Monday, June 29, 2009

The Sign Comes Down

My Mom sent me these photos she took as the sign was taken down outside my Dad's, now my brother's, car dealership.

It is so sad to see. Yes, my family is a bit bitter about the whole thing. It is so hard to see a business my father bought before I was even born and then spent years working hard to build up taken away from him in this way. When he bought the franchise all those years ago, it was in a different location with a tiny little lot that barely held 5 or 6 cars. Over the years he has grown the business and has done well and has been able to contribute to the community. Now, without any compensation, he is no longer a Chrysler, Dodge, or Jeep dealer. It is difficult not to take that hard

My Dad recently retired and my brother has been running the dealership. He, my brother, is trying hard to keep the place going, and to maintain the relationships and maintain the reputation that the business has built over the years. You can still go get your Chrysler cars and trucks fixed there and of course they do still have a lot of pre-owned cars you can look at.

A few years ago, Ok... time passes really quickly, a lot of years ago the dealership added the Kia line. So you can still get new Kia cars, suvs and vans there. We love our Kia van!

So if you happen to be in the Mother Lode then look for a sign with this logo

That other sign is gone.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

More Nesting/Prep work - One month to go!

On Saturday we decided to go look at beds. We decided to get a new twin bed for our baby. No she isn't going to be sleeping in it any time soon. Her crib bed is still hanging out in our walk in closet waiting for me to finally get it set up. We just thought it would nice to have an extra bed in the house when the baby comes. We had a free bed when Henry came and it was very nice to have. It is a great place for Grandma to sleep when she comes to help. It is also the place my husband escapes to when baby wakes up several times a night and he needs to get some sleep so he isn't a zombie at work the next day. Well Saturday we went to the bed store and were just going to look but ended up buying one because they are having a great sale and figured why wait.

So the bed is being delivered tomorrow, Monday. In anticipation of its arrival we were clearing out a space in Sophie's room for it. But Sophie has the smaller of the two kid bedrooms and we decided that putting two twin beds in her room wouldn't really work space wise. We thought the two twins should go in the other, bigger, room and the bunk beds should be in the smaller room. So tonight we set to work taking apart the bunk beds and then reassembling them in the other room. The kids are so excited to be switching room! The boys will now share the smaller room and have the bunk beds up (we had them separated in the other room). My poor husband did all the heavy lifting while I just pushed things around a bit and swept all the dust bunnies that we stirred up as we moved everything around. He didn't want to send me into labor, although I feel pretty much ready to have this pregnancy over and done. The magic 37 weeks, full term, isn't until next week, so he had me take things easy.

This ended up being a really long project and we aren't even done yet. The beds are moved but the kids were upset that their stuff was in their old rooms and not the new rooms yet. I told them we would spend all day Monday making the switch but it didn't totally appease them. They kept taking thing back and forth between the room trying to exchange as much as they could. But for now they are put to bed. I hope they stay there and don't have any nightmares because things are a bit chaotic in each of the rooms and they are all sleeping in different rooms then they are used to.

But the new bed arrives tomorrow and that is one less thing on my list that needs to get done before the baby comes. But there is a lot to do in the morning to get the kids rooms all organized again. But it will be good to muck through their stuff and throw out a few things, if they will let me.

Friday, June 26, 2009


I know politics is one of those subjects to avoid so that you don't offend anyone but...... Politics play such an important part of our lives that it really is a subject we shouldn't be afraid to discuss and talk about. I grew up in a home that discussed politics all the time. My parents were involved in local political groups and had all sorts of political magazines, books and such around the house. Talk radio was almost always blaring out of 2 or three different radios through out the house that way while my mom did her work she wouldn't miss anything. I couldn't help knowing and learning about what was going on in the nation and how my parents felt about it.

My husband and I discuss the goings on in Sacramento and D.C. all the time. Our kids can't help but learn all the names and some of the bills and such that we discuss. It is always so funny to hear little Henry or Ian talk about those "robbers in Washington", or those "bad guys" in government. But I think it is great that they are paying attention and ask us questions all the time if there is something they don't understand. We try to take the time to explain why we feel this or that way about something that is going on so hopefully our kids will have a pretty good grasp of government and economics and how they affect our family and their future.

