Sunday, October 26, 2008

What is a 'multiple' you ask....

...listen for it. (And watch the little one starting in the left hand corner-around the 30 second mark-followed by the "pray, I hope she gets it, oh my, YEAHHHH!")

That my friends, is one back-handspringing and handspringing AGAIN little 9 year old! Who hoo!
And here she is again. SO PROUD OF THAT GIRL!

Monday, October 20, 2008

*Future Blogger*

*Those beautiful roses were from her favorite(4 year old) guy-Joey! For her birthday. I'm jealous!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hay Maze

We went to the Hay Maze after Cali's McD's dinner. We have been going to this since my oldest two girls were in preschool. I can't believe it's been that long but it has. It is always a ton of fun.

Now that Cori and Cassi are older they slip on their headlamps and head for the tunnel.

Every year I wait for Grandpa or Scott to go through a time or two and then someone leads me down the path. Since Scott was gone this year, Grandpa had the great pleasure.

Before taking me he took Rocky through.

This was his first time. I think he is glad he did it but was not keen on doing it twice. In his defense, he is a big guy.
At some places in the tunnel, where I kind of turn around to go feet first, his only option was to go head first.

I am sure this changes the experience a bit.

I didn't think to take a pocket camera and couldn't really carry mine through the tunnel so I didn't get any pictures deep inside the twists and turns. It takes a good 5 minutes or so to get through if you know where you are going and you are 40 or over. :) I can't imagine going through with out a light(which many others do) or leading the way the first time. No way, not me. That being said, I always feel like I've kind of accomplished something when the night is done and I've made it through at least once. So, another year down. Who Hoo!

Here is Amber coming out.

Cassi and Grandpa at the fireman's pole.

Cori getting ready to go down the pole.

Cori and friends after going through, re-fueling for the next trip.

Don't you want to come out and play?

Who needs fine food when there's McD's

Cali's McD's party was great. She was happy which means everyone is happy.
I ordered her a little cake from the grocery. She heard me talking to them and changed the order. She was clear that she wanted a flat cake with Dora, Boots AND Swiper. She has been meandering through the bakery a lot lately; now I know why.
I also told them to make it primarily red and yellow. It turned out super cute.

Rocky and Wren came by as did Grandpa, GiGi, A.J. and Amber. Cori brought Grace.

Cali was given lots of great presents; girly makeup, a great purse with lots of pockets, a cool Dora lunchbox to take goodies in when we go on trips, some candy from Scotland and a MAILBOX. She fell in love with the mailbox and has been playing with it ever since. I am a little disappointed in it as the backside of the key broke and so did the back door. I am thinking about taking it back to the home school store and seeing what they say. Otherwise I guess Super Daddy is going to have to work some magic with the wood glue.

All the girls played in the kid zone.

After that we left for the Hay Maze; way much fun and a little scary too.

Kaleidoscope Love Stems

We held a Family Fun Night at our school last week. I thought it was important for the kids to do something that benefited others only, rather than focusing on projects and events there were entirely for themselves.

We made LOVE-STEMS. It was the perfect community project to get kids involved in. I learned about them this past summer. My own children worked with me to make a batch of our own for a friend. It was good for them and I expected it to be the same for our students.

We had about 50 or so people show up. I was limited to an hour so I pre-painted many toilet paper rolls to get the evening started. I also had an after school get together with a few parents to pre-fill the pots with plaster-a-paris and set our skewers. Our older students will be visiting a nursing home in November so we decided we would make sure we had enough to give each resident a flower pot. Any over and above that we will give to the senior center or another nursing home facility here in town.

I think we completed nearly enough that night for the planned trip in November. They currently line the tops of the shelves in our library. I have this many more to make plaster-a-paris pots for. Anyone want to come help?

If you are in need of a community service project or just interested in doing something nice for someone else with you own children or a community group of your own, consider trying this. Not only are they bright and cheerful which a lot of people could use these days, they contribute to recycling which is never a bad thing.

Here are the steps we use.

*paint your toilet paper roll one color inside then one color outside (prior to cutting). Let them complety dry.

*Poke one hole at the bottom of your roll and slide your skewer through to the top. Don't push your skewer through the top too far as the rolls will then slide down you skewer. In other words the bottom hole will be larger like the diameter of the skewer but the top hol will only allow the pointed end of the skewer through. I use a knife tip to start my bottom hole then slide the skewer through.

