Saturday, February 25, 2012


Bella really loved making the GAK last week. After that, she was eager for more things to do and would often ask me if I had any activities planned. This sort of inspired me to be a bit more planful and intentional about preparing activities/projects for the kids to do. I enjoy it and they enjoy it. Win/Win!

Monday was President's Day, so this one kind of planned itself.

My ever-so-serious Graydon did actually have fun making his Lincoln beard (not that he's showing it here).

After the hats were made, I tried to read two quick paragraphs about Washington and the cherry tree and the Lincoln as Honest Abe, but by that point Graydon and Curtis were fighting over the Lincoln hat and I completely lost their attention.  Can't say I didn't try!

Here's a quick little science experiment: Dancing Raisins. (I found this and several other ideas on Pinterest. Most of my ideas will be coming from there).

Two glasses: one with water and another with sprite. The raisins sunk in the water but floated up and down again and again in the sprite. We also tried this with soy nuts. They floated in both cups. I would have used beans as well, but we didn't have any.

Again, Graydon looks bored. But I promise you, he wasn't!

This was pretty neat: Homemade Paint made from sweet condensed milk and food coloring.

Bella mixed her paints herself. This also proved to be a good lesson on mixing colors.

The masterpieces are on display in the kitchen.  Graydon told me that his painting was of "two rainbows".  I'm sure they're in there somewhere!

Friday night was date night for Andy and Bella. A boy from our church had a leading role in Seussical Jr., so they went to see him.

I stayed home with the boys. We watched some Veggie Tales and munched on popcorn and Sweet Tarts.  (Poor Curtis was sick with pneumonia.  He is on an antibiotic now and seems to be on the mend.  It's been a rough week as far as health and sleep go, but hopefully next week will be better.)

I'm not quite sure what to call this next activity.  Maybe Photo Puzzle?

We glued photos of the kids to large popsicle sticks and then cut along the lines with an x-acto knife.

They made some silly creations.

Did some even sillier mixing and matching.

And finally ended up with themselves again.

Of course, it's not all just fun and games around here.  There is always laundry to be done.

I had two eager helpers until Graydon slammed the washer lid on his thumb. That's one lesson learned the hard way.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


With her class list at hand, Bella got to work on her class valentines.

I love how Bella loves to do craft projects. A girl after my own heart. Last weekend, we worked on her class Valentines together. I cut out the butterflies and glued the eyes to the suckers. She did the rest.

Valentine's Day arrived and we had a special dinner. Bella and Graydon set the table.

Curtis waited patiently.

Bella got excited!

Dinner is served! Pizza topped with pepperoni, onions, red peppers, and tomatoes.

And finally dessert. Bella and I made these earlier that afternoon.

The kids each got some Valentine candy from Mom and Dad.

I think that Curtis already has a slight sugar buzz going on here.

Bella took a little inventory of the valentines from her classmates.

Beyond Valentine's Day. . .

Graydon and Curtis have done this a few times now. I might be working on something in the kitchen and, in passing, notice each of them carrying a few shoes from the laundry room. Before long, the laundry room is emptied of shoes and the back of the couch looks like this:

There has been a noticeable shift in Graydon and Curtis's relationship over this past week or two. There are starting to play together more and more as 'equals'. I'll hear Graydon says things to Curtis such as, "Curtis! Come upstairs with me!" "Curtis, chase me!" It's fun to watch and I pray that their friendship continues to build over time.

We are starting to get some winter blahs. The weather has definitely been mild, but it can still be a bit cold to be out for a prolonged amount of time. So, we looked for some fun inside activities and came up with this. Table leaf turned slide. The boys had a good time with it.

And thanks to Pinterest, I found a nice recipe for Gak!

They made so many different things from 'necklaces and bracelets' to 'pizza' to this 'girl thinking' (see the thought bubble).

This easily occupied them for at least an hour and a half.

Definitely a winner!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Andy went to bed with an upset stomach on Saturday evening.  He was up a couple of hours later getting sick. Super sick. This kept up all night, just about every hour.  In his four-and-a-half years as a pastor, he's never had to call out sick on a Sunday - until last Sunday.  And it wasn't just any Sunday.  It was the Sunday of our church council meeting.  This occurs once a year and is a pretty big deal. Andy usually presides over the meeting.  Thankfully, we have very understanding Elders and Trustees.  People stepped up and everything flowed nice and smoothly.

Later that evening, we had our own little Super Bowl party.  Andy's stomach was still pretty queasy, so he didn't get to enjoy all of our tasty game snacks.

We weren't too interested in the teams playing in the Super Bowl this year, so to make it a little more interesting, we made it 'Boys' vs. 'Girls'.  Bella kept score.

While Bella and I were technically rooting for the Giants, I did find myself pulling for the Patriots at the end. I think I'm just a sucker for the underdog - unless they're playing the Packers.

Curtis didn't sleep too well that night. He woke up in the morning with a fever. We laid pretty low on Monday.

Tuesday morning rolled around and Bella came into our room with a stomach ache. Pretty soon she was getting sick all over the floor. (Between her and Andy, it's a really great thing that we have hard wood floors up there). She stayed home from school that day and, with the exception of a warm bath, pretty much camped out on the couch.

Here she is post-bath and starting to feel a little better.

And a little silly too.

A couple of sick day essentials - a bowl nearby 
(just in case) and a special flower from Daddy.

Thankfully, Graydon and I made it through without getting sick.

By Wednesday, Bella was back to herself and ready to carry out some big-sister duties.

Just before Christmas, some friends from church showed up with a few big bins of Geotrax. Graydon loves to get all of the train stuff out and build new tracks - keeps him busy for quite a while. (Pardon the crack). :)

We are feeling the love over here and it was time to show it with some Valentine cookies.

Last September at 'Back to School' night, each of the parents in Bella's class signed up to help out in the classroom one day. I signed up for February 10th. At the time, I didn't know that this would end up being a special day. Turns out, it was the kids' 100th Day of School! All of the kindergarteners made hats with 100 objects attached (Bella used puzzle pieces).

I showed up at school just in time to watch the parade. (Blurry photo taken with my 2 megapixel camera phone).

There were so many creative hats. Very fun!

Part of their Show and Tell this week was to answer a worksheet of questions. Here's what Bella had to say:
  • I wish I had 100 "Littlest Pet Shops".
  • I wouldn't want 100 brothers.
  • I can make 100 cards.
  • I can eat 100 macaroni noodles.
  • I could never eat 100 chickens.
  • Having 100 teddy bears could really be a problem.
  • In 100 years, I hope that I can sew. 
  • I can lift 100 little rocks in a bag. 
I'm looking forward to a week of healthy people in my house!