Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cooking lessons

James has agreed that it is time to learn how to cook. He knows he is lucky to have parents who appreciate food and cooking. James loves my pancake balls (a Tuesday night tradition), crispy oven-baked chicken, "soft" Toll House cookies, Dad's French Toast, and of course cupcakes.


On a "stay at home" day we decided to make something together. We also decided that I should pass along my recipes so James can teach his kids how to cook his favorite foods. Yes, this will be a project that I work on. I look forward to that work.


So we began with Soft Cookies.

James helped with every step.


Cracking eggs...




Scooping flour.


I stopped taking pictures at this point to enjoy the moments. The cookies were delicious, of course! Made with love!


School Carnival April 2014

The school carnival was the same as last year, but to James it was an exciting world of meeting up with his friends at school and hopefully showing off his Mom and Dad.


There were carnival-like games set up in some of the classrooms. James was surprisingly picky about which ones he'd actually play.


There was a "taco truck" serving tacos and others foods for dinner. James enjoyed his ice cream cone the most.


And the most fun was meeting up with Dane (and his Dad) for an epic DDR battle.

Waiting in line...





We enjoy these nights. I'm always surprised that the teachers are NOT there. From working at a school myself I'm sure it's not a required, contractual night but still. Missing fun time with your students? A little disappointing.

James had fun. That's all that really counts!


Lucky girl

Do you know how lucky I feel to put this wonderful child to bed, with wishes of Sweet Dreams...


And wake up to these two doing homework?


It's a wonderful life!


Monday, April 28, 2014

March Art & Homework

James knows that homework is done immediately after dinner. The adults do the dishes and clean up, and James' job is to head upstairs and do his homework without question. He does this 98% of the time with no issue.

One night I asked James if he would read from one of his returned school assignments. It was an art piece with an attached paragraph in Spanish. I knew he could read it easily and I enjoy listening to his Spanish pronounciation.

Oh boy, what a fit! He absolutely grumbled and stomped his feet about it. I didn't think it was such a big thing to ask, so we held on. We asked nicely. We didn't give in. It was such a simple request.. and James made a stink.

He cried. We were patient. When he was ready he came back downstairs (we banished him to his room to cry), and he said that he was hugging the monkey upstairs and it made him feel better. So the monkey came downstairs with him and gave him the courage to read.

Whatever works, dear boy.


By the way, his Spanish was easy and beautiful. And it took all of 15 seconds to read it, but he took about 40 minutes to get through this whole ordeal. Aye!


His other art pieces.

An invention- a Homework Machine! I'm not sure who wrote that on the top, maybe his art teacher, but James said he made up this invention. Math comes out all done!


Math word problems. I took this worksheet to my middle school to show the 8th graders (who take Spanish). They were flabbergasted at how much he is reading and he's ONLY in 1st grade. Immersion works, people.





A few days later we asked him to read again. He did it without argument. (Phew.)




If you give a monkey a coca cola. By James. Written by James.

If you give a monkey a coca cola, he wants a banana with the coca cola.


He will want a house of wood, and will want another coca cola with a banana.


The End.


Star Wars art

A flyer came home with James and so we signed him up for a Star Wars art class! And to make it even more fun I talked to Dane's mom and they also signed up! I said it would be easy to pick up both boys at 5pm and drop off Dane at home.

This is the first piece of art. Obviously there are stars, starships, and Yoda.


Oh, and we ended up at a McDonald's detour.


And then with Dane's mom's permission we ended up having a little Minecraft play date.

Yeah, James was in heaven.


The other art classes were just as successful. These are clearly R2D2's.


More Minecraft.


Have you met Bob? He's the most famous Jedi. He kind of looks like a moose?


And this is Chewbacca. Minus eyes. James said he ran out of time and didn't get to put on the googly eyes.


And the last project of the five classes was a diorama of the galaxy! Ooooh ahhhhh.


We were quite happy with James' projects!


We're not Irish



But we drink green milk on St. Paddy's day!


More vacation

James spent the weekend at Grandma Rose's to round out his spring break!

Grandma Rose sent a few pictures to prove that she was NOT torturing the sweet boy. He was having lots of fun!




Mr. Peabody and Sherman

The last play date of the spring break was spent at Dane's house. Actually, they arranged to go to a movie in their pajamas! What fun!

Each kid received a pair of 3D glasses and bow tie to keep! More fun!


The Modern Play date

I joked that this is the modern play date. Side by side play on the iPads. Minecraft, if you must know.


There is some social interaction in the game. Some chat. Some team work needed. But I did limit the play and then asked the boys to go find TOYS to play with.


Well, and Collin had to take the usual play date picture with Darth.


And there was fun at lunch.





Maybe too much fun. What fun for James to have play dates during spring break! I didn't want him to be lonely, or the dreaded "bored", so I had these set up ahead of time. Yay Mom!


History Museum

James' bestie Dane joined us for a day at the History Museum during Spring Break. We had never been there so it was all to be an adventure.


The boys were oddly fascinated by this presentation on Native Americans. The video would pause every so often to give them a choice in history. It was very interesting to see how the boys responded to ethical dilemmas- trade with the white people? declare war? let your people starve or give away your land?




I put them to work!


We spent some time in the mines. Dane did not enjoy the work. Too loud.


The dynamite reminded James of Minecraft and TNT. He was very eager to pretend to blow things up!





Ugh. Buffalo innards.





Artillery assembly line.



The boys were constantly on the go.



I had to say no to animal skin caps in the gift shop. They settled for much cheaper souvenirs.


And back at home. Minecraft. Connecting worlds.