*Once you have a hole at both ends of the toilet paper roll, decide if your flower will have stems on each side or one. I personally think they look best with both sides cut. Cut your petals. I have learned if you make the petals very thin, they look darling although they offer less oppurtunity for design on the petals.

* Fill each cup with plaster-a-paris about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way.

* I pre-paint my skewers and put them in the cups prior to having the flowers made.
*Paint your designs on the petals, inside and out. I think they look better with dots, stripes and/or blocks of colors. Let these dry well.

*Slide your rolls on the skewers. Put some grass in the pot. Cut and tie on a tag. I think they look far better with a tag. I've done it both ways. Plus it's nice to have a note where as to where they came from. Our tags say Love-Stems on one side and Created with Love by a Kaleidoscope student on the other.

*Lastly, if you decide to do this, I think you should contact them and let them know what your doing. I think it is a fabulous idea and I know they'd like to see their idea growing!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


And away she goes. It was a long night. The girls were up late. We had no school yesterday so they were a bit lazy and thereby not feeling all that tired all that early. :(

Finally I got them all to lie down and eventually the sand man made his rounds to bring sleep to these Birthday Fairy expecting children.

This morning my ears tingled hearing the floor creak as Cassi and Cori crept down the stairs to take a gander at the fanciful things that winged imp left behind while the stars were doing their twinkle dance.

After a few minutes they tiptoed their way back to bed, trying so very hard to wake, I mean not to wake the birthday girl.

We walked downstairs while talking to Daddy in hopes the he could sense her delight in the gifts of the day. I am not sure he felt her smiles but I SO wished it for him.

She loved the blow-up cake which miraculously made its way out of the depths of storage just for her special day.

She received lots of wonderful and OSM gifts.

I am not certain which she loved most. Cori and Cassi immediately got her going on playing store with her cash drawer.

They set up a sushi bar with her wooden sushi set.

Shortly after that, she had a quick tea party with her tiny tea set. The bummer is, there are only two tea cups.

After she started waking up a bit, she decided some of the balloons left by that fairy were almost as fun as they presents she got. They make for a great game of catch.

It's going to be happy day!
And we are wishing the same for all of you. I wish you could be with us for dinner tonight as we celebrate at McD's since we couldn't think of a restaurant that sold hot dogs which was her only other acceptable choice.
(Daddy, this SMILE is just for you. We MISS you terribly and LOVE YOU EVEN MORE!)

Happy Birthday Sweet 4 Year Old

You are my baby. You are SWEET AND STUBBORN. You are a funny girl. You are SMART AND you are BEAUTIFUL. You are growing so fast! Your favorite colors are red and yellow. When you hold my hair it's like snuggling with a favorite blanket. It makes me smile when you call your sisters' your baby girl. You LOVE your friend Joey. You are going to marry him someday, you say. Stay young baby, BE HAPPY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, I LOVE YOU!

Friday, October 17, 2008

More Spookiness

The girls think this is the spookiest thing we can offer this Halloween.

This is Lassi, Wren's cat whom we've adopted.
She is a little frightening looking, don'tcha think? She's NOT, she is an angel in disguise. ;-)

Things are getting SPOOKY 'round here

We've been busy getting excited about Halloween. I haven't brought out too many decorations. Not sure why other than it is a LOT of work getting that stuff up from the crawl space and we've been so busy trying to get used to our fall schedule that I haven't had a lot of time to do that.

I have been lurking around so many blogs lately and there is a bevy of ideas to snag if one is so inclined. And certainly homemade decorations trump store bought ones, right? No need to head into that dreaded crawl space anyway.

Here is what we did for our preschool day yesterday.
We made recycled newspaper Halloween/Autumn wreaths. Cali informed me before we started that none of the kids would like this. I think they liked painting the newspaper enough and possibly even tearing it up. They even glued it on themselves but didn't really seem too impressed with the end result. Jen, Logan's mom, hot glued the ribbons on. I still think they are cute.

If you like these, you should check out Maya*Made Blog. She has an incredible talent creating things with newspaper.

We also made these cute pumpkin jars.

