Monday, March 31, 2014

Verses of the Week

I forgot to add the last two March verses of the week to the last post, so I'll put them here :)

First up is Matthew 24:30: And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.

Second up is Ephesians 4:29: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it  may benefit those who listen.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wrapping up March...

Here is my random assortment of pictures from the last week or so to wrap up the month.  Hard to believe that next month my little boy turns TWO!  Yikes!  So crazy!  Birthday talk as definitely begun, and Summer is probably the most excited of all of us, wanting to start decorating the house already!  But, for the next week and a half, I will still have my little one-year-old, and I have learned not to rush a single minute wishing for the next...they grow up too fast already!!!!  Anyway, onto my March "photo dump" wrapping up the month....
The kids enjoying a "birthday party" in the basement

Where both kids spend a lot of time....playing cars in Colton's room (I peeked in on them to sneak this pic).
School time...

Summer showing Colton how to make a "C"

Patterns and reading.  S made it all the way through the red and yellow beginner reader book with just a little help!

Doing math...counting out "2" caps and the "4" caps, and then counting and writing the total....

Yup, math makes us both happy ;)

She can do this almost all by herself now :)

Colton made the transition from high chair to booster seat this weekend!  What a big boy!  We are still working on drinking from a cup without a lid....he is a much more "active" eater than Summer was at his age!

Colton COMPLETELY mesmerized by the light rail en route to Minneapolis to see Auntie Kristin at work

Tagging along with Grandma Kirkwood and her baked cookies to visit my cousin Jenna at Bethel University
Summer went through her room to find things to make Baby #3's neutral nursery more this teddy....

Summer also gave baby one of her pink blankies and a little pink bunny...(I had to stop her before she brought her whole room into the nursery to give to baby!  She is so generous and sweet!)

Summer and I spent several hours together sorting through Summer's old clothes and getting them all set up in baby's nursery.  I had fun sharing stories with her of when she wore each outfit and I let her keep a few to use for her dollies. :)  She SERIOUSLY ABSOLUTELY LOVED going through the clothes and setting up babies' nursery, checking sizes on tags to sort the clothes by size, matching the shoes, stacking the bibs, folding the burp clothes, etc.  She keeps asking what else she can do to get ready for adorable :).  

Jordan and Madison's shower

Last weekend, Paul took Monday off and we took a long weekend, traveling up to Grandma and Grandpa T's house in Fergus Falls for Uncle Jordan and Auntie Madison's wedding shower.

Got these two goofballs packed ;)
We all stayed at Grandma, Grandpa, and Javonte's house, including Auntie Sarah and Uncle Ty, GeeGee Sandy, and Madison's parents.  We had a ton of fun hanging out, playing, catching up, and just being together.  Colton's highlight was probably getting to sleep in his big boy Thomas the Train bed (air mattress with a Thomas the Train blanket) and he literally was ecstatic about that!  Summer's highlight was probably playing "Champion" with Madison's dad, Mr. Greg, where they tried to make a basket with a ball and a bucket, and did the "Champion dance" if they got it in :).

Here are a few pics of the shower and the weekend...some from Paul, and some I stole from Grandpa T :).

The couples shower was held at the church, and Grandpa opened with a devotional and prayer.

The head table, with Greg and Becky (Madison's parents), Madison, Jordan, Kay, and Stuart

Playing the "shoe" game, where Jordan and Madison each had one of each of their shoes and used them as voting paddles.  While back to back, they had to answer 25 questions such as "Who is the better driver?", "Who will be in charge of the remote?", or "Who is the better dancer?"  by raising the shoe of whomever they thought best answered the question.  It was funny seeing how many questions Jordan and Madison answered the same as each other or differently!

Shoe game

Cute couple + delicious cake :)

The living room playground at Grandma T's

Reading with Uncle Jordan
Uncle Jordan is very musical, and both kids loved hearing him play his trombone, piano, and guitar.  Jordan let Colton strum his guitar while Jordan did the chords.  Colton loved drumming along with Jordan's guitar in this video...

Colton's favorite...the track...Daddy, Grandpa T, and the uncles built a track that went across the whole living room, entered an acceleration tunnel which catapulted the car farther to make it to the top of the stairs.  The tracks continued down both both half sets of stairs and the cars flew off the track in the basement.  Colton = in heaven. :)

Summer's favorite- helping Grandma T and GeeGee Sandy decorating/frosting cupcakes, topping them with Peeps, and eating them :)

Summer and Grandma

Colton and Grandpa

Silly runs in the Tommerdahl family genes, I think...
What a fun weekend!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Colton's first swimming lesson (and other fun and learning)

Colton has sat through many months of watching his sister take swimming lessons, and today it was his turn to join her in the pool!  We take lessons through Swim Wise, where kids start taking lessons on their own at age 3.  However, after watching the fear of deep water Summer had to already overcome at age 3, combined with the fact that Colton was just sitting and watching Summer take her lesson when he could be in the water too, Paul and I decided to enroll Colton earlier than we did Summer, and so we started him in the parent-child class.  So for the next several months Colton (+ baby and me ;)) will take swimming lessons at the same time as Summer's lesson, on Tuesday mornings. Colton was pretty excited to be able to take swimming lessons just like his big sister, and despite a few weak protests at wearing his goggles and getting his head wet, did everything asked of him (including jumping in and getting his ears and chin wet) and smiled almost the whole time!
Colton ready to take lessons with Big Sister

Here we go!

