Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cozy Nest in the Corner

 
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What the Kids' Room Looks Like Clean

We have four kids sleeping in this room:  Bean, Fish, Roo, and Rabbit.  Bean has top bunk, Fish bottom, and the girls trundle on the mattress underneath. 



Lately Fish has been keeping the room clean and his bed all neatly made like you see in the picture.  This is great, except he is freaking out whenever the girls go in there and try to play (and where else are they going to play?) or if they won't put away their clothes when he asks them to.  Two more months until our lease is up... it will be great to have a boys' room and a girls' room again!
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Friday, June 28, 2013

Yes, I Live Here

Lucky, lucky me!! 

 


I realized the other day that this location has many elements of the climate I grew up with in Minnesota as well as many elements of the climate I came to love so much all those years I lived in the mountain west before we moved to the Southern Plains.  Pleasantly warm summers and cold snowy winters, dry air that cools down at night... I love it! 

I have also loved seeing lots of plants growing here that don't grow in Oklahoma.  I have missed these old friends, such as peonies and spirea bushes and Russian olive trees.  I will miss the tall oak trees and the wild redbuds, but this really is such a great spot for me.  I am so happy here! 
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Brothers

Bean isn't the only boy around here who adores his baby brother...

 
 
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The Joy of an Ice Cream Bar

I think it is so fun to watch little kids eat ice cream bars.  Especially when it gets all over their nose.  These pictures were taken last week at VBS. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Monday, June 24, 2013

VBS

Last week Roo and Rabbit attended a huge community-wide non-denominational vacation bible school at the YMCA soccer field.  It was a pretty amazing program.  There were about 400 kids in attendance.  Everybody, including the scores of helping adults, got a tshirt and it seemed like half the town was wearing a shirt that said "My Lord and Savior: Jesus."  I like living in a town like that! 



Roo and Rabbit had a great time.  On the last day there was a huge picnic for everyone, and that's when I snapped this picture of Roo outside one of the enormous tents they had set up. 

I couldn't believe how many people we ran into there that we know, from the kids' school principal to the kids who live next door to us to a gal I met at library story time to the lady who runs in the drop-in child care at the Y... etc.  We've only been here a short time, but we have been so involved in the community that we already know a lot of people.  I don't think I have ever been so immersed in a community before and I am absolutely loving it. 
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Fish's Reward

This last spring I took a very awesome class by telephone on the subject of addiction prevention. It offered me help in dealing with weaknesses that I struggle with by giving me a system of self-discipline combined with group accountability. I was interested in it for several reasons-- a big one being my on-going battle with sugar addiction.  Another big reason was I wanted to learn how to help my children develop good habits and avoid addictive behaviors.  One of the keys to helping them is to set a good example yourself.  So, first I went through the class.  I set goals and I recorded my progress.  I "graduated" from the class once I had reached 28 consecutive "perfect" days, meaning I met all my goals each day for 4 weeks in a row.  I gave myself a big reward.  Then I set new goals with a new reward.  I am now on my third set of goals and my reward this time will be a new smartphone.  This program has been absolutely wonderful for me.  I have only had a few sugar binges since I started it back in February, and I know that has helped me feel better, lose weight, and be more even-keel emotionally.  I think this is the longest I have ever had such good control over my sugar problem. 

I wrote about it in more detail over at Latter-day Homeschooling awhile back, if you want more info. 

After I had been through the class it was time to enroll my kids.  My family has become a little support group as we work to establish good habits and eliminate bad ones.  We tally up our scores weekly to see if we get a weekly group reward or not.  And the kids have big rewards set for when they reach 28 days.  The three foundational behaviors of this program are personal prayer twice a day, personal scripture study daily, and daily journal writing.  These are all habits none of my children had but I feel are absolutely vital for all of them to have.  So I am making a pretty big deal out of it. 

We're working up to these habits slowly and age-appropriately.  Bean started out with prayer and daily scripture study, as well as a couple of bad habits he wanted to break.  Fish started out with prayer twice a day and being ready on time for school every morning.  Roo and Rabbit started out with prayer once a day. 

So, not long ago Fish reached his first 28 days and I got him his first reward, which he picked out.  I don't ever spend this much money on my kids unless it's their birthday or Christmas, but as I said, this is really important to me and I think my children who are not naturally inclined to be so disciplined need a big carrot in front of them. 


 

He was so happy!  I just love it when Fish is happy.  

