Friday, July 31, 2009

So many time in our grown up life is spent worrying about the "big things". House payments, cars, repairs, MEDICAL INSURANCE...ect. Today I was thinking about all the small things that make me smile! So simple yet so rewarding!

It makes me happy when the new art "center" is being used everyday with no problems and fights. The creations that are coming from my daycare kids are just awesome!
It makes me happy when my kids have such a great time playing with each other with very little conflict. They really have a great sister bond!
It makes me happy that Gaby used the art supplies to make Super Hero glasses for her and Kadyn. Then went outside and proceeded to act out many make believe scenes.
It makes me happy that I found an outside love seat cover for my awesome white and lime green patio furniture that I never get to use because we are afraid to leave it outside all the time in fear that it will get ruined.

It makes me happy to know that I have a ton of little things in my life that bring a smile to my face!
Happy Friday!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My kids are always finding trash, I mean, treasures when we are outside! Last week we made a interesting, again I mean, AWESOME looking container to hold all of our treasures. Well, it didn't hold up so well.

So, today we made another one, a little more prettier to look at, and more sturdy! I know, I know, it is a tissue papered cover vase... but to my kids, it is the "treasure holder".

I must say the kids were a little bummed it has been raining all day and we haven't gone outside to find any treasures. Seeing their disappointment, I hid some fun little gadgets and we had an inside hunt for treasures before lunch! Each of the kiddo were excited to put their jewel in our new jar!!!

I am curious to see what we will add tomorrow...

Three very good reasons I do what I do!

Gaby...7 years old

Kadyn...4 years old

Mia...11 months old

Monday, July 27, 2009

Around the house week

This week our theme is "around the house". I am trying to work on self help skills and new ways to teach my older ones. In last weeks training it came up to get the children more involved in clean up, jobs ect. I have tried having helpers and "jobs" for the kids to do and it just didn't work. This past school year, I just had one helper per day. This group was a lot younger at that time and I don't think I was as motivated!

Some areas I am experimenting with this week are : family style dining (kids get their own plates/serve their own food), allowing a helper to clean up the lunch/snack area, 2-4 kids in the kitchen lessons, more helpers for meal time/nap time ect. These skills will help them gain responsibility, independence, confidence, and who knows maybe a good lil' helper around the house at home!

This morning we played with "real life" kitchen goodies (bought from the Dollar Tree-Love that place). The older clan played outside on the deck with all the new goodies. At one point, they had the table inside the play house set and ready to go for a meal. Another child picked sage,basil, and mint from our herb garden and made "herb salad" for everyone!

Here are a few pictures from our adventure with the kitchen goodies....
Getting the herb salad ready...

Lil' C is sitting the table...

H and F are doing some cooking...

And A was making some mac and cheese!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My problem areas.... and give away... read til the end!

The past month I have been looking for ways to change some of the aspects of my daycare program. With ideas coming from the daycare training I have been going through, some changes have been made, items have been added, and routines are being tweaked for fall!

Here are 2 places outside that I would consider my "problem areas". They are big fat hairy eye sores and I stare that them every time we play outside! May you can offer up some fun, creative, and most importantly, cheap ideas for these ares!

My first area is under my deck. It is covered with rocks. Some of my thoughts have been to get it concreted so we can ride bikes and trikes and do chalk under here... again, I said I needed cheap ideas here!
My next idea was to make it the world biggest sandbox... which would then translate into the worlds biggest litter box. So, that idea is out! My first idea is not out of the question, I just need to see what the cost is in doing it!

Here is my second problem area. This was supposed to be an addition to the shed. As you can see, it isn't! I use it for when we have snacks outside, read books, and need a place to sit. I want to spruce it up a little and make the area more inviting and not like an after thought!

Anyway... here are my problem areas of the back yard! What do ya think??? What are your ideas??? If you can help me come up with some ideas for this area, I will be giving away some blog gifts!!! So, submit your ideas via comments on this blog, email, or facebook! You just may be the lucky winner!!!!!

Our daycare cliques

Above are my older kids digging for treasure... they sound several items today that we just HAD to keep. So, we started a treasure jar!

Below are my younger group... while they other dug, they played house! What a cute group of friends!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Today we got a little muddy... but we had a little fun!

Today we ventured out through our muddy wet lands that I call my backyard to check on our garden! Everyone was excited to see that we had some tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers coming in! We even were able to pick a few tomatoes off the vines for our snack!

