Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Baby race car


Munchkin has a future as a race car driver apparently

The boys have figured out that she fits nicely in a lego box. They take turns pushing her around the house, timing themselves and pretending they are driving a race car. Sarge loves to play chase and has a hard time not getting too rowdy during such games.

They take turns being the engine, the timer, and the pit crew for the race car.

It's lovely to see them having fun together and including her in their imaginative play. They have also built little houses for her out of chairs, blankets and pillows and played with her inside them.

Munchkin thinks it all a lark as long as she's not tired. She lets them know when she's done and crawls off to find me for some comfort and a nap.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dinoguy the photographer

Dinoguy decided to take some photos of Munchkin and Sarge this week. He has gotten pretty good with the camera. So here are some photos he took of Munchkin while she checks out Sarge's ears.

Sarge is very good at ignoring Munchkin. She crawls up to him to pat him and look in his ears and he just sits there and lets her. (Though I am right there making sure she is soft and gentle with him.)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fish!


At the park this week we got to see them stock the pond for fishing! The man filling the pond with some more fish was very nice and let the kids look in his truck full of fish and talked with them lots. It was reminiscent of our trip to the Fishery last year.Dinoguy is in the camofluage shirt, looking into the fish tank in his trailer.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A tale of two books

About 10 days ago, I was struck down with another bout of the flu. My throat had hurt a bit that morning, but by dinner time, I was slightly delirious, having a hard time staying upright and hurt all over. Fixitman came home from Scouts reporting similar symptoms.

The next morning when I attempted to get up, the room spun. I lay back down and made peace with having a "sick" day and picked up the book I'd been slowly reading. Pilgrim's Inn by Elizabeth Goudge. Dinoguy happily brought me some toast and water when asked and he & Trainboy spent the day watching movies (they were not sick). Fixitman lay on the couch with the boys and I kept Munchkin with me, for napping & nursing.

The next day I was able to stumble around the house some, but was still quite ill. I'd finished Pilgrim's Inn, so I started on another book I'd been given to read, The Choice by Nicholas Sparks.

Perhaps if I had not read The Choice right after reading Pilgrim's Inn, my reaction would not have been so intense. But then, I am a person of strong opinions (according to my dear sister), so maybe not. But the contrast between them was strong.

Both are love stories. One is uplifting, inspiring and discussed selfless giving and making loving choices for the better of others. The other is crass, sensual, glories in selfishness and being unable to control ones' impulses - really about lust, not love.

It was the stark contrast between them that brought to mind counsel to search out the best books. Even in books read primarily for entertainment. There are so many good books out there, and I usually am surrounded by excellent reading choices. I really think we learn and absorb information from all things, even those things we choose for entertainment. If our chosen entertainment is degrading, it will drag us down. In contrast, if our chosen entertainment is uplifting, it will inspire us to be better people.

I feel I physically experienced this in strong contrasts while being sick and reading these books. When I was reading Pilgrim's Inn, I was in an happy peaceful state of mind, and felt inspired to be better in my daily life. When it was over, I was so happy for all the characters who had worked out their problems in noble and inspiring ways and had the ultra happy ending. I felt inspired.

In contrast, while reading The Choice, I was upset and irritated by the poor choices made by the characters and felt irritable as I thought about the negative fall out their choices would have on others that was glazed over and ignored in the book. My overall feeling during reading the book was irritation and depression. I was left with an empty pit in my stomach when the book was over and had to talk to someone about how awful I felt. For a bit, I was unable to do anything but stew about the annoying things the characters had done and how better choices could have been made in their situations.

In summary, if you haven't read the Choice, don't bother. If you have already and liked it and can't believe I hated it so, well don't take my recommendations on literature, we obviously have different taste! If you would like a lovely old fashioned story with real characters who are strongly developed and would like to be inspired by your book, check out Pilgrim's Inn. I think you'll really enjoy it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Humid curls

We've had about a week of non-stop rain and cooler weather. It's also been fairly humid. However, humidity is great for curly hair! Munchkins curls have been amazingly cute during the weather. I did an impromptu photo session to try and catch some of the cuteness on film.




Trainboy joined us, and though his hair is too short to curl properly, you can see that he's got the curls too. Dinoguy was busy elsewhere and didn't participate in this short, hallway floor based photo session. Love the curls. Love the kids. Love humidity, for what it does to curls! :D

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Butchers, Dragons, Gods & Skeletons

Wednesday we went to Violin lessons and afterward to the Kimbell Art Museum for the film based on paintings exhibition by Philip Haas called Butchers, Dragons, Gods & Skeletons. It was extremely awesome.

We've never stayed more than an hour or so at an art museum, sometimes our visits have been just 30 minutes before boys are tired and ready to go home. This time we were there for over 2 hours and it was me telling them we had to leave and head home. Part of that is growing up and repeated exposure to the art museum, but a large part of it was how awesome these installations were.

Based on the artists' research in to 5 pieces of art that are permanent at the Kimbell, he created films that are whimsical and poetic and make you feel like you are inside the paintings and/or seeing them created. The unconventional formats of displaying the films were fascinating, and then there was just so much to see in the films. We watched them several times, going around and looking at other paintings with new eyes. Many questions were asked, and I was reading a lot of plaques that normally are not interesting. Both boys at some point sat down and just looked at a painting for several minutes, heads cocked to the side, deep in thought. (Different from the ones the films were about no less!)

I feel like film is a medium my kids have experienced a LOT in their short lives and the way it connected them to these paintings really helped them understand more about the paintings and how much of a story was inside them. Paintings are different from photographs, but aren't a huge part of our every day life, and they are learning about them from our visits to art museums. These exhibits really helped a lot.

