Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Day of Preschool

We survived the first day of preschool. I guess I should say I survived the first day of preschool. I was a blubbering mess after I dropped him off. I started tearing up after he went inside and lined up like a big boy.

He had a great time. He ran up to Will and I when we picked him up. He said "I made one new friend, his name is Nathan." He played with toys, had a snack and was able to play outside on the playground. It was a very good first day and he is pumped about going back tomorrow.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Preschool with Drew

While Brodie is off in the afternoons at preschool I have a plan to do preschool with Drew here at home. Last year he really wasn't interested in most of the activities I had planned. Now that he is a whole year older and has a tiny bit more of attention I figured I would do some scheduled activities each afternoon with him.

I was really hoping Brodie's school would be in the mornings. It would make it easier to teach Drew in the mornings I think. But since Brodie school doesn't start until 12:30p I am going to try and spend 45 minutes or so in the afternoon with Drew. My goal is to focus on a letter each week. I found a simple and easy planning sheet here that I will be using to plan my weekly themes and jot down any craft ideas I have or projects I want to do.

I will be starting with Drew on Tuesday. Our first theme is A for Apples and Alligators. I have a TON of stuff planned already. Included are a few crafts, a whole stack of books I already picked up from the library and a trip to the apple orchard.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

30 weeks pregnant

Figured it was time to include a belly shot. This is the first picture taken of me pregnant with this baby. Seems like I shouldn't be this far along already. I may take another belly shot in a few weeks, or I may just wait until I am actually holding this little one!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Preparing for Preschool

Today we had a home visit from Brodie's preschool teachers. Our school has received a grant so there is no charge for 4-year-old preschool. In return though, the teachers have to do a home visit to each student. I liked it. It was a chance to meet the teacher one on one and ask any questions. Plus it was nice for Brodie to meet both of his teachers, in his own home, before heading off to school.

Sounds like the program is well organized and he will be very busy. He seemed very comfortable with Mrs. R, the teachers assistant as she sat on the floor and did some activities with him while Will and I listened to the teacher. They thought he did a really great job writing his name.

He starts preschool Tuesday. Things will be awfully quiet here in the afternoons.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school. The kids seem to do pretty well. Jake really likes his teachers, at least so far. He managed to find all of his classes on time. Hard to believe he is a freshman in High School! Tony is in 7th grade and was excited to find out that he shares 5 classes with one of his good friends. Today and tomorrow they are just going over handbooks and behavior expectations. Pretty boring stuff he says. Thursday they will officially start their schedule.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Little Helper

Drew always loves to help his momma.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Baby Update

I am welcoming my third trimester with a little excitement and alot of nervousness. I still have 11 weeks till my due date. On one hand it seems far away, but on the other hand the first 29 weeks have gone by really fast. Having a new baby around will definitely be an adjustment and I feel like I am totally not prepared. I have a lot of work to do in the next 11 weeks. I am really hoping to have our basement done so that I can move all the kids into their new rooms and actually have a room for the baby.

I had an OB appointment on Monday. Everything is looking good, even though I feel way bigger with this baby then I did with all the others. I passed my gestational diabetes test so I was pretty happy about that. My iron was bit low but honestly I haven't done very good taking my prenatal vitamins. They really don't agree with me. So I am going to try and start taking them before I go to bed. I go to the doctor every 2 weeks now. Another sign things are getting closer!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Chicken Whisperer

We like to call Tony the "Chicken Whisperer". He has formed quite the bond with the chickens. Every time they see him they flock to him. This has been the scene the last few evenings.The Buffs most especially love the attention. Not only has Tony been able to pet them he picks them up and they don't seem to care a bit.

They were very curious when he was shaving a stick one night. It started with just a couple of the birds wondering over to see what he was doing. Then they all headed over to check out what was going on.I guess you could say he is quite popular with the ladies.

Silly Faces

Here are some pictures to make you laugh. Here is my clown Drew. This was when I was having him pose for his "I'm going to be a big brother" picture. He is quit the character.

Then there is Brodie. He too wanted to make silly faces but just couldn't stop laughing.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Today was a good day. We woke up and headed to the Des Moines Farmer's Market. It was cloudy out so it kept the temperatures decent. We bought our favorite cheese from Milton Creamery, a few ingredients to complete our salsa recipe, 2 cantaloupe (mine are all dying), some green beans ( I am going to can these and see if we like them. If we do then I will try and plant them next year in the garden), and of course kettle corn. I love kettle corn. Oh and I almost forgot, we bought some apple cider donuts. Some people that Will works with recommended them to us and so we tried them and they were!Once we got home from the market we worked in the yard. The 3 younger kids picked up toys and sticks, Jake mowed and Will ran the weed whacker. Tony even weed whacked for a bit. I worked in the garden. I picked weeds and harvested a bowl of tomatoes, a zucchini, a handful of raspberries and garlic.This was my first year growing garlic. It grew really well now lets hope I can dry it, store it and make it last till Spring! I braided it and put it in the shed to cure. I tried putting it in the garage but even Will said it had to go somewhere else. It was strong!We didn't get to making salsa today. That is on tomorrows to-do list now. Hoping to get that made and canned as well as the green beans. We did a little shopping tonight and then Will and I watched a quick show. I made some cinnamon rolls that are all ready to toss in the oven in the morning so I don't have to worry about Sunday morning breakfast!

Friday, August 13, 2010

I can't believe it is Friday. I have no idea where the week has gone. The summer for that matter. The kids start school in 10 days. Brodie will start pre-school in 2 weeks,. I want to get a schedule made for preschool with Drew at home. And I will be entering my third trimester next week which means my due date is quickly approaching! Eeek! I have a lot to get done.

