Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Greatest Show on Earth!

Mr. M's boss graciously gave us 4 tickets to Barnum & Bailey Circus on Nov 17th.  We were so honored, as they were center ring, only 13 rows up.  It was perfect viewing for a small guy who LOVES the circus. 

Since Daddy had to work and could not join us, we asked Grandma & Grandpa M to join us for the show.  The happily agreed!  We had such a great time!
 And Grandpa got J his desired treat for the night.  He has had so much fun with this around the house. 
I had to take a picture of the tigers, as they were so neat & one of the animals J was so happy to be seeing that night.

His other all time favorite was elephants, but we were too busy laughing at their potty party fouls to actually take pictures.  J was too funny, as he picked up on what I was calling party foul doing his "Party Foul - STINKY POO POO!" waving his hand in front of his nose, even though we honestly did not smell anything, he still had us in stitches

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Halloween

Ugh, I'm so bummed, we still have not fixed our computer since the epic water spill... But, I wanted to get some pix's posted of Halloween, so I've resolved myself - iPhone pictures will have to make the cake for now...

Night before school party, mommy decided it was time to make sure the costume fit... It was a size 6, but it fit perfectly. 
 We used the boots from the costume for actual Trick or Treating, as they fit over his sneakers & I thought those would be more comfortable for walking our neighborhood with Grandma M & Aunt Liz (plus our neighbors)...

J has since scored a pair of Woody *true* cowboy boots to wear all over our home... :)  Love him!
 And by walk around our neighborhood, I really mean run.  As with the previous year, I only had him do our street both sides, I did expand up one street, then we came home to refill the bowl left on our porch & hand out candy.  I love that he prefers to hand out candy as to receive loads of it.
Especially since I've become a mean mom who slowly doles out real candy...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Family Time

Over Thanksgiving we went to see my brother & his family...

Love these kiddos...
unpictured is an adorable little chunk of a boy - Caleb...
by the time we see him again, he'll be running with these older kiddos.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Visit from the Elf...

Earlier this fall, J lost several toys & his coveted blue plaid puppy sleeping bag to a Love & Logic learning lesson about picking up his toys.  I'm happy to report, J has worked very hard to earn them back, which we said - he could possibly do... He'd have to ask Santa for them, as only Santa would have the power to replace his old toys with brand new versions of the ones he lost for the little boy who was in need of them toys.  While he really wanted his toys back, he said he doesn't want to take them from the little boy who doesn't have all that he has, but if Santa could replace them, then yes, he really wanted his toys & most importantly his sleeping bag back.

We've had this discussion often.

Fast forward, Cousin Camryn really wants to have a "sleepover" while we are visiting them before Thanksgiving.  This is the letter Aunt Kristi found on her front porch this morning, along with J's sleeping bag.

He truly couldn't be happier.

Mommy may have been shocked to learn, our Elf named himself this year... Thank you to my dear boss for the help & the creativity...

Dearest Jacob –

Santa heard through his vast network, that you would be in need of your sleeping bag this weekend with your cousins; Camryn, Mallory & Baby Caleb.

He is very proud of your generous heart in helping mommy shop for the soldiers and the Humane Society. I’m sure those soldiers will be very thankful for the green soap and fiber bars you selected, and I know the animals are very thankful for your kindness that has given them full tummies and clean potty boxes.

During this Christmas season, Santa and all of his Elves hope you will continue to think of those who are less fortunate than you. We hope you will continue to grow your generous heart in the name of our Lord God.

I’m looking forward to joining you in your home shortly, but remember you must NEVER touch me.

With Love,

Your Secret Elf


Luke 2:13-14

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, (14) “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

FRA - Stamp Pads

This is a new way to finger paint.  The kids are given general ideas of what they picture should look like, then they get to choose exactly how to decorate it.  Creativity with guidance. 

J loves these stamp pads.  :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

FRA - Sensory Table

I'm amazed at how often this changes, but each and every time the kids love it.  Digging their fingers in the different textures to find various treasures. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

FRA - Recess

I have Halloween pictures to upload, but we a minor accident... J spilled water all over Mr. M's computer - the desktop.  The computer I chose to link my camera up with, since I generally use my laptop & I've lost a few hard drives this year.  Sigh.  Obviously I am not downloading anything to that until everything has a chance to dry & for us to fully assess the damage... In the meantime, we can continue to enjoy FRA pictures... 

Recess was my favorite time of the day when I was in school... 
J seems to be loving it as well.  Although, I do have to admit, he talks a lot more about what he learned (or is learning) than about playing outside.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Snack Days... Snack Days...

During Parent's Orientation, I learned the 'healthy prepared snack' J would receive each day is lovingly prepared by us - the parents.

Yeah, did not see that one & being totally honest, it threw this working mom for a loop or two.

Mr. M suggested I grab 5 Monday's in the fall and just be done with our piece, until J's birthday, which will be our last day to do snack.  Seizing on what I thought was a fabulous idea, I signed up for each Monday in October and the first Monday in November.  Little did I know what horror I was in store for with work in November or that I would be making homemade play-doh for J's Halloween party at school.  Needless to say, October was torturous.

What was not torturous, was preparing his snacks.  Okay, so once I decided on what to supply, it has been fairly easy.

