Friday, June 1, 2018

Brielle 11-year-old interview and stats

Brielle is kind and thoughtful.  She does well in school and is good about taking care of her homework and what needs to be done without much help or monitoring.  She is a wonderful big sister and cousin and is especially good at calming down Preston's big emotions.  She often acts older than her age and has enjoyed trying out the responsibility of babysitting this year.
She had a rough start to being 11, getting sick a couple days after her birthday with pneumonia and a double ear infection.  She was too sick to read, which for her is pretty bad.  She also had pneumonia over Christmas break, but even when she is sick she is still sweet and pleasant to be with.  

Height: 5ft 2in (97%)
Weight: 84lbs (53%)
Sleeping: about 9 hours (9:00pm-6:30am), Usually goes to bed at 8 and is supposed to have lights out by 8:30, but if I forget to go in and take her book away she'll keep reading.  It takes her quite a while to fall asleep and she loves to haver me come cuddle with her.
Hobbies: Reading-all day every day, anytime and everywhere.  She'll read whatever is around, not caring if she's already read that book multiple times.  When we do pull her away from her book she also still enjoys cooking, (making desserts is her favorite). She continues to play volleyball, piano and is also involved in Glee club, her school's singing group.
Brielle loves babies and playing with little kids.  When we get together with cousins she always ends up with a baby in arms while entertaining all the 3-year-olds.
She is quiet and reserved, but also quite confident with who she is and that her interests are different than friends at school. She has a fun sense of humor that sneaks out unexpectedly at times.
Brielle's responses to 11-year-old Interview Questions 

She was in a very talkative and slightly silly mood for her interview, so we got a lot of detailed responses.
What is your name? Brielle
When is your birthday? May 4th 
 How old are you? I turned 11
What is your favorite color? Pink and Green
What is your favorite song? The Greatest Show from The Greatest Showman
What does Mom do? Mommy stays at home with Preston until he goes to Kindergarten, then she'll clean the house at home.
 What does Dad do? Goes to work Monday-Friday to work to help the animals at Monrovia at City of Hope and the Duarte Building.
 What do you want to do when you are a grown up? Right now I either want to be a Librarian, a Teacher or  a Veterinarian.  I'm leaning towards Teacher, or a teacher-librarian-veterinarian.  
Where do you want to live when you grow up? I don't know, maybe here.  Yeah, maybe here.
If you had 1 million dollars, what would you do with it? Pay my tithing, then buy a laborador retriever that's golden. I'd name it honey and buy a giant dog house and then go buy a mansion.  And then I'd give $100 to Ethan and Preston to split, but only $100.
What is your favorite food? Gramma Finlay's Meat, Spinach Lasagna
What is your least favorite food? Corned Beef and Cabbage
What is your dream car? a Limousine, but that's not affordable, so just a normal car.
What is your favorite animal? A dog
Where do we go to church? Duarte Ward Building somewhere on Royal Oaks Drive in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Why do we go to church? We go to church to learn more about Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father and The Holy Ghost and how the church was made.
What is something you’re good at? I don't know
What is your favorite movie? Tied between Love Kennedy and The Greatest Showman
What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Anything that has to do with Cookie Dough and Peanut Butter.
Where would you like to travel? Hawaii again, Bahamas, Paris again and lots of Europe
Where do you like to eat? Souplantation, In 'n Out, Cafe Rio and I also like that place that has the good pita bread...Daphnes.  We haven't been there in forever but I also like there stuff.  I also like the USC cafeteria, even though I've never been there.  But Daddy took a picture and it looks like Hogwarts, so it's a good place.
Who is your favorite person? I have lots of favorite people
Who is your best friend? Priscilla
What is your favorite book? Don't ask me that question.  That question is an impossible question to answer.
What is your favorite thing to do? Lock the door to my bedroom, but I can't really do that, so close my bedroom door, lay on my bed, read a book while I listen to the piano guys with my blanky. 
What are you most excited to do this year as a 11-year-old? I don't know, I'm just excited!
Anything else you want to tell us? I decided I want to get a bunny before a dog this year.  Bunnies are really good pets and they're cute.
That's all!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Brielle's 11th Birthday

