Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Science Museum

Dominic's class went on a field trip to the science museum and I was able to go along (Thank you Naomi for watching the kids for an hour and Sean for taking half the day off of work). It was a fun day and as busy as I was corralling the kids, I didn't remember to take out my camera as often as I would have liked. But here are a few pictures that I did get.

They got to dress up in space suits.

Outside they had a space shuttle to ride on. At one point this had about 30 kids on it.
All the turtles were out sunning themselves. They were so still that I thought that they were fake until one of them moved his head. But seriously, they just sat there, not moving.
The planetarium was really neat. Keeping my 6 third graders to sit still for 1 hour.....not quite as fun.
The kids had ZILLIONS of questions which out "guy" answered with so much grace. Question, after questions, after question......he answered ever single one of them. 
The room gradually went dark (in shades of red to help our eyes adjust) and then this ball projected the night sky onto the rounded ceiling. It was the same sky that we would see at night at the end of March so it was kinda neat. Dominic really liked that part. We were shown some constellations and had a little slide show about some of the planets.
Dominic wants to go back when we can go as a family......maybe I'll take better pictures next time.


So, I found a few examples online and decided that I could give screenprinting a try. We decided to do it for a Young Women activity at church and so I had to make sure it would actually work.

After purchasing some screenprinting paints on Amazon, I printed out a bunch of templates (pumpkin carving templates....go figure, or sillhouettes of something. Just google it and then click on photos in the upper left of your browser to see what will come up). Anyways, Penny picked the M&M's and wanted them pink.
So, this is how you do it: You start with your template, a cutting mat (or cardboard if you don't have one), an exacto knife pen AND freezer paper.

1) Place the freezer paper shiny side down.
2) Tape your template on top of it so it doesn't slide around
3) begin carving out the image with your exacto knife pen (make sure its sharp!)

4) after you have cut out your template, remove the paper from the freezer paper.

5) If you are doing a t-shirt or something that could bleed to a second layer of fabric, turn the fabric inside out and place one large square of freezer paper shiny side down onto the fabric. Iron in place for 10-15 seconds or until completely adhered, on high heat (no steam). Turn fabric right side out and adhere your template to your fabric shiny side down (make sure its straight!). Make sure that all edges are stuck to the fabric before going on to the next step.

6) Using a screen printing paint (or acrylic paint with a fabric medium) dab paint into the holes of your template. Make sure it is evenly coated. One coat should work fine on a light colored shirt, but if you are not sure. Let the first coat dry completely and then add another thin second layer.

7) Remove template (I did mine while it was still wet, not sure how easily they come off when dry) and let it dry completely. Heat set the paint by putting a thin towel or parchment paper over the image and setting the iron on medium high. Iron one spot at a time for 1-2 minutes without moving the iron.

So, we did this for a YW activity and the girls absolutely loved it! Every design was different and they all turned out really really neat. A few of them even told me that they were going to buy the paints so that they could make more on their own. Awesome!

These really aren't that hard and the possibilities are endless. Dominic wants a wizard, science beakers and an atom...... on 3 different shirts. I'm making a cassette tape on a sweatshirt for Michael. 
Its so fun! =)

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Penny loves to play with Michael while he's in his high chair. 

He has started to say the word "Hi" and I LOVE IT. 
He has the most manly baby voice ever.


Dominic got his Wolf badge tonight. He has been excited and waiting for this ALL MONTH as he finished it right after the last pack meeting. They didn't have on record that he'd gotten his bobcat so they were prepared to give him his bobcat......he didn't need it, but they made him go upside down to TURN A GOOD DEED anyways since he never did that the first time.

He thought that was pretty funny.
Our point and shoot camera doesn't do very well with pictures in a gymnasium so these are a little blurry. Here he is pinning the wolf pin on me. So proud of my guy.
So thats it! He's officially earned his wolf in cub scouts. Funny story, this summer when he was in Fairbanks I was talking to him on the phone. He kept asking me about being a wolf etc. I told him that he had to finish his bobcat requirements and then he could start working on his wolf tracks. At one point in the conversation I said, "Dominic, you are a wolf but you have to do the wolf tracks to get your badge." I got off the phone and Penny immediately started crying, "I just want my brother to be a boy and not a wolf!"

