Sunday, June 28, 2009

Follow up on baby birds

Remember our precious baby birds that we've kept an eye on from the time they were just eggs?

**In case you've missed it, here's the story**

Look what's outside our window now!

These pictures were taken through our dining room window last week

This one was taken 3 days ago through the same window

As of today, the nest is empty. Our little ones have flown the coop.

We will miss them!

Hopefully one day they will build their nests in these bushes, too.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rewards for Good - Make that Great! - Grades

Big Brother cashed in today with some fun rewards for earning all A's .

Family Video will give each child a coupon for one free rental of a movie or video game for each "A" earned. 5 grades = 5 "A"s = 5 coupons!

He was so sweet to share his coupons with his sister. Little Sister has a awesome report card but since they don't get graded with letter grades, they wouldn't accept her report card. Big Brother to the rescue...he gave her 2 coupons and kept 3 for himself.

He rented a Wii game, MLB 2k9 and the movie Paranormal Hour. He is so into the paranormal stuff right now. He decided to keep his other coupon to use later on.

Little Sister rented a Nintendo DS game, Pampered Pets and the movie Tinkerbell.


Off we went to Krispy Kreme. They reward good grades with 1 glazed donut per "A". 5 glazed donuts for Big Brother! Again, he shared them with the family.

If you're aware of any other reward programs out there, we'd love for you to share them with us.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Look what we found!

Look at these precious baby birds!

Mom and Dad built their nest in a bush next to our side door. Both of them sit high above, either or the house or the wires, watching over the nest day and night.

They feed the babies May flies.

What a great science lesson. When we found the nest, it only had eggs in it. Now it holds 4 baby birds. Hopefully we'll see them fly off someday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Our Many Colored Days

Little Sister's kindergarten class made a very special voice thread. Turn on your speakers and click on the "comments" button at the bottom of the player. If you roll your mouse over the left-hand side of the player, you will see a speaker, click on it if you can't hear it. Listen as they read about their colorful days! They did a fantastic job!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Frog & Toad - The play

Big Brother's 5th grade class put on the play Frog & Toad this week.

Arnold Lobel's well-loved characters hop from the page to the stage in Robert and Willie Reale's nmusical, "A Year with Frog and Toad". Conceived by Mr. Lobel's daughter, Adrianne, "A Year with Frog and Toad" remains true to the spirit of the original stories as it follows two great friends, the cheerful and popular Frog, and the rather grumpy Toad, through 4 fun-filled seasons, learning life lessons along the way - including a most important one about friendship and rejoicing in the attributes that make each of us different and special.

Big Brother played a squirrel.

At the end of the play with friends

The students worked very hard during and after school for 3 months to perfect their lines and parts. All of the hard work surely paid off!

The show was excellent!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What do you see in the clouds?

For a few minutes today, we stopped everything we were doing - homework, cleaning, cooking - and went outside to sit on our back patio to sit and stare up at the clouds. This isn't something that we often take the time to do. It seems that we are all so busy these days.

This morning it was gloomy with forecasts calling for more thunderstorms. We lucked out and the storms passed us this time, leaving us with a sunny sky and big, billowy clouds. You can still see some leftover storm clouds hanging around but overall, mostly a light blue (or as they call it here Carolina Blue) sky.

(Not to be out done, if you take a look outside will see a Steelers' black sky!) Haha! That's a joke with us around here!

It was so nice to hear the kids giggling innocently as they described what they saw in the clouds.

Little Sister saw a shark in the top, left cloud and a turtle in the far right cloud. Big Brother, on the other hand, saw a person in the top, left cloud and a rabbit in the far right cloud.

Below, Little Sister saw airplanes in the bunch of clouds to the left. In the big cloud on the right, she saw a fish with a big googly eye (pointing toward the left). Big brother saw a flock of birds on the left and turtle on the right.

As for Mom and Dad, we saw peace and harmony....if only for just a few minutes!

We really need to do this more often!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Twilight - Are you joining the craze?

Big Brother has just finished reading Twilight. I'm not sure what really drove him to want to read this book--the fact that he is a tween boy in search of a girlfriend and the girls in his class that "like" him have all read it; maybe it's the fact that he likes taking a stand and going against the norm by saying that no one -especially his buddies - can tell him that he "can't" read the book because it's a girl's book series.... or maybe it just the fact that the book is worth 18 points toward his A.R. reading goal for this nine weeks in school if he earns a 100% on the A.R. test.

