Monday, June 30, 2014

Piano Recital

After just one year of a music/piano class the kids were ready for their second recital. I'll start with the photos and end with the videos.

Before the recital with their Papa T and Oma.

Singing songs and using rhythm instruments.

Playing songs as a group and later they each played their solo.

After the recital, running to burn some energy.

Being silly with Grandma.

Here are the kids practicing their solos the day before the recital. The actual recital video includes names and I don't post those on the blog.
Ignore the boy trying to get on camera. haha

This song was in their piano book, however they were only supposed to sing it. He not only learned to play it, he decided it needed a "left handy part" so that he composed himself.

Friday, June 27, 2014


We were driving home and Wonderful Husband and I were talking about getting oil for the car.

Sweet Daughter: "Why does the car need oil?"
Wonderful Husband: "To keep the engine lubricated so it can work smoothly."
Sweet Son: "Like the lubrication in ball and socket joints in your body?"
Me: "Yes, exactly like that."
Sweet Daughter: "Is it the same oil that we cook with?"
Wonderful Husband: "No, that's a different type of oil."
Sweet Daughter: "That's good."

I love the connections they make to many different areas. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Horseback Riding

The horseback riding season is over. These horses don't work when it's too hot outside and it is often too hot during the Summer for months at a time. These photos came from the kids' last lesson of the season.

Sweet Son brushing Eeyore.

 Sweet Daughter brushing Max, or as she calls him, "Maxy."

Doesn't he look like a tiny cowboy?

The pink tutu over the jeans are a classy touch.

Both kids on their horses with their instructors.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sweet, Silly Daughter

The kids were playing in the backyard and I wanted to take some pictures. These are of Sweet Daughter. I said, "Come here I want to take some photos of you." This is what happened next. I love this kid.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sweet, Silly Son

The kids were playing in the backyard and I wanted to take some pictures. These are of Sweet Son. I said, "Come here I want to take some photos of you." This is what happened next. I love this kid.

Come back tomorrow for some photos of Sweet Daughter.

Friday, June 20, 2014


In addition to trying soccer and dance, the kids wanted to learn tennis. We found a week long camp and they loved it. Of course, I only remembered to bring my camera on the last day.

Before class starts

She loves her pink/purple racquet.

There were multiple stations set up and different groups going through them. I was sitting by this one so there are no actual pictures of them playing tennis. Yeah, I'm not only a bad blogger I'm a bad Mom. On the other hand, she's clearly levitating over this ladder.

His jumping style was a little more energetic. By the end of the camp, they knew two different hits and could hit the slow tennis balls over the net either way. They had fun and a year later are still asking to go back to tennis.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

More Cooking

The kids love cooking and they both did a lot of it over the Summer. However, most of the recipes she selected required a great deal of very close supervision. I didn't get a chance to step back and take photos. However as you can see, even when he is cooking she is right there learning how to make things.

Here he is chopping onions. I love this device. I can get through chopping onions so quickly there aren't any tears! He likes being encouraged to hit something.

I have no idea which recipes he is making in either of these photos. Apparently they weren't very good. I love being able to hand him a sharp knife and have him cut things though. We started with plastic knives cutting bananas and by the time we got to this, I knew he wouldn't cut himself using the sharp knife.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Backyard Playset

We wanted some specific things in a playset so instead of just buying one, Wonderful Husband built this. He didn't have any plans, he just bought the materials and built it. I'm impressed.

Instead of a standard swing, we wanted a disc swing. The disc swing takes a lot more control and core muscles. You know we can't just have something standard around here, haha. 

The other side has the bar and rings. These can be used together or separately. These are not only a core workout, but also an arm workout. Most playground equipment only has things for the legs. This is one of the reasons in the increase in injuries on things like monkey bars which require arm strength. 

The bar and rings can also be taken down quickly and the rope ladder hung up. This particular version of the rope ladder only lasted a couple of days before Wonderful Husband improved on the design. We purposefully did not attach the rope ladder to anything at the bottom. This makes climbing it more of a challenge and a core workout.

Do you notice a theme here? One child was diagnosed with having a weak core and we needed to help build it up. Now when you see our kids you would have no idea which child was struggling. Each of these things helps both of them and they only see it as fun, not as work.

Monday, June 16, 2014


You might have noticed in the background of some of our other pictures that we were raising butterflies. We started with 5 tiny caterpillars and they grew and grew. Then they each spun a chrysalis. NOTE: They did not spin a cocoon, a moth would spin a cocoon, a butterfly comes from a chrysalis. Then we waited for them to emerge.

