Tag Archives: Warren



The four kids were sword fighting with these silly foam things they got as souvenirs from our recent trip to Legoland California. They were screaming and hollering in good fun when suddenly it turned ugly. Maddie shouted, “Stop, stop! Stop, Renny!” Warren reminded her that she was holding a sword so she was fair game. They were only pretending anyway and it didn’t even hurt.

Calmly, he looked at her and said, “Maddie, if it were a real sword fight, most of us would probably be dead.”

Warren Turns Eight


This kid is now eight. How it happened so quickly, I just do not know.

We had Jared, Evelyn, and Miriam visiting so we celebrated Warren’s birthday with family.

Jared drew this amazing chalk birthday greeting from Yoda.

A happy birthday you will have.

“A happy birthday you will have. Yes.”

When Warren woke up, he saw a decorated bathroom mirror, courtesy of Dad.

Pick a face!

“Happy Birthday, Warren. Pick a face!” with a Frankenstein monster, a cowboy, and an alien drawing. Insert your face here.

We had pancakes with sprinkles for breakfast.

Birthday Cake Pancakes

(Though not pictured here, it was also topped with a lime cream filling used in the delectable cream puffs left over from Pam and Kevin’s wedding.)

And for dinner, pasta with meatballs.

Pasta dinner

Followed by chocolate cupcakes frosted with the ubiquitous lime cream filling. That stuff got around. Good thing it was so tasty!

Chocolate Cupcakes


Make a wish

Oh, Warren. You are undeniably a big kid now. It makes me so happy to see all the things you can do on your own. I love how much you think about things and consider the world around you. It’s amazing to see you becoming your own person, making decisions about things on your own terms. Sometimes I get frustrated by how you tackle situations, but I know I need to stand back and let you fall, let you learn for yourself how this crazy, wonderful world works. I hope you will always come to me and your dad the way you do now to check in and seek guidance. May your love of Legos and all things creative, your artistic talents and need to invent bring you fulfillment and joy your whole life through.

We love you, Warren. Happy 8th year!

Eager Reader

Eager Reader

1,620 minutes. That’s how long Warren read total during his school’s Eager Reader program that lasted over a month.

And he’s really gotten into it, too. Reading has not always come easily for him. He’s taken off in the last few months. You can often find him curled up on the couch with a book in hand. Most likely, it will be one of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Sometimes we’d have to drag him away from his story to do something pesky like eat dinner. He hardly ever wanted to put the book down to be bothered.

We’re so grateful that he took this challenge seriously and worked hard to fit reading into his daily schedule. More than that, we’re grateful that he actually likes to read now. It’s inspiring others in our household to spend hours pouring over books, as well.

Reading on the couch

Robot Valentines

I'm Nuts & Bolts About You!

I had no business making hand made robot Valentines for Warren’s classmates, especially after returning from a long trip away from my family, but I did. With Colin’s help, we assembled these little suckers 24 times over.

Using boxes of Craisins, Starburst, pipe cleaner, sparkly heart stickers, googly eyes (for crying out loud!), and a sign that read, “I’m nuts and bolts about you!” we hot glued the robot together.

That’s what I get for giving him free reign to pick an idea off my Valentine’s Day Pinterest board.

Next year, it’s a package of Angry Birds cards straight from the supermarket!

Indoor Activities

I know I vowed to stay current on this blog, so please ignore the fact that I have yet to post about Christmas, Colin’s birthday, or Valentine’s Day.

Instead, I give you images of my kids. I hope that makes up for the 3 month loss.

Warren has been on mid-winter break this week. And despite the amazingly mild season, with more sunny days, and less precipitation than I feared, today was cold, wet, and dreary. So what better time than now to try some Pinterest ideas for indoor play?

Behold the “Ninja training course” that lasted all of about 2 minutes once Jake and Joe came upstairs.

Spy training

Warren designed and taped it up using string he then recycled into a number of different macabre props.


Then I thought I’d take advantage of the great light that (thankfully) comes through even on cloudy days and take some portrait shots. But for every sweet (albeit blurry) picture I’d get…



I’d get about twenty more like this…




At least they were having fun.


All Hallow’s Eve

Captured Moments by Crystal

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year. You can tell by my past posts that I love any excuse to decorate and dress up in something creative.

