Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Erica's New & Improved Closet Space

Last Friday the girls had a two hour late start at school due to the 7 inches of snow received the night before, therefore, Justin did not have preschool.  Keith is usually off on Fridays, so, he cleared snow, took the girls to school and then Keith and Justin started on a project.  The project was to remodel Erica's closet.  Justin had many questions for Keith throughout the whole project.  I wish I had taken a before photo, but the before was very scary and messy and would have made anyone scream.  Before the remodel, Erica used a dresser and a wardrobe to store her clothes.  Erica's closet it more of a storage room with a hole in the floor for a sump pump.  We have carpet over the floor in this storage area, plus we store other items in this area on shelves against the opposite wall. 
Keith emptied out the closet space and we hauled the wardrobe to Goodwill.  Then he built her a closet space on one end of the storage area.   He installed a double bar area for her clothes with a shelf above the bottom level to place folded items or shoes.  Then he built her a place for folded items such as uniform pant, jeans, sweatshirts.  These four cubby holes are great for folded items.  Erica's new closet space is similar to my half of the master bedroom closet.  I have a double hanging area and cubby holes for folded sweaters and such.
Erica still insists on using this rolling cart to store t-shirts and pajamas.  After organizing her clothes for hours, I hope it stays this way for quite a while.  We had many piles of clothes on her bed while we were sorting (the Goodwill pile, the throw away pile, the give to Ashlin pile, and the pile that needs to be stored until the weather warms up).
This is the antique dresser that she has been using.  She struggles to get the big two bottom drawers open and closed.  Now both of these drawers are empty.  Just the top two little drawers are full of her socks and underwear.  This dresser may end up getting moved to a different storage room.  We are so glad that this project is completed and we are very pleased with the end result.

Take care,

Monday, February 25, 2013

6th Grade Science Project

The 6th Grade Science Project/Invention started weeks ago.  First, the students had to choose a partner in the grade to work with or the students could choose to complete the project on their own.  Each partnership had to be approved by the teacher.  Cara became partners with Rylee.  Then, they had to come up with an invention.  Each team had to complete a prototype, a report 10+ pages long, an iMovie, a poster board, and a presentation.  The completed project was due last Wednesday.  Naturally, each team procrastinated and it became a mad dash to complete the project.
The completed tri-fold poster board explaining the three goals of the project.
 Cara and Rylee's project was to create a lamp using a lamp kit and pieces, to create a lampshade using reusable or recyclable products, and to complete the project cheaper than purchasing a lamp from a store.  They succeeded in completing all three of their goals.
Cara took a class on how to wire a lamp and to make the lamp from a lamp kit and pieces.  They used pop tabs strung on string and yarn to cover the lamp shade.  The project was completed for $15.  All they have left to do is to present the project to the class and receive their grade.  Cara is nervous about presenting in front of the class, but I told her that she knows her product and how it was created.  The presentation should be the easiest part.  This is pretty much their whole grade for the 3rd quarter, so, we are crossing our fingers for a good grade.

Take care,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Holly's Bridal Shower

 Last Saturday, the girls and I attended a bridal shower for Holly.  She is getting married in a month in a destination wedding on St. Lucia.  Holly is the girls' cousin and my niece.  The shower was held in Wahoo and we were joined on the trip by Grandma Merina, Aunt Sharlene and Aunt Sus. 
 The shower was a luncheon so first we enjoyed a delicious lunch of salad, sandwiches, punch, and chocolate dipped strawberries and pound cake.  Then some delicious cupcakes were served.
 The bridal shower was hosted by Holly's Aunt Sandy and cousin, Katie.  We played a few games and then Holly opened her gifts. 
 Holly received many wonderful and useful gifts.  She also received a few sentimental gifts including a framed wedding photo of her parents and a breast cancer awareness locket with a wedding photo of her parents inside.

