Monday, February 28, 2011

Basketball Superstar

The season is almost over with only one game remaining, and we finally remembered to bring the camera. I am coaching the church team of twelve K-2nd graders, boys and girls. Hannah is improving, but she needs to be more aggressive and less afraid of the ball hitting her, pretty much the same as in soccer. It is very chaotic with so many kids on my team. It is difficult to get the boys to focus and follow directions. I coached this age long ago in Texas before having kids, and it was easier to deal with them because I only had six or seven on my team.

Here are some live action shots from the game. Hannah is the only blond girl on the light blur team, and she is number six.

I love this game!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Speck is growing

but not as fast as my tummy. At only 13 weeks along, I got my first "Hey, you're pregnant!" this week. People don't make that bold of a statement unless you really look pregnant. It's kind of a risk otherwise. I added a Lilypie ticker to the top of the blog that shows how big the baby is as compared to various fruit. Right now, Speck is supposed to be the size of a plum despite the fact that I was told just this week that I look like I have a small basketball in there.

I am still nauseated and tired, even though with all the other pregnancies I was done with that by now. I am hoping it will end soon, so I can get my second trimester to do list accomplished. I was hoping to do nine months worth of stuff in those precious three months that bring a burst of energy with them. I can't afford for these months to be taken away.

Hannah has converted Genevieve for the time being to the "I want Speck to be a girl" party. She is so easily swayed. Isaac is still firm about Speck being a boy so he can "hug him."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

R week: Rainbows, rain-forests, ancient Rome, and rivers

For ancient Rome, we read a couple books and learned about life in ancient Rome. Then we made these oak leaf crowns. They were a reward for soldiers when they saved someone's life in battle. I cut out Isaac's, but the girls cut out their own.

For rain-forests, we read a really interesting book that gave us a closer look at the sloth and other animals that live in the rain-forest. The assignment here was to develop their own creature who resides in a rain-forest and decide if it needed bright colors or camouflage to protect itself since we saw examples of both in the book. This project failed since they both drew a creature exactly like one they saw in the book.

Genna drew a bright bird in a rain-forest.

Hannah drew a sloth on a tree. I told her it needed to be in a rain-forest with lots of green and trees everywhere, but the most I could get her to add was the second tree. She claimed it would ruin her picture to have too much going on in the background. She has very definite ideas about what is good art and what is not.

For rainbows, we learned the formula for seeing a rainbow and the order of the colors in a rainbow.



Notice in all of these pictures they always put a band of sky at the top and a band of grass at the bottom. I have tried and tried to explain the horizon, but they continue to insist that this is how pictures should be. Stubborn children.

For rivers, we read several books about rivers and Hannah made a waterscope (out of a milk carton and Saran wrap) for when the weather allows her dad to take her down to the local river and look at the under water life.

All of these projects came from the books we read. We also read about recycling too, but we did not do any activity with it. Hannah was quite surprised to find out what happens to her drawings that get thrown in the trash or recycling bin. I think it may be even harder now to get her to part with some of her work. There is just so much! We can't keep it all!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Speck: boy or girl?

We don't find out for another 7 weeks or so, but Isaac keeps referring to Speck as a boy "like him." So I just mentioned during our cuddle time the other night that Speck might be a girl.

His reply was, "I will just tell him to be a boy like me." (Hannah's really taught him how to be a big sibling, hasn't she? Boss, boss, and boss some more!)

"Well," I explained, "The baby might be a girl, and that will be okay too. You can still teach her boy things and the girls can teach her girl things. And just maybe she will like trains even more than Genna does."

Isaac replies, "When I grow up, Mom, I'm going to drink coffee like Daddy. Right now I drink hot chocolate because I am little."

Okay, I guess that conversation is over. Not so sure that I convinced him.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Another part of our trip

On our way down to Boston, we stopped for dinner with friends. These guys are only a few months apart in age.

All the kids got along great, and we only wish we lived closer to them!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Poem Memorization (Backtracking to P week)

Although the kids have memorized 17 Bible verses this year, Books Fall Open by David McCord is Hannah's first poem to memorize. Genevieve memorized it while listening to Hannah practice. Hannah still needs a few words to keep her going here and there, and Genevieve and Isaac are usually quick to give her those key words to help her finish. Here's her performance...

She was pretty proud of herself! Cutie!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Boston, MA

If you were wondering what happened to me, we have been on a mini vacation. Technically, all these pictures below are from Gloucester, MA where we stayed most of the long weekend. I didn't take any in Boston. We visited Hannah and Isaac's godfather. It was a relaxing weekend where I didn't have to cook or clean at all. (I love to cook except for when I am pregnant. Even though I am 12 weeks now, I am still fighting that nausea. In the past it has always gone away around 13 weeks, so here's hoping it will soon pass and the honeymoon phase will begin.)

We took a hike to this look out point where you can see Maine across the ocean.

Well, as you can tell in the photos it was an evening hike. It was quite an adventure since the path was like an ice skating rink and the walk back was fairly dark. Add in my loss of center of gravity and I was pulling up the back end of the hike even without any kids to slow me down.

This was earlier in the day at a different place on the coast.

