Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween INSANITY!

Halloween is not one of my personal favorite holidays. I love the candy and all but the dressing up part and the spooky parts are not my favorite. I think I am too easily freaked out. ANYWAY. This year we spent Halloween by going to a wonderful party in the afternoon and then had some friends over to walk around our large neighborhood and trick or treat. I think in all we had a group of 14 kids trick or treating. The boys were both race car drivers and the girls both had adorable spiderweb skirts. Gwen also wore a super cute bee top with her skirt. Lucy was supposed to wear wings but she adamantly refused and it wasn't worth arguing with her. It was a very successful night of trick or treating!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Zane's First Trophy

There are a few things that motivated Zane to play soccer this year. The first was the after game snacks. The second was the trophy he would get at the end of the year. (You will notice that neither motivation had anything to do with ACTUALLY playing soccer) Zane has longingly admired Andrew's team trophies for the past two seasons and has anxiously awaited the day that he would have a trophy to claim as his own. Well, today Zane's chance came. He played his last game of this years Rockets season and we had the team party directly afterward.

Of course this mom forgot to take the camera to the field and to the party. It was ok though, the coach happened to come home with us and we got our pictures here. The team gave Eric a trophy as well and I honestly don't know who was more excited about getting a trophy! Good job Zane! I can hardly wait for next year's soccer season to begin!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Baby #5!

We had the big ultrasound this afternoon and little blessing #5 is a BOY!!! We are super excited and can't hardly wait to meet him! Andrew is very excited. We let him come to the ultrasound appointment with us to see the baby and to be the very first one to know whether it was a brother or a sister. Andrew proudly carried the photos out to the car and called them his brother the whole time. Andrew told Zane that we were having a boy and Zane said "SWEET!" He sounded about 14 years old with the slang but it was very cute because he is very excited. I think Zane envisions a lot of Thomas the train play in the future. I just hope he is still interested in Thomas by the time his little brother is big enough to be interested as well! Lucy is just excited about all this talk about babies. We shall she her reaction when this one is a reality and not just a hypothetical!

Sweet baby face

The one and only time any child of our will have a chicken leg!

Looks like 5 fingers to me!

So excited to meet this little man! March (or April realistically) cannot come quick enough in my book!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Extravaganza 2010!

This was Gwen's first year carving a pumpkin. Last year I think I carved one for her but she was tiny and slept through the entire thing. This year she was right in the thick of it and thrilled to be there!

I don't know exactly what Gwen thought we were doing but she certainly thought the pumpkin was tasty!

I kept waiting and waiting for her to make a face and spit it out but she kept going back for more and more bites!

Lucy is surprisingly not squeamish about pumpkin guts. The boys both spent YEARS fussing about their hands being messy. Not Lucy. She is normally kinda picky about her hands being messy too. I guess this had adventure written all over it though.

She scooped away like a trooper the entire time. I think I could have let her scoop the entire night and she would have been totally and completely occupied. Hmmmmmm.... there is an idea for an afternoon project I think!

Apparently Andrew finds it impossible to scoop and smile at the same time.

I finally had to ask Andrew to stop scooping and just smile for me.

Zane was very excited to carve pumpkins. He has been asking all week long to do it.

Scooping pumpkin guts is hard work even if you are 5!

Everyone with their pumpkin masterpiece. Zane wanted a happy face, Lucy wanted a sad face. Gwen got a toothy smile and Andrew wanted a vampire pumpkin.

All alight on our front porch! Now if they will only NOT rot before the big day. Not that it will change things though. In the realm of pumpkin carving there are no do-overs!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Math Master

This week Andrew got honored at school for being a Math Master. I am not exactly sure what this means for other grades but for 2nd grade it meant that he has already passed his addition and subtraction test (standardized test they have to successfully complete at the end of the year) and now he has moved on to multiplication. Every day the students in his class do a time test that drills on math facts. Once you have passed the addition you move on to subtraction. And after you have passed the subtraction test you move on to multiplication. The test that he took yesterday included all multiplication facts up to the 9's. He didn't know those ones so he skipped a lot. But I am pretty impressed that he has a good handle on the 2's and 3's. I mean, he is only 7. So now we will begin the drilling of multiplication tables. His teacher sent home two different methods of learning multiplication facts yesterday. One was learning the facts to the tune of a song and the other was a chart to look at. Any guesses which one appealed to my Andrew more? If you guessed the chart you would be correct. He is so incredibly literal sometimes. It will be interesting to see how the test pans out as the year goes on.

Kitty Cat Lucy

As I was doing Lucy's hair today I asked her if she wanted a pretty bow. She said yes (she is not always so agreeable) and selected one of her light pink ones. I put the bow in her hair and she immediately looked at herself and said "I'm a kitty!"

Upon closer inspection I suppose it was not too far of a stretch. That bow did have the general appearance of pink kitten ears. So cute to see her engaging her imagination.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tea Party Time

I let the kiddos play tea party this afternoon. Of course, tea party to Gwen really meant just dumping the water all over the table and making a general mess but she was thrilled to be playing with the big kids.

Zane has happily filled up the teapot 3 times since they started. Just playing with water but apparently imagination makes up for a lot. According to Zane they are having biscuits with their tea.

