Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Catch-up

 

Not much has been going on around here, yet I still feel incredibly busy.  I’m sure many people feel the same way.  For starters, we’ve all been passing around a cold.  I’m on my second go round.  Today, Ellie stayed home from school:

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She’s clearly sick, right?

Okay, so I’m feeling a little duped.  But, she truly did not feel well this morning.  And, she got a migraine yesterday afternoon that made her vomit.  Obviously, she is fine now.  I told her when she stays home from school she has to lay on the couch all day and it’s boring.  I said she could color and that’s it.  She’s in heaven.

Update #2.  This is earth shattering.  Last weekend I made cinnamon rolls in our waffle iron.

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I saw it on Pinterest and thought I’d give it a shot.  Not much too it.  Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray (I did this even though we have a non stick waffle iron…better safe than sorry), put a cinnamon roll in each section of the iron and hold the lid down tight for the normal waffle time.  Pop them out, put on the icing and watch your kids gobble them up as you look on jealously because you’re trying to eat better (*sigh*).

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Update #3….ice skating.

This is the year they all learn.  Riley and Ellie are borrowing some skates from a friend.  Rob just picked up some skates for Austin off Craigslist last night. 

Riley and I went over yesterday morning after the older two got on the bus.  Just 15 minutes.  Enough to get out there but short enough to not hate it.

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She pushed around the chair for a bit and did some small steps on her own for just as long.  Her favorite part was when she sat in the chair and I pushed her around.  I think we’ll try to head over there this weekend as a family to get some more practice in.  I might see is Craigslist has any 11.5’s for Rob.  I don’t think he’s ever had skates strapped to his feet before…no time like the present!

Last update, jury duty.  I’m on jury duty this week (and last week).  Out of 20 groups, I’m in group #4.  I got called in last Thursday for a trial and we sat in the room for a little over an hour when the lady in charge told us the defendant accepted a plea and we could go home and that although we still had to call in each day at 11:30, we wouldn’t be called to come in again because she’d have to go through all 20 groups before she started over with #1.  So, I continued to call at 11:30 but no other jurors were called in during the week so I got lazy with my call in times because my group wouldn’t be summoned again anyway.  Follow me?  Yesterday I called at 12:45 expecting that no one was needed (and if they were, it wouldn’t be my group).  Nope.  Groups 1-12 got called in (again).  Grrrr!  So, I quick called my parents who came to my rescue (again) and got to the courthouse and asked why my group was summoned again and she said something about her supervisor not checking her notes, blah blah blah.  So, I sat there for 2 hours to find out the defendant accepted a plea.  I was sent home again saying I wouldn’t get called in again.  We’ll see.  Rob has jury duty in March.  Hopefully his supervisor takes better notes.

That’s all.  See why I don’t update this as often….we’re pretty boring around here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Whatever Works

Austin has really come into his own as a reader this year.  I am slowly figuring out how to make it more enjoyable for him.  I would put down reading as one of my favorite hobbies and I hope to pass the love onto my kids.  It’s something you can do anywhere at any age and, given a library card, is free. 

Austin is suppose to read 20 minutes a night in 2nd grade.  This month is a special month at his school and he is trying to read as much as possible to “beat the teachers” for the highest minutes read.  As I stated, he’s a great reader, but unless he has the right material, you have to ask him to do it.  Fortunately, at our last library trip, the girls and I came across some DC Universe (makers of batman, superman, wonder woman, etc.) novels.  They are just his level, and they are not comics.  Score!  They are each about 60 pages and best of all, he loves them.  He will sit down and read one of these from cover to cover and they each take him about an hour to read.  He’s really racking up the minutes now!

Yesterday I left him downstairs and suggested he read since he missed his minutes the day before.  After awhile I realized I hadn’t seen Austin (and it seems they are never far away from me for long…no matter how much I might try some days) so I went down to investigate and came across this:

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In my opinion, not the most ideal spot to sit for an hour, but I did say it’s a hobby that can be done anywhere.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Some Good Snow…Finally!

We haven’t had a ton of snow again this year and what we have received has not been all that great for playing.  I know many people probably think snow is snow, but that’s not true when you have a houseful of kids who want to make forts or snowmen! 

This last storm dropped some nice sticky stuff perfect for playing, and as a bonus, some fun cousins showed up just in time to play in it!

