Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Patchwork Reflection

I found out today that my Grandma Sue has cancer. We are not sure how serious the cancer is as of yet, but the announcement is calling me to remember the people in my life to whom I am so grateful for the many gifts they have given me. The picture below is of a beautiful quilt that she made for the boys, which is put to good use as the setting for many playful afternoons. This quilt joins many others the kids and I have received over the years, all filled with personal details that she knew we would love.

People show their love in many different ways. For Grandma Sue, these quilts are her labor of love. The time and energy spent on these gifts far outweigh anything she could have purchased for us. The gifts that God gives to us should be spent in service of our families and Him. Please join me in praying for my Grandmother. God bless.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Prayers Needed!

Hey everyone...this is a very important prayer request for our friend Joseph Rutchik, as well as for Holly and the girls, Tessa and Anna. Due to complications of Marfan's, Joseph will be undergoing another major heart surgery on July 1st, this time to completely replace his aortic valve. This is a very major surgery and all of your prayers would be SO GREATLY APPRECIATED! God chooses to work through secondary causes (us), so our prayers can and will make a HUGE difference!

July 1st is 9 days away, so those of you familiar with novenas, this would be a wonderful place to start. The family has a strong devotion to St. Joseph and The Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Here is a link to a Novena of St. Joseph

Here is a link to a Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

For those of you unfamiliar with Novenas, please pray in any way you wish! We need to storm the heavens with our prayers to get the Rutchik family through this very very difficult time.

Also, if you'd like to see some updates as they happen, I believe Holly will be posting them as she is able on her blog, at Please feel free to follow her and her family through this difficult time and it's a great place to offer words of comfort and support.

God bless you all, and please join us in prayer!

Krissy Andrastek

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bumble Bee Day!

So now that summer is here, and we moved, and we've got lots of other things on our plate, I needed something casual that we could do spontaneously with no preparation. I got the idea of doing Circle Time from Melissa at Chasing Cheerios (I don't know how to link yet) so I decided to try it with the boys (and Maria). It went really well! I chose bumblebees as our theme.

Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee
Ten Little Bumblebees (To the tune of Ten Little Indians)

Running around and flapping their wings as fast as they could

What they look like
What they do
Where they live

See picture (and don't judge)

If we had the time to get outside that day, a bumblebee hunt would have been nice...maybe next time!

Number cards and counting

Well, I hope I'm doing well at hiding the fact that I despise math from my little students. I approached this activity with enthusiasm, even though I've been known to fail a math class or two in my day. I can handle counting, right?

I used regular 3x5 cards for the numbers and the items to count were packing peanuts that came in a package we got. When I do it again, I'll use something else because the packing peanuts were not a uniform shape and so they were harder to count. John Paul put one packing peanut under the one, two under the 2 and so forth. He got up to eight before it all became a little too overwhelming and he started making it "snow" with the packing peanuts. I was satisfied though because it was our first time with this activity, and who doesn't love making it snow with packing peanuts?

Patterns and Matching

This is a take off of another product made by Melissa and Doug--a pattern matching bead game. I decided I could mimic it with drawing patterns on card stock. It took a little longer than I thought it would, but the boys still enjoyed it. It was little easy for John Paul and a little tough for Joey, so I'll bring it out again for Joey later and maybe make a harder variation for John Paul when I get around to it.

I started with the lacing bead set made by Melissa and Doug that I got from my sister in law a couple of years ago. But if I didn't have this, I think this activity could be done with candy or household items. Some ideas would be forks and spoons, or Runts candies, or even paper shapes. The idea is to just get kids to match up the picture with the pattern given. They have to use visual discrimination to get the correct shape and the correct color.
John Paul is nearly four and has troubles with blue and purple. We have some color blindness in the family, but I'm wondering if it's just a skill he hasn't mastered yet. Anyone else out there with boys (or girls) have trouble with colors at this age?
Overall, this activity was good, although the prep time took longer than the lesson, which I'm not usually a fan of! But I can use the cards again, until the boys start noticing my less than stellar art skills...

Egg salad Friday

Well, I let the boys join me in making some egg salad, and it wasn't a total disaster! They had a great time cracking and peeling the hard eggs and the final product was delicious. We even set up a nice presentation so that when Daddy came home from work, he was very impressed.

Joey bit the egg with its shell on...I didn't expect that...sometimes I forget that even though he talks a lot, he's still a two year old!!

Some brotherly work in this picture...we had a really good time, and the boys loved using the cheese grater to shred the eggs. It was a lot of fun. And for once, John Paul ate his egg salad.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I think I'm back...

Well, after taking nearly a month off (forced, not chosen) I think the computer is back in working order and we also moved! We moved into a wonderful little duplex about twenty minutes from where we used to be, and it's much closer to Pete's job and in a nice little neighborhood. We love it so far, but as those of you who have moved know...moving with kids is always a challenge and I would say we're only about fifty percent unpacked. Alas. But it's coming along, and we are so blessed God has given us this wonderful opportunity for growth...

So hopefully you'll be seeing more John Paul, Joey, and Maria projects this summer! It's nice to be with you all here again!