Sunday, October 27, 2013

Shaver's Creek

We went as a family to a fall festival up at the Penn State Environmental Center (aka Shaver's Creek).  They had a lot of booths with activities for the kids.  They even had showings of various birds of prey (eagles, hawks, owls, etc.)  We had a nice time.  

Aria was excited to have her face painted.

The kids even got to grind up and make apple cider.

When it came time to drink the cider however, there weren't big fans.

In other news, Aria has begun reading books.  Each night before bed she sounds out the words, and does a great job powering through a single book.  She's clearly at the beginning of the reading process, but she's making good headway.

Aria also is acclimating well to school.  For the first few weeks she'd come home so tired, but now she seems to have energy when she comes home.  The thing is, most days, we have to wake her up so she doesn't oversleep and miss the bus.  We get her to bed around 8pm, and at around 7:30am we usually have to wake her up.  She needs even more sleep than Zade, who usually just needs around 10 hours a night.

Little Ryzen has begun waking up a lot more at night, which has been making things challenging for Tara.  Somehow she still finds a way to function during the day despite the sleep deprivation.  She's a trooper.

Dane also got a revise and resubmit (R&R) at the Strategic Management Journal on a paper he's been working. He's cautiously optimistic about it.  

Lastly, we found a tick on Mira.  She actually held still, so we were able to pull it out of her (whereas Azure was too cranky when she got one.)  Those little bugs get so fat and gross. Yuck.  Not a fan. At least we got it. I'm actually surprised that the critters here are harder on the cats, than the ones in Arizona.  (Although the cats appeared to have found a mouse in our house and made short work of it.)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fall festivities

I was presenting a paper at the BYU Accounting research conference last week, so I was unable to update the blog.  Here's a summary of the interesting things that have happened recently.

Pumpkin Patch
Tara took the kids to a local farm (Wasen Farm), where they enjoyed picking out their own pumpkins from the field.

Pumpkin Carving Contest
State College had a pumpkin carving contest this past weekend, which the kids participated in.  Aria and Zade used a dry erase marker on their pumpkins to design their jack-o-lanterns, and we helped them carve it. We then went to the Pumpkin Festival at the Penn State arboretum to see all the pumpkins that were entered into the contest.  It was really cool!  There are a lot of creative people in this town.  We even ran into a reporter while we were there.  Here's a brief excerpt from an article article in the Center Daily times on October 19th, 2013, that we ended up getting mentioned in:
The Christensen family moved to State College this year from Arizona. Dane Christensen said this was a nice way to bring the family together and have some fun.
His son Zade, 3, and daughter Aria, 5, both entered the contest this year. Zade won third-place in his category as he carved a monster face on his pumpkin.
“It’s a good way to spend some time together and get the kids motivated,” Dane Christensen said."

Read more here:

The full article can be found at:  Zade was pretty happy for the recognition in the 2-4 year old category.  Aria was ticked she didn't win as well.  :)

On to Solid Food!
Ryzen went to the doctor for his check up and is apparently in the 97th percentile for height & 75th percentile for weight.  He's a jolly little 4 month old, and eats like a champ.  So Tara has decided to let him move onto solid foods.  Here's a pic of him eating in the tub, which is where Tara prefers to let messy babies eat. :)   
To help Ryzen settle down before bed, Tara likes to put him in the bath for a few minutes.  For about a week or so, he developed the incredibly irritating habit of waiting for us to put him in the water, and then immediately have a bowel movement.  There were several nights where he'd do this multiple times in a night.  We'd change the water and put him back in and then he'd immediately relax and drop another bomb.  Thank goodness he's stopped doing that. Ah, life with babies. :)

Parent Teacher Conferences
Aria had her 1st parent teacher conference this week.  Her teacher said that Aria is a great listener and friend.  When the other kids are having problems, she likes them to sit by Aria.  She also says that Aria is an artist, and is right on track with the curriculum.  We're happy she's having a good time in school and doing well.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Shara and Tyson come to visit

Tara's sister Shara came to visit, and brought little Tyson, who's less than a week older than Ryzen. You can tell from the photos below, these two little guys are definitely cousins.  They're about the same size, but Ryzen has a couple extra pounds on him. 

Bellefonte Park
Here's the crew out feeding the ducks.

Fall Foliage
Here's the view from our driveway of our neighborhood.  We've never lived anywhere with this many deciduous trees.  It's fun to see all the colors.  We're big fans of maple trees now. :)

Family Photos

Ryzen ended up eating a few leaves, but that's the price you pay for a family picture.

A picture by our mailbox.

Notice the marshmallows in my hands, which were used for bribery. :)

The bad apples
We would've had a lot more good photos, but as one would expect, the kids will be kids.