Sunday, January 31, 2010

My New Speller...

Drew has always LOVED letters and words. People that did not see him spelling words when he was 2 do not believe me when I tell them what he could do. Unfortunately, I didn't blog back then and was not even good about recording him, but it was amazing. Here is a little video that my dad took in fall 2004 when Drew was 28 months old. He was distracted and the brothers were trying to "help", but it gives you a little bit of an idea.

Charlie has recently noticed words and often asks us to spell things. He has known all of the letters and sounds for quite a while thanks to the Letter Factory and has recently started applying this knowledge to figure out the beginning sounds of words. Usually, he can get the first letter of a word and then throws a bunch of miscellaneous letters on the end for fun. Pretty good for 3, but every once in a while, he gives us a little reminder that although he's doing good, he is not quite a spelling "genius"

For example....

A couple of weeks ago, Charlie wanted to show off his new spelling skills to Daddy, who was taking him to the bathroom.

Charlie: "Daddy, Daddy, I know how to spell POTTY!!!"

Daddy: "That's great Charlie, how do you spell potty?"

Charlie: "Ummmmm....POTTY is spelled B-E-N!!!"

Poor Ben. ;)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Soundtrack of Our Lives...

The boys really like music. We also seem to spend a lot of time in the car; therefore, we listen to music a lot. The problem that we have is that the boys don't just enjoy listening to whatever is on the radio, they get excited about a certain cd and then we have to listen to it all. of. the. time.

First we started with The Backyardigans, Mickey Mouse Clubhoue and Signing Times...

We listened to these daily while the boys were in preschool and through kindergarten. The best thing about them was that they really distracted the kids and kept the whining in the car down to a minimum. Even Charlie liked them when he was a baby. The music isn't terrible for adults, but it does wear on you after a while. But, listening to the music definitely beat the heck out of listening to the whining in the car, if you ask me. The cds were also as good as it got for long trips...because we were "mean parents" and did not get a dvd player in the car until this past summer. And, even now we are pretty mean and don't let them use the dvd player very often.

One day when I was really reconsidering whether the sound of whining was actually worse than listening to the kid's music cds for millionth time, I pulled out my Beatles 1 cd.

My thinking was that *I* really liked the cd and I couldn't think of anything that would be inappropriate for my then-6 year olds. I started with "Yellow Submarine". That first day, I swear we listened to it 20 times. I put it on so loud, just to be silly and the kids LOVED it! Charlie still cracks up every time the "boat gets broken". After a few weeks, we were finally able to make it through the rest of the cd, at normal volume, without anyone whining "Mom, I want to hear numbah 15....really, REALLY loud AGAIN!!".
Next, about a year and a half ago, I got them hooked on Abba.

I discovered that, strangely enough, everyone eats their breakfast better and is just generally happier when we listen to Abba in the morning. It is hard to be in a bad mood when you have a 2 year old singing "Dancing Queen" to you at breakfast. LOL!! Every once in a while, I wonder if I am increasing the boys' chances of getting beaten up by introducing them to old, strange music. It's true, they know nothing about HSM, but can sing most Beatles and Abba songs by heart. Yikes!
Then, it was summer '09.

I was looking for some new summery cds, to put in my new car and came up with the obvious choice. Good 'ole Jimmy Buffet. Obviously, "#9" is inappropriate so, we skip it, but the rest of the cd provided us great summer time music. And, Charlie LOVES "Jimmy Muffet" and shouts it everytime he hears a Jimmy Buffet song, much to the surprise of everyone else within earshot. "Mom, Mom, MOM, JIMMY MUFFET IS ON THE RADIO!!!"

Which brings us to present day...

That's right, currently Three Dog Night is slowly killing me in the carpool lines. Rick and Elaine gave it to us this summer to entertain the boys on our drive home. It was fun for a while. Joy to the full blast.... does seem to energize everyone on the way to school, but I've about had it. Once again, Charlie especially loves it and he asks for "Joy to the World, louder Mommy, louder Mommy, louder Mommy...." everytime we are in the car. My funny kids have started calling the cd Four Cat Morning. a 7 year old.

I used to think that the cd was pretty safe for kids. After all they got it from Uncle Deacon Rick. But, after Drew announced this morning that his favorite part of the song was when they sang "make sweet love to you", I realized that I was wrong. Nice job Rick and Elaine!! ;)

I realize that this post is probably stupid and boring to everyone but us, but this music is a HUGE part of our daily lives. Plus, I'm sure the boys will really enjoy reading this when they get older and laughing at what a dork their mother is for making them listen to this stuff. We'll see....

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pinewood Derby Car #1 is FINISHED!!

