Wednesday, November 26, 2014

All Hallow's Eve/Saints Celebrations

We had a busy week learning about saints, going to parties, and trick-or-treating!  This first picture is from our co-op All Saints celebration.  A lot of the little boys dressed up as St. George.  I think it mostly had to do with being able to carry a weapon :)

Some of the saint-inspired food on the dessert table:

The next day we went to an All Saints party at another parish.  The kids loved all the games, and would run up to me, excited as can be, when they got a prize from one of games they had played.

This is my "St. Peter's Fishing Game".  The object is to match two fish (the corporal and spiritual works of mercy are listed on the back, so it helps them learn these at the same time!) for a prize.

I tried to get some quick photos of them in full costume after naps on Halloween.  They have so many props that they aren't included in a lot of my pictures.  We have St. George, the Blessed Mother (and baby Jesus), and St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

We came in and played while we waited for friends to come over, got $3 burritos at Chipotle, and were off to collect lots and lots of candy!

All Saints in Heaven, pray for us!

Friday, November 7, 2014

The fall months

We have been loving these unseasonably warm months.  It's November 7th, and it's 65 degrees out right now!  I have been taking advantage, and sending the kids out to the backyard for hours a time.  I know, very soon, we will all be cooped up inside and going crazy.  We don't get much schoolwork done on these nice days, but I just remind myself that some of the best learning happens outside :)  For instance, the kids were fascinated by this praying mantis we found one afternoon. I don't think I have ever seen one in our yard before.  After we went inside I looked up some info online to get answers to all of Alex's questions, and the kids watched some youtube videos about them.  

More fun science-related learning experiences this fall:  The Denver Museum of Nature and Science (we went twice in a week!) and a field trip with our co-op group to the Morrison Nature Center.  We are studying botany in science this semester, and they did a fun presentation for us on the parts of a flower and different types on plants that grow around the center.

Alex did soccer in Sept. and Oct, but really didn't like it much.  He is just not very aggressive, and would never run after the ball.  Maybe we'll try t-ball in the spring.

We went to an AWESOME fall festival this year at Anderson Farms.  In fact, we didn't actually even make it out to the pumpkin patch part because there were so many other things to do. Go-karts, animals (even buffalo!), barrel train rides, a huge corn maze, and a fun kids area kept us busy for hours, and the kids were wiped.

This girl is so funny.  When I put her in crib she piles stuffed animals and a blanket on her pillow and then will lie down on top of everything. I took this picture so I can remember this funny behavior when she grows out of it :)

She is growing up too fast, and will be 2 in a few weeks!  Her vocabulary is growing quickly and her sweet voice makes my heart melt.  I can't get enough of her.  She is still my most affectionate child and will actually sit on my lap for more than a few minutes.  She won't go to bed without hugs from everyone in the family, and tries to comfort her brother and sister when they are upset.  I think she is more outgoing than Alex and Mary, and doesn't seem to be as shy in new situations.  Boy, can she throw a tantrum though.  I think this coming year will require much growth in patience on my part :)

Mary is a typical 3 year old, and loves baby animals, especially owls.  She regular tells me what she is going to dream about: baby owls, baby butterflies, baby sea-back turtles (?), baby lambs, and the list goes on.  She is super-sensitive, and has trouble handling her big emotions, so I am working on some different discipline approaches with her.  Sometimes she comes up to me several hours later and says, "I'm sorry for getting mad." long after I have forgotten about the latest ordeal.  We are still dealing with bad eczema and allergies, and she is doing a clinical study for a new cream, but it is not really helping :(.  We will possibly start a GF/DF diet after the holidays to see if that helps.

Alex is almost 5 1/2 and can be quite a good helper around the house (sometimes).  He torments his sisters sometimes, but generally plays with Mary really well, and they love to build fort-type things and "camping beds" with all of their pillows and blankets, and any boxes that are lying around. He impresses me with how well he picks up things (like memory work) and teaching him to read has been a pretty painless process.  He doesn't generally want to work on reading, but is usually ok once we get started.  He does enjoy listening to me read aloud which makes me really happy, because I have become convinced that one of the best things you can do for your children is read aloud to them, for a few hours a day if possible.  He enjoys his alone time with daddy right before bed, and gets so excited when they get to go out and do things one-on-one.