Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 2013 videos

Easter morning

We attended Easter morning service with Austin's family.  Certain people were not in the mood to take pictures.  Here is what we got...

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cousin fun

After the play, the kids went on an egg hunt outside and played hard together.  The day ended with Grandma story time.

Easter Play

For over a month now, Emily has been planning and putting together an Easter Passion play she decided would be performed with the Lorenzen side of the family at Easter.  She made scenery and props, cast the cousins and a few others in different roles, gathered costumes, composed original piano music for each of the four acts and made handmade programs for all those not involved in the play.  I helped her send out an email invitation just to let everyone know what was going on.

Today was the big day!  The whole thing actually went better than I expected.  Everyone participated and played their roles well.  There is a video of the complete performance below, as well as pictures.

The Master Plan

The program cover
Inside the program
The preparations
Part of the cast

Jesus being nailed to the cross

Easter at home

The kids have been excited to open a Resurrection Egg each morning for the last week and a half.  (I used a free download from the website here.)  We pretended this morning was Easter morning.  They each got an Easter bucket with some new books, a watering can and some Thomas fruit snacks.  They also went on an egg hunt around the house.  Emily had insisted on hiding her own special eggs with paper crosses inside the night before.  I hid ones with jellybeans later. :o)

6 years + 5 months

At some point this month, Emily decided she wanted to be called Emmy.  I haven't heard her request that people call her that, but she started writing Emmy on all her school papers.  We had had a conversation earlier about nicknames.  She had asked me why some people call her Em.  I told her if she'd rather be called Emily, she just had to let people know.  I didn't like being called anything but Megan growing up (except for a few select people who could call me Meg).  So far, I haven't made a big deal of it since I'm hoping it's just a passing phase.  I will not be calling her Emmy, though.

Emily has been obsessed lately with trying to decide what she wants to be/do when she grows up.  This is really stressing her out because she wants to do so many things.  Teacher and Author are usually near the top of the list (it was for me at that age, too).  One night she even made a list of possible occupations with at least one for every letter of the alphabet.  They also did a unit on community helpers/jobs in school.  She was thrilled when her teacher let her take home the class list of job possibilities.  Can you guess which one she suggested?  (Hint: It's my "job")

Both kids have been doing little jobs for the last month to earn quarters to buy toothbrushes & underwear for kids in Haiti as part of a service project for Sunday School.  The main job was setting the table.  After the project was completed, Emily decided she wanted to wash dishes, too.  Austin had her start off by drying and putting away (although Emily thinks she should be doing the washing first).  Her enthusiasm lasted about three days.

A really bad, nervous habit Emily has developed this month is twisting her hair and putting it in her mouth.  You can tell when she's been doing it a lot because her hair is wet and stringy.  It drives me absolutely crazy.  Her hair is extra tangly, too, which causes her to throw fits when I comb it.  I hope this one ends soon.

Emily's March art work from school is below.

Friday, March 29, 2013


After a long, cold March, we finally had a nice day to go outside and play.  Emily collected sticks and made a homemade broom.  Lincoln enjoyed playing in water.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Passover Celebration

Sally Baker is an amazing woman at our church with a passion for teaching everyone from kids to adults.  This year, she put together a special Passover Celebration geared towards families.  During the celebration, she went through the Haggadah (liturgy), explaining all the different parts.  We each got the chance to taste the traditional Passover foods, including real matzah.  I sure learned a lot!  I was impressed that Emily actually tried most of the stuff--including the parsley dipped in salt water.  :op  Lincoln mostly concentrated on drinking his grape juice. :o)

Breaking off a piece of the afikomen (matzah)
Bitter herbs (matzah dipped in horseradish sauce)
Sally Baker reading the haggadah
Lincoln enjoying his "Four cups of wine"
Trying the kharoset (apple butter)

Sally explaining the connection between Passover and Communion

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring Informance

At Emily's school, the Music and P.E. programs have a lot of great collaboration, including a spring "Informance" program.  This year's theme was basketball.  Emily was excited, but a little nervous about it.  She looked so serious during the performance.  Afterwards, she was bouncing off the walls saying, "That was so much fun--I didn't want it to ever end!"  She celebrated with a Dilly Bar.

