Author: Ashley
•8:51 PM
...brings on the beginning of the next--the "holiday season!" I am semi-excited about Christmas but still not where I need/want to be. I do feel good about the jump start I've gotten on buying/getting/making gifts. And if nothing else, I have a pretty good list of things for the people I haven't already bought for.

Tonight was trick-or-treat night. The kids had a blast. We went with 2 other families so there were 7 kids total. Little Bit (also known as Princess Peach) had another girl her age (which made her the happiest child on the block) and Little Monster (also known as Mario) just ran with the crowd. He sticks close to his sister, anyway.  I only got to see them hit about 4 houses because I had a Zumba class to teach but the great thing about T-or-Ting is that once you see one house, you've pretty much seen them all. I mean, how much different can it get? One difference that I didn't know about until after T-or-Ting had started is that Little Monster decorated his bag with every sticker he could get off of a sheet that he found in one of his workbooks. I didn't even take them off :)

School was good last week and so far so good this week. This is a big grocery shopping week so I've decided that school is having to be shifted around for that. We are couponers (not the crazy extreme people but one of the normal coupon families just looking for a good deal) and Kroger has a GREAT ad this week.

I'm not sure what is going on with the Android software but I am having issues with photos that I take "disappearing" from my devices (whether it be my phone or my galaxy...which are both Android devices) so I had pictures of the kids doing their school work dressed up but they are MIA. If they return, I'll be sure to post them. Here are our pumpkins. We carved Rapunzel and Perry the Platypus this year. I think pumpkin carving is such a waste. I know it is fun but surely there is a more cost effective activity. I'm such a stick in the mud.

Here is our watercolor art from 2 weeks ago. The one on the left is Little Bit at her friend's birthday party. It is her on a waterslide. The yellow thing is the deck with a table and the cake on it. The blue is the slide and she's in the pink bathing suit. Little Monster colored the pumpkin I drew and then made his own lines and squiggles.

One cool thing Little Monster did today was try to write words. Little Bit did her journal entry about going Trick-or-Treating so Little Monster decided to write it too. He wrote "I M G" and to translate--the M is "am" (but you say it more like 'em') and the G is the beginning of "going." He wanted me to help him with the rest but when I asked him what he thought was next, he proceeded to just draw lines. This is the beginning of learning to read. Again...just something else I haven't taught him. I have no idea where he comes up with stuff. One thing is for sure--he is constantly listening and absorbing everything we say!! When Little Bit was in preschool and I asked her if anyone got in timeout and what they did her response was almost ALWAYS "I don't know but at least it didn't happen to me." If I ask Little Monster, his response is "well, I was standing in my chair and Brody was on the floor beside his chair, and Caroline and Chandler were under the table but they had their hands on the table and we were supposed to sit down and so we got our apples flipped (their equivalent of a green/yellow/red system)". It is so funny the details he notices and remembers.

Author: Ashley
•3:48 PM

This week is affectionately known as the "week from hell" in my circle of friends. Seriously it is so BUSY! There is a fall festival, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, a pumpkin patch field trip, another fall festival, and my daughter's birthday. Can we fit anything else into this week??? Oh yeah! How about a home game so B will be gone rickshawing all day Saturday. Crazy! But crazy or not, it is part of parenthood (my autocorrect almost put "priesthood." sometimes I feel like I'm training for priesthood).

Little Bit had her birthday party last weekend. She got money that she wanted to buy a Rapunzel doll with. When she asked what Little Monster would get I told her he didn't have money so she wanted to use some of her money for him. She can be so sweet. She can also talk to him like a dog when they are playing games together. That's normal tough I guess. Last week she got points to "spend" at the AWANA store and used half of them to buy something for her brother.

Interesting story from last weekend. Our church service talked about how media can influence children. B kind of scoffed and said he didn't agree. Less than an hour later we were at home and Little Monster was building a "combination" I asked him what that was and he said a gun. I told him we don't pretend to shoot people and he said "Daddy does on his gun game." It was awesome...

We went to the pumpkin patch and picked up 2 more pumpkins. I'm not sure what the point is because we don't eat it and we have already carved them but it is preschool field trip so we go. Daddy is on vacation this week so he got to enjoy the fun as well. I have pictures to upload but they are all on my computer so that will have to come at a later date.

Author: Ashley
•8:51 AM

Little Monster has been out of school this week. I have loved it! It definitely gets frustrating when he interrupts me 10 times during school but I love not having to interrupt my day going to pick him up and drop him off. How lazy is that??

There isn't a lot to update on. We are doing art today so I can update that later. I posted last week's stuff but didn't move the pictures around on my computer. Sorry for the crazy format. I will fix it the next time I'm on my computer. If it wasn't for editing pictures I would never get on my computer. This is so much easier.

Author: Ashley
•8:46 AM

Ok. I hate to admit this but I am in love with the recipes on chocolate covered katie's website. Seriously. All of the 3 people that read this blog know 2 things about me: #1--I am the world's pickiest eater and #2--I love chocolate. I mean LOVE it. This girl uses chocolate and makes amazing desserts that are healthy. Her fudge babies-amazing! I made the brownies tonight. They're also amazing! I will admit they have a slightly different taste than a boxed brownie mix but they are still so so good. I did cut the salt in half and I baked mine for about 13 minutes and should have done about 5 more but the beauty is that there are no raw eggs to worry about :)

Ok, onto the other beans in the family. Little Bit and Little Monster are in desperate desperate need for some time outside. Tropical storm somebody has been parked over us for a few days so they have been stuck inside. Little Bit is silly and wild. Little Monster is whiny and pitiful. He's bored with the wii, she's not focused on school. And on and on. I'm hoping for a sunny day tomorrow. Or at least less rainy. I feel like I've gotten a lot of things done, though. I don't feel like the house has a mind of its own anymore (maybe a little bit but not as bad).

