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Showing posts from August, 2011

Penny at Four

I am kicking myself for not thinking to take a picture earlier in the day, before the exhaustion and vaccine side effects hit her.

Penny did really well at her check up today. I am however starting to doubt the doctor's office height and weight assessments. They said Penny is in the 65th percentile for weight (okay, she's always been a little rounded compared to the other two string beans), but 35th percentile for height? What the what? I see her and her primary class on Sundays (kids who are all within a few months' age of her) and she's not the tallest, but she's not the shortest either. She's about average, or if anything, a bit taller than average (based on my so-scientific criteria of watching her walk down a hallway). 
Poor thing had to get 3 shots, comprised of I believe 15 different vaccines (one of them contains 13 viruses - yowza - but covers pneumonia which is important for her going into winter). She was brave, but her poor little legs have been sore …

curriculuar activities

In the next two weeks, most of the kids' activities will be going full-swing. I had to put them onto a dry-erase calendar to keep it all straight. I am happy to see that Tuesdays are (so far) activity-free; however, Lucy wants to start horseback riding lessons and so that will have to fall on either Tuesdays or Friday afternoons. I am lobbying for Friday afternoons, because having one activity-free day would be really nice for me (so maybe I can buy groceries and push the vac across the floor once in awhile).
In addition to the horsies, Lucy is going have achievement days at church twice a month, brownies every Thursday, swim lessons every Wednesday, American Girl club, and a co-op class on Lincoln every Monday. Truman is doing an all-star clinic (they will cover various sports) on Fridays, swimming on Wednesdays, and Lego club. Penny is doing gymnastics on Monday nights (which will be so very fun since that's David's late night at work), and swimming. In addition (not on t…

Lucy at Eight

Today it was Lucy's turn to go to the pediatrician. Lucy has also gotten smaller. Well, not smaller, but smaller in comparison to her peers. She's at the 64th percentile for height and 54th percentile for weight. Everything checked out great. She finally topped 60 pounds so only 19 more pounds to go until she can stop using a booster seat! She'll be glad for that day to come. After the appointment she and I went shopping for a little while. It was nice to just hang out with her. She is such a fun kid to be around. But she did make me wait outside the changing room door, which was a little bit sad for me.

solar system

We've been learning about the solar system for the past week or two. Nothing major, just reading a few books, watching a Magic School Bus movie, singing a dorky Blue's Clues song that still includes Pluto, that sort of thing. I read an article in Home Education magazine (which I am LOVING by the way - hint hint for birthday ideas for me) about a project a family did where they made cookies for each planet - to scale - and decorated with frosting and candies. So tonight, we did it finally. It took me about three trips to the grocery to get all the stuff we needed, and it was nice to do it with David here because it was a bit complicated. But we had fun and maybe they will remember something about the solar system.

Jupiter's red spot is really a hurricane like storm, and it has four (whoppers!) moons.

A cup of chemical frosting and food coloring! What more could a boy want?

Truman had to get Saturn's rings just right. Lucy did Uranus and its sideways rings.

All done! We made…

water table

I know I rave about 4C All. The. Time. But seriously it is so freaking awesome. And did I tell you that I won a free year membership by taking a survey? Yes,  yes I did. Oh happy day that was at my house! I think it only costs about $30 a year, but still... free is better than $30.

So we had our eye on this big water table at 4C, so when it was delivery day for our area, Miss Jennifer (not her real name...I think it's Jennifer. But if you work with young kids you must automatically add "Miss" to the front of your name, regardless of gender or marital status) brought it to our house, because it was much too large for the minivan, even with the seats down. We have been enjoying it thoroughly. Mainly Penny. First we just did water. That was fun for a few days, but after collecting cicada shells and cooking up batches of cicada stew (which Penny called "Cicada Killer Stew," not because her stew was so awesome it was KILLER, but because she was confused because we a…