Brielle had a Friday birthday that was spent at school doing state testing.  Luckily she likes school and her teacher gives them sunflower seeds whenever they have tests which Brielle loves.
 She also said all the kids in the cafeteria spontaneously sang happy birthday to her during lunch.  It started with a couple kids at her table and grew to the surrounding tables.  I would have thought she'd be embarrassed by all the attention, but she came home laughing.
Birthday requests
Breakfast: Crepes (had a hard time choosing between them or her other favorite, beignets)
Lunch: It was Pizza day at school, so she chose school lunch.
Dinner: Lasagna and Caesar Salad (which we did for Sunday dinner with the family)
Dessert: Peanut Butter Brownies-Decorated as a Quidditch Field from Harry Potter
That evening we had dinner at the park with all of the Finlay cousins in town.  We ended up picking up Cafe Rio (one of her favorite places) and picnicking at the park. 
She loved sharing the celebration with the other May birthdays (the trio all turning 4 this year) and being able to have so many extended family in town.
It was quite a pile of presents in our backyard with 4 birthday kids.  

Monday, April 2, 2018

General Conference April 2018

Ethan came home from church last Sunday and asked me he could take notes for conference this year.  That made me laugh, since I encourage note taking every conference I'm not sure why he felt he needed to ask.  He was extra excited about it this time because the primary president was offering a treat.  The kids did great for the most part.  Saturday was smooth with everyone focused.  By Sunday afternoon the boys were struggling with all the sitting time and were getting a bit more wiggly, but with the changes being announced I wanted to pay attention to the talks and wasn't taking time to re-direct them which would have helped.  It's always a favorite weekend for the family though and we get excited to sit and listed to the words of the prophets.

I had printed out some of  this conference packet for Preston, but the big kids saw it and wanted one too.  
Preston took notes on a couple talks, but mostly worked on coloring and dot to dots.
Ethan kept getting too caught up in how to spell their names and asking what they were talking about, but once he would focus and listen he would figure it out and enjoyed it.

Brielle has been very excited about her gel pens and markers that she got for Christmas and loved coloring each of the speakers.

I didn't do our conference cash or store this time.  Since it was Easter weekend we had so many new treats and little toys from egg hunts I didn't think we could handle more.  The kids missed it, so it will probably come back next time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Ethan 9-year-old interview and stats

Ethan is a mover and a shaker.   He speeds through life at a dizzying pace that is sometimes hard to keep up with, both his brain and his feet.  He is a bright kid that loves to be challenged and averages 15,000 steps a day. He loves sports. If he see's a ball of any kind he loses all impulse control and can't seem to stop himself from kicking, bouncing or throwing it despite being in the house (and having been told many, many times to keep the balls outside.) He is a kid that can be off task playing, drawing, building, etc. all morning but somehow when I say it is time to go he is still the first one ready and in the car.  He leaves a tornado of mess behind him (socks stuffed randomly everywhere, books on the floor, lunchbox hidden under the couch) but also jumps up to help whenever called. He loves to be in the middle of everything; so much energy and so much fun.
Height: 57 inches (98%)
Weight: 75 lbs 4 oz (88%)
Sleeping: 10 hours (8:30 pm-6:30 am) Asleep within minutes of his head hitting the pillow, but even when we get to bed to late he never sleeps in.
Hobbies: Everything.  He is a kid that does thrives on a full schedule.  He is currently doing track practice before school, and also after school has piano (Monday), soccer (Tuesday/Thursday), glee club (Wednesday), volleyball (Wednesday/Saturday) and cub scouts (Wednesday).  He has really taken off with reading this year and wakes up early to sit on the couch to read before he needs to get ready.  He loves to be outdoors.  When he's not playing sports he's catching lizards, or crickets, or frogs.

