Sunday, March 27, 2011

Arts and Crafts

It always comes back to arts and crafts, doesn't it? This is OK, because C6 wants to be a teacher and Q4 wants to be an artist.

Today we made playdough, against my wishes. Not that I didn't want to make playdough, but I didn't want to use my good flour (King Arthur Flour) on the playdough. I've got to go buy some cheap Safeway or Giant brand flour and salt so we can make bucketloads of playdough without me feeling that I'm being a little cavilier with the expensive flour. I'm sure the King Arthur Flour isn't more than 50 cents or a dollar per 10 pound more than the house brand, but it FEELS really wrong tome.

But we made the playdough with the good stuff anyway (lets not talk about the salt, either). (Perhaps I have issues, this isn't the right forum to discuss my problems. Contact me directly). We colored it pink and they started to make playdough faces, animals, and things on paper. They used all the playdough and then decided to have an art sale outside.

I had probably fallen asleep on the couch when I realized what that peristant and annoying noise was. C6 had managed to bring the kids table up from the basement ... and out the front door. Then she got a chair for herself (Q4 was to stand) and then they brought all the pictures out. C6 then realized Q4 needed a chair and went back in to get one for her, and Q4 brought out all her money to make change for people.

Art Sale

See the Liberty Bell and the U.S.A? C6 made those. Q4 made lots of faces and some cats.

Of course, it snowed a tiny bit last night, and was about 34 degrees F while they were outside selling. So nobody walked by. Q4 ran to Miss J's house to offer her a picture (the kitty) and made a nickel on her art. Her first sale.

Still, they made more on the fiber stand a few years ago.

Then later they decided I REALLY had to take down those February decorations (hearts) and the March decorations (St. Patrick's Day) and put up more Easter decorations. I did take down the clovers that Q4 had made, but I still like the hearts! But they did make some decorations for me. There are now multiple eggs on the walls (all about 3 feet off the ground) and one bunny.

Drawing Eggs Cutting out a bunny

NOW we are ready for Easter.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just to let you know

I found that other blue shoe. On C6's bureau. Way at the back under the piles of stuff that C6 puts there to get it off the floor to make me happy. Or ... I can actually see myself putting it there in a fit of picking up. Either way, I'm sure the motivation to put the shoe on the bureau came from me, either directly or indirectly.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mmmm mmm.

Well, that warm warm weather cooled down a bit, so in anticipation of a potluck this afternoon we decided to make cookies to warm up the kitchen a bit.

The girls have both been doing "healthy eating" and Food Pyramid units at school, so they both thought that teeny tiny cookies representing the joys of spring (raindrops, flowers, shamrocks, etc.) were the way to go. They picked out the tiniest cookie cutters we had.

Starting baking

See the cookies below? Those are the BIG cookies ... the small ones were much too small, got smushed, and had to be eaten before they even made it onto the cookie trays.

C6 decorating cookies Crazy Q4

In the end, they turned out very nicely, with a fair number of "Mardi Gras" cookies (multicolored) and some butterflies (shaped from random pieces of cookie dough).

The baked beauties

It took a long time to make all those teeny cookies, and about no time at all to eat them. So we had to make some bigger cookies to replace them. Still delicious!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beautiful afternoon

Earlier this week I heard that Friday was going to be 75 Degrees Farenheit in the DC area ... my first thoughts turned to PARTY, we need to have a PARTY! We'll sit on the porch, sip wine and beer and cider and just have friends drop by.

Lucky for C41, two other families (who also happen to like us) had the same thought, and they invited us to their houses tonight, saving us from having to have a party.

So instead of cleaning the house and garden this afternoon we were free to just hang out and do what we wanted to do.

And what we wanted to do was make bug spray (gallons and gallons of it by the look of that pool behind Q4!!)'

Q4 making bug spray

Both girls smeared this concoction on their arms and legs to keep off the bugs. The bugs that have not yet emerged into the world, yet. It is the perfect time ... a few very warm days prior to the birth of the bugs. But, in any case, the concoction was effective. Neither girl was bitten by a bug.

Then Q4 changed her mind and started to make chocolate milk.

Q4 making chocolate milk

That actually LOOKS like a creamy chocolate milk, doesn't it?? But it isn't. It is dirt from our dirt hill and lovely lovely fresh tap water.

And of course, C6 chose to read and write.

