Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Week 28 Letter X

Week 28 Letter

X week was a little bit of a mish mash but Hannah and Ethan both enjoyed it.  I wanted to post it last week like I usually do but we are recovering from being sick (mostly me and Hannah).  The last week has been spent cuddling on the couch watching TV.  Have a look at X week:

Letter X painting.  Both kids wanted to paint.  

Hannah takes painting so seriously.  hehehe

Making the Letter X

Number Stamping, I found this activity on The Activity Mom.  Kind of like bingo.  I called out a number and they stamped all of them on their page.  For the next number they changed colors.  We will do this again next week with the 5-10 page.

Color by number xylophone ( this is from Confessions of a Homeschooler)

Hannah and Ethan finally planted their vegetables (Hannah and Ethan LOVE this, it was a present that Hannah got for her birthday from Uncle Shawn).

Seeds in ready to go.

It's been over a week now and the radishes have grown fast, followed but the green onions.  
Fun to watch.

For art the kids made Q-tip x-rays.  Easy and fun.

Just for fun we made a catapult. (See Almost Unschoolers). 
 Hannah and Ethan happily flung little balls all over the kitchen until it broke.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Photo's By Ethan

Ethan somehow snuck my camera into his room during rest time.  I noticed he was being extra quiet but just thought he was playing well.  Now I know why.  In the short time he had he took a boat load of pictures.  Have a look at some of his pictures:

He obviously got as far as closing the door before he started taking pictures.

This must be a profound image for him based on the number of "corner shots" he took.

Playing with the setting.  Seems he got a little further into his room.

This is a short from the floor under his bed.  Playing with perspective.

Lying on his back staring at the ceiling.  Has sort of a mystical artsy quality to it.  Or perhaps just blurry.

The shot of his bed he's back at his door and at the end of his photo's.

This is the one I took.  Too cute for words in my opinion.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Me:  Come on guys, let's go downstairs your going to wake Daddy.

Hannah:  Were not ready, we're having a sleepover.  We can't do that downstairs.

Me: Your being too noisy.

Hannah:  We will be quiet.

Ethan:  I want to go downstairs.

Hannah: Noooooo

Ethan:  I want to go downstairs with my sister.

Hannah: (using her teacher voice and getting down at his level, so really in his face) How about we play upstairs for (holds up 6 fingers) this many minutes and then we can go downstairs.  How does that sound?

Ethan:  Okay

So they ran back into Ethan's closet to have a sleepover.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Four Years

I always find this post hard to write and even try to talk myself out of writing it.  But as much as it might seem easier to gloss over this day when I would rather not think about it, I think I would feel far worse to ignore it altogether.  My memories from that day are seared into my brain, in such riveting detail it doesn't seem possible.  I spent the day at home with Hannah, as per the norm. I had my camera out and took lots of pictures of my very new and beautiful girl.  
I took this one while playing with Hannah especially with Nick in mind.  Nick and I have a long running joke about Tylenol so I knew he would like it and he did.  The outfit she is wearing in the photo is the same outfit she came home in from the hospital. My absolute favorite.

I spent the day looking forward to the evening ahead.  Andrew and I had plans to go downtown to spend time with a group of Regent friends.  I was especially excited because it was the first time we would introduce all of them to them to Hannah.  We had a lot of fun that evening and I remember that the weather was nice.

Now all of this is incidental, but I remember it as if it was yesterday, regardless of the time that has passed.  Often you hear that 'time heals' or 'it gets better with time.'  But sometimes it doesn't; not for me and not for my family.  My world was shaken that day, and my heart hurt irreparably (this side of heaven).  But in it I have always felt held.  I have a hope for a time when all things will be made right and my pain taken away.  

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
Revelation 21:1-7

While I have joy for the hope to come still I grieve now.  I look for things that help me. I don't like going to the cemetery; I would rather visit the memories I have stored up.  I appreciate the sweet gift of dreams to visit one so loved, who for a moment can seem close.  I find relief in songs that mirror my own feelings. Recently, a song by JJ Heller called "Your Hands" has meant a lot to me.  This part of the song in particular resonates:

Your Hands
When You walked upon the Earth
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt
I know You hate to see me cry
One day You will set all things right
Yea, one day You will set all things right

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

Your hands
Your hands that shape the world 
Are holding me, they hold me still
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still
JJ Heller

Until then; I miss you Nicholas.