Sweet, sweet Penny.
She misses him so much when he's gone and was REALLY worried that he was turning into a wolf while in Alaska. She was reassured when he came home and he was still her same awesome brother.
Love that girl.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Movie turned Lego Party

Dominic did some extra worksheets for a few weeks and earned a movie night with some friends. We started with Pizza and then all the boys did a secret ballot to figure out which movie to watch. Choices were Percy Jackson or Megamind.
Turns out mom was the only one who voted for Percy Jackson.
Megamind it was.

Anything secretive and suspenseful is so awesome for these boys. The secret ballot was the perfect way to start the night.

So after we filled ourselves with Pizza and fruit salad we sat down to enjoy the movie. Penny can't ever sit far from Dominic when a movie is involved.
Michael can't sit far from him either. He was intrigued by both boys' hair that was sticking up in the back and kept grabbing at it.
Penny eventually just snuggled up to Dominic and fell asleep. However, then the chocolate covered popcorn came out and she was awake after that. I love that he just lets her hang out with him.
So then, we got out the huge tub of legos (they were Sean's when he was a kid) and a cup and again had the kids write down ideas of things to build and put them into the box. They were given one scoop of legos per challenge (adding the legos from the previous challenges that they didn't use. Each time we drew, they were given a time limit to complete the task with their friend they were partnered up with. As we progressed the items we drew got harder and harder (or if it was easy, we did two) and the time to do them longer and longer. We started with 2 minutes and our last challenge was 10 minutes long. Most of them were 7 minutes. The boys LOVED THIS. They seriously built for about 90 minutes.
Getting ready to read the item they have to build:
Here was the start of their creations. They had things like: skyscraper, army tank, booger, robot, plane, car, door, speeder, skyscraper, Megamind, boat etc.
Penny was right there with the boys the WHOLE TIME. She's never built anything with legos before. I believe this was her first time but if not, she has definitely not spent this much time building. She did so well!
Davis and Dominic (other Dominic) were a team
Simon and Brendan were a team
Indy and Dominic were a team
They filled this shelf with their creations. This isn't even all of them yet.
Simon and Brendan's collection
Davis and Dominc's (other Dominic) collection
Indy and Dominic's collection (I didn't take one picture of all of them so there are two pictures. Oops)

Penny's collection
This wore a girl out.
To say the boys had fun would be an understatement. It was a GREAT night and I had lots of fun too. Pickup wasn't until 9pm and Michale had already fallen asleep and was in bed, but becasue all the boys were doing legos the parents walked in and everything was super quiet. It was miraculous really.
So. Much. Fun

Backing up for a moment:

 The movies didn't come in the mail from Netflix until Friday afternoon (his movie night was later that same day). I was the one to open both envelopes and said in my most super confused voice but not directly to him (I pretended I didn't know he was listening), 

"What? Beach Barbie Dance Party? What? How did they get that mixed up."
I heard him stir and say, "Oh, no!" under his breath.
"Weird, the other one is not right either. What? Beach Barbie Dance Party? Who on earth would have ordered this?"

At this point Dominic threw his arms down on my bed and proceeded to let out his whining/crying voice. I believe the term is wailing..... you know, like the Tongan women in the movie "Other Side of Heaven." Pathetic and unproductive whining.

I died laughing right then and there and he stopped laughing and pounced on me. With the tears in his eyes still in the early stages of production, he laughed and told me that it wasn't funny. 
Really? Cuz I'm still laughing.

Monday, March 21, 2011


He's 10 months old!!

No pictures today, just wanted to record that as of today Michael gives kisses on command. So, if you want any........come on over. They are pretty much delightful. None of us can get enough of them. Though, if you let him kiss you for too long, he bites...aaaaaaaand he thinks its funny.

Also today, he stands without assistance. He keeps letting go of things and just standing there for 5-8 seconds. Its so cute. He's mostly just busy and doesn't even notice that he's not holding on to anything. His busy chatter is awesome....all kinds of "TH" and "S" sounds.

And lastly, he signed and said "Ball" all night tonight. 
So. darn. cute. 
He signs "Where" all the time (its with a pointed finger so it was an easy transition for him) and added "Where Ball" tonight.

He's getting so big. I just love him. 

