Monday, August 29, 2011

Birthday Weekend

This weekend was Jarrett's Birthday.  His family also came into town to go to a funeral and stayed with us.  It was also Jarrett's Dad's Birthday.  My little sister's little boy also has been in the hospital.  It's weird how one day everything can be fine and your life is fairly normal and then the next moment your whole world can be turned upside down.  Really makes me slow down and remember what's important and to always tell my loved ones I love them and how much I appreciate them.  It's been crazy these last 4 days.  Here are a few pictures of my hubby's Birthday and his parents visit.

Horrible, horrible picture of the Strawberry pie I made my husband (per his request).  He likes pie better than cake and it's a nice change from cake.  Since there are about 9 of us who have birthdays between the end of August to the end of September.

I thought the bright light from the outside that was coming in through the window would make for a bad picture so I closed the curtains and ended up with a lot of  bad pictures anyways.  I posted a lot of these pictures because they are just so wacky.  Everyone is making or doing weird things in them all.  P.S.  Lilly and Max are wearing Dracula teeth...of course.

 ha ha!  This  picture makes me laugh.  Paikia was squeezing Max so hard!  LOL!

The Birthday Boys

Jarrett and his brother

The kids love Uncle Jimmy.  Max wore his sunglasses on his forehead just like Jimmy all weekend.

This is the second strawberry pie I made.  My family came over later that night to celebrate.  Minus Shaunie and family.  It was weird to not have them there.  It almost felt wrong to be celebrating when they are going through such a hard time.  Not sure how to explain the feeling.  Anyone else ever felt like that?  Then I felt guilty for feeling that way because I love Jarrett with all my heart, he is my best friend and he is someone to be celebrated.  I wanted his birthday to be a good one and I think people should be treated extra special on their birthdays.  I just hope I didn't make him feel that he wasn't as great as he is.
After all was said and done he thanked me for a great day and assured me that he had a good day.
He is a great guy and I am a lucky girl.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Starwars Baseball T

Here's another shirt I made for Max from old T shirts.  The Starwars Tee used to be Jarrett's and the sleeves came from a T shirt my sister no longer wanted.  Nothing better than free!

 See how the bottom is rolled?  I'm so awesome that I pinned it, sewed it and serged it like that.  I was wondering why that side was so much shorter than the other.  I had to stretch the t shirt to get the seams to match up.  UGGG!  which means if want to fix it, I'd have to un pick most of the shirt.  
At least I learned my lesson.  Sorry Max.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ripped Leggings to Punk Rock Gloves

So Lilly has wanted a pair of punk rock gloves for a while now.  You know the kind I mean?  Long up to your elbows and has the hole for the thumb but leaves the fingers exposed and just basically look awesome.  I remember when I was kid back in the 80's I wanted a pair too.  Well she came to me this morning wondering where her black shorts were to wear with her back shirt (so she could look cool.)  She takes after her mother and father.  Well I got rid of said black shorts because they were embarrassingly to tight and small.  But........
She had a pair of leggings that had holes in both knees.  So I cut the leggings into shorts (which you can sort of see in the photo below.)
Then I took the bottom part of the leggings, turned one of them inside out and sewed it thinner on the seam. turned them back right side out and kept the hole in the knee for the thumb.  It took about 1minute all together.
 We would have made 2. but we decided to wait until after the cast comes off.  Although she told me that the cast already looked like a cool THAT'S why she loves the cast so much.
Now her rock star look is complete.  She is  MY LITTLE ROCK STAR you know.  She even did her "when I grow up"report (last year) on being a rock star and took my Ramones poster to school with her.  Ha ha!  I love her.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Watercolor Wednesday Week 28

Just one this week.  I've been super busy with back to school stuff, and a child with a Broken Arm.  I missed last week due to spending some much needed time with my children.
View my other paintings HERE.

First Day of School Pictures


First Grade

Second Grade

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First day of Second Grade

All the kids were curious about her broken arm.  She's just soaking up all the attention.  The girls feel sorry for her and boys all think she's tough.
 Lilly's teacher told the kids to hang up their back packs and choose anywhere to sit on the rug.  I love that Lilly chose to sit right in middle.  I think it says a lot about her.  She loves being right in the middle of the action.  I would have chosen a side spot or the very back.  She is such a social person and was not even sad when her best friend ( who didn't end up moving after all) wasn't in her class.  She just said "Oh well. I can make a new best friend" and last night she was so excited to go to school because she told me she couldn't wait to make lots of new friends. I was the polar opposite.  I hated having to make new friends.  I liked the ones I had and didn't like getting out of my comfort zone.  I'm so glad she takes after Jarrett.  Max on the other hand is just like me.

My thoughts on Pre-School and Supplemental Schooling

So are you going to do pre-school?
 I pretty much avoid this subject in conversations with people because I have some pretty strong opinions about it.  But since this is my blog, I'm going to speak my mind.
I know that I'm probably standing alone here, but I haven't, nor do I ever, intend to send my children to a Pre-school.  That is why I'm home.  Not because it's so much fun to be home (cause most days it's hard.  Really hard.  It's hard to stay home and not have adult interaction and to feel like your doing nothing all day but cleaning up messes you didn't make.)  Not because I can't find a job (I had one.  A good one.  That I quit to be at home with my children.)  And not because we don't need the money.  (We do. We almost never eat out, go out, or buy "extras" of anything.  We have to save up to go to the zoo, movies or anything that isn't in our budget of mortgage, food or bills.)
 I stay at home so that I can have as much influence on my children as possible before they HAVE to go into the world and deal with people.  Their early years are the most impressionable.  I want my children to learn how to act, behave and interact with other people from me, not from other children or other adults.  I feel that my children get all the "social-ness" they need before they are school-age from church ( in our CHURCH, kids go to Nursery, when they are 18 months old for 2 hours. They interact with , play with, and learn with other kids who are 18 months to 3 years.  Then when they turn 3 they go to Primary where they are with other kids their age.)  My children also have cousins whom they see on a regular basis and I get together with friends on occasion who have kids their ages.  We also go to the park and other places where kids frequent.  There are also children in the neighborhood and  they interact with one another.  Before they are 5 (school age) I feel this is enough.  I think a lot of how social you are has to do with your personality.  Lilly is super social and she had less social interaction before school than her brother Max, who is very shy has had.

