Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Funnies : Stuff Canon Says

Welcome to the first installment of Friday Funnies. I decided to start things off with Stuff Canon Says because, well, I often find it hilarious or brilliant or both. I have kept a notebook over the last couple of years, so I will start with the earliest I have recorded. Nevertheless, I wish to have them recorded somewhere that I can access them anytime I choose. I hope you will enjoy these as much as I have.

August 2012

*As we are driving home from school and we have just gotten off the phone with Craig*
Whitney : "Canon, do you love your daddy?"
Canon : "Yes!"
Mom : "I know you do. He's a good daddy."
Canon : "Where did good daddy go?"

*As we are driving down the road in our neighborhood, we a man stretching in preparation for a run*
Canon : "What is that body doing?"
**Note : he said "that body" instead of "somebody" or "that man"

*Singing Old McDonald Had A Farm*
Canon : "and on this farm he had a shark...with an "aaaaahhhh!" here..."

"Outfide" = Outside

Come back next Friday for {what I hope are} more giggles to end your week. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

We're All in the Same Boat!

This post actually has nothing to do with the book that shares this title, but we did visit the zoo and see lots of animals and I think of this book whenever we do this activity. Thus, the title of this post.

You can buy this book at It is really cute, and tells the story of the not so pretty side of being cooped up on the ark with a ton of animals for so long. We read it to Canon all the time.

Ah, the paths my mind takes.

Anyway, Canon and I visited the zoo on Tuesday with his best friend. It was great for him to get out of the house, run around an open space, and play with his best mate. It was good for me to get some adult conversation in the middle of the day. We will definitely be taking full advantage of those yearly passes my parents gave us for Christmas. Thank you again Mom and Dad! These things are really going to save us a ton of money. And sanity.

Sidenote : I like to take photos every time we go to the zoo. Shocker, I know. I like the challenge of finding new pictures during each visit though. So you will probably see photos each time we go to the zoo this year. My apologies in advance.

Let's get back to the subject at hand now, shall we?

The boys loved having time and space to roam and play so we just let them be. They all play really well together - ages 4, 3, and 2 - so I guess we should count our blessings in that respect.

This handsome fella' put up with the boys running at him like a champ. We quickly put a stop to that business though and explained that they needed to be gentle, quiet, and proceed slowly so as not to scare him. Thank goodness they listened because I couldn't stop taking pictures of him and he was a cooperative {vain} model.

This next photo makes me giggle for a couple of different reasons. 1} Canon's "surprise face" at the thought of the snake eating him is funny and 2} It looks like the snake is actually about to eat the lady in the background, which I didn't notice until I was editing these photos. It's photo gold, I tell ya. Or at least enough to entertain me during nap time today.

I like to think of the following conversation between mother and child giraffe, as told through these photos.

Kid G : Mmmmm, tastes like chicken.

Mama G : Good grief, child. Were you raised in a barn?!

Kid G : What? The others dared me to do it. They said I couldn't do it without getting a splinter in my tongue.

Mama G *muttering to father* : He gets that from your side of the family.

Yeah that sounds about right.

You could tell spring is right around the corner too. I saw several animals getting busy - from the turtles to the birds. Thankfully, the kids didn't know what was going on so we can save "the talk" for another day.

We had a great visit, and it prompted a new goal for Canon. He now wants to be a zookeeper, mostly because he didn't want to leave. He wants to be the one locking the gates and staying there when the animals sleep. His words, of course.

We will visit again in a couple of weeks, so we will see if he changes his mind then {not likely}. We will also see if I can find anything new to photograph {hopefully}. 

Also, I really like brackets {obviously}.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

This place is real, guys. It is Wat Rong Khun {The White Temple}, a contemporary Buddhist temple located in Chiang Rai, Thailand. I don't know about you, but I am ready to book my ticket now. 

Let's do this.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

You just got schooled, son.

*This post is a bit wordy, so I apologize. I hope, though, that it helps any of you parents out there that have children at home and want to help them get a leg up before they begin their schooling.*

When I was laid off a few months ago, Craig and I decided to see if we could swing my staying home with Canon. We felt that the best thing for Canon was for me to take care of him rather than him be in daycare for 10+ hours a day. However, in order for me to feel like I was doing him justice and taking the best care possible, I needed to continue his "studies" even at home. I wanted him to be prepared for preschool and then kindergarten.

