Saturday, April 28, 2012

Just Because I Can

I've been having issues with Blogger and have been unable to upload videos.  Hopefully the discovery that I already have Google Chrome on this computer will help.

Monday, April 23, 2012

More Prom Photos

A mom of one of Tyler's friends took some more photos of Tyler and his date after they got done with Grand March. She did a wonderful job. It was cold and rainy. I felt so bad for Tyler's date. Brrr! You wouldn't know by the pictures.

Tyler said he had a great time. He said it took a little while to feel comfortable in the fancy clothes but by the end of the night he was more relaxed and really enjoying himself. He said he danced with lots of different girls even ones that he wouldn't normally talk to at school because they were "preppy." He said that at prom everybody looked the same. He also said that he didn't like the slow dances and preferred the rap songs with a good beat. Mike let him stay out a little later than usual but we weren't worried too much about him. He has commented that he really doesn't get hassled because everyone knows he's enlisted so there a lot less peer pressure.

Tyler has also been working out pretty regularily to get ready for basic training. At the turn of the year, we got a membership to a gym and Mike will take the boys in late in the evening. Sometimes they just go in by themselves. We are happy to see his enlistment affecting him positively. He is still very excited about enlisting and has not had second thoughts. That fact that he's going to be leaving is becoming a little more real and I do get teary now and then thinking about it. It will be such a big adjustment. The little girls are all going to miss him so much. I would have to guess Amanda will enjoy sending him drawings and letters. :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Senior Prom 2012

Like I said, things change so quickly.

Tyler headed off to prom tonight. I must admit that when he started talking about going, I may have given him the eye-roll. It seemed like a frivolous thing to spend money on. But one look at my boy in his very nice tuxedo melted my heart. He looked so nice! Mike told me to make sure that I got a picture with him. The last time I remember being in a picture with just him was on his 13th birthday. He was a little less cooperative on that day. ;)

His date looked very lovely too! She, Tyler and Tony used to play and sing together last spring when they wanted to start a band. They've all been busy with work and school this year though. She also talked her brother into letting them use his car. It's a pretty sweet ride!

I hope Tyler has a great night and acts like a gentleman. He sure looks like one.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Getting Snowed...

Things change so quickly. Monday morning, we woke up with everything covered in about six inches of wet heavy snow. By Wednesday morning, this was all that was left of that snow storm and Amanda's snowmen.

I need to remember these pictures when I'm so overwhelmed by whatever is covering my life in snow at the moment. It all goes by so quickly. We have turned a corner with potty training Tali. It's such a huge relief. The training part is so intense and it's so great when they finally get it! There were so many times I wanted to just give up but she was half way done and that would have been so unproductive.

I sure hope we turn a corner soon with her bedtime training too. Many nights it involves and hour and a half of noise, singing and various other capers. That snow has to melt soon too. Right?!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Preschool with toddlers

My friend was cleaning house for Lent and one of the items she wanted to give away was a box of preschool work sheets. They were the leftovers from several books. I had intended to be more structured and systematic in my approach to teaching Amanda how to read. But I can let that idea go. For now, I'm just pulling out a few worksheets a day and go through them with her using the pattern I learned in the Madsen Method which is what I had planned to use. We will go through program at some point to solidify her learning and fill in any gaps. Perhaps, when the toddlers are learning to read. Anyways, the pattern is to ask a question and then have the child repeat the answer with you. That way is doesn't matter if the worksheet I grab is something she doesn't know or can't do on her own.

If the worksheet is in black and white, when we're finished, she spends time coloring it on her own. If it has nice printed pictures, we cut them out. We had quite a collection of little cut out pictures so we spent some time gluing them. I gave each little girl a small paint cup with a little bit of glue and a brush. I initially tried to get them to paint on the backside and then flip it over to stick it to the page but that just didn't make sense to them. It was better to have them paint a spot on their paper and then put the picture on the glue spot. When the pictures were all used up, we were done.

After the pages dried, Amanda wrote letters on the papers and wanted to match up the letters with the objects. Then Tali had fun peeling of the pictures off her page. It was a fun and simple project that led to more learning and creative play. I have really been doubting my ability to get the schooling done with Amanda that she needs and wants so I'm happy to see progress in this area.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April Snow

April snow storms are so much fun! The little girls were so delighted to wake up to see the pretty snow all over the trees. We went outside right after breakfast because I knew it would melt fast.