They were on The Entertaining House that I came across via this post on No Time For Flash Cards. I found a slew of jars at the salvation army store for about fifty cents each. They are likely some of the same ones I left there earlier this year. :)

I think these turned out darling. I wish I'd thought to take a picture of all of the ones that were made. We had several different jars. They were so cute that the big girls made me go buy more jars after school so they could make them too. We ended up with 4 all together. They are so cute sitting here, aren't they?

We made spider cookies-a really cute idea I found at no time for flashcards also. I was afraid the kids wouldn't care for black licorice so we made our with red. They were yummy.

We also had Halloween colored play dough. Play dough mania is still out in the living room on the mat as I write.

Lastly, I froze several containers of ice in layers that contained Halloween trinkets. I let the kids squirt water on them to melt them. We also used a hammer, and even stirred them in a bucket of water to melt them. Cali and Joey really loved this, Logan, not so much. (Our 4th, Corvin is out of town.)I wish I would have remembered to get pictures of the water flying. It was cute. I think I may do this on a larger scale for Cassi's classroom party. And she requested feely boxes, yippee!

We only host preschool once every 4th week. The other weeks we visit one of the other 3 participants houses. It has been great fun although it is interesting to see how we Moms differ in what we do. I obviously like to play because I never seem to offer to much in the way of traditional education. One of the other Moms did reassure me that our kids certainly need art too since they will eventually attend an Arts and Science charter school. Whew! Thank goodness, I'm off that hook.

What are you doing to celebrate Halloween?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spit:a narrow strip of land that juts out into the sea

And here it is.

Homer, Alaska. It seems so far off but from where I took this photo to the end of the piece of land in the middle of the ocean only takes about 10-15 minutes to get to.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day. The sun was shining so bright you couldn't help but feel warm all over even though the temperature was down a bit.

Right as we came into town we stopped at a local farmer's market and Debbie found some carrots for the kids. They were so cool. They were all tiny; some were red and some white and some super tiny like a nub. I don't remember what they were all called but I do remember the nubby ones were called thumbelina's and one of them was a rainbow carrot. Who knew there were so many different kinds. I didn't. Oh and by the way, THEY WERE GOOD! I think I could make a trip to Homer a few times over next summer just for the produce. I didn't get a picture but I will next time!

We also made a short stop at Island and Oceans. It is much like a visitor's center. There is some really cool stuff there and the kids always like going through. I got this quick shot of Cali on the way in. Isn't it the cutest picture?

Then we saw this guy. Isn't he darling? He isn't alive, but would you have known it?

After that we headed down to the beach, on the spit. We were looking for lunch but everything is closed down for the season. The girls quieted their rumbling tummies for a little while by playing at the beach.

They love looking for rocks and sea shells. And they always love climbing on the driftwood. I wish I could bring a bunch of it home! Don't know what I would do with it but I like it.

We found this dead crab.

I liked it too. I brought it home. I wanted to dry it out and save the shell. I put it in an empty planter by the front door to keep the smell out of the house and the next morning it was gone. :( I don't know what ate it but I think something did. Probably Booger. Grandma spoiled him so much, giving him goodies all the time. He probably thought she'd left it there just for him!

When we couldn't find any food we decided we had to leave the spit or starve.
On the way out, we passed this guy.

He was amazing. It is hard to get too close to them. This time however I was able to get closer than I'd probably ever done before. It was so bright out that I had a hard time getting crisp shots. Still I felt like I'd captured something unbelievable.

Finally, I got back in the car and we headed for the first restaurant we could find.
They closed at 3:00. It was just before or just after when we walked in. The guy in charge told us he wouldn't serve us. :( Still starving, we got back in the car. But not before I spotted this.

The flowers are a nice touch, don't you think. And of course, I love that it has an address too.
Finally, we found a place to eat, called the Caribou restaurant. It ended up being the same restaurant Grandma and I had taken the girls to many years ago when Cori was about 2 and Cassi was still in an infant car seat. And it looks exactly the same.

We had only just sat down when it started hailing. It was crazy. The kids and Grandma headed outside to check it out. It was smaller than a pea but still fun for the kids.

I loved this picture. Their expressions are cute. They are the result of trying to keep the hail out of their eyes.

We left town soon after we ate, but not before stopping for coffee. It was a somewhat quiet ride home. At least there were no screams to be let out of the car. Everyone was happily tired and ready to get home and relax. Besides we were headed for Exit Glacier the next day and we had to be rested!