Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Couponing in the 4-Wheel Sauna

The bold is Brian's version of our conversation and the reality of couponing with the family today:)

Kelly: "Oh, Honey, why don't you come shopping with us go we can spend time together."
Ok, so we did have alot to do; triples at Harris Teeter, our regular grocery day(Walmart and sometimes Food Lion deals), university bookstore and do some returns!!! I knew having Brian with me would be a big help. I also wanted to purchase some curtains and I'd rather make BIG purchases WITH him:)

Kelly: "Ok, let me run into the store and leave you in the 4-wheel sauna with the three screaming kids so I can get some deals."
LOL. So there were a few times I was able to run into the store alone:) Thank you, Brian. It is MUCH easier to shop (nevertheless try to coupon with the kids)! Brian kept the kids entertained with videos, snacks and potty breaks:)

And we did get some great deals!! One of the best required NO coupons (although I would have gladly used some to make the deal better). I bought 10 boxes of Green Giant frozen veggies for $1 a piece (normally $2) and then recieved $4 off at the register!! So I paid $6 and saved 13.96... just on veggies! Another was the chicken and toilet tissue (with coupon) at Food Lion!!

The sauna comment was about how NICE it was outside, which usually means that the van heats up pretty quickly. Gotta love my hubby's humor:)

One hour later, Kelly: "Look at all my savings, maybe I'll be able to pay your psychaitric bill."
ha ha haaa... I seriously don't think the kids were that bad:) But being in the van with the kids for 30 minute blocks at a time (versus working in a quiet office all day) can be a little hairy! Especially when it's soo nice outside and they are itching to get out of the van and PLAY!

Let me also say that I stayed with the kids once or twice and I helped during the potty breaks:) I was NICE to have Brian with us..... we could get used to a day off for Daddy (come MAY come)!

We did have a LONG day!! We left the house a little before 8am and pulled back into the driveway about 4pm!!! Phew!!! But it's nice to have all the grocery shopping done for the week knowing I saved 119.41 for the DAY and that doesn't include simple money saving tips like buying generic, etc!

I usually hear people say they saved that much and wonder how much they spent... my total out-of-pocket was $111.80... more than I WANT to spend in a week, but there is NO way we'll be using 8+ lbs of boneless chicken, 7 pkgs of pasta, 12 double rolls of toilet paper, or 21 pkgs of frozen vegetables in one week!! LOL

As soon as my Brian started this silly rant....LOL he knew he'd be on the blog:) Anyway, I thought it was funny, especially since he was up 30 minutes earlier than normal to go couponing!!! He's a very gracious husband to change his plans for the day for couponing and family time in the van:)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Company is Gone:(

We had a FULL house this weekend... the five of us with Grandma, Grandaddy, Uncle Scott and Aunt Bea. While we enjoy having family visit, the house is super busy and loud!! The kids love having the extra attention and are that much sillier and louder!!

We had plenty of fun playing outside and watching the kids get muddy. I had Grandma and Daddy help to clean up the kids... one of the benefits of having more people is more help:) Even in the kitchen, while we cook bigger meals, it's nice to have 3 ladies and our husbands helping when we ask!!

The house is "quiet" again. The kids slept in until 7:30am this moring... so nice!! They must have been exhausted too from all the weekend fun! The laundry is getting washed, folded and put away. And the floors are cleaned from all the wet grass we all dragged in (it was a wet weekend... no trampoline... sad, we wanted to show everyone their tricks).

As usual, I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to. There is just AWAYS something to do when we have company:) We did get a lot done though... we got Gran-grandma's 100th birthday book completed! We did a light Harris Teeter run Friday night.... I think with Grandma and my orders we saved close to $67+ !!

