Friday, October 09, 2009

The Katie Present

Yes grandparents. It has come in the mail. And as expected, it is a huge hit.
They are my old set of Fashion Plates.
I loved these things as a kid, and had such memories of spending hours making different looking girls and coloring them in with my colored pencils.
So tonight when they came in the mail, I ripped the paper off a crayon, showed Katie how to set up a picture and showed her how to rub the image onto the paper. I think her exact words were "WOW!" And there she sat for the next hour and a half until bed. She made several dolls. Coloring them in and cutting them out like paper dolls. I found her at bedtime playing with them in her room, and she wants a shoe box to store her creations in.
I envision, many more hours of happiness await this toy!

Birthday Boy #5

What a difference a year makes!
You are so sweet and loving, yet so zany and funny!
You love to give and receive hugs and sometimes kisses, but you are starting to become more manly about not giving them as freely to Daddy.
You are gentle and sweet, yet wrestle and pretend fight with the best of them.
You are so smart. How many 4 year olds sing their ABC's backwards??
You can be stubborn and willful, but you are learning everyday how to be the best you can be.
And we love each and every bit of you.
It was a great day!!
The morning began with a wake-up call at 5:45 by the birthday boy himself. He came quietly in but then announced, "It's my birthday!" I rolled over with the reply of "Happy Birthday, now climb in bed with us."
While bed didn't last more than 15 minutes, I did manage to contain him on the couch in the family room with me until 6:30 when Katie got up. And then it was present time.

We let him open a select few of the bounty he seemed to receive this year. And above all he loves his new Lightning McQueen toys from Daddy and Katie. They went to bed with him yesterday and then to dance with him today.

After playing for a while his only requests were to stay in his jammies all day and to eat peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. Both so simple, but both denied.

Instead we took him out to the mall where he got to choose whatever he wanted to eat and both kids finished almost every bite of their lunch. Then we went to Chuck E Cheese, which was his birthday wish to play a few games. I had leftover coins from a birthday party some time ago, and the kids played enough to make them content.

Birthday dinner was a peanut butter sandwich. Yes, he is a simple boy at heart. And then Katie and I headed to tap class while he and Daddy went to t-ball. After coming home at 7:15 he finally got to have his cake.

And what a cake it was! Mike and I worked together to make this masterpiece with the help of another friend's cake decorating grass tip. (I still can't find mine. I think it got lost in the move.) But luckily now that good friends have moved nearby, the tip was only a 2 minute drive away.
So he got his wish of a race track birthday cake that was yellow and chocolate cake inside. Green grass, oreo cookie track in the shape of a number 5 thanks to my husband's brilliance, sprinkles on the sides, and Luigi's tire shop made out of chocolate donuts. We didn't put race cars on it, but it didn't seem to make a difference to him.

The School Room

It is wonderful!!! It is beautiful!!! It is perfect!!!

After looking at our cluttered dining room that had no furniture but still housed leftovers from when we first moved in a year ago, I talked to Mike about turning the room into a temporary school room. My thought was why let an entire room go unused in this house, that could very well function as the perfect space for learning. And perfect it has been.

First came the paint. I continued the sage green from Sherwin Williams that is in our study into this room. I love the color! It is pretty and soothing, and just generally makes me happy.

Then came the furniture. We had already purchased a piano with the help of my parents that resides on one wall. And I had my eyes on the Expedit line of furniture from IKEA. Finally the opportunity came in a $50 off purchase coupon to IKEA. I bought the 4 X 4 cube with 2 cubes for storage at the bottom and two sets of drawers. Then I bought the 2 X 2 with the extra $50. Even though I nearly exhausted the kids making them go back and forth through the IKEA store trying to make my decisions, I am really happy with what I got. The pieces are sturdy and large and each cubby can hold up to 30 pounds.

So now each subject area is put in its own little cubby. In the 2 X 2 I keep all the things that we are currently using. Katie has one magazine holder with her books and workbooks and folders. Nick has one for his things. And then I have one for my teacher guides and any other things like writing paper and lesson plans. There are binders for completed work that we are saving. There are other files of things that could be pulled out at a moments notice to entertain a bored child. In the bottom cubes in the big storage unit are math manipulatives, and in the drawers are more math games and reading things.

The biggest blessing came in the wonderful, perfectly sized table that a friend gave to us. It was the final piece of the puzzle that made us able to work full-time in this room. Thank you, my friend!! It meant no more spilled drinks over math workbooks. No more complaints of hunger (since we used to work at the kitchen table and I think it stirred the grumblies in my children). And the kids know it is a designated work space. NO TOYS ALLOWED!!! I almost think they enjoy it as much as I do.

Friday, October 02, 2009

And the Nutcracker part is....

Instead of being one of these from last year...
This year she will be one of these.
(photo from last year of her friend Audrey)

Spending Time at the Park

That is as often as possible.

Working on a State Scrapbook

And since you probably can't tell from the picture, this is Pennsylvania, and the brown piece of paper next to the state bird is a chocolate bar from Hershey, PA itself. After all, what fact about Pennsylvania would a child find most appealing?

What Have the Kids Been Doing?


What Have We Done Lately?


With a trip to an Astro's game and a homemade ice-cream cake.