Thursday, February 23, 2017

star student

It is Liesl's turn to be the star student in her classroom this week - for Tuesday, she made a poster about herself to share and display. Wednesday, Mrs. LaTocha read one of her favorite books at circle time. And today, Liesl brought in a bag full of favorite objects and photos to share*, and I got to come in and provide the food for snack time. It's sweet and she has been so excited.

*Objects included: a sand dollar, a seashell, ball of lichen, and twig, to represent outdoor adventures; a bunch of photos of our family; a kittycat hat and wings to show dress-up, her favorite game; some random stickers and buttons; nail polish; her Omega gymnastics medal.
All about Me!
My favorite food: macaroni and treats
My favorite color: rainbow with pink
My favorite book: Jealous Jackal (a Sweet Pickles book)
My favorite thing to do: play with friends
My favorite toy: bunny Foofoo
My family

After we passed out blueberry and caramel scones and cheese sticks (L's pick... actually her second choice, since her first was cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles, which I vetoed as not being a good choice for morning snack), the kids did some dancing to a video by Go Noodle. The dancing was my favorite thing to see.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

happy Valentine's day!

It was a school day and a work day, but we still celebrated Valentine's Day. The children made cards for each other and Steve and I exchanged notes; I picked up some tulips on the weekend; Steve brought home some truffles from Cacao, the amazing (expensive, delicious) chocolate shop directly across the street from his new office. Both children had in-school parties where they exchanged notes and candy with all of their classmates - Liesl was thrilled and painstakingly read each and every word on each and every card from all of her 24 friends. Sebastian picked off the candy from his cards. :)
 After school, Liesl and Nora had their cooking class - heart-shaped cookies with sprinkles this week!
I made fettucine with a bolognese sauce for dinner - and a radicchio salad - and baked strawberry shortcakes for dessert. Not quite as cute as the heart-shaped brownies I made last year, but pretty tasty for a winter night.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Wonder Girl

Could anything be better than a Sunday hike in Forest Park with my Wonder Girl?
Wonder Girl also did some long overdue smashing of the Christmas gingerbread house.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

s'mores cake

It was the lovely Camille's 7th birthday this weekend - we had our usual family dinner together on Saturday, this time marked with a special birthday cake. I had made my usual fudgy chocolate cake - tasty, but not spectacular - when Steve had the brilliant idea of making it a s'mores cake. He layered marshmallows on top of the finished cake and then sprinkled chocolate chips and crushed graham crackers on top of that - a few minutes under the broiler and it was amazing. It smelled and tasted just like a s'more, but better.
Camille was so excited - and Liesl was inspired to dance in joy.


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sebastian's basketball season

Sebastian is once again playing with his friends Ethan, Cason, Peyton, Cameron, Nick, and others from FPE on a basketball team through the YMCA. It's a good group, although they are not nearly as skilled and dominant in basketball as they are in recreational soccer. But it's fun for him to be on a team with his friends; I like that basketball uses different muscles and requires different skills than soccer or baseball. They played Saturday morning and won in a close match.

I took a couple of videos, but it's hard to capture - they move pretty quickly and my little camera isn't really set up for it. Last year I was truly amazed at how much they improved from the beginning of the season to the end, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they do this year.

Sebastian basketball 1 from B. Avery on Vimeo.

Sebastian basketball 2 from B. Avery on Vimeo.

Sebastian basketball 3 from B. Avery on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

1000-piece puzzle

I bought a 1000-piece puzzle for a family Christmas present this year, with a children's book theme - the children were predictably intimidated and reluctant to start on it, but I had a hunch. So we unwrapped it a week ago, started sorting edges and then colors, and have been steadily pecking away at it all week. Everyone got in on the act, which was awesome. Liesl and I had a very fun and successful time one afternoon - Sebastian worked on it in the mornings before the rest of us woke up - Steve sorted and grouped pieces to make it easier for the rest of us. (Steve also sat on his hands and exercised his patience while waiting for the rest of us slowpokes to hurry up and finish it.) We finished it this afternoon! Seb and Liesl were so proud of themselves, and I was too. It was really fun as a group project and everyone is feeling enthusiastic about another. I think there's one with a candy theme that might be just the ticket...
School was again closed on Friday - there was a scheduled teacher development day, but also an ice storm that would have closed schools in any case. So we were home again together. We tried to go out in the morning but it was too icy to be much fun, even at the field. So Sebastian and I played a game of chess and a game of Scrabble, we all read books together and separately, I baked a double chocolate banana bread and made braised pork shoulder for dinner. Liesl's friend Nora came over in the afternoon for a playdate.

Seb and I played Scrabble for a bit and then got tired of it. Steve came wandering through and found our abandoned board and tiles.... see if you can spot the moment when he took over and started playing both sides. :)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

basketball season begins

Both children played their first basketball games of the season today - Sebastian in the morning and Liesl in the afternoon. Both played well; Sebastian dribbled well and sank a few shots, and Liesl was amazingly enthusiastic and fun. Sadly, neither team won, which hit Liesl especially hard, but there's always next week!
 This was Liesl's hideout during Sebastian's game - in a crazy sparkly pink headbanded getup, drawing pictures underneath a bench.

Liesl's warmup before her match
Liesl as point guard from B. Avery on Vimeo.

Liesl basketball 1 from B. Avery on Vimeo.

Liesl basketball 2 from B. Avery on Vimeo.

I also baked today: popovers for breakfast, with great quantities of jam, marmalade, and cream cheese; and then a carrot cake for dessert. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Liesl's special words

Liesl's pronunciation of most words is accurate, as you would expect from a 6 year old, but there are a few words that she still doesn't say quite right. Steve and I cherish them - the last vestiges of our cute baby - and I won't let Sebastian correct her (or tease her) about her mispronunciations. Transcribing sounds is not my forte, but I want to record and remember these few.

acorn - eggcorn
painful - pay-enn-full
New York (I can't even figure out how to write down the way she says New York, but it's one of the most persistent and sweet of her mistakes.)
yogurt - yo-gret
usual - you-zhe-laar

I think I've missed some, so I'll have to come back and update this post as I hear and remember.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

new job!

I'm delighted to share that Steve has started a new job at a firm called Forsberg & Umlauf. This week has been busy as he gets all of the administrative details taken care of and starts to learn about his new cases, and I'm sure there will be more busy weeks to come, but it's an exciting new opportunity for him. Yay!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Liesl plays basketball

Liesl is playing basketball this winter through the local YMCA. The league is coed but she's playing on an all-girls team consisting entirely of friends from her kinder class, coached by the dad of one girl. (He has two older daughters, who he has coached for years, and a background as a competitive basketball player; from what I saw today he's going to be an outstanding coach.)

They did some running to warm up and then stretches, picked a team name - the Lightning, did some dribbling drills, passing drills, and a shooting practice. They were so happy and bouncy and loud and fun to watch - it was wonderful. (The pics are bad; I only had my phone. But they capture some of the spirit.)