Sunday, May 22, 2011

Disneyland 2011 - Night before

Well the vacation is finally here!!! The 2011 Mason Family Disneyland trip. We are so excited to be going again this year. However this year we are all 1 year older, especially Aiden & Kyra. We're almost positive that this year it will be even more magical as Aiden & Kyra know more of the characters now and have watched just about every Disney movie imaginable.

It's also different because we're trying something different this year and that is not letting the girls in on where we are going. We have them believing we are going camping for a week. Haha. Mommy & Daddy are the tricksters in this here plot. And we've had our friends in on it too, saying such things as "What are you going to do when you're camping?" and other such questions. They are really excited about the idea that we are going camping. Jake said while he was putting Kyra down for her nap today that she was telling him all kinds of things she's going to be doing while camping. Such as roasting marshmallows, picking up sticks and rocks and sleeping in a tent and having a fire. Aiden's pretty excited too. She's looking forward to putting on her swimsuit and she wants to fish. Haha, silly kids.

So my friend Gail and I were trying to come up with some really great ideas for the roadtrip to entertain the girls for the 6+ hour drive. She went online and found some really awesome ideas. Games like fishing, guess what's in the bottle, Road Trip Bingo that I found printale bingo cards with road signs that the girls have to spot and put a star on each item (don't know how well that's going to go with Kyra). I found that printout on
Mom's Minivan website.


Also got this idea from the MiniVan site.
* Travel Tickets - Use some colored construction paper to cut out some "tickets" for your trip. Give your child a pre-counted baggie full of tickets. Every half hour (or every 30 miles) they can turn in one ticket to you. When their tickets are gone, the trip has ended! This really helps young children get an idea of how much time is left on the journey.

So my idea here is to give each of the girls 1 at a time at random and at random times. Since Aiden knows her letters I figured she might get it rather quickly...well sort of. I'm hoping Kyra won't rip them to shreads. LOL. So at the end of the trip, they'll each have 5 letters. These will then be part of the plan on Tuesday morning before we head to the park. (see last item on this post).
Chalk and black construction paperThis is another one we found online. Take magnets and use them as a fishing pole. We have this LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Alphabet that normally goes on our fridge but we are going to use them for this game. Jake took 2 paint sticks and tied a 3 foot string and on the end is a magnet of each letter. The letters will sit on the floor in front of them and they can fish for letters.This one I cut out random shapes with my handy dandy Cricut machine and cut holes on the outerrim of the shapes. Found a red and green shoelace for the girls to thread through the shapes. Now if these don't make it through our trip without ripping, that's ok. I think the girls will enjoy this one.With this one I took 2 empty water bottles and filled it with rice and ten items. Pinto bean, paper clip, kernal of corn, safety pin, penny, dime, hard candy, red rock, button and elbow noodle. I will name off something and the girls have to shake, rattle and roll the bottles and see if they can find the item. Should make for interesting 30-60 minute fun time. OK, I'm pretty proud of this one. This isn't necessarily a game we'll be playing in the car but something we'll have Aiden & Kyra do right before we head to the park the morning of the first day. I found a current picture of the Disneyland park online and saved it as a jpg. I turned it into a photo and printed it on photo paper. Again, using my handy dandy Cricut machine, Design Studio and My Community cartridge to make it look like a puzzle. I will be scrapping this so we'll never forget this trip. I'm hoping the girls will recognize it and know where we're going at this point. But probably not. If not, more the better than to see it when we get to the park.

So ladies and gents, there you have it. Our night before preperations for our trip. I will be blogging everyday of our trip (hopefully) but if not, I'll be sure to send all the trip details when we arrive home if I don't get a chance to do it while on our trip.

Thanks for stopping by and we hope you will continue to follow us on this journey.

See you next blog.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kyra - Our Daughter

Jake & I are happy to officially announce KYRA MASON to our family. Weighing in at 34 lbs, 3 feet tall, brown hair, brown eyes and a WINNING Smile & Personality





We celebrated Kyra's Adoption day on Thursday, April 7th with many family, friends and special visitors.

The first picture is with 5 special friends. These 5 ladies have been through thick and thin with us from the start of this process. Without them we never would have gotten to where we are now...a FAMILY!!!


L-R: Tanisha, Lindsey, Alicia (holding Kyra), Peggy & Charlene

Jake & I getting sworn in. This is the same Judge who did Aiden's adoption in Sept of last year.


Friends and Family who were able to make the proceedings.



The Judge let Kyra, Aiden & Allee pick out 1 stuffed animal to take home with them.

As you can see Kyra couldn't pick just 1. She had about 5 in her arms.

She wasn't terribly happy when I had to remove a few from her arms. But she settled on the caterpillar.