Amusing to me also was the dire warnings outside two of the films of nudity within the films. One film had a museum guard whose apparent job was to warn anyone entering about the fact that there was male nudity in it. I guess the other film that only had breasts wasn't considered shocking enough to need a guard, but it had a large sign. The thing is, the nudity wasn't inappropriate - it was true to the paintings and what was being represented. In my opinion, to be offended by it would be like being offended by the famous statue of (naked) David.

One of the films was about Greek gods and goddesses and so there were some breasts. The other was actually based on a Greek bowl with the story of the death of Pentheus on it and had some naked men dancing as they made wine or something. Most of the time the nudity wasn't even obvious in that one. I don't know, it just didn't seem like a big deal to me. To prevent my kids from seeing naked artwork doesn't make sense either, since I don't think they should feel shame about their bodies. Neither of my boys asked or pointed out any nudity, and they asked a lot of questions and made a lot of comments. It wasn't even an issue to them.

If we're going to get picky, the film about the butchers shop with all the blood and large pieces of meat should of had a warning for being graphic and the skeleton movie was pretty scary to my kids and should have had a warning. Both of them declared it would give them nightmares, so we walked out of it several times, and then they'd want to return (perhaps working up their nerve?). They have seemed fine so far though and no nightmares reported yet. The fifth film with the dragon was based on a Japanese scroll painting and was too metaphorical for them I think. They liked it but were mostly confused and asked a lot of questions but didn't seem satisfied with my answers.

The two films with nudity were favorites - not because of the nudity - but because of the Greek themes, which are current interests of the boys, thanks to their interest in the games Age of Empires & Age of Mythology. Dinoguy wanted to know more about all the gods in both stories and so we'll be picking up kid friendly greek mythology library books next week.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday...


Walk dog
Have breakfast
Practice violins
Sing Arabic songs
Put Munchkin down for nap
Do cleaning jobs (we use chorebuster to assign different jobs around the house each day.)
Read books (Today - No place like Space, Growing crystals & Jimmy's Boa and the Big Splash Birthday Bash)
Play board game (Battleship today)
Do science experiment (growing rock candy today)
Lunch & scripture study squeezed in for me (usually during breakfast but whenever can be squeezed in right?)
Explore websites (today - Cosmeo they do geography puzzles, programming botz, number dojo, and Egyptian sticker pages)
Craft project (painting something built at Home Depot)
Munchkin needs another nap
Cook dinner & eat (hamburgers)
I go to the Family History center for my volunteer shift on Tuesday nights and kids play with Fixitman
More books & Scripture stories before kids bed
I log in to tutor online for an hour before bed.

Peaceful and lovely.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mmm...spaghetti

Munchkin is getting big. She demands to eat what we eat. It's fun to watch her, now that she has a good pinching ability to pick up stuff. She really likes spaghetti noodles.


Silly boys hiding with their drinks.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday best


Sometimes the boys demand photos of themselves all dressed up. Fixitman snapped this one of the boys last week. Love their faces!

I thought Munchkin was getting photographed here too, but alas she was not. No photos of her sassy outfit! Tsk tsk dad.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Debunking the beds


Dinoguy no longer wanted to sleep on the top bunk. Trainboy didn't want to go up there either. After two nights of them squeezing into Trainboy's bed and telling me no one wanted the top bunk, Fixitman & I decided to try and figure out how to arrange the room so that the beds weren't bunks anymore. The boys are joyful at the new arrangement. I was surpized that I also liked it. It didn't seem as crowded as I expected.


Here's are the bunk beds 2 years ago when we got them. Look at those cute little boys!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Hair cut

I came out of my room after putting Munchkin down for a nap earlier this week and when I saw Dinoboy I saw this:We had made mini-cakes the night before. He had licked the bowl and this morning I noticed he had a bit of cake batter still in his hair. He apparently found some scissors and decided to cut out the dirty hair. (Logic of a 6 yr old at its finest?)

I had to cut it all to 1/8 inch to make it even.Fixitman came home for lunch during this and thought it hilarious and that they should all shave their heads. Silly boys.

At least he has a well shaped noggin.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Giant tire

Did you know that giant tires are really heavy and hard to move? It's true.
Fixitman complained a lot about moving it. But the kids sure think its a fun toy.Even Munchkin wants to crawl out and take a look.Oh the joys of the random stuff people throw away. :)

Friday, September 04, 2009

Family visits

My mom & 3 sisters stopped by for quick visits this past month. We went to the park with cousins, we played in the backyard on a homemade slip'n'slide. We played scrabble and ate yummy food. It was wonderful to see them.

(Please ignore the annoying (and incorrect I think) date stamp from my mom's camera. I turned it off for her after the fact, but am too lazy to go edit the pics and take it out.)Trainboy found a letter U on the ground at the park.
Munchkin walking with Auntie
2nd cousin
Gets a gift from Great grandma thru Great Auntie.
Dinoguy holds his cousin
Sweet munchkin w/Aunt



Me and my sisters
My sisters and my kids!
Sarge gets excited for the water play
She's a cute one.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

2nd Cousin turns 1!









We're both second cousins to the birthday boy but not related to each other!


My cousin's baby is 1! It was so fun to get to go to his birthday party, he is a cute guy! Munchkin was busy getting into everything of course and the boys had a blast playing at the park. He is my kids' second cousin, and had second cousins on his dad's side there as well. How are your second cousins on either side related? They aren't! Oh well. :) Still fun to know and play with!

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