Reading List Summary, January 2015


Mom's List
Jack's List
Maps and Geography (Ken Jennings)
You Only Die Twice (Dan Gutman)
U.S. Presidents (Ken Jennings)
YouTube Founders (Patricia Wooster)
The Man Who Invented the Laser (Edwin Brit Wyckoff)
From Texas With Love (Dan Gutman)
Unleashed (Gordon Korman)

EJ's List
Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen Keller (Doreen Rappaport)
NASA (Dan Elish)
The Storyteller's Candle (Lucia Gonzalez)
Cooper (Ellen Miles)
The Scrambled States of America (Laurie Keller)
Pirates Past Noon (Mary Pope Osborne)
January Joker (Ron Roy)
Star Stuff (Stephanie Roth Sisson)
Ski School Sneak (Carolyn Keene)
Funny Business (AJ Stern)
Zipper (Ellen Miles)
Dance Off (Carolyn Keene)
Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla (Katherine Applegate)
February Friend (Ron Roy)
The Man Who Invented the Ferris Wheel (Dani Sneed)


Olivia's List
Don't Sit on My Lunch! (Abby Klein)
American Bullfrogs (Katie Marsico)
Flamingoes (Lynn M. Stone)
Crawl, Ladybug, Crawl! (Dana Rau Meachen)
Underpants Dance (Marlena Zapf)
Star Stuff (Stephanie Roth Sisson)
New Year's Day (David F. Marx)
Mr. Pants: It's Go Time! (Scott McCormick)
Splat the Cat Goes to the Doctor (Cathy Hapka)
George Washington Carver (Dana Meachen Rau)
Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla (Katherine Applegate)

Read-aloud List
Blizzard (John Rocco)

Baby Blanket for Miss M


I made a new baby blanket as a gift for my friends' new little girl.  They did not know her gender until she was born, so I wanted to choose neutral colors.  I thought the gray/silver and icy mint combo were great for a Winter baby, and I really liked the different stripe pattern (not plain and not a ripple, but kind of a vintage feel).  I added a scallop border to the long edges to replicate the ripple look on the short edges.  I loved the stripe, but it was SO many ends to weave in at the end.  Still worth it!

Pattern is available for purchase here.
Yarn is Caron Simply Soft in Soft Gray Heather and Robin's Egg


Missing teeth

Poor EJ has run out of room for new teeth in her mouth.  We visited the orthodontist about how her teeth were coming in crooked and he agreed that she will not have enough space for her permanent teeth.  So today she had four teeth pulled by the dentist.  She definitely was scared going in and I'm sure it wasn't a fun process, but she was super brave and did a great job!

Right after we got home...she had to keep the gauze in for an hour, but she had no feeling at this point anyway, so it wasn't a big bother.

Waiting for the numb feeling to wear off...

Started with a cool treat...

And then she moved on to a soft lunch.

And she's left with gaping spaces!  All better...until the next round.

New Years Eve Balloon Countdown, Take Two

For the second year, the kids begged to do the balloon activity countdown to New Years Eve.  What started as a time filler last year, turned into a tradition...I guess?  We'll see what happens next year...

We started with a new location for the balloon countdown set-up.  I added a color coding system to help me know which ones were at specific times (like red involves food).  I know we did more things than shown below (like I know we watched a movie), but these are the highlights.

Then got to popping (some times went better than others)

This year we started with lunch with Auntie Sandy (which was actually our Christmas celebration with her)


We stopped to geocache and deliver some donations (we took some balloons in the car with us) and then headed back home to settle in (and pop more balloons).

The kids started out by making goal lists for the coming year.  These are not resolutions, just things they'd like to accomplish this year.  For example, one of EJ's is to read 100 books in 2015.

We played a Wii bowling tourney...


Built a fire...

Played some board games (including a heated round of Quirkle)...

Wine for the grown-ups and sparkling apple juice for the kids (with licorice straws) to kick off our buffet snack dinner.

Painted/created some noisemakers/shakers to ring in the new year (although we forgot about them by that time)...

I added a new thing which was a mini round of Minute to Win It games.  Big hit!

Ring Pops to ring in the new year.  Note there are just two kids in this photo.  I think Liv made it to 10pm.  :-(  Happy New Year!