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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Puzzles & Contests



To be eligible, we just have to post the following graphic and link to Wuzzles & Puzzles...


Now, I think you all know that Josh is smart and loves puzzles. I have a confession here. I love puzzles too.
I had a very quick look at the site and it looks pretty cool. Lots of puzzles for all ages.
Their site says, "place for anyone age 10 and up to test their brain and skills with word and math puzzles, mazes, brain teasers and more. We are happy to provide you hours and hours of printable, thinkable fun. We have more than 1100 free printable puzzles for you to test your brains on."
I know it says 10 and up, but I think Josh would like to do some of these puzzles too.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Multitalented.

He's not just a song writer.

He's an artists....


Josh's Drawing

You can kind of see how he has the names over the wrong drawings. There are arrows pointing to Sam and Josh -- but he put glasses on Sam just so you'd know. And he wanted me to point out how he made the feet "3-D."

And an author/illustrator:


Josh and his Book Cover

Josh and his book "Cookie Day!"

Page 1

"It's Cookie Day! Everyone is eating cookies. Today school is out! Free cookies everywhere!"

Page 2

"Marshmallow Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Sugar Cookies!"

Page 3

"At the end of Cookie Day, cookie crumbs are everywhere!"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Me As Coffee.

My friend Sheila from My Memories put me on to this.

It's me as coffee....

I actually prefer to drink a Latte -- but the Australian Flat White is my favorite!



You Are a Plain Ole Cup of Joe


But don't think plain - instead think, uncomplicated
You're a low maintenance kind of girl... who can hang with the guys
Down to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that's you: the friend everyone invites.
And your dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.





So, you think it's pretty accurate?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Updates Galore!!!

I know I've missed out a few days. Sorry! I've been cold. Way too cold. Our heating can't handle it and it's been 61 degrees in our house the last few days. Mom, you'd love it! Me, not so much! I'm cold, cold, cold....

So, first news. My niece Leah is (was) pregnant and had been having lots of bleeding and such. She was hospitalized about a week ago at one of the top hospitals in London for premature births and complicated pregnancies. Well, 2 nights ago, Leah started to bleed heavily so she was rushed to delivery and delivered a 1lb 6oz baby girl (Lacy) at 25 weeks. Leah seems to be doing better since delivery, but the doctors were very worried about her health and that of the baby. Lacy is in an incubator, but she's breathing on her own and moving around. Leah will probably be going home sometime soon.

Yesterday, Sam had an ophthalmologist appointment. It's his annual eye exam. Apparently he's doing great. The doctor said that if his progress continues there is a very real possibility he won't need glasses after age 12. He decreased the prescription strength for Sam's lenses and decided that we only need to go in twice a year -- once with the doctor and once with the optical therapist. Yay!

And I had Josh's teacher conferences yesterday. No surprises there -- he's doing great! He got all "E's" (top marks for 1st grade), but he needs to work on his handwriting. And the teacher thinks he should be doing some AR (accelerated reader) tests to improve his reading comprehension. His comprehension is very good, but we're looking for ways to challenge him. He's been reluctant to do them because he says they are "boring" and he's afraid he's not going to get the answers right. So, I've spoken with him and we decided he needs to do two a week. Right now, I don't care about the "score" but he needs to start doing them. He's also been chosen to be in the PE show at next month's PTA meeting. He's excited about that!

And just to leave you with a cute "awwww" story, Josh put Sam to bed on Saturday night (just for fun). I listened outside the door...

Josh was reading Sandra Boynton's "Doggies" book to Sam. Very cute!!!

Josh: Okay Sam. It's time for bed.

Sam: Okay Josh (says Dosh)

Josh: Do you want me to put you to bed tomorrow?

Sam: OH WOW!!! YEAH!

Josh: Okay, now we'll just have a little cuddle. Okay Sammy, I have to go down stairs now and see Mommy and Daddy.

Sam: Okay Josh. Night night.

Josh gets up to leave and sees me at the door waiting with Pooh (Sam forgot him).

Me (talking very quietly): Josh, here, give this to Sam and take his glasses off!

Josh: Oh, yeah.

Of course this was all too good to be true... 10 minutes later I found Sam hiding under the dining room table! So I brought him up and put him back to bed. But is was so cute!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Twice in a Week!