Once the butterflies emerge, you notice two things. #1 Their wings are wet and drip red. They are not bleeding, they are just simply letting their wings dry. #2 They are hungry after not eating for many days. They love milkweed, sugar water, and oranges. Oranges are easiest for us, so that's what we used.
Theoretically when you open up the tent, they all fly away. However sometimes they are perfectly happy living in a confined area with food being brought to them regularly. Three of them did fly away, but there were two who just didn't want to leave.

I was able to pick up an orange slice with a butterfly on it and set it out of the tent. You can even see the butterfly eating in this photo!

Those two hung out for a long time. One eventually flew away. I think the other one had some challenges and probably couldn't fly. It was gone the next day so the kids assumed it flew away. I'm guessing it was just fulfilling it's part in the food chain.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Teaching versus Parenting

The kids have been learning about the body all week. We started with a Magic School Bus Science kit and have expanded on it. They weren't understanding how the blood can carry things and how we breathe in oxygen, but out CO2. So I found a game and spent 2 hours putting it together during nap time. I had to print, cut, color, etc. The game board takes up my entire living room table. It was such a pain. This afternoon we spent 15 minutes playing the game. They now completely get it. They can explain how oxygen, sugars, and protein get into your body, which organs they travel through to get into the blood, how the blood carries different things to different cells all over the body. They can explain how the waste and CO2 is made and how the body gets rid of it using various organs. They can explain the difference between arteries and veins. This game really did teach a lot. The problem is now that they get it, they won't want to play the game again. As a teacher, I would save it for the next group of kids. As a parent... um... I don't even know where to store this. I'm thinking of passing it along to a family in our neighborhood that we are friends with, but her kids are older and I don't think they are ready for this yet.

Intellectually I get that it's worth it to have them understand the concepts quickly and easily. However, it seems like a waste that only 2 kids are going to use it. (Unless I find someone to pass it along to.)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Science

In addition to the many Science experiments we do at home, Sweet Son requested more Science this Summer. I enrolled them in a few camps at our local Science museum. Here are some of the projects they came home with.

Rain Gauges

Taking the paper cup off the chalk she made at camp.

Proud of his chalk

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Crash Pad

I have posted about our crash pad before. The kids are still using it constantly. I tried to get some photos and you can see exactly what happened.

This is why a soft landing is crucial. Hours of running, jumping, and crashing eventually wears them out.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Summer with no learning ;)

I love having the kids home for the summer. Which is crazy because they were only in school 3 mornings a week and I've lost all of my alone time. Granted, this is also only the 2nd week of Summer, but still I love spending time with them and having them around. Today Sweet Daughter told me she didn't want to learn anything she just wanted to do puzzles and Science experiments and cooking and reading. hahahaha I indulged her and we did each of those things. We were doing experiments all about the human body. We made a model of a working diaphragm and a working heart (that was messy). Then we were talking about how we move using joints and the different type of joints. After making a model ball joint, Sweet Son immediately picks up on the fact that we can't move in EVERY direction like the model. He wants to know why so I told him we would do that experiment tomorrow, but it has something to do with muscles. They are now in the playroom discussing how muscles could limit movement. Good thing we aren't learning anything. :)

My kids love cooking. I hope this keeps up because Wonderful Husband and I HATE it. Last week Sweet Son made lasagna in the crockpot and it was good. Sweet Daughter made mac and cheese in the crockpot and it was too cheesy for all of us. If you can't tell, I got a crockpot cooking for kids book and I'm just letting them pick what they want to make. This week Sweet Daughter's going to make a chocolate lava cake and Sweet Son's going to make broccoli cornbread.

Friday, June 6, 2014

First Soccer Game

After exactly one practice the Tigers were ready for the first game. Or rather, they were going to have the first game ready or not. We were the team in yellow.

Sweet Daughter is in the middle of the pack.

Look at her go chasing the ball!

She's in control of the ball.

She can steal the ball from the tall boy.

At this point you may be wondering where Sweet Son is during the game. He wasn't as enthusiastic to say the least. 

We told him to stand on the field for a picture.

We lost the game. I mean technically they didn't keep score, but when I stopped counting we were down by 15. Only 5 more games to go!

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Sweet Daughter: "Mom, I need to learn how to build things. Can you help me draw some plans?"
Me: "What are you going to build?"
Sweet Daughter: "I'm going to be a princess. I'm going to build a castle. If I build it myself it won't cost as much money."
Me: "That's very true."

Yeah, she still has no clue what a princess is... I love how she makes connections to what her friends say about them to what she thinks it means.