Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sibling rivalry...

OMGoodness. It has gotten so terribly bad at my house. They are not even nice when they talk to each other and they are not wanting to be mean. Their tones are driving me crazy! But then, after about half a day of listening to the bickering I find myself yelling things like "BE NICE TO EACH OTHER!!!" or "STOP YELLING!" So stupid. But man... after 4 days of this, I am so sick and tired of it!

I need some ideas. Does anyone have any besides "just don't kill them". lol... (My husband is full of great advice.) I have already taken away the tv time (always a factor in bad attitudes) and cut back on the sugar (usually the same, but not always). I just need some tools. Even if they don't work, something to work with to get me to stop pulling my hair out would be nice.

It doesn't help that Logan has had his first two monster fits in the last two days, and he has started yelling back at us "YES I CAN" when we say no.

Sigh... I am worn out.

Monday, June 29, 2009

MTM ~ Independence Day!

Today over at Muffin Tin Monday Michelle's theme of the week was 4th of July!

Two days ago, while looking around on the internet for fun kid food options with a 4th of July theme I came up with very little that was healthy. So I set out to make a menu that wouldn't be completely loaded with junk, but also not devoid of fun. Armed with a few goodies from market yesterday, I set it my mission to make a healthy lunch that was loaded with red, white, and blue.

Top: This cup was filled with raspberry lemonade with frozen blueberries in it (it looked really good, but they got a hold of it), and then large pretzel rods, and a star shaped sandwich.

Bottom: Orgnaic strawberries and blueberries from the market seperated by homemade whipping cream. Cream cheese to dip the pretzels in and sprinkles to decorate them with. They LOVED that:

Red, white, and blue sprinkles = $2
Pretzel rods = $3
Independence to play with your food = Priceless.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

We have a mouser! And the circle of life...

Samson brought in a rat today, still alive, to show us that he could. He just turned 3 months old. WOW! What a mouser! He brought it to us, and then growled when we tried to get it... and that was when I noticed that the poor thing in his mouth was still very much alive... and also very broken. So I shooed the cat outside, followed him around (while he growled at me), and when he put the rat down and it tried to feebly hobble away on it's two remaining working legs, I hit it on the back of the head with a stick, killing it quickly and more humanely than my hunter cat would have.

And then I noticed the STUNNED and broken face of my daughter in the sliding glass door.... Sigh. She has such a good heart, but she really doesn't understand the circle of life yet, nor does she understand putting something out of it's misery. It was a long conversation.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Awwww... gotta love cool summer days.

Today it was about 65* all day long. It has bouts of warm sunshine, and bouts of cool breezes that made the wind chimes in front of the house ting with a nice rhythm. The kids have been outside all day long. We have been having fun with sidewalk chalk and crafts. Who knew that recycled cereal boxes, and $5 worth of sidewalk chalk could make up such an afternoon.

My newest fun craft project:

Boxes and lids made from old cereal boxes:

Craft-a-long coming soon. :)

Cyan and our neighbor friend Page decorated this one with little wooden hearts I had stashed in my craft stuff. They considered them a huge find for today. :)

Then, this afternoon, something magical happened...... well magical in the land of two-year-olds anyhow: A fire truck stopped right in front of our house!! (Our neighbor across the street is a firefighter. ;) )

Logan even got a badge sticker and got to go into the fire truck AND turn the lights on!

He was in seventh heaven and he waved until they were out of sight.

Photo Friday

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Book pick of the week ~ Chickens Aren't the Only Ones

This was one of my very favorite books when I was little. I remember asking my mom to read it nearly everyday for a while there. It was the reason that when we came across this at the beach, I knew what it was! Anything that leaves a 20 year long good impression has to get a moment of recognition.

So this weeks book pick is Chicken's Aren't the Only Ones, by Ruth Heller. Packed full with information on the worlds egg layers in a quick and poetic tone, this book is sure to fascinate even the youngest book lovers.

This page says "The Ostrich lays the largest egg, and the hummingbird the smallest."

The beautiful artistry doesn't hurt it's fame in my mind either. Looking at all these eggs on this page compared to one another always fascinated me. I would always try to guess which egg was the robins egg, and where in the world the chicken fit in to this picture with all their colorful eggs and all chickens ever laid was brown, brown, brown. (We had our own hens and I don't think I had ever had white eggs at the time. Or cows milk, come to think of it.)

