Saturday, October 30, 2010

Budding Artists or Naughty Girls?

My mother and father had been in their house less than a year. The walls were a bit plain, so Kaytlynn and Emily decided to spruce their office wall up a bit. I tried to talk my mother into framing it with molding for "posterity sake", but she wouldn't go for it. I STILL think it would have been a great idea...Who wouldn't have laughed at that!

My Paternal Grandfather's Graduation Invitation...

I found this in my pictures. Memaw (my maternal grandmother) went with my parents and I to see my dad's sister in Wharton. Aunt Beth brought this out to see, so I took a picture of it. I love that I have it...even if its just a picture. Between the devastating hurricane that flooded my parents town of Freeport/Oyster Creek and the fact that my father's family were stow-aways on a boat from Germany...we don't have much, as far as memorabilia goes.

Water Baby

This is Kaytlynn's first time in a pool. We were at my friend Jeanne-Marie's house. Jeanne-Marie gave birth to her son the day before I had Kaytlynn. We've always joked that they have been betrothed since we found out that they were a boy and a girl from our sonograms!...This is also the first time she went skinny dipping because I distinctly remember his father coming through the back gate asking..."are they naked in the pool?" Why Yes. Yes they are.

A Strange Family Tradition...

My sister Lisa, my niece Emily, My grandmother Margaret (Memaw, or Mother T), My daughter Kaytlynn, My mother Kay)

We all have strange family traditions. Ours is this strange hat. Strange in a good makes me smile every time I think of it.

We have this hat that was at my Grandmothers. I can't remember whose it was originally. I will have to ask my mother. It was kept in Memaw's dresser...bottom middle drawer forever. It's a dark chocolate hat of yarn with several large yarn "balls" coming off of both sides of the hat. I believe there is a picture of both Bell girls, and the grandkids in the hat. I just found the one of Kaytlnn in it! I wanted to post, not only share with family now...but so that it is in an easy to reference place in the future as well.

This is in December 2002, I believe.

Friday, October 29, 2010

January Joker

Today Kaytlynn finished reading January Joker by Ron Roy. It is the first chapter book that she has read from beginning to end without ANY assistance from an adult. She is really proud of herself...but not as proud as I am!

She liked it quite a bit. It was a mystery and she had solved "who dunnit" by the middle of a book!

This milestone made me want to ask her what her top 5 books order. Her answers...

1. A-Z Mysteries series by Ron Roy

2. Calendar Mysteries by Ron Roy (shown on top right)

3. Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

4. Magic Treehouse by Mary Pope Osborne

5. Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

Ill have to continue asking her what they are so that I can see how often they change.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back from Fall Trip to Denton

Todd was lucky enough to get 2 days off and we headed up to Denton to have a little family fun.

On Wednesday, we drove up after my Dr's appt. to check on my bronchitis and broken toes. All was well, but stuck with the boot for another 3 weeks. He says the pain should be pretty much gone by then too. That was nice to hear, but truthfully...the actual PAIN has been gone for a couple of days. Now its just a throbbing. We also stopped at the Conroe Outlet Mall for a little bit of shopping. We usually get the girls fall play clothes at Sam's, but Kaytlynn can't wear a 6x anymore (which happens to be the largest children's size they sell). We tried Osh Kosh B'gosh. We didn't know if they had bigger kids sizes...and they do!!! All the way up to size 12 if you were wondering! They also sell DECENT kids clothes, which happens to be a hard thing to find sometimes these days. They either have the low ride jeans that are wayyy too low. Or theirs writing on the rear end with words like SWEET, etc. It truly amazes me. Anyway...500 dollars later, we were done with fall shopping for the girls and on our way to Nana and Papa's. We got there at about 10:00. My mom was at work for her last night of the week and Papa had already gone to bed. He hits the hay at about 8:30 these days, which is something I NEVER thought that I would see.

Thursday, after my mom got up, both of the girls got their hair cut at my mom's hair place. It's called Curl Up and Dye...dontcha just LOVE that name??? We also went to Wal-Mart and picked up a few things.

Friday, we went to the same pumpkin patch that we go to every year. This millionaire in the area has a train and the track spans about 20 acres of his land. He opens it up each year for the month of October. You ride the train around part of his property and then the kids can spend as much time as they want on different Bounce "houses", play houses, see-saws, hay mazes,etc. The adults have nice logs and chairs to sit down on to "enjoy the view". They also have 2 covered areas with picnic tables so that you can enjoy hot dogs and drinks for a buck a piece. SOOO worth the 5 dollar entry fee! The girls had a GREAT time.

