Sunday, January 23, 2011

Irish Snowmen

Our yard was in desperate need of green... so we made Irish snowmen. I know they're slightly pathetic. The snow wouldn't compact, so we had to stack large blocks of ice from the mountains plowed into the cul-de-sac.
 We always have carrots on hand now that we share our home with Mr. Tubbins.
 Lorelei loved decorating the snowmen, but poor Gryffy was plain done. He was freezing.
 See the joy radiating on Gryffin's face? Oh wait--it's frostbite.
 We're ready for the sunshine! Come on, springtime!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Eight MORE Inches...

... of snow.

I'm just about over the snow. We've had fun making snow ice cream, rice krispie treats, and Amish friendship bread, but really... we need to get out more! I think Mr. Tubbins would agree--he is getting large amounts of attention that I think he would be very happy to do without, thanks. Here's Gryffin whipping up some homemade play-do.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Winter, Rapunzel, and the Pantry

It's been a snowy, wintry week. But between playdates and three birthday parties, we've staved off cabin fever. Gryffy's little boots were a bit short, so we improvised with plastic ziplocs.
 Lorelei and Hannah zipped down the slide!
 Here are Lorelei and Adria, her friend from church.
 On the long days indoors, we've enjoyed lots of snuggles, movies, books, learning, dancing, and family time.
 Mr. Tubbins never gets a break!
 "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!"
 Daddy, Lorelei, and Gryffin take turns being Rapunzel on the stairs--they lower the hair with a basket and the person below puts in a mystery object. Rapunzel guesses the object, and then pulls it up to see if she/he's right! And here's Daddy playing Rapunzel in the kitchen, pulling Lorelei around like in the movie "Tangled."
 I'm not Rapunzel. I'm a pirate!
 And all this time indoors has inspired Mommy to get the house in order (cue the gasp). That label maker is my new favorite thing! Apparently this was no ordinary winter squall--hell has frozen over.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Meet Fluffy Mr. Tubbins

After babysitting a kindergarten bunny (Dumbledore) on weekends/breaks, we decided that a bunny was the perfect pet for us. So when neighbors needed to find a home for their little "Fluffy," we gave them a call.
 Lorelei & Gryffin have approved a full name for "Fluffy": Mr. Fluffy-Easter-Tubbins-Connelly.  We didn't know whether to call him Mr. Fluffy, or Mr. Tubbins (after a character in Mommy's book--we decided on Mr. Tubbins, since we got him the same day Mommy finished revising her book, and the kids like the name). 
Grammy got Mr. Tubbins a very special cage that is super easy to clean and fits perfectly near the window, where he can see outside and has access to the kitchen/family room. Lorelei is responsible for helping to care for Mr. Tubbins.
 Gryffy loves Mr. Tubbins too (and the bell chew toy in Mr. Tubbins' cage).
 Poor rabbit--clobbered in love.  He snuggles with me during movies/tv shows at night and loves being petted.
 Welcome to the family Mr. Tubbins!

Our Social Life in Shreds

When the Pfeuffers invited us for dinner, we knew the forecast called for snow, but INDOORS???
While we were downstairs keeping our toes toasty, guess what the kids were doing upstairs with a bag of paper shreddings... 
 The floors in every upstairs room were covered in white!
Dave got out the vacuums and away we went.
 Brooke with the Dirt Devil (after our little devils attacked).
 Proud Dad.
Cleaning up while kids are growing is like shoveling snow while it's still snowing. You can imagine how far I got with this kids' broom.
 At least Lorelei's pitching in, but I don't know why she's smiling... we are NOT happy about this.
 And the little devil himself.
Most ironic part--today a present arrived in the mail: my first Dyson Vacuum, from my sweet hubby (I've been wanting one).  Should've brought it to the dinner party.  I will next time (yeah, right--I think our kids have done more than enough to stave off dinner invitations for the Connellys).  Sorry, Pfeuffer family!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pencil In Priorities Jars

In 2011, I'm working on becoming a More Mindful Mommy, which requires an easy yet accessible reminder throughout my day to put first things first.  Hence my new invention, the Pencil In Priorities Jars...
 Lorelei and Gryffy were really receptive to putting these things into action! Here's Lorelei doing addition with beads and a pipe cleaner for her Math pencil.  Gryffy, meanwhile, made a bracelet (that's our manly boy).
 For our Devotional pencil, it can be reviewing Awana's verses, or simple prayer/worship and Bible study (Lorelei made her devotional candle in school--it's perfect to mark a time set aside for God).
Baby Moses in his basket (watching Prince of Egypt).
Our "Tag Reader" is unstructured time for reading/phonics, but I'll also throw in a bit of instruction--here's flashlight tag with sight words.
 Some of the other fun things we're doing are learning the Animaniacs States and Capitals song and locating landmarks on our USA & world maps in the basement (Geography pencil), and doing Reader's Theater with Daddy and a book for the Story Time pencil (here are Daddy and the kids acting out Hansel and Gretel, which we read tonight).
 A pirate's trail of gingerbread crumbs... goldfish, naturally.
Our other pencils are: Teeth/Hair/Clothes, Movement, Worksheets (Lorelei's preschool homework), Calendar (like the calendar station at preschool), Chores, Handwriting, Violin.  The kids don't have to do all of these (some are musts, like violin practice for Lorelei)--I encourage them to play and be silly kids.  But until all the pencils move jars, there's one thing the kids can't do: watch TV.  It's the simplest tool (aren't those the best?), yet because of it I'm a more engaged Mommy, and I've got two kids learning to set priorities.
(Special thanks to Lorelei and Daddy for spending part of their Christmas gift cards on my new label maker--if only they knew what they were buying into... :o)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ringing in 2011

We begin every New Year's Day over donuts with the same resolution:
In the year (fill-in-the-blank), let this be our goal...
to focus on the donut, instead of on the hole.
 Let's hope they're as angelic in 2011 as they look here.
 And on New Year's Eve, we decided to forego parties and celebrate as a family.  We had a Decades Dance Party Countdown: 50's=Grease; 60's=Beatles; 70's=Abba; 80's=Madonna; 90's=REM; 00's=DJ Casper.  Then it was a countdown to midnight (7pm CST) in the bathtub with sparkling wine--the kids were screaming their numbers and loved it!
Happy New Year--it's gonna be a great one!