Sunday, March 31, 2013


Peep S'mores
Dying eggs
Easter service
Easter baskets
Delicious lunch at home
Egg hunt
Afternoon nap & basketball
Brothers getting along
Board games
Walk through the neighborhood ...

and it all ended like this...


Monday, March 25, 2013

Celebrating Seuss

March is National Reading Month, and as such, Drew's school is celebrating by focusing the entire month on the literary genius of Dr. Seuss.  From what Drew reports back to us, his class reads a different Seuss book every day, there are trivia questions with prizes for the entire school, and there are themed art projects and worksheets to go along with it all.

Drew is crazy nuts about all of this.  He totally digs Dr. Seuss, and has absolutely loved all that is going on in celebration of him.  Each day he tells us what book they read, and each night he is sure to pick out one of our Dr. Seuss books for our bedtime read.  He's brought home some pretty impressive art, too.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
There's a Wocket in My Pocket

Backing up a bit, last fall there was an event at school, encouraging parents and their students to begin a Reading Promise: to read with one another for at least 10 minutes every day.  We tally our days, and just a few days ago, we surpassed the 150 day mark.  Quarterly, the school hosts some kind of event to recognize those students that are succeeding with the reading streak, and this last Thursday was one of those nights.  Included in those events is usually some kind of door prize.  At the first Reading Promise night last fall, Drew was a winner!  His name was drawn and he won a $10 gift card to Barnes & Noble!  Thursday night the door prizes were, appropriately, Dr. Seuss books.  Reed, Drew and I were all in attendance, and I asked the teacher manning the door prize table if younger siblings/non-students were eligible to enter.  She said she wouldn't ever tell a child they couldn't have a book :) so Reed was able to enter for a prize as well.  Well, sure enough, third name drawn was Reed!  And then the sixth name drawn was Drew!  Winner winner!  It was pretty fun. :)

Before we left school that night, each student was invited to pick up a small bag of random craft supplies to take home and create their own puppet.  The puppets needed to be brought back to school by Tuesday, where they'll be displayed and prizes will be awarded.  Drew really wanted to do this, so on Saturday night we got to work.

(We were also free to use any craft supplies we had on hand at home, hence the large tote on the floor!)

While the puppets did not have to be Dr. Seuss themed, his books were on the brain, and as we had just read If I Ran the Zoo I suggested to Drew that we should make a new animal for McGrew's Zoo.  Brilliant, I thought.

Drew said no.


He wanted to make a Sneetch, from the Dr. Seuss book The Sneetches.  {My fave, followed closely by Mr. Brown Can Moo? Can You?  If you haven't read them, you need to.}  Anyway, I wanted to encourage him to use his imagination (he's a very concrete thinker and has a hard time looking past what he sees on the page or what others might be doing) so I suggested we make different kinds of Sneetches.  One-of-a-kind Sneetches, if you will.  Like a purple-puff sneetch.  Or a lollipop-loving sneetch.  Drew caught on quickly and said, "A Superhero Sneetch!"

So, we made four.  Without further ado, we present to you...

Disco-dancing Sneetch, Superhero Sneetch, Fireman Sneetch & Police Officer Sneetch
(Disco was my idea, but Drew thought of the rest.) :)

The puppets will be on display this week, with prizes awarded!

Last Friday was a Spirit Day at school.  These have occurred periodically throughout the school year, and they aren't too high up on Drew's "fun" list.  Hat day - he doesn't wear hats.  Twin day - not interested/too much work on Mom's part to find someone to dress alike with.  Wacky Wednesday - he did participate, but mismatched socks is as wacky as he gets.  Stripes day - that's easy enough.  This last Friday was a Spirit Day to celebrate Dr. Seuss - come dressed as your favorite Dr. Seuss character.  Well, I had seen this on the calendar and had said to myself that we should start talking about it because if, surprise of all surprises, Drew decides he'd like to participate it might be a bit difficult to just throw something together without any preparation.  Well, I plum forgot.  There goes preparation.  Besides, what are the odds Drew will want to participate?  You can imagine my surprise, then, when I asked Drew the night before, "Who do you want to be for Dr. Seuss day at school tomorrow?" he immediately exclaimed "The Cat in the Hat!"

Oh. Well.  GREAT!  Let's do it! 

Thankfully, he chose a do-able character that didn't require making or buying anything.  Just a little bit of digging around here and there to find the pieces!
Black shirt - hanging in the closet.
Black pants - in the dirty laundry (shhhhhhhh don't tell!).
Red ribbon - the bandana he used for his Jake costume for Halloween.
Hat - in a bin in the basement marked "Drew's preschool art" (he made it last year).
Whiskers - black washable marker.


I was just so, so impressed with him and his desire to do this.  Perhaps it's not much different than Halloween (which he has no qualms about) but I knew that not everyone would be dressed up and I was a bit a worried he'd notice and feel awkward.  He did comment to me that there weren't very many people in character, but the whiskers and bow tie were still in place when I picked him up after school! Such a simple moment, but it felt like a big deal.  Drew falls along the quiet/shy/wallflower spectrum and him wanting to go all out for this was really something pretty cool.


