Archive of ‘Kids’ category

Getting ready for the 2016-17 school year

We are so excited to start homeschooling for both B and L this year.  We’ve gotten most of our supplies pulled together for the beginning of the year and are ready to get started on August 22nd.
We’ve decided to keep moving with Math U See this year. B will be starting with Delta and will end the year with Epsilon.  L will be starting with Beta and finishing with Gamma.
We’ve also decided that since the kids so loved the History Pocket process last year, we would at least start our year with the same system.  We are working on Ancient Civilization, Rome, Greece, and Egypt.
This year for Art we decided to go all out on an art curriculum from Home Art Studio. and we couldn’t be happier. It was so easy to snag all the supplies we needed in one kit, and the kids have already watched a few lessons because they are dying to get started.
We are doing Life Science 1 for L, and Biology 2 for B in Science this year, and just got an awesome new microscope to start our year out with.
So soon we will be kicking off the year, and we’ll be posting lots of photos on Instagram!

L’s 6th Birthday Celebration

Another late post….
At the end of January, L celebrated her 6th birthday with a gymnastics themed party.
She invited many of her friends from school to come enjoy cupcakes and trampoline time with her.

One of the favors at the party was a Gold Gymnastics Medal.

After the party, we came home to open presents and write Thank You Cards. Miss L made out like a bandit on Birthday Gifts!!





I was a bad photographer Mommy and didn’t get good photos of the detail things ahead of time… but each girl got a Gymnastics Medal from Amazon, a set of ribbon wands that we made, and their cupcake toppers and water bottle labels were made by L and I.

L’s Birthday Surprise

Another late posting….
At the end of January, L celebrated her 6th birthday.  The first surprise she woke up to was a room full of balloons, which flooded her entire bedroom floor.

Once of the pink balloons had a small surprise in it waiting for her… She just had to find which one! She went to work shaking every pink balloon until she found the right one.

After which, her and her brother promptly herded all of the balloons into one corner of her room and proceeded to leap into them, often getting nearly buried.
Notice L’s feet sticking out of the balloons in the photo above. 😉

The static made her hair a mess for the 3 days following, during which she insisted we keep the balloons around.


Later that morning, she got all dolled up for school, including wearing a light up sash that read Birthday Girl.





Snow Day!

Last Thursday P and I woke up and it was frigid cold. I mean, don’t-want-to-budge-under-the-covers cold. Have I mentioned we are still learning our thermostat? It was on, but definitely not high enough!

The kids came over from their Dad’s first thing in the morning so I could take them to school, and they both ran in and bundled up under a stack of blankets. Their Dad drives a Jeep, which isn’t exactly warm when it’s icy cold out. L’s cheeks were ice cubes!

I had already questioned making the drive to school, knowing it was due to start snowing after school started, but the icy cold temperatures prompted me to do something I’ve never done as a Mom before (though my Mom did this plenty for us as kids). I was a terrible awful super awesome Mom, and told the kids we were going to stay home and have a “Mental Health Day”. You know, the day when you need to just stay home and recharge, for whatever reason? We did that on Thursday. And I’m glad we did, because snow it did! It wasn’t a ton (and it only lasted the one day) but it was enough for us to go play in, so we headed out that afternoon. Well, correction. They headed out. I stayed inside, warmly bundled up, photographing them through the windows.
Snow3They had fun throwing snowballs at each other and racing around the yard, although they were disappointed to realize it wasn’t enough snow for a snowman.
B even pegged the back door with a snowball to keep me from taking photos.

All in all they had a blast (though B didn’t last long in the cold temps), and enjoyed playing in the first snow in the new house.
Speaking of which, this house sure is pretty when surrounded by a blanket of white!


Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day everyone! The kids were both so excited for their Classroom Valentines Parties today.  We did homemade Valentines as usual, but this year the kids really wanted to do Rainbow Loom Valentines. Of course, that means Mommy was making a LOT of bracelets. I designed the cards in Photoshop and printed them at Kinkos. Not counting the cost of bands, I think I spent $10 on both kids cards? I used lingerie tape on the back (because we are mid-move and you work with what you’ve got) to attach little plastic bags I had on hand, to hold the bracelets.


(Don’t mind the bad finish on the table… That’s the dining set we just picked up to refinish for in the dining room.)

We also had to make boxes for their valentines, which is a new practice for me! I’m used to them coming home with a little gift bag full of their goodies! So we took to Pinterest and got some ideas.  B fell in love with the idea of a Minecraft box, so I did my best (but it’s still laughable), and L wanted “Anything with Elsa”.

Brendan’s is a character named Hero Brine? I guess

All I know is he wears a purple shirt and his white eyes glow (which makes for a really hard time photographing it)
Had I been in super-mom Mode, I would have grabbed a strand of battery operated Christmas lights and made his eyes really glow 😉 But this mama was running ragged, the night before these were due. I’m not thrilled with how it came out (because I’m a perfectionist) but he was stoked and said it was “AWESOME!” so game on.

Lily’s was a little easier.  We found some holographic looking paper that reminded me of ice/snowflakes, and tacked that on… then I printed out a pic of Elsa that my friend Stacie sent me. I had it laminated at Kinko’s for a whopping $2 so that I could glue it without the color running, or the paper wrinkling. Worked like a charm. I printed Olaf onto card stock too, but didn’t bother laminating him because I knew it wouldn’t take much glue to tack him down. The hills are frosted scrapping paper, cut into 3 different hill-like shapes and overlapped. On the sides, we wrote the lyrics of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” which you can’t see here.
Lily Valentine Box

I can’t wait to see what the kids bring home from their friends today! Hope everyone’s Valentines Day is wonderful!

It’s Icemageddon!

On Thursday night, a storm blew into North Texas that resulted in one heck of an ice storm.  Dallas and Fort Worth were covered by up to 1.5 inches of ice – not snow, ice – on Thursday night, resulting in most schools closing on Friday.
The kids were stoked to have a snow day, so we made sure to go out and place in the “snow” a bit.

Since it was actually all ice, we had to hop around a bit to break it up, making it able to be picked up and played with.

IMG_0550 IMG_0539Even Mia got to go out and enjoy the cold weather with us!

IMG_0547The kids had fun breaking the icicles off the fence, collecting frozen leaves, and making ice-angels.

IMG_0649 IMG_0607 IMG_0601 IMG_0592 IMG_0575 IMG_0573 IMG_0531After we were sufficiently frozen, we ran back inside to warm up by the fire, then decided to do some unplanned for smores. And by unplanned for, I mean unprepared for. We used mini marshmallows (meant for Hot Cocoa), and Nature Valley Granola Thins with Chocolate. Hey, man… You work with what you’ve got!

IMG_0619 IMG_0617
A few hours later, we headed out for round two, and Brendan promptly knocked a huge icicle down off the back porch, which the kids just HAD to eat.

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The only downside to this gnarly Texas weather was that Patrick, of course, still had to work today.  Which means he had to weather the nasty roads – and inexperienced drivers – for his normally 30 minute drive to work.  Luckily once he got there, he was good to go for 8 hours, but that puts him leaving work after the sun has been set for a while, temperatures have had a chance to drop significantly, and ice has been given time to re-form. Oh goody.

Overall, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed – and put to good use – our Snow Day. Tomorrow morning, it’s Christmas tree time!


Printable: Chore Charts

Today it’s in the low 30s here in Texas, and we have a “Significant Winter Storm” coming our way. For those of us in Texas, this means icing of the roads and potential for some snow.  That might not seem like much to some (heck, I learned to drive in a city that is consistently ranked in the top 5 cities in the country for snow fall each year!), but in this area, where local governments are grossly unprepared to manage icy roads, it can be extremely dangerous.
So aside from sending Patrick off to work for the day – since we don’t really have a choice in the matter – the kids and I are keeping ourselves cooped up in the house with the fireplace blaring and activities to keep us busy like movies, snap circuits, our WWUSA prgramming, and more.

