Tuesday, November 27
Last night Brett was cleaning up some toys that got dumped behind the toy bins in his room. I came to see how he was doing and it was all cleaned up but I see "someone" had wrote all over the wall with colored pencils. I asked him what is this? Immediately he said "I'm sorry Mommy". He knew he shouldn't have done it. I said, ok, time to start cleaning it up and gave him a Magic Eraser. (Thankfully those work on lots of things.) He started scrubbing and decided it was hard. Yep! I showed him how he needs to use pressure and it will come off.
After a while I asked him "Why did you do that? You know you only write on paper, you can write whenever you want, didn't Mommy tell you not to write on the wall?" He says "I don't know the why about everything!"
Then it came out that he wanted a track on his wall. Seemed like a good idea. I explained that *I* decorate the house and if he wants a track on his wall he needs to ask me about it. That made sense to him. So I don't think we'll have to do that again soon.
Monday, November 26
We had a busy Thanksgiving weekend. Friday we left Mom & Dad's and drove to Elkhart, IN. Not sure we'd stay there again but it was OK. Too bad the pool was so cold we couldn't swim-Brett was disappointed. Friday night we had dinner at a spot that wasn't so hot either. Saturday we drove to Goshen for the Ransom family get together/Thanksgiving. Lots of family, food and music! The Ransoms are very talented so we heard lots of instruments & singing. The kids played football, basketball and on the play ground outside. Plus two pinatas. More food was brought out for supper. We sang Happy Birthday to Grandma Ransom (90) and Bob (70). Karla read the typed record of Grandma & Grandpa R's testimony. Sunday we went to Wilson's in Nappanee for meeting with Karla, Jeanette, Mom & Dad Ransom. Also saw Rundles/Whites there for meeting. Brett sat looking out the window for the horses & buggies. He saw some right up close on the road in front of their house & on our way home. After dinner at Wilson's we left about 3pm to head home & take Mom & Dad R to Midway for their flight home. It was sleeting so we were a bit worried but soon it changed to wet snow & then rain. Traffic was good! No real delays. Damon is a good chauffeur-he doesn't stress and just gets where we need to go. (He drove the whole weekend!) I've never seen how crazy busy the curb side drop off is at the airport though we made it in/out pretty quick. Wasn't bad for Sunday on Thanksgiving weekend. We went about 2 1/2 miles in 1/2 hr on Cicero to 290 and that was the worst of the traffic we hit all the way. At least we weren't sitting stuck in traffic, it was all moving. We stopped in Shaumburg at Chipolte to eat & for a break. After that traffic was moving right along & Damon almost got stopped - but the guy behind us got it! Too close! We made it home about 7:30 pm & emptied the car, made Brett SQUASH & HAM for supper before he went to bed. Monday morning came really soon. K showed up a few minutes early, I forgot to disarm the alarm, alarm went off, three phone calls and then the police showed up (have to come once dispatched even though they were notified it was a false alarm). All before 7am! I vacumned & dusted, fed two kids and got Brett dressed, one down for a nap before 8am. I've started taking down the Thanksgiving things & putting up the snowflakes. The four kids who are here are pretty quiet so a nice start to the week. I'll add more pictures & videos on Shutterfly.How Brett feels about riding in the car again (really it's about Mom taking his picture AGAIN!) Cutting turkey in the kitchen Food table Grandma Ransom & her kids with spouses Lots of music
Brett caught at the dessert table! He said he "loves!" Grandma's rosettes!
Boys playing cards
Thursday, November 22
Hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving day! We are having a very relaxing day. Damon got up early to go hunting. He didn't get a chance to shoot but brought home a doe Mark or Adam hit. The others will have more time to hunt so Damon tagged it with his tag. He's going back out in the morning to try again one last time. Dad & Damon just left to go to town & register it. Brett was interested to see it but said "Dad showed me what the inside of the deer looks like and it's disgusting!" Mom made a great meal-all by herself. Not that I couldn't have helped but she had it all under control. We're having pie in a little while. She made pumpkin & a cherry pie for those of us who are not pumpkin fans. (I think that's mostly me!) We got here fine last night but the roads weren't very good. Lots of cars in the ditch already. Here's a few pictures from today:
Brett & Grandpa on their laptops.
