That’s Entertainment!

We spent today hanging out at Chuck E. Cheese while the painters continued to work on getting the outside of the house finished. After several hours of electronic fun at the House of the Lesser Mouse (because no mouse is more mouse than Mickey, of course), Dave picked us up to head to our classes of the night!

The kids had gymnastics while Dave was at the dojo. The Jediclan (are we still using fake names?) were 3/4 present at the dojo since Jediboy studies Karate almost every weeknight, so I picked up Baby Girl to keep me company while I waited at the air conditioned gym for our class to be over.

We spent our time talking, giggling, and sharing snacks at the “Gym of More Food”. I decided to do a little work on the laptop, so she decided to watch some Strawberry Shortcake on the Ipod. I was very amused to hear her little voice pop up next to my ear and say, “Leigh, take a picture of me.”

Baby Girl with an Ipod

This was the first time she’s ever asked me to take a pic, so I indulged a bit and shot several of her doing what she does best…eating and entertaining, all at the same time.
Babygirl with an Ipod

It’s a Technicolor World, so enjoy it!

We got a big box of surprises in the mail today from Steve Spangler Science. The kids were eager to jump right in to playing with their new baby soda bottles and test tube racks. We decided to work with two projects today. The first, and the one that kept them occupied for the longest time, was a good old color-mixing experiment.

The kids started off with empty test tubes, a large beaker flask of water, a pipette, and three fizzy color tabs. They turned the fizzy tabs and water into three tubes of liquid- red, yellow, blue. Then they used those colors and their pipettes to experiment with secondary color combinations in the empty tubes.

After the color experiment, we used some Magic Sand to study the concepts of hydrophilia and hydrophobia.

I think we’re going to love our newly restructured screen-porch Science Lab!

We’ve already started making another order at Steve Spangler. We’re a little obsessed with their Test Tube Experiment Kits. They’re incredibly kid-friendly. Simple enough that the kids can go it alone with minimal adult supervision.

Keeping a running record…

I borrowed the idea of keeping a running record of our day from Alexa. This is my first attempt at charting the flow of an entire day and then blogging the result. Our lives are a bit more busy and productive than I usually imagine them to be, and it’s helpful to be able to look back and actually see the shape of our day from the notes I took.

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Muffin Tin Monday- Christmas Stories

I’ve tried for quite a while now to get my kids interested in participating in Muffin Tin Mondays, but they’re resistant to any sort of scheduled “fun”, unless we’re sharing that fun with our friends.  Today’s Muffin Tin Monday topic happened to fit into our schedule anyway, so I let them have their lunch of choice and had Muffin Tin Monday dinner ready before they could begin to complain.

My favorite Christmas book in recent years has been -Amazing Peace- by Maya Angelou.   We have a wonderfully illustrated version of this book that was gifted to me by my mother a few weeks before she passed away, which adds a special bit of sentimentality to my love of the poem.

Amazing Peace

For our interpretation of Muffin Tin Monday based on Amazing Peace, we filled our Christmas shapes with foods representing the letters P.E.A.C. and E. The girls had Pizza Bagel/Pretzels, Easy Cheese, Apples, Caesar Salad, and Extra gum for post-dinner chewing. Nate had Pizza Bagel/Pretzels, Easy Cheese, Apples, Crackers, and Extra Strawberry Banana gum in his tin.
Peace on Earth
Tonight, before bed, we read through the story again and discussed how this story relates to our lives. We’re Baptist and Buddhist, believers and non-believers, and we are a family who strongly believe in making a conscious effort to find peace, grow peace, and be at peace with ourselves and within our greater world.

Nate asked me to post the poem with this blog so that others could read it, too, and find peace.

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Boys and their crazy toys…

When Nate got up at 6am to accompany Dave and me over to the Kinnally homestead, he never imagined that he would find himself playing fireman for the morning, complete with high-pressure hose and whirring sirens.

Fire Truck

The Papa Kinnally (named thus by Anna, never just Papa Kinnally…always THE Papa Kinnally) is a volunteer fireman in his town, and does a weekly drive and test of the equipment. While the boys were busy building a bonfire, putting the pig on it’s pit, and messing about in the yard, the Papa Kinnally decided to drive the grass truck down to the farm for some showing off.

