Monday, December 20, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The List

I have some big plans for this next year.

Wait, I always have big plans :)

The idea I would like to talk about right now though is Emma's education.

For those of you who do not know, Jared, Emma, and I have decided that unschooling Emma is the best choice for all of us (a story for another day).

Anyway, this year she is technically old enough to be considered school age. For some reason, that makes me want to start acquiring all kinds of educational type items.

Don't get me wrong, we have spent the last 5 years buying educational type toys, books, games, movies, etc, but now I want to be more organized and focused about it.

You can blame this blog for it :) I find her inventory list and the photos of how she organizes it very inspiring. I need to start scavenging for bookshelves...

The List:

Workbooks (all subjects, multiple grade levels)

Magnifying Glass
Human Torso
Science kits (anything and everything)
Balance Scale

So basically as I am writing this post I am going crazy on Amazon making a wish list. Did you know you can get a thingy (technical term) for your toolbar that allows you to add anything from any site to your Amazon wish list.

So, for now I am going to back away from the computer (I currently have 81 items in my wish list, and that was being selective).

That being said, feel free to check out my wish list. If you are feeling super generous and wish to purchase something in the name of education, we will love you forever for it :)

(edited 24Jan11- We started a blog specifially to track our unschooling journey. Emma is even a contibuting author! Mama is Emma's Mama. Feel free to stop by!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hello Everyone!

Just another update from NH.

For those that may have missed it, Emma and I are in NH. We got here at the end of September, and we are having a blast! We have visited the beach (which was cold, but empty so a lot of fun!), done a ton of crafts, played everyday with cousins, ran around in circles, went hiking, visited family, and way more stuff.

We are, however, excited about heading home. We miss all our family and friends back in Iowa.

2 weeks.

Plenty of time for lots more playing with the cousins (and hanging out with my sis).

We leave NH on Friday the 10th. We spend one night on the train, and Gramma picks us up on Saturday night. Emma and I will spend most of the week at Gramma and Boppa's house while Jared concentrates on his finals. His last final is on Thursday, so once he is done with that, he will pack the dog up then join us.

We can't wait.

Aside from just being excited to see Jared, we plan to celebrate an early Christmas with Gramma and Boppa.

We will head home on Sunday, unpack, clean up the house, and snuggle with each other. On Monday, Emma has a Dr. appointment, Tuesday is her birthday (which means a movie, her choice of restaurant for lunch, and a trip to Toys R Us), and Wednesday will be another lazy day with some packing thrown in. Thursday, Jared, Emma and I will pick up a rental car, Gramma will head down to pick up Emma and we will finish packing. Friday Emma, Gramma, and Icky will head back to Gramma's while Jared and I will head for AZ.

Why AZ? Last year, Jared, Emma, and I made a Quick Trip to the Desert to visit our friends and attend the Voodoo New Years Party. Oh, and it is warm there.

Everyone had a blast. Jared and I had so much fun that we have been talking all year about going back again this New Years.

Emma, apparently, did not have as much fun as us (or she just REALLY misses Gramma). When I mentioned the trip to Emma, the first thing she asked was, "Can I stay with Gramma while you and Da go?"

"Um, I guess if it is ok with Da and Gramma."

Jared was a little hesitant. We had a really great time last year, and the thought of not having Emma with us made both Jared and I a little sad. But as soon as I realized that this would be our first vacation -just the two of us- I was sort of excited. I mean, I love my kid, she is the best, but every parent needs a little bit of a break every 5 years or so.

Some of you might be saying, "Doesn't Emma go to her Gramma's pretty often?"

Yes, Emma does go to Gramma's a lot, but when you are child free in your own home, that just means more time to work on the to-do list.

Gramma, of course, was super excited at the thought of having Emma for almost 2 weeks. This will be Emma's longest stay without us. And me with out her.

I think we can make it. Tears may be involved at some point, but I will just blow my nose, give her a call, and I will be fine.

So, we are all really excited. Emma gets to spend Christmas with Gramma and Boppa (who tend to celebrate Christmas with more enthusiasm then Jared and I do), Jared and I finally get a honeymoon (2 nights in Vegas baby!) after 6 1/2 years of marriage, and we all get to relax, recharge, and have a good time.

