Friday, August 29, 2014

Busy Busy Week

I have had a busy week. With Chloe Jo starting school and wanting to/needing to get some things done around the house, I feel like I have been going non-stop.

Chloe Jo did great in the drop-off line at school on Wednesday and Thursday. I admit that I bribed her. Wednesday just happened to be the day she finished her 3rd punch card so I told her that if she was really good getting out of the car, I would have a prize waiting for her. She would rather have a toy then the allowance. On Thursday I just told her that she would have a surprise after school (I took her to help me pick out a couple of wind chimes for the house). This helped her be better, but I can't give her a surprise for good behavior every day. She has to learn to just do what needs to be done. Suck it up, Buttercup. This morning was a different story, though. We were back to uncontrollably crying and being crazy. Sigh. At least we had 3 good drop-offs this week.

Thursday's school outfit

While Chloe Jo has been at school, I have been getting things done around the house.

I made a double batch of slurp (strawberry jam).

I made salsa. We had Mexican on Tuesday and are having it again tomorrow. I also made taco seasoning, but didn't get a picture.

It was time for a new batch of laundry detergent. I love making my own!

I cleaned up the garage. I had several things I needed to put in the attic that had just migrated to the garage. I finally got it all up there, organized a few things and swept it out. I love driving into a clean garage.

I also swept the porch off. It looks so much nicer without a bunch of grass, leaves and dead bugs all over it! We never use the front door (unless we have company) so we just don't realize how bad it gets. Out of sight, out of mind and all that.

The biggest project from this week was the yard work. I filled in a few holes from trying to grow trees. Our yard hates trees and kills them all. We have tried to grow 4 different kinds of trees and they have all died. Anyway, so we had some low spots where we had planted and put mulch down. I filled those in since we are destined to be tree-less. I also trimmed up our rose bushes and the big green bush (I have no idea what it is called) on the corner. I then put down new mulch and added flower pinwheels to the are that didn't have plants (because I can't keep anything alive...especially when Russ thinks everything is weeds and pulls it all up). It looks so much better now!

We started soccer practice last Thursday. Russ and I are coaching this season. Eep! I never played any sports in school and have never been athletic so this is definitely outside of the box for me. We have done 3 practices so far and I have been enjoying coaching. I'm really just assisting, but I love it. I think we have a good team and we are going to have a great season.

Best of all, Chloe Jo has been loving it. She has improved so much from when she started. Maybe she will even score a few goals this year!

 Last, I made this bed pocket for Chloe Jo's room. I wanted a place to put her devotional book and her electronics and saw a few of these on Pinterest. I really liked the idea, but wanted to make my own version. I had the grey fabric and quilt batting so all I needed to get was the pink bias tape. I love how it turned out and Chloe Jo thinks it is pretty great, too. I'm loving the quilted look especially. I believe I will do that on more items in the future.

We have a busy weekend planned. Today is Russ' birthday and tomorrow is my birthday. We are having company coming tomorrow and they are going to stay through Monday for the long weekend. Then Russ and I are going to celebrate our 10th anniversary on the 4th. I'm definitely going to get some sleep tonight!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Transition es no bueno

This morning did not go well. For this school year, this was the worst morning so far. I'm just so frustrated. I have to keep perspective, though. Last year, it took Chloe Jo several weeks to be okay in the morning. This morning, as soon as she started boo-hoo-ing, I told her that she needed to suck it up and be a big girl. Then she wouldn't get out of the car. I told her that if I had to park, she would get a spanking. I had to park. I pulled her out of the car and gave her two swats. Mornings like this just ruin my day. I am upset with her for being crazy and I am also worried about her because she was so upset. She just can not handle transition well. I love her so much, but she can be so incredibly frustrating. Parenting is no joke.

This picture was from yesterday morning.

 Did you notice the insane bush behind her? We trimmed it down at the beginning of the summer because it was out of control. It was shorter than Chloe Jo after we got finished with it. Apparently, it really liked the trim because it blew up in a matter of weeks and is now up to our roof. We will have to trim it down again yesterday.

Last Friday evening, we went to my sisters house to visit and I noticed that Brianna's stroller was in bad shape. I took the lining and made a new one for her. When Chloe Jo saw the new lining, she decided she wanted one just like it. There was nothing wrong with the lining in her stroller, but I had the fabric so I went ahead and made one for her, too.

This is the before. The lining was fine, but it wasn't the best quality. I think I did fix one of the loops one time after a certain little nephew of mine decided to sit in it (hence the reason my niece's lining was torn up, I'm sure).

And the after. I just used the hardware from the old lining. This one is sure to last!

I have another project going today that I am hoping to finish up before going to pick up Chloe Jo from school.

