Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday Isabella!

At 6:52 pm (Eastern time), Isabella will be an official six-year-old!

Here is a little written summary of Bella's highlights and milestones from this past year:
  • a birthday cupcake from Carlo's Bakery
  • ice skating for the first time
  • getting tonsils and adenoids removed
  • graduating from preschool
  • three separate trips to Wisconsin
  • several visits to the shore
  • going completely under water in the pool with no fear
  • seeing a circus performance
  • starting kindergarten
  • learning to ride a bike without training wheels
  • losing her first tooth
  • watching the Rockettes perform in New York City
  • joining the Girl Scouts 

I love hanging out with Bella.  Our conversations drift to so many things: from faith in God to what she had for snack at school that day.  All in the same breath sometimes!

She is flourishing in school - both academically and socially.  She loves going and learning and sharing with us what she's learning.  She doesn't always appreciate when we have to correct her mistakes, but we're working on that.

Some of her favorite things to do are color, read, make jewelry, play with Barbies or her Leapster Explorer, and watch shows like Word Girl, Hello Kitty, and Horseland.  She has several journals where she draws pictures and writes down any of the words that she knows.

Sometimes she likes to surprise us by cleaning the house.  And we often get homemade cards with hearts, smiley faces, and the words, "I love you". 

We sure love her too.

Last year, we spent her birthday in Connecticut.  She received a Tinkerbell movie (The Great Fairy Rescue) and we watched it in our hotel that evening.  This movie has become a favorite in our house and it only seemed fitting that the song from the movie would be the soundtrack to this past year of her life.

Here is Bella's 6th year in pictures!

Bella's Birthday Slideshow 2011 from Karen Kilps on Vimeo.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving and beyond. . .

I didn't take any pictures on Thanksgiving Day.  But the memories are clear in my mind.  Our family of five sitting at the table in our dining room.  Our Thanksgiving feast before us.  Bella saying our prayer.  Graydon sharing what he's thankful for - the living room.  Curtis chugging down the sparkling grape juice.  Nothing to do that day but be with each other.  Beautiful, perfect day.

When Friday arrived, it was time to deck our halls!

I take this same photo every year, but I just love it I guess.







We did what we could for one night and then completed the tree decorating the next morning.



I take my eyes off of Graydon for a minute and find him hiding behind the tree, snackig on an old gingerbread ornament.

Curtis hung one of his ornaments. (And then kept taking it back off).


Here's our tree!

And I took this bonus photo of the boys because, on this particular day, Bella dressed both of them! She even did Curtis's diaper! I'm pretty sure that Graydon is wearing Curtis's pants, but nobody cared. She's such a great helper!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Autumn Leaves are Falling Down

I love beautiful fall days. And I love playing in the leaves.

So do our boys.







Graydon located some leaves that didn't belong in the parking lot.


So he brought them to a new home.


It took him a few trips.




After all of the hard work. . . time to play!




And eat?


Silly Graydon.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Super Fun Weekend

My mom came into town late Thursday evening.  That alone was a huge treat as Mr. Curtis was sooooo cranky from an ear infection and croup.  I was very ready for a little break.  My Mom watched the boys on Friday so that Andy and I could take Bella to New York City with some friends.  We didn't take our camera (I didn't feel like carrying around my big camera in NYC) but we had our cell phone cameras and our friends took lots of photos on their digital camera.  Once I get those, I'll try to upload them.

Here's Miss Bella on the Staten Island Ferry. 


And then the subway.


Our destination:  Radio City Music Hall!  We went to see the Rockettes!!! 

Awesome, awesome, awesome show!  Bella was literally on the edge of her seat the entire time.  She even went so far that she fell off!  


After the show, we grabbed lunch and strolled around NYC for the afternoon.  We hung out in Rockefeller Center, saw the Veteran's Day Parade on 5th Avenue, and played on the big piano at FAO Schwartz.

Very fun day!

On Saturday, we had an early birthday celebration for Bella. 


She sure loves to be a birthday girl.

This birthday girl also had a pretty wiggly tooth. 

After about a half hour of wiggling and yanking, Daddy finally just pulled it out. 


And here is our Bella, minus one tooth. 


And a small gift from the tooth fairy. 

Monday, November 07, 2011

Tinkerbells, Gorillas, and Jack-O-Lanterns. . . Oh My!!!

Halloween morning began at Bella's school with the kindergarten parade. So many cuties all dressed up!




Then came time for some good old-fashioned pumpkin carving.




And finally, Trick-or-Treating!!!







Well. . . technically we went to some friends' house first for a Halloween party and then went trick-or-treating in their neighborhood.


It was pretty dark by this point, so I didn't get too many photos.





The kids had a great night.

And I'm pretty sure that all of them woke up the next morning still buzzing from all of the sugar!