Thursday, September 30, 2010


What a wonderful day! : )  Ethan had gymnastics, and I'm getting the know the other moms that are watching their kids too-so it's nice to visit every week. Then we got Nora to go to Chick-Fil-A with us-we've been picking Ches up for lunch every Thursday after gymnastics since he rides his bike to work.  We went to eat, and the kids were so good! : )
Here are some pictures from Chick-Fil-A:
We got balloons! : )
..and ice cream! : )
And this is Raul with Ethan-he is always so sweet, refills our drinks, takes our trash, gets Ethan balloons (and today, went and found him a GREEN balloon-his favorite!).  This humble, quiet man cleans up after everyone, gets Cheerios for the tiny kids, and God bless him, doesn't always get the respect he absolutely deserves-he is thankful to have his job, and I'm thankful he's there:
and then Ethan got ice cream all over his face..
Aww, I got a picture too-isn't she the most precious?

So then we are driving to Rogers, and I see this in front of me.  What?  I do not think they should be allowed to pull semi-trucks backwards.  Little Disturbing.

So I ran drove up to Promenade to get movie tickets for a sneak preview of Life As We Know It for Saturday night, and we played at the frog park, and met a sweet little girl named Kennedy.  They played in the tunnels, on the slides, and in the "water":

Then we went back home to meet the kids, and played some more!
And right before we all went to dance, this is what I saw-two precious kids, sitting side-by-side: enough to melt my heart!  So absolutely precious.
Thank you, Sandra, for sharing your sweet girl-she's an angel!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We're Bananas

Ethan's Art-finally finished! : )

There was so much to do today!  The big kids don't have school on Friday, so I went by the school to run copies, got more groceries, finished laundry, and washed and changed sheets, emailed back and forth about our upcoming Husky Hoedown..I'm in charge of tickets for meals, games, etc. and I am only beginning to figure out all it entails!  Ha!  There's so much more than I thought!  I said yes to it, thinking no big deal, but it's more involved...I don't think it's hard, just I need to actually work on it! : ) It'll be fine, and it keeps me busy-and I love the Hoedown-it's always so much country fun (and I get to wear my favorite boots!)  Yee-haw!

So..Ethan got a new teacher, finally, and I *LoVe* her!!  It's one of my friends, and she's wonderful. : )  She'll do a great job, and I don't have to worry about him anymore.  Prayers answered!  Now we can see God's plan-she was homeschooling till this year, and she couldn't see why she was supposed to put them at St. Raphael's, but now I'm sure she knows.  What an amazing performance God orchestrates!

So, on to the food!  This evening we made banana pudding while the boys were out swimming.  A favorite (easy to make/devoured quickly) at our house. : )  Wanna make some?  Here's how:
Basic ingredients (no real recipe):
Big box of banana pudding, or two smalls
Box Nilla wafers (we use low fat)
Milk (2c. for small box, 4 c. for big box or 2 smalls)

Our instructions (and we have pictures!):
Well, this is the Little Chef, wearing one of her favorite aprons that Gigi got in France (I think it was France? or Portugal?)  It says Mary Claire at the top-the lady sewed it right in front of her! : )
I digress..First you lay out Nilla wafers in the bottom of your dish (sometimes we use a circle, sometimes a square, no difference!)  Next, you cut up your bananas in the dish.
I am thinking maybe she does take after me?  She placed her banana slices on top of each wafer-and there were the same number in each row!  I promise, no instruction here!
Then, we make the pudding!  Hint: (well, if you use instant..) Pour in your milk, get the beaters going on low, then slowly pour in your powder mix. It keeps it from leaving big powder chunks on the bottom!  Then pour over the banana/wafers.
Enjoy the beaters..
..and Voila!  Banana pudding!  If you are truly southern, you might like to add Cool Whip to the top or make meringue with beaten egg whites, then bake for 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees.  I prefer it au naturale! : )'s pretty much gone.  After Ches gets a little, it's done.  Yum! :)
ps-I make Mary Claire one of her own: 1/2 cup pudding, Nilla wafer on bottom and top, and three banana slices.  It's 38.75 grams of carbs, and oh-so-worth-it.  If you were wondering. : )

