Sunday, June 28, 2009

Good Night, My Little Storm Trooper

Preston insisted on wearing this to bed the other night...
Good night little storm trooper, sleep tight little storm trooper!
Several days later he insisted on wearing the mask, three swimming suits, shoes and socks for his nap. I love seeing his personality and independence emerge!

boredom buster

I picked up a kit of beads that you can place together in various patterns and shapes on a grid and then iron them to fuse them together. I saved it for a boredom buster when I most needed it. It came this week, and kept my kids busy (and any other kid who came through the door) for the whole week.

Swim Team Banquet

I love my little gators and I am so proud of all of their hard work!

Monday, June 22, 2009

piano lessons

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day
to my good father and
to the good father of my children!
Thank you for your love and your example to me!
My children and I are so blessed!


the picture frame I modge podged, featuring one of Sophia's ballet pictures

magnet board for Sophia's room
it took me over six months to finish
but I LOVE the finished project
the hardest part? deciding what motif to go with
the rest took less than an hour

my helper

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gator of the Week!!!

Yeah for Porter! He got Gator of the Week!
He worked hard, improved and had a great attitude!
I was excited for him, it was hard for him to watch Sophia be recognized a few weeks ago, and he made several comments about the honor and doubting if he could ever get it... So YEAH! I know that he had to have had a great attitude at practice to be chosen, and that makes me happy!

quack quack

Preston loves his quack quack. He's my first child to truly attach to a stuffed animal. He sleeps with him every night. It's really sweet.
He recently started calling chickens "cluck clucks." I asked him if he wanted chicken on his dinner plate, he looked around looking for the live chicken and asked "cluck cluck?"

The Ready Bench

The Ready Bench... where the swimmers wait for their turn...

Swim Team has almost come to a close. What a great activity! It's been a lot... a lot of time and energy and logistics making practices and meets, but it's been worth it. I am so proud of my kids and how well they've improved this year.

Here's their progress report (I have to record it somewhere)... At the meet last week, Sophia took twenty seconds off of her back stroke, if I hadn't seen her jump into the water, I wouldn't have believed that it was her swimming. She looked sleek and fast with perfect arms circling backwards. She took four seconds off of her freestyle time. Porter took another 5 seconds off his breaststroke, and even though they put him in the wrong heat again, he held his own against those older faster swimmers, he even placed!

Two weeks before Porter took took 10 seconds off of his breast stroke time. He swam his best time ever in freestyle and the week before that he got 6th in back stroke. We discovered that keeping lots of protein in him and less sugar helps his attitude so much! Bring on the hamburgers at the concession stand!

Two weeks before, Sophia took 5 seconds off her free style and she got in the no ropes club... meaning she didn't touch the lane lines (and she hasn't touched them since). She got two pieces of candy for that accomplishment... even better than the finishers ribbon they get at the end of every race.

Both Porter and Sophia love the finishers ribbons. I love that they're happy with that. I also love that swimming is a sport that they can do for the love of participating. They can improve their own times, but still feel like a team. They're not the fastest kids, they didn't qualify for all-stars, but they feel like they're successful.

Our goals for joining swim team were to have fun swimming every day and to become stronger, better swimmers. Those goals have definitely been accomplished.

twinkle toes...

self portrait
by preston

childhood memories

My mom and dad gave me the furniture my grandpa had made for me when I was a little girl. I sanded it and Doug painted it. Now it's in our playroom for my kids to enjoy. The chairs were long broken, so I finally found some chairs. Now the set is fully functional. Sophia's comment? "Yeah! Now I don't have to stand up for my tea parties."


we ordered caterpillars
who turned into chrysalises
which turned into butterflies
who, after observing for a day, we released into the wild
good summer fun

A Golf Afternoon

Blackberry Picking

Preston's favorite part, feeding the cluck clucks.

The next day we made blackberry pie with our treasure... Yum!!!

First Grade Awards Ceremony

Yeah for Porter! He successfuly completed the first grade!!! He made the A honor roll the entire year. I'm so grateful for how hard he works in school. Good job buddy! When I asked him why he's so well behaved at school, his answer was that they have better consequences there... yes, the Principal's office is pretty scary... let's hope it stays that way!

At Quizzy's Fun Day, the last day of school, Porter came home reporting that he'd just been released from the nurse's office with a clean bill of heath... what??? Turns out he'd been beat up by a 3rd and a 4th grader... are you kidding me? ... so I calmly asked a few more questions... such as... what happened... what started it... what happened next... turns out Porter's buddy tried to take the 4th grader's hat... Porter jumped in and tried to help him... Porter didn't give up... the big kids got tired of a little 1st grader bugging them... they they pulled his hair... hit him in the face... and pushed him to the ground... I called the vice-principal... she was very nice and apologized... those boys had never been in trouble before... I thanked her for her concern... but also told her that it sounds like Porter brought it on himself... Doug agreed... that's what he gets for taking on the big kids... he should have known better... I tried to talk to him about what he can learn from this... like... how to back off when the fun goes too far... developing a healthy respect for those who are bigger than you... walking away... not following the crowd... he couldn't really come up with those on his own...

