Wednesday, August 29, 2012

school starts.

We have a child in school! Carson is attending Pre-K at Scobee Elementary. He goes every day from 7:45 until 10:45 a.m. We're glad we're active duty military so he can do this program! 

The night before school started, we had a special back-to-school dinner. We talked about goals for the school year and recorded them on their name cards. Carson's goals are: learn multiplication and division (totally his idea), practice the piano every day without getting frustrated, and to make friends with everyone in his class. Everett's goals are to finish his whole workbook, to learn to read, and to cooperate in pre-school. (He and three other kids will do a co-op once a week where us moms will teach.) Faye's goals are to potty train and to learn to pray. My goals are to take good care of the new baby, finish decorating the house, and to not ever yell at the kids. And Rick... well, he will just keep working and sleeping a couple of hours a day. 

Carson made our "back to school" banner.

Carson wasn't nervous at all for the first day. Although he didn't sleep much the night before! He loves schedules and structure and is just happy to be in school. Doesn't he look handsome! I should comb my kids' hair more often.

So, we get in the van to drive to the big first day of school, and the car won't start. (This has not been a great week so far. Monday morning involved getting a new battery for the van, and pretty much all day yesterday was spent getting our air conditioning running again after a very hot night!) I quickly called my friend Sarah, and she picked us up on her way to school. We both have three kids, so obviously we just all crammed in her van to get to school! 
On the Scobee bench, ready to go in to school. Everett is being anti-pictures again.
Everett with his hand on Carson's back. So cute.
Carson's teacher, Mrs. Bellah, asks him if he can find his name. I am curious to see when or if she discovers that he can actually read chapter books!
We have heard she is a great teacher!
Faye wonders why she got yanked out of bed to come to this strange new place.  
I have been up since 4 working on Carson's baby book. (Have to get it done before the Groupon expires!) It is so fun to remember his birth and first few months. He has always been such a good, smart boy. I am so proud of him for being so confident about going to school. We know he will do great!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

arts and crafts/fashion statements.

So I have to recommend this book, called Easy Art Fun! do-it-yourself crafts for beginning readers by Jill Frankel Hauser. I have not been doing much with my kids as far as projects go lately, but this book has ideas so simple that Carson can read and at least start doing them on his own. Most days he does one or two crafts from that book, and they really are simple and fun. (Also, look mom, I finally hemmed those last curtains!)
Craft time is usually a disaster with Faye. She thinks glue sticks are lip gloss, and she applies it quite liberally. Playing with dried beans actually kept her occupied for a long time! But man, I should have taken a picture of the floor afterwards. Oh well, five minutes of sweeping it up was well worth it.
And I have to comment on my boys' lovely outfit choices this particular day. Here, Carson was going for a monochrome look.
And Everett is rocking the pattern mixing.
I love that my boys dress themselves quite independently, but seriously, I need to get organized and encourage some proper shirt and short combinations!
I guess they can't go wrong with the minimalist look. Check out those Texas tans!

Monday, August 13, 2012

around the house.

Just some unrelated pictures of late.

Carson "helps" make some chocolate treat. He was so excited about it, he even started licking the counter.

My friend from high school and her husband happen to live not-too far away. They came for a weekend visit; it was so fun to catch up!
Trying really hard to show some muscles.
I really, really love my new little vacuum. It is so light; even Faye can push it around. Carson is actually really good at vacuuming rugs and such!
Trying a green onion. That humidity makes for some not-so-great hair days for both of us.
Sometimes when Everett takes a long nap, he stays up pretty late. Occasionally I'll let him come out and play with his dad for a few minutes. It's pretty special when you're the only kid who sees your dad all week!
Look past the ponytail; this picture is actually meant to show the lovely, freshly painted chair rail. After I spent several evenings painting, taking the tape off ended up ripping up my entire paint job. That was an awful, emotional moment for me! However, I have some AMAZING friends here who all came over one night and helped me re-paint. We had fun, stayed up way too late, and I ended up with a beautiful, freshly painted kitchen and family room! Aren't they amazing???
If you do something like super nice like paint my house, you will probably get a jar of homemade granola.
These two have not always been the best of playmates. It used to always seem like Carson was way older than Everett, and they just simply didn't get along that well. However, for the past month or so, I have been absolutely amazed at how well (and for how long!) they can play super happily together. Interestingly, Everett is often the leader of the pretend-play; he has a great imagination and loves to get lost in his world of play. Unfortunately, I am still trying to figure out how to let them play their games without making HUGE messes! Here, they were knights preparing a feast for the castle. They brought out most of the pantry to do so. They did help me put it all back, but I have to say my pantry organization has yet to fully recover!
A few things I failed to mention from posting about Faye turning 18 months: she knows how to smile for the camera (obviously). She also has started pretending. She often crawls around barking, pretending to be a dog. This is especially fun in public. She also likes to carry around a bowl and a spoon, stirring something invisible and trying to feed it to everyone.
She also just figured out how to jump on two feet, and she can do a forward roll. She loves to sit on the potty, but has yet to produce anything there. She does tell me as soon as she goes and asks to be changed, so maybe I won't have to do two kids in diapers for too long!
Faye started feeding herself at a really young age, and I still think it's cute how precise and good she is with utensils.
I should probably do a new home improvements update, but here is just one little thing: a world map for the learning room. At first I was looking at really nice, vintage-y maps that I would build a frame around. But then I remembered that my kids are 4 and 3, and I got a kid-friendly map instead. It's been great to be able to locate any country we're talking about.
Having the crafts up there was supposed to keep the littlest people from messing things up. Yeah right. I think eventually I will change that whole wall.
Definitely one of her favorite places to sit, and most often she's drawing all over her body with markers.
Rick often leaves a note for the boys before he leaves in the mornings. So, they wake up excited to see what he said. He often challenges them to do something, like "make a new friend today," or "draw a picture for your grandparents." Carson takes the suggestions very seriously and makes sure to complete the task. Everett listens to Carson read the note and then walks away to find something to play.
One Friday I told the boys if they cleaned up all their messes that day, they could stay up to see dad and that he'd bring them a milkshake. He had had several late nights in a row, so I was banking on more of a 7 or 8 p.m. arrival time. Too bad it was more like 9:30! I can't believe I let them stay up that late... but I had promised. They enjoyed their milkshake and were nice and cranky the next morning.

We have a pretty simple little life, don't we? I love it, and to be honest I dread the day when I won't have babies and little diapered people running around asking for me to pick them up or read them a book. Tonight Carson and Everett were feeling the new baby move in my belly and asking about how exactly she's going to come out. I told them how it's a hard, really painful thing I will do, but how I have loved having each baby we have added to our family. They really are worth all the pain and fatigue and frustration and all of that. I'm so grateful that we have three really, really good kids. They are the best.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

the ottoman.

I may have a new favorite home-made item in the house. Presenting the ottoman!

I have been wanting to make a tufted ottoman out of an old coffee table for a really long time now. Finally the perfect table came up on Craigslist, and it was time to get to work.

I might post some how-to details, since I used three different tutorials and pulled info from each one, but for now I need to go finish the other two corners! This post is actually helping motivate me to finally tackle that last step.