I loved the part about the ocean egg layers as well... Alex recently used the egg sack laid by a shark as a clue in our Animal, Animal, or Animal game we play in the car.

This page says "The mother seahorse lays her eggs inside the fathers pouch. He keeps them there until they hatch and then he's through. I think that's nice of him, don't you?"

Such a beautiful book, and worth checking out!

Finger print art

I pulled out the art supplies the other day. There was much jumping and excited gasps as I pulled out this finger print art book from Ed Emberley.

The boys drifted away rather quickly, but my art deprived daughter stuck it out for over an hour, making everything she could think of out of her fingerprints and showing me all of them.

This picture she made for grandma Shari:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Moutianeers Beach Tour with the Jr Naturalists

This Saturday we spent at the beach in Seattle. This little bit of coastline is an amazing place for seeing wildlife, and the perfect spot to join a group of explorers and take tons of pictures.

Do you see the bird in the first picture?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday ~ Copy cat

With all my copy cat posts lately, I was surprised to find that the theme over at Muffin Tin Monday was Copy Cat. LOL! We have been copying so many other blogs in the last week that I didn't feel the pressure to copy any one muffin tin perfectly... but I did find a general theme that I had wanted to try for a while; Breakfast!

Today I woke up early and made my kiddos this:

Top: cherry and vanilla granola, strawberry keifer, fresh WW raspberry mini pancakes

Bottom: Maple syrup for dipping, fresh raspberries, scrambled eggs

They were pretty darned excited. I haven't 'made' breakfast in I don't know how long because of the moves, and house hunting and such. We have pretty much survived on organic instant oatmeal, granola and yogurt, and Cheerios. Not that any of these are bad... I added these things to my shopping list for this time in our lives on purpose... but it just doesn't have the personal touches that a good warm breakfast has.

Cyan discovering that she had raspberry pieces in her pancakes.

Logan enjoyed his meal most of all I think... everything got dipped in the maple syrup. lol! Even the granola and the eggs.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Copy Cat ~ Cardboard castle!

Part of the joy of moving with kids is letting them cut up cardboard right???
Ever since I saw Made By K's cardboard castle, I have wanted to build one with the kiddos. We have SO much cardboard running around this place that it was amazing we hadn't thought of it before. So a couple boxes and a set of toddler crayons later, we had this beauty to call our own in our livingroom.

Logan loved the idea of being able to color on the castle. He happily ran around drawing where everyone else was... which made my little girl not so happy.

After I explained to her that it didn't have to be perfect, then both the older kids seemed ok with letting Logan in on the fun.

He sure was proud of himself. :)

Right now the kids are laying in the castle listening to a story on CD. Doesn't get much better than that.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Early Ed ~ Something New

In the newly remodeled homeschool room, I left this little shelf open for Logan's early ed stuff. At first, we had Logan's button sorting, and he played with that for a few days. Then last night, I was walking through Target and I saw this wooden tray. Made of rubberwood, it is sustainable (as much as anything made new can be) and beautiful! I thought it would be the perfect Montessori activity tray. So today, I went to Goodwill to see if I could find him some little dishes and I came home with two lotus dishes in green and two smaller ones in brown. PERFECT for his transfer activities! All in all, the set (and another small plastic tray with dishes to match) cost me $22 and I have two trays (lg wood, and small plastic) and 5 pairs of small bowls in varrying sizes.

This is how it was set up, and he couldn't wait to move it to his table and try it. I actually had to go find peas so he could do this because he was sitting there, waiting at the table for me to finish this activity for him.

First he transfered with the spoon which is said to help a lot with writing skills later on. Then he started picking up the bowls and dumping the peas (very carefully) into the other dish. I know that isn't really how it is supposed to be set up... but I figure, he sees me do that in cooking a lot... so I think the first is a 'pre-writing skill', and the second is a 'life skill'. :)

He enjoyed it so much that he did this for over 10 minutes before he stopped... but not before he cleaned it up and carried it (with me as a spotter) back to the shelf

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blank wall makeover

Remember this blank wall in the newly remodeled homeschool room?

Well, it isn't so blank anymore!

The entire thing was free and recycled. Scrap lumber found in my kindling pile (what I was looking for when I found all my crown molding) along with old rulers, white washed with left over paint from the trim and added hooks from an old coat rack. Not sure how I feel about the little red felt flowers that I added right this second, but I am loving the rest. Luckily, the flowers are only held on with tiny tacks that I didn't stick in all the way, so they should be easily removed if I needed to do that.

