Saturday, July 28, 2012

The One Where Jade Turns 16.

Wednesday was Jades birthday. Did I mention that she is 16? When did I get old enough to have a 16 year old? 
The week of her birthday was pretty hectic, and I didn't even get her cake baked until the afternoon of her birthday! Monday night, our AC went out, and it started warming up in the house, so there was NO way I was going to bake her a cake on Tuesday. The repairman didn't even pull up until around three pm on Tuesday. Luckily it was an easy fix and it was only 94 that day. We survived...that's what we are, survivors, lol!
So Wednesday afternoon we had a small party for her at my place where I gave her some gifts, and the kids drew cards and books for her. We had planned on having another family there originally but it ended up being only us which was way calmer and less stressful than it would have been if they had come, there's only so much chaos one can take, my kids carry enough chaos with them without added unruliness. Jade was actually extremely happy it worked out that way. 
After our impromptu party we had an appointment to make, and there was the business of changing our telephone numbers that rendered us phone-less for 30 minutes. 30 minutes without a phone when your kid is one place and you are another is kinda stressful, and add on the fact I was waiting for important phone calls as well, but I survived. It's amazing that we depend so much on technology. 
After the phone fiasco, we all loaded up in the car and took the littles to Grandma and Grandpa's house, they were super excited, they rarely get to see them , just about every 3 months or so, and they had been begging me to take them. Then Jade and I were on our way to pick up Mallissa from her house to celebrate with us (can you believe even after recovering from major surgery she was still able to come be with Jade on her day, Love her to death!). One more pit stop to get Jades friend Austin and we headed to Joes crabshack for dinner. Mallissa and I spent the time there trying to embarrass Jade:) We had fun, and Jade did too, until the Crab Shack staff got ahold of her, lol! 
Then it was off to the movies where we loaded up on popcorn and slushies and watched Ted. OMG, it was so funny, I wasn't sure how interesting they could make a movie about a talking bear, but it was good. We let Jade and Austin sit by themselves so Mallissa and I could catch up. It was an amazing night full of laughter, and good friends and we finally pulled in the driveway around 2am! Jade was happy she got to spend it with her boyfriend and her "Auntie Mallissa". I was just glad to get out of the house without the little's!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Milla's First day of Pre-K (At Home of course!)

Today we started an "official" PreK routine. Milla already works on letters, numbers and math on a daily basis, everything being built into her routine already, but this morning we started working more in depth and set aside a chunk of time in the morning to work together one on one. When I say one on one I really mean that I worked with Milla while Christien and Zoe interrupted us constantly. Christien just to interupt, but Zoe actually made a couple of ABC books for Milla to review, lol!

 I had planned an "official" back to school photoshoot, but as you can see, Milla decided a career option for her would be professional hairstylist. I think she succeeded in the "Scene" hair, all she needs is a little hair dye in black or pink and she is the epitome of style. Wouldn't you agree??

As part of our letter review we decided to make an ABC book. We found a lot of inspiration on Pinterest but I ended up using a ton of resources from Homeschool Creations, today in particular The Letter A. We used her printable Do A Dot letters, her apple core craft, and lots of other ideas. I recommend you check her out! All her printables are FREE!
Here are a few scenes into our morning.
 We started off the session writing the letter A on her white board. We didn't spend much time on the letter A today because she already has most of the beginning of the alphabet and letter sounds down. This was really a review and so we can make her Alphabet book. (A 3 ring binder with page protecters sectioned off for each letter of the alphabet. We put her crafts and work into it for her to review).

 Here she is working on her Letter A collage and her fine motor skills. Her little tongue kept flicking in and out of her mouth as she cut, it was very amusing to watch :)

 A is for acorn. I am actually surprised at the skill level of her cutting as we have not worked on this much in a formal setting. We have art supplies at hands reach for all the kids to use whenever they want. This makes us an extrememly popular house for the neighborhood kids because their parents dont let them paint, cut and create at home whenever they want (how sad!).

 There is her little tongue flicking out :) Told ya she was cute!

 The Do-A-Dot activity sheets from Homeschool Creations. She loved this activity, our Do-A Dots are very well loved around here!

 I told you Zoe made her some books. This one even had some activities in it for her to complete. Zoe is a great teacher! She made up a game called Learning frog when she was in Kindergarten and walked around with a frog floaty around her waist while she taught Milla to sing songs and do simple math and counting.

 Using the glue stick to create the Apple craft from Homeschool Creations. It's such a cute craft!

 And this, my friends is why we always buy non toxic supplies, on occassion my little humans like to "taste" the supplies. Mostly for the giggles and the shock factor, although I may be wrong. Black stamp ink MAY be delicious for all I know....

The last thing we did before starting story time was make these apple prints for our book. Milla wasn't as into this as I thought she would be, but eh.... She was more interested in story time with her favorite books....

