Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Beautiful Ballerina

This little girl has been waiting for about a year for this and she has been telling everyone for about that long she was going to dance. This was one very confident girl who walked out onto the dance floor for her first lesson.
I've tried multiple times to upload video from her first class but blogger isn't liking me tonight.
She was exhausted after her first lesson. Probably as she had been to the Zoo and a friend's house to play earlier in the day. This class they do tap and ballet. We got to watch the first one and then after that we only watch the last one of the month so they will focus on what they are supposed to do. It was a huge trip down memory lane when they were working on tap and this man's voice came on saying "shuffle hop". It was the same one that I used to practice to when I took tap like 30 years ago, only then it was on a record player.
I am interested to see how this goes and see if she sticks with it. She really loves it and it's good for her to have something that's just for her.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

ABA Social Skill Playgroup

Can I tell you how much I LOVE ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy? They come directly to the house and work on whatever we feel is important with his behavior and help him acquire new skills. This summer Daniel has gotten to enjoy a Social Skills playgroup as well. They have 1 therapist per child, and have some sort of game or project they are working on learning but in the dynamic of a group and interacting socially. The last two weeks they have been working on learning to play kickball.

Last week they said he did great, though he would stop to find sticks on the way to the bases. (He is currently enamored with sticks and has a radar for finding them anywhere.We could be at the grocery store and he will find one.) This week they instigated getting tagged out with the ball to build frustration tolerance. Apparently he really got into the game and slid full body into base several times.  He had a big grin on his face when I picked him up.

The woman in purple is our therapist and we LOVE her. She is the one therapist who really includes Reagan and she has made such a difference in our lives with Daniel helping all of us SO much.

Daniel after the game. He's soaking wet back and front from sliding into bases with our wet summer grass.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fun with Reagan

I try when I can, to do some fun things with Reagan while Daniel is in therapy. She sees him doing all these things that look fun to her (they're work for Daniel) and she really wants to join in. Unfortunately most of his therapists don't allow that for obvious reasons.
For a Social Skills playgroup Daniel's involved in we are stuck in Eagle River for a couple hours once a week and I have no idea what to do there. Luckily the library has special shows at the same time he is in his playgroup. This week they had professional puppet masters come and put on the Wizard of Oz. 
I wasn't able to get pictures of the actual puppet show because the lighting and my Iphone weren't compatible. But it was a really good production.

That's Reagan's head. They came out and told about the puppets and how they worked and how the show was made afterwards. Reagan was very interested in what was going on behind the stage. She's not one to leave much to mystery. They let us go backstage and see things back there and all the puppets. It was really fun. I think they have a magician next week.
Another favorite thing of Reagan's to do is go shopping. She likes to tell me what would look good on me. (She does it to Paul too on Sunday mornings when he's getting ready for church and won't let him wear certain ties with certain shirts.) 
So this is what we found on our latest shopping trip. (Not that she needed anymore church dresses.) This picture does not do this dress justice. We found it on the clearance rack and I was dumbfounded it had ever made it to the clearance rack as it is a gorgeous dress. She looks stunning in it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

School for the Summer

As part of Daniel's school work this summer he is in charge of and helping to grow green beans. He got to choose what he wanted to help with and he chose green beans. We like green beans at our house a lot! :-)

If you look closely in this picture the little white things are the bean just starting to grow.

 Here are the green bean plants. You can see the wire hangers that I've made my mini "greenhouses" out of. We removed the plastic for the picture. Unfortunately cutworms have decided to move in and have been eating the leaves now.Horrible little creatures.
We are photo documenting this to show his sponsor teacher at school. Hopefully we will have some green beans to show for it too.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Daniel #6

They grow up so fast! I was watching him walk today and he had a pair of shorts on. Long chicken legs is what this boy has. He's in size 7 pants already. Not the best pictures but a good day. He wanted white cupcakes with white frosting. I convinced him to add sprinkles to add a little bit of color.

We were supposed to meet some friends at a park that day and celebrate, but the weather was just cold and drippy so they took us out to eat at Chuck E Cheese instead. Confession- I've never taken my kids to Chuck E Cheese. And it has been on purpose. The last time I was there I was a Nanny and had a Migraine. Not exactly the best place for that. I've been having them again lately but luckily this day was not one of them. Daniel (and Reagan) loved it! Chuck E Cheese came out and spent time with them and then he gave them free tickets- If they danced.

