Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Few Lessons In Responsiblity

Michael has been struggling with a few things lately, and I was having trouble trying to get through to him. He loves to start something, but doesn't like to finish. He also has been having an Independence vs Dependence issue, and one day will be fine doing things on his own (getting dressed, making his bed, going through the entire potty process, etc), and other days will want me to do it all. They were turning in to long, drawn-out dramas that I thought were WAY overdone for what they were. So I got the suggestion from my friend Mallory, preschool teacher extraordinaire, who suggested using responsibility charts with stickers to get Michael excited about doing things on his own. So I went to work and put together some basic things for him to complete each day (things he usually does anyways), and he has taken to the system quite well.
Michael gets quite excited about completing a task now so he can put a sticker on his chart. He also gets an additional sticker to put on the outside of the chart when he is extra kind or sweet to his sister. Lately, they have been having some difficulty with treating each other with kindness and respect, so he seems to be doing better being kind and sweet to her when there is tangible incentive.

We have a separate potty chart because Michael likes to leave out some integral steps when he goes potty (ie putting his underwear/pants BACK on, or washing hands, etc). So every time he goes through ALL the steps all by himself, he gets to put a sticker on his potty chart.

And he actually is now excited about putting his own laundry away. He has his own basket, and has separate containers within his drawer which contain each item to be put away. My little boy is growing up!

How a REAL Man Plays With Play-Doh

Yes folks, it requires heavy equipment.
He kept asking for each pice one by one. Leave it to a guy to use a backhoe when a shovel would suffice!

Notice the Play-Doh lumps in the scoop

Operating heavy machinery takes great concentration.

Side by Side

Kate is a little mimic, and love to do whatever her big brother is doing (which bugs Michael sometimes). So it is sweet moments like this that make me smile!
Look closely

Michael is reading to Kate, and she is sharing about her toy! I love it!

Those Baby Blues!

Both my kids have their Daddy's beautiful blue eyes (though some days, when I look at Kate, I see my mom's deep blue eyes!)
Pretty girl!

Ol' blue eyes with the pumpkin bread beater.

LOVE those eyes. Also, Kate has cut FOUR teeth this week, so know that all my posts with have either drool a-plenty or multiple items in her mouth.

Baby Love

Michael is just in love with babies lately. He REALLY wants a baby brother, & since I am not obliging him with one, he gets to play with Katie's baby dolls.
Baby gets a bottle.

He stuffed the bottle into the baby's blanket and said that the baby could feed herself. He has high standards for independence!

AND (my favorite), the baby football hold!

Kate loves her babies and animals, and it so sweet and gentle to them (when she isn't throwing them!)

Sweet, tender love for the tiny bunny.


I heard the pitiful wail of my little girl coming from the play room and discovered her little bottom stuck in the push-hippo. MOM to the rescue (after I grabbed my camera to capture the moment!)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pearly Whites

Katie has gotten two more teeth this week, bringing her grand total up to 8. Speaking of teeth, I have been putting off a trip to the dentist due to lack of dental insurance. I now have an impacted wisdom tooth that I am finally addressing out of sheer necessity (Jon says I should do like Tom Hanks in Castaway and use an ice skate. That might not be a bad idea, considering my problems would them be covered by medical insurance, which we DO have). When I called my dentist, they said that they would have to go WAY in the back to find my chart, as my last recorded visit was December 2002. (Though I think I did go one time since then!) I guess I should be more diligent about check-ups.

Some Big Gloves to Fill

Jon brought up a pair of work gloves after he got home one night from work. Michael seized the opportunity to try them on for size.
"Double high five!"

They are bigger than his whole head.

Play-Doh and Gak

Michael loves to play with Play-Doh, and, though it bugs me to no end, I got over my issues with mixing colors. It wasn't worth my time or effort.
See the bulldozer flattening the play-doh, then picking it up and moving it to the other side of the counter.

Michael loves to play with the Gak that he got for Christmas from his cousin Brynn. It's is new favorite things to do now!

Katie's Big Surprise

Katie has something to show me. "Come on, Mom!"
What could it be?

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh! She wanted to show me that Michael was a kind brother and shared his markers! What a considerate brother!!

Ham and Cheese

What a ham!

Say "Cheese!"

Nothing Runs Like a Deere

We went to Lowes a few days ago to pick up some things for the house, and in keeping with our Lowes tradition, Michael always gets a few minutes to "ride" the tractors.
I guess we were in his way, as he was attempting to honk the horn here.

And, like a real man, he prefers a stick over an automatic.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Moving Day + A Prayer Request

Our good friends The Hornbrooks moved into their new (and closer to us!!) house on Saturday (Valentine's Day), and we were able to help them.
The U-haul truck

They guys and girls hard at work loading that U-haul up!

Jon took a quick break to give Mikaela a spin.

We took a lunch break at the new house.

Michael and Mikaela dive in to lunch.

How many guys does it take to move a freezer? 4 guys to lift, plus one supervisor. :-)
Down there in the green fleece is Pastor Mike -our youth pastor- using the lifting straps ("work smarter, not harder" right?) Please pray for Pastor Mike, as later that day (Saturday), he had a motorcycle wreck and ruptured his spleen and had internal abdominal bleeding. He had surgery, and is doing okay, but will be spending the next couple weeks recovering. He's a great youth pastor, and one of Jon's closest friends, and we pray that he will be back to 100% very soon!

Valentine Cookies

On Friday, Jackson came over to play for a little while, and we decided to make Valentine cookies.
Here the kids eat whole wheat waffles for brunch on cookie day.

Jackson really enjoyed them.

Then we got to work on the cookies. Kate and Jackson just ate the dough that I gave them, but Michael really got in to it. He rolled the dough, then worked it, then spread it out, THEN ate it. P.S. No dough that the kids touched went in to general consumption. I'm not that fond of grimy (even though we washed hands) fingers touching things I might eat or serve to others. THEY eat what THEY touch.

This is me working the dough and cutting the cookies.

Then we enjoyed cookies after they baked. I'm sure I sent Jackson home with a sugar high. Sorry, Mike and Anna! Hope he napped for you! :-)

Youth Group "Guys Night"

Every year in February, we have "Guys Night" and "Ladies Night" in Youth Group. This past Wed was Guys Night, and we celebrated all things manly.
The room was decorated with camo, ram's head, and even had a few motorcycles gracing the room. It even smelled like a garage in there! We ate corndogs, chips, and ice cream sundaes. Yum! The guys even entered a contest to win an inflatable couch (their lucky moms...!)

The kids lined up for Ultimate TP, which consists of trying to throw rolls of toilet paper into a bucket. It takes strategy, determination, and sheer focus to win a game like Ultimate TP.

Richard, the TP bucket catcher extrordinaire!

And yes, my husband dressed up like a lumberjack just for Johnny, who has been requesting a lumberjack-dress-up contest for years!

I Love My Cuties

We had lots of fun celebrating Valentine's Day all week. We colored pictures, got Valentine books from the library, made heart cookies, and spent our V-Day showing love to our friends The Hornbrooks by helping them move into their new house.
These were our Valentine's Day outfits. Michael is taking a picture of me while I take a picture of him. :-)

What a sweet girl!

And a heart shirt.

A Day at the Playground

Last Sunday was a beautiful 70 degree day, so we got a pizza and went to the school playground for a little while after morning church.
Daddy had fun, too!

My boy loves to climb!

My girl loves the slide! (excuse my picture-taking shadow there)

Michael found the little-kid playground in the back of the school, which had fun bikes and cars.

And we played until Kate was so tuckered that she couldn't play another second. They both took GREAT naps that afternoon!