Tomorrow we move onto reviewing the letter B and creating more pages for our ABC book. Honestly though, Milla prefers just using Hooked on Phonics and reading books all day:)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sweet Caroline

The past few weeks have been crazy, I had planned to make my mom an amazing gift and get it in the mail BEFORE mothers day this year, but I couldn't get it finished in time. I really had a good excuse this year, among other things I am not going to mention, I think I had an ovarian cyst that must have either gotten large, or burst. I was in immense pain for 3 days before it slowly went away. Yeah, I know, TMI, that's what I am good for.

So this week I finished up my moms gift and I am so proud of it. The pattern I used was a Dolls and Daydreams pattern. It is actually the Superhero pattern with slight modifications
I made it using a vintage dress my grandmother made and wore in the 60's or 70's. The fabric was moth eaten in places so I was glad to salvage what I could and I was hoping that it would be a special gift for my mom. And I named her after my grandmother (well her middle name anyway, which she shares with my oldest). What do you think?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Green Thumbs

Seeds of Change: Collards, Nevada Lettuce, Yellow Squash, Green Peas, Cilantro, Eggplant, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers and basil.

I admit, I know absolutely NOTHING about gardening. Do you think that stopped me from jumping in head first and calling it a unit study for the kids? NO WAY!! We are adapting this    Unit Study from The University of Illinois Extension. It includes lot's of fun activities and a teachers guide:) SO,  Matt built me a 8ft by 4ft raised garden bed last week, and I went out and bought all the fixins for an organic garden. The kids and I started in on our unit yesterday and today, we finally started planting the seeds.. (a little late I think). I figure I can add starter plants in with seedlings at a later date if they don't do so well.

The girls lasted a lot longer than Christien in this project, I imagine he will enjoy the compost bin slightly more than the girls, so it will all even out in the end. (see I think I messed up right there.. I want a 100% organic garden, if I add regular kitchen waste to my compost bin, I think that cancels out the organic aspect of it, because I only buy certain organic veggies and fruits). Oh well, like I said, I have NO idea what I am doing ;)

Whats in your garden??

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

        Valentines Day is a silly little made up holiday that we usually never really pay much mind to around here. I mean the kids, when they went to public school, did their little Valentines exchange and party, but at home, well, we didn't do much. This year, however was a little different.
The kids have not met anyone their age around here and we spend most of our days in the house or running errands. When we moved, it was so the kids could be closer to family, but so far, it has just been us. We spend every day together in the same old routine despite being so close to everyone. So, this Valentines day was a reason to get out and do something fun.
        We woke up to a flower delivery of some beautiful tulips and lillies from Daddy. Then I shared the vintage inspired gifts I chose for the kids, A little tin robot for Christien, A hand made, hand felted elephant from Nepal for Zoe, a hand crafted stuffed pig for Milla (Which she named Piggy Spoon You, from some Japanese Animation show she is currently addicted to), and a journal with matching pen for Jade, along with some unique treats from all over the globe. I intentionally avoided the mass commercialized chocolates in the heart box, silly overpriced stuffed animals and cheesy gifts that are only fun on Valentines Day. I got them quality things that they can enjoy daily. They loved them. One thing I can say about my children is that they can truly appreciate things because things are not handed to them right and left. (I could go on and on about this, but, I won't, lol!).
          Almost as soon as they finished ooohing and aaahhing over their gifts, 2 large boxes arrived on our doorstep. Inside were 4 boxes of delicious chocolate covered strawberries from Daddy. These berries were HUGE. Milla can barely fit one in her hand. It also came with one of those reusable shopping bags that fold up into the shape of a strawberry. That little bag came in handy later on that evening. I folded it up and popped it in my purse, not even thinking about it.
          The kids were super excited about the rest of the day....except Christien, lol!! We went to see Beauty and the Beast in 3D. Belle was Zoe's absolute favorite princess when she was 2 and went through the Disney Princess phase. (Much to my dismay, lol) I guess Belle would be my favorite Disney Princess too, because she was smart, loved books and was brave enough to step up and sacrifice herself for her family....all the other princesses seemed to be victims. Who would want their little girl idolizing those girls??
          Before the movie we stopped and had dinner, and walked around Mystic Falls, the kids were super impressed by the cheesy stuffed animals, lol. We ended up missing the show, but I promised to take them back another night. We then had a little time to stop in the arcade where Zoe won THREE stuffed animals in ONE grab on the claw machine on her first try. She was so excited. I have never seen a kid squeal like that, lol! (This is also where the strawberry bag came in handy, we were able to throw all the toys the kids won into the bag- we had over 400 tickets from about 20 minutes in the arcade).
          After the Arcade, we headed to the theater, where the kids HAD to ride up and down the escalators and watch the glass elevators for quite a bit...hey, they don't get out much apparently:) It was hilarious to see their faces pressed up against the elevators as people stopped on their floor, everyone was thrilled to see the little kids so excited and kept smiling and waving at them, and of course making sticky out tongue faces at them as well, lol!
          After the movie, (which despite his protests in the beginning, Christien loved) we went to Coldstone and had a night cap:) We had a fabulous day and all the children behaved so well. I love those guys so much, and I am glad they were my Valentines date this year....(my first Valentines date ever in my 33 years!).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Afternoons of Art Week 1