One of my favorite things as a kid was the look through the magazines that would come in the mail. I didn't read many of the articles but loved looking at the political cartoons. I learned a lot from these cartoons and miss seeing more of them. Occasionally there is a good one in the one in the few magazines that we do subscribe to but I get most of my information on the internet so don't get to see as many of these cartoons. When I see a good one or receive one in my email I need to start printing them out so my kids can see them. Sometimes cartoons can make a point, especially in children, when talking doesn't.

This one reminds me of School House Rock's Tyrannosaurus Debt. My kids love School House Rock. I think we need to break this out again.

Next week in honor of our nations birthday we are going to read a bunch of books about our founding fathers and The Constitution. I have a feeling we will be discussing how different our government is run today compared to what the founding fathers planned. Even at my kids' tender ages they are learning all about politics and how our world works.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Very Busy, Busy Week

The past week has been quite full of activities. This was the first week of Summer Vacation for most kids in our area, so of course a lot of the Moms planned things for their kids to do and we got invited to come along. We don't really do Summer Vacation, as in do nothing but play. We still do some school work but do go about things a lot lighter and take a break from the usual History and Science stuff but try to keep up with Language Arts and Math while doing unit studies or just fun read alouds. This week however wasn't an average week.

Since Father's Day is tomorrow we spent the week (we actually started the week before, knowing how busy this week would be) rowing the book Papa Piccolo. It is a great book about Fathers and what they do for their kids. The kids really enjoyed learning about Italy, Venice in particular and gondolas.

We read a few books about cats. And of course had to read Jack and Annie's adventures in Venice as well as listen to Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery number of times. We even did a few crafts. The kids made cat masks for Carnival and ended the week by making father's day cards. We read a number of great go-alongs that the kids really enjoyed. They always enjoy Theirs a Dolphin in the Grand Canal and we found a great book that our library has but I couldn't find it online at Amazon but did at Alibris. It is Felice by Marsha Brown. It is about a cat in venice that needs to find a home. It is a very old book probably out of print but it went perfectly with Papa Piccolo.

To give Sophie a break from her normal math I got her The adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat and she has enjoyed looking through this book and finding all the different ways math is used. We made Tessellations one day and did origami on another. I often found her with her nose in this book and then she would come and tell me about what Penrose had been learning. She has also been revisiting all the I Love Math books. She knows where to find them at the library and picks up a number of them each week. And the ones that our library doesn't have she asks me to put on hold so they will get them from the other libraries in our system.

This has been about all the academics we have been up to. The rest of the week has been spent playing or on outings.

On Monday we took the kids to a Minor League Baseball Game and I couldn't believe we made it through the whole game. They of course especially loved the cotton candy and getting to play with some of their friends.

On Tuesday we had a swim party at a friends house. I am so happy Ian was swimming without his float. At first he wanted it but I asked him to give it a try without and that was that. He swam around the pool having a great time the rest of the afternoon.

Wednesday, Sophie and I had to go to Oakland for her yearly Cranial Facial Clinic. We saw about 15 different doctors in 3 hours. Sophie was really tired of being poked, prodded and questioned. I don't blame her it isn't a fun morning. But the doctors did say she was right on target for her next surgery to happen within the next year. Once this round of orthodontics are done we will set a date for that. But she still has fluid in her ears causing her to have hearing trouble in that ear, which means she may need to have tubes put in again.
After our morning of doctors I took the kids to our weekly park day and they dug in the sand and water all afternoon.

Thursday was our hike. I already discussed how well that one went in this post.

Friday was spent at the beach. The kids are now a bit crispy and we have all decided to say inside today and Sunday to let our skin recover a bit.

I am glad next week isn't quite so packed with activities. We had a great time but another week of this much going on and I will wear myself out.