Pictures and video are difficult in a big auditorium, even with decent seats.  The video I took is below.  I apologize for the lack of focus at times.  For the music part, Emily is in the third row, 5th from the left in a neon yellow Go-Hawk shirt. At the end when the entire school (K-4) is on stage dancing, Emily is front and center behind the middle microphone and in front of Mr. Tucker, the P.E. teacher.  I didn't have zoom for that one.  The music teacher, Ms. Rasmussen, posted all of the videos from the Informance, including the Kindergarten introduction trailer I didn't get, on her web site.  You can view it here.  (The Hamster Dance and Jump Rope routines are awesome.)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday

Lincoln got a palm branch from Sunday School today.  His leader said he insisted on taking the "Charlie Brown" one.  At home, Lincoln show us how they paraded around.  There is a video in the March play list.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

3 years + 10 months

It's a jammies picture for Lincoln this month.  We had parent/teacher conferences at his preschool and Lincoln got a great report!  He is extremely social and enthusiastic (no surprise there).  He knows all his colors, most of the letters, several numbers, and some basic shapes.  He can also recognize his name in print.  He still skips one or two numbers in the teens when counting to 20 and consistently switches J & K when singing the alphabet song (see video in March play list).

Speech-wise, Lincoln "sinks about sings" a lot (especially trains).  He still has a slight lateral lisp on /j/ /g/ /ch/ sounds and /l/ sounds come and go.  He also still uses masculine pronouns most of the time regardless of gender.  This continues to drive Emily nuts.

Lincoln has become very enthusiastic about puzzles and games.  He loves giant floor puzzles and the alphabet train one in particular (see video).  He is very good about following the rules of the somewhat complicated Thomas the Train Making Tracks game.  We usually play something after lunch before his afternoon nap.

Speaking of naps, Lincoln has become a very consistent afternoon napper again--averaging 1.5 hours.  He has begun to be more independent lately and has insisted on putting himself down for a nap.  Although I'm usually looking for an excuse to take a nap myself, I'm happy to let him do it. 

Lincoln has also had fun exploring cutting and painting lately.  He likes to get out clumps of yarn and cut them into small (3 in.) pieces.  He just cut out this "rocket" he made for the family mission wall all by himself.  This is huge progress!

Below are some examples of some recent paintings--one from school and the rest from home.

There is also a video clip of him praying in the March play list.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Launch Pad

Another project I finally finished was hanging up our family mission.  Our church had a sermon series on families during the month of January and challenged everyone to write a family mission statement.  Austin is not a fan of mission statements in general, so when we discussed the idea over dinner in Kauai one night, he came up with the idea of a word picture.  He suggested "Launch Pad" because everything that happens in our household is a launch pad for something else in life.  Plus, it's an easy concept for kids to understand.  I took that idea and used the categories found in a great book called The Danger of Raising Nice Kids: Preparing Our Children to Change Their World by Timothy Smith.  In the book, the author gives a categorized outline of the vision/goals of what we would want our kids to know/be at age 18.

I used the Cricut to cut starts and vinyl letters.  Then Emily & Lincoln each made rockets to add to the display that now hangs by the kitchen table.

No more snow!

We had yet another round of snow today.  :o(  There wasn't any kind of school delay, but the strong winds prevented my usual errand trip to Waterloo.  Lincoln was super excited to help shovel.  I really hope it is the last time this year!

It actually was a rather pretty snow, but that was negated by the fact it was March 18.

What's wrong with this picture?


Since I couldn't go anywhere, I took the opportunity to complete a long-time organizing project.  I've had these binders organized this way for several years, but I just got new (bigger) matching binders from my mom and used my Cricut to make nice vinyl labels.  Each binder has tabbed dividers with all the pertinent information, so looking up and finding documents or numbers is very quick & easy.