Emily was a cantor today at her school mass and she sang beautifully... like an angel. I took a short video clip of the closing song at the end. By this time, she had already sang all through mass... the opening song, the Alleluias, the communion songs, the big "Amen", etc... and seemed to be really enjoying the experience. If you watch carefully, you can see her bobbing to the beat... and if you look at the choir in the back of the church you'll see some of the kids "jumping for joy" as the song calls for it. Lots of thanks to Nana, Grandpa and Peg for coming out to support her.
Here is our hard working 1st grader... and a constant source of entertainment to David and Lia.
We spent a good part of today working on Emily's big 4th quarter project. The 1st grade is studying the world's oceans. She was assigned the North Atlantic/Arctic Ocean bordering Europe. We were given several plant and animal species to research and were told to make a diorama out of a shoe box. Once again, Emily was all over this project from the very beginning. She has the 'Google Images' page bookmarked in her Internet favorites and couldn't wait to get started. Once she found this picture, she had her inspiration and there was no stopping the girl.
We were able to google clip art for each species of animal and Emily really enjoyed picking out which ones she wanted for her project. I taught her how to save the pictures she found on the internet and how to insert them into a Word Document. She also learned how to size her images and then copy and paste them to make multiple images... because we wanted a school of fish that were all the same size. After printing, and cutting them out... she had lots of fun putting it all together.
Here is the front view of the final product. We used the hole puncher to make brown confetti sand. (Her original idea was to get some salt and dye it with the food coloring... but Mom and Dad thought that might be really messy...) Emily crumpled up paper and glued it on for her seaweed and coral. There is an oyster with a pearl in the background... she found a picture of an oyster watercolor painting and picked it because it was so beautiful. You'll see a killer whale suspended with some string from the top of the box. There is a swordfish, cod, and salmon swimming on the back and side walls... And Emily's awesome idea (since the blue whale was too big to be suspended inside the diorama) was to have the blue whale jumping out of the water.... and hence out of the diorama like some over the top 3D effect. Brilliant!
Here are the salmon swimming around the corner of the diorama.
And the school of cod swimming around the other corner of the diorama. Well done!
Emily was so excited to tell me that she will be a cantor at next Friday's mass (April 30). She'll be up at the podium all by herself leading the church in song... oh my goodness! This could certainly bring me to tears. She'll practice in her music class next week and she has the CD and music to practice with at home. I'm so happy, and nervous for her! Very exciting.
We have really hit the jack pot with all these dresses! Emily had a good number of dresses and we have just recently acquired a bunch more from Emma and Hannah... It is so much fun! I just can't get enough of seeing my little girl in them. She is listening to "party music" here and doing some dancing.
David and I are plugging right along with "pre-school." It has become a fairly natural part of our day and we are slowly but surely covering a lot of ground. The "learn a little bit" every day concept works great. Writing continues to be extremely difficult David... we do very very little writing but I insist we practice for a few minutes each day. I have a pencil gripper that ensures David is holding his pencil correctly... like throwing a dart. If we don't use it, it looks like he is ready to stab someone. If we are practicing a letter or a number, he only has to make 4 of them, but he has to form them as perfectly as he can. And believe it or not... the boy is learning! He regularly remembers how to form his numbers when we do math and forms his letters more and more often from memory without my prompting how to do it. We practice reading every day. David reads from Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad easy readers as well as the Little Bear series. At night he reads from his "A Bible to read all by yourself"... we do one story each night. I started the 2nd grade Phonics program with him a few days ago. It is pretty dry as we are plugging through phonograms and the sounds they make... The book calls for us to do 8 a day... but we do 3 which is a better pace for my 4 year old. The math book is "easy" for him as he knows his numbers and how to count... it is writing the numbers that we are working on while reviewing the stuff he already knows how to do. We stick to a worksheet or 2 a day for math. Then throw in lots of library books and playtime and that is pretty much what we do. Sit down school time is less than a hour and that seems to be working great right now.
David and Lia are looking at their bibles together as they wait for the rest of the family to get ready for church. This red dress was "Emma's" and Lia looks like a little doll in it. I sent Emily with a naked Lia into our room with the task of putting on a diaper and picking out a church dress. I am so glad they picked that one! It didn't dawn on me that it would even fit since it is a 4T... but gosh it is cute! Peg, you were right about that button in the back... the dress "works" just fine without it because of the way it ties. So... sewing a new button can rank very low on my "to-do" list or really, let's be honest, it is very likely never going to get done, unless I give up the blog. They are being very sweet... and very silly here!