Friday, June 19, 2009

"The Best Day Ever" according to Henry

My kids have been looking forward to today all week. Once they heard that a Beach trip was planned with our friends they have been talking and talking about it. At first I was not going to go because we have be going and going all week and this is a lot of work to take 3 kids to the beach all by myself. Yes we were meeting a bunch of friends but they had their own stuff to lung out there and their own kids to keep track of. But we went and according to Henry it was "The Best Day Ever".

The Beaches in Santa Cruz are only 40 minutes from our house so we really have no excuse not to go more often and the kids really do love it. They enjoy everything about it.
Running through the waves and trying to catch sand crabs are my kids favorite things to do at the beach. I was actually really surprised by the size of some the crabs the kids in our group caught. Watching them quickly burrow into the ground when dropped into the sand was amazing to watch. I think by the end of the day their big bucket had about a hundred or more. (Not all caught by my kids. In fact my kids usually liked to watch them burrow, so theirs never went into the group's bucket.)
Ian kept saying he was trying to stand his ground as the waves pulled back and the sand felt like it was pulled out from under his feet. Later he and Henry said it felt like they were surfing or skateboarding.
Henry just enjoyed going to "the deep end" of the waves. If the water ever got up to his waist he said he was in the "deep end". I guess he knew that was as far out as he should go. He just loved running around through the waves.
Sophie actually tried to ride a few waves in. She needs a boogie board or something next time I think.

After playing in the waves some we took a walk over to the rock wall the divides the beach from the marina. The rocks were covered in sea anemone and muscles as well as star fish.Here are the kids looking into the crevice between the rocks.
This is what they they were looking at. Sorry it is blurry. But there are some starfish stuck there on the rock.
Henry actually broke out off the wall and the kids got a closer look at it. They put it back even though they would love to have taken it home.
Most of the sea anemones were small. Just right for a kid finger to touch and see it quickly close up. This one was almost a big as my fist. None of them would touch this one. For some reason because of its size they thought it might hurt them.

So now my kids are all a bit red. We spent 4 hours at the beach. No sunblock lasts that long and I didn't reapply like I should. My kids were too busy and too covered in sand to even think about reapplying sunblock. The kids don't seem to mind. I never did either when I was a kid. The beach was and still is "The best day ever" to a kid. They are already planning on us going again next week.

We will see about that.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

For Some Reason it is Different!

Today I took the kids on a hike. Every week some of our friends have been going on different hikes in the area. We really enjoyed these hikes last spring and summer and the kids have asked when we would be going again. I have purposely not told the kids about them because I just didn't think I would make it up those steep climbs which these hikes often are. Today's hike was one that I knew was flat and not that long and they kids had heard about the hike from a conversation they overheard and were determined to go. I figured this was a hike I could do. I do make it to the gym 3 times a week to do the stair stepper or something. Somehow hiking in the hot sun with three complaining kids was a big difference. I am so tired and worn out after only our short little hike.

Sophie and Ian were actually fine, at least on the way there. They kept up with their friend and made it to the little farm, which was our destination. Henry on the other hand complained and whined about being too tired of walking and of course wanted to be carried. There was no way I was going to carry him so I got to listen to his crankiness the whole way while holding his hand which was all I could offer him.

The kids did enjoy looking at the animals at the farm, as well as getting to run around a bit with their friends and have a snack.

The walk back was a whole lot worse than the walk to the farm. Now all three kids were complaining about the heat and about how tired they were. I was really tired too and couldn't wait to get back to the car. For some reason they always seemed to sit down and pout when we were out in the hot sun and couldn't understand why when we got to the shade I would stop everyone and pass around the water bottles.

I tried really hard to distract them with all the beautiful nature around us. We saw so many birds. Three different kinds of bluebirds, some robins, hawks circling in the air and even a little family of quail with some little chicks.

This helped a bit during moments of the hike back. I don't really blame them. It was hot. Our temperatures were suddenly in the high 80's today rather then the mild 70's we had be enjoying. We were all sweating and tired and were happy to reach the car and our A/C for the drive home.