Want to know what the the best part will be though?

Everyone finally being back home. Together.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lots of Crafty Fun but no Pictures :(

NH is bad for my cameras.

When Emma and I came to NH in June for a visit, our 6 month old camera died on us after just a few days. We replaced it once we got home, but I didn't like the new one, so we resorted to using my very first digital camera (the one I had given to Emma). Before we left the old camera was working well so we decided to take it to NH with us (and I couldn't find the charger for the new one).

Once we got to NH, I tried taking pictures, only to realize that the camera eats batteries like crazy. Fully charged batteries only last a few pictures before the camera shuts off.

Oh, and my sisters camera finally died also.

So, we have been doing lots of fun and cool things, but we do not have any pictures to show for it.
I guess that is not entirely true because I have taken some with my camera phone, but I have no idea how to get them from my phone to the computer without it costing me an arm and a leg.

(After writing this entire post I realized that without pictures to post, I 'talk' too much)

Enough complaining and on to the good stuff.

Peanut butter play-dough:
We are still enjoying the first batch. I keep it in the fridge and use it to bribe my youngest nephew to put his pee in the potty ("Bear, if you keep your undies dry and tell Auntie Tina when you have to go potty, I will give you some peanut butter play-dough."). It works pretty well when I remember to ask him if he needs to use the bathroom... Sometimes I get caught up in my crafting and he gets caught up in the imaginary games he and Emma play together, and, well, accidents happen.

Thrifted/ unloved clothing:
I have fallen back into love with unwanted and unloved clothing. My sister recently when through the kids closets as well as her own, so I have PILES of clothes to play with. All of her kids are boys, so I am finding it a little difficult to make stuff for Emma. Not really that big a deal either because a lot of the clothes fit her as is and look stinking cute on her.

Yes I let my daughter wear boys clothes. A lot of them are more comfy then girls clothes. And these where free :)

I have managed to find a few great pieces of girls/woman's clothes to remake for Emma. I took a bright pink tank top with ruffles and adjusted it to fit Emma as a dress. Then I found these really cute Capri tights with some gathering and bling at the end that I turned into sleeves on the dress.

Ok, I could really use a camera right now. A picture truly is worth a thousand words.

Anyway, the dress came out cute. Onto a short description of some of the other things we have been up to.

Hand Tree:
Not to long ago I came across this blog post Mod Podged Hand Tree. I really loved how they looked, so we tried it out here. The did turn out nice, but once again, I have no camera to prove it.
I actually ended up with a TON of leaves left over, so I am thinking of making one myself :)

Tie Dye:
We tied died tonight. I love to tie dye. I always manage to make a big mess, but the results are always worth it. The hardest part is waiting the recommended 6-8 hours before washing and wearing. Right now I am still using the store bought pre-packaged stuff, but eventually I would love to try natural dying. Might have to plan my garden to include some plants that make good dye.

Halloween Costumes:
I convinced my sister to make her youngest sons costume and to let the older boys make their own costumes this year. And of course, I made most of Emma's. She wanted to be a cowgirl again, so we found some cute fabric to turn into a twirly skirt, and refitted one of my sisters shirts to fit Emma. We brought Emma's cowgirl boots, and my sister had some left over novelty cowboy hats from a Country Karaoke Birthday Party a few years back. Oh, and Emma wants to wear the black sequin vest to go with it. My little Rock Star Cowgirl.

My youngest nephew (2) wanted to be Henry from Thomas the Train. A couple of diaper boxes, some green poster board, and a computer printed picture of Henry's face, and that costume is done and super cute!
The older two boys (10 and 7) are dressing up as rock star/zombie type things. Lots of ripped denim and red paint. The boys got a kick out of ripping and slashing perfectly good thrifted pants. We also made colored hair gel because the boys want their hair to look cool. A little bit of cheap gel and some food coloring makes for some really cool, funky colored hair!

