Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hours of Entertainment

This week I've learned several great ways to keep a little girl busy while I'm working in a tiny kitchen preparing supper. The most basic is to ask her to go wash her hands. The bathroom sink will keep her busy for a loooong time. She also likes to brush her teeth nearly every time she's washing her hands... double the benefit!

The most recent amusement I've found for Emily she actually found herself. I was making spaghetti the other night and I was using kitchen tongs to get the spaghetti noodles out of the pot. She asked me if they were scissors when I showed her how they were used she wanted to try it. So, instead of letting her use my 'sgetti-sauce-covered tongs, I whipped out a clean pair and sent her around the house to see which of her toys she could pick up with her tongs. It was a great scientific experiment for her and learned quite a bit in the process.

Em's expressions in these pictures crack me up.
At first, we're a little bummed out that we
aren't able to pick something up.

Then she becomes a little exhuberant
when she does figure out how to pick
something up. It's a giant piece of spaghetti!

Proud of her catch.

And, then she found something else
in her bedroom that she could pick up!

Ah, kitchen tongs. What will we think of next....

Friday, August 21, 2009


Our church has been experimenting over the past couple of years with different types of Vacation Bible School. We've played with a week's worth of VBS in the evenings, played with VBS over the course of a few week days and a weekend and this year we did just a few hours on a Friday for the toddlers and simultaneously covered the elementary school kids. The following Saturday was devoted to the Jr/Sr High kids and it was done similar to a day at church camp. From what we've heard so far, all 3 groups went well and the kids had a great time and learned quite a bit!

I (Jenni) led the toddler group... here's a sampling of our day.

We started out by coloring animal
posters as the kids were arriving.
Here's Emily and her good friend, Kael.

We kicked things off with some singing. Here's
their version of This Little Light of Mine.

After singing, the kids told me about the
story of Noah's Ark while I turned the
pages in the book and helped them out.

After our story time, I had them help me
tell the story again, this time we made a
picture of it as we told the story. Each kid
got to put several things on the picture.

While we were learning about Noah, Emily's
"Cowboy Daddy" aka Tom (who was really
dressed as a jungle safari guy), was teaching the
elementary school kids about Moses and the
Israelites... and glow sticks... and puppets...
and pillars of light... and snacks... and bookmarks.

Here are some of the girls adding their animals
to the ark... with the help of Abby's mom, Katie.

After story time came crafts. I believe in drilling
a story into the kidlets heads. Hehehe... Guess what?!?! The girls
are making a craft with rainbows, clouds, arks,
and animals, along with a Bible verse that reads:
"The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving
toward all he has made. Psalm 145:13"

Hey, we're sticking to a theme here... For snack
time, we had nilla wafers (arks) with
icing (rain clouds) and rainbow sprinkles!
The kids got to make their own snacks.

They decided it was quite yummy and
highly recommended the icing...
and LOTS of it!

(Here's Emily with her cousins, Gracie and Abby.)

While we don't normally allow this at home,
when Emily asked if she could lick the icing off
her knife I told her, "Go ahead, that knife isn't
sharp... just don't do it when Nanny's around."
Let's see if she keeps her side of the pact and
if Nanny's still reading our blog.

After the kids wrapped up their snacks, I told
them they could make another craft or keep
coloring. I went over and turned the music
back on from earlier in the evening and what
ensued was a mob of 2 and 3 years olds
(okay, 5 of them) having an impromptu
dance party!

At the end of the evening, when all was said
and done, Emily said she enjoyed the night.
And then she proceeded to show her Daddy
how she's going to earn millions.

The Big Tease: Answer

Here's the answer to what Emily was doing in the last post that gave her goofy hair:

This was at one of her physical therapy sessions. Emily was in a large inflatable "Fun Roller" and it gave her especially fabulous hair on this particular occasion.

Emily also got to experience a new swing at PT a couple of weeks ago. She was working on a puzzle with the shapes at one of the mat and the actual puzzle at the other side. This was a good workout for her. She had to move around with her hands, but also had to keep her body straightened out so she didn't go all over the place. Here's a video of her first time in the swing.

A few of our faithful followers have asked about the status of Emily's braces. They are still coming, but the process has been caught up in paperwork. I made a lot of phone calls recently and we should be getting closer. We are waiting on approval from our insurance company and BCMH before we can proceed. There are so many parties involved to make this happen and there are a lot of steps that have to happen in a certain order. We'll get there. The perk in all of this might be that it will be a little cooler out when Emily starts wearing her gear so it won't be so uncomfortable.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Big Tease

Just teasing you today... you really want to know what's going on in this picture. Don't you?

What's your guess?

Who Wants to Volunteer?

I hate to be the one to break it to her...

...but this morning, Emily was looking for these:


In Prospect. Ohio. Where it looks like this.

(no mountains)

Does anyone else what to be the big meanie today and tell her the bad news??

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Oh, Dear

Here's Tom's version of what happened a few minutes ago..

"My 3 yr old daughter was saying she does not like Spider Man (who she saw on a lunch box earlier. I asked her "Who do you like?" She said "I like bad boys" Dear God, help me........"

