Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sweet tomatoes!

The best part of having a garden is unquestionably the great tomatoes we enjoy. We love them! My kids have discovered what a great treat they are - especially on Sundays when they aren't allowed to get anything from the kitchen until dinner! Here they are sneaking some before Sunday dinner is ready .......

Why aren't I more productive?

When the three older kids began school I was certain that I would have more time on my hands than I could handle. I was sure that having just one almost two-year-old was going to be a piece of cake compared to having all four kids around all summer long. Yes, it is easier, in some ways. For instance, it is easier to go to the grocery store with just one child. But I began to wonder, why aren't I more productive? I feel like I am running the whole time, but I don't seem to get much done. Then I began to analyze what my day consists of. These are just a few of our common activities.
Princess time. This doesn't mean just getting her into an outfit, it means dressing her dolls, carrying her dolls, fixing her shoes, making sure the dress is just right, etc., etc. Playing princess is quite involved.

Hide and seek time. Usually takes place when I need to leave in a hurry, when I need to change a know what I mean. Tessa has this down to an art. All of the kids love to play peas in a pod. This is where we turn out all the lights in the house, one person hides, and the others seek for the hiding person. Tessa has learned to sit and hide quietly. She is so little she can be anywhere. I have found her behind chairs, behind curtains, behind the computer desk, behind doors, in cabinets, or in the corner behind the couch. She has mastered hiding - here is a picture of her sitting behind her chair in her room. This time she had decided to read some books behind her chair.

Art time! Tessa loves to draw with Sam. She loves to draw on Sam. She loves to draw on herself. Needless to say, Crayola Color Wonder products are becoming a staple here!

Computer time. One day she will lock me out of my own computer and I won't know how to get back in!

Bed time! At last. She loves to hang out with her older brothers and sister - and they love hanging out with her. I love bedtime!

Yes, my day can be crazy, but I love all of this time I get with my kids. Tessa reminds me to enjoy this time because she will grow up way too fast, just like her brothers and sister are, and I know I will miss these days when they are gone too soon.

I better go.....someone is hiding.

Pumpkins, Hay Rides, and Mazes...Oh My!

It's that time of year again and we found ourselves out at Linder Farms to pick our pumpkins. It was a lot of fun. The kids were so excited to finally get their pumpkins - we've been meaning to go now for weeks, and since Halloween is in three days we decided we had better get going!

All of the kids were excited, and we had agreed that if they could carry the pumpkin they could get it. Gone are the days where we try to juggle one child on one arm with two pumpkins in the other.

Of course no trip to get pumpkins is complete without a maze to go through. This year we just had the kids do the mini-maze. Tessa learned quickly that it was easier to crawl through holes in the hay bales than to try and find her way out!

Piano Recital

Twice a year the kids have a piano recital - and three things made this one special. First, we left the two younger kids with a babysitter. It was amazing how much more enjoyable it was without worrying about the cheerios spilling, the seats banging, etc., etc. It was great! Second, a universal truth was confirmed: The more relaxed you are, the better you will perform. Emma practiced and practiced until we felt like we all knew the pieces completely. Lincoln plunked out the pieces several times, but then would "forget" to practice for an extended period of time. When we arrived at the recital I felt nervous for the kids, especially Lincoln, figuring if he didn't know the pieces he was to perform then this would be a good learning opportunity. His conversation with Ted went like this: Ted: Are you nervous? Lincoln: Nope. Ted: Are you ready? Lincoln: Yep. Ted: I haven't even heard you playing these pieces at all. Lincoln: Oh well.

True to form Lincoln got up and performed the pieces flawlessly without missing a note. When Emma got up she was shaking so badly that I could see her hands shaking even though I was several rows away. She still did great but was a little frustrated that she stumbled through a few spots. Needless to say, being relaxed goes a long way.

The third thing that made this recital unique? As we were walking out the door Lincoln casually turned to me and said, "Mom, we are supposed to wear our costumes." Mom: Oh well.