*(the food coloring/food dye does stain a little though. If that doesn't bother you, then have fun!)*

We also dabbled with making our own face paint. We kinda liked the results, but didn't get it mastered so my sister plans to just stick with the stuff we bought at the store. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Big sister (and her hubby) needed costumes for a party they went to last weekend. Her friend lent them some cave people costumes. We decided Wilma and Fred would be much cooler. I took a pair of white pants my sister had but had never worn and turned them into a Wilma dress. Came out pretty nice too! She got lots of compliments, which made me smile.

And for my costume. Me, my sister, and my sisters sister-in-law (confused?) are throwing a Halloween party tomorrow night (they are actually throwing the party, I am just the crafty adviser). Originally I was going to dress up as a Madame (you know, the kind that runs a brothel). My BIL was going as an escort, and my sister was going as a John. I realized that I would be explaining my costume all night (because all it really was was a fancy dress). If I am going to have to explain myself all night, I would rather be interesting and original. So I am going as...
The Incredible Crafter!!!
I will be wearing:
-running tights I made for myself out of cashmere sweaters
-a to-large-but-fitted-by-me-for-me t-shirt that I have tie dyed
-a wool light pink and dark pink striped mini skirt (made from another sweater, and basically just to cover my butt)
-a small cape (anything bigger might get caught on a rocket or in the engine of an airplane)
a crafting tool belt. Yup, a tool belt made from the waist band of an old pair of jeans with pockets from other random pants sewn onto it. I will be carrying safety pins, buttons, thread, needles, a glue gun (with extra glue), tape measure, scissors, seam ripper, and anything else I can think of craft related that will fit on my belt.

Yes I will look like a dork, but that is who I am, a crafty dork :0) It is the one night a year when I can let my alter ego come out...

Anyway, I have also made a blanket from denim squares, with the edges of the blanket made up of white squares (cut from a martial arts uniform) painted by Emma. I love it. Super warm and cozy.

We have actually done non crafty things.
We went hiking a few weekends ago, and that was awesome. I LOVE this time of year in NH. I have taken Emma and the boys on walks through the woods that surround my sisters house. We have read books, and run circles around the central staircase in the house. The driveway is covered in chalk drawings, and the swings have seen a lot of action. Balls have been thrown-kicked-bounced, bikes have been ridden, dirt has been dug. We have watched bugs, found caterpillars, brushed dogs, made hair/grass nests, and climbed all over the furniture.

We even attended a game night where the adults played board games and the kids played and watched movies till late into the night. Emma was very excited about this because, "I have always wanted to stay up till the middle of the night!" As I carried my mostly sleeping child into the house that night she asked me, "Is it the middle of the night yet?" It sure is kiddo, it sure is.

Sorry for not having a pictures to go with my post. I hope to make it to the store tomorrow to get new batteries. I hope I just need to replace my old rechargeables, and not that I need to get yet another new camera. If all goes well, I will have pictures of almost everything to add by the end of the week.

I hope you all have a safe and fantastic Halloween!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Peanut Butter Play-dough

One of the blogs I follow is Crafting a Green World, and this is where I discovered the peanut butter play-dough recipe. We all love it. Almost tastes like peanut butter fudge.
We used:

2c powdered sugar
1c creamy peanut butter
1/2c honey

It takes a bit for the powder to get mixed into the peanut butter and prevent it from sticking to everything, but it is worth the work.

I did discover that it keeps well in the fridge (and tastes better too).

Some fun things to do would be let your kids (or you) play with the play dough making small sculptures, cookie cutter cut outs, letters, numbers, etc., then placing them in the fridge for a quick treat later. The play-dough is rich, so you may want to stay with small pieces for a treat.

Hope you all have fun with this, we plan to make up another batch just before Halloween for party snacks :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Autumn in NH

Emma and I are having fun in NH. The fall colors are truly beautiful. It is so crazy that I haven't spent an Autumn here in NH in almost 11 years.

Don't get me wrong, Autumn in Iowa is pretty also, but nothing beats the foliage in the Northeast. We hope to get into the mountains this weekend so we can immerse ourselves in the beauty of nature.

We will also continue to collect lots of fallen treasures :) There is a nice simple trail close to Amber's house that Emma, Tucker, and I have had a few fun adventures on. Every time we venture into the woods, we find better and cooler leaves, sticks, acorns, and rocks.