Sunday after church we went outside to get a picture of the kids with Grandma and Grandaddy!! Here's the best one:)

Thank you to Grandma, Grandaddy, Uncle Scott and Aunt Bea for coming to see us. We enjoyed our visit with you! We hope to see you soon!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nature-Made Swimming Pool

We've had a lot of rain the last few days, it's been WET! Besides riding bikes and going to town, we haven't been outside too much. So this morning with the highs in the 70's the kids had a blast in the "swimming pool made by nature"!!

Here are some of my favorite pictures:

Christopher, King of the Puddle!!! And it's a loosing battle trying to get Daddy with the squirt gun! But he always tries soo hard!!

Dirty but Beautiful Little Anna!! I was amazed at how much she was in the puddle ;)

Lydia sat out during the puddle games:) But she spent a long time riding her bike. Eventually she ventured near to try to get Daddy with the squirt gun!

We had soo much watching them in the puddle. They were soo silly as they entertained all their audience:)
Although some may think I'm CRAZY to let my kids get soo dirty... oh, man, I just think that they only get a few years to be silly and get away with playing for over an hour in a mud puddle... WHY NOT?? Cheap entertainment and funny memories!!! Especially on "bath day" when they need baths anyway!!

Friday, March 27, 2009


The kids finally welcomed Grandma and Grandaddy to our house! To little kids days seem like YEARS.... they met Grandma and Grandaddy in the driveway:)

This weekend we will be spending time with Daddy's family! This evening we welcomed Uncle Scott and Aunt Bea, too!!

We've got a FULL house. But nothing makes Grandma happier than to have BOTH her children and all her grandkids with her:) And the kids are as happy as clams having soo many people to entertain!!

And entertain they will!! We've got improptu dance recitals. Letter Factories being built. Plenty of chase. Lots of yummy meals!!

Maybe I'll have some funny videos... I'll have the camera ready for some of the dancing... it's always interesting.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

While Daddy is Away...

Mommy will....

not cook

Actually it was Anna's idea on Tuesday night to make dinner for all the kids.She told me that I needed to "take a break and go exercise". LOL!! So she got to work making Christopher, Lydia and herself jelly sandwiches to go with their bologna:) She had a blast being big enough to "fix dinner for everyone"!!

I did not give the kids bologna all week... but I did NOT turn on the oven (just the toaster oven for chicken nuggets)! The kids did talk me into making pancakes so I did do a little cooking... it was nice to break from cooking for a bit!

and watch "whole" movies :)
So I did watch a movie or two... the whole movie in ONE night...LOL. Brian Loves movies MORE than I do, but he'll watch 30 or so minutes at a time. When it's a war, sci-fi, historical movie that is fine with me (small doses...hehee).

But when it's a great drama or love story... oh, it's painful to not watch it all the way through. Although I do enjoy being able to watch a good movie longer. And it's fun to chat about how the movie will unfold as we put the kids to bed (they already know we watch movies at night...LOL)

So what did I enjoy watching enough to keep me up??? I watched an Indie Romance called Bella. While I obviously don't agree with the situations people found themselves in, I found the movie to be very clean!! Super clean for PG-13... I really don't remember ANY cursing, no sexual scenes, no malicious killing, and the characters were all sweet... except for "the villian", of course, but he was family:) I totally recommend it... and might "force" Brian to watch it as well. Gotta LOVE Netflix and their Watch Instantly titles;)

and stay up too LATE!!
Yes, I have been staying up late. I don't like being the only adult in the house.... so I stay up until I'm exhausted!!

Regardless of all the FUN Mommy had, it is nice to have Daddy home!! After 4 days of being home alone with the kids I'm ready for some backup:)

Where is Lyddddiaaaa?

When the house is quiet I HAVE to check on the kids and what they are up to. Anna working on straightening her room. Christopher quietly playing with books in his room.

But where is Lydia??

In my bathroom, sitting on the potty!! Of course!!

ALL my kids loved flipping through the Reader's Digest as they sit on the potty. It's the right size for their little laps and always has a variety of pictures for them to name.

