Friday, February 20, 2015

Valentine’s Day Week

We had a lot going on last week, so here are the highlights.  The girls had their last swim lesson (posted this last week).  Ellie had her last story time; she took heart cookies for a Valentine’s party.  Madison had her preschool Valentine’s party; she came home with a stash of cards and candy!  It was fun to see her trying to read all the names on the Valentine’s cards; sometimes she even knew which kid gave a card because of what it was.  It is amazing they pick up on each other’s interests at such a young age. 
Jeremy won the husband of the year award with showers of gifts this year.  He had a Valentine’s card for me early commemorating our 10 years of Valentine’s days together.  He bought me a dozen red roses another night.  We went out on a lunch date on Wednesday.  My parents surprised us by taking the girls for the night on Thursday.  So, we went out to Oak Grove Eatery in Wooster.  The food, while pricier than our usual meals out, was delicious!!  It was also nice to just sit and talk and not feel rushed to get home.  Jeremy was flexible enough to meet me there even though he had been gone – driving the countryside – for work since early morning.  (I would have just wanted to get home, I think; so, thanks, Jeremy, for sacrificing your time for me.) 
DSC_4757
Then, on Valentine’s Day we had a family night with a fancy dinner.  We decorated with hearts the girls had made.  We got out the fancy dishes and place mats.  I made red themed food. 
DSC_4768  DSC_4761
The girls picked out our clothes for our fancy meal.  They did a great job, don’t you think?
DSC_4763     DSC_4765
I made a white velvet cake with buttercream frosting.  The girls put on the candy hearts and picked the words and design. 
DSC_4770DSC_4769
It was a nice night as a family.
On Thursday, the girls and I volunteered at MCC Connections for the first time.  We hope to be able to do this about once a month.  (As a side note, I think this is their slow time donation-wise, so if you are stuck inside, clean out your stuff, and donate it!) 
DSCN4464
Madison worked on sorting crayons – crayola and off brand.
DSCN4465
Ellie and I worked on testing pens – working and not working.  Ellie had fun throwing the bad ones away.

DSCN4466
The girls are doing a great job with their Bible memory verses.  I am amazed with how well little minds memorize and soak things in.  Last week for the letter B, they learned, “Be thankful in all things.” I Thessalonians 5:18.  This week for C, they are learning, “A cheerful is good medicine” Proverbs 17:22.  We decided we would just hang them up in our stairway, so we could remember them and see the alphabet all year long! 
In other news, our renters moved out of the townhouse.  We are working on getting it cleaned, painted, and carpeted to sell it.  It gets listed in March, so if you know anyone wanting an affordable 2 bedroom townhouse in Columbus, let us know.  It is in a great location near Easton and Polaris, about a 1/2 mi from the bike trail, and overlooks a ravine to Alum Creek.  Really, I loved the place while we were there.  Because of the lack of yard, it would not be my favorite spot for kids, but there are sidewalks, parks, and it is a quiet cul-de-sac; in the end, it would work. 
Hope everyone is staying warm in these frigid temps.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Swimming

Monday was the last day of swimming for the girls.  Ellie on the way wsa very tentative.  She said she was scared she would have to jump in again.  It was almost a total loss when we got there – excuses to go to the bathroom, crying – but she recovered, and had a great time.
DSC_4733DSC_4752DSC_4737DSC_4736
Madison was very enthusiastic and determined to jump off the block this time.  She has a great time – waving while she is swimming, smiling, and so proud.  She did jump off the block, but kept a hand with the teacher each time.  She is growing up!  (This is her friend, Micah, swimming with her.)
DSC_4730     DSC_4740DSC_4748     DSC_4749
Otherwise, we have had a good week.  We took the girls out on Daddy-Daughter/Mommy-Daugter dates on Friday.  Jeremy and Madison went to Bob Evan’s for hot chocolate, and Ellie and I went to Panera for hot chocolate.  (Bob Evan’s is by far the better deal in case you are wondering.)  We had a great time hanging out.  When Jeremy texted to say they were on their way to pick us up, Ellie frowned and said, “But we aren’t done with our date yet.”  She had been talking non-stop – literally – for the entire time.  Mostly she told imaginary stories about her cousins.  Not her real cousins.  Her pretend cousins.  Yep, not sure if she sees them or just likes the idea of always having a story for every occasion.  Oh well, we’ll indulge her. 
For our activity of the day, we fit in a number of things, but not all of them this week.  Here is the folder to house our plans:  As we complete them, we just take them off the chart.  If we ever neglect one, we can always use it to fill time another day,
DSC_4728 - Copy     DSC_4729 - Copy
On Thursday, we did a science experiment, “Which one will erupt?”  It was a fun, easy experiment using baking powder, cornstarch, and baking soda. Here they are, ready to go!
DSC_4718  DSC_4719
They felt each one just to see if they could tell a difference.  Then, they predicted before they started – both with the correct prediction!
DSC_4721    DSC_4720
Then they dripped/poured vinegar into each one to see which explodes. 
DSC_4723   DSC_4722DSC_4724    DSC_4726
We refilled the baking soda multiple times and watched it interact with the vinegar.  It was fun, and the cookie sheet contained the mess.
We went to People-to-People Ministries to get a tour and see how we could help from home.  They saw where the toys came down the conveyor belt, where the food was stored, and even played with silly string for the first time.  Our “hands and feet of Jesus” job is to watch DVDs that will eventually be handed out at their Christmas project; they want to make sure the movies don’t skip, pause, or jump around.  We now have at least 4 Barbie movies as well as a few others.  We also now know where we will be taking food donations and how they will be used.  It is pretty amazing work they do there.
We learned about Piet Mondrian, a famous artist, one day.  We tried painting some artwork similar to his.  He is an artist known for black lines in a grid like pattern who used mostly the three primary colors – red, blue, and yellow.  The girls did a great job.  Ellie painted in squares using painter’s tape, and then I colored in the black lines. 
DSC_4754
Madison and I made black lines with a ruler together and then she freehand painted in each box. 
DSC_4753
I also dabbled in the artwork. 
DSC_4755
On Saturday, we had a busy, but fun-filled time with other people.  We went to Luke and Steph’s for brunch and SYF planning.  The kids had a ball playing in the basement for the 2-3 hours it took us to get through most of our stuff.  Then, in the evening, we went to my SYF leaders’ house for our annual SYF reunion.  We are now a pretty big bunch with all our kids.  Most of the night the kids play downstairs, and do little damage, and we talk upstairs.  It is (fairly) relaxing.  In the past we would play Trivial Pursuit and stay up til 1 or 2 in the morning.  Now, we head out of there by about 8.  We use the kids as an excuse, but I think our age accounts for some of it!
SYF 2015
Until next time… have a great week.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sleepovers and Super Bowl Parties