We are trying to finish off our basement. My goal is to put both older boys down there freeing up an upstairs bedroom for the new babe. Of course nothing is ever as easy at it should be and we have ran into a snag which is extremely irritating. So that project has been put on hold momentarily.

I am feeling the need to declutter our house...again. We just have no space. I hate that things don't have a spot. I think I need to put myself back on some sort of schedule. I always feel a little scatter brained if I just fly by the seat of my pants. Like I will start one project, then another, and then another while not finishing the first. I guess that is the attention disorder in my :) Maybe a schedule will be helpful. Especially in the fall when everyone goes back to school and things are a little more routine.

I forget sometimes that my main focus should be just being a mom. Sometimes I spend too much time in the kitchen, or in the room folding laundry. The boys are all going to be big one day and they won't have time for me. I need to enjoy them now while their main goal is to just be with me. Ok, that is not Jake's main goal anymore but the little boys I think it is.

Everyone knows I love sleeping children. Here is Drew the other night sleeping on the chair next to the couch where I was sleeping. He joined me and Will in bed in the middle of the night. When I couldn't get comfortable I moved to the couch. The next thing I knew he was on the couch with me. That wasn't going to work so I put him in the chair next to the couch. He just wanted to be next to his momma. After tucking him in he said "don't let the bug beds bite mommy". Love that kid.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Teaching the Pinochle Ways

Brodie loves to sit on Grandma Marys lap while we play cards. Once in a while he will float around the table checking everyones hand for "A" cards. Whoever he decides to sit with usually gives you the answer to who has the most.

He has been really into cards lately. War and Go Fish are his favorites. The other morning he asked Will to teach him Pinochle. He sat on the floor with Will, me and Drew and patiently listened to all the rules, Miller rules that is. I was pretty impressed with his ability to understand alot of the them. Of course he took the bid with 80 kings and a run. Pretty good for his first hand!

Preserving for Winter

I am getting a good stash of winter produce. I used my new pressure canner last week to can 25 pints of corn. I bought 4 dozen ears and the kids helped me shuck it all. Then Will helped me cut it all off the cob. Add this 25 to my 30 I did a few weeks ago and that gives me a grand total of 55 pints. This should last me till next year. I am thinking I can officially stop buying canned corn from the store.I have been harvesting lots of tomatoes, onions, peppers and zucchini from the garden. I froze 10 cups of onions, 6 cups of shredded zucchini, 6 cups of cubed zucchini, and a few bags of green peppers. Looks like I will be making lots of stew and stir fry this winter.Today I canned 9 quarts and 1 pint of tomatoes. I picked another large bowl of tomatoes this afternoon. Hoping to make salsa out of this batch. I really want to can some greenbeans. We are not fans of fresh greenbeans, we actually prefer them from a can. I know, weird right? So I am hoping that if I can some beans they will taste like the store bought ones. Now I just need to find some.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Behold...The Egg

Drew happily showing off our long awaited egg.

This morning while checking on the birds I found our first egg! The post I wrote below I actually wrote a couple days ago. I wrote how I have been checking daily to see if we had eggs yet. And today was the day! The egg was actually laying right inside the door. You can see this Buff came in while we were confiscating it. I am not sure if she was the layer or not. I am not sure which one of these hens was the first prize winner. I knew the pullet eggs would be small. I didn't realize how small. Here it is compared to a regular egg.This is the first of many hopefully and I am so excited!

Chicken Update~18 weeks

My chickens are doing well. The are now 18 weeks old, so any day now they should start laying eggs. I filled up their nesting boxes with straw hoping to make it a little cozier in there for them. Every day I head out in the morning to open the door to the run and check to see if "today is the day"! So exciting.I have been letting them out of the run in the evening to free range the backyard. They have been doing really well staying close to home. Sometimes they venture off into the neighbors yard but usually I can still keep an eye on them. They seem to get more adventurous each day. Here are some of the birds creeping up on the deck.They are fun to watch. The way they run, or try to fly hovering over the ground, chasing moths. Pretty entertaining. Drew likes to chase them around saying "heeeey girls".When they are our free ranging the yard this is pretty much how they look.Heads down, tails up. They love them bugs.

At dusk they always come back home and put themselves away in their house.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wild Plums

The kids and I were out hiking and I found a good selection of what I thought at the time were wild plums. Turns out after a little research online I was right. I have heard of them but never seen them before, at least not that I recognized. It looked like some of the trees were ripe and ready to be picked. Here are a few I brought home.Most of them though were not ripe. I will have to keep my eye on these little treasures.The boys kept me at a good speed walking. They were always ahead of me and I spent most of my time trying to keep up with them.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pre-School Home and Away

So I enrolled Brodie in Pre-school. Actual school where he will go each Monday through Thursday afternoon for 2-3 hours. I am a little sad to see that my little man is growing up. He just misses the cut off for Kindergarten. His birthday is 2 weeks after the deadline. I didn't put him in school pre-school last year because I thought I could teach him just as much if not more than school could. I also didn't think he needed 2 years of pre-school.

I have mixed feelings about sending him. I know it will be good for him. He will be able to socialize and make some friends. That is pretty exciting.

I will have a newborn in early November. Drew will be almost 4 years old. I am planning on doing home preschool with him. Then next year he will be heading to the pre-school that Brodie is attending this year. Having Brodie gone in the afternoons will give me some one on one with Drew to work on his learning.

Seems weird to think that school will be starting soon. The house will become very quiet.