Correction: Dumping water all over the table AND herself. But seriously, have you seen a bigger grin?

Stir, stir, stir your tea. You wouldn't want there to be anything lumpy in it!

And Lucy was even all blinged up for the occasion. No dressing up was required!

I think I am going to like this game. They have been occupied for 20 minutes now with no fighting or fussing. Sounds like a winner to me!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Since the weather was phenomenally beautiful for October we decided to take care of the pumpkin selection today. The kids were super excited to go and I was thrilled to not be slogging through a muddy field on a hunt for something to carve up.

Our quest for pumpkins took us to Stocker Farms this year which had a very nice set up at their fruit and vegetable stand location. They had pumpkins already removed from the field and cleaned off as well as ones still out in the vines that you could go and hunt through.

Gwen thought the little wagon she got to ride in was great fun. She happily stayed inside the entire trip and let the kids and I tromp through the vines without a super little sis tagging along.

Andrew got great delight in finding the largest pumpkins possible. They did not go home with us. Eric had no desire to carry, carve or gut any of the large ones Andrew found.

All in all it was a great trip. We will carve our pumpkin masterpieces next weekend so they don't rot too badly before Halloween!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Monkey Girl

Came down the stairs today and this is where I found Gwen. Please ignore the dirty dishes on the table. I would have not taken a picture if the camera wasn't in hand. It is hard to enforce the naughtiness when you stop to take a picture of what they are doing. She is my monkey girl climber for sure.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Can He Do It? Yes He Can!

Ever since Andrew returned to school Zane and I have been working on preschool learning pages. We practice counting, shapes, colors and letters. Specifically we have been working on letter recognition and sounds. My goal and plan has been to try and teach Zane to read at some point in time. I figure that he is 5 and while he may not be completely ready for kindergarten and all the structure it holds (which is admittedly not a lot) he is academically ready to start the process of learning to read.

My mom works at a school and several years ago gave me a set of primary phonics readers just to have something else around the house to use as the kids get ready to learn to read. Well, Zane has been asking for the last few weeks to practice reading and I am not one to stifle him that way so I thought we would give it a shot. Even though it has only been about 3 days of practice he is starting to get the process of how to read. Obviously this is not refined. But most of the words in the book are sound-out-able and Zane has done a fantastic job of sounding out the words. Of course he would rather guess at the word than sound it out but when encouraged to do it the right way he can make it happen. If nothing else it will allow him to be a superstar reader in kindergarten I hope!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Too Soon!

I apparently posted too soon. When Eric got done with Lucy he started in on Gwen's nails too. If this isn't daddy-daughter bonding I don't know what is. I love him so much!

Best Daddy EVER

Once upon a time there was a guy named Eric who was a wee bit nervous to have a little girl.

She now has him completely wrapped around her finger! He really is the best daddy in the entire world. Painting nails was actually totally and completely Eric's idea.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sleeping Bags are GREAT!

Eric and I are not fond of kids sharing our bed. The end result of it is that neither one of us sleep and the kids wake up earlier than usual with more energy than usual. A lose-lose situation in our book for sure! Lucy periodically decides she wants to sleep in our room. 2 am, 3 am, 4 am, none of these are strange or inappropriate times for her little eyes to fly open and decide that it is time to be up for the day. Eric and I disagree with her. Strongly. So over the years we have come up with a wonderful solution. The sleeping bag.

The sleeping bag in our room is on Eric's side of the bed on the floor. It lays there most nights unfolded and ready for a body to slip into. Both Zane and Lucy take advantage of the sleeping bag but recently Lucy has taken the sleeping bag to a whole new level. Two nights ago I got up for one of my nightly potty trips and when I came back to bed I heard snoring. Loud snoring that was neither Eric nor the dog. My getting up and coming back to bed woke Eric up enough that he rolled over and said "Is someone sleeping in here?" I told him that I didn't know but my guess was either Zane or Lucy.

Sure enough the next morning there was the rustle and bustle of a little girl getting up and stretching and then heading downstairs. I have no idea how long she was sleeping in our room for. No idea. Apparently Eric and I slept right through it. But that is ok. She mostly doesn't need us in the nighttime, she is just looking for some company. I am interested to see how all this is going to work when her and Gwen share a room. Hopefully Gwen will be plenty of company and she will stop her nighttime visitations. Although if she does continue with them not waking us up is a pretty alright way to go!

A School Project

Andrew is currently working on his very first school project. For the project he had to select a member of the community, do an interview with them and then make a poster with the discovered information and present it to class.

Andrew decided to pick his soccer coach Martine to do the interview with. He diligently thought of questions to ask her and last Thursday completed the interview. It has been a fun project and Andrew is really enjoying it. Of course one of the parts that he is enjoying most is the working on the computer. It cracks me up that this is his first computer project. We have all of next week to finish the poster and practice his presentation.

Andrew spent almost an hour typing up his questions for his interview. Eric and I were amazed at how long it took for him to type them up. When Eric asked him what the holdup was Andrew answered that the letters were all out of order and that it would be a lot easier if they were in order. Then he could find them quicker. Ahhhhhhh..... yes. QWERTY keyboards do have a downfall where new typists are concerned!