Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kindergarten visit

Today we had a visit from a local kindergarten teacher with materials to prepare us for when S goes to school next fall. Registration is in January! WOW!
The teacher played some games with S like finding letters, reading a book with Sight Words, looking at the alphabet, talking about how to write (from the top) and some counting. She says S is very ready and can see her being a big helper in the classroom.
S was very excited. I know she is ready and part of me wishes she could go to school now. I know she would love it! But I know we are doing the right thing to wait until it is time. Besides, I want to keep her home a little longer. :)
So, in the meantime, we will continue homeschooling, mostly re-using the curriculum we used last year with the addition of some more K level workbooks and focus on some of the skills she needs for kindergarten. We will also focus on reading, fine motor skills, tying her shoes, math and Spanish.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Take care of your library materials!

I love libraries! There are so many books to choose from. I still wish ours would offer a type of scanner that allows you to scan titles to be saved into a wish list on your library account.
A few years ago, I discovered that libraries have DVDs you can check out. How exciting to get DVDs for free and many newer releases!
I've enjoyed many DVDs from the library but it is so frustrating when you come across a DVD that is scratched to the point you can't watch the movie. Case in point when we tried to watch a family movie Saturday night. Grrrr!!!
Smudges, scratches and more! I really wish people would take better care of items that do not belong to them. Libraries have limited budgets so it's not like they can easily replace DVDs. And if people aren't more careful, that service might not be available any more.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's good to be home!

We returned yesterday from a five-day trip. It is good to be home! It feels like we've been gone a long time.
We left last Wednesday. The main reason for heading up Norte is that C had a business meeting in the Twin Cities. We decided to make that into a family trip. We would visit my sister and then head over for an already planned weekend visit to C's family.
The drive up to MN was fine. Long and late by the time we got to my sister's place. C had his meeting on Thursday so the girls, my sister and I went to the Minneapolis Zoo, which was pretty neat. They had cheeky monkeys, a cool water fountain, dolphins, a monorail and lots of cool animals. S got to touch a shark and tried to touch a sting ray. Even though it was a little windy and cool, I let the girls run around the water fountain when we finished with the exhibits. Good thing it was the last thing to do before leaving because while they were playing, the sprinkler part went off, leaving just these water jets shooting up from the ground. Needless to say, the girls got soaked!!
On Friday we ventured to the Mall of America. Mostly I wanted to take the girls to the Underwater Adventure. It was cool. A little pricey but cool. They had one of those underwater tunnels so we saw all sorts of fish, turtles, sting rays, sharks and more. S was excited about the sea horse exhibit. The girls got to touch crabs and star fish.
I am sure we will be making another trip or two to MN this year yet. C for sure with his business meetings. But also because the girls were ga-ga over the Nickelodeon Universe in the MOA. We walked through there before the Underwater Adventure. Needless to say, the girls were really excited and wanted to go on the rides. They were pretty understandable about the fact that we were not going to play in there, instead going to the Underwater Adventure. (We'd already purchased those tickets so there was no way we had the time or money to do both.) But I could see taking the girls there in the near future so we can do Nick Universe specifically.
We left Friday night to head over for our family visit. The girls had a blast playing with the cousins. Lots of fun for them running around, playing in the bouncy house, checking out all the farm animals and more. It was a little relaxing for C and I too.
Now we are home and trying to get back into the swing of things.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Summertime pictures

Going through some files and came across a few cute summer moments. Enjoy!
M is walking around in the kiddie pool. In another picture, she is enjoying her first corn on the cob. Ate like a pro!
S is all wet from her adventures in the sprinkler. She had a ball playing in that.
There are two shots from Chicago's Millennium Park: one the Cloud Gate, which is really cool, and then the fountain that displays pictures of people's faces and then eventually water "spits" out of their mouths! S nearly got hit with the water!

I'm a mommy!!

Check out these little babies! My tomatoes are producing fruit! I am so happy!! It is truly amazing to see these little plants grow! I don't know how many are there but I am excited to see them grow. And then get to taste the little guys!

I water them every day. We even got some aqua globes type things to help with the watering, like for when we are out of town. I haven't noticed bugs or anything but I'll be keeping an eye out.

With life being so busy lately, it's been hard to maintain the back garden. But I finally tackled it this Sunday! WOW! There were a lot of weeds! But I got it done and should be good for a while yet.