C6 writing in the sun

And I made melon balls and cut up fruit to make fruit skewers to bring with us to the party tonight. One watermelon, one canaloupe, one pineapple, and two pints of strawberries ... about 24 skewers, eaten in about 19 mintutes flat. The kids ate every last one of them.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Human Almanac

As most of you know, C6 has been preparing for a Talent Show. Last fall she came home all excited that there would be a TALENT SHOW at school. It came home as a flyer in her folder, and it was all she could do to point it out to us.

However, C41 and I both took note of the critter club, and thought THAT sounded like fun.

No, no, no! The talent show! C6 wanted to be in the TALENT SHOW.

Oh, of course. So, I asked, dear, what is your talent?
C6: I'll slap a "snap bracelet" or "slap bracelet" with a pencil.
Me: That isn't a talent.
C6: Uhm, maybe the kindergarteners can't do it.
Me: Yes, they can.
C6: But the Head Start kids can't.
Me: They too, can.

So, we managed to get her to put down the slap bracelet and consider reciting something.

SOMETHING! The states! And the District of Columbia! And the territories!!

She's actually quite good at it, however as time went on she got a little bored of just reciting and started adding in commentary about the states, about her ability to remember the states, about her favorite states, about the fact that the states were so awesome and you could GUESS why she liked XYZ. (no, of course you couldn't, but she thought you could).

FINALLY. The week of the talent show. She decided to go patriotic and wear a red dress, white socks, and blue shoes. Good plan. Except somewhere between last week and this we lost a blue shoe. I'm not a shoe loser. I can't ever remember losing a child's shoe before. But 4 days after realizing the shoe was missing ... and it is still missing.

So we had a crisis. No blue shoes??? What to wear? She settled upon a blue ribbon in her hair. Which promptly went missing. So tonight I gave her a dark blue scarf with (very patriotic) stars on it. And her outfit was complete.

Headed to the show

We gave her a flag to keep her hands busy (after the last dress rehearsal 2 teachers came up to me and told me she needed spandex or shorts or someting under her dress ... a little dress flipping up. Figuring that I couldn't make that happen, having a flag in her hand would give her something to do other than flip up her dress) and we were off.

100_5808 Human Almanac

Q4 waited very patiently.

Q4 waiting

Luckily, C6 came on third after Spitz-O-Matic (the band teacher) and the HES cheerleaders.
AND ... the show (LONG! 5+ minutes ... highlights below)

Our very own Pint-sized Powerhouse!

If you don't want to watch the whole thing, visit when she starts and sticks out her tongue at Q4 (1:00), Delaware (about 1:35), the K states for a little flag waving (2:21), the M & N states have some extra-C6 commentary (2:21-3:12). The territories are at 4:50, and she has a little moment where she sees her friend S6, waves, and forgets the 5th territory. You can see her recounting them on her fingers. At 5:32 we get some more flag waving and a little crazy curtsy. And then she's off. Whew.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Imagine that

I was quite surprised when I went to check on C6 and found her dog hugging her. Had to take a photo.

Doggy hugging C6 dog hugging C6

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Q4's reading is getting quite fluent, so much so that people comment on her reading in public, and she enjoys reading to us (almost) as much as getting read to by us. Here she is reading a graphic novel to C41.

Q4 reading to C41

She's into fairy books, and Disney princess books (though fairies more at the moment), and BabyMouse books. She doesn't like to read a chapter book to herself by herself (too much!) but that is all she takes out of the library these days.

We went to the thrift store today and had a hard time finding books for Q4. C6 had a pile about a foot deep, but Q4 kept nixing any books we suggested. About dinosaurs? Nope. About sports? Nope. About a girl detective? .... nah.

No matter, she's reading where ever we go, signs, announcements, messages, etc. any public reading matter is not free from her observation.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Do you ever wonder ...

Where ALL those hair things that we buy go? I certainly do. But now we know. The dogs and ponies are wearing them.


Monday, March 7, 2011


Looks difficult, eh? They were playing mermaid and the praire girl, a favorite game in our home.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Romp in the rain

Finally, the skies opened up, and the girls decided it was time to go out into the rain to play outside.

Both in the Rain better

C6 initiated the romp in the rain, but Q4 brought it to new heights. C6 was long inside, taking a warm bath, and Q4 was still outside stomping and enjoying the opportunity to get wet.

Crazy Q4

Friday, March 4, 2011

Due to continued cold weather

I sent the girls outside to play today but shortly after I sent them out they came right back in. After yesterday's gorgeous 60 degree F weather they couldn't go back to Freezing temperatures.

