Friday, March 27, 2020

Double Yoke

These two sisters are the cutest.  I just love watching them play together.

I totally got a double yoke while cooking with Tucker and Penelope for science the other day.  It wasn't the best time because not only were we making a meringue where we only needed the egg whites I was trying to show them how to separate out the whites using the shell. 
I was still super excited because I'm not sure I had ever gotten one before.  
 Penelope doing schoolwork. 
 I just can't get enough of these two sharing this chair.
Calista trying to comb Bob's hair while he is trying to read scriptures and getting irritated that no one is listening.
Penelope is trying to start her own business called Poop Patrol.  She wants to go clean dog poop out of people yards for them on a weekly bases.  So far we don't have any takers.  I even got permission to put the flyer up on the neighborhood community board.  Hopefully she can get someone to hire her.

Beatrix is slowly starting to walk more and more.  Crawling is still her main mode movement, but every once in a while I see her taking a few steps.  She is pretty funny because she usually walks to the side.  I guess it make sense if all you have done before is walk along furniture.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Leon's Birthday Party

For Leon's 7th birthday we decided to have a paint party.  I'm trying to make my life a little easier and do the same type of party for everyone this year.  
It was pretty simple.  I just bought canvases and supplies for everyone and we looked at directions online on how to paint a picture.  
 Leon choose a bunny picture, which was ok because Easter is coming up.
I was a little worried I was going to have seven year olds splashing paint all over the house but it worked out ok.  The kids all took it pretty seriously and did a great job.  We took a few painting breaks for things to dry and the kids ran around hitting the balloons everywhere.  It seemed to be the perfect mix of sitting still and running around.

We also asked for no presents and it was amazing.  This was our first time doing it and it was so nice.  I feel like presents usually take over the party.  And I have to deal with my children thinking about and talking about what people are going to get them for weeks before their party.  So we just talked with Leon about how we weren't going to do presents and that the point is just to have a fun time with friends.  He was a little disappointed, but when the party came he didn't even mention it.

There was a little concern that people wouldn't come because of the social distancing and the coronavirus.  But one one person didn't come because of that and it wasn't a problem at all.

Leon once again asked for a monster cake.  It had a cookie dough frosting between layers and cookies and cream outside frosting with a chocolate ganache.  Delicious.
We did do family presents for him later though.  I don't have a picture but Leon got a new scooter that he is pretty excited about.
 Now I just need to give him a haircut and take some nice pictures of him.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

At Home Church

We've been doing home church for about a month now because of Covid-19 with some mixed results.  The Asia area was the first to get church cancelled, and when we got the email I was pretty shocked.  Aside from a snow day I've never had church cancelled so for me this was pretty unprecedented.  The whole idea of it was pretty exciting. 

As Sunday approached we all prepared.  I talked with Bob a few times about how we wanted to do things and decided that we needed to make it similar to actually going to church.  I still wanted the Sabbath to feel like a special day and I wanted taking the sacrament to really be meaningful and not just seem like a family sharing a piece of bread.

We decided to continue getting dressed nicely for church and also to set up chairs in our family room just for the "church" part of the day.  I've learned from homeschooling the kids that using the couch leads to a lot of laying down and also kids fighting about touching each other and being in one another's space.  After about a month of doing it I really think we made the right call on getting dressed up and also the chairs.
Bob wrote a program on the window behind the small table so everyone was clear on the order and Bob also conducted the meeting.  We've been mainly following the regular church format. Song, prayer, song, sacrament.  After the sacrament we each took turns sharing.  
On fast Sunday that meant bearing testimonies.  On the other weeks each of the kids had something prepared to share before Sunday.  That ranged from a short talk to teaching from the come follow me manual to reading a story from the friend and talking about it.  I also like how this is going because everyone is teaching something more at their level.  Tucker is using the YM lessons more and the younger kids are learning and planning at a younger level.  Bob and I are mostly using the Come Follow Me lessons and trying to teach everyone.
 These next couple pictures are of church leaders.

While I feel like we have been trying our hardest to create a good church experience where everyone learns and also feels the spirit.  I really feel like we are falling short.  I honestly have been just getting mad at the kids all through it because they are being disruptive and misbehaving.  Bob and I work so hard on it but we both just end up in a bad mood because it partially feels like a waste of time.  I really want to have the spirit in our home and am struggling to have these "church meetings" feel like anything other than work.  We come out of the whole thing exhausted and drained instead of uplifted.  

