Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Ducklings

Sunday afternoon, David and I thought we were going to take an ordinary walk to the pond. We were so excited to find a Mama Duck and nine baby chicks!

Make way for Ducklings is one of our favorite books. There were 8 chicks in that book if my memory serves me correctly - Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack. So we would have to add one more: Rack? (Or is that just silly?)

Two of these chicks were yellow and the others were a grey/white/yellow mix. But not one looks like its Mama! Emily and I watched these ducks for about half an hour. We noticed that one of the yellow ducks was always the straggler and one of the multi-colored ducks was either lazy, sick or tired because he was always sitting down in the grass for as long as he could before moving along with the group. We'll keep tabs on them!

John V!

We got to visit with John V on Sunday! His new job brings him to the Houston area and we were thrilled to have him over for lunch. After joining us for mass, he broke out the most awesome goody bag our kids had ever seen!

Do you think Emily could be the next poster child for SouthWest Airlines?

John is listening to David tell him all about his favorite book, Building Machines and What They Do.
While the kids played in the kiddie pool, we were able to get in a great visit and have an awesome meal. Chris had purchased a brisket from the boy scouts fund raiser and it was delicious. And... Emily helped me make a blackberry cobbler with all those berries we picked on the farm. If only we could eat like that every Sunday!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Weekend at Cagle

This is the third year we have met our friends out at Cagle for Memorial Day Weekend. They camp the whole weekend but we just come for a day of fun. Chris and Jeff grilled us steak and lobster for dinner... so we were very well treated! I didn't take a lot of pictures because I was too busy relaxing... but here are a few from our after dinner walk in the forest. I'll try to take more pictures of the grown-ups next year.

David wanted to be the trail blazer. He told us to "Be brave, and follow me."

Lia wanted to come too.

Back at the camper, all the kiddos got to watch Tom and Jerry. Aren't they cute!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

More Alphabet Fun - F, G, H

F is for Fish

And G is for Grasshopper. (David wanted a spotty grasshopper)

And H is for Horse.
For some reason, we ran out of time the morning we were supposed to make our Horse.... David was really upset about this and asked me all afternoon, "Mommy, I want to go home and make my horse." So after dinner, I promised we'd sit down and do it. Emily was really excited to be able to make her own and wanted to make all the other letters to catch up to David. I wonder if next year she'll do all her work and David's too. She is constantly telling me how unfair it is that David gets to do all this fun stuff while she's at school. ;-)

Friday, May 28, 2010

At the Blackberry Farm

We went to a homeschooling family's farm for blackberry picking and pie making on Thursday. This is our second time to attend this event. Emily got to play hooky from school. It was a wonderful day. Emily did the most of the picking for our family.

Lia picked a few... and ate a few more.

David enjoyed running about the farm.

Yes, that's a tire swing!

Wanda taught the kids how to make an incredible blackberry pie. Each family got to make their own pie to take home. What a treat!

The pies were beautiful!

And a quick video:

Austin Crawfish Boil and Birthday Bash

We headed to Austin last weekend for a crawfish boil and some fun with our friends. The kids were, as always, very excited to see each other! Here they are... upside down silly!

I love this picture of Cynthia and Emory. Great smiles!
This party was part crawfish boil and part kiddie extravaganza. Of course there was crawfish and beer for the grown ups... Chris and Runar are enjoying the "adult" parts here.... I can't believe I didn't get a picture of Abram and David with the crawfish "bugs". They were fascinated by them. Ahh well... next time.
Then for the kiddos.... a kiddie pool, a bouncy house, a tent full of plastic balls...

And a Pinata!!! (These are really lucky kids)

And cake for Cynthia. Happy Birthday! Isn't it amazing how the kids come out of the wood work when the cake comes out... It looks like Abram and Emily are conspiring about something. Hmmm.
A very fun time was had by all. Then at the homefront, the kids had already gotten the sleeping arrangements all set up. Here they are posing with their stuffed animals. It's too bad they don't actually get this excited about going to sleep!

On Sunday, we kept it simple with church and lunch at Chuys. In front of the crazy mirror....
And on the way home... Chris had to drive a car full of sleepy heads. I'd like to say I stayed up and kept him company... but I was exhausted too!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Emily's Vocations

Emily brought home this sweet composition from school the other day. She has been incredibly fascinated with sisters from all of her reading and from the times we have seen them at church. She states in her paper that she gave all her money to the Carmelite sisters when they visited her school. She really did! The students were asked to save their pennies to help buy the Carmelite sisters a new oven. Emily dug out all her Christmas money and very generously gave all of it... about $6 worth! So maybe she will be a Carmelite Nun / Artist / Doctor. I'm just glad she has lots of thoughts running through her head... all good ones!

