Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Soccer Rules!

Last season the first soccer game was rained out. And by rained out, I mean my undergarments were soaked, my shoes were filled with water and my camera was so fogged this was the best picture I could get. They literally played ONE minute and it started pouring. It was Alyssa's first EVER soccer game and she was so disappointed I wanted to cry. Luckily, there were 9 more games and we got better pictures.

The coaches were fabulous, nice, fun and fair. No yelling, no threats and always a "way to go" for any attempt. I was leary about team sports because parents can get really freaky about their kids and winning. We focused on fun and Alyssa learned some valuable lessons. For instance, you don't always get to play the position you want. She was dying to play goalie. Why? I don't know. Potential face contact does not appeal to me, but to each his own. She never played goalie...much to my relief. Defense was her strong area. She wasn't afraid to get in there and try to take the ball. She'll likely play defense again this season and I am totally OK with that!

Practice has started for this season and the first game is March 8th. Let's hope for sunny weather and strong legs!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A few of our favorite books...

Overstuffed bookshelves. Yep, I got 'em. Scholastic books are one of my guilty pleasures and when I taught school I ordered more books than my entire class! Here are some of the ones the kids are enjoying.

This has been one of Victor's favorite books for a few months now. It is adorable with GREAT illustrations. We have read this book so many times I have dreamed about it! Gwen can recite just about every word and often "reads" this book on her own.

Sanji and the Baker has become this week's pick for Victor. This book boasts fabulous art and a valuable lesson in greed. As a toddler, this was one of Alyssa's favorite stories and she has passed the torch on to Victor.

Jesse Bear is a cute, sing-songy book that is fun to read. The illustrations are nicely detailed. This was another of Alyssa's faves.

We have several of the Froggy books and they are some of Gwen's favorites. They are cute and have sound effects that make the book fun and unique.

Amelia Bedelia. What can I say...we love these books. As a child I loved Amelia Bedelia and had purchased several before we had kids. Lucky me, all the kids like these and they have been great reading practice for Alyssa. I read several a week for Gwen.

Gwen discovered seek and find books last year and fell in love. The I-Spy series is ok, but we have found some really fun ones published by Usborne. Gwen has a stack of these on her bedside shelf for quiet time reading.

Alyssa got this book for Christmas and it is lots of fun. There are MANY different things in it, from essential gear to games to women in history. This book is on her bedside shelf for quiet time reading. I can't even say how many bookmarks are in this book!!

Summer Vacation

My mother and I have decided to take the kids on a vacation this summer. We will be headed to North Dakota. What? you say, North Dakota? Yes, it is an odd summer vacation destination, but we are in fact, odd. We also have family there. We took Alyssa when she was 9 months old and had a lot of fun, but now we are taking an 8YO, 4YO(who can be a royal pain in the...well, you know) and a 2YO. Of course Alyssa is thrilled and has already started planning, in fact, last night she asked if she could start packing. The fun stuff for her will be the stops we make along the way. I have been searching and planning because that's what Type A's do!! Here's the tentative plan...

Day One ~ start from here and drive to Kansas City, MO. (estimated time, 5-6 hours) We will arrive in town around lunchtime and visit The Deanna Rose Farmstead in Overland Park, KS( From the website:

Admission to the Farmstead is free. Please look for donation boxes to help support the best park in town, or consider becoming a Friends of the Farmstead Member today at our join and support page. Visit the Farmstead with your family and here's an example of what you will see:
Charming One-Room School House
Kwanza Indian Encampment
Interactive Dairy Barn with in-house 'Moovie'
Stocked Fishing Pond
Pony Rides
Authentic Mining Exhibit
Johnson County Extension Master Gardeners farm crops, veggies and flowers
Horse Drawn Hayride
Kiwanis Repose Garden
Butterfly Garden & Chimes
Concessions and Picnic Pavilions
Animal Exhibits including goats, chickens, rabbits, sheep, pigs, cows, peacocks, prairie dogs, turtles, fish, bald eagle, hawk, bob cat, ducks
Whoo Hooo! Sounds fun!

Day 2 ~ We leave Kansas City and head for Sioux Falls, SD (estimated time 5-6 hours) I have not started searching for Sioux Falls activites, but that is the plan for today. I can't wait to see what there is to do! Arrival in Sioux Falls will be afternoonish.

