiful, healthy daughters!
We feel so extremely blessed.

Our favorite things about Anna:

Cyrena-her soft hair that reminds her of her stuffed animals
Natalie- her toes
Daddy- that she's eating and sleeping well
Mommy-her smell, her lips, her cuddliness and warmth

Here are some pics of our newest munchkin.












Garrett helped the girls make this awesome sign--too, too cute

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Advent Activities week 2

I really slacked in the picture department this week but I wanted to at least record what we did.

December 8: We went through our toys and decided which ones to donate. Cyrena also colored a great picture for Color-A-Smile and promptly sent it in the mail

December 9: We went to Macy's to mail our letter to Santa and also wrapped up presents for grandparents to get them ready to mail.

These were taken with dad's phone...mom forgot the camera again


The front of Cyrena's letter...a little misleading...I laugh each time I see it.

December 10: Our friends, The Bluths slept at our house so we could trade off going to the temple so this night the kids watched a Christmas show with their friends.

December 11: We made some Christmas treats and just played with our friends!

December 12: This was a busy day. We had church, tithing settlement, choir and then the missionaries for dinner. That night we made Christmas almonds for gifts.

December 13: We had a Christmas FHE about gifts for Jesus

December 14: We went to see the lights at the Mesa temple. Always a treat and the girls didn't want to go home!



December 15: We went on a neighborhood walk to check out all the lights--we do this often all season, they don't get tired of it.

December 16: We played "Don't Eat Santa!" This was the first time Natalie really got into it, since we play a type of this game each holiday. Too cute.

Here she's hiding while we choose which santa to 'not eat' No we did not tell her to smash her face against the wall...that was her idea.

She's so happy to be eating m&m's with abandon...until we yell "Don't Eat Santa!!!"

Just about 1 week left until Christmas...crazy!

Christmas Preschool

It seems like we did a lot for preschool the last few weeks and I didn't get pictures of it all, but here goes:

Natalie has had a lot of fun arranging and rearranging all the manger scenes

I did a Christmas tree bingo game (found here) and let Cyrena mark up 2 boards worth. We did mostly sight words and number words on this

The girls both colored a santa then cut his beard and rolled the cuts to make it curly

We played the Ho! Ho! Ho! game I made last year. This year in addition to identifying the number I had her count out that number of cubes as well.

Natalie likes to play with her letters. She's really into lining things up lately

The girls cut out a candy cane shape (mailbox magazine) then glued on red/white pom-pom's. Cyrena did a pattern, Natalie didn't

We also used patterns (found here) and made these reindeer and santas--they had a lot of fun with these and they made for great decorations!

We did some great Grinch stuff I downloaded from here. Some of it was mathematical thinking skills. For the 1st picture Cyrena had to make an ABC pattern with the cards. Other questions were like "The Grinch has 2 trees and 10 ornaments...how can he make sure each tree gets an equal amount of ornaments?" or "the Grinch has 3 friends and 6 ornaments, how can he share them all?" She had SO much fun with these, she wanted to keep going all day.

We made a Grinch and did a writing assignment "To make the Grinch grin I would...." Cyrena write that she would share her toys and then she drew a picture of her sharing her stuffed dog, Charlie, with the Grinch. The Grinch has lost some of his hat lining since we did this....

We did a lot with gingerbread as well. In this picture I put up pictures (in random order) of the process of baking/decorating cookies. Cyrena had to put them in the proper sequence and then she numbered the steps. These pictures were from mailbox magazine.

Afterward, Natalie played with her magnetic letters

We did a gingerbread bingo game found here. This was Natalie's gameboard. I just put letters that she knows or is working on....she did amazing! And she marked them well too, I was so proud of her. Now if only we could get her colors down....

The girls used their do-a-dot paints to make a Christmas tree from this unit. Natalie is getting much more accurate at actually getting the paint in the circle. Natalie's is on the left, Cyrena's is on the right.