We've had a couple bunny guests. They've been eating at our new grass in the back corner. My lettuce seems safe as well as the tomatoes. I have seen the bunnies in the back garden, eating at the weeds. Maybe I should cage them in and they can get all the weeds. :)

Saturday in the park

We had a great time visiting family in Kenosha for the Fourth of July weekend. (I know this is a late post but life has been busy.)
The downtown marina was a perfect location for a holiday. We started the morning at the Farmer's Market. There were so many vendors and a lot of yummy stuff.
I wish the weather had been warmer. The marina has a beach area as well as a splash area for kids, which I had hoped to let the girls play in. But it was overcast and a little cool. Still, the girls had fun walking around and playing at one of the parks.
I am amazed at how much the marina has changed! Downtown Kenosha has spread out so much. What used to be a huge vacant field, the sight of a former car maker, I believe, is now thriving with apartments and new shops and restaurants. And there are wonderful open space areas, perfect for walking, gathering, and just enjoying.

From the look of the parking lot at the marina, lots of people from IL come to dock their boats. It was amazing to see all the IL license plates in the lot. Probably 90 percent were from IL.
While it was great to see all the new developments in the marina area, it was sad to see that parts of downtown are in such neglected condition. Such a shame because there are some buildings that have so much potential. Once department stores, then turned into antique stores, are not vacant. One time I drove through downtown to see a homeless person sleeping in the doorway of one of these former beauties. So sad to see. If those buildings were brought back to life, then downtown would be something to see!
Many families came out to the marina for the holiday, many camping out for the day. Seriously. There were quite the set-ups with tents and picnic tables and grills and more. Again, what a perfect place to spend the holiday
We staked out a place to watch the fireworks but did not spend the whole day there. After the farmer's market and walking around, we had lunch from the farmer's market and then went to the museum, where we saw the replica of a woolly mammoth, one of two found in Kenosha County in the early 90's.
After that we went back to my parents house for naps. Then we had dinner at my grandmother's apartment, which is right by the marina. Then we went to our spot and hung out waiting for the fireworks. There was still plenty of places for people to camp out. And indeed, many people came in closer to the fireworks time. It was neat to see all the people and feel the holiday atmosphere. M and I enjoyed some tunes by a local band. There were kites in the air. People were playing catch, volleyball and other games. It was so fun.
The fireworks were great too. One even looked like a fighter jet. Seriously. And there were a couple smiley faces too. The girls had a good time, although they were pretty wiped out in the end. They didn't get to bed until 11. But woke up at their regular time the next day. Ugh!
All in all, it was a fun weekend.

Toy Boxes

The girls got these hand-made toy boxes from Great-Grandpa B last month. Eventually we'll paint them up and add foam padding on the tops to make great window seats. S got the right idea, using it as a place to read her books. M's is being used for storage like blankets and Pull-ups.

Swinging good time!

Over the 4th of July weekend we visited Great-Grandma and Grandpa B, where the girls got to play on a tire swing. They had a blast! It was the perfect summer setting! Family, flowers, the sun and warm weather and then this big tree with a tire swing! How fun! The girls could not get enough of it. It was way too much fun!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Catching up

I know it's been a while since my last post. Life has been busy. Last week I meant to post....I even have the drafts saved....but was not able to get to it due to freelance deadlines and then a health issue involving C. He has a blood clot in a superficial vein in his right leg. He is currently on blood thinners. We are praying the medicine does its job. He will be on it for the next six months. Please keep him in your prayers.
In the meantime, I've been trying to keep up with everything else. I have a couple more deadlines yet in the next couple days. But I hope to post stuff about our 4th of July holiday weekend and other fun things later. We have a mini-trip coming up soon too so it would be nice to post my blogs before that.
Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside

I cannot believe the weather we are having. I shouldn't complain, really, but it is quite a shock. Last week we were sweltering but this week we've been lucky to reach the mid-60s. Burr!
And the forecasts keep saying rain but we've barely had a drop. We need the rain. The grass is looking a little brown in some spots.
Maybe there is a reason for this weather change. C sent this tidbit today: According to my FleetFarm calendar, July 3rd is Aphelion (when Earth’s orbit takes it farthest away from the sun).
Perhaps that is why? We are just getting farther away from the sun?
Well, it will warm up soon enough. In no time we will be wishing for those cooler days again.