My hostas, however, probably weren't so excited about the snow. ;)

This is probably the last time I'll look out into this back yard and see snow.

I am looking forward to the move partly because I have this idea that so many things will be better.

In the new house...

Tali will be fully potty trained and I will no longer be chasing her around saying, "Do you have to poop?"

In the new house...

The weather will be beautiful and I won't have to spend a 1/2 hour bundling us all up to go outside.

In the new house...

We will have so much room, I won't be constantly tripping over kids and toys.

In the new house...

The roads are all flat so there will be no more drama related to being too tired to walk up the evil hill from our mail box.

In our new house...

The mail will arrive at our driveway instead of two blocks away.

In our new house...

Everyone will sleep through the night.

In the new house...

We will be out of the pattern of picking up a new bug every time the girls go to Sunday school.

In the new house...

Mike will be home for lunch and dinner so I won't have to try to nurse Julia at the dinner table so a food fight won't break out.

In the new house...

A food fight won't break out anytime a take a moment to use the bathroom.

In the new house...

The rocking recliner will not face the kitchen so that when I'm held captive by some one who just needs to snuggle I won't be stuck looking at all the work I'm not getting done.

In the new house...

My compter will cooperate and everything won't be left justified for no good reason.

Okay, so some of these are a little unrealistic but a little bit of fantasy gets me through the day. :)

Three Months Old

Did I mention Julia was 15 lbs at her two month appointment? She was. And she's bigger now at three months. I would weigh her on our scale at home but it says I weigh 113. So unless I lost 30 lbs in a week, there probably something wrong with our scale.

The time has gone by so fast. She's really growing and changing. She rarely cries these days but instead coos in a complaining sort of way when she's unhappy or wants something different. Often times, she falls asleep on her own but other times I rock or nurse her to sleep. It's a good excuse to sit down and relax for a while.

She is really interacting with her sisters and becoming interested in toys. I've notices a change while she's nursing too. Instead of clutching her hands to her chest, she has been grabbing my shirt. She's very smiley and very happy. She sleeps for good stretches at night. Now if only her sisters would follow suit.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Quick Update- For real!

I've been trying to do some school with Amanda at naptime. She loves it and she loves to practice her writing. My boys never did this. They always hated those pages that just had you practice the letter over and over. Amanda filled up three pages with letters in one sitting. She is starting read. She's recognizing more words and can sound them out although she's more likely to guess than sound out a word.

I figured out how to make my double stroller and triple stroller. I lay the rear seat all the way down and have Tali or Ana sit at the back with a blanket behind them for comfort. Then Julia gets buckled in between their legs. The toddlers love it and fight over who gets to hold the baby. Amanda loves it because then she gets to ride her bike and I can jog for a little bit. She asks me to keep jogging but I told her I needed more practice. :)

Julia is growing up and calming down. She used to have trouble staying asleep in the evenings and for a long time, I would have to rock her to sleep and then go lay down with her to keep her asleep in the evening. Sometimes I would have Mike hold and rock her while I got chores done and then I would go to bed with her. After her middle of the night feeding, I could lay her in her bed and she would stay asleep though. Now, she often goes to bed by 8 pm and sleeps until about 3-4 am. She will fall right back asleep and will sleep until 8 am sometimes.

Amanda found this headband in the the dollies and put it on Julia and then asked me to take a picture. I was surprised to see that the headband sort of matched the sleeper. We did get them both from the same person so maybe they came together. (Blogger flipped the image and I've learned from experience that it will not correct itself no matter how many times I try to reload it.)

Ana asked to hold the baby and then asked me to take a picture. Julia is pretty enamored with her sisters too. She smiles and coos at them and is always trying to catch their eye. I think she is going to have a special bond with Amanda because Amanda often takes the time to talk Julia while I'm changing her diaper and hold her while I'm busy keeping after the toddlers. The toddlers like to hold her and chat with her but their attention span is so short that by the time Julia can focus on their faces and smile, they have found something else they want to do.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

5 gallons

September 2010 we purchased a five gallon drum of Charlie's Soap. I wondered how long it would take us to do approximately 1280 loads. (By the way, the title of that post has generated quite a bit of unpleasant spam.)

I just had to order some more. So, the answer is about 19 months. Elisa had the closest guess. :)