Tuesday, October 18, 2011

fall fun

So often fall escapes us in Central Illinois. We've been known to go from 85 degree weather straight to super chilly days almost overnight--but not this year! October has been beautiful, and we've definitely been taking advantage of it with lots of outdoor activities. While I'll admit I've been putting off raking the front yard (thanks to the neighbor's trees that have dumped their loads on our property), I think the time procrastinating chores has been well-spent. Check out some of our latest adventures!

Ropp Family Roundup, complete with carmel apples and hayride.

Trip to Lake of the Woods in Mahomet:

Kindergarten field trip to Rader Farms (and I got to chaperone!)

Pumpkin party at Grandma Joanne/Grandpa Ronnie's:

And of course, our own fun fall crafts! I've found a great site, No Time for Flashcards, that offers tons of awesome ideas for doing stuff with kids. I borrowed these two projects from the site.

Halloween sensory tub. Beans, dried noodles, creepy plastic creatures, and a pumpkin spoon for scooping and dumping. I'm trying to make a different sensory tub each month, using various themes.

Marshmallow ghosts! Maddi's is the first one and Ali's is the second. Great, simple craft for even young toddlers. For Ali's, I put one glue dot on at a time and let her add the marshmallows.

Hope you're enjoying the season as much as we are!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

September (test)

Ok, what gives? I can't find my blog online. It doesn't turn up in a Google search, and when I type in the URL I get a "page not available" note. So I'm trying to post a quick update to see if it will publish. If not, I'll be in full-fledge panic mode...I've got 5 years of motherhood chronicled here!

Deep breath in, and exhale out. Ready to click the publish button. Fingers crossed. 3...2...1....

...and...I'm back. For real, I guess. Not sure what was going on, but the site seems to work for me now. Apparently it was working for others as well, as I received some reassurances via Facebook, so my worries were unnecessary. And since I'm here, might as well add a quick update.

What's new?

Kindergarten! Miss M is loving kindergarten. She doesn't seem to be worn out in the least by a full day of class. She has become quite the monkey at recess, spending all her time on monkey bars. In return, she's gaining superior upper body strength and two hands full of lovely blisters. Makes me cringe to see them but for the most part they don't bother her. Ahhh, to be a kid again. I truly believe as we age we become wimpier.

Ali is in two-year-old mode! Tantrums are a daily part of life now, but she's easily distracted--usually--so that's a good thing. She's darn cute the rest of the time. (And she knows it!) She's very social and isn't afraid to get involved in activities. We went to a story hour last week--her first one--and she sang, danced, clapped her hands, and answered questions about the stories. "What shape is this?" "Ummmm, a circle!" "What color is the frog?" "Ummm, green!"

I have tons of new pics, but sadly I lack the time to sift through the masses right now. Here are a few from the latest folder...enjoy, and see you back here soon, hopefully!

Fancy butterfly girl

Sweeeeeet cooooorn!

Happy birthday to Ali!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

summer's end (almost)

Somehow this summer has flown by. Usually things mosey along at a reasonable pace until July. Then, for some reason, time kicks it up a notch. And now here we are in the second week of August, and school starts next week. This is a big deal this year, because Miss M starts kindergarten! She's very excited. And Little Sis is excited because Big Sis is excited. ("Look!" she exclaims when we drive past the school. "Maddi's tinderdarden!") And I'm kind of excited because I will not have to listen to arguments and crying all day long. But I'm also fearful because this is a big step...I'm releasing my firstborn into the care of someone else on a daily basis, for a large chunk of time each day. (Why is it necessary for 5-year-olds to spend all day in school? I still don't really get that one.) But I should relax. She's friendly and will find new pals. She's smart and will do fine academically (she's been reading Dr. Seuss on her own lately). So what I really should say, in the spirit of Alfred E. Newman is: "What? Me Worry?"

All this aside, we've had a great summer. Let's see if I can do justice by narrating with pictures:

Water fun with a friend.

Sumer staple: freeze pops.

Garden girls.

New baby alert! My sis had her first kiddo in July. Can you tell which is the real baby belly?

Farm fun. (Meow.)

In business selling sweet corn.

Riding a bike...2 wheels!

Can't believe she'll be 2 this month! A has a great sense of humor, and she's very verbal. Talks, sings, and dances all the time!

Friday, April 15, 2011


Oh, wow. It's been ages since I've updated. (I seem to start too many posts with this sort of wording...) But better late than never, right! So what's new? Well...

Miss M is preparing for kindergarten next year. She's registered and everything, and at this point seems to be excited about the adventure. She just turned 5 and is really starting to act, talk, and look more mature. Almost gone is our preschooler...it's nearly time to call her a "big kid" grade-schooler!

Ali is developing quite the vocabulary! She's putting 2-3 words together and communicates very well. She also throws tantrums quite well. It's as entertaining as frustrating, I have to admit. Her first 2-word phrase was--no joke--"Ali toot." This evolved into "Mama toot," "Daddy toot," "Kappa (grandpa) toot" and so on. The kid definitely has a sense of humor

M is starting to read. She practices reading signs and the books we get from the library, and is doing very well. I haven't deliberately worked with her on this, but we read all the time and she loves to write her letters, so it's nice to see she has some inner drive and that it's paying off.

A still loves to dance and now likes to sing. Her favorites are "Toe, Leg, Toe" from a kids' cd, "How Much is That Doggy in the Window" (modfied version) and "The Wheels on the Bus." She can also identify piano and vibraphone when she hears them on a recording, and every time she hears vibes, says: "Daddy bibes!" Impressive!

We survived this years' long, cold winter and are thrilled to be heading into spring. Been spending lots of time in the backyard and at local parks. Kevin and I are looking forward to walking on the trail again. And I'm itching to get back in gardening mode (although we have already been able to harvest green onions, thanks to K's mini-greenhouse experiment last fall). We look forward to trips to Iowa City for the jazz festival this summer--Kevin's band is a featured group--and local trips to Starved Rock and Moraine View State Park, among other places.

Happy spring, y'all!

Birthday gift: a couple of molly fish.

Spring means redbuds in bloom and line-drying!

Clover girls.