Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Is it bad....

...that I completely forgot the one year anniversary of my blog? I hope not, because I did.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


So finally, I can post pictures! PICTURES!!! Yay. Okay, be prepared for picture overload while I chart the last few weeks. It always looks like we've done so much when I look back over the pictures, but it never seems like we get anything done day to day.

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.)

Regular old table salt on the left and super-ginormous amazing salt crystals on the right. Pretty cool, huh?

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.

Jena, my crafty child, spent a weekend making clothes for her doll (which is now Ashni's doll since the purchase of Jena's new one). This was the very first dress that she made.

Notice the fancy buttons down the back and the fabulous hairstyle!

I had to have a gratuitous potty picture. I'm pretty proud of my little monkey and her potty training success. Look how happy she is!

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!

We made egg tempera paint for art. Just crushed, colored chalk and egg yolk. The chalk crushing was an experience and I think we all have great upper body strength now.

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.

A can of lime green spray paint and some leftover fabric and we have a much more appealing cradle. It works in their room very well.

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!

This is An! The girls took about 40 pictures of him the day we got him. They stop by and talk to him every now and then and Zion can be heard saying "Hi Fish!" several times a day.

Blue marker + unsupervised toddler = this.

I bought this bag for a dollar at Salvation Army. It's a very "me" bag (grey and wool), but it needed a little something...

...so I made this drawing from the picture of Zion on the toilet. At some point soon I will post pictures of how these two came together. Their meeting is now my favorite bag ever!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The newest family member

The girls have been dying to get a pet for the last couple of years, but I am NOT an animal person. Maybe it's the idea of having something else in the house that I have to feed and clean up after. That all sounds just a little daunting to me. But, being that we live in a small town, there really aren't a lot of weekend activities to keep us busy, so when the new PetSmart had its grand opening I figured I would take the kids and let them check out the guinea pigs and hamsters and canaries. While we were there a nice PetSmart employee slipped Jena a gift card. She prefaced the hand off by saying she really didn't know how much was on there. It turned out to be $10. So I conceded and the girls got to pick......a fish. Jena's has been asking for a betta for a few months now. She'd planned to spend her lemonade stand earnings (don't know if I ever mentioned their lemonade stand, but it was a whopping success) for one, but instead we helped her buy a really nice doll (on a REALLY good sale at Tuesday Morning). So, the PetSmart gift card bought the girls the fish, some food, the conditioner for the water, some marbles and a plastic plant. I bought them a very nice fish bowl for $3 at Goodwill. They did lots of research (LOL) in my old baby name books in order to come up with a name. They named him An (pronounced Ahn) which is Chinese for peace (I think). Actually he's a very nice addition to our house. He's quiet, doesn't require a lot of attention and I only have to feed him ONCE a day. Why can't kids be more like fish....