Friday, May 31, 2013

Completely NOT staged room redo pictures

I feel as though I am turning into my mother.  When I was young I could guarantee that I would come home from a friends house or the mall and our house would be completely rearranged.  I used to say that was the reason that I never snuck out.  I wouldn't be able to find my way back through the house when I came back in.  I, on the other hand, despise rearranging furniture.  My furniture will be in the same position for YEARS. But as I get older, I find myself waking up in the morning with these brilliant rearranging plans.  It's like my subconscious is drawing up blueprints while I sleep.  Well, on Monday, I woke up with the brilliant idea to pair and older girl with a younger ones in their bedrooms.  To my surprise they thought this was a brilliant idea too and actually decided who would sleep with who WITHOUT fighting!  Bijou and Ashni chose to share and room and Jena and Zion share a room.  So we set about shifting toys, clothes and shoes between the two room.  We separated the little girls' toys so that they each have 5 or 6 bins in their rooms (and they can play together in either room) and did the same with the older girls' things.  So far, it is working like a CHARM.  The little girls are going to sleep faster at bedtime because they don't have the other to keep them awake (they go to bed an hour before the older girls).  And the older girls have been making sure that their rooms stay tidy, which has never happened.  I think my mother would be proud.  These pictures are not staged, so it has its "lived in" feel.  But, this in the neatest either of these rooms has been (without my constant nagging) in ages.

Jena and Zion's Room

Jena and Zion share a full sized bed, which you would think would be a pain, but they all really like to sleep together.  They certainly didn't get that from me, but it's cute to see them spooning in the middle of the night.

Zion's tiny boots next to Jena's boots are just the cutest thing ever!

Bijou and Ashni's Room

Why yes, that is a ballet barre in their room.  It was given to us by a friend.  You can't see it in the pictures, but there's a dance floor there too.  They should never be out of practice!

Crates make great, free book storage and also works as stairs to get into the top bunk.  They are attached to one another with zip ties.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Keeping the wee one busy

We officially have a 6th grader, a 5th grader, a 1st/2nd grader and a preschooler in our house.  That means four different abilities, four different learning styles and four different personalities.  Zion is just getting to the stage where she wants to "work" like her older sisters.  I've made sure to provide lots of things that she can work on independently.  This way, she can keep busy while I give lessons to her older sisters.  She has been working with Cuisenaire rods for a while now.  She loves just playing with them and building towers.  She know that they represent certain numbers, but for the most part, she just enjoys playing with them.  For the past few days, we have been working on making numbers with the rods.  I write a couple of number on a piece of paper and she makes them.  We have been working on the teens.  She uses the pink ten rod and then adds the ones to make her number.  Once she had made all of the numbers with tens and ones, we replace the ones with the rod with the matching value (four ones cubes for a four rod, six cubes for a six rod, etc.).  She really enjoyed measuring the various rods with the little one cubes.

She also has been exploring tangrams.  Mainly, she has been making her own shapes and creations, but today she discovered that she can use to book and copy the shapes in the book.  This kept her busy for a good 30 minutes once she figured it out.  We have several sets of tangrams, so of course she had to make each puzzle with every color that we had.

And, apparently, pants are frowned upon in our house...

Monday, May 27, 2013

What's My Kid Wearing Today (and a Summer School Update)

Ah, I just completed my first full week back home with the kids.  I think it was a productive week.  We did some school work and decided on a summer school schedule that everyone is happy with.  We will do math and writing everyday and the rest of our subjects will be:
Monday - Science
Tuesday - Grammar/Essay Writing
Wednesday - Geography
Thursday - History
Friday - Art
This way, they have time to really get immersed in what they are working on without having to be concerned with the 4 other subjects that they need to get done before the end of the day. We also got the house somewhat organized (color coded our school library...again).  And my husband has been able to get more than four hours of sleep each day (working nights and homeschooling days is tough).  So, I think everyone is happy.
Yesterday, we were invited over to a friends house for a crawfish boil and general smorgasbord.  Bijou, Ashni and Jena even tried raw oysters for the first time.  They oysters received mixed reviews.  They gorged themselves on fruit, crawfish, cheese and crackers, veggies and popsicles.  SO many popsicles. And I'm pretty sure that several hula hoop contests occurred.  Anyway, this is what they wore.

This is five minutes before they all turned into America's Next Top Model and the pictures got goofy.

pink sneakers - Keds ($2.99 at Goodwill)
dress - Cakewalk (free from a hand me down bag)

Total Outfit - approx. $3

See the madness...

