Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Odds and Ends

Hi All. Hmmmm, 15 months since the last post. Lots has happened. I decided that this was the best way for the grandparents and other extended family to enjoy the kids' piano competition. If I have time, I will post some other pics later.

So, here goes an attempt to post 2 videos . . . . (FYI - it's been an hour and the first one still isn't done. I'm thinking this might take a bit of work.)

Several days later and I'm trying a different route - the first never worked. Here is Molly's performance. And here is Peter's performance.

Each year our piano teacher signs her lesson kids up for the ACSI piano festival. The kids have to prepare and memorize a song, and then depending on their level, they need to do various scales, cadences, minor scales, know the key and time signature of the song and what those mean, etc. Peter (level 3)did Pachelbel's Canon in D and Molly (level 1) did On Wings of Song. They each did great and earned blue ribbons. Peter was a bit upset because he forgot to use the pedal until the very end . . . ah well. Other than that, he did great. Molly was very shy and a little "goofy". I guess you can pull that off when you're only 8! She also tends to rush through the song, so I reminded her to slow it down. She definitely slowed it down . . .

The other big news here is that Sofia (seen in the back of the picture to the right) applied to Diakonia at her school. That is the 8th grade student leadership group for the school. They help organize chapels, fund raisers, community service projects, school activities, back-to-school and new-student activities, etc. She had to have 2 teacher recommendations, a pastor recommendation, write some essays, go through a grade and behavior check, and an interview. There are only a limited number of spots available, so it wasn't a sure thing. I am so proud of her for going through with it - it's the first time she has ever done anything like this. She got her letter yesterday after school informing her that she did make Diakonia. Wow! The brand new 7th grade Diakonia members will go to their first meeting in a couple of weeks and start their training for next year. Needless to say, she is a bit excited.

I don't seem to have a good picture of Peter winning the district spelling bee, but I have a cute picture of him waiting for the regional bee to start - only Peter would calm his nerves by calmly reading my Simple and Delicious magazine. Doesn't he look great in a tie???? (his goal was to NOT be the first person out . . . he met his goal. And no, he wasn't the second person out either!) Regionals is for the top 4 kids from each district in grades 5 - 8. Being a 5th grader (and not realizing that he might go to regionals) he didn't get too far, but he has plans to go again next year, and the next, and go all the way to nationals in 8th grade. My nerves can't handle it, so I'm hoping this madness will fade with the years!

On the Micah front - he is now a big 4 year old boy! I can't believe how big he is getting. He is totally crazy about Thomas the Train, so of course we had to have a Thomas birthday cake.

What else??? Hmmmm, spring has hit us this past week. I thought my parents might like to see how the tree in our front yard managed to pull through after not being watered all last summer. Mom, is this picture making your eyes itch??

Peter got a home run Tuesday in his baseball game - right over right center field. Beautiful hit!

Todd has been working on overhauling our kitchen counters. He has the granite countertops in (can I tell you that granite is REALLY heavy when it's 2 adults and 3 kids moving it??????), and he's started working on putting in the back splashes. Here is a nearly done picture of one section of the kitchen. He still needs to put in the grout and drill the holes for the plug-in face plates. I think it looks awesome!!!! However, I'm ready to have this be done. I'm tired of the dust!

I think it's time for me to stop now. There is so much more I could say, but I'm tired of sitting at this crazy computer. Time to see if I managed to succeed with the videos above . . . .

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December 2008

Greetings from California. OK, I admit. It has been waaaaaay too long since I last posted. We have moved from Ohio to California. That happened way back in July/August. We have settled in, and are trying to unpack those last pesky boxes. Seems that the first 97% of the stuff unpacks relatively quickly, and that last 3% just never seems to jump out of the boxes by itself.

Last Saturday, the "big kids" (Sofia, Peter, Molly) were making our traditional Rocky Road Brownie Mix in a Jar Christmas gifts for teachers and friends. They were doing a great job, when suddenly, Micah swooped in and decided to help. I managed to get a bit of it on video. If you like to hear little kids belly laughing, then check out this video. I apologize for the sideways tilt of the production . . . just tilt and watch :)

I'm going to try to get more on the ball with posting. Does that sound like a New Year's Resolution???

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Micah is officially a Venema, New Bed, Developmental Explosion

Well, it is official. Micah is now a Venema. It has nothing what-so-ever to do with paperwork, legalities, etc. It is purely, totally, and completely related to a favorite pasttime - READING. This kid is a fanatic about books. He will sit in bed and read. Sit on the floor and read. Sit in his carseat and read. Sit in his high chair and read (although WHO would give him a book at the table???). Sit on the couch and read. Sit on his porta-potty and read. Heck, he will even read in his sleep! When we move to California, Peter and Micah will share a room. For those of you who know Peter, you know that we have to give him his Christmas presents that contain books at the end of the present opening time, otherwise, he will sit in the middle of all the rucus and READ while ignoring all the other presents. I shudder to think what the boys' room will look like. Will it be possible for a room to hold as many books as those 2 will need to keep them satisfied?? I can just picture a room filled with books - stacked on the dresser, the floor, the chair, tottering up to the ceiling with just a small winding path to the closet and beds . . .

