Friday, February 22, 2013

3 is Fabulous!

My baby is 3. She is a fabulous 3. Apparently 3 year olds never look directly into a camera lens. That's so 2.


I am so proud of who this little girl is. She is fiesty, strong, sweet, gentle, kind, empathetic, passionate, funny, smart and persistent. She's a whole bundle of awesome.


It struck me the other day how grateful Hannah is, I was a bit sobered to realize I was just now catching on to her immense spirit of gratitude. She eats virtually every meal with out complaint, she exclaims to me multiple times a day "Mommy - I'm not coughing! I'm not sick!" After a long winter of every virus she is so thankful to be healthy. It doesn't get old for her. Wow. Randomly throughout the day she will grab something we've bought or made her (even it was a month ago) and squeal, "Mommy you made this for me? You made this for meeeeeee! Thank you!"
I need to be grateful like Hannah.


I love how creative she is in her humour and that she has literally an endless repertoire of facial expressions. She is always making us laugh and amazes us with her impersonations. My current favourites are definitely Yoda and Kung Fu Panda. She is fierce!


I adore how she loves Bear. I treasure every little conversation she has with him that I am lucky enough to eavesdrop on.
"Bear! Did you miss me? I missed you too. You had to stay here so you're safe and don't get lost. It's O.K. I'm home now."




She loves to play with her friends and any new kids she meets but at some point will always end up on her own for a little bit. Deeply immersed in imagination and fully content. She'll often sit and create characters out of her little hands. They run all over and talk to each other. I wish I could be in her head sometimes. It's so sweet.




She loves to learn. Loves to read. Loves to sing. Loves to dance.




I'm amazed by how much she can keep up with her big brother. I see her push herself and work towards goals to be able to do what he does. She's a little adventurer and I love it.


I love how much she adores her brother. How she doesn't last more than 7 minutes without having to go and find him. "Mommy, I just need to see Kai."




I affectionately call her a punk... because she is one. She's a little punk, in the best sense of the word. I don't know how else to describe it.. she just does punkish things, in the most cute and funny kind of way :)




Hanny loves Princesses and mostly Cinderella. Her princesses play with Buzz Lightyear and Anakin Skywalker a lot. They're good buds. We were playing princesses the other day with her carriage and this is literally what happened.
Hannah: Snow White would you like to come in my carriage?
Me: Why yes Cinderella, where are we going?
H: To Minot.
M: Awesome. Let's go!
(we arrive, Cinderella gets out of carriage and falls down immediately)
H: Oh no! A bad guy got me!
(Cinderella gets up)
H: Pew pew. It's OK. I shot him.

Uh.... moving on!

She dresses as a super Princess quite a bit. Beautiful dress, cape and wielding a light saber. Isn't that how it should be?




Hannah I love you so much and I am so proud of who you are. I pray that you always know that you are a daughter of the King and that you fully embrace how powerful, fierce and passionate you are as well as how kind, gentle and sweet that you are. I pray you realize your purpose and destiny and above all that you know deep deep down how loved you are.


Love,
Mom

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Boy One Turns 5

My first born is 5. What the what?



It's been a wonderful 5 years full of adventure. Can't you just tell that he's an adventurous one?


I'm so proud of who he is. Fun loving, kind, smart, creative, hilarious, sensitive, athletic, passionate and loyal.


His enthusiasm and zeal are fresh every day and he makes each day so much more full and great. I see his Dad in him in the way he embraces people and makes them feel loved. He and his Dad are also "Words of Affirmation" kind of guys. Kai is always encouraging, thanking and complimenting.


I love how he loves and cares for his sister. How he plays with her all day long and truly enjoys himself and how he politely asks for "space" when he needs it and tolerates her when her definition of "space" is an extra 6 inches.


I love that he's always putting on a show, doing funny things to make us laugh and impressive things to wow us.


I love EXCITED he gets. There is no filter on his joy, no holds barred. I love love love his laugh. Words will never do justice to his from the gut, joyful, gleeful laugh. It feeds my soul.



 I don't know if it gets more awesome than this.




I love to see him learn. I love that I get to be his teacher. To see his love for stories grow.







I love that he is loyal - even to his toys. I love that he is passionate about his BLUE lightsaber and that that makes him Anakin Skywalker (literally forever).


