Wednesday, December 16, 2009

School Time

Ivey can climb onto the dining room chairs, which makes school time a little more interesting. I was very pleased to see that she loves to color! She doesn't push down hard enough to make much of a mark, but she sat with us for two hours coloring, sorting crayons, putting them into bowls of various sizes and playing with her peg board. Asa and Addison found it hilarious and Ivey felt like a big girl! Who knows, maybe this trend will continue. It was much easier than the usual school day (trying to keep her happy with snacks, prying her off of my legs as she whines, chasing her across the house while the boys complete assignments, etc).

Being able to climb on the chairs also allows Ivey to get a great view of the screen when the boys are playing their computer games. This game of Mancala must have been extremely exciting.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tis the Season...

To be busy!! I haven't posted in a while because I've been going like a mad woman! Between school and Ivey and doctor's visits and laundry and dishes and laundry and dishes... and all with a big ol' belly... I'm swamped! When I added in gift shopping it tipped my well balanced scale and I've been in a whirlwind of crazy. Crazier I mean.

Thanksgiving was fabulous and flew by. We had lunch at Randy and Linda's and dinner at Mom and Roland's. The kids had a blast... as usual! Down at Mom's, there were enough people for Addison to play Foosball all night long. I don't think he'll ever forget that he beat Hal, Roland, Scooter, Marisa.... "even when they paid Papa to cheat by shining the flashlight in my eyes!" I am sure Scoot will want a rematch at Christmas! (**Correction** Addison did not beat Hal. My apologies to Hal for the mistake!)

Last weekend, Mim and Papa took 6 of the grandkids (all but Brittanie and Ivey) for an overnight stay. I drove the kids down so I could help with Mom's Christmas card picture (which turned out FABULOUS and I will post later, after all the cards have been mailed!). I must say, I was worried about how the picture would go. It was freezing, it started to drizzle and all the kids had just gotten together and were hyper. It went like a dream! Even Ivey stood still and happy, with her cute little smile present in each shot!

The kids had a couple days of Christmas crafts and activities. They went down to Minter's Farm and cut down a tree. From what I hear, the six of them even hauled it up to the truck. I know it must have been insane over there for Mim and Papa, but what wonderful memories to have with their cousins! Ivey may have missed out on the party, but she had a great time as an only child!

Now, it is a week until all the Christmas festivities begin and I really wish I was finished with all of the shopping. My goal is to get it all done tonight after Jeff gets home. The idea of hauling all three (plus the belly) to multiple stores sounds like a nightmare... so perhaps I can stay motivated enough to get all of my running around completed while I'm free tonight!

Oh, and our elf returned after Thanksgiving. It appears he has a sweet tooth, as he opened up our box of candy canes and proceeded to munch down during the night. Asa and Addison missed him terribly and wake up each morning on a mission to find the little bugger!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Santa Baby

I did it! Today, I packed up the kiddos and we went to the mall to sit on Santa's lap. Well, first, we went to Chuck-E-Cheese for the boys' monthly homeschool incentive. I have that place down to a science. First, print out the coupon for "buy 60 tokens get 40 free". Next, go in the MORNING. No one is there. It's like a ghost town. The place is cleaned and all of the winter germs that can survive for hours outside the body have all died the horrible death they deserve. The other thing that is great about going in the morning is that, well, you don't eat pizza in the morning. We bought the refillable plastic cups on our first venture, so when we go all we pay for is the $15 for 100 tokens. Period. Not a bad deal for a great school incentive.

Okay, so I said monthly incentive, truth be told, we missed last month. This was the first time we have gone when Ivey was a walking, running, opinionated toddler. After I fed her breakfast, she was down and running all over the place. The only real problem with this was that she thought she was a skeeball. I kept having to drag her down the skeeball ramp by her feet. Beyond that, she was great. She found the big animatronic Chuck-E-Cheese, waved and danced her little tush off. Not only was she not afraid, she wasn't shy. She shook her groove thing all over that place.

When we head to Chuck-E-Cheese, and interesting (and predictable) thing happens. Asa spends all of his tokens in a fury. He can blow through all 50 in 10 minutes flat. Addison, on the other hand, is very careful about where he puts him tokens. He doesn't always base his decision on token to ticket ratio. Sometimes he opts for the "video game" style games that don't pay off at all. It always takes him at least an hour to go through his tokens. In the end, each boy ends up with about the same amount of tickets. Addison usually chooses to spend a small amount and save the rest to add to his stash for next time... trying to get the bigger better prize. Asa spends more and saves less, but is learning for Addison's example. I say nothing. Not my tokens, not my tickets... and by speaking I would wreck a perfectly wonderful learning experience.

On this trip, Asa blew through his tokens in a flash and then got to do something straight up Asa's alley. Because we were there in the morning, there was a man working on one of the pinball machines. He had the glass top removed and he was making adjustments and such. Asa had a chair and was standing right beside him, watching and helping when asked. The man showed him what he was doing and let him try things out to see if things needed further adjustment. Asa was in heaven.

After we left, we headed to the mall for Santa pictures. I had clothes in the car, changed everyone in a flash, and had a pretty darn successful meeting with the big man. Ivey was nervous at first but quickly warmed up. It helped that I was behind the camera, jumping around like a crazed lunatic. After many shots like this, I realized that all of my attention was focused on Ivey. The boys were off in space... with nervous expressions that screamed, "I'm on someone lap... I don't know this guy... How much longer do we have to sit like this." After redirecting my attention to all, we made eye contact with all kids involved and I am totally pleased with the shot!

Asa told Santa that he wanted a remote controlled mouse (which he invented in his head... and has been asking for for over a year now) and Addison told him that he would like the new Star Wars Lego game and a particular Star Wars Lego set. Santa said he'd see what he could do. Now, they just have to be good for two more weeks!