NOt sure if RD will ever use that for their advertising!! LOL

Don't you like the evidence that she dressed herself. Gotta love the tag sticking out the front of her shirt!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Humor to Calm the Storm

Last night after our hectic day out, Anna and I sat at the table to get a "little" learning in:) I could tell Anna wanted to do some work but that I couldn't push her too hard....

So she did some fun activities and then I asked her to read our corresponding story and she was making excuses and getting fussy. Finally she said, "Mommy, this is going to take me 41 hours!!"

I knew I had to be gentle but wake her up to the exaggeration of her excuse. At these points MY character is tested.... am I going to fuss at her, be stern, be harsh, or throw in the towel?? Or will I respond in a way that calms the storm??

So I used some humor and exaggeration myself. "Oh, goodness," I responded as I slumped in my chair,"I'll be 100 years old by then!"

Anna stopped, looked up at me and gave me the funniest look. And then she just erupted in laughter and laid her head against me.... so much better than more fussing, crying or even tears. And definitely better than me "loosing my cool" with sharp words of frustration!

Let me also quickly say, that there are times to discipline and correct for whinning and complaining. But doing schoolwork at 8pm, for us, requires mercy, gentleness and a little humor:)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Not too Bad... considering

There ended up being more against us than planned, but the kids and I hung in there (literally,too)!

Anyway, I was sooo thankful that I left earlier enough to make a trip to Harris Teeter. I picked up some deals, a cheap 60 cent bag of snacks and some water (since I had left their sippy cups full on the counter at the house).

We got into the back within a resonable time. Just enought time to get all the paperwork done (those evaluations)! And the kids did their height and weight... well Lydia wouldn't stay on the scale, so I weighed in first (grrr) and then I held her!! The kids got to the exam room stripped to their undies and we waited.... and waited...

We read books (finished our LeapFrog pledges for the day)! And enjoyed our new favorite snacks!

And then the girls playing with the LeapFrog Tag and Christopher busy with colored pencils and a pad of paper:)

BTW... colored pencils are the best to take with you. Crayons smell weird... ehehe... markers mark... colored pencils plus an eraser are the way to go!! (not sure how many times I've been caught by a doctor or nurse trying to get marker marks off their tables with a wipe)

Finally the doctor came in VERY apologetic!! I've never had to wait that long so I knew something fishy was up. I guess they had a mix-up to where we were waiting... finally the kids running to and from the bathroom in their undies caught someone's attention!

Christopher did soo well!! He was soo quiet and obedient during the exam... WOW!!I was soo proud of him! After it was over he jumped down and started throwing his clothes on. He was trying to show the doctor that he could dress himself and he DID in a matter of seconds as he chattered:)

Little Lydi-bug didn't fare so well. She fussy and cried the whole time. I held her more most of the exam, just to get it done! Anna took the pic... I wish it wasn't soo blurry. Do you see that sad, sad face:( Not a happy camper!

Daddy missed an interesting trip:) But I really was pleased with the trip. And no shots which made everything a whole lot easier!!

We met our friends for a fun lunch and playtime at Chick-Fil-A!! And then I "dragged" the kids around town scooping up some OK deals.

They were only OK because triples at harris Teeter starts tonight at midnight and runs until Tuesday!! So I'm hoping to get a chance or two to visit HT again with my coupons in hand:) And the savings will be 1/3 more!!

Off to the Doctors will ALL 3!!!

This AM we have a well doctor's appointments for both Lydia and Christopher.... I've rescheduled it plenty to plan for Brian to come with me.... it gets busy with all three in the room with the doctor....LOL

ANyway, Brian isn't able to come with me today..... so we'll see how it goes. I've been talking it up with Lydia and Christopher BIG time. Pretending to look in their eyes, ears and mouth like the doctor would. Or having them respond politely when the doctor or nurse asks to get their weight, height or lay down on the table.....

