Monday, March 28, 2011

Lost Tooth!!!

Daniel lost his first tooth today!!! 

Lost tooth 2

Lost tooth

I can’t believe my baby is growing up so fast!!!  I always find it sad when my kids start losing their teeth.  To me it seems that it is a turning point in their journey to growing up – they are leaving behind the “baby” things and starting to become kids.  But I also find it fun and exciting to see the kind of people they are turning out to be!  I know – I’m a confused mess!  But isn’t that part of parenting?  I love Daniel to death – he is funny and caring and ALWAYS tells me he loves me – no matter how grumpy I am!  He is my sweet boy and I am so blessed to be his mom!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Fun!

For years Andy has dreamed of a backyard that could hold a small fire pit.  He has really missed cooking out on an open fire.  This past Black Friday I ventured out to Target and found this small fire pit. Spring I figured it was a start and we could see if this was something that would work with a couple of small kids.

Sunday was the test firing!  Andy built a fire and we roasted hot dogs and toasted marshmallows!  It was a fun First Day of Spring thing to do!  Even though it was a bit nippy – we laughed and enjoyed the smoky smell of the wood!  It reminded us of being at PopPop and Grammy’s!  I’m looking forward to more family times like this this spring/ summer!

Spring 2Spring 3Matt isn’t hiding from the camera – just hiding from the smoke blowing into his face!!

Spring 4Drew was there too – confined to a high chair!  He is too mobile and the fire pit isn’t too sturdy.  Spring 5It was so much fun!  Loving life!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Learning to Read!

One of the greatest joys I get in homeschooling my kids is that I get to teach them to read!  I LOVE READING!  I would spend all my waking hours reading if I didn’t have anything else to do!  I would read instead of eat!  I have been know to stay up all night because I am engrossed in an incredible book that I just can’t put down! 

I love reading and have made it my goal to help my kids love to read as well.  Matt enjoys reading – not loves – but he does read an occasional book not related to school and has a couple of favorite series.  He likes being read to more than reading himself. 

Sarah is becoming an avid reader.  Something I thought would NEVER happen.  She couldn’t sit still long enough to learn how to read until she was in the second grade!  I panicked with that girl!  I thought for sure she was going to grow up illiterate!  But she came along and caught the reading bug.  She still prefers to “do” things rather than sit down and read for long stretches – but she does read at night and has amassed quite a list for her reading log.

Now it’s Daniel’s turn.  After teaching two kids to read I have learned to relax a bit and watch for the signs that he is ready to read.  Sometimes I feel so much pressure to have my kids “perform” at or above level – forgetting that they have their own timetable and that the wonderful thing about homeschooling is that you can cater to that time table!  So, I waited for Daniel to be ready.  He turned 5 last July and that little niggling in my head kept saying “TIME TO LEARN TO READ!” but my heart kept saying “BE PATIENT - IT WILL COME!”  Well, the past month – the light turned on!  He is a reading maniac!  He is looking everywhere for things to try and read.  Daniel ReadingHe is also LOVING being read to – something he wasn’t incredibly fond of just a few months ago.  His favorite series to read now is Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant.  I love Henry and Mudge – such a great boy friendly series!  And Daniel is in love with them too!  He is really excited about using Fun Tales to help him strengthen his reading skills.  He loves reading them to Andy when he gets home from work! 

One thing I am extremely thankful for is my new laminator!  Andy got it for me for Christmas!  I am a bit of a perfectionist and really hated making word cards on index cards as they would soon be all crumpled up and a mess.  Now I can use my computer to create the word cards (because I also hate my handwriting!) and them laminate them to stay sturdy!  Daniel Reading 2Daniel Reading 3Daniel likes them, too!  He often pulls them out to practice reading his words!  I love this kid!!! 

Pray for all three kids as they start to wind up their school year – 11 weeks left!  We have testing next week – always a stressful time for mommy!  Pray they will do well and show what they truly know and what they need work on for the coming year!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy Fasnacht Day!!

Yesterday was Fasnacht Day!  I LOVE Fasnacht Day!  There is a bakery around here that makes the most amazing fasnachts for Fasnacht Day!  What’s a fasnacht?  It’s a donut – but in PA Dutch German tradition all the women would have to use up their lard and flour, etc the day before lent so it wouldn’t go bad – at least that’s the way it was explained to me as a kid.  I just remember loving the  donuts!

So yesterday was Drew’s first official experience of Fasnacht Day – and BOY did he ENJOY it!!!  Here are the pictures to prove it!

Drew Donut 7Drew Donut 8Drew Donut 4Drew Donut 5Drew Donut 6

Drew Donut 3Drew Donut 2Drew Donut

Here he is signing MORE!!  And he was doing it quite emphatically!  I think he really likes donuts!  He used to have an issue with icing – didn’t like the feel of it – I think he’s gotten over that Smile!  It was a fun morning.  I like the little traditions we keep.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Getting Brave!!!

My baby is starting to get brave!  For the past three days he’s been testing the waters of standing on his own two feet!  And he is quite proud of himself!!!  The smile that he gets on his cute little face when he lets go and stands is just priceless!  I’ve tried to get a good picture but these were the best that I could do – he only stands for a few seconds – but I can tell the walking isn’t far behind!!!Drew standing 2

Drew standing

We also have a bit of a drama king on our hands!  Whenever he is sad or unhappy about his current condition – this is what he does….Drew drama

Andy calls him the incredible folding baby.  He sits and completely bends at the waist until his head is on the ground.  Very dramatic!!

We have a new “toy” that mommy loves – but baby doesn’t! 

Drew gate 2Drew gateDrew standing at the gate crying – he’s so sad!

Drew doesn’t care to be separated from mama and will stand or sit at the fence crying.  Poor baby.  I mostly got it because I am terrified that he will fall down the basement steps as the door hasn’t been completely fixed from the renovation.  Plus the cat needs to have access to the basement as that is where her food and litter box are located – so the door is often left open as the other kids just aren’t used to closing it regularly.  I also love it because I no longer have to chase Drew as he heads towards the kitchen – his favorite place to be.  It is a great gate and was a great price – much cheaper than I thought a gate this size would cost.  You can find it here.  I also love that it comes with a bag and folds up really small! 

For February I managed to get to the gym 25 out of 28 days!  Only 13 more visits until I can apply to get a reimbursement check from my health insurance!  Andy and I agreed that if we reached the goal of completing our health logs for our health insurance then we could keep the money that we get back – $150!  I am so excited!  I have no idea what I’m going to do with it – probably save it!  There is a homeschool conference in June that I am planning on attending and will probably save it for that!

The cooking for February – well…..we’ll not talk about that!  I made a lot of meals – only ate out (or take home) four times.  But several meals were those fast and easy – hotdogs or frozen chicken patties – but I did use the crock-pot a lot more and those meals were really good!  I’ll keep trying!