Friday, December 19, 2008

Have I Ever?

I saw this over at The Simple Wife and I wanted to play too. The things I've done are in bold.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
I played flute in my junior high symphonic band and I played clarinet for four years in marching band in high school.
4. Visited Hawaii
No, I haven't visited Hawaii...yet.
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/World
The last time I visited Disney World it was 1985 and Epcot Center was pretty new.
8. Climbed a mountain
Does Half Dome in Yosemite count?
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
I had a one line solo when I was in Children's theater during my freshman year in high school.
11. Bungee jumped
No way! Not ever!
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
I love summer storms here in Colorado.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
I taught myself how to knit.
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
Yes, I had food poisoning when I was pregnant with Sammy. It was the worst three days of my life. I could barely lift my head for three days.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
No, but I have been to the Statue of Liberty!
18. Grown your own vegetables
I've tried the past couple of years, but mostly the critters around my house have feasted on them.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
No way! I stared at way too many missing kids on the sides of milk cartons as a kid.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
Mental health days.
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
As kids, my parents took me and my sister to lots of drive-in movies. We got to wear our PJs. Usually, we watched movies on other screens.
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
I've seen a lot of Bottle Nose Dolphins. Do they count?
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
No Way! Not Ever!
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
I still have my favorite stuffed animals.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
Yes, quite a few of my quilts are on my blog.
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
Do teeth count? I broke my front tooth and the one next to it while hiking in a river in Yosemite. I've had serious fear of breaking teeth ever since. Every time one of my kids falls or gets hurt, I always check their teeth first. I know this is irrational, but I can't help it.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
I had my wedding announcement in the newspaper, but no photo. I think when I was in the Santa Clara High School Hall of Fame, the pictures were printed in the newspaper, but I can't remember for sure.
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
I haven't taken a tour, but I've been as close as one can get without getting into trouble.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
In third grade. I missed a field trip to go see the play, The Wizard of Oz and I'm still bummed about it.
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
lots of authors
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
three of the cutest babies you'll ever see. (I might be a bit biased though.)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Christmas songs I really don't like

I spent a lot of time in the car today. Poor Tess had to sit in her car seat for so long today. Anyway, I had the radio tuned to the All-Christmas-songs-all-the-time station and I realized there are some songs that just drive me crazy. So, as I drove today I composed a list of my least favorite Christmas songs to pass the time.

(In no particular order)

1. Feliz Navidad
2. that song by John Lennon- So this is Christmas...(Okay, I just looked it up and it's Happy Christmas (War is Over)
3. Do They Know it's Christmas? by Band-Aid
4. Jingle Bells sung by Barbra Streisand
5. Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer (although I really liked this one when I was a kid)
6. Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time -Paul McCartney or Wings (Actually, I don't know the title of the song, but I just don't like it.)
7. I don't like any version of Santa Baby

For your amusement:

Not to be too negative, I'll think about my favorite Christmas songs and add a list a little later.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's so nice to have a baby in the house again

Here's what Tess usually looks like...sleepy

Proud big brothers Luke and Sam with little Tess

Little sweetness baby!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Little Tess

Here she is! Our little sweet Tess weighing in at 6 pounds 15 ounces and 20 inches long.

She looks so big although I can't get over her tiny little head. She's my smallest baby so far.

Tess alert and beautiful

The boys are delighted with their new sister. Here's Sammy visiting at the hospital.

Luke and Sam discover the hospital bed and the buttons to make it move up and down.

Here's Luke holding baby Tess. That's me sitting next to him and hopefully that will be the last of that striped maternity shirt (for a while anyway).

Little Tess finally at home. She's resting on Sammy's little toddler bed while we get things ready for her.

Paul looks a tad tired. I guess it has been a full week. Sammy loves holding his little sister.

Here's Tess in her little swaddler. She looks like a little bean sprout!

Sammy takes his job of holding his baby sister very seriously. We are overjoyed to have her home finally. We've waited so long for this little blessing! She's the best early Christmas present ever! I just took down the baby ticker from my sidebar and I feel a little sad about it since it's been there for so long. I enjoyed tracking her progress during my pregnancy, but it's time for the next chapter of her life.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tess Elizabeth has arrived!!!