The whole crew who came for the Event! L-R: Holly, Kyle, Chris (Jake's sister), Jake, Lisa (holding Aiden), Jim, Mom, Robyn, Me (w/Kyra), Amber (holding Allee) and Daryl. We went to John's Incredible Pizza afterwards to celebrate!!!


There are so many people we would like...No scratch that LOVE to Thank who have helped us along the way. To the 5 SPECIAL PEOPLE in the first photo. If it hadn't been for them God only knows where Aiden & Kyra would be right now. It warms our hearts that you have entrusted us to care for these 2 girls with all our hearts. Be rest assured that they are in the best care and in a loving home.

To our Families for accepting the girls as lovingly and whole-heartedly as you have as your nieces and cousins.

To Jake's Mom...MY MOM, who's been an awesome Grandma to her Granddaughters. She shows them all day and everyday how much she loves and cares about them as much as we do. She spoils them with love and affection as ALL Grandma's should. =)

To our Friends both near and far for welcoming them into your lives and hearts and never making them feel like they’re not a part of Jake & I. We couldn't imagine our lives without them or all of you.

In all honesty in the last 1 ½ years it has been a HUGE adjustment for us. As Parents we instill in our kids how we grew up and want only the best for these girls.

To our Games Night crew...you guys are the BOMB!!! You've always been so accommodating if we can't get a sitter and dealt with the pouting, screaming, crying...well enough about MY tantrums on those nights they had to come with us. Haha.

No but seriously, to Ray, Gail, Robyn, Jim, Holly & Kyle a very special THANK YOU for being our friends and always being there for us. Without our ADULT monthly games nights we would go completely insane and thank you for the time to be around Big People as we tell the girls. We are very, very Blessed to have you all in our lives.

Daryl & Lisa, what can we say??? Sooo much. You two have been an inspiration to us. Your kids are so well behaved, polite, and just down right really good kids. You’ve raised them right and to respect others and care about others. Without you two, our lives would have a hole.

A VERY, VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU GOES OUT TO OUR COUSIN AMBER, WITHOUT YOU AND YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF THESE GIRLS WE NEVER WOULD HAVE KNOWN ABOUT THEM AND THEY WOULD NOT BE IN OUR LIVES AND OUR DAUGHTERS! YOU HAVE A VERY SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR LIVES AND OUR HEARTS AS WELL AS AIDEN'S & KYRA'S LIVES. WE ARE VERY BLESSED FOR YOU & ALLEE BOTH.

***********

As a new Mom I have learned a lot and I find myself saying things to Aiden & Kyra that my Mom said to me that I said I would NEVER say (yeah right). For instance...."Because I said so, that's why". Everytime I say that I can hear my Mom telling me the same thing when I was a kid. It's rather amusing actually. I've learned patience is something that is learned everyday. I say to myself now-a-days 'choose my battles' and "What would my Mom do?" or "Do I really sound like that?". I've learned not to make everything a big deal.

For example - Kyra & Aiden are out in the yard playing with bare feet, shorts & a short sleeve shirt. It's a littel chilly but not terribly cold. I think "Should I have them get socks, shoes, pants and jackets....naw, a little cold weather never hurt anyone, right?" We used to play out in the cold rain in the streets and jump into puddles and get soaked to the bone. We were kids, that's what kids do. Why am I so afraid to let them do that? I dunno, maybe that's something I'll work on and not worry so much about. - Getting dirty is another example, I almost get crazy when the girls get their clothes dirty...WHAT is that about? I find myself having to step back and say to myself, God made dirt and dirt don't hurt. I find comfort in saying that and it's true. Nothing a little bath or shower can't clean before bed, right?!?

I, myself have learned so much about myself and about Jake and about the girls in general. So much amazes me about how they've grown and continue to grow. How sweet and loving they can be. How upset or angry they're little minds and bodies get when things just aren't the way they want them to be.

The MOST amazing thing for me about them is their little personalities. How so alike they are in some ways and yet so different too. They are complete opposites when it comes to food. Aiden is the much pickier one. Aiden is afraid to try things but she eventually does with a little encouragement. She'll say she likes it in the beginning but after a few bites she'll then decide that she doesn't like it. Kyra, will eat just about anything we put in front of her. However, bread has been her "No like it" thing lately. We'll give her a turkey sandwich and she'll eat the turkey and leave the bread. Aiden has spunk and Kyra is a little spitfire. I guess that's the best way I can describe them. Jake's Mom says that she has to have 10 pairs of hands to keep up with Kyra, as do we. :o)

Our predictions for them is this: Aiden will be the prom queen and will like all the pretty things and Kyra will be our little tom boy or book worm. Either way, these girls are going to be whatever they want to be in life and we will support them nomatter what. Who knows, we may be completely wrong and be the other way around. Only time will tell.

