Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Crochetted Presents

My mother always made so much of our Christmas presents with her hands. To me this was always part of Christmas, because it is more of a giving from self. As Christmas got closer this year and I was so busy I bought all of the presents, but then felt an irresistable urge to make something. My daughter was getting an 18" doll and so I wanted to make an outfit. I found a pattern for a long sleeved doll dress, but because I am terrible at following directions it became a short sleeved sweater, which I liked better. I then made a matching skirt. I also made her doll the necklace too along with two others and gave her all of it in a little hope chest.

My niece also has an 18" doll, so I decided to make her a long coat, hat and muff. I kind of did follow the pattern for this. I found it online, but can't find it again. I'll post the link when I can find it.

My other niece was getting a 15" baby doll, so I decided to make her doll a dress. I used this pattern for a 9" doll and tweaked it as I went. http://www.crochetnmore.com/nineand1halfdolldress.htm I love this dress. I think the ribbon adds so much and it has little rosebud buttons on the back.

After I did all of this I realized that my daughter was getting a horse for her doll, but would have no pants so Christmas Eve I made a pair of pants for her too.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was my favorite part of Christmas. We got together with my husband's side of the family at his Aunt's and Uncle's house. We ate ham and many, many goodies as we caught up on all of the news with the extended family. Then we dressed the children for a Christmas play.

Before the play began my older three children along with two of their cousin's put on a preformance. It began with Justin playing Jingle Bells and the other for children singing adding an additional fun ending of their own to it. Then Kamron and Justin played a self created duet of We Three Kings. The Aubrey and Savannah sang a pretty and animated version of Silent Night. Then Kamron wrapped it up with Jolly Old Saint Nicholas on the piano.

Of course, after this several other cousins had to preform various Christmas songs. These less polished versions, were darling sung by two-year-olds that forgot half the words and trailed off and then jumped up and down while clapping.
After this, Devan and his dad, Uncle Steve read Luke 2 while the other children acted out with occasional pauses for the whole family to sing several songs.

After the children were done, Uncle Steve played Mary Did You Know on Guitar, while Aunt Kelly sang. It is so much fun to hear them sing. This was followed by everyone singing several songs, including the traditional 12 Days of Christmas with a twist. We got to make up our own gifts for the day we had and then everyone had to sing with us on the next time around. We had kissing near the mistletoe, 5 babies crying, and 8 candy canes. Kevin, Kamron and I chose 7 lego sets at Kamron's rather strong suggestion.

After the songs the children sat on the rug while Great Gandpa Larson read The Night Before Christmas and then we sang a Santa song and Santa walked in the door bringing a gift for each of the children.

After a white elephant exchange set to a story about Rudolph going left and right as the presents went left and right, we opened gifts to each other, hugged everyone and headed home. Yes, it was late when everyone was finally tucked in---very late.

Apple's Under the Table

We walked in and saw this one day last week.

Cutting Down the Tree

We try to cut our own tree down each year. Since our cousin's don't have a strong tradition here they went with us. Our tradition goes back to my childhood of wandering around the tree farm, trying to find the best tree. After a few trees are selected as possibilities Mom decides which one is to be The Tree. In our case, after I have decided, Dad then tries to change everyone's mind, but eventually Mom gets her way=).

The boys took awhile, but they cut the tree down completely by themselves.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Logan's Vespers

I read Logan the story of The Three Little Pigs the day before yesterday. He must have been thinking about it, because last night he prayed,

"Dear Heavenly Father, bless us that our house will be made out of bricks, and that it will be full of children...and food ... and books, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Math Practicum

I started my math practicum at the Montessori school. It makes me glad that my kids are home schooled=). There were 39 kids in the class with two teachers. The kids are combined almost all of the time. I was there for three hours and not once did the kids use any manipulatives or hands-on materials and this is a 2nd/3rd grade "Montessori" school, which is supposed to be very hands-on. They did 4 worksheets and each read silently alone. The teacher sat them down and went over roman numerals for awhile, which could have been good had the teacher then followed it up with a check for understanding. At one point there was a kid hiding under the table, others drawing on white boards, kids leaving the room and a constant amount of talking with the teacher yelling across the room to hush everyone. ANd I thought our house got loud with a few toddlers. She told me at the break that she had been looking for a new job, just because these kids were so awful. By the way, this is not an inner city school. Of course, there are a lot of awesome teachers out there, but may I suggest, once again, making sure the teacher your child has is awesome, and if he or she isn't find an alternative-and there are many. I get to observe another Montessori teacher team next week-I'm really hoping for a good example of the method.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My daughter-the photographer

My daughter has been playing with my camera lately. I can see the artisic talent bubbling forth, can't you?