Healthy Kids...

Sophia's request for lunch the other day included apples, peaches , cheese and milk...

Upon seeing my salad, Preston scooted his plate of mac and cheese away, and took over my greens. He delighted in every bite... I think the blueberry dressing and croutons added to the appeal for him.

I'll enjoy it while it lasts... Porter grew out of the agreeably eating his vegetable stage, I'm hoping it will return eventually...

ChooChoo's & Little People...

We gave Preston GeoTrax for his birthday. What a hit!!!
He calls it his choo choo.

As a little girl, I adored playing Fisher Price's Little People. Playing Little People with my brothers number among my few childhood memories.

So, of course, when I started having children, I made it a point to add the barn, the house and the garage to our toy collection. Much to my dismay, none of my children have taken to them as I did as a child. I've kept the collection purely for sentimental reasons, thinking someday I'll just pass them on to my mom.

However, a few Sundays ago, while Doug was away and Preston and I were taking a Sunday afternoon nap, they asked permission to get the collection down from the attic. I don't remember agreeing, but when I came to, the kids were happily building a town. I let them keep the little people explosion in the living room for two weeks, because they played sweetly with them every day.

it's all a matter of opinion...

When we moved into our home, there was wall paper in the kitchen and in the master bathroom.
The seller's realtor commented on the beautiful master bathroom at closing. I asked if she we were talking about the same house... illustrating beautifully that beauty really is a matter of opinion!

We promptly removed the paper from the kitchen, but the chore was so difficult, I just wasn't up to tackling another room immediately... at the beginning of the school year I made it a goal to rid my bathroom walls of the floral pattern (see picture below) before June... with two weeks to spare I started and finished the project. Thankfully, the paper and glue came off so much quicker than the kitchen's paper. Had I known there would be such a difference, I wouldn't have waited so long to embark on the project!

Sophia and Porter really enjoyed helping.
Even though Sophia couldn't understand why we were taking down the pretty paper. She said more than once, "But mom, I like the flowers."

Unfortunately, we're still living in a construction zone. Now that the paper is off, we need to patch, texture and paint...

Moral of the story... never put up wall paper!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Porter's Compositions...

As I've been going through papers, I found a few of Porter's compositions that I wanted to record on my blog...

First, a card to mom and dad...

Dear Mom and Dad

I'm glad I have a Mom and Dad like you. I love you very much. Have a Happy Valentines Day.

Love, Porter.

Second... a writing prompt...

If I was a snake I would be a Python. I would choke people and I would go to Starbucks and Subway and Sonic.

Star Student

Sophia's pre-school had a star student tradition. Every day, one of the students was selected to be "the star." That day they got to be the line leader, and tell the class some special things about them... These are Sophia's answers through out the year:

I want to be a singer when I grow up.

My special treasure is my friend named Madison.

I'd like to be old enough to drive a car.

My favorite fast food restaurant is Taco Bell.

If I could be an animal, for one hour, I would be a Cheetah.

I would like to take a trip to Sea World.

There are 5 people in my family.

My family and I like to play with the computer and go to gymnastics.

My favorite thing to play is with my Mom's Barbie and pink puppy.

I feel happy when we play at the park.

My Mommy and I like to read books.

My favorite book is "The Silver Slippers."

My chores at home are to make my bed.

My Mommy makes the best pumpkin pie.

My Daddy and I like to swim.

I'm a good friend because my friends like me.

Something I would never do is go out of my neighborhood.

My favorite T.V. Show is "Barbie Show."

... My favorite color... pink, white

... My favorite food... apple, cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries

... I love ... my whole family!

... I am special because... God made "me!"

What gift would I give baby Jesus? A cuddly blanket

These are the things she wrote about me in her mother's day card...

Mother's Day Card...

about mom...

Favorite color... pink

Favorite food... soup

Eyes are ... brown

Favorite fun thing to do is... running

My Mommy smells like... perfume

My Mommy loves ... Me!

My Mommy is special because... she take me running with her.


My mom wrote this and posted it in her kindergarten classroom. I recently came across my copy of it...

Learn to love to read!
Books take us places we have never been.
They teach us things we never have known.
We can be introduced to people we have never met.
They make us laugh and make us cry.
They make us think new thoughts and feel new feelings.
Books keep us learning and keep us growing.
Books Open the World!
Love to Read!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Welcome Summertime!!!

So glad school is out! I was so tired of... making lunches every day... getting Porter going in the morning... and overseeing homework...

I am loving... having my kids at home every day, all day... swimming every day... slowing down the pace...

I'm sure, come August, I'll be ready for a schedule again... but as for now, I am welcoming some unstructured, unscheduled play time!!!