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Vacation in the Smoky Mountains

We took off last Friday for a quick trip down to our favorite spot in Tennessee -- The Smoky Mountains. We took a planned detour through Nashville on the way so that we could meet our niece for supper and hang out briefly while we were in the area. Unfortunately, I don't have any good pictures on my computer at the moment but am hoping to round some up that dear hubby took.

Some highlights of the Nashville loop of the trip:
  • Emily got to eat at The Aquarium, a restaurant at the Opry Mills mall in Nashville, while sitting beside swimming sharks, stingrays, a bunch of smaller fish, and a diver.
  • Emily got to eat ice cream with her new best friend, Anna-Vija.
  • Emily told me she had to go potty while at the restaurant, but made a QUICK u-turn as soon as she discovered they were scary (read: automatic flushing) toilets.
  • Emily got to ride on the carousel about 5 or 6 times in the Opry Mills mall in Nashville.
  • Emily got to pet stingrays in the same mall.
  • Emily got to spend the night with us in our king-size bed at the hotel and repeatedly told us, "I love this room!"
  • Emily got to eat continental breakfast at the hotel -- including a mommy-made waffle (ok, so I just poured the waffle mix from the cup into the waffle iron, flipped it over and waited for it to beep... but you theoretically you could mess that up, right?)
  • Emily got to ride up to the top/3rd floor of the hotel in a glass elevator and I stopped to let her run a lap around the inner square hallway on each floor before we got back in the car to head to our next destination. I think she actually ran 2 laps on the second floor... but whose counting.

We spent the week in our favorite rental cabin in Townsend, TN. We enjoyed rainstorms from the front porch nearly every day and experienced some torrential downpours toward the end of the week that we heard dumped 8 inches on us in a 24-hour period.

Prior to the trip, I gathered up some materials so I could spend some time learning a little more about my Nikon D50 camera. I'm ready to start learning to do a little more with my camera so we can get away from using the automatic setting the majority of the time. I didn't get a lot of time to read up but spent part of a morning playing with the aperature and shutter speed settings. I still have a LONG way to go.

We did Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg in one day and took in the aquarium there. We like it because after you walk partway through the exhibits you can hop into a slowly moving sidewalk and it takes you under and beside the huge tank that houses a bunch of sharks, sea turtles, and a wide variety of fish. I couldn't think of the best settings to use on my camera and recommended that Tom use a nightime setting because it was fairly dark in there... bad choice. Most of the pictures came out blurry and I should have had him set it back on Auto.

This kind of shows the size of part of the exhibit. That's a shark in the center of the picture and the bottom-left shows people on the moving sidewalk going around one of the bends.

A closer look at one of the sharks in the tank around us.

Emily is NOT camera-shy like some of her cousins. As soon as she sees you holding a camera, she immediately whips around with her "C-H-E-E-E-E-E-S-E!" pose. As soon as the picture is snapped, you get bombarded with an excited, "I Wanna See! I Wanna See!" Hmmm... seems my generation missed that aspect of photography.

Our cabin comes with a hot tub on the wrap around porch. Emily and I took advantage of it nearly every day. There were a couple of times when a shower came up on us all of a sudden and much to Emily's chagrin we had to head inside. On one such occasion, I just deposited her directly from the hot tub into the bath tub and let her keep playing in the water. This was her first chance to play with her special bathtub crayons that she picked out. Yeah, we vandalized our rental cabin's shower... we're just mean like that. No, actually, these are pretty cool and similar to some I remember playing with as a kid. Emily had a blast taking the bathtub through the "carwash" when it was time to clean it all up.

Check out the hair! When she first came home she had NO hair. Then it came in blonde and straight. It's VERY slowly getting longer and is still very fine but she's got little ringlets when it gets wet. (And weird frizzies when it doesn't have mousse or gel on it.)

Late in the week, we had the really have rainstorm come through. Somehow, we managed to leave an outdoor light on at the back of the porch and in the morning the outside cabin wall near the light was speckled with over 3 dozen different moths. Only 2 of them had similar coloring and shape! There was a pink and yellow one not pictured below and two looked like rolled up dead leaves until I looked more closely and discovered they were moths. Here are few of the specimens that I found really interesting. The green one is worth clicking on the pictures to see a larger version! I'm sure they were drying their wings or whatever it is that moths do, but these things were on the wall at about 7am and they were still over 8 hours later and didn't look like they had moved the tiniest bit. They were gone by dark and none were there the next day.

I love watching sunsets but the view from our cabin has never revealed any cool colors or anything like we see at home or when we travel to Michigan's U.P. I did set my camera and tripod up one evening though and over the course of an hour took about 10 photos of the changing evening sky. They don't call them The Great Smoky Mountains for nothin'! Be sure to click on the triangle/play button to view them. Enjoy.

Vacation is over and it's back to the grindstone this week for me. Stay healthy and be blessed y'all!


Oops, I forgot a July post!

I just realized that I took a bunch of pictures off of my camera around the middle of July and then forgot to post them to the blog. I just went back and fixed that faux pas! You can find that entry here!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Apple Witch

After informing my daughter that I would be cranky in the morning if she continues to wake us up several times in the middle of the night, she very kindly called me the "Apple Witch".

... those of you who know Em's fondness for the "Apple Witch" in Snow White might get a chuckle out of that.

Love, The Apple Witch

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