Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pre-Halloween Fun

At our house the Monday before Halloween we have a family Halloween party.  Everyone has to dress up.  We carve our pumpkins then, decorate pumpkin cookies, sing some Halloween songs and have Pumpkin stew for dinner.  It is a fun family tradition.

Miss E was Leonardo DaVinci and this was her masterpiece that night.  She has a cool beard and hat, but for some reason blogger was not letting me upload that photo.  Maybe later. . .

This is my Dread Pirate Roberts and he always tells me "As you wish" (if you have no idea what I am talking about, please rent "The Princess Bride" or better, read the book :)

                                                                    Hoola girl, Miss A
Not exactly sure what Miss O was going for here, but bathrobes with tie headbands are always cool.
A very serious Harry Potter.  Love his concentration.
Miss O's pumpkin
Harry's pumpkin
Hoola girl's white pumpkin. 
All ready for Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Crazy, crazy week

I seriously think this has been one of the busiest weeks ever!  I feel like I have just been running, running, running from early morn until way too late.  Just lots of things going on--Halloween stuff, church stuff, school stuff, but probably the most time consuming is I have become a volunteer Spanish/English translator.  Didn't plan on that one.  A new family moved into our small town from Mexico with no prior English speaking (except the Dad who speaks perfect English).  They have a daughter in Miss O's class, and I had heard about her from Miss O, so I knew she was struggling with English.  When I was volunteering in Miss O's room that week I had the new girl in my reading group, and I was talking to her in the little Spanish that I know, well the teacher heard me and was soooo excited!  It went something like this. . ."You speak Spanish!  Oh that is so wonderful, so you can help her and translate and. . . "  "Um, I had about 20 hours in college 15 years ago" I said, but I don't think she heard me because next thing I know I am walking down the hall and another teacher comes up and says "Oh I am so glad you are helping the new family because you are fluent and . . ."  Fluent!!!   Fluent???!!!  I about threw-up, "Um, no, no, no, no that is not me!"  I speak a little bit--hablo un poco espanol--not fluent, don't translate--especially math/science/grammar terms--most people can barely explain math/science/grammar terms in their own language let alone translate them to another, um, I think you have the wrong person.  Then when volunteering at school on a different day I get called over the intercom about my "Spanish class" that I'm teaching.  Ugh!  Where did all these rumors get started?  I about burst out laughing when I heard that one.  People, I am not fluent, but no one is listening to me.  Anyway, by default, I guess I am the most "fluent" person available, so I have really been stretching my brain this week as I "translate" and explain things to this sweetest family in the world.  They are the nicest people.  Luckily I still have my Spanish/English dictionary from back in the day.  That was one textbook I didn't or maybe couldn't sell back. Can't remember.  Maybe that is why I feel so tried, it is all this brain work as well as physical running around, baking Halloween cookies, making costumes.  I think mental work can make you just as exhausted as actual physical labor.  That is my excuse anyway, and I am sticking too it.  Looking forward to next week, and hopefully a slower pace!  Hope you all have a Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Organized Christmas

Okay, I admit that I absolutely, positively, undeniably love Christmas!  Everything about it.  I am addicted :)  And I know what you are thinking, "Christmas?  It is October?"  I know, I know, but hear me out.  I want to share a good thing.  Several years ago I discovered the site Organized Christmas which has several different holiday countdowns, but the one that I love started yesterday (so if you want to join me, you are only a day behind :) and it is their original Christmas Countdown.  I think this is my 5th year to do it.  It is a 6 week, totally FREE program to get you all ready for Christmas, cards sent, gifts wrapped, extra meals in the freezer by December 4th.  Just visit the site daily, read the info, print off their free forms, and you are on your way. I love it.  Check it out! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

A favorite snack recipe

As I was making this recipe for the 4th time this month I thought, we love this, and I need to share. It is from my awesome friend Rhonda M. Thanks for sharing with us Rhonda! This works well for Halloween, but also at other times of the year too. Just leave out the candy corn and add more of whatever you like. Warning: it is very addicting!

