Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This is the fun critter I get to spend all day with while the big kids are at school!






HWs?

Tonight we took Caleb to his first day of karate. The girls and I were sitting in some chairs on the side of the room when Camille spied a kid from her class.

"Hey, that's B! He's in my class!"

A few minutes later, the girls had to use the bathroom, so we passed the kid on our way. After we shut the door behind us, Camille exclaims, "I can't believe B. actually smiled at me! For the very first time. We're almost BFFs!"

Trying not to laugh, I asked her if she knew what BFF means.

"Yeah, Best Friends Forever."

********
Later, at dinner, the kids were talking about friends they saw at the karate school, Camille shared how excited she was to see B. I informed everyone that they're BFFs. Camille felt the need to correct me in her sassy valley girl voice:

"We're practically HWs!"

"HWs?"

"Husband and Wife!"

**********
Oh dear. It's started already!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

We're Back!

Life has been B-U-S-Y for our family. We bought the yellow house in June and Rob has spent pretty much all of his non-working time working on the house. Caleb was his biggest helper since he's big enough and strong enough to carry wood, hammer nails and such. They enjoyed lots of man time at the house - and that Daddy would usually take him out to lunch at one of the fine fast food establishments near our house didn't hurt anything either!



The kids were able to go on vacation this summer. They took turns in Vermont visiting Nana and Papa. Caleb and Camille took swimming lessons for a couple of weeks. Caleb is a little fish, able to swim the pool the long way. Camille has finally progressed to putting her face in the water so we're looking forward to seeing what she will learn next year! Chloe is excited to turn four next spring because "when I turn fo-ah, I can take fwimming lessons too!"

We are now pretending that things are slowing down here a little bit for us. School started the last week of August, so both big kids are gone from 8 - 4 every day. In the middle of getting ready for a new school year, we also packed up our rental house, moved all of our belongings into the attic of our new house (we couldn't move all of our stuff in yet because we were waiting for the drywall guy to finish our sheet rock so we could clean up the mess and throw on a coat of primer before moving in), stayed in a hotel for a week (there's nothing like the excitement of having two beds for five people...no matter how you do the math, no one sleeps well - but at least we did get a continental breakfast every morning), and finally moved into half of the upstairs of our new house. We are currently have two bedrooms, a bathroom and a laundry room. We have a makeshift kitchen downstairs where we've been getting along pretty well with a microwave, toaster oven and crock pot. It's slightly more glamorous than camping, as far as our cooking set up is concerned. We do have running water (in the downstairs bathtub which is set up as our "kitchen sink" only).



We are enjoying our new neighborhood. There are lots of kids for mine to play with. Caleb is in boy heaven since most of the kids are boys. Camille is a little put out still that there is only one girl her age on the street (that she hasn't even been able to play with yet because the girl was gone all summer) but we're sure she'll be making lots of friends at school before too long.



We are thrilled to report that we now have Internet access at our house. We had been sharing an internet connection with our neighbors until our neighbors packed up and moved a month before we did. So we did a complete computer detox, only checking our e-mail at the library a couple of times a week. It was kind of nice not being tied to a computer, though a bit disabling when we needed to find information. Thanks to those of you kind enough to look up things for us. We do appreciate it!



That's as good a post as y'all are going to get right now. The kids' movie is almost over (they had the nerve to get up at 6:00 this morning, before there were any kid shows on tv so they've been watching the Wiggles - it was Chloe's turn to choose) so I should start thinking about breakfast. Not that any of them should be hungry. I gave them each a banana for snack and then they found my secret candy stash. (It's hard to keep secrets when all of your living is done in two rooms.)

Friday, June 25, 2010

He's got the moves!

My brother got married a couple of weeks ago and we had a blast at their reception. They had this crazy DJ who stopped all of the dancing for a hula hoop competition. The bride and groom each chose 10 people to be on their team and we faced off with the hoops. I say "we" when I got out pretty much scott free. Once I figured out what was going on, I made Caleb take my place on my brother's team. As you can see in the video, he made us all proud!

video

See that man in the background with the white shirt and orange tie cheering for Caleb? That's my dad. My new sister-in-law was smart enough and quick enough to nab him for her team. We don't have video of him hula hooping (though I'm sure he's the only one who's disappointed). Anyway, as we were leaving the wedding, Caleb pulled me aside and told me he needed a hula hoop. Why? "Because Papa challenged me to a hula hoop contest, just the two of us, and I need to practice so I can beat him!"

We're visiting them for the weekend and this may the chance to see who's got the best moves! If we're lucky maybe we can get that on video!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Big News

We have news everyone! As of this morning, we are now the proud owners of an 1880s farmhouse. It's big, it's beautiful (or will be when it's finished), it's going to be a labor of love.

You can read all about it here: http://yellowfarmhouse.wordpress.com/ We'll try to keep it updated with all of the spare time we'll (wish we) have this summer!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Daddy and the kids

The other night I snapped a few cute pictures of Rob and the kids.

Something was apparently pretty funny here!

New Do

Since summer weather has arrived (mostly), Camille decided it was time for a summer hair cut. I took her to the hair place and this was the result.

Isn't she darling?




While we were at it, I gave Chloe a little trim.

Don't you just love this face? We get it all the time around here.

Beauty Queens

Rob's family came to visit a couple of weeks ago and left Camille with a makeup set. It was actually a pretty great kit where it teaches you how to put on makeup. It even came with a sketch pad so you could draw out your makeup designs before trying them on a real face. The girls loved it!

Aren't they lovely?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Playing Hooky

This post is totally out of order, but I just pulled the pictures off the little digital camera and thought I'd pop 'em up here too while I was at it.

Back in March we took a family day, pulling the kids out of school early and took them to a children's museum nearby. We were able to check out a pass from our library (love our library here!) so we got in for free - what a deal!

