Monday, March 31, 2014

A Few Moments in March

Here are a few random memorable moments that have happened in March.  First off?  I decided to take the plunge and had Keri Hedquist come to my house and help me go through and organize my closet.  I know I have too many clothes.  I've NEVER had space in my closet.  I always feel like I'm cramming the clothes in, and as a result, I hate putting my clothes away.  Well, enough is enough.  I have always gone through everything at least once a year, but I wasn't getting anywhere too quickly.  Keri came over and we got rid of stuff--plenty of stuff--even cute things that she said I really didn't need anymore.  And the best part?  I was totally on board.  I was ready for room and freedom in my closet and my drawers.

She was a little shocked at the sheer number of bags it took to haul out the clothes I'd be donating...I'll be honest... so was I!
But the end result was so incredibly amazing that I didn't want to look back.  SPACE between my hangers???!  And no jeans with bad pockets!!!  (I have a problem of keeping them just because they are long enough for my extra long inseam.  No longer!!!)  
That very weekend, I took all of the bags to our Relief Society President at church and asked her if she could get it to the people who needed it.   Some people would use the clothing, and others would take the items and sell them to earn a living.   I started seeing my clothing pop up in church that very next week.  But I never expected to see this: 

Not even a week after my cleansing, I got a text from Kristy Miller and it was titled, "Thinking of you in Jumbo."  There is was!  One of my shirts that I had donated (We still have 4 of those shirts in other sizes in our home--we love them, Mike Berryhill!)  So, now, I can officially say that the Berryhill name will carry on down here even after we leave Chile :)  I loved this.  I'm so glad Kristy captured it!
Another moment that made me smile?  Sandra and Luke helping me make tortilla roll ups.
Luke loved practicing his knife skills and was learning from the best.  Sandra's chopping skills are like none other.  I like to sit and watch her in amazement sometimes.  And when she sees me undergoing the task, often she offers to take over so I can work on something else (I know it's because my "cuadritos" aren't as fine as she believes they should be :) ) 

Luke practicing his letter H on our kitchen wall.  White board markers really come in handy on tile!
Coming home from dropping off the kids.  Don't mind the bulls in our front yard!!!
Kate and her friend Sabine, dressed up for Twin Day.
Jake's note to a little girl in our ward, Allison Clarke, congratulating her in Spanish on her baptism.
Another moment Kristy captured for me this month.  Our pianist didn't show in Primary, so I was playing the music during singing time and didn't notice what was going down in the front row.  
But Kristy did!  Luke, rocking out to the hymns.

One day I had the chance to meet up with some of the mom's from Jake's class, and go explore a new place in Santiago!  I LOVED it.  Stephanie Edeen, Sabrina Whittle, Liz Haynes and I went down to Barrio Italia to check it out.  Completely unassuming from the main street, but behind each gate were hidden alleys filled with authentic clothing, furniture, shoes shops.  And of course there were delicious restaurants.  It's a wonderful day when a gem has been found.
The 5th Sunday of the month, we are having classes teach Sharing Time in Primary.  This last Sunday, Jake's class was presenting in Junior Primary, and Kate's was presenting in Senior Primary.  I so enjoyed seeing them get up there and talk about the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.  Really sad that both of their teachers (and friends) will be leaving Chile in a couple of months.  They have been wonderful!
March was a great month!

Kate: The Eagle Ray

So many events lately for the kids to show their support for one another!  Sadly, Joe has been in Switzerland for the last 2 weeks, so he has only been able to participate through pictures and phone calls.  We went this last weekend to Kate's first swim meet of the semester.  Her team suit that we bought last semester no longer fits.  Nice. 
They just look so cute out there. She is doing incredible on the Junior A team.  Considering that I threw her on a swim team when she was 4 and she was drowning at almost every practice...her form has improved a thousand times over.  She looks amazing.  She reported that her favorite stroke is breast, but her fastest is back stroke.  She likes free and can't quite get the hang of fly yet.  No rush :)  
After the meet, she received a certificate, a pin and a chocolate medal.  
Her coaches know what the kids like :)

Jake's Turn to Take the Stage

Kate wasn't the only one who took to the stage this month.  The kindergartners at Nido had a session in school where they learned all about writing, directing, and casting their own play.  Each class came up with their own story, the characters, the dialogue and the sets.  Then the families were invited to come and watch it in the Nido Theater. 
 We have to be in our car at 7:05am every morning in order to get to school on time.  At 7:01, the day of the big show, Jake decided that instead of the blue outfit he was going to wear for his astronaut costume, he had to design his own shirt--complete with pockets and badges that astronauts where.  The blue shirt we had picked out had nothing to do with space!  He couldn't possibly be in his big production without the proper costume.  I'm normally yelling at this point to get in the car, if the kids are taking their own sweet time.  But the enthusiasm was too great, I couldn't squash it.  I grabbed the first white shirt I could find and threw a sharpie at him.  "You have 2 minutes."  In those two minutes, he created his masterpiece.  Finally, he felt proud, and ready to get up on stage.  

I love his "J's"

Here are the astronauts on their very important mission
Jake was so cute.  He walked around with this silly grin on his face the entire time.  Didn't want to put his astronaut helmet on though... I wasn't sure why...

