Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mary Grace sitting up by herself...


She took a wee bit longer than her older siblings, but at 7 1/2 months, Mary Grace is sitting up unsupported for extended periods of time...and she's very happy about it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Google earth/sky and big bath tub...


If you've been following the blog for a number of years, you may have picked up that Christopher has had a long line of obsessions that began with flicking spring-bound door stoppers and drawer handles as a crawling baby, to bowl-spinning as a toddler, to choirs as a 3-4 year old, to dinosaurs as a 5 year old, and most recently outer space as a 6 year old.  What's interesting about each of these is that it completely consumes his imagination until he has 'mastered' or exhausted it and finds something else that captures his interest.  We really didn't do too much to encourage the first 2 very noisy obsessions, but we did feed his zest for choirs by exposing him to lots of choral music.  We also exhausted the dinosaur bookshelves at our public library on top of buying him several dino encyclopedias.  
We have now moved on to the astronomy bookshelves across the aisle and he is devouring them. Another thing he likes to do during free time is watch YouTube videos about planets, stars, galaxies and the universe.  A friend of ours told us about an application on Google Earth where you can switch to the sky and zoom in on different stars, planets and galaxies.  It is way cool.  I showed it to Christopher the other day and he is hooked.  The above picture shows him checking out one of the galaxies.


Now onto the youngest child: Mary Grace had her first official bath in the big tub.  She displaces too much water in the infant tub, so it was time to make the transition.  As you can see from the above picture, she thoroughly enjoyed it.

As soon as Sarah and Hannah saw her in the tub, they immediately wanted to join her.

Cheese!


The biggest sister with the littlest sister enjoying some fun in the tub.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hannah moves from the crib to the bed...

Today I decided to transition Hannah from the crib to the 'big girl' bed. Thankfully, it went very smoothly!

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Now maybe we can move Mary Grace from the pack-n-play (currently in the master closet) to the crib!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Christopher and Sarah on the local news...

Back in March, I took the kids along with other homeschool families to the Dallas Heritage Villlage in Old City Park for a field trip.  It just so happened that the local FOX4 news was there the same day video taping a segment for their Lone Star Adventures.  Christopher and Sarah ended up in a couple portions of the video.  Christopher first appears in the lower left corner when a man demonstrates and explains pottery.  Then both Christopher and Sarah appear sitting at a table planting sunflower seeds.  Christopher is wearing a charcoal golf shirt with a white stripe at the top and Sarah is wearing a hot pink t-shirt.  If you click on this link, you can watch it: http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/fox_4_features/Lone_Star_Adventures_Heritage

Thursday, April 16, 2009

End of the year program...

We are part of a homeschool co-op called "Classical Conversations" which meets once a week for 12 weeks each semester.  We have finished our first full year with them and have learned a TON! Today was our end-of-the-year program where each of the classes presented some of the material that they have learned throughout the year.  Christopher's class (the abecedarians) presented some of the history sentences that they have learned.  We covered U.S. history this year and what's amazing is that they memorized 22 history sentences in order from 1492 all the way to Sept.11, 2001, plus the preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and all 44 U. S. presidents.  Each of the kids picked his/her favorite history sentence for the program...

Candace picked "In 1866 the 14th Ammendment made all former slaves U.S. citizens and paved the way for the Civil Rights movement."  So she got to stand in front while the rest of the class stood behind her and held up signs saying "Freedom for all".  I think Candace was the most consistent in singing loudly and clearly for every song.  Christopher wasn't singing the words during the presentation, so when I made eye contact with him he said out loud, "Stage fright." Yeah right...

R.J. picked the next song, "In 1898 Theodore Roosevelt and his rough riders defeated the Spanish at the Battle of San Juan Hill, while trying to help the Cubans win their independence." Everybody had a stick horse as one of the rough riders while R.J. had a cowboy hat to boot.  He rode his stick horse around in circles so much during the presentation, I'm surprised he didn't get dizzy and fall over!

Catie picked the next song, "On December 7, 1941 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, causing the U.S. to join the allies in World War II."  Remembering that he should sing loudly and clearly, Christopher broke out in the middle of the song but ended up cracking himself up.  Catie (wearing the sailor hat and hawaiian necklace) remained amazingly composed and unaffected by all the commotion going on behind her.