I personally depise going to the doctor. So maybe the kids get it from me??? Anyway, this morning I'm praying for wisdom, flexibility and patience with the kids as we head to our appointment!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Glimpse of our Weekend Potty Training

Let me first explain that the charts were brought out after successes and more interest was shown by BOTH kids!!!

But the weekend was another pottying challenged weekend.

Chris just needs something to motivate him! I have tried a lot of things, but nothing seems to really encourage him to try.

The verse that repeat itself in my head was "your sin will find you out"... the reasoning was that Chris would have dirty pants but pretend that he was fine and clean. No one would know until he'd run by us... yuck.

Lydia loves her chart. She does her business. Announces it to everyone. Asks for 2 stickers. Then asks for her gummies...LOL

And her little phrases are just too cute! "I made my stinky, I get two gummies now." And then she flashs that little smile just to be sure she'll get her gummies.

This isn't potty training related, but my other favorite phrase of Lydia's has to do with the penny jars (for good manners).

Lydia pretends to cough. "augh augh" Then she says,"Cuse me...[not even a breath] I get a penny in me jar."


Have you heard of lapbooks???

From what I've gathered, they are folders that contain little books, pamphlets, collages, etc that fit together with a story or a theme that your kids make to help them remember parts of a story or theme. Theya re also helpful in reviewing themes.

A couple of weeks ago the kids and I started talking about simple machines... LOL... I know where did that come from...LOL The kids saw it on a show of Sid the Science Kid. It go them talking about levers, wedges and wheels. They have been soo engaged in this topic....

so I thought LAPBOOK....

Then I thought, what is a lapbook??? How do we even start to make one???

From Preschoolers and Peace, I came across this website FILLED with FREE lapbook resources HERE and lapbook that correspond to themes or books (organized by grade) HERE. I really like how much this website ties to Five IN a Row... so you could easily read a book all week and work on the corrsponding lapbook from HomeschoolShare and have a FiveINaRow-like study!!

WOW! Anyway, it's a place for us to get started!! And maybe soon we'll have us a lapbook on simple machines (the one topic they don't already have a lapbook design for..LOL) !! Lets just say our 1st lapbook will be pretty simple... Heheheee

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Random Picture Challenge

So here is the Challenge from 4 Little Men & Girly Twins for today....

3rd folder

1st picture with Brown in it

So everyone now knows the 3rd folder in my picture album is Church photos:) And I did the first pic brown pic... no editting, or anything:)

It's a beloved pic of my church. We moved here to serve when my daughter was only 2 months, it amazing to think that in 2 months she'll be celebrating her 5th birthday!! We have been soo blessed to be a part of this small church and community...we are small but very loving and encouraging. And I am alway soo thankful for their examples of generousity, faithfulness, kindness and a strong work ethic!

Are are further blessed by how much they love us and our kids. They are just soo sweet to the kids!! Even when my kids are the typical pastor kids....

*Before church they walk around the sanctuary shaking hands with everyone.
*Christopher runs up and down the aisles before church, although we ask him not to.
*After each prayer or song, inevitably Lydia or Christopher auditibly ask, "Time to go home?"
*My sweet Anna tries to sing with the choir, it's from memory because she can't read that fast yet...LOL
*They lay on their tummies to color during service and yes, occassionaly argue over colors or hand out their works of art while Daddy is speaking.
*After church they stand on the stage and peer down into the baptistry, scaring all the members to DEATH.

Gotta love those PKs!!

Come Spring Come!

We are ready for the warmer weather.
The flowers and trees in bloom.
Not having to bundle up when we play outside.
And flip flops:)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Focus Friday

Focus Friday

I did what I needed to get done and a ton extra this week. I've been in a craze to clean the house. I wish it was nesting, but it's not:( Maybe I have the Spring Cleaning bug....

So while I didn't get the pics off the old computer AGAIN this week, I did sort through the 4T clothes and got them packed away. And I DID make a decision about painting my bedroom....