The kids were on overload. Once they saw one vegetable, they went to town. They were yelling out what they saw, describing what they saw, and even counted how many "mini tomatoes" they saw.

Lil' A looking at the garden....

Our first big discovery... "big tomatoes"!
Each kiddo was able to pick some of the grape tomatoes off of the vine... this about sent them over the edge with excitement!

After we brought them in, we washed them up and THEN.......

had them for a snack! Yum! Yum!
Mia (11 months) is wearing an outfit that had started with Gaby, passed down to Kadyn and now Mia!
Love the pucker face!!!

My father in law had his birthday this last Friday. He has a nice pond/water feature in his front yard. We thought a fun garden stone would make the perfect addition to his area!

At Poppi's house, the kids like gathering to play video games...

And, even Mia got involved!!!! Look Out!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Nothing much going on....

but still I have not been blogging! How does that happen??? This week is what I call "a light" week at the Fluke household! Gaby and Kadyn finished up swim lessons, I started back working at the Jazzercise center, had my ERC visit for daycare training, visited with my neighbors almost every night outside after lessons, made Mia's b-day invitations, ordered her party supplies, got school shots and Dr. appointments completed and seem to be feeling a little better pregnancy wise, not perfect but better. Whew... to a light week!

Like I said, G and K were in swim lessons the past 2 weeks. We enrolled both girls in Level 2 even though KK had not taken level 1 (level 1 was full when I was enrolling). Yesterday we found out if they pass or repeat the course. Gaby, being my awesome little swimmer, aced the course with flying colors. Little KK passed about 50% of the requirements for the course and will need to repeat it again next summer. I was so proud of them both. KK really tried her hardest and even overcame some fears of floating on her back!

I started checking people back in at the center. I am working up there 3x a week and doing more evening classes that don't require me to get up at the butt crack of dawn, this was not happening with my ever so fun morning sickness! My goal as of now is to maintain, keep eating healthier, give in to some cravings, and work out 4x a week. So far, I am back down to 3 lbs of what I was when I found out I was pregnant. Doing okay, I think! I'll keep ya posted on that one!

G and K are getting ready for school... *sniff, sniff*! I really LOVE having Gaby home during the summer. She adds so much to my day, good and bad, that I go through a withdrawal almost when school starts again! She is my oldest and I have have so many emotions that surround her. I love that she is growing up and we are doing everything for the "first time" with her and then I am sad, because she is growing up and I am doing everything for the "first time" with her! Letting her grow up is the hardest thing I have ever signed up to do... thank goodness we have the "Perfect Parent" watching over her and our family!
KK is off to preschool... again sets off a whole new ball of emotions! Kadyn is my first child I have stayed home with since she was less then a year old. She is my sassy, talking back, not following directions, strong willed, pretty princess, always has something to say, always smiling, little sweetheart! Kadyn, hands down, is my most challenging child. But, I LOVE it! She is me growing up all over again. She is so excited to be going to school with Gaby. I know she is ready, she is so excited to experience something other then "my mommy's school" as she calls daycare. She was even brave when Dustin took her in for shots yesterday!
Little Mia is 11 months. She the most expressive child Dustin and I have had. She smiles, she laughs, she is repeating sounds...except Mommy, she is sooo close to crawling (why crawl when everyone gets what she needs without even trying), standing up for a short time, and is such a mommy's girl! I have been busy making her "first" birthday party invites. We are having a simple get together at our place and renting a moonwalk for the older kids so I don't have to entertain... creative??? No, lazy! It will be great to celebrate this little life that we have with family and friends.

Dustin is on week two of his new job at USD 437. So far he really likes it. They are busy getting all 7 elementary school ready for school to start in less then a month! He enjoys getting out and around and not staying in one office all the time! He will probably kill me when he reads this but since we have been changing diets and trying to eat better, he has lost 25lbs. No working out(I am jealous) but just making better food choices. How is that for my hot hubby??? =)

Anyway, I think I have rambled enough... I am off to research some cameras and start my fund back up again! Here is a cute pic of Mia when we were playing around! Have a wonderful Friday and check back soon...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Exreme Home Make over is coming to my daycare...