Day 3 ~ We leave Sioux Falls and head to Minot, ND. Currently it is below freezing there, but they have beautiful summers (and HUGE mosqitos). As a kid, all the aunties and cousins would pile into the car and drive up north. One year there was SIX of us that went and we drove in my aunt's VW Rabbit...yeah, you heard me right, a VW Rabbit...we all had to lift our butts when there was a bump or we would scrape the ground!!!! And yes, my cousin did throw up once. Good Times, Good Times. All that trauma aside, I still like to go there! LOL While in Minot we will visit with family and just relax and have fun. We will be making a trip over to the Space Aliens Restaurant( ...we missed it last visit and I couldn't have been more disappointed!

Along the way there will be hotels with pools (a must) and lots of dining out...which we LOVE to do. On the way back we will be stopping at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota ( and the Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska( .

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Green Thumb?

Apparently not in our family. This picture shows the watermelon that we tried to grow from a seed. Not great...cute, but not great.

This is the watermelon that we found growing under our deck. We did nothing to facilitate the growth of this monster, as we did not know it was there. It looks very nice, but cut open it was not developed and the kids could not eat it...yes, there was much disappointment.

Spring Co-op

Valentine's Day started the first day of our homeschool Spring Co-op. It was a Valentine's Day Party with treats and fellowship. I have mixed feelings about co-op and the responsibilities that come with it; we are returning after an absence of almost 2 years. After having Victor I found it was too difficult managing him, Gwen and helping Alyssa throughout the day's rotation and occassionally leading a class. I was a basketcase when the day ended. I simply could not participate effectively. I signed up this semester with an (almost) 2YO, 4YO and an 8YO, much easier to manage...I hope. Gwen simply did not want to go to the Valentine's party, she was uninterested. Her main concern was missing the sweets, but opted to stay home with the permission to have some of her cotton candy, so she wouldn't miss out. I did not want to take Victor and after Thursday have decided he will go on occassion. The number of kids has doubled to 100 since we last attended and bigger is not always better. It was pandemonium and I'm not sure I am happy with what it's offering. We will continue going because Alyssa enjoys the social interaction and it's nice to congregate with others who have some of the same goals as your family. However, that being said, sometimes desire to homeschool is where the similarities stop and that can be difficult. Wish me luck.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Why cameras without sound rule...

because this picture wouldn't be as sweet if you could hear me yelling in the background..."hey, watch out for the dog poop!"

Happy Birthday!

My homemade birthday cake...YUMMY! Alyssa baked my cake again this year and she did a great job. The bottom layer of the cake is chocolate, and the second layer is white and the very top tiny layer, made specifically for the honoree, is a tiny chocolate bunt cake filled with chocolate frosting. Alyssa calls it the volcano cake and it's enough to kill you...but it sure is good! The kids also gave me presents that they picked out at the dollar store with their Granny. Alyssa gave me a candle, a pack of gum and a laundry basket. Gwen chose a lemon air freshener and a candle. These are perfect mom gifts! From other relatives I recieved a Dirt Devil hand vacuum, which I was wanting, candles (Wood Wick, Fireside...mmm), mixing bowls (with little handles...thank god!) and a Reynolds Handi Vac vacuum sealer...which you should buy one of these now, because you will LOVE it!!! And three incense burners I bought for myself. So, on this birthday, the Birthday of Household Items, I am happy with smells, happy with food storage and most of all happy with life...minus the big poof of smoke that filled the room when I blew out 37 candles!!

Monday, February 04, 2008


I just found and it is lots of fun...check it out!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Clue, The Musical!

The local University is presenting Clue, The Musical this month and I am extremely excited. Yes, call the family to the computer and snicker at my nerd-y-ness, I am fine with it. Further, at each show they will hand out clue keeper sheets so you can solve the mystery!! Whoo Hoo!! My favorite board game has always been Clue and I thoroughly enjoy the movie. Who could resist cheeky murder with multiple endings? We have played the Clue Jr. board game with the kids ever since I found it browsing the game isle...and yes, I jumped up and down screaming excitedly. It's time to pull out the dusty version of the original game and put the movie at the top of the Netflix list.