Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to all!

Hope everyone has a beautiful holiday! Spend time with your family if you can and try to make a lovely new memory!

Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Is life in Michigan so very different?

A “Michigander” friend sent me these. You may have seen them before, but in case you haven’t…..

1. If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 18 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by, you might live in Michigan .
Never have been Ice fishing but know many who do!

2. If you're proud that your region makes the national news 96 nights each year because Pellston is the coldest spot in the nation, you might live in Michigan .
Proud? Not really, just happy we live nowhere near Pellston!

3. If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March, you might live in Michigan .
So true! All our ice cream places close from Nov. to March!

4. If you instinctively walk like a penguin for five months out of the year, you might live in Michigan .
Five months is under estimating! We can easily have snow on & off from Nov. to April.

5. If someone in a store offers you assistance, and they don't work there, you might live in Michigan .
This is a Michigan thing? Why? Are people not kind in other states? That can not be true! By the way, I do this all the time myself!

6. If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of his forehead, (or at the top of his ankles) you might live in Michigan .
Ugh...So true, so true!

7. If you have worn shorts and a coat at the same time, you might live in Michigan .
Not since college, but yep, done that!

8. If your town has an equal number of bars and churches, you might live in Michigan .
Have not counted, but likely. Once again though, is this different in other states?

9. If you have had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you might live in Michigan .
I do not get this one!

Part 2 - You know you're a true MICHIGANDER when . . .

1. "Vacation" means going up north on I-75
Two years the UP!

2. You measure distance in hours.
2 hours to Detroit!

3. You know several people who have hit a deer more than once.
We hit a couple once, several years ago. Sooo scary!

4. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.
Ever heard the saying, "If you do not like the weather just wait 15 minutes." They were talking about MI!

5. You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching.
A bit of an exaggeration! It IS scary, but yeah, I could do it...and have!

6. You see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings).
Sooo embarrassing!

7. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.
Not anymore, but definitely growing up it was like that!

8. You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use them.
Uh Huh!

9. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
It also works to buy it big. This year was not too cold but it rained! Dressed Josh in long underwear under his costume!

10. D riving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.
So not funny because is totally true! I have a t-shirt that says "Welcome to Michigan" and has a picture of a traffic barrel.

11. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.
See above

12. You can identify a southern or eastern accent.
Can't everyone?

13. Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue spruce.
Not us but you do see these alot!

14. You were unaware that there is a legal drinking age.
Aware, but there is an awful lot of underage drinking. Not everywhere though?

15. Down South to you means Ohio .
It is South!

16. A brat is something you eat.
Like a hot dog, but bigger. Sausage like.

17. Your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new pole barn.
Many farms still in MI!

18. You go out to fish fry every Friday.
Did not know this was an exclusive MI thing?!

19. Your 4Th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.
I do remember a 4Th when I was an early teen when it hailed!

20. You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.

21. You find 0 degrees "a little chilly."

22. You drink pop and bake with soda.
People on the Detroit side of the state often call it soda. We actually do too!

23. Your doctor tells you to drink Vernor's and you know it's not medicine.
Never heard of a DR doing this.

24. You can actually drink Vernor's without coughing.
Can't is just ginger ale.

25. You know what a Yooper is.
Person from the Upper Peninsula.

26. You think owning a Honda is UN-American.
Whatever...I drive a Subaru. Gotta have 4 wheel drive with all our snow and pot holes!

27. You know that UP is a place, not a direction.
See # 25.

28. You know it's possible to live in a thumb.
Or any other part of your hand.

29. You understand that when visiting Detroit, the best thing to wear is a Kevlar vest.
They are really trying to clean up Detroit. It is much better! Cleaner and safer!

30. You actually understand these jokes, and you forward them to all your Michigan friends.
I get most of them but I honestly can not imagine that these are Michigan exclusive things. What do you think?

Born and raised, lived all my life, in Michigan!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Mama's revenge! (that absolutely did NOT work out!) staying home with Joshua has an array of wonderful perks! However, I truly get tired of playing cars, pirates, castle-guys, Lego's and many, many other boy like activities he just loves. Now do not get me wrong...I know what a special gift this time is with him, but I can not help but occasionally wish for a calmer, more "Shannon like" activity. Know what I mean?

So anyway, we were down in the preschool room a few days ago. He was making a Santa paper bag puppet and I was working on rearranging, again! Well, anyway, I discovered the shelf where I had dumped, I mean carefully placed, a bunch of games from my teaching days. On that shelf was an old favorite I used to play quite frequently with the girls in my classroom, Pretty. Pretty Princess! It is really quite fun and so easy!