I really need to paint the walls that need it the MOST. So I am going to work on getting the dining room painted first, it really needs it. Last week Christopher posted his artwork on the wall with a glue stick. Is there paint that lets you just wipe down the wall?? And I don't need to worry about color becuase we've already decided on a light sage, but NOT mint.

This Weeks Goals:
1. Cleaning, Cleaning, cleaning... really want the house to be in order when we have Grandma and Grandaddy visit this week
2. I've been challenged lately to pray MORE for my children, so I'm hoping to make myself prayer reminders throughout the day... here is where I am going to start

Join in the Focus Friday fun at Thrifty and Chic Mom.

The Surprised Onion Eater & Allergy Surprise

In different conversations I've had with other mothers of young children, I hear the same thing I struggle with. How do I balance my time teaching the older kids challenging stuff (for them) and teaching the youngest the basics?? There always seems like there is someone who has to wait for the others, or the little one is left to play Legos and just learn through osmosis.

Thank goodness, Lydia's been picking up stuff along the way. But lately I've been working with her on simple things that I'd hate NOT to do with her like I was able to do with Anna... like opposites (hot/cold, up/down,etc), colors, shapes and animal sounds.

Today as I prepared lunch, Lydia and I practiced facial expressions and basic moods (happy, sad, angry/mad, surprised). Of course when Daddy came home for lunch we had to share our new talent...

Looks like have some work to do!! But isn't she just a doll baby?? Gotta love her turtleneck put on backwards... she likes wearing it like this?

I wanted to do a quick update on Lydia's eating. She's been surprising us with some of the "new" foods she's willing to try. But she's missed out on plenty of sweet treats after supper. She still enjoying the carbs!

The funniest thing she likes to eat is cooked onions. She'll pick out the onions and chicken/beef in fajitas to eat them. She's asked for more onions!!! Today we ate enchiladas that had a strong onion flavor (at least for Daddy)! Lydia ate them right up... LOL!!

Speaking of the enchiladas..... we used a mix we've using for years. But recently the mix has been made differently. Brian noticed it immediately with the new onion presence. I checked the package AFTER lunch for the onion ingredients, but noticed that they had added CHEESE in the mix. CHEESE!!!???? WHAT!!!

Anyway, all the kids ate the enchiladas.... so we rushed around checking them. No breakouts??? So either the milk ingredients are soo small that they didn't affect the kids' milk allergies, or maybe?maybe?maybe? the kids aren't as sensitive as they used to be.

PHew!! I was soo glad they didn't react. I would hve felt HORRIBLE since i didn't check the mix. But like I said, we've used it plenty of times before. Just a quick reminder to me to ALWAYS read the label!! ALWAYS!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dollar Tree & Making a Letter Factory

My kids LOVE LOVE LOVE the LeapFrog Letter Factory video.... I've gushed over it plenty I know. It's crazy though how much they picked up from it. We haven't watched it in months and Christopher can still quote it:)

I took the kids to the Dollar Tree with dollars that had been given to them. And I did the worst thing a mom can do (but it's a good learning experience for the kids and good for me to see their little minds at work)..... I told them that they each had $1 and could only purchase 1 item.

When they first walked in their eyes were HUGE... they could pick whatever they wanted!! There were a few items I had to talk them out of... Christopher wanted a bat and ball (we have three sets in the garage) and he wanted a scrub brush...LOL... should have let him have that...LOL

Anyway, Anna picked out a little Disney Princess figurine and Lydia chose a stick horse to "ride" (soo cute!! for a $1). Christopher had to make a decision about a noisy gun (please no) or a letter puzzle. Honestly, I was going to let him have his choice!! But he put down the gun and was soo excited about the letters......

Those poor letters have been used soo much!!! They have been played with everyday by every kid! Chris has SLEPT with them at least 2 nights and one nap....LOL

The first night he made us a "letter factory"... AKA he tried to put the letters in ABC order. So cute!!!

