Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Co-op Closing Program

Tonight was our homeschool co-op's closing program. Lauren's hand bells class played two songs--Toe, Leg, Knee, and Jesus Loves Me. I think they did a good job for the young ages they are, and the fact that they only met for one hour every Monday for 12 weeks! For the Jesus Loves Me song, I think they were reading a paper that was numbered so they knew when to ring their bells, and I think some of them kind of lost track--but, that's a cute kids program for you. (Turn off my playlist above so you can hear the performances).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

We had a nice Easter. Yesterday we colored eggs. We tried a marbled effect where you die the eggs in one color mixed with water and oil, wipe off the egg off and then dip into another color. It was pretty cool. We only did that with two of the eight eggs I boiled, then the kids wanted to do different things. We tried wrapping rubber bands on some and then dipping them and then when you take the bands off you have stripes. Roger wrote Jesus Loves You on one with a wax crayon.

This morning the kids woke up earlier than usual excited to see their Easter baskets. I think the Easter bunny went a little overboard on the gifts--I'm pretty sure it must have been a misunderstanding between Mr. and Mrs. bunny. You will see the kids holding up their favorite gifts from the bunny. Evan really liked the little Lego sets, and Lauren really liked her lip gloss and eggs you can paint.

Evan's basket goodies:

Lauren's basket goodies:

The goodies they get to share:

Then the kids hunted for their eggs in the TV room. We went to church and then tonight my parents came over and we had ham, potatoes, beans, rolls, and a lemon cake to celebrate my sister's birthday which was this past Thursday. We played a couple games of Uno Attack, too. It was a great, relaxing day. But, it was also fun--why not? After all, Jesus conquered the grave, so why not celebrate! Below are a couple of pics of us. Lauren chose to wear this particular dress because the polka dots reminded her of Easter eggs or jelly beans in my opinion.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Look What I Made: Cricut Machine

Roger bought me a Cricut Machine for Christmas and I finally learned how to use it last week. The kids and I made some flowers with it. I don't go into detail in this video clip of how we had to program it to cut our pattern, but it's a really neat machine. I read all of the instructions, and watched the dvd that came with the machine, and once we started playing around with it, everything was so easy. If I can cheaply find more cartridges, we will enjoy using it for birthday invitations, cards, crafts, and scrapbooking.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Last Day of Co-op

Here is my class that I had this semester at our homeschool co-op. Aren't they adorable? I taught poetry to these younguns and it is so much fun when you get to see their reading abilities improve over 12 weeks because they are learning word families. Yesterday was our last day, and this semester just flew by, but it was a lot of fun. I'm ready to enjoy my summer, but will be happy to see all of our friends again come fall.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Goodbye Snowflake

Today as we were about to leave the house, Evan went to check on our pet hamster Snowflake and discovered she was dead. We knew this time was coming soon because for the past 3 weeks, Snowflake has looked awful. Hamsters live to 18 months to 2 years. We got her in July of 2009, so she made it to about 21 months. She was getting skinnier, sleeping a lot more, not having the energy and balance to climb around her cage as much, and was getting sticky eye. One day last week we went to take her out of her cage and her right eye was closed and looked kind of swollen. I looked up some info about this and found out that sticky eye is caused when hamsters get old. Since they sleep so much at this age, the fluid in their eye can act like a glue and stick the eye shut. We took a warm watered cottonball and cleaned her eye and she was able to open it, but then we had to keep cleaning her eye because it kept getting stuck shut.

When Evan called for me because he thought she was dead, I came and took the lid off the cage and felt her to see if she would move or if I could feel her body moving like she was breathing. No, nothing. Evan had knocked on her cage to make noise and see if she would move. When she didn't, he felt her body, then he called for me. We had held her and cleaned her eye yesterday, so she passed sometime within 24 hours of when Evan discovered her. She must have died in her sleep because she was curled up in her usual ball position in her nested bedding, but she was laying on her side with her eyes open. I'm sure she passed peacefully and in no pain.