I don't think I am going to be doing any hiking again for a bit. At least until it cools off a little or after I loose this extra 20 pounds that I have been carrying around recently. I think I am going to have to stick to exercising at the Air conditioned YMCA where I get to tune out the world and listen to music or read a book rather than my cranky kids.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I am starting to feel like I am coming to the end of the pregnancy. 5 more weeks (The three others have all come 5 days early so I am counting on this one doing the same) and I don't really feel ready yet for her to arrive. But I am making little steps in the right direction to hopefully make her arrival a little less chaotic and to feel prepared for her.

I am still working on the walk in closet which is going to be her room. I got the crib down about a week ago and it is in there, not set up. There is still a few boxes that need to be moved to make room and that means I have to actually find somewhere else to store it. But I am making progress.

I went and got the baby car seat out to clean and washed it. It has been through 3 kids already and has probably passed it's expiration date but I just don't feel like buying another car seat so we are just going to make due with what we have. Is this bad of me. Money is just too tight right now to buy a bunch of new things that are only going to last a few months.

I haven't broken out the baby girl clothes yet but am planning to get to it soon since I haven't seen them in almost 8 years. I guess I should find out what I actually saved and if there is anything new I need.

I have started cooking extra things to put in the freezer too. Last week it was Calzone. I made pizza for dinner and then a bunch of calzone to squirrel away for later. Those will be nice for dinner sometime but they may not make it a month. I find myself getting lazy about making dinner so they may get used sometime during the next few weeks. I guess I will have to make them again sometime soon, on one of those days I actually decide to bake. This morning I made a double batch of Pumpkin muffins and stashed 3/4 of them in the freezer. A little treat some time will be really nice. These are the things that I usually freeze. Anyone have any other good foods I can prepare and freeze now?

I actually looked at my dresses today, while getting ready for church, and told myself this was the last time I would have to wear this skirt, perhaps. I actually looked at a number of my maternity clothes and thought it might be alright to send it along to my sister who is also pregnant but just starting to show. I can get by for the next few weeks with less of my wardrobe right? We will see how I feel tomorrow when I look at my clothes and try to find something to wear that doesn't make me feel huge. How can I not look huge? How about less huge? Today I just wanted comfortable.

This evening, Henry and Ian laid down on my belly to talk to the baby. Henry said "baby come out soon, you have been in there long enough". Ian, of course, told the baby to "hurry up and come out". Even they are ready to have this baby come. It does feel like we have been waiting a long time already.

I guess I am looking forward to not being pregnant any more. My only worries are about the actual birth. I have done this 3 times and know how not fun, i.e. painful, it is (and I usually have it pretty easy and quick). But to have my body back to some sort of normal sounds so nice. How nice it sounds to not have to go to bed with swollen feet and wake up with tingling fingers. No the first few weeks with a newborn aren't easy but at this point I am just ready to be done.

The last few weeks are always the hardest!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wordful Wednesday - Memorable Family Vacations

When I look back at all the different Vacations my family has been on I feel pretty blessed to have been able to travel as much as I have. When most of my siblings and I were young our vacations were close to home and we drove everywhere. When I was in High School that changed a bit. My Dad started winning trips to some very cool places. My Dad was a car dealer by trade and Dodge or Chrysler, in their hey day, would send some of their dealers on trips. My Dad often opted for the family trips which made us all happy because before this he had won a few and just my parents would go.

