Sunday, January 28, 2007

More organizing

I must be on a roll. This week, my saint of a sister in law came over
and helped me with my pantry. So now I can find all my food. WooHoo!
I guess it is technically not a pantry. The dolts who built this house never planned on anyone actually using the kitchen. Therefore there are cupboards for dishes and such, but no logical place to put food. So I improvised by erecting a shelf unit in the dining room. Due to my lack of housekeeping ability, stuff just got thrown on it for the 3 years we have been here, but never really was organized or cleaned very well. We shall see if my attempts at organizing it this time work out for the long haul.
This is getting to be a good game. Wonder what I should work on next?

Tuesday we leave for a week with the family in Idaho. The boys are very excited to see the grandparents and cousins. I am happy to be getting a break too. M says we need a "change of scenery" and I agree.

Although I threaten to send my children off the public school when we're having a rough day, I am beginning to see how much I would hate that. I am teaching a class at Village Home, as well as M being enrolled in several classes. When we began planning our trip to Idaho, I initially wanted to speng longer there. But, due to our committments to VH, we can't. I had the realization that, in public or private school, I would totally be at the mercy of someone else's calendar. That would drive me insane! Then I would have to rebel--'cuz that's me. Good ol' homeschooling!

Speaking of homeschooling, we just started learning about Shakespeare. I have mentioned Shakespeare to M before and of course we have run accross quotes and references to his plays and sonnets before. Just recently he read the Magic Tree House book, Shakespeare on a Friday Night. We got a stack of books about Shakespeare from the library and dove in. He is loving it! I am really surprised. I would not have predicted something like this to fascinate him. I think he is really enjoying the history side of it more, but Ol' Will really holds his interest too. Amazing.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

We were greeted by snow this morning. Of course, it had been predicted, but we didn't really believe the weather forcast! What a surprise! I managed to get a little bit of food in the kids and out the door they went. They had a blast and I promised we could go out again after G's nap. We measured the snow at around 8:30 and it was 1.5inches. At 10:00 it measured almost 3 inches. The snow was very light and powdery. The hope is that as the temp rises, the snow will get "sticky" enough to make a snowman. We'll see how that pans out.

G shows his snowball-making talents. He caught onto this snow tradition very readily! A few of the neighbors were surprised to look down at the remains of a snowball on their lower legs!

M hitches a ride on a sled with the neighbor. The kids in the area had built a mogol halfway down the street. It quickly became the neighborhood gathering place.

Yes, this is one of the main streets through the neighborhood. But it is well known that during snowstorms and summer evenings, the street belongs to the kids. This is the hill M was sledding on.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Grandpa Came!

We were very excited when my dad called to say he would be coming to visit.
He got here Friday and left Sunday morning. He and M got the idea to go skating. It didn't work out quite the way they intended. First, the skates didn't fit Dad so I had to go. That meant two of us on the ice who had never been skating before. I surprised myself and actually did OK. M just couldn't get it at all. He even had a hard time hanging onto the ledge and we gave up. But now we can say we've been on the ice.

Putting the skates on. They were very tight.

Letting go is hard to do--especially when the fall is hard!

But we still had some fun!

Papa had some time to read some good books with the boys

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The finished homeschool cupboard. The books need some more organizing, but there is no way they would stay organized.

Leapsters on the couch. Real brother bonding time. Real momma break time.

Christmas Day. All the presents are piled to one side of the living room. Way cool presents from family. What do they want? Blankets, pillows and movies. I gotta hand it to them though. It looks pretty cozy. M being the oldest got dibs on the new fuzzy blanket from my mom. Good present!

Yesterday was our first day back to Village Home.. It was so nice to be back with our homeschooling friends. I led an activity on handsewing that went pretty well. I see how much I need to do to prepare for next week though if I am going to keep everyone interested. I have 6 year olds, 11 year olds and adults. And since it is a drop in activity, that could change from week to week. Broad range!
Afterwards we went over to Aunt J's for a very yummy lunch. Then we went for a walk on one of the cool walkways near her apartment and fed the ducks. What an awesome day. I'm crossing my fingers that today goes well too. Didn't start out great what with big bad mom demanding the dw be unloaded. Aparently we have a slave who is running away soon. But he has decided to stay until after Grandpa visits this weekend. Now he is playing (fairly) happily with G and asking for breakfast. Maybe that is a good sign?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Here is a story written by M. He is 8 and loves Playmobil. I finally got him to tell a story by telling me what it would be like for his Playmobil people to be alive in our house. This was the result.

Once there were 2 playmobil guys named Joe and Sam who got left downstairs at night. They always lived upstairs in the bin. They had a base in a plastic shoebox with a lid. They started out on a hovercraft with wheels. They could go on land and in water.. They started going out past a big, huge piece of cloth. It was 50 times bigger than their own clothes. It was Dad's pants.

They looked out accross a huge, enormous, giant thing. It was a big as the pacific ocean. It was all water. They went accross it in their hovercraft. They looked out and saw a perfect round island. It was the biggest, hugest thing they had ever seen. It had ancient words written on it. It had a perfect circle in the center. They went circling the island. Suddenly a big, mountain size monster came up. It was picking up other Playmobil things off the floor like it was a smidget. They started flying their boat to get away from it. It started following them up the mountain.