So now he is adding daily time in the scriptures to his goals... I told him he could start with just reading a verse or two each day, since he is not reading them fluently yet.  But he will get in the habit of not letting a day go by where he doesn't open them up and read a little bit.  And that will be such a huge blessing to him if he keeps it up throughout his life!  Definitely worth the cost of a few Legos.


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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Baby Deer!

We have enjoyed seeing all the deer that roam around this town.  Now that spring is here, it gets even better.  Baby deer!  Twins!  Yayness!

 
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Bean at Bat

Both Bean and Fish are playing baseball this spring.   This being a small town, all the games are thankfully at one place.  Often they have games at the same time, but it's easy to go back and forth between the two games at the same complex.  Last night just Bean had a game and I remembered to bring my camera (which I haven't been doing enough lately!) 

Baseball is the sport I understand best, because I played it myself when I was little and I actually wasn't too bad at it.  So I really enjoy watching my boys' baseball games. 



(He said the batting helmet was too big and that's why he had his had on underneath, silly boy.)  
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Cowboy Fish

Fish was in Theater Camp at the YMCA this last week.  I have known for quite some time that this boy of mine would be great on stage.  This was the first time he had a chance to do anything thespian-ish.  At the end of the camp they put on a variety show, which included a short play called "Trouble in the West."  Fish was "Rancher Pete."  He just glowed with happiness the entire time he was on stage.  His smile was so sweet.  Honestly, I don't even remember when I've seen him so happy.  Can you see him right in the middle of this picture?



Here's the whole group of farmers and ranchers arguing about the fence:


Fish was thrilled to be on stage and he was also thrilled to be wearing cowboy stuff.  We borrowed this hat for the performance and he loved it so much.  I'm so glad he could have this experience. 
 
 
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Half A Year

I can't stand it that Prince Charming's first year is more than half over.  Those tiny infant days are behind us.  This kid is scooting, getting up on his hands and knees, grabbing everything, and chewing on everything.  He is a happy and content little kiddo.  He is kind of small for his age and is not notably chunky.  He has two teeth.  He sleeps well.  He really likes music, his Daddy, and his older brothers.  He is a lot of fun and we have so much to look forward to.  And he still has that absolutely charming smile that we all adore.

 
 
 
 
 
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Meanwhile, Over at the Drinking Fountain...

The day after school got out I took the kids to the library.  Roo saw a girl from her class there.  She went running up to her.  When the other girl saw Roo, she said "Roo!" very excitedly and gave her a big hug.  It was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen because that was not an experience I ever had in first grade.  I did not have friends in early elementary school because I was shy and I got picked on for wearing uncool clothes.  I was nervous that Roo would have the same experience, so seeing this darling little girl runnung up to her at the library and hugging her really meant a lot to me.  A few days later this same friend was at the T-ball fields during the Rabbit's game and she and Roo played happily together over at the drinking fountain. 

 
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T-Ball

I love T-ball.  I think it is so fun to watch.  The kids don't know what they're doing-- sometimes they run the bases backwards-- but everyone gets a turn and noone gets out and everyone's a winner.  This year my Rabbit played T-ball.  I realized it was the first time any of my girls had played a team sport. 



Here is the Rabbit at bat. 


Running to first base with her signature Rabbit base-running face...


She made it to first!


And here she is playing first base. 


She thought T-ball was fun on one level, but she didn't get really into it.  I'm not sure baseball is her thing.  I'm not really sure what her thing is yet when it comes to physical activity, but I intend to keep letting her try stuff until she finds her groove. 
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Horse for Roo

This week Roo has been at a day camp that includes horse riding lessons.  What a wonderful experience for my little girl!  Today I took her over to the stables and then stuck around to watch for awhile. 



Yes, that's Roo with the awesome hair.  Every once in a blue moon I do her hair, and thanks to my friend Shannon it looks great.  I should do it more often. 

Horses are so pretty.  Especially when they're hanging around in a beautiful green pasture.  Our neck of the woods is gloriously green right now.


Here is Roo leading her horse out of its stall.  I was so impressed at how much confidence she had.  I remember when she was two and she screamed every time a bug came near her.  She was afraid of everything.  The two things I think helped her the most were gymnastics and having the goats.  I thought she'd be really nervous around the huge horse, but I guess she just thought of it as a really big goat.  She was totally calm and in control. 


Let's ride!


Oh, I love my little girl!  I am so glad she can learn about horses. 
 
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