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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

High Score

     Last week Sarah sent me a photo after her bowling practice. She was so excited to share her personal best score in bowling- 205!!!

     Sarah has been working hard this year at improving her bowling game- her team practices 5 days a week and usually 2-3 weekends a month they travel out of town for an all weekend tournament. I never imagined she would be bowling so much, but Sarah is really enjoying herself and it's played a large role in her positive transition to university life this year. Congrats Sarah on your great score!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Diaper Free

     The day we have been anticipating for several months has arrived, and somewhat unexpectedly, I might add- JT is Diaper Free!!!! Totally lead by him, this past weekend we hit potty training Saturday morning. All it took was me asking JT after he woke up was if he wanted to go pee pee on the toilet.  Fully expecting to hear, "No thanks Momma, diaper.", instead he  said, "Yes!" So off we hustled to the bathroom and he went! Lots of hoots, hollers, hugs, kisses, and high 5's, we went to tell John the great news. Afterward, JT put these on.

 Absolutely adorable! Again another remarkable feat because we have had his big boy underwear for a few months and the handful of times we have attempted to have JT wear them, he treated them like hot lava had been poured on his body. He hated the underwear up until Saturday. Further emphasizes that potty training will happen in their time.

 Just to keep things simple, we just kept JT in a shirt, socks and underwear all day long.

 JT was used to me snapping photos of him most of the day and I couldn't resist getting this on the toilet holding an abundance of toilet paper. We weren't successful in the #2 department on Saturday, but he did remarkable for #1's. JT had about 3-4 slight accidents, basically starting to "go", but JT would stop and yell, "Momma! Pee Pee or Potty!!!" and we would run quickly to  the bathroom and finish in there. Excellent in my  opinion.

 John and I decided to approach JT's training in a different manner than any of the girls. We decided to create a Potty Prize box. Since JT had appeared to be quite resistant in wanting to even attempt going on the potty. John had bought several Cars matchbox cars prior, so we gave 1 to JT after his first success and explained if he continued to go on the toilet, he would get another prize. Not sure if that is what helped JT, but by lunchtime, JT had 4 cars and 0 accidents.

 That afternoon, John and I ran to Wal Mart and picked up about $20 worth of various matchbox cars, plastic animals, army men, chalk, bubbles, and stickers. We created JT's Prize Box that he was able to visit after each successful trip to the bathroom.

 Some of JT's prizes- Mater car

 Carla, from Cars 2

 Cool bouncy ball that lights up.

 By the end of the day, JT had quite a prize collection!

 Proud in his big boy underwear.

This picture perfectly sums up how excited we are all for JT. Way to go JT!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sticker Shapes

     I decided to make a somewhat educational artwork project for JT and Finn this week. I saw a friend of mine do something similar and I thought it could be fun. Take stickers and put them on the outline of different shapes. Very good fine motor skills activity. I created this worksheet in Word and purchased the stickers from the $1 bin at Target.

 After lining up many stickers on the edge of the table for the boys for easy grabbing, they started sticking their stickers!

 It took quite a bit of effort transferring the sticker from their fingers to the paper. 

 The stickers didn't always make the line, but that's ok :)

 I think if we continue to do this activity every so often, the boys skills will continue to improve. I'm thinking of using block letters next time.

 JT must be concentrating - his tongue is out.

 Finn very focused on his paper.

 All done- Finn did a great job!

JT happy with his work- great job!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sleeping in the Closet

     Overnight, we had our first tornado warning in quite a long time. We knew since early Sunday morning to be expecting severe thunderstorms and possible threatening weather overnight, so it wasn't a great surprise. Around 11pm the storms started rolling into our area and by 1:30 the EAS alert came over the TV and on my phone for a tornado warning for our area. What that basically means for us is clearing out our downstairs closet and getting everyone up and into the small area.

     Both of the girls groggily got up and into the closet easily and I brought JT down wrapped in his blanket. Surprisingly, he remained asleep while I carried him downstairs. I brought him into the closet and held him on my lap on top of a pillow. Though this isn't a photo of last night, this is essentially how he was the entire time we remained in the closet.

     Fast asleep! I couldn't believe it, but thankful because it made the waiting a bit easier for everyone while we watched the weather updates from the TV nearby. Thankfully, there were no tornadoes here in our area, though it was very windy and a ton of rain dropped overnight. It did however, result in some very tired older Apedaile's this morning. Hoping for a early bedtime tonight......

Friday, January 20, 2012


     John and I have been blessed with some fantastic kids- seriously. Taking a moment today to recognize the hard work the girls have done in their first semester of the school year. We are so proud of the accomplishments each of the girls have earned through many hours of homework, studying, and various projects. Cheers to Courtney, Lindsay, and Sarah!

 Courtney holding her report card that has all A's and 2 high B's. Noting that high B's here mean 90 and 91%.  Her highest academic achievement in English with a 97%, and earning 99 and 100's in her elective classes.