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Teacher *Love*

Slower describes today-good thing! : )  Ethan and I hung around the house this morning, cleaned downstairs, mopped, did laundry, and then I got a shower, did my nails, and we went Out.  (love, love, love Out!)
We started at the school-Sissy wanted some medicine (she's fine on the weekend, and nights, but feels sick at school.  Hmm.)  So, I'm handy-I took her medicine! : )
Then we went to Wal-Mart which turned into a three hour thing.  We got our pictures printed, shopped for groceries, then he always gets "hungry" when he walks by Subway (good advertising, Subway!-the veggies on the front counter always makes kids hungry).  We got some apple slices (that were out of date, and brown!), then a pizza sub, and he got some chips.  Then after we'd just sat down, he needed to go to the bathroom.  I told the lady we were leaving our food (and our paid-for groceries!) and we'd be back-I didn't want her to throw our food away! : )
Next, we were off to Colliers to pick up the other five insulin pens we didn't get yesterday!  Ahh, then some art, kids' conferences, dinner, boy scouts, games (Hi-Ho-Cheerio!), books, and bed.

I have to say i *love* the kids' teachers.  They are soooo sweet.  I'm just so thankful for the blessing.  We pray everyday for the teachers at the school, for blessings on them, answered prayers for them-we pray for all of them, but I happen to know that happy teachers are great teachers. : )  Mary Claire has done very well, only needs to improve on math and writing-those we know. : )  She is at a 5.6 reading level (fifth grade, sixth month), and don't I know it!  She loves to read.  Her teacher said she is quiet in class-shock to me!  I guess she didn't get my awful talking gene?  My teachers always wrote about my talking on my report card!  hahaha-if I was still getting a report card, they'd still be writing it! : )

Clay had an amazing conference!  He is doing so well, read three times his reading goal for the 9 weeks already, and scored amazingly well on his Benchmark test from the spring.  I cried.  Yes, I know, Psycho.  I couldn't help it!  I was just happy, proud, thrilled, uh-amazed?  We've just come so far from a couple years ago when he used to stand at his desk, get in trouble for talking, not concentrating on work, etc.  His teacher was so complementary-it was so sweet.  I felt like a weirdo crying, but I think just knowing that we nailed the ADHD felt so good.  Like we did the right thing, the money for testing was worth it, the perseverance has paid off.  He is finally acheiving closer to his IQ.  He had such a discrepancy between his IQ and where he was performing (which is one way they diagnose), and now-MaGiC!  I'm just so thankful (and this is one place that the English language fails-there aren't exciting enough words to describe my happy feelings!)

I came home to tell them all the good things their teachers had to say, show them their great grades and scores from testing-I was so happy for them! : )  They bless my soul.  When you have kids, you try hard to help them be all God wants them to be, but you never know if you are hitting the mark.  And then one day, you get a hint that you might be doing something right.  Precious.

Here is Ethan painting (half-naked-well..he had a new shirt on today, and I didn't want paint on it!):
Here is the finished product.  Kinda green!  It's the only color he wanted, so I gave him a few greens:

This is Clay working on his Titanic some more:

This is his finished painting:

And I worked a little bit on Ethan's canvas for his bathroom.  I painted the dots after school, then added the paper and Mod-Podge this evening.  I'll finish tomorrow-I think bed is calling my name now.  ..maybe I should change my name? : )  heehee

Monday, September 27, 2010

Field Trip Day aka Shopping

More crafts!  Actually, I cleaned the kids' bathrooms today, and decided they needed some updating! : )  I really cleaned (not just the sink-heehee).  I trashed their rugs, scrubbed the floors (and behind the toilet, baseboards-etc.), then started over.  I almost painted, but that'd have been a week-long project!

I made a list, got some stuff done at the school, then went shopping.  I got the kids new rugs, some towels, then went to Hobby Lobby.  I got four canvases, some 3D stickers, and some big letters.  By the time the kids came home, we were ready to start.

