Wednesday, April 22, 2015

We Love Grammar!

I have waited decades to finally have a student who loves grammar as much as I do! Bentley and Jake are joys to work with and Viva is slowing coming around, but I don't know that she will ever reach the point where she loves to identify parts of speech like the boys and I do. (Her mother hasn't yet learned to love grammar.) I am going to research sentence diagramming apps. What fun!

Lincoln has been ill (again) the past few days, so he didn't join the fun.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Beanie Baby Bonanza

Last month I went to the thrift store to find some shirts to make a scrap quilt. At the thrift store were three large laundry baskets filled with Beanie Babies in like new condition. I picked out a few for the children and then remembered my friend Mary who donates hundreds of blankets to different organizations that serve children in crisis. She makes a quick quilt and adds a stuffed animal. I called her to see if Beanie Babies were something she wanted. She did. I bought them all. I let the children pick out one each. They had a hard time choosing, but eventually they settled on:

Bentley: a snake 

Jake: a monkey

Lincoln: a parrot

Viva: a lynx

Evan: wouldn't choose (we kept a kitty for him)

Me: a dragon

I passed the rest of them on to Mary. (I donated half of them. Mary paid me back for the other half. There were over 170 Beanie Babies at $.75 each.) I am glad they will find new homes where they are needed.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ukulele Night

The boys took a month long break from ukulele night to prepare for the karate tournament. (Kara will be posting on the tournament soon.) Now they are back to their regular Friday night date with Opa. They took their karate medals to show their ukulele group. It's cool for the boys to be part of a community group comprised mostly of adults. They are the only kids who regularly attend.

Friday, April 17, 2015

New Swords!!

Last Christmas I purchased too many gifts for the children, so I saved the swords for later gifting. Today seemed like a good day to pull them out. The children have all been sick for weeks. We had a brief respite while the boys were attending their karate tournament (yeah!), but then the children (and opa) fell sick again. Jake skipped karate for a week when he came back. Bentley missed some days at karate, too. When they went back this week, they both said their muscles really ached holding the kata stances. Viva has been sick, but since she is switching gyms, her down time was easy to fit in. Evan has run a fever for days. Lincoln has been ill, but so far no croup!! (Last month we called the EMTs out one night because Lincoln had a severe croup attack unlike any we'd seen, but by the time they got here he was doing better.) We are so sick of being sick.

We needed an injection of fun into our house of illness. Lincoln and Evan (and Viva--as if she cares) received light-up, noise-making swords (the older boys have something similar already--see first photo below). Bentley and Jake received new, foam pirate swords (see second photo below). B was quite excited to get a new pirate sword. Jake stepped on his a few months ago and it broke. Bentley even changed out of his pajamas today, so he could dress as a pirate!

Evan played with his brothers, but then he wanted to show his sword off to his mom. Bentley went downstairs to show great-grandma his new pirate sword (and to get his pirate bandana and spyglass). He discovered his little brother had shown up there before him. Evan likes to visit great-grandma!

We know how to have fun on a Friday!

(PS It's only been two hours and Kara has banned the swords from the main floor. She says they are too noisy. Lincoln and Evan are back upstairs playing in my closet where it's dark.)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Photo Ode to L & E

Opa has taken a few photos of Lincoln and Evan over the past month. Here are some of them:


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Boy Play

Lately the older and younger boys have been enjoying the same types of play. Bentley has been building forts downstairs and the younger boys play in them until they are banned for destroying the forts (mostly Evan). The older boys built a marble run that everyone has been using. It's still up in the living room. We cleared the Legos off the train table in the main floor family room and the boys battle with toy vibrating bugs. (It is not clear to me how you win a bug battle.)

And, of course, all four boys have a strong interest in iPad games!

Viva once in a while joins the boys in play, but she has her own interests. She made duct tape collars and leashes for two of Lincoln's dogs (at his request).

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

B's Pogo Stick

Grandma Vicki gave Bentley a pogo stick for his birthday. (I think he asked her for it.) Since his birthday is in January, there was too much snow and ice on the driveway to use it. Bummer! However, by mid-March the driveway was looking good, but...he had a big karate tournament he was training for. You can't injure yourself trying out new sports just before a tournament. It wasn't until after he returned from Las Vegas that pogo stick was used.

Last week, Bentley got his stick out and he quickly mastered it. Friday afternoon he set his first record: 15 jumps. I was texting Grandma Vicki about his progress. He hit 100 jumps next and was at 110 when he quit for the day. Saturday he was back outside working to set new records. His final record was 423 consecutive jumps. He admitted his legs were getting a little tired! Grandma Vicki and I were quite amazed. She pointed out that it must all those karate exercises--it takes strong thighs to hold kata stances. He has shared his pogo stick with his siblings, but they haven't had enough time with it to set their own records.