Again, Thank You to everyone for all your Love & Support in the last year and a half. It has really meant a lot to us. We love and cherish each and every one of you for your continued support in our journey.

Please continue to follow us in our journey as a complete FAMILY!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Painting projects

So since we moved in 1 year ago come this Sunday (13th), what better way to celebrate it by starting to paint the inside of our house. We've had the paint for several months but after Jake fracturing his ankle and having surgery it's just not been a good time to paint. We did the girls rooms back in March so I'll post pictures of the before & after soon too. Until then here are some before & after pics of the bathroom. We did a Disney Finding Nemo & Ariel theme. We painted the walls an ocean blue and bought appliques at Home Depot. Painted the ceiling a sky blue color and I cut out a SUN with my Cricut machine and vinyl to make it look like the sky.


Girls bathroom after






We absolutely did not like the color of the living room, it reminded us of baby diarrhea poop. We put up with it as long as we could. I couldn't take it no more. LOL. Our next paint project is going to be Jake's office/guest bedroom. We've picked out the paint color, just got to make time to do the painting. I'm super excited to work on our master bedroom after and go from there with the rest of the house. Since the entryway walls are so high we might get that hired out.

TV wall before TV wall after
Window wall before Window wall after Clock/curio wall before
Clock/curio after
1/2 bath before
1/2 bath after - decorated with a butterfly theme
hallway into the kitchen before - entryway is not painted yet
entryway after

Thanks for stopping by and we hope you will continue to follow us on this journey.

See you next blog.

Hugs to all,
The Mason Family

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Aiden goes to Preschool

Aiden finally got a spot in the Head Start program here in Lincoln. Her first day of school was January 18th. She was and is soo excited. She's doing so good in school. She's learning to pour her own milk, serve her own food from serving bowls at lunch and at snack time. This is one thing we are starting to let her do at dinnertime and she seems to like it a lot.

It's really kind of cool that Aiden has learned to do a few things on her own through the help of school. For instance at lunchtime and snacktime the kids are encouraged to serve themselves. They take the serving spoons and forks and dish out their own food at their portions. They are also encouraged to get their own plates, forks, napkins and cups for the milk. They are also encouraged to pour their own milk. How cool is that?!? That being said, we have started to have our family dinners at the table served family style. We let Aiden get her own food and we've also encouraged her to set the table for everyone. It's really great and she likes helping Mommy & Daddy and her little sister.


Sitting waiting patiently to leave before school starts.

She made the wipeboard outside her classroom door. Her name got put on it as a New Friend.

Kyra saying goodbye to her Big Sis.

Isn't she cute...all innocent looking like. She was soo excited. She sat quietly and just observed her classmates.
She had her very first field trip in the first week. She went with her classmates to Wacky Tacky in Roseville. Her teachers are Miss Rose and Miss Patti and her Teachers Aide is Miss Kathy. They are really nice. She's gotten to meet a lot of new friends. Everyday she comes home talking about a new friend. The one she plays with the most is Isabella.

This coming Monday she has her first party in her class. It's the Valentine's Day celebration. I made her Valentine's to take to school for each classmate. On the back I made a white heart and Aiden has written her name on each of them to tell the other classmates who it is from. There are 20 kids in her class. I've also been volunteering in her classroom a few hours a week. When I take her to school at 12:30 I stay till 4 which is when she gets out. For every hour I volunteer in the class we get these things called BONUS BUCKS and they are each valued at $1.00. At the end of every month they calculate the hours a parent has volunteered and we can use the $ towards a book of our childs choice from a list. It's really a great incentive for the parents to get involved as well as benefit the kids reading. Luckily Jake is home to stay with Kyra for the time I'm gone. She goes down for a nap at 2 so it works out. I really have been enjoying it. And the kids Thank Aiden for sharing their Mommy with them on those days.

She got accustomed to school really quickly which wasn't a surprise. As soon as she gets to school she has lunch. The school is all about healthy foods and milk. It's a good thing too.

IN OTHER NEWS!!!
For all who have been patiently waiting....just like us, we finally have an Adoption Date for Kyra's adoption. Her adoption day is going to be Thursday, April 7th at the County of Fresno courthouse. If you are local and wish to atttend the celebration please let us know. Anyone is welcome to come and witness this Blessed day in all of our lives. After the proceedings at the courthouse we will most likely go somewhere to have some lunch and you are again welcome to come. Actually you are encouraged to join us.

See you next blog.

Hugs to all!
The Mason Family