Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hearts In The Window

Heart suncatchers posted in our window made from tissue paper and contact paper.  I'm pretty sure that glueless collages never get old.  We just finished up our second roll of contact paper and I think we might need to purchase some more.  I don't think they have outgrown this fun.

Winter Trees

 The girls made winter tree paintings over the course of a couple of days.  First they put pieces of masking tape across watercolor paper to mask the tree portions. Then they added branches in white crayon to resist the watercolor. Next, they used liquid watercolors in shades of blues and greens to paint the background and sprinkled it with salt for snow.
 When their paintings were dry they peeled off the tape and added some marker and watercolor details to the trees.  I love the way they turned out.  We need more art projects around here!  We haven't been quite as prolific this winter because there just never seem to be enough hours in the day and I'm trying hard to make sure they get time to just play.  Being a mother is always such a balance- are they getting enough stimulation? Are they overstimulated? Are they playing enough?  Are they being read to enough?  Am I making a balanced meal enough? Are they learning responsibility?  Are they getting enough sleep? What should I do about their educations? Are my bills paid?  Did I forget one of the 10,000 balls I have up in the air?  Did I shower today? These are just a few of the many things that seem to be flying through my head.
Red Fish

New Fish

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Kids On Wheels

 The girls have been begging us to take them ice skating.  They are pretty sure they will already be great at it and that it will be "super easy, Mom."  I actually hate ice skating and would be fine never stepping skate on rink ever again.  When we had nothing to do tonight I decided to let the girls decide what we should do and they chose ice skating. We couldn't find a rink nearby that was open for public skating until later so we decided to try roller skating instead.  We were a giant disaster on wheels.  I have always been a terrible skater and I haven't strapped my blades on for at least 15 years.  My serious lack of practice combined with trying to hold onto New Fish on wheels was a joke.  New Fish hated it.  Red Fish loved it and actually stayed on her skates pretty well after her first few laps.  Surprisingly, I had a great time just being with the kids and trying not to fall down.  After we finished teetering around the rink we went into a play area full of air cannons and shot foam balls at each other in a giant Nerf-gun style war.  It was a fun night.

TIckling The Ivories

Red Fish and her piano teacher
 Today was Red Fish's 2nd piano recital.  She was uncharacteristically nervous for most of the week but she didn't flinch at playing today.  She had great rhythm. 

Getting flowers from Mimi.
With her grandparents (We missed you Grandma and Bockum!)
My kids are so lucky to have a supportive extended family who are always rooting for them.  We are lucky.

For No Reason Other Than It Is Friday

I'm not always good at letting my kids have a lot of friends over.  They do have friends over but not nearly as frequently as they would like.  Yesterday, the girls had friends over for five and a half hours. They rode their bikes outside, played dressup and make believe, tracked stuff through my house, made art projects and had an obscene amount of fun.  They giggled until they snorted.  They teased each other and drove each other crazy.  They had so much fun that they cried when it was time for everyone to go home.  It mad me so happy.  Just listening to them have so much fun, made me smile.

 At one point the girls Little Miss A dressed Buddy C up in some fancy duds and he was a great sport about it.  He even paraded around for everyone and didn't freak when Red Fish smooched him.  Don't worry it isn't romantic, she just loves him.  I try to keep the kissing of boys to a minimum but Red Fish is an affectionate kid, her friends tend to get a lot of hugs and kisses.
Some of the friends and Red Fish even tied themselves to the banister with yarn in an attempt to avoid being seperated.  (Notice that Red Fish is calmly weaving a pot holder like she spends all of her time chained in non-violent protest.)

Friday, January 17, 2014

More Dinosaur Museum

Playing in the tinkerlabon potter's wheels with sand.
 We spent yesterday playing in the tinkerlab and roaming the dinosaur musuem.  We hadn't been in a couple of months and the kids had a great time playing and running and laughing.  It's getting so easy to take them places now.  It's a big difference from when we first started going to the dinosaur museum.  It's easy now, even when other kids come with us. Motherhood of preschool and kindergarteners is so different and so fun.  I loved them as babies and toddlers and it's fun to watch them turn into little people and I know this time will be fleeting.  I'm trying hard to soak up this time we have where they aren't gone all day yet and they are so easy to please.  Plus they like being with me, that may not always be the case.  We've been playing a lot of games, reading for hours and chasing fun of all kinds.  I've also noticed that they are not very excited about entertaining themselves lately so I've been gently nudging (begging, encoraging, demanding) that they spend more time playing and entertaining themselves.  We have been on a multi-week detox from tv and most electronics.

