Saturday, February 26, 2011

A New Design

I needed some down time last weekend and decided to work on an assignment that Daphne got from a class that she is involved with. I took a cute top that looks great on Daphne and a cute pair of capri pants that look great on Victoria and decided to make an outfit just like it for the American Girl Dolls. It was fun. It was a great stress reliever. Which my mother said would have stressed her out just trying to figure out what fabric and thread to use.
My attitude was so much better afterwards.
I think it turned out cute. The flowered fabric I have had stashed away for about 15 years. It barely made a dent in the stash. It was fun. Now I am working on a flowered top with a pleated skirt for "Molly". I just have to dig for some red fabric.

100 Days of School

There are so many fun things to do when you are in Kindergarten.
I love this age. There are so many "firsts".
Learning feels new to Victoria even though she has been learning
and doing school for quite a few years now.
There are so many accomplishments and achieving milestones.
Victoria feels like a "big kid". Which is very important to be a big kid.
It is hard sometimes to help her be satisfied being a little kid who can do big kid things.
Well, we celebrated 100 days of school...a little late due to my work schedule
and over a week of a house full of sickies.
It was fun preparing for the day. She counted and grouped so many "things". Kaleb was constantly finding more things to count. She counted pom poms, glass rocks, pebbles, shells, fishy crackers, pretzels, fruit loops (which we discovered doesn't mesh well with her already active personality).
It was fun watching her weigh the items to see which ones weighed more,
or how many bags would equal the weight of a few others.
The gears were working and she was very proud of herself and her discoveries.
She also discovered that 100 piece puzzles really aren't as hard
as they once were. Now she is putting puzzles together right and left.
Everytime I turn around there is a completed puzzle on the table
in the midst of the school books.
I remember when the other kids discovered the same thing.
It is hard to believe that my baby is at that same milestone.
Jared helped me hide garage sale stickers numbered one to one hundred on them all around the house. We couldn't find number 98 for about three days.
Of course it was in a very obvious place that we had looked several times on the book case. I thought for sure that he hid it in some abnormal remote place of the world.
With Jared you never know.
Well, it took her half the day to find 99 of the stickers and place them on a hundred numbers chart in their proper place. Great learning activity. Kept her busy.
We discovered this book "The Wolf's Chicken Stew". The wolf decides to try to fatten up a chicken by making her 100 pancakes, 100 donuts, and a 100 pound cake. When he decided it was time to snatch his fat chicken he discovered that she had 100 chicks who ate all the goodies. They loved him for making all the goodies so he befriended them.
It was really cute.
Kirk helped Victoria make 99 little pancakes and 1 huge pancake to make 100.
The boys had not a single problem helping eat all those pancakes. They loved that they were bite sized. No cutting needed.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Blue and Gold Dinner

Kaleb has been Lone Scouting for quite a few years. He just recently joined a den for the next couple months before moving into Jared's Boy Scout Troop.
So he had his first Blue and Gold dinner.
That was very interesting. I could write a book but I won't.
Anyway, they had a Dad and Son cake baking contest. I loved that I didn't have to do any part of it. How awesome is that. Kaleb wanted to make his dragon cake again (I think theirs turned out better than the one I made) but the theme was "Innovations". They were also to make a Lego creation of some invention of some sort. Well, the first Outdoor Bar-B-Que was a little bit of a stretch. Not very technical. But it was darn creative and cute.
I don't think the judges "got it" but everyone else thought it was the best cake. You could barely tell what the other cakes were. They probably thought a professional made it. But then again they don't know our family. A bunch of creative over-achievers.
I thought the Bar-B-Que was an excellent addition to the cake.
Very creative.Kaleb led us all in the flag ceremony and
the pledge of allegiance "Under God"! thank you very much! He also received his arrow of light award and a cool arrow that the Dad's wrapped with colored thread. Jared kind of left that out of the picture.
So I will have to get it later.
It turned out pretty neat.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tye-dyed Fort

Jared helped Victoria and Kaleb build a really cool fort in the living room between the couch and the piano with a king size sheet. It was the most sturdy fort built in a really long time. It was up for two days before they decided to sleep in it. I even found Jared hiding in it reading his Biology book.
The night that Kaleb and Victoria slept in it only lasted to 3 a.m. I awoke to Kaleb and Victoria standing beside our bed telling me that he was stung by a bug in the fort. Kirk and I immediately thought of a scorpion so we jumped out of bed and got flashlights and turned all the lights on in the living room while I inspected Kaleb's ankle where this scorpion supposedly stung him. I didn't see a red spot even though he said that it hurt and burned and itched. Hmmm, okay.... we sent them to bed while Kirk and I began searching their fort. Okay, there was so much "stuff" in there how were we to ever find this scorpion. Last time Kirk was stung we searched for an hour and found it 2 days later. So the chances of finding this thing was looking pretty slim. We had to remove each stuffed animal, blanket, nerf gun and shake it completely and put it in a pile. We realized that there were two nerf guns right where Kaleb's feet would have been and decided that he probably bumped a sharp piece of plastic poking his ankle making him think that a bug stung him in his sleep. This coming from the very boy that still freaks out over knives and getting his nails trimmed. And if you really want to see a drama production just try to remove a splinter from his hand. So after a half hour we gave up and concluded in the morning that since there was no mark on his ankle and that he actually fell asleep minutes after sending him to bed, that it was safe to say it was a false alarm. Whew. I hate scorpions.

