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Friday, August 31, 2012

Potato Prints

     Yesterday the boys had a great time at art time making potato prints! We have been working on the letter P this week, so it was a perfect project.

 Needed supplies, newspaper to cover the table, paints, construction paper, paper plate to "dip" the potatoes in the paint, and of course potatoes! Note my seriously lacking skills in making anything pretty for our stamp designs. I just freestyled it with the knife and it clearly shows that's what I did. Thankfully 1.5 and 3 year olds don't know any better at this age ;)

 JT and Finn getting serious about dipping their potatoes.

 Mason joined in on the fun for this activity!

 JT was impressed what could be made with a potato and kept saying, "Wow!"

 Mason demonstrating how well the potato picked up the paint perfectly.

 Mason liked doing lots of little stamps in a small space.

 Finn took the wide space approach.

 Having a great time!

Another successful art project!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

First Day of School

     In looking back through photos I haven't posted, I realized I failed at making a 1st Day of School post! Mom fail! Like I said, it's been a busy few weeks so the blog has been neglected a bit.

     This year, the First Day of School was highly anticipated. It was slated to start Aug 6th, but we found out 3 days prior that the school board decided to not start school until some budget issues could be addressed with County Commission, who funds the district locally.

     To try and summarize, the district was short several millions of $ and was seeking more money to help fully fund the schools. After cat and mouse games, several emergency meetings on both ends, the district ended up getting some additional monies, but had to cut at least $2 million and as it stands now they will be cutting about $950k in various teaching positions district wide. This battle is far from over and I just pray those in authority will do what is best for our students and community.

     Due to all of these meetings and lack of full funding promptly, the girls started school on Thursday Aug. 16th, missing a total of 8 instruction days. The school board has already met and they have adjusted several of the holidays/days off to make up for those missed days at the beginning of the year.

     On to the starts of the show! Courtney and Lindsay!!!

 Courtney is now the big kid on the block as an 8th grader at her middle school.

 Our high school freshman! I still can't believe Lindsay is in 9th grade.

2 of our beauties! JT is now understanding where he sisters are during the day and he has begun to request to go to school like his sisters. A few more years buddy- all in good time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fruit Loop Towers

     It's been a bit of some light posting here on the Apedaile6 blog recently. For good reason- my Mom, aka Nanny to the kids, has been here visiting for the past nearly 2 weeks. She returned home to California yesterday and we miss her already! I have a bit of catching up to do in the blog world, so here we go!

     Last week, we had a great time with a new activity- building towers out of cereal. I forgot to take a photo of what I used, but here is the list: Wood kabob sticks cut in 1/2, molding clay (could also use play dough), and cereal of choice that is an "O" shape. I started out with both Cheerios and Fruit Loops looking to balance the healthy and junk cereals, but we quickly discovered the Cheerios were too small to slide down the stick. The boys didn't seem to mind at all :)

 JT just starting out his tower.

 Finn dropping his cereal down the stick.

 Our younger friend, Mason, joined in for this activity!

 This activity is great for hand/eye coordination and fine motor skills. The kids also loved the benefit of eating their creation along the way and after their towers were built. Mason was especially adorable to watch as when he struggled getting the Fruit Loop on the stick, he happily ate it instead. 

 Such focus!

 Tall Tower for JT!

Finn's Tall Tower!

A little bit of video of the boys in action. They all enjoyed this activity and actually made 2 towers before eating their cereal. This will be a repeat activity for sure!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"O" utstanding Artwork

     JT and Finn continue to love working on their letters, tracing, and artwork. I was trying to think of a new way to incorporate some fun activity while working on their letter of the week. So I went back to my "Time to Learn" board on Pinterest and I found the perfect idea- bingo dauber dot letters!

 The pin I had directed me to this site that I printed this letter O. I already had the daubers from a previous activity that the boys did a while ago. I explained to the boys how they were going to do their best to make individual "dots" in each circle to make their
 letter O's.

 JT and Finn got right to work!

 You can always tell if JT is concentrating if you see his tongue sticking out.

 Finn had perfect form from the get go.

 JT's approach was a bit more sideways, but he did a great job.

Complete! The boys were saying "O" instead of "cheese" for this photo. Outstanding work!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tight spaces

          My days are typically quite busy and filled with lots of moments of laughing at what JT and the little ones I watch decide to entertain themselves with. I was able to capture some fun antics the foursome did recently.

Ella, the smallest of the bunch, decided that sitting in the toolbox was the perfect place for her little body.

After Ella exited, Mason quickly jumped in. I love this super cheesy smile he flashes now when I take photos or say "smile" to him.

By this time, the big boys saw I was snapping photos of the little ones and laughing and of course they didn't want to be left out of the fun. Finn squeezing into the tool box.

Can't forget JT! He's a long way from being able to sit in the box, but he had fun pretending like he could.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Writing his name

     Part of what I love staying/working at home is being able to witness and help JT (and his friends I babysit) with his early educational/enrichment skills. I strive to regularly work with colors, shapes, letters, numbers, and basic concepts appropriate for 2-3 year olds.

