Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kids these Days

While playing Super Mario Bros this morning, Eliana got frustrated with dying. Her parents helpfully kept offering advice. She responded to our suggestions after running out of lives yet again with "Can I just go do my laundry now?"

I guess.

Onions... EW!

Eliana was eating canadian bacon. Suddenly, she said, "EWWWWW!! Gross!" She pointed to a spot of fat on the slice of canadian bacon. We informed her that was just fat and she didn't have to eat it. At that point she exclaimed, "I HATE those spots! They look like onions... EWWW!"

Warp Speed Nerdiness... Commence!

Leif just informed me that he's been listening to podcasts at 1.4 speed and that it's been making him talk faster. **Sigh**

Monday, December 10, 2012

December FUN!

We've been continuing with our Daily December activities and so far have...

Day 5 - Watched the Charlie Brown Christmas and got a new Charlie Brown puzzle to work on this year!

Day 6 - Eliana donated money to the Salvation Army bell ringers.

Day 7 - We made Gingerbread Babies! And Eliana made her gingerbread tree that came with the house. And I went to our Mary Kay holiday party!

Day 8 - Eliana chose to give some of her toys to another family today.

Day 9 - Leif and Eliana went skiing for the first time this year!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Daily December... Days 3 and 4!

For our 3rd Daily December activity, Eliana got to open a package from under the tree in the den... In it she found a Grinch floor puzzle, How The Grinch Stole Christmas book, and the movie! Yep... Yesterday was GRINCH FEST!! We snuggled and watched it together after she put the puzzle together read (most of) the book!

Today was our 4th activity and, once again, she got to open a package... Package #4 contained all the goodies to make this:

From Christmas 2012
Hooray for GINGERBREAD DAY!! (Also, hooray for Costco's gingerbread house kits!)

From Christmas 2012

From Christmas 2012
I think they skimped on the candy this year...

From Christmas 2012

From Christmas 2012

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Daily December... Day 2!

On the 2nd of December we made some Christmas cards!!

From Christmas 2012
Actually, ELIANA made some Christmas cards. First, she made a list of friends she wants to give Christmas cards to.

From Christmas 2012
Then we went up to the craft room and crafted together and chatted. It was WONDERFUL! I have decided that 6 is a magical age where Eliana's interests and my interests overlap and her skills have improved enough that we can spend quality time doing things that we both enjoy, and having conversations that actually have content. Hooray!! It's awesome! We created an assembly line in which I tied on the fringy string and Eliana put the snowflake stickers and Happy Holidays sticker on the cards in her own style. Really, it was a great time, and the cards turned out great!

From Christmas 2012
Well, MOST of the cards turned out great... There was this one card that she decided she was going to draw a nativity in...

From Christmas 2012
It's baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in the stable. And Joseph is running away because, in case you can't read the speech bubbles (which have arrows leading to other speech bubbles because, well, Ellie's speech bubble to handwriting size is still a little off...), Joseph is saying, "AAAAA! I forgot my pants!"

Ah, 6 year old humor. Hopefully she'll just be signing her name in the rest of the cards...

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Daily December... The First Day

Today marks the first of December and the long anticipated beginning of our Daily December activities!! Here's what Eliana opened up this morning...

From Christmas 2012
Every day we have a different activity to lead up to Christmas. Tonight we went to the Christmas Stroll!!

From Christmas 2012
Two factors played into our timing for the Christmas Stroll this year. First, I was downtown for our Mary Kay Holiday Open House at the Studio from 9-4. Second, MSU was playing in the playoffs and Leif wanted to watch the game, which started at 5:30. Since the Stroll begins at 4:30, we hit the very beginning of it. It wasn't even dark yet, which was a first for us! We started by strolling down Main Street from the Studio. It wasn't crowded at all, which was nice!!

From Christmas 2012

From Christmas 2012

We got sidetracked by a live nativity on our way to find food... 
From Christmas 2012
Eliana was particularly enthralled by the baby goats.

From Christmas 2012
Then we strolled off to find some food. Ellie was STARVING (as only a hungry child can dramatize), so she and I shared some pizza. I also got some fry bread. Leif opted for some food from Blackbird, a local restaurant we have been planning to visit.

From Christmas 2012

From Christmas 2012
It was while we were waiting for Leif's food that I noticed just how warm it was tonight... See the sign in the background? Yeah.... It's December 1st. We should be colder than that.
From Christmas 2012

As we walked down Main Street a little further, we noticed that some of the "spider" lights were lit. I have always heard that Santa goes down main street lighting the decorations for the year, but we've never actually seen it happen. How exciting!!

From Christmas 2012
"Let's get closer!" Eliana said, "I want to see Santa light the lights!" So we moved closer. Eliana still couldn't see Santa, so I let her climb onto my back to get a better look.
From Christmas 2012
This was taken just before Santa "lit" the lights, and then proceeded to try to run us over with his horse-drawn sleigh! I was not prepared for that, nor was I prepared for the hoard of people following Santa who tried to trample us as they continued on the lighting march! I've never considered myself squeamish of crowds, but I did not like that one bit! We were heading the wrong direction in a sea of people and I had a 50 lb child on my back! Ack! Now I remember why we avoid events where Santa is present...