Truman at 5

I took Truman to the pediatrician today for his annual check-up. Here he is in his dashing blue gown. He said it felt 'cozy.' 
At five years old, Truman is 44 inches tall and weighs 42.5 pounds. That puts him at the 45th percentile for both height and weight. Which is strange to me because, as infants, all of my kids were large on the charts - 75th to 90th at every visit - and last year, he was in the 75th. But his doctor was not concerned so I have decided not to be concerned as well! David is six feet tall now but it took him a long time to get there, with some teenage years of being quite small, so I guess Truman is following suit.
Everything else was just fine. His hearing tested perfectly - which surprised me. He often seems like he doesn't understand what we are saying to him, or he misses out on instructions. But perhaps this is a result of being a five year old boy and not being partially deaf. Every time he has a hearing test, I tear up. I am so happy he can hear we…


We have a big classroom-sized pocket calendar. We can change the month, year, days, season, and weather. We do this every morning after our outside time. If you've been to my house, you may have noticed that we are not big fans of having a bunch of stuff on the walls. It stresses me out. Maybe because I grew up in a home with lots of photos, fake paintings of Jesus, shelves chock-full of knick-knacks and silk flowers, and never-used sconces on every wall. So, I used the grommets on the top of the calendar and strung yarn through them, and hung them from the extra curtain rod in the office. This way we can see and use the calendar, then slide it out of the way when we're done, and still have our window.

Field trip Friday

It's been a really long week at our house. The washing machine quit working. Which is, kind of horrible. Not horrible like someone in the hospital or a death obviously, but horrible in the day-to-day drag kind of way. We do have a kind-hearted friend who came over and took a look and gave us a diagnosis, and now a part is on its way and hopefully in the next few days we should be able to get her up and running again. (Of course she's a girl.)

David went back to work full time this week too. The first week back is always the toughest, both because we've gotten used to having him home a lot of the time, and because in the first week he has to work every day, all day. I know - pity party for me right? Don't most husbands work all day, every day? What I mean is - his normal schedule allows him to have breakfast with the kids most day, or at least be home for dinner and bedtime most nights. The first week back is brutal. There are long meetings. Last night he got home at ab…

Action stations! Action stations!

(That is one of my favorite lines in Battlestar Galactica. Yes, be in awe of my coolness.)

Two week of school under our belt. Something we're doing differently this year that is working pretty well for us is stations. The idea is loosely based on the preschool design theory of 'centers' - where a classroom is divided into areas for various activities (such as computer, fine motor, math, reading, dramatic play, and so on). Obviously I'm not going to turn our living room into a fully-functioning preschool room (and if I did, Lucy would never get anything done), but the idea is the same - children need a change of scenery, and a different location lets them know they need to do their work in a different way.

So we have had three stations, but starting tomorrow I'm introducing a fourth. That may seem odd as I have only three students, but I will explain: I have found that Truman and Lucy become bored in the 'reading station' (see below) and don't like to sp…

babies & boobs & whatnot

This is probably not going to be very coherent. So, a few months ago we thought maybe we should have another baby. It seemed like a good idea. Of course, because of some medical issues, it'd be expensive, and even then, there'd be no guarantee we could just conceive. But we thought it seemed like a nice idea so we had made some plans. Then we went on vacation and were together 24/7 for two weeks. And we thought, hmmm... you know, three kids seems just about right for us! It's kind of nice everyone being out of diaper-bottle-waking-in-the-night, etc. Penny is 4 now, and we were able to do a lot of stuff on vacation that we couldn't before. It was really pleasant. And so we decided, no, three is good. Three is just right.

Last week, a good friend had a baby boy. He's a cute little thing, all pink skin and dark fluffy hair. But when I saw him, aside from the automatic "awww" that all humans think when seeing a teeny-tiny human, all I could think was, I am so…

cantaloupe & Sunday

I've never grown cantaloupe before, but this year I bought a little 4-pack of pathetic half-dead plants at the garden center on clearance for 75 cents. I felt pity for the droopy little things. I stuck them at the end of one of my garden beds, and they have done extremely well. I forced them up through tomato cages at first, because space is limited, but they soon spilled out onto the lawn. Because some of the fruits were forced to dangle, we ended up with very oblong shaped cantaloupes! But the taste is actually pretty fantastic.

