Thursday, April 30, 2009
Yes, we did have Book Club, but we sure didn't prepare for it. And I know...the kids are the ones who were supposed to do the work for their presentations, but it was my responsibility to give them some guidance. I chose instead to teach them how to "wing it". I did this enough in school to not only know how to do it well, but also to appreciate the necessity of such a skill.
And we did visit both a bookstore and a library, which I suppose I could fanagle into some type of field trip or "literary outing", but really, who am I kidding? When you look at the fact that I did little to nothing when we returned home from our bogus educational outings and therefore requested little to nothing of the children...well, it's probably no surprise that I didn't check the little box on April 30.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Now walk across to the other side of the park to find a second trail. Run smack dab into the huge group of children who came on the 3 big school buses parked by the curb which caused you to half-curse under your breath when you entered the parking lot. Choose the trail which weaves away from all of the children because a nature walk is more fun when bird calls are not mingled with the screams of children.
Keep walking and walking and walking.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
We were unsuccessful in uncovering the letterbox, but after leaving our footprints all over the drought-sticken lakeside, we decided to head back to the car--dirty shoes, treasures, and all.
Next stop was Carvel. I made a promise yesterday, prompted by the incredible guilt I felt about canceling all of this week's activities. I told the kids that if Audrey kept everything down today we would go out for ice cream. They kept careful watch on their little sister and her barf bucket, and since she didn't have to use it, they cashed in on my promise. We did, however, eat outside not only to enjoy the beautiful weather, but also just in case...and the little Princess kept down her ice cream.
1. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder - This is the 3rd book of the Little House series we've read. Just finished it yesterday. We enjoyed it, but I think we may take a break from the series. In fact, I have DVRed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which comes on tomorrow evening on Disney. Today I think we'll begin the book as a read-aloud. Maybe finish it in the next couple weeks and then watch the movie (with chocolate, of course!!). Incidentally, this book doesn't come from the library; it is my own, personal childhood copy, so it is nicely aged.
2. Nate the Great and the Snowy Trail by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
3. Nate the Great on the Owl Express by MW Sharmat
4. Another Pet by Trisha Speed Shaskan
5. Get Well, Good Knight by Shelley Moore Thomas
6. Eek! Stories to Make You Shriek by Jane O'Connor
7. Marvin One Too Many by Katherine Paterson
8. Celebrity Cat by Meredith Hooper
#2-8 are all easy readers for the boys.
And for a read-aloud picture book for the Audrey:
9. A Packet of Seeds by Deborah Hopkinson - Also chosen because it's in the plans to plant some herbs. Not sure if that will actually transpire in the next couple weeks or not, but it's penciled in anyway.
10. Stage Fright on a Summer Night by Mary Pope Osborne - We just studied William Shakespeare, so this is an easy read aloud for the boys; Alex informed me she has "already read it several times" (exasperated eyeroll).
11. Starry Messenger: A Book Depicting the Life of a Famous Scientist by Peter Sis - We also met Copernicus and Galileo Galilei around the same time we met the Bard of Avon. This was a great book...short enough to hold everyone's attention but informative. It also had interesting illustrations as well as journal excerpts which older kids enjoy.
And for Science, we just finished our study of vertebrates, so the kids each chose a vertebrate to research and study in-depth style.
Alex chose penguins (no surprise):
