5 Dollars

My life as an at-home momma of 3 amazing kids...it's kind of like shoveling snow in a blizzard.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Pointilism from a 4-year-old's point of view?

I'm not sure if she's ever seen Serat. I think she's seen some artwork done in pointilism before but I'm really not sure. Today, she came up with this stegasaurus drawn all in little circles and it immediately made me think of Serat. I can't wait to get her to Chicago in 2007 for our family vacation to go through the art museum.

Rod Stewart & Penny Lancaster had a water birth!

I had heard him interviewed a few weeks ago. He was talking about going to birthing classes, including emergency childbirth in case he had to be the one to catch the baby! They had an unmedicated waterbirth in a hospital on Sunday.

I love that Rod was quoted as saying -

"Both Penny and our baby son are gorgeous, healthy and doing well. I am so very proud of my girl Pen for the commitment, courage and strength she showed throughout."

And Penny said -

"It means so much to Rod and I that we were able to keep to our birthing plan and have our baby naturally. It was the most empowering and spiritual experience of my life."

Yeah! Good for them! I even read that he got into the birthing tub with her!

The Christmas Tree

Notice the Advent boxes from Grandma lined up under it and ready for tomorrow morning! They are dying to get into them and open their first present.

Thanksgiving in Salem - part II

Kaylee was quite proud of her pretty braids with the jingle bell bows on them. And you'll notice her constant friend Magic Bunny peeking over one shoulder and her new pink bear peeking over the other one.

Keithen was anxious to get someone to play cards with him. I love the little glimpse of Ruby behind him looking like she's thinking hard!

Thanksgiving in Salem - part I

Here are some pictures from our second Thanksgiving feast of the weekend. Don't you just love those red curls on little cousin Taylor?! You can tell that Kaylee is Pappy's girl!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Festival of Trees

Here are the kids with some of their favorite trees from the festival at The Embassy Theatre. And a couple of pictures of Kaylee watching the ballerinas perform there. I was excited that they did Carnival of the Animals. Kaylee liked the pink elephants best and Ruby liked the blue birds. Now maybe Kaylee will take more interest in my CD of the music since she's seen some of it performed. Keithen prefered the Joe Jackson jive number that they did last. He was bouncing around in his seat to the music.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are some pictures from Thanksgiving at Grandma & Grandpa Williams' house. The kids were very enthralled with the Polar Express movie that Grandma put on for them that evening. (And Kaylee was equally enthralled with the huge dish of M&M's in the sunroom!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Feast

Here are some pictures of Keithen and some of his classmates enjoying their "first Thanksgiving" feast at school today. The parents and grandparents brought in an amazing amount of food for the kids to share. We had four tables just groaning with dishes!


Keithen and I spent a few minutes before school prancing around the yard catching snowflakes and singing...
If all the snowflakes
Were candy bars and milkshakes
Oh, what a snow that would be!
Standing outside, with my mouth open wide
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah
If all the snowflakes
Were candy bars and milkshakes
Oh, what a snow that would be!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Giving Thanks

I've been tagged by Anne - http://whatssonmymind.blogspot.com/2005/11/november-and-thanksgiving.html - to post a list of things I'm thankful for on my blog.

10 Things I'm Thankful For
1. That I have a loving husband who is willing to provide for our family so I can be home with our children while they are small.
2. That we have a supportive and loving extended family.
3. My sensitive, brainy and compassionate son, Keithen.
4. My creative, firey and independent daughter, Kaylee.
5. My amazing "bonus baby" Ruby, who is the light of my life, the humor in our day, and my little helper.
6. That we have a warm and safe home.
7. That we have two cars that run and can afford to keep the gas tanks full.
8. That my hubby has a steady job that pays our bills.
9. That I am part of an incredible local network of mommas who would do anything for each other in times of physical or emotional stress or crisis.
10.That everyone in our house now sleeps in underwear! No more pull ups or diapers to buy!

