June 23, 2011

Eleven and stuff...

My girl just turned eleven. It happened before I even realized it. She'd been talking about her birthday for months. I thought I had so much time, and then.... the day was here and I was not ready. I'm never really ready.

My goal was to keep it simple. Super simple. I told her one friend could spend the night. I did no decorations for the first time ever, I think (except for maybe when she turned two and we had no money to even buy her a gift.) And you know what, it was totally okay! I was able to relax and enjoy her day and not worry about the little things that normally make me crazy. I even was flexible and let another friend stay over at the last minute (literally, like at 10 o'clock that night) and I only stressed a teeny little bit about it! That's a huge deal for me! :)

Jenna and her best friend, Brenna.

Marah, Brenna, and Jenna

The four layer cake I made for the birthday girl.

Her favorite color right now is turquoise. I saw the idea for this ombre cake on Pinterest.com in pink and thought it would be fun to surprise her with the blue version :) She loved it!

Jenna got the Nintendo DSi that she has been begging for (everyone chipped in for the gift) plus two new games (Nintendogs and Zelda). She's pretty much had her face buried in it ever since! I'm letting her catch a break with it because it's summer vacation but in July we start up "school" again and then she won't have as much DS time.

Yep, that's right. I said school. In July. Does that make me a mean mother? Here is my line of thinking; rather than three months off in the summer we take one month off every five months. Plus a week or two off here and there to coincide with family vacations, birthdays, holidays and such. So our schedule will look like this:
School- July, August (first 2 weeks off for family vacation), September (last week off for Marah and Alex's birthdays), October (one week off for Halloween), November (two days off for Thanksgiving)
Break- December
School- January, February (last week off), March, April (one week off for Easter), May
Break- June

There will probably be one more week off in that second semester for a family trip or something but we don't have anything planned at this time. I'm pretty confident that this schedule will work well for us and I am excited to get started! I'll be blogging about our curriculum plans for this year soon.

Here are some pics from the summer outdoor fun the kids are having. They aren't inside playing video games all the time :)

This one totally cracks me up. Every picture of Jenna running through the sprinkler looked like this :)

The girls with our neighbor's boys, Sam and Benny.

Oh, and I found some pics of Marah and Zion that I thought were cute and worthy of sharing. :) I loved how they played side-by-side on the computer and would tell each other secrets. <3

whisper, whisper

Zion is totally cracking up here :)

Make each day count!

June 21, 2011

Let's do this thing!

I'm so behind! I missed a lot because I've been lazy about uploading photos. I haven't even posted most of these to facebook, so they will be new to you! So here's what you missed :P

Way back on April 9th, my little girl earned her Junior Bronze award in Girl Scouts. This is the highest honor you can earn as a Junior Girl Scout and Jenna's troop earned their's by doing a big literacy project with the local library, schools, and community charity groups. There are many things you have to do to earn this award and it is no small feat. I am so proud of Jenna and her troop and I feel so blessed to have her involved in this troop that has been run by several wonderful women who give their time and love to these girls so that they may grow into amazing women themselves.

In May we attended Marah's end of the year performance- "The Kindergarten That Could." It was a cute little thing they put together where the kids showed what they learned during the course of the year.

Marah really loved her Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. McDonald, and her teacher loved her, too! :)

With summer here we decided to put some flowers out in the front yard in our little garden area. We live in a rented duplex that is set up a bit strange. It is a house that was transformed into a duplex with the bottom level being one home and the top level a second home. Because we aren't in a side by side set up the yard situation is a bit tricky. We had a neighbor in the past that was very difficult and we did not care for her at all. We are lucky to have neighbors that we get along with now and we have shared the yard in our own way.

So we have a small space to decorate as our own and since we can't dig a garden we made it look cute by setting out planters with flowers. Last year I could not afford planters so I just used the pots that the plants came in but it didn't look very cute. This year, again, I could not afford planters but I found this cute idea on Pinterest.com and decided to go with it. I think it's very cute and I like the color it adds to the front of the house.

I had the girls help out. We started by spray painting empty soup cans.

Hammer some holes in the bottom of the cans for drainage.

Add some rocks to the bottom of the can, place your flower in the can and add soil around the edges of the flower's roots.

Stand back and admire your handiwork.
I should really take a new picture. The flowers are doing very well, with many more blooms, and there are vines growing all over our bamboo vine arches you see in the back there. I like it a lot!

June 1st was the last day of school for Marah. She won't be returning in the fall because she will be home schooled with Jenna so it was a big day for us. I am amazed at how much she has changed over the last year and I can't wait to see how much she learns here at home this coming year!

My niece, Zion, came for a visit while her mom (my wonderful sister-in-law) attended a conference in Fargo. The girls had so much fun together and I enjoyed having her here. My kids only have one cousin, which is so weird for me because I grew up with a LOT of cousins and I loved them all so much, so it is really nice when they are able to spend time with each other. They are moments I know they treasure.

Let's see, what else... well, we have a complete LOVE/HATE relationship with our pug, Penny. I mean it is seriously that extreme. One moment we love her and then, suddenly, she poops or pees on our floor or our bed and, oh man, we hate her guts. Like, let's list her on Craigslist right this second because I'm about to lose my freaking mind kind of hate. Please, please, somebody tell me this will get better because we are at our wits end. I had a dream about murdering her. Okay, well it was really more like involuntary dog slaughter by wooden spoon, but it was bad.

She's hilarious.

More to come. I'm done for today :)

Make each day count!