Ethan's responses to 9-year-old Interview Questions

What is your name? Ethan
When is your birthday?
March 9th How old are you? 9
What is your favorite color? Turquoise
What is your favorite song? Phoenix by Fall Out Boy
What does Mom do? Stays at home helping the kids
 What does Dad do? Goes to City of Hope
 What do you want to do when you are a grown up? Work on Animals
 Where do you want to live when you grow up? By the Mountains
 If you had 1 million dollars, what would you do with it? First I would pay my tithing, then put some of it in college savings, then use some of it to buy things I need and the rest I would save.
What is your favorite food? Cinnamon Rolls
What is your least favorite food? Mushrooms
What is your dream car? a Van
What is your favorite animal? Cougar
Where do we go to church? Duarte Ward
Why do we go to church? To take the sacrament every week
What is something you’re good at? Sports
What is your favorite movie? Star Wars
What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Vanilla
Where would you like to travel? Great Barrier Reef, Australia 
Where do you like to eat? Cafe Rio
Who is your favorite person? My whole family
Who is your best friend? Justin and Isaac
What is your favorite thing to do? Go on Water Slides
What is your favorite book? Magic Tree House series
What are you most excited to do this year as a 9-year-old? Go to the Scandinavia Trip

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Ethan's 9th Birthday

Ethan got to spread his birthday out over the weekend, which was fun.  His birthday fell on a Friday, so he celebrated with his class at school. That morning he requested Egg and Bacon Croissant Sandwiches and Fruit for breakfast.
After school we went to the Skirball Museum and met up with cousins to play at the Noah's ark exhibit. On the way home we stopped and had a picnic dinner at the park.  The kids were having so much fun we stayed much later than we meant to.  It was well past dark, but luckily the park had lights because of swim lessons happening next to it.
Cousins slept over Friday night, so Saturday was another day of fun.
Ethan once again designed and decorated his cake.  He told me he wanted green and brown fondant, oreos and a chocolate cake.  
I got the supplies and made the cake, but he took over the decorating and had a great time doing it. I think the idea for the circle was to have it be the winner's circle for the monster trucks.
We had a family birthday dinner at Great Grammy and Great Grampy's house on Sunday night.  His dinner request was Chinese Chicken Salad and Potstickers.  He is a salad lover, which always makes me smile as I imagine him in the future as an athletic high schooler downing a huge salad at lunch everyday.  

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Winter Field Trips

Looking through January and February pictures and realized we've been busy with a lot of fun field trip and outings. 
 The kids had a day off of school and we took the train to the Natural History Museum.  
Preston gets confused and often calls museums a "zoo".  He was excited to go back to the "dinosaur zoo."  Most times I take him to a museum he asks which zoo we are going to.
Brielle got to go up to Morro Bay over President's Day weekend and toured Hearst Castle, which was an amazing experience for her.  
As a family we went to the BYU/USC volleyball game.  They were exciting nail-biting, edge of your seat sets.  We were rooting for BYU and were very excited they won!

Ethan went with Gramma Finlay and Cousin Gavin to spend the afternoon at the new Korean Air building in downtown Los Angeles.  
Another fun family outing to the demolition derby and firework show.
Preston went out with Gramma Finlay to run errands and loved the stop at Wes's Feed and Seed where he got to hold pigs and ducks.
Brielle's class had a field trip to City of Hope.  They got to do some fun science experiments as they learned about the brain, disease and health.
Preston and I have gone on lots of field trips with his Preschool group. One of the mom's made them matching tie-dyed shirts to wear when we go out.
They don't seem to care where we go....exploring museums, hiking around gardens, or just the local play ground is always better with friends.
We also got most of the Finlay cousins together at the Los Angeles Temple.  The women all were able to go in for a session while James and Ian stayed out with kids.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


For one of our Christmas presents we got tickets for our family to see Aladdin.  We started listening to the music the month before and everyone was very excited to see how it would look on stage.
It was fun to walk around Hollywood to see some of the famous stars in the sidewalk before heading to the Pantages.
 We met up with cousins for pizza before the show.  These girls were thrilled to have matching dresses to wear.
I got to sit next to Preston during the show.  He was mesmerized.  He had a grin on his face the entire time and would hoot and holler while he clapped after the songs.  It was fabulous.
It was hard work being so into the show. :)  Since then he is still wanting to act it out and listen to the music every day.  Such fun memories!