Halloween Party Mix

1 bag microwave popcorn
2 cups pretzels
1 cup plain or peanut M&Ms ** you can make this in different seasons by using seasonal colored M&Ms
1 cup candy corn
2 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 cup Corn Pops cereal
1 bag white chocolate chips
2 Tbls oil

* Mix dry ingredients in one large bowl
*Melt chocolate chips and oil in a microwave for about 1-2 minutes. Stir until smooth and pour over dry mix.
*Stir until evenly coated and spread on wax paper to dry (if you can wait that long because sometimes we can't :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The joy of a child

This picture is from our recent school carnival.  When I looked at it closer when I put it on the computer Mr J's face just made me laugh, and then it really made me think.  The joy of a child, look how happy that kid is?  What is he so happy about?  Cotton candy, spun sugar. What a simple thing.  Looking at him I thought, "When was the last time I was that happy about something?"  Then I corrected myself and thought, "No, when was the last time I was that happy about something so simple?"  When Christ said "become as a little child" I think one of the things He was talking about was the joy a child has over such simple things.  I think as adults that is something we lose very quickly.  Do we see the joy in such simple things?  Cotton candy, a colored leaf, a praying mantis, a funny shaped cloud, the touch of a hand, a kiss on a cheek?  So, this is my sermon for today, become as a little child and let the simple, little things--like cotton candy at a school carnival-- bring you much joy and happiness.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Riding a bike

Learning to ride a bike is a big deal--one of the rights of passage in childhood.  Mr J got it this last week.  Even our neighbors cheered!  Yeah!  Love the tongue sticking out in concentration. . .

And off he goes into the wide blue yonder. . .way to go Mr J!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just keep trying!

Mr J historically has gone to bed without any problems.  He is usually out like a light, especially since he started all day kindergarten and has to leave in the morning with Dad and the girls.  But last night was unique.  Here is the conversation. . .

5 minutes after he was in bed. . .
Mr J--"Mom!  I can't go to sleep.  I have tried 8 times."
Mom--"Keep trying J"
5 minutes later. . .
Mr J--"Mom!  I can't go to sleep.  I have tried 20 times!"
Mom--"Just keep trying J"
5 minutes later. . .
Mr J--"Dad!" he says because he doesn't like the answers Mom is giving him, "Dad!  I can't go to sleep, and I have tried 29 times!!!"
Dad-"Just keep trying J"
5 minutes later I checked on him, and he was asleep.  The 30th time must have worked.

Funny kid.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Miss O's Space Adventure

I had the opportunity to go on a field trip with Miss O's 5th grade class recently.  We went to an educational service center that offers many different activities for kids.  Our group was using their NASA set up.  They have a Mission Control in one building, then outside of that they have a mini space ship to send the astronauts (kids) to the International Space Station.  The kids at both Mission Control  and the Space Station have lap tops, head phones, mics, and web cams so they can see, hear, and talk to their counterparts on the space station.  Pretty amazing stuff.  I think we went to the zoo for my 5th grade field trip. . .

Miss O working hard at Mission Control.  She was to conduct experiments on solar energy.  She worked at Mission Control in the morning.

We enjoyed lunch outside for a break from all our hard space/astronaut work.  Then after lunch it was time for Miss O to blast off with her group to the International Space Station.

On the Shuttle before they shut the door for blast off.  Doesn't she look excited????  Another helper and I stood by when they "took off" and they kids were just screaming.  It was so funny!

She made it!  Getting off the shuttle onto the International Space Station where she was stationed as Commander for the afternoon.

Part of the commander and pilot's jobs were to go out into "space" and explore and measure different parts of the space station.   Miss O is the shorter commander on the right.  She said she was super hot in that suit.  It was a really fun day.  I was very glad I was able to go, and Miss O had a great time.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Volleyball girl

7th grade volleyball is over.  It was one month long.  I like sport seasons in that length.  Miss A did awesome!  In 2 different games she served for 10 points, in one game she did those 10 consecutively which I was pretty impressed with.  The last week of the season was crazy.  They had a game Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and an all-day tournament on Saturday.  We were very happy to get that week over with!
My awesome volleyball girl! 

She played front row hitter and was lucky Number 7.  I think she really enjoyed playing.  This was her first time to play a team sport for a season.  It has been really fun to see my child develop a new skill and talent that she didn't know she had.  Yes, I am a proud mom :).  She is already planning for next year.  She has her dad all excited about it too.  They are plotting out a regulation size volleyball court in our backyard.  He has the stakes down and was measuring it out today.   It will just be on the grass, but I will show some pictures when it is done.  Then we can all brush up on our volleyball skills--bump, set, spike!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What we do on Sunday afternoons

Weather permitting Sunday afternoons we like to take a walk around our country section.  Sometimes the kids grumble about this, and sometimes they are excited.   In the fall it is extra fun because of these things. . .
 We call them "Monkey Brains" or "Brain fruit."  Miss O insisted that the proper name is Osage Oranges?  They grow on trees in our neck of the woods, are inedible, and are pretty gross looking I think.   But they make great soccer balls to kick down the road. . . 

 And kicking two at a time takes talent. . .
                                                                    And kick

                                                                     and kick
and kick, and if you lose the one you were kicking, chances are there is another tree right by the road for you to grab another to keep kicking down the road.  Country fun :)