July 26, 2012
As you might or might not know I am immensely inspired by Michelle Duggar. She has 19 children and a TV show documenting their lives. She is a very caring, sweet and religious women. I aspire to many of her parenting choices. Here is an interview I read recently and was so inspired and encouraged by it.
July 25, 2012
I can't believe it's been almost a decade! My dearest son....you are the light of my life. You have been a constant source of joy and sweetness, thoughtfulness and love. You are a trickster and are currently specializing in what I sometimes call "annoying noises" but my dear - I love ALL OF YOU!
At our little family party we only had tea lights.....not that you cared when it was the brownie & cookie cake your dad devised (because I forgot the cake part of the day!!!) you were after. It's the little things like this that have been slipping my mind lately.....but that's another topic.
look at your sweet face....
a 9 year old face...
the gang came over & your Auntie, Uncle, Grammy and Grandpa came along to Mountasia for some laser tag, video games and rock climbing.
Aunting always saves the day with her abilities to multitask parties and such. She is a constant. We love her.
Char always rocks the house in the rock department
Laura and Fiona happened to be at our house and kinda rolled along into the party with us. Boys only? Not anymore!
Doughnut cakes are all the rage in our family.
Yes two cakes....one for the family party and one for the friends party. Much to your dad's horror and dismay this is just the way we roll. I think he finally caught on this year as he said to me "I guess I will never be able to keep you to a birthday budget will I?" Aaahahahaha. No way Juan. Thank you for noticing. We laugh because John always says ever year with every kid's birthday "I never had friends or parties....this is crazy" to which I always reply "Well I did, and our kids do. Sorry your childhood was lacking!" And then he laughs and gets over it - until the next birthday.....
Thanks to a boy scout trip to a rock climbing place you actually did great this year! Go Luke!
Video games + boys = fun. I didn't really have to do anything and my sister and I were kinda weirder out. Usually we double team all my parties - but there we sat. At the table. Sipping water and chatting. Twas lovely.
At the end of my pregnancy I was going a bit crazy with an overwhelming need for some updates on the house. My BFF Calyn came over and put some serious time (all weekend!) in helping me.
Here's part of that project come to fruition....love it!
Next are the bathroom pics of my babies. I have their first bath pictures along with a collection of other good ones.
And then Cristy comes over and listens to me complain about my couch & how I don't want to spend a million dollars on new couches. Enter Urban Hom. The store she got some couches from once. We checked their site and I found ones I loved for $600! We went the next day......not gonna lie.
And ordered my couches. Happiness. But when I got home I realized I needed to do some serious reconfiguring....enter my scale drawing of the Living Room with scale sit outs of the soon to arrive furniture. I moved & switched and moved again & here is what I decided on.
And here it is in real life. Not shabby. Not shabby at all. Once the couches were in it was like a sea of blackness and so a rug was desperately needed. Thank you Target for having the perfect one. And now for throw pillows & art!
and this was just too funny & true. had to share.
July 24, 2012
William, you have always loved your sister from the very first time you saw her.
And it just seems to keep on going (knock on wood).
You are so sweet (when you're sweet) and a little dangerous when you are in a mood...not gonna lie.
But I know how much you love Miss S.
Speaking of love. You love watermelon,
A whole lot.
Speaking of love - get a hold of Miss 3 month old. Missy girl, lady love, Papushketa meta, Mamasita, mi amore, oh how I love you!
Your ponytail is epic.
your face - how it kills me!
I started calling you Latte Lips as you like to froth up some good bubbles.
I mean - COME ON!!!!!! You are too much.
Oh how the sibling love continues.............
Mr. Man - you are so playful. I have to do trick things sometimes to get you to smile for me.
(PS tell your mother you need a haircut)
Like tickle you real fast and pull away to focus the camera and shoot!
Sometimes you are too fast for me.
In focus or not I love this shot. You are one lively little dude.
I had fun today.