Nate smiling in the grass truck

Nate took a spin around the farm. This included some fun off-roading through the woods with the lights and siren roaring. His smile got bigger every minute that he spent in the truck. By the time that the truck stopped, he was bouncing in the seat and giggling wildly. When the door opened, he jumped out and did his Snoopy Dance of Extreme Joy.

Nate's Snoopy Dance

Uncle Ryan helped him wait for the hose to fill….Ryan and Nate

And then…BAMMMM….there was water! Nate and Dave with the firehose

The boys had a great time testing their shiny, big toys. Nate explored the truck, played with the fire brooms, and then got to put out an actual fire.

You know it’s going to be an interesting weekend when you here, “This is the best day of my LIFE!” before 8am on Saturday morning.

He Didn’t Even Get Dizzy!

Tonight Nate was surprised with a prize basket at gymnastics for the most cartwheels or forward rolls in the boy’s division during their yearly fundraiser. More than 50 in two minutes!! Dave and I had known for a few days, since Dave had a peek at the results sheet, but we managed to keep our excitement a secret.

He was so thrilled that his little smile was a mile wide. Nate’s the child in our family who rarely gets recognized for outstanding achievement. He has only recently been able to blend and achieve positive results socially, especially in things like organized sports.

His prize was a huge Super-soaker type water gun, a slingshot with three balls and a roll of Shocktarts. I hope that this is the first in a long line of successes for our boy Nate.

Why, yes, we DO homeschool!

Just a little tidbit from the homeschool trenches:

Me (to Anna): What is the opposite of fast?
Anna: SLOW is the ossopit of fast.
Me (to Anna): Yes, slow is the OOOOPPPPIIIISSSSIIITTTT of fast.
Me (to the big kids): What is another term we use for words that mean the opposite?
Em (proudly): Oh, that’s easy, it’s an ANTONYM.
Me (to Em): Yeah! Great Answer! So, what is the antonym of antonym?
Nate (looking up vaguely from Super Smash Brawl): You’re kidding, right?
Me (curious): Nooo? Do you know the answer?
Nate (bored): DUUUUHHHH! The antonym of antonym is……..


I’m still laughing 15 minutes later. P.S. I did tell him that the word is synonym, not cinnamon. He’s still not speaking to me because I laughed.


Sticky, Squishy, Sweet and Gooey

PisecoBabe can alway be counted on for a fun playdate, and she’s more than willing to share her sticky, gluey gooey fun with us. The kids had a great time making yucky artworks and then squishing them back into blobs.

Princess DibbleDibbleDoo had no interest in the dough after a couple of minutes, and fell back to her favorite passtime…eating!

What was she eating, you ask? Well, pretty much anything she could get her fingers on, but the treat of the day was Rice Crispy squares made from PisecoMom’s recipe and decorated by my three rugrats prior to our playdate.

All-in-all, not a bad way to spend a Monday.

Happy Leap Day!!

And Happy 2nd birthday to Cousin Kendall, who was born a week after Em, but is 6 parties behind her in the present-opening race.

We celebrated the LEAP day but doing lots of jumping around the house, off the steps, and in and out of various hoops. Dinner was a celebration at Moghul, where we ate far too much lovely Indian food. There were more tikka masala, paneer, and naan variations than our family could eat in two days.

Here’s for a great and peaceful March into Spring.

Swimmingly Good Times

The big kids celebrated their birthdays last weekend in a joint YMCA swimming pool party. We had a small crowd, mostly girls, and lots of great fun. The PisecoClan came, with PisecoBabe hauling her wonderful camera. There was great enthusiasm about the swimming, the home-made cakes, and the gifts.

Those wacky Pisecofolk also gifted Emily with the promise of a future Daisy Rock guitar (shipping times were lagging and it did not arrive for the party) to match the Hannah Montana wristwatch in her gift bag. She was ecstatic when she found the note on the back of the watch after the party was over.

All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend an evening celebrating the completion of one more year of crazy living for two of our growing monsters.