Dayna & Brett
Wednesday, November 21
Poor Brett - he tells me this morning he was "thinking of a bad story" last night and he "shouldn't have thought about it". Must be he had a dream. He said it was a dream that he was Deigo's baby! I just laughed & laughed but he was serious. I asked him what happened but he said nothing, he just didn't like the story. Likely he doesn't remember most of it. He was telling me another time he had a dream that Kira & Jennifer were fairies and they could fly. They tricked him and made him smaller. Scary stuff!! LOL He never wakes up crying or scared or even gets out of bed so they must not be too bad of dreams. Maybe no more computer games for a while?
Last night & this morning I made some treats to take along this weekend. We're supposed to take bread & desserts so I made: Peanut Butter rice crispy bars, Mounds Bars, Puppy Chow (Damon's request), fudge, orange cranberry bread (looks like one is slightly underbaked & it also has a glaze on it now) and toffee bars. That should do it! I'm not really sure who is eating all this-I just wanted to make it! All of it's really easy and quick to make.
Tuesday, November 20
Monday, November 19
Here's a picture of our "magic" cookie pail. You take it to Grandma's and it comes back with cookies! Artwork is by cousin Kira especially for Brett! Brett specifically asked for peanut butter cookies so Grandma whipped some up. Good thing I have kids to feed here-waaay too many cookies for us to have here otherwise. Thanks Grandma H!! She keeps other people's cookie buckets full too so no lack of cookies!
(Can you tell I don't feel like working today?? 3 kids playing nice, one napping. OK, last post, time to get to work!)
We did get the Saturn Outlook last Tuesday night & we like it. It's a car you know? It's comfortable, drives nice, has some nice features & lots of room, which is really nice for trips. For some reason we take just about everything with us when we go somewhere. Must have something to do with having a kid? Or we're just spoiled having things so convenient! We thought it would be smaller than the Trailblazer but it's just 6 1/2" shorter (helps a lot in the garage though) and 1 foot wider!! It does have 12 cup holders. I don't know why. Why would you ever need that many?? It has 5? storage areas I think - Damon would remember all these details better than me. Damon has driven it more than I have since he went up north this weekend & I wasn't along, but we both like it. I'll probably know better how much I like it after our big trip this weekend. Brett is liking the XM kids station but he better not get too used to it, we don't intend to buy it after the 3 month trial! Brett needs to be switched to a booster seat soon. Maybe I'll pick one up before we leave town. Guess we could take the tag off the seat!
Yesterday D gave Brett a train he made for him. He makes really nice things & the train is nicely done too. Brett played with it last night & this morning that's the first thing he wanted to do. He's always liked trains and hooks! He notices hooks everywhere!
It's Monday but I almost don't even mind since it's a short week. (Actually I usually don't dread Mondays any more since I started working at home! Another bonus) Plenty busy though to cram everything into 3 days. Today is a quieter day for me so I'm planning to work in laundry so we can start packing. It looks like a run to the grocery store tonight, baking tomorrow/Wed and homework sometime in between everything else. My next assignment isn't due until the 28th but it has to be done before we leave or I don't see it getting done on time. It looks doable (that's actually a word, I looked it up!) at this point but it's always more work than I think it's going to be. It sounds like Wed night we are going up to Mom & Dad's so Damon can hunt again on Thursday morning with Killam's. Not sure who all - Mark & Eric? Damon hunted with them on Saturday but didn't get one or see any!! Damon's feeling better. Last Wednesday he came home from work feeling tired & icky. Thursday morning I noticed before he left for work he had a rash on his neck but I didn't think much of it. When he came home & it was still there, I told him that looked like a strep rash. Friday morning he went to "convenient care" and yep, he has step too. Am I the lucky one not getting it?? I guess I've been around kids long enough to not get everything that goes around. Friday we're heading to Indiana. We're staying at the Comfort Inn in Elkhart. Saturday there's a big Ransom Thanksgiving planned at a hall in Goshen. Sunday we plan to take Mom & Dad R back to Midway on our way home. We're looking forward to seeing all the relatives and having some time together & relaxing!
