Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Look at What Mary Did with My Grocery Store Bargain Goo (a.k.a. Noise Putty)










She used some vintage cookie cutters that are serving a great purpose.

Molly and THE Goo


Blowin' a Big Ole Bubble





Mary is creating an alternate use for this goo.
Molly had suggested blowing bubbles with it. Would it even work?

I thought, "Uuuhhh...sounds like science to me."

I have 6 little containers of the goo substance.
My mother told me not to write about it so I'll honor her wishes and merely hint at the hilarity this stuff provided.

It's called "noise putty", and when you press it down in its little container...
Well...
It does make noises.

Got it on sale at the grocery store.
I didn't have the gall to bring it out on a sacred day such as Christmas -
Nor on my birthday the next day.

But on Dec. 27th....oh my stars. 
The giggling that transpired.
The uncles sorta added to the crude frivolity that followed. 

I'm guilty.
I bought it -- but in my defense I knew it would be a fun/sensory concoction for the girls to explore.

And they did.

Ok mother.
I'll stop now.

Anyhoo - we started bubble blowing using straws.
Too much fun!
And cheap, too.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Friends Came Over to Bring Miss Mary a Gift




...and happies for the 'big girls'

We ate lotsa Chinese noodles
Worked BIG floor puzzles
And enjoyed catchin' up

Thanks, Rene, for coming all this way and bringing those sweet girls with you.

Somebody Practiced Writing Their Name in the Baptist Hymnal While I Closed My Eyes in Prayer


This happened at church last Sunday morning - with Nanny Carol, Michael, Skipper, Marlene, Emily, and Molly.
Mr. Bob and his son were also nearby witnesses.

That would be a crude version of the 
M-a-r....no y written yet
Hmmmmmm
The "Amen" must've thwarted her plans.

** I brought the book home to use white out over her faux pas. **

Mr. Bob and Marlene have worked in the Older Special Needs Sunday School class since the Tower of Babel was brought down.
They are DEE- voted!!!

Some class members are young adults while others are purt near 75 years old.
It's one big happy bunch.

Every single solitary Sunday morning...Marlene and Bob are teaching lessons, taking attendance, providing personalized mugs for coffee, hugging - you name it. 
I'm talking for 25+ years.
Jean and her hubbie volunteer in there.
Cynthia, too.
Anita.
These people are saints.
Saints - I say.

One time some interns had come to observe these folks and the other leaders 'in action' - taking note of how they conducted the class for older participants while meeting the individual needs of the guys and gals attending - with autism, Down Syndrome, mentally challenged.

One of the young interns must've missed the introductions because at the end of the class he went up to Marlene or one of the other leaders and commented that he'd enjoyed being there and asked, "Now who is that man? His special need? He seems really high functioning."

"Uhm. That's Bob. He's one of the teachers."

Ever since then...we've dubbed him "High Functioning Bob."

I bet he doesn't write in songbooks!

Emily Found This on Pinterest - and Said It Reminded Her of Our Family


Thanks, Mar, for Hemming the Blankie


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Around the House





Little Learning Activity
-- trace the candy canes
-- trace the swirls on the canes 
-- cut them out
-- glue them to wallpaper scraps
-- punch holes at the top (I had to do this. The puncher is old and hard to maneuver.)
-- got yarn for Mary to weave into the holes
-- tied a red bow on it
-- hung it up to admire


Emily gettin' in some piano time


Looks like a few of those letters are morphing into other letters 

Hey - She's 5.



Playing with a baby doll that KK and her clan gave her


...and then sometimes 
It's just time to rest 

Friday, December 26, 2014

It was Lego Nation at Our House Yesterday




Yup.
The girls got Legos for "Something You Want".
We opened gifts at Nanny Carol's house, and Em and Molly wanted a hard surface in which to build their Lego structures -- the cruise ship and high school.

Molly actually prefers working on the floor.

I yelped, "Hey. We could get the file cabinet (that I got from Goodwill for 5.00) and the other file cabinet I got from the neighbors trash -- both still empty -- and turn them sideways.

The crew could set up their Lego stations and snap, connect, create.

Really?!
Who else would be so brazen and unashamed and admit to using "dumpster dive-type" finds as part of the Christmas Day decor and necessary toy tools.

I truly believe this might qualify me as a Bonafide redneck.

Oh.
I think so.

I've been in denial all these years.

I said, "Oh yeah. I'll have to put this on the blog."

My mother - in utter disbelief gasped, "Surely you are NOT going to put that on the blog."

"Of course I am. You don't think I actually have sensible and normal stories to write about - do you? That's no fun."

Then, with mom sitting right there I proudly boasted to the rest of the family, "...and wait til our dear mother hears that I deliberately left the turkey sitting on my patio table all night long on Christmas Eve."

Talk about no room at the inn...
There was no room in my refrigerator or mom's.

It was my job to get up on Christmas morn and heat it up
In a baking bag
With 1 T of flour - to keep bag from exploding 
At 350 degrees
For 1hr 30 mins 

It was a smoked turkey - still wrapped and bagged up.
The temperature outside was as cold if not colder than the refrigerator inside.
I have a fenced in backyard so no stray possums could get to it.

My dog, Chase, did have his eye on it to make a move -- but he stays inside.

IF the first story above did not qualify me as a redneck, then this one definitely does.

We Finally Made Happy Birthday Cupcakes -- and Celebrated Jesus




Molly and Emily made these all by themselves
From preheating the oven
To mixing
To pouring and baking 
To putting the icing stop each one

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Thursday, December 25, 2014


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Budding Artist - Certainly!



She's starting to draw more. Funny looking people- Huh?


A little girl with side pony tails 


It finally dawned on me that this is a little boy.
You're on your own to figure out HOW I came to this conclusion.

