Friday, September 27, 2013

Dyeing Crocs

Crocs.  I hate them, they are world's ugliest shoe.  BUT they are super nice to keep by the back door for the girls' "outside, but not in public" shoes.  I found some in Joy's size at Goodwill for $1.99 awhile back and they were great ...until they were left on the back porch in the 108 degree sun.  They shrunk so much that she couldn't fit her foot in at all.  I read online that I could boil them in water for a few minutes and then while they are still hot, stretch them out so they fit her foot again.  I tried it and it worked perfectly!

Claire was super sad that she didn't have a pair and we have been looking diligently at very thrift store.  Finally we found some, again for $1.99.  Disney edition no less.
Dirty and a gross, barely pink color but in good shape otherwise.  They were a size too big so I used my new found shrinking knowledge to my benefit and boiled them today.  I also threw in some RIT dye to attempt to change the color.

It worked!  (those obnoxious decoration things came with them....yay)

Joy thought she was being hilarious by moving her feet right when I went to take the picture of them.

Now we have 2 pairs of ugly shoes, but they fit!

Thursday, September 26, 2013





Sunday, September 22, 2013

School Update

School is going swimmingly so far.  Claire still asks to do school on our off days and usually says "Yay!" when I tell her it's time to start.

Last week we finished our brief study of America.  She now knows that we live on the continent of North America, in the country of the United States, in the state of Arizona.  

Working on a felt American flag.
 I was able to find some old Reading Rainbow episodes about the Statue of Liberty at the library and  we also learned about bald eagles since they are our national bird.  We did a fun craft that even Joy could do with us.

We added the U.S. and Arizona to our felt map.  Now on to another country!

 Reading is going better than I thought it would.  It is coming pretty easily for her now that she is old enough for it!

She very much dislikes the days that she has to write out her word list.

Math is math, not much to report there.  Although I never realized how hard counting by tens can be for some people. Haha.

In science we finished up our 5 senses study which she really enjoyed and just started the weather unit. 
We have a weather calendar to update daily and a weather dial. It was so exciting to put on the sticker to indicate "windy" today. 
Yep, we're having a good time.  Joy does really well with playing by herself during school time and of course she is included whenever possible. 

Paige is more of a challenge but we are making it work.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Claire is a Sparky this year!

  I think I am more excited than she is.  Sparks, is the best of the AWANA groups.  Cubbies is fun but the kids don't really get a whole lot of it.  I loved Chums and Guards but now that they have been clumped together into one big TnT (Truth in Training) group, I am not as impressed.  AWANA as a whole has dumbed itself down so much it is saddening.  When they re-wrote the curriculum for TnT they made it so much easier, with cheesy cartoon drawings that look they are straight from today's low-quality cartoons.
The good ol' gray, button-up uniforms have been put to rest and replaced by green t-shirts.  Way to keep it classy AWANA.  Lance Latham would be rolling over in his grave if he knew what it has become.

I was annoyed when I found out that they had changed the Sparks materials too.  Now Sparky is not a campfire firefly as in the Skipper, Hiker and Climber books.  I haven't found out what he does yet (pilot?) but by listening to the cd that comes with the book, I have been able to deduce that he is not very smart and has an annoying voice.

Claire is just starting out in her Skipper HangGlider book.

  She earned it the first night after finishing her Gate Test Flight 3:16.  (In which the ONLY verse you have to memorize is John 3:16) and the following night earned her rank patch.  The book is so easy that she is set to finish it in about 4 more weeks.

Claire is pretty good at memorizing - especially when you put the words to song. (she learned the books of the Old and New Testament  already!) But you can't really put short verses to song so I found another method to help her memorize. Way back in the summer I started teaching her John 3:16 (because I knew it was the Sparky key verse),  it was much longer than the verses she was used to in Cubbies so she was overwhelmed by it and yes, there were tears - as there are with anything that requires a little effort on her part.

Since she can't read the words and visualize them I made her a paper that had pictures in place of key words in the verse. She learned it so quickly that even I was impressed.  When she got her Sparks book I drew little illustrations to help her understand what the verse was about and help her remember the order of them.  It helped IMMENSELY and in no time she had her Sparks code down perfectly.

I had way too much fun making this sheet for her so I decided to do it for all the verses in her book.

 I also laminated them and made them each individual cards so that Joy and Paige can use them in the future and I won't have to spend hours searching through clip art online again.

Every week I just put the verses she needs to learn on her loop, spend some time going over the verses (word perfect) and explaining what the pictures mean and why.  Then we practice them a few minutes each day, she can also work on them herself.

 Usually by the 3rd day she knows them perfectly and spends the rest of the week practicing and reviewing old verses.  Tonight she will get her first red and green jewels, or "diamonds" as she calls them.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Actually Enjoying a Public Pool

 Have I mentioned lately that I love living on the east side?  Well, I do.  I am definitely not a fan of public pools but Chandler has one of the best in the valley.  It has saved us from having to go to Sunsplash this year, and for only $3 for our whole family, we can go as many times as we want!

I had been here once before when Claire was Joy's age.  I remembered thinking it was neat but Claire was so afraid of the water back then that it wasn't as much fun as it should be.  This year we rediscovered it and now that Claire is old enough/tall enough, it is awesome.

Who is this girl?  Could it be that little girl who would rather die than get a drop of water splashed on her face?

She is even tall enough for the slides this year!  Just barely.  Every time there is a lifeguard change at the top, the new lifeguard stops her and makes her stand against the "You must be this tall" sign.  

Joy is not so fond of the water yet, but not nearly as petrified as Claire used to be. 
She hangs out with mom and dad and baby Paige most of the time.

Paige loves to be at the pool, she is always as happy as can be while we are there.
Probably because all her arm rolls get a thorough rinse out.

 We hope to go a few more times before we say good-bye to summer.