Yes, Snowflake was just a little tiny hamster, but she was our family's first pet. Evan and I are allergic to cats and dogs, so a hamster turned out to be a good pet for us. She brought us much joy. She was fun to hold and watch run around in her cages and ball. Her favorite food was sunflower seeds--didn't matter what else we gave her to eat, she wanted the sunflower seeds. It was fun to put the seeds in a line and watch her like a vacuum cleaner suck them up in her mouth and you could see her cheeks get really fat. Then she wanted to take them to her cage and it was like you were listening to a machine gun as she spit the seeds out. She would stand on her hind legs almost like she was begging at times. It was so cute to watch her clean herself with her little paws. The kids named her Snowflake because she was a Winter White hamster who in the wild supposedly turned white--she never turned white for us. She was a nice brown-gray color. We got to take her to Colorado on some visits and she was a great traveler, and we had a couple of families who nicely watched her for us during other travels. One family even had a grease fire at the time, but they made sure they got Snowflake out of their home so nothing would happen to her. (The family was fine, but they did have to do a little cleaning and I think repairing of their kitchen).

There were a few times Snowflake escaped her cage. One time I think we didn't find her for one or two days. Three of the times she escaped we found her because she got into the bottom stove drawer where the pots and pans lids are kept. There must be a hole in that drawer that she got into from crawling under the stove. We would hear the lids rattling around and know it was Snowflake. The other time she escaped, I was working in the kitchen and felt something run across my foot. I looked down and there was Snowflake standing on her hind legs looking at me like she was waiting for me to pick her up. Another time she escaped she got trapped in a sticky spider trap in our room. I woke up hearing this scratching sound thinking we had caught a mouse in the trap. I sat up in bed and I could see a tiny white cotton ball tail sticking out of the trap and I knew it was Snowflake. I had to open up the trap and cut her fur to get her unstuck.

The kids and I had church activities tonight, but when we got home, Roger had nicely put Snowflake in a match box with some bedding to make her comfortable. He had already dug a hole in the backyard. It was dark, so I decided not to take any pictures of the ceremony. Evan placed the box in the hole, and we all took turns saying how we would miss her and then scooping a shovel full of dirt on top of her. She was a wonderful little pet who we will all miss and remember. If you would like to see some pics of Snowflake when we first got her, click here.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Evan the Goalie

My family loves sports (well, Lauren is trying to), and we have enjoyed Evan playing soccer for 6 years now. He loves playing it. He started out at the YMCA,  went to Upward, and this year has been with AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization--I think?).

The Y was a good start and he had a great coach that he was with for 3 seasons--very encouraging. Upward was good and he was blessed with two good coaches there (one of them was Roger). They really focused on sportsmanship and passed out awards and even did devotionals. Finally, we decided Evan was ready for something more competitive. That's where AYSO comes in. I have witnessed two coaches arguing, refs and coaches getting into it, players and refs getting into it, and kids on other teams playing rough--almost like bullies, seeming not to care about the game, just trying to hurt other kids. However, in the midst of all this, Evan once again ended up with a great coach.

Evan has always enjoyed the position of goal keeper. His coach has discovered this, and puts Evan in this position every game. There are 4 quarters and a player can only be goalie for 2. Coach even talked to Roger last week to make sure that it was okay that Evan was being goalie so much for each game. Roger told him yes, because it was what Evan wanted. Roger is also happy about this because depending on how far Evan wants to go in soccer, he says there are not a lot of people who want to be goalie, so he could maybe even get a scholarship for school for something like this. Only time will tell.

I love to watch Evan play. He really has good sportsmanship always cheering on his team and high fiving everyone. Yes, he has had his share of frustrating tears like if another team has gotten a few goals past him, but we just keep reminding him that everyone has bad days, and that there will always be some goals that a goalie just can't dive for and reach in time. Roger stands on the sideline near Evan when he is playing goalie and coaches him. Evan told me today that he thinks he did well today because he was listening to what dad was telling him. I also know that on Thursday night practices, Coach is really cracking down on the boys and they are starting to play better because he makes them listen to him and practice what he's preaching to them. He wants them to be a team, even though there are a couple of hot shots, but he's working to change that.

Today we had an exciting moment with Evan as goalie that we've never experienced before. The other team got to kick a penalty kick. What this means is one of the players on the other team got to line up on one of the lines in front of the goalie box and try to make a goal against Evan. I'm not sure that any of these kids had experienced a penalty kick before because the ref was having to direct everyone on what to do. He went to the goalie box for a couple of minutes explaining to Evan what he had to do. Basically, all Evan could do was stand in one spot anywhere on his line until the opposing player's foot touched the ball for the kick and then Evan could move to get the ball. Everyone was quiet, all eyes were on him, and all pressure was on him, but he was up for the challenge. Evan took a little crouching stance ready to dive in whichever way the ball was kicked. The opposing player kicked the ball, and fortunately he kicked it straight at Evan who caught it! Our team and parents clapped and cheered. It was exciting! He had a good day! Oh, I wish I'd had my camera!