Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Road Trip in the Works

Next week the kids have a short week of school, so we decided to get Sacajawea out for one finale road trip of the year. We're going to head to Mt. Rushmore and I am SO excited. This is something I've wanted to do all my life.

We're getting there by route of Salt Lake City (there's a secret something planned for my girls Tuesday night) and coming home by route of Cody WY/ Yellowstone. If any of you have been on this trip before or in any of the areas around where will be, let me know! Tell me what is great to do or see!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Boys vs. Girls

This having a boy in school thing is a whole lot different than having girls in school. When the day is done and my girls get home, they are ready to chat up a storm about the goings on that happened during the day. ("What's-his-name colored all over the school walls and got sent to the principal. I just can't believe he would ruin the school like that. My teacher was so angry."...and on and on we go. Or, "Somebody wouldn't leave me alone at recess. She drives me nuts and just won't give me break. I try to be nice to her, but sometimes I just need a break from her. But she will grab onto my clothes to make me stay with her and then so-and-so tries to grab my other arm and...." blah, blah, blah.) With Carter, I have to pry and pry and pry to get ANYTHING out of him at all.

We have this tradition in our family where each kid tells something funny, something good, and something bad that happened at school. I started doing this when Halle started kindergarten as a way to open the door to conversation. It really helped. Instead of "What did you do today?" with the answer of "Nothing," or "I can't remember", I get all sorts of stories from my girls.

But Carter is a little bit different. I ask the questions and get the exact same answers everyday.
"Carter, what was something funny today?"
"My pants almost fell down, but I caught them." (EVERYDAY!)

"Carter, what was something good that happened today?"
"I was good in class." (EVERYDAY!)

"Carter, did anything bad happen today?" (Usually this gives opportunities to talk about a bad grade or behaviour with my girls.)
"I wasn't bad." (Occasionally I'll hear about so-and-so who hit so-and-so, but that's the extent of the conversation.)

I am learning that boys just don't really care about all the nitty gritty details. And if I want to hear about them, I have to ask very specific questions. For instance,

"Carter, did you do any work that you liked today?"
"Yah, tracing."
"What did you trace?"
"I had to trace a t.v. and then color it."

Ahhhhh....finally some details!

It truly is amazing how different boys are from girls. It's with them from birth and just the way God created them.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Halle's Bugs

Halle is ALWAYS catching a bug. I can not even tell you how many tupperware containers and cups have been ruined in this house due to bug catching. (It's not the bug that ruins them, its being left outside for the lawnmower to hit them that seems to do the trick.)

Halle is a very responsible bug catcher too, she keeps the bug for a few hours to examine and then releases it. If she's around when anyone is trying to kill a bug she will beg for it to be released outside. Just about the only thing she'll let me kill are hobo spiders and I think that's just because she knows how bad I hate them. She will swerve on her bike to miss a roly poly, she'd rather crash than smash it. She really is such a tender heart.

The thing I love about her loving her bugs (say that 10 times fast) is that she likes to learn about them. She'll catch something and then come in and google all about it. She really knows quite a few interesting facts about all sorts of insects.

Her school class is buying some caterpillars (or callepitters as Halle would say) to watch grow from caterpillar, to cocoon, to butterfly. She can hardly wait. She talks about it every day. "Mrs Ball said our callepitters are coming next week!" They must be learning about bugs or something because this week they get to go on a "bug hunt" to the park.

Halle took a lady bug with all sorts of interesting facts last week for her "sharing" and today she took a praying mantis. This girl and her bugs.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Snip Snip Here, A Snip Snip There...

Here a snip, there a snip, everywhere a snip snip.

Okay, I think sufficient enough time has passed for me to be able to post about our latest disaster. It happened just about a week ago and let me tell you, at the time, emotions were too raw in this house for it to be funny.

I had done Kate's hair in many little ponies across the front of her head. The hair do had been in a few days and Alyssa wanted to give Kate a "make over". (A game frequently played in this house.) She tried to take the elastics out, but they were snarled and weren't coming out easily. So.....she asked if she could please use the scissors to cut them out. (You see where this is going?)

