Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer School

It is raining today. I feel very sluggish. I just ate mac n' cheese and drank a diet coke, which isn't helping with the sluggish feeling. Out in the yard, the new little plants are enjoying these showers. My kids tried out their new umbrellas, and danced around in their rain coats and boots. The doggie is dragging in lots of dirt and mud.

I am back to the school planning. I wonder how others do it. I truly wonder about this. I have tried to look for people I can relate to (by blog) and, well, I don't come up with much that I can relate too. I guess that I am curious to find new ideas or something.

I have planned a 9 AM - 2 PM schedule. This year seemed rather disorganized. I am going to clean things up. I have a rotating schedule, between kiddos. This is our summer schedule, 4 days a week, totally about 36 days. Because of course, family is visiting and we will hopefully take a family camping vacation too.

Summer School (D) is my daughter, (G) is my son:

9:00 (Both kids) Opening- Morning Prayer, Bible Verse, Missions Lesson/prayer, Pledge of Allegiance, Patriotic Music

9:30 (D) Calendar and Math, (G) Playtime

10:00 (D) Snacktime, (G) Calendar and Math

10:20 (D) Journal Writing and Handwriting/Computer skills, (G) Snacktime

11:10 (D) Computertime, (G) ABC's

11:30 (Both Kids) Read together, Books on tape, Delenna reads-aloud

12:00 Lunchtime and Recess

12:50 (D) Bible Lesson, Health, Science, Social Studies (rotate), (G) Videotime

1:10 (D) Playtime, (G) Handwriting/Computer skills

1:30 (Both Kids) Art, Music, Games and Puzzles, Fitness (rotate)

2:00 End of School Day!

Also this summer: 6 weeks of dance for (D), the library Summer Reading program, Kalkaska Cares Summer program (An early literacy grant), and Vacation Bible School (evening program).

If we are this busy, maybe the house won't have a chance to get messy? What do you think?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Good Friends

This was truly an amazing weekend. God blessed us really big!! On Friday, I went to therapy, and on the way home, found a bunk bed for the kids. It was marked $75, but I got it for $50. We were able to get a fairly decent price on mattress. The kids are very happy about this. Now, my son is out of his toddler bed. He was getting too big for it.

Then, my husband began to tear down the shed. Only, we didn't have the right tools, so it was slow work. The neighbor came over, and asked if he could whack at it with a sledge hammer. He pounded out an entire wall (and broke the sledge hammer). After having a barbecue, he returned with a bunch of guys, and they tied the shed to a truck and pulled it down. It was quite spectacular!

The next day, our good friends came over and my husband and Adam finished it off. It is now a big pile of rubble. Actually, a sorted pile of rubble. The neighbors had fun burning some of it.

Today, after church (my friend is going to be baptized next week!!) our friends came over again and helped us replace two light fixtures in our bathroom. Then, prune back a bunch of trees, cut down a rotted tree in the front yard, as well as, cut it up, and remove this ridiculously tall pole next to the house. It was welded together and much taller than the house. It is finally gone!! I hated that thing. The previous owner was into shortwave radios, and stuff.

Finally, we had a big fire. The kids moved helped clean up the yard, dragging tree branches, and then had smores by the fireside. They played tag, hide n' seek, and caught pill bugs. The day was fantastic.

We had a cookout, and later pizza. It was a wonderful full day of hard work and fun. Now to just get rid of the remains of the shed and burn up all that wood. Lots of campfires this summer : )

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Food War

My son just had his annual physical. He is four years old. He gained two pounds and two inches in a year. He is healthy, but he eats like a little birdie. So, I have initiated the "try a bite" at every meal. My son eats no vegetables. He eats no meat, except McD's chicken nuggets. He eats bananas, and a couple other fruits. He would live on water, chocolate milk, cheese, bananas and peanut butter sandwiches. Oh, and all the junk food and sweets in the world.

So, last night, he tried a bite of Ramen noodles. He tried a bite of cucumber. Today it was "try a bite of turkey from the Lunchable you chose". Great progress! And, he helped me make the shopping list. He requested raw spinach.

So, at dinner tonight, I asked him, "What would you like to eat for dinner?" He told me mashed potatoes. So, I said, "Where did you eat mashed potatoes?" And he said, "Preschool! And they were red!" Hmmmm, could this be possible? So, I made the kids mashed potatoes, and baby spinach, and turkey from the afternoon lunchable (lunch lunchable sounds dumb to type). He didn't want any of it. Big surprise! I forced him to eat one leaf of spinach, one small bite of potatoes, and one small circle of turkey. The reward was cookies. He fought me, he clenched his teeth, he cried and yelled. I won.

