Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kevins First 12 Months

I've been working on Kevin's baby album this week. It's fun seeing him grow in photos. These photos are in chronological order from his first to twelfth months of life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What We're Reading Now:Clues and Little People

We've been following the Cahill kids in "The 39 Clues" but have only made it most of the way through the first book so far. The girls like the story, but I've been making them do the vocabulary words and questions that go along with the story as we read it one chapter at a time. They like the website and are excited about getting to the next book so that we can open the next clue pack. Currently this first book is teaching them lots of information about Benjamin Franklin, which is good since we'll be taking a trip to Philadelphia in a few months.
We just finished reading "The Littles" today. The kids really liked the concept although the boys mostly just looked at the pictures. I'm renting the cartoon show from Netflix for them to watch this week. I'm also planning to have them make a tiny diorama using household items. We've got some extra shoe boxes right now since we just got the girls new boots. I think they're called mukluks.
We didn't quite make it all the way through "Little Men". The reading comprehension level was a bit too advanced for Brianna, but the older girls enjoyed it. We ended up watching a 1940's movie based on the book and the girls really liked it. I'm trying to get them interested in more of the old black and white classic films. We also watched Pride and Prejudice together. I'm addicted to BBC mini series of that genre.
I also picked up a copy of the recently updated version of "Homeschool Your Child for Free" at a Borders book store that's going out of business. Since I only found it on Monday I haven't had much chance to check out the websites yet, but it looks interesting. I'm all about online resources for homeschooling. I've been enjoying my subscription to Enchanted Learning lately. I've printed out several activities and mini books for the kids this week.

3 Little Pigs

Today the girls put on a play for the boys and us to watch. They did "The Three Little Pigs" with Danya as the big bad wolf and the other girls as the pigs. They were so adorable. I found out when the play began that they expected me to read the part of the narrator.

The costumes they came up with were very cute. The made pig masks and put paper ears on their head bands. Danya wore her new furry boots and the other girls all wore pink. Katie was in her new ballerina tutu swim suit. I wish we had recorded it. I love that we have time for these sorts of activities during our homeschooling.

Katelynn 11 Months

Actually, half the time we just call her "Gracie". She answers to both. I still think it's not fair that she doesn't like to say "Momma" but she says "Daya" all the time when she wants Danya.

When we put the kids in the day care room so we could attend a foster parenting class at the DCFS building she went nuts yelling for her big sister until the workers got Danya out of the big kid room and brought her in to hold Katie. She's very spoiled. She's demanding and thinks everyone should answer her demands the minute she makes them. If we don't she grabs at us with her super sharp nails or screams at us.

But she's also incredibly fun and loving. She gives the best snuggles and laughs at every little thing. One bad habit she's picked up lately is thumb sucking. I think she learned it from Kevin who seems to do it every now and then without realizing it. Katie has learned how to bounce on beds and won't let us pass by one without letting her bounce for a couple of minutes. She also cracks us up when she wants to hold the extra game controller when anyone is playing a video game. It's like she thinks she's playing, too.

Her favorite thing is music. She'll dance to anything remotely resembling music. When we all sing in the car she throws her hands into the air and be-bops from side to side. It's incredibly cute. Whenever she can't sleep at night or she's sick, we just find some Christian music videos on Youtube. She especially likes the Rich Mullins Screen Door video.


I'm calling it my belated Christmas gift because it was something I'd been telling Daniel I really really wanted for months last year. I even put it at the top of my Christmas wish list. Unfortunately, it just cost way too much. Until this weekend, that is.

Danya and I stopped by our local scrapbook store that's going out of business this month on our way home from her friend's house where she had a sleep over the night before. The store owner was selling a used Making Memories Slice die cutting machine kit and three extra design cartridges for only $95!! I almost squealed out loud with excitement.

I hurriedly called Daniel to beg him to let me buy it and just minutes after he said yes two other women were asking if it was still for sale. Nope! There was only one because another customer had bought it, used it once, and then asked the store owner if she would sell it for her. I can't believe it! This is about $300 worth of product, not even including tax. And since it was a private sale between customers I got it tax free. AND, I already had a store credit for $11 so I really got it for $84.

For the past few days I've been having fun playing with it making shapes and titles. Each cartridge has multiple alphabets and shapes that can be cut in multiple sizes in half inch increments from 1 to 4 inches. I LOVE THIS TOOL!! This is probably the coolest most useful present I've gotten in years. I think I'll go kiss my awesome hubby again right now!

Cleaning the Garage

We worked on the garage this past Saturday. It was a very long day. I had to get to the church by 8 a.m. to help with the cleaning crew. Then Daniel and I went shopping for Katie to use the gift card she got for Christmas to buy her some new clothes. Finally, I came home and cleaned out the garbage...I mean garage.

It was getting so bad in there that we couldn't get from the back door to the extra fridge/freezer without climbing over boxes and knocking things down. We had trouble getting to the things we needed at the other end, too, like snow shovels and bikes. It took about 3 hours and I was freezing by the time I came in that night, but now it feels practically roomy out there in comparison. Daniel seemed very happy. I really appreciated him keeping the kids occupied and making dinner while I reorganized and made my donation pile.

Poor Sick Baby

Poor little Katie has been sick for a week now. She started out with a fever of 103 that lasted about 5 days. The doctor says she's just sick and not to worry unless the fever hits 104. She has a really bad runny stuffy nose that causes her to cough until she throws up when she lays down. She hasn't been sleeping very well due to that problem.

She's finally feeling a little better and not crying and clinging to us quite as much, but she's still stick. We've been praying for her and giving her lots of love and hugs, not to mention more infant Tylenol and Motrin than I've ever had to give a baby before. Those were the only medicines the doctor said we could give her. I wish there was something to help with her runny nose. She seems to get sick more than my other kids ever did at that age. My "mommy guilt" is worrying that it's because I didn't nurse her as long as the others.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Monkey Bizness

These places seem to be springing up everywhere lately. They're called "A Little Monkey Bizness". Basically it's just an indoor play area for kids approximately age six and younger. They have a big bouncy house with a slide in it and a couple of jungle gyms and rock walls. There's a smaller area for kids under two. Then there's a room where they can paint and one whole wall is a chalkboard.

It's a fun place, but it's a little pricey at $7.50 per older kid and $5 for kids under one, plus tax. We took Kevin and Katie to play on Friday while their older siblings were all at the Options school for homeschoolers. It was a good day. To top it all off Shane came home with an award certificate for good behavior.

Recent Movies

It seems like we've been to the movies a lot lately. No, we didn't see the Chipmunks "Squeakuel", but we did see this cute statue in the lobby. I took pictures of each chipmunk so that I can do a scrapbook page comparing my girls to them. I see Danya as Simon, Gloria as Alvin, and Brianna as Theodore. And Daniel makes the perfect Dave. Although, now that they have the new movie out with the girl chipmunks, maybe I should compare the older girls to them and have the boys and Katie be the original chipmunks...hmmm.

So, of the movies we saw recently, there was the good, the mediocre, and the "want my money back". Sherlock Holmes was good. Princess and the Frog was okay. We really shouldn't have watched Couples Retreat. Everyone we know is going to see Avatar, but Daniel and I just aren't really interested. It looks like a lousy plot with mildly interesting special effects. It's just no Lord of the Rings.

Of the new movies out I'd like to see Leap Year, Robin Hood, and Did You Hear About the Morgans. Movies that seem like a really bad idea? The Toothfairy and the new Jackie Chan movie where he's a babysitter secret agent.