Category Archives: kidlets

Getting Out

Many schools, and homeschoolers, are having spring break this week.  I hadn’t decided if, or when, we would take such a break.  Then, the scourge hit.  Caitlyn was down Sunday and still struggling Monday.  Sue and I were down Tuesday and Wednesday and hubby today.  Not much school has happened.  Not much fun has happened.

It was beginning to wear on the girls.  But relief was on the way.

Caitlyn got her latest National Geographic Kids Magazine yesterday.  It has 101 ways to get outside on a big pinup inside.  My girl got excited.

One, was make a pond.  Patrice gave that her best effort.

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Another was fly a kite.  Caitlyn remembered some old kites hubby and I bought while dating a decade ago.  Out they came.

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They even walked to the park to try them out.

Today, I needed to get them out of the house to give daddy some peace.

We splurged on ice cream.  (Ask Patrice to pronounce ice cream, for an inappropriate giggle.)

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Then, we found some small, cheap kites at the store.  I let them each pick one.

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I had to do something to perk up their spring “break.”

 

My Heart and Joy

Here is a collection of the fun around here this week.

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See Sue’s pretty Lilla Rose clip?  I have a friend who sells them.  They are so pretty, come in lots of sizes and designs.  Let me know if you would like me to put you in touch with my friend who sells them.

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Are you blogger that would help promote suicide prevention?  Order one of these great shirts from Cristi.

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We had lots of fun with mega blocks, bounce house, pretty hair and playing outside this week.

Photo Bombed

I was just scrolling through my phone because it was so full I couldn’t take any more pictures.  And oh the cuteness I found.  You’ve been warned.

You shall be Photo Bombed.

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Trekking outside with daddy.  They even walked on the frozen lake!

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The frozen water balloons we made during the last, or was it the one before that, deep freeze.

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Getting started on our solar system lap book.

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Doing exercise with daddy.

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Gym time at Fun Friday

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My candy corn bracelet by the talented Caitlyn

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Getting ready for the AWANA Grand Prix.  Caitlyn had 2 second place finishes and two first place finishes.  Sue had 1 second place finish and 3 first place finishes.

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Doing bubbles in the bathroom on a cold, cold night.

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Learning how to add money

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Peeps math, so of course, we ate Valentine’s Day Peeps.

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And salt writing

Look at all the fun we’ve had.  May these be the times we remember as the days go by.

Get Ready For A Sappy Post

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See that family up there?  It’s mine.  Mine.  That’s my hubby, my girls.  Mine.

I posted these recent family photos on Facebook yesterday and two college friends reminded me how I had been so sure I would never meet anyone, have a hubby or kids.  I was sure of it.  They were sure I was wrong.  For once, I’m glad I was wrong.

I love those four people like crazy.  More than words can ever express.  I love them.

I love the good moments, I love the hard.  I love it.

This weeks has had some hard.  Patrice was sick, really sick, Wednesday night.  She has recovered, but now Sue is down.

In the middle of that, I started to panic I was not teaching the girls the right stuff.  I don’t have specific curriculum picked out.  I am working a lot from items I find on-line, iPad apps, I Can Read books, and hand-me-down workbooks.

Today I feel better about it.  The hand-me-downs I have are really great books.  I am photocopying a bunch of math for Caitlyn right now, won’t she be thrilled.  I have Rod and Staff Bible/Reading material to start in the new year, the girls are in love with and challenged by the Teach Me iPad apps, and I ordered some handwriting and phonics material from Christian Book Distributors (CBD) today.

Even that teared me up.

We used to get the huge CBD newspaper print catalog.  I would drool over it for days.  I would choose something to save my pennies for.  I remember saving and saving for Janette Oke’s Love Come Softly and When Calls the Heart box sets.  I still have them, and due to my high book handling standards, they are still in pristine condition.  Fast forward a couple decades and here I am, pouring over CBD again to find what is just right for my girls.  Mine.

So, I cried.  Tears of joy, utter joy.

And while sick kids are part of the hard, there is joy there too.  I am the mama.  They want me when they are sick.  I can help them feel better.  I can be there and love them.

In sickness and in health.

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And because you need even more cute of my family…

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And if  you could only see the cute going on in my kitchen right now…

Caitlyn and Patrice are having a dance party.  Patrice just pointed at Caitlyn and said, “lets do it!”  And do it they are!!!  They are busting a move with the “Funky Chicken” and “The Wheels on the Bus.”

Oh the Funny

You always hear about kids being cute, but oh the funny!

I woke up early this morning, but did manage to get a decent night sleep.  I was making my bed when Sue and Patrice got up for the day.  And I hear,

“Mommy, Patrice is all up in my business!!!”

I am still laughing and knew this was setting me up for a day of great blog fodder.