So today’s post is going to be a quick printable for your family. Here goes!
About 3 months ago, I made the kids to a quick “to do” list on some scrap paper. Their lists included things like “pick up all the clothes in your room” and “put barbies/legos back in their place”. It was small, quick jobs that helped get us closer to that larger goal of an organized play area, without overwhelming them or causing bickering. To my surprise, they happily crossed off all their items and brought the lists back to me, begging for more ‘jobs’.

You want to help me more?! SURE! Here’s a load of laundry!

Another thing my kids love to do is use our home-made dry erase board to write/draw on, so I decided to combine the two, and make them each a cute, permanent fixture in their rooms to keep track of their responsibilities.

BrendanChart1 LilyChart1
Brendan’s is Blue/Grey to coordinate with his room colors, and Lily’s in Pink/Brown to go with hers. We included a few blank lines to fill in responsibilities that might occur once in a while (or even just once) but aren’t common.
The chores listed on each one are representative of what we expect of them based on their ages and our current needs, so feel free to edit the downloadable PSD file to make the chore list better suit the expectations you have for your kids. You can also easily personalize each one with your child/s name in Photoshop.
I printed ours at Kinko’s as an 11×14, trimmed the excess paper off using their table-top paper cutters, and  then framed them in the ultra cheap document frames from Hobby Lobby or other craft stores. Quick and easy!

Charts1You can download the PINK CHART HERE and the BLUE CHART HERE.

If you enjoy this printable, please consider pinning it on Pinterest or sharing on facebook! Thanks!

Printable: Christmas Shopping List

What I’ve learned since becoming a Parent is that shopping for multiple children is HARD. You have to be sure everyone has at least close to the same amount of gifts to open. You can’t spend obviously more on one child’s gift, lest their feelings get hurt. And lord knows if one kid gets the awesome gift, bickering will ensue.
This is the first year we will have all three kids with us on Christmas Morning, which makes equality in gift giving that much more important.
Keeping three lists of wants and needs separate, remembering what we are asking Santa for, and what we are asking Mom and Dad for… well, it’s a challenge.

So this year I’ve given into my Type A tendencies and I’ve created a spreadsheet to keep it all straight. Organized by child and approximate price-point (Small, Medium or Large gifts), I can now be sure that I’m buying one gift for each kid that is approximately equal before moving onto the next set of gifts. There’s also a stealthy “S” column for the gift designated for the big guy 😉
Ours below is an example. It’s basically their wish-list typed out. While we likely won’t buy all of these items, it’s nice to have a list put together so I’m able to quickly reference what they’ve asked for.

Out Christmas ListIf you like the look of our Christmas Shopping List, you can download a Photoshop-Ready Version here, which can be edited to include your kids names. Or a PDF file here, which can be printed and filled out by hand.

Now, to figure out what Hayden wants from Santa…


Fun Run Results

The kids did their annual Fun Run at their school. It’s a yearly PTA-managed Fundraiser where the kids get to collect donations from family and friends, and then see how many laps they can run in 30 minutes.
This year, Patrick and I volunteered at both class times (though P had to cut out a bit early during Lily’s run in order to go to work), which was a lot of fun because we got to be right there, cheering on the kids.
IMG_9418Brendan’s class went first, and our official job was lap counters. I have many more great photos but I don’t want to post them without permission from parents, so I’ll limit it to just a few.
Brendan completed 36 laps in around 24-25 minutes (he had to take a bathroom break at one point, which ate into his running time)

IMG_9426IMG_9424A few hours later, it was Lily’s turn to take to the track. She completed 35 laps in 30 minutes.


Between the two kids, they raised $100 for the PTA.
We are so super proud 🙂