Sean keeps saying we just want two of him. He IS that sweet.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Some February Forgottens

In looking at my photos from February, there were a few that got skipped that I wanted included in my history. Did you know that Picasa will let you post as many pictures to blogger as you want now (it use to only let you do 4 at a time) Here goes:

Michael loves to play with tongues. Its kinda gross, but we keep it in the family. He laughs hysterically at them when I wiggle my tongue around and he tries to catch it.
I found this pack of 12 crowns at the dollar store (for $1...go figure) and it was a HUGE hit. Penny made several crowns and colored them and then put glitter glue and stickers all over them. This was at least 1 hour of craft time for her. I love that she can stay on task for long periods of time.
Sibling Love! Penny LOVES Micheal and always wants to hold him. Problem is, Michael isn't so much into being held anymore, or poked, or smothered, or squeezed. Sorry Michael, this third child stuff is kinda rough!
She found a funny way to sit on the toilet. She's got her mom's flexibility (not that I sit on the toilet this way or anything).
Michael is SO STRONG. He muscles Great Grandma Matteson around all the time.

Daddy reading a story before bedtime.
Chris and Melody came to town and stayed with us. They have 5 kids, but they are the most well behaved kids I've ever been around....Except for the parts when they talk about poop and farts a lot (it keeps it interesting). They had me in stitches too many times to count! They too, wanted to make crowns so we started coloring, glueing and stickering away. It was fun to see each creation come out so different.
Grebel (nickname.....its actually Gabriel) has the cutest baby face. If it wasn't morbid and wrong, I would have eaten it. Hit bottom lip and big eyes are to die for.
Eli was quite studious. About 1/4 of the way through he looked at me and said, "man. It would have really been a better idea to color AND THEN put the stickers on."  It took a lot more careful coloring, as to not mess up the stickers, to color after the stickers were in place. He did it though.

Black spiderman overtook Jeremiah's body and had influence on his crown as well. He was done in seconds flat as soon as he figured out how to use the side of the marker instead of the tip.
See the cuteness? I think his crown weighed 2 pounds, mostly in dinosaur stickers.
February was a fun month.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Almost every night we have a green smoothie. Full of only fruits and veggies, its become a tradition to make the healthiest yet yummiest smoothy we can. Last night, we loaded it with spinach, avacado, carrot juice, pinneapple, banana, apple, frozen strawberries, frozen orange (froze them before they went bad) and frozen peaches with a little soy milk and water. They are delicious!

And the mustaches are to die for.
Dominic doesn't want to cut his hair right now. I told him he was allowed to keep it a modest length as long as he showered every other day and it looked nice.....otherwise, he goes to the chopper.
Michael had learned how to use the chalk. Yesterday, he was caught trying to muscle the huge 3D chalk and get it to write on the board. It was hilarious to watch because its bigger than his forearm and trying to move it left and right was more than his arm could handle. So, I got out the normal sized sidewalk chalk (thats been put away because he tried to eat it) and then he scribbled away! What a little Picasso!

I remembered that I had a walker that a friend gave us when Penny was a baby. I went up to the attic and found it as well as quite a few other toys for Michael. It was like Christmas! Penny likes to try to help him walk around since its still a little fast for him.

Oh face paints, how we love you. She likes to paint her own face these days.
I love the uni-brow.

There is something peaceful and balanced about this picture that I just love. The sunlight and Penny, with her concentration face on.
She asked if she could paint her feet and I said yes. Her reply was a super giddy, "Ooooooh man. This is going to be so fuuuuuuun."

I wish it was recorded. Maybe you just had to be there.
Dominic works for the business putting labels on product so that Sean can ship them off to Amazon. He's learning a lot about expectations, what breaks are for (you don't take a break and then spend the next 5 minutes that you are supposed to be working, in the bathroom), and what works to stay motivated (music, racing against time or mom). This business has been a great tool to teach him work ethics and for the most part, he loves it! Plus, he gets paid and is learning a great deal about tithing/saving and spending.....and makes more than the 60 minutes an hour we use to get paid when I was growing up. ;P

Dominic has some home school modules that we started up again to supplement what he does at school. He has a binder that we put all his work into and to keep it all in one place. Naturally, Penny needed her own binder too and I happened to have some workbooks from when Dominic was her age (I only copied them but never used them up). So, I made her a notebook too. She's been LOVING doing her homework. Its amazing how much she has progressed in the last month. 4 weeks ago she didn't quite understand why those dotted lines were there and also didn't quite have the fine motor skill yet to stay on those dotted lines. Now, she's drawing the lines like a champ!
I think next years home-schooling will make quite a smart little cookie out of Penny as well.

A couple months ago Penny decided she wanted to learn how to read so I located a Kindergarten Hooked On Phonics Reading set (I had to borrow the Kindergarten one as ours got loaned out and misplaced). So, a few weeks ago we finally started the series and she is LOVING IT and doing very well. 

So far, she can read 5 stories by herself. She's doing so great!