Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Life before Technology

Today I volunteered in Logan's classroom. It was so fun to talk to all the kids and work with them. I also got to observe an hour of their daily calender, math, reading and writing. I remember when I was a kid we had a big calender on the bulletin board and a chalk board and erasers. 

Those are all things of the past. 

Today everything was done on a Smart Board. Logan told me earlier this week, "I am so glad Mrs. Kidd is rich enough to have a smart board." That made me laugh!! The kids just point, click and drag and draw and erase with no messy chalk dust. Viola, the days of the week are filled into sentences, the weather icons are on the side and they just drag it to the graph chart for the month that was saved on the board. The pictures of coins are depicted and you can move them to add them together. It really is amazing. Then, for writing the teacher was at the smart board and each child had their own dry erase board and marker of their own where they practiced writing each word (the smell in the room was enough to make anyone high though- with 20 dry erase markers going at once!). 

It is so CrAzY to me how different school is, yet the outcome is still the the time Carson is in first grade, what will it be? Will each kid have their own I-Pad?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Advent Adventure!

A friend of mine passed along a link for this e-book called "Truth in the Tinsel" and I am so excited to do this with my kids!! I thought I would share it now, in case anyone else is interested since December is only 2 days away! Every day you read a part of the scripture and then make an ornament to go with the story. Everything is laid out day by day in the book, exactly what to do and what you will need. And I think I already have 95% of what is needed, so no big trips to the store are necessary. As we proceed along I will share some of our thoughts and crafts with you.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Now that the first major Holiday break is over and everyone has had between 5 and 7 days off of school and work it is time to get back into the routine of things...well somewhat, since Michael is on nights this week. As nice as it is to get up and watch TV in jammies and eat whatever whenever you feel like it, it is nicer (at least for me) to have a routine of some sorts.

The first day back is always hard. It takes 20 times of me saying something for the kids to actually hear me...that still doesn't mean they do what I ask.... There is more fussing, more chaos as I try to remember everything I have to do (remember to pack a lunch and send a snack for Logan, send in popcorn money, send Melina to school with her bag, pack dance clothes and a get the idea), and more things creep into the to do list that I neglected for days on end. The laundry is sky high and there is no food in the fridge. So this week we will play catch up.

And have I mentioned that since Daylight Savings my kids are getting up at a ridiculous hour!!! This has been going on every since Logan was little. None of my kids have ever adjusted to the time change and they don't do well. It messes with their brains and their behavior. And then once we change back again in the spring they become "normal" again. Maybe it is the time change, maybe it is just the darkness and grayness and coldness, I know it certainly effects me! Maybe this means we need to move to Hawaii?!?! Where it is sunny and warm!

I am off to fold laundry and shark the floor and maybe start my Christmas cards. And hopefully tomorrow we will all be adjusted back to the daily routine of things a bit more.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Let the Christmas season begin!

The day after Thanksgiving was not spent black Friday shopping, but rather taking down the fall decorations and bringing out the Christmas decorations! It was a beautiful day and we decorated the tree that afternoon with the windows open...I could get used to that!! 

Our finished tree and mantle.

We followed decorating with a dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers and then headed out to Clifton Mills; a local attraction with millions of lights, a miniature village and the largest Santa Collection in the country. At 6 on the nose, all the lights were turned off for about 10 seconds and then with music accompaniment a grand light show began. The kids were mesmerized! 

Checking out the miniature village before it got dark.
They even had the horseshoe with OSU vs MI and the band  doing script Ohio!

Posing with a BIG Santa after taking in the Santa collection.
The kids enjoyed seeing all the different Santa's!!

The light show took place on the bridge and the banks.

Looking over at the mill

The Miniature village.

Let the Christmas Season Begin!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving blessings

The girls helping set the table

What a great Thanksgiving!! 

Our family had so much to be Thankful for!!
And make the rolls

We started getting ready on Monday for the big day and little by little every day we did more cooking, cleaning and prepping.

I am so thankful that my kiddos wanted to help in the whole process. They worked hard all week to prepare!
Michael helped plan, shop and prepare
for the meal. I am thankful to have a
husband who enjoys cooking with me
and is helpful with the kids and in the kitchen!!       

Logan lost his tooth at the dinner table!

All of the kiddos enjoyed playing with their cousin!!

Melina and Logan made place cards and inside they listed
what they were thankful for for each person. It was fun to
read what they wrote for everyone!!

Now onto decorating for Christmas.... 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giving Thanks

The kids gave away several turkeys that they
made. Some to teachers, other to families who
we don't even know, to decorate their
Thanksgiving table.
We have A LOT to be Thankful for this year!! 

