Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween

From Merlin
And the Cupcake

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bring a Spider to School

One of the benefits of going to the same preschool with the same teacher is getting a double dose of the amazing, unique and wonderful activities that Mrs. Brown does with the students. I have been pleased with how Mrs. Brown keeps the main themes and day's events the same while adding a degree of structure and activities that wasn't done in the 3 year old class. So, today was one of our favorite days from last year. Bring a spider to school day. Really, how many preschool teachers do you know that would welcome and celebrate 18 spiders into the classroom? This is why we LOVE Mrs. Brown. You can check out this post from last year to be reminded of Buzz, last year's chosen spider.

Nora decided that Orby needed to stay in his rightful home at the family room window. With the current cold snap, I am thinking that Orby would have welcomed the plastic bug box as a new residence. Instead, we found this lovely guy on the porch to collect.

Have I ever mentioned that I am not really as much a bug lover as my children? But I have pushed those issues to the back burner to create my future entomologists. I have to admit that the capture of this particular spider was a huge step for me. We have had many captured bugs grace our coffee table, kitchen counter, girls' beds, car (yes, they often come on drives with us). BUT I think this is the winner for the ugliest, creepiest one yet. Oh, and Nora insisted on bringing it to our neighbor's house yesterday for PTA craft time. Miss Karin's perfectly decorated side table got the addition of a spider in a very dirty bug house:-0
Here is Nora's self portrait of herself and her spider that she made at school. Do you find it interesting that the spider is correct with 8 legs, yet Nora seems to have 20 fingers?? Mrs. Brown has done a number of activities using chalk and black construction paper. I don't know why I find it so different and more interesting than crayon but I think it is a great activity. The teacher in me wants to claim that it is better for fine motor development because the chalk has a bit more resistance but I may be totally making that up.
At school they have a cermonial release of the spiders outside the back door to allow the spiders to help catch bugs around the preschool. Just like last year, Nora would have NOTHING to do with the release of her spider so he came back home once again. We will see if he ends up in bed with her tonight.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Halloween Part 1

We will be having a week of Halloween Festivities in our household. It all kicked off this past Saturday with a double dose of parties. Madison had a wild and crazy party with 21 second graders at a classmate's house. To say the parents went all out is a huge exaggeration. It seemed like a huge success!
Then it was on to the adult Halloween party. This is always a highlight for us. Our neighbor's Peggy and Sandy also go ALL OUT for Halloween and this year was no exception. Their decorations are amazing with the crowning touch this year being the Exorcist remake in the courtyard. They must work on this stuff all year!
We have a few calm days and then THREE parties on Friday (Nora's class, Madison's class and evening school dance) before the trick or treating craziness on Saturday. Throw in 2 soccer games and an end of the year soccer party and we are talking pure INSANITY in our household! Wish me luck! Oh, and I forgot to mention that Nora's costume (that she has been planning since last Halloween) is STILL under construction. I better get busy!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This and That

I have been much to busy these past few weeks to come up with thoughtful and organized blog posts. So I just wanted to share some of the things that have been happening with our family lately.

Madison the Toothless Wonder! She is missing 4 teeth currently. Not sure how she is able to eat anything:-) Today I was teaching her "All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth".

What do you do when your daughter has a GeoTrax motorized train stuck in her hair? Grab the camera of course!! What a mean mommy! I was able to get it out with minimal hair needing cutting!
Meet "Orby" our pet spider. She lives outside the family room window and has been there for over a month now. The girls check on her daily and get especially excited when she has caught a meal in her web.

Art docent lessons have started for another school year. This is the Impressionism Fall Trees I did with the second graders. I will also be doing lessons for the afternoon kindergarten class. Art docent is by far my favorite volunteering activity at the school.

And speaking of school volunteering activities this is NOT my favorite one but a very necessary one. I became in charge of the school WalkAThon fundraiser this year. Last week I spent many late nights counting money, entering data into spreadsheets and more fun. This week is organizing prizes and getting ready for the big event on Friday. I will be glad to have this one done with!

Friday, October 16, 2009

At This Exact Moment

The girls are creating damns in the POURING rain. Little snippets of conversations I am hearing are:

"We need more current"

"The salt water playground is good but the fresh water playground is broken"

"Okay, son," "Son, which side are you making it on", "SON SON SON" (whenever they play this game Madison becomes the daddy beaver and Nora is her son)

M: "Nora, do you know what it means when someone has a crush on you? It means they are in love with you." N: "I am in love with you Maddy!"
And what am I doing???? Blogging in the garage. How lame is that? Thank goodness for Wi-Fi or I would have to do something productive like clean the garage. I am sure Tom will be horrified that a photo of our garage is out in cyber world.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Photo Fun

Looking forward to Ten on Ten photo day tomorrow (which happens to be on 10-10-09 AND my birthday:-) Anyone else playing along?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Freeze It

I have a new found love for my garage freezer. It has always been nice to hold the ice cream, frozen pizza and a few loaves of bread but was definitely under-utilized. A few years ago I tried some of those freezer dinner places. You know, where you go in and make a dozen meals to put in your freezer at home. The concept was great but the price was outrageous and I always left thinking "I could do this myself". So I have and this is the current state of my freezer.
Okay, so it could use a bit better organizational system but overall it is great. I am sure you are wondering what all is packed into that space.
MULTIPLE MEALS of sweet and sour meatballs, chicken parmigiana, taco chilli, sloppy joes, soy sesame steaks, tequila lime chicken, beef barley soup and more...
SIDE DISHES like mashed potatoes, homemade dinner rolls and rice pilaf.
BARGAIN STOCKPILES of pizzas, bread and chicken.
SNACK AND LUNCH GOODIES like cookie dough and muffin batter formed in individual portions ready to bake and eat warm. I am especially loving the muffin ones for an easy homemade lunch item. I take them out to thaw the night before and then bake while we have breakfast and throw the warm muffins into the lunch box.
September and October are always insane months for us and this year is proving no different. Between multiple soccer practices and games, school open houses and parent meetings and so much more who has time to plan and cook? It is so great to know that I can pull a meal out in the morning, let it thaw for the day and have a fresh, home cooked meal to sit down to in the evening. Not too mention it is much more cost effective to buy the meat in bulk and cook in big batches. Some of my favorite cookbooks are in the Library Section in my side bar.