Monday, April 30, 2012

Couponing success!

I don't do nearly as much couponing now as I used to. We've changed up the way we eat (rather drastically) and there just aren't many coupons to be found for fresh produce, organic dairy products, and non-processed meat! Still, every now and then it works out. Today was such a day.

Vons trip:

10 ears of corn
baby carrots
chicken breast lunch meat
string cheese
2 packages Jones sausage
cream cheese
3 lunchables (because Jonathan thinks that I'm "the best mom EVER" if I occasionally give him one). :)
1 box cheez-its
and $2 spent on treats for the kids, since they hung in there while I messed with coupons and prices and sales!

Original total: $54.05
Total after all savings (including coupons and e-coupons): $21.53

That was fun. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Well earned pleasure

There's nothing like saving your allowance (for weeks and weeks and weeks!)

Sitting on Mom's lap and browsing amazon for lego sets.

Waiting patiently (well, trying, anyway) for the package to arrive.

Being happily surprised by an email saying it will come a day earlier than expected!

Watching for the mailman all morning, even though you know it probably won't come until the afternoon.

Going out to play after lunch and joyfully discovering that IT HAS ARRIVED!!!

Board games

All of my boys are fans of board games. I'm not (at all!) but I'm fans of my boys. So we play!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A conversation

Josiah: Look Mom, a roly poly!
Mom: I see it. Very nice.
Josiah: It's MY roly poly!
Mom: Ok, let's go to the car now. How about if you leave him in the garden with his friends?
Josiah: He doesn't have any friends. Only me.

*getting into the car, the roly poly disappears inside the car seat*

Josiah: Oh NO, my roly poly! Where did he go?
Mom: Maybe he's hiding.
Josiah: But WHY??? Is he scared of ME????
Mom: Well, maybe he's scared of the car.
Josiah: Oh. Ok!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Water Safe

I've been taking Thomas and Josiah to swimming lessons twice weekly for the past month. The boys are always asking me to take them to our community pool, and I've always been afraid to do it: one set of eyes on three boys who can't swim...mmm, no. But there is a solution to that problem! I figured that if I could be reasonably confident in the boys' ability to not drown (or freak out and think they're drowning) in the minutes it would take me to get them out of the water, then taking them swimming could actually be a lot of fun.

So, swimming lessons.

We're working with WaterSafe Swim School. They have a very clear, very structured teaching plan that starts with survival skills. In other words, water safety starts with your toddler being ok if he falls in the pool. The first skill taught is how to float on your back. The second is how to roll over so that you're able to float on your back. After that is how to fall into the water ("Humpty Dumpty had a great FALL!") and then turn and float on your back. (See a pattern here?) :) Along the way they teach "eyes in" swimming, so that the child develops an ever increasing level of comfort with his face under water.

It is very, very different from your typical summer swimming lessons. I am incredibly impressed. Both Thomas and Josiah started out HATING it. They cried the whole time. They didn't want to put their faces in the water and I sat and watched and wondered if the trauma was worth it. Three weeks later, Thomas is enjoying every lesson.

He can "swim" (with some minor assistance) from one platform to another.

He can float on his back. He's learning how to roll from his stomach to back to stomach while swimming. The building blocks for being a strong swimmer are being carefully laid, and he's having a great time.

Josiah hasn't quite turned the corner yet; he talks excitedly about swimming lessons but cries when it is actually time to get in the water. His teacher is wonderful. She is gentle and kind and loving but doesn't let his tears get in the way of his learning.

Josiah can now float on his back unassisted,

and more importantly he can find his way into a back float from any position. See him roll?

Here is a video clip of Josiah doing "Humpty Dumpty". It is amazing to watch what he can do! And this mama is so relieved to know that if he ever needed to, Josiah knows how to "save himself" until someone can come get him.

The end of the day

My house is picked up, my kitchen is clean, my children are tucked into bed, and there are roses from my garden on the table.

Jonathan in pictures

Jonathan's school sent home "spring pictures" last week. This left me with two questions.

1) Since when do we have professional school pictures TWICE?

2) Since when are we so sneaky as to send home a package of photos (unrequested) which we then must return, or pay for?

Of course Jonathan was dreadfully disappointed that we weren't going to purchase them. "But Mommy, it is such a nice picture! See how I had my arms folded and you can see my missing tooth!" I gently stuck to my guns...we really don't have money to spend on those...and suggested that we take our own photo, posed the same way.

He loved that idea, and it turned out great!

And a close up, so you can see the missing tooth:

He's so handsome. :)

During spring break Jonathan took swimming lessons each day. He's getting much more comfortable in the water, and starting to do some real swimming!

No more fear of getting his face wet for this kid!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dancing in the rain

I'm not sure how it happened, but all three of my boys think that they're going to melt if they go outside in the rain. I had encouraged them to go outside a few times today, but was always met with "no, it is too cold" or "no, it is too wet" or "no, I might get thundered" (that from Josiah). :)

I decided they needed some help seeing the proper potential of a rainy day! So I bundled them up in boots and coats, herded them outdoors against their will, and then surprised them all by running past them, dancing in circles like a crazy person, and splashing them with puddle water. Wheeeee!! That's what you do in the rain, boys!

Of course they forgot all about being "cold, wet, and miserable"*, and we caught raindrops on our tongues, and then had a grand water fight and I got entirely soaked.

Then when we were all tired and cold we came inside for hot chocolate.

Yep. That's what you're supposed to do on a rainy day.

*Jonathan is reading this over my shoulder and insists "I did not forget! Add 'except for Jonathan!' "

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter, Happy Birthday!

He is Risen!

Jonathan requested pancakes in the shape of crosses for his birthday breakfast. (He also badly wanted to wear "pants with Easter eggs and crosses all over them!" but sadly(?) we didn't have that available.)

My garden yielded our Easter flowers. The arrangement turned out oddly Lenten. Oh well, they're still beautiful!!

We're off to church to celebrate Christ's resurrection! Afterward the children will hunt for eggs and stuff themselves with an unreasonable amount of sugar. :) Then home for naps and an Easter dinner extraordinaire. It is going to be a lovely day.

He is Risen, indeed!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Regarding blogging

Here's the weird thing about blogging. In order to post pictures of the marvelous things that you're doing with your kids -

you have to stop doing said things with your kids and pay attention to the computer instead.

Ironic. And part of why I haven't been posting regularly.

Art and projects

Jonathan has the day off school, so we have spent the morning enjoying art and projects and photography.

Josiah's passion is painting, of course, so those came out first thing after breakfast!

Jonathan received a model airplane for a birthday present, so we started working on that. That is definitely NOT SIMPLE. Trying to read the diagram makes my head spin. But we're making progress! :)

Jonathan took this picture:

And then since the camera was out and Jonathan enjoys taking photos, here are few portraits of the cat:

Jonathan says that this one makes him look like a lion:

It's been a nice start to the day. Who needs chores? ;)