Grey sneakers - Converse (gift from my mom...pretty sure they were $3 at Goodwill in St. Louis)
leggings - Old Navy ($.99 at Goodwill)
denim skirt - Justice (previously featured)
Super Grover t-shirt - Old Navy ($.99 at Goodwill)

Total Outfit - approx. $5 

Jena (and her legs...)
shoes - ana ($6.99 at Goodwill)
tights - Target (maybe $2 on sale at Target.  She bought these herself, so I'm not sure)
patchwork skirt - Gap ($1.49 at Goodwill)
ruffle tank top - Crewcuts ($1.49 at Goodwill)

Total Outfit - approx $12


fancy pink tank top - Old Navy (free from the hand me down bag)
black jean leggings - Gap ($8 from Gap)
yellow sneakers - Converse ($6.99 from Goodwill.  She bought these herself)

Total Outfit - approx. $15

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What's My Kid Wearing Today

Ahhh, summer!  I'm so thankful for warm weather, blue sky and disabling my alarm!  Waking up at 8am is like a spa vacation after waking up at 6:30 every morning.  Today, after our school day, we spent a fabulous afternoon with friends.  The kids played in the sprinkler, shared some food and generally ran amuck.  This is what my sweet Zion wore today...

She's just so stinking cute!

shoes - Red Ape (previously featured)
pants - Children's Place ($.99 for Goodwill)
tank top - Gap - this was Ashni's shirt when she was 4, so I'm not sure where it came from or how much it cost.
hat - $7 from Target (this is, by far, her favorite thing to wear)
necklace - hand made by Zion yesterday.

Total Outfit - approx. $8 (without the shoes)

Friday, May 17, 2013

France Bound!

This little lady is going to France!!  Thanks to tons of love and support from friends and family, she is going to France.  We are all very excited for her and are very grateful for everyone who donated or wished us well or thought about us in anyway over the last few months.  We would not have been able to make it happen with you.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What's my kids wearing today?

Things are slowing down around here.  Most of our after school activities are coming to an end.  All four girls have their spring ballet performance this Friday and Saturday, so they do have rehearsal this week (which gives me two child free hours each day).  It will be nice to not live in the car for four hours each day.  At least for the next few months.  Anyway, on to the outfit...

(yeah, sisters are just as weird as brothers...)

(She was pouting because she asked to play and I told her to go play...yep, she's four.)

brown saddle oxfords - Willits ($2.99 at Goodwill)
blue and white striped shorts - Genuine Kids ($.99 at Goodwill)
purple tank top - Gap ($1 at Salvation Army)
polka dot cardigan - OshKosh ($.99 at Goodwill)

Total Outfit - approx $6

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Use what you have.

I am a firm believer in reusing the things that I already have around the house to create the things that we need.  Today, we needed some little girl closet organization.  All of my girls are responsible for putting their own laundry away.  Zion is old enough to put her away, but she's not quite tall enough to reach the bar. Even with the stool, she was just barely tall enough to reach the bottom of the hangers.  She needed a lower bar to hang her clothes.  Because we rent our house, I can't just go around drilling holes into the wall.  So, after wandering from room to room this afternoon trying to come up with a solution, I remembered this discarded piece of furniture in the garage...

I found this on the side of the road ages ago and it used to house bins of toys in the little girls' room, but it didn't work out so well.  It has been living in our garage ever since.  I was going to sell this in my fantasy yard sale that I am planning only in my mind, but it was perfect for Zion's new closet organization!  I removed the sets of bars in the center leaving on the three at the top and three at the bottom (so that it would remain stable) and voila!  Zion can easily hang her shirts when it is time to put her laundry away.  Bijou is tall enough, so her shirts are on top.

We still keep their bottoms on the top shelf.  They would carpet their room in clothes if they had access to all of them.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What's My Kid Wearing Today?

Although our spring has been sporadic at best, I have stored away all of the heavy winter clothes and we have managed to make a few trips to the playground to enjoy the nice weather when we get it.  So here is what Jena and Zion wore yesterday.  (Bijou was cute too, but she was being a crabby britches, so no good pictures of her to, well.)


navy and cream shoes - ana ($6.99 at Goodwill)
skinny jeans - Arizona (previously featured)
scalloped blue eyelet top - Gap ($1.49 at Goodwill) This top is actually a size 6 dress, but Jena loved it so much when she saw it that she had to have it.  It will go straight to Bijou when Jena outgrows it.

Total Outfit (without the jeans) - approx. $8.50  


grey high top sneakers - Red Ape ($2.99 at Goodwill)
grey leggings - Not sure of the brand ($.99 at Goodwill)
pink ruffled tank - Cherokee ($.99 at Goodwill)

Total Outfit - approx. $5.00