And now we have binoculars.

Emma really wants to get back into the woods so she can try out here binoculars.

Onto some of the fun things we have been doing since we have been here:

Body Art

Making Play dough (I even made edible peanut butter play-dough. Yummy!)

Singing and Dancing (while dressed like a rock star)

There are many other things that we have done but just didn't get around to taking pictures of.

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Autumn!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Playing with Numbers

Emma loves to play the rhyming game in the car. We take turns picking a word then trying to come up with as many words as we can that rhyme.

Some days she really wants to play, but isn't in the mood to think of real words, so makes up words. The made up words do still rhyme, but for whatever reason this annoys me (I need to let it go, I know).

This was the case last weekend on our trip to Gramma's. So, instead of arguing with her about real words, I asked if she would like to play the numbers game (we do a lot with words, but not a lot with numbers). She was curious enough to ask what it was.

Umm, I had no idea. I just didn't want to play the rhyming game anymore. So, I decided to wing it (like I do in all areas of my life).

Me- "Ok Emma, lets say you have 3 horses and I have 2 horses. How many horses to we have together?"

I looked in the rear view mirror and saw her counting her fingers. Hmm, this might just work.

Emma- "5! We have 5 horses Mama! Ok, my turn."

So we took turns.

Emma- "Mama, if you have 3 apples and I give you 4, how many apples do you have?"

Me- "If I had 3 apples and you gave me 4 apples, I would have 7 apples!"

It was not limited to horses; we had apples, street signs, hay, cows, etc.

After adding for a while I wanted to see if she would be able to subtract. So, on one of my turns I asked her this:

Me- "Emma, if we had 6 horses and 4 ran away, how many would we have left?"

Once I again I peaked at her in the rear view mirror and I saw her using her fingers to figure it out.

Emma- "We would have 2 horses left."

She was a unsure with the subtraction, and only asked me one subtraction, but she loved asking addition questions.

The lesson I learned from this trip is that annoyance can lead to good things, as long as you know how to wing it.

Here is a fun picture of something spied (on a different day) from the rear view mirror.

Yes, she is asleep in that odd position.

Yes, that is a penny balanced on her nose.

Yes, she can apparently balance a penny on her nose, while sleeping, with her head tilted to the side.

(and yes, I do like to take pictures while I am driving, shame on me)

What fun/ sneaky games do you play with your kids, and what interesting things have you seen in your rear view mirror?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Hidden Alphabet and Other Unschooling Ideas

My mother-in-law is a genius. Really. Well, maybe not literally, but Emma and I think she is pretty smart.

Yesterday, Emma, Gramma, and I were driving back from an impromptu trip to La Cross when Gramma and I starting talking (well, started would not really be correct, I don't know if we ever stop talking when we are together) about homemade notebooks and the alphabet. We arrived at this topic after looking at the really fun pictures Emma had drawn in her homemade notebook on the way to Gramma's house.

Anyway, before Gramma retired, she was a 3rd grade teacher. A really great 3rd grade teacher. She did lots of fun things with her kids to help them have fun learning. Lucky for me, she remembers just about everything she has ever tried in the classroom, which means I can pick her brain for ideas of things to do with Emma.

That is where the hidden alphabet comes in. She was explaining to me that she made small notebooks (1/4 of standard 8.5X11 paper) for each child in her class. These books kept the kids busy when they had down time.

There was a page for each letter of the alphabet. Starting with A and working to Z, the kids would draw a picture and hide a letter in the picture.

So for example: A might have a picture of a playground where the supports for the swing set form the letter A.

Gramma had the kids go in order so that it was easier to view their progress. For Emma, I would probably have all of the letters printed on the front or back of the book and she could just mark each letter off as she goes. Emma likes some letters better then others, so having the letters printed for her to see would serve 2 purposes:

1. She could do the letters she is comfortable with first without forgetting which ones she had already done.
2. If she wants to try out "tougher" letter, she can see what the letter looks like because it is printed on the cover.

This would be a notebook that is always available to her, but not something she has to work on. We actually don't plan on having anything she "has" to work on. Her interested are pretty rounded, so we really don't need to give her much direction.

