Saturday, July 31, 2010

My baby is grown up!

Yep..the title says it baby is grown up! Not grown up and leaving the house (yet) , but grown up, nonetheless. He is turning 17 on Tuesday, but due to his hectic work schedule, we decided to celebrate it last nite when we knew he'd be there! At his request, we had a triple layer chocolate cake (he loves chocolate!) and ice cream. And girls made sure to count out exactly 17 candles!

He opened his gifts and was quite surprised and happy-a new cellphone, cash, and gift cards!

He is pretty low-key and didn't want to make a really big deal out of his birthday,so we all just enjoyed being together at home. And a movie to top off the evening was nice, too. Truly, the past 17 years with him have been full of so much-both tough times and very fun times. I think I can say that he's probably taught me more than I've taught him! He has one of the most loving hearts I've seen-he truly cares for his siblings and others (even when they annoy him!) and his easygoing personality is a blessing to our sometimes chaotic family! When I think ahead to when he leaves my house, it makes me truly sad. A momma has a special place in her heart for her firstborn and the thought of not interacting with him everyday seems difficult. But raising children also means being able to let them go when it's time. Though I feel like I've messed up in so many ways with him, I am very proud of him and look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for him. Happy Birthday!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My little chef

Here's my 4 yo- a little chef-in-training for sure! One of her favorite things to do is crack eggs. I've never seen a child this young who loved to crack eggs so much, but she does it well, I must say! She is very careful not to get shells in the bowl, and truly, she rarely does. Here she is getting out the eggs...
Giving them a quick crack on the side of the counter.. .

Putting the egg over the bowl....

And finally, opening up the shell and letting the egg plop in the bowl.

This day, she cracked about 24 eggs for me so I could tend to some of the other cooking. If she keeps this up, maybe she'll be cooking the whole meal for us before long!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Playtime for little guy

I love summer....really, I do. Even with temps in the 90's and being humid as heck, I still will take it over snowstorms and ice. What I love best of all is my kiddos being able to play outside, splash in the little pool, and not have to worry about having a jacket on. In our case, at least with the little ones, sometimes the clothing is optional! Here's my little guy, playing away-having fun on the patio with his sidewalk chalk, eating a piece of bread, wearing nothing but his diaper!

I wish I could say that he doesn't normally look quite so........rustic? But I'd be lying! by 2 p.m. everyday, he almost ALWAYS looks like this. The clothes have either gotten wet, covered with food, or he chose to strip them off himself. Either way, I give up. If we're not leaving the house, really, who cares? Not this momma! I think he looks pretty sweet, actually-and nothing beats those big slobbery kisses and chunky arms wrapped around your neck!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Stinky flower....

I'm beginning to think we're nuts. The kids and I have spent the last few days in eager anticipation of the blooming of the corpse flower at our local science museum. In case you don't know, this is an extremely rare flower and has only bloomed a couple dozen times in the U.S. It's quite beautiful, but, quite fitting to its name, it's supposed to smell awful when it blooms. We keep the live webcam going on our computer during the day and the kids check it about every 5 minutes to see if anything's changed. They're so disappointed nothing's happened! Who would have thought we'd be this interested in a flower!? If you haven't seen, go take a look here!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Learning about Columbus

In our homeschool, we are learning about early explorers. Vikings (think Leif Ericsson) and now Christopher Columbus. Amazing to learn about how little people knew about the world before they truly went and explored it. The kids thought it comical to see the maps from the 1400's, with only 3 continents on them! After learning about Columbus' great voyage from Spain to America, we decided to have a bit of fun with it and the kids set up a boat race between (you guessed it) the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. They each constructed their own from aluminum foil and then attached a flag. The only rules were, no hands-they had to use only the wind! The first one to make it to Spain (the other side) was the winner. We had one boat sink (the Pinta), one go off course (the Santa Maria), so the Nina was the winner!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Back to home school!

But it's the middle of summer, you're thinking?! Well, for us, it's back to school time! Seriously, it's so hot outside, we start school in July and enjoy the luxury of finishing our year a little early, while the weather is a bit nicer. I had spent a lot of time organizing and getting things together over the past month or two. The kids were excited..yes, excited! They actually kept asking when we were least the younger ones were. I decided this year to make our schooling more enjoyable and have a more easygoing schedule that allows plenty of extra time for interruptions, sidetracks, or even a tired mom some days! I mean, just because we SHOULD get that history lesson done in 30 minutes doesn't mean we will when reality hits! Better to have a little cushion time than a rushed day. I was really glad I made this decision when the kickoff to our morning was my 7 yo daughter vomiting on the living room floor (thank you wood floors!) She did complain of a slight stomach ache about 30 minutes before.....guess i should have listened better. Surprisingly, after that, she felt great and went on as if nothing ever happened. About an hour after that, we got this surprise...

Yes, that's my curious 1 1/2 yo little guy, who, for whatever reason, is obsessed with getting into my baking items-particularly the baking soda and baking powder. This is the box of baking powder. Would it gross you out if I told you he actually likes to eat it? Trust me-it's not because he's hungry, either (have you seen the size of those chunky thighs?)

On we moved to the lessons-math, language arts, handwriting....

And my eager 1st grader, who was proud to show off his work!

Here's my 15 yo working on his Spanish on the computer....or maybe training for a drive through job?! (Would you like fries with that?)

Overall, a great day, even with all the interruptions! The kids did great...I'm proud! Sign me up for another day!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A fabulous Fourth!

The 4th of July is always a big deal at our house, at least for my bigger boys, as it is the one day out of the year when they can blow things up....legally. It's also highly anticipated by the biggest of the bunch...Dad. They make the annual trek to the fireworks stand and load up. If I told you a $$$ amount spent, you might faint, so let's just say that they put on a good show! We started off the evening with the traditional BBQ-is there any other way to do it on the 4th? Hubby made brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, and hot dogs. We also had all the fixings to go along with it-chips, beans, corn, watermelon, and the most important part of the meal-dessert! My mom got me this great cupcake holder for my birthday last week, since she knows I love to bake. I was looking forward to using it, and this was the perfect opportunity! It holds 35 cupcakes, so I was ready for a crowd. I baked up the red and white cupcakes, in the nifty 4th of July cupcake holders and topped each with icing, red, white and blue sprinkles, and a small star shaped sugar cookie. Fun and yummy! Thanks Mom for the awesome gift! Doesn't she know me too well?

This is pure happiness when you're 3!

After all the eating, it was time to get the show on the road. The boys took over and started lighting!

They had rockets, firecrackers, spinning things, sparkly ones...pretty much every kind you could imagine! All the boys and their friends participated and had a great time-we enjoyed the show, too-alomost an hour long! I watched about a third of it and then went inside to comfort the scared little ones. Poor things-those fireworks are loud! The only downside to all this fun? The cleanup the next morning-my boys were kept very busy most of the morning!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

6th birthday bash!

Today was my son's 6 year old birthday. My little munchkin-or actually more of an elfkin-is growing up! He was dead set on having a tractor party, so that's what we went with. It was a little more difficult than other themes, as there just isn't a lot of tractor stuff out there unless you're looking to break the bank with John Deere, so we also incorporated a little of the farm aspect. We had games, like pin the tail on the donkey...

And of course, a tractor pinata! This was the part he was most excited about, to tell you the truth. I think he could have done without anything else at his party, as long as he had that pinata!

Here's the aftermath of breaking open that big pinata, full of candy!

On to opening presents....

And to finish it off, a tractor cake and ice cream.

He had a great time and has spent the rest of the afternoon playing with all the great toys he recieved!