New Bed - We went to drop of Peter at a friend's house last weekend for an overnight. While the mom was showing us around their house (they built it themselves - awesome place!), I saw a Little Tykes train toddler bed in their storage room. She mentioned that they were getting ready to start selling things in there on eBay. I of course, immediately offered to take the bed off her hands. Sofia, Molly, and Todd put it together the next day before Todd headed off to Albuquerque for the week. I thought it would be a great playtoy for a week - you know, just to let Micah slowly get used to seeing it, get comfy with it being next to his crib, etc. Uhhh, NO! He was sooooo excited about the thing, that he practically threw himself into it at naptime. Luckily, we have a very set bedtime ritual - book, song, bed, with the same words said every time. We went through the ritual, I put him down, walked out of the room, and hid behind the door to watch. He sat up, looked around, got out of bed and followed me out the door :) We did this 2 more times before I decided to call in a quiet little, "No, Micah, stay in bed. Lay down," as he was climbing out of bed. We did that 2 more times, and then the little stinker WENT TO SLEEP!!!! When he wakes up, he stays in his bed and . . . reads! We have now had 5 successful naps in the train bed. I wanted to hold off on the overnight thing because I wanted backup in case he got out of bed to wander during the night. Last night I put him in his crib, he stood up (looking soooooo pitifully cute), signed BED, and just stood there looking at me. Mommy crumbled, Micah moved to the train bed, and all was fine with the world. I wonder how long this honeymoon period will last?

Developmental Explosion - The title says it all. We have had another of those incredible developmental explosions. One day he is a little blob, walking around, playing with his toys, par for the course . . . and the next day he is doing all kinds of new things! I'm sure I will leave out a ton of newbies, but here are a few of them. Todd's mom asked Micah if he could jump. He looked at her, bent his knees, and bounced up and down. That's really the first time anybody had asked him to do something and he DID it. Poor kid has now been bombarded with requests - can you find your socks? where are your shoes? take this to Daddy (3 rooms away!!), go find your bear book . . . What's next? Oh, the other day, out of the blue, he grabbed the spoon out of my hand and started feeding himself. I like to think it's because of all the hours I have spent trying to get him to HOLD the spoon. Who am I kidding? He just decided to do it. Two days later, he started eating his peaches with a fork. Stairs - alternating feet! Balls - kicking them! POINTING TO BODY PARTS!!!! I've always known that he knows body parts. We can ask him to give us a kiss on the nose, cheek, forhead, etc. and he does it, but to POINT? No way!!! One day he grabbed my hand and pointed my finger at his body parts. The next day he was doing it on his own. He is now telling me when he has a stinky diaper (I can't get him to change his own diaper yet - just kidding). He will now sit on his porta-potty without a diaper and read a book. He has decided that he really DOES know how to drink out of a regular cup - complete with swallowing and no dribbling! He figured out how to take off his pants while at our church soup supper a couple weeks ago. I finally just took his pants away from him and let him run around without. The next morning, I found him in his crib without pants OR diaper. That's one I am NOT going to encourage. He has developed a really cute sense of humor - Todd does this "waka waka" thing where his finger bends up and down and comes closer and closer and then tickles Micah on the neck or tummy. Micah now walks around saying, "waka waka" and tickles HIMSELF and giggles just as hard as if Todd were doing it. The last thing I can remember right now is that he will now sit and listen to a story, not just look at the pictures.

More later . . . the kids have arrived.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy Birthday to Us - March 9, 2008

Well, another year has come and gone. Micah turned 2 Sunday - yeah! I turned 41, ugh! We had a pretty good day around here. Since Dayton is still pretty well snowed in, things were very slow. We made it out to church along with about 6 other folks :) Then we went to the Olive Garden for lunch. Yippee!!!!!!!!!! I didn't have to cook or eat grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup (standard Sunday noon fare). Plus, I have left-overs for today. Micah was pretty oblivious to the fact that the day had any special meaning whatsoever. He did, however, totally enjoy eating his cake.