Looks like we have some more praciticing to do:)

Out to enjoy our BEAUTIFUL weather:)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Return of the Gummies

For weeks Lydia has been neglecting her potty training. She doesn't remember to go potty on her own. And it's a hassel to bring her when she doesn't want to go..... so she's been wetting through them and I've been trying to keep up with the laundry.

The challenging part is that she is very, very capable to stay dry... she's had Grandaddy pull over before in order to stay dry!

In desperation this week, I pulled out the gummy worms and bears again! So when Lydia uses the potty we praise her and then after she cleans up she gets her gummies.

Believe it or not, but it's working! And with #2 also. She has some BIG messes on Monday, but last night and today she has been busy on the potty with #2s!!! YAY!! What a huge difference today, no wet or dirty pants!!!

And a even better "present" this evening. After putting the kids in bed at 9pm, I had all sorts of noise and bumping at 10pm!! Christopher came walking into the living room with an announcement.... Yes!! He too had done his business in the potty!! WOW.... it wasn't much but it was the initiative and interest he took. The fact that he got himself to the potty and that I didn't have to scrub out another pair if undies, are also great :)

So I've been thinking of bringing out a "stinky chart" and when he completes the chart we can do something fun.... I think he'd love something simple like camping in his tent in the living room one night!! Sounds like fun to me:)

Here's a cute free printable potty chart that I got from another blogger friend.

Better run... got another one sitting on the potty!! Anyway, lets hope this is the beginning of the end of potty training at our house:)

Wordless Wednesday - The New Couponer

Cutting "coupons" and loving it!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Patty's Day!

On Monday, the kids and I dove into some St Patty's Day activties. TO be honest, I really didn't know much about St. Patrick minus he was Catholic, did mission work in Ireland and ran out some snakes. We really enjoyed reading through a kiddie version biography of St Patrick. My favorite part was that it mentioned that St. Patrick taugh the Trinity using the 3 leaf clover... I mean Shamrock... LOL

So we went to work painting our clovers... opps.. I mean Shamrocks! What fun to start teaching them the three persons of God while they painted:)

And besides painting, I tossed in a little art lesson about how to make green using the primary colors... so we got to mix some paints, too!!

And you had to figure that we'd make some green soymilk. I mean I totally remember drinking green milk in kindergarten... so my kids had to at least try it:)

True to his personality, Christopher was all about drinking green milk!!! He immediately stirred in the food coloring and started drinking:)

Christopher wanted BLUE milk for lunch...ha hahaaa

And true to the girls' personalities they were a little hesitant. They had fun stirring it up and got excited when it changed colors, but it took them a little while to taste it...LOL! Lydia DOESN'T drink soymilk, but she started sipping the milk and said that she liked it... AMAZING! Anna finished her glass, but didn't want anymore....

Don't forget to wear your GREEN!

Happy St Patty's Day!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Love on Them

Maybe I am the only one guilty of this. But it seems like when our kids are little we snuggle with them constantly. My babies were NEVER lacking in being hugged, kissed and snuggled!!!

But as they get older.... they get wiggly, busy and mouthy...LOL! Even my little Christopher has often told me, "I don't like Mommy kisses." And sure it makes me a little sad when he says it, but I know it's his way of "growing up" and that I'm someone he runs to when he is sad, scared or hurt! But snuggles and random kisses seems harder when they are older, for me.

I was listening to an online sermon today and was reminded of the verse that says God disciplines who He loves. The speaker said that disciplining our children needs to come out of our love for them. Our kids need to see that we LOVE them enough to discipline them. They need to feel LOVED!!

We've been going through a new stage with Anna. She's always been an obedient little girl, but we've noticed an "attitude" that isn't loving and sweet. Or an unjoyful heart when "helping". Anyway, it seems like there has been more heart corrections lately with her.

