Thursday, January 31, 2013

Costumes and Coloring

We have had a few days off and a few days of changing things up since I last blogged.

Last weekend we were at a seminar so the kids spent Thursday through Saturday at Vidalia's house.

Monday I taught the kids a joy school lesson with Lillie and Sam instead of doing kindergarten that day. We had a great time.

Tuesday we did stretches and games on the yoga mats. Amy made up a game where we run across the mats and throw a block when we get to the futon. If it goes all the way over the futon, we get a point. Suddenly the rules were changing and people were getting hundreds of thousands of points. I don't quite understand her point scale, but no one got upset. So it was all good. Then the kids went outside to play in the snow with Daddy. We never got back to closing routine.

Yesterday was family flop. It seems like at least once a week Amy falls asleep instead of having school. It's dreamy (no pun intended) for me when all three kids sleep in the middle of the day.

Today we are back in the groove.

Mom class was coloring on some big Spiderman coloring pages that Aunt Deborah gave us. Amy kept telling me I was so good at coloring. It was cute.

The girls chose a combination of costumes, instruments, parade and walk for a combined activity. So there we went around the block all decked out. Pretty awesome. Amy was a dog in her Clifford costume. Noel was a ladybug with Chinese pants. I had on a dress with fancy gloves and hat. I was the "bee's" owner. Noel kept calling herself a bee. She said cute things about being an owner who was always nice. There was some puddle jumping, some skipping, some waving to passing cars, and some owner-carrying-the-ladybug. At one point we saw a man who warned us that the dogs at the end of the block were aggressive and had almost gotten shot a few minutes before on the soccer field for growling at someone. That was convincing enough. We turned around and walked home the other way. Back on our street, we saw the man again, this time in his car, following the dogs. They were on our street. By the time we got home, they had mosied over and were in front of our next door neighbor's house. Soon after we came in they were on our porch. I was glad we were safely home.

Now we are cleaning up our big mess. Fun day.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rings and Paints

Today the girls were reluctant to have school. I think Amy didn't want to sit still long enough. Plus they didn't want to clean up any of the current messes before starting school and making new messes. Amy freaked out about my idea for mom class - listening to the hobbit which she really enjoys - while folding laundry. We finally got to the bottom of her concerns. She doesn't feel like she's good at folding clothes, and she doesn't like for me to change up mom class so much. She likes especially Spanish lessons and project days. Finally we cleaned up the play room amid much silliness and started school. I suggested that we could work on tying shoes because Amy has a goal to learn how to do that.

After a minor drama involving a lost and then found CTR ring, we did Noel's activity - finger paint.  Aunt Deborah had bought the set for us. It was very fun.

Amy chose snack time. We have leftover birthday cake from Aunt Deborah's and Daddy's little birthday celebrations from the last few days.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Aunt Deborah School

The kids' wonderful Aunt Deborah is in town for a few days and is staying with us. It has been so great having her, and the kids have LOVED playing with her. It helps that she treats them like everything they say and do is adorable and perfect. That in turn helps them make everything they say and do be adorable. A good arrangement.

This morning Deborah let Matt and me go out together. What started as a temple time ended up including a quick trip to the store and stops at a few mechanics. Car trouble. Bummer.

So we stayed away longer than we intended. By the time we got home and ate lunch it was about 2:00. I decided rather than doing school I would just write about what they did at "Aunt Deborah School." That way they can keep playing with her however they want and telling her stuff and showing her everything they can think of.

Apparently they watched little youtubes about washing hands. (The kids both wanted to show us their "new tricks" when we got home. I thought washing hands was a funny new trick since they do it all the time, but they started a new way.)

Amy told Deborah she needed to go on a treasure hunt so they went back and forth hiding and finding a post-it note.

They colored a lot. Deborah brought them coloring books and new crayons and colored pencils for a present, and she hit the nail on the head. Amy's nearly colored every picture and has done a couple word searches in her book already.

Then they watched Strawberry Shortcake and the Tigger Movie.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Grandma Anne School

This afternoon my Aunt Anne came over to hear about the book discussion group I'm starting. The kids felt gypped when the realize Anne came to talk to me instead of playing with them. She is SO FUN to be with, especially for kids. So they just assumed she had come to play with them. They kept asking us when we would be done with our meeting.

So Anne kindly said she'd play with them afterwards. Noel chose battledome to play. It's a fun one, but it includes marbles which Eliza tries to eat. So we don't play long when Eliza's awake. And she woke up almost as soon as we got downstairs.

Then Amy got out the memory game. Noel has been in and out. Anne has been patiently playing. They love her so much. All of the adults in my family feel so blessed we have Anne in our family. I'm the luckiest of all because I live in her same town.