Calista is honestly a big part of the issue.  She is two and runs around like crazy the whole time being a distraction to everyone.  Last week she literally peed on the floor and took all her clothes off and was running around during the closing talk/song/prayer.  Then before I fully knew what was going on Beatrix was playing in the pee puddle near the toilet and also putting things in the toilet.  While she makes it more difficult I know that she is acting developmentally for her age and there is nothing I can really do about it.

Next week we are going to try to do everything first thing in the morning and see if that changes anything.  

There is a lot that I really like about doing this we just need a little bit of time to find our groove as a family. 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Beatrix's First Steps

I was heading out the door to my piano lessons, when I turned to wave by the the kids and saw Beatrix walk from around the corner.  I was totally surprised.  I whipped out my phone while simultaneously running over and got a video of the second half of it.

So cute!  I'm happy she didn't wait one minute and start walking when I wasn't home.  We replicated it a few more times.  She is so funny pre-running her feet before they even touch the ground.  The real trick is to balance her correctly before she takes off.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Golden Book and Beluga Whales

Leon is really thriving at school.  I got to go and see him do a presentation a couple weeks ago.  While waiting to go inside I took a picture of some of his hallway work I found.
He did a great job researching and sharing about the beluga whale.  All the parents got to walk around and listen to each child present.  The teacher made a big point about the fact that the kids found the info on their own to put on their posters.

This was also in the hallway, can you spot him?
A few days later Leon won the Golden Book award!  Each month the teacher chooses someone from their class who really emulated a certain character trait and then they get to go to the office and sign the special golden book and get a certificate.  This month's trait was caring.  The teacher said that he was so nice and helped his friends with their work without them even asking, she said that he treats them like his own brother.  When Tucker heard that he was like, "Oh, so he tackles them all the time?"  haha.  I wasn't able to go to the ceremony as it was the exact time of Beatrix's doctors appointment, but Bob, Tucker, and Penelope all got to attend.

Leon was also chosen today to represent his class in a school wide kenken competition.  I had no idea what those were so I had to look it up.  They are pretty much a form of sudoku.  He is really excited about it.

It is nice to hear Leon tell me all the great things about his day when he comes home from school.  I also like his teacher and love that she tries to have as much play in her classroom as possible.

I really hate the hour and fifteen minute bus ride to school and the one recess.  But my latest concern is that not only do they not have recess if it is sprinkling they don't have recess if it is even wet outside!  WET!  Not raining, but just wet.  Moving from Washington, where they definitely play outside in the rain I can't understand this.  Kids need to be outside and they need a chance to run around.  I guess they say they have indoor recess, but what that is is everyone in the gym watching Paw Patrol.  They are not even playing inside, but just sitting quietly watching TV.  Its a little crazy if you ask me.  Ok, rant over... for now, I'm sure I'll complain to Bob about it some more next time it happens, which is like once a week.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Park Day and Valentines

Leon asked me to help him make a valentines box.  Out of all my kids this was the first time any of them were supposed to make one at home and bring it in.  Usually they just make something in class, not to mention the last two years we didn't have anyone in school. So we looked up some ideas online and this is the one Leon picked.  Hippos are one of his favorite animals.
 The other kids also wanted to make their own.  Penelope and Tucker did theirs on their own.

Scarlett missed school the day they made them so her teacher actually made hers for her.
We didn't do much this year.  I promised the kids discount candy the day after Valentines.  I told them they could get more candy if we did it a day late.  Of course when I went the day after the store was cleaned out.  So we bought some regular candy and they were happy with that.

I took some pictures of the kids at the neighborhood park the other day.

 And these last two were a park on base.  Beatrix did not like the swing.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Beatrix Fun

Beatrix went into the doctor again for her well child visit and also to get a weight check.  I was so happy when the doctor told us that she is now keeping on her curve at 10%.  I don't know why she dropped off the charts before but it is good that now she is able to keep up.  

Beatrix now has her first two words!  Well three actually.  Her first two came at the same time.  She says thank you!  It is so cute!  I'll try to post a video sometime, I did take one but she is so quiet.  She says it when we give her things.  It is also funny to me that she still doesn't say mama or dada but she says thank you.  Around the same time she also started saying Peek-a-boo.  And they sound pretty similar.

Calista is now teaching Beatrix her ways and they both are now getting into things.   One day I found the bathroom like this... yes those are socks in the toilet.

And Beatrix was soaking wet.  
This drawer is her favorite spot in the house.  At least once a day, usually more, she takes everything out and sits in it.
 My attempt at a picture of them with their matching shirts on.
 She totally fell asleep while I was trying to feed her lunch.

She sure is a lot of fun!