Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 2012

January 1- took Christmas away (according to ephram), cleaned every room, organized the homeschool room including all the books, brian made chili, i baked cornbread, finally finished cleaning at 4:15 and got ready for our New Year's Day company, had a blast with the Klick's and Bradon's parents, gave a tour:), and crashed!

January 2- last day with brian home, bought a new table for the homeschool room with cailey, organized, went through ALL the clothes in the attic (including cailey's newborn ones for the first time in 9 years:(, FOUND the shirt that started the rearranging! 3 oldest kiddos went to Corbett's while we cleaned...and they had a blast playing with chickens/in the creek/on the rings/eating candied bacon, etc., got everything set in the hs room, and went out to Chili's with the Williams before our first day of school tomorrow!

January 3- school...pretty LONG day for two oldest, great day with kinsey...started 1st grade math, K is LOVING all the books she can read and get to now with the new hs room, COLD day outside..everyone stayed in, read tons to ephram, adore how he wants to play the 'nosie' game before naptime and just belly laughs, and was honored when kelly asked me to reveal the gender the next day:).

January 4- school, watched the klick kiddos while they went to their ultrasound, baked brownies, kiddos played outside/legos/games/babies, etc., had happy children, went to CFA for the big reveal and ordered a strawberry milkshake since it's a GIRL, had a fun time hanging out, didn't walk w/ leslie since she's sick, and noticed my biggest girl joining in on the adult conversation and not wanting to play..sigh. cailey is SO excited that the baby is a girl and wants to be Charlotte's best babysitter and playmate:).

January 5- GREAT school day, played lots of games with the kiddos..including our new one/ connect 4X4, kids played outside tons, played wordfeud and had girl time with cailey, cooked with kinsey, watched the gorgeous sunset that ephram pointed out to me with him, kinsey had cheerleading and cailey had basketball.

January 6- a bit of school, watched Alex all day, super doubles..several times (though not too great), watched cailey organize a gumball picking up party and then tell ephram (and the others) i would pay them:), played with the kiddos, talked with cheryl while they kids played with ashton outside, ran errands with the fam, and talked with the girls.

January 7- slept late, girls picked up gumballs together, kids played outside in the 70 degree weather all day long with emily ruth, went out to dinner with old Sunday school friends then starbucks while brian and the kiddos were at the Klick's, came home to an 'achy' cailey who ended up sleeping with me:).

January 8- cailey felt better, went to church, ran errands with the fam, kiddos played outside, did 12 loads of laundry, cleaned my room and closet, organized...feel like everything's done now!, kiddos called dad for his birthday, kiddos had awana then choir, and got ready for the new week.

January 9- piano for older two, school with K, playtime with E, school with others, gymnastics for K&B, carter over for playdate..LOTS of legos, writing class for cailey, one on one time with kinsey (games, reading, talk time:), great catch up time with cailey about piano and awana (she finished her LAST awana book last night), and read.

January 10- canceled run w/leslie b/c of a manhunt outside our house, school, elliptical/arms, lots of playtime with the kiddos, dance party:), karaoke, organized pantry/closet/garage, games with ephram, talk time with braden, watched morgan kiddos, family time, last run to super doubles, and biggest loser:).

January 11- went to meet leslie but came home b/c of rain:(, did the elliptical, school, surprised the kiddos with a visit from the Welch's..YAY, went to CFA with them for lunch, talk time with laura...oh how i LOVE that!, kiddos played INside all day..rain:(, had a dance/singing/pillow fight/nerf gun war party before bible time/prayer all together, then hung out more with laura while the kiddos 'slept':).

January 12- hung out with welch's then said goodbye:(, watched Jay (SO fun watching him and ephram play together), school, long day, took the kiddos to the Y so the older three could take the kids conditioning class, walked with Laura C..and talked:), kinsey had cheerleading/cailey had basketball, cooked a yummy dinner, read tons to ephram, organized with my organizing buddy, braden, and played games with kinsey.

January 13-woke up to walk but leslie was sick:(, watched alex, went to the Y to walk with Kelly, took the girls to AHG, picked up kinsey and sent cailey off to abby's birthday party, tried a new 'pizza-esque' recipe, met cailey at basketball and cheered her on at her first game, fed baby lulu her bottle and LOVED watching kinsey and ephram fight over who loved her more...and play with her, took cailey back to the party, and chatted with her into the night about how much fun she had.

January 14- watched kinsey cheer in her first game, ran errands with the fam, home for naptime, went to fleet feet and was there for a long time picking out shoes, breakfast for dinner, pinned LOTS of new yummy looking recipes on pinterest and crashed.

January 15- church, elliptical, cleaned a bit, surprised the kiddos with a visit from nonny:)!!, cailey played at the morgans while the others played with nonny all day, cailey came home for some nonny time, cooked a roast for the first time ever, kiddos went to awana while mom and i went to the grocery store then came home to eat with brian and ephram while the kids were at a choir kick off pizza party.