Here's our mess (I always paint in my bathroom floor-hmm..I guess it's out-of-the-way, and easy-to-clean):

Clay really wanted to paint a canvas himself, so I let him.  I had plans for two for his bathroom, but I can't say no.  He wanted to paint the Titanic (?), so he started right in.  I tried to persuade him to use his room colors: tan, blue, navy, green, chocolate, etc. (he argued that the Titanic was black and white.  Hmm.)  He's doing well, but didn't get it finished-he had baseball practice!
Here's the one I did for him: 
I started with a 12x12 canvas, painted the edges brown, then Mod-Podged the harlequin-patterned paper over the front.  Then I painted the edges some more, smeared the Mod Podge, and sealed down the bubbles.  Can you see the "C" shape under the polka-dot paper?  I stuck it to the C, let it dry, then cut and sanded the edges.  I like it kinda rough-not perfect.  Then I stuck on all my 3D embellishments:

 This is Ethan's: he painted it for me, and I'll have to finish it tomorrow!
Next was Mary Claire's canvas.  I had a great plan to print pictures, and scrapbook a canvas for her, but she was impatient.  I didn't even have 3D stickers for her!  Here's the beginning:

I painted the background hot pink, and she painted the M.  Then we sat and cut out phrases and letters from magazines.  I Mod Podged some scrapbook paper strips (that I tore) on and then added the words.  Next, were the stickers, then a bow on the M, and stuck it on with pop-up stickers. : )  It's not dry, but you get the idea:

So...since I busied myself on the kids' bedrooms/bathrooms/beds, I didn't get anything else done.  No groceries, no cleaning downstairs, no laundry.  Yes, my house suffers-but not my creative side! : )  Guess there's always a trade-off.  Tomorrow, pictures to print..and some LaUnDrY! : )

Mary Claire got up this morning, High (248) and had a loose site.  I changed her site, even though she had a field trip today.  I set her at 85% for the day, and prayed for the best.  I don't try to go on all the field trips anymore.  I don't think they really want me to go-there's no request, and for the plays, it's kinda inconvenient for them to request extra tickets.  Don't get me wrong, I'm sure they'd let me, but I think they do fine.  In the younger grades, they'd offer for us to go, but anymore..well, the kids are just older.
Anyway, she called at 9:40 (right on time!), and she was only 81.  I had her eat two peanut butter crackers that I'd sent, and she was fine.  At lunch, she was 89, so at least we averted disaster (and avoided a Low!).
This afternoon, I ran by Colliers to get her new insulin pens.  The new prescription is only for 40 units a day instead of 60 (I fill her pump's reservoir with 180 units every three days), so they only gave me one box of insulin pens (5), and I got worried.  That wouldn't get us through the month, so I had to call Children's Hospital.  It's tough-Dr. Lee moved to Louisiana, and we are switching to Dr. Maass in technically, we are between doctors.  They helped me, since I saw them last, but scary!  I thought I had all my ducks in a row, but AAhhhhh!!!  The nurse said she'd call Colliers, but I'll have to check on it again tomorrow (and hopefully get my other box of pens!).
Oh, and it was Monday Folder night!  It freaks us out-so much paper work, so many checks to money for both kids, book order, lunch, etc.  I can see another reason for home schooling! : )

I just realized I didn't blog yesterday!  It wasn't exactly a day of rest.  Mary Claire had had a friend spend the night, and she had to leave for church a teeny bit earlier than the kids, so we had breakfast early, then got the kids ready for PRE.  Then I got a shower, and we went to church.  We ate lunch out, then went by Mom's to return the tent from last weekend, and home.  I quickly changed Mary Claire's brownie troop numbers on her vest (to her new troop number!), and I took her to Brownies in Fayetteville.  I ran to the mall, found some cute fall clothes for the kids (since it turned cool here overnight!), then back to get her.  She had BSI with a friend, so I took her to their church, then Ches and I had a date (: ) !), so we made it back home, and left.  We had dinner out (and saw Sandra-it was her birthday!), then went to see You Again (3.5 out of 5).  Fun, long day, and apparently I didn't even think about writing my craziness down! : )  Sometimes I am just too busy living in the moment.  And that's a Good Thing. : )

Saturday, September 25, 2010

They used hammers!