Saturday, our family and my parents went to Dallas Heritage Village. It is set in an AWFUL part of town, but totally worth the trip. They have taken about 30 different historic building from the North Texas area and recreated a village from 1900. It had a saloon (that sold root beer floats), a school (with teacher), several homes, a mercantile, a blacksmith (hard at work making nails, candle holders, wind chimes, etc., a train depot, hotel and more. All were fully furnished and a lot of fun to see. The girls wore the dresses my mom made for them for the Little House on the Prairie vacation.

They had a scavenger hunt for home schoolers to fill out that helped them pay attention to some of the important things. They got a candy stick if it was all filled they wanted it all filled out!
The infamous blacksmith.
Not exactly the place I want to visit when I am sick. God has really allowed us to come a long way in a pretty short amount of time, if you ask me :-)

I fell in LOVE with this children's bed in the nursery of the old house.
This photo soooo fits my mother ! I told her that all she needed was a mint julip in her hand.

The girls loved being inside the Teepee. Up to 16 people slept in EACH ONE...YIKES.
Can you say lack of privacy? Really! What on earth did they discuss in here?
Pioneer Log Cabin. 22 people lived here during the "school" week.

We left Sunday morning and made it back to a disheveled home. It is now time to unpack, do the laundry, cook dinner, and get ready for the busy week ahead. It makes me wish I was sitting at my mom's table, eating her wonderful food, and talking about funny yester-years, rather than facing the yuckies of today :-)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another Celebrated Dancing Bear

We rowed Another Celebrated Dancing Bear over the last 2 weeks and it was truly a diamond in the rough. I just wasn't expecting it to be a huge hit.

The Books summary:
Set in Czarist Russia, Another Celebrated Dancing Bear is the story of a friendship between elegant Max, a famous dancer with the Moscow Circus, and simple Boris, who works at a local animal hospital. When Max learns of Boris's unhappiness with his job and envy of Max's fame, he resolves to teach his friend to dance. After many weeks of lessons and practice, Boris is able to join the Moscow Circus. Garrison's warm etchings printed in burnt-umber ink and highlighted with watercolor washes capture the setting and period, giving a flavor of antiquity. They help transport children to another place and time to experience some of the caring and sharing in the relationship of two rather special bears.

Some of the things we did...
1. We learned about the Russian culture with Russia ABCs by Ann Berge. The girls enjoyed it. It was easier than most ABC books, with just 3 - 5 sentences about each Russian "thing". For those of you not familiar with ABC books...
A is is for alphabet and tells a bit about their Cyrillic alphabet. B is for Ballet and discusses how the ballet is such a huge deal in their culture....all the way through Z

We talked about folk tales and I read The Firebird, which is probably the most popular Russian Folktale. I chose the one with Ginnady Spirin's illustrations, because he just might be the best there is!!! No one seems to be as elegant and detailed at children book illustrations. And he is a Russian artist, to boot!

We watched The Firebird ballet on It is done in 5 parts, so I thought I would watch it in Parts throughout the day, but the girls were mesmerized by it. They sat there the full 40 minutes...and then asked to watch another one! Great free entertainment! Here is the link to part 1

We watched the Reading Rainbow episode Berlioz the Bear .
While en route to play the town ball, Berlioz the bear and his fellow musicians' bandwagon gets stuck in a hole in the road. The surprise that saves the day is the strange buzzing in Berlioz's instrument. Also in this episode, host LeVar Burton takes a musical journey through the streets of NYC, and viewers go behind the scenes of the Boys' Choir of Harlem.

We learned about Matryoshka dolls or Nesting dolls and read The Littlest Matryoshka and the Magic Nesting Doll

We talked about occupations...Kaytlynn wants to be a Vet and Delaney wants to be a Doctor.

We learned about Bears, the circus, the geography of Russia and some of its landmarks. We learned the days of the week, and the months of the year. We learned about tea and etiquette. We "had tea" and learned about Samovars. We read an adorable Out of Print book titled How the Tsar Drinks Tea by Benjamin Elkin and illustrated by Anita Lobel (Arnold Lobel's wife)

We also learned about being a good host and friend. All of this out of one simple picture book! The girls also worked on a "lapbook" of another Celebrated Dancing Bear. When their books are finished I will attatch them for you to enjoy!