We even found something special for Isaac.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Little Prince

This guy is the best! I caught him on his knees in his room today. When I asked him what he was doing he said he was praying. Then I noticed the hands. I asked what he was praying for and he said, "The best mom I ever had."

He is all of the sudden very into protecting me from Daddy. If Brian tickles me or teases me, he says with a very serious face, "Don't do that to my mommy!" So cute! This is a new experience for me, and I love it.

One last Isaac story. It was time to say peace at Mass and Isaac turns to the white-bearded man next to him and says, "Peace. Are you God?" Luckily, I doubt the man heard him or understood his stopped up nasal voice. Cracked me up though!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Happy Valentine's Day!

Hannah and I had a secret meeting last Friday to brainstorm and figure out something she could sacrifice for her sister to show her how much she loves her. Selfless sacrifice is something that she struggles with. We decided that she should do the hardest thing we could think of since that would be the biggest act of love. We have a rule that we share all toys except for a few select things that have been set aside as too valuable or breakable for the gen pop. Genevieve doesn't exercise her right to not share a particular toy almost ever. Hannah, however, does. There is a Barbie doll that she got for her birthday in November that is very fancy and she has kept it up in her closet since November. Genevieve has never touched it, and just wonders aloud in a wistful voice every now and then, "When will I ever get to play with that doll?" So that was the sacrifice I suggested, to share that doll for one hour on Valentine's Day, and turned out to be the hardest one for her to agree to. I told her it was her decision, but that she really needed to think about it because it would make Genna so happy that her head would pop off. (That's Genna's thing right now. Everything makes her head pop off. Perhaps this was due to the Mary Queen of Scots book. Oops, again.) Friday night on the way home from basketball, she told me that she would do it and that we would keep it a surprise.

We also agreed that I would make a love sacrifice as well and give up the hardest thing for me to give up, which at this current time in my life is my afternoon nap. So I gave up my nap today to spend one-on-one time for an hour with each daughter while Isaac napped. Hannah and I finished up some of daddy's Valentine's gifts together. Genevieve and I made Daddy a card too and then baked some heart shaped brownies for tonight's dessert.

Here is Genna baking. She is such a sweet girl. She saved some of the butterscotch pieces for her sister and brother since I let her eat a few while we were baking. What an angel!

Here is a little video I took of her while she was baking...

Here is the frame and card Hannah made for her dad. The frame came from Micheal's and we decorated it with scrapbook paper, glitter, etc. The idea for the card came from this friend.

Isaac made this card for Daddy. Idea came from here.

Here is the card Genevieve made for him.

And this Genna helped me make for someone special. Once we get a photo for it, we will get it in the mail. So it will be late.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Quilts and Queens

Q was more challenging to find things to learn about. I had fantasies of a week of full of quiet, practicing silence as a discipline. We all know what a joke that is with three little ones. Luckily, there are quite a few good books about quilting in our library. My favorites were A Quilt Story by Tony Johnston and Tomie dePaola and The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco. For a craft, I desparately wanted to help Hannah make a mini doll quilt (very basic with four squares,) but she is still too young to do any of the steps on her own and since I am all tired and pregnant with my own projects stacking up all around me I opted out of this for this year. Instead, the girls made paper quilts with squares of construction paper. On each square, they were to draw something about themselves.

The only thing that I was able to find was a book called You Wouldn't Want to be Mary Queen of Scots, but this did not go over so well. The whole beheading thing was a bigger deal with them than I thought it would be. Oops. It was fun to read about the places we have actually been in Scotland, Edinburgh and Stirling Castles. Genevieve wanted to know if we saw the block that they chopped her head off on at one of the castles. Nope, sorry. That happened in England.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Plant experiments

Experiments for P week were relating to plants. They included starting a potato growing in water and putting celery in food coloring. The first will take a while to show results, but the second was a one day deal. We slit the celery down the middle up about half way. Then half of the celery went into blue food coloring and the other half went into red food coloring. In the book, the kids saw that when celery was put in only one color the leaves turned the color of the food coloring. So I asked for a hypothesis. They all know what this means thanks to the Dinosaur Train show that I DVR for reward TV. A hypothesis is an idea you can test. So Hannah's hypothesis (which was widely agreed upon between them all since Hannah is their little leader) was that the leaves would turn purple.

End results: I had to redo this experiment during rest time because I realized that the concentration of food coloring wasn't high enough to show the color difference in the celery. So I found tiny glasses and put just a bit of water in the food coloring. Here was the result.

Half red and half blue. We discussed why their hypothesis was wrong and hopefully learned something!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Coin Cleaning

I mistakenly let Isaac skip his room time yesterday since we were again having school in the living room. I set him up a Thomas track and thought he would play nicely. He did, but he got tired of it and started interrupting us and pestering his hard working sisters. Hannah was using a jar of coins for her math that he seemed interested in, so I pulled out an idea I got from this blog (sorry that I couldn't find the exact post) and set him up to clean coins with a toothbrush. On the blog, it had said it was a huge hit with their kids. I figured he would like it since it involved soapy water.