The first of these family trips, paid for by Chrysler or Dodge, was to London. When Dodge was paying we stayed at some of the nicest hotels, went on lots of tours and ate at fancy restaurants that normally my family wouldn't even think about. I remember on this particular trip that because we had more than the normal 4 people, we got a suite in the hotel rather than just a room. We each had our own bedroom and bathroom, there was a kitchen, a sitting room and even a dinning room that sat 10. That suite was bigger than my house is now. Our Hotel was right off of Hyde Park. One of the nights, while we were in London, Pavarotti give a concert in Hyde Park. I believe Charles and Diana attended that concert. My Mom attended also, from the window of our Hotel suite. The rest of us went and had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and went to see a show, Starlight Express, if I remember right. Or was it Les Miserables which we also went to see that week. On this trip we saw most of the normal tourist places you would go to in and around London. I was still young and didn't totally know all of what we were seeing but enjoyed the whole trip.
Here is my sister at Stonehenge. For some reason I don't have any pictures of me from this trip. I took a number but most of them are of the scenery and not of people.

A few years later my Dad won another Family trip through Dodge, this time to Paris. This time all my siblings went, not just the ones "still at home". Again we stayed at a very nice hotel and ate at fancy places. I remember that we walked and walked through Paris and went to museum after museum. I loved seeing real Van Goghs in the Muse de Orsay and bought myself a poster in the gift shop of one of them. That poster, when I got home, was framed and now still hangs on my wall. My sister bought a poster of the Mona Lisa after seeing it at the Louvre. I don't know what she did with it but I don't remember seeing it much after we got back.

We stayed an extra week past the vacation that Dodge paid for. We rented cars and drove through the Loire Valley visiting a number of the Chateaus scattered along the french countryside. My favorites were


Normandy and the beaches along the coast were another stop on our tour. Having seen The Longest Day so many times I recognized some of the locations around there and knew about the historical significance of this place. Many of the other places we had visited I didn't know the history that well and spent a lot of my time looking at the beautiful decorations and lavish rooms. During this 2nd week in France we stayed at many different hotels along the way and got a much more real look at French life than we did the first week in our fancier hotel Paris. My favorite meal in France was the simple ham and cheese stuffed in a baguette. I made the mistake and just pointing to something on the menu at one restaurant and hoping it would be good. My brother ended up eating the tripe that I had ordered. How he could do that? I still don't know!

My Dad was able to win these Dodge Trips every few years and the next one was to Italy. First a few days spent up in the Dolomites and then a few days in Venice.
The Alps were so beautiful. We really enjoyed hiking a bit and looking for Edelweiss. We couldn't stop thinking we were in "Sound of Music land". My sister and I tried to go on a bike ride which was so much harder to do at that altitude than it usually is down lower. This felt more like we were Austria than in Italy. The people spoke German and the food wasn't Italian either.
It was a totally different story when we left the Alps and headed to Venice.
Here I am riding a water taxi up the Grand Canal.

Venice was what I was expecting. By this time I had had a few years of college where I took some art history and Design classes and could appreciate the architecture more than I would have just a few years earlier. We enjoyed just walking around and through the city. We got to take a gondola ride and eat some more authentic Italian food. When we ordered Pepperoni pizza we got a pizza with just peppers on it. Mysteriously it still tasted like pepperoni pizza.

Again we took an extra week beyond what Dodge was paying for so we could see a bit more of Italy. We drove out of Venice and visited Tuscany. We somehow made it through the crazy streets of Florence without hitting any vespas. And got to see many of the great works of art housed in the museums there. We stayed at the little pension in Siena and had a wonderful relaxing day walking the streets there. Driving through this city was not fun. I don't really ever want to try to drive in Europe again. We visited a number of the small cities in northern Italy before returning to Venice to fly home.

This was the last of the family trips we went on with Dodge. My dad did win other trips that were for two people and would either take my mom or give the trip to one of us to take with our spouse. Dodge and Chrysler were very good to our family. We got to see a lot more of the world than we would have otherwise.

Over the last month or two Chrysler hasn't been as good to our family. My Dad's small business that he has been running since before I was born was one of the dealerships to loose their franchise. Chrysler isn't looked on too favorably, by my family, at the moment. But I have to say.... I loved the trips that we were able to take during the good years.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Started Something New this week

After spending so many days and weeks nagging my kids to do some simple chores, clean up their messes, as well as actually do their school work each day, I decided I didn't want to nag any more and started what I call the point system. I made each kid a chart that has their chores or tasks (including school assignments) that need to be completed each day on it (as well as a few that would just be nice to see happen once in awhile). The charts have about 13-15 items on them. Each item is worth one point and they have to earn 10 points in order to have a privilege. The privileges are things like movies, audio books, certain toys, playing outside, etc. These are all the usual things we save for the afternoon usually, but now they know they have to earn it rather than just waiting until after lunch.