Ok, so the show isn't REALLY coming to my home...but I am doing a mini make over in my daycare area. Only difference is, I am not painting, knocking down walls, and there is certainly no Ty helping me with my new daycare ideas! Oh well!
Like I have said in other posts, my wheels are turning and I have some fun and new ideas for my group home daycare! Yesterday I spent way too much time and money at Walmart and Dollar Tree gathering supplies for my new additions.
Here is some pictures of what I have added and worked on yesterday...

Here is our "Open Art" area. I know, it doesn't look like much but if you know me, you will know having glue, markers, and scissors, and craft supplies just out in the open is a BIG thing for me! So, when the kids want to have free art time, they have some starter supplies to create some fun and open-ended pieces of work.

My next adventure is making little containers of "sensory items". These containers are the first 2 of many more to come. I started out with shells that are all shapes and sizes, and an assortment of rocks. They can dig, sort, build, count ect, the ideas are endless!
As you can see... I have the containers... now I am just building up the supplies! But I love how neat and organized they look!!!
One of my biggest struggles is keeping my house looking like a house while running a daycare inside of it. When people come to my place, I really want them to notice, "oh, she has young children", not " wow, she watches 8 kids everyday and her place looks like a daycare".

This little area is our reading corner I created... thanks to Walmart and having all the college dorm stuff wicked cheap! I LOVE the classic look of the ottomans. This has become an area a child can come sit, relax, and read a book...which leads me to the next coolest thing... THEY ARE STORAGE!!! I now have an easy place to store our everyday books so the kids can get books and flip through them as they want and it looks nice with my house!

I also had a lot of fun adding the kids' pictures to my magent wall. I love having pictures up but have no room for frames and wanted something that I could take down if needed my house to look "grown up". I made clips with magents on the back, painted them black and clipped each childs picture to it... the kids had a blast picking out their own picture and naming their friends!

I had a fun time getting all of my new ideas into place... I have to be careful not to spring everything on the daycare kids all at once! But, I have a feeling they will like some of our simple, nature freindly activties and areas!!!

Our fun Saturday....

Dustin and I started out afternoon at our favorite Mexican joint. The kids love going there, it is fast and great food! Even Mia likes their chips and beans...
After throwing up my meal( the joys of being preggers), we took G and KK to play putt-putt. This was KK first time and Gaby hadn't been there in a LONG time. Dustin had fun teaching KK had to hold her club, chasing balls, and trying to finish his own game before K and G would cheat and move on to the next hole.
Mia and I watched and supported the rest of the family. I even got the fam to pose for a couple of pictures.... this one is my favorite!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

our calm day...

I am trying to incorporate new ideas from my training such as take more from the natural environment, take better cues from the children, and simplify the daily routine.
I am still working on this but today was a calm, relaxed, fun day. It wasn't as planned out as I thought it should be, but because we had different kids dropping off at different times, it made for a good time to drop the hustle and bustle of the routine and go with what the kids wanted to do!

We started our morning just coloring at our table until most of our friends were here. Then while it was still cool and shady, we went outside to play. As we were playing, I started looking at my favorite garden rocks we had painted 2 years ago. They were pretty faded. So, we ran in, got brushes and paints and made over our rocks!
I didn't pull out as many toys as I normally do... we had chalk, cars, and the swing set. The kids enjoyed their time outside and I am pretty sure we had less fights and "Ms. Laura, he isn't sharing" or "I want to play that". We drew some games on the driveway in chalk, and they had a blast! We even threw in some letter and number review...
Just having fun swinging!
My little peas in a pod! They are so cute together...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Would I ever Wednesday...

Would I ever check my pregnancy test a week later to see the second line was gone and then take another test JUST to make sure I was pregnant still??? (and yes, I am... in case the throwing up wasn't enough of a clue still)

Would I ever dream all night about a big honkin' bowl of fruit loops then actually eat a bowl in the AM then to turn around an throw it up???

Would I actually gain 12 lbs in 2 weeks because I have been emotionally eating???

Would I ever be sooo excited to take G and K to swim lessons just because we go early and swim a ahead of time for free???

Would I ever become obsess with these flower bows and ask my daycare mom to make one in every color Hobby Lobby had??? (which was like 16 clips)
Would I ever borrow a truck and decorate for our July 4th parade because I didn't want to walk the parade??

Would I ever allow my 10 mo, 4 year old, and 7 year old to ride in the back of the truck with no holding on or seat belts??
Would I ever have a blast over July 3rd/4th and actually be sad when it was over???