Have you ever seen a happier kid?!? That's going to change, drastically, the moment that he finds out that he can't actually race his "Duhbby Car" in the Big Race. YIKES!

The real Cub Scouts in the family (and Daddy) were working very hard on their Pinewood Derby cars this weekend. There was a "mistake" made on the first car, which resulted in a trip to the store buy a new kit, and a very happy 3 year old. Otherwise, the work has progressed very nicely.

You'll have to stay tuned for the finished results...

In other news, Charlie has a new "pose" for pictures. As if the cheesie grin wasn't enough, he now practically closes his eyes when I want him to pose for a picture. It was not easy getting a picture of him with his new, most prized possession. "Charlie, smile", "Charlie, hold up your car", "Charlie, give a nice smile, I can't see your car, CHARLIE....OPEN YOUR EYES!!!". day pictures will get easier, I'm sure.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Winter Fun...

In my opinion, "winter fun" is totally an oxymoron, but all of my boys do look like they are having fun.




Smash-up Derby at the bottom of the hill... "Runaway Sled Game"


Obviously, I didn't take these last pictures....they are way too good!!
Thanks Phil!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

You're not THAT good!!

We have good kids. I like my kids a lot. I really do think they are nice little boys and am very proud of them. But, I spend a LOT of time with them so, I know all about them....the good, the bad, and the UGLY! ;)

The boys are preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which they will be making in a couple of weeks. Since the boys are getting all of their Catholic education from Religious Education (1 night a week), rather than going to a Catholic School (every day, all day), a lot of material is convered really quickly. Last night, the 2nd graders were given a "crash course" on the Sacrament that they will soon be receiving. There was soooo much information for their little brains to process...they have to tell a Priest their sins, they have to learn a prayer, they have to tell a Priest their sins, they will be given "the wonderful gift of being wiped free from sin and given absolution", and, oh yeah, they will have to tell a PRIEST their SINS!!!

On the way home, I asked the boys what they thought about what they had just learned at RE. Unfortunately, the only part of it that they really seemed to have taken away was the "I have to tell a Priest my sins" part of the lesson.


Obviously, this is not good because there is so much more to it than that and I really do want them to understand as much as their 7 year old little brains are able...I guess that we've got some work to do over the next week, or so.

On the bright side, the conversation on the way home was pretty funny and the "inspiration" for this whole post. Enjoy.

Me: "What did you think about what you learned in RE today?"

Jack: "You mean about when we have to go to the Priest and tell him our sins?"

Me: "yep, that"

Jack: "It's fine."

Me: "that's it?"

Ben: "Well, I can't really think of anything."

Me: "You can't think of anything that you learned tonight?"

Ben: "No, I learned stuff, I just can't think of any sins that I am going to tell the Priest."

Me: "That's ok, you still have some time to think about it."

Drew (to Ben) , in the cool, confident, casual voice that he does so well: "Well.........I can't think of any sins that I did either. If I can't think of any by next week, I'll just go and do one".

Seriously?!?! That's right, that's my kid that thinks it is a good idea to commit a NEW sin, because he just can't dig deep enough in his brain to think of one that he has already committed. I would LOVE to be a fly on the wall when Drew goes in to "talk to the Priest"! Look out Father!!
Wish us luck!!

My "Angels"...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Who caused more damage...

...the 8,000 kids (and 14 adults) that we had over for New Years Eve, or a little mouse?

Here is the damage caused by the "8,000 kids"...
(sorry about the poor picture quality, but it was New Year's after all!)

Spencer was all worried that we would not have time to clean the basement before our party... which we did. I guess that it turns out that we really shouldn't have worried about it. :)

As for the little mouse, here is the damage caused by that little stinker...

Here is a hint to my question about who caused the most damage...

Only one of them is going to result in our first claim to our HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE!

Did you guess the mouse?

You are right if you did.

Congrats, I guess. :(

Here is what happened...while we were on vacation, the little mouse made a feast out of the rubber piping the carries the water into the dishwasher. I know YUCK! But, the bigger problem is that the first time I ran the dishwasher, I was in a hurry to get to church. I started it up and then ran out the door without turning back. I was quite surprised to find a pond in my kitchen when we got home an hour later. The water never made it into the dishwasher, but rather poured out all over the floor. Not good...not good at all! In addition to having a broken dishwasher, we ended up with warped hardwood floors in the kitchen. One of my Facebook friends said that the mouse was probably really mad about being left at home while we went to visit his cousin Mickey. ;)

Luckily, my handy husband (and his little helper) completed their first plumbing job that did not end up with me being short one piece of Tupperware. :) And, my diswasher is functional again. Unfortunately, my handy husband doesn't do hardwood floors.

Here's to a less destructive 2010!! Woo Hoo!!