E is for Elephant and "chinese fables"

Mr. Elephant was fun to make. We liked all his parts... the big ears, the trunk, the sharp tusks. David and his Daddy play this game called "Chinese Fable." It was kind of inspired by the book called Tiki Tiki Tembo about why the Chinese use short names rather than long ones for their children... Anyway, Chris will say "Chinese Fable, Wind through Ear" and then blow in David's ear. They think this is quite funny. So David came up with a Chinese Fable name for his Elephant: Big Ear, Sharp Tusk. He was quite pleased with himself and his Daddy thought it was quite clever when he saw it that night.

David wouldn't pose for my picture but sister was more than happy to stand in for him. "Take a picture of Lia!" she says.

Lia is Potty Training

I wasn't really ready to potty train this little girl... but she has gotten to be really independent (read stubborn) about doing everything herself. When she started to insist on putting on her diapers by herself we moved to pull ups because she could pull them up and down. She really really liked these princess pull ups. And just like Emily, she picked one of the two patterns in the package that she liked better. She liked the pull-ups with the picture of 3 princesses over the pull-up that just had one princess on it. Then she would sort through the bag and wear all of those first.

I also bought her some princess panties, showed them to her, and then put them in her drawer. I told her to get them out when she was ready to sit on the potty. Well... yesterday she didn't want to put on a pull-up so I asked her if she wanted to wear her big girl panties. A defiant "No." was her answer. And then 5 minutes later she moved the chair over to her dresser, rifled through the underwear and was ready to put it on. I told her she would have to sit on the potty. The little nervousness she had about this was overcome by this GIGANTIC heart lollipop from her Godmother that I had been saving for just such an occassion.

She is actually sitting on the potty but I had to crop it for modesty purposes... Doesn't she look pleased as punch.... Thank you Aunt Stacey for providing the treats!

To date we haven't actually gotten any pee in the potty but we will keep trying!

D is for Duck

David loves the letter D because his name starts with D and it also starts the work Duck.
And... "Big Duck" is David's constant companion. David has taken a liking to the ruler and measuring things... it is really funny. He'll say "Mommy, I've got to measure this."

C is for Caterpillar

Wow... these animal critters have totally increased the excitment for David's School these last few days. He loves these things! And from our phonics lessons, he will proudly tell you that the letter C makes 2 sounds - the "k" as in can and the "s" as in cent. Writing C's are okay as long as we only do a couple. ;-)

David cut out a few of the caterpillar parts, stuck all the pieces on and drew all the legs.

The day we got the indulgent pool at Walmart, we also stocked up on playdough. After interviewing David one morning, he told me he remembered his preschool class. I asked him what he remembered and he said he remembered he had a girl friend (Little Hannah) and that there was a lot of playdough. So we have been trying to bring the play dough out more often at home. All the kiddos love the play dough. I could call this critter a caterpillar, but I think it was supposed to be a snake. You can see Emily is quite proud of it.

By the way Emily asked for her own palette of play dough colors because the little kids just mixed them all together... ah well good thing play dough doesn't cost too much. And the little kids don't mind mixed up play dough.

Monday, May 17, 2010

"You're Babah!" and "Oranger"

For posterity, Lia has a couple of funny things she is saying right now. I'm not sure how it all started, but the kids started calling each other, "Babah" - pronounced, "Bah-Buh" whenever one of them did something the other did not like. It is kind of like a substitute for, "Stop it, you are being a jerk." So when I hear, "You're Babah", I know I need to go see what is going on. And occasionally, I end up being "Babah Mommy."

Lia has also called the color orange, "Oranger" for quite some time. If you point to a carrot and ask her what color it is... She will proudly tell you it is "Oranger." David thinks this is hilarious and will hand her an orange crayon and ask, "Lia, do you want the oranger?"

It reminds me of Emily and her "Rellow"

Friday, May 14, 2010

Alphabet Fun

David and I have been making these Alphabet Critters to make handwriting practice a little more fun. We practice writing the letters and then we move on to the fun stuff... They came out really cute! He is getting some practice with his scissors cutting out the simple shapes... like the triangles and along the straight lines before it gets "too hard". He insisted on hanging them in his room and can't wait to make the rest of the alphabet! They look really cute in his room and he's awfully proud of them. Very sweet.
Alligator A

Bumble "B"ee

Sandbox Pics

David and Lia have been on antibiotics since Monday. We have stayed close to home as their little bodies recovered from those nasty ear infections. They played in their sandbox almost every day... Thanks Peg! We're putting it to good use.
Thank goodness antibiotics work quick!