Snow!

In Atlanta!

Twice, in one week! Well 4 days actually!

Sam and I had a playdate with one of his friends this afternoon. While we were gone, Daddy and Josh had some fun!


Snow Family!

Apparently, there was a snowball fight as well, but I have no evidence of that!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Finding the Right Spot!

Sam has been a bit reluctant at school to do some of the "work." And by work I mean coloring and painting and such. You know, the little activities they have that help teach the kids their letters, numbers, shapes, colors and that sort of thing.

He's come home with several blank pieces of construction paper and a note saying he didn't want to do it.

Now, he is only in pre-pre-pre-school so it's not THAT big a problem, but it is something that I fear could foreshadow problems in the future. So today I told him he HAD to do ALL the work his teachers asked him to do. He was under strict instructions to do his work! I even spoke to the teachers and told them they need to be firm and tell him he has to do the work.

Apparently, it worked. He had a great day and come home with a few pictures. AND he got to make a Cheerios Birdfeeder that he was VERY excited about. We hung it up as soon as we got home.

It took a while for him to find the "right spot."

Let's try it here!

Let's Try Here!


Nope. How about here?
Maybe here?  No....

No, that's not it. How about here.... How about here?  No.....

No, that's not good. I know, how about here...

Hmmm...

This is where he said... "It looks Beautiful There! But that's not where I want it!"

Perfect!

FINALLY! It was "Perfect!" But I think that was mostly because I was cold and told him he had to leave it there!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Yep, It's Come to This....

Even though I'm an "Army Brat," I consider myself from Michigan. My dad is from there so I spent a lot of time there growing up, no matter where we lived.

I spent 4 years of High School in the Detroit area. I went to college in a small town on the shores of Lake Michigan.

I spent a year as an exchange student in Norway. I lived in New York. I lived in Utah.

I have spent my share of time in and around snow. Too much time if you ask me.

The first time I moved to Atlanta was in 1992. I was living here during the great "Storm of the Century" in March of 1993. While that was quite a bit of snow, I found the "Southern Reaction" to it rather humorous.

When we moved back to Atlanta in 2002, it was partly because we wanted to be someplace where we wouldn't get masses of snow like we get in Michigan. I like the 60-70 degree days we have here in the winter.

I remember about a year after we moved here we had a "light dusting" of snow. Work was cancelled. School was cancelled. You would have thought it was the End of Days. I was laughing at my "Georgia Born and Bred" neighbors who were outside making, what can only be described as, a DirtTwigGrassSnowMan. There was hardly enough snow to make a snowman, but they tried. As did many of my neighbors.

That was the last time we had any snow that "stuck."

Since Sam was born in 2004, there has been no significant snow (and by "significant" I mean more than flurries).

Well, yesterday we became "That Family." It's official.

It started snowing at dinner time. The boys quickly ate an acceptable amount of dinner, got their coats on and went out to "play" in it.


And I took pictures!

Yes, it is snowing!

Trying to catch them:

Catch 'em!

Snow in Josh's hair:

Josh's hair

Josh was so excited he called my parents in Michigan to tell them about the snow before he went to bed.

Our top deck showing the accumulation just before Rich and I went to bed:

Our deck before bedtime

It stopped snowing just before Rich and I went to bed. It warmed up and rained over night so most of it was melted thing morning.
And fortunately (for me), school was NOT cancelled!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Me being crafty

I'm not the "artist" in our family. My brother and sister are both wonderful artists. They can draw, and write really well. My sister does the most beautiful pottery ever. I have no artistic talent. But that's not entirely true...


I learned to knit when I was an exchange student in Norway. Everyone there knits, at least all the women. When I was in school it was the norm for the girls to be knitting in class and taking notes at the same time.


Anyway, when I was there I learned to knit. I didn't ever really do much -- a few pairs of socks and a sweater or two -- but the sweaters were just basic and I had someone to help me.



After reading one of B's journals last year I was inspired to start it up again. Have a craft or creative outlet other than the blog for me. So, I bought a book called "One Skein Wonders" that I thought would be a good re-introduction to knitting. Small
projects that I can complete quickly.



And it is a great book! The first thing I made was a cell phone carrier that is in the book. It was easy and Josh liked it so I gave it to him. No, he does not have a cell phone!