This November instead of getting caught up in Christmas in November, we tried to focus on Thanksgiving and all the we have to be thankful for. I want my kids to grow up thankful for what they have and to be able to use their gifts (and that does not necessarily mean monetary) to give to others.  I think this is a lesson that can never be taught to young. So this November we have helped sponsor a family for Thanksgiving and donated to two other food drives. We have made gifts, treats and cards or those we are thankful for in our every day lives and we have talked about what we are most thankful for and how we can share with others. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks....and we spent November focusing on this...and on Friday we will start right in with the Christmas fun and activities!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Stone Soup

My little Singing Fox

Melina's Tom Turkey
Today we celebrated Thanksgiving at Melina's preschool with a family Stone Soup Festival. It really amazes me how much work the teachers and kids put into every event. The kids made totem poles and Tepee's and shirts and hats and necklaces. They sang several songs for the families and then we all enjoyed eating the stone soup together. Each child brought in and item and it was cooked together to create a yummy vegetable soup. They also had a wall of Tom Turkeys that each child took home to disguise. Melina made hers into a Ballerina. She put a lot of work into her turkey. It took all weekend to dry after she made it! :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

TurKey Cookies

 Turkey Cookies!

This afternoon Melina and I made Turkey cookie to take to her school tomorrow for the Stone Soup Festival. Logan and I will be making them this weekend for him to share with his class next week. They are easy, FUN and Super Cute!!
First we stuck 4 candy corn into a golden Oreo

Then we made 2 dots of white icing
and stuck chocolate chips on for the eyes.

Next came the Vanilla Wafer

And finally we used red icing for the gobblers
and more candy corn!

Melina and "Marabel" (who helped us) with her finished project.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Scrub

Yesterday Melina and I made sugar scrubs and today I made some with Logan. They are super easy, smell delicious and leave your hands and body smooth as can be! We are giving them as Thanksgiving gifts for teachers. We started giving them out today so the teachers could enjoy them! Such a fun and easy project and the kids like scrubbing with them too!

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Scrub
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Cup White Sugar
2 T Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Cup & 2 T Safflower Oil 

Measure the sugars together

Then add the spice

Mix the dry ingredients together and then add the oil and mix

Mixture should look like this.

Then store in jars

Can can add a nice label for gift giving


Space Derby

This past week Logan worked on a rocket for the Boy Scout Space Derby (a flying version of the pine wood derby). It took a week to build his rocket (with lots of help from daddy)! They don't make these things simple; but it is a great learning experience and bonding between parent and child. You have to glue, sand, paint, sand, glue, paint... Michael did most of the sanding to shape the rocket, but Logan did all of the painting (base coats and decorative) and the second sanding to smooth the rocket.

Michael helping Logan put the propeller on.

Finally on Sunday Logan got to race the rocket. His never got the whole way down the line, because it wasn't wound enough, but he came home thrilled that he participated and got a patch! He said that this was his favorite Boy Scout activity so far.

Logan and his rocket

It made me proud that he put so much effort and pride into his rocket.

The finished product!


Monday, November 14, 2011

Progress Report

It is amazing when how you are in the midst of a "situation" that you think you'll never get out of it...or it will take forever to get somewhere...or it will never know the feeling.

In working with Meeka and her speech delay things can be frustrating. For instance she still can not say her name. She can say Me and she can say Ka, but she can't put it together. And she still calls all 3 siblings "buddy". So we have to decipher, Buddy Logan, Buddy Melina or Buddy Carson. She will answer yes to the right sibling, but it is still frustrating that she can't say something different for each one.

Enjoying the candy she stole when I was not looking at her
favorite store. "Go Kroger Snack!" I look back at where we were 2 months ago, we have come leaps and bounds!! 2 months ago she could not tell me is she wanted milk or juice. She could not say the word book. And she was hardly putting words together. Now, we have 2 and 3 words strung together!! She will bring you a picture and say, "I make that." It makes us smile. Yes, the art work is beautiful, but it is more the fact that she can say that she made it that puts the big smile on our face! And at night, she can now protest bedtime by saying, "more book." And it is hard to say no to that!

Yes, it is a long road, but it has been a scenic one where we have picked up tips and tricks and shortcuts along the way. But we are still in the beginning stages of our trip. No, I don't see the end in sight yet, but when focusing on the progress that has been make it is clear we are on the right path and it sure keeps us motivated to keep on going and work hard!

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue this journey of speech therapy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Art of Play

Play. What a simple concept.

Yet, I think this concept is lost sometimes. Between shuffling from school to practice to church and whatever else everyone does these days, I don't always think kids get enough time to play. I really dislike when we have a playdate and the other kiddo keeps asking me to play video games or watch TV and when asked what they want to do or given suggestions, they always say, "I don't know." I think it is because they just don't know how to "play."

When we moved here last year I was not so sure of the 7am-2pm school schedule...I thought, wow, that's early. But I have to say, "I LOVE IT!!" My kids get up early anyway, so the morning is not an issue for us. And I love that they get home early. That leaves enough time in the day to do homework, chores, PLAY, eat dinner and get to soccer, etc and then to bed by 7:30 without having to rush, rush, rush!! So it is good!!