Sometimes I struggle to name the posts.  There isn’t too much to say about the two events in the title, but I figured it would work. 

On Friday, the girls and I carpooled with Steph, Sam, and Lilli to Nate and Jen’s house.  Sophie was having a birthday party Saturday evening, so we thought we would make a weekend of it and invade a day early.  Thankfully, my sister-in-law is great with having extra people at her house, and it worked out well.  We got there after supper – she didn’t need six more mouths for another meal!  The kids settled right in playing together, and we adults hung out in the kitchen.  We stayed in the kitchen because a) the best conversations happen in the kitchen and b) Sophie was working on decorating her birthday cake and we were there to cheer her on.  It was a good night.  All the kids were tucked in by 9pm, and most of them were asleep by then as well.

We woke up bright and early – as is normal around here – at 7am.  Megan had a soccer game at 8:20 we wanted to go watch.  It was fun to see five-year-olds running around playing soccer.  Megan even scored her first goal of the season right before the end of the game!  We rushed out of her soccer match to make it to Chloe’s basketball game.  She did a great job, too.  She is persistent and looks to have a great shot if she keeps at it.  We returned home for play time and lunch time.  Then, we headed out for Paxon’s basketball game at 1pm.  (It is hard to keep up in their house!)  Pax did a great job!  He has good dribbling skills and even did a spin move on the way to the hoop for one shot.  He may be following in his daddy’s footsteps!  Ellie napped; older boys and girls went out in the snow; younger girls played dolls/Barbies/Dora people; and adults talked the afternoon away.  The party started around 5pm – pizza, pasta salad, green salad, jello, veggie tray, chips, etc.  There is never a lack of food when we get together.  Sophie had a cool blue cake to share with us for dessert.  We ended the night with presents; it is so interesting to see what older girls want.  You move away from buying toys (yea!) to buying clothes and nail pens (tougher).  We’ll learn.

The night would have ended there, but on the way home we managed to hit a deer.  Yep, you read that right.  Jeremy saw three deer in the median of route 30.  One decided at the last minute it would try to cross the road; bad idea.  Jeremy let off the gas and press the break and held the car steady.  We hit the deer head on.  It went flying; we slowed to a stop.  Thankfully, the damage was not bad enough to strand us.  It doesn’t look that bad, but we have heard back from the collision center on an estimate yet either.  Everyone was fine – all 7 of us!  And ironically, the kids had just finished watching Bambie II.  Isn’t that an awesome addition to the story?  So, we are borrowing Jeremy’s parent’s van (thanks, Gloria and Maynard) until ours is fixed up.  God was definitely watching out for us.

We took the girls with us to the youth group Super Bowl party.  They seemed to have fun hanging out with the youth, and the youth don’t seem to mind havnging out with theme either.  I enjoyed most of the commercials in the first half, and then I quit really paying attention.  The game was pertty exciting as well.  I missed the very end, the poor play call, the intercepted pass, etc.  Oh well.  Life will go on.

Finally, this is February – the “I am going to start being intentional with my kids because I am so busy with school work otherwise” month.  Remember this post?  Well, the fun has started.  We missed doing the clocks on Monday.  I think I didn’t realize it was February until the end of the day.  I am going to try to get it in this week; I think it will be fun to do.  We worked on our maps of Kidron today.  It was neat to see how much they actually know about the location of things.  Ellie’s map is on the left and Madison’s is on the right.  You can see a close up of Kidron road locations from Madison’s map in the second picture – Quince (the donut shop), the fire station (911), the post office (flag), the park (slide), and MCC Connections (guitar because she saw one once there she wanted).  We put on people’s houses and other locations around town.  It is a good thing we live in a one intersection town.  This would have been impossible in Columbus!

DSC_4716     DSC_4717

Tonight they played with their little people and vehicles on them.  It took longer than I thought it would, which was fine.  The only thing I really didn’t want with this stuff was a lot of prep work.  And today there was really none.  Tomorrow, they are supposed to work on their names.  We’ll see if we have time – they are headed to Yoh’s while I sub.  It might be a good thing to do after supper.  We’ll see.

I posted the Bible verse for the week on their door yesterday, too.  You would be surprised at how quickly little minds memorize!  Both of them are able to say it back by today.  I told them if they say it all by themselves at the end of the week, they can put a sticker on a chart and get Smarties for being so smart!  They are pretty excited.  If you see them, be sure to ask them to say it.  (Ask and it will be given to you.  Matthew 7:7)

DSC_4714

Hope you have a great week.  Until next time…