Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up - January 20

How in the world are we more than halfway through January already? Seriously, where does time GO?!?!

Last week was pretty run-of-the-mill.  I LIKE run-of-the-mill weeks.

Little Bit has re-discovered the "ballet" leotard she found at Goodwill last summer, so is back to wearing that most days. At least she wears it with black pants under it, and wears a sweater or poncho over it if she's outside LOL.  She loves torturing cuddling with her cat, Joy, and he's amazingly tolerant. I had to snap a picture when I saw her laying on the sofa, watching tv, with him draped over her neck :)

The 2014 "Review Year" has begun, in that we received our first review product as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Having a break from reviewing for the last two months, was really good for all of us, and now we're refreshed and eager to dive back in. Little Bit got to start first, when we received our login information for Kinderbach this past week. We've reviewed Kinderbach four times before (click on the Review tab at the top of the page to find all the reviews), and LOVE it. The first day we had it, Little Bit kept wanting "more", we went through the first 2 weeks' lessons that day LOL.  Be watching for our review next month!

This unit's art is watercolor techniques, and all 4 kids are enjoying learning some new techniques, such as washes and wet on wet watercolors. Ok, so by the end of the week, Little Bit said "can't I just paint whatever I want?" but the big girls are enjoying the new techniques, and Little Bit was proud of her "rainbow picture" when she was done that day.

The focus of Ashlyn's piano lessons right now is preparing for her "graduation" from Suzuki, book 1. As part of the graduation, she will give a recital (still deciding how we're going to handle that, she doesn't like preforming in front of people right now, so it may just be us, we shall see . . .) that includes playing all of the songs in Book 1. Someone, to make it more interesting, wrote a "story" that uses all the song titles in the story, so the plan is that Lexie will read the story, and Ashlyn will play each song as it's mentioned in the story.

While talking to their teacher this week, Lexie discovered that Miss Pat, normally does NOT require her violin students to play all the songs in the book when they graduate. She only requires the last 3 or so songs, and a couple others of the student's choice. And there's no story for the violin book, like there is for the piano book. Lexie didn't like that idea, so she sat there during Ashlyn's lesson (when she was supposed to be doing homework LOL), and figured out a story that is a sequel to Ashlyn's story (both books contain the song "Allegro" that is used as the name of the main character in the story, so that helped), using all the song titles in HER book. Since she started almost a year after Ashlyn, she still has quite awhile before she'll finish book 1, but at least for now, Miss Pat has tentatively agreed that, when the time comes, she can play all the songs and have Ashlyn read the story.

This week's Bible story in Little Bit's Sabbath School, was about the 7th day of Creation. And one suggestion for the program was to let the kids decorate the room for a party and then use a plastic, or real cake to sing happy birthday to the earth. Lexie and Ashlyn were insistent that we needed real cake, but I was insistent that we needed low mess, and not TOO unhealthy . . . so we decided to make "breakfast muffins" as mini-muffins, and frost them with an unrefined sugar frosting. The kids LOVED it (I should have taken pictures). They had fun putting streamers and some balloons all over the room and of course getting "cupcakes" in Sabbath School is always a hit.  Then we talked about how Sabbath is a celebration, it was a cool "object lesson" for all of us, not just the little kids.

Our church has a balcony with glass windows separating it from the main sanctuary. Parents with young children can use it, as a training chapel and/or a place for little ones to have a little more freedom to play while their parents listen. Since we don't have other younger children in our church, even though Little Bit is plenty old enough to sit quietly in the main sanctuary, we hadn't bothered to move downstairs. But a couple weeks ago, Lexie and Ashlyn started trying to sing along with the hymns during song service. Since they can't hear the whole congregation singing, just the song leader, they were having trouble with it. So this week we sat down in the main sanctuary so they could hear everyone singing. When I told Little Bit, earlier in the week, that we'd be sitting downstairs, she wasn't too thrilled. It was an "unknown" and there are other kids upstairs that she plays with.

I told her, since we wouldn't be sharing with the other kids upstairs, she could choose her snacks, and which quiet activities to put in the church bag. That's what I did with Lexie and Ashlyn at her age, that way they knew what their options were for both snacks and activities, and eliminated whining that they didn't like what I'd brought, or asking for more snacks than I wanted them to have. BUT I'd never figured out a feasible way to do that for Little Bit when activities and snacks were shared between families in the balcony. So now, with moving downstairs, I also introduced this idea as a fun new way of doing things, and it worked :) Granted, one of the snack options she got to choose, if she wanted, as a small bag of jelly beans, but still, it worked great. She willingly, and happily shared her crayons with some older girls who were sitting in the row ahead of us, and had gotten coloring pages in their Sabbath School class, but didn't have crayons, and quietly played with the activities she had chosen. This was Lexie and Ashlyn's week to go down and help with meal prep during the sermon, so they weren't there for most of church, but when Lexie asked Little Bit about it later, Little Bit told her that she likes sitting downstairs, whew! It's always easier when all the kids agree on something :)

And finally, I'll leave you with another Little Bit and cat picture. This time, Ashlyn's cat, Moccasin. After her bath, Friday night, Little Bit was sitting on the sofa and Moccasin jumped up and curled up with her. She was soo happy, usually Moccasin wants nothing to do with her (understandably, she loves the cats, but she tends to love them abit too enthusiastically), and begged me to take her picture :) It's a little fuzzy, but I thought I'd share anyway, she looks so different when her wild curls are wet and somewhat controlled :)

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