The final bow... the kids were feeling pretty, darn good.  
It was great!  Kate and I laughed the whole 20 minutes :)
 Jake and Paden in some intense conversation after the performance.  I couldn't even get them to look at me... I'm kind of glad they didn't.  This was much better :)
When the boys finally did make it outside, I asked the astronauts to put their helmets on, so I could get a shot.  That's when I realized why Jake never wanted to put his on!!!  I think they made his helmet when he was sick last week and just estimated his his size...  It wasn't quite large enough :)
Contemplating the stars
Sigh... I can't get enough of the helmet.  I love it.  I love him more.  Great job, Jake!  We were so happy we got to see you perform!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Happy 6th Birthday, Jake!!!

On March 22, 2014, Joe would be in Switzerland.  So, we decided to throw Jake's birthday party a couple of days before the real deal.  This would be his first, big "friend" party.  And one thing I've come to realize, is that Jake doesn't like surprises.  He loves to take ownership and plan things down to the very last detail.  And so, together, we planned his party.  Because it would be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle theme, Jake felt it necessary to watch the original episodes multiple times a day to make sure he was an expert when it came to the reptiles :) 
I had Joe contact a guy who does inflatables and jump houses down here and this was the one he picked.  Surprisingly my phobia of sharks wasn't too much of an issue when I saw it for the first time.  The boys LOVED it.  Of course!
The party was only a week after Luke's accident.  For some reason, this picture seems fitting.
The 18 invitations were out, the games were planned, the goody bags were ready, and the boys were thrilled that the jump house came the day before the party, so they could get some good use out of it.  Unlike me, our dog Lucy, was terrified of the monstrosity in our backyard, so she stayed close to her crate the entire time it was up!   
The TMNT favorite food is pizza.  So as I was putting the goody bags together and found pizza flavored Doritos, I had to get them!  It was perfect!  Also included:  Ninja swords and bows and arrows, homemade green ooze (, Ninja Juice, Rubik's puzzle to strengthen their ninja minds, and a little something sweet.

The man of the hour was shirtless and pumped.  This is something he does the moment he walks in the front door almost daily.  I'm not exactly sure why, but we go with it.  He was ready for some ninja action. 
When his guests arrive, like one of his best buds, Paden, they were given some green ooze to eat to turn them into turtles.  Once they accomplished this task, they could go over and pick which Ninja Turtle they wanted to be.  The colored "mask" was wrapped around their head (much more comfortable than over the eyes) and then they were sent off to practice their ninja moves in the shark. 
Jake requested that Kate play the part of April and she was in charge of helping the guests mutate into turtles.  

Then came the food.  I absolutely love everything about this picture.  Classic. 

On the menu:  PIZZA, Pizza Doritos, veggie sticks, and Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo heads, filled with fruit of the corresponding color.  Plums, strawberries, oranges, and blueberries. I have to say, the heads got the kids to eat a bit more fruit :) 

Then it was time for some games.  Jake helped plan them all.  We had musical chairs with the TMNT theme blaring over and over and over again...All of my kids know every single word to the song now and make references to it daily.

We also did a little pin the pizza in the turtle's mouth...
As well as, throw the pizza (frisbee) in the pizza boxes...
And then Jake's favorite.  Destroy Shredder!!!!  He wanted Joe to dress up like Shredder and have the kids "attack" him with water balloons.  In the madness, Joe ran inside to try and find something to put on to make him look like Shredder.  He found Jake's Darth Vader mask and figured that would be close enough.  Everyone called to Shredder to come out and face his foes.  He made quite the entrance that terrified one of the little toddlers that was present with his mom.  But the kids LOVED it.  Jake was a little upset that Joe did get permission from Jake to borrow the mask he had on, but he quickly recovered, when he was given water balloons and told it was his turn to attack.  

It was a nutty, crazy, fun, loud, party.  There wasn't a chance I was going to manage a cute group shot of everyone who came.  This was the best I could manage :)  

Most importantly?  
Jake loved it.  And I think his siblings did too.  Especially when it came to helping him open his gifts.  
Happy Birthday you Totally, Awesome Dude.  I love you with all of my heart.  

"Death by Dance"

For months now, when Kate has come home from playdates, she has mentioned that she and her friends are writing a play.  Complete with sets and costumes.  I thought that it would eventually be forgotten, but I was mistaken.  This was serious.  So, Karen mentioned to me that we should allow the girls one practice with all of them together, and then one dress rehearsal the day of the performance.  A potluck was organized and suddenly a fun Saturday afternoon was planned!
 The girls wouldn't let anyone help or even know what the play was about.  When we arrived the evening of the performance, there were programs that were titled, "Death by Dance."
 The cast members:
Alli, Del, Sam, Kathryn, Sarah, Kate and Melissa

 Some of the kind and patient audience members

 After a fantastic show filled with a story line, a pretty darn good plot, some musical and dance solos, 3 acts, and a lot of laughter, the girls were surprised with flowers for all of their hard work.  They were loving every single second.  
The moms had just as much fun being together as the kids did!  Thank you ladies for a wonderful memory! And thank you Karen for making it special and making it happen!

The girls are already discussing "Part 2."