January 16- went walking with leslie, piano lessons, school with kinsey, school with others while mom played with ephram and kinsey, went with mom to gymnastics while kelly stayed with the babies, took cailey and emilee to writing while mom played with braden and kinsey, made cheese steaks for dinner:), and hung out with mom.

January 17- school, nonny played with ephram and kinsey when needed:), jason's deli with mom and the kiddos, TONS of errands with mom, ephram napped in the van, elliptical, lots of piano practice from cailey, yummy shoyu chicken for dinner, nonny played games with the kiddos, went out with mom for a grocery and mall run, watched unforgettable with mom:).

January 18-school, toured a chocolate factory for a field trip, ran errands, picnicked in the car, kiddos played games with mom, went on a date with brian to see So I Bought a Zoo thanks to mom while she made ice cream sundaes with the kiddos.

January 19- school while nonny played with ephram, nonny gave braden a haircut, made chocolate lollipops with the kiddos, elliptical, games together, kiddos played outside, cleaned a bit, watched The Wizard of Oz together, mom went to watch kinsey at cheerleading/and cailey had basketball.

January 20- said goodbye to nonny:(, watched alex, co op, traded kids with the klicks and brought caroline home while braden went to their house and had fun playing with caden, girls played beauty parlor/babies/outside, etc., pizza night!, and cheered cailey on at her basketball game.

January 21- rain, rain, go away..and hot weather!, cheered kinsey on at her cheerleading, thought about kelly f and tn all day, play day all day, braden worked on his derby car, read lots and played with ephram, girls slept over the Morgan's, tons of laughing, and the boys slept over on their floor with sleeping bags:).

January 22- felt terrible, others went to church, cailey came home not feeling great but took medicine and was better, gracie came over to play with the girls, braden worked on his pinewood derby car, cailey's headache came back in time for awana...other three went, she was better for choir and joined the other two there.

January 23- a little school, sick day for mommy and cailey (had to cancel a playdate w/ corbetts), kelly took others to gymnastics, prayed for cailey...tons, lots of rest while the other 3 played.

January 24- another sick day, canceled playdate w/ lawley's:(, little school for braden/kinsey, very sick cailey until 2:00 when she started getting hungry and eating, BIG helper Braden, 2 American Girl movies, lots of snuggles and prayers, and at the end of the night a great smile from my biggest girl who finally felt better.

January 25- canceled playdate w/ sandners and klicks b/c of me being sick with a bad cold, school, LONG day, made a car track with masking tape in the boys room and got an umprompted, "thank you so much for making my car room" from ephram, played lots of cars, played folder games and read TONS of books with e and K.

January 26- school, visit from tricia and baby landon (yay:), made a yummy new dessert with the kiddos, hung out with cailey, videotaped ephram being terrorized with a plastic sorting bug/silly boy!, lots of time playing with the kiddos, still can't breathe/smell/taste, picture night at cheerleading and basketball, played with my boys.

January 27- busy day! cailey's piano lesson make up, watch alex, co op, AHG, hung out with cheryl, picked up girls, playdate w/ lawley's complete w/ ice cream, cheered cailey on at a super close..overtime...ending in a tie game, dropped girls off at AHG for lock in, dropped braden's pinewood derby car off at the mall, ephram got a ride on the carousel, came home with the boys while brian picked kinsey up from AHG at 9.

January 28- picked up cailey before she crashed in bed (she had a blast shooting marshmallows/hanging out/playing games/and making crafts), kinsey had cheerleading..yay!, cheered on braden at the pinewood derby, date with braden to the bookstore for some new books, errands, home to wake cailey girl, outside play in the afternoon, celebrated ashton's birthday at a cute cooking place for kids and had a sleepover with cailey:).

January 29- church..GREAT sermon!, out to lunch with williams and treichlers, girls went to see Carolina gymnasts with brian, awana, and try outs at choir...busy day!

January 30- piano lessons for oldest two, school with kinsey, watched winston all day, laura c came over with jay, watched sweet carter/jay/winston/and ephram play together, caught up with kelly after oldest two had gymnastics, kinsey went to caroline's for a playdate, cailey had writing class and yogurt mountain with emilee, kiddos played outside, taco night, saw some great "Van Gogh" pics done by the kiddos, and heard lots of piano playing.

January 31- didn't meet leslie to walk b/c winston had a seizure:(, woke to braden playing the piano WAY too early, GREAT school day, kiddos wrote about Verderi steps, watched Cailey bake her first 'completely solo recipe from scratch' which was a cinnamon coffee cake she'll be surprising brian with for breakfast, made eclair for dessert, tried out honey sesame crockpot chicken, lots of snowman crafts today..though it's super warm out, LOVED spending lots of time with my biggest boy, family wii night, and prayed for sweet winston.

