Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just Another School Day

The boys spent Friday morning painting on the easel. Dash started out here with pretty impressive drawings of Mommy and Daddy, but then he went abstract. Tornado is very carefully adding Papaw's lawn mower to his painting. Tornado worked on a few worksheets before heading off for his Friday afternoon activities. We are trying to get him to do better about completing a few things by himself everyday. It has not been easy, but he's getting better. The boys were my cooking helpers all day long. Tornado made his own breakfast, noodles with broccoli and baby corn, with my guidance. For some reason, breakfast has always been a struggle with him. He'll eat cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, etc. later for a snack, but he never wants them first thing in the morning. Dash pulled up the stool and helped me make bread pizza for lunch. I surprised them by renting "The Incredibles," for their tucked-into-bed flick that night. I was pregnant with Dash when the movie was at the theater, and Ryan had taken Tornado to see it a couple of times. That is how he chose "Dash" for his little brother's middle name. Although Dash was familiar with the characters because we have a few Incredibles books, he had yet to see the movie (unless he saw it as a baby). When I told him we were going to watch it, his eyes lit up with a very excited, "OH!"

You Can Take The Boy Out Of Illinois, But...

Ryan dressed the kids before they went out for another day with Daddy. What you can't see is the Illini shirt he is wearing, as well. I guess it's time to prepare myself for another basketball season...
They spent another day at the zoo since we had went ahead and gotten a membership. Then they went to see the 3-D movie, "Fly Me to the Moon," which they enjoyed viewing with their 3-D glasses.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lord of the Flies

Friday night, I knew the boys were playing outside. I went to check on them, and this is exactly how I found them. They had removed their shoes and clothes. They had removed the bunches of moss that Ryan was storing in the baby pool until he could plant them. This is the remaining dirt mixed with the recent rain water. They had been so loud all day long, running around indoors - I guess they had become crazy animals by the time they got outside. I hosed them off outside, but that didn't even work - there was still a film of dirt that required the bath. The bathing process was long - they had dirt in their ears, eyes, and up their noses. Fortunately, Ryan was bringing home food from P.F. Chang's because we were still cleaning up by the time he got home.

One Of Our Favorite Places

Thursday, we went to the library and Whole Foods to get our mandatory supply of books, videos, and food. Tornado and I have to have our refill of new books regularly. Dash likes to be read new books, but he is at the age that he could hear the same book read, seriously, four or five times in a row or every night for a week. I can't even tell you how many times I've read Dream Hop the past few weeks; fortunately, it's a very cute book. They got to crawl around and play in the bear cave, used to celebrate Teddy Bear Month. We picked out a few extra bear books in honor of it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Daddy Day Out

Daddy took the three kids on a little outing today to give Mommy time to clean house and prepare lessons for the week. I actually love to clean house, weird as that may sound, when I'm all alone, and I can turn up the music and go from room to room as I feel like it. I got a lot done, which allows me to relax during the week and take things as they come.

Apparently, the kiddos had a great time, too. Daddy took them to Whole Foods to get lunch. They dined outside on the picnic tables with Tofurky deli slices, papaya strips, Funky Monkey (freeze-dried banana with cinnamon), and Simply Booty. Their next stop was Pinnacle Mountain State Park where they enjoyed the playground, took a walk, played tag, and watched the kites flying above. They were disappointed they weren't going to be able to climb the mountain. The little ones fell asleep on the way home, a testament to a fun, active day created by Dad. Tornado talked Dad into stopping by the smoothie drive-thru on the way home, and they enjoyed quality, big-boy conversation. When they pulled into the drive, and Dash woke up, he asked, "Where we going next?"

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Book Review/Cute Quote

I read these interactive devotions (that I purchased from Target) to the kids most mornings at breakfast (and sometimes later in the day, if we are in a hurry to get somewhere). They are written by Pamela and Douglas Kennedy, and we really enjoy them, including the sweet watercolor illustrations by Amy Wummer. Each story "tells about a different animal and its outstanding trait." For example, rams often get angry and fight, comparing it to people fighting and how God wants us to stop our anger and talk about our problems. Scripture and discussion questions are provided with each devotion. There are even questions like "How many baby gorillas can you find in the picture?" Therefore, there is a Bible and science lesson in each devotion, as well as math and social studies hidden throughout. Recently, we were reading about rattlesnakes and how God gives us warnings in the Bible on how to stay away from danger. I asked Dash a question, something along the lines of, "What are some of the things God wants us to stay away from?" (as in lying, stealing, and being mean to others, the examples I had just read about) Dash answered very sincerely, "To not pick scabs."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Off To Church We Go...

For some reason, Tornado likes to wear mismatched socks. He might get this from his aunt Tracy, I don't know. I think he just has this genuinely pure, creative side, and he truly doesn't care what people think. Obviously, it's our job as parents to guide him in appropriate ways, but he was so sincere about wearing these socks to church recently...we couldn't say "no." We told him that some people might think he's silly for wearing different socks, and was he okay with that? He thinks it's boring and silly to wear socks that are the same. Who are we to argue with that?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Three Little Monkeys

I didn't feel like staying at home today so we took off for the zoo. We met Daddy at the park outside the zoo, to eat and to play. Sissy walked around without the stroller almost the entire time, never even tiring with all the hills and the heat. She was always a few steps behind her brothers, but she gave it her best shot to keep up. In the words of Tornado, "This is a fun day!"

Monday, September 1, 2008

We Love Labor Day Weekend

This was a weekend of many accomplishments as we caught up on many neglected chores and projects. Ryan sped through his honey-do list, making me proud. The kids got to spend a lot of time outside with Daddy, overseeing the outdoor jobs. Daddy took Sissy to the grocery store tonight, then put her to bed, which gave me lots of time with the boys to do "school." We finished our Cow "week," which actually stretched to 2 1/2 weeks since we added a lot to it, went out of town, and I was a little under the weather for a few days. They used squares (our shape of the week) of all sizes to create cows. They took off on this activity on their own by adding food (stickers) for their cows to eat and dressing their cows with shoes/sunglasses, etc. stickers. We reviewed and completed our activities on the number 1, the letter A, and our sight words and math problems. Our Bible lesson had to do with God creating us as unique individuals.

Dash got interested in reading an animal encyclopedia book, and he was so excited about all the different pictures he was looking at, we joined him in looking through it. I don't know how he knew this, but he announced, "Armadillos can roll up like roly-poly bugs." (I think armadillos were on Diego once; maybe that's where he heard it.) They were just full of animal trivia tonight - when we were looking at the zebras, Tornado reminded us, "Lions can't see just one zebra when they all stick together, and they can't eat them." They laughed so much the rest of the night about seeing the "naked mole rat." (Dash says "nekkid ro nat.")

Tornado read aloud Great Day for Up by Dr. Seuss, and I only had to help him with a few words. They ate their nighttime snack while we listened to Tacky the Penguin on tape. Tomorrow we will begin our Jungle week. I have the books and activities sitting out on the school table, and when they wake up in the morning, they will find out what our next theme will be.