Imagine what you could do if you knew you could not fail.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Self Portrait

Alexandra has recently become very interested in drawing herself. This is the picture she draws over and over on our art board. I think it's so cute! She makes her head. Then she very lovingly makes one ponytail, then another ponytail. Then the eyes. Then she makes her mouth big because she "is singing in a choir". Last is her dress, pictured below the head.

She is so proud of her work and when it gets erased, she just draws it again. She has also become quite interested in coloring too. Then she takes it one step further and tells me that she knows how to color, but Nathan just scribbles. LOL! He does know how to color and draw, by the way, but it makes me laugh.

Last night we were at Grandma and Grandpa's house and we collected some new toys they were getting rid of. A "new" Fisher Price house and furniture! I told Alexandra that we needed to clean the house before she could play with it. She asked me when we got home if we could clean it and I told her we could do it in the morning. Well, this morning she asked me all morning long if we could clean it now. I said - AFTER the girls are at school and AFTER the dishes are done. She just couldn't wait and I had to chase her away from it a couple of times because she brought a sloppy rag over to the house and started washing it down.

Finally I finished the dishes and the time arrived to clean the house! She carefully helped me wash and dry each little corner of the house, even pointing out when I missed a spot. Then when it was all done, she raced to get all her Fisher Price stuff and got it all set up. Here she is enjoying her new-found treasure. Thanks G&G! :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Girl Work/Boy Work

This year I made my own grape juice for the 2nd time. Homemade grape juice is the BEST! The only thing I absolutely cannot handle are the spiders in the grapes. So, I came up with a great solution.

Since we all drink and enjoy the juice, everyone can help. The boys get to remove all the spiders and I'll turn the grapes to juice.

Nathan didn't particularly like this job at first. He and Jeremy had to dump out all the grapes, then check them and put them back in the boxes.

I solved the problem by giving him this handy dandy glove that made the job "official" and he had no real problems after that! Gotta train him early. 

After the grapes were checked, the girl job kicked in. Athena, Samantha, and Alexandra took turns helping me wash sinkfuls of grapes and I cooked them and made the juice.

Looks like we've established a tradition! Walaa!!! Now that the spider problem is taken care of, we get homemade grape juice. :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Gathering of the Pumpkins

I know this post is really late, and the next few will be too. As usual . . . I'M BEHIND!!!! I wanted to post some of these fun family outings before I forget about them. The kids like to look back on my blog and read about past events so it's my job to keep it up. Oops!

These pictures are from October, when we went to get our pumpkins at the pumpkin patch. It has become our tradition to take this wagon out to the pumpkin patch and pick out our pumpkins. The rule is that you have to be able to carry it out yourself. It makes the activity much more age appropriate and then I don't have to try to figure out how to carry 5 pumpkins out of the pumpkin patch. This year was much warmer than last year, so we were able to enjoy the experience and linger a bit longer.

Us. The parents. We must love each other!

Athena and Samantha had a lot of fun riding at the front of the wagon. They were acting so "grown up". It was fun to watch their personalities come out as they joked and laughed throughout the ride.

This year there were a few extra activites at the pumpkin patch and the kids had fun with them. There was a maze made out of big fruit bins, these cutouts for pictures, and a big tractor that the kids could sit on.

This picture makes me laugh because it looks like Athena and Samantha are having SO MUCH fun, and Nathan and Alex look on just wishing they were over there behind the wheel instead of stuck on the top where they can't get down.

Now silly faces!

After chasing through the maze several times and checking out the picture boards and tractor, it was finally time to go through the pumpkin patch in search of the "perfect pumpkin". Ready . . . set . . . GO!!!!

After much searching and deliberation, these are the winners. :)

Jeremy and I found one too. I don't usually get one because I'm the one who ends up carving all the other ones. This year I wanted to try cooking on in the oven and making a pumpkin puree to use in recipes. Did that actually happen? NO!! My pumpkin sat on the bar and the table as a decoration until Christmas time when I finally gave up and threw it out. Maybe next year.

