Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Letter 2014

Dear friends and family,

Merry Christmas to you all.  This time of year there are so many fun things to do and see with the kids I can hardly cram it all in.  We have been crafting Christmas ornaments from our advent calendar, making cookies and gifts, spending time with loved-ones, and our elf on the shelf has been hanging around the house making mischief of all kinds.  Last night we went on a drive to look at Christmas lights, listen to Christmas music and drink hot cocoa.  Alice heard Oh Holy Night and asked "Mommy, is that the angels sining?"  I love Christmas!

Claire 8, Alice 3, Makenna 5

We are so thankful for our new home, neighborhood and school this year.   We were able to sell our house on the south hill this summer and move to a community just off the Pullman highway between Spokane and Cheney.   We love it! 

Frozen night at the park in our new neighborhood  

Claire is 8, I know, how did that happen?  She is doing great in her new school.  She is in the second grade and has made lots of friends.  She enjoyed horse back riding this summer with Equine TLC and can’t wait for the weather to worm up so she can get back out there.  Claire started reading this year!  It is such a blessing to see the beautiful, friendly, sweet girl she is becoming.  We were at a restaurant last night and she found a woman named Ariel to talk with.  You would have thought it was the mermaid princess herself Claire was so thrilled.  Ariel was very nice and happy to visit.  We always make new friends when you go out with Claire. 

Step Up For Down Syndrome 2014 

"Claire's Walkie-Talkies" 

"Say Cheese Olive" -Claire 

Makenna started Kindergarten this year!  She is enjoying being at school with her sister.  “The best thing about being 5 is Kindergarten” and “the best thing about kindergarten is P.E.” she says.  She is always up for an art project or bike ride.  Her big accomplishment this year was taking off the trainings wheels on her bicycle.   Makenna is looking forward to her 6th birthday party two days after Christmas.  Makenna is our adventurous little princess and wants to try ice-skating for her party this year.  She a great helper and a leader.  Makenna loves being the "big" sister.  She is such a blessing. 

First day of Kindergarden 

 Makenna and her friend Zeke camping this summer  

 Makenna holds her cousin Wes 

Alice turned 4 December 14th.  We had a fun family party at an indoor water park.  She says “the  best thing about being 4 is going down the big bowl water slide.”  She road down with me, wide eyed and stunned into silenced.  At the end she shouted at the top of her lungs “I was not afraid!”  She is such a joy to our family, absolutely hilarious and adorable.  I love getting to hang out with her every day. 
Alice's Birthday 


 Happy Place 

Nate finally got a full time job with the Air National Guard as a Boom Operator.  This is a huge accomplishment and we are very proud of him for working so hard.  Nate is enjoying extra time home with the girls and all the extra princess tea parties and dance offs.  He is such a fun dad.  



My life was very full doing foster care this year but we do not have any placements at this time.  I have been making lots of cakes and goodies in my free time.  You can check them out on face book at Leitz Delights (https://www.facebook.com/leitzdelights).  It’s such a great artistic outlet for me.  Hanging out with our little people and volunteering at their school is a blast.  I have the best job ever!  I was able to work on our blog this year for Down Syndrome awareness month in October (31 for 21), 31 posts for Trisomy 21.   
Halloween 2014 

Alice with one of her favorite cakes 



Grace and piece,

The Leitz Family

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

They are so cute! 







I was telling myself all day, I'm going to miss this.  
Three little princess  



When Alice saw Nate in his Caption America get-up



At school it was crazy hair/duck tape day 


She really liked her cupcakes.  Another super sweat friend in her class had matching hair.
They were both excited to match. 



Makenna didn't have kindergarten today but we couldn't resist. 





 Guess how loved making things out of tape?  Yep, our craft girl. 



The little girls and I went to Claire's special ed class today for their class party.  It is the first opportunity I have had to linger in there with the kids.  They were all very nice and excited to meet Claire's sister and have "new friends." 


It was so nice to have the opportunity to meet the kids in Claire's special ed class, put faces with names.  We see her 2nd grade class every day but the kids in special ed are in and out.  


We also got to go to big recess with Claire today.  I stood back a bit from where Claire was to watch her.  She was totally fine the whole time, yay! 


It was fun to see all our neighbor kids at recess.  They kept coming to hug us, ask me to watch a trick and introduce us to their friends.  My heart is full.  The kids totally noticed that Claire was not a recess with them before and now is.  Individually at lease four of them came up to me and said they were excited they get to play with Claire now, so sweet.


Being there today was also a good conformation that this was the right battle to fight.  Just over the fence, across the courtyard was Claire's special ed class, all 4 of them "playing."  They have a sand box, picnic table with benches and one toddler size slide climbing toy.  All of the kids were just sitting at the table with their para for most of the time, not running around, not playing.  Claire swinging, sliding, running, laughed... with her classmates the entire time. 


Arn't these veggie skeletons the cutest?  The kids made them.





Thursday, October 30, 2014

Crazy Eyes And A Joker Smile

I'm making a bunch of cakes this week.  This afternoon I was working on a princess cake with 7 Disney princess miniatures dancing around the outside.  (The girls are pretty bummed they are going to the party with the large mouth bass cake I'm also making.)  Claire, Makenna and Alice all wanted  a piece of the princess action.  The temptation to play with the little princesses was too great.  Sense these do not belong to us I made a rule that they had to stay at the bar by where I was working to play with them.  Claire was not fond of this rule.  At one point she threw herself to the floor humphing that she could not walk away with the figurines.  When I told her no, just where she would have stuck her tung out in frustration she gave me crazy eyes and a scary joker smile instead.  I had to stop myself from laughing as I realized that they have been coaching her on this at school.  Her teachers and classmates are telling her "smile please" when she sticks out her tung.  Just like she was plotting to kill batman Claire did the joker smile for Nate at the dinner table tonight, LOL, Nice work Claire!


And some cellphone pics of family date night. 
















She can't let a hug go by with out jumping in.