Friday, November 16, 2012


Another week has gotten away from me.  I had the luxury of quality alone time with each kids this week.  Miles had no school on Thursday morning and Rae did, while today Miles has school until 2PM and so Rae and I have been able to squeeze in even more.  I am thrilled to say that each kid asked to go for a run with me during our time together!  Miles ran a good mile, chatting the whole way and Rae enjoyed a very smiley 1/2 mile.  Her morning also included gymnastics which is a joy to watch she adores it so much, and almost an hour of swimming at the Y with me!

Otherwise, the week has been normal - color by numbers and mazes have been the rage of the week.  Miles spent an entire hour on mazes yesterday and other times as well. 

We had our parent teacher conferences with Miles' kindergarten teacher on Wednesday and received a good report.  He is reading at intro to 1st grade level which is exciting and will be meeting with a reading specialist every other day for 20 minutes to read aloud.  He will also be meeting with the speech teacher 2 days a week for 20 minutes, not because he is unclear.  He is TOO LOUD!!!!  They will be helping him with his volume, which is awesome as I have taken to whispering to him at home to help him quiet down a little.  Otherwise, he is doing great and his teacher is thrilled with him and his classroom demeanor.

Tonight is Parent's Night Out at the L-S YMCA and then a quiet weekend of hikes and railroad museums before a super busy week.  I am helping in Miles' class two times (Tu & We) while planning a birthday party for him, and attending/hosting 4 Thanksgivings.  It's true.

More sofa love.....since I haven't taken a picture all week!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday, November 13th

I find myself back at that point where I don't feel like I have much to share in this space....our days have just been flowing.  Somethings we are up to:

Tons of reading!  I have been reading a story to the kids at both breakfast and lunch for the past several weeks and this has been enormously well received.  Rae is starting to read!  Miles is totally reading!  It is absolutely magical.

Lots of little learning/fun projects - for example:
1.  Rae and I made up a fun nail painting game where we made color cards that say either "toe" or "finger" and depending what color you pick, you paint a toe of finger that color.  She is very colorful!
2.  Some Thanksgiving crafting of course.
3.  Loads of Christmas gift crafting.
4.  Rae is really into the dot-to-dot numbers and letters.  I think she did 4 of them today in the time it took me to make breakfast alone.  I am getting better at having projects (such as this) ready for those moments when I just need ONE minute.
5.  Miles has homework from school each day and he truly enjoys doing it at this age.  

We are librarying, geocaching, and playgrounding the rest of our days away.  Today we met up with Atticus & Megan, Eli & Jessica, and Diana at Musser Park for a good hour and a half of play followed by treats at Carmen and Davids.  

The kids are still declaring each other to be their "best friends".  90% of the time, they look like this.  We don't take pictures of the other 10% of the time.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Baby & Toddler Expo

This was the 3rd year for Lancaster's Baby and Toddler Expo, and this was our 3rd year in attendance.  We always go on Friday afternoon (12-3) when the crowds are the smallest, but this year was smaller than ever.  The kids didn't have to wait in line for anything and they spent the afternoon bouncing, sliding, swinging, crafting, snacking, and meeting many celebrity creatures (Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Angelina Ballerina!).  We went with the Buckbee ladies and the kids all had a great time together.  It was definitely nice not needing to wait in lines for anything, but I hope that the event is able to continue in Lancaster for future years.  This expo is a great steal.....for just $7 admission for all 3 of us + $2 parking we had a wonderful afternoon and received a ton of freebies.  We always find at least one organization that we were previously unaware of through this expo and then patronize them in the upcoming year.  Some favorite exhibitors this year were - Pine View Dairy (giving away free chocolate and strawberry milks - YUM!), The Pottery Works, North Museum (we can't wait until Feb and the Did Dinosaurs Poop? exhibit!), Gee Gee's Cuts, Castle Roller Rink, and the new Art of Recycle store in Ephrata which donated absolutely gorgeous face painting!