What do you all think of my artsy tree coat rack??
My inspiration was here, but I made my a bit more uniform and a bit more splinter free. ;)

Copy Cat...

How would the first days of vacation be complete without a raspberry jellyfish??

I have become a copy cat. So many people just have so many wonderful ideas! Please tell me I am not the only one?

This wonderful seascape dessert idea came from copies of Her Cup Overfloweth and her kids shark dessert and a wonderful tiny jellyfish idea from Heather on the Muffin Tin Monday flickr page. The kids LOVED it!

If you ever want to get a toddler involved in cooking... let them pound cracker crumbs! Logan LOVED doing this and was upset when I said he was done.

(He is not wearing makeup... he fell last night in the bathtub and gave himself a horrible shiner. He also got into the strawberries day before yesterday and ended up with hives all over. Poor baby is a mess right now. :( )

And soon to be copied: Card Board Castle!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The new homeschool room is ready for action!

I cannot express how excited I am about this room! It is now my favorite room in the house. :) I love how it has turned out and with the way it is set up, it will be easy to keep it looking this way for a good long time! I almost want to call off summer vacation to start school in this beautiful space.

Make sure you turn the captions on. :)

P.S. We have not yet put up the crown molding. It still needs to be primed and painted. I am hoping to get that done when Dh is at work this week so we can cut and put it up this next weekend.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

New coat rack. Ready for lunch?

A lot of changes have been going on here in the Rose Garden. It is amazing to be in this new house. We have put our weekends to work lately, fixing up and updating the spaces. Mainly the homeschool room. :) I can't wait to share it with you all. It should be done tomorrow. *Glee*

Other things that happen a week after I move, because I have been in the house long enough to know where I want them to be:
  • Put up pictures.
  • Hang hooks.
  • Add book shelves
  • Unpack those final boxes on to those bookshelves

It feels so good to be here. The last house was so horrible and falling down around our ears. As we update and start to use this one, I realise how much stewardship and caring for a house really means. Getting the job done right is really important to how a house feels, and how it performs as well. In the other house, every time we opened a cabinet, or the dishwasher, or went to the bathroom, or took a bath, we were reminded that the house wasn't taken care of. Now it is just the opposite. This house was loved and taken care of WELL. The laundry room actually is set up so that our dryer works better than ever before (clean dryer vents make a HUGE difference in how your well your dryer dries.)... which is wonderful considering I have had to do 9 loads of laundry since we hooked it up on Friday afternoon.

Ok... on to the things that have to do with homeschool:

Well, sort of. I picked up these three lunch bags while looking for red appliances (which I didn't get) with my friend Sarah. We thought they would fit the kids bento lunch stuff perfectly... and they do! In this, I can have a small tin of snacks, and a whole tiffin tin filled with their lunch, along with their water bottle. It is perfect! I think the best part is that these bags are made for reusing, so they are pretty sturdy and they only cost $4 a piece (they are gift bags from Target).

My beautiful coat wrack. I have to say that I am addicted to hooks. I just think they make everything in the house look nice (ie: up off the floor, which is 'nice' to me).

That isn't the only update we have done this week!! Can anyone guess what this is???

I'll give you a hint. It used to be very dark brown.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happily settling in...

Our new house. :) More pictures to come... I can't wait to share our new beautiful homeschool room with you all! I picked up the primer for the walls today, and we should be in buisness by next week. It is SO exciting! Hope all is going well in blog/homeschool land. Have a great weekend!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sign off

We are going to loose cable Internet for a couple days for the move... but we have the keys and the house is ready for us to move in! :)

And just to keep school in the post, here is a pic from this morning of our crazy sweet potato plant:

And our tomato experiment:

Even with the toddler abuse the bottom one seems to be doing ok. The top one has FLOWERS! :)

See you all next week and hope you have an amazing weekend!!!

~ Val in the Rose Garden

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Book pick of the week

This weeks book comes from the library. It is a cute little board book called Baby Animals by Gyo Fujikawa. From start to finish it is cute, gentle, and perfect for a sunny afternoon in the shade with a toddler.

The art is just stunning in a beautiful soft retro fashion... I keep thinking that I would love to put it on Logan's walls in his room. :)

This page says "But big and small, all baby animals like to be petted and snuggled.... Gently."