Cyrena measured gingerbread (found here) using chocolate chips and then recorded the number in the box. Then she measured using Hershey Kisses and recorded. Before she used the kisses I asked her if she thought she would need more or less kisses than chips to measure the gingerbread. She answered less because they are bigger! It's just the little questions like that that really get her brain thinking.

This was a a gingerbread memory game I found here. Instead of making it a memory game, I made it a little easier so Natalie could play. I only cut up one of the sets and left the other one as a gameboard. So the girls just picked a card then matched it to the board. They played this about 8 times, it was a hit.

We read 4 different kinds of gingerbread man stories this week. Here Cyrena is reading the 'typical' one.

Then she completed a response sheet I found here. It was all about if she was the gingerbread man, she would run from...... and if a fox told her to jump on his back she would......This was fun and she did a great job writing!

I put up some cookie cards found here on the board and Cyrena would show me the quantity with her fingers. After she tired of that, I would put a few on the board, then take one away while she closed her eyes. She would then tell me which one I took away. This was fun.

This was a size sequencing sheet found here. She had to cut out all the pieces, put them in order biggest to smallest to make a tree. Instead of spreading them out to make a big tree, she decided to make it more of a topiary because she wanted a big trunk. :)

So there you go, hopefully it helps you with some ideas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

How I know....

I'm 36 weeks pregnant:



*My undergarment tops are getting a wee bit short so my almost 5 year old is lecturing me about modesty

*And when I ask her to do something for me, all of a sudden her back and legs hurt too much or she's too tired (where'd she get that??)

*It takes me a full minute to get up off the floor when I've been cleaning or playing with the girls. Ok maybe not a full minute but it seems like it takes awhile.

*I'm starting to slightly feel the 'heat rush' during my Braxton Hicks contractions

*I sleep with 3 pillows, one for my head and one for each side

*I've got a MOP of hair-no more daily shedfest

*My baby doesn't look or act like a baby anymore *sniff
But she still lets me cuddle her.


*It feels like the baby is having major convulsions inside of me all day long....and all night

*I'm exhausted by 9 a.m.

*I'm cleaning out my house and have piles for goodwill-and we just moved/purged 2 months ago

*My arms are itching to hold a newborn. And that's a big deal for me.

*My hospital suitcase is packed, along with a suitcase for the girls just in case

*Baby laundry is done and put away

*My freezer has at least 8 ready-to-go meals I've made.

I could go on and on...but I won't
We're getting very excited to meet our new baby!

See Pinnochio's latest hiding spot?


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Advent Activities week 1

We started our Christmas Advent Activities, a tradition we started last year. The girls are so excited to get their mint each night and find out what we're going to do.

December 1: Visited Bass Pro Shop to hang out with Santa, get a free picture and play!



I must say Cyrena had amazing aim with the crossbow.
She hit the same deer target 4 times in a row!


December 2: Drink hot Chocolate and look at pictures/video of past holidays. We also put up the girls mini tree with the lights

December 3: Ate pizza and watched a Christmas movie. And we made ornaments for the girls little tree

December 4: Phoenix Downtown Light Parade. We rode the light rail, met up with my cousin's family and we had a GREAT time!

The dads and their girls


December 5: First Presidency Christmas Devotional

December 6: Christmas Symbols FHE

December 7: This day we just had our treat and read some books since we had friends over for dinner. We'll be doing double duty to make up for it!


A new tradition we started this year is "The Elf on the Shelf" My mom bought it for us last year for Christmas. This little elf, lovingly named 'Pinnochio', watches us each day then reports to Santa every night if we've been naughty or nice. In the morning he comes back and perches in a different spot. The girls LOVE to find where he decides to sit each morning!! Yesterday, he was in the dining room chandelier and every time they walked by they pointed and laughed. Pinnochio gives us a great incentive to be on our best behavior.



The Deans

My photo
Life as we know it is full of laughter, fun, stress, love, faith and surprises. What more could we ask for?