A portrait of one of her mother's very common looks.

This one is entitled "The Blue Chair."

Very strong teeth, no?

This is a study on drool. Seth is the reigning champion and A.J. is taking the victory photo.

Look Who Got a New Bed

Logan's bed was too big for the room he is sharing with his cousin and brother, so he has been camping out and sleeping with Kevin and I for a couple weeks. I knew this situation had to be remedied after talking to him one day. He said he wanted to go back to our other house, and I could tell he was feeling like he didn't know where to go part of the day. So we got this little bed for our Thomas fan and he was so excited. He cuddled down into it and said, "Now, I have my very own spot." He later told his brother that Christmas was all done, because he already got his bed present. And then he said, "So I'm four now." Hmmm.

Thanksgiving Firsts

I had two firsts this Thanksgiving and both left my body very sore. First, my oldest son and I, along with my sister-in-law and her son and some other friends ran the 10k turkey trot. I was rather proud that Kamron kept going and going. He was funny though, because he has no middle. He either walked really slow or ran fast. We kept trying to show him how to do a slow jog and it was not working. In the end we bribed him with a new small lego set to keep his motivation up. When he got the set he declared that the run was totally worth it. We made it in 1 hour and 24 minutes. My older kids are doing a fun run marathon where they have to run 27 miles in 6 weeks-and this one knocked out 6.5 of those, so that was pretty awesome.

Before the run

And after

My other first was that after dinner with my husbands family we played football, and I scored a touch down. Okay most of the players were less than three-and-a-half feet tall, but I did actually catch the ball while running (which is probably a first in and of itself) and then I ran with through the correct tree and pole thingy.
At one point in this game I was talking to my toddler when I turned around and saw my husband chasing my brother-in-law who had the ball, I realized that if I ran I could tag my bil, so I did and I tagged him, unfortunately so did my husband and then we collided---hard. We hit the ground hard and my ribs are still bruised, along with my hip and my knee and ... I think I'll just let the guys play next year because I have this sneaking suspicion that I don't really know what I'm doing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What I am Thankful for

So I thought I would start a list of the things that happen that I am in thankful for in honor of Thanksgiving. Here is my list from yesterday and today:

The silliness that comes when we have stayed up too late
A little niece that sneaks into our room before bed and cries when she has to leave "Aunt Sissa"
A princess who prays with me and then wants hugs
Kind friends who take my children on wonderful, worthy adventures
That wonderful age when you have no idea what the next statement your child is going to make, “Well, I need a security belt too, then I will stick my head in the ice chest.”
Having to flex my creativity muscles so that I am able to reply to such statements
A mother-in-law who comes over “for just a few minutes,” and then leaves hours later with several kids in her car
Vacation days, when I hunker down and read …a novel
The accomplishment when my son plays the piano and the toddler walks in and says, “that song is from rocket when he was flying allegro” rocket is Little Einstein’s for those who are currently not hanging out with the toddler set
Fairies, and the little girls who love them
Books on tapes
Kids who love books on tape
Pretty music
The less than pretty music my children make…
The feeling that you know something is going right when your kindergartener jumps up and down, because Mom promises him and his cousin a piano lesson this very afternoon
Family who is welcoming and willing to sacrifice just to help
Cozy quilts on cold nights
Library internet connections
Buying Christmas presents for children and the anticipation of when they will open them
Knowing what I am going to get my husband… I think
All-inclusive science kits and a daughter who loves them
Family game night
Chocolate chips in my morning oatmeal
That my children are all safe and well
That my baby, and toddler cry when I leave and they all run and hug me and then cling for at least two minutes after I get back
That yoga doesn’t stop with the gentle level
That the gym provides daycare
A really neat old gnarly oak tree at the park
Baby kisses
Irish pennywhistles
That I don't have to look very far for examples of awesome people that I want to be like
That I currently do not have a dog
The creative choices my son uses when he selects words in essays and that he is progressing rapidly in the writing department
That craigslist had a toddler bed that included Thomas Bedding on the day I was looking for both—and noone had snagged it first
That the principal from the Montessori school finally said I could come observe in her school
That bears have very long tongues and I got to watch a delighted five-year-old discover this
That people are ticklish
The knowledge that God is in charge and all will work out in wonderful ways in the


