The plan was to make all of the crayons in the kind of snowflake-like shape at the top left, but the mold would not cooperate, so hearts and stars it is. These are the kids favorite pass time. There's something cathartic about stripping the crayons of their paper and snapping them into tiny pieces.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
1. Ah-too-too - dinosaur ("Mommy, read. Ah-too-too book.")
2. Menonite - lemonade ("Drink menonite")
3. Poopoo dar - people in a car ("Mommy, look, poopoo dar!")
4. erewhere - underwear ("Pee ina erewhere")
5. Dalla - daddy ("Dalla beer." HA)
She is such a quirky, personable kid and I love seeing her personality come out more and more everyday. She is definitely the resident comedian.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
She's been asking about her birthday for months now. I think back in September I told her that she couldn't ask about her birthday anymore until December. Well, hello December! Her birthday is all she can talk about with anyone. And it's kind of a big deal in our house. Four is the first year of the big birthday party. But because she has a winter birthday and the thought of 35 kids confined in our small house makes me feel nauseous, she will be having a scaled down party with just friends her age (which will be about 6 or 7 kids). Four her first big girl bash we will be having a winter wonderland themed party. The great thing about having a smaller party is being able to make everything just a little nicer. For example, this will be the first year that I make goodie bags for the party. I think they will include a handmade finger puppet, snowflake shaped rainbow crayons, snow globes (that will be made at the birthday party) and snowflake shaped shortbread cookies (that will be decorated at the party). There will definitely be pictures to share when the party's over.
Jena and Ashni both wanted to make gifts for Bijou. I mentioned in an earlier post (I think) that Jena has taken up embroidery, so she really wanted to embroider a shirt for Bijou. She picked a stegosaurus (Bijou's favorite dinosaur) design from the internet and lovely, bright yellow shirt and there is a stegosaurus t-shirt in the making. I think I will let Ashni draw a picture and we will transfer it to a shirt - maybe a stencil.
Now as soon as I find the cord for my camera I can post pictures of the very cute invitations that I made.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Anyway, Jena tended her first garden this spring/summer. I do NOT have a green thumb (or even pinkie), so this was pretty much all Jena. This is her last tomato of the summer. She really didn't have a huge tomato harvest (maybe 10 tomatoes), but she was very proud of them and they were pretty tasty.
Bijou started ballet this fall. She's very excited to be involved in the same thing as her sisters. She just looks so grown up in this picture.
I had the grand idea to make finger paint for the little girls. They had a really good time and they both know that now that food coloring will stain your hands (and face and clothes and patio...)
We discussed crystal formation for science and decided to grow some of our crystals. So we made a super saturated salt solution and dropped a piece of yarn into it. This was the crystal growth after a couple of weeks. The girls thought this was the greatest thing ever. They both kept big chucks of salt crystal (and every now and then pull them out to observe.)
Oh yeah, I mentioned in my last post about the girls having a lemonade stand a while back. They really enjoyed it. They made fresh squeezed lemonade (yes, REAL lemons) and sold cups for $.25. They made almost $15, which is big money in kid terms. We'll probably let them do it again next summer.
We're studying the middle ages in history, so the girls designed their own coat of arms. They had to choose colors and symbols based on their meanings. They also learned what some of the lines and divisions mean.
Jena was invited to her first drop off birthday party. It's hard to believe how big she has become and how mature she is. She was so excited to get to hang out with her friends and not have any little sisters tagging along. Her little sisters on the other hand where not so thrilled.
I've probably mentioned Jena's love of unnecessarily complicated puzzles. She'd been working on the Empire State Building for weeks. She's finally put it all together. Now what are we supposed to do with it?
Zion, as cute as she is, does not seem to grow hair anywhere but down the center and on the left side of her head. Now if anyone can pull of that hairstyle, it's Zion, but I really couldn't do anything with it. So I decided to cut it off. This is the very first "first haircut" picture I have ever taken. It is also the first first haircut. I have to say that I didn't think that she could get any cuter...I was WRONG!
On the crafty front, I found this little doll cradle at Goodwill for $4 (actually it was marked $8, but when the lady heard me say that that was too much, she marked it down to $4!). It was cute, but a little to "country" for my taste. So I decided it needed a little make over.
