Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You know you're a Mom when....

Your mantle looks like this:

Why??? According to Austin: "Lego is just for A-SPLAY!" (display)

What can I say, he's his father's son!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dinnertime Woes

Dinnertime is never dull at our house. Silverware falls to the floor at least every 30 seconds, and half-full glasses of milk are spilled regularly.

Take today, for example. Mr. Table Manners (Cameron) leaned over to eat from Princess Bryanna's  (I wish I could say this was an isolated incident, but sadly, that would make me a liar.) As if that wasn't bad enough, his fork dropped mashed potatoes and gravy directly into her milk cup.

She didn't notice until she went to take a sip...

 Yup, She just noticed the floaties. Can you see her disgust?

 ...Then she politely asked for a new cup complained, and complained, and complained until I cleaned out her cup and filled it with fresh milk. I admit, she's funny when she wants something and we sometimes delay getting it just to hear her response: "Mama, milk please." [no answer] "Mama?" [no answer] "MAMA! Milk Please!" [secretly laughing] "MAAMAA!!! I WANT MIIILLLKK PLEEEAASE!"....This once went on in the van for about 20 minutes. I know, I'm a mean mama.
 Anyway, she's waiting.....
And finally, just checking that it's fresh milk. Oh, and for the record, she spilled her new milk about 30 seconds later. I guess the third cup full was the charm.

**Yes, these are our plastic cereal bowls again. Now everyone knows to get us plastic bows (minus the straw) for Christmas.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bryanna's Birthday Pics - Take 1

So I tried to take Bryanna's 3 yr photographs at my parent's house last weekend. It was a perfectly warm, overcast day - perfect for taking outdoor pictures.

Mistake #1 - I didn't bother bringing my reflectors - The sun poked out for the first and only time that day to produce dark shadows around her eyes.

Mistake #2 - Having Bryanna as a subject. No joke. I took at least 50 pictures, and she's looking in the vicinity of the camera in about 10 - most of which she's covering her face with her hand or making a goofy smile.

Mistake #3 - Attempting to capture her attention while Austin and Gracie were playing on the other side of the yard. She just wanted to go, go, go!

Aside from my mistakes, I managed to get some one shot that was not hideous.

I'll try again this week, with better luck, I hope!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch

Today we went on our first official field trip. A, B, C, and I toured a pumpkin farm with a lot of other homeschooling families in the area. Homeschooler field trips differ from conventional field trips in that the whole family attends, regardless of age. I would have thought that with such a vast range of children, it would be on the chaotic side, but it was far from it! In fact, I was really impressed with how quietly everyone sat and listened to instructions.

Since there were so many kids, we were divided into two groups of about 25 kids each. (There was actually a third group of homeschoolers, but they were from a different association.)

We visited the farm in rotations, first watching a movie,

...then going for a hayride to pick out our own pumpkins...

(Austin is looking through his "binoculars" for the crops we learned about in the movie - exactly as instructed!)

...followed by scarecrow building....

...and finally, listened to a story about scarecrows!

Cameron even made a new friend!

I was so proud of how well the kids behaved, and how well they interacted with the other kids. They sat quietly when they were supposed to, listened to the instructions they were given, and happily participated when they were asked.

I see many more field trips in our near future....

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall Crafts & School Update

Last week, we focused on Thanksgiving crafts. Austin made this basket with Aunt Patti-Lynn and filled it with names and pictures of things he's thankful for.

Everyone at Princess B's birthday party was amazed as he sounded out and read the words inside his basket: Mom, Dad, Bryanna, Cameron, Nanny, Pappy, cousins, and the horses.

I wasn't quite as creative as Aunt Patti-Lynn. We made a turkey out of each of the kids hand prints:

As for school....we're almost finished the letters of the alphabet (we finished U today). Austin is a creature of habit, and looks forward to doing these worksheets for each letter every morning. Really - he's disappointed on the weekends because we don't have school.

We also finished his pre-K math workbook (purchased at the local dollar store) this morning. He can officially count, write his numbers (some still need a bit of work!), sort by size, complete patterns, and perform simple addition and subtraction. Tomorrow, we'll start level K.

I learned something new too - Lego can be used for many things! Aside from using it to build sheds for toy cars, we've used it to build model numbers, demonstrate addition, subtraction, and patterns. And most recently, it came in really handy in completing the balcony on this cake.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Turkey Day

Today, I was thankful for the three adult tables....

...and one kiddie table....

...that it took to have Thanksgiving dinner with most of my extended family (33 adults, 8 kids under 4, and 2 more due this spring!). Of course, there were a few missing....but they were all dearly missed. Everyone contributed to the meal, and it was delicious as only a family meal can be. 

After dinner, and dessert, while the adults nursed their inevitable turkey comas, the kids entertained themselves running up and down (then up, then down...) the hallway. What fun!  

They finished the night by cuddling and singing with Nanny.

Thanks Uncle Chris & Aunt Tina for hosting (and the turkey!), and for everyone else for their contribution to the feast. We had a wonderful day.

Princess Party

Yesterday, we had Bryanna's birthday party. Being Bryanna, she's been saying for months that she wanted a princess party...who am I to tell her otherwise? I slaved for two days building the perfect Cinderella Castle cake. It turned out pretty well, don't you think?

Of course, I should have waterproofed the paper towel rolls I used for the towers before I covered them in icing. They got kinda soggy and didn't stand up very well.....

Due to complications arising from her birthday falling on Thanksgiving weekend, we had two parties - one in the early afternoon, and another in the evening. Luckily, the castle stood strong through the first candle-blowing and cake cutting (very carefully from behind!) and didn't crumble until the second Happy Birthday was sung. The picture above was taken at about 8pm after sitting on the counter for about eight hours.

We gave her our present first thing when we woke up (as if she could wait any longer than the time it took us to walk down the stairs!)

 Naturally, it was a princess dress.

And yes, she is wearing it over a princess nightgown!

After a chocolate-chip pancake breakfast, she played in her princess dress while waiting for her guests to arrive so her princess party could begin. Michelle & Mike's dinner was moved to an earlier time, so they stopped by to let her open her present - a pretty puppy in a carrier - very Paris Hilton.
The princess named it Froo-Froo.

Once her guests arrived for her (first) party, the princess sat upon her throne, and waited for the cake to be lit on fire (her words!) and bestowed upon her.

Her eyes lit up over every card....

....And every gift.

And when she was though, she played with her new toys....then happily did it all over again!