Today since my friend Amanda's little boy didn't have school and I have been slacking on getting this weeks lesson plans together for mine, we decided to get the kids together for a little art project and then while the kids all played we made a project I found on pinterest last week. We had planned for Friday get togethers, but this week we improvised.
I decided that a simple project for the kids would be better than a more elaborate one since we had 2 preschoolers and 2 older kids (7 and 9). I cut out hearts from the many cardboard boxes we have lying around and I made confetti out of pink and red construction paper. The plan was to glue the little pieces of paper onto the hearts in kind of a mosiac, the kids had other!

Milla painted her heart red all over then stuck 2 pieces of paper onto it...and she was finished! Lol! She is more of a rough and tumble girl than an artsy girl, she wanted to play kickball in the backyard the whole time.

Zoe was more meticulous with her design and created an original piece of art. In fact, she made a couple of them.

I think William lasted about 10 seconds less than Milla did, his heart was fabulous with red polka dots.

Christien surprised me and actually sat down and made one as well, he usually has nothing to do with my little projects. He painted his heart red and made a smiley face with the little paper squares.

Zoe proudly displaying her masterpiece....This is the first one that she made.

Then after the kids were all crafted out, Amanda and I made these paper stars which now hang in my dining room. Well, the ones I made hang there anyway, Amanda took hers home, lol! You can find the instructions for these stars here..... Mine are made from 12 by 12 paper instead of 6 by 6 like in the tutorial. Amanda made little baby ones using smaller pieces of paper, I think I may steal her idea :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

So far in Jan 2012......

Things have been hectic around here to say the least, days and nights all rush together and I am lucky if I get a chance to just breathe, and this blog has been in the back of my mind beckoning me to write like I promised myself I would. And guilt of not keeping up has prevented me from sitting down and just remembering. So, today I have decided to play catch up. And I won't beat myself up about not posting regularly because. after all, I am writing now, and one way or another it will get recorded for the kids to look back on.

Jan 1-7th was spent finalizing our move. A move that was unexpected and undecided up until the last minute...We packed up our belongings and started to make room for whatever changes may come our way. It was a sad week, but also a relief on my part, Arizona is not a place we enjoy living.  The kids were bummed that they missed saying goodbye to their best friends who were visiting their father in California the week leading up to our move, and the guilt of being a mommy and trying to do the best for my children hit me full force. Sometimes it's more than I can stand, but I try to be strong.
Here is a little recap of that week: Saying goodbye to Arizona..
Carving we found on our nature walk through the Wetlands. We had a day of exploring to say goodbye to our city.

The three little's had so much fun exploring nature. In Arizona, the weather isn't always cool enough to go on outdoor adventures.

Mimi checking out the water, she brought her "Chocolate Puppy" along for the ride:)

Footprints we found, the kids enjoyed trying to figure out what type of animal these came from.

In December we adopted a little 5 pound mutt from the Humane Society, she has since become a member of our family.  This was right after her trip to the groomers.

At the end of week one of 2012, my friend welcomed us into her house very last minute due to a situation that arose at the original place we had planned. She is a very brave woman! This is Mimi and William snuggling up on the chair sharing a game on the ipad. They are 5 months apart. It's weird how much they look alike. 

Jan 8th-22nd:
I don't have many photos during this time as it was spent unpacking and settling in and driving 35 minutes each way at least 2-4 times a day, and dealing with  trying to establish a routine for my family and avoid interruptions that come up when dealing with a large family.
Milla and Yoda playing house in our new house:) Yoda is an amazing dog and loves the kids even when they do this to!

Finally found a use for all of those old windows that have been sitting around in my mother in laws garage for years, created a little office decor with them.

We explored a local park near our new place and Zoe gathered a few pinecones. The girl loves nature and animals and always collects little treasures like this.

Christien climbing the rock wall, the boy loves to climb:)

Zoe and Milla, bedraggled and messy, but showing a sweet moment of sisterly love. We had been unpacking the house all day and this was right before bedtime. I was sore and exhausted and this made me pretty happy:)

Milla and Maceo snuggling on the bed. We still cosleep, yep, that's right, I sleep with my 4 year old and 9 year old and a dog and a cat every night, lol!! I wouldn't have it any other way.

A 2012 pic of Mia, adopted from the shelter in Dec of 2010, she has become a best friend to me and the kids and is the perfect description of unconditional love.

Milla displaying her artistic abilities with her cute little tongue stuck out in concentration. I love this little girl a lot!