The sermon reminded me of the need to be sure to demonstrate LOVE to Anna. Even though she is older now and doesn't needed lots of snuggles like a baby, she still needs to feel the closeness and love of her parents! She needs to be corrected for her wrong attitudes and still needs some snuggles, she really needs to be told of the unconditional love she always has because of she is OUR daughter. Which then leads to the unconditional love that God has for her!!

And I've mentioned this resource before... but I've been soo challenged in my parenting and relating to members in my family by the Duggar House Guidelines... i know you're sick of hearing about them... but they've been soo encouraging to me!

My Tired Little Drummer

With my parents recent trips around the world (they moved home from living in the Middle East and last week they returned home from Nepal)... my kids get exposed to toys from around the world.

Christopher has taken to the drum from India. Here he is getting his groove on:)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Leap Frog Giveaway on SIMPLE!!

We love LeapFrog in this house!! We are FANS!!!

When Anna was small we purchased a LeapPad.... she was too small when we purchased it but they are still using it!! Let's just say that it is well-loved!! They LOVE the interactive games and stories.

After my friend CarolAnn told me about the LeapFrog Letter Factory video.... I was hooked. We purchased the whole set and I've learned TONS about phonics.... enough to help Anna with her reading.... it was a HUGE help since the program she was using to read leftout the phonics rules!!

Anyway, we were able to review LeapFrog's Tag Reader System through SIMPLE!! Ohhhh, it's soo great! Here is her and Caleb reading together!!
And we're hosting a giveaway of a Tag Reader until March 27th on SIMPLE!! Very cool!!

Andrea found these coupons for a TAg and books.... it's $10 off a system and $4 off a book!! And can be used at your local Walmart or other LeapFrog retailer.

There are other cool SIMPLE giveaways was well....

Have a great weekend spending time together with your family!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Focus Friday

Focus Friday

Yes, so it's been another week of fun...LOL!!! We visited with Grammie, Pey, Eric, Jaclyn and Carson. Then enjoyed our Thursday with little Taite-burger... some of the "extra" projects were pushed back this week!!!

As usual, I did get done ONE of the tasks.... I got the mantle looking a little more put together. I'd say MUCh better than the before, but it still needs a little tweaking:) In the process of getting the mantle together I had to re-arrange some of my other picture places. I AM NOT a DECORATOR, I wish I had some talent... so if it looks decent, I've accomplished SOMETHING!!

Here's the Before. And here's the mantle for now.

Well in order to use the family pictures for the mantle, I left other places bare.

The dresser top closest to the dinner table is usually cluttered with pictures and school stuff. I decided just to keep school stuff on the table and put the pictures on another table! Well now I have a "homeschooling" table!! Yay!!

Much easier than making a homeschooling room and it works for us right now!! Especially since we do most of our schoolwork around the dinner table:)

Here are the Tasks for THIS Week:
1. Sort through the 4T girls' clothing boxes and condense it to ONE box!
2. Always those pictures to get saved on disks
3. Make final decisions about our bedroom (curtains vs paint???)

Running around with the Kids = EXHAUSTION

While away with my parents I got soo tired. But I also notice it when we have family and friends come to visit.... our visitors always remark how exhausted they are after being with the kids.

Anyway, I was watching my dad playing with Christopher! They had been chasing each other for some time... but while watching them was amusing, it was also exhausting! Here's a sample:)

This is such a fun playground!! But the hardest thing about it is how narrow and short some of the openings are. I thought it was funny that during chase Christoher was jumping through little holes and my dad has to find bigger openings!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm Doing Fine, MOM... even getting in a playdate!

Andrea is in Panama this week with her oldest, Caleb!! Travis and Taite have been holding down the fort while they were away!! This is a message for Andrea from Taite-Burger:

Hey Mommy! I'm doing fine! I miss you guys, but Daddy has been playing a lot with me. And he brought me to Miss Kelly's like he promised he would for some playtime with Lydia, Christopher and Anna.

I was a little sad Daddy left me... but not for long:)

Anna, Christopher and Lydia have been playing with me!! Everytime I turn around one of them is trying to help me or share a toy! We've had a fun day.

