Friday, February 27, 2009

Drawing prompts:
got 'em thinking

Got this idea from Family Fun magazine.

Cut out a few pics from a magazine,
glue them on paper
and give them to your kids-
telling them to fill in the rest of the scene.

It's fun to hear the commentary
as the scenes in their imaginations are drawn out.

***UPDATED*** When I checked on them, a while later, I was happy to see that they had looked in the mag for more pics to cut out and had even added written storylines to some of the new scenes.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Twilight... I'm just not that into you.

I heard the collective gasp as this page loaded, and oh yeah, I went there. I will say that I have only read the first two books so far, but I'm not racing to buy the third. In fact, if my eleven year old daughter wasn't burning through New Moon as I type this... I probably wouldn't even bother. BUT, I am a parent and I am aware of the mature subject matter in these books and have committed myself to being able to discuss the books with her as she goes. I have heard book four is "the best one"- but if what I've read so far is any indicator... best is just a relative term. I think the books are poorly written and move slowwwwly. Of course, all of the imaginative details would seem to make for a great screenplay and I am actually looking forward to seeing the movie when it comes out on DVD in March. Technical criticism aside- doesn't anyone else find Bella annoying? In a whiny, spoiled brat, do whatever I want and who cares about the trouble I cause way? It's wearing on me. I found myself rootin' for the old-skool vamps in Italy. "Just eat her and be done with it already!" I will buy Eclipse soon though and press on, because there is one thing I do love... the Twilight series lit a fire under a girl that for years has struggled with reading and tended to avoid it at all costs. Now, every time I turn around she's got her nose in a book! So for that, Stephanie Meyer- I LOVE YOU!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We can all learn a lesson from Chris Brown

When Brielle's Teen Hip-Hop class began to compile songs for and choreograph their routine for their recital, they included the song “No Air” by Jordan Sparks and Chris Brown. After the recent incident, in which Chris Brown brutally assaulted his then girlfriend, Rihanna, our (parents and teacher) first reaction was to take the song out of the remix. After careful consideration, we decided to leave it in and use this opportunity to educate and empower all of the young women that will be there. A twist on this paragraph and the following information will be presented in an insert in the performance program:

Did you know that approximately one in four teenagers will experience violence in dating relationships between the ages of 12 and 21? No one has the right to disrespect you- with their words or their actions- and, certainly, NO ONE has the right to hurt you physically, ever.

Violence in teenage dating is something that transcends racial and economical lines- it could happen to anyone.

Warning signs of a potentially abusive relationship:

Jealousy of other people– won’t let the victim talk to other people; will accuse the victim of cheating
Controlling behavior – picking out the victim’s clothing; asking her/him to carry a pager or cell phone so that s/he can always be found
Unrealistic expectations – expecting her/him to be the perfect girl/boyfriend; “If you loved me, you’d….”
Isolation from friends and family – always wanting to be with the victim; not allowing her/him to go out with her/his friends; telling the victim that s/he is too close to her/his family
Blames others for problems – never accepts responsibility; “The teacher hates me, that’s why I got an ‘F,’” even if the abuser didn’t study for the test.
Hypersensitivity – easily insulted.
Verbal abuse – calling the victim names; saying the victim is stupid
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – sudden mood changes
Past battering/ any force during an argument – including grabbing the victim; not allowing her/him to leave

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above situations or if you or anyone you know has been or is being hurt by someone they are in a relationship with - please tell an adult you trust NOW!

Help and more information is also available 24 hours a day - 7 days a week by calling the Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233.

We will also have cans out, collecting donations for a local Domestic Abuse shelter. To do nothing, to ignore such a tragic event or to "hope it will just be swept under the rug- off the girls' radar- by June" (an actual comment I heard) seemed wrong. I only hope that what we have planned is doing enough.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Charcoal and carbon

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A week spent mostly in our jammies

and yet we still managed to :

  • Meet with our homeschool girls group on Monday. Where there was lots of outdoor play and where we sewed our own beanbags.

  • Spend numerous hours at home tossing and catching and building obstacle courses to test and challenge our new beanbag skills.

  • Read no less than 10 (ten!) books on Dolphins and Whales- (out of the 19 we checked out of the library on Tuesday). In addition to Shaye reading two Fairy chapter books and finishing The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and Hannah Montana: Crush-tastic! (Two chapter books started previously).

  • Bake, frost, and decorate sugar cookies from scratch. In time to enjoy them during our two hour visit with Auntie and Grammy on Wednesday afternoon.