Saturday, November 17
Today I attended a local child care conference. The organization I'm apart of holds it each year at the technical college. It's a really nice event. Continental breakfast, vendors, keynote speaker, workshop 1, lunch & door prizes, workshopc 2 & 3. I attended Operational Systems Open to Close, Autism Spectrum Disorder double session. I learned *a lot* about Sensory Processing Disorder. I amazed that some kids are so affected by balance, how food feels going down their throat or even a specific color. It's much more severe than I would have thought. The more I learn, the more I'm not so sure I would give my child some of the immunizations that are pushed if I have the responsibility of making the decision again someday. Here's an interesting website: http://www.generationrescue.org/ This year the keynote was Kim & Jason from Madison. They were very good. A fun & thoughtful message to encourage people to reduce stress from their lives. Their presentation was on "Adultitis". Turns out this is very serious & I'm at stage 2.
Stage 2 Adultitis: You have progressed to a very aggressive form of Adultitis. You are probably experiencing very high stress levels and may be having difficulty laughing. Seek help now. Please consult the Prescription for treatment options.You can take the test here: http://www.adultitis.org/ They have a lot of stuff going on-a great website, comic strip, magazine, books & more. I admire their drive & unique way of doing things. I acquired one of Jason's prints that has this quote:
I think that's true -you always remember when you were a kid and your childhood is a part of you. Some people have told me (some who are in the same business as me), "you don't have to do all that with the kids" (art, curriculum, circle time, parties, newsletters, activity calendars, etc.) or "that's not necessary - they will learn that in school or do that when they're older", etc. I believe everything they experience will enrich their little lives. Experiences will make them more interesting people, better learners, kids who are confident, who love to learn and try new things. What about all the time I spent with them? They learn they are important and that someone cares. I believe it's all worthwhile! I'm in the business of enriching little lives. : ) I like that. It's so true you will take your childhood everywhere you go & I'm hoping "my kids" have a little something special to leave with.
"You may grow out of almost everything else in your life, but never your childhood."
This is what happened on Friday. We were doing the corn cob paintings so the kids had paint all over their hands. Since I do family child care & I do not have an exclusive space for it, we use the whole main floor of our house. So the kids walk from the kitchen, through the living room to the bathroom to wash. Now this whole thing is a little crazy because this is my living room (I gave up a lot to do this) but it works. This reminder is heard daily around here "Walk to the bathroom. No touching until you wash." The little ones I carry or hold their hand so I know they get there ok. It's washable paint but not what you want on light colored carpet. So E is going to wash up. She's almost 5, the 2nd oldest of the group and I don't worry about her. By the time I get to the bathroom with a little one, there she is on the stool still with hands full of paint. And the mirror has red handprints just her size!
I wasn't very happy. Now first thing I notice is they are really nice handprints. And it's not hurting anything. But come on!! I'm super busy today and now look, I have one more thing to clean. I'm running behind so in a big rush to get lunch ready - kitchen is a mess with paint everywhere, lunch 1/2 made and the other kids are playing with every toy available in the living room. I told her I was disappointed because the little kids are watching & what if they do it next on the wall or my shower curtain (it would need to be dry cleaned). I told her I expected her to follow directions & be respectful of my house. I tried not to be too hard on her because she doesn't do stuff like that much and I knew she knew better & was sorry.
Whatever, I had to change some diapers quick before lunch was ready. So I'm doing that & here E runs in and hugs me around the waist and kisses me on the arm. Then runs off to play with the other kids. I thought that was just the sweetest thing! She was sorry and she this is how she told me. Really sweet.
Sometimes she makes me crazy-afterall she's here nearly 50 hrs every week. With her & Brett horsing around all the time, it gets old but I know I'm really going to miss her when she goes to school in the fall. Both E & Brett will be starting kindergarten and I don't think it's going to be easy on my heart. : (
Here's some of the little activities we've been doing for November/Thanksgiving.
Squirrels with fuzzy yarn Packing tape/leaves border decorations - super easy & the kids enjoyed it. They look nice on the wall/door too! Pilgrim Hats made with little clay pots Painting with Indian Corn
These are my favorite -Tiny Turkeys made with the kid's fingerprints. They have so much personality! I helped 10 kids make these but my own son hasn't done one yet. *I want one!* We'll have to do Brett's on Monday. And maybe a couple more for Grandmas??