Now, I TAG the following people to do this on their own blog!

Andrea - http://chaithere.blogspot.com/

Gina - http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=granolagina

Lil - http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=mommylil

Becca - http://www.nimrodnews.blogspot.com/

Anne - http://www.everydayfamily.blogspot.com/

Lisa - http://www.xanga.com/runningmommy7

Amy - http://www.masson.us/blog/baby/babyblog.html

New study on spanking

This new study from the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University shows that children who are spanked when they misbehave are more likely to be anxious and aggressive than their peers who are not physically disciplined.

The Children's Museum - part V

Just two last pictures - I loved this one of the girls in the mirror maze!

The other picture is the construction on the Fireworks of Glass exhibit that we are very anxious to see.


Fireworks of Glass will be the largest permanent sculpture of Dale Chihuly blown glass ever created. (The finished piece will stand 43 feet tall and will be comprised of more than 2,500 individually blown, glass pieces. There will even be a revolving platform under it that you can lay on to look at it!) The grand opening will be on March 18, 2006. I hope to get several pictures as they are installing it to show the progress. Here's another link with pictures of what it should look like when it's finished -


The Children's Museum - part IV

Kaylee, the artist at work, in the dinosaur art gallery. I swear that's her favorite part of the entire Museum right now. Some older girls came in, probably freshmen in high school, and sat at the drawing station with us. The one girl kept saying how her dinosaur looked like a duck and she couldn't draw and how much better Kaylee's dinosaur looked than hers, LOL!

One of the other spots that the girls always love is the dinosaur nest area. We were very pleased to see that they've expanded it! There is a second nest now and more eggs and costumes. They've also added some cute little puppets that are eggs with dinosaurs hatching out of them. Kaylee was quite attached to her little hatchling and almost didn't want to leave him behind.

The Children's Museum - part III

We were lucky enough to be first in line for the carousel, so Kaylee was able to snag one of the prettiest jumpers that they have. She looks pretty happy about it too! LOL!

The Children's Musuem - part II

Here's Ruby enjoying the carousel. I love the one of her looking up at the stars on the ceiling!

The Children's Museum - part I

The Yule Slide is open! The annual "Jolly Days" exhibit at the Children's Museum doesn't open until the day after Thanksgiving, but the Yule Slide always opens a few days in advance. Ever since I figured this out a couple of years ago, we always try to make a trip in the days before Thanksgiving to get a chance at the slide without the long lines. (Shhh....don't tell anyone that Ruby isn't 3 until February...she wasn't supposed to slide alone!)

The "babywearing" panda is always a big hit with me and the kids! Kudos for the Museum for continuing to include it in the display by the waterclock each holiday season!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Abbott Labs Wails About Ruling on Baby Formula Ads

Finally! I wonder if anything will come of this? I'd love to see them held responsible for their misleading ads. (Heck, they technically aren't supposed to be advertising at all!)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Goblet of Fire

We went to the movie this afternoon. We took Keithen along with us. It is long, dark and intense. Absolutely deserving of the PG-13 rating. I would definately not take a child under 13 who hasn't read/been read the books. A child who is really familiar with the story might be able to handle it with good preparation for it.

Keithen did fine with it. He hid his eyes at the end of the second task for a second. During the third task, in the maze, he seemed a little concerned and decided to sit in my lap. I reminded him, "Harry wins...he gets out OK" a couple of times and then he seemed fine. (We had told him before the movie that we could leave if he got too scared at any part.)

SPOILER parts ahead.....
if you don't want to hear about the actual movie, skip the next part!

I was a bit disappointed in the first 30 minutes or so of the movie. They raced through the first part. There were a few things that were changed and several things that were skipped over entirely. The Dursley's don't even appear in this movie! It starts at the Burrow with the kids and Mr. Weasly leaving for the Quidditch World Cup. I wish there had been more of the World Cup shown when they got there too. I spent the first half hour or so thinking, "I hope this gets better and they stop skipping so much stuff!"