The rules were simple: healthy, enough for 26 children & containing no chocolate, #9 red or peanuts.

wk 1 - Scooby Graham Snacks with organic apple slices & water

wk 2 - Fruit Kabobs (watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries & pepperoni & cheese) & water

wk 3 - Grapes, cheese sticks & organic Horizon milk

wk 4 - Yo-kids organic yogurt with Go-Squeeze applesauce & water

wk 5 - will be...Mott's Medley's Fruit Snacks, organic apple slices & organic Horizon milk So far J's been happy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

FRA - Woodshop

In case I haven't mentioned it, part of why I fell in love with FRA was the simple fact they have a woodshop.  Woodshop for all kids, not just the never going to be a college student kids, but all kids to help them understand math concepts by putting them to practical use. 

They started by reading a book about working around tools, covering the basics on safety.  Then they started showing simple tools.  In recent pictures, I saw the kiddos using sandpaper on wood. 
Mr. M & I love how J is bringing this home & telling us what he *needs* for his tool bench.
I'm excited to see what project his class works on in the Spring.  His creativity is growing leaps & bound right now & I can only imagine how much fun it is for him to incorporate what his mind can imagine with what he is learning every day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

So behind...

I am so far behind... I have some old FRA pictures to share, and Halloween.  On Facebook, I posted a video of J & Miss Skye singing and rocking it out during the day.  What a fun day that was for us!  J was on Fall Break, and I took a much needed vacation day.  Miss Wendy let us watch Skye while she ran to the grocery store, and we delighted in having another little one around.  J surprised me in how much he has grown, even delighted in sharing his toys.  He is pretty protective of Woody & Buzz, but was great at sharing the rest of his toys.

We, and by we, I mean his wonderful teachers at FRA, are working on breaking the thumb... He has made it to 4 days, but then I think my work schedule got the best of him, as he had a first ever epic meltdown at school.  Mrs. Bach said she was able to experience the side I discussed in Love & Logic classes, that she could just not imagine.  We have a reward system in place for meeting 5 days, then a month.  Once we hit a month at school, we'll start working on home.

That said, J is responding very well to Love & Logic at home, and he is learning to put himself to sleep all on his own.  He does better, if I'm there, but even then I can set a timer & he will wait till the last fifteen minutes, but man - last night I gave him a fifteen minute warning.  Matt came in nine, repeat nine minutes later to talk to me & J was knocked out.  Reminding me, he can put himself to sleep when necessary.  And time-outs are becoming very routine.  J knows what they mean, he has clear understanding of our expectations, and he is learning the consistency of routine to help him manage his own behavior.

He still very much needs his naps, and pays the following day when he doesn't get one.  I think this may be tied to his recent growth spurt.  I realized his uniform size 4 dress pants are a tad short and I need to adjust the head guard on his five-point booster seat.  But this did make for a fun conversation when discussing the Holidays with Mr. M...  Yes, I am making the choice to make time for J to have time to nap, and that is what it is - a choice.  I can either push him to his limits, then pay for it with meltdowns when he is over taxed OR I can be proactive & loving (Love & Logic moment here) using my power as his parent to provide him the downtime to have the nap I know he needs, which will prolong his/our fun and enjoyment overall.

Oh yeah, one last point...

If you hear Mommy gave away his sleeping bag & monkey game, please know I did not.

I made a point & unfortunately these things were caught up in his items of “Things left on the floor” after being warned. So I had him get a trash bag for me & we bagged everything together. When he realized I was serious he flipped out, but has been very good at picking up his stuff since. I’ve told him it went to a little boy who doesn’t have as many toys as J does & when asked “would pick up his toys off the floor”.

He keeps asking for it, and my response is “You’ll have to ask Santa to bring the little boy using your toys new versions of your toys, so then you can have your old stuff back.”

My plan is for him to be really good between now & the week of Thanksgiving. Then we will, with ‘him’ taking the lead, go buy food donations for the food bank. Then on the day after Thanksgiving, when our tree is out, and our Elf reappears Friday overnight, we will leave him a letter so that Santa can send them back early… via the Elf.

He is getting into a show offy stage (Matt & I’m thinking this is the downside of school), so we want to teach him how not everyone has what he has, or is getting to go to Disney World, so it isn’t nice to tell everyone. And I’m hoping by our doing community service stuff (like the food drive) that it will help him grasp the concept. I want him to help me pick out toys for a toy drive at Christmas as well.

He did awesome helping me buy supplies for the Shoebox for Soldiers campaign and the Humane Society.  He doesn't quite grasp the concept of Soldiers, but he does know Grandpa P is a retired one, and that he'd think it was awesome to receive a box of goodies & soap, so J had the best time picking out the green Dove soap for the soldiers and Gatorade drink mixes.  Watching his wheels turn on how we were buying things, but he couldn't have them because they were going to the Soldiers was just awesome.  The Humane Society is the Young Scholars class service project this year.  J was able to better understand we are feeding cats and dogs that do not have a home like Payton, so we are helping to feed those animals.  He did promptly tell Grandma P that she needed to adopt a dog.

Speaking of Grandma P - last thing.  J is loving him some Facetime on the iPhone.  Best.thing.ever!  As long as both Grandma & I are home when we call each other, J gets to see Grandma while talking.  He LOVES this!  He is looking forward to Grandpa joining Grandma in Florida so he can see them both!