Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Break Time!

My seven year old Lil' Expert is always telling his brother in the middle of a game or playing, "Break time. Time to take a break." 

He will then do whatever he wants to do. Get a snack or go to the bathroom.  Next, he will yell at his brother, "Break times over!"

Yesterday in the pool, I heard my five year old son Storytellin' Boy saying to his three year old sister Brown-eyed Gal, "Get in the spa. It's break time!" 

After a few minutes he said, "Back in the pool. Break times over!"

It all trickles down to the little ones and there is definitely a hierarchy of who's bossing who! 

For more Silly Monkey stories go here!


I am giving away books.  Check out my giveaway here!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Storytellin' Mama is Giving Away Books...

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

I love to read and I love books.

Summertime is my favorite time to read.  There is something about reading by the pool with a big glass of iced tea while the kids swim and play.  

I am holding my first bloggy giveaway as part of the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival 

I am giving away three books I love.

If this is your first time to visit my site, please feel free to get to know me by checking out Mama's Top Posts or Mama's Pages on my sidebar.

Please leave a comment and let me know about a favorite book you have read recently. In your comment specify which book you would most love to win! Please make sure I can contact you through e-mail, or your site. You do not have to have a blog to enter just leave your contact information in the comment section!

The contest will end Friday August 1st 12:00 noon and I will hold a random drawing to determine three book winners. 

To check out more cool bloggy giveaways go here!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Best Deal on Swim Lessons Ever!!

The Teacher

The Student

This summer, my five year old son has taken it upon himself to teach his three year old sister to swim.  

Storytellin' Boy says, "It's time for your swim lesson." 

Brown-eyed Gal has actually gone from wearing floaties, or a life jacket to swimming completely free like a little fish all over the pool.

First, he taught her to swim from one step to the next step, then he taught her to swim across the length of the pool.  He swims right next to her and gives her pointers. He always stays by her side.

He taught her to jump off the rocks holding hands and swim to the side.

One day recently my daughter said to me, "I'm late for my swim lesson." My son said, "Yeah Mom, can we go swimming? I still have to teach her diving..."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

First Words...

Thirteen things from Storytellin' Mama
Edition #2

Our baby Lil' Red is starting to talk!!
Here are Lil' Red's first thirteen words:

1. Mama
2. Dada
3. Scout (our beagle)
4. BearBear (our golden retriever)
5. cracker
6. ball
7. bubble
8. backpack
9. Grandma
10. shoes
11. bye-bye
12. hi
13. baba (for bottle)

The other kids are so excited to hear
Lil' Red talk and they are keeping track
of all her new words!!

and here!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wiggle Time!

Last year in first grade, Lil' Expert had a special chair for wiggle time. He was often quickly done with his work, mostly due to rushing and partly because the work came easy for him. Having Aspergers, he was restless and wiggly. His teacher gave him a special chair he could go to and look at books when he needed a break or was done with his work.

This helped him decompress and also prevented him from disturbing the other children. He loved this quiet spot, and it worked well to help him have a terrific first grade year.

This year in second grade, he doesn't have a wiggly chair. My husband was asking him about it. 

He said, "Sometimes my teacher's phone rings, or she's working on her computer.  I get some wiggling in when she's busy and not looking."

I really appreciate his adaptability and creativity to get his needs met in his own way!! We've only had one week of second grade, but so far, so good...

Friday, July 18, 2008

First Day of School!

My son is so big
First day of kindergarten
Very exciting!

I met my teacher
I will learn lots of new things
Reading and numbers!

I am a pro now
Second grade is really cool
I'm ready to learn!

Two brothers we are
We'll ride the bus together
We're growing so fast!

It's Haiku Friday. More poems here!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

School Daze...

This mama has gone from one child in school to now having three kids in school. It's been a little crazy this week. My blog as well as my usual activities have taken a back seat, but we are all starting to adjust to the new routine. I think the kids are adjusting a little more quickly than me, but I am working on it!

It goes like this:
  • 7:04 AM drive 2nd grader and Kindergartner to bus stop
  • 10:40 AM pick up Kindergartner from school 
  • 11:30 drop three year old at preschool
  • 2:50 meet 2nd grader at bus stop 
  • 3:10 meet preschooler at bus stop 

My 2nd grader is a professional by now and has taken great pride in showing his younger brother the ropes on the bus and at school. He's off to a good start this year with a strict and challenging teacher. 

He's not to excited about his new bus driver this year. This is what he had to say about her:

"She's been a bus driver for twenty years and she knows all our tricks. She knows every trick in the book. Did you know there was a book about it? She won't let us trade Pokemon cards, or play rock, paper, scissors. She knows about switching seats. She's really strict."  

I asked my kindergartner if he had a good day after the first day of school and he raised his little fist in the air and said, "I didn't have a good day, I had an awesome day."

My three year old is going to a special speech preschool and she has never really been away from me. On the first day, she cried and tried to escape several times to come find me. The teacher's put a guard at the door to make sure she didn't run out of the classroom. She settled down about half way through the class. 

She is riding the bus home because her class is at the district office and I wouldn't be able to get to her in time to get back to pick up my second grader from the bus. The first day I was nervous about her riding the bus and I was anxiously awaiting at 3:10 for it to come. The driver was new and got lost several times bringing the children on his route home. He did not get her home until 4:30. What a hard day.

I was worried about day number two, but on the way to school my sweet little girl said, "Mommy, I'm a big girl. I stay with Ms. Heidi today." She marched in happy as could be and started her day!

I have been waiting and excited to have a break for a few hours with the kids in school, but I was surprised at how emotional I was to see the two of them off to kindergarten and preschool. I shed a few tears and really missed them while they were at school.

The kids are doing great. I'm still a little dazed... but excited about this new school journey in the life of our kids. 