But, then he had mashed potato on his hand and chair. He rolled around on the floor crying and carrying on. In the end, after he calmed down and after his vanilla wafer cookies, I said, "I wish you would stop throwing a tantrum over new foods. I am going to continue to make you try new foods. You cannot live on bananas and peanut butter." He responded, "Mom, maybe you should be nicer to me, huh?" I am a mean mom.

Monday, May 18, 2009

More home improvement and a birthday : )

This weekend the plan was to tear down the rotted-out shed. But, it rained. So, instead we painted my daughter's bedroom. This time, no fighting :) and the room got done in half a day! (I don't play well with others). So, we moved into her room. And, the master bedroom is next. When the painting is done, we will pull up the carpet and call in the flooring guys for new carpet. I am going to stay away from pink and seafoam green this time. Ewww, I don't know what the previous owners were thinking. My daughter will miss the pink rug. She requested a purple carpet (hehehehehe). Thinking back to three years ago when we were house hunting, we passed up this home with a beautifully decorated master bedroom - hot pink carpet and walls with black curtains.

My kids have started some garden plants indoors- beans, basil, chives, cucumbers, parsley, peppers, and tomatoes. We planted wildflowers and 2 foot sunflowers in the front flowerbed, but we are still waiting for those to sprout. In the backyard, we will have a vegetable garden with the above veggies- plus, carrots, onions, and peas. Around the vegetable garden we will plant marigolds. This week, the plan is too dig out the garden and plant the peas etc.

Then, in about a week, we will rise very early to get annuals from the "truckload" plant sale at Glen's Supermarket. It starts at 6 AM, and we will be there!! My plan is to arrive at 7:30, right after the kids wake. We can pick up breakfast on the way home. I am going to make our yard look spectacular.

I do not know what to do about the grass. We have Scotty, so pesticides is not really a good idea. I don't want a sick doggie. And, my kids are helping to spread the dandelion joy- they love to blow the white puffy seeds. Everyday, I have cups full of little yellow flowers. It is a losing battle. We need more grass and less weeds. I will just try to fill in the bare areas and keep it watered and mowed until we can figure something out.

Lastly, my son is now 4! He turned 4 over a week ago- and we had a party with his best friend. That Saturday morning, I snuggled with him in bed (both kids invade my bed at 7 AM every morning), and told him about how little he was when he was born, first in my belly, then he was born and so tiny . . . . He interrupted me: "No I was not! Mommy, I was with all the kids! Delenna, Sophia, Emily, Morgan, Isaac. And you came and picked me!" I asked him, "You mean like how we picked out Scotty from the other puppies?" He smiled and nodded in agreement :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Little Paint

My daughter painted "Cheer Bear" from the Care Bears today, along with a puffy chair, flowers, the sunshine, and sky. I am sort of bad at setting up Arts n' crafts. Usually our projects consist of color, cut and paste stuff. I don't really mind the messy stuff, I just have never gotten my children into making "creative" stuff. Usually its a couple scribbles and they are all done.

The painting isn't great, but the thought and effort she put into her work was amazing. She was focused for over 45 minutes, mixing colors (we got to practice the color wheel first) and creating her picture. And, her attention to her reading workbook afterwards was astounding. She was focused and worked hard with no complaining.

We have school rules now.

1. Talk nice to Mom.
2. No toys at school.
3. Wait for a break for snack and play.

She followed these rules today as though her life depended on it. We wrote them up Friday when I was about to pull my hair out. I can't believe how excited she is about her three rules?! She voluntarily put "Baby Puppy" her favorite obsession, on top of the refrigerator (it is still there!!) and didn't talk about it the whole school day. She asked for candy at one point, but was more than willing to wait for her snack, when I asked her what rule three said. I can't believe this is working!

My toy room is still clean, my kids are eating/drinking only in the dining room (with less frequent reminders) and the dog is behaving nicely.

Oh yes, and my girlfriend helped me out in Traverse City today by picking up a lefty glove for my son, because we can't figure out if he is right or left handed. He starts t-ball tomorrow. (He has gone to soccer twice, but still refuses to play, and just stands there).

This is a nice day.