So in they came. They played downstairs for a long time, then suddenly came up with pens and paper and pulled down the scissors and tape and stapler.

And made paper clothes.

C6's first effort was valient. I liked the way it looked on the floor. Kind of like a robot.

C6 laying out her shirt More paper clothes

But then they tried the shirt on. Less than satisfactory.

C6 in shirt C6 made Q4 in shirt C6 made

Q4 tried her hand at a shirt, and although at first the sleeve ripped (see her holding it in the middle photo), we fixed it with a little ripping, more paper and more tape, and it was the best of the bunch ... nicely colored, proportioned, and it stayed on. And looked good with a crown.

Q4 working on her shirt Q4 with shirt (ripped sleev) Q4 in small shirt

Eventually, though, they both made bigger and ... better dresses. And had some trouble getting into them. C6 tried the over the head method, and Q4 the slide it on while lying down method. Listen to Q4 when the thing slides off in the most graceful of ways ... "oh darn it!"

And C6 finally made one that had some pockets, and a bit of history, literature, and geography sewed into it. I love how she got all her interests into this one paper dress.

Then it was time to clean up all the paper scraps around the living room floor. Not nearly as much fun.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spirit Day

C6's school is going through the MSA (Maryland State Assessment?) week this week, so all the kids, not just those taking the test, get to do funky things ... GO - MSA!

G - Green, wear green today (C6 wore green beads with her uniform)
O - Orange, wear orange today (C6 wore a homemade orange necklace)
M - Mix it up - C6 wore one ruffly, one plain sock (most kids wore pjs!)
S - Spirit - C6 and I made a headband for her to wear.
A - ??? They have the day off ...

But no matter about that A, C6 went to school wearing blue and yellow (school colors) and she drew a blue and yellow lion (the lion is the school mascot) to put on her headband.

After she went to bed I put it on the headband. Apparently it was a big surprise in the morning because she was expecting it to lie flat on her head.

It is super cute.

School Spirit Day

And here is a close up of her head. I love that she called it Happy Lion!

Happy Lion!

Q4 was quite jealous of the headband, and may take it to show and tell tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Don't slurp the paint

Q4 is loving the crafts.

She saw this wrapping paper craft and really had to do it. First, however, we started with the wrong paint and it didn't work. Am I the only one who didn't know that "ready-mix" paint is latex- or oil-based paint for the walls? We tried kid paint first. Mistake. That didn't work!

But I googled it, found out it was house paint, and started again. Water + paint + soap + a straw = bubbles!

Blowing the bubbles

Q4 was very good at blowing the bubbles ...

... until she wasn't and she accidentally sucked in instead of out. Peh peh! (notice on the next photo the blue on her face)

But eventually she did it all, and her wrapping paper is drying on the fridge!

wrapping paper

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Swimming lessons

The girls have been taking swimming lessons all fall and winter (except between sessions). C6 has risen from Beginners II, Beginners III, and is now in Advanced Beginners. Q4 was initially placed in Beginners I, but was dropped (sensibly) back down to Beginners I for 4s and then Beginners II for 4s.

So this past Saturday was the last lesson of this session. Q4 passed out of Beginners II for 4s and was placed in Beginners I (admittedly, there was nowhere else to go, but let's not focus on that particular aspect of it). C6, however, did not pass Advanced Beginners and into Intermediate. If she had, actually, I would have been quite concerned. She is a flailing mess in the water. Her report card said the areas she needed to practice were the front crawl and the back crawl. The two biggies of that class. I saw her dive, however, and that needs work, too.

C6 was kind of droopy after not moving up to a new level. Sad. Disappointed. A little dejected. Frankly, I'm impressed that she's in Advanced Beginners already. I had to share with her that I'm sure I took Beginners at least 3 times (er, I remember "cheating" on my test one year in mud pond. I didn't pass), and Advanced Beginners -- who knows how many times I was held back at that level. Swimming was never something I was particularly good at. I think knowing that made her feel a little better, or at least a little less like a failure.

But I've been getting better. As C6 and Q4 take their lessons I've been swimming. Back and forth, back and forth. I don't go fast, and who knows what my form looks like (I got some tips today from someone who was on her HS swim team), but I do feel more confident about my strokes and ability to make it across the pool.

So this summer we'll get a lot of practice at the pool and all be that much better.