Friday, September 27, 2013

My Beautiful Grandma

My beautiful Grandma passed away this morning.
My mom said it was beautiful.
 She and Kathy, her sister,
 had just finished reading the Psalms to her and she went peacefully.


Eternal rest, grant unto her O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon her.

May she rest in peace. Amen.

May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Amen.

My favorite picture of my Grandma, holding my first born daughter.
 I loved seeing her, in her 80's at the time,
 holding new life.

I am so very sad, 
especially being so far away, 
I am missing the time we were not able to spend together, 
and remembering the times we did.

Today is my dad's birthday.

Life and death 
both such mysteries


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Toddler/Preschool Time

 A while ago, a few readers asked me for suggestions for activities 
for littler kids during school time
I am absolutely no expert on this,
as most days my littles are crying at my side while I'm trying to teach.
But getting used to a schedule and routine is hard for them too.
They are not used to mama being busy (like that anyway)
Actually looking at this past month of pictures
makes me wish I could do just preschool, 
but I can't do that, and I'm guessing you can't either,
So my advice
is simple:

fit whatever you can in, whenever you can.
small, big, reading, painting, coloring, cooking
include them in everything you can.

Pushing them off to "play" is not going to cut it
(for them or you)
(trust me, I know this from experience)
I'm not saying that doesn't still happen, because it does,
but if there are back up plans,
 it fills some of the time for them and you.
 Bake with your kiddos!  
Big kids can bake with them too,
 they are probably more patient than you anyway...
 Gosh, isn't she just a dolly?

 Let your kiddos paint!!!  
It cleans up! 
Use washable paint (found at Wal-mart)
or use water paint (it's even cleaner)
We have lots of paper, I buy copy paper reams, 
or Tom brings home papers from work and we use the backside.
 Just remember, it will get messy...
There will be lots of smiles and their finished product 
won't look anything like what you would paint.
 This is important for type A personalities
 Use Q-tips and aprons, or old tees, because they will get it all over.
(they will)
Remember, it washes up!
 They will mix the paint, but that's good!! 
 That is how they learn!!
 So good for little fingers...
Look how proud he is of his work

 "What did you say?"
 "It's time to clean up?"

 "I am not letting go of my paint stuff!"
"I am not done!"
 There will be temper tantrums when it's time to clean up
 Let them sing and play on the piano....
 Make sure they get outside!! 
I put my big kids in charge as they get done with school
 Let them play with water....and mud!!
 I love how he's so cold here, you can see his ribs, 
but he's not letting go of that hose for anything!
 There has to be reading time!!  
Even if it's only one story, which actually never happens
because when I say only one story, they beg for 2 or 3 or a whole pile...
My point?  Take time to read,
 even if you only can spare time for one or two books!
 You will foster a love for books and catch  moments like this one!  
(She's reading Have You Seen My Cat? by Eric Carle)
 Oh, they will crawl in and under things
 And probably bonk their head on the way
 Just one of the many distractions within a day....
 Trampoline=best purchase ever.
Let them jump!!
 and run!!!
I dare you to not giggle watching them on the trampoline!
 Play dough, play dough, play dough
 Oh, how I love you!
You are cheap, soft and occupy them for looong periods of time!
 Some pinterest idea somewhere...
use tooth picks or kabob sticks and put cheerios on them
 They both loved it!
 He ended up  liking the sticks better than the cheerios...
(I cut the kabob sticks into different lengths)
 Legos!!!
Force your boys
Ask your boys to share their loose legos with the little kids
This will occupy them for hours!
 Make cool, fun, good-smelling "Soap Dough"!!
 Equal amounts of shaving cream and cornstarch, and a little food coloring
 It is messy...just a warning.
Very messy.
 And very distracting for the older kids who are supposed to be doing their schoolwork.
 Books, books, books...have lots of books!
(and packing tape for mending books!)
 Pinterest fail
It was supposed to be a rain noisemaker
It said to fill a bottle with toothpicks (lots of toothpicks)
put some rice in it and put on the lid.
The problem is when you move it, 
all the tooth picks go to one end, they don't stay all messed up 
so it was STUPID
but it took up some time and she stickered up the bottle when she was done.
 Be prepared for messes.
And then, remember you LIVE here.
It's OK
 Clean mud!
This is Baking Soda with water.
You put a lot of baking soda in a bowl or container
and then add water slowly to the consistency you want
Think "Clean mud"
We still have it in a sealed container and pull it out, 
It seems to be saving good.
It will be messy
Very very very messy
and the baking soda looks like you've cleaned the counter 
with your soapy dishrag, but it will dry chalky...several times.

Just warning you.
 Magnets and magnet things like this occupy time
I have a container of magnets that I've saved 
since I was in High School! 
 (I used to put magnets in my locker)
Whenever there are free magnets, I take them!
 I take it out and let them put them on the filing cabinet, the fridge
and the door!
We also have a magnetic write on/wipe off board.
 Crayons!!
Lots of crayons, markers, and pencils
and lots of scrap paper!
 Blokus!!
We lost a few pieces of our old game
so recently bought a new one
(They have gone way down in price, $19.99 at Wal-mart)
I saved the old game and the littles play it while we play the new game!
Win win!

 All they need is a little time
 And I promise you...
they will steal your heart! 

video


Other ideas:
Shaving cream play on a tray
Play dough, play dough, play dough
Oops, did I already say that?
I have an extra Saxon Math Manipulative box
just for the littles to play with! 
(I bought it years ago when it was only 50 bucks)
(so yes, I have 2--one for using for school and one for the littles)


My world is not perfect, not even a little close to that,
but I hope this helps a little!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Grandma Foster

 My Grandma Foster is on the left, my mom, then my first daughter and I
4 generation picture
11 years ago
My mom's mom lives in California, 
so this was the last time I saw her.


Today is my mom's 65th birthday and she is flying to California
 to see her mama
My Grandma is dying.
I cry as I type this, as I so want to see her.
I love and miss her so much.

Can you spare some prayers for my mom?
And for my Grandma?
My mom's dad died on her 16th birthday
and 
she does not want her mom to die on her birthday too.
Whatever the will of the Father is, we accept.
Only He knows the day and time.
 Here are my 2 Grandma's together,
 my Minnesota Grandma on the left 
and my California Grandma on the right
(both still living and in their 90's)

Mathilda and Loretta
Beautiful names for beautiful ladies


 I cherish this picture,
as I do one other one (but am saving it for later)
My grandma is holding Jedi 2 1/2 and Rosie 2 mos here
I love how she is talking in this picture, 
she has a Missouri accent and false teeth, 
so she talks unique to me
I love her voice and the way she talks.
 What special  photos these are...

My aunt Kathy and her family have been taking care of Grandma
for the past several years, please pray for them too
Their love and devotion to Grandma has been a gift
 And just for Christine
I'll picture us here, 
(she likes old photos of big kids when they were little)
Not so long ago, but oh, so young...
I have a few things to tell this mama...
This picture is for Marijanna
to show her why I always think of my little Rosie when 
I see her beautiful girls!
(I don't know what happened, 
my baby's hair got less and less with each one
til my baldy Little Red!)

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