Friday, February 24, 2012

My brilliant first born!

I have been loving watching Michael grow so much as a reader this year as I have talked about in previous posts, but he is also growing a writer. It is so funny for me to see him coming home with work sheets that I use to give my students to do when I was teaching. Yesterday he came home with a writing project that he was so excited to show us. They had read a story about a boy who spent a week with his grandpa and they needed to take the pictures from it, organize them by day, and then write what happened that day.

And then they wrote a story about themselves:

Way to go Michael!!

More of Becca and her animals

As you can see from just about every post I've written about Becca recently, she loves her stuffed animals. There is so much of toddler life that I feel "been there, done that" about, but this is something new for our family. My boys never really got into enjoying stuffed animals that much.

The other day I took some pictures of the animals I found strategically placed by Becca.

Here is Tigger waiting for dinner:

And elephant taking care of business:

Since Becca likes to follow me around, especially when I have a camera in hand, she saw what I was taking pictures of and decided to pick up her play story with Elephant. She jabbered about him to me for a minute and when I didn't seem to understand what she was saying she ran to get a diaper from the changing table and indicated that Elephant was done with the potty and now needed a diaper.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Finally getting outside

We have had such a mild winter so far, but unfortunately with 3 weeks of sickness and my busy schedule we simply haven't been getting out and playing enough. So this weekend we got everyone ready to go out and walked out to find snowflakes in the air. We still had a lot of fun though.

Their favorite game is probably their version of driveway bumper cars.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Becca's new favorite

Becca has been playing with our Mickey doll on a daily basis and here is her favorite way to dress it up.

Monday, February 20, 2012

What are you doing?

So the last few months have been a bit crazy and wild for me as my plans for this semester have been shifting weekly for me. So a few of you have asked for details about how things have all settled out.

First, I'm taking two classes at Calvin this semester in an effort to complete my masters this spring and not continue to drag things out. First, I'm completing my research project that is the last class towards receiving my masters. Second, I'm doing a student teaching practicum placement that will complete what I need in order to get my endorsement in learning disabilities on my state of MI teaching certificate. The good news is that I can combine the projects a bit. The bad news is that it is still a lot of work and I need to be away from my kids a lot to get it all completed.

I am working with a teacher in 4th-6th grade special education. Right now I'm putting in practicum hours and within a couple of weeks I will be taking over for her maternity leave. This placement was such a blessing from God. First it is in an amazing school and second I will be paid during the maternity leave so it will help cover the cost of the baby sitter pay.

For my research I'm doing a project with some of the students I'm working with. I'm looking at the importance of seeing the whole student, not just the disability. I'm so happy that I can combine this with my student teaching, however, it means starting from scratch and abandoning the project I had started last summer.

Another blessing this semester is that we have found a wonderful person to do child care for us. She graduated from college a few years ago and is without a job right now, and she is great with our kids. She is able to come to our house which means I don't have to ship the kids around and pack things up for them every day. And the kids are all having a good time with her although they do fuss a little over me having to leave so many days.

I am loving being in the schools again, but I'm struggling a bit with how to balance everything. The last time I taught was before kids and even then I had trouble balancing homework in the mix of life. So now I just need to figure out how to juggle even more and of course I miss being home with my kids each day.

So I thought I would leave you with pictures of the family from last Saturday. I was able to find some quiet time to do homework and then it occurred to me that I should check on the "quiet" and make sure it wasn't "trouble." Turns out all was good.

Tim was playing some drums to a music loop.

And Michael was lounging a chair listening to Tim's music.

Jon was building roads for his cars.

Becca had herself surrounded by her stuffed animals.

And I was reading research articles on my computer. It is like a "which of these things just doesn't belong" games. :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jon's still got it!

After Michael who would take hours to fall asleep, we were completely captivated by Jon's ability to fall asleep anywhere and everywhere. Here are a couple of old pictures of it.

Having had enough of tummy time one day:

All dressed up and ready for church and waiting for the rest of the family.

Now, Jon is at the point where he is starting to give up naps. If he naps too many days in a row he is up late into the night. However if he doesn't take a nap he gets really tired come late afternoon.

The other day the kids were listening to a Mute Math DVD with dad while I was upstairs studying. Now, for those of you not familiar with the band, they are LOUD. When I came downstairs, this is what I found:

Sound asleep on the floor with the music blasting and his brother and sister running around playing.

Friday, February 17, 2012

2 years old

Once again we have a 2 year old in the house. We celebrated with the DeJong family and joint party for Becca and her cousin Luke who were born only two days apart.

We decided to do a Mickey and Minnie party since the kids have been fascinated by them especially since going to Disney. I tried my best to create fabulous cakes for them. :) Considering I'm not a cake decorator by trade or hobby I think they turned out fun.

Here are the kids blowing out the candles with the help from the Dads.

And then it was on to the presents. Allie (who is only a month younger than these two) did a fabulous job staying happy even through none of the presents came to her.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pacifier Free

I have been afraid to say anything for fear I would jinx it, but we are now a pacifier free house!!

When we took the kids to the dentist last month and they said they could see that Jon used a pacifier (although he did give his up many months ago), we got a little worried about Becca and her teeth. Tim and I talked and decided it was at least worth a try. So about a month ago when I put her to bed, we made a big deal about saying good-bye to her pacifier and took them out of her room. She was a bit confused when I put her down, but there was minimal whining and she went to sleep fine.

The weeks that followed were better than I was expecting, but not perfect. First she would complain about going to bed. (When she had the pacifier she used to get all excited at bed time.) She would go to sleep fine, but was waking up early in the mornings and taking naps only about half as long as she use to. I started to weigh the problem of shorter sleeps verses crooked teeth and held off a bit longer, although at times I just wanted to give her a pacifier back.

Then we got sick and sleep because even more erratic. Now, though, I'm happy to announce that her sleep is returning to what it use to be as she must be getting use to sleeping without the pacifier and she never asks about it or anything. I do keep coming across pacifiers that have been hidden in drawers or lost under couches, but for the most part we are now pacifier free!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Michael at school

For the last few weeks of Jan and the first week in Feb, Michael's school had wacky Wednesdays. Here are the pictures of our crazy kindergartener.

First up was crazy hair day.

Then came beach day.

For dress up fancy day I got him in a shirt with a collar but he wouldn't wear a nice vest and we found out that his nice shoes are definitely too small.

The last Wacky Wed was PJ day.

And since we are on the subject of Michael at school, check out what he came home with this week.

There was a note from his teacher that he fell over someone while playing soccer on the black top at recess. He said it hurt a lot and they had him ice it some, but once he got home he said it felt fine. However it keeps freaking him out to look in the mirror.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

We've been sick and a birthday post

Well, as you can tell from my lack of posts recently things have not been normal around here. As the title says, we have been sick. We are going on two and half weeks of sickness in the house. Good news is that most everyone is finally done with it. Bad news is I'm still fighting a bad cough.

However, we did have a small moment of fun in the middle of it all. Jon turned 3 1/2 and we celebrated with brownies. (Notice that there is only one candle because it was all I could find, but Jon still had fun blowing it out.)