Wow, Jeremy! What happened?!! We loaded our pumpkins onto the wagon, rode back to the beginning, and enjoyed ice cream together to finish off our outing.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kid Worries

Nathan came in to me with a concerned look on his face and said, "Mom, I don't know who I'm going to marry. (then he shrugged his shoulders) I can't marry Carlie because she is going to marry someone else."

I told him he doesn't have to worry about who to marry when he is just 6 years old.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Treasure of a Find

I have so many pictures that I haven't posted to my blog, but I've been wanting to share them. I was just now going on a picture hunt, trying to decide what to post from all my pictures that date back to October when I found these beauties! Apparently the kids were having such a great time that they decided to document it with MY camera!

Seriously, who needs a horse? I'll just call this picture series "A Sad Day in the Life of Max".

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Braving the Cold

This winter has been so cold here! We have had several days in the single digits and teens. If I could, I'd just spend all day every day wrapped up in a few blankets sitting on the couch, but with kids that's just not possible. So I guess the next best thing is to go out and play in all the freezing cold goodness!

Ever since the snow hit the ground all the kids have been BEGGING to go sledding, so we finally found the time and bundled up! This particular day was only about 10 degrees Fahrenheit, but that didn't stop us. :)

Here is Alexandra posing for the camera, of course.

I usually don't like taking the kids sledding because it's so much work for me with all the whining, carrying kids AND sleds up the hill, and forcing them to go down again "because we are here". Well, this time was so different and we all had a lot of fun! Even I didn't want to go home.

All the kids (even Alexandra) just loved sledding and wanted to go again and again and again. Alex insisted on walking up the hill herself and even carrying her own sled some of the time! It was so cute to watch the kids faces as they sped down the snowy slopes.

Every time Alex went down, either by herself or with someone else, she just had this enormous grin on her face and she would giggle all the way down. I just wanted to soak it all in and save it for a long time.

That's Samantha sliding down the hill. This saucer was her favorite.

Nathan was just as much fun to watch. He couldn't get enough. He had that little saucer sled and just went again and again and again. As soon as he got to the bottom, he would jump off and run to the top and take it down. Sometimes he couldn't even wait to run to the top! He would get to the middle of the hill, set down his sled and just take off.

There goes Athena!

Jeremy and Alexandra again.
I did actually go down the hill and enjoy myself too, but since I'm the one with the camera, all you'll see of me is my shadow in several of the shots. Proof I was there!

Taking the kids sledding at the ages they are now is the most fun we have had with this activity and I look forward to when we can go again. I very much appreciate having our kids grow out of the toddler years, become a little more independent, and watching them having fun together as a family. :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Great Big THANKS!!!!

December was the busiest I remember in a long time - thanks to all my wonderful friends and neighbors who supported Athena and I in our Peanut Brittle Fund Raiser.

Athena auditioned and made it onto the concert choir for the group she sings with and will now be going on a tour this summer (and every summer)! Because she is under 12, I will be going with her. She is really excited to go and I'm happy for her. To raise money for her tour, we decided to sell peanut brittle and see if we could get some help.

To my surprise, things went much better than expected and peanut brittle was just flying off our shelves! I spent almost every day making peanut brittle, packaging it up, and sending her out to sell more candy. Thank you to everyone who supported her as she came knocking at your door! She was delighted with your response and I am so grateful to all of you for helping her to accomplish her goal of paying for her tour. :)

As a result of our little fund raiser, Athena earned enough to pay for her entire tour and now we just need to pay for mine! THANK YOU!!! I really hope you all enjoyed your candy!

Our stats for this year: We sold 76 lbs of candy - went through 26 lbs of peanuts - 16 batches made - and logged more than 40 hours.

Hopefully next year will be just as great as we prepare for her next tour! :)
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