Here are the paintings Little Bit did last week and also the rainbow Little Monster drew. We skipped art today. It is my favorite but after the frustration of my wild children, I had to quit.

We also drew pictures of what they want to be for Halloween. I finally got Little Monster to agree to be Mario! yay! He drew this almost by himself. I just told him where to draw the lines. He did the rest. Little Bit is going to be Princess Peach. She drew hers completely by herself.

Her reading has come a LONG way. I think making her practice reading everyday was a good decision. I've been contemplating some kind of reward program for when she reads a certain number of books and/or having her read to different people and have them sign off on her reading. I need to work on that some more.

Author: Ashley
•11:57 AM
I am the worst at coming up with titles to these posts but I get tired of looking at the page and it saying "untitled." So I think I might just post whatever pops into my brain.
This weekend has been pretty good (so far). Yesterday I just needed a day off and that's  what I got. Don't get me wrong- I still put up 11.5 quarts of pears, did some grocery shopping, did some laundry, did some MUCH needed cleaning, cooked dinner (with B's help), and entertained my kids. But I didn't HAVE to be anywhere. It was awesome. I also worked on The Help a little bit. I have already read this book once but after all the hooplah started with the movie, I decided to read it again. I haven't seen the movie but the book is really amazing.
We also found a turtle yesterday. Brian and I saw one about a week ago so I think he may live at our house. I was in the middle of my pears so I went ahead and cut him a piece. Not only did he eat that,  he proceeded to eat almost the entire thing. I think he was hungry. I named him Bruce and marked him with orange fingernail polish so we will be able to tell if its him.
At ballet Thursday Little Bit (and maybe me too) played with angel wing flags. The teacher told me they were homemade and so another project was born in my head. I can't finish one without 10 more starting. So here are my wings. Please done look at the stitching. I pay no attention to detail so I'm not the best seamstriss--seamstress--sewing girl. After I was finished with one, another project presented itself. How do you protect some masculinity for the son that has an incredibly girl older sister and wants an angel wing flag? You make him a flag out of the only slightly masculine fabric that you have. And you make it a rectangle because that's less girly than a semicircle.  It's what I'm telling myself anyway.
Author: Ashley
•9:16 AM
I am so so tired! I have no energy and all  want to do is eat. Seriously. We have done a lot this week though. I canned another 8.5 quarts of pears. Writing that makes it seem like I didn't do much. So let me expound on that-I washed, peeled, cut, cooked, and sealed 8.5 quarts of pears. That's more like it. And I have 2 huge bags left. My kids will eat pears all winter and my friends will have them for Christmas. I'm also doing vanilla for Christmas but after making my list yesterday I think I need another bottle of vodka to start. I won't have any for myself if I don't get one. 

*art was a still life today. I think I need something to help inspire Little Bit. She seems to be drawing the same thing over and over. I'm pretty sure that's normal for this age but her art all looks the same. Maybe after we move out of this section things will change. Anyway she drew one of her cabbage patch dolls and a snow globe.
*she also wrote sentences yesterday (not because she was in trouble but because it is fun). She made them up and did a pretty good job with spelling. It also gave me a chance to work on punctuation with her.I took a picture but it has their "real" names so I'm not going to post them. And, honestly, the sentences don't make much sense without their names :)

*A friend of ours is on a mission trip in Guatemala for the week so we talked a little about their culture-including worry dolls. A friend of mine gave me one of these tiny things when I was in high school and I still have it. The "belief" is that you tell this doll your worry, put it under your pillow, and the next morning your worries are gone. Mine is about 1 inch long but we made ours out of clothes pins. It was a good opportunity to talk about why our friend is there (to teach them about God) and how God is who we tell our worries to. That also led to a good segue into Matthew 6, where we are instructed not to worry.

*here is a sideways picture of my quilt. I'm too lazy to put it on my computer and rotate it. 

*in science we have been learning about colors. We have learned that blue and yellow make green and to prove our theory we separated the colors. I don't know how it works but you put a strip of newspaper with a green food coloring dot on it in a jar of water and other separates the colors. It takes a little while but is pretty cool to watch.

Author: Ashley
•9:27 AM

A few days ago I was asked (not so nonchalantly ) when I was going to update my blog. So here's an update plus all the reasons I haven't already done it this week.
*art was postponed until Friday this week because of all of the events we had occurring.  We learned about portraits and that our arms are more than sticks. They have dimension. Here is Little Bit's friend SK dressed up in her flower power costume.

*In reading we learned more about homophones (pail/pale, mail/male) and continued reviewing our time, money, and place values in math. We are working on colors in science so we mixed colors and saw how a color became more rich if we mixed more color into it (I.e.the more blue you add to red, the more rich the purple becomes).

*Both kids said their verses at AWANA  and Little Bit even got her wings and her first red jewel. I think AWANA is one of the best programs our kids could be involved in. After a bout of disobedience a few days ago, I was explaining to Little Bit why we tell her not to do certain things and why it is important she obey. She ran (unprompted) to get her Sparks book and find where she knew there was a verse that said "children obey your parents". I was proud of that.  Obviously something is working.

*Our week's adventures:
-spending about 5 hours at my grandparents' house learning to put up pears.
-putting pears in brown bags so they'll ripen and I can put up more.
-making a t-shirt quilt
-bringing home more pears
-ridding my computer of another Google redirect virus
-taking pictures of my husband's race team
-watching the movie Courageous
-baking 3 loaves of homemade bread
-and investigating/purchasing stuff to make my own laundry soap because my son has such sensitive skin.