Then I made the Lotus Purse because I liked the way it looked. Here's a picture of the finished project.


I used Paton's Chunky Shetland Tweed for it and I love the way it looks with this pattern.


And Josh liked it too. But he wanted blue and he wanted a it big enough for his Nintendo DS. And he wanted it blue. And he wanted it to be more "boy."


So, I took the cell phone carrier pattern from the book, made it bigger and used the "knit 1 slip 1" pattern from the Lotus Purse and this is what I came up with (Sam wants one now):


Then I found a Wine Gift Bag pattern on Knitty.com. How fun is that?! For this I used Paton's SWS "Natural Geranium" Wool/Soy blend yarn. I love the way this looks! I have a friend who likes to keep her red wine in the fridge. Strange, I know. I'll be giving her this "wine sweater" with a bottle of wine for her birthday. I think it's just too cute! I will definitely be doing this one again!



And, I found the most amazing yarn/knitting store right in my little town. There is so much yarn and knitting paraphernalia there it's incredible. And they give lessons. Rich wants me to knit him a sweater and I'll probably need help, so I think I'm going to sign up for lessons probably next month or in March.


So this is me being crafty!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Josh on Target!

Josh came home from school yesterday very excited!

He had his first day in the gifted program.

He talked about it all afternoon. He only went for half a day this week -- next Wednesday he will be there all day. He has several friends that are in the class with him -- including one boy that is in his class and lives in our neighborhood.

It was great to see him so excited about it. He said it was fun, but some things were hard. And he said he missed recess, but didn't care because it was so much fun!

I'm really pleased he's so excited about it. He does really well in school, but he does need the extra challenge. Going one day a week should be good too. This way he still gets to be with his friends in his regular class most of the time, but he also gets to feel special and go meet some new kids that are on the same wave-length as he is.

It's funny when I watch him play with kids his own age. This may sound like a strange thing to say, but I can tell he's just a bit smarter or has a different learning style than other kids. He has a way of applying what he learns to all areas of life. Something I know some adults have difficulty with.

So, I guess we'll just have to "watch this space" and see how things progress.

I really hope he continues to like the program!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Playground Fun

We have a brand new park that has opened up close to us. It's fantastic. There are lots of biking and walking trails, picnic facilities and it's got a great playground. There is an area for little kids and an area for "big" kids. There are plans to expand it too with an Aquatic Center with an outdoor pool, volleyball and tennis courts, lacrosse and soccer fields, skate parks, dog parks and more. It is still being developed, but the first phase is opened.

We went several times over the Christmas break. The boys had lots of fun.


Cool park!


Sam loved the train you see in the background (of course), and honestly spent most time just around the playground like only a 3 year old can do!


Yay Me!


He's starting to become quite a climber -- which puts my heart in my throat most of the time!


Made it to the top!




Of course, Josh likes to climb too!


Too cool for school...


Is that a "Future Heartbreaker" or what?


And he's off!


He was so proud of himself for making it all the way across the monkey bars. He kept practicing until he got it!

Of course any new park has some growing pains. And we found a MAJOR problem with this park over the weekend. We tried to go twice -- once on Sunday and once on Monday -- and it was so crowded there was no parking available. It's also got no covered seating which could become a problem later in the year. But the parking issue is quite annoying right now. I know part of the reason was because it is a new playground and also because it was near 70 degrees on the last day of Winter Break. I hope once school starts we'll be able to re-visit this playground again!

Luckily, our town has lots of great playgrounds so we went to another local park that usually has lots of kids.

The other park is smaller, but the boys still had fun on the slide. Check out Sam's hair!


Look at his hair!!!!


Friday, January 4, 2008

Chip off the Old Block

Rich got a new guitar amp for Christmas and he played it for me the other day.

Rich playing with his new toy, me playing with mine...

He loves music. He sings to himself all the time. He's passed his love of music on to his children.

Over Christmas Sam would sit and watch the little "scene" and singing the songs he knew. Of course when I started videoing him, he stopped singing, but I think you get the idea here.

video

And Josh wrote a song yesterday....

video

*** Edited to add:

Since B doesn't have sound on her computer, I thought I'd put the words to Josh's song down here so those that are not able to enjoy his dulcet tones can still enjoy his writing ability, although I have cleaned up the spelling too...