This was one of Daniel's favorite rides it was a Monster Jeep. It scared him a bit too when it got really high.

And here is his first Lego Creation. He had gotten his first Lego's the day before. He has had a goal we've been trying to reach for at least 6 months of being clean and dry everyday (during the day) for 5 days in a row. He finally accomplished it and got to pick out some Lego's. He choose Ewok's and their Treehouse. Then for his birthday Grandma Lois sent him 2 sets of Lego's and he was a really happy boy. This is his tractor he built on his own with no help at all from me. 
So proud of you Daniel. You keep trying and working despite your many challenges. Love you!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Fun

We  went and explored a couple of trails at the Campbell Creek Nature Center with some friends last month. The kids and I had never been there and we didn't actually go to the Nature Center- Something we will do next time. But the kids had a blast and loved these roots where the creek had dug out little caves for them. I posted the pictures on Facebook and someone commented they looked like Hobbit houses. I thought that was a great name for them. So here they are in a Hobbit house. 
As you can see they are all decked out in their rain gear. As usual summer in Alaska means rain. The first 2 weeks after I planted my garden it didn't rain and the water main was broken, but after that... lots of rain.

For Memorial Day the kids and I didn't have anything planned, and I was a little bummed about it. Till I saw a friends posting on Facebook inviting everyone over for a BBQ. The kids really enjoy this family so we packed up our dirty selves (we had spent the day at the garden), and went.

My little fashionista. She insisted she had to change her clothes, do her hair and was complaining that her nails weren't painted before we went there.

 What are Missionaries for but throwing down on the Trampoline and then piling on top?

Lots of fun was had, good food and good friendships. It was a good day.

Friday, June 1, 2012

2012 Garden

Today I planted the last of my garden for the year. (Except for the radishes which I will start from time to time all summer.) That's always a great feeling of accomplishment. Now to keep the weeds at bay...
This year Daniel is helping with the green beans and Reagan wants to help with the Strawberries. We'll see how that goes. I think Reagan got the best of the deal :-)
One of my neighbors at the garden (I rent 2 plots from the city) has beautiful onions every year and mine have been... Well they've been less than desirable. Think 1 in. bulb and you have it about right.One of the things he does is he covers them up to help them grow. So here is my little greenhouse that I came up with for my onions. Structurally it's old metal hangers that are holding it up that I took apart and bent. Then simple plastic sheeting from Home Depot which cost me less than $2.50 and I got 2 greenhouses out of it. I'll let you know how it works out. I'm hoping to put them over my green beans as well as they tend to really start producing about the time the frost comes, and if I could get them to grow a little faster I might get a better crop.
This was my first harvest for the year of which I'm very proud! Rhubarb and Chives. I've had two pickings of both of them and I almost have enough dried Chives to last me the year. With the first batch of Rhubarb I decided I had to share with the kids and made them Rhubarb fruit leather. The next batch of Rhubarb is going into a Rhubarb tart for me, which I probably won't share :-)
Should you want to make Rhubarb fruit leather for yourself, here's what I do-
Chop the stalks up into 1 in. pieces or so. Place in a heavy bottomed pan with a little bit of water and cook on low heat until mushy. Stir occasionally. When done place in a blender with 3/4c. sugar. Feel free to play with the amount of sugar. I think this is a good amount to one blender full. Occasionally I also add in a bit of lemon zest. If you are lucky enough to have a dehydrator you can use that for whatever the recommended time is for fruit leather. I don't so I pour it in a cookie sheet with sides (a blender full should fill about two of them) and put it in the oven at the lowest heat I can get which is usually about 175. I prop the door open with a towel so that the moisture can escape. You don't have to do this but it will take longer if you don't. Leave it there for at least 6 hours. I don't like it very sticky to the touch. You can play around with what texture thickness you like. I personally like it a bit tough and crunchy. Rhubarb fruit leather reminds me of the apricot fruit leather my Mom used to make when I was a kid. This never stays in the house long as the kids and I devour it!