Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Swimsuits getting pushed to the back of the drawer, the smell of new crayons, fresh new haircuts, and either big smiles or lots of tears are always signs of a new school year. 

This year we were all smiles at our house as Kase started 4 year old preschool. Now next year I have a feeling we will not be so cheerful,  kindergarten is right around the corner and I am trying to ignore it and enjoy this year. 

 We want to greet each new school year with excitement. So last year we started a back to school tradition with a celebration dinner, or outing the night before. 
A caramel apple bar was a hit and was a great way to say good-bye to summer and welcome another great year of preschool. 

 Kase continually reminded Knox that this was his celebration. Of course it did not slow down Knox a bit from enjoying himself. 

A breakfast made for a preschooler with a double shot of hot chocolate, and chocolate milk got him going for the day. 

Last year he was a little nervous about a new school and new friends. This year he was yelling out of his window at his friends and couldn't wait to give his new teachers a treat. 

 Knox however,  had the exact same reaction this year as he did last year. 

He repeated I want Kase Kelly for a good 15 minutes. 

A night time celebration for a great first day!! 
My prayer is that God will bless us with many more new and great beginnings, and through all of the changes in our families lives that we keep God the center. 


Sunday, August 12, 2012

the value of a dollar

I do not have a great memory or even really a good memory. But I do remember having a love for playing store. I would pull out canned goods from my moms cabinets and set up my own grocery and play and play. I always wanted to use a cash register, and sadly as a teacher I never really got that chance. 
They boys are great helpers at shopping but also have begun asking for toys, and pretty much any object that is in their sight. It begins with," Hey mom can we look at that?" Then it moves on to, "Mom, can I just hold that." Then it ends in, "I don't have one of these and I really need it." 
Insert a lesson on wants and needs!! To then see sad and sometimes crying children being pulled away from the toy section and finally settling with, "Well can I have it for my birthday or Christmas?" Let me remind you again of my poor memory, so more than likely it will never be a gift that I remember to purchase. 
It was time to relive my childhood and set up a store in attempts to teach my children of the value of a dollar.  We chose a hot day at the lake when even hot boat rides did not sound enticing, so we set up shop. Our store was very upscale, we allowed our customers to shop in their underwear. 

 Everything in the store was a dollar and each boy was given play money. When they reached the checkout line "aka papa" they had to decide if they had enough money to buy everything they selected.

 Sometimes they received change back, sometimes they had to put back items, and sometimes they had to visit the bank, "aka Aunt Wendy."  

 They loved filling their baskets and counting their money and of course Knox picked up whatever Kase did. 
After several trial runs they graduated to the dollar store. With $2 each gripped in their hands they scoured the store over and over making sure they made the right decisions. They changed their minds several times on which items to purchase and Kase even realized he could talk Knox into buying things he liked so they could share. Such a tricky child and of course Knox obliged happily. 

We left the store with our purchases and I really felt like the boys were understanding shopping, money, and the value of a dollar. I was very happy at the progress we had made and feeling pretty good about the experience.

  I should have known it was too good to be true. One of our next shopping trips was @ Target. I told the boys each one of them could pick out an item from the dollar spot. Of course Kase did not want anything from those select aisles but wanted to check out the toy department. At the end of many talks, tears, and a couple of trips to the bathroom to get it together I realized he did not understand that everything in every store was not $1 like the dollar tree. I agreed with him that it all should be a dollar but that is not how it works. He sadly walked out of the store with no toy or treat but had learned a lesson. A lesson that he continually learns but that is part of growing up and life. 
He is now "working" to earn money to store up in his hamburger piggy bank to spend on Fall Break. He has been working very hard and is not cheap help, and likes to be paid up front.

 But hopefully will eventually learn about work, money and giving back to God.  Then I will get to turn around and do it all again for Knox.  


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Olympic Fun

Ethiopia or "Epiopia" ask Knox calls it. has been a very big topic in our house and family since Wendy & Brandon have decided to adopt from there. We have checked, inspected and traced the route on the map to their cousin a million times. 
What a great way to teach them more about different countries and cultures than the Olympics.  
So on opening night we all gathered around watching for not one country this year but 2, Ethiopia and USA. 
We made it into a celebration so the boys would really get into it and see the fun of all the countries competing in London. I think it worked! 
Every night the boys help Scotty and I cheer on the US.

 What's a celebration without some decorations and a few fun treats?

Our family is such great sports, and play along and join in on the craziness. 

A couple of Sharpies, a white t-shirt and a coffee mug can create fun, cheap Olympic apparel.  

We haven't broke the news to the boys that the summer Olympics only come every 4 years. 

Speaking of Olympic sports, this summer Lego's have turned into an Olympic event at our house. The boys have been intrigued with building and constructing their super hero friends. 
To get a little more organization and to stop the madness of every step I take I step on one, I decided to check into a Lego table. After searching I realized they are not cheap and I couldn't find one I loved. So I went with Plan B. I pulled out a $5 yard sale table and made our own Lego Table for the boys. I used a Lego table base, and then added these plastic bins to sort and organize the different Lego's. 

It has been a hit with them, and with my budget!