Saturday, September 27, 2008

Goat Cheese and Park Time

We took a drive down Lakeshore to the Carmelis Goat Cheese Farm...saw some goats, ate some gelato...took some photos. Then we stopped in at Bertram park for lunch.
I'm so thankful to live in such a beautiful place where there are so many awesome things to see and do!
Grandpa and the kids
Wow, look at that view...those lucky goats!

Can you see the goats on the hillside in this photo?

This was the kids' favorite part- Gelato!!!

Caleb loved having Grandpa push him on the swing.

KLO Apple Orchard

I love fall! I am so excited to see the trees beginning to change colors! The way the leaves change here is so different than in Fresno where I grew up. It is truly spectacular! Another favorite thing about fall is the apple tour. We decided to take my dad (who is visiting for the weekend!) and the two little ones on the tour while the big girls were in school.
Caleb and his "guys"

Grandpa asked the tour guide if Caleb could sit on the tractor...He was really excited to do this!

Goats like carrots! Our kids liked feeding the goats!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Our girls are all settled in to school and now dance as well. This year the Banman ladies are in a cumulative total of 7 dance classes at Creators. I love the dance studio. It is a Christian studio where the dances, the music and the costumes for all ages are always respectable and tasteful. That is such a big deal to us because we live in a world where little girls grow up way too fast and the world's values are so, well, sad.
Today marked a big event in Maddie's life- she successfully completed her first dance class WITHOUT her mommy! Last year was a bit of a disaster, she only lasted two weeks but she is much bigger now and she was ready!!

She came up with this lovely pose on her own!!

Here is Mikayla in her grade 2 ballet class. She goes to school with 5 of these girls. Four of them have been dancing together for 5 years now! (I love that!)

This year Mikayla gets to have a navy bodysuit...and the ballet class is much more intense than it has been.

Mikayla and Mailee are in tap together again.

Unfortunately, I was not able to get photos of Mailee's ballet or the girls in jazz because Mike took them to those classes last Friday. (I was thankful that he was helping out with the driving...I chose not to push it by asking for photos:)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Maddie's First Loose Tooth

Maddie is only 4 1/2 so for the past few weeks when she was complaining that her tooth hurt, I was worried she had a did not even cross my mind that one my baby girl's teeth could already be loose!!! Yesterday she was in a panic as she showed me her tooth. I was relieved and shocked to discover a little bottom tooth that was hanging by a thread!

Today Mike assisted Maddie with her very loose tooth...

I can not believe how much losing a first tooth makes a child's face look so much more grown up!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Shelley

Today is Shelley's 21st birthday. (on the 21st of the month...this is called a "golden birthday", it only happens once in your life! )

Shelley is such a fun sister! She is always supportive and encouraging. She has been so helpful as an "auntie"...most memorably as our "nanny" for a few months when Caleb was brand new. She filled in all the gaps I could not quite accomplish and she was great company! I always love having Shell along on trips as she is so much fun to be with for both me and the kids. During the "So You Think You Can Dance" season, I cherished knowing that once a week I would get to have Shell all to myself, and I made sure there was taco salad available for her consumption! I love hearing about and seeing her artistic projects! I love walking in to the office to see her smiling face but more importantly to see what she is wearing:) I feel so thankful that Shell is in the office giving of her time and talents to bless Rhino Chiropractic! I don't quite understand how she does it but I admire her discipline with what she eats and her commitment to running. I know at this stage of Shelley's life there are lots of, husband, family, travel...but I am certain anything she does will be as fabulous, exciting and blessed as her life has been thus far!

Such a fun auntie!!

We went scootering around town to celebrate Shelley's Golden birthday!

Shell's happy Birthday Cheesecake "cake"

I love you Shelley! Happy 21st Birthday!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More Lateness..But We Won't Focus On That...

My wonderful mother-in-law Linda had a birthday too. I am the worst at acknowledging birthdays unless it involves me making a cake!! Well I have lots of great things to say about this special lady so enough with the excuses, we're moving forward!!

Linda is a hands-on Grandma! She gets right in there with the kids and PLAYS!!

When Mailee was born, Linda was there to experience the birth and help out for a few weeks. It was a great time in our relationship to get to know each other one on one! I felt showered with Linda's gifts and talents in the areas of servant hood and food preparation extraordinaire! She really knows how to work hard and do the exact things that need to be done. I really admire these qualities. And everything she makes (to eat) tastes incredible:)

My wonderful, fun-loving, family oriented in-laws. (This is a great picture, hey?)

I am so thankful for the way that Linda (and Don) raised their 5 incredible kids and that I am the girl who God has chosen to bestow the gift of these amazing siblings and husband!! What a fantastic family to be a part of!

Linda's creativity blesses us in surprising ways. Here are all the kids dressed up as Santa's at our family Christmas last year. This was Mom's idea. She put us in groups each group had one child and we had to deck them out like was hilarious, fun and an awesome memory.

One of the biggest strengths that Linda brings to our family is her passion for Christ and her commitment to pray! I love this picture. Again, what a blessing to be a part of a family who believes that God's Word and the promises in it are true...a family that can pray together and support each other through the challenges and changes of life. Thank you Mom for your indispensable role in this family and for the precious person that you have become to me over the last 10 years:)

Happy Birthday (late...of course but we won't focus on that:)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Jen...