Just to let you all know that Tess Elizabeth was born on 12/2/2008 at 9:03pm. After less than 3 hours of labor she arrived healthy and happy weighing 6lbs 15oz and she is 20 inches long. Pictures to follow soon. Mommy and baby are doing great!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Our Christmas Tree

I bought a new stocking holder this weekend at the grocery store that almost matches our other stocking holders. You'll have to look closely to notice that the Christmas tree hook in the middle is slightly different than the others. I didn't think I'd be able to match it that well. Stephanie is going to use her cool new embroidery sewing machine to make Tess a wonderful homemade stocking. I like knowing that we will get to add a new stocking this year. I'm getting anxious for
the baby to arrive!

On Saturday, a day before my due date, we went into the woods to chop down our Christmas tree. It didn't take much time for Paul to select a beautiful tree. Usually, we traipse through the forest forever trying to decide on a tree, but this year, he didn't want me walking too much (although I'm sure it would have helped getting labor started) or slipping on the snow.

Here's Sammy after the tree was decorated.

I think Luke is getting too big for Paul to lift. It looks like a
struggle to get the star on the top of the tree.

In Progress

I've been working on this sweater for Sammy since early October and now, I can see the end in sight. I've learned so much knitting this sweater. I've learned some increase/decrease techniques, how to use double pointed needles and why I need a vast collection of stitch markers. I'm about to start knitting up the hood. I'm sure I will bring this project to the hospital just in case I have a little time for knitting! Is it crazy to think that I will have time for knitting in the hospital???

Sunday, November 30, 2008

December baby

Just because Sam was born on his due date doesn't mean this baby will born on her due date. November 30th is about to be over...I'm still waiting! I guess this is appropriate for the Advent season!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Progress Report

As the time draws closer for the baby to be born, I thought I should write out how Luke's doing with his school work at this time. We'll be taking three days off next week for the Thanksgiving holiday and it seems like a good time to give a progress report. We started the year working on Book D of Modern Curriculum Press's Math. I used Saxon for first grade and then switched to MCP for 2nd grade through 4th grade. Last year, we did one page a day and I had him do every single problem or question on both sides. This did not, however, create the results I anticipated. I noticed last year that I got quite diminishing returns by sticking to this method even though my intentions were for him to grasp math at his level extremely well. This year, I decided to try something new even though it goes against what I would prefer. I like to be thorough and I figured that having him do each page carefully would help him really understand each skill. I started working with him more and then assigning odds or evens, but having him do all word problems. I added a math problem solving book for fun as well so that he can work on consolidating all of his math skills and we're breezing through Book D. I anticipate that we will complete at least 11 out of the 15 math chapters by the end of 2008. So, he will definitely finish this math book early giving me more time to for some creative math adventures in 2009 before we begin a new math program (most likely Saxon) for the Fall of 2009. So, I'm pleased with his progress. It's so strange that I seem him improving much better when I don't assign every problem. We're still working on memorizing the multiplication tables and he's improving there as well. I stress that the only way to make math faster is to memorize those times tables!

I also stress working on handwriting. He works on handwriting from the Getty-Dubay books every day. I really like cursive italic and frankly wish I could have learned this method when I was in grade school. I want his writing to look nice in everything he writes. So, I critique his writing in every subject- Grammar, Latin, Copy work (writing out poetry). I'm trying to make sure that he understands that good penmanship is not just for his handwriting books. Just recently, I was looking over his work from last Spring and I've seen a great improvement in his writing. He's writing cursive italic more and his letters are smaller. Even the spaces between words and letters is getting more consistent. I am pleased.

I intended for Luke to finish Prima Latina, a primer for Latin last Spring, but it's better that I didn't. After summer break, he needed review and we're on target to finish Prima Latina by the end of 2008. We will begin the next Latin book from Memoria Press in January. I'm really liking this approach to Latin because he's getting a good grasp on words that derive from Latin words and reinforcement in English grammar. What a bonus! I also ordered a Latin word games book that will go along with his new book. It looks fun. He'll do crosswords, hangman, and word searches for Latin words.

As with constant practice of handwriting, he copies a fair amount of poetry for not only handwriting practice, but also to get a grasp on the mechanics of poetry. He has to be mindful of punctuation and capital letters. So, I think these exercises are good for him for more than handwriting practice. He's been copying a lot of poems with Autumn themes. We've used several books, but A Journey Through Time in Verse and Rhyme has been a favorite!

Continuing on in grammar, we've had good success with books by Brian P. Cleary. He's written a series of fun books about nouns, verbs, adverbs etc. Luke has been reading these short books and then compiling a book of the parts of speech. We have read a few of Ruth Heller's books too about the parts of speech and they are great too, but I think Luke prefers the silliness in Brian P. Cleary's books. He looks forward to each book which is refreshing. So, I think he's getting a good mix of English grammar with these books and his Latin studies.