     JT, Finn, and I have been working on letters for some time now. We have a weekly letter that we talk about, trace, and strive to learn to identify. This past week, the boys did their letter and proceeded to color on the back of the paper.

     I decided to try and show JT how to draw his name. So I just drew each letter explaining how to "swoop/hook" the J and how we make the strait lines for T and the top of J. Low and behold JT did a fantastic job drawing his own name!!!!

 Look at the middle of the page and you can see JT written in pink- that is JT's own doing! My examples are in the upper left/right corners. I was tickled pink!!!

Here is another attempt and I will admit the lower hook part of the J (right side) had some guided assistance but everything else was all done solo.

     I will admit that teaching JT to spell/write his name at this stage is a bit easier than most. All he has is 2 letters! As he gets older, I will teach his full name, but for now I'm claiming victory for my little guy!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Growing according to Nanny

     My Mom is visiting the Apedaile6 crew in Tennessee once again. Since she lives in California, she isn't able to get out here(or us out there) nearly as much as we would like. We do however cherish each visit and we are enjoying her stay so far.

     One of the things we always note every time "Nanny" comes is how much each of the girls, and now JT, have grown against her own height. Nanny isn't a very tall woman, so as each girl has approach and in 2 of the 3, surpassed Nanny over the years. It's worked out that most visits are about 1.5-2 years apart, so there is usually quite a bit of difference each time she comes to visit. I decided to go back and look at some of her past visits to see how much the girls and JT have grown according to Nanny.

Nanny's first visit in the fall of 2005. This visit I don't have any photos of on our computer, so I had to take a picture of a picture that Lindsay had in her room. Not much of a comparison height wise, but look how cute the girls were!

Her next visit was a year later in October of 2006. This picture makes me go "Awww, so little and cute!" Sarah had already passed Nanny by this point as she was nearly her adult height already.  Here the girls were in 8th, 3rd, and 2nd grades.

The only visit we have managed to make out to California- January 2007. This is when my Dad's Mom aka "Nan" passed away. Sad times, but it was nice to see my side of the family. Here from L-R not including us are my cousin Alyssa, Aunt Cathy, Aunt Sue, and my Mom/Nanny. *Love Lindsay's goofy expression here.

June 2009- Nanny came to visit shortly after the arrival of the 6th Apedaile, JT!

Clear to see that Lindsay hit the first part of her growth spurt!

Nanny, Lindsay and JT- he was about a month old in this photo.

My 4 loves! 

A little family photo at home. Obviously, JT wasn't ready for pictures here-LOL! After this summer, the girls were starting 11th, 6th, and 5th grades.(I think that's correct)

Nanny's last visit before her current trip in November 2010. Courtney was starting her growth spurt, but clearly still far shorter than Nanny's 5'4" frame.

Lindsay continued to shoot up enjoying being the tallest of the girls minus me. I was still the tallest of the ladies at this point.

Goofing off for the camera.

Look how much they have changed and grown over the years!

Another family photo on the couch. Though JT wasn't in the mood to smile, at least he wasn't screaming like the last time. Here the girls were in 12th, 7th, and 6th grades.

Here is a photo of JT from when Nanny visited, he was 17 months at the time. Love those baby cheeks!

Now in August 2012 and look how all the Apedaile kids have grown! Courtney is now almost as tall as Nanny (she's 5'3"), Sarah is still easily taller, Lindsay is the tallest of the bunch standing at 5'9", and JT is making his own progress on Nanny at the age of 3.

The girls were educating Nanny on the art of posing with your hand on your hip for photos. Loved taking a look back at how my girls and boy have grown over the past 7 years.

Monday, August 13, 2012

20 Questions with Courtney, 13 years old

I decided to do the 20 questions for Courtney just like I did JT. This might be a birthday tradition for the kids this year.

1. What is your favorite color? Pink

2. What is your favorite toy? The "yellow phone" aka John's old iPhone which is now basically an Ipod touch.

3. What is your favorite fruit? Strawberries

4. What is your favorite TV show? 7th Heaven

5.What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Peanut butter sandwich

6.What is your favorite outfit? White cardigan sweater, with coral cami, black jeans, and tan boots.

7.What is your favorite game?  Clue

8.What is your favorite snack? peanut butter with graham crackers

9.What is your favorite animal? A moose

10.What is your favorite song?  Right now As Long as You Love Me by Justin Bieber

11.What is your favorite book? Hunger Games

12.Who is your best friend? Veronica

13.What is your favorite cereal? Crave- double chocolate

14.What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play volleyball

15.What is your favorite drink? Sunny D

16.What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

17.What do you like to take with you to bed at night? Bunny-E

*This is quite an old photo, I think when Courtney was around 8 years old. That is Bunny-E she is sleeping on. Bunny-E has been around sine 2001 when John bought it for Courtney on a trip he took.

18.What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Muffins! Double Chocolate Chip muffins!

19.What do you want for dinner on your birthday? I got it- La Loma's

20. What do you want to do when you grow up? Be a pediatrician