I love that he carries wields his lightsaber all day long and that he sleeps next to it at night. I love that I hear the lightsaber power up at 3am when he needs to find his way down his bunk bed stairs.




I love that his favourite colour is still yellow.
"Blue is my favourite lightsaber but yellow is still my favourite. It's just in my heart."
I love that he knows what's in his heart.


My boy, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. I pray you always know to whom you belong, how priceless you are and that you are here for a great and mighty purpose.


Love,
Mom



** Thanks to the our fave library, the Estevan Public Library for so graciously letting me shoot in your space. **

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Teaching with "ish"

I came across the book "ish" by Peter Reynolds at a Book Fair at the school I previously taught at. I thumbed through it while my grade 8's shopped and fell in love with this book.

** Spoiler Alert **
If you haven't read it it I'll give you a brief synopsis. A little boy named Ramon loves to draw and draws everything until his older bro makes fun of his drawing laughing "What is that?". It discourages Ramon and he eventually stops drawing until he discovers that his little sister has been saving all of his thrown away pictures and appreciates them. Of a vase that Ramon thinks looks nothing like a vase, she says, "Well, it's vase-ish." This frees Ramon to indulge his love of drawing again. Lovely book :)





Being an English teacher I still love to use books to tie a lesson or series of lessons and activities together. For the 2 days prior we've been doing activities based on the book "If You Take a Mouse to School." Today we used "ish"!

First we snuggled, read and discussed the book and how Ramon felt at the various parts. I tried my best to define "ish" to them and we talked about other things that could be "ish". Like... it's warmish outside. 

Our first activity was to create our own ish books. I had the kids help cut our card stock paper on my paper slicer (they love that thing) and then I had the boy one attempt to use the one hole punch to punch the holes for the binding. It was a little tough for his little hands.

Then we started to draw "ish" drawings .

The boy one is passionate about Star Wars, Light Sabers and most significantly Anakin Skywalker. This one is Anakin-ish.



 I let them have free reign on some but on other pages I told them they had to choose between 3 options I gave them. I love giving creative control in art but sometimes I need to stretch my kids to try something new.

This is Sun-ish by the girl one.


A few of our other pages were grass-ish, strawberry-ish, purple-ish, Anakin on a car-ish, Vader-ish, country-ish, and Luke Skywalker and Mace Windoo-ish (by the girl - she's funny).
What looks like a bunch of blue and purple scribbles are actually quite easily explained, "that's Luke's light saber before he got the green one and Mace Windoo's purple light saber and they're fighting." Duh!




The boy one got some great printing practice in, writing Anakin-ish on his pictures. I took over the rest of the pages though as the activity was more about drawing and printing 10 pages would have taken forever.


To bind the books I brought out our plastic needles and some yarn and had each kid sew their own book together. They loved this part!


After a coffee break and play time the kids came back into the kitchen where I had set up my old art easels. They seem to make painting more fun and this was the first time the kids had gotten to use them.

We went back through the book and examined how the author created his illustrations. Black marker and water colour paints.

After a quick demonstration I gave each kid a marker and they were off!


Again we will see Anakin-ish, light saber-ish and Vader-ish :)



For a couple of his paintings he really didn't want to use the black marker so I let him do what he wanted but just said that he needed to finish with a marker and paint picture before he was done. Again - we need to mix freedom and stretching :)


She's so intent.


It's fun to observe how they each create. The girl one paints with a quiet delight and then announces, "Ta da! Come and see!"


The boy one tells a story with each stroke. Literally.
"Here is Anakin and his blue light saber. He's in Darth Vader's place. These green doors won't open! Oh No! Anakin lost his light saber outside. K, he's got it. This rock is going to crush Anakin on the head... but now Anakin knocks it into space with his light saber!"

It's fascinating to get to watch their creative process. I love teaching them.


Another great thing about being their teacher is that I know everything they did in school and each night they get to have a share time with Daddy and show them what we did during the day. Here they are each reading Dad their books. Kai even went and added 3 more pages after being inspired by their conversation :)


It's such a great book and something we'll definitely come back to again and again. I can't wait to check out another Peter Reynolds book, "The Dot".