Whatever the reason, he read it and enjoyed it. Now he wants to see the movie. He's prepared himself this time and realizes that the movie probably won't hold up to the book. He's learned that the movie on the screen will never equally match the movie that he created in his head while reading. Such was the case of The Series of Unfortunate Events. Talk about a shock. He still talks about how disappointed he was in the movie after reading the books.

On to New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn..... Looks like he's going to have some summer reading to do. And this is NOT a bad thing!

If you're reading this, please let us know if you've read Twilight and/or have seen the movie. We'd love to know what your opinions are on the book and the movie!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Weekend Family Fun

It's been a very busy week for us. Along with everything that we've been doing inside the house, the weather has been busy changing from sun, to rain, to sleet, and then back to sun rain tonight. Very strange!

Sleet and rain before the sunshine

Big Brother and Little Sister loved watching it sleet! Believe it or not, the sun was shining brightly the next day.

Friday night we watched Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler. My kids and husband thought this movie was hilarious. I fell asleep less than half way through it. -not my cup of tea. I like silly movies but this took silliness rather far, in my opinion. The rest of them are still quoting the movie and laughing about it today.

We rented it from Redbox. Have you tried this yet? It's a great way to watch movies for a really cheap price - and if you do some searching, there are free codes out there, too! Nothing beats a free movie!

Little Sister was busy on Friday night and Saturday night! She lost one tooth on Friday and another again last night! She is anxiously awaiting a visit from the Tooth Fairy.

Little Sister is Top Dog!

Little Sister was chosen to be their classroom's "Top Dog" last week! She brought home Charlie, the dog, and he spent the week traveling everywhere with us.

Little Sister with Charlie

With Charlie and his journal

Charlie's journal tells where he's traveled - here is what Little Sister had to say

Sorry for the dark picture but if I lighten it, you can't read it at all.

On the left page it says:
I love my teachers! then there's a picture of Charlie at the library with her
On the right page it says: Charlie went with me to the library. He took long rides with me.I slept with him. We took pictures together. I will miss him.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday night family night

Big brother spent the night at a sleepover at his school Friday night. The sleepover was a reward for the students who reached their Accelerated Reading goals for the nine weeks. 41 boys and girls - brave teachers! The plan was to keep them busy all night long, and then have them go to sleep by midnight--yeah, right! Big brother said that they had a great time--he's been talking about it non-stop since I picked him up at 7:30 this morning ....but he hadn't been to sleep at all! (not a real shocker) Thankfully he gave out around 11:00 am and fell asleep for about 3 hrs.

Little Sister, Dad and I spent the night together. We took her to Dairy Queen for dessert. After that, we came home and she played with some Playdoh that she picked out of her class treasure box for having a good week in school. Then it was time to watch a movie and shell & eat peanuts --a tradition that has come about between this father and daughter from over a year ago.

We watched the Disney movie Bolt.

I was really disappointed with this movie. Usually I can find something that I like about most Disney movies, but it was really hard for me to find something in this one.

The good points: Bolt is a totally cute puppy, that much is true. The smarty pants cat and the hampster are lovable, too. The pigeons cracked me up!

The bad points: In the beginning of the movie, they show the little girl riding through traffic on her motorized scooter--in my opinion, that's not really smart. Granted, I know that this isn't a real movie but you have to remember that young kids are watching these movies. Toward the end they show the little girl passed out in a burning building. I could've come up with several other ways that the dog could've become her hero instead of dealing with that idea. On top of all of this, the movie drags on and on.....

Big Sister seemed to like the movie, although she was almost crying when the dog was lost and looking for his owner. She hasn't talked about the movie like she usually does so I would say that it's not one of her all-time favs, either.

If I had to give an opinion on this one, I would say PASS ON IT.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday Night Game Night

I received two new Wii games this week to try out and review. We decided to make our family game night a Wii competition. We played Help Wanted and PennyRacers Party Turbo-Q Speedway. Neither game requires a lot of skill or deep thinking - which is perfect for a fun, competitive game night with the family.

PennyRacers Party Turbo-Q Speedway was really enjoyed by my kids. Even my 5 yr. old raced around the tracks laughing her head off. I showed just how really bad I am at playing racing games. haha! You can customize 50 + different cars - my son liked that part of it. This game is not for the serious racers, in my opinion it is geared more toward younger kids. It got a lot of laughs out of us, just the same.

