Friday, November 17, 2017

Klutzy For Life


I have always been on the klutzier side of life. Perhaps not as much as my sister (love you, Nutmeg!) but I lean more heavily towards klutz than away from it. Team sports? Not my thing (my Dad may brag to you otherwise; I was never very good at lacrosse).

I'm pretty sure it's genetic. The Fancon side of the family seems to be, well, not ballet dancers.

I divulge some family history to tell you this story.

Last night we went to Home Depot. Chris came home from work and exercised, then we had dinner and left for the store. I wanted to go with because I just generally like shopping, even if it is for paint, and I wanted to make sure I got the supplies that I wanted.

We got to the store and I am purchasing things, and I get the paint. Now, generally speaking everybody shares all their paint secrets with each other. You can go to Home Depot and get a Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams color, etc. So I brought in the paint color that we had picked, happened to be Valspar from Lowe's. He tries to color match it and turns out it is one of their newer colors (yay for being accidentally trendy!) but they don't have it in the system. So the nice man at Home Depot took a sample of it, dried it, and color matched it himself. I got three gallons; I figured that would be enough to do two coats on the room downstairs.

Up at the checkout counter, with three chaotic girls, we are getting ready to go. Bethany was in her pajamas and had bathed already, and was definitely tired. Sophia was in mis-matched pajamas (intentionally) with a black and red Minnie Mouse top and blue snowflake pants. Heidi Boo was wearing (again, intentionally) mis-matched shoes (one brown boot, one gray boot with stars on it). I am sure we looked like a (very cute) circus.

Anyway, he scans the items, places them down, and I start moving them into the cart.

That's when it happened.

The genes. There they are.

I knocked an entire gallon of paint onto the floor. The lid promptly removed itself, and my lovely, custom-matched paint that the nice man at the paint center worked so hard to create was dumped allllllll oooooooover the floor.

Chris said that if he had worked there that night, he would have removed his orange apron and walked out of the store.

I am still mortified.

So, we are hoping we can get by with two gallons of paint. We'll start this weekend. I'll keep you updated of the progress. I am hoping I got all of my paint spilling out of the way ahead of time.
Too cool

Picking out ice cream at the store with Daddy

Enjoying fruits of the labor

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


The family cruise is quickly approaching. Officially less than three months away. Chris and I have been looking at all the activities on board and eagerly planning out our days.  I am really looking forward to celebrating Dad's retirement.

We were looking through the app last night at all of the entertainment options and things to do, especially for the kids. It is so strange to remember that when we first planned this cruise, Heidi was not potty-trained. I remember Chris and I were looking at activities for the kids and most of the activities for three-year-olds required them to be potty-trained. Chris asked me, "will Heidi be potty-trained when we go on the cruise?" I remember thinking, "I HOPE SO!!" but confidently telling Chris that I was sure she would be. And she is! It's just amazing that we planned it that far in advance. So much has changed!

Last night we had CC during the morning and then in the afternoon Sophia and Elli had school at our house. Because those school days can be long, I pulled out one of the pre-made meals from the ladies' event over the weekend: taco soup. Of course, the taco soup was frozen, in a large foil pan... I propped it up, frozen, inside of the crockpot and kept an eye on it while it thawed. After about an hour I was able to break it down, with no taco soup spillage on my counter!

After dinner the girls were all having meltdown mode. I still blame the time change. The winter time change can be so hard to adjust to because it's pitch black at like 4:30 p.m., so it feels like it is way  past bedtime by 6 p.m. Then when it actually hits bedtime everyone is falling apart already.

Yesterday we took baths; all three girls in one tub. Usually Bethany hits her limit after about 10 minutes in there with her sisters and wants to be taken out. Then, I let Heidi and Sophia sit and play while I dry Bethany and the water drains. When the water finished, I gave them their towels and then left the bathroom to get Bethany dressed.

I am not *entirely* sure what happened, at lot of this is by report, but I did hear Heidi saying "Stop it, Sophie! Stop it!" and whatever "it" is, Sophia did not stop.

So Heidi punched her in the stomach.

*Sigh*. Isn't this what people with boys deal with?

So then Sophia was terribly upset, and I informed them both that they would BOTH be getting disciplined, which of course upset (and probably surprised) Sophia.

