Warning: I’m going to brag about my kids. Lots. So skip this if you’re not into that.
Man, I love this girl. She’s becoming so grown up and responsible. She’s working really hard on reading the Book of Mormon. She wants to be finished by the time she gets baptized in August. She’s always the first to do her chores, and usually needs little prodding. She usually stays out of the sibling disputes (yes, my kids fight…shocker!), and she makes friends really easily. All of her siblings love her, and Bridget especially adores her “Dee Dee.”
She’s thriving in school this year. Her math skills got off to a rocky start as her teacher was trying to figure out which curriculum to use, but she’s pulled things together and is now a grade ahead in math. Her reading skills are great, and she’s reading at about a 6th grade level. The awesome part is that her comprehension is at the same level, so she totally understands what she’s reading. She’s been into the Roald Dahl books lately (she just finished The Witches and loved it), and has been begging me to let her read Harry Potter. I wanted to be absolutely sure she was old enough to truly enjoy it, but I think she’s going to be ready for that this summer.
She’s still going strong in gymnastics. They just recently had evaluations to see if anyone was ready to move up a level, and there was only one skill she didn’t have down. Her coach told me that as soon as she could do it, they’d move her up to level 3, which is the level before they start competing at Precision. This is really good for Katie, since she does really well when she has a specific goal to focus on. She’s incredibly strong and flexible, and I love the confidence she has gained since participating in gymnastics.
Doing yoga at our weight-lifting competition.
Dancing at her school’s fashion show.
Paul, Paul, Paul. I love this kid to death. Unfortunately, he knows how to push every one of my buttons, so we have it out All. The. Time. Fortunately, when he’s not determined to drive me to the loony bin, he’s the most loving, sweet, truly good kid I know. He’s the child that will just randomly come and give me a bear hug, or will leave me little love notes all over the place. We’ve been working with him on controlling his temper, and we’ve really made some strides in the last few weeks. His name was the first name Bridget learned how to say, and she loves shouting for “Pa!”
Paul is blowing everyone away in school. He’s supposed to be in kindergarten this year, but they’ve moved him up to the second and third grade boys’ class, and next year he’ll go up to the third/fourth grade boys. He keeps meeting every challenge they throw at him. I’m kind of worried about what we’ll do with him in a few years, since he’s so incredibly bright. Honestly, he needs a bit of humility, since he hasn’t yet come across something that’s actually hard for him (except for riding a bike). He loves his teacher, Mr. Nunn, so we’re glad that he’ll get to stick with him next year.
Speaking of needing humility, Paul made the boy’s competitive team for gymnastics. He’s nothing but skin, bones, and muscles. He really enjoys gymnastics, and he really likes the challenge that our new gym gives him. I’m interested to see how he does once we start three-days-a-week team practice at the end of May. I’m so excited to get to go and watch him in meets.
Doing yoga with friends.
Averi is definitely my most independent child. She’s always off doing her own thing, which makes having her at home incredible easy. She and Bridget have become very close since they’re the two at home. I’m always hearing Bridget’s little voice calling for “Ree Ree” and I love the happy giggles that are always echoing in the house. Paul and Averi are partners in crime. They are always fighting or concocting some new scheme to drive me drive me crazy.
She’s working her way through the I See Sam book series, and her reading has drastically improved. She’s also quite good at math and can do basic addition and subtraction. Her handwriting is definitely improving, although that’s an area we’ll focus on during the summer. She’s working on overcoming her natural shyness. That’s something that’s quite hard for me, since I’m not at all shy, so I have difficulty empathizing. We’ve definitely gotten better as the year has progressed. She insists on walking to the door by herself when it’s time for preschool, and as long as she does that, we have no problems. See—independent.
We did tae kwon do earlier this year, and she loved it. I was so surprised that she participated, but she did, with gusto. We have made a family rule that we don’t start sports until 5, but since we had a free month through Paul’s teacher, we made an exception. She turns five in the fall, and she’s still debating whether she wants to do ballet (every little girl’s dream) or if she wants to do gymnastics like Katie and Paul. She’s leaning towards ballet, since she wants to do her own thing. I, of course, am subtly (or not so subtly) trying to convince her to do gymnastics so I don’t have to run to a million different places and so we can get a sibling discount. We’ll see. I think I’ll lose.
At the zoo.
At the firestation.
At Walker’s Popcorn for a preschool field trip.
I can’t believe how much Bridget is talking now. The first thing she does in the morning is run to the fridge and ask for cheese. A girl after my own heart. When she doesn’t get cheese, she’ll ask for cereal, fruit (fooot, said while spitting a bit), or a banana. She also loves graham crackers and is always asking for a ca coo coo. The kids think that’s hilarious and have also started calling them ca coo coos. She can name many of her body parts, and she’s still obsessed with shoes.
She LOVES going to bed (hallelujah!), and the moment I have her jammies on she starts shouting, “Nigh nigh, Ree Ree! Nigh nigh, Dee Dee! Nigh nigh, Pa!” She loves brushing her hair, and thinks that a brush is called an “ow ow.” Think she’s been listening to her sisters get their hair done in the morning? She’ll come to me with the brush, saying, “Ow ow, peas?” She’s very good about saying “peas” and “ta tou.”
She’s very into saying that she’s okay. The other day during Music Makers she was trying to keep up with the big kids during marching band. She kept falling, and I heard her say to herself over and over, “Ow! Okay? Yeah!” and then she’d get up and keep going. The other day she bonked me in the head, and she asked, “Okay?” I told her no, I wasn’t. It hurt! She then said, “Sowwy” and gave me a huge hug. My heart melted. I adore this age.
Bridget getting her first haircut. That frizzball in the back was driving me crazy! I should have taken a “before” shot. For that matter, I should have taken a real “after” when it was dry. Oh well.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Posted by Chelsey at 9:48 AM
Monday, April 8, 2013
Paul and Katie both have parent-teacher conferences tomorrow. Of course, I have no idea when Paul’s is. He waved a form in front of my face at some time when I was too busy to actually hold the form. I have a feeling it was at 9:00, and is possibly tomorrow. Of course, it could be any time tomorrow or Wednesday. If I don’t find this paper tonight, we’re showing up at 9:00, and if we’re wrong, then we’ll find something else to do to fill the time gap until it actually is his conference time.
In an effort to ascertain the actual time, I decided to look through his backpack. I didn’t find a conference letter in the paper jungle, but I did find a snapshot of my little boy. He gives me a run for my money on a daily basis, but at this moment, when he was sleeping sweetly downstairs and I was having a sneak-peek into his six-year-old life, my heart melted. God gives us these moments for a reason.
Here is what I found:
A small notebook completely filled with sketches and notes. I found a small calendar in the back, and the two dates written down were Mom’s Birthday and Gymnastics. He loves me!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. I try to steer my children toward good literature, but both Katie and Paul love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
A army guy action figure and one of the plastic green army men holding a bazooka.
The wrapper from some sort of Japanese playing cards
A composition book.
Many, many pencils. Now I know why I have no writing implements in my house.
Books on ancient Egypt and ancient Rome.
A Magic Tree House book. He’s way past these books, but he still enjoys reading them.
A Lego Club magazine.
A little book that came as an insert in the Ghostbusters movie.
A Lego Star Wars comic book that’s been read over and over and over.
Completed homework (Paul is an excellent student) and a parent newsletter that I never saw.
A drawing that appears to be the ever-resourceful Hardy Boys putting out a fire