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Madeline recently turned six.  Her day was just perfect.  We started with breakfast and opening a few things in the morning, followed by a simple get together at a local bagel and treat shop.  Yesterday we had a few friends join us at a gymnastic place and we jumped the day a way. sadly, I did not have my camera for that…

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Monday Ritual: one or two photos, just a few words. Enjoy!

This babe of mine has a new love for trains.  This new love has helped to bond the siblings even more, as they are always wanting to play trains together.  (By the way, the train table was my awesome $15.00 garage sale find!)

These two have been on a lot of bug hunts lately!  I love this photo of them searching together.

Monday ritual: one or two photos, just a few words. Enjoy!

I love when I catch Madeline nurturing her babies!

We enjoyed a morning pretending to be at the library.  Madeline set everything up, complete with library cards and coloring sheets just like our local library has.  We also had story time over and over again.  It was a lovely morning!

Madeline turned four this past Friday.  Oh, what a joyous day she had!  She kept saying “This is my lucky day!”

I love preparing the birthday child’s spot at the table with special things for them to find when they awake.

Here she is on her way to find her surprises!

I love that she wanted to wear her crown all weekend.

She asked for Grammy to join her in cake decorating.  I baked a super healthy cake and it tasted really good.  We iced it with chocolate peanut butter.  This was a healthier alternative to icing and it really added something to the cake.

This cake turned out exactly how she wanted!  She was able to share it with a few cousins and friends at our traditional Chuck E Cheese gathering.

We celebrated with her friends the next day at an indoor playground.  We opted to serve fruit, muffins and simple gingerbread men.  To decorate them each child was given an individual pack of chocolate peanut butter or almond butter and raisins or SunDrops, a healthier version of m&m’s.  The children loved this activity.

Instead of gifts we  chose to have an ornament exchange.  This was such a big hit!  We have always had a book exchange at her parties as an answer to her not getting too many gifts right before Christmas.  We all enjoyed the new twist.  We passed the ornaments each time we sang jingle in the song Jingle Bells.  I love that each child leaves with something as well and not a bunch of plastic things or candy in a goody bag.

She chose to have hummus, lentils, sprouts and pita pockets for her dinner!  What a good dinner it was.

Her main gift from us was this balance bike from Kazam.  We did a lot of research and this one won out.  She loves it and has wanted to ride non stop!  I love that this is such good quality that Max will be able to use it in a few years.

Happy Birthday my love!  Oh, how you melt my heart!

Monday Ritual:  One or two photos, just a few words.  Enjoy!

This shot was taken during Madeline’s  Sunday school class.  She would not go in unless she was wearing this mask!

Wow, have we been busy around here getting ready for my new at home preschool to start.  We started today with 8 wonderful children.  I could not have asked for a better group of children.  I am modeling the class around the Reggio Emilia and Play Based learning philosophies.  I loved watching all of the children do their own thing.  At one point we had rocks and shells being “baked” and markers exploding all over faces!  It was exactly what I was hoping it would be.

I made Madeline this sweet little dress from this idea over at The Artful Parent.   I love her sock choice!

I do believe she had a good day!  I was very proud of her good listening.

This week was also the first week for Ethan.  He is actually at home with us again this year as he was for Kindergarten two years ago.  We have enjoyed getting back into the swing of things.

A visit to our local botanical garden.

One of the many pictures Ethan took of flowers.

Oh, this babe of mine.  He’s always there, wherever we may be.  Shh, do not say this too loud, in two days he turns one.  One!

Oh this life is great!

Monday Ritual: One or two photos, just a few words.  Enjoy!

Somebody recently gave this swimsuit to Madeline.  She tried it on and said “Look Mom, it fits!”  Obviously it was on backwards!!
Please ignore Max’s left behind apple core.

We recently read Ramona Quimby,  Age 8 as a family.  Oh, that Ramona is so funny.  She reminds us all of our own little Madeline! 
In this story, Ramona has to make up a commercial about a book she read for her class.  Making up our own commercials seemed like a natural activity to try with the kids once we finished the book.  This activity was a big hit with all of us!

Ethan really got into this and even made up songs to go with his commercials.

This is a good activity to help children retain what they have just read.  It also allows them to be creative in other ways than pen and paper.

“Ramona’s books are the best!  You should read them to your sweet pest, only $9.99!!!”

My little artist decided she would like to paint her whole body after seeing a picture of a boy in a magazine who tried this.  She  is certainly no stranger to getting messy or even to painting her face, hands or feet.  But her whole body, that was new to her.  Needless to say, she had a blast.

Even Max gave this a go.  As you can guess he did not last long!

Here’s to a happy childhood!