Saturday, November 28, 2009

Salt Dough Ornaments

What to do with three children at home for a five-day weekend? That was my dilemma yesterday and it was only day 3. We were bored by 7:30 in the morning and trying to decide what to do with ourselves. I wanted something cheap (preferable free) and easier to do with a wide range of ages. I thought about going to the pottery studio to paint ornaments for Christmas. Then I realized that is neither cheap nor an easy place to supervise a 2-year old. Then I had my great idea, Salt Dough Ornaments. I vaguely remember making them as a child, so I pulled up Google and searched for recipes. We spent two hours yesterday morning making the ornaments. Each of the kids had a blast rolling, cutting and playing with the dough. I even made a couple of special ones. Then we got to extend the fun yesterday afternoon with painting the dried and cooled ornaments.

I think this is a project that we will definitely engage in again this holiday season.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


We have so much to be Thankful for this year. We have our health and family. We have our home and jobs. We have each other and God. This year I am especially thankful for all of the blessing that our family has, especially in light of the difficulties that are facing so many of the families around us.

This year was an extra special Thanksgiving Day. Not only is it Thanksgiving Day, today is Cooper's 2nd Birthday! He has been so excited each week. I'm not sure how much he realizes what is going on, but he definitely knows the verbiage. Each night at dinner this week we've asked the kids what they are thankful for. Without fail, each time Cooper has responded "my birthday". When we ask him what he wants for his birthday, each time he asks for "cake".

Today the entire family gathered at Grammie's house. It was great to see John, Tracy, and Mays & Dallas. We don't get to see those cute little boys nearly enough. The girls just love them to pieces and it was fun to see how much the boys loved the girls as well, especially Mays and Emma Jo. Also joining us was Sue and Gene, Linda and Beth, and Butch. We had a great day of spending time with family, preparing and eating great food, sharing stories and just enjoying each other.

I pray that this upcoming year will be easier than the year that is passing, but I am thankful for all of the blessing we have, especially family.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Bananas are probably Cooper's favorite food. It was one of his first words and he will eat one anytime it is presented to him. On Sunday, it was lunch time when we got home from church. We asked the kids what they wanted for lunch. Grace wanted salami, cheese and crackers (her favorite lunch). Emma Jo was at a friend's house and Cooper wanted a banana.

As Jason was preparing lunch, the kids had turned their chairs into a cave. They were enjoying playing in it and did not want to come out to eat. Grace eventually relented, but Cooper is as stubborn as they come. When we allowed him to eat in his cave he was happy as a clam.

Cooper ate half of his banana with no incident. I was standing in the kitchen talking to Jason and I thought that I saw something through the corner of my eye. Then I saw it. He was peeling his banana and stuffing the discards under the TV cabinet. Where he came up with the idea I have no idea. I asked him where the peel was and he promptly told me it was "unner dare". At least he is honest...

Friday, November 20, 2009


Last night at dinner we discovered that Cooper knows about the ABCs. Connie must be teaching the little kids, because it is definitely not something that we have introduced to him. We were sitting at the table and Cooper pointed to his sister's shirt and said "ABC". We looked and it did have writing on it. Then he looked around the table and pointed out the ABCs on everyone's clothing. He finally looked at me in my solid black shirt and said "No ABC?"
This morning, as I was rocking him at 4am, he started playing with a little pillow. He was running his fingers along the surface and laughing. When I asked Cooper what he was laughing about he responded that his pillow had ABCs on it. He then tried to sing the song. Cooper only know ABC and sing with me, but he loves it when I sing the whole song to him. He even claps when I'm done!

Grace has been doing a great job with her ABC lately too. Of course she has known her ABCs for a long time, but she is actually starting to read! She brought home her first completed reading book last week and a second came home earlier this week. She is so proud of herself and insists she will "really" be able to read by Christmas. Last night she even asked if she could start reading the family bedtime story as soon as she knew how to read. I love seeing her so excited about something I enjoy so much!

Emma Jo continues to love reading! On her last trip to the school Library she checked out the first book from Harry Potter. I wasn't sure if we was ready for it, but she is 10 and I need to give her freedom to pick her own books. She became engrossed in the book and finished it in four days. Now she is constantly asking if we can go to the public library to check out the 2nd book in the series. Apparently they only go to the school library every other Friday and Emma Jo can't wait that long to get the next book!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Terrible Almost Twos

This past week we had another glimpse of Cooper approaching the "terrible twos". Before dinner one night, Grace re-discovered her Halloween candy and asked if she could have a piece. I replied that they could each have a piece for dessert after they had eaten their dinners. We were having chicken, asparagus and stuffing which everyone likes. About half way through dinner Cooper started begging for "candeeee". We told him he had to eat his chicken and then he could have is "dirt". When he wouldn't feed himself, Jason picked up the fork and tried to feed him. Cooper was having none of that and hit the fork away. When we told him that was not acceptable and we don't hit things, he looked at Jason and screamed "NO DADDY". That was it, I scooped him up, took him into the family room and explained that he needed to sit there and he could come back to the table in a minute when he was ready to eat.

Cooper did not like that at all and immediately started apologizing. After about 30 seconds (which felt like an eternity) I asked him if he was ready to eat at the table like a big boy. He was. Once he sat down he didn't want to eat his chicken because he "no like it". When we reminded him no dessert unless you eat your dinner he stuffed every last piece in his mouth and finished the plate.

I didn't mind that he wasn't eating his dinner but I did mind the total disrespect for table manners.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bandit Beatdown

Remember last Spring when I played, and WON, NCAA Fantasy Basketball? Well, I was invited by the same group to play Fantasy Football this year. I've never played before and don't pay a whole lot of attention to football and the players. I wanted to use the same strategy as I used to win the basketball tournament, but it doesn't really translate to football very well since you have to pick players instead of teams. I chose instead to draft players whose names I recognized. Right around week 3 I got a lecture from Jason that I need to "pay attention" and participate in my team. I was told to study the ESPN projections and make trades and drafts to field the best team possible each week.

I may not pay much attention to the game as it is played, but I'm pretty good at analyzing numbers, so I made it my Wednesday duty to print off ESPN projections, cross off players already on other teams, and draft the top players available in each position. Out of 10 teams in our league, my team the "Blue Bandits" has moved up from 9th to 4th.

This past week the Blue Bandits played "Jug Wine" (Jason's team). Jason was feeling full of himself and started posting smack talk. He pestered me all week that we wanted a side bet because there was no way he could lose. When I got home from church at noon on Sunday, I discovered that Jason had posted that we would have it all tied up by early afternoon. As I read that, I saw that the score was about 90 to 30, Blue Bandits winning! By the time the night was over I had beat him 148 to 97!

As for our side bet? I requested flowers and champagne for my victory, but so far they haven't materialized...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Grace's Great Week

Grace is having a great week!

On Tuesday we found out that she is Student of the Month for Mrs. Mohle's class!
She is so very excited, mostly for the free ice cream certificate that she will get at chapel next week.

We practiced verses this weekend, and last night at Awana Grace earned her first patch.
She also earned her flight wings and two jewels!
We are so proud of Grace's accomplishments.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Carving Pumpkins

I'm not sure who had more fun carving pumpkins on Friday night, Grampa or the kids. I knew he loved growing pumpkins. What I didn't know was that he loves carving them also.

There are only 3 carved pumpkins, I just couldn't hold the camera steady, sorry.