We LOVE Grandma Anne school.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Everyone gets a Turn. Still, Amy Wants to be In Charge

Today we prepared for tomorrow's Joy School day during Mom Class. Amy was interested while the job was getting boxes together for an activity. Noel liked when I practiced the song with actions. Other than that, they just played. Not such an interesting activity for them. Sometimes that's how Mom Class goes. I'm sometimes surprised by what is flies and what flops.

Amy chose the art kit for her activity. She kept telling Noel and me that we had to draw the same pictures the same way she did. We used markers, crayons, scissors, tape and glue. A toy hourglass told us when time was up.

Noel chose "go hiking" after Amy suggested it. Following others' ideas is not always Amy's strongest point. They climbed on the couch and then jumped to the other couch and jumped to the floor which was the water. I skipped out of that activity as Eliza had pinched my ear hard and pulled on it just a little bit before, and now I have a headache. Didn't think jumping would help.

Eliza wanted a book for her activity and then only sat through a few pages while Amy stayed. I guess she didn't love that book. She does like books a lot of the time, but that one didn't seem to interest her.

The girls were sad when I said we were having closing routine, wanting to choose more activities, but they seemed to have moved on. They have both done a few things since we stopped.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Younger Kids' School Today

Amy's been sleeping a lot lately and at strange times. And not sleeping when she should. Like I don't think there's a day in the last 6 or 7 that she slept past 6 am. As a result she falls asleep in the afternoon or early evening and has no trouble sleeping at bed time even if she had a long or late nap or just sleeps on through dinner and the evening clear til morning. When she wakes up super early again.

Today was one of those days. Asleep before we could get to school time.

After a rest, Noel was going strong so we had school without Amy. I sometimes feel sad for Noel because she doesn't get one-on-one as much as Amy. Not guilty. This is just how some things go. But sad for her. She LOVES school but has to sleep through it often and doesn't get full rein ever; Amy's almost always there. So we seized the day and had fun ourselves. Partway through Eliza joined us too.

Noel's shown some interest lately in some pictures she found from my childhood and youth so I got those out for Mom Class. We had fun looking at them. I kept asking her who people were, people she really really knows well. She never knew. She thought all the women were me - my sister and sister-in-law included. Funny.

She chose Twister for her first activity. She asked me a lot about right and left but knew all the colors. We took turns spinning and playing.

As we were trying to clean that up, Eliza got inside. All of a sudden we had twister burritos with both girls wrapped up in the mat. There was a lot of tickling and giggling. Cute.

Then we got down a floor puzzle we have. That was interesting trying to put it together with Eliza around. I went back and forth between helping/ encouraging Noel and entertaining Eliza. When it was time to clean that up, Eliza and Noel walked all over the puzzle to break it up.

Amy just woke up, a little sad she missed school. I'm glad I didn't miss it today.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Early Out Day

Today was a simple quick day. Done with school before 3:00 pm? Unheard of.

We started with a little ballet movie and some costumes. I checked out a Baby Ballet movie from the library last week, and the girls enjoyed watching it on Saturday. That day we didn't get out leotards and tutus, and they really wanted to watch it again, this time dressed appropriately. So we got out the costume box. Couldn't find the leotards. Then the movie didn't work out. Bummer. Amy settled for Clifford the Big Read Dog costume. We all settled for youtube ballet.

Noel got to join us for that activity but really needed a nap today so she went down after that.

Amy and I headed downstairs, had our opening routine, and prepared her Family Home Evening lesson for mom class. Though we read a scripture story together and discussed different things about it, I have NO IDEA what she will be sharing tonight for her lesson. That's ok with me though. She said she's ready.

Amy chose Chutes and Ladders for the next activity. I won so she started me over and we kept playing. When I won again, she was tempted to do that again but then started just goofing off. So we cleaned up the game to move on.

The next activity Amy chose was sword fights. She lent me her blow up shield she got from Christmas and used her blow up sword. I used my paper sword I made months ago at school. She had her back pack for her shield. She won three rounds of sword fights. (She was the judge.)

Now we're going to read our scripture story and be done.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Three Little Girls Playin in the Water

Today was an awesome day at school.

For Mom Class we made a morning routine chart for Amy. I still have some work to do on it; maybe I'll remember to post a picture when I'm done. The mom class was semi interesting and semi boring for the kids so their attention waxed and waned. At one point, Amy was spotting Eliza and holding her up to reach the light switch. She proudly showed me how Eliza could turn the light on and off and told Eliza, "I'm so proud of you!". It was really cute.

Amy talked at the beginning of school about wanting to see about snow melting so before we started opening routine and mom class, Amy went outside to get some snow in a bucket while I cleared out the sink. Throughout opening routine and mom class we came to check on the snow. Amy's theory was that it would turn to water.

She was convinced that she was right in her theory because the snow really did turn into water ...when she added water.

