Sunday, June 28, 2009

VBS & New Tricks

Well - we made it through the week! I thought VBS was a big success & we heard good comments from parents and kids. Of course, there were definitely some issues (too noisy in our parish hall & no sound system being the main one), but I'm glad there were no major problems!

I want to post a few pictures from the week, but our photo software is being troublesome. I've talked to my technical specialist, and he's going to get right on it. Of course, I pointed out that I wanted to write this post first (of course, right?)! But knowing what an expert I have on hand, I'm sure I'll have pictures ready for the next post.

It was an exhausting week and I don't know who was more worn out the kids or me (or maybe Mike?). We were at the church by 8:30 most mornings (I was there at 7:30 the first morning, but Mike was great and brought the kids at 9:30 when things were really starting!) and we were there until around 2pm everyday (VBS ended at 12:30). I couldn't figure out why that would be so tiring for the kids, but I realized that neither of them has ever gone to a program (even for three hours a day) for five days in a week. Gracie will have to adjust to that in the fall when she starts kindergarten! John Michael was a lucky guy and probably got more attention than he is used to at home - he was in the nursery with two 2-year old girls and had between two and four teenagers looking after them. Poor guy though - he really needs a nap around 11am, so it was really tough on him being up at the church for so long. I'll post some pictures about how he ended up dealing with that on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week.

Gracie amazes me with her comprehension - she came home on Tuesday and was telling me about what she learned in "Discovery." The focus on that day was the story of the wise men following the star. So she had learned that it wasn't really a star, but two planets and a star (they think). Then on Thursday, she enjoyed Discovery as well. The story that day was The Last Supper. She liked learning about what they ate at the Passover Feast and told me that she was the only one who was willing to try the herbs that they ate (surprise, surprise) - she didn't like them, but she sure thought it was interesting that they would dip them in salt water and vinegar.

Clara had fun, too (I think). Everytime I saw her she looked so serious! I was talking to her one day when she was working on her craft & I made some comment and she told me "I know!!!" Like - leave me alone here Mom, I'm busy and I can handle this school thing on my own. Anyhow, for supposedly being our "wild" child she was a model student (especially compared to some of the behavior we saw that week). Actually, on that note, I got several compliments from teachers about how well-behaved and attentive both girls were! How nice to hear!

In life outside of VBS (which there wasn't much of last week!) - John Michael has so many new tricks! I will have to post pictures to show off a few, but some can go illustration free (I guess...)

I've been trying to get this one on video but have been unsuccessful - JM's "dance" moves. He turns on the music he likes (his favorite - if you're happy and you know it on the Fisher Price car) and then toddles round and round in a circle with his head cocked to the side. For the happy and you know it song, he'll add in a few claps here and there, too. But anytime you tell him "dance," he does the walk in a circle with the head tilted thing.

Okay - I know there is more, but I guess I'm done for the night, at least that's what my tired brain says. Hopefully, I'll have pictures to post tomorrow!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Swim, swim, swim

Well, we're off to the indoor pool for another lesson for Gracie & Clara. It's hard to tell how much they are "learning", but they are certainly having fun and love the days when they have swim lessons. And don't try calling it swim "class" or just plain swimming - Clara will make sure you use the correct title of "Swim Lessons." I have been corrected numerous times already!!

Here are their comments about swimming:
"I like swimming lessons alot." - Gracie
"I like swimming. And I like to do lots of things in the pool." - Clara

And they're off to get dressed. I'll have pictures posted later.

In the meantime, here are several totally unrelated movies from our visit to the cowgirl museum.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Still Here!

Well, it's been a while since the last post, but things have been busy! A trip to Colorado, planning for Vacation Bible School, the end of Gracie's school year, starting swimming lessons, beginning demo of our master bathroom, ... and the list goes on and on!

Here are a few pictures of some of what we have been up to since returning from Colorado. The trip pictures will have to come later!!!

This will have to be short & sweet for now. I've still got VBS things to do before our meeting tomorrow morning & (probably more importantly) we're having a big lightning/thunder storm right now!!

Gracie's Promotion Day - 2 days after we got back from our big trip. They received a "diploma" at the ceremony. When we got to the car, she wanted to know where her roll was - they had told her they were sending it home. But of course, what was in her backpack was a flat piece of paper, not the exciting scroll they used in the ceremony. She was disappointed!

Besides walking (yes - he is a big walker these days!), this is one of JM's favorite things. Driving in his car (and Mike thought I was crazy to bring it in the house!) He can honk the horn and has started putting things in the small holder in the back. He also likes to sit in it holding a book (haven't figured out why on that one yet).

Our 1st harvest - Beans! They were mighty tasty. We've also eaten more beans since then and some swiss chard. We are all anxious for the tomatoes to ripen!!

Keeping cool in TX - she picked out that decoration for her face on her own! We went to Costco on a Saturday (crazy, I know) and they were raising $$ for the Children's Miracle Network. So the girls got to get their faces painted, see an ambulance, and watch a helicopter land!! It was pretty neat, especially the helicopter part. It was a medical helicopter for the local children's hospital. Once it had landed, both the girls got to sit in it. I got a picture, but it's on my cell phone & I haven't figured out how to get those off yet!!

First time in the wading pool & he loved it!!

We took a trip to the National Cowgirl Museum one day. They are redoing the Children's museum and the Cowgirl museum has some of the exhibits right now. The girls really liked the fountain out front. John Michael had fun, but didn't think he should be required to share anything with any other child ... the trials of being 1!

Aww - so cute. Notice that he's figured out how to climb onto the girls' chairs?? That's in case we don't set out food & get him in his chair quickly enough. He can just climb up and help himself to whatever is on the table. Notice the marker at his feet? He's also figured out where the girls' art supplies are...and he can get the caps off! Take note of the outfit - I love it, but every male who has seen it has said - yuck! Will John Michael hate this picture in later years???

Stir, stir, stir. Gracie made some delicious chocolate pudding one night. Of course, she didn't really like it, but that was not a problem - Mike & I managed to get it down. Clara has been really excited about cooking lately, but I guess I have been negligent in my picture taking. We made smoothies the other day & she knows that the button to push is FRA-PAY!! (frappe) I'm sure some of you can just imagine her saying that with her usual "exuberance" (as Mimi so aptly used when describing her the other day)

2nd time in the pool - the hose was a big fascination. Do you think he took a drink from it?? I don't think I really have to answer that, do I???

And a sweet picture of our Elvis. She's 8-ish years old already. She's such a good, patient, happy dog! John Michael decided she was a step stool the other day. Clara was sitting on our green chair and Elvis was sprawled out below. Clara apparently had something that JM found *irresistible*. So he decided to climb up. Now, I'm sure Elvis didn't really enjoy 22lbs suddenly stepping on her, but she just calmly raised her head and rolled up a little (she was still lying down). This left JM lying on her back like a rug, which was pretty funny. I rescued him, but I was amazed afterward that Elvis had laid there so calmly and not flung JM off!!

That's all for now. I guess it wasn't such a short post after all. Oh well, I know that being brief isn't my forte (is that an understatement??). I'll be back again soon with more news about the little bears!!