Since then Patrice has been doing her version of hula hooping.  She throws the hoop into a spin and then keeps her body still while shaking her hands above her head.  I’d post a picture, but the only ones I’ve managed to grab were with her sporting her Nudacy, as Caitlyn calls it.

Patrices’ new word is hilarious.  Literally.  She declares things and people hilarious.

And today has been a good day for hilarious.

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Patrice is a RO BOT.

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We melted broken Crayons last night to make new ones.  Sue was a trooper.  She peeled a ton of crayons.  Caitlyn was a distant second.

While peeling them, Caitlyn came across a whole Crayon.  She said, “hey, this isn’t broken.”  Sue reached over, took the Crayon, broke it, and said, “there now it’s broken” while handing it back to Caitlyn.  Then went back to her peeling.  All deadpan.  I, on the other hand, lost it.
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And finally today, lunch was served with a side of funny faces.

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Kids are so cute and funny.  What have yours done lately to make you laugh?  And, if your kids are older, do they still make you laugh?

Going Kapluie

Thursday is often bit of a different day for us.  We  have homeschool co-op in the afternoon.  It changes up our schedule for the day.  And yesterday was another shake-up.  There was no co-op.

So we had Science PALOOZA.

In the morning we made exploding, er fizzing, candy corn foam dough.

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We did the fizzing in the area Stuie used to spend his nights when the bladder was failing.  Some of the yellow leaked out of our experiment box and the girls kept yelling, “Stuie’s back.”  Trust me, the vinegar, baking soda, shaving cream and cornstarch was much more pleasant to clean up than his presents.

You need to check out this fizzing foam.

Then it was on to phase two of the volcano.

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Turns out the photographer got bored and only took this picture.  We tried two different recipes for our paste.  The first one involved boiling and was goop.  It was not what I remembered using in school. So I tried again.  Turns out, you just need two parts water to one part flour.  Dip the strips in and pile them on the form.  The form is currently drying, with the  help of a fan.  The goal is to paint it today and go KAPLUIE sometime this weekend.

Here’s your chance to vote.  Should we use a baking soda and vinegar mix or 6% peroxide and yeast mix?  What do you think will give us the biggest KAPLUIE???

As a few side notes, we caught up on our science reading while working on our projects and will be doing some reading about volcanoes as we prepare for KAPLUIE.  Also, I am new to this, but here is my attempt to explain a co-op.  It is a group of homeschooling parents that work together to provide additional classes for the kids.  We go each Thursday for three hours.  There are a few sessions each year, but for this time around I chose a class on Johnny Appleseed for Caitlyn and Sue, puppet making for Caitlyn, Inside/Outside games for Sue (focuses on Christian attitudes when winning or losing a game), Geography for Caitlyn and National Parks for Sue.  Patrice is in preschool all three hours.  I volunteer in the first hour (Johnny Appleseed) and third hour (preschool).  It gives the girls a chance to interact with peers, continue to use and learn classroom/group etiquette and for me to interact with other homeschoolers.  There is a woman there that has been homeschooling her kids since day one.  Her oldest is working on her Ph.D, another is at Harvard, two are at Wheaton and the last is getting ready to graduate high school.  That encourages this mama a ton that it is possible to raise educated, well rounded kids…and possible to teach them how to read and write!!!

 

Call for Ideas

I am here to let you in on a deep secret…

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My kids…

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are truly

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Spectacular.

They amaze me every day.  I love seeing their giving hearts develop.

Recently they have been talking about giving to people who live in the nursing home right down the street from us.  Caitlyn wants to make them paper flowers, Sue wants to give them presents and candy for every holiday of the year forever.

I got the ball rolling today.  I called and happened to get the owner of the facility.  He was very receptive.  He said just coming would be a huge help, that everyone just loves people and ESPECIALLY kids.  So we put together a plan.  We are going to come and bring little gifts they can use for for bingo.

Now I need your  help.  I think the paper flowers are fantastic.  And maybe a little candy, but I need more ideas.  HELP.  Have you taken your kids to a nursing home to visit people?  Did you take anything?  What worked, what didn’t.  We are not rolling in cash,  but I am going to find a way to let my girls do this.  Do you have simple fun craft ideas?  Little dollar store gifts thoughts?  Yummy treats we can make?

HELP!!!!

(And don’t worry about me getting too gushy.  I just had to stop typing to fuss at the 3 year old, you know, the spectacular 3 year old???)

 

Teach Your Children

It is summer time.  Our schedules are much more lax.  And I like it that way.  Who doesn’t?

And the girls have had neighborhood friends over to play.  And I like it that way. Again, who doesn’t?

But a couple things are driving me crazy.

I have one little girl who comes over.  She just shows up, unannounced.  Today, she was here for eight hours.  Family came to check on her three times.  Never once asking if it was time for her to go home.  The third time my wonderful hubby was here.  He had to say three times that we were headed out and it was time to go.  Three times people.  Three.

