Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Shoes :: *sigh*

Miss MK has been waiting to get a new pair of shoes.
She has been growing out of shoes like nobody's business.

So, on her fun outing with Dad (which also included a trip to a pet shop where she got to hold a cute bunny that, according to Mary Kate, "Only costs $40! And if we get two--so they can be friends--it's only $60!")...

...she picked out these new shoes.
(Not from the pet shop!)

She really likes them.

So do I.

In fact, I found out for myself that I can, indeed, wear them if I want...because they fit ME!

Couldn't believe it. I knew it was coming, figuring my girls will probably be a little taller than me (eventually), but I certainly wasn't expecting to be able to share my 9 year old daughter's shoes!

I mean, I was thinking maybe when she's 15 or so...maybe then. But nine?

My feet aren't that small (size 8), and her shoes are none too snug on me. Right now, she has the biggest feet of all the kids,
though Mikey is hot on her trail.

Okay, so I can probably handle the kids outgrowing me long as I can keep them all at this age. The seven to ten year old range just has to be the "golden years" of youth, isn't it?

So far, I think so! =)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rainy Day :: Brothers

These brothers found some fun inside when it was soggy outside.

The table was at the ready smack dab center of the house.
The foosing began.

They made up their handles.

Introducing...Yeti Spaghetti

His opponent, Sasquatch On Watch

(I honestly don't know where they came up with these names. Please don't hold it against them...or me!)

A vertical disadvantage for Sasquatch, but no less fun.

They played with so much vigor, Yeti Spaghetti went missing his right upper extremity phalanges.

What is a yeti to do without use of his dominant paw?

How will he scale the Himalayas when he's finished foosing?

Sasquatch on Watch showed no mercy.

He just showed his true American monster grit...and actually won this match.

As the girls were avoiding finishing their mathematical adventures, they came up with future foosing handles:

Spud in the Mud
Herky Jerky
I Dub Thee Mud

Personally, I think Yeti Spaghetti and Sasquatch on Watch will be difficult to top.

[In case you're wondering what that convoluted metal monstrosity is behind Mikey, it's a folded up one of THESE].

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Does your momma kusudama?

All it took was for the girls to see this in my hand.

Their eye brows arched.
Their foreheads got excitedly wrinkled.
Their pupils became little bulls eyes.

After all, who can resist making a 3D ball out of little paper squares?
Okay, maybe not ALL of us are as intrigued with paper crafting as my girls.

After my extremely thorough (wink, wink) 30-second tutorial, off they went with a pad of my Post-its. (I hadn't taken time to cut 60 3x3" squares.)

Mary Kate came back with this colorful first effort.

After I realized that the kids (minus Mikey) were indeed interested enough, I broke down and cut a bunch of little squares out of Mary Kate's favorite color--lel-low.

They folded every "petal".
I glued.

As you may be able to see, their efforts were much more impressive than mine.

Let's just say...
Our paper ball is not exactly German engineered.

Ours did not turn out quite as precise as the ones on Folding Trees. It took some wranglin' to squeeze both halves together while securing with tacky glue, but I was able to beat it into submission and form it into a spherical object.

Thankfully, after all materials were given proper time to cure (the glue dried while I was asleep), the lovely kusudama ball remained intact.

To have your own folding fun, start here for the tutorial to make your own kusudama balls.

Maybe we'll try this style next.

Ooh, and we'll use recycled materials--perhaps an old paper bag, our outdated atlas, or some left over gold or silver wrapping paper...

NOTE: Our children are 7-10 years old, and they are all able to fold the petals proficiently (oldest boy just wasn't particularly interested). The 9 and 10 year olds are able to glue individual "flowers" well, but it may be frustrating for them to attempt creating the entire sphere independently.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Science experiment and brain surgery help get kids ready in the morning.

Before the kids awoke, I gathered a few items and put them out on our deck table. When the kids were finished with breakfast, I told them that I'd show them a little experiment--outside.

Glass, and

After I did the quick and easy air pressure experiment, I mentioned that each of them can do the experiment all by themselves...


Notice they're still in pjs

...they first get completely ready for the day.

That includes:
getting cleaned up,
brushing teeth and hair,
and getting fully dressed.

I sometimes have to spell it out to them (just like this) what exactly it means to get fully ready.

And REMIND them when they forget.

I'm still working on those neural pathways in their heads.

Sometimes I feel like a non-invasive brain surgeon like that--carefully inserting necessary information for proper functioning, helping fine tune and rewire those pathways that may have gone awry, and patching in little catalysts!

All of us moms really are non-invasive brain surgeons, don't you think?

I worked all three into their noggins--with an emphasis on the catalyst part this morning.

Notice they're all dressed now.

In roughly 7 minutes 13 seconds, all four were ready for the day!

Not sure if I emphasized CLEAN clothes...

...close enough!

Now on with our day.

Here's another fun air pressure experiment using a hard boiled egg.