Friday, March 28, 2014

four-year-old artwork

She loves to color. I gave Hannah her first sketch pad recently. "Thank you for my pad. I love it!!"

When she comes out of quiet time, and Joseph is still napping, she'll pull up a chair next to me in the office and start another creation.

I pulled out the old art school Prismacolor pencils for her to color with. She was beside herself with excitement. Of course I gave her the "these-are-really-nice-and-expensive-colored-pencils-so-please-don't-destroy-them" talk.

She colors every day, going back and forth between crayons, markers and colored pencils. Excited to show me something new to put on the refrigerator. We are now less into coloring books and more into freehand drawing. Lots of stick figures and lots of "marry girls".

She came home from church with this a few Sundays ago:

None of these people are me. I believe she said it was her friend, Katie, her daddy (the one with the spiked black hair, obviously) and herself. I'm not really sure if she was doing the "Who makes you happy?" exercise or just drawing a picture. If so, I'm glad she makes herself happy. That's a healthy place to be. When I asked about it later, she clarified that I make her happy, too.

She colors for family, for friends, and just for no reason at all except to color.

Her first family portrait:

{clockwise from top: Hannah, Mollie, Joe, Chloe, me and Joseph.}

Definitely deserved a spot on the fridge.

For almost three years she brought home cute little preschool works-of-art, ranging from chicken scratches on her first coloring sheets to adorable crafts. I've kept most of the crafts but have started weeding out the colorings and worksheets. With two in preschool bringing home 2-3 things everyday, it was getting to be a bit much. I photograph it all… 

Some of my favorites from her 3- and 4-year-old years:

Her coloring skills have come a long way…

{beginning two-year-old class}

{end two-year-old class}

{three-year-old class}

 {four-year-old class}

Even her watercoloring has improved.

When I get home at noon with the kids, I open folders to see what's been done in school. They love this part of the day, proudly presenting their accomplishments to me. I love it too.

Occasionally Hannah does still bring home colorful pictures. For example, this windmill last week:

But I know she's growing up because lately less crafty stuff and coloring sheets are coming home and we're seeing more worksheets.

She's got her numbers and letters down and asks us questions about words and sounds. She can count pretty high and we recently went through a phase when it seemed that's all she did. {I think to 126 was the most recent counting exercise.} She is learning how to apply at home the things she learns at school and she is so eager to learn. 

She brought home a book from school last week and read her first sight-word "chapter" (just a few pages and just a couple words). She was cute about it. Very proud of herself. This is a fun age.

So… I started this post last week but hadn't gotten around to publishing it. Guess I'll finish it up with this collection of wedding people she drew for me yesterday:

{From top left: "Momma the marry girl, Daddy the groom, Hannah the flower girl, Jackson the ring bearer, Aunt Crystal the bride maid, and Maddie the junior bride maid."} 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

recycling pick-up day

Today is trash pick-up day. Which reminds me, I never posted these.

Three weeks ago… My helpers carrying the recycling bins back to the house on a very cold pick-up day.

Always an exciting thing to help do. {It doesn't take much around here to make people happy.} Right now, Hannah and Joseph think that helping out around the house is so much fun. You know that Hannah has her chores (or duties, she calls them). Joseph, too. They like to contribute around here and I'm glad. Hope it lasts. They've got years of domestic responsibilities ahead of them.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

happy sunday

We've had a wonderful weekend. The weather on Friday and Saturday was perfect for playing outside. And so we did, logging lots of hours in the backyard, playing on the swing set, riding in the jeep, and blowing bubbles… 

Hannah has the hang of it and she loves to chase them around.

Joseph spends most of his time pumping the wand in the tube. Apparently he thinks that is how it's suppose to work.

He gets frustrated when no bubbles come out when he blows, so it's back to pumping.

He doesn't really want anyone else to use his bubbles, or try to help him. He is determined…and stubborn.

Saturday morning, Hannah and Joseph joined Joe for his cool-down after his 15-mile run. 

Hannah took off, the boys not going fast enough for her! {Yes, Joseph is in pajamas and rain boots.}

As for Joe's recovery, he has been facing a setback and has had a lot of pain in his ankle. His last two long runs have been painful and the countdown is on. Four weeks til Boston. 

I might be able to start a collection of photos like this of Joseph. Not into the whole cooperating for a picture thing… This was taken after church.

I was a nursery volunteer today. I was in the infant room, but when Joseph saw me holding another little boy, he did not like it. In fact, he cried and cried until his face was red and his eyes were puffy. The little guy I was holding did not want me putting him down. When I walked in Joseph's room, he looked at baby Mitchell and said "That's MY mommy!!" I had two little boys crying in my arms.

I decided at 8:30 this morning that I would take H+J and go to the 9am worship service. Surprisingly enough, I had us all ready and at church just a little bit late. It was our first experience at the small, chapel service. {There is no nursery.} Keeping Joseph quiet was a challenge, but he mostly did ok.

I hope you are having a happy Sunday, too.

Friday, March 21, 2014

st. patrick's day and hanging shamrocks

We were originally suppose to travel to Savannah for St. Patrick's Day (which was this past Monday as you likely know), but for various reasons, we decided to stay home.