The "littles" as Hannah calls them - spellbound by Angelina Ballerina's performance.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Rae started gymnastics classes at Lives in Balance gym in Willow Street today.  Her classes are for ages 3-5 and run from 9-9:30 each Friday morning.  We decided to wait until soccer was over to start and when the day finally arrived - she was SO EXCITED!  Watching her in class today, I was so thrilled that we decided to make this her birthday present.  She is a perfect age for listening, and the class required a lot of direction following and discipline, which she definitely showed.  There are 6 kids in the class and they completed a circuit including the balance beam, trampoline, pummel horse, somersault, and cartwheel, numerous times.  She was able to wait her turn and do what was expected at each station quite well.  Even being new to a class with kids who have been attending for 2 months, she fit right in!  We will definitely be participating through May - she begged to stay and just watch the 9:30-10 class her enthusiasm was so great!

Love this and all!

Miles will be starting basketball at the YMCA in December, but it was hard for him to see Rae starting something new on her own today.  I worked with him on understanding that they will not always be involved in the same things and I'm hoping for a peaceful month until basketball begins.  He is excited to get started with it!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trick or Treat

We have renamed it "speed treating" yet another episode of "careful what you wish for".  A year ago we first trick or treated Main St Conestoga.  It was great and we knew it would be our trick or treat locale for the future, after years of going in to the neighborhood that I grew up in on this special night.  But last year, with a barely 3 year old, we just made it a 1/4 mile before the exhaustion set in and I realized just how hard kids in rural areas work to earn their candy.  1/4 mile is about 25 houses on Main St, as opposed to at least 100 in town, and wow was that little girl tired until we got to the firehouse for the special glo stick necklaces and turned around to head back to our car.

This year, along with our great pals Arlo and Margot, we were thankful we wore our running shoes.  The kids quickly moved down Main St, before we knew it - there was the firehall!  And in another instant, "oh my God we're at the Wagon!"  We did not put a stop to their spirited speed treating because despite their haste, they had awesome manners.  At each house they said "trick or treat" and then a nice loud, clear "thank you for the yummy candy!"  It was adorable.  They helped one another and stuck together (or at least the boys together and the girls together) and were quite a sweet little team.  But wow, were the adults tired from running to keep up!  :-)  We saw lots of good friends and had a wonderful evening out on the town, but got no pictures as the treaters were just too darn fast.  I will share these pics from our Halloween Parade at church on Saturday instead...........................

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy....Day 2

We were hugely fortunate to be just the "heavy rain and moderately high winds" part of what was hurricane Sandy.  With no power loss or trees / water in our home I can say, the past two days have been actually quite fun.  I do love open ended free days such as we have been having.  TONS of reading, board games, puzzles, painting our nails, midday baths, late afternoon movies, home cooked meals, and the warmth of the coal stove.

Yesterday we had the 4 boys from 2 houses down to play in the morning and this morning we played at their home.  The 6 kids get along so nice and the time always flies.  I was able to safely run each morning, today in daylight as Evan had the morning off work.  The damage in Conestoga looks minimal or maybe non-existent?    I didn't drive the car yesterday, but we are heading out for a walk at Silver Mines as soon as the kids stop playing so nicely together.  :-)  It seems like they have found every toy that they haven't played with in a while, built a fort and have been cohabiting quite comfortably for over an hour now.

But yesterday was some quality crafting time:

Gingerbread cookie decorating with the neighbors

Halloween wreaths

8:30 PM Artists was like a holiday, staying up late and playing!

Miles and I did some wood paintings.  His his the solar system and mine is a fall scene.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Today we are huddled with games, puzzles, books, and a fully charged portable DVD player (thank you again Severn!).

But yesterday was fun.......the past few weeks we have been enjoying sleep in Sundays, pajama time, and a very late morning run for me in the daylight (bliss).  We spent yesterday morning:

1.  Planning Miles birthday party for friends with a Nature Animal theme.  We planned 3 games, healthy snacks, and fun goody bags for each of the 7 kids he is inviting.  I enjoyed having really intelligent conversation with him about his favorite things and animals and people as we worked together as a team incredibly well.  I am truly excited for this party!

2.  Candy corn soft toys

3.  Gingerbread cookies, decorated with icing.

4.  Several puzzles and games from the hurricane stash because we just couldn't wait!

5.  A cat who already moved into her storm shelter.