Have a good Tuesday, friends!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

First Day of Kindergarten

Yesterday was Chloe Jo's first day of Kindergarten!

My girl is growing up so fast. *Tear*

Unfortunately, she decided she didn't want to go back to school on Tuesday evening. She made up all kinds of excuses not to go. "I'm shy." "I'll cry." On Wednesday morning she tried throwing a fit and she was very disappointed when none of her antics worked.

Russ and I were allowed to walk her into the building and sit with her in the cafeteria until time to go to her class. She was so nervous. We gave her kisses and hugs and left, but Russ looked back and she was crying a little bit. :( I hope she eventually grows out of the nervousness and shyness.

G-Jo bought her a backpack this year. Chloe Jo is a little obsessed with the Disney Fairies right now. She loved that her backpack came with a matching lunch box.

Here she is in her first day of school outfit. I loved making this one for her. I think it is so fun!

She thought the survey was great this time. She loved answering all of the questions.

And for comparison:

This is the outfit she wore today.

This morning did not go near as smooth as I wanted it to. I explained to her last night and this morning that she would go in the main doors and go sit in the cafeteria until time to go to her classroom. This is not what she did last year and I knew it might be an issue. She does not adapt well to new things. I went through the car drop-off line and pulled up to the curb. As soon as the teacher opened the door to let her out, Chloe Jo grabbed onto me for dear life and started sobbing. I ended up having to park and walk her to the sidewalk where the principal picked her up to carry her inside. It was heart wrenching to watch my darling so distraught and having to leave her there, but I knew it was the best thing for her. It took her several weeks to get used to going into the school building by herself last year. I am just hoping the transition is a little shorter this year. I would hate for the principal to have to carry her in every day!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chloe Jo Day

Today was Chloe Jo Day!

Since she starts school tomorrow, I told her on Monday that Tuesday would be her day. We could do anything she wanted to.

I'm so glad Chloe Jo is easy to please. She decided that she wanted to eat breakfast at home even though I offered to take her to get a donut. That's my girl, though. After breakfast we got ready and left to go to the park. First, we had to stop for a photo op!

We have a fantastic park in a city near us and she wanted to go there. We invited the cousins to come play with us and the kids had a ball. We ended up only staying an hour because it got hot fast. We had stopped at Sonic for drinks beforehand and they were all gone within that hour!

Chloe Jo's next request was to eat at McDonald's. The cousins decided to join us there, too. After we ate, the kids played in the play place for a while. 2 kids from Chloe Jo's grade came in (including her best friend...who is a boy!), there were 2 girls we knew from swim lessons there, and one girl from a class Brianna and Brenson go to on Friday's so the kids all played together and had a great time.

After playing for a while, Chloe Jo wanted to get dessert at Cherry Berry. Yum!

We went over to Target next to check out the toy aisles. After Target we went home to watch a movie. While she watched her movie, I made up some jello for school lunches and made a double batch of strawberry jam. After the movie was over, we read a stack of books and started thinking about supper. She had chosen to have spaghetti and cornbread (her favorite) for her day.

We finished the day off with a walk around our neighborhood.

I'm so glad Chloe Jo is easy to please and that she had so much fun today. Plus, I would be lying if I didn't admit that packing the day so full was also to help her sleep tonight. She was in bed at 7:30 and asleep by 8:15 (my goal was to be in bed by 8:00 and asleep by 9:00).

I know the sweet dear is nervous about her first day of school tomorrow, but at least she will be well rested!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Meet the Teacher Night

Meet the Teacher night was tonight so we got to go up to the school to find Chloe Jo's classroom, meet her teacher and to drop off her school supplies.

Here she is looking all cute in some of her school clothes.

The school did a huge rearrange of grades and teachers and Chloe Jo ended up being in the exact same classroom as last year! She thought that was pretty great. She was very nervous before going in her classroom and this development helped her to not be so nervous. But, the poor girl had hives (a trait she, unfortunately, got from me).

I had met her teacher a couple of times last year when I was subbing at the school and didn't think she was particularly the nicest person, but I think she was just busy when I met her because she was great tonight. Plus, we went to see Chloe Jo's Pre-K teacher to say "hi" and she said her new teacher is wonderful. All my inhibitions were gone from that point because I very much trust her Pre-K teacher and I know she wouldn't say anything if she didn't actually believe it.

Here she is standing by her cubby.

Unfortunately, neither of Chloe Jo's best friends from last year are in her class this year. She was disappointed about that, but I know she will make new friends and it will be fine. Plus, she can always play with her friends from last year at recess!

Tomorrow is Chloe Jo Day. She gets to decide how we are going to spend the last day of summer. I can't believe she starts Kindergarten on Wednesday!

