Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Houston, We've Got a Climber...

This is what I'm dealin' with:

It's cute the first coupla times, but after that, it just gets frustratin'! What am I to do?! There's just too much to get into. When I try to put the gate across the door and keep him in the adjoining room, he stands at the gate and cries, tries to climb it until I give in and let him come in. He's got me pegged for a sucker.

Say Cheese.....

Sunday, September 28, 2008


On Wednesday night, Lemme School marched in the City High Homecoming Parade. There was a great turnout! Everyone donned their spots and showed their Lemme pride! The kids threw tons of candy, and Damon got hit in the head by his own candy-throwing son on more than one occasion! Sam and Max sat in the crowd with Grandma Berends.

Good times... good times!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yearbook Yourself

(Or your spouse.)
1950 1954
1962 - Ross Perot:
1970 - my favorite:1974, Buckwheat:

1976, watch out Andy Gibb:1978











Click here to try it yourself - or do your spouse, or your sister - but you might want to ask their permission first. My husband's such a good sport!

Lemme Open House

Last night was Will's back to school night. We had a parent meeting first, while the kids were all taken care of in other parts of the building, divided up by age. Sam got to hang out with all the 4 year old siblings, plus all of the kindergardner's in the music room. He already knew several neighborhood friends and got to sing songs and hear stories by the music teacher! He's practically ready for kindergarden next year. How weird of a thought is that?! (We kept Max with us.) When we got to Will's room, his alter ego greeted us at his desk:
Lots of time and thought was spent getting these guys ready - notice he's holding his pencil? We actually had to take an English test that Will's probably grading at this moment! (grading your own work with a red pen is a big deal this year.) It involved correcting sentences that had spelling, punctuation, grammar and capitalization mistakes. Ooh, I hope I got a good grade! The bottom half was matching facts with the different teachers. Don't think I did so well on that one. We got to hear about what all they're studying this year and sign up Will up for "student of the week." He'll get to do lots of special jobs that week, have his family visit, bring treats and have some sharing time. When I told him I signed him up, he got a panicked look on his face and said he didn't want to do it. (They've only just started this.) Hopefully by the time his turn rolls around in November (I picked his b-day week) he'll feel more comfortable with the idea. After the meeting, Will was so proud to show us around his classroom and introduce us to Mr. MIMAL. Evidently Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Alabama and Louisiana make up the figure of a man, holding a frying pan. There are many other states that make up his various accessories. I was quite impressed that Will knew quite a few states and where they are using this method. I'd never heard of this before, but if I'd had some helpful devices like this growing up I might be a lot more knowledgable about geography today! Lemme has a new art teacher this year who asked the kids to decorate his room. So all the walls and cupboard doors are covered with little guys like this one that Will made:

Monday, September 15, 2008


The kitchen was only temporarily blockaded due to mopping before Max figured out his way in. He's a stinker, a cute overalled stinker, but a stinker nonetheless.

Sam (this morning when I got Max dressed): Now what is he wearing?! Is that a life preserver?!
Me: No, they're overalls!
Sam: Why are they like that?
Me: That's just the way they are. You used to wear them too when you were little.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Nice Try

Will: I wasn't really pushing Sam. He accused me of pushing him and I told him, "no, this is pushing." I was just giving him a demonstration.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Master Walker

You ask, and I deliver: More videos of Max mastering his walking skills....

It's extremely tricky to walk with your blanky. You're bound to keep tripping over it. Also, did you notice his 'indian call?' (That's probably so politically incorrect to call it that, but I don't know what else to call it.) We obviously couldn't get him to do it on cue this time, but usually if you do it, he does it too. It's another one of his new tricks. Obviously, all the rest of us are pretty good at it too. : )

Friday, September 12, 2008

Anti-Sam Zone

This morning Will declared his bed an "Anti-Sam Zone." He made this portrait as true to life as possible by studying Sam (while Sam ate his cereal) from every angle while he drew. When I asked him if he thought this picture might be hurtful, Will said, "What?! He does have the spots on his face." That's so not what I meant. I told him it was fine to tell Sam he should ask for permission to be up on Will's bed, but that an "anti-Sam zone" picture taped to his bed rail, was not appropriate. He thought that was a good compromise, but I couldn't resist showing you all his sign before it gets pitched. Damon and I had a good private snicker about it. Poor Sam. He just wants to be included. Will is his best friend, but lately Will barely tolerates Sam's existance. What are the teenage years going to be like?! God help us all.


