Wednesday, August 29, 2012

kids and art

My friend Penny started up Illustration Friday about a million years ago.  Well, it seems a long time ago.  Take a look at the site.  A topic is posted weekly and you can submit your artwork that goes along with that weekly topic.  If I were artsy, I would participate.  But, I'm not.  I'm more crafty than artsy.  Can't have it all!

Well, Penny just introduced an Illustration Friday Kids.  SMART idea!  Especially since it is a universal fact that kids like art.  Whatever medium they like, doing art keeps them busy and they love it!  At least my girls do.

Illustration Friday Kids had a art activity to do this week.  Scribble drawing.  The idea came from the book, Art Lab for Kids.  I'm definitely going to get the book.  Seems like it will be a great addition to our homeschool curriculum.

Today, we tackled our scribble drawings.  The girls had a blast!  And, after prompting them with one that I did, they caught on quickly, searching for items they could find in their drawings.

Here is Bella's drawing.  She ended up finding a fish, bunny, and heart.  She said the bunny is hiding behind the heart so the fish can't find her. 

Emily found an ice cream cone, witch's hat, and bird.  What bird's outfit is complete without a hat? 

I think they both turned out great! But, I am a little biased!  Can't wait to get my hands on the book so we can do more!

Monday, August 20, 2012

invasion of the grasshoppers

Yesterday, we went for a drive to a little town that is about 15 minutes from us.  The place is called Teocaltitan De Guadalupe.  It is home to San Pedro Esqueda.  Here is a plaque showing some info about him. Sorry, of course, it is in Spanish.

I had taken my camera to get some pictures of the girls.  They really weren't into it, but I forced them to let me take a handful of pictures.  Mean mom!  I put all the pictures my Flickr account.  Check them out if you would like!

On the way there, there were giant grasshoppers EVERYWHERE!  While driving, we couldn't avoid running over them on the street.  It was pretty disgusting.  When we got to the church, they were all over the place.  I snapped a few pics of them.  I didn't really put anything next to them to show you scale.  But, these bad boys were probably a minimum of 3 or 4 inches long.  I was fine as long as none of them jumped on me. I hate their sticky little legs.

Afterwards, we stopped at a nearby restaurant.  The food was really good.  I splurged and had their chips and salsa!  Oh, I can't wait to go back!  And, the girls loved it, too!  Most restaurants like this one have play areas so the kids can go be crazy outside instead of being crazy in the restaurant.  Good idea on their part!

We had to fight our way past all the grasshoppers there, too!  I didn't get too close, but check out all of them on this wall.  And, it was like this along all the exterior walls.  And, we had to watch our step in the grass. 

Emily wanted to catch all of them.  No surprise there.  So, they didn't seem to bother her.  Bella was just ignoring them.  Way to excited about the jumpy house they were playing in.

Friday, August 10, 2012

happy girls

TGIF!  Right!?  Some weeks, all the days just seem the same to me.  Lately, the weekdays have been more apparent and I am ready for the weekend.  This week was one of them where I am glad it is over.  I'm looking forward to a few days when my phone isn't going to be ringing with someone from work on the other end.

Today, since it was Friday, we took it a little easy in school.  We just did some letter and number review.  We did take advantage of the nice weather outside and took school outside.  (I mean, when isn't it nice weather here?) 

We also got a couple turtles at the fair that is in town a few nights ago.  The girls are in love with the turtles.  However, I think, from the census on Facebook, they are red-eared sliders, which will get quite sizable.  That won't be for a handful of years.  But, these turtles could be in our lives for a long time.  We will see.

I did have the girls draw a picture of their turtles.  They liked that little activity.

They spent time letting the turtles run around on the patio. 

Now we just have to figure out what supplies we need to buy for these little guys.  And, if you were curious, the girls have named them.  Bella named her turtle after her middle name, Elizabeth.  Emily named her turtle the same as the turtle on Wonder Pets, Tuck.  So, Tuck and Elizabeth are now a part of our household.

Monday, August 06, 2012

the answer is fruits and veggies

All of you know I have changed my eating habits and have been trying to lose weight.  Well, I have been losing weight.

I was chatting with a friend (she will remain nameless) and she was wanting to find a way to start getting healthier.  I told her that she should just pick one area/thing in her life and change that.  Little by little you can start to be healthier.

For me, I am not very good at the waiting game, so I have chosen to go gung-ho, full speed ahead.  And, so far, it has worked for me.  I have mentioned to several people that I hate reading blogs of these women that have lost weight and they think they are experts.  While I do agree that there are certain ways to go about it, I disagree with them in many other ways.  You don't have to take supplements, powders, and all this other crap.  You don't have to eat X, Y, and Z during the day.  You don't have to run and do certain type of exercise.

It really is pretty simple.  You move and you eat less.  Whatever kind of exercise you can handle, do that!  If walking is all you can handle, then walk.  But, one thing that is true, lower your calories.  I don't even believe in cutting out carbs, or fat, or whatever.  Just practice portion control and moderation.  Really, I truly think it is that simple.

But, there is one thing that seems to help me a lot!  That is eating fruits and vegetables.  They are, for the most part, low in calories.  They are definitely good for you.  And, you can eat lots of them and still be OK on your calories for the day.  I love when I can have a plate full of food and it still isn't that many calories.

Take a look at my lunch for the day.  I had a kiwi, a cup of strawberries, a medium carrot, cottage cheese, and a ham and provolone sandwich.  They sell a type of bread here that is only 42 calories a slice!  Love that!  I'm sure in the States you have all sorts of lovely reduced calorie breads to choose from.