Life might be hectic right now and we may be in transition, but that didn’t stop us from celebrating right. We put out our favorite decorations:

Played our spooky music playlist:

Everything from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” to several “Harry Potter Soundtrack” pieces from the various movies to a true gem that I found called “Classical Music from the Dark” (49 songs for $2.39 and all without words, as not to get too burned out since we listened to them all day long, over and over again). “Turn on the Halloween songs, please!” was the first thing out of Maddie’s mouth each morning. The kids could not get enough of Thriller, which you can see here, if you want to invest the time:

Little Zombies Dance to Thriller from Jeannie @ Live. Laugh. Learn on Vimeo.

We carved pumpkins picked at a local farm (though my heart ached for our Avila Valley Barn and sunny weather):

No real candles to place inside this year since they’re packed away in some box somewhere between our bedroom and the rented storage unit.

And, of course, there were the costumes:

There is no way we could top the two-headed monster costume Jake and Joey wore last year, but we gave it a shot. Jake was a UPS delivery guy and Joey his little package.

We upped the ante by creating a UPS truck that Colin and I were both supposed to wear but couldn’t because someone had to shepherd the boys around. I ended up being the lone “driver” for the evening. Colin conceived of, designed, and created the truck himself. It turned out even better than the picture shows. Nice work, Colin!

Warren and Maddie had their own gigs as an army guy and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, respectively. They’ve never been on board with the family theme idea. All costumes were well-received.

We attended our church’s Trunk or Treat, with games and plenty of treats inside the cultural hall, and trick or treating out in the pouring rain among the cars. Warren went for it, Colin manned our car’s trunk, but I chickened out with the Maddie, Jake, and Joe. I kept them indoors and tried to convince them that eating the two mini chocolates they got before I herded them back inside was the height of the experience. I’m sure I’ll get used to events being soggy but this year was too soon.

On the actual Halloween day we took it easy since a) it was still raining hard and b) the kids were wiped out from returning home so late the night before. We went to the city-sponsored indoor trick or treating event at the town hall. Did they get as much loot as they would have hitting the streets? Probably not. But we were done in an hour and completely dry so don’t judge.

It was another great year of fun traditions. I love this silly, pointless holiday.

Happy Halloween, everyone! Enjoy pilfering your child(ren)’s candy!

1st Grade Favorites

A cute idea I saw on Pinterest provided a way to record a child’s interests at the end of each school year to see how much he or she has changed from one grade to the next. Warren wasn’t willing to ink his palms for the hand print, so I went with a picture instead.

At the end of 1st Grade, Warren has the following favorites:

Color(s): black, red, yellow, silver
Subject: science
Food: pizza, mac & cheese, quesadilla, spaghetti, meat lasagna, desserts
Book: Harry Potter

What will his answers be at the end of 12th Grade?





The End of 1st Grade

Warren is done with first grade. Just like that, it’s over.

It kills me to see the difference in his pictures between the first day of school and the last. He looks like an honest to goodness big kid now. Where is my little boy with the missing front teeth?

But what a great year he had! He learned many fun things over the past 9 months but his greatest accomplishment was learning how to read. It was harder than he wished, but he’s really come a long way.

He had the same teacher he had for kindergarten, which was a wonderful blessing. She was so good with him and he loved going to school everyday. We’ll miss you, Sonia! But hopefully you’ll see more of our kids grow and flourish in the years to come.

Goodbye, 1st grade. Hello, summer vacation!

Class Musical

Warren participated in his first theatrical production at school. It was the end-of-the-year project for his class. He played the “Recyclarian” as part of a quartet of “Friendly Neighborhood Helpers.” Musicals make the production more bearable at this age. Even when they mess up the words or sing off key, it’s still entertaining.

He had a solo. He worked incredibly hard on it. He sang out loud and sang out strong while practicing. Not as loud or strong during the actual performance, but definitely enough for all to hear.

He wanted me to attend every performance (two daytime ones for the other classes and one night performance for the parents) and so I did. I was proud to see him stand up there and conquer his fear of being in the spotlight.

He shined.

“I’m gonna be a recyclarian.
That’s what I’ll be,
you wait and see.

Gonna sift trash,
gonna save scrap!
Gonna keep this and reuse that.

Landfill is full,
more than enough!
Gonna be great recycling stuff.”

What I Found When I Came Out of the Shower No. 4

The Conga? The Love Train?

Whatever you call it, it was cute and safe and non-destructive.

Note: Though not staged, this is false advertising since Colin was home at the time (he’s the photographer here) and no actual risk was involved in me hopping in the shower.