July 22, 2012
The Budget Beast was furiously unhappy this weekend. I successfully silenced him completely and spent to my hearts content at the Vendor Hall. We bought strategy games, math games, word games, sciene games, stories on CD, etc., etc. I met some really awesome people - my kinda people...people that love education and are finding ways to make it better. It's was paradise.
The first seminar I attended this weekend was by Kathleen Lawler. Her family company RightStart Mathamatics has developed pretty awesome math games. Their promise is that you don't need textbooks, worksheets, tests, or quizzes to successful teach math. Games are to math are books are to reading she says. I dig that! The games keep stress and anxiety about math out of the picture. I was pretty floored by the games she presented and of course visited her in the Vendor Hall and bought one of their kits. As an elementary school teacher I have seen a lot of the road blocks students have at the mathematics level and her games just seemed like the ticket. Thank you Kathleen for giving a great session and sharing your goods.
Lauren and Gary told me I had to go see Nick with Marie's Words. The story goes something like
Nick's sister was studying for her SATs as a junior in high school and was having the hardest time with the vocabulary section. She had the idea to make flashcards that have picture and color clues to the word's definition. Her brother (pictured above) illustrated all 550 of them. And they were a hit with their friends and off they went. They are now 19 and 21 years old and I was thrilled with the demonstration he did with Charlotte.
First he had her pick 5 picture cards she liked best. She chose...
Then he asked her to read each word if she could. Then he had her guess the definition taking clues from the picture. If she couldn't get it, he explained it and showed her the pictorial clues.
He then flipped through the cards and asked her what each word meant - she got them all. He then said "Congratulations Charlotte, you just learned college level words."
I handed over $30 immediately. 550 cards. 550 cool picture clues. Pure genius. Thank you Nick and your sister for these amazing products. Turns out John had visited the booth later without me and was impressed as well.
Adam Degree is the first Vendor I talked to. He and his family sell products his father developed. First off I wanted to adopt Adam as my younger brother. He is the brightest, clean-cut, well-spoken and sharp 17 year old I have ever met. Yes - he was home schooled. Yes - he REALLY knows his history. Their company The Classical Historian sells incredible products for teaching history to your children. Starting at age three they have rad memory games based on prominent people, places and events in history. They have three of those - Ancient, Medieval and American. The other line I loved were their history card games - again they had three sets - Ancient, Medieval and American decks. Each deck can be played Go Fish style and a few other games. They also have what appears to be an incredibly line of history curricula for 6th grade and up. I can't wait to try it out in a few years. The point is......you can read history or you can play games and have fun while learning. I think I know what is more efficient use of my time.
I had the privilege of seeing three of Jim Weiss's sessions this weekend. I had heard of him before as he is the story teller for the famous line of Classical HIstory books "The Story of the World." Jim's company, Greathall Productions has a whole line of amazing CDs with stories Jim has created or is telling from history. He is a master story teller. And I truly mean master. He is expressive, funny, inspiring and 100% captivating. It was the highlight of my and my children's weekend.
His table of goods was beyond enticing....I bought 10 CDs and could have bought 20 more. A sampling of my purchases:
Greek Myths A collection of beloved and funny stories and poems
(btw loving your "show hands" Johnny)
Stories from the Old Testament
(because I need and want to learn the Bible too!)
The Comic Shop (unfortunately I don't have a picture of these awesome folks!) was Luke's favorite spot to hang all weekend. And I do mean ALL weekend. He played with their strategic games for hours and hours. I knew I was going to buy some games already - but after my son came in each evening with sparks in his eyes and nothing but good news to share about all the games, I knew I needed to invest in his love.
A really cool dice game. I am sure I will learn all about it.
This strategy game has had Luke captivated for hours so far. He can't get enough. You basically have to figure out ways to make the whole snake fit in different ways and move through these levels.
Next up is Cathedrals. It's similar to Blokus (a family favorite) but wooden....I love wooden things, and using Cathedrals.
Trantrix really got me. It's a interesting game of having to build completed loops as you add more and more pieces. A bit tricky to explain but addicting.
A HUGE thank you to Comic Shop booth peeps for making my 9 year old exceedingly happy all weekend.