I found an interesting ARTICLE here about how children learn Social skills.   This is a quote I found in that article:
While Children learn crucial skills through play with other children, they also learn a great deal through play with their parents.  Children whose parents frequently play with them have more advanced social skills and get along better with peers.
I  realize that children need to be with peers their own age which is why I won't do home school.  If I was a social enough person to provide adequate activities with other home schooled families I might consider it.  But I'm not a social person at all and so they go to school. 
I have nothing against people who send their children to Pre-school.  Everyone's situation is unique, as are their children.  We do an "unstructured" preschool at home.  From the time my children were about 4 months old we have read to them every night (with few exceptions) before bed.  They've come to expect it and look forward to it.   It's not seen as a chore but quite the opposite.   They love it and we love it.  I found a great article on reading to children HERE.
With both kids, we've bought them a work book like the one pictured below or something similar.   The KUMON series is good too. One that  teaches them numbers, shapes ,writing the alphabet, and other basic things they should know.  We do at least 2 pages every night and once again, it's part of the bedtime routine and they love doing it and it's not a chore or something that is dreaded.  I want to make learning fun.

We have also bought this series of work books and really like them:

Lilly has done the first grade one and is just starting this one.  We do 2 pages every night (on the nights she doesn't have school homework, which is weekends and holidays) and we work on them all through the summer.  It helps Supplement what might have been missed in Public School and reinforces what she already did learn and keeps it fresh in her mind.  It doesn't take long, maybe 10 or 15 minutes a day.  It makes a huge difference doing this and reading before bed.
Lilly was reading at an almost 4th grade reading level before first grade was over and Max who is 3 can recognize and write all upper and lower case letters  and knows the sounds they make.  He is also starting to recognizing some SIGHT WORDS and even knows how to spell quite a few.  He's just starting to learn the sounds of blended consonants.
There are a ton of really good web sites where you can print out worksheets for any grade on just about any subject.  Click HERE for a good one of just google search what you are looking for.
For pre school and earlier grades This web site is awesome.
So in answer to the question.  Yes, we do Pre-school, just at home.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Lilly's Birthday Cake Party

It's hard to believe that 7 years ago I held the most beautiful baby girl in my arms for the for the first time.  She has brought so much happiness and joy in our lives.  We had family and friends over for Birthday cake and ice cream.  But first I can't believe I forgot to mention one of Lilly's birthday presents.  Her new bike.  Her old one was much too small for her and it was time for a new one.  But due to her broken arm she can't ride it :(

Lilly's piggy birthday cake.  I was totally caught off guard when she said she wanted a piggy cake.

I think it turned out pretty good.  It was a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
One of Lilly's favorite gifts was the Spy Set from Grandma Andrews.  She and Max both love it!

 Jordan and his wife Sarah.  Jordan used to work with Jarrett, and he came over to our house a few times, and Lilly just loves him.  He has  come to everyone of Lilly's birthdays since she was 3.    His wife is really nice too and we really should get together with them more often.
 Max also likes them both.  He ran up to him and gave him a big hug when he first got there.  It was pretty cute.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Birthday Morning

We have a tradition that we started when Lilly was very young, maybe 2 or 3 where we decorate the living room with crepe paper and fill the living room floor with balloons the night before the kids birthdays.

 First thing in the morning

Lilly has always been a hard person to shop for.  She does not like super girly all.  She refuses to even go down the girl toy aisles at the store.  She has never liked dolls.  Even when she was a baby.  We bought her a doll for Christmas one year and she never played with it....EVER.  She does like pink, but that's as girly as she gets.  Which is fine with me, because I was always tom boyish too.  I remember one year for Christmas, my grandma got all the boy grandchildren remote control cars.  (I had 5 boy cousins and one girl cousin.)  I don't remember what I got but I remember  I did not like it.  I cried because I wanted a car.  So I wouldn't even know what to do with a girly girl.  We always take Lilly to the store and write down the things she wants and then go back after and choose like 5 things that she wants the most.  It makes it easy for us and easy for Grandma and aunts to shop for her too.  For her birthday Lilly got:

A globe
A Skelanimal kitty
BabyMouse Mad Scientist
Marvel comic character guide
DC Comic Character guide
A watch
New Dry Erase markers for her white board
Pokemon cards
She really wanted a Video Spy Watch but as it was pretty pricey, we decided to let Santa get it for her for Christmas.

Lilly's Birthday Party

We celebrated Lilly's Birthday which is today, by going to Chuck E Cheese yesterday.  She really wanted to go Rock climbing but with the broken arm and all, she went with her second choice.  Chuck E cheese.

Lilly was both unsure and intrigued by the robotic chuck E cheese and friends on the stage.
 Max was too apparently

Max had a love/hate relationship with the ticket counter machine.  He loved to put them in but was afraid of it pulling him in as well.