The Hat Dance

I don't know what to say about these two except that they crack me up.  Unfortunately, they are not singing in English and I cannot provide a translation.  Andrew thinks it may be Korean inspired.  Either way their singing and dancing make me laugh:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Pushing Him out of His Comfort Zone

I love my son.  Shocking right!!!!  I was contemplating my love for Ethan today during his gymnastics class with Hannah.  It is their second class and they are really enjoying it.  Actually, Hannah LOVES it.  Ethan likes it by the end of the class.  Hannah is a natural born bouncer so it's no surprise that she has taken to so quickly.  Ethan not so much, or at least not as much.  The class is structured so that the first part is warm up and stretching.  Then the older kids are split from the younger kids and each group has their own coach/teacher that leads them through a series of activities.  Ethan is the youngest of the younger group and has not quite figured out how things work.  He spends the first 15 minutes with his little lip out asking me if it's time to go him home.  It breaks my heart.  I can see the fear in his face and the insecurity at doing some so foreign and not quite understanding what his teacher is saying.  It doesn't seem to matter that Hannah is right beside him and I am only a few steps behind him.

It's pretty hard to resist that face with crinkled forehead and the pulled up lip.

As the class progresses, I walk along side of him while he walks on the balance beams and climbs and jumps.  He enjoys it but wants me to be right there with him.    I pull back ever so slowly allowing him to find his bearings.  He figures it out but it's a bit of a struggle.  I understand because I also get that feeling that bubbles up and tries to talk you out of doing something new, something scary.  But I also know the joy of accomplishment that comes from pushing through it.

So anyway, I was thinking about how much I love him.  I don't wish that he was different.  I love him for who he is and who he is growing up to be.  But I also love him enough to give him the extra push he needs.  By the end of the class I was standing quite a distance off.  He could see me but he needed to rely on the coach for help.  And he had fun.  I watched him bounce backwards down the long trampoline and he had a big grin on his face.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Bird Sanctuary

Andrew's parents were out for Hannah's birthday and while they were here we were able to visit the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary.  It was SO neat.  I`ve never been there  (which is surprising since I have lived here my whole life, I would have thought at least an elementary school field trip would have brought me there already.)  Even without all the birds it`s a beautiful place to walk.
This is how we were greeted in the parking.  Hannah was less than impressed and was really quiet scared at first.

After we made our way through the entrance of the park we got to see this lovely Sandhill Crane.

I was even able to get him to eat out of my hand.  Despite how pointy his beak looks it did not hurt.

Here is Andrew giving it a try.

We walked along the paths and to either side of us is water.

American Coot

Wood Ducks (male and female)

I think this is a Golden Crowned Sparrow but it's just a guess based on the posters.

Red-Winged Blackbird

Looking out at the wetlands!

Hannah preferred to be up high away from the ducks that follow you around the park.

Ethan took the occasional break.

Andrew and I

Andrew`s parents.

Hannah and Ethan awkwardly posing for me.

Andrew put seed on Ethan`s shoe so that the ducks would eat off of it.

Feeding the ducks.

Eventually Hannah warmed up and let the ducks eat off her elbow.  That mean old Canadian Goose behind Hannah was obnoxious.

Off my shoe.

They figured out quickly who held the bag of seed.

I love this picture.  Hannah and Ethan swarmed by ducks.

At one point there were ducks under the stroller.

I would love to go back in a couple of weeks when all those ducks have little ducklings following them around.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Week 27- Letter W

Reading and Language Arts:
This week was W week.  Hannah and Ethan had different ideas about how they would like to color their letter page.  Ethan chose to double fist dot markers.  Hannah wanted to paint her page with green and red paint.

They also sorted spoons onto the alphabet.  Each clear spoon has a letter on it and they needed to match it to the letters on the strips of paper.

They both enjoy these kids of activities.  They raced to see who could match their spoons fastest.

Big Sarah's Little Boots was our book or the week.  It's a cute story about a girl who is growing out of her favorite yellow rain boots.

Hannah and Ethan both enjoyed it and took their first opportunity to do the same as Sarah in the book and go out in their boots and rain clothes.

We played around with a homemade weight scale.  I rigged it with one of the kids rainbow pieces, two matching dishes, and a piece of wood.  The dishes are sticky tacked to the wood so that they don't fall off.  The wood piece sits onto of the rainbow piece.

Adding more bears to see if she can make her side the same as Ethan's.

We discovered that 2 balls that we thought would be the same were not.  I did "Zero" the balance before the balls were placed in cups.  We measured a few times and alternated cups.  One is just heavier than the other.

Watermelon seed counting.  This was from last year.  I pulled it out and they enjoyed it again.

We made a color wheel using m&m's and water. (We followed the instructions here at Mama Jenn's)

Here they are right after adding the water.

Only the purple turned out a little weird and mostly that was from over mixing.

Gag, they just needed to drink it.

We also pulled out our cloud viewers to look at clouds.

Wax Paper Resist
Hannah and Ethan both had a piece of paper with a piece of waxed paper taped over top.

Using a toothpick, they each drew lines and squiggles all over the page.

Finally, they painted over their sheet of paper with watercolors (wax paper removed) and the waxy lines showed through.

 Faith Formation: 
The purpose of our lesson this week was to learn to express our appreciation and happiness for God's love, friendship, gift of life, and natural gifts.  To help Hannah and Ethan see that they are created by God uniquely.

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