They had this great water room.

Camille painted me a love note on the wall.

Chloe pumped water into the water table.

Caleb caught a fish.


The kids enjoyed building with various construction toys, petting a bearded dragon, learning about plants, dancing, doing virtual sports, playing computer games, shopping for food...we could have stayed all day.

Here's Caleb hard at work building with K'nex toys.


After the children's museum, we grabbed a late lunch at a pizza place nearby. I tried to post the pictures but I can't seem to get them sized correctly. I'll have to try again another time.

Playing Outside

Spring has sprung! We are so glad spring is finally here, so we've spent lots of time outside over the past couple of weeks.

Isn't this the cutest boy?

He's pretty serious sometimes. (I'd put up pictures of him playing ball, only he was moving too quickly for me to snap a good shot.)

Camille had a blast swinging on her belly.

Such fun!

Chloe decides to belly swing too.

What a sassy kid.

Kids and Daddy.

Egg Hunt

Because Rob had to work all of Easter weekend, we requested the Easter Bunny come on Monday so we could have an Easter Egg hunt in our back yard.

Caleb helped Chloe find some eggs.

Caleb ponders the contents of one of his eggs (jelly beans and chocolate eggs)

Camille found another egg for her basket.

Chloe looks for eggs.

Camille's so excited to hunt for eggs.

Chloe loves jelly beans so much she's drooling!

Easter

Rob had to work all of Easter weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) so we kept our Easter festivities at a minimum this year.

Here are the kids and Dad checking out what the Easter Bunny brought before work. (And since Rob has to be out of the house at 6:20, it was E-A-R-L-Y at our house!)

I wonder when the day will come when our children figure the Easter Bunny brings other children candy. Hopefully for now they'll be too distracted with glow sticks, stickers, puzzles, giant pencils, fancy bath puffs, cereal and juice boxes.

Sweet Sisters


Narnia

Our library here has a pretty large selection of movies that we can borrow, so we've done a fair share of movie viewing this winter. A couple of months ago we let the children watch The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I should not have been surprised when our youngest refused to answer to her real name for weeks, preferring alternately Lucy, Susan, Peter or Edmund.

One day the girls made some Narnia art. This sign translated:
Dear Aslan,
Peter and Susan made the sculpture.


Trying to display both the sign and the handiwork.

Peter and Susan (Chloe and Camille) pose by their sculpture of Aslan. If you look carefully, this old banana box has a face drawn on it and two plastic ice cream cones sticking out of the top for ears.

Looks pretty lionish to me!

Lego Fun

Caleb has been very interested in building with the new Legos he got for Christmas. While he sometimes likes to build elaborate ships or planes, sometimes we get this:

A band of Lego swimmers!

So proud of his handiwork!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bibliotherapy

I think just about everyone who reads this little blog of ours knows that I recently graduated from library school. I'm particularly interested in is the topic of bibliotherapy and resiliency. The big idea is that if you expose children and young adults, in particular, to fiction in which characters deal with issues they may face in real life, it can give them a point of reference to fall back on when they may later encounter these issues.

For example, a teenage girl who cuts (or has a friend who does) may read Willow, a book in which the main character uses cutting to help her deal with other issues in her life, although through the course of the book she tries to find ways to overcome this challenge. This book is clearly a work of fiction, but the reader may relate to and learn from the experiences of the characters.

I remember in junior high reading a bunch of books about anorexia around the time a friend of mine was diagnosed with it.

The School Library Journal just came out with an article that talks about how reading fiction can help combat obesity. It's an interesting read.

Click Here

Harry Potter

Some weeks ago we decided to let the kids watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The kids weren't too interested in watching it at first, but soon grew really interested in it. So we let them watch the second and third movies. All three kids really liked them, but it was Chloe who seemed to like them best.

Why do I say that? Only because Chloe has been playing Harry Potter for the last month and a half. It's pretty funny actually. It goes something like this:

Chloe: Let's play Harry Potter. I'll be Ron Weasley. Camille, you can be Hermione. Caleb, you can be Harry Potter. Mom, you can be Moaning Myrtle. You say, "Harry, if you die, you can share my toilet."

Or like this:

Chloe: Do you want to play Harry Potter with me? I'll be baby Harry Potter. Mommy, you can be Hagrid. Hold me while we ride on Sirius Black's flying motorcycle.

It's particularly amusing to me when the other kids get into the game too. One day I caught the girls (Hermione and Ron Weasley, actually) with their wands (made from pencils) practicing their spells. Camille would point her wand at the door, give it a wave, say "Alohamora" and then open the door, turn around and proclaim, "See, it works!" Camille got so into it the other day, she busted out a pseudo-British accent and decided she was going to "talk like Hermione" the rest of the afternoon. It really lasted about 20 minutes, but it sure made me laugh!

Chloe, though, can turn anything into something Harry Potter related. One particular morning she got dressed by herself. She came down the stairs, so proud of herself and explained, "I'm Harry Potter. I have my purple pants and my orange shirt and even I have my glasses."

See for yourself. This picture was taken after "Harry" finished "swimming" on our front hall rug.

Camille

Cute Camille playing in the snow.

Sledding

We received nearly a foot of snow this week and I remembered to bring my camera outside while the girls were playing.

Here Chloe demonstrates how to sled.

First you put down your sled.

Then you think really hard about getting in.

Once you're sitting, wait to see if someone is going to give you a starter push.

When no one steps up to help, you make yourself go. Sometimes you tip over.

But then you get back on.

You may tip again, but it's okay. You're having fun now.

Especially when you see someone's there at the bottom waiting to catch you.

It's nice to have a sister to help you walk back up the hill.

Then you can sled down together.