Saturday, March 19, 2016

"Taco Tuesday"

One of Alice's favorite things to do of late
is to make a restaurant for Ben.

While I'm making dinner,
she makes a menu,
sets the table,
dons an apron,
and waits by the window.

{I send Ben a text to let him know to be ready. :)}

He walks in and she greets him with,
"Welcome to [whatever restaurant name of the day]!
How many are with you today?"

She then shows him to the table
and presents him with the menu.

She LOVES it and Ben is so sweet to play along.

These pictures are from "Taco Tuesday".
She's also done Over Easy and Bolton's Pizza.

{tacos, cheese, beans, juice, wine}

She served him Chipotle-style.
He made his selection and she served it.

This restaurant was extra special because it included an after dinner activity...
a pinata!

My sweet husband.
After a long day at work,
he comes home and gives even more to his girls.
Always engages...
no matter how tired he is.
I feel like I won the husband lottery!

Alice's 6th Birthday Party

Alice's 6th Birthday falls on Easter this year.
Instead of trying to compete with the Resurrection, 
we had her party this morning. :)

Her ideal party included the following requests:
{gluten free} donuts

{We got that crazy candle from Amazon. It was SO fun!}

It was a wild, but super fun morning. 

We love you, Alice Claire!

Fireplace love.

For Ben's birthday, I decided to get him a reclaimed wood wall.
How romantic, right?
I knew he'd love it...and he does!
I'll post pictures of that later. :)

But then, I asked Dan the wood guy about redoing our fireplace.

This was the before:

I pulled down the trim from the mantle and found this:
Bright blue.
Proof from her wilder days...
like the bizarre tattoos I see in the gym locker room.

I painted the brick:

And Dan, of Rustic Timber Designs, got to work!
I gasped when I saw our new mantle!

Love. Love. Love. Love. Love!

Here's the side-by-side:

Friday, March 18, 2016

Smooshing stuff.

I don't love playdough.
I LOVE that Alice got to play with it at preschool.
Poor Clementine is stuck with me.
Her playdough exposure is lacking, to say the least.

So, we made this edible, gluten free playdough the other day.
They both loved it!
Applesauce, baby rice cereal, cornstarch. 
Cheap and easy.

I loved watching Clementine do typical toddler things with it.
Poked holes with her fingers, tore it into 1 million tiny pieces. 
I kept hoping she'd mash it with her belly- my all-time favorite preschooler thing.
Maybe next time.

Alice wanted to make something to keep,
but there was no way this stuff would dry in keepable way.
:Enter Crayola's clay:
She made, and later painted, a dolphin.

"I makin' tower, Mama!"

Thus concludes my photo documentation of my kids smooshing dough/clay.
Riveting, isn't it!?

See, kids?
We made playdough together! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Wednesdays are quiet around here.
Alice goes to school and Clementine and I come home.
I clean and work on house projects like a crazy person.
Clementine happily plays uninterrupted. :)

I popped in to see what she was up to:
"Oh hi, mama. The kitty eatin' da chicken."

Here, she's reciting our favorite bedtime story.

This kid.
Totally melts my heart.

Tonight, I asked her why she got up twice in the night last night.
"I was cryin'. I wanted mama and daddy."
Me: "Why were you crying?"
"Because I wanted mama and daddy."

Monday, March 14, 2016

Go outside.

You ever watch something and are immediately impacted?
That's the way I felt with this video:
(It's right here since I cannot figure out how to embed it. Grr.)

So much good information in 1 minute!

Makes me get outside more with my kids FOR SURE!

So, this year, we will fly more kites!

We will pet more random dogs (with permission from owners)
and gather fallen branches to use as paintbrushes.

We will pour more dirt on our arms.

And we will build more mounds of mulch to help boost us to the handle.

I'm trying VERY hard to stop saying, "Be careful!", when my kids are taking risks.
That's so hard!
2016: The year I stop saying "Be careful!" at the park.

(In my own defense, I swear it's directly related to how high our insurance deductible is!
Still. I've got to stop saying it.)

Alice's Music Performance

We love the RMCA Homeschool program!
It truly feels like we get the best of both worlds.
Last week, we went to her first music performance.
She talked about it for weeks and said she was nervous about being on a stage.

So, when the time came, I was shocked!
Alice BEAMED on stage!!
Like, sang her little heart out and smiled the entire time!
(She must have gotten that from Ben, for certain.)

This is a screenshot from a video I took.
I should've moved to get a better picture!

And then there was Clementine...
She smiled SO BIG while Alice as singing.
She was so proud of her, which was so sweet to see.
So thankful Nana and Grandpa could join us, too!

A slow Monday morning...

I heard them in the dining room,
talking about cats and letters.
I love these sweet moments!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Another one about homeschooling

My education background allows me to identify learning in pretty much activity.
Writing ALL of those lesson plans was impactful and beneficial, apparently!
It's especially helpful on the days we don't do any sit-down, formal Kindergarten work. :)

See? Watch this: 

Snack and tea while I read to them=
hearing expression and fluency, increasing language and comprehension

 Playing with sugar cubes + water=
learning about absorption and cause and effect
 Stringing Cheerios=
fine motor development, shapes

Coloring her verse for Awana-
Memorization work, writing

A lily finally opened!=
exploration, identifying parts of the flower, learning about microscopes

Alice gathered a handful of worms (gross)=
signs of Springs, what worms need to live, how worms benefit our world

Making a road=
playing with math manipulatives, cooperation, 
color practice for Clementine since it was her job to fetch the color Alice requested

Alice making a "Love God" sign=
writing, creativity, following through with an idea, 
discussion on how we can show God's love to our neighbors 

See how I justify all play my kids do!? 
I'm so thankful we've had this year to figure out what homeschooling is going to look like for us.
It's nice to start slow, for sure!
As she gets older, I know we'll need to do significantly more structured work.
But, for now, we play a lot! 


We asked for this set of play scarves for Christmas.
They are played with every single day!
Clementine often wears one as a cape.
I'm kind of surprised at how well they've held up the past few months!
The Bolton girls highly recommend them. :)

Clementine's Coffee

"Coffee, please, mama?"

(Warmed, frothed milk with a couple drops of chocolate stevia.)

This has become almost a daily request.
I love having "coffee" with her.

Alice's Reading Party

We finished the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons book back before Christmas.
Her reading party was a huge motivator to finish.
Then, the boys joined our family and everything got put on hold.
A couple weeks ago, we finally had her party!

She loves the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems,
so that was the theme she picked.

She would read a book and then we'd do an activity or give the girls little trinkets to take home.

Like, "Let's Go for a Drive" and then we painted little cars.
"Should I Share My Ice Cream" and then we had ice cream cones.

"I'm a Frog", and Alice gave the girls little frog toys.
"Watch Me Throw the Ball!", a little ball.

The books are funny, entertaining, and quick reads.
We love them!

 "Elephants Cannot Dance", then a dance party.
"Are You Ready to Play Outside", then play outside.

We planned it the day before, so it was very simple,
but Alice LOVED it.

She was so proud of herself for reading to her friends.
What a fun milestone to celebrate!

Poverty and Giraffes

I took the girls to the Compassion Experience last week.
I've been trying to get Alice involved in writing our Compassion kids
and I hoped this would help make it real to her.

It was VERY well done!
We parked and were in and and back to the car in about 20 minutes.

We followed the story of a little girl.
Went to her home, her school, the medical clinic, etc.
Then, saw a video of her now.
Compassion is such an amazing organization!

 Then, since we were close, we decided to go feed the giraffes!

We've done this so many times and it never gets old!
I love our zoo!