Will went on his first camp out this past weekend with Cub Scouts. This is his first year scouting. There are no other 3rd graders currently in scouting, so he and Damon have been trying to recruit some friends to join. So far he and his good friend Jack are going to do it. Damon and Will camped at Kent Park and broke in our never-been-used (outside) tent. They had just enough room in the tent for a queen sized air mattress :) under their sleeping bags. They went hiking (and only lost one 5th grader!) They fished and found some great new fishing holes that they didn't know existed. Evidently there are some hatchery ponds that are chock full of enormous fish that they use to teach kids how to fish. Damon is anxious to go back again soon. The fish were so big that they kept thinking that kids were falling in the water, when really it was fish splashing! They roasted hotdogs, had smores, and sat around the campfire telling scary stories. Will's story involved kids who went fishing for a sea monster, but when they caught it, it was only the size of a trout. They spent time hanging out in their tent when Will got homesick around dinner time. Will read his book and Damon checked emails on his blackberry - ah, the great outdoors!!! They played flashlight tag and ghosts in the graveyard in the dark and had poptarts for breakfast. They were home by 8:30 the next morning due to a family in the tent next to their's - a dad, a boyscout, and a little 3 year old brother who cried all night and was up for good at 5:45am crying! Damon made a note to self: do not take little siblings camping, (although I think Sam would do better than that kid did.) All in all it was a good experience, despite Will's nervousness that he would encounter a bear. His favorite part was making and tending the fire - like father, like son. My sweet little pyromaniacs. Sam was disappointed he didn't get to go, but once they were gone, I think he liked having everything his own way. He got to go pick out a movie to rent and a special bed time snack and went right to bed that night.

The Lemme carnival was lots of fun! It grows bigger and better every year. We had a good response from the arts and craft booth, and hopefully we'll do it again next year. I'll probably get to choose the projects and organize all that, so that should be fun.

Max is definitely mastering the walking. He's figured out how to turn and go in different directions as well as stand up not holding onto anything! I'd say he walks more than he crawls now, although he still falls alot. I'll try to post some new video of his progress soon.

This next week will be busy as I get ready for Riverssance art festival in Davenport next weekend.

Monday, September 08, 2008

I've Been Working on the Railroad

Will learned this "new" song at school a few days ago. Ever since he's been singing it non-stop. I can hear him coming as he sings it at the top of his lungs as he walks home from school, long before I see him! This version is the "country twang" version. Sam is rockin' it on the air guitar and the lip sinc'ing. These boys CRACK ME UP!!! I think it's their lips. It's worth watching a few times just to focus on each boy seperately.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Lemme Carnival!

I'm getting ready to run the arts and craft booth tonight at the Lemme carnival! We are making masks and sand bracelets. Here are the girl and boy samples that we made of the masks:
Can you believe that Will came up with that mask moustache idea all on his own?! He's a creative genius. The sand bracelets are clear flexible tubes that you pour different colored sand into with a little funnel. Not too much creativity there. The masks however, will be fun to watch and see what the kids come up with. I hope they want to do it, and get really into it. It'd be fun to see them wearing them around the carnival. This is all an experiment - first year doing an arts and craft booth. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Finally, the big day came - Sam started his second year of preschool! He was way excited. The day went swell. He's ready to go back for more. He even wants to walk home by himself! Don't worry. I won't let him.

Look Who's Walking and Talking!

I know, I know...you're all thinking, "Take those socks off that boy so he can get some traction! " I don't know what I was thinking. Bare feet certainly would have helped on the kitchen floor! And some others of you may be saying, "that didn't sound like 'bye-bye' to me!" You'll just have to trust us. Parents know these things. He always says it when he hears it being used.