I am so surprised that this has worked so well this week. The kids beds are made each morning and their dirty clothes are in the laundry. Their rooms are picked up and school work is done so much more willingly. They actually ask for me to help them do certain tasks so they can earn their points. It has worked well so far. I hope the novelty doesn't wear off before the habits are formed.

As a result of our "new program" the boys have had a lot more time with me each day. I actually read each of them at least 3 books. That is one of the items on their list. So we often sit and read 6 books straight through so they can each get their point for that item. Sophie too, often joins us for our reading time but will often use this time to do her 20 min of silent reading which is one of her tasks on her chart. Reading to the boys is something I have often felt bad about. I read with Sophie, history, science, or our unit study related books, but have sort of got lazy about reading to the boys just for fun. Now they make me read to them. They pick the books usually so they are really enjoying getting to some of the books that aren't for school. I think I have read The Duchess Bakes a Cake almost every day this week. It is Henry's new favorite. I am enjoying reading these great books that seem to just sit on our shelf.

One of Ian's tasks on his chart is to read a book to me each day. So far we have read I like bugs, I can read with my eyes shut, and a few others.

What I really amazed me is that Sophie is doing a writing assignment every day without too much complaining. One day it was copy work on another she wrote a story, and then on Friday she decided she needed to have a spelling test. We don't really have spelling words so I just picked words out of the grammar lessons we have covered over the past few months and gave her words that I knew she didn't spell correctly when we did them. I was only going to give her 10 but she told me "I still have room on my page, give me a few more, this is fun". I couldn't believe my ears. Is this the same girl? So we we ended up doing over 20 words and she got most of the correct. She had a little trouble with "taught", "thought" and "caterpillar" for some reason.

As for what we have studied.... we sort of burnt out on horses. Sophie would have gone on but the boys really wanted something new. 3 weeks of non stop horses and horse books was too much for them. So I picked a book I knew the boys would like that that is our read aloud for this week. I picked The Indian in the cupboard. I knew the boys would love it but Sophie loves it too. We read a number of chapters each day and they always want me to read one more and then one more. We are almost finished with the first book in the series and may read the next.

But to go along with this book I picked up a number of other books from the library about toys and how they come to life. My kids loved Toy Farmer and The Velveteen Rabbit. There are so many picture books about toys coming to life.

My kids are really enjoying these. I don't want to actually call it a unit study but I did pick up a few books about old fashioned toys as well as toys from around the world which we will look through next week. So it is a very informal study of toys I guess.

It has been a much more smooth sailing week for us. We haven't had quite as many struggles to get our work done, our home is cleaner and the kids still get their privileges. Lets hope next week continues to go as smoothly.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

High Expectations

Since it is the end of the school year for most of the kids around us I have been evaluating what we were able to do over the year and if I feel like Sophie has covered enough in 2nd grade. I honestly can't believe she is heading into third grade already.

There are so many days I feel like I am failing at homeschooling and that Sophie is way behind in some subjects. Usually these are the days when we just can't seem to get around to doing our "table work" and just play and read books. We do tend to be very informal anyway but somedays it doesn't feel like we really "do school". I often need to remind myself of how much we actually do get done, and how much she, as well as the boys, are learning even when it isn't sit down and do an assignment type of work.

I know History/ Geography are well covered. She knows way more than most kids her age and I know there are things we have studied I don't ever remember studying. I also feel like we read a ton of great literature and that she is exposed to many of the masters of art and music. My kids love to read books and almost always have books or music playing while they go about their activities. I mostly feel like we are behind in Math and writing/grammar. These are the subjects that seem to be more assignment based and therefore she fights them.