 Lindsay holding her all A's and 1 super high B- 92.4% (low A being a 93). Though Lindsay's highest academic grade was a 97% in Social Studies what I am most impressed with is her 95 in Algebra 1. Lindsay tested into this class last year as math is one of her strong subjects. Those in the Algebra 1 class in the 8th grade are essentially 2 levels above the standard math class. 

 I then received this via text photo from Sarah yesterday. Sarah made the Dean's List!!! Sounds so accomplished- love it.

Here is a little online article about her achievement. To be on the Dean's List you need to have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA and be a full time student(12 units). Sarah carried 16 units her fall semester and earned all A's and 1 B. In the article it says there are 352 students on the Dean's List of the 3,500 students at Campbellsville. So this places Sarah among the top 10% at her university. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winter Wreath

     In having a wreath on our front door since this past fall, I felt our door looked a bit naked after taking down the Christmas decorations. Much to my delight, and perhaps making John cringe, I found several options for a winter wreath on Pinterest. Once I jumped on board the Pinterest wagon, my requests for adding a bit of money for crafting budget appeared. Words that have not existed in my vocabulary in the 20 years I have been with John. Rest assured he's not annoyed, just having a bit of fun with his new found "crafty" wife :)

I found several cute options, but decided to make a button wreath. Items needed- wreath form, buttons of various sizes and shapes (note- try to use lighter colored buttons as you will see later on), hot glue gun, steel wool/similar textured product, and white spray paint.

 Start out with a layer of buttons that cover the wreath, using smaller buttons on this layer (only parts that are visible when hanging). Continue to layer on top in a more scattered pattern incorporating larger buttons and some different shapes to suit your style.

 After the buttons are in place, spray the entire wreath with white spray paint.

 This is how I found out using lighter colored buttons would have been beneficial. Had to apply several coats to fully cover the dark buttons.

  Before fully spraying the wreath, I added the "leaves" to the wreath. There were made with a brillo pad (soap free version) that were cut and shaped into a leaf. I was thinking this wasn't going to turn out good at this point.....
I added a few buttons in the center of the leaves, spray painted several more layers and a bit of ribbon for hanging. The final result-

I was happy with how this turned out and my door is no longer bare.
Happy Winter!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

First Snow of 2012

     The first snowfall arrived late Thursday night. It was a cold, windy, miserable day and by nightfall snowflakes started to cover the ground a bit. That meant the watch for school closings began around 7pm by Lindsay and Courtney. Though we do get snow here every year, the road conditions sometimes can be dangerous for the school buses which means with any accumulation or icy roads, school is typically canceled for the day. Thankfully by 9:30pm, our district had made the decision to cancel school for Friday. Loud cheers from Lindsay and Courtney could be heard by my Mom in California celebrating their 4 day weekend (off on Monday for MLK).

     JT didn't get the memo about it being a Snow Day, or the fact both John and I having the day off from work, and he decided to wake up nice and early. I was excited for him to see the snow, albeit a small amount, now that he is getting older in showing excitement. Lindsay also was an early bird with JT and I and joined us for some early snow fun.

I wanted to do a big reveal to JT at seeing the snowfall from overnight. Not quite what I envisioned in my mind, but he was still excited- at least about seeing his dump truck outside with the snow. He was also excited to get bundled up "like Caillou" one of his favorite shows on PBS, which has been showing snow play episodes recently.

 Not much I know, but snow is still snow :)

 JT exclaiming, "SNOW!!!!"

 Bundled up from head to toe. It was really cold and windy out!

 Happy to be outside!

 Kicking the snow with his snow boots.

 Of course he had to play with his trucks in the snow.

 JT got a kick out of seeing the tire tracks in the snow.

 There was still a bit of flurries coming down, so Lindsay and JT caught some flakes on their tongues.

 Super cheesy snow smile

 Nothing better than coming inside afterward, sitting by the fire and sipping on hot chocolate.

Add a warm pop tart for an extra special treat.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ball Pit

     As I was stalking-aka looking at- Sarah's facebook page this week, I realized I forgot to post some seriously awesome photos she took of JT on New Year's Eve. That morning, we took the kids to a new Family Fun Center- complete with bowling lanes, roller skating, video games, laser tag, and a kid fun zone. The girls and I bowled while the boys headed over to the kid zone for climbing in tubes, slides, and playing in the ball pit.

     While Sarah easily schooled us in bowling, John and JT had a great time playing. After we finished bowling,we all headed over to have some fun with JT. I crawled around in the tubes a bit, quickly feeling my age as my knees begged for something softer than hard plastic to crawl upon while I pleaded for JT to "Slow down and wait for Mommy." Then he played in the ball pit- perfect! Allowed me to remain upright and have the boy contained within a netted area and jump as much as he wanted. All the girls also went in the pit for a bit to play with their little brother and that is where Sarah captured these photos.

 Our no fear boy jumping into the ball pit

 Catching big air for a 2 year old!

The result of jumping- where is JT at? Deep in the balls :)