Friday, August 15, 2014

This and That

Whoa, Nellie! Chloe Jo starts school on Wednesday! WEDNESDAY! How can that be possible?

I started new Bible class material for my 2 year old's on Sunday morning. I am loving it! The kids seem to be enjoying it and learning and I am very excited to be using the material. One of my friends is the creator of the material and you can find it here. It is not completed for the whole Bible yet, but there are 2 quarters done.

Now, I just need to decide what to do with my 4's and 5's when we start Wednesday evening Bible class again. We do a summer series during June, July and August so we all meet in the auditorium. It is a nice rest from teaching. I think I am going to join forces with another teacher, but I am wanting to start the New Testament and she can continue on the Old. We shall see if she likes that idea.

Last week, we took a Zoo trip with the cousins. That was one of the things Chloe Jo said she wanted to do this summer so we had to get it in before school starts back. The morning we went, it was drizzling so there weren't many people out. We practically had the zoo to ourselves for a few hours. The animals were very active and they were giving us a show! One of the monkeys played with the kids for a little bit, kissed the glass and then turned around and kicked it when he was done. It was hilarious!
Chloe Jo, Brenson and Brianna

Lovely children.
 I told Bren and Bri to pick the statues nose. Instead, they picked their own. Bahaha!

 The meerkats were so funny! We watched them for several minutes. One of the nice things about having the zoo to ourselves was that we didn't have to keep a hold of the children's hands the whole time. They were able to walk around and explore on their own since there were no crowds to get lost in.

Also, many of the zookeepers were out and they stopped to talk to us about the animals and answer any questions we had. It really was a fantastic zoo trip for us!

I couldn't just pick one penguin picture. These two little guys played with the kids and kept getting their attention when they weren't looking at them!

No zoo trip would be complete without a ride on the train!

A couple evenings ago, I made tortillas for taco night. I love to try new recipes and I had been wanting to try this for a while.

Yum. They turned out pretty good for a first attempt. I do have to say, though, making tortillas is an art form. The first few of mine weren't that great. I had to adjust the heat several times and I had to take them off the griddle at exactly the right moment when they were done, but not crispy. An art form, I tell ya.

We decided to start giving Chloe Jo and allowance. She likes to ask for things and tell us that we "need to get" so, in order to curb that, we decided to let her earn her own money to get what she would like. At first, I based it on whether she was good that week or not. Being good includes doing chores, not whining about it, and doing what she is asked to do. We gave her just a few new chores to go with her new allowance. We decided to have her make her own bed, take all the little trashes to the big trashcan in the kitchen and sort her own laundry. The first couple of weeks, didn't turn out so go because I was trying to enforce no whining. If she whined, she lost out on that weeks allowance. This didn't work for us for several reasons. One being that she doesn't yet have a good concept of what a week is so it seemed like forever between allowances to her. Second, if she whined on Monday, it could take two weeks for her to get another allowance. So, we changed it up. I found this free printable and decided to give that a try.

I know the word "behavior" makes it sound like we are having behavior problems with her, but that isn't it at all. It just says that because that is what the printable has on it. Anyway, this has worked much better for us. I try to give 1 to 3 punches every day. This way, she can see her progression towards the allowance and it is achievable every week or so. I have loved this and plan to continue doing the allowance this way for the forseeable future.

Next week I am going to do a post on some of the recent items I have added to my shop.

Happy Friday, friends!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Tea for Three

We have been trying to make the most of the last couple of weeks of summer vacation. I'm not looking forward to loosing my little sidekick once school starts.

One thing Chloe Jo wanted to do was to have a tea party. I got into the attic on Saturday and brought down the box with the tea set we used for her 4th birthday tea party. She didn't remember the set so it was like getting to open something new for her!

Before we could get to the party, though, we decided to make a snack to go along with it. Friday evening, we were watched Julia Child make Irish Soda Bread and we decided we wanted to try it.

Stir, stir, stir.
 This recipe only had 4 ingredients (part of the appeal) and looked super easy to make.

 Another nice thing about this recipe is that we didn't have to knead it or wait for it to rise. We just made a round loaf, plopped it into the dish and popped it into the oven.

It isn't the prettiest bread I've ever made, but it smelled yummy.

I cut a few slices off of the loaf and we set the table for our tea party.


Our soda bread was delicious and it was perfectly paired with the strawberry jam Chloe Jo and I made. We also made lemonade to drink instead of tea. Chloe Jo hates drinking anything warm or hot.

Even Daddy enjoyed himself. No tea party would be complete without funny accents and little fingers sticking up in the air. Chloe Jo thought Mommy and Daddy were hilarious.