I addressed Sophia first. "Sophie, you are not showing love and kindness to your sister when you are doing something that she asks you to nicely stop, are you?" "No, but she hit me!" "Yes, she did, and her response towards you was not appropriate, but right now we are talking about your behavior towards your sister. How are you showing Jesus to your sister?" Etc. Meanwhile, while I am trying to have this conversation with Sophia, Bethany is banging on the door outside and throwing an absolute temper tantrum because she NEEDS ME SO MUCH RIGHT NOW!

So, after I was done talking to Sophia, it was Heidi's turn. "Heidi, what happened?" "Sophie was doing this *makes hand motions* and I told her to stop but she didn't stop and I told her to. And she didn't." "Ok, so what did you do when Sophia didn't stop?" "I hit her." "Was that right?" Etc.  Meanwhile, again, Bethany is throwing herself at the door absolutely melting down because she is not getting the attention her sisters are getting. It is really hard to have a serious conversation with the three-year-old when the one-year-old sounds like a howler monkey.

Then, I snuggled Bethany, who calmed down the nanosecond I picked her up (fake cry, much?) and put her down for bed, with the girls to follow about an hour later.

My frozen block soup. Turned out delicious.
Heidi's photography
More of Heidi's photography
My new mug. From Starbucks. Pretty sure they designed it just for me. 
Bethany at Sherri's house today. Maybe I will get her a box for Christmas...
Working diligently on school

Monday, November 13, 2017

Weekend Warmth

You know what's truly amazing about cold weather?

And I don't mean, "chilly," like, 30 degrees. I mean, truly, actually, cold weather.

I'll tell you.

We had weather in the 50s and 60s and overnight it dropped into the 30s. Brr. Then a bit later, it was a high in the 20s with a windchill hovering around 0 to 5 degrees. Brr. It "warmed" back up to the 40s this weekend, after some crazy cold days, and suddenly 40 degrees was feeling kind of nice. Pleasant, almost. The girls went outside on this "warm" weekend and played on their swing set. I went outside without a heavy down coat on.

Sophia loves that she can read books and has been asking to read more and more. I love it. I want nothing more than to instill a love of reading for her.

Today in school her lesson was learning the letter "x." I forgot just how awkward this letter is. You get used to its oddities when you read a lot, but it sounds like "z" (in xylophone), or "ks" (in fox), or "eks" (and in, x-ray). What. This is why English is so hard to learn. So far, we are just focusing on the end letter sound "ks." I think it's the most common and simpler. We also haven't really learned that "g" also says "j" yet, but we have touched on "c" sounding like "k" and "s." What a weird, weird language.  Soon she'll be learning the long vowel sounds, and adding some more fun to the mix.

Bethany could not be more proud of herself that she can climb up onto our bed. So, truly, I cannot keep my eyes off of this child for any longer than about 3 seconds if any doors on the inside of the house are open. Do you have any idea how many times I have had to re-roll the toilet paper roll this week? It's a lot. I have lost track.

And speaking of children being children, this weekend there was a ladies activity at church around made-ahead meals. We prepped meatballs, ziti bake, crockpot bbq chicken, taco soup, cilantro lime chicken, and one other thing. Chicken tacos, maybe? I don't remember off the top of my head; I was at the meatball station.

Anyway, while I was at this event, I got a text from Chris that said, "how do you remember permanent marker from the table?" *Sigh*. With a prayer and a magic eraser, but pray first. Heidi was the mischievous one responsible for that lovely artistic addition to my table. It did come off, though.

On Sunday, as we were finishing breakfast and moving to rooms to get dressed, Sophia discovered dresses that my parents had brought out a little while ago that my sister and I had worn as little girls. They are incredibly elaborate, over-the-top, and very much 90s, but the girls were super excited about them because they twirled really well. Sophia was so excited to show Chris, "look at my dress, Daddy!" and Chris put on his best "I love it!" face but also asked me when the costume party was held. I think my favorite part was their choice of footwear. Chris made the mistake of telling Sophia to get "socks" on instead of tights. Oops. So, she chose her nice, knee-high purple pineapple socks. Heidi chose leopard print shoes. Note to my girls in the future: they were NOT Mommy's choice! It was adorable and I loved it, but you can't blame me for it in the future! You can see a picture of my sister and myself in the same dresses.