In the game Help Wanted, a meteor is heading to Earth and you have a chance to save everyone; but first you must buy very expensive equipment. To earn the money for the equipment, you must take on 50 odd jobs - everything from milking cows, juggling, picking carrots to being a monster in a haunted house.

We had a lot of fun laughing at each other as we picked carrots and juggled balls. We looked down right silly trying to milk a cow without the cow kicking us off and running away. Again, this is not a game for someone who is looking for a serious challenge, but if you like games where you can have clean, fun competition with your family or a game that your kids can compete with their friends, this game provides lots of fun. Due out this summer.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Snow in NC!

It snowed! It snowed! 7+ inches on the ground! It doesn't usually snow this much in this area of NC. School was canceled for one day and delayed for the next. Our kids were thrilled!

The snowflakes were huge! :)

Big Brother and Little Sister were taking it all in!

Little Sister rolling down the hill in the backyard.

Little Sister was amazed. She didn't remember the snow in Pa. She was only 18 months old when we moved. She giggled and laughed and quickly figured out how to throw snowballs!

Big Brother was having a great time! They found a tub to ride in down the hill--make shift sled. lol!!

After all of this, at the end of the week it was 85*!! The warm weather was short lived, too. Right now it back down to the 50s and it's been raining for several days. CRAZY!!

Game Night

We've decided to start up game night again at our house. We'll pick one night out of the weekend to drag out and dust off a game ...then let the competition begin!

Friday was game night this weekend. We played Hyper Slide.

Although the recommended age on the package is 8+, Little Sister had no problem playing the first variation of the game. We played teams --kids against parents. hahaha! It went back and forth, I'm not even sure which team won the most games. We had a good time and the kids are definitely looking forward to doing it again next week.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Bring on the Superbowl! We are proudly wearing and waving our Black and Gold!!


Do you remember the Mean Joe Coke commercial? Well, during the Superbowl on Sunday, Troy Polamalu is going to make his debut in a new version of this commercial. Check it out....what little is being said about it. While you're there don't forget to watch the Mean Joe version brought a tear to my eye!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Very Interesting Article: A Pediatrician’s View of Rude Children

I think that one of the biggest challenges parents face today is teaching good manners to their children. I think that it is tough for some parents because they, themselves, do not display good manners at home, nor in public. Some parents say that they just don't have the time to teach manners to their children. Hello?!? We are talking about the way your children are being perceived by others and how well your children can control themselves. Make the time to teach them good manners!

Others, like myself, can boast that their children are well behaved and show great manners while out in public--be it in school, in a store or just outside the house talking to a neighbor. I am happy to say that I've received hundreds of compliments from people telling me that I have the most well-mannered children. ***BUT*** that's were it stops. Once inside the house, sadly their manners are forgotten. Why is that? I'm not sure. I'm sure a pychologist would have a field day in our house. -- I'm getting off track and this is a much too deep subject to discuss right now.

I found this article, A Pediatrician’s View of Rude Children, to be of great interest. It made me stop and think back to our last pediatrician's visit and how even though my kids were sick, they were well behaved!

I agree with Dr. Barbara Howard, who said that social skills are necessary for school success. It's shocking to me at the level of social skills (or lack there of) that many students possess today. Since becoming a room parent, I have had several opportunities over the past few years to spend time with many of the students in my children's school. Even in kindergarten -as in my daughter's case - it's easy to spot those children who have been taught manners at home. By time they reach 5th grade - as is my son's case - they are either able to handle themselves in a respectable way (although with puberty setting in, they could "wig out" for a few minutes at any given time) or they are spinning totally out of control with no respect for their teacher, their fellow students or the rules of the school.

While I'm trying to figure out how to go about stopping the "checking of their good manners at the door of our house", please read the highlighted article and let me know what you think about it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Another Sweet Victory for the Steelers!

Wow! What a weekend for football!

We sat on the edges of our seats and screamed at the TV while watching our Steelers unplug the chargers, surging to a 35-24 victory!! SWEET!!

With the Ravens coming to the 'Burg' next week, it should be another thriller! We'll be there in front of the TV screaming and cheering once again.

If you're not Steelers fan yet, what are you waiting for?!?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Let's Go Steelers!!

We're sitting here waiting to find out who the Steelers are going to play in the second round of the playoffs next week.
Who will it be?

So far it's leaning toward the Chargers.

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