Fun random picture:

Emma "Wula Hooping"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

End Of Summer

Summer ended this week for Jared. He started school on Monday. This year seems like it shouldn't be too tough, but seeing as I am not the one taking the classes, it is pretty easy for me to so that:)

We had a great summer. I know I was suppose to put up more pictures, but we have been trying to do as much non computer stuff as possible. We didn't really get outside as much as I would have liked to because the 'sketers (mosquitoes) have been HORRIBLE this year. They love Emma. Any time she gets a bite it gets huge and swollen. Even with bug spray. Natural and chemically enhanced. Oh well.

So, we have been enjoying our time playing, reading, crafting, and cooking.

The few times we venture out is typically for walking, running, or biking. Emma has come to love running. She can run almost an entire block (not around the block, but from one street to the next). We walk across the street, then she is off again. We typically manage just under a mile right now.

For the bike rides, she rides in her buggy, which helps keep the bugs off of her. She does really well considering we bike for about an hour.

If you haven't noticed, we have had a theme for the second half of our summer: Getting Healthy and Fit.

As a family we have been trying to eat healthier (which has been a little tough because we eat pretty healthy to begin with), sleep better, and get more exercise.

I would have to say that watching my sister get up and run 5 miles a few of the days we where out there helped prompt me to get my but in gear. That and I became addicted to the magazine Runners World. Lots of great info for newbies and veteran runners.

I know this post has been a bit of a ramble, but I hope to start doing regular posts again soon. I doubt they will be weekly, but I would like to get something out at least once a month.

I hope everyone had a great summer!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Adventures, Part 2: The Beach

I love the ocean.

Of all the times Emma and I have traveled to NH, this was the first time that Emma was able to play in the ocean and on the beach. She has been in the car when we have driven by it a few times, but she was either asleep, or it was way to cold to stop.

So, I was super excited for her first visit to the ocean. So excited that I managed to forget to bring my camera. Yeah, pretty smart, I know.

Emma and I arrived in NH on Thursday, June, 24th, around 3pm. Amber and the boys where in the pool. Emma and I were so glad to be done traveling that we went straight from the car to the pool. Looking for a bathing suit was too much of a hassle, so we went in with our clothes on. Sometimes, those are the best times.

Our first night at Amber's was nice and relaxing. We swam till we were done, then had a nice dinner, played, then went to bed.

But the next day, that was a good day. We packed the kids up pretty early, and headed to the beach. I wasn't sure how Emma would do. Up till this point Emma never really seemed to like water.

Boy did she prove me wrong during our visit.

Our first trip to the ocean, the water was COLD!!! Emma liked to stand on the edge of the water and let it run over her toes. The water was so cold though, that it made my feet ache, so we really didn't swim all that much. Emma and the boys had a blast playing in the sand.

We stayed for a few hours and it was great. We did learn that going to the beach on a Friday in the summer just leads to a PACKED beach.

Our second trip to the beach was a very impromptu trip. On July 5th, Jeremy (my brother-in-law), got his appointments done early for the day and called to let us know he wanted to go to the beach. So, we packed up boys and girls, chairs, and toys, then headed for the beach. We knew it was going to be crazy at the beach, after all it was the Monday after a holiday weekend. The beach was crowded, but we found a spot.

The water was much warmer this trip. We actually got to swim and Emma got to jump waves (jumping waves and diving into them is much more fun when you are smaller). She loved it! Her other favorite things to do were to fill her bucket up with water and make mud.

The kids had a blast playing in the sand.

We all thought it was hilarious when Blake got pooped on by a sea gull.

Everyone had fun playing in the water too.

Even with all the people, it was still a great day at the beach.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Adventures, Part 1

Ahh, it is good to be home. A little quiet though because Jared doesn't get home till tomorrow and Emma decided she wanted to stay at Gramma and Boppa's till tomorrow morning.

While Icky has been reacquainting himself with the couch, I have been trying to organize and clean a bit. It is so hard to do when I have the t.v. all to myself and no one to interrupt me while I am on the computer :)

I am not sure where to start for our vacation, so I think I will just jump in and start with the events that stand out the most.