Once they got to Mad Eye Moody's first Dark Arts class, I started to enjoy the movie a lot more. Brendan Gleeson was great as Moody. Loved the scene in the courtyard with Draco. Watching Neville while Moody demonstrated the 3 unforgiveable curses was so difficult. That was actually the hardest part of the movie for me, knowing how the story turns out. I felt so sorry for poor Neville!

There were a few more annoying changes in some things throughout the rest of it (Ron knew about the dragons!? Where were all the house elfs? Entire characters cut from the story? They left out Dumbledore telling Snape, "you know what I must ask you to do" at the end, which turns out to be very important in book 6!) but I was at least into the movie more from the DA class onwards.

The dragons were amazing. The underwater scenes were good. The maze was a bit disappointing for me (where were all the creatures?!) but the graveyard was great.

Ralph Fiennes was a perfect choice for Lord Voldemort. They couldn't have picked a better actor for the role. I don't know if they used makeup on him or if it was computer imaging but he was appropriately creapy looking! (And totally unrecognizable.)

The kids have all grown wonderfully with their characters and have such good chemistry with each other. I can't wait to see them establish Dumbledore's Army in the next movie. Those scenes are going to be great because Rupert, Daniel and Emma are so good together.

All in all, I'd give it a "thumbs up" but caution the die-hard fans out there that someone took a lot of time hacking things out in order to keep the movie under 3 hours. (Very disappointed that we didn't get to see Dobby's funny socks, LOL!)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Harry Potter - Too scarey for kids?

Kim over at Blogging Baby has a parent's perspective on the new HP movie up. If you're trying to decide if your kids can handle the movie, you might check out her post.

As for us...we just bought our tickets online through Fandango http://www.fandango.com/ and we'll be heading to the theatre with Keithen tomorrow afternoon. The little girls will be having mac and cheese and playing at the grandparents house instead. We figure that Keithen has read or been read all 6 books so far. If he can handle the end of the sixth book, he can probably handle anything in this movie too.

Holiday Jigsaw Puzzle

I've started pushing living room furniture around today to try to figure out if we can put our Christmas tree in a different place than usual this year. We've got so much STUFF in our house, it's like a giant jigsaw puzzle trying to figure out where things have to move to in order to make room for our HUGE tree. (And we just got rid of a bunch of toys and clothes! I'm already counting the days for the big community sale we do in April to get rid of more stuff!) Anyway, I'm anxious to put the tree up sometime this next week. I've been forcing myself to wait until the day after Thanksgiving. I just love the look of the tree and sharing it with the children each year, so I'm feeling anxious to officially begin the holiday season this time next week!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A "Before" Picture

Here's a picture of Kaylee before her haircut today. Isn't her hair getting so long and pretty and silky! I'll try to post an after picture when we get home.

I've been sorted!

"Here in wise old Ravenclaw,
if you've a ready mind,
Those of wit and learning
will always find their kind."

After you get sorted, be sure to take your final exams too!


First Year Exam = 94% A
Second Year Exam = 84% B
Third Year Exam = 88% B
Fourth Year Exam = 96% A
Fifth Year Exam = 82% B

Harry Potter - One More Day

And the anti-Potter kooks are at it again already.

Forget Voldemort : "evil" Harry Potter in new joust with US critics (click the link above to read it)

C'mon you nuts. It's just a story. It's not real. And you know what else? Kids are smart! They know it's not real! If you pulled every children's book that mentions some form of magic off the shelves, the children's section of the library would be virtually empty.

Thank you J.K. Rowling for getting kids to read again!

Her work has little noses buried in books all around the globe again. Kids are using their minds and exercising their imaginations as they read, watch and play Harry Potter. What could be better than that!?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005



I realized tonight how much I like listening to Keithen read out loud.

I remember back when I was in school feeling like it was torture to listen to some of the kids in my class read out loud because either they didn't care, didn't know how to read well, or had no idea how to vary their voice and add emotion to make the story interesting.