We decided to forgo some yard space when we moved here too, in favor of lots of neighborhood kids for my kids to play with. We never had that before, and I have to say it comes with its ups and downs. All the kids congregate at my house 90% of the time. I LOVE that my kids have playmates and that when they are here I can keep and eye and ear on what is going on. And it is fun to see kids from 4-10 all playing together. They played outside all summer with pick up games of baseball and football and 4 square. There are always kids riding their bikes on the street. But, until I had an "aha" moment yesterday, I just could not understand why everyone always wanted to play here. My kids are the youngest around...why do they want to be here with the "baby toys?" And I finally figured it least I think I did....the TOYS.

Yes, I know I just said, "BABY TOYS" a minute ago. But yesterday as I watched 11 kids play a pretend game of cats and dogs in my house I realized that I bet most kids (all the kids are the youngest in their families) don't have to many "toys" left at their houses; it is all video games and more solitary "big kid" toys. No one has a toy kitchen and dress up clothes and baby dolls and swings and instruments and castles... and yet they ENJOY playing with those things. They can use their imagination and just "PLAY!" I am find myself smiling as I listen to their made-up games of house and puppies and cops and robbers. It really me happy that my kids can play!!

And honestly, I think that helps with school. At Logan's teacher conference last week his teacher was saying how he is so wonderful at making up and writing stories and that most first graders can not do this. She said the kids love listening to his stories and looking at his pictures and he has become a real role model for the kids in that respect. I least in my head...that this comes from being able to play; that there is a direct correlation. But I am no psychologist; I just go with what I have observed.

So get out and PLAY!!     It will do the body and mind good!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Losing my sanity

This week has been NUTS...not a good way or even a super busy way... but in a "I have no idea which way is up or what is going on kind of way!" So I will just share some random pictures from the last 2 days in my house.

On Tuesday afternoon I had a Turkey making playdate at my house for the meetup group. We had lots of leftover pumpkins from the Halloween Party, so I googled, "How to make a pumpkin turkey decoration" to get some ideas. I was putting everything out when the neighborhood kids all came over and said, "We want to do one!"  so before the little kids made one, all the big kids made one. I have to say it was kind of fun watching them all sit and create!
Big Kids craft time!
A little kid turkey!

Melina circling another scooter and bike just because they
are girly!

Melina decided she was going to start her Christmas list. She went through 2 toy catalogs and circled just about everything as long as it was "girly." She kept saying, "This is a girly____, I want this." My tom boy is all of a sudden becoming a girly girl....she did want a Polar Bear and a Police uniform too though.

While she was circling toys but other girl was stuffing her pockets with ketsup. Luckily I caught her and did not find ketsup all of the house! I also caught her yesterday in the pantry, where she had closed herself in, and was eating peanut butter out of the jar by the handful!
And then their is my last innocent baby...who is growing so much! I took him for his 15 month check-up on Tuesday, just he and I. Everyone at the doctors office commented on how happy and how stinkin' cute he was! My baby is now 23 pounds!! And I am not so sure he will stay innocent much longer...I mean really he is doomed in this family, right? 

Last night I did get out myself! I was able to finish my book yesterday and I had bookclub last night. It was really nice to get out and relax and laugh after my last couple of days! Thank goodness for friends and food!! Now here's to a GREAT end to my week (I can only hope, right!)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blame it on the time change

The past 24 hours have not been my finest...I must have a terrible case of time change mommy brainitis. And I am not sure what the cure is. If anyone has any miracle cures, please let me know.

I started by day yesterday by brushing my teeth with the kids bubble gum toothpaste. Not that that is a tragedy, but it sure was not what I expected when I put the toothbrush in my mouth.

I called my kids all the wrong names all day long. I usually don't do that.

I slammed my fingers in a door.

I went to Michael's to buy paint for Logan's space derby rocket and after needing 3 people's help to find the right stuff, I got the check-out and my wallet was in the car. I take Carson and Meeka out to the car to get my wallet and thinking I don't need my bag with the rocket anymore I leave that in the car and head in with my wallet. When I got back inside and in the checkout line I realized that the coupons were in my bag with the back out the the car again with everyone to get them. Seriously, people probably thought I was nuts!!!

I backed my car into the garage last night while back out out and trying to avoid the baby-sitters car.

Then this morning, I was trying to fix the security system so it chimes when a door opens (we had a power surge this weekend that reset it and I REALLY like to know when a door opens) and I set off the whole house alarm at 7am. Michael ended up having to yank a box out of the wall and do something with the system in the basement...needless to say he left for work not happy with me.

And there is probably more, but I am lucky I can remember my name this morning. 

So needless to say I feel like I am batting 0...and yet my to-so list is long as it always is in the beginning of the week. And this is owners meeting week for Michael, so he is not really home at all. I am not really sure where my brain went but it obviously is not in my head.

Maybe I will hire a baby sitter so I can sit in the dark by myself.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Today I took Melina to her first live performance, Pinkalicious, The Musical! And from the sparkle in her eye, the excitement in her voice and her full on enthusiasm I think it will not be the last! 

We went with some new friends and she and Allison got along magnificently and had a GREAT time together! What a FUN way to spend the morning with my girl!!

I surprised her this morning with a PINKERIFIC new outfit for the showwhich she had fun modeling for everyone!
All the girls, giddy with excitement for the show!!

Melina and Allison