Christopher naturally chose, "In 1969 U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin were the first men to walk on the moon."  Thankfully he chose to sing loudly and clearly for the song of his choice, but in the middle of the second time through, he decided to interrupt the flow of the song by telling everyone that "My grandmother thinks I'm saying 'moo moo moo'".  Such a clown.  He's the one in the space suit hood while the other kids are holding pictures of outer space.
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Even Sarah wanted to stand with the class during the presentation and I think I saw her singing some of the words to the songs.  She has definitely picked up a lot by listening in.  I knew that no matter what they ended up doing on stage it would be funny and adorable, but I think they all did a great job and made it very entertaining!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mary Grace rolls over...

Mary Grace turns 7 months old tomorrow and rolled over from tummy to back for the first time yesterday.  If you think she's a little behind in the gross motor skills department, I'll have you know that Christopher didn't roll over until he was 11 1/2 months old (same time he started crawling).  So here are 3 short clips of our little chunk flipping herself over.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Christopher writes his first story...

This morning, Christopher began telling me for maybe the hundredth time certain facts and statistics about monsters.  He has always been interested in facts and statistics (i.e. the biggest, the tallest, the deepest, the greatest population, the fastest, etc.) and has some crazy ability to retain facts about everything from dinosaurs, ocean life, mammals, and now the solar system, which is his latest obsession.  I mean, he can tell you off the top of his head the exact temperature of the core of the sun, the lowest temperature recorded on Pluto, Antarctica, how many earths can fit into Jupiter's red spot, what the diameters are of each planet, and he can rattle off the names of more than a dozen stars from our sun to Canis Majoris in order of size.
That said, he likes to apply these statistics to monsters that he has dreamed up in his wild imagination.  The monster I've heard the most about is the Acoelyis monster, which is thousands of feet tall, runs thousands of miles per second, and eats millions of tons of food.  The other day when he was telling me about his imaginary monsters, I suggested that he should write a book about all of his monsters.  He replied, "Well how on earth could I do that?!"  I told him all he had to do was write down the names of each monster and then describe them.  This morning he was flipping through Dr. Seuss's My Book About Me that he got for his 5th birthday last year. This book is great because there are places where kids can fill in their own answers on the pages (i.e. hair & eye color, address, phone number, age, weight, favorite pet, what I want to be when I grow up, etc.).  He had pretty much filled the entire thing out except for the last couple of pages, which were for the child's first story.  He asked me this morning what story he should write, so I suggested that he write about monsters.  To my utter shock and surprise, he sat at the kitchen table for the better part of an hour, intent and focused on filling out both pages with his monster story!  I can hardly get this kid to stay focused long enough to write his full name let alone write a long story.  He had so much fun writing this that he asked for more lined paper to start another story.  What cracks me up is that he writes just like he talks.  If you click on each image, it should enlarge enough to read it.  I've provided a translation below since many of the words are misspelled.  But hey, he's six!  


"Once upon a time I was writing monster facts.  This is what I wrote: from monsters we cannot see to huge monsters (bigger than that).  But that's not all!  There are infinite monsters!  And what kind is the biggest?  The Lone Great Wall Monster.  Yes Sir!  But the Cook Monster which is 15 feet long, it was seen with 100 legs!  But the Pecan Monster is 4 nanometers.  And it was first found in 1956.  4,001 Monster scientists discovered it!  The story has much more to go!  And this monster has a funny name!  Don't guess!  The SooKoo monster!  Which was 187 feet tall.  And do you know how long it is?  400 feet long!!!!!  But the Shoof monster has a very long diet!  Do you want to hear it?  Well it eats 50 goldfish and clownfish a day!  And with itself 9,028 feet tall and 15,256 feet long, this Monster can run 16 mile per hour!  But here is some facts of the Lone Great Wall Monster:  it is the most common monster known.  It lives half of Russia.  It eats 19 tons of ostrich a year!!  Also 900 pounds of emu a day!!!!!!  And the Crab Monster can hop 7,204,454 feet off the ground!  It lays 202 eggs!  But it is the slowest monster known to man!  It walks 1,988 mile per day!  It has 141,997 species and lives for up to 15,000,001 years old!  It does!"