It's obvious that we've read to Keithen a lot while he was small. He is already good at bringing emotion into the stories he reads out loud and varying his tone to reflect the action of the story.


Kaylee is starting to read a few words here and there. She's got the "at" family of words down. We've tried working on a few other word families but it doesn't always hold her interest. She can read "op" words too usually. I've found a few simple books that hold her interest lately and that she has wanted to work on a little. She is so far behind where Keithen was at this age that sometimes it's hard for me to remember that where she is at right now is actually normal, if not still ahead of many of her peers!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Overheard this morning

Overheard this morning after sending Ruby from the laundry room with a handfull of clothes that were clean and dry -

Kaylee: Ruby, let's keep playing!
Ruby: No...I helping Mommy.
Kaylee: But playing is fun!
Ruby: No...I helping Mommy!

Sigh...if only they were all three so set on being helpful!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I'm a Mean Mommy Today

Sigh...it's only 8:30 and I already want to go back to bed and start over today.

Last night we had a hard time getting Keithen to finish his homework. He still had most of his spelling to do at 9:30 p.m. - which is an hour past his bedtime. I put him to bed and told him he'd need to get up in the morning and get ready for school and finish it. He had been reminded of what the consequences of not turning it in entail. (Pulling a card and missing recess in detention to finish it.) We've been through this once before, earlier in the year. http://the5dollars.blogspot.com/2005/08/homework.html I really thought it wouldn't be a problem again. WRONG!

He wallowed around in bed for 30 minutes this morning after the alarm. I kept trying to get him up. Finally, his feet were hanging over the side of the bunk and I just pulled him down. I had to help him get dressed. He did sit down and write a few more sentences at his desk. He came up front to ask a question and I turned the girls TV show off so he could concentrate to finish.

Finally, it was time for the bus and he'd still had no breakfast and the work still wasn't done. I took the papers from him as he protested and put them into his binder and put that in his backpack. I had to practically drag a crying boy outside to wait for the bus. Ruby started crying too because she had no shoes or coat and wanted to go with us. There was no way I could carry her out as I had to hold onto Keithen's arm so he would stay with me at the end of the driveway. I kept telling him he needed to calm down or everyone on the bus would see him upset and crying. He wouldn't even let me give him a kissing hand to take to school with him. (Which I'm sure he really needed today.) He broke down on the steps of the bus and cried more, with the bus driver having to wait for him to get on and sit down so she could drive.

Not only was I still in my pajamas with no chance of getting him to school on time if I took him, but I felt strongly about not letting him off the hook this time. When this happened in August I took him to school and talked to the teacher. As I said before, he had detention during recesss that day to complete the work. So he knew what was going to happen if he didn't finish it this time around. It was so hard to make him get on that bus and go face the consequences of his actions. I wanted to cry too. I hope he is able to pull himself together before the bus gets there. I called Mrs. Hall and left her a message that we had a difficult morning and he may be upset when he arrives at school. I'll be going in later today to volunteer at the bookfair. I hope I get to touch base with him for a minute while I'm there and make sure he is doing OK.

(Ruby also thinks I'm a mean mommy today because I won't let her eat chocolate ice cream at 8:30 in the morning.)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

9 days, 9 hours, 24 minutes, and 20 seconds

9 days, 9 hours, 24 minutes, and 20 seconds left until the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire! You don't think our family is excited, do you?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The red dress - part II

The Red Dress - part I

Ruby and I have had an eye on this beautiful red dress we saw a couple of weeks ago. I was considering buying it for her to wear for the holidays. I've always wanted to get her a fancy red satin dress with a big full skirt on it. A girl named Ruby needs to have her picture taken in a dress like that! So, I finally broke down and bought it for her yesterday. Now we just need to get the girls out to shop for dress shoes as I don't think either of them have any black shoes that fit for this winter. Ruby had a great time cheesing it up in her fancy dress last night.