This is what works for me, to keep breathing, be thankful, and to savor each moment with these little people because they are growing and changing so fast.

My husband took some great pictures of them on the first day of school which I will soon post.

Happy WFMW!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Brotherly Love and My First Bloggy Love...

Lil' Expert, our seven year old has been playing a game on the Wii this summer that works better with two players.  He has been excited about the game and wants his brother to play it with him. Storytellin' Boy, our five year old is not as video game oriented and often says no when his brother asks him to play.

Yesterday, Lil' Expert wrote up a contract that said, "My brother agrees to play the Wii game with me." He wrote sign here and then told his brother to sign his name on the line.  

Our five year old starts Kindergarten on Monday and just learned to write his name.  He signed his name proudly on the line. Lil' Expert then told him that now, "he has to play the game, or he would be breaking the contract."  He said, "Breaking a contract is illegal and against the law." 

It kind of worked for Lil' Expert.  He got his brother to play the game with him for part of the afternoon yesterday.  I don't know, maybe a future politician or a lawyer?


On other news fronts, I was presented with my first blog award from Karen at 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires   

Thank you so much.  I am really excited that you honored me.  I am so new to blogging and I appreciate your support and readership!!  I enjoy your blog as well!  

If you would like to pass this award on to a favorite blogger, see button on my side bar or visit Karen's blog. 

Friday, July 11, 2008

Monsoon Moments...

Rain, rain go away.
Come again another day.
My girl wants to play.

The summer rains are upon us. My three year old has been incessantly singing this song all week long. Thunder and lightning, cooling rain and the smell of Creosote trees in the air, all really lovely. 

I remember the first summer we lived in the house, the kids had never seen lightning before, or heard the sound of loud thunder. During a particularly booming storm, I opened the blinds wide and we all climbed into our King size bed, hiding under the covers and watching Nature's show.  The lightning was particularly glorious and gave us all a perspective on the power of an electrical storm. During a monsoon rain, we can get a different view of lightning from different parts of the house. We all run around shouting, "Look at the lightning through the office window." or "In here. Come to the breakfast room, the lightning's amazing."  It's a 360 degree performance! 

Now, my kids are old pros.  When a storm starts, I hear Storytellin' Boy running outside and yelling, "Shelter. Shelter. I need shelter." But really, the kids love to be out in the rain, it seems to energize them.  Sometimes it rains so hard that it rocks the house.

All the roads around us have dips and certain areas become flooded. A few times we have been stranded and had to wait near a wash. We sit in the car and watch the water rise. We have a "stupid motorist Law" and if you drive into a part of the road that is flooding and your car starts to float away, or fill with water, you are responsible for the cost of rescue.  I thought this was so funny when we first lived here, but every year there are local rescues on the news of cars that tried to go through deep water. 

Here's a video of how quickly the water rises:

Of course, the roads near our home are back roads and do not have the bridges to protect motorists from the rising water!!

Unlike the little song my daughter sings, I wish for the rain and lightning to stay for a few more days...

More Haiku Friday poems here and here!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day at the Park

At the park, I love to run and play and have space to be free.

*View today's Wordless Wednesday photos at 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Celebrating his Scottish Roots...

This past week was my husband's 39th birthday. My mother-in-law recently traveled to Scotland and brought my husband a MacDonald Clan kilt and my father-in-law gave him a pipe chanter for learning to play the bagpipes. My husband loved these gifts and was so excited that he wore his new kilt to our 4th of July festivities.

Although a Scotsman usually gets his first kilt when he comes of age, my husband is way beyond that, but this is a cute anecdote nonetheless:

In Scotland, the most important time for a young lad is when he "comes of age" and is allowed to purchase and wear his first kilt.

A couple of weeks before, his important birthday, a young lad went to a tailor shop and found the material he wanted for his first kilt. He took the material to the tailor and said, "I'd like ye to make me a kilt with this material here and, if ye don't mind, I'd like ye to make me a pair of matching underwear for it. I hear it gets a might drafty up dem tings!"

So the tailor took the material and promised to call the young lad when the order was completed.

A few days later, the tailor called the lad back to the shop. "Here's ye kilt, and here's ye matching underwear, and here's five yards of the material left over. Ye might want to take it home and keep it in case you want anything else made of it."

So the lad rushed home with his order, threw the material in his room, and donned his kilt. In his excitement, he decided to run to his girlfriend's house to show off his new purchase.

Unfortunately, in his excitement, he forgot to don his underwear.

When his girlfriend answered the door, he pointed to his kilt and said, "well, what'd ye think?"

"Ah, but dat's a fine looking kilt," she exclaimed.

"Aye, and if ye like it, ye'll really like what's underneath," he stated as he lifted his kilt to show her.

"Oh, but dat's a dandy," his girlfriend shouted admiringly.

Still not realizing that he didn't have his underwear on he exclaimed quite proudly, "aye, and if ye like it, I've got five more yards of it at home!"

*My husband looked great in his new kilt and we had a terrific 4th of July with his sister and her family, his dad and wife, and his mom.  Even if it was a wee bit drafty!!

It's Ruby Tuesday, celebrate with red photos!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Apache Lake

Look Mom, I'm driving!

Dr. Seuss trees!

Cactus Country!

Wheeeee, this is fun!


The sisters!

Kicking back on the lake!

A shoreline view!

Our family vacation at beautiful Apache Lake in Arizona.

Wordless Wednesday here 

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Reading an all time favorite Goodnight Gorilla.

Relaxing after a busy day of fun!

I like the one about the Big Red Dog!

I am always a big fan of kid's reading.  It was a real treat for my kids to have one of their older cousins read stories to them over our vacation.  They loved it and even the dog got in on the act!

Check out red photos @ Ruby Tuesday.