Once we regained our senses and felt comfortable swimming upstream again, we continued on our quest for cotton candy, a treat we told Eliana she could have after she at some real food. Leif had given Eliana $2 for cotton candy and she was excited to spend it!
From Christmas 2012

From Christmas 2012
So there she waited in line, visions of spun sugar dancing in her head.

From Christmas 2012
Finally, she got to the stand and purchased her cotton candy. That was one happy girl!!

From Christmas 2012

From Christmas 2012
Leif departed to go watch the football game, but Eliana wanted to stay "until it was night." So she and I strolled a bit more as the sky grew dark. As we strolled, we got to see a couple people juggling fire, which was cool!

From Christmas 2012
Then we headed home, happy with our time at the Christmas Stroll. What a wonderful event to get out, celebrate the holidays, spend time with the community, and connect with friends! We love it!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Christmas Decorating 2012

Elizabeth and Eliana are decorating up a storm today.  Elizabeth told Eliana that she always wanted to have a little girl to decorate with.  Today it's happening.

Not her father's Saturday morning cartoons

On this day after Thanksgiving, Eliana awoke to break her fast on the slice of pumpkin pie she had been talking about ever since stuffing herself at dinner yesterday.  She then went on to try to make paper snowflakes and airplanes.  She's still struggling with precise folding so that didn't go so well.  Next she turned to her box of musical instruments.  I woke up to the sound of her playing Kindermusic songs on her xylophone and maracas.  When I came down for breakfast, I was recruited to help her make a better paper airplane and then to convert it into a kite-like device.  Once she tired of spinning in circles with that, she asked if she could watch "How It's Made" on Netflix.  I told her it was fine once she cleaned up everything she'd gotten out.  She did a great job.  Now as she learns about the making of aluminium foil, snowboards, contact lenses, and bread, I hear a constant stream of "beautiful", "wow", "cool", and "pretty" from the den.

When I learned that I was going to have a daughter, I pictured a house full of dolls and dress-up.  We've got plenty of that.  I didn't expect to get the girl that also loves paper airplanes, documentaries, and math.  Of course the paper airplanes must be colored.  When the airplane is converted to a kite, it's with metallic ribbon, not string.  The footage of a glowing crucible is more likely to get a "beautiful!" than an "awesome!" When given the choice of activities to pass the time while getting the car's oil changed, she picked a math workbook over a coloring book.  Once she's completed each sheet to her satisfaction, she adorns it with myriad stars and hearts, the shapes she's currently proudest of being able to draw.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Colonial Feast

One of the joys I have in life right now is the freedom to be active in Eliana's classroom activities. Today was the Kindergarten and First Grade Colonial Feast. Last year I was a bystander, so this year I was able to take a much more active role in putting together this fun event for the kids and taking some of the strain off the teachers. What a blessing that is! The first graders have been learning about the colonists and the first Thanksgiving. To make the event a little more authentic, the students draped large napkins over their shoulders and laps, ate out of wooden dishes, and used shells as their utensils. They also got to sample authentic colonial food such as duck jerky, hasty pudding, berries, and wild game. We had 25 students, plus younger siblings and parents who attended the feast. It was fun for all!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Eliana just chalkboarded for me her method of putting away laundry. As she drew each object, she'd label it in cursive with the initial letter or two. I was so proud to see her thinking through a big job and breaking it into smaller, linear steps.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Today on the way to gymnastics, Eliana piped up from the back seat of the car and asked, "Mommy, why are there all those poor people who just always show up?"

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Well, okay. Pretend that I don't have very much money, so I don't have any place to live. So I write a note on a piece of cardboard - which, I don't even know where they get that from - and stand there with my sign to ask for money. Why do they do that?"

"Well," I said, cautiously, "They do that because they don't have any money."

"I don't think they should."

"What should they do instead?"

"Well," Eliana said, "I think they should earn some money."

"How would they do that?"

"They could get a job."

It's that simple in her mind. She has to work for her money, so why shouldn't they? Interesting conversations with a 6 year old.

Monday, September 24, 2012

In Honor of Mommom's Birthday....

A quote from Eliana.... 

"Happy Birthday to you! You live in a zoo! You smell like a monkey... and you look like one, too!!"

"Um, Mommy, is that a very nice thing to sing? It doesn't sound very nice... And what DOES a monkey smell like?"

Happy Birthday, Mommom!!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

First Grade

Looky looky who's in 1st Grade!!!

From 1st Day of School

This morning I had her demonstrate her handwriting...
From 1st Day of School
It's a far cry from what it was last year!!
She got fancy hair and everything for her first day!
From 1st Day of School
Here she is in front of her classroom! 10 kids in her class this year, including an Eliana, Auna, Anya, and Ania. What a tongue-twister! Speaking of Auna, Eliana was SO excited to see her best friend from kindergarten!
From 1st Day of School
Here's to another year of great friendships and learning!!