The Tooth Incident:
It was Tuesday, July 6th. We had a nice relaxing day of doing not much of anything. Amber and I had been out at the pool with my nephews, Blake (10), Greggory (7), Tucker (22mo), and Emma. Amber had to be to church in a bit, so she headed in to get ready, took Tucker with her. I stayed outside so that Blake, Greggory, and Emma could swim for a few more minutes. A huge horsefly decided to start bothering the kids, so they all wanted to get out of the pool and go in side. Blake and Greggory grabbed towels and dried off a bit, I wrapped Emma up in a towel (arms tucked in) then told the kids to head inside while I cleaned up our things.

My back was turned to the steps, but as soon as I heard a thud, I whipped around. Emma had tripped going up the last step. I knew before she started screaming that she had to have gotten hurt. Her arms where inside the towel so she had no way to stop her face from hitting the ground. I scooped her up and rushed inside. I wanted to be able to sit her on the counter so I could see her face. I was so focused on getting her to the kitchen that it took a couple of seconds before I realized that Emma was scream, "BLOOD, BLOOD, BLOOD" at the top of her lungs. I looked down and her mouth was bleeding and there was a trail of blood down my arm where her head had been laying.

My heart rate jumped a bit, but I sat Emma on the counter and said to her, "It's ok, your ok, you just cut your lip." Amber had come running when she heard Emma screaming. She leaned over and whispered to me, "Tina, she is missing a tooth." I gotta tell you I almost lost it. I took a very big shaky breath, let it out, then got myself together.

"Ok, Emma, your ok. You lost a tooth, but it will be ok." Amber went to find the tooth while I mopped up blood. I gave Emma a wet paper towel to put in her mouth, then grabbed an ice pack. Her top lip was already swelling, and she just kept oozing blood. I quickly realized that the ice pack was not going to really work. I grabbed a freeze pop instead. Amber had found the tooth and she put it in a container with milk (apparently that keeps the tooth healthy in case they can put the tooth back in). Amber started gathering up her boys so we could all head to the hospital.

At this point I am standing in the kitchen, Amber is making phone calls (trying to figure out if we should go to a dentist or urgent care), and I am dripping water all over the floor. I ask Blake to go grab me some dry clothes and while I quickly change Emma out of her wet bathing suit.

Emma is actually doing fairly well at this point. She is crying and upset, but she is cooperating and keeping her cool. The ice pop seemed to help with the pain. As gross as it sounds, she was swallowing most of the blood, so there wasn't as much to see. Seeing the blood is what made her the most upset.

We all piled into the car and headed over to the urgent care that is about 10 minutes from Amber's place. We got checked in right away, then waited in the waiting room till it was our turn. Emma had run out of ice pop, and energy. She fell asleep on my shoulder. That creating some new worry for me and I asked the lady at the desk if it was ok for her to be asleep. I mean, she had just fallen and smashed her face into the deck. I was worried about concussion. A nurse came out and looked at her real quick. "As long as you can wake her up and she knows who you are, then she is ok to sleep." So, Amber woke her up a bit, then we let her sleep.

We spent a few hours at the hospital. My brother-in-law, Jeremy, came by to pick up the boys, then Amber came and hung out with Emma and me in our little room. After Emma woke up, we told stories about riding horses to pass the time. The doctor told us he would like to take x-rays to make sure all was good. Emma looked at me and said, "X-rays don't hurt." She had just watched a Curious George where George had broken his leg and had to have x-rays. Thank you George. Everything looked good, no fractures or anything. Emma even got to see her x-rays.

After we had finally gotten back to Amber's and we where having smoothie and scrambled eggs (thanks Uncle Jeremy for making the eggs) for dinner, Emma starting making funny noises. I looked at her and asked if she was ok.
E- "I'm laughing!"
M- relieved sigh, "What are you laughing about?"
E- "My lip feels funny, and where my tooth is missing feels funny too."
M- "Really?"
E- "I wish you had a fat lip so you could feel it too!"

I just laughed. I was so glad that she was doing ok. Now she tells me she wished she lost the other front tooth also so she could have an even goofier smile. Gotta love kids.
The morning after.
A few days later.

