Thursday, January 31, 2008

Princess Place Preserve

Today our playgroup went to a local place called Princess Place Preserve. The sister of one of the moms in the group is a teacher there. She has a small class of high schoolers who also learn all about the preserve and do tours. It was very interesting. Ready to start out on our walking tour.
Picking up acorns. Collecting things was definitely the highlight of the tour.
Listening to the students teach about the different trees.
Feeling the branch because it has little spikes on it.
Ethan and some of his friends posing for a cute picture on our walk.
Coloring and doing a connect the dot sheet about what they learned.
This is what Aubrey did on our little field trip. She thought the stroller ride was relaxing.
We stocked up on soda today at the store and Ethan put them all away in our little fridge and put the boxes in the garage. I told him he was such a big helper that I would put his picture on the blog. He really worked hard - way to go Ethan!!Aubrey wearing my shoes. I do not know why she wanted to squat in them, but I thought it was cute.Another shoe shot - standing up this time.
Aubrey having some bath time fun. This is a rare treat, she usually takes a shower with me.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

School Work

Ethan got a little report card at school last week and it indicated that he needed some work on lowercase letters. I checked out a favorite website of mine from my teaching days and ordered some games for him. He seemed to really like them.Here he is with his tub-o-letters. There are different cards of various levels and he has to put the correct letter tile on. This particular one was beginning sounds.

This is also a beginning sounds puzzle. The picture and first sound match up. It is great because it is self checking. We are working on our lowercase letters while also learning beginning sounds. I am very impressed at how well he did.
Putting some of them together.

Aubrey with 6 purses. We were very blessed with a lady at church who gave us two bags of Gymboree clothes for Aubrey. Just about every outfit had the coordinating purse. She loves them. I was so excited to look through all the clothes. Now I just have to wait for her to fit into a 4T. We hit the jackpot. She will by styling when she is 4!!This was Derek's project this weekend. We picked up the number tiles in St. Augustine for our house and he made a frame and dressed it up this weekend. It looks really nice. Ethan had fun helping him as well.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sunday Afternoon

Yesterday afternoon we spent some time playing games and Derek and Ethan built a house out of Legos. It was very detailed and Ethan was very proud of it. I am thankful to have a husband who enjoys spending time with his kids (well at least Ethan:) Aubrey is still a little high maintenance
for him, but she still does his part with her too. Last night Derek and I went to see The Bucket List since my parents are in town. Driving home I told him he was a good father and thanked him for playing with Ethan. He told me not to thank him that he enjoys playing with him. That filled my heart with joy. He is a good daddy and I love him for it.

This morning I spent some time doing errands and working at church while Grandma and Grandpa had Aubrey. They picked up Ethan from preschool and are taking them to the indoor playground. That means I am ALL ALONE at home!!! Yippee! What to do first. At first is was sort of strange, I am all alone at home, then two seconds later I started planning my time out. I am eating lunch and blogging. Next I am going to exercise and shower. Then I am going to have a puree party with my vegetables for my new recipes while I watch some TV. I am very excited and treasure this moment alone. I better get going so not to waste my precious alone time.

Grandma reading The Three Bears to Aubrey.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Trip to St. Augustine

We went to St. Augustine yesterday with Grandma and Grandpa and had a very nice time. We started out at the fort and got there just in time to see a cannon being fired. Ethan was hilarious as we toured the fort. He loved being the tour guide and telling us what he thought things were used for. My favorite comment was about a large rock. He told us that is weighed 69.2 and that it needed 4 pirates to pick it up and that in order to do that they had to eat their vegetables every day. He was completely serious. We just died laughing. There were two older ladies within ear shot and they thought it was funny as well. So funny in fact that they tagged along while Ethan continued his tour.
Cannon being fired.

Ethan watching the cannon being fired on Daddy's shoulders.Ethan and Derek in the lookout tower.
Family shot - it was very windy. (obvious by my lovely hair)

Ethan checking out a cannon.
All bundled up int the carriage tour. We had a hard time finding it, but really enjoyed it when we did. Aubrey slept through it. She woke up at the very end and said "horsey" like where did he come from.
Ethan checking out the horse.Ethan feeding the horse a carrot. He grabbed the whole thing right out of his and and even licked his hand in the process.

I made a cake for Grandma's birthday a little early since it is only 3 days before Aubrey's. Grandma requested a low fat cake - so that is what we had.

