Monday, January 29, 2018

This and That

It was nice to have some downtime this weekend.  Saturday, the kids had some friends over, and at one point, we had 7 kids, aged 5-14, actually playing together in one room and having a great time.  When the kids are so spread out in age, that is pretty rare, but always nice.

Nathaniel and I also had a volleyball game last night.  It was so much fun.  I really enjoy playing, and January-March at our church league has been my only opportunity for years. 

Nathaniel and the boys also got all of our outdoor Christmas stuff down, so that was good before it freezes again. 

The kids were all so very excited to see that we had 2 mallards on the pond yesterday.  They are gone now, but everyone is hoping that they or others will return. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Sloth Manor

Lydia is really creative.  She and Malachi enjoyed a Junior Ranger Underground Rail Road program Saturday at our History Center.  They had a great time, and Lydia came home with a paper on making doll houses out of shoeboxes Sunday afternoon.  So Lydia and I went back to the History Center on Sunday, and she had a fabulous time making a mansion for her sloth.  (I made her a little crochet sloth.)
She did all of the work and design herself.  All I did was cut up the egg carton to her specifications because it was too hard to cut.

This is the sloth in the hot tub, next to the picnic table and chairs.

The upstairs, complete with 2 beds with pompom pillows.

The downstairs, with bunny toys in the corner.  Lydia has informed me that sloths love bunnies because bunnies are so fast and sloths are so slow, so Snowflake (the sloth) has bunny toys.  Also, on the table is a bowl of leaves, for dinner.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Land of Homemade

Lydia had a friend over today, and as they were sitting down to dinner, she was explaining, "This is the land of homemade.  Homemade soap, homemade jam, home raised chicken."  She kept on and on.  It was funny. 
The snow is melting fast, and should be mostly gone tomorrow, but Elijah got out there and made a snow hedgehog and some baby porgs.

Lydia guarding the porgs and hedgehog.  Apparently, Elijah takes requests, and he made these for her.

baby porg

As you can see, we are all so happy to have Nathaniel home.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Pink Elephants

I started to make Lydia a new blanket.  I've been feeling the need to make/organize/rearrange lately.  I decided that Lydia would need a new blanket to go with her new room decor, so I pulled out fabric I already had and started on a pink elephant, teal, and blue blanket.  Lydia wanted to help, and lo and behold, my girl loves to iron!!!!
I took advantage of that immediately, and she ironed all 35 squares for her blanket (fronts and backs!).  I was able to quickly throw this together:

The teal color in the four squares matches her paint color perfectly.

Random picture of my cute Batman.

They were enthusiastic about posing with the new blanket.

The back of the blanket is a checkered pattern of blue flannel.  It's very soft and cozy.  Lydia loves blue, and there would have been more blue or teal on the front, but I was just using fabrics I already own.  She loves the elephants, too, though, so it worked out well.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Here is the porg from yesterday.  

I have been trying to get better organized around here, and I'm trying to get a good system for the younger kids to keep their stuff picked up.  I made these to help with the little toys:

These three are Gyunay's.  I coordinated the fabrics to the quilt Mom made him.  I'm going to make him new curtains, too, but I haven't got the fabric for that yet.

Then, there are Lydia's:

The curtains that were in Gyunay's room are now in her room (her request), but I had two sets of curtains, so I cut up the second one to make two of these pouches.  And the middle one is pink elephants, so it's all very animal related.

Monday, January 15, 2018

More Snow with Porgs

After Nathaniel left for another trip this morning, Lydia was very upset and crying, so Elijah suggested that they build porgs.  In case you haven't heard, porgs are the cute little creatures in the new Star Wars movie.  Lydia hasn't seen the movie, but she's seen pictures of porgs, and she's in love with them.  First, she built the nest while Elijah worked on making the snow balls:
 Gyunay preferred sledding to porg-building.  He's very happy in the snow.

Here Elijah is working on attaching wings to the porg.  Finishing touches are still being made, so I'll try to get a picture later when it is all finished.

You're probably wondering where Malachi is, especially since he loves to play in the snow.  He is currently at a Future Cities competition: 

Hopefully, Malachi's event will be over in time for him to get home and enjoy the snow.  This is the best day we've had for snow-playing, as it is in the low 30s.  The temperature will drop tomorrow (and they'll be back at school), so today is the best day for enjoying the snow.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Book Review - The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

  I recently read The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright.  I was hooked on Ivy's story from the very start.  It took me a little while to fully get into Kaine's chapters (I kept wanting to return to Ivy), but after a few chapters, I was interested in her story, as well.  I still feel that Ivy's character and her story were more compelling, though.  In the present-day story, I wasn't enamored with Grant's character or his too-fast prominence in Kaine's life.  This book has plenty of suspense, and I enjoyed the depth of the heroines.  The plot was fairly original, and twists in the story were mostly surprises.  I enjoyed reading this novel, and overall, the author did an excellent job in her debut novel.   

I received this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Icy Fun

The kids have really been loving the frozen ponds. 
Gyunay is feeling better today, but his stamina is still not there.  He loved getting outside for a little while, though.

Lydia was trying to lasso Malachi.

She resorted to telling him to just grab the rope, then they had fun pulling her along the ice.

The kids like seeing the fish frozen under the ice.

This is Lydia's icicle shop.   She spends a lot of time here, and Malachi will buy icicles from her periodically, which makes her enormously happy.   

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A Major Accomplishment

Lydia and Gyunay decided to work on letters today.  Gyunay has been trying (without any real success) to write his name for about a year and a half.  He's done fairly well tracing his name, but producing the letters is a huge challenge for him.  They worked and worked, with Lydia giving him really descriptive ways to remember how to form the letters.  When he got one letter right, they would keep it and move on to the next one, until they presented me with this! 

I told Lydia that she is a fabulous teacher.  He has worked with special ed preschool teachers, regular preschool teachers, and me, but this is by far the best he has ever done!  Her descriptions were so good, too, that he could understand how to form the letters.  For example, for G, she told him to start a circle and then cut it off (with a dramatic hand slash, so he would know to put the line inward).  He made an extra G because he really liked that one.  They were both so proud of this accomplishment.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Merry Christmas and ice skating

We went to visit family for Christmas.  It was so nice to see everyone!
I made Lydia's dress this year.  She loves the velour fabric because it's so soft, and the sash makes it look a bit fancy.  Overall, I'm happy with how it turned out, but I would make a few changes if I made that pattern again.

I just love this photo.  Gyunay was so proud to wear a vest and tie, and he loved that Malachi had one, too.

Now we are back home, and it has been COLD.  It's been so cold that today when I was driving home from Mass, it was only 1 degree.  It's a bit warmer than that now (although still below freezing), so it's skate on the little pond time:

Elijah is really bummed that he can't join them, but he has been sick since yesterday morning and is currently barely getting up enough energy to walk to the bathroom.