Thursday, February 4, 2010

2009 Pictures!

My brother has made one of these slideshows for us for a couple years now. Isn't he great?

Click on these links for our October-January albums:
October 2009
November & December 2009
January 2010

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Seasonal Meatball Minutes

On Thanksgiving Eve, Jair and J.D. traced their hands on construction paper and cut them out to make turkeys. Jair wrote on his turkey, "I love Thanksgiving." J.D. asked me to write on his: "Why do people shoot me and eat me on Thanksgiving?"

Today I read a story about the wise men to the boys. "The wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and ... " I paused to see if they knew what came next, and Jair chimed in - "Murder!"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ali and Jair's Book of Nursery Rhymes

The Nursery to the Rhymes - a book of poems created by my 6yo and 5yo, just for fun

A Cup and Lip - by Jair
Here's a cup
Take a drink
And then I'll take it
Back with me

The Moon - by Ali
Ho diddle
The cow and dog
The fiddle jumped over the moon
And the cat laughed

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Reactions to the New Baby

Ali: "Dear God, thank you so much for giving me a baby sister like I always wanted."
"Annalisa's face looks like she has so many questions, and she just can't ask them yet."

Jair: "She is sooo cute."
"She is sooo pretty."
"You are the most beautiful baby."

J.D.: "Hi, Annie-leee-seee." (in a high-pitched voice)
"No! You can't touch the baby unless you use hand sanitizer first!"

Jonah: "Isa, Isa, Isa. Hi, baby Isa."
"Waaaaaaa!" (whenever he is told he can't hold the baby, throw her his favorite ball, etc. )

More photos are here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Our Baby Girl Is Here!

Annalisa Mary arrived at 8:35 am on Monday, October 19. She was 7 pounds, 14 ounces, 21 inches long. We came home Tuesday and are doing well. The birth story will follow ... someday.

Don't take my baby away!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our Favorite Usborne Titles

In August, I signed up to be an Usborne Books Consultant. I didn't do it because I like to sell things (I don't.) or because I needed another activity to fill my days. (They are already full!) I just love the books and wanted to take advantage of the great discount I can get on purchases for my family.

To pass some of those savings on to my friends, I am running a little Christmas special. You can browse my website to find books and other educational products for the kids on your Christmas list, but I always love personal recommendations, so I thought a list of my own kids' favorites would be fun.

Jonah (21 months) loves Rog, better known as That's Not My Frog. It's one of a whole series of touchy-feely board books, including some fun seasonal titles (That's Not My Angel, Snowman, Reindeer, Penguin, etc.)

My 3 1/2 year old's favorite is Under the Sea, from the Beginner's Reading Series. J.D asks me to read the page about the puffer fish over and over. I can't believe that these high-quality, 32-page hardcover books with beautiful illustrations and photographs are only $4.99 each!

Ali (age 6 1/2) looks forward to finishing her school work each day so she can work in her Sticker Dolly Dressing Dolls book. The series has several other titles (Princesses, Fairies, Bridesmaids, and Ballerinas), but she has decided she would like Sticker Dolly Dressing on Vacation next. Again I am impressed by the high quality of this book. The pages are extra sturdy, and stickers are easy for six-year-old hands to manipulate; even the more delicate ones peel off without ripping.

Jair (age 5) and I share special times together with his Big Book of Things to Spot. He loves to find and count the items hidden in each two-page spread, and I love that he is sharpening his visual perception skills, learning about animal habitats and other times, cultures and places, and increasing his vocabulary all at once! The book combines four titles from the 1001 Things to Spot Series. The series has a new seasonal title, 1001 Things to Spot at Christmas.

One of the kids' favorite school books this year is Things People Do. We are using it for Social Studies to learn all about the different jobs people hold in a community. The kids love the humorous illustrations and the little yellow duck hiding on every page (a fun feature of several Usborne titles).

A highlight of our week is "Friday Art Day," when we choose a card from 50 Things to Draw and Paint. One side of the card shows a finished project, and the other side has step-by-step instructions for completing it. On a recent all-day trip, Ali and Jair stayed busy with another item from the Activity Cards Series, 100 Things for Little Children to Do on a Trip. That particular pack also comes with a dry erase marker and has come in handy for keeping little children quiet during church, too!

Some of the other Usborne titles featured in the Sonlight program we're using this year are Stories from Around the World, Why Do Tigers Have Stripes?, What's Under the Sea?, and First Thousand Words. (First Thousand Words comes in several languages; the Polish version will probably show up under our Christmas tree!)

Here are few Usborne books we have enjoyed for several years:
Ted & Friends has four easy-to-read stories with cute illustrations and a yellow duck to find on every page.
Flip-Flap Body Book combines three titles in one volume: What happens to your food?, How do your senses work?, and How are babies made? The text is age-appropriate and the fun illustrations and fold-out flaps have made the concepts easy for my kids to grasp and retain.

and a few titles I have tucked away for Christmas:
How High is the Sky?, part of an adorable series about a penguin who is always asking deep questions, and
Why?, a hilarious book full of questions like "Why do rhinos have horn on their noses?," with goofy and serious answers.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Time to Catch Up!

Lord willing, we'll post a birth announcement and photos of a new family member here soon! So ... it's about time we caught up on all our summer adventures.

Click here to see the rest of June & July Memories.

Click here to see the rest of August & September Journeys.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thankfulness, Day 17

Today ...
Julie is thankful for a fun week including Jair's 5th birthday and children's literature camp for Ali, Jair, and J.D.
Alis is thankful we could have a water balloon fight today.
Jair is thankful he could play with the Volkswagen Beetle from Grandma and Grandpa's house.
J.D. is thankful we could get all these construction books from the library.
And Jonah is thankful for his dada.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thankfulness, Day 16

Jeremy is thankful for the young deer who hung out with him for about 15 minutes while he worked in our garden.
Julie is thankful for a husband who loves and provides for his family.
Ali is thankful for going out to eat.
Jair is thankful for going to Arby's and having a sucker.
J.D. is thankful for that milkshake at Arby's.
And Jonah is thankful for his first-thing-in-the-morning banana and milk ritual.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thankfulness, Day 15

Jeremy is thankful for a great visit with his mom and sister last week.
Julie is thankful for the ultrasound that gave us a peek at the adorable fingers and toes of the little girl who will join our family at the end of October.
Ali is thankful for swimming.
Jair is thankful he could look at The Little House (by Virginia Lee Burton) tonight.
J.D. is thankful for going swimming.
And Jonah is thankul for bears and blankets.