Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spring Break

Well this week didn't turn out exactly as we'd planned. By Wednesday BOTH kids were sick -- Harrison with an ear infection/bad cough and Madeleine with a throat infection/bad cough. So we've ended up staying in for most of the week; although it's been great having Matt around to help since both kids are sick! :)

We were able to have sume fun outside early in the week. We all enjoyed being able to get out and play in the yard. Since this is Harrison's first year to really be able to get out and enjoy the backyard, it was fun to watch him explore it for the first time! He walked the perimeter, ate grass, played ball......just wore himself out! Madeleine kept showing him all the toys and teaching him how to play basketball and dig in the dirt!

Getting his daily fiber -- chewin' on some grass.

Making a basket.

Showing off the first battle wound of the year!

When it was time for Harrison's nap, Matt and I helped Madeleine learn to fly her Dora Kite. It was a super-windy day and we got that kite as high as the string would let us -- not bad for a $1 kite! Several of our neighbor friends came to check it out and then play in the backyard with Madeleine. She's so cute playing with them -- they're all older by 3-4 years, but they are so sweet with her and take care of her. She absolutely loves them!

Madeleine and Daddy......resting after a fun day!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The "Box"

Last summer this box was delivered to our door.

Little did I know that it would occupy ALL of Matt's free time for the next 8 months! For you non-educators out there, this is a National Board Certification Portfolio box. Becoming National Board Certified is a HUGE deal for teachers; only 2% of teachers national-wide can claim this distinction. And, just doing the work and submitting the "box" doesn't guarantee that you'll pass -- less than 1/3 of people pass the first time! So, it's extremely hard as well. Matt's had to submit written work, examples of community involvement, parent involvement, DVDs of his teaching, etc. It also provides a significant financial bonus as well for the next 10 years -- the life of the certification. :)

Just checked the last time!

Here's a little summary of the work......

Money spent.......$2500

Computers killed in the process.......1

Hours worked.......500+

Number of times he double checked the BOX........7

Way he felt when he mailed it off today.........PRICELESS! And let me add that he's managed to accomplish this while teaching full time (including maintaining a classroom website, doing podcasts, etc.), taking a consistant 6 hours of graduate school, driving a school bus a.m. and p.m. and being a good dad/husband. What an amazing example of a hard-working man our kids have to look up to! WAY TO GO MATT -- WE'RE SO PROUD OF YOU!! WoooooHooooooo ---- it's over!!!!!!! :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Harrison is 15 Months and The Barricade

Saturday Harrison was 15 months old, so I'm a little late posting this with Easter weekend and all. I remember with Madeleine that around the 15 month mark, she started communicating with us more and it's a lot the same with him. He weighs about 26 lbs (Madeleine weighed 25lbs at 2!) and he's getting TALL!
*He loves food! He thinks that if anyone is eating, he needs to eat too!
*He refuses to drink milk from a cup.
*Favorite foods: bananas, peaches, pineapple, ham, bacon, spagetti, pretzels.
*Favorite show: Dora. He'll stop whatever he's doing and stand in front of the TV and dance to the theme song. :)
*Favorite song: The Wise Man. He LOVES the splat and can make most of the hand motions.
*Favorite book: He likes all his car/truck/farm books and will bring them to me first. He's really into sitting in my lap and letting me read to him which I love!
*Favorite thing to do: take a walk and a bath, which is good since they pretty much go hand in hand! When I say "let's take a walk" he'll head to the backdoor and rattle the handle until I'm ready to go and he's NEVER ready to come in!
*Words he can say: mama, dada, madeleine (ma-da-la), cracker, uh-oh, ball, grandad, water, no-no, bye-bye and a few more that I can't remember right now.
*He's a great sleeper -- 11-12 hours at night and a 3 hours nap every day! ;)
*He's such a cuddler. He would be happy if I'd hold him most of the day. He constantly comes up to me and give me hugs and kisses and when I hold him he puts his arm around me and pats me on the back! Love this!!
*He really is into EVERYTHING. He looks under the couch, tables, beds for stuff. He hunts out the phone and pushes the buttons. He's constantly examining the plugged up electrical outlets or the faucets to see how they work. Such a boy! He tries to climb on everything. Whew, I'm exhausted just writing about that!

I am loving watching this little guy grow. He really is just a bundle of joy and energy. I'm so thankful that I can stay home and be with him every day to see all of these changes.

One another note.....

At my parents house, we've had to barricade the stairs to keep Harrison off them. But, what do you do when you need to cook dinner and he can scale this.......