They went as fast as they could and started flying up, up, up. They flew and flew and flew until they got to our table. To them it was the hugest, strangest mountain they had ever seen. The phone book was on the table and they were amazed at the size. They saw a giant fork and got scared and took off flying again. This time they went higher. Higher than they had ever been before.

Sam says, "Joe, I'm getting scared. Let's go back to that well place."

Joe steered the boat back. He went down and landed with a plop.

Actually a great wide river was breaking away the island. A monster was there pushing it until they were pushed into the sea. When the floated around they saw a captured Playmobil person. He was trapped. So they saved him. His name was Zookeeper. They started flying again with Zookeeper in the boat. Zookeeper didn't have a hat and life vest like Sam and Joe. He got cold. Sam and Joe were happy to have a companion.

They took off flying from a big mountain. They went up and noticed a bigh thing and it started turning on. It was full of colors. Then they flew over to another thing that they didn't know what it was. It turned on and it scared them.

Then then landed on a big thing. It was greyish and whitish. It was huge and was rectangle shaped. It had a huge hole in it. The were scared of it so they flew away.

They ran into a monster that started spitting on them. They tried to signal into its eyes with their mirror. He took it from them and chased them. They flew up higher and higher. Finally the monster went away.

Finally they landed on a place they didn't understand. It was green and squishy and had pink and white flowers on it. It was next to a big purple plastic container that had a big hook on it. The hook had written on it, "Press to close, LIft to open." They lifted it and inside they were amazed. They saw dozens of jewels and gold. They took as much as they could.

They flew back to base camp with the boat full. They put on their lid and they were home.

The End

Monday, January 08, 2007

And just how big is this mouth? Big enough to hold an entire large bouncy ball. Big enough for the "child safe" Tomy balls. Big enough for nearly an entire baby bowl of noodles--in one bite.

A new wagon for Christmas and G knows just what to do with it.
Get brother to pull it!
They have spent hours playing outside with this wagon.
As long as the weather is okay anyway.

We had a fairly decent weekend. I got my new skirt almost done. As soon as it is hemmed and pressed, I'll get a picture posted. M got to go to the machine shop with Dad and make a charm for a friend of ours. He had a great time watching dad use the machines and getting to help design a real metal project.
G stayed in the nursery without mom and dad at church. Whoo Hooo! We'll see if it lasts, but it was nice to sit and listed to an entire lesson with other grownups, rather than following a 2 year old through the halls.

I also managed to get the homeschool cupboard organized. The craft and science stuff was totally unmanageable. I took it all out and piled it on the floor (much to G's delight!) to sort it. Then it was off to the Container Store. For less than $40, I have a totally organized cupboard and the stuff is easy for the kids to get out and put away. Next project is the pantry shelves. I may need more than a day for that. And babysitting

Thursday, January 04, 2007

It's raining again today, but yesterday we had a patch of sun.
So I sent the boys out to play in the backyard with the neighbors.
Our yard is a total bog and now I have laundry to do.
G still thinks he can sit down in the grass and play with his toys.
Inside, I feel like we have puddles of toys. I had to go looking for one of G's toys. It took me forever to go through the boxes. I want to throw out a bunch of them, but I know how I would have felt when I was young if my mom had said she was throwing out a bunch of my toys. I think she just got us excited about the yard sale each year. I wanted to have one last year but it never happened. Maybe I can be more dedicated to the idea this year and tell M it is a way to make cold hard cash.Perhaps I can have a good enough yard sale to finally clean out the garage and make it easier to move at some point. Maybe?

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year, Same Old Us

Happy New Year.
We did nothing special and C actually went to work today for the 
peace and quiet I suspect. He is trading today for an extra day of 
vacation later on.
I can't even think of any resolutions that I have a prayer of keeping, 
so I think I'll skip thattradition and save my sanity.
Cute story, yesterday, the boys were sitting on the couch.
M put blankets over his brother and himself.  He then said, "G., I
want to tell you a story.  Once, I didn't have a brother.  Then
Mommy and Daddy went to get you.  They called my on the phone to 
tell me you were born. I cheered so loud because I was so happy to 
have a brother.  Now I sometimes cheer when I get to be away from you
for awhile."  Umm, how sweet? 
Now they are actually trying to play nice with each other.
We are getting closer to potty training!  G ran around this morning au naturale and remembered
to head to the potty on his own.  He did fine until he got cold and asked for training pants.  Seems as long as he is wearing something, he forgets about the potty.  We may need to keep limping along until it warms up again.  I am optomistic about finishing this up before his 3rd birthday though (cross my fingers).
This weekend we finally got up to Milagros up in NE Portland.  They have all kinds of natural family living products so I got 2 new diaper covers.  One plain and one froggy print.  I actually managed to restrain myself and not buy any AIO which I want sooo bad.  Good me!  Of course I could just sew my own.  But that would involve cleaning my sewing room to the point I could get any sewing done!