Friday, November 30, 2012


Each year we pick a sweet to make together to give to neighbors and co workers and friends!  This year it's chocolate covered pretzels.  While Alaric was at a swim party tonight, Amara and Daddy and I got started.  She threw in the pretzels and learned to stir the chocolate.
 After Brian took them out and placed on waxed paper, away Amara went adding the chocolate details!
 And when Alaric got home, he too got to drip the extra chocolate to make them extra special for those we love!  

Meeting Santa at the Mall

Amara was not excited about this yearly tradition this year.  She wanted to see Santa but not touch him, talk to him, or make any contact with the big guy in red.  We were gearing up for a meltdown when two magical things happened....

We heard Santa call from around the door, "Come here, Bubba!  Lets talk about that Samari Sword you want and tell me about those ballet slippers Sissy wants too!

What?!  Did Santa really know our names and what we wanted?  The kids faces lit up.  Even Mara's, as she gripped tightly to Brian's neck.  It was true- Bubba went running to Santa to chat.  

Then a sweet lady's voice said, "Sissy- you want ballet slippers- I love ballet!"

Huh?  Who was that?  IT WAS MRS. CLAUS!  Sent from heaven as far as this mom is concerned!
 Amara went right to her and they chatted!
 While Alaric never stopped chatting ( I don't know where he gets that!)
 Our group picture worked out perfectly and we all left happy!  What a joy!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas at Jack and June's

Our first Christmas party of the season proved to be a good one- an amazing way to start the season, at our beloved neighbor's Jack and Junes!

Jack welcomed everyone from his chair as we arrived and we got started!
 To the kitchen for snack!
 Bubba and Alaric love any extra time together
 Lots of smiling and laughing from all!
 Then June handed out fancy names for each child so they could decorate
 and decorate they did!
 Then homemade ornaments!
 And onto the gifts!  June put a rope down the center of the rug with boys on one side and girls on the other
 Then she took out dozens of small items for boys and small items for girls and she drew names and numbers.  Each child got to come forward and pick one small item they wanted....over and over!
 They each recieved a garbage bag-this was serious stuff!
 Then Jack came and passed out books for each child
 and gave some extra love to Sammy too!
 Then up the kids stood and waited in the dining room doorway as June called one child forward at a time to choose a homemade wreath.  June helped the little ones make the big decision!
 The children waited with anticipation for their name to be called.
 She knitted these masterpieces!  And added tons of details!
 And Sammy mastered what all North Charter Children must....going in and out of the porch window over and over and over!
 Back to the living room where the boys got legos, the babies got books, and the girls got handmade scarves from June!  
 Not sure these kids ( only Katlyn was missing) and their parents could love Jack and June more!
 Then everyone lined up for hugs from Jack and then June before we all headed to our own homes!  We love these people, who have become our family, and our neighborhood!

Monday, November 26, 2012

I'm Thankful for Montessori!

Montessori has been such a joy for us all, especially Amara! She's getting so much education that I could never give her.  Here's a few moments I'm thankful for at Thanksgiving!

Here she is at work time learning the parts of a snail and creating a book out of all the different parts.
 A botony lesson with Mim...after disecting a beautiful hybiscus flower from Mim's house, they compared the parts to a work on the botony shelf.
 A year ago I never would have let Amara where a pretty dress and her formal coat to school much less allow her to play outside in them....but my daughter loves to dress fancy and also loves to dig in the dirt, climb large tires, and play with the boys.  I've learned that the experiences she's getting outside at Metamophosis far outway stains on a dress.  So- she wears what she wants and I do more laundry.   Watching these scenes through the window at school are priceless!
 mara wanted to feed the chickens as we were leaving school.  She called out, "Here chicky chickies!  I have a special treat for you"...and wouldn't you know it....those chickens came out of their coops and ran to her as to say, "whatcha got for us, little missy!"
Thank You Metamorphosis!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Brian sliced the turkey this year at The Fultons in Galesburg- a masterpiece!
 Great Gram got extra snuggly time with Amara ( all you have to do is offer a book!)
 And we all got to catch up with family while we ate amazing food!
 Uncle Jeff and Uncle Dan served as napping bookends during the football game.
 And Tyler's best friend became Alaric's hero when he told us he was a karate blackbelt AND had his own Samari sword from a tournament in his car!
 Friday morning we left Galesburg super early so we could meet my cousins and tailgate and go to the Nebraska/Iowa game in Iowa City ( Brian borrowed a Nebraska sweatshirt from friends so he didn't have to cheer for Iowa).  It was incredibly cold but we had a blast!
 I love my cousins Brad and Becky!
 Serious parking lot tailgating, even in 20 degree weather
 And we SURE DID LUCK OUT when Brad and Becky's friends didn't need their clubhouse seats.  All 4 of us were able to watch the game from inside!
 We got home and got to spend a few days with my aunt and cousins, Maddie and Brady too ( all the other family wasn 't able to make it this year).  We had a blast just hanging out!  And Mara got all the Maddie time she needed.
 After game night on Friday night, we used Saturday before our big meal together to take advantage of the park across the street...nothing like a tire swing!
 And poles used as barriers became balancing beams for us for a long time.  So much fun walking back and forth over and over and seeing how far we could get without falling off!
 We saw a great family movie Saturday afternoon, Rise of the Guardians, and then played a few hours of the game of Life. 
 Oh, and these two were inseperatable! What a wonderful Thanksgiving Celebration with family!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Fruit Salad Feast

We wanted to do something small for Thanksgiving but did not want it to be a traditional thanksgiving  feast as we had already had our Harvest lunch a few weeks prior. We decided to have each child bring a fruit and together we would make a fruit salad, showing how the children can come together with their item and prepare and share together, the way the pilgrims and indians and  many families today do.  

It was LOVELY!  Really.  So simple and sweet and so fun.

Here two children prepared fruit, one scrubs an apple and one slices grapes.
 O ne cuts cantelope while another divides oranges
 Two more children cut fruit ( its amazing what a butter knife in the hands of a 4 year old is capable of.  Never underestimate how your children can help you in the kitchen.  I think I could have ask kids to slice grapes for an hour!)
 We seperated all the fruits
 Got our tables together and asked each child to take a turn mixing the fruit together
 So much fun!
 And sweet Mason won the turkey raffle....we spent more than a week cutting feathers in the art area to create this thing!