From my Sparkpeople website, this shows  you the calorie breakdown for all of the items.  All that food for only 380 calories!  Pretty good when I am trying to keep it around 1200 for the day.

So far my "thoughts" on how to go about losing weight have been working.  That just shows me there is not an exact formula to it.  I am 6 months and 6 days into this journey and I am down 55 lbs!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

me time!

I am a big fan of "me time".  I mean, who isn't?  And, thanks to an understanding husband and a mother in law that loves the girls and will take them in a minutes notice if my head is about to explode from children-overload, I have a good amount of "me time".  I really think me time is the only way to secure some sanity!  Seriously!

Today was no exception.  Jorge, the girls and I went out for breakfast and then made a trip to a nearby town, Tepa, to do a bit of shopping.  When we got back into town, he dropped me off and took the girls to a friend's house.  The friend has kids and was having some sort of cookout, involving cooking some fish that he just caught.  The girls have gone with Jorge a couple of times, and I think it is nice for Jorge to have some time minus me! The girls play with the kids, and Jorge gets to socialize without having to worry about me.

For the past week and a half, every other night, we have been walking at night.  The girls have been enjoying it.  We go for about an hour.  Just enough to wear them out.  Emily usually asks to sit down at some point during our walk. Remember, she is the lazy girl!

So, today, I thought I would take a walk solo.  It has been a long time since I went on a walk.  I used to as my exercise.  But, since getting the Wii, that is how I exercise now.  It was such a great, peaceful walk!  It was a little warm outside, but the clouds offered some relief every once in a while.  And, there was a nice breeze.

Today is the day that everyone goes downtown to the Plaza!  Sunday is the day you dress up and people watch.  And, while I walk in an area where there isn't much of anything, there was NOBODY around.  It was awesome!  I took some pictures to show you.  Once I walk away from town, there really isn't much of anything around.  I didn't see anyone walking and saw only a handful of cars.

Here is a view after I walked a dirt road away from town.  You can see a nice, little part of Jalos.  Exciting, huh?!?

Another angle of the town.  This is just a small part, though. 

And, I just keep on going.  This dirt road goes out to land that isn't being used, a few houses, and lots of more nothing.  Walking in this area reminds me of the movie The Never Ending Story.  You know, where the nothingness takes over.  Except, here, the nothingness is a more positive nothingness.  Just miles and miles of undeveloped land. 

This is our rainy season right now.  Love the rain!  It makes everything green!  So, this is the best this place is going to look.  The rest of the year all of the green that you see is brown, dead stuff.  It is amazing how nature bounces back with a bit of water.

And, I took a picture of myself!  I was tired by this point, so this is the best smile you are going to get!

I really could have just kept walking.  I was tired and sweaty, but it was just so relaxing out in the middle of nowhere by myself.  I highly recommend doing this!

And, you know how places advertise their chickens as "free range".  Well, we have free range cows!  They are just like those cows in California.  Happy cows!  This one didn't appreciate me taking his picture.

I think I will add a solo walk to my exercise routine a few times a week.  I feel ready to tackle another week!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Emily hangs in there

Sometimes I wonder if what we are doing in school is too much for Emily.  She is not one to sit still, so some of her behavior, I just shrug off as her personality.  There are times when she lets Bella take the lead and just sits and stays quiet when I ask them questions.  Or, she will say she is tired and doesn't want to do school.  (You should know she is a lazy child... )

The girls doing an art project with wooden craft sticks and glue.  FUN, FUN!

Her behavior has me question if it is just her being her or if some of what we are doing is too fast paced.  Not that we are doing rocket science or anything.  But, as I have stated before, she is 14 months younger than Bella.  So, I am basically pushing her a grade ahead of where she should be.

Crazy Emily!

Then there are those moments when she does something that makes me halt the worrying.  Yesterday and this morning, she had a couple of these moments.  And, when she has them, it always makes me laugh.  It is just the way she says something and the timing.  The girl has a sense of humor.  That is for sure!

Emily working on some numbers.

Bella working on some numbers.

While we were on Skype with Mamaw and Papaw yesterday, we were showing what we went over in school that day.  I would ramble off a letter (only Bella was standing with me) and Bella would tell me the sound and tell me words that started with that letter.  We went through a few letters.  Then, I said, "F".  Bella said, "guitar".  Emily walks into the room when Bella said it and Emily said, "NO!  That is G!".  It might not come across as funny here in text. But, Emily just is, I don't know how to explain it.  She just has that timing down and the tone she uses.

Emily's letter/writing practice from yesterday.

Bella's letter/writing practice from yesterday.

Then, this morning, Emily does it again.  I guess I worry about Emily keeping up with Bella.  But, so many times, Emily puts Bella in her place.  Bella was looking at the drawing she did of her grandma (abuelita) that lives down the street from us.  Her and Emily were reading off the letters to spell out "abuelita" and Bella said, "A-B-U-E-L-1..."  She said "one" in place of the letter "I".  Emily, quick as ever, yells, "I, BELLA!"  It makes me laugh just typing it out.  It seems like Emily just thinks Bella is totally ridiculous! 

Bella's drawings of her Mamaw in the US and her Abuelita here.

My worrying is probably normal, but looks to be unnecessary.  Emily seems to be doing just fine.  I just have to keep the girl interested and make her sit still.  Maybe some duct tape would help!  Kidding!