I want to explain my "methods" right off the bat and let you know that what I am doing, though teaching Canon fundamentals that he will need when he goes to kindergarten, would not be considered true homeschooling. I am not qualified to take the place of a teacher in a school setting and would never suggest that I could. I do, however, have one great advantage over this teaching thing. You see, my mother is a teacher and she is equipping me with the tips and tricks {as well as some materials and tools} to get this kid going on the right track before he ever arrives in a classroom. That said, I thought that I would give a general run-down of what we call "school" in our household.

There are a couple of things that are a given for us each week. We study one letter and one number per week. For example, this week we are studying the letter 'F' and the number '6'. We also have a "password of the week" where a specific skill is taught. This week's password is counting by 10's to 100. Previous passwords have included counting by 2's, the days of the week, the months of the year, and rhyming words. Basically, any tasks or skills that he will need to know to finish kindergarten we are touching on now.

Our methods for working on these letters, numbers, and skills varies for a couple of different reasons. 1.} A four year old's attention span is really short and I don't want him to feel like he is "doing school" all day. 2.} Getting creative with the learning activities keeps both of us engaged more so than if we were sitting around tracing letters all day.

A few examples of the way that we "study" are as follows:

a} Want to learn to count by 2's? Try hopscotch. Only jump on the numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10.

b} Need to figure out what the capital and lowercase 'A' looks like? Make them out of playdoh.

c} Want to practice rhyming words? Make up words that rhyme so that he understands that rhyming is the sound, not word association which most children think initially.

Playing the card game battle to learn which numbers are larger than others, having a scavenger hunt to find items that start with the letter 'E', or playing a game of soccer while spelling out color words are just some ideas to help keep learning fun.

By far Canon's favorite activity, though, is going "exploring". We go around the neighborhood looking for things that begin with the letter we are studying that week and finding a group of like items {like rocks or something} in the number that we are studying.

He takes his binoculars, magnifying glass, compass, and any other tools he needs to explore his surroundings. On this particular trip, he found "dragon tracks". {He had just watched an episode from How To Train Your Dragon.}

He studied interesting leaves and plants to determine color, size, and what letter their name started with.

Too bad we weren't studying 'F' on this trip because this fox would have been a brilliant find.

Apparently the dragon took some bites out of this piece of wood.

On this particular trip, we were looking for things with the letter 'E' and we didn't have much luck. We were also looking for 5 of a particular item and we did find 5 white rocks. The best part? Canon had so much fun that he has asked to go exploring every day since. Success, I say!

So that's our "homeschooling" routine, of sorts. It's exhausting, but so worthwhile!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Plans for this blog

*This post was actually meant for last Friday, but we took a little trip to the country to visit my grandmother. We decided to go a day early to relax a little more. Great for us. Not so great for internet service.  Sorry about the delay!*

I have been thinking quite a bit about this blog and how I can give it a little bit more structure. For those of you that know me in real life, I know what you are thinking. "When do you ever need structure?!"  True, but I felt this blog needed a little schedule to follow. So it goes.

I follow lots of blogs and have seen several of these ideas so I am not going to claim them as my own, but I intend to use them to help strengthen my online presence. Any and all feedback would be appreciated.

Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays
There will be postings as normal. Mostly our day to day adventures, with a few tutorials or random thoughts thrown in for good measure.

Wordless Wednesdays
I may post a video that I like or a picture of a place that I want to visit someday. Perhaps it will be a random image that I have taken that week. Just a little something to get conversations started.

Friday Funnies
I intend to keep track of the funny things that Canon says. Occasionally I may bring other funny things to the table, but this will mostly be a place for me to track my conversations with the little man. I haven't quite decided that I love that name so we will see how that evolves, but the idea will remain the same.

You know what they say..."The best laid plans of mice and men..."

We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Welcome to Camp Canon!

I realize that you have all been waiting with bated breath to hear about Canon's birthday party, so without further ado, I invite you to Camp Canon.

The night before the party, Craig and I built this tent that I hope to be able to use in a playroom one day. {We used Ana White's tutorial for anyone wondering.}

We created different stations for the children. We had an art station, a fishing station, and a games station. Each activity completed earned them a badge to add to their sash. They also received a drawstring backpack with camping gear {flashlight, binoculars, compass, whistle, and a magnifying glass} to help them explore along the way.

See the fire badge on Canon's sash? That was for being the birthday boy. The other badges that all of the kids could earn were an art badge, a fishing badge, and a games badge, which of course I don't have pictures of.

Even the cupcakes had "roasting marshmallows" on top to continue the theme. *Sidenote: this was the first time I have ever made cupcakes and they were actually good! Nevermind the fact that they were made from a box mix. I actually did it! Go me.*

I made small campfires for each table. 