Dollars and Cents

One of my goals for 2014 is to get a chore and allowance program. So far it is going really well.  The girls are pretty excited about their magnetic chore chart and they have been actually doing a lot of their chores without me even asking. Let's hope that it continues.  There have been a few bumps along the last few weeks and it is more work to help them do some household stuff than it is to do it myself but I keep telling myself it is worth it.  It isn't hard to convince myself that it is worth it because I see positive changes in my children already. 

The allowance process has been pretty exciting for the girls so far.  They get $1.00 a week paid in dimes.  We bought special boxes with three slots for tithing, savings and fun money.  They put one dime in the tithing, two dimes in savings and the rest in fun money.  They are really excited about the fun money and they want to buy the movie Frozen when it comes out on DVD.  They are obsessed with the movie Frozen right now.  It is going to take them quite awhile to earn enough money so hopefully they don't get burned out waiting for it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sassy, Sissy and Nixie

Red Fish's reading has taken a huge step forward recently and she has been especially excited about reading.  New Fish is thoroughly taking advantage of having an older sister who is willing to read her stories and when Thing 1 came over this week he was very happy to sit with his head on Red Fish's shoulder and listen to stories. Nothing beats a good story and a snuggle.

These three are over the moon in love with each other.  They love each other almost as much as I love them. Thing one follows them around calling them and copying their every move.  He calls them Sissy and Sassy and they call him Nixie.  The amount of laughter, fun and games that comes from the three of them is a source of joy in my life.

Over the summer when my kids were really begging for a younger sibling and we had discovered that things were not working out on that front, it hit both girls pretty hard.  When I told them that there was a good chance that Heavenly Father wasn't planning on sending any more babies to our family Red Fish got very serious.  She and New Fish came to a conclusion that still makes me cry because it is so darn sweet.  She told me: "Well if I can't be a big sister to any more babies then I'm just going to have to be a really good big cousin.  Heavenly Father will send more babies to our big family and I can be a really good example and take care of them." (Seriously can't even type that without crying.  These girls have such tender hearts) Red Fish and New Fish are totally smitten with their cousins, both the older cousins and the younger ones.  Their adoration seems to just grow endlessly and I feel lucky every time they get the chance to be around any of their cousins.
Playing bean bag games and singing songs with Thing 1.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Winter Break

 We have been playing hard during our Winter break but we have also spent a lot of time at home. It has been too cold to go anywhere. There has been a lot of baking, playing games, science experiments and hours upon hours of reading.
 We have been doing a lot of water experiments lately and the girls really loved figuring out what materials, weights and shapes would float in water.
 We started making some Valentines Day decorations because we don't really have many and the girls love holiday decor.  It helped take some of the sting out of packing up the Christmas stuff.
 There have been a lot of art supplies scattered around the house.

 A box of math manipulatives has somehow become some of their favorite toys (didn't they just get a ton of toys for Christmas?) We have had so much fun together I will be sad to see them go back to school.
The girls have been coloring mittens with oil pastels and stitching them together with yarn and drawing dozens of pictures of horses.
By Red Fish
Red Fish
by New Fish

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year

I'm not sorry to see 2013 go.  It was a strange year and I left it feeling slightly lost and feeling grateful for the nice life that I have.  Even when life throws in the bumps I have a pretty great life and I'm surrounded by great people to spend it with. I don't have my usual excitement for the fresh start of a new year but I might still be in shock from the flurry of the Holidays.  I'm sure I will get cracking on some goals in the near future.

We spent New Years at the lake house with my parents. There were board games and Mexican food, yummy breakfasts and plenty of snuggle time. We went sledding on New Years Eve and planned on skiing on New Years day but Red Fish came down with a nasty cold so we stayed home where it was warm.
 We sledded in the back yard.  My Dad tried to shove all four of us girls down on one sled but we just fell off the sled.
 I have become such a helmet mom that I even have them wear helmets to sled.
 We rung in the new year (at 8:30pm) with some fireworks and rootbeer floats. Two Fish and I watched movies for the rest of the night.  It might sound boring but for me, it was just what I wanted.