My sister gave the girls a very cute Cat in the Hat clock when we visited this summer and the girls were very happy to have a clock in their room. Unfortunately the background on the clock was mostly black and the hands were black. We could never see what time it was. So I took it apart and replace the Cat in the Hat with a little color block pattern that I made with paint chips from the hardware store. I stamped the 12, 3, 6 and nine with some stamps a had on hand and the little pink jewels are some scrapbook accessories that the kids had. I spray painted the frame with the same green as the doll cradle. Next time I will remember to use the spray paint made specifically for plastic, because it's scratched already. Fortunately it's high on the wall, so it's barely noticeable.
Zion has an obsession with cell phones. She will swipe them as soon as you look away. I figured she must need her own, but letting her have an old, dead phone of ours didn't seem like a good idea. So i whipped up this one in about 30 minutes. It's just a piece of scrap wood (from a defunct Home Depot kids project) painted black. I cut a small picture from a magazine for the screen and used a couple of grey paint chips for the buttons. The OK button is one of those clear, bubble stickers for scrapbook pages. I covered the entire thing in Mod Podge to protect it from drool. Thirty minutes of my time, zero dollars and she has endless fun with it.
I try to come up with Halloween costumes for the girls that will work together, so this year they were the four seasons. Ashni was spring, Jena was summer, Bijou was winter and Zion was fall. Gotta love the dollar store and all of it dollary goodness because our costumes are ALWAYS created from dollar materials!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
On the school front:
Our school year technically ends in December, so the girls will be moving up a "grade" in January. Honestly, I couldn't really put them into grades right now anyway. They are both currently doing fourth grade math (although Ashni's math is a combo of third grade warm ups and fourth lessons), Jena is doing 5th grade language and science, history and geography aren't really grade specific at our house. We've entered the middle ages in history which the kids are really enjoying. So far we've made a shield and they designed their own coat of arms (learning the meanings of some of the colors, divisions and animals).
I've also decided to start Bijou in kindergarten in January. She's been bugging me to start school, so I will try to make her first day of school a grand affair!
With the kiddos:
Jena turned nine back in August and had a lovely little masquerade party. Unfortunately, I was sick for the entire week before and week after the party (blah!). AND she went to her very first big kid drop off birthday party (sans little sisters). The girls went to a Japanese steakhouse, got a double decker bus ride to the square in town for frozen yogurt, then a double decker bus ride back to the restaurant. She had a blast. Ashni broke her third pair of glasses and that's all I really have to say about that! Bijou started her very first ballet class. She is VERY excited. And Zion has been potty trained (yes potty trained WOO HOO!!!) and got her very first haircut. I really loved her patchy bald look that she had going on, but she'll be two in February and her hair shows no signs of growing. So I cut it off and she looks ADORABLE!!!
Of a crafty nature:
I made a new doll for Zion. It turned out VERY cute, so we bough some fabric at a yard sale and there are plans to make new dolls for all of the girls. A couple of winter hats have been crocheted, as well as warm socks for Bijou and Zion to wear in the house. Jena has taken up embroidery and has been making gifts for all of her friends. I need to be painting, but I'm not, so....yeah.
From the kitchen:
Rosemary cornbread and fresh baked cinnamon rolls!
So I promise that I will have a computer before 2011. And I will be back to my regularly scheduled blogging (I promise).
Sunday, August 29, 2010
1. Do not, under any circumstances, leave our backyard.
2. No one, under any circumstance, is allowed in the backyard with you.
3. No running in and out of the house all night.
4. Please turn off the flashlights before you go to sleep.
5. If you get scared or nervous for ANY reason, come back in the house!
They gathered their sleeping bag, pillow, blankets, books and water bottle and headed out before sunset. By the time the sun went down it looked like they were throwing a rave in the tent. To my surprise, they were asleep by 10 o'clock or so. We considered bringing them in before we went to bed (the hubby's a little more cautious than I am), but we left a light on for them and they were really only 20 or 30 feet from our bedroom window, so we just let them stay. We were awakened at 6:45 this morning by Ashni letting us know that the hubby accidentally locked the backdoor and she couldn't get in the house. They had a great time and I'm sure backyard camping will be requested again and again and again....and again.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Now, I think I am finally in a position to add pictures from the last couple of weeks, so I will be going back and updating some older posts. Feel free to look back!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Well, when if it's my four kids and our friends' two kids, they make a.....wait for it.....SALAD! Yep, our kids gathered cucumbers, green tomatoes, fresh basil and carrots from the garden, raisins, pickles (yeah pickles) and salad dressing from the fridge and made a big vinegary salad. Then they all sat around a table in the backyard (barefoot and in a slight drizzle) and ate it voraciously with forks, hands and chopsticks.