So begins my plan! I grabbed the game and told Josh I had just found a new game we could play later. He just loves games so was pretty excited. Well, to make a long story short, not only did he TOTALLY love the game (Now called Pretty, pretty Prince!) He BEAT ME!

I think I am officially dethroned. I have suspected it for a long time but I think it is finally clear and obvious. There is new royalty around here! Luckily, as we all know from World History class, The royal family is mostly just for show. Because, no matter what Josh may believe, Daddy and I are still in charge! may go! :)


Reindeer Snacks

Just thought I'd share a quick, easy project we made a few days ago! They are Reindeer snacks creates from crackers, peanut butter, craisins, raisins, and pretzels. We actually had all the supplies on hand. (BTW, I think most people use a maraschino cherry instead of a craisin but with Josh's no dye life we opted for the craisin!)

This was a great Montessori activity because I just put all the ingredients on a tray, presented how to make the reindeer and let him got to it. Also, it involved the skill I planned to present this week, SPREADING!
Look a bit more like bears than reindeer, next time I will buy the larger pretzels!
MMMMmmm, Yummy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Teacher gifts

I taught for several years and received an array of different gifts for Christmas and my Birthday. It always shocked me how very generous people are to virtual strangers. I mean, yes I was their Child's teacher but often I saw the parents only at Conferences and occasionally at drop off or pick up time.

With Christmas approaching, I wanted to come up with a gift idea for Josh's playgroup teachers at Enchanted Forest. These women are incredibly kind and seem quite fond of the little man, so I really wanted to come up with something that would show our gratitude. (& not break the bank!)

To do this, I thought back on all the lovely gifts I was given over the years. And honestly, although I was often blown away a bit by the more expensive gifts. The ones I liked the most and carry the best memories are the handmade ornaments etc... that the parents helped the children make. I have a cute little ceramic box that was painted by a student, a tiny birdhouse that a young boy adhered pebbles to, and many ornaments for my tree that they took the time to make for me.

So...Josh and I made Christmas tree ornaments for everyone this year, including his teachers. I also made a quick batch of delicious fudge all tucked nicely in small Christmas boxes that I purchased at the dollar store. Not an expensive gift but hopefully they will feel the love behind it and have a bit of brightness in their day because of it!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Potty Trained!!!!! is finally over. Josh is fully and completely potty trained. He sleeps in big boy underwear and, of course, wears them all day long! What a process!

Honestly though, it seems to me that we adults sure make it way longer and more frustrating than it needs to be. I can not even tell you the number of times I was asked if he was potty trained yet or not and, unfortunately, I let all that pressure get to me. I truly can only blame myself. I know that children will do it when they are ready...I even replied to the masses that he was just not ready yet. For goodness sake, he is only 3 years old. Not a Fourth grader or anything!

But still we set up sticker charts and nagged incessantly about just trying to go like a big boy. Well, as most children do, he showed us. When he was good and ready he finally just started going all on his own with out being bribed or nagged. GO FIGURE!

Ooh, funny story, a week or so ago, he says to me, "Mommy, I am going to wear underwear tonight, I have practiced enough!" (We had been insisting on pull-ups, to practice, since I was tired of getting up to change and wash sheets.) And sure enough, he has stayed dry ever since.

Well lesson learned and probably a good one to keep in mind as he grows and his own pace :) Not mine!

To celebrate, we took a surprise trip to the Build a bear store today! Great fun! Check out the pic below to see who he picked as his new friend. We are very proud and figure the money we will save not buying diaper etc... can certainly afford a cool treat like that and a fun lunch out with Mommy & Daddy!

By the way, we got a great deal on Shrek. He is usually $23 doll only. But today it was $20 for doll, sound, and outfit. If this is something your kids just love to do, it would definitely be worth finding out what their deals are before you go! We just lucked out and this is the one he chose!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Our Preschool Choice!

As many of you may know, we are homeschooling Joshua right now using Dr. Montessori's teachings. If you are interested in finding out what that actually means I would like to direct you to an excellent explanation. Please click on the link below and it will take you directly to a like minded Mommy who has said almost exactly what I would have wanted to say!

(Thank you Jennifer!)



Josh in October, scooping pumpkin seeds.

Josh frosting cookies last night.

Here is some work we have been doing in our Montessori Preschool. We have a classroom set up downstairs and it is really working out well. We go down in the morning and work until lunchtime. This picture is Joshua trying to write the words he had just spelled with the moveable alphabet. (Montessori believed children could spell before they could read. you can see...Josh agrees!)

This is actually my 3rd attempt to start this site. I really want it to be something that I will use and will be of use to me. I am going to start off this time just sharing a bit, especially pictures and see where it grows from there!

So...Welcome...and enjoy!