 In this photo, Holly is posing with her Grandma Kliment and her Grandma Leader.
In April, we will celebrate Holly's wedding to Mike with a reception in Wahoo at the Starlite Ballroom.  We look forward to the celebration.

Take care,

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Preschool Valentine's Party

 Before going to work on Thursday, I stopped by the Justin's preschool Valentine's Party.  He was so excited that morning when he was getting ready for school because he was going to party all day.  First, he would get to party at preschool and then after at Lynne's house for daycare.  The students were very excited at school to celebrate Valentine's Day.
 The preschoolers sang a few songs for the parents at the party.

 Justin received a whole sack of valentines and treats from his classmates.  He had to inspect each valentine.  He also received another whole sack of valentines at daycare.  Later that afternoon he dumped both sacks on the living room floor to look at everything.
The students also played a few little games at the party.  One game was musical chairs.  Justin did not win, but he did get pretty far into the game.

Take care,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Erica Turns 10

Erica turned 10 years old last week on the 13th.  She was bummed when she found out that her birthday was on Ash Wednesday.  This really limited her food choices on her birthday which was a bummer, but she made the most out of her birthday.  She celebrated her birthday the weekend before with a few friends.  On Fat Tuesday, all of the kids lived it up eating everything in sight.  They walked in the door from school and declared it Fat Tuesday.  Then they proceeded to eat ice cream, chips, pop, candy and everything else they could get their hands on.  I was sure that someone would say that their stomach hurt before the night was over.  She celebrated her birthday at school on Tuesday with another boy in the class.  Abe brought the snacks and Erica brought the juice boxes.
Erica wanted to have a sleepover for her birthday.  She could invite three friends.  One friend had other family plans for the weekend, but her other two friends could make the party.  They decided to go bowling first.
This was Justin's first time to bowl and he had fun, but also a few meltdowns.  He loved the bumpers, but decided that real bowling isn't as easy as bowling on the Wii.
Erica, Charlie and Reilly bowled on one lane and Justin, Ashlin and Dad bowled on another lane.  High fives were given out for good shots, spares and strikes.
 After bowling, we picked up Pizza Hut pizza on the way home for supper.
 Erica wanted cupcakes and a round cake for her birthday, so, I made both and frosted them with bright pink and bright yellow frosting.  Justin and Ashlin helped put the sprinkles on.  The Johnson family stopped by to eat cake and sing "Happy Birthday".

 Erica's gift for her birthday is a new bike, but Dad won't buy the new bike until closer to spring.  Therefore, she also received some colored and patterned duct tape to make into a tote bag.  She has been wanting some more colored duct tape to work with.
Take care,

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Winter Swimming Lessons

Justin back floating.  The teacher was as surprised as we were that he could back float.
 All four of the kids are in the middle of winter swimming lessons.  The last few years we have made them take winter swimming lessons so that they are ready for summer swimming.  Plus, this is something to do when the weather here is cold and snowing.  They are about half way through their 8 week session of lessons.
 Justin is loving it and looks forward to going each week.  Erica is having fun too and doesn't really care.  Cara just shows up and swims her laps because she is on the last level of lessons - junior lifesaving.  Ashlin has been struggling.  The first night of lessons, the head lifeguard determined that Ashlin was in the wrong group and moved her up a level.  Somehow, Ashlin ended up in the wrong group (a too advanced group) and this made her cry and act out because it was too hard.  She has been struggling pretty much since then.  Hopefully things will turn around yet before the session ends.

 Justin is having so much fun that he smiles through the whole lesson.

 Erica is constantly talking to someone in her group.

Cara just swims her laps and practices making turns at the end of each lap.

Take care,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Garden Turtles & Lamps

 Cara and Erica both made one of these concrete garden turtles.  It was a short and easy process.  We are trying to decide if we can paint them.

 First you place your stones in the bottom of the bowl.  Then put wet concrete on the top of the stones pushing down to remove the air bubbles.  Lastly poke your silverware into the concrete about half way down.  Use forks for legs and spoons for the head and tail.

 The girls last project of the day was constructing a lamp out of just pieces.
 The gentleman teaching the group was very patient and helpful every step of the way.  He explained each step, had the group complete the step, and then checked that each of them had done the step correctly since they were working with electricity.
 The next to last step was to test your lamp to make sure that it worked.
Cara's lamp is going to serve also as a 6th grade science project that she is currently working on.  This weekend we need to take the lamp apart so that she can sand each piece and start painting the lamp.  Her science project is due in about 2 1/2 weeks so she needs to keep moving along on the project.

Take care,

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

4-H Project Day - Part II

 As I mentioned yesterday, Grandma Korth joined us at project day to help out.  Grandma was Cara's partner for a sewing project that took them 3 hours to complete.  Grandma was proud that Cara did not get discouraged or give up part way through.  Grandma said that Cara stayed positive and worked right along.  It was a big project; therefore, it took a while to complete.

 Each stripe had to be sewn together and the square added with lots of pressing involved.
 The hardest part was stitching the front to the back.
The finished Americana flag wall hanging turned out very cute.  We are proud of Cara for finishing the project.  Sewing may not be her favorite project, but someday it might come in handy.

Take care,

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

4-H Project Day Part I

The winter 4-H Project Day was last Saturday.  There were many great projects to choose from this year.  It was a tough decision for Cara and Erica to make, but a few weeks ago when we had to sign up for project day they made their choices.  The girls pick their projects based on time, ease, state fair eligibility, etc.  Project day lasts from 9 am to 2 pm, but usually they let you stay until 3 to finish projects up.  We take our lunch because we know that we will be there the whole time.  This year Grandma Korth came along to help us.  Last year I needed an extra pair of hands to help both of the girls.  Grandma helped Cara with a big sewing project while I helped Erica complete smaller projects.
 The girls both decided to make these memo/message boards.  Very easy and cute to make.  First, they had to cut a cardboard flat to the size of an 8 x 11 inch piece of paper.  Next count out 20 pieces of paper.  Then pick out the fabric and ribbon that you wanted to use.  Then, cut your piece of fabric about 2-3 inches larger than your piece of cardboard on each side.  Then using a hot glue gun, glue the fabric inward like wrapping a present.  Next, glue on your ribbon pulling it tight.  Then attach a piece of ribbon for the hanger.  Last glue a piece of heavy cardstock to the back (this makes the back look finished because it covers up all the ribbon and fabric ends).  Cara and Erica were both happy with how the project turned out.
Another project Erica completed was this snowman made out of felt and buttons.  First she had to cut out her snowman shape and hat.  Next choose a piece of fabric to be the snowman's scarf.  Then we were ready to hot glue everything to the piece of background felt.  We tried to mix the size of the buttons around the snowman and also layer the buttons a little.  We are thinking about adding some little twigs for the snowman's arms and maybe some cotton balls or batting at the bottom for some snow.  We also thought about using puff paint to write something at the top to finish it off a little more. 

Two easy projects completed and I only burned my fingers a few times from the hot glue gun.  Tomorrow I will show a few more projects.

Take care,

Friday, February 1, 2013

Heaven is for Real

Cara's 6th Grade class is reading the book Heaven is for Real in reading class right now.  The class doesn't use a regular textbook for reading class instead the teacher picks books and the class reads so many chapters per day.  This school year I have been reading the books with Cara.  I do this for two reasons. One - I love to read books. Two - I read the book so that when Cara has a question about the book I already know the answer.

If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it to anyone - old or young.  This book is an easy read.  The book is not very long and the chapters are short.  It is a great story about a little boy named Colton who goes to Heaven for a few minutes.  This is a true story about a little boy from Imperial, Nebraska.  Colton tells his family about Heaven bits and pieces at a time.

I have believed in Heaven and God for a long time, but the insight this little boy gives about Heaven just reinforced some of my beliefs.  Truly an amazing book to read.

Take care,