We started out with no plan today-always an awesome day!  Clay had no baseball games since Arkansas was playing (home) number one-ranked Alabama!  It was an awesome game, the Razorbacks played sooo well, but lost in the last four minutes.  Sorry, guess that's why they are number one.  At least we gave them a good game! : )

Anyway, we headed out to Lowe's for their craft and found a Field Trip!  We were going only because the project today was fire trucks, and they all wanted to make one.  When we got there, they only had puppet theaters (which Mary Claire was ecstatic about!) AND they had fire trucks, the Safety House (the old smoke house), and an ambulance-FUN!

So, first they made their project. They got all the wood pieces (precut for safety, of course), and they nailed them together following the directions:

Then they nailed on the curtains.  Ethan was too young to get a kit, but this nice lady came over later, and gave him one!  She said sometimes the people working don't let the little kids do one, but she always does-it was so sweet!  This afternoon, Mary Claire helped Ethan build his out on the driveway-I love a girl who can use tools! : )
Then we moved on to the super-cool machinery!  First we got a good look at the huge firetruck-it holds 750 gallons of water-all the time.  It is 12 years old, and is showing some wear inside.  The outside is perfect (guess they don't get door-dings!), but the seat and seat belts are well-worn.  I hope they are still safe.

We learned all about the valves, the axes (for breaking down doors, or even walls),

and the hoses.  They use the water in the truck first, and if it's going to take more, they hook up to a hydrant, refill the truck, then pump the water, so they have higher water pressure.  It was very neat.  Ethan was ready to move on, but we'll be back!

Next, we visited the Safety House.  They purchased it with a grant-it's a trailer they pull and show at schools and use to teach about fire safety.  There is a tiny kitchen, a "living room" and a "bedroom".  In the kitchen, they talked about a leading cause of fires: kitchen fires-usually on the stove top.  Then we moved to the living room, and the number one reason for house fires: smoking, and the number two reason: child-started fires.  We learned about locking up lighters (oops-I guess I can always learn something!), and calling 911, and who comes when you call.  Then we went to the bedroom, and talked about hot doors, smoke, and how to get out, and where to meet your family.

The kids all got to crawl out the window to "escape" the hot door-totally the highlight!  (but I had a skirt on, so I ran out the way we came in-kinda embarrassing, but better than flashing people!!)

Next, we went out to their mailbox (the kids pilfered in their mail..), then checked out the ambulance!

And then..back to the big pumper truck!  Clay hadn't seen it yet, so we went back for another go 'round: (and I love all the compartments and organization!!)

So, then they took turns sitting in the driver seat (Clay's in the passenger seat):

This is the rear passenger area of the big pumper truck-he's checking out the helmets and oxygen mask:

Then the big ladder truck came!  The firemen leveled it, and put the ladder up: 75 feet in the air!  (Clay wanted to go up, but no.)  We explored all of its compartments-here are the tools for extricating people from their vehicles.  Hurst makes the Jaws of Life, and these are pretty much the same thing: HUGE Cutters:

She says, "Look how BIG the tires are!" And I quizzed the Cap'n about them.  He says they have to be replaced every two months since they all turn, and it wears out the ones to the left of her in the picture so fast-so I asked why they don't rotate them?  He says they just started that!  (I can help them save money!)  (I also noticed their fire extinguisher was last checked in 2004, so I pointed that out too.) (I'm sure they love people like me.)

Ahhh...good day.  Then we came home, had cheesy lunch (quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches), and some naps.  Then Mary Claire had a friend over and all the kids swam all afternoon!  By 5:40, I was getting hungry!  We decided to eat here, since tomorrow Ches and I are going out.  I got busy cooking (grilled chicken, stir-fried veggies, wild rice, and peaches/grapes), and we all had a great dinner.  When we were almost done, Mary Claire asked if she could have her friend spend the night.  They rode bikes to get her stuff, then played puppet theater some more!  (thanks, Lowe's!)

The kids watched some silly Fred videos on youtube (then I stopped it after I heard some questionable stuff about teachers), and they got ready for bed.  It was 9:40 before I went back up and told them all Lights Out.  Ethan was a cutie-he was still up reading!  He smiled so big, so I had to take just one more picture: thankful for today-and the firemen and EMT's who protect and serve our city.  What would we do without them?