LOVE this little guy :)
 Besides learning to swim, we have been learning some new things in Tot School/Preschool this week.
Summer has been loving her workbooks, and will do page after page until I change the activity

She is getting so much better at counting accurately.  Here she is working on a sea shell bar graph.

I was pleasantly surprised that Colton was able to complete this color sorting activity mostly on his own, while I worked with Summer.  My friend LaDonna suggested this activity, and actually saved her caps from her kids' apple sauce pouches for me.  Thanks, LaDonna, it was quite the successful activity! 
 This next video shows how Colton enjoyed "throwing" the correct color into the correct dish....still completing the activity, but in a very "Colton"/"all-boy" way.  I love it!:

I found a car number matching activity here via Pinterest and immediately thought of Colton!  I shared it with Paul one night, and he thought I was talking about counting the cars verses matching their numbers.  I actually thought that his idea was a better one, so here is what I ended up making...

Colton's Number Parking Ramp
Already this activity is LOVED by both kids, and is also a great learning tool!  There are so many teachable moments.  As I had envisioned, it provides many learning moments as we talk about when "the '5' lot" is full (and count the cars together).  I hadn't anticipated the color practice, but Colton right away started talking about parking the cars in "the blue lot" and enjoyed matching the cars to their lots...putting the blue cars in the blue lot, the red cars in the red lot, etc.  I ended up later adding paper towel and wrapping paper tubes as "curbs" on the outside of the parking ramp, because the cars rolled off when the kids crawled over it to drive their cars on the road, but after that addition it really has been a fun, repeat, educational activity.

 I teach the kiddos their numbers and colors, but Paul teaches them the important how to identify types of fish when fishing....
Naming fish...
 When the weather is 30's and sunny, we take advantage of it and get out for a lap around the neighborhood...

A few days ago I found Colton the exact same stroller as Summer (but in boy colors) on Craig's List for $10 and Colton loves pushing around his taxi, soccer ball, or some other random car or truck.  Summer was great about letting him push hers, but its nice he can have his own now!

Summer from an early age has enjoyed putting the miles on this little pink stroller and not only has she put the miles on it around our neighborhood, our zoo, and our mall, but it has crossed several state lines as she pushes her doll "Berry" all over.  Colton is continuing in his sisters' footsteps both kids brought their strollers to the zoo this past Saturday.  For the first time, Paul and I were stroller free and bag free, as the kids pushed our picnic lunch and their own jackets in their strollers :)
Family Day at the Zoo
I normally video the kids' verse of the week on Tuesdays (as we get our new verse of the week on Wednesdays at BSF) but on Saturday morning, Paul captured some funny videos of the kids practicing their verse and singing it to their own little tunes.  So this week I will include these videos of them saying their verse because I think they are a lot more interesting than the ones I got this morning!

Summer (Matthew 22:37)

Colton (Matthew 22:37)

 Paul and I got out for a date night Saturday night!  Auntie Sarah and Uncle Ty came and played with our kiddos while we got out for a kid free meal, great adult conversation, and then to our church's annual Hoe Down and pie night.  They had a caller, photo booth, competitions, and lots of pie!  Here is a picture of the picture we got to take home with us.  We don't get too many pics of just the two of us, so I decided to include it :)
At our Church Hoe Down
At our house Paul and I get to watch many "shows" put on by our budding actress and actor.  This particular evening Paul videoed part of one of the "shows" we watched, which often include some sort of dancing/singing/music followed by a dramatic reading of a book. 

That's all for now! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Random March Fun and Learning

Here's a few pics of things we've been up to lately...

We love going to story time at the library each Tuesday morning, where Ms. Sarah has a half hour packed full of stories, songs, rhymes, and dances, all with a specific theme.  This week's theme was construction, which if you know my kids, you know we were all pretty excited!

 After story time, we often will pick out new books to bring home, play with the puzzles, games, magnetic letters, etc in the kids' area, and every once in a while get to play the educational games on the computers if they are free.  Another highlight of story time is that there are take-home coloring sheets to go along with the theme---here the kids are coloring their bulldozers :-)

We have had almost constant snow and below freezing temps this winter....
Summer's snowman has been getting buried alive!  This picture was from a few weeks ago, now the snow covers all but the top inch of him!

 But, it is FINALLY starting to thaw out!!  We hit 40 degrees this week, and we are living it up!  Here we are going for our first walk of the year with our favorite neighbors.  While we dodged quite a few "lake size" puddles, it felt awesome to be outside!