I made these cookies on Thursday during nap time. It's premade (Pillsbury, in a tube) cookie dough & canned frosting (that stuff is just not very good! I guess I already blogged about that...) so it went pretty fast. I thought I was doing great to get it all done before the kids woke up but then turned around there were two more pans of cookies on the stove! The kids enjoyed them-well mostly ate the candy corn & smeared chocolate everywhere. The rest I took to my CHAOS (Children Are Our Specialty) meeting since I was responsible for refreshments this month. Everyone really liked them. Cute & fast to make! Here's the directions:
Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® Create ' n Bake™ refrigerated sugar cookies 1 container (16 oz) chocolate creamy frosting Candy corn Orange decorating icing Black decorating gel Miniature candy-coated chocolate baking bits 1 . Heat oven to 350°F. Bake cookies as directed on roll. Cool completely, about 20 minutes. 2 . Spoon chocolate frosting into resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag. Cut small hole in bottom corner of bag. On each cookie, pipe frosting on outer edge of half of cookie. Arrange candy corn over frosting for feathers. 3 . Pipe orange icing onto each cookie to resemble turkey face and feet. Use orangeicing to attach baking bits to turkey face for eyes. Pipe black gel on baking bits for centers of eyes.
Sunday, November 11
is a good day to light a candle! We had a nice meeting this morning and then came home for dinner. I made a whole chicken in the oven, cornbread dressing, squash and crescent rolls. Brett's having a nap & Damon and I are relaxing. I can always find things to do on the computer! Between homework, paperwork, banking, working with pictures & recipes, blogging, reading news/day care sites, and working on my websites I pretty much own this laptop! Damon's laptop bit the dust so we'll have to figure out if that can be fixed. Otherwise we have the main computer downstairs.
Yesterday we spent the day car shopping. We really weren't looking forward to it this time as there wasn't much we were interested in. Plus we had gotten such a great deal on the lease for our extended Trailblazer last time, we weren't looking forward to spending more $$ this time. We checked out the Acadia but ended up deciding on the Saturn Outlook which is very similar. We preferred the Acadia with heated leather seats, split 2nd row seats, dual climate controls, 6 CD changer, 12 cup holders, etc, etc. but decided we really didn't need all that! (could have gotten all that on the Outlook too.)
We went with the cocoa color with black cloth interior. We didn't compromise on the sunroof & skylight though! We're kinda spoiled after having it on all our other cars. We felt it was a responsible choice and I think we'll really like it. We got 15,000 miles/yr this time too so we'll drive it a lot more than we did the Trailblazer. Originally we were thinking of getting the dark blue finish but the interior was tan and we didn't care for that. Cocoa is kinda different & seems like brown is "in"! It's a nice shade of brown though. On Tuesday night we'll pick it up in Rockford. We're looking forward to driving it on our trip to Indiana over Thanksgiving!
Saturday, November 10
Everyone's going to think all that happens here is cooking & eating! It seems like that some days. I've been on a cooking/baking spree the last few weeks. It must be the change of weather. I didn't feel like cooking all summer, not even grilling. There is plenty of cooking to do around here though with not only us, but 12 day care kids besides. We try to take some food to Grandma too each week to keep her eating well.
I like to make caramel corn every fall. It's fun! One year I took so much of it to work and it kept disappearing. This was the cooking activity I did with the kids on Friday. They love cooking! I let them measure out the ingredients and open/close/turn on the microwave to make the popcorn. The best part was probably just eating popcorn! Brett was a *great* help picking out unpopped kernals. Very dedicated helper and good eyes! After the first batch I got smart and didn't dump the whole bag of popcorn in-instead we scooped it out so the seeds remained in the popcorn bag. It's a lot easier that way. I sent most of the popcorn home with the kids since it's just Brett & I that will eat it. After it was all made I opened the windows, lit a candle, emptied the trash and cleaned up all the dishes so it wouldn't smell like popcorn in the house when Damon came home from work. He's not a fan! (What?!)
We have no leaves to rake really. These blew in our yard from somewhere when it was so windy last week. Brett was working very hard at getting them piled up. Isn't it so true that you spend half the time cleaning out the rake?? Need some help Julie & Bryce??
Brett & E took a wild ride in the Jeep the other day. I was standing almost right next to the slide & when I turned around, this is what I saw! It was so funny! And NO MORE of that, I was afraid they would tip over. Mom's no fun......
Wednesday, November 7
Yesterday I finally got to baking that basket of squash. I wanted to get it in the freezer before it froze in the garage. It made six quart bags. Not a lot but it's more than we usually have! I still have 4 butternut squash but I want to try a Roasted Squash soup recipe from BH&G