As I Was Herding 2 Goats Through the Local Cemetery

For real. 
Right before I left for China - busy as a Cooter Brown - I spot 2 goats walking down a hilly sidewalk from a funeral home into the adjoining (and large) cemetery.

Huh?

I do not live in the country.

I was on a very busy 4 lane road, and all I could think about was how awful it could 
be IF these goats headed toward the road....
Or even into the surrounding neighborhoods.

Chaos.
Impending danger for the 2 amigos -- 
And for any vehicles going to and fro at 45-ish mph.

Where in tar-nation did these babies come from? They were short, stocky, and sticking closely together.
Kinda like my church lady friends Marlene and Donna.
But I think the goats had better heads of hair.

So - although I had a To Do list as long as the Jersey Turnpike and little free time left before leaving on my adoption trip,
I pulled into the cemetery to see what influence I could have.

As a general rule, I don't usually have much influence at all in cemeteries.

I'm not what you'd call a 'passive person'.
Instead of hoping someone comes to the goats' aid, I said, "Hey! Maybe I need to come to their aid."

I called the police on my handy dandy cell phone and said, "You are not gonna believe this story..."
We chatted.
They summoned animal control.
That guy had to come from several miles away.
I drove my car through the cemetery to sorta herd the goats (yeah...right...sure I did) and keep an eye on them while waiting for help.

Taking too long ------

Those goats were not idle for one moment. 
They tromped and trotted amongst all the dearly departed for quite a while.

I called police again, and an officer arrived. I drove my car to the backside of the grounds to show him the hooved pair of escapees AND to prove to him I was not a lunatic hanging out in a graveyard on a cloudy Saturday afternoon.

All of this took a long time.

Neither he nor I could get the goats to cooperate.
No surprise there.

Finally - out the backside of the cemetery, near a train track and a house sitting up on a hill......there they go.

Guess what?
That's where the silly goats live!!!

I let Mr. Police Officer handle it from there.
The goats were safe and I had big business to attend to.

Today - I herded 3 little girls through the grocery store 
to buy groceries for Christmas dinner
with the pouring rain coming down (It started after we arrived.)

That has nothing to do with goats, 
but both times I was shepherding kids.

That's a pun.

Must be time for me to go to bed.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Got her Very 1st Library Card Today

...and checked out 5 books



Thursday, December 18, 2014

We Seem to Have a Snowman Theme Going on This Week



Thank you, Janet.
She calls it "Sweet Baby" .....
cuz I've called her that.

Making a Snowman with Model Magic




Molly's - Mary's - Emily's

Mary wanted to give her snowman friend arms and fingers...and then legs/feet/toes. That's all underneath the bottom part of her little fella.

They had a good time working with the Model Magic. It dries, and the snowmen will stay intact.

Yesterday Mary did not want to do this activity, started crying, fell asleep on the couch at 4:30 in the afternoon and woke up this morning at 5:30.
She slept 13 hours.
Was plum tuckered out!!!

When she did wake up this morning, I heard her near the cat food bowls. 
Then I heard, "crunch".
She tasted a piece of dried cat food.

I looked at her as if to say, "ick" and then I just chuckled.




Learning - Hands On


Stackin discs that go to Connect Four
Fine Motor a development 



Cutting circles for a snowman template
Doing a pretty good job at this


There's my 1st Sensory Bin EVAH.
-- 2 huge bags of rice 
-- in an aluminum roasting pan 
-- both from Dollar Store
-- oh yeah -  little plastic cups with colored lids
-- Steve's mother's metal measuring cups from the 1950's or '60's
(Cille's mother in law)
-- copper colored tablespoon that belonged to my mom

Contents of bin (to explore) - Sets of:
- marbles (vintage & family) - large and small
- wooden shapes - circles, squares, triangles, etc. all different colors 

Mary loves going to the blue kiddie table in living room that holds the bin.
I put roaster pan inside a plastic container - to catch most of the overflow rice.

Lulu - #1 of 2 cats - jumped into the rice bin.
I put the clear roaster lid on top as a cover.
Don't want Lulu to think it's another litter box.

I'll change items that go into the rice.
Maybe coins and peppermint candies.

Later - I'll switch the rice to another substance to provide a different sensory learning experience:
Oobleck (goo)
Jello
Sand
Cornstarch (warm weather - outside)
Rolled oats
Pebbles
Water and oil (outside)

Let me look in Pinterest and see what those young mamas have to say about all this!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Working on Those Fine Motor Skills


--- like tracing around my Aunt Topsy's red aluminum bowl (with matching tumbler) from the 1950's for the bottom part of snowman

--- and using an old Cremora lid for the head

--- Scrapbooking odds and ends for other parts of our crafty learning experience...items that Julie or Lisa have given to me 

---- Believe  it or not...this was an early morning activity before we left for school.
Em and Molly tag teamed breakfast duty while I "snuck in" a little quickie/fun learning time with Mary.
6:20-ish a.m.
I leave by 7:00 a.m.

I slid into work on time but had to brush my teeth at school. Never flossed.

Hey.
Seize the moment, huh.

Now it's time for bed.
I'm sitting in front of the Christmas tree in a semi-stupor.
Staring.

Relaxing.

1 child down and asleep - (2 to go)
-Her tummy full from homemade chicken and dumpling soup and Mandarin oranges 
- Bubble bath taken
- Teeth brushed
- Cat in the Hat read to her
- Soft  piano music playing in her room All Creatures of Our God and King 
- She rubbed my hand and patted my back as I tucked her in
- I teared up thinking of how she's not been tucked in by a mommy all these years -- into such a cozy and inviting bed with stuffed animals and darling pillows 

Little Rascal is still awake.
I hear her!!
Silly child.

Monday, December 15, 2014