Veggie Tales

This is the funniest audio CD of 80's music.
Victoria has found this several times at the library and has forced her siblings to obsesively listen to it. It is actually pretty well done.
Instead of Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cindy Lauper, it is "Gourds" just want to have fun with Jerry the gourd singing.
I think the best one is Larry the cucumber singing Everybody Have Fun Tonight. He sings "everybody wang chung tonight" and then says he doesn't even know what "wang chung" is. He says it is a "combination between Kung Fu, chow mein and fried rice".
It cracks me up that our youngest daughter is rocking out to the same songs I listened to in high school... just veggie style!

Happy Valentine's Day

I love the thought of Valentine's Day, a day to let your loved ones know that you... love them. Ours are never romantic in any way. There are no rose petals scattered on the bed or candles lit. Not when there are two dogs who get wound up and start wrestling when you try to hug your husband. It isn't going to happen when there are 6 people in a 1500 sq foot living space including storage. Heck, I can't even close myself in the closet for alone time without being found, what makes one think that Kirk and I can have a conversation let alone a complete thought without the background ambiance of nerf wars with machine gun fire or screaming in a single breath as to why so and so feels "wronged". I love my family. No matter how loud they get.
So for us Valentine's day is a visual display of true realistic love. The kind of love that you give and get unconditionally. The kind of love that sacrifices and endures. A love that forgives no matter what.
Our morning was kept busy sorting candy hearts. We read a book from Church that was about St. Valentine's life and how the whole valentine card came about. I appliqued the ladybug on Victoria's shirt. I had seen a similar shirt in a window at Gymboree and guessed that it would be way too expensive to even set foot in the store and look at the price tag so we made our own. It even has glittery spots. Oooh. This was delivered to our front door sent by Kirk's youngest brothers family, Josh, Jolie, Justin and Paige. We have never received anything like it and loved every bit of it. It was so cute and clever how the pineapple flowers were made. It tasted amazeing especially the chocolate covered strawberries. The kids were counting out the slices so everyone had a fair share. Don't tell, but I snuck a couple extra pieces when no one was looking. I couldn't resist, the melon was so juicy. What better way to enjoy life...through comfort food. Chicken pot pie can make any day awesome. Especially with store bought biscuits. I felt my family deserved something sweet too so we ate homemade brownies for dessert.


I found this really neat kaleidoscope project that took up a single piece of tag board here. The project used the kids names in both English and written in Arabic. We had Dad make us a perfectly accurate triangular template on the computer. Because you know, it has to be done right. We couldn't just use a ruler like the rest of the population. SO anyway, the kids added their name somewhere if they wanted to along with their design on one piece and copied it eight times. They got new markers for Christmas so this was a perfect project to display the array of beautiful colors. It was fun. Of course Daphne took the assignment to a higher level.I don't even think I would have come up with what she did. This was a great assignment because it was achieveable by all age levels. I even got to help. Coloring is very relaxing. I am sure that you can figure out who's who. The completed circle is 22 in across.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy birthday Jared!

Jared is 15!!!
I love this picture of him.
It is hard sometimes to catch him
genuinely smiling.
I love it!
He is a really great kid. He is growing into a really nice young man. I can't wait to see who he becomes. When he was little his favorite thing to say was
"God don't make junk".
His favorite song that he would sing over and over again was... "stand on the rock, for the word of God" and he would stomp his foot down on the ground like he was stomping a rock.
He would laugh hysterically over a
"blue footed booby".
It just struck him funny and would end up making all of us laugh with him.
When he was a toddler in the church nursery he would step on the crawling babies backs and push them to the ground like little bugs to watch them get back up on all fours to crawl again. ( I didn't know about that one for quite a while. ) He pretty much made us unwelcome in a Mommy's group because he loved to make dirt clouds by scuffing his feet. I guess the other Mothers didn't like that their children getting dirty. I couldn't make him stop. He was deeply facinated by the rising dust in the air. I learned to tolerate dirt. Now he is a clean, responsible, dependable guy who people enjoy being around. He doesn't have a dust cloud hanging around him anymore but if something is going to fall off the counter or break I can guarantee you that he is pretty close by with that look of "how the heck did that happen...I wasn't even near it!"

Arctic Animals

It started off that only Victoria was going to make little arctic animals with styrofoam balls and pipe cleaners. Then Kaleb came in to see what we were doing and he was inspired. Then Daphne came out to see what was going on so she sat down and made a snowy owl. Then Jared...was hungry so he stopped by on the way to the kitchen and was inspired as well by these little creatures. I think he made an arctic fox which Sammy later chewed to bits. Darn dog! I am always so happy when all four of my kids come together and share their time with eachother. It is hard sometimes to actually think up something that will interest the wide range of ages. I didn't even have to try. It just happened and I am so thankful that they had an opportunity to just be together. I loved sitting back and watching them work, chat and laugh. I was pretty pleased that all of them were engaged with a simple craft that brought them together.

Arctic Exploration

I love Kindergarten.
Victoria has been learning about the Arctic and the difference
between the Arctic and Antarctica.
She did a lapbook on Polar Bears and read one of our all time favorite story
The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett.
It is pretty much the story of Goldilocks but with Polar Bears.
In her lapbook she made a comparison between the two books using a venn diagram.
We did an experiment using vegetable shortening where you coat a ziplock bag with it and then cover it with another bag. You then put your hand into the "blubber" bag and stick it into ice water to see how long you can tolerate the freezing water. It was worth seeing the look on her face when she discovered why arctic animals have a layer of blubber under their fur.
We had to put all of this left over styrofoam to good use so Jared helped Victoria build an Arctic habitat complete with a penguin slide and seal blow holes...or what ever you call them.

The Pizza Man

A Victoria Creation.