Okay, where are we failing? I would have to say that we have done way less drawing and art this year. Last year, I had more time to sit and draw with Luke. He really likes it when I can spend a lot of time working with him or doing something with him and last year Sammy was taking longer naps giving us more uninterrupted time. I need to get the crafts back into the curriculum. I have a few things that I bought last year that I intended to do during Advent. So, I will pull out those crafts in December for him. Also, I had planned to follow the Serendipity plans for Colonial studies, but we have fallen way behind. I think we can pick it up in December if I modify the plans and then work on the Lewis and Clark expedition during the new year.

I still read to Luke in the evenings and currently we are reading E. Nesbit's The House of Arden.
(I have to say that I'm so glad to be done finally with The Penderwicks on Gardam Street. I think because it took us so long to finish it, I just lost my motivation to keep reading it to him. During the summer, I didn't read as much in the evenings as I usually do.) Luke is enjoying the adventure and he likes that both C. S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling were fans of E. Nesbit's writing. Luke reads about 30 minutes on his own daily and listens to an audio book as well. I actually don't know if it's good for him to be listening or reading three books at once. Is it too much?? Do the stories not stay with him because his attention is divided among so much fiction? This is something I want to investigate. I think it is time to add in the book report. Beginning in the new year, I will have him narrate more of the books he reads in his own words and writing about what he reads. I think this will give the added bonus of reinforcing what he reads or listens to.

I, myself would like to bring back more creativity into our day. So far, this year, we've been working on reinforcing the basics, but I have more plans and ideas. I would like for Luke to begin to become way more independent in his studies. Of course, I want to be there for him, but I want him to add in some more life skills, chores, more money management. He's taking Religious Ed at our church and he's still knitting on his loom and working on knitting on needles. He will be taking swim lessons again this winter as well. I'm hoping to keep him well-rounded while having him master the basics. I don't want him to have a superficial education. I need to keep the wonder of learning alive in him so that he will see learning as a gift.

So, as we get ready to take a small break next week and hopefully for me to have this baby, I'm still thinking about how to make our school year wonder-filled and somewhat magical.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I finished another project!

Okay, I began this very simple quilt in the beginning of my pregnancy for my friend Stephanie's baby. So, sometime in March I started sewing this little quilt. I figured I could have this quilt done in time for the June arrival of baby Evie. Well, it's only five months late, but baby Evelyn doesn't seem all that upset. Actually, she looks rather happy. I'm happy too. Now, I have to finish knitting the sweater I started a few weeks ago for Sammy. I am hoping to have it completed before our baby girl is born, but given my track record, it might be a little longer. I suppose I can knit in the hospital, right?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

37 Weeks

Today, I'm 37 weeks and I'm really getting anxious and excited to hold my new daughter.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A forgotten picture on my camera

It's these little moments you want to hold onto forever.

You don't know the power of the dark side

Okay, I took this picture today not Halloween. That giant
Darth Vader helmet makes the rest of Sammy look so small.

Apparently Luke does not need the helmet to breathe.

The boys trick-or-treating in downtown Evergreen

Darth and the dinosaur
Farewell to October 2008!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Welcome new little Foss!

I got back from festivities with my little Darth Vader and little dinosaur to discover the news!
I can't wait for pictures of baby Foss!

Images of Autumn

Last night's pumpkin carvings

Luke and Ella choosing pumpkins at Cottonwood Farms in Boulder

Sammy and I lounging in the pumpkin patch

Sammy and the pumpkins

Luke and Sammy enjoying a wonderful Fall day

My two chefs

The Aspens in my front yard

Paul, Luke and Sammy at the beach near Mystic

The boys (sort of) posing for a picture in Mystic

Krissy and her new husband Dennis. Of course
a bride should get to wear her veil more than once!

Here's the quilt Stephanie and I masterminded for Krissy's
big day. This is months of work involving all her closest friends
and family. Steph and I finished sewing the binding on three days before
the wedding!

Me (looking more pregnant than I thought), Krissy
and Stephanie at the wedding at the beautiful Wayside Inn outside Boston

Here's the bride and groom taking photographs. I didn't
want to get in the way of the real photographer. Way to
go Dennis for wearing an awesome kilt!

My boys

Me and my boys

Concord grapes growing at Lookout Farms in MA
They taste just like Welch's!

Sammy and Ella picking apples at Lookout Farms

Fallen apples

Luke at Lookout Farms

Sammy and Ella riding the kiddie ride at Lookout Farms

Paul and I at home a few days before
we left for the wedding.