So I got the Deceptively Delicious cookbook by Jerry Sienfeld's wife. I had a lot of friends talking about it and thought we would give it a try. She purees vegetables and put them in food so that you do not taste them. Both kids do not eat very many vegetables anymore, so I thought I would be a good mom and try it out. I started with the scrambled eggs with cauliflower this morning. I picked this one because I do not like cauliflower and thought this would be a good test. Grandpa went with me to the store when we bought the cauliflower and was less than trilled about trying them. I told everyone this morning they had to at least try one bite. Well, the whole batch of eggs got eaten. Grandpa even went back for seconds! It really made a believer out of me and I am excited to try more. We are trying the brownies with spinach and carrots tomorrow.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

All Before 9:00

So we had an eventful morning at our house. Let me give you some background for the story. Two days ago my elliptical machine stopped working. As luck would have it, after sorting through about 200 receipts, I could not find that one. So, I called Walmart and they were able to look it up by my credit card and print me copy of the receipt. Yesterday, I found a new one on Craig's List for $200 (which is what I paid for mine) and it was much nicer. So we bought it and then used the church van to pick it up and take it home after church. Derek was thrilled to be helping in the adventure! Earlier in the afternoon I tried to get my old one in my trunk and take it back to Walmart. Now, I knew it would not fit, but thought it would work and just stick out the back. Well, it got stuck. I had to call Ms. Linda (our neighbor to help). Okay, so this morning started at 5 am with Aubrey waking up. I got her back down, but could never get back to sleep. At 6:30 I got up excited to try out my new elliptical. Aubrey was awake again and cried the entire time I exercised. We had play group at 10, so I wanted to get a lot done be then because Grandma and Grandpa are coming today. So Aubrey and I showered and were ready to go and marking things off my list at a good pace this morning. I had Ethan coloring with her on the floor pictures for Aunt Kelly while I went into the garage to take apart some of my old elliptical so that it could fit in my trunk. Walmart said that was okay. I get out into the garage and start unscrewing my first bolt when Ethan comes out and tells me Aubrey has milk all in her hair. So I go in and just laugh and grab my camera. Ethan had his glass of milk on the floor while they were coloring and Aubrey knocked it over. She then slipped in it, sat down in it and then layed in it (this is according to Ethan). She had milk all over her. Oh, how I wish I had seen it. Her oatmeal was cooled enough so I decided to feed her before bath #2. This turned out to be a good idea. Aubrey is not eating much besides crackers right now so I was trilled that she ate the whole bowl of oatmeal. Well, on the last bite, she got choked and threw up all over herself and the floor I had just mopped up from the milk. I was tempted to take a picture, but thought it was too gross. Well, we had her second bathing of the morning and then managed to get the elliptical apart and into my trunk. We took it back and made it to play group only 20 minutes late. We had to save the post office and dry cleaners until after play group. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy.

Aubrey soaked in milk.
Another shot of milk just dripping down her. It looks like she is trying to catch it on her tongue.

The spilled milk that started it all.It did not phase Aubrey, she went right back to coloring. Never a dull moment at our house!

Here are some pictures the other night of Ethan giving Bruster a bath for the first time.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Greatest Show On Earth

Last night we went to the circus in Jacksonville. This was Aubrey's first time at an event and she did pretty well. She started to get a little restless about the middle of the show. All in all we had a good time.

Aubrey being a big girl and walking with Daddy. She even did the escalator all by herself (holding Daddy's hand , of course).Ethan standing in front of the motorcycle cage during the pre show. The picture did not turn out too well.
Waiting for the circus to start.
I was cheap and recycled a toy for the trip. This is the toy that Ethan got last year, so I stuck it in the diaper bag and brought it for Aubrey to use. It saved us $12 and she never suspected a thing! She actually played with it so much that the battery ran out.
We had some leftover popcorn under our seats from the previous show. Aubrey decided to help herself to it.