I told her I'd rather she didn't because it's too easy to cut hair doing that. She begged and pleaded and promised she was old enough that she wouldn't cut any of Kate's hair. (And here is where I just should have put the STUPID (and by stupid I mean awesome) "Catching Fire" book down and gone and cut them myself.)

Next thing I know, Alyssa comes running into my room carrying a HANDFUL of hair. She was sobbing, and I was SICK. I'll admit, I snapped at her, causing more tears. Which in turn caused Jarom to snap because he was sick of the estrogen flood he was surrounded by.

THANK GOODNESS Kate has a thick full head of hair. We can pull her sides up on top of her head and we're able to hide most of the cuts. I think she got one full pony cut out and chunks of two others snipped as well. The picture below isn't even half of it. But like I said, we are able to cover it up, so a major disaster is only a minor disaster now.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Money Game

So I admitted the other day that I've started couponing. I'll be the first to say I NEVER wanted to coupon. I can't stand getting in line behind a coupon lady. I think her purchase is over with and get ready for my turn, and then she pulls out the binder....argghhhh. I also thought, "I'm sure if I just go to Walmart and get all this stuff, I could pay the same price without a coupon. How much can I save with a coupon anyway?"

But my sister-in-law, Kaylin, kept telling me about these amazing deals she was getting (some things even for free). And with being self employed and all....well, saving a little money couldn't be a bad thing. Then, I saw a special on food network about This woman was paying $60 for a $250 purchase. I thought, "What can it hurt? I'll give it a try."

So Kaylin has been patiently teaching me and I have slowly started getting deals and (here's the best part) filling my food storage pantry. It's such a rush to see the total, hand over the stack of coupons, and see that total drop in half. Seriously, I am addicted. Don't worry, I am a very polite coupon lady. I only shop late at night, or early in the morning a)so I have fewer or no kids with me and b) so the store is fairly empty and I'm not holding up the line.

I decided to do a little comparison shopping. I bought the following things from Target and Albertsons, using coupons and paid about $70 for all. (Now remember I am a BEGINNING couponer and only have ONE insert of coupons to use, so that total isn't all that impressive.)

*not pictured: 2 boxes Eggo brand waffles, cake mix, and Hubba Bubba gum
12 count Bounty paper towels
120 load Downy softener
1 gallon milk
1 gallon chocolate milk
1/2 gallon chocolate soy milk
3 bags blueberry grapes
2 lb bag carrots
4 chicken breasts
2 boxes Right Bites cookies
1 bottle Welches grape jelly
1 3 count pack schick quatro razors
1 tube colgate advance whitening toothpaste
1 stick Secret deodorant
1 box Fruit Loops
2 boxes Pop Tarts
1 loaf Wonder bread
1 pair Converse shoes for Alyssa
1 box 100 count envelopes

Then I went to Walmart and priced the exact same items to see if I really saved anything. The total at Walmart if I hadn't used any coupons was $93, and if I had used my coupons the total would have been $82. So by shopping the ads and couponing at Albertsons and Target I still saved $12. I'm telling you....couponing is the way to go.

Strange Things...

Funky things have been going on over here. I feel like I've entered the Twilight Zone, or maybe just the "things are are never dull at the Manwarings" zone.

1. Carter's lamp light bulb exploded all over his bed. No one touched it or anything, just "POP" and glass was everywhere. Thankfully, he wasn't laying in the bed.

2. A tree sprouted up in my weed patch back flower bed from a seed. I think the seed must have come down the storm drain and there is now a 7 foot tree. (Don't know what kind, but a tree none the less.)

3. I've decided to become a couponer and I love it. (This is the weirdest thing of all listed.)

4. And finally, yesterday, I spotted a badger taking a leisurely stroll down the sidewalk in front of my house. (No, I don't live in the country.)

So bizarre...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Brace Face No More

Alyssa got her braces off this week. Most kids can't wait until the day the braces come off, but my Alyssa was just scared to death. Anything new and/or remotely medically related freaks poor little Lyss right out of her pants. She did pretty good with the removal, but the impression for the new retainer was another story. And of course they had to do it twice because the first one didn't work. I seriously thought she was going to throw up she was gagging so bad. Thankfully she didn't and they were able to make the retainer.