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Update and A.J.

We are settling in again at my sister-in-laws house. I have been so blessed with such a giving family. My sister-in-law is one of those people that loves people around and most of her kids have taken on this trait. Kamron and Brennen are sharing a room with their cousin Justin. They are thrilled about it and are absolutely inseperable-to the point that Kamron has even gone to Justin's soccer games, piano lessons and scouts. They are also very pragmatic and Kamron told me the other day "we just agreed that we would be perfectly equal and agree on everything." And amazingly they do. Kamron has always been easy going and Justin is slightly mature in his understanding of relationships so it has worked really well. They are both doing their homework on my bed right now. They are both in 5th grade but working through different math programs so sometimes one will know something before the other and they will teach each other. Justin goes to public school and is gone most of the day, but since Kamron starts math at 7 a.m. he gets to help him before he goes every day.
My daughter Aubrey Jewel is not fairing quite as well with her cousin who is two years younger. They love each other and play a lot together, but they also both have daily emotional roller coasters going on. Girls. We went to the new ward at church the last two Sundays, and then I took Aubrey to Achievement Days. When I picked her up one of the girls asked me who I was and I said I was Aubrey's mom. She goes we don't have an Aubrey here. When we left all of the little girls go, "Good-bye A.J." Then I get stopped in the hall and am asked when is A.J.'s birthday for the records. A.J.? Yes, my daughter has introduced herself as A.J. to the entire ward. Yesterday, she also informed us that her name will now be A.J. even to the family and she will no longer respond to Aubrey. We are trying to accomodate her wishes, mostly because it is so amusing. At least she is not introducing herself as Kim, which is what she used to tell strangers at the park.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


We were blessed with everything coming together yesterday, for the house we are selling. The sell is now approved by everyone who needs to approve it and we will sign tonight and it will be closed by Friday. Yeah! We also found a family which has been approved by the property management company to take over our lease. Yeah! I appreciate everyone's prayers for our family. It has helped a lot. Thank you!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pumpkin Farm

We went to Bishop's Pumpkin Farm with my sister-in-law and her kids this Friday also. This is one of the coolest places. In addition to a hay ride that leads out to acres of pumpkins that you can pick straight of the vine, there is a petting zoo,

mattresses covered with hay to jump on,

a wooden train,

a real train,

a three story treehouse with a slide

and a dirt pit underneath,

tractor tire land and more that we didn't have time to get to. My daughter saw a gopher hole and patiently waited with the camera for it to come out and snapped this picture.

Poetry Park Day

Our Homeschool group had a poetry park day this last Friday. The kids each either read or memorized a poem. None of mine actually learned a new poem for this, I think it would have made it more meaningful if they had. They each recited one from memory though. I am amazed how easy it is for them to memorize them. Kamron has over 30 memorized now and Logan has 3 the others are somewhere in between. I set up a card catalog to keep track of them, as I have them continuosly review their old ones so that they are not forgotten.
I print out each poem and glue it to a 3 x 5 card. Often several of the children will memorize the same poems, but I find it better if to print it several times, so that each child has every poem they know in their file. The poem they are currently working on stay in the front and they go over it each day and then they pull out the two cards behind, someone else holds those cards and they recite those poems and then the cards go in the back. It has really helped us keep track of the poems so much better.

I need to add more cards though, because I find that some of the kids memorize the other children's poems just by hearing them repeated.