Today, our ward switched times with the other ward which shares our building. So long luxurious breakfasts, ample playtime before church, and easy-to-fill afternoon hours. Now we go 9-12, which means we are hurried, cranky, and then after church, asking ourselves, well, what do we do now?  
But my children did look incredibly cute at church today, so when we got home I made them stand still for three seconds for a picture. They were not happy, and it was h…

One Week Down, 35 To Go

Homeschool week one is done! We had a pretty good experience. I always feel like I wish we'd done more, but overall I think we covered a good amount of stuff, and I know once their other lessons start up, I'll feel like we are doing more (because we really will be doing more).

We've been having outside time (if you're Charlotte Mason inclined) or PE/gym class (if you're school-at-home inclined) every morning for 30-45 minutes first thing, before it gets too hot. One day they played with water in the yard, another two days they went for a bike ride, another day I forced them to take a walk on the trail by our house. Which is where I saw this:

It just made me smile. Nice to see nature stickin it to the man!

Here's the Pleasure Club gang ready to take the streets. Penny really does have a rough & tumble face, eh?
Some things we've learned this week include - Lucy loves Rosetta Stone Spanish. I am making her do the lessons over and over until she gets 100% bec…

in season

Here's my lame little attempt at food blogging.

We are doing the Engelbrecht CSA again this year, and so in addition to peaches out the wazoo, we are getting some tomatoes, peppers, and a few other veggies. My garden is also producing Sun Gold tomatoes and eggplant like mad. Thus, we've been having ratatouille about twice a week lately.

Ratatouille, I believe, is generally a vegetarian dish. Or, as the snippy guy on the movie Ratatouille says, "It's a peasant dish!" But, it's also crazy delicious and a great way to use up in-season vegetables.

We make ours with eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, and sausage. You can use any kind of bulk or link sausage, but our favorite is the bulk Italian they make at Schnucks (I know I'm usually all about the local humanely raised meats, but those farms' sausage just doesn't do it for me). It's surprisingly affordable for how yummy it is - about $2 - $3 for a decent sized package. I cook the sausage…

1st day of the 2011-2012 school year!

We decided to start back to school today, Monday August 1, 2011. We stopped school back in May (counting a few days of our vacation for school when we were learning things) so it's definitely time to get back into the swing of things. Lucy is in the 3rd grade, Truman is in kindergarten, and Penny is in her last year of preschool.

We are doing things a little differently this year.

We are starting the day at 7:30, which is when the kids have been naturally waking up for the past few weeks. This seems to move back a bit earlier when we get into winter, but for now, it's 7:30. So they all get up, get dressed, and then do their chores. Lucy takes Sawyer out to pee and then feeds/waters him. Truman and Penny help unload the dishwasher and set the table for breakfast. Then we eat around 8:00, and during breakfast we'll have a short scripture story or something from the Friend. Today we put up a poster of Paul and read a little in Acts about how he killed Christians and was just …


I've been having a lot of physical pain lately. The day I took the kids to the pool (posted before), I guess I caught Penny coming off the toucan slide too many times or something. When I got home and took off my suit, my back seized up. It was ridiculous and also horrible at the same time. The pain went on for a few days. Unfortunately, our copays recently went up. Had it still been a $10 copay, I probably would have called the good old family doctor, but the pain never quite made it tot he $20 copay level. I guess that's their whole point. Evil health insurance companies.

And so then for a week I was really good. And I was running and working out, things were going well. Unfortunately, I was also wearing flip flops, a lot. Which makes my peroneal tendonitis flare up. And it's really bad this time. It feels like someone grabs hold of the outer edge of your foot, around the middle, and sets it on fire and rips it in two at the same time. I had this problem last summer (see…