On a side note. Today is my husband's 34th birthday. Happy Birthday, hun. Someday we will have money on your birthday and we'll do something awesome. I guess being in Massachusetts instead of Mississippi could be considered awesome. I guess we'll just have to see what the day brings.
UPDATE: SO we spent the morning at the river with the kids. It was SO hot and river was so nice. This was one of the highlights of our trip. I'd go back there every day.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Bijou: Mommy, my pee looks like a dinosaur!
Me: Um, yeah I guess it kinda does. Gross.
Bijou: Jena, look, I have dinosaur pee.
Jena: Ew, Bijou. You're stepping in it.
Bijou (laughing hysterically): I'm walking in my dinosaur pee, Mommy!
Yep, dinosaur pee. That's today's Bijou-ism. That kid....
So has anyone seen the movies Away We Go (Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski)? Basically it's about a 30 something couple that find out that they are pregnant and head off to find the perfect place to live. They visit crazy friends and relatives and it's a sweet, sometimes emotional, very funny movie. It's a favorite right now for the hubby and I. Well, we've watched that movie about a thousand times over the course of this last two weeks. It's such a parallel to our lives right now. No, we aren't pregnant (again), but we are on a search for our home. A place that will feel right to us. Living in Mississippi has definitely had it's positive aspects, but it's really not the place for us. We stick out like a sore thumb, and as much as I enjoy being, well, off the beaten path, I don't like sticking out quite as much as we seem to. So the second goal of this trip has been scouting out locations that may work as our home. Ultimately we would like to keep heading north to Canada, but until we are in a position to do that, we need to find a home that makes us all happy. There are plenty of place that we know we don't want to be, but we are still figuring out where we'd be happy. So here are the places that we have visited so far on this trip: St. Louis, Columbus (OH), Washington DC, Leesburg VA, Philadelphia (actually Lafayette Hills) PA, and Atlantic City NJ. Yesterday we spent the afternoon in Lenox, MA. It was actually a really nice town. It's one of those place where people ask you if you live there all year (several moms asked me that while we were at the playground). It was also one of those towns that I could just tell that we could never afford to live in. From Lenox, we headed to Greenfield. It's our first official day here, so I haven't had a chance to feel it out just yet. I have to say, I'm excited to be with friends who have kids and are raising them in a similar way. The kids have yard space to play, a garden to help tend, cats and chickens to feed and no TV, Barbie or Justin Beiber as far as the eye can see. Right now I am watching Zion, barefoot, in the backyard, waist deep in what I think is basil (but I could be wrong). It feels good. I keep waiting for the black screen to pop up saying "away to home", but life just isn't that simple. I don't necessarily think that Greenfield, Massachusetts is the place for us, but I know that place is out there and we have been having a blast trying to find it.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
We don't have much planned for Philadelphia. My sister in law and I have planned a trip to Ikea (just because I LOVE Ikea) and they just opened a HUGE Whole Foods in her area and I think there are plans to make vegan marshmallow treats. There won't be 1000 TV channels or extensive computer games. And best of all? NO BARBIE!!! Goodbye Barbie and Justin Bieber (whoever you are) and hello vegan marshmallow treats and arboretum!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Anyway, after the NPG, we had lunch in the Sculpture Garden (and I got to see a friend that I haven't seen since college.
It was too dark and WAY too crowded to get a picture of Bijou with the stegosaurus, so we had to settle for the triceratops skull.
We also checked out the rocks, gems and minerals. Ashni and Jena were both pretty intrigued by the Hope Diamond, but both were more impressed with the toxic fibers of asbestos in the area with crystals. It's is fun to watch Ashni go through and pick out rocks and crystals that she has in her collection at home.