Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fun Visit with Gramma

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We went up to visit Gramma a few days ago.  She has a lot of great outdoor space and the kids had a fun time playing!  Eli learned to climb a tree!  He was pretty proud of himself!

Gramma made Oobleck with the kids, which is a crazy substance that has the properties of both a solid and a liquid.

I wish I could take the kids to visit all of the grandparents more often, but traveling with 4 of them is quite an ordeal!  That is not something I will miss as they get older!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Making Bread

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Bread is something that I decided I needed to stop buying a while ago.  It's not terrible in comparison to a lot of other processed foods being sold, but it's not great, especially when my picky eaters subsist largely on peanut butter sandwiches.  I've had a bread machine for almost 11 years that I've used on and off.  Recently it's been getting a good workout, making a 2 pound loaf every other day!  Sadly, the post that comes up through the bottom of the pan rusted off and it won't work anymore.

My friend Linnae found a bread machine for $3 at the thrift store, and it looked great!  She gave it to me, even brought it over to my house Monday.  I put the bread machine on top of the stove and pushed it back toward the back.  What I didn't know was that I had bumped the knob to turn on the burner the machine was sitting on - just to the very lowest setting.  So the entire time you were all here (Linnae, Erin, Jeri, Linda!!!) that burner was heating up and starting to very slowly melt the plastic casing on the bottom of the machine!!! After they left, Dee came over, and that's when I started smelling the burning plastic.  Uh oh.  (Daniel's new FAVORITE phrase, and after this story you should not be surprised as to why or that he hears it often.)  I started poking around looking for the smell, and finally picked up the new bread machine, that I had seriously not even had long enough to bake a loaf of bread, with a melted heap of plastic on the burner and giant hole in the bottom of the casing.  Ugh.

I thankfully didn't burn down the house.  But killing two bread machines in a week seems excessive, really.

So I decided to try something with cooking that I've avoided for a very long time: homemade wheat bread by hand.  NO MACHINE!?  It wasn't too bad.  I did cheat and let the mixer do the majority of the kneading for me, so it wasn't entirely by hand, but it took a whole lot of work and attention.  I'm not sure if I'm going to keep doing it this way or not.  The loaves came out perfectly though and I am pretty proud that I finally conquered the thing I have been so intimidated to try for so many years.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Smarty Pants

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On Saturday, I took Eli, Sophie, and Isaac to see Monsters University at a local theatre.  I didn't want to see it in 3D, but when we arrived they had posted the times wrong and that was all that was playing until the next showing in an hour.  It was around lunch time so we decided to wait for the regular movie, and in the mean time, went to a Wendy's right beside the theatre.  I can't even remember the last time I was inside of a Wendy's restaurant - it's been a really long time.  Once in a while the kids get a meal through the drive through, but nobody ever goes in.

Going to a restaurant means I can get some Coke!  I still love it, I just never have it anymore unless I'm out to eat.  The lady hands me an empty cup, and directs me to this:

OK.  It's a machine that dispenses Coke, and about 20 other things.  I'm standing there with the three kids behind me just looking at this thing, wondering how you get Coke out of it - there is a touch screen, an ice dispenser looking lever, and then...  Well, that's as far as I made it.  I did figure out how to get a cup full of ice, but no Coke.  Eli is standing behind me, and he's been looking at me and this process the whole time.  He says, "MOM, just put your cup under there and push the red button, then hit that other big one and Coke will come out."  So of course, I follow these instructions and out comes my Coke.  I asked him how he knew how to work the machine.  He just shrugged.  Hm.  

The same day, I was listening to the TED Radio Hour on NPR, which is fabulous, you should all listen.  I LOVE TED talks!  This particular show was on education, and they were highlighting a great TED talk by a man named Sugata Mitra called "How Much Can Children Teach Themselves."  It was really amazing to hear about the work he had done and some of his conclusions about education and the ability of children to learn on their own with very little, if any, adult intervention.  It made me think of Eli and the Coke machine - he had it figured out long before I did.  Nobody taught him how to use it, but it was still accessible to him to figure it out.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sophie's First Dance Recital

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This Sunday was Sophie's first dance recital.  She did a great job!  There wasn't a trace of fear on her.  :)  This has been a long year getting her up to dance every week, sometimes bring the boys along, but it was worth it.  She is doing well listening to the instructor and working with her classmates.  Though we are having her take the summer off, she will be moving up to the next class in the fall and is very excited!

Here class did a tap routine to the song Put Down the Duckie which was super cute!

We had a lot of great support come out to watch during the show - thanks to everybody who came!  I'm crossing my fingers for a ballet routine next year!  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Second First Day of Swimming Lessons

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Sophie and Isaac had their second first day of swimming lessons today.  Yesterday, which was the first day of lessons, we arrived at the YMCA.  The kids met their teacher, and sat down on the edge of the pool.  Sophie was screaming bloody murder, refusing to go in, scared to death of the deep water.  Just then, the entire Y lost power - all of the lights went out.  They told us to clear the pool and the deck, that class was canceled.  Awesome.  At this point Sophie realizes that she's not going to get her lesson, and starts screaming bloody murder that she WANTS to go swimming.  Good Lord.

Today we went for the second first day of swimming lessons.  Eli was able to have his lesson yesterday because the lights had rebooted in time for his lesson which started a half hour later.  Sophie still screamed, and she sure cried a lot, but it was much better.  I'm hoping by the end of the weak she will realize that her teacher has no intention of drowning her and relax.  We'll see.  Isaac is his usual self, having no regard for his own safety he'll do exactly what is asked of him at full tilt.

Here are some pictures:

Eli, learning his kicks in deep water.

Sophie, with her teacher.  This woman is a saint - she just smiles and
reassures constantly.  

My brave boy, jumping right in.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

One more month as a baby

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My last baby only has one more month as a baby.  This is bittersweet, and right now it seems more bitter!  I certainly won't miss many of the things that come with having a baby - just a few nights ago Daniel started sleeping through his 3/4 am feeding!!!  But it's a very final closing of a phase of life I've been in since the end of 2006.  Daniel is ready to be a big boy, but I'm not quite ready for it yet.  I'm excited to see him grow and learn, but I wish I could push this back just a few more months.  There never seems to be enough time.

My big 11 month old, loving his peas (FINALLY).

He's starting to pull up on everything.  He can't
quite figure out how to get back down.  Not too
much longer before he's running with the rest of
the kids.