The first day of my life was a cool day
I had a lot of fun
While growing up (here he changes the page)

fun on my birthday
fun on the holidays
Those are the great days! (here he changes the page)

The neatest days are the days I am playing!
It is really fun when I play with my (changes page)

Friends! (Then he plays music at the end)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year's Resolution

I'm just a few days short of my 1 year "Blogaversary" and this post marks my 200th post!


My first post was mostly pictures from our Christmas trip to Perdido Key. My best friend let us use her condo and it was fantastic!


I've had lots of fun blogging this year and I've meet some really nice people through blogging and Maya's Mom. It's been lots of fun! One of my favorite Bloggy People is Elizabeth over at Table for Five. She's such a fun person, she's so helpful and nice! I was really excited when we met this summer at my parent's house. I hope to catch up with her again next July when the boys and I are in Michigan.


Elizabeth has a New Years Resolution Blogroll thing going on over at her blog. She and her family have made a resolution to only eat out one night a week this year. They are saving money for a family trip in December. And, because she's such a nice person, she's decided that she'll host a blogroll for those that also decide to make resolutions and then we can support each other.

So, my Resolution this year is going to require training for most of the year. Remember back in November I wrote about a community event we have here called the James R. Sargeant Legacy 5K Lung Cancer Survival?


Well, next year I want to run the 5k. I know, to those of you that run regularly 5K is nothing. For me it's a lot! So right now I can run 4.5 MPH for about 23ish minutes. My goal is to get that up to 40 minutes which should bring me to right around 5K. And then if I can bring the speed up to 4.8 or so that would be good too, but my "main goal" is to get to 5K.



I'm fairly confident I'll be able to do it. I have until November to work my way up. We have the best treadmill ever here at home so I figure once I get up to speed on the treadmill, then I can start running our "circle" which is the 5k route.



I'm a bit nervous about this, but also excited to have a reason and purpose for my Goal. It's much better than "going on a diet" and "exercising more" and "losing weight." While all those are good they are just too vague. This way I have a tangible reason for my resolution and a goal to achieve it.



So, there. Now I've put it out there, I have to do it.


Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

We celebrated the New Year twice!

On Dec. 30th, we had some friends over for dinner. Because they were coming early so their boys and our boys could play, we just had some pizza from Costco. It was easiest and appeases the picky eaters in the bunch.

I usually go to Costco on a weekday by myself and it's fun but I do go often. Rich doesn't get to go much so when he does we always take longer, look at things we don't need and sometimes we talk ourselves into something. Rich likes to look at the electronics. Just to see what's there. While we did discuss new luggage at length and even tested out some that we liked, we did not make any unplanned purchases -- or we only made one minor unplanned purchase.

Like I said, we were having friends over for dinner. It was New Year's Eve's Eve so we had to celebrate. The boys saw a "party pack" that had hats, plates, invitations, balloons, and all sorts of fun stuff -- 240+ pieces of "Happy New Year's Eve" stuff! Originally we said no. Then Rich changed his mind because he really wanted it! We got home and decorated the house and Josh wrote out the invitations.

You can see the kids were excited.


What's That?

Sam liked blowing the horn. He put the hat on all by himself too.

Blowing the Horn

Then for New Year's Eve, our friends invited us over to their place for dinner and a New Year's Celebration. Although since we both have young children, we decided celebrating "Greenwich Mean Time" New Years would be best.

After dinner we went out and lit sparklers.

Sparklers

Wheeeee!!!

And there were fireworks -- although those pictures didn't show up very well.

Happy New Year!

And since Sam's sleep schedule lately is more of a 3 month old rather than a 3 year old, he was exahusted, so we went home after the fireworks were done. Both boys were in bed and asleep quite quickly!

Rich and I actually managed to stay up until midnight. It was quite by accident, but it was fun to ring in the New Year. And fortunately, Sam and Josh must have been absolutely worn out from all the fun we've had this Christmas Break because they actually slept the whole night through and didn't wake up until 6:30! Woo Hoo! Then they played in Josh's room together until 7:00!

Way to ring in the New Year all fresh and rested!

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2008!
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