Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Playdate

Emily invited her friend Elle over for a playdate on Saturday. They both attended different vacation bible schools last week so we started off talking about each one and listening to the music from the CDs. The girls decided they wanted to go to VBS together next year. After lots of playing, they had lunch up in the fort of our new playset and read some books together.

The activity for the day was to make these "blooming cupcakes" from a kit my friend Peg gave us last Easter. I had all my kiddos and Elle helping with the baking part and didn't manage to get a work in progress picture... the best management on my part was to let the two little ones mix on low for 15 seconds and the two big kids to take turns mixing on high for 30 seconds with the handheld mixer. Everyone got a turn (and was happy) and we even practiced our counting skills.

After lunch, when the cupcakes had cooled in their little pots, the girls got busy decorating. I think this picture shows how proud they are of their creations. ;-)

Elle ate one and gave the other to her Mom. Sweet girl.

Thanks again Peg! We had fun with the kit.

Matt and Gabriela, Just Married!

I have known my friend Matt since 2nd grade and I was able to see him get married last night! Matt and Gabriela were married at an incredibly elegant place called The Bell Tower and it was a beautiful wedding. We arrived a little early and Emily quickly made friends with the girls in the wedding party. They had the run of this tuscan "mansion" and had a ball exploring and pretending it was "thier house." The girls were so inseparable that the wedding party even included Emily in some of their family pictures! She certainly has a ball wherever she goes...

This wedding was the most kid friendly wedding I have ever attended. In the upstairs room above the dining area, they hired a fairy princess to paint faces and make balloon sculptures. Lucky kids!
Of course Emily was thrilled with this:

Lia initially said she wanted pink butterflies on her face but changed her mind when it came down to actually sitting down in the face painting chair. She settled on a butterfly balloon instead... pink of course.

In the dining room, a table for the kids was set up with individual meals for the kids. David was quite pleased with his chicken nuggets, fries, and cookies. There were even "goody boxes" filled with candy, glow bracelets, toys, etc...

Outside, there was a water wall. My pictures of the girls came out pretty good. David didn't want his picture taken... there were puddles out there for him to jump in. Yup, he's a boy!

We made it till 11:00... Emily wanted to stay and party till midnight. She told us she wasn't a bit tired. However, I think she made it about 10 minutes in the car till she passed out in her seat. Needless to say, we escorted three very sleepy kids to their beds when we got home.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Duckling Update

On our way home from VBS, we saw our favorite duck family out and about... so we stopped to check up on them. All nine ducklings were accounted for. Thank goodness!

And they have certainly grown!

Vacation Bible School - Thursday

During the bible story skit today, Joseph's brothers had come to Egypt for food. The boys in our group each got to be one of the brothers... we even got to learn all their names! To illustrate the 'Final Test', each boy was given a sack of food and each sack was searched to find the silver goblet that had 'supposedly' been stolen. Of course the goblet was found in Benjamin's sack, Joseph's youngest brother, whom he had never met. The kids all loved it when Joseph revealed to his brothers who he really was... and then forgave them and shared in a big family hug! When we asked our kiddos which brother had the goblet in our classroom time, they all knew it was Benjamin.

Here is a very happy David in the gym during 'game time.' These little personal scooters are the best!

The Craziness that is Vacation Bible School

You haven't heard much from us because we have been in vacation bible school all week. We're learning all about the story of Joseph and it has been a lot of fun!

I'm a group leader for the pre-K kids - the Jewels. This is a picture of a picture but you can get the idea of our group from it... Can you tell what David's favorite color is?

And here is Emily with her group - the Pharaohs. My friend Bertha is leading her group so I know she has been in awesome hands all week! Emily has loved VBS because she knew so many of the kids in her group! She has loved spending time with one of her best friends Rebecca.

Here's our gang in front of one of the class rooms. Notice the fancy headbands they made... even Lia made one in nursery. Not sure where David's was at that time... Each day after the skit we meet in the classroom for discussion and we have been so impressed at how much the kids have learned!

Here is David learning the dances in the Music hall. It has been awesome watching the teen leaders. It is amazing how God has blessed some of them with such natural leadership skills and the kids love learning from them.
Here are all the kids dancing together in the gym.
And here are Pharaoh and his guard. Aren't the costumes great? There have been skits all week long telling the bible stories of Joseph. We have learned so much from these skits! There has been so much more detail in the skits than in the stories from our children's bibles... so each night we have gotten out our "real" bibles at home to read the story straight from the source.
More pictures to come!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Fun...

David and Lia are looking at our "pool brochure" to pick out what pool to go to. You can see them discussing the pros and cons of each one. It's a tough decision.

The pool with the splash park was the winner for today.

All the smiles imply everyone was happy.

Oh yes, we brought popscicles too. These kids have it rough, don't they?

