Monday, February 28, 2011

Goodbye, February

I figured that since the last time I posted on this blog was the first of the month, it might be fun to round out February with one last post. This is just my little way of celebrating the end of what is always a trying month. Spring is truly around the corner now. I need warm sunshine on my face, no doubt.

So what happened in February that might be of interest to you? Well, for starters, I did two cake orders and received another order for April. I hope this is the beginning of a side business. At this point I'm really still learning and discovering what I can do, but getting an order here and there is lots of fun. It keeps me motivated to keep developing my skills and learning new techniques.

Also in February, Devon turned seven.

He is growing up so quickly. He continues to be bright and funny and organized. We implemented "Special Nights" this month. Each child gets an evening once a week where they get to stay up half an hour after the other kids and spend time with Mom and Dad. They get to choose the activity (it has to be at home, free, and able to be completed in the 1/2 hour time slot) with Mom and Dad holding veto power (no Monopoly). For Devon's special night last week, we spent half the time moving a set of drawers into his room and organizing and cleaning up. Lincoln thought he was crazy to use his special time for that, and maybe a little too much like his mother. Devon loves Legos and is currently on an Indiana Jones kick. Which is why he requested this birthday cake.

Renie, and the rest of the kindergarten, had their mid-winter program. It's always a treat to watch kindergartners sing and dance.

We held our annual Valentine's Party on February 11th. We kept with the format of desserts and a poetry contest. It is so much fun to hear the poems that everyone comes up with each year. I also had a lot of fun making these pom-poms for decorations this year.

On the last Saturday in February, Lincoln took the Young Men from church to Madison for a basketball tournament. They won one game, which was their goal. It was the first time a team from our branch had ever won a game in a Stake Tournament. Lincoln really enjoyed coaching the boys and I'd love to see him with a regular coaching gig. He's really good at it and derives a lot of joy from it.

That same Saturday Julia had her dance/cheerleading recital. She's been taking a class at Lands End and continues to love dancing.

We also had parent teacher conferences this month. We got great reports on all the kids and I'll spare you the details, other than to say I was so pleased to hear how well Julia is doing. When we first moved here, her teacher was concerned about her reading level. They put her in a special reading group and kept a close eye on her progress in first grade. Fast forward to fourth grade and she's a top reader in her class. Her test scores- in all areas- are well above the average. She seems a bit more motivated lately, (maybe because of the monetary incentive we give our kids. But does it really matter what motivates her if it encourages her to be more responsible and make the extra effort to keep her grades up?), and this helps her to be a bit more organized and responsible.

February is pretty busy around here, but I like it that way. It keeps me distracted and helps the month to fly by so we can get on to March and springtime.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Caboose is Four!

My beautiful baby boy has turned four. What a sweet little boy he is! He is always ready to show some love to his mama. Hugs, kisses, snuggles, I love yous, they all flow freely for Mommy. What more could a mommy ask for in her baby?

It took us a while to find out what Jesse wanted for his birthday dinner. Every time we asked him, he told us he wanted a Thomas cake. We assured him he could have that, but what did he want for dinner? Cake. I finally led him to say he wanted chicken nuggets and french fries. I know that's probably his favorite thing to eat, so I figured we'd just go with it. At Lincoln's suggestion, I decided to make them from actual potatoes and chicken breast. So glad I did. It was really yummy.

I found a great inspiration cake online. I was prepared to make a roundhouse with Thomas and Percy coming out of it. Then, two days before his birthday he decided he wanted a Buzz Lightyear cake. So I made a plan and made a Buzz Lightyear cake. He LOVED it. As I was working on it he pulled up a stool to watch for a bit. He smiled, gave me a little pat on the back, and told me what a great job I was doing. It was after I had taken pictures that Renie pointed out that i had forgotten the big red button on his chest.

After the birthday fun, Lincoln and I put the kids to bed, left Kennedy in charge, and drove to the front of the neighborhood to dig out his car that he abandoned in a drift on his way home. In whiteout conditions, it was pretty hard to avoid the drifts and he buried the car in it. By the time we went back, four hours later, it was pretty solidly ensconced. The wind was whipping stinging bits of snow against us as we dug. There was at least a foot of snow in the road. At first, the car felt like it was frozen in place. We dug some more, tried some more, pushed some more, dug some more, tried some more, etc etc, and suddenly it started to move, ever so slightly. Eventually, I was able to rock it out, with Lincoln digging a path to the clearer part of the road. Once I had it moving, I just kept on going. On the hill in front of our house, it got stuck again briefly, but I was able to get it moving again without any digging or pushing.

I've go to say, this is one fantastic storm. I don't remember seeing a storm like this before. It's a true blue blizzard.

Sickie household

Well, it's been about a week now since Lincoln started getting sick. There rest of us decided to join him later in the week. On saturday I was feeling really miserable, but I took some Ibuprophen and headed to Milwaukee with Lincoln to watch the Syracuse/Marquette college basketball game. We had purchased the tickets a couple months ago, so we weren't about to let a raging fever keep us from using them! It was a very frustrating game, with Syracuse going down by 10 points pretty quickly in the first half. It took them the entire second half to pick away at that lead. They tied it up a couple times, but never managed to secure a lead. It was interesting to be in hostile territory. Not a lot of Syracuse fans there, it turns out. Between the pep band, the yelling, and the frustration, I thought my poor aching head was going to explode. But--it was a fun afternoon out with my favorite guy.