12. Penguins by Deborah Nuzzolo
13. The World of Penguins by Evelyne Daigle
14. Penguins (original, isn't it?) by Lynn M. Stone
15. Penguins: From Emperors to Macaronis by Erin Pembrey Swan
16. My Season with Penguins: An Antarctic Journal by Sophie Webb (looks interesting!)
Much to my surprise, Michael opted for the delicate, little chickadee (I though he would be all about tigers or bears or anything that goes grrrr):
17. Birds of All Kinds by Rebecca Sjonger
18. Everything Bird: What Kids Really Want to Know About Birds by Cherie Winner
19. Birds in Your Backyard by Barbara Herkert
20. Birds by Gilles Martin
21. Bateman's Backyard Birds by Robert surprise! Bateman
22. The Life Cycle of a Bird by Bobbie Kalman
23. Birds (another original title) by Angels Julivert
24. Backyard Bird Watching for Kids: How to Attract, Feed, and Provide Homes for Birds by George Harrison (not, I think, the George Harrison)
And Jacob chose Lizards:
25. My Pet Lizards by Lee Engfer
26. Incredible Reptiles by John Townsend
27. Reptiles by Claire Llewellyn
28. Life-Size Reptiles by Hannah Wilson
29. and Reptiles again by Allen E. Greer
30. and once more: Reptiles by Simon Holland
I didn't get the pick of the bookshelf for Jacob's topic because apparently someone else in my community is doing the same research, and I really didn't want to have to wait for the coveted books to be transferred from all over the state.
I really did want the lizard identification book, though, because we have a couple of odd lizards that hang around our house that I'd love to ID. There's this one little guy who looks like an ordinary lizard, but when he does his little push-up like lizards do, his neck blows up into a big, red bubble. Anyone know what kind he is?
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
school, dentist appointment for all 4 kids at the same time, soccer practice, soccer game, school, Field Day, school, show the house, AWANA, Book Club, school, visiting new Baby Caroline, museum, school
This is what our week has looked like:
school, dentist appointment for 3 of the 4 kids, school
Seems this bug wants to hold on to Audrey for all it's worth. I thought she was in the clear, but as we were getting ready to head to AWANA tonight, she reached for her bucket. So Book Club is out tomorrow. And, while I spent a good part of the day making some goodies to take to our friends who just welcomed a new baby girl, well, I guess now we'll be enjoying some baked goods for the next few days. Additionally, the people who were going to see the house this week decided not to even look. Those baked goodies would have come in handy for them as well!
The funny thing is, I was dreading this week. There was just too much crammed into one week. So I suppose this is God's way of telling me to slow down. All of those appointments on the calendar really don't matter so much as caring for my babies. Of course, I know of 3 "big" babies who are itching to get on with life, so let's just hope the bug looses its slimy, icky talons and lets my baby girl go so we can make it to the science museum Friday.
Monday, April 13, 2009
The baby had woken me up at 4:30 in the morning while my husband got to sleep. I had to go up to her room only to have her tell me I forgot to say "good night" to her the night before. I hadn't forgotten. But that's all she wanted to tell me at 4:30 in the morning.
I think I'll move to New Zealand.
I had lots planned for the day, but Michael said he still didn't feel well, and I wasn't sure I believed him because maybe he was just trying to get out of school. There was a bad storm with lots of wind and lots of rain. No one else offered to try to convince the puppy to go out in the storm to poop. I had to do it.
I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
During school, no one would pay attention to me. They only paid attention to the storm. I wanted them to pay attention to me, me, me. Why doesn't anyone notice me? I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
I could tell because the electricity went out at 10:00. And even though I tried to get everyone excited about living like Almanzo in Farmer Boy, no one was excited. I don't think I was excited either because my laundry stopped mid-cycle, my internet would not work, and our water pump on our well is also electric so there was no water. I bet there's lots of water in New Zealand.
All four kids had dentist appointments today, but we had to cancel Michael's because he was sick. The other three did very well, even the Princess, but I got a referral to an orthdontist for Alex. Braces cost lots of money. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
None of the kids had cavities, and the dentist told me what a good job I'm doing with their teeth. She just doesn't know that it's all luck and nothing I'm doing.
I wonder if I would be a better mommy in New Zealand.
When we got home, Audrey threw up, and there was no water to clean her up. Then the kids wanted to go for a walk to see the cool utility trucks fix the power line, but the dog was a pain, and Michael was whiny so we came home and
Audrey threw up some more. And there was nothing to do, so I tried to read a book, but it was getting too dark to see.