Speaking of retainer, MY they have come a long way since I had to endure this process. She got to choose from about 50 color choices, and ended up with sparkly turquoise. (My choices were clear or red.) And hers is a little piece of plastic that fits on the roof of the mouth. The next step in this braces process is to pull her jaw forward. I had to have this same thing done, but I had to wear a gargantuan hunk of plastic that filled both top and bottom of my mouth. And then, since I would spit it out in my sleep, I had to have some strange strap device wrapped around my head at night to keep my mouth closed. I'm SO glad she doesn't have to do that! I have to say, I'm a little envious of the ease of her braces experience.
Crooked teeth before the process began.

First day with braces.

Nice straight teeth!

Now she wears this retainer while her body grows, and her bite readjusts, then we see if she will need further treatment in about two years.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Kindergarten Funny

Today I picked Carter up from school and he immediately said, "I don't want to tell you anything that happened today."

Me: "Why not? That kind of hurts my feelings. I love to hear about your school day."

Carter: "Well, we all got in trouble for saying bad words."

Me: "What words did people say?"

Carter: "The B word and the F word."

Me (alarmed that my son is hearing the "F word" in kindergarten): "What is the B word and the F word?"

Carter: "You know....'hit' and 'naked'."

It was all I could do to stifle my snort and laughter. I guess when you don't know how to spell, the "F word" is not quite the same word as when you can spell.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Fair Days

I think I have a love hate relationship with the fair. And the older I get the heavier the "hate" side of the scale starts to tip. We always seem to choose Labor Day to go to the fair, and that is the same day everyone else and their dog (literally) chooses to go to. We spend a million dollars, and the freaky people that come out...well, they are a whole story unto themselves. Choking on all the second hand smoke. Waiting in lines 3 years long to use the bathroom. It is a nightmare. And yet....we still go....every year.
Because I have to get a Pronto Pup corn dog. (And a few other goodies as well.)

And the kids have to get in one or two, million dollar rides.

And as soon as we see cutie pies like this, we've forgotten all the reasons why we hate the fair and remember all the reasons we love the fair. (Piglets one day old. Perhaps the cutest things I've ever seen!)

And now we're already looking forward to next year. (Well some of us are. Jarom is in bed with a massive headache vowing never to go again. We'll see....we'll see.)

Friday, September 04, 2009

Tummy Trouble at the Tea Party

My girls' church class planned a tea/hat party for moms and daughters. We were to create and wear matching hats. My girls were all over this. Especially Halle, this girl loves to create. She had all sorts of ideas: A hat covered in cookies, one with butterflies sticking out all over the place, one with candy bars glued on, a nest sitting on top of the hat with a bird glued to it, a pretend fish bowl made from a plastic bowl, etc. etc. etc. We finally settled on a "beach themed" hat with seashells and star fish.

We worked on our hats and got them to perfection and then....duhn duh dunnnn....Halle's tummy ache hit. Exactly one hour to the minute before we were to go to the party. Oh she was so sad. And I was sad for her. And Alyssa was sad because she thought she was going to have to miss out.

We went anyway. Halle spent over half the time in the bathroom and the evening concluded with her throwing up all over the church lawn. Poor little girl. (Not to worry, she made sure she wasn't where anyone would step.)

Then...Kate got it and Carter got it....and now...we've got some funky little tummy trouble going on over here. Just keeps lingering on and none of us dare venture very far from a toilet. (If you get my drift.) Oh the joys of viruses.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Carter's Reaction

Carter officially had his first day of school today. Yesterday was just a meet & greet and I stayed the whole time with him. Today he did the whole thing by himself. (He didn't even turn around and wave as he walked in...little bugger.)

When I picked him up after school I asked him what they did. He said, "They made me count to 200. It was exhausting!"

Other than exhausting himself with counting, he loved it. And so far, coloring is his favorite part.