Another Emma Dress... and other silly Lia stuff

Every morning I ask Lia to pick out her clothes for the day. Usually she picks out a skirt and a shirt but this morning she picked one of "Emma's dresses" that she had never worn before. Isn't it sweet! "Reading" Berenstein Bears in our reading chair.
No... it isn't her birthday but we made this "birthday card" together and she has been carrying it all around the house for days and singing happy birthday to herself. It has been pretty funny.

And one with Mommy...

In sister's bath robe after swim lessons... and when the sunglasses go on she says, "I'm cool!" The sunglasses are a little crooked which is actually an improvment because they are normally upside down!

Sweet silly Lia!

How to make an Apple Pie and see the world...

We're reading How to Make and Apple Pie and see the World with the activities from Five in a Row. Everyone likes this book. Especially the pie eating frenzy at the end. Now if only we really could go to Sri Lanka for kurundu tree bark to make cinnamon (without disturbing the leopard of course), get a chicken who lays 'elegant' eggs from France and milk from a well mannered cow with a charming accent from England.

Our next big reader...

David and I practice reading a little every day. Right now we are working our way through Days with Frog and Toad... Lia has taken notice and likes to "read" the same book. I took this picture at a time when it was very quiet... and I was wondering what she was doing. She looks awfully proud of herself doesn't she?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summer Home Schooling

We love the concept of reading literature and then doing activities to reinforce some of the ideas in the book. We are now using Catholic Mosaic and Five in A Row as a guide for this. So we read Across A Dark and Wild Sea which tells the story of Columcille - a monk and scribe who copied books during the dark ages - before the printing press. We made ink from crushed blackberries and then used a feather to try writing like he did.

The Playset is Done!

Our hard working handyman crew finished the playset at 6:00 on Thursday and the kids couldn't wait to go play!

(Lia has taken to wearing David's baseball caps... but always on backwards!)

Emily and Elle

Emily met Elle at a local park and the two girls really hit it off. We have been getting the two of them together weekly to play and we had her over our house for the first time on Thursday.

While she was here, the kids watched longingly as our playset was being put together. I am very glad we hired a handyman crew to do this job. Playset assembly takes a VERY LONG time. It looked incredibly complicated and it was very hot outside.

Swim Lessons

I signed both Emily and David up for swim lessons at our YMCA. The lessons have worked out great for Emily. After her first day, she was moved up a level and has an awesome instructor who is teaching her the different strokes and working on her technique. She works really hard during her lessons and swims across the pool 10-15 times! I think she'll definetly be ready for swim team next year.

My sweet David wanted nothing to do with his swim lesson. On our first day he simply wouldn't join the class. I'm not sure if he didn't like the idea of the group lesson... maybe there were just too many little kids crammed in on the steps of the pool, maybe he didn't like his teacher, or maybe he was just scared. Regardless, when he wouldn't join in on day two, we were able to withdraw from the class and receive a refund. David looked very relieved to know he didn't have to go to his lesson anymore and maybe we could try again next year. So... he was happy to join his sister in the little pool and wait for Emily there. Chris will work with him on the weekends at our neighborhood pool... I think Daddy swim lessons may be the best bet this year.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

YMCA grand opening

Last Saturday we toured our new "Adventure" YMCA. All the summer camps for the local YMCAs will be held here this summer. It was pretty impressive! The picture below is my attempt to capture the ropes course... You have to see it to get an idea of how massive it is. Emily jumped in line to try it but we learned quickly that the minimum age is 12.

I always thought you spelled these things teepees... but according to the map they are tipis. This YMCA has three giant "tipis". I'm not sure what they are used for but our kids thought they were pretty cool.

Emily found her friend MC. Here they are in the misting area. Nice way to cool off.

And camels! The line to ride the camels was really long so we just admired them for a little while. You don't see camels every day you know.

And the petting zoo. Lia and David were a bit skittish about getting near the animals. Emily was busy watching the one man circus act and could not be bothered with the petting zoo. I think our circus guy was standing on a giant ball and juggling fire sticks at this time.

We had dinner at Skeeters with a quick run to Kroger to replenish our fridge. Not a bad evening out. ;-) And of note, Emily had her nose in Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book for most of the weekend. Goodness, that girl loves to read. She finished the book by Sunday afternoon with the exception of a couple of fairy tales that were "just too scary."


We had our friends Grace, Jake and Clare over on Saturday. They like the Berenstein Bears books as much as we do!
And they like playing dress up and watching Tom and Jerry...

Love the happy faces! These kiddos can come over anytime!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Summer of the Shower

I have decided that it is very important that Emily be able to take a shower and wash her hair completely on her own. I have sat outside the tub and told Emily how to bathe as she does it and I know she is capable. However, if I just send her up for bath, I will hear the water run and I will hear her get in. But if I go up to check, she will be just sitting there. "Mommy, I was waiting for you to tell me what to do." (sigh)

So we made an EXTREMELY detailed list together. More specifically, 3 pages of how to shower. And voila... sucess! She owns the shower process. We'll work on doing it quickly later. ;-)

Independence is good.