Does a birthday wish still count if it is a few days late? SHOOT! Well I still want to post a birthday wish to one of my best friends- Jen!

Here she is with her new little girl, Tanner! I love this photo!

Here we all are this spring, when we celebrated our 30th year together in Fresno.

Jen and I met the first day of high school, two scared girls sitting on the bleachers together for lunch!! We went through cheer, some wild times, a few dramatically sad(at the time) boyfriend issues, a few car accidents, working together at paper fantasy, tennis in junior college, she rode with me to TWU when I went away to college, we've stood up for each other in our weddings, and now we are "aunties" to eachother's kiddos! I am so thankful for email which can be such a comfort when the people you are closest to live far away!
Love you Jen! Happy birthday!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Becoming Functional!

This morning I looked out my window (the one I can look out from my computer desk- how nice!) and I saw Caleb and Maddie enjoying their snack while sitting on the bench!

Mike is not finished with the fence yet, or the bench but it was great to see the potential already! How awesome to have a bench seat out there! We opted for not making the seat closed in storage to avoid mold issues.

Next weekend is the big deck unveiling as we are hosting a birthday celebration for Shelley and IF the weather cooperates, we are planning to spend the evening on the deck!

For the record, this whole deck/fence building experience has cancelled out anything I might have thought in the past about Mike's handyman capabilities! He is awesome:)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Back to School and my Lil Guy

Tonight was "back to school night" .... the kids have great teachers and I am so thankful for the school and the staff and all the awesome friends they (and we) have through KCS. This year one of the goals of the school is to take the Christian values they are learning in the classroom (through memory verses, chapel and their Bible curriculum) and help them apply those to their "free time" on the playground...I love that my kids are learning the academic stuff and being filled with God's truths everyday! I love that SCHOOL is helping to equip them for making awesome choices in life, not just making "moral" choices but building Christ-like character. So awesome! I am so thankful!
Anyways, it's been all about the big girls lately, so here is some small guy cuteness....
Aw, isn't he so sweet?

kisses in the park

Wow- he is learning to kick- what a guy!

Now if only we could perfect the potty training....

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Deck Prgress...

Really Quick...
Before you read this interesting information, take a second to let me know that you are keeping tuned in to the happenings in "Banman Land" by clicking on the "follow this blog" button to the right!! I love to write this blog and I'd love to be able to have an idea of who enjoys reading it!
Back to the deck....
So I apologize for the lack of information on the deck! To be honest, I am so silly about only taking pictures when everything looks "clean" that I have not found a suitable moment to take a photo of the completed deck!! Mike finished the deck weeks ago and he did an awesome job. The second the deck was finished, it was covered with toys and shoes and rocks! (rocks on the deck- NOT fun! Caleb has since been told, warned, disciplined and threatened on this topic) I have not had the motvation to clean up the kids' things in order to get my "perfect picture". Perhaps one day!
Today I snapped this photo of the latest project that is going on in the backyard. THE FENCE!!! Mike is building this 9 foot fence and then building a seat that has storage all the way along the fence!

The two little ones love to be outside "helping" Daddy.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Great Friends

Mikayla and Mailee agreed to wear these outfits together today. I thought the matching days were behind us so this was so fun for me! I am so thankful that my girls love each other. Their personalities could not be more different yet they get along really well (most of the time:) and they are always there for each other. When Mailee was born I remember feeling so thrilled that Mikayla had a sister...the one thing I did not have as a child! These two special girls are a pure joy for me as I watch their relationship grow!


This looks quite dangerous but it is not, I assure you! See the crossing guard to the right?

Aren't the girls so cute walking to school together? Mikayla used to run ahead and leave Mailee in the dust but now they walk together.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to School!!

Today was the first day of school. The girls were easy to wake up and thrilled to get ready and out the door. They looked so cute, all dressed up in their new duds. I love the first day of school!! The girls were happy with their teachers and glad to see old friends. The moms were all thrilled to see each other again after a few months. I feel like a big part of my social life goes on vacation when school is out!!

Here is the morning in pictures...

The traditional flagpole picture. When I was growing up, the tradition was to get a picture in front of the school sign on the first day. The only "school sign" KCS has is the one above the office door...can you see it? It's to the right of Mailee. So our tradition is to take this shot, in front of the flagpole with the sign in the background!

Mailee is in Miss. Hufnagel's class. Mikayla had this teacher last year. Aunty Shelley had this teacher 13 years ago. We love Miss Hufnagel. Mailee was happy to be in her class. When she got in the classroom, she noticed that the desks were not assigned. Mailee went right for the desk in the front row, right next to the teacher's desk. This is the exact same desk Mikayla chose last year!

Here's Mikayla's flagpole shot. She was not happy cause I made her take her sweater off for the picture. Mikayla has Mr. Sader whom she had in grade one. Mr. Sader is the teacher that turned Mikayla on to reading because of his "rocket reading club". She excelled then and she has big plans for a repeat performance!

Most of the girls Mikayla has known from kindergarten are not in her class but she was really excited to have Olivia in her class, a girl she knows from dance (sitting to Mik's left). Today was Olivia's first day at this school so I was glad to see Mikayla buddy up with her. I am not sure who the girl that Mikayla is talking to in this picture is, perhaps she is new, too??

My favorite picture of the day! Look how excited the little ones are for the big girls!