We jumped on the trampoline, took a ride to the PO in the wagon (while munching on some snack), did some swinging, ate lunch, read books and now I'm FINALLY sleeping in Anna's bed...

Lydia and I were having sooo much fun during naptime. Miss kelly had to put Lydia in a different room because we played for over an hour and she knew we'd be grumpy without good naps! But I'm finally sleeping; preparing for some more playtime when I wake up!

See you soon!!!

Love, Taite

Attempts at a Grammie and Pey picture

We always want a picture of the kids with Grammie and Pey... so this is the closest we got... (Anna's eyes are closed but she's smiling)!!

The kids and I had a great time with Grammie and Pey. On Wednesday we took them grocery shopping:) And then ate lunch at a park and played before we journeyed home!! The kids just have sooo much energy:)

They crashed in the car on the trip home and then they were energized to play some more. We spent most of the evening outside and even had some neighbors play outside with us well into the evening:)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day With Grammie and Pey

We spent the day with Grammie and Pey!! The weather was MUCH cooler than yesterday, but we "braved" the 50's and went to the park. The kids (and the adults) had a blast:) And the camera was out:) Here are a few of my favorites:)

The TIRE Swing Spin - Mommy camera in hand spining with them:)

My sweet Little timid Lydia-bug. While she immediately warmed up to Grammie and Pey, she took a while to get used to some of the playground equipment, especially the slides!

After a quick "quiet time" (no napping today).... we spent time with Aunt Jac, Uncle Carson and Uncle Eric. We ate dinner, and then layered again to brave the chilly wind to the park until dark!! Here's Christopher enjoying a little time "hanging around" with Uncle Eric!

I laid down the kids for bed at 8pm. And they were all asleep by 8:20ish!! ZONKED!! And I'm right there with them.... I'll be sharing a bed with both girls... who I was informed by Eric SNORE... maybe I'm soo sleepy that it won't matter:)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Science, Science Everywhere

On Saturday we spent some time at an university where Brian collected books! I love the brickwork and gardening of this school!!

Anyway, I spied this beautiful early spring bloom.... any enlightment about what type of bloom this is???

I thought it was a Dogwood blossom, but while it's the same colors I think the shapes isn't the same. Makes me want to keep my mother's nature books in the car- ready to be identify the next bloom:)

But it was fun to show the kids the blossom casing. They were soft and fuzzy! The kids has fun rubbing them and finding ones that the flower was just about to burst out!

Our other lesson was made possible by a brave little lizard!! Christopher got soo close to the lizard that he actually touched him!! And then the lizard went running towards Anna... of course Anna SCREAMED her head off that the lizard was almost on her toe.... he ehee hee!

You might be asking what the lesson was.... it was about CAMOUFLAGE!!! Once the lizard made it back to the bush, the kids had a hard time trying to find him. So we explained to them how the lizard blends into his surroundings!

Here is the little lizard!!! His camouflage didn't totally keep him hidden from the determined eye:) The kids has fun trying to find him, too!!
Onto Simple Machines....LOL!! Yes, Simple Machines!! PBS showed a series of Sid the Science Kid with the theme of Simple Machines.... so now that is what they want to "explore"!! A couple of years ago I picked up a Berenstein Bears Science fair book.... and what is the first section about??? Simple Machines, of course:)

They had been begging me to make a lever.... So today just by using an old 2by4 and a brick the kids and I made a lever (aka something like a see-saw). They had fun picking up one another. And then they saw that Lydia could "pick up" Anna. Then they had the idea to "pick up" Mommy using the lever.... can you believe Lydia picked me up???

I love being able to explain little things from science, nature, faith and the world to my kids. And it makes me want to know more and more so I can share more with them. But the BEST part is how much my kids LOVE learning... all day they are asking questions, trying to explore things, and trying their new skills (counting, reading, writing letters, etc).