Emily has Penguin all dressed up for church too.... She is reading Encyclopedia Brown. She LOVES Encyclopedia Brown. Good thing there are about 30 of them in the series and the library has them all! Yes Stacey, that is the dress you and Steven bought for Lia on the penguin. I promptly returned it to her closet so she can wear it this spring and summer as she has finally grown into it. Yeah!
Mid-morning rant... Lia is just like Emily was at 2! When I have time to indulge her, I let Lia pick out her clothes for the day. She picked out a pink dress with flowers on it but after putting on the bloomers and part of the dress she changed her mind. "I don't want this one." So we picked out another pink dress... this one was a "new" hand-me-down (thank you Michelle E!) and I thought we were good. She checked in the mirror and seemed to be happy. While we were making her bed, however, I hear, "I don't want this one, take it off!" Are you kidding me? So I tell her, "Pick something out of your drawers." She then proceeds to rifle through her drawers and picks the girly girl skirt and cupcake t-shirt. I think this will be the one as she is happily eating breakfast with her brother now... the signal that the day has begun. Goodness me!
I had not planned on making stawberry pancakes today... but David asked for them this morning. So a quick google search found Rachel Ray's Recipie for everyday Strawberry Pancakes. I insisted on help in the kitchen... this is never a problem! David tells me he wants to be a "helper" when he grows up.
"I'm ready to eat."
" Me too!"
I think we might get in trouble when Daddy and Emily see this. :-)
My vision of small children taking their messy crafts outside has finally become a reality. Thank goodness for the patio!
Lia was very excited to paint with everyone. I found these water containers that don't spill when tipped over. This a very good thing for the 2 year old artist who paints along side her big brother. Lia managed to get paint all over her body!
Emily is still making good use of her quality art kit. Yeah Nana! And by the way... she painted on the big table away from the amateurs.
It looks like he is smirking here but David really enjoyed painting outside. He's just didn't like being interrupted by my picture taking. Awww... Mom!
The season of Easter is 50 days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost. We got this great calendar to count the days. Each day has a sticker to put on the mural and corresponding scripture to read to help us learn more about our faith. The stickers are illustrated by Tomie DePaola, which is fun because we have read so many of his books and are familiar with his style. Emily gets so excited about stuff like this and tells me... "Mommy, I just can't wait. I want to do the whole thing right now!"
So Chris has come up with unique ways to torture all of his children... Now that I have this blog, I can document in words and pictures, said abuse. So here is how our evenings with Lia go. Once little Lia is bathed, and in her jammies, she comes into the living room to say "I love you Daddy, good night!" and get a kiss. Then Daddy says, "Lia, I'm really tired. I'm going to go lie down in your bed. You have such a nice bed." Then he goes into her room and lies down on her bed and proceeds to snore ovnoxiously. She gets very upset about this. First she tells him, "Daddy, it's not your bed! It's Lia's bed." Which progresses to, "Daddy, get out of my bed!" And then, she'll try to push him out or in this picture, pull him out by his legs! He'll play along sometimes and let her pull him out... or he'll ask for more kisses to get out of her bed. Shameless!
Little trip down memory lane....When David and Emily were little, he would turn into an Asian tiger (all those trips to China) and demand kisses to turn back into Daddy again. Of course, they loved that game too.
It is 11:00pm... not quite Easter but close enough! The kids are in bed and the Resurrection Cookies are in the oven.... I'm not sure how these will turn out b/c my egg whites and sugar did NOT beat into stiff peaks... but we are hoping they will still turn out all right in the morning. The Easter story and process of making the cookies was the important part... The recipie said to turn the oven off and tape it shut (like the tomb)... Emily added a sticky note which reads, Do Not Open! We are hoping for hollow empty cookies in the morning. We'll see!
Here is a sweet sweet video of my boy reading The Glory Be from his beloved prayer book. Thank you Godmother Peg! It is very difficult to believe this boy ever had a speech problem. It has certainly corrected itself.
The kids had Good Friday off from school and a friend of mine invited us to a cascarone or confetti egg hunt. We've never been to one of these and it sounded like a lot of fun!
The eggs were hidden all over the park and the kids quickly gathered them all up. This was very fun for Lia... though she wasn't as fast as the big kids. She only got 4 or 5 eggs. That was okay because after the eggs were collected the real fun of breaking them over each others heads began!