After we told her , "no, yucky". We think she only ate one piece. How disgusting!Ethan got a human cannon ball this year. He played with it a little this morning before he went to school. Bruster is ready to get the little man. He loves their little toys. He has quite a collection of things under the couch. Aubrey's Little People are his favorite.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Grocery Store

This morning Ethan was playing grocery store (thanks to Aunt Joy at Christmas). It was very cute so I took some pictures to share. He likes to watch Zack and Cody on Disney and they were working at a grocery store. That was his inspiration this morning. I think it is funny that the cash registers have credit cards with them now. As he was playing this morning I took a trip down memory lane. My older sister Laura and I used to spend hours in my Grandma's basement playing grocery store. She had a large pantry down there with a child's dream of canned goods. We did not have a fancy cash register, but what we had was even better -the treadmill. Yep, that was our grocery belt and we would run canned goods over it and bag them for hours. Many years later my Mom told me that Grandma kept the pantry in particular order. Things that expired first were in front and so forth. Well, we had no idea and totally messed up the whole pantry. When my grandpa was alive Mom said he would spend hours down there after we left reorganizing it the way my grandma liked it. The things you will do for the pleasure of your grandchildren. We did at least put the items back on the shelves. Anyway, that is my memory of grocery store.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

No More Braces!!

We are happy to report that Aubrey's doctor appointment today went very well. She does not need to wear her braces anymore. The doctor said they did what they were supposed to do and Aubrey seems perfectly fine. He did take an x-ray of her hips just to make sure and that turned out fine as well. We are very thankful for the good news.

Our friend Jill is also home from the hospital and doing much better. Another blessing for the day.

We got home from Jacksonville around 7:30 and I planned on making brownies and relaxing on the couch and watching American Idol. I am still recovering from a bad head cold and ear infections. Well, notice I said planned on doing this. Bruster changed all of that. He had pooped all in his crate while we were gone, but it got better. He drank the bath water, you can imagine what it was like, while Derek was bathing him. He then threw up a wonderful smelling brown substance 5 times, two of them being on our couch. Derek and Ethan set off to Walmart to get a carpet cleaner. After moping the bathroom and kitchen floors and cleaning out his crate, we set out to tackle the couch. He then decided to have two bouts of diarrhea on the carpet. Oh, did I mention that is was raining outside while I hosed down and washed his crate. Well, after and wonderful evening of cleaning up I was felt so gross that I had to take a shower. It is now 10:30 and I think my evening is done. After Bruster threw up on our couch I told Derek that was the last straw, he was gone. Derek went and told Ethan at Walmart that sometimes we do bad things and God still loves us. Now, how can I go and get rid of Bruster after a comment like that. It is very true, but I told Derek I have never loved Bruster so it does not count. So I caved and we will keep Bruster around a little longer. I am definitely not in the love stage with Bruster yet!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tea Party

Aubrey was playing tea party in her room today. It was sweet. Of course she had to push the button on the top of the tea pot that plays music before she would pour it into the cup. She was even feeding her baby doll with the spoon some tea.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Company's Coming

Tonight we had a family over for dinner from church. We had a very nice time with the Scott family. I have to give credit to Derek tonight. He planned the menu, did the shopping and prepared most of the food. He grilled steaks, washed the lettuce and chopped up all the vegetables to go with the salad and made the potatoes. All I had to do was clean and make the dessert. He even helped with some of the cleaning when he got home today. I really appreciate him and all that he did. Everyday cooking is not his thing, but he really steps up and helps when we are entertaining. I love him very much and am thankful for him tonight.

Here is Derek's lovely presentation of our salad bar for the night. It was very creative and looked very eye catching.
Ethan helped out before our guests arrived by feeding Aubrey her Mac and cheese. Now, Aubrey can feed herself, but in the interest of keeping my freshly mopped floor clean, we were assisting her tonight. Ethan was not terribly excited about it and after a few spoonfuls, he was complaining that his arm hurt. He made it through with some prompting from Mom. I think deep down he kind of liked it.

Please be in prayer for Jill Rose. She is the wife of the youth pastor at our previous church. We got a report today that she is in the hospital and not doing very well. She had her gall bladder out a couple of days ago, but they are not that was the problem. We heard that she had some complications with the surgery and some of her levels, like blood sugar, are not good and she is still in the hospital. They are a very sweet family and they are in our thoughts tonight.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Love Gift

Derek wanted a big breakfast tomorrow so he went to the grocery store tonight. He came home with some cherries for me. I know it does not seem like much, but I love cherries and do not usually buy them because they are expensive. They were on sale and he thought of me. He even washed them and put them in a bowl for me to enjoy. He was speaking my love language tonight and I was thrilled that he thought of me. Sometimes you just have to enjoy the little things in life.