 The kids ate hot dogs in the tent and drank lemonade from their own canteens.

There were plenty of things that didn't go as I planned.

1.} I had gotten a craft for the children - they were to make a foam picture frame. Then I was going to take a picture of all of the kids that came and send it to them for their frame. Thankfully, I had also gotten stickers which is what they wanted to do instead. Of course.

2.} We had planned to roast marshmallows on the fire pit. The men were doing what men do - building and feeding the fire when all of a sudden the bottom fell out - literally. Apparently, the metal center of the pit had corroded so much {thanks sea salt air of Florida} that the fire finished the job and fell through to the ground. Luckily only the men were around at the time and were able to ensure that it was stable and safe so we were still able to use the fire for s'mores. Priorities.

3.} We had planned to watch a movie outside {Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Great Outdoor Adventure, naturally}, so my brother borrowed a projector for us and I hung a sheet from the fence for a nice big "screen". Of course, my computer wouldn't read the DVD so that plan was scrapped. The kids didn't seem to mind since they were still going strong playing anyway.

4.} At the end of the night, Craig, Canon, and I were going to camp outside {in a real tent}, but Craig got sick so we ended up spending the night in our own beds inside. So much for that.

The thing is, though, the kids had a blast and Canon kept saying "this is awesome!" so I think it is safe to say that he had a good time.

I had so much help from my family and friends too that I can't even begin to thank them enough. Everything from food prep to borrowing tables to "manning the stations", they were troopers.

This was a great way to round out the birthday week for Canon, and I think I am finally getting the hang of this "everything doesn't have to be perfect for the kids to have fun" thing. Finally.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Boats and Baseball...sort of

After celebrating Canon's birthday all day Saturday, we decided to take it easy on Sunday and enjoy some things around our city. Our first stop was to the marina I was with three generations of boat lovers and that stuff is embedded in their blood. My father-in-law even sent a picture of a gorgeous small yacht to his girlfriend joking that he had just bought it. She quickly retorted that they needed the mansion to go with it. Us girls have learned to just go with it when it comes to their love of watercraft.

Afterwards, we had a nice, low-key dinner at a restaurant on the water and enjoyed Grandpa's last night with us. The next morning, Craig had to go to work so Grandpa decided to teach Canon how to play tee-ball in the backyard. He was terribly excited about it. Can't you tell?

Truthfully, Canon had a great time. He learned how to hit just the ball instead of the tee and other such baseball-y things.

It wasn't long before he reverted back to soccer though.

It became a full contact sport. Maybe not the way Pele played, but they sure had fun.

We so enjoyed having Grandpa with us for Canon's birthday. I think it's safe to say that the boy loves his grandfather.We can't wait to see him again in a few months.

This kid had a fantastic birthday weekend, but the celebrating wasn't over. He had a party the following weekend, and I will recap that for you soon!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Four Years of Adventures

Canon is one lucky little boy. He has so many people that love him so much and he has no idea that it isn't something that everyone has. He turned four a little over a week ago, and since father-in-law couldn't be here for the party, he came to stay the weekend of his actual birthday. While here, Grandpa decided that the only way for a kid to celebrate his birthday was at Chuck E. Cheese. The three adults with him would beg to differ at the end of the stay, but Canon thought it was the most glorious time. We were there for four and a half. looooooong hours. Yeah, I will let that sink in a bit for a minute. The one saving grace was that there were three adults, which meant we got to take turns playing the games.

We decided to take Canon's birthday presents with us because even though he wasn't having a "party" there we knew he would see other birthday parties and wonder why he wasn't opening presents too. Of course, we opened presents before playing all of the games, which meant we were doing this while he was taking in all of his surroundings. Talk about sensory overload. No worries - although these pictures don't portray it, he actually does love his gifts.

When it came time to actually get out and play the games, he quickly found his favorites. There was air hockey, which was played several times.

This game, where he drove this hover craft of sorts, was a huge hit and he was surprisingly good at it.

After the big CEC, we came home to take a nap and ready ourselves for more birthday fun. We rounded out the evening with cake and ice cream and a little balloon-playing action. {Notice the streamers in the background? There were several more and they held balloons at the bottom so that Canon had to walk through them all day. There were some placed at his bedroom door and at the entrance to the kitchen the night before so that he wakes up to some birthday magic. A tradition for the little man. They don't last long, but they sure are fun while they last.}

Happy birthday baby boy. You have brought us more joy than we could have ever imagined. These past four years have been the best adventure and we know the best is yet to come.