I thought long and hard about what kind of cake to make for him. I finally decided to do a giraffe. It is amazing how many giraffes can be found out and about when you have a 2 year old who is ga-ga over giraffes. Luckily, Michael's had a cake pan for me. Lucky, also, that Micah recognized the cake as a giraffe, and announced to the entire family (over and over again) that there was a giraffe sitting on the table in front of him. That top left picture is of him signing, "Giraffe!!!" The right picture is of the group effort to do the candles - Peter lit them, Sofia helped blow, and Molly held him back so he wouldn't jump into the flames. All in all, a successful venture. Last, but not least, was present time. We couldn't resist putting Micah INTO a bag - a present for Mommy!

The last picture I am posting has nothing to do with our birthdays other than the fact that I took it on our birthday. I just thought it was a cute one showing him up and walking around like a real, little person. No more little toddler :(

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Arnold Challenge

Well, I haven't posted in 4 1/2 months! It's about time to get back to business.

This past weekend, Peter had his last gymnastics meet. It was held in Columbus, Ohio at the Convention Center. This was "the biggie" - the Arnold Challenge. This is a HUUUUGE event that was started by Arnold Schwarzenegger (ok, I probably mangled his last name) years ago. It has grown to encompass something like 37 different sports (weight lifting, body building, gymnastics, martial arts, competitive cheerleading, fencing, etc.), with 17,000 participants, and 150,000 spectators! Peter was so excited about this - I'm surprised he slept at all the night before. I finally managed to get videos of most of his routines. I have been trying all season, but the positioning has been terrible. I am in the process of trying to post these videos. Be patient, I'm doing my best!

For those of you who don't know about Peter - he is competing for Stars Gymnastics in Dayton, OH, Level 5. He did qualify for the state meet, but at this point, we don't know if the gym is going to be sending the boys to the state meet :( I have been looking at the websites for some of the other gyms that he has been competing against. Some of them have the kids in Peter's level practicing 10 - 12 hours a week! Peter goes 4 hours a week with an additional, optional, 2 hour "open gym" practice on Saturdays. He has been placing consistently in everything but the pommel horse. I think he's doing great when you look at the competition. Funny - people always talk about the parents pushing the kids. With him, it's the opposite! He is begging us to find a gym that will LET him practice 12 hours a weekwhen we move to California. Todd and I are having a hard time convincing him that this needs to be for fun . . . he needs to have a little bit of balance in his life!

I seem to be having a bit of luck posting these routines. Enjoy! (the ones highlighted in blue have been successfully done - it's taking about 45 minutes per video, grrrr)

Peter's Parallel Bars Routine
Peter's High Bar Routine
Peter's Floor Routine
Peter's Rings Routine

Thursday, October 18, 2007

ENT Visit and "Good News and Bad News"

Micah and I headed down to Cincinnati yesterday for his 3 month ENT (ear, nose and throat doc) and audiology follow-up. Micah has had 2 confirmed ear infections and a suspected ear infection since we have had him. On his last infection, he was definitely pulling and rubbing at his atretic ear. Also, I can get all the way up to his crib before he turns to look at me. My totally un-expert diagnosis was - I think he is getting ear infections in BOTH ears (so I wanted to talk to the doc about going ahead with the CT scan of his ear), and I think he is retaining fluid in his left ear (so I wanted to talk about tube options). I gave the nurse the updates, and when the doc came in he brought up both points! It's so nice when the professional's opinion lines up with your own, isn't it?? So, he is getting a tube in his left ear . . . don't know when, because we are going to get his little private area fixed up at the same time (ok, he's getting circumcised) and we have to get a referral to urology, go for the initial visit, and then coordinate 2 surgeon's schedules. His CT scan is scheduled for next Thursday (he has to be sedated). That means that I have to put off his shots for another week - I don't want to risk him getting sick or they won't do the scan.

OK, now for the good news/bad news section. The good news is that Micah is now standing up in the middle of the room and walking around. The bad news is that now that he is up and walking, he has discovered that he can actually OPEN the bathroom doors. That means I will be heading out SOON to buy toilet locks. He got into the toilet 3 times today before we figured out that he was actually OPENING the door . . . I just thought the other kids were leaving the door cracked open. Yuck.

Sorry, no pictures today. Kind of like a "grownup" book :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Micah's First Steps

Micah has been working hard this past week trying to master his next big milestone - walking. (Click on the word "walking" to see the video). OK, truth is, Mommy has been working hard this past week trying to get Micah to stand up long enough to take a couple of steps. He just loves to crawl. He stands and plays. He cruises furniture and walls. He loves to be on his feet. But when it comes time to walk, he prefers to crawl. Well, last night, he surprised us by taking 6 or 7 steps. I tried all day to re-create the feat for pictures, but he would have none of it. He finally decided to cooperate, and Peter caught it on video . . . Yeaaaaaa, Peter! Sofia could barely contain herself . . . as you can see at the end of the video. Molly squealed. The dog ran around. Micah just kind of looks at us all like we are crazy! Do we REALLY want him to start walking?? Yup!