Monday, January 26, 2009

Usborne Book of the Week

We're really into maps and have a World Map with the flags of all the countries on our dining room table. It's a great teaching tool and conversation piece for our family. This sticker book is a great learning tool too. With pictures of 200 flags, this fact-filled book includes the national flag of every country in the world, each one with a sticker to match. Maps of the continents show where each country is.

How tough are they?

Well, I am officially a wimp. I stayed in my cozy bed last Saturday night while Ben, Maddie and Kate braved the weather (sub-zero) and slept in the igloo. The next day they relaxed in the whirlpool at Tim and Nadine's hotel. Only in Minnesota!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thanks God, Thanks Mom, Thanks Dad for my life.

That's it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ahhh, Warmth!

Lows today in the double digits, that's below zero. Consequently, our van would not start this morning, so morning plans had to be re-arranged. Sometimes it is nice to just be cooped up in one's own home to catch up on reading, organizing, and oh yes, today, staying warm.

As I write this, Izzy has discovered a new nook and cozy spot for playing, the bottom shelf of the hallway closet. It is just the right size for her 3 year old body. Now, she's snoring away sleeping there and, I am sure, very warm!

After cleaning out the kitchen island drawer, I found more reading material that had conveniently been shoved under and behind other items. I have been reading about life in our neighborhood parish as we make the decision about which parish to belong to; I organized and read through some religious education materials I'd like to use with the girls who are not currently in any religious education program; I filed our oven installation instructions and paged through the Convection Cookbook that came with our new oven (monkey bread anyone?). Now that would make our kitchen very warm!

I also discovered today that our basement fireplace does kick out more heat if one turns up the fan knob ALL the way. I had only had it halfway up, but thanks to the help from the very kind man I called from Fireside Hearth & Home, I now can expect a very warm basement. Glad that was figured out on the coldest day of the year to date!

Billy Blanks is in the background now as I await his ab crunching make me warm and hopefully more in shape. I wish I could do all the lunges and kicks, but that will come as I strengthen my knee. Ben has been biking down here quite a bit and I even got on the treadmill last night.

All we can do in this weather is move where we're at. Or, in Izzy's case, sleep where we're at.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

American Girl Christmas

Kit and Molly joined our family Christmas this year and oh, girl, have they been loved! Maddie and Kate have been busy this weekend (we've been quarantined since Izzy was sick) writing newspaper articles and stories...just like Kit. We have also been reading the girls' adventures and learning about the Great Depression, the context of Kit's life. This has been an interesting way to teach our kids about economics and to give them some sense of what is happening with our current economic status. Now they have another "authority" on the subject encouraging frugality and sacrifice with one's possessions, space and money. Who knew a perfectly marketed toy could spark such family conversation?