Suddenly the experiment turned into coloring water with food coloring. After pouring in the colors (which made it a really unappetizing almost black color) Amy said, "Now we're going to make a suit for a boy to wear to church in case we have a boy. The red part will be his tie."

Eliza was as into it as her sister, maybe more so. She kept filling up a bottle, putting the nipple on top, and trying so hard to drink. Then she dumped a bunch on herself.

At one point, the items they put in the bucket were buried treasure.

As much as I wanted to be present and involved in the fun, I also didn't want to miss the funny and great stuff that was happening to record. So when the camera's memory card got full, I quickly got some pictures off. In the meantime, Eliza climbed in the sink, now full of yucky colored water and the bucket with more of the same. She was up past her waste (fully clothed), trying to drink from the bucket or any utensil she could use.

Finally we cleaned up that mess and moved to the bathtub to continue some fun. Here are some of those highlights (none caught on film since naked children were involved):

playing with water whistles Amy got for Christmas. Different amounts of water in them produce different pitches. The girls were playing songs and asking me to guess which songs they were. Amy didn't think I was very good at it. (I'm not.) Sometimes I don't think they have the song picked before I start guessing and just agree to one they feel like agreeing to.)

Sam bows. My three-year-old nephew, Sam is hilarious. Any time you ask him to take a bow, he'll do it, but each bow is unique. He just puts him body in some awesome pose. The only thing you can be sure about is that it will be funny and awesome. So I told the girls to do some Sam bows. They kept popping up in funny different poses, sometimes staying still, sometimes wiggling. We were laughing our heads off.

Eliza opted for climbing in and out of the bath many times and sitting on the potty while she was out.

At one point, wanting to bring myself into the fun, I suggested the girls pretend they were on a boat and that the real water was the rest of the bathroom. They were all over that. When Eliza became a man overboard, they decided to fish her out with the fishing pole that was Amy whistles held together. When she wouldn't grab on, I was called upon to save the day as the friendly helper giant. Then everyone wanted to go overboard and be saved.

I finally requested the girls let me wash them. They decided they were now in the bath tub part of the boat. Amy said that there was a bath tub on the boat and that there was our whole house on the boat. Finally she excitedly declared that it was a house boat.

As we were finishing up washing kids, Eliza decided to dive into the tub, arms and head first. The other girls thought that looked like so much fun that they started too. Unfortunately, the game ended when Amy bonked her shoulder and cried and cried. We got everyone out dressed, and hair combed, and FINALLY went back down to finish Mom Class. (It was interrupted by checking on the snow which evolved to all that other stuff.)

Now it's 6:15 pm.  Matt's home and making dinner. Amy fell asleep on the couch. And I'm finally blogging about what we did.

Like I said, an awesome day.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sometimes the hardest part about blogging about school is coming up with a title for the posts

Today we:

cut up laminated pictures for Joy School as Mom Class

did tricks for Noel's activity - running around and cartwheeling and such

finished watching Anne of Green Gables for Amy's activity. We loved it, but I think I loved it the most.

I have been wanting to figure out how to hold Amy's interest for chapter books that we read together. (It's not so important for her, but it would be fun for me to read the whole book together and have conversations about it. Eventually this is important for Amy, but I'm not worried that she's not doing it yet.) Anyway, I realized that we could just only watch movies at school after we read the books that go with them. (That would help our movies be more likely to be high quality as it has to have a book it's based on and help us read a book all the way through and not watch movies too often for school, all things I like.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Fishing, Dancing, Glowing

Amy TYpiNG.

mom: read  Pippi Longstocking and [Mom takes over typing when Amy gets bored]: act it out. We walked on couch cushions (the curb) with one foot and the floor with the other foot, frontwards and backwards. We pretended we had monkeys on our shoulders that took off their hats and bowed. We cracked eggs on our heads and flipped pancakes through the air.

Noel: freeze dance game. Amy and I danced while Noel had the music going. We froze when the music stopped. (I imagine a cousin taught them this game. All of this is happening at our cousins' house today.) Then Noel decided we should look at the glow-in-the-dark wand in the dark bathroom and play with it. We wiggled it all around.

AMY: fishing and scuba diving to clean up Aunt Burnsie's play room. Fun day with lots of pretend and creativity.

Monday, January 7, 2013

School's Back

We started up school again today. It started with three kids and interruptions and some whining and ended up with just one kid then back to two for closing routine.

The girls went nuts playing with paper towels to begin (Eliza's idea.) We pretended we were making cakes.

Amy really wanted a Spanish lesson for Mom Class. I agreed.

Then Noel and Eliza went to bed. That was a good thing.

Amy chose a movie for activity. Right up my ally for today. (The kids cycle through different patterns of behavior, and the last week or so has been on the hard part of the behavior. I take the breaks as they come and try to hang in there being nice and patient and all that good mommy stuff.)

Still, part of me is glad to be back in school. Amy's glad too.