Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas in Wichita

We celebrated with Alan's family the weekend before Christmas when everyone was in town for Julie's wedding.  The night we were supposed to have Christmas dinner and open presents, Cooper stood outside Jerry and Carol's house waiting (not at all patiently) for Julie, Jon, and Jen to arrive.
"Julie, where arrrrrre you?  Jon, are you here yet?  Jennnnnnny, where ARE you?"

He eventually found some fun things to play with, including this antique train that Alan's folks found:

Castle blocks:

The swing set:
"Push me higher Grandpa Jerry!"

And the washing machine:
"Mama, they have a lid, not a door."  (We have a front-loading machine.)  "You can watch it spin!"

And one evening, we took a horse-drawn carriage ride, which Coop really enjoyed:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Goin' to the chapel...

Alan's sister Julie got married last weekend, and Cooper was the ring bearer.

Alan was an usher (aren't they cute?!):

I was Mom of 4-year-old Ring Bearer, which frankly took more than a little bit of effort:

Playing foosball with Jenny before the service:

Walking in with Jenny and Jon:
(Notice the red and black snow boots.  We're classy like that.)

Giving Jon the rings:

Sleeping on his ring bearer pillow (on the floor) that night:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cooper's "projects"

Lately, instead of going to sleep at bedtime, Cooper has been working on "projects," as he calls them.  They involve typing paper, scissors and tape.  Witness:

A pirate, complete with hat, vest, and peg leg:
(Just for scale, the body is two regular sheets of paper, so these creations are all about 3 feet tall.  Which makes them difficult to store...)

A horse:

Stirrups for Fuzzy:


A snowman:

A grinch mask:
"Mama, ask me how I got it to stay on."
"Cooper, how did you get the grinch mask to stay on?"
"I taped it to my face."

At Grandma Carol's, we didn't have typing paper, so Cooper made her a complete grinch out of kleenex:

A note for Santa that Cooper left on his door:
Translation:  "Night Number 3: My dad has been bad."  Looks like it'll be lumps of coal for Alan!

And finally, a school project:  a map of North America:
He traced each country, punched it out using a thumbtack, and then glued the map together.  He can name United States, Canada, Mexico, Greenland, and Panama.  Ok, so Canada and Mexico are backwards, but cut him some slack.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Final Christmas preparations

I ordered a 2011 ornament for Cooper, and I picked a school-themed one. 

Coop has made such huge advances lately in his writing and reading and spelling. It's been so fun to watch, and we are ridiculoulsy proud.

I also (finally!) finished the Christmas stocking I started (four years ago).  (And in the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that a friend from church sewed it to the backing and made the little loop.  Thank goodness she did or it would probably have been another four years before I got this done!)

Our mantel:
My stocking, which was the one Grandma Farm had for me at her house.  Coop's stocking.  Alan's stocking, which is a work-boot-themed stocking that he picked.  And the nativity scene that my mom made for Grandma Farm.  Perfect.

And finally, our yearly trip to Santa, who comes to visit our local gas station/McDonalds.
Coop asked for a Santa costume and a "own car" (that's the red and yellow plastic Cozy Coupe car that he rides in) that's big enough for a five-year-old.  At least he didn't ask for "a watch, a van, and a sister," which is what he told me a couple of weeks ago.

If you're feeling nostalgic, here are previous posts about Coop's visit to Santa:

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Spelling and drawing

Miss Ann emailed us this photo of Cooper at school.  He's working with the moveable alphabet, which helps children learn to spell words by sounding them out:
And yes, it's cursive.  Montessori schools start preschool children out with cursive letters because they're easier to write for a child's natural hand motion and because it avoids reversal errors that can happen with lowercase print letters (like b and d, or g and p and q).

Shortly thereafter, the pictures Cooper drew at school started including words.  Here was his depiction of the characters in Puss in Boots (which he saw at a birthday party a few weekends ago):
From left:  Humpty Dumpty, the black cat, and Puss in Boots (spelled PS, which is probably about how it sounds to Cooper).  Puss in Boots is holding his hat with a feather sticking out of it.

Here, Coop's holding hands with his friend Madeline.  And standing nearby are Ruby and Ava:

Yikes -- Coop and Madeline and hearts?!  What sassy pants girl is teaching my baby to draw hearts?!!

The top vehicle here is Alan's white truck.  And the blue one is my car.  Or rather, my "cor."  Close enough.

A recent sign Cooper made:  NO GRLS ULALD.
(Translation:  No Girls Allowed.  After all the hand-holding and hearts pictures, I should be pleased, except this sign was directed at me.  Dangit!)

Monday, December 05, 2011

Misc fun stuff

Grandma Joan came up to visit one weekend, and she and Coop walked down to the nearby track/soccer field.  And then they played soccer with a paper plate.
Maybe we need more toys for the lad....

Actually, we really don't.  Lately, he's been having fun building things with Lincoln logs.  Here's a hotel:

And a pirate ship (naturally):

Finally, remember the tool box that Grandpa Cecil passed down to Cooper?  The one that his grandpa had made for him?  My Aunt Anita found this picture of Grandpa Cecil with the tool box:
How adorable is that?!

Thursday, December 01, 2011


We had five (count 'em -- FIVE) days at home with Cooper over thanksgiving break.  Christmas decorations only took 3.5 hours.  So we busted out the craft projects.

First up, candy canes out of pipe cleaners:

Wreaths out of pipe cleaners:

Egads -- glitter art!

Alan's a show-off:

We made critters out of modeling clay:

We played with new tinker toys:

Cooper spent quite a bit of time working on a pirate ship project:

I made a paper chain to count down the days until Christmas while Coop continued work on the pirate ship:

At last, a new pirate ship ornament for the tree:

Whew.  Sadly, all of these projects only took up about 10 hours total.  Needless to say, several of us were glad to go back to school on Monday!