As a sidenote....we had spring conferences on Thursday night, March 14, and much like his fall conference, Drew's teacher had nothing but really wonderful things to say about our son.  Most notably: "He's a wonderful boy and I just love him."  He has advanced past the kindergarten standards for reading, so she asked about his interests, wanting to get him some books that will appeal to him.  He is really excited about and does really well at math.  They had a unit on three-dimensional shapes a few weeks ago, and she said he just soaked it up.  We may have a future engineer on our hands???  Socially, she said she has started to see him act like a six-year-old boy (oddly enough, this was reassuring for us to hear as we have been having a few behavior issues here at home) but, his teacher says, he certainly knows right from wrong and he is self-aware enough to know that when his friends get too carried away, he separates himself.  She said that if his name were ever written on the board, he'd be scarred for life. ;)  We are struggling with him and the typical negative behaviors of kids his age, but to be sure, we could not be any prouder of this kiddo.  Most significantly, just like at our last conference, his teacher noted how kind and helpful and nice Drew is to his classmates.  Both Brad and I feel like Drew is a smart kid - not gifted or genius - but bright.  He picks up on things quickly, he's curious, he soaks everything up and remembers it all.  To teach him to be a good friend - to care, to treat people fairly, to love - is a much greater challenge.  We couldn't have been happier to hear that Drew is a good, good person to everyone.   

I love this kid.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Price is Right

The Price is Right - Midland Reformed Church -  Family Game Night - style!

An annual event (that now falls under Brad's job description), Family Game Night was held back on February 20 during our normal Wednesday night programming.  {And let me just interject here that, in my opinion, Brad nailed this.  It was awesome.}  Brad generated his own Price is Right game show that worked with a large group of families and proved to be exciting and entertaining.

Brad even spent six bucks on this suave suit jacket from the Salvation Army.

There were 12 games, each modeled after actual Price is Right games, just tweaked here and there to meet our capabilities and audience.  Contestants were chosen by random (names of groups/families drawn from a hat) and were then shown on the big screen what "prize" they were playing for.  The prizes were the caliber of the real game show (cars, boats, vacations, electronics, etc) but were, obviously, not truly what our people would be winning.  They were simply used as bidding pawns to play the games.  If the group/family won their particular game, they were sent to the prize table to pick a $2-$5 prize (you know, "win" a car and walk home with a deck of cards!), and if they lost, they received a chocolate bar (not such a bad deal to lose, if you ask me!). 

Because Brad was hosting and I was photographing, our boys were paired with Miss Sandy and Grace, and about halfway through the night, their names were chosen as contestants.

They played "One Away" for the chance to win a car.  A car!  Whoot!

In this game, the middle row of numbers is not the actual price of the car, but the actual price is either one digit higher or one digit lower than the one in the middle.  As a team (and with ample audience participation), they made their decision on the actual price of the vehicle.

Ooohhhh the pressure!!!

Did we win??  Did we win???


Drew's excitement could either be because he is incredibly competitive, or because he knew he just won the Lego set he had previously pined for at the prize table.  Either was pretty sweet. :)

Because constructing a giant wheel wasn't exactly feasible, the two families to move on to the showcase were those that had "won" the greatest in prize value in their respective earlier game.

Well, much to our surprise, that included our boys.  {Actually, they had "won" the most of the night.}

What was in their showcase?  A guitar, a SUV, and a trip to Walt Disney World (oh Lord, we couldn't have planned this any better).  They placed their bid and hoped that "all of that would be fictionally theirs, if their price was right!"


They won.  They won!

We may or may not have had a little explaining to do.  Thankfully, just a few brief words and a new Lego set eliminated any further mention of having just won-but-not-really-won the trip of their lifetime.

And we promise, absolutely swear, there was no nepotism involved.

{However, I did feel a bit redeemed after the whole my-dad-is-the-pastor-and-the-judge-of-the-Halloween-costume-contest-so-even-though-we-look-dang-cute-as-Jake-and-Cubby-we're-not-eligible-to-win debacle.  Nope.  No hard feelings here.}  ;)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Project Life {February}

{Click HERE for January's Project Life pictures}

 {a red heart sticker will be placed on this photo so it reads "I {heart} these guys"}

Monday, March 11, 2013

Project Life {January}

Ok, so the plan here is to share the photos that I will be including in our family Project Life album for 2013 here on the ol' blog.  (And I plan to be a bit more timely on this in the future!)  {If you've followed along for any given of time, you know all about PL and how much I love it.  If you have no stinkin' idea what I'm talking about...just scroll to the photos, k?}  There are a lot of just "everyday" photos that I haven't shown in a separate post, and they really give a good glimpse into life around here right now.  I thought maybe you'd be interested.

I am doing a lot of editing in Photoshop with these photos before I have them printed, and they appear here as they will in our actual physical album.  So many of them have some journaling on them, describing the photo or event, but most of them are pretty self-explanatory, so in the interest of time and posting here, I won't be adding any additional commentary.

I don't develop my pictures until Snapfish has a penny prints or free shipping deal.  They just had one last week so I anticipate receiving my pictures from January and February this week.  I hope to pop them into the album and then give a little preview here.  I know most of you are just interested in the photos (hence this post) but the album is a large part of how I document our life (along with this blog) so I'm going to go ahead and preview it here, too, as pages are made complete in the book. 

Without anymore blah blah was our January... (you can click on any photo to enlarge)