We did have a lot of good times on our trip, but I will have to tell you about those later. I have been on the computer for too long. Now it is time to get back to cleaning and organizing.

Hope you all are having a great summer!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

So it's vacation time

I am taking a summer vacation from my computer. I will do a monthly update, but that may be about it.

Hope you all have a great summer!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Schools Out for Summer...

Jared is done school for the summer, so Emma and I are taking advantage of his lack of a schedule. We are having a blast spending lots of time with him. We have been so busy, that the computer stuff has been lacking.

I promise to have some fun pictures up in a few more days.

Hope you are all enjoying your weather (cause ours has been pretty crappy)!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Horse Lesson #4

Well, I am still up, so I figured I may as well at least get you some pictures from our last Momma and Me horse lesson. I forgot to take pictures of Emma actually riding the horses, but I did manage to get a bunch of pictures of her "riding" the horse swing.

I did remember to get some pictures of Emma giving the horses some treats we made for them. The LOVED them!

And one last picture before I go to bed.

This is our favorite horse lady, Ms. Paige.

Hope you are all having a great day so far!
Posted by Picasa

Out of the Loop

I have not been on the computer much lately, the weather has been nice and I can finally sew again. I promise to take a few hours this week to post about all that is going on.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Horse Lesson #3

Emma and I love going to Wheeler Stables. Everything about our visits just rocks. When we first get there (if I manage to not be late), Emma loves to start out by swinging on the rubber horse swing (which I hope to remember to take a picture of next time).

Each lesson starts out the same, which is basically how most riders/horse owners would start out there days anyway, we groom the horses.

This week we got to take care of Willy the pony. We do a modified version of grooming the horses (Paige makes sure the horses are good-to-go before we even get there). We brush the horses for a few minutes, then we move on to Emma's favorite part, picking the hooves.

After that we head into the barn where the riding arena is. With my ankle still healing, Paige takes care of Emma for me. She helps Emma onto the horse and does all the teaching while leading Emma around. This week we worked some more on turning the horses, as well as keeping our heels down, backs straight, and other basic stuff.

The super exciting part of this week? Emma got to trot!

The picture isn't that great, but what do you want from a gimp? You can tell they are moving pretty good though by the way Willy's mane is blowing in the breeze.

After spending almost 30 minutes in the saddle, the girls where ready for a break. We had snacks and chatted, then it was time to learn about horse medical care. Paige taught the girls how to bandage a wound on the horses legs. Emma really liked it, especially because she has seen me wrapping my ankle up the same way :)

After that, lessons were done. Emma wanted to swing on the horse swing some more, so Paige and I chatted while I pushed Emma. After a while, Emma got down to play on some of the other awesome outdoor toys that Paige has, and Paige and I continued to chat.

All this time, Smokey, one of the ponies, was grazing on the nice green grass. Emma decided she wanted to help feed Smokey.

Paige told Emma if she wanted to, Emma could sit on Smokey's back while the pony ate. Emma liked that idea :)

We ended up staying for a bit longer, keeping an eye on Smokey while Paige did a few chores. About an hour after our lessons ended, I figured Emma and I should probably be getting out of Paige's hair.

Every time lesson day rolls around, Emma and I are super excited. We love the horses, we love to be learning, we love to be able to play, and we love to visit with Paige. We always leave happy and tired.

Thanks Paige, for making each trip out so wonderful!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Oil and Water Experiment

On the spur of the moment the other night, Emma and I decided to experiment. We love to do experiments. This one involved the good old stand-by's; Oil and Water. We decided to add a few additional ingredients to see what would happen. Some of the other ingredients we used where: rubbing alcohol, syrup, food coloring, and vinegar.

We learned that the rubbing alcohol makes the liquid cloudy, and that the vinegar makes lots of bubbles. The food colors, when added to just the oil, stay in their own individual little drops, but if you add water and shake it up, the colors will mix.

So much fun, and already planning to do it again. Even picked up a large container of the cheapest oil at the grocery store:) But I forgot to pick up more food coloring:( I read somewhere that if you add a piece of an alka-seltzer tablet, you can make your very own lava lamp, so that will also be on the next shopping list.

If you want to see a few more photos of this experiment, feel free to check out our flicker photos.