 Barnes and Noble had a special story time for Dr. Suess' birthday last Monday, so we met up with a friend to hear the reading of Green Eggs and Ham.  The highlight, however, was the cool train table they have in the kids area.   Colton (literally) played here for an hour and a half!!!  Summer picked out books for me to read to her while Colton played at the train table.

Colton is in heaven when we get the special "car" shopping cart!

We've been doing lots of arts and crafts in this cold is some play dough...

 Here the girls (Summer and neighbors Faith and Noelle) are making all sorts of puppets and other goodies with stickers, glue, etc. 

 That same day, Colton was so sweet playing with neighbor Baby Lilah.  The 3 girls came over one morning while their Mommy and Daddy went to look at their new house.  We are so sad to be losing them as neighbors but are grateful for the friendship we have started and that we will continue even after they move this month.

 We love our zoo membership as much as ever!  The kiddos and I went on Friday and packed a delicious lunch of PBJ, goldfish crackers, and apples :).  A highlight for all of us was watching the bird show after lunch.
Photographer Summer at the zoo, getting a close up shot of the giant sea turtle.

Colton and the Penguins :)

My little beauty

 Summer decided she wanted to make a grocery list with me this week, so she asked me how to spell the words she wanted to put on her list, and then made one :)
Summer grocery shopping with her list :)
Winter is the perfect time for tot school and preschool, since we want to be inside anyway :).  About a month before Summer turned 2, I started "tot school" with her (see this post) , and since Colton is now a month shy of turning 2, I decided to try some of the same activities with him this week.

Working on tracing the letters in Colton's name (dry erase markers + paper in plastic sleeve = perfect reusable practice sheets)

Practicing writing his name
Here is a video of him tracing his letters...


I was out of fruit loops (which I used for Summer's counting practice) but I used some marshmallows for Colton for a similiar number practice activity using this worksheet.

We tried to identify numbers as well as talk about "how many" of something was that number.  Here is a bit of a video showing where we are currently at ;)


Summer did great working in her workbook while I worked with Colton.

In the past year we have mostly finished the Preschool (red) one, so a few weeks ago I bought her some kindergarten ones.  She loves them!

Summer quietly working while I worked with Colton.
While Colton was napping Summer and I had a bit more Mommy-Summer preschool time.  A few topics of late....

Telling time:

And a video of what we are working on with telling time...(we conquered the hour hand a while ago but are working on understanding the minute hand)...


We work on reading/word flashcards pretty frequently (at her request during breakfast or lunch), but have in the last month or so begun beginner reader books.  (I found a pack of 10 beginner reader books at a consignment sale last fall and tucked them away for when she was ready).  This is the third book we have worked on reading together, and the first time she has seen this book (I have to change up the books so she has to read it instead of memorize it!)  She is getting better at sounding words out, but often will just look at the picture and try to "guess" the words, lol!  Anyway, here is a little video of what we do when we practice reading with her reading books...


The word "the" shows up a lot in books, so one day we went through and found all the "the's" on a few pages of one of her Curious George books and now she recognizes the word "the" from memory, which is helpful, because its not an easy word to sound-out :).

While teaching my kiddos school related stuff is fun and educational, of top priority for me is their spiritual upbringing.  Our morning Bible reading routine has changed slightly in the past few months...instead of reading and praying with each kid individually when they wake up, we have transitioned to reading both their Bibles and praying together during breakfast.  This has seemed to work better when they get up at the same time, as well as keep a wiggly Colton focused ;).  We continue our weekly Scripture memory...

This week's verse
and everyone in the family takes turns saying it at each meal.  A month or so ago Colton started being interested in saying it with us, so I would have him repeat after me.  This week, for the first time, he remembered almost all of it all on his own!  Here are two videos, one of each of the kids, saying this weeks' verse:



I love watching both of them grow in their knowledge and understanding of Jesus.  A lot of Summer's recent questions have been about descriptions of heaven vs. "the bad place" and about sharing the Good News about Jesus taking away all sins of anyone who asks so they can go to heaven too.  Each morning she hears me thank God for her decision in this area and continued growth and also hears me pray for Colton and Baby.  Because a lot of our conversation surrounds life after death lately, as her understanding continues to grow, she has started to pray for her brother to understand God's forgiveness.  It is so absolutely adorable!  In the past week we have started encouraging Colton to pray on his own, vs just repeating after us, when it is his turn to pray.  He knows that prayers start with "Dear God" and end with "Amen" and have some "thank you's" in the middle, so we are transitioning him to pick which "thank you's" he will put inside his prayer :).

I will end with this video of the kids playing basketball in the basement, as it is (most often for Colton) a common occurrence.    Colton will go play in the basement even if Summer and I are upstairs, and will shoot hoops for the longest time!  Just this week he started being able to get height and arch to his shot, allowing him to get multiple baskets in a row in a hoop that is taller than he is--pretty cute to watch!  While this particular video does not showcase his new ability ;), I will post it here to remind me of his current love for basketball as well as Summer's use of Matthew 20:16 in saying, "Colton can go first and I'll go last" (Several months ago we discussed this verse, and ever since she has quoted it all the time, including with our plumber(!) , and I just love it!).