The other thing that is making me batty?  She has NO manners.  There is never a please or a thank you.  Ever.  Hubby and I both very pointedly add YOU’RE WELCOME.  Sometimes it helps, most of the time it does not.  Today I made all the kids pizza bagel bites.  She brought hers in and said, “I don’t want this.”

Seriously?  Thing is, I can’t blame her.  She is young.  She has to be taught.  Her family needs to step up and teach the child the niceties of life.

Will it keep me from allowing her to come over?  No.  I’ve always dreamed of being the mom with the house the kids like to visit.  And I will do my darndest to pull that off.

But wow, what do I do about becoming the neighborhood daycare?  And how do I do it with grace?

Sigh.

 

It’s Getting Real Here Folks

I have packed on a lot of pounds.

I could list off so many excuses.  And I will concede to one.  Some of the psychiatric medications I was on caused hunger.  I didn’t believe it was the meds, but I recently went off depakote and was shocked at how much my appetite immediately decreased.  I dropped 3 lbs.

I have a lot more of than that to lose.  Like 15 times that.

Ugh.

I hate how I look.  I hate how I feel in this body.  It preys on my mind.  I feel horrible about myself.

And as I mentioned to a friend and my hubby, the worst part of feeling fat and ugly as a parent is the guilt over how you are teaching your children to eat, so now you feel fat, ugly and guilty.

So far my girls are all very healthy and strong,  but if my eating is making me fat, what will it eventually do to them?  I can’t face doing that to them.

The time to change is now.

I have successfully lost weight on weight watchers twice.  The second time I added a lot of exercise and it was phenomenal.

So I got back on the treadmill yesterday and today.  Now on to the food.  The best part of weight watchers is the fact that fruits and veggies are not restricted and there is a huge proliferation of recipes to be had.

Here we go.

I have started a pinterest board with recipes that look good, I am exercising and using the fooducate application on my phone to try and make good choices.

This is my before…

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Please pray, wish good luck to us as we undertake this overhaul.  It will truly be a big change, especially for my picky eaters–Sue and Patrice.  I know they won’t like it, but I have battled my weight since fifth grade and I just can’t set them up to do the same.  I have to be strong and smart for my girls.

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(They weren’t that in to getting their picture taken.  Sigh)

Now off to more menu planning and cleaning this house…anybody want to come over and help with that cleaning part so I can continue to obsess over eating choices???  Anyone…at all???

Girls That Matter

I love the following song.  It resonates.  It brings comfort.

“One Heartbeat At A Time”

By Steven Curtis Chapman

(AZlyrics.com)

You’re up all night with a screaming baby
You run all day at the speed of life
And every day you feel a little bit less
Like the beautiful woman you are

So you fall into bed when you run out of hours
And you wonder if anything worth doing got done
Oh, maybe you just don’t know
Or maybe you’ve forgotten

You, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time
Making history with every touch and every smile
Oh, you, you may not see it now
But I believe that time will tell
How you, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time

With every “I know you can do it”
Every tear that you kiss away
So many little things that seem to go unnoticed
They’re just like the drops of rain over time
They become a river

And you, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time
Making history with every touch and every smile
Oh, you, you may not see it now
But I believe that time will tell
How you, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time

You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
How you’re changing the world
You’re changing the world

You, you are changing the world
One little heartbeat at a time
Making history with every touch and every smile
Oh, you, you may not see it now
But I believe that time will tell
How you, you are changing the world
Oh, I believe that you
You are changing the world
One little heartbeat
At a time

And you’re changing the world

 

And then the insidious doubt creeps in.  Is this “all” I’m supposed to be doing?  Raising kids to be the next generation?  Am I raising them to their potential if that is what I focus on in my life?  What about Caitlyn’s loosely formed dreams of being a doctor, or Sue’s plans to be a rock star?  Am I encouraging them to reach for those stars if I tell them my job is to stay home with them?

I was a working mom until last October.  Being home is the best thing for me right now for a number of reasons they will not understand right now.  And my job wasn’t on that mattered.  I didn’t help people, or entertain.  I just pushed paper, or more correctly, e-mailed.  I often wondered what I was really doing and then one day I wasn’t doing it.  So, see, it didn’t matter.

Now I am home.  I am terrified of the coming summer as I have all three home.  The constant demands.  The bickering, the whining.  Ugh.

I am thrilled to be home.  Helping them be stronger readers, going to the park, zoo, water park, doing crafts and having play dates.  What’s not to like?

Such a balance.  Such a reach for laying them a foundation and helping them reach for the stars.  I breathe in and out having no idea what is best for my girls, me being home, me being in the workforce to show them you can have value there too.  I simply don’t know.  Sigh.