Of course I dressed the kids in green for school. Yes, some people actually have to go to school on St. Patrick's Day! {In Savannah it is a huge holiday…and the population of the city usually doubles.}

Joseph wasn't happy about Hannah having his sunglasses. I posted the picture below on Instagram, and I'm still laughing about that face.

Hannah was upset she would miss the celebration, but I hooked up the laptop to the TV so we could stream the parade. She decided to change outfits. It was all good...

It was a cold and rainy day in Savannah, so it wasn't a bad year to miss. It was also a cold and rainy day in Sandersville...

I know St. Patrick's Day was Monday, but since it's still the same week, I won't consider this late…

I have, very randomly, been saving toilet paper tubes for a few weeks, thinking maybe there was something crafty I could do with them. Well, imagine my surprise when I receive a weekly Parents daily newsletter in my inbox with a shamrock craft, made from, yep, you guessed it - toilet paper tubes. I usually don't even read (or open) those newsletters, but the craft was the main photo and thus got my attention.

Here's what you need:

cardboard tubes
glue (I used Tacky glue)
green paint
fishing line

 1. Flatten the tubes and cut 1/2" rings. {For each shamrock, you will use 4 1/2" rings.}

2.  Cut through the rings and then bend and glue three to form hearts. These are your leaves. Fold the fourth to make a triangular shape. This is your stem. You may want to secure with a paper clip, as I did, to hold it together while it dries.

3. Glue a leaf on either side of the stem and then the third leaf to one of the other leaves.

4. Your shamrocks will look somewhat like this:

{No two things look exactly alike in nature, so don't worry about perfection.}

5. Paint them green! You can do all one color, as on the website, or you can mix it up. I did an ombre effect.

6. Tie them with fishing line and hang!

I linked mine together but you can hang them individually from the ceiling or a doorway or do however you want. Since I started this craft on Tuesday (after St. Patrick's Day), and finished it yesterday, I just strung mine up as a garland in the playroom. Next year, I might be more creative. For now, I'm calling it crafty garland: Irish edition.

{You can see the video tutorial here.}

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

sick, pre-k camp-out, and other stuff

Hannah was out of school the better part of last week. She had one of those super high fevers again that took a while to come down. This time, though, there were almost no other symptoms. She complained a couple times of a stomachache and a few times of a headache - but over the course of several days. It was weird. The fever went down over Thursday night and by Friday morning she was fever-free. Who knows…viral, I guess.

We had a nice time and I liked keeping her home with me. We went for a walk and found this pretty tree in our neighborhood. 

Anybody know what it's called? Hannah loved it.

One day, I surprised her with The Sound of Music. I DVR'd it a long time ago and she really liked it. I love it, too. I had it on VHS, recorded from TV, but we no longer have it (or a VCR for that matter). She was excited, as you can tell…

Had to take a picture of this happy cutie as she watched:

And since it's quite a long movie, her brother woke up from his nap and watched some too.

On Thursday morning, my small group met here at the house. I told Hannah she would need to stay in her room. She was so sweet, quiet in her room, constructing this:

…a "tent" for her dolls (they were inside). She was proud of it. I thought it was pretty clever myself. And Fancy. The dolls had everything they could possibly need in there.

On Friday, I finally took down the tissue poms that were hanging in the playroom. They were put up for the Fancy Hannah party in September (10 or 12 in all) and, well, we just left them up. Too much work to only enjoy for a little while. The throw-outer in me was starting to itch and I thought they kinda obstructed the view of the children's artwork I just hung along the moulding. At first Hannah was not happy with the idea of taking the poms down (unlike her momma, she doesn't like to get rid of ANYthing), but then decided she was ok with it and had a good time crushing them.

She donned her favorite tutu and convinced me to let her watch another movie.

…and climbed right up there to select it for herself.

Early Saturday morning, at 2am, Joe left to go camp out in front of the board of education to get Hannah into pre-k. There were 47 spots available and we were number twenty-something in line. A friend who is hoping to send her child to the same school had her teenage daughter and a friend sit in chairs for us from 10:30pm-2 when Joe and the other dad took over. The line was 50 or 60 people long by midnight! When I got there in the morning with the kids, Joe was cold and tired. He's such a good daddy.

Government funding for pre-k isn't finalized until July, but we are pretty sure she's in. A relief!

The rest of the weekend was relatively low-key. Hannah was well enough to go to a royal birthday party and we had supper at a friends' house.

{Fingers and toes by Erin.} 

 {Sitting beside Princess Katie.}

Always one to do her own thing, she didn't want to wear one of her princess costumes; she wanted to wear her flower girl dress from Uncle Will Will and Aunt Crystal's wedding. I couldn't really object, her mind was made up. I suggested she wear her new lace up the leg ballets adorned with little flowers, and - once she grabbed some accessories - she was Princess Hannah.

  {"Nana" Anna with all the princesses.}

When it came to the piñata, Hannah didn't seem at all concerned about being in the front of the line. Unlike her competitive parents, she was completely fine being the last one in line. She didn't even get a chance, as the piñata was busted open by the ninth or tenth person. And, when it comes to going after the candy, she's even less concerned. 

It's funny…and I love it. Don't get me wrong. She is competitive about a lot of things, but there is something about piñatas, I guess…

While subdued during the party, by supper she was back to her usual goofy self.