Would I ever let G and K shoot off fireworks with some one else other then me or Dustin just because I hate lighting them off???

Would I ever go to the bathroom to find that one of my daycare kids missed the toilet completely by stepping in it???

Would I ever get on my hands and knees and clean the kitchen floor because I thought it was faster and easier then mopping???

Would I ever take 20+ pictures of Mia in the same outfit because she was cute???

Would I ever be so emotional about school starting??? (Mia turns 1, KK goes to preschool, and Gaby will be in 2nd grade)

Would I ever think that maybe , just maybe I could home school this year so I would have my kids with me??? (okay- didn't take long to talk myself out of that one)

Would I ever be so excited that my hubby is having a great first week at his job???

Would I ever ramble and ramble just to avoid the rest of my "to-do" list???

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dustin's favorite holiday....

Dustin getting his fireworks ready, sorted, and ready for his "performance" on July 3rd. Ever since I have known D, he has loved July 4th. Not because of the great and powerful meaning behind the holiday, just because he loves to blow things up. He has spent a lot of time getting his certification so he can blow up bigger things and get them at cost. Just look at how happy that boy is...

More firework prep... good thing this didn't stay in my living room long!
And now... Dustin takes great delight knowing our oldest, Gaby, is following in his foot steps and has his same LOVE for fireworks. She (know on wood) has proven to be very safe and listens to what her daddy tells her. (Because I love watching the fireworks, hate lighting them off) I love that G has such a fun thing in common with Dustin!
One evening Mia and I went to Walmart. I guess G and K blew up some things and lit off smoke balls, or "colored balls" as KK would say. I did not know they had had a mini party in the back yard until the next day. I took the daycare outside to play to have them stumble across colored balls, blown up latterns, and more. Gaby, being my child and has the need to educate, had the kids pick up the colored balls and sort them and count them... now that's my girl!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What's in your trash can...

So, Capital One credit cards ask, "what is in your wallet?", so I am posing the question... what is in your trash can! As you can tell by the pregnancy test and the unused birth control in our trash can, Dustin and I are expecting our fourth baby! I know, I know... So soon?? You just had one, I thought Mia was your last one, Maybe this will be your boy, Wow, 4 kids, Don't you know how that happens... I have heard it all in a very short time.

We are excited. As you can also see by the birth control in the trash, we were trying to prevent. But as we all know, we can not prevent God's Plan. We know this has happened for a reason and God has blessed me with another heart to love. ( and ground, and yell at, and enroll in swim lessons, and teach, and sports, and so on)

We are adjusting. If anyone has been through 9 months with me they know I do not do this well! I do not glow, I throw up every morning, I get tired bags under my eyes, and I get cranky! Dustin is excited and every time I get sick, replies with a simple, "sorry", which makes me laugh! But, I know we can do this. Gaby says, "if it isn't a boy, we'll give it away" and KK says, "now I will be da big,big sister".

I am emotional. I have just been through this 10 months ago and it is still so fresh in my mind. It doesn't help that Mia's birth was by far my hardest yet. I am selfish. I have dedicated the last 10 months to getting in shape, losing weight, and actually finding my abs to see this all change even in a matter of 3 weeks. I am loving. I love all of my children and daycare children with all of my heart. I would give anything to any of them, and I have enough love to have this little one that is growing inside of me now! I am in love. I have the best husband that anyone could ever ask for. He gets up with Mia when she wakes up at night and he jumps right in to "daddy" mode after he has worked a long day to help give me a break. I believe. I believe that God has given us this little life for a reason... unplanned or not! I believe that God will provide when I don't see how. And, I believe that our pregnancy, our future, and our young growing family is in his hands! That gives me strength to know we can do this, and we are excited to be adding to our family!

Just a few shots from this morning... today K and A were going around together with their purses.
We spent a lot of our morning finishing up the cake, frosting it, and decorating it with strawberries. This was for big A's 4th birthday!
Our Peanut Gallery!!!
Yep! I have my hands full, but I do have a second adult to help... and I love what I do which makes it all worth the while. Even on crazy days like today!
This is our first group picture that everyone is pictured, not not all were smiling... it was tough to get them all seating and in one place. And, this was our 5 time trying to get everyone to say "cheese".
Here is our birthday boy... AM. He turned four on Sunday but we wanted to wait until everyone was here to celebrate! Happy birthday kiddo!!!