**wanna remember ephram constantly saying, "can you may please get me....?" or "can you may please help me do...?"

Monday, January 30, 2012

'Homemade' Chocolate

The next day Nonny taught the kids how to make their own chocolate lollipops using a mold.

they loved doing it and were totally focused:). this was a GREAT follow up to
our field trip.

they made teddy bears!

they all loved their results...which they ate in the afternoon after they were set..while watching
The Wizard of Oz. If we owned Charlie and The Chocolate Factory it would have been even better:).

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kiddos and the Chocolate Factory

While mom was here we went to Videri chocolate factory for a private tour/field trip. The kids learned how to make chocolate starting from picking the cacao pod off the tree to wrapping the bar. Here they were smelling the beans and learning about the roasting process, then they moved to see where the bead was crushed and then turned into a chocolate bar.

the giant roaster

Videri chocolate is completely organic and peanut free. They are very small and just opened in December so they do pretty much everything by hand..including wrapping the candy bars.

The owners were AWESOME with the kids and gave out samples of all the chocolate after answering every question possible that the kids had. This is a picture of them sitting in front of the GIANT bags of cacao beans which have to be sorted by hand.

I had the kids write out the process of taking a cacao bean and turning it into a chocolate bar. This is what Braden wrote in his journal:

How To Make Chocolate at Videri:

Step 1: First South Americans pick the cacao bean pods off of a bush in Peru or Venezuela. Then they pick out all the small cacao beans from the pod and put them in giant bags, and send them to the Videri factory in America.

Step 2: Next the Videri workers dump the bag out and sorted the shells and yucky beans (which are sometimes used as mulch) from the good beans that are put in big buckets.

Step 3: They roast the beans on a high temperature for hours.

Step 4: Then they crush the cacao beans which separates the cocoa butter from cocoa powder.

Step 5: They melt milk powder, sugar, vanilla bean, cocoa powder, and cocoa butter together.

Step 6: Next they put it in a heater, stick it in molds, and let it sit on a shelf to rest for five days.

Step 7: Last they wrap them by hand and sell them.

Fact: It takes one to two weeks to do the whole process.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nonny's Surprise visit!

Nonny came for a surprise visit! The kids were totally shocked and couldn't believe she was staying "for a WHOLE week!" Having her here was such a blessing for us all..but especially sweet ephram who was played with all morning while I did school with the other kids. The day she arrived he was trying to teach her how to play angry birds..hilarious!

Most days I'd do school in the morning while mom played with ephram..then kinsey and we'd go out to run errands/lunch/ or field trips after school.

Mom played games, did play doh, worked on letters, sorted, built marble mazes, sang, read books, and kept ephram completely going for hours. The pictures I have of them together were always taken when I came down from teaching while the older ones were doing their independent work. LOVE! Kinsey was showing Nonny how the wedding dress and veil looked on Ivy. Nonny made both of the girls new wardrobes for their dolls.

my FAVORITE picture of the whole visit. kinsey did her reading to nonny.

Nonny even got to hear both Cailey and Braden do their first oral reports on books they had read.

after errands, etc. nonny would play with the big kids in the afternoon while ephram was napping.

Having lunch at Jason's Deli. We all miss Nonny a lot!! Poor Ephram
went through withdraws the first few days she was gone:).

Friday, January 27, 2012

surprise visit!

Cailey had NO clue they were coming and wondered why I asked her to answer the door (because usually I don't let them answer it unless we know who is coming over or I am standing there).

I pretty much keep it a secret every time they come. Most of all because I like to surprise people..but also because it helps them focus on getting their school work done before they come. This was our January visit together and it was a RAINY day (boo) which meant the kiddos wouldn't be able to play outside like they usually do for a good bit of the day. We decided to take them to chick fil a where they got rid of some energy (and had lunch) then spent the rest of the day at home. The kids and moms had a great time catching up:).

love this pic...they were all genuinely smiling b/c they
were waiting for piggy back rides from cailey!

chick fil a break for lunch...and apparently the big girls are too cool to sit near us now:). this is the second time cailey's done this where she requested to sit with her friend in the 'stools by the window'. sigh.

I had to get an airplane pic b/c i have one of them in there at 4yrs old...I'll
probably make them do it again when they are 18:).

we had a fun 'typical' family night of singing, dancing, pillow fights, and
bible study. fun times:)!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

ipad dump fall/winter 2011

These are my fav's taken with the ipad since last summer. LOVE reliving moments through pictures:)!

caroline and kinsey grooving, ephram with his doggies on a road trip

dress up? thanks to his sisters...and his new winter hat!

coloring a pumpkin orange..and destroying..err...playing in the homeschool room while we were working.

'helping' with kinsey's party favors, LOVE cailey doing word wall with kinsey

new jammies from aunt stefi and uncle dave, and ephram cutting ribbon while i wrapped presents/GREAT fine motor

boys with poppy, and braden listening to kinsey read/LOVE

a fb friend wanted a pic of my ocd pantry, boys playing with winston

cailey with gracie doing 4th grade homework together from g's school and a pic of them actually wearing their helmets after a lecture from dr. walker:)