(Side note: I have recently had to ban him from the kitchen sink without permission because he hops up on the stool that the girls use to wash their dishes off, and he takes it upon himself to wash my dishes and whatever is nearby on the counter. Superbowl Sunday, we had people over and were watching the game when someone discovered Isaac squeezing soapy dish water into the cheese dip and on the left over tortilla roll-ups. Funny to you, not to me!)

So, how did it go?

It did distract him and keep him out of our hair for the rest of the time. However, overall, I would call it a failure because he spent more time playing in the soapy water than cleaning the coins with the toothbrush. I guess Isaac missed the importance of it being a fine motor activity. Oh well! You win some, and you lose some.

I know I am behind in our alphabet path updates, but I will try to catch up this weekend. You'll have to excuse me, these days I am really tired!

***edited*** I tried later with vinegar and salt solution for the girls to really clean the pennies. I explained the chemical reaction that was happening (the whole acetic acid removing the copper oxide bit.) Hannah had a cut on her hand, so this didn't last long. Then Daddy got home right when Genna was getting started, so it was abandoned.

February Feasts

There are so many wonderful Saint feast days this month!

St. Blaise on Feb 3rd

At daily Mass, the priest blessed all our throats individually just like you see in the picture except with smaller candles. When it was Isaac's turn, he backed up and said loud enough for all the church to hear, "What are dees dings?" with his eyebrows raised. He got a good chuckle out of Father Carlos and probably many others behind us. I sometimes forget to make sure he is listening when I explain things ahead of time to the girls.

St. Josephine Bakhita on Feb 8th

St. Josephine is an amazing saint, and I LOVE the name! We read about her and colored this picture from Waltzing Matilda. This is Hannah's picture only because Genna's is missing. Surprise, surprise. My absent-minded sweetie. Isaac colored a creation picture this day since it was the old testament reading for Mass. I thought it would keep his attention better, but he still turned it over to draw on the back well before Adam and Eve were colored.

St. Scholastica on Feb 10th

She may be one of my very favorite saints if I had to pick. We have a this book...

It is a great book! She was able to do more because she loved more. That is such a beautiful message. I read the book while they ate their lunch today. Then at rest time the girls colored a picture that I drew from the illustrations in this book. Hope I am not ripping off the wonderful Tomie dePaola by doing this. It is just for the girls. I was hoping to just draw one and make copies, but they were both wanting different pictures of her. I relented and drew two since I enjoy it anyway. Perfectionista Hannah did not like that I wrote the quote, She was able to do more because she loved more on her page so she colored over it with green grass. Stinker! She didn't even want me to put my name on my own drawing. I guess I was defiling her picture.

The other thing I thought was telling about my daughters and their personalities was that Hannah specifically chose the younger, pre-nun Scholastica so that she could color it accurately and not have to just use black. Genevieve chose the nun version of Scholastica and ignored the typical nun habit colors and colored her a rainbow habit because those are her favorite colors...all of them! I love them both so much!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


First time for Hannah to make dinner...almost by herself! She read the recipe and added all the ingredients. I just had to get the spices down for her, teach her about measuring abbreviations and cups/spoons, and chop the onions. She did the rest and the result was a very tasty crock pot tomato soup. She was very proud! This was her math lesson for the day.

First time for me to make a fire...EVER! It wasn't a roaring fire like Daddy makes, but I was just proud that I got it going. We moved home-school up to the living room today since the basement was just too cold!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A person's a person, no matter how small!

Even if the person is just over 3 cms tall!

(On the left is the 8 week ultrasound, and on the right is the 10 week ultrasound.)

We are thrilled to announce our newest addition to the family! I am now over 10 weeks pregnant and have had two ultrasounds already that confirm that the baby is healthy and everything is going well. The due date is September 2nd, right at the beginning of the next home-schooling year. So I plan to start the school year in August so we can take a few weeks off when the baby is born if we need to or at least take it easy.

The kids went with me to the first ultrasound at 8 weeks because it was last minute appointment. At the end of the appointment, I was getting Isaac back in the stroller to leave and Genna started to have a melt down because she did not want to walk to the car. She wanted to be in the stroller. In a sad attempt to distract her from her woes, I said, "Aren't you excited that you saw the baby and even got a picture of your own of the baby to keep?" My typically sweeter than sugar daughter surprisingly replied, "I didn't even see a baby! I just saw a fuzzy little speck of dust!" I responded with a quote from Horton Hears a Who. The point of this story is that we have taken to nicknaming this baby Speck due to Genna's description and the book Horton Hears a Who.

I have had nicknames for all of my babies in utero before we find out the gender. Hannah was Little Turkey since she was due near Thanksgiving. Genna was my Mayflower since she was due in May. Isaac was Peanut or Tiny Little Nut because Hannah called him that during the first ultrasound. The baby we lost was Sweet Pea.

It looks like the secret is out. Literally, I can't hide any longer. I popped out this week and am looking well over my 10 weeks that I am. Oh, my poor stomach muscles! They just can't hold it in anymore! Ha ha! As was to be expected, I am going to have to do the early Glucose diabetes test again due to my gigantic babies, but so far it has always come back negative.