  • Play for hours on end with our American Girl dolls with Brielle- a treat since normally she would be in school all day!

  • Stay up late watching Walking With Dinosaurs on Animal Planet.

  • Have more fun with the alphabet (letter collages with Mackenna and alphabetical order with Shaye).

  • Enjoy a trip to Michael's and B&N on Friday, where we selected and bought charcoals, carbon pencils and sketchpads and then a knock-knock joke book, a "Would you rather..." game book (which brought our whole family hours of gross-outs and laughter) and another DK Eyewitness book to add to our slowly growing collection... OCEAN.

  • Today was spent mastering Tinkerbell on Nintendo DS and playing with our "wooden dolls". Oh, and playing a few more rounds of "Would you rather..."

Not to mention our regularly scheduled dance classes.

Oh wait, I just did.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

perfect pancakes

It was not without a little blood, sweat, and tears
that I managed to create these heart shaped pancakes
for the girlies last week...

I was so proud and the girls loved them.

Then I saw these pancakes at
planted by streams...

And was crushed.

But I kept reading.

And she shared the secret to making any shape pancake your heart desires! She's an angel. I can't wait to get one of those

and start creating.

The possibilities are endless...

what shapes would you make?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

wordless wednesday: sugar cookies

Friday, February 13, 2009

Watercolor pencils and a mother/daughter date

Yesterday, we went to Michael's in search of "something new" to try. Mackenna asked the store employee where watercolors were- the lady looked at her, them up at me, and said, "Oh, Crayola?". "No, the "adult" ones", I had to specify. My two problems with this conversation? First, Mackenna asked the question, why did the employee dismiss her and address me? Second, why does everybody assume children need some watered down version of art supplies? Okay- enough ranting. We ended up deciding on watercolor pencils, something none of us have worked with before.

Here are our first attempts at using our new supplies....

On an entirely different subject.... Wednesday, Shaye and I checked out a local independent bookstore. It was cozy inside and it's small selection had Shaye asking tons of questions about small businesses. Great learning experience! Anyway, the owner has a few small tables tucked in a corner and serves drinks and baked goods to customers there. Shaye was mesmerized and wouldn't leave until I made a date with her to return some day soon and spend a quiet afternoon- sippin' tea, eating goodies, and reading- just me and her. I can't wait!

As you can see- Shaye doesn't go anywhere without a book in her hands anyway! Whatever you're doing this Valentine's weekend - have a great time!

This morning

Mackenna (after I popped a bite of cinnamon sugar toast- lots of butter, no crust - in her mouth), "Mmm... why can't I marry this."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

wordless wednesday:
a little taste of Spring...

super Happy!, originally uploaded by unpink.

chalkin' together, originally uploaded by unpink.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


First thing this morning, Shaye began the second book in The Chronicles of Narnia collection. I helped Mackenna hang up her "soap painting" (Dreft laundry detergent, a little water, and a little glue) and work on two "letter collages"- she picked M and K today. Afterwards, while Mackenna was crafting a "surprise" for Shaye (a collage of sweet pictures- like cupcakes and bright colored sheets) Shaye and I pored over the Eyewitness Books: Vikings book that she had borrowed from the library the last time we went. About an hour later, when I went to change out the laundry loads, Shaye pulled out her crayons and paper and drew some scenes depicting Vikings- in a ship, and in battle. I now need to go gather some needles and thread- my contribution to our homeschool girls group meeting next week, when the girls will sew their own beanbags and then learn some fun new games to play with them- before I forget. And the day is still young...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

She filled our bucket-
literally and figuratively.

All of my girls have been introduced to the concept of "bucket filling" through a school program based on the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud. I love the concrete image the book (and program) gives children for the concepts of thoughtfulness, kindness, and selflessness. Through the years, I have used the term at home in our daily lives- pointing out things that "fill my bucket" or explaining how certain actions "tip my bucket over and spill it".

Yesterday, we received a package from my friend, Elexis.

The girls were super excited about the goodies, of course, but then one of them said, "Hey mom, your friend filled our bucket... for real!" And they were right, in both sense of the words.

I got to thinking about what a great idea this would make for the three 2 and 3 year old birthday girls I have to shop for over the next month- the book and a bucket filled with goodies. It's perfect!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

sixteen things



john's love

paper hearts

long, hot showers

baby powder



my daughters


morning glories


cottage living




what are


sixteen things?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

post of shame

Even with one strike, I managed to lose to my four year old.