I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, I told everybody. And actually everyone agreed.
We couldn't make anything for dinner, so we had to order pizza, and I'm sick of pizza.
I had to cancel Field Day at co-op tomorrow because my kids are puking.
There was more vomit and no way to wash the vomit laundry.
It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
I am a grown-up and know some days are like that.
And there are probably even power outages and throwing up in New Zealand.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Do you understand what the milestone is?
No longer will Michael just randomly puke wherever he happens to be when it hits him. He can now remove himself from the presence of others and get to a toilet in time!
When Michael returned to the table feeling much better, there was much fanfare. This was a big milestone for which, especially given the public, restaurant setting, Michael was profusely praised.
Unfortunately, the Princess has not yet passed this milestone. Hours after our Michael Milestone Celebration, her Majesty threw up on my shoes. And her royal self. And all over the floor. Right after I had given her a bath. I have since given her a bucket, and she successfully placed her dinner in it. She is also excited to take the bucket to bed with her.
Here's hoping our two cookie tossers rest easy all night. So their parents may also rest easy. And my sincerest apologies to anyone who came in contact with either of them at the Easter eggstravaganza, especially their best buddies who just welcomed a new baby sister into the house. May our prayers protect that family from our bug.
And to hopefully further stop the spread of the bug, we have made the decision to hold our own special Easter service here at home tomorrow morning. It won't be the same as celebrating the Resurrection with our church family, but it will be special all the same.
or carry an egg with a spoon:
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Honestly, they really did have more fun than it looks like they're having in these pictures. Must have been the smell...
Note to self: Don't let these funny little guys hang out too long at home; if we show the house, we need to allow ample time to air the place out.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I thought I would have a little fun with the concept, though. Oftentimes, the little farmer boy, Almanzo would get out of school in order to help around the farm. Yesterday, I thought I'd give the lifestyle a whirl, and in an effort to disguise spring cleaning, I told the kids we would get a day off school today to get some things done. I did skip the waking up before dawn part because, well, this mama doesn't do before dawn.
I don't know if they fell for the trick or if they mistakenly assumed their mother would give them extra time on the Wii, but whatever the motivation, the kids began cleaning their rooms before I even asked them to. By the time I got to the boys' room, they had supposedly already accomplished the Big Task: the Toybox Purge. "Did you already empty the toybox?" I asked them.
"Yes," Michael assured me, "and we put it all away already."
"You mean you threw away the trash, put the stuff you want to give away in a pile, and then put the other stuff away, right?" I clarified. He confirmed. And then I looked in the toybox. Really? Are you kidding me? The toybox was full of JUNK. Literally. And trash. And socks and underwear and enough other miscellaneous articles of clothing to clothe another set of boys. (I have a feeling that the influx of random dirty laundry laying around is a direct result of my new Laundry Policy which states that Mom will no longer go on a Dirty Laundry Hunt before doing the laundry; she will only wash what is given to her. If the soccer uniform is still lying on the floor where you took it off, you will wear stinky clothes to the game; if the socks don't make it to the pile, wear flip flops; if you run out of underwear, go commando.)
"Are you SURE you cleaned out the toybox?" I asked again. They were sure. So I did the purge myself, which is actually what usually occurs. I mean, I love the idea of the kids acting responsible and helping out, but when I'm in Purge Mode, it's much easier without the supervision of my 4 little bosses who think they still need all of those broken McDonald's kids' meals toys.
The rest of the room was littered with as much junk as was crammed into the toybox. I was sure I would never finish. Just when I thought I was done, I would open a closet door. More junk. But it was finally done, and the boys actually did help out. Maybe not with as much gusto as little Almanzo who woke up in the middle of the night to help his family save the corn crop. But they helped.
Now if I could just get Audrey to clean her room. When I told her to go clean her room, she said, "I tan't!" Well, of course she can't. She is, after all, a Princess, and princesses certainly should not be expected to clean their rooms. Right?
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Nothing a little glue can't fix!