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Aren’t those girls amazing to roll up a snowman base as big as they are?!

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Well, maybe they had a little help from Rob and Kerry.

They also tackled our little sledding hill on the side of our house.

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The final results of the snowman were fairly impressive!

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As I drove Riley to preschool this morning (right after I got slightly stuck at the bottom of the driveway) I said “Girls, I think you guys built the biggest snowman in the neighborhood!” to which Claire quickly replied “Well, of course we did!”  Leaving me wondering why I ever had any doubts.

Friday, February 8, 2013

One more year!

I officially signed up Riley for another year of preschool.  With her birthday in August, she is the youngest in her current class (by a couple months) and after talking with her teachers, and taking into consideration what we see ourselves, we decided she just wasn’t ready to take on Kindergarten yet.  We sent Austin right when he was 5 and those first two years were a big struggle for him.  It’s not something we wanted to repeat.

Also, this way the girls will have a little more wiggle room between them in school.

But, in Riley’s mind, the most important aspect is that her “adventures” with me will continue:
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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Music Informance

Austin had his “informance” for music class yesterday.  I think it is what the school has started doing in place of having an actual performance after school.  Honestly, I’m not sure what I prefer.  The informance is just in the music classroom, just his class, and the teacher just has them demonstrate what she is teaching them.

They sing some songs:

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This one was something about pizza and punching.

And then she also has them demonstrate techniques she uses to teach them about music:

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For this demonstration, Austin put random notes up on the smartboard and the kids had to sing the corresponding “do re mi” song he made up.

We ended it all with a group dance.  Austin is not a huge fan of music.  He scowled through most of the performance.  On the other hand, Ellie enjoyed it.  As the teacher was explaining that music is one of the few disciplines that uses both the right and left side of your brain at the same time because you use emotion to play the music and logic to count it out.  Ellie piped up with “What is emotion?”.  When they put up different rhythms on the smartboard to clap out she shot up her hand so the teacher would call on her to answer it.  (We clap out rhythms in her piano lessons).  So, although we enjoyed it, especially Ellie, Austin was less than enthused. 

Shockingly, at the end of the class he still had about an hour of school left but was given the option to come home with us or wait out the rest of school.  He opted to stay because he didn’t want to miss Geography.  And I picked him up after school as a “treat” and he enlightened me with his geography facts the whole way home (and then some).  It was like two “informances” in one day.

Monday, February 4, 2013

To Iowa and Back

We made a whirlwind trip to Iowa this weekend to visit with Rob’s brother’s family.  We left Saturday morning and returned Sunday afternoon.  Rob has always wanted to see his brother, Dave, coach a game (he coaches high school girls basketball) and we also wanted to catch a game that our niece and nephew were playing in.  Taylor didn’t have any games this weekend, but we did get to see Isaac’s game. 

Isaac is a self-proclaimed sport nut.  He’s 7 and already know 100x more than I do about sports.  I’m also pretty sure he’d kill me in a game of horse.  It was fun to see him play a real game since we’ve been watching him pretend to play games for years.  His first grade team played against second graders so there was a slight height advantage for the other team, but they still came out victorious (Dave’s team won too).  It was clear that Isaac had an understanding for the game.  Whereas everyone else attacked the ball like a fly to honey, Isaac took his time and passed when he saw a good opportunity.

It was also clear my children were not meant for viewing sports.  We kind of got a glimpse of that this summer when, after a half of an inning at the Twins game, they wanted to leave.  Austin spent most of his time at the games playing his 3DS.  He did manage to completely addict his younger cousin, Hunter, to video games.

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If Hunter wasn’t playing it, he was intently watching Austin.  Look at the intensity in his furrowed brows!  It was pretty cute.

We also got to celebrate Taylor’s birthday with her…just a little late.

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That was an added bonus we hadn’t thought of!

When we weren’t at the games, the kids had fun running around.  A little too much fun because Ellie got so worn out she got one of her migraines and threw up a couple times.

The drive home was a little rough because Riley hates car rides.  She groaned about every 4 minutes.  With only about 30 minutes left she finally fell asleep and the rest of the drive was pleasant.

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So although it was quick, it was well worth it!  We’ll have to drug Riley and make our way back down soon to see Taylor play!