I was sitting next to another mother while the kids were at swim lessons and her son is in second grade. She was complaining about the amount of homework he has to do at home and said he was tired of doing so much adding and subtracting all the time. I remember thinking about Sophie and how we are struggling with multiplication tables and lately long division. I guess she isn't behind at all. Infact she is ahead. Singapore math does introduce concepts earlier than other curriculums and she is almost all the way through the 3A book which puts her halfway through the 3rd grade year of math. I guess I am pushing her a little hard. I think I need to play a little more math games with her and slow down through the workbook.

As for writing and grammar, I know we aren't regular about any program we have tried. And for this reason it feels like I have really short changed her. Today while at our weekly trip to the library I stopped to look at the writing fair that was on display in the library. Each of the schools in our school district sent in student work to show off what their classes were doing. I, of course, went to the 2nd grade work and wanted to see the "masterpieces" that I figured were coming out of these classes. What I saw was very basic stories or sentences, often misspelled with grammar and punctuation either missing or incorrect. The writing itself wasn't any easier to read than what Sophie prints out. It was eye opening for me to see this. When I came home I put away the writing assignment Sophie had done for that morning into her folder where I keep this years work. I glanced through her work that I have collected over the past few months and could honestly say that her work was either about the same as what I saw or in some cases better. So again I was reminded that my expectations for my almost 8 year old may be a little high.

I am not trying to create a genius or a star in anyway. But I do hope she learns to love to learn new things and how to express herself in a coherent and articulate way. I know I can't and shouldn't try to force her to learn. It is up to her. I just have to give her opportunities and guidance along the way. No it isn't important to compare my child's levels to what other kids her age are doing but for me it was nice to be reminded that I am not failing to help her progress.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What we have and haven't been doing......

I am sorry for the lack of posting. I just never seem to get around to uploading pictures and writing anything. I always plan too but then get sucked into other things. The days and week seem to all sort of blur together.
Memorial Day was spent up at Grandma and Grandpa house where the kids played in the yard a lot of the weekend. There are tons of little tiny toads all over the place and the kids had fun catching them and seeing how many they could hold in their hands before they all escaped again.

A little swim time is always a hit with these little guys. It seemed too cold to me but they happily played in the pool while I just watched. Those swim lessons seem to have paid off. All the kids were in the pool without floats. The boys stayed in the shallow end but they were happy getting around on their own power for a change.

Since Monday was a holiday and the day after returning from Grandma and Grandpa's house is almost always a bit of a trial and it also happened to be the day Sophie got her braces on, so that day was shot. I can't say we did a lot of school work the rest of the week. It is hard to get motivated when it is already Wednesday and you haven't started anything so mostly we played and listened to a lot of audio books.

Sophie built some amazing zoos with her blocks while the radio read to her "Misty of Chincotegue".

Friday I decided we should go to the Children's Museum. They had a new Curious George exhibit that just opened and the kids had seen the big blow up George sitting on the roof of the museum as we passed it earlier in the week. They really wanted to go and see George.

I think they enjoyed the Art loft the most though. They gave the kids a bunch of cardboard and stuff in order to put together a rocket ship. They were thrilled with what they came up with and were excited to take them home to show off.

And the fun just kept on going. On Saturday we were invited to go to the beach in Santa Cruz for a bonfire. I knew this may be our only chance to make it down to the beach for awhile so we went. The kids, even though it was pretty cold and windy, had to play in the waves a bit.

But the bonfire was the biggest draw for Henry. He is a little "fire bug" and kept wanting to cook things over the fire and throw things into the fire. By the time we went home he looked like a chimney sweep with the amount out soot on his face. I am just glad he didn't end up falling in or burning himself.

So last week was pretty busy and it just doesn't seem to let up. I had a concert on Sunday and I have another one in a few days. We seem to have appointments or activities scheduled each day. And Summer hasn't even officially started yet. Most kids are still in school. My kids have been doing a bit of school this week. At least more than we had been doing last week.