Give him a tub of cool whip to play with! He loved it and it did the trick, kept him occupied for a looooooong time!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Fun

Yesterday was SO MUCH FUN! We were so thankful that this year we got to celebrate and have Easter dinner with both sets of grandparents, along with Uncle Cameron. It's been 4 years since we've done that -- before children. And, the kids definitely enjoyed having LOTS of attention and being completely spoiled!

Here are pictures of their Easter Baskets. Harrison got some books, a car, bubbles, balls, etc. Madeleine got books, stickers, Princess jump rope, a new Aurora doll, bubbles, a bunny slinky, candy necklaces, etc. The Easter Bunny was very good to them!

Harrison LOVED his new stuffed soccer ball. He grabbed it first and chunked it across the room and ran after it! Then he headed to check out his basket.
Madeleine took "inventory" of her basket, showing me each item before stacking it up. She had to read the books as soon as she found them.
Then, they hunted for the eggs the Easter Bunny hid for them.
After some wrestling, and a lot of candy, it was time for church. We only took Harrison to worship, not class, since he's fighting off a bad cold. He was pretty pitiful for awhile that morning, but he sure looked like a cutie-patootie.
Madeleine was ALL into posing for the camera and yelling "Happy Easter." She must have loved her dress, because she wore it all day. :)

Yep, this is the best family photo we got!

My little easter cuties!

We hunted Easter eggs outside. I think I stuffed almost 80 eggs, so they were EVERYWHERE! They had such fun finding them -- even Harrison got the hang of it!

Harrison discovered jellybeans and chocolate! He would try to eat the candy with the wrapper still on!

One of Madeleine's favorite people is Uncle Cameron. She had so much fun playing with him and he's so good at getting down on the floor and talking and playing with her. She was SO SAD to see him leave! She cried at the door watching him go!

It was such a great day for all of us! I think having kids makes the holiday fun in a very different get to experience the excitement through their eyes and it makes me remember what it was like being a kid. It makes every holiday seem a little more magical.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Getting Ready for Easter

The past couple of days we've been busy getting ready for Easter around our house! This year, Madeleine is having a lot of fun anticipating the Easter Bunny and "helping" me get ready. Thursday we started by cutting out our cookies. Madeleine did such a good job! She already loves to help in the kitchen and had fun using the cookie cutters. Her favorite part? Eating the flour! YUCK.

Then, yesterday we spent Harrison's naptime working on icing the cookies. She worked so intently on putting the icing and sprinkles on her cookies. I have to admit that I LOVE to make/ice sugar cookies. This is something that I do every holiday because I enjoy it so much -- and I do make a tasty cookie! This time I tried a new recipe.......not so good, but the icing was GREAT, which is all that really matters anyway! And, they looked pretty.

Decorating the cookies.
Not sure where more sprinkles went -- the cookie or her mouth!

The finished product.
Madeleine's cookies. I think she did great!
This morning, we dyed Easter Eggs. Madeleine was sooooooo excited about doing this! Our eggs are pretty light-colored because she didn't have the patience to wait on them. Then she worked putting princess stickers on them.

And what was Harrison doing during all this? Eating, of course! He didn't seem to mind missing out on the year he'll be more into it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Madeleine's Easter Hunt

Today was Madeleine's Easter Party at school and it was such fun! Harrison and I went up there for the Egg Hunt and then for the party! They all got to find 12 eggs -- full of candy! Which, of course, the teachers only let them eat AT HOME! Yes, my little girl is just bouncing off the wall from all the candy/sweets she's had today. :) And, she's quite sneaky. I just found 2 EMPTY candy wrappers in her room.

Madeleine sweet teacher, Ms. Tamara, offered to keep an eye on Harrison so I could take pic of my girl. Here's the narrative....

Here she is coming into the gym (or as we call it, the "gym-gym" so it's not confused with the gym I go to). They do "hips and lips" to keep quite and still.

Hips and Lips!

After getting their instructions....."no shoving, pushing, pulling, fighting....." ONE, TWO, THREE -- GO! And they were off, stuffing baskets full of eggs!

The teachers checked to make sure everyone had the same amount of eggs -- one poor kid only had 2! Check out Madeleine's haul. She definitely knew what she was doing.

And, she was sooooo excited/surprised to see us! I was one of only 2 moms that came out of all 5 3yr old classes -- unbelievable, but true -- and M seemed proud that I was there. Check out this face. She kept posing for me and I kept having to remind her to get some eggs! :)Mr. Harrison thought that he was BIG stuff! He got right in there and played with all those boys, and got knocked down a few times too. But, he got right up and kept on going. He's going to LOVE preschool.........when the time comes.
Time to go back to class. She's doing "hips and lips" again.
Madeleine and Keyton -- he sits by her at school and wanted to be in this pic. So cute!