Heidi is quite the photographer. It is a regular occurrence that I open up the camera roll on my phone to find all kinds of mystery pictures, usually 15-20 in a row, that I know I didn't take. But she loves to do it. I think she'll have to get a camera for Christmas this year...

Stickers on face after school
This is a Heidi picture of Bethany

Goofy kid. 
So proud to be on our bed. 
No-fear Heidi
Happy in the sunshine
Starting to climb. Another climbing baby!
These girls. Just too cute. 
Hard to get a serious smile out of Miss Heidi.
The shoes. The socks.
Colleen and Katie circa 1994
More of Heidi's photography work
Photo cred: Heidi
Photo cred: Heidi
Photo cred: Heidi

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

I Have a Reader!

Sophia READ A BOOK TO ME LAST NIGHT! All on her own!

She has been doing really well with reading words and has put together sentences. She can tell you the difference between vowels and consonants and that an uppercase letter starts a sentence and a period ends it. It's so amazing to me because three months ago, this sweet little girl wanted to learn to write letters and she picked the letter "g." She was so frustrated by it that she was crying and didn't want to write anymore.

Now she's reading words and sentences.

So I made Indian food for dinner last night (this chicken tikka masala recipe) and it turned out delicious but was more labor intensive than I remember. It has been a while since I made Indian food from scratch. While I was cooking, Sophia grabbed a BOB book from the "sight words" set that I purchased forever ago, picked up the first book, and read it. I wasn't able to dedicate my full attention to it but I was amazed that she just gave it a go. I told her that I wanted her to read me a book after dinner before we went to bed.

I picked the second book in the set. She was even sounding out words with blended consonants ("jump" and "glop") and we haven't covered those yet. I was so impressed - and so proud! She's getting so big and growing so fast. Dan had picked up a "pig bear" dressed in a Superman costume in one of his Canada adventures and I had set it aside, not sure when I was going to give it to Sophia but knowing an occasion would arise, and her reading her first book to me seemed like a great reason to celebrate.

It is hard to believe that my little girl can read a book. Wow. I am excited to watch her progress through this year. We actually finished the kindergarten math too; I know a lot of parents skip Saxon Math K and just go right to 1, but I do feel that Sophia did gain from going through the curriculum. She is familiar with different types of story problems, can graph and describe objects, is figuring out how to estimate, can tell time if it is on the hour, and can name some complex shapes like parallelograms and trapezoids. I am excited to start 1st grade math with her, once I can get it ordered.

Bethany has also been engaged more in reading lately, and has a special fondness for Sandra Boynton books (because who doesn't). Her very favorite is "Moo, Baa, La La La!" and I have probably read that book about 25 times in the last week or two, if not more. She especially loves the page with the horse on it.

She's also developing a sweet tooth. Ever since I gave her a mini KitKat bar on Halloween night she will look for the candy bowl and point to it, and then sign "please!" Sigh - I finally get her to sign "please" and I can't even give in to it. I will have to hide the candy.

Heidi has been doing really well in the homeschool co-op as well, even though she isn't officially involved in it. So well, in fact, that I was pulled aside yesterday and told that she was "too involved" with the class. I am considering my next option here; now that we are 1/3 of the way through the school year it seems almost unfair to Heidi to pull her back. I may ask about paying tuition for Heidi and seeing if she can participate with the class, because she absolutely loves to and I really don't want to hinder the learning of a kid who is so interested in it. It's absolutely adorable - at home she will pick up the timeline binder and sing the timeline song to herself, singing through it and flipping the pages.  I recognize that it must be hard to be the person to address that; Heidi is not a distraction in the class but other parents must have complained and felt it was not fair because she is involved and isn't paying tuition. I'm not entirely sure; but it was brought up so we are going to seek reconciliation and figure out what to do going forward.

Hugs and kisses after Heidi's dentist appointment. 
The face Bethany gave me when I told her I wouldn't put ketchup on her tray.
Look at these natural beautiful curls. Her hair just dries this way after bath. I have to work to get hair like that.