Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's Puzzling...

We have a recent obsession.

It all started with our last snowstorm.  You know...the one where we got 22 inches of snow.
We knew we would be snowed in for days.
Wrong.  The stinkin' snow plow guys worked overtime and got us out in 24 hours.
But we had dug out our puzzles and started putting one together.

And then another.
And another.

I must confess that they were only 300 piece puzzles.
But we were ninja at them.
And we had so much fun together.

So I got the brilliant idea to try a 1000 piece.
After all...we were knocking out our 300 piece puzzles in two hours or so.
How bad could 1000 pieces be?

Really bad.
Especially when you get them out of the closet thinking they have all the pieces.
I should know better.

After several maddening hours of trying to find a piece that wasn't there, we did eventually get our puzzle together.  It was missing 9....count them, NINE, pieces.

So we went to Target to buy a new 1000 piece.
Because we were not going to be beaten by a crummy puzzle.
Jillian chose one and I chose another.
I am more experienced than she is, so I chose one that had lots of detail because they are far easier to put together.
She chose a beautiful one that had a gazillion shades of the same color.

When we got home, she wanted to do hers first.
I started putting all the pieces out on the table and quickly became overwhelmed at the dizzying display of multiple shades of lavender.
I starting complaining.
And maybe did a bit of whining.
She got the hint and said, "Maybe we should do your puzzle."

Gleefully, I shoveled hers back into the box.  Pieces were falling on the floor but I was sure I got them all picked up.

Later that evening, one of the kids picked up two mangled, slobbered on pieces of paper.
To our horror, we realized they were puzzle pieces.
Our stinkin' dog had chewed them!
What in the world?
So now we have a brand new puzzle with two missing pieces.

The little kids wanted in on the fun so we got out some easier puzzles for them to try.  Jake thinks he is so clever 'helping me' with my puzzle by taking an already attached piece out and then putting it back in as if he had found it himself.

The puzzle on the far right was our 1000 piece with the 9 missing pieces....which I guess makes it a 991 piece.

Chloe and Jordan took their two puzzles into a different room.  Sadly, they got quite frustrated.  Here is why.

This was the finished product.  Yep...that is all the pieces that were left of the United States puzzle.  Sad.

And then, in another location, poor Zoey put the finishing touches on this one.  Sigh.  In its defense, I think it was Ryan's when he was in grade school and had endured several moves.  It went in the trash.

We are still putting the second 1000 piece puzzle together and our obsession is starting wane significantly.  It's pretty much down to...."Well...we have 600 pieces done, I guess we should finish the last 400."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Music Class

The kids came up with a new way to play today after school was done. Music class!  
We don't need no stinkin' teacher.

Kate breaks out a highly sophisticated drum set

Then she switched to lead singer with a pencil/drumstick that doubled as a microphone

They sang at a decibal previously unheard in the New England region

"Jake, you're killin' me here."

They were having so much fun that I decided to ask if they were interested in piano lessons.  I had never seriously considered teaching them myself because I assumed that they wouldn't cooperate when it came time to practice.

Well, shame on me!

They were very eager, so three of them had a lesson today and one was very sad to have missed it.  So....we'll see how it goes. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Homeschool Update

It's been a little over a month since we started homeschooling.
I am now an expert.

We have had good days and bad days but overall, I think it's unanimous.
We love it.
(Please excuse the iPhone pictures)

Where else can you do school on the floor?

Or in your pajamas?  (I did have a picture of that but have been forbidden from posting it.)

Or on your mom and dad's bed?

The kids have been pretty good about not fussing about their lessons, although I did have to institute a reward system for good behavior.  Everyone who does their school work without stalling, fussing, or making mama cry, gets a Dove chocolate at the end of the day.  They also get a star for each day of good behavior and after 10 days they get to pick a prize from the prize box--full of fun stuff from the $1 section at Target.  So far it's working.

The other day the boys were studying Davy Crocket.  So we broke out our hat.
You know....the hat that Davy is famous for.
Jake put it on because being in character helps you retain more knowledge.  Right?

Jordan brought me his workbook and pointed to the hat that Davy actually wore.
It had no similarities whatsoever to a coonskin.
And it went on to say that he wore a completely different style.
Well...burst my bubble.
We thought we had been so clever digging out the coon....

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blizzard Monday

We made it to church yesterday.  The roads weren't too bad in our neighborhood so I was surprised at how bad they were in some of the other towns around us.  School was cancelled today for most of the area.  After lunch I decided to drive around and take some photos.  It was so beautiful!  There were very few cars on the road, so when I needed to take a picture, I just stopped in the middle of the road.

After my little photo drive, I came home to see the kids sledding again. 

Zoey was standing on the plowed sidewalk in front of our house.

Molly sits in the hole she is digging that eventually became a tunnel over to the fort that Chloe was building.

This fort!  Jillian came out the second day and helped dig.

Kate's boot fell off and Jordan came to the rescue to put it back on.

 Zoey gives me the thumbs up to let me know that all is well.

SaraGrace learns to ride her sled standing up

To answer some questions:

We never lost power.

We do cancel home school when we have a snow day.  Call me immature, but I am no better at staying focused when there is a big blizzard than any of my kids.  I LOVE blizzards (as long as we keep our power!) and I want a snow day as bad as they do.  We did make an exception to that today because it was raining--yuck--so not very snow day-ish.

Some people have generators but most do not.  Yes, the power seems to go out somewhere in New England every time we have a bad storm. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year!

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Kate, Zoey and SaraGrace would like to wish you a Happy Chinese New Year!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Storm Nemo Aftermath

First the great news...we still have power!!!
We were all praying so hard that we wouldn't lose it.  I kept waking up all through the night and hearing my sound machine--so I knew we still had power.

I did get to see a bit of snow lightening last night--although didn't hear the thunder that some heard.  Pretty cool.
The wind was howling all night long--amazing.  We had documented 76 MPH winds.  I could hear the trees creaking and I held my breath as the power flickered now and then, but never went out.  Thank you, God!

We woke up to a winter wonderland this morning.  It was so beautiful and AMAZING.  I'm told we officially got 22 inches. 

Since we have power....all that is left is F.U.N!!!
Except for Jeff and Taylor--they had to dig us out.
The kids played and I took photos.

So without further are the images from this morning.

They are all rested up now and pulling their snow stuff out of the dryer for round two.  I think I'll follow and join the fun.
I love a good blizzard!
I just have tiny bit of sadness that New England is so efficient at clearing it.  When I was a kid, if we had gotten en epic storm like this, we would have been snowed in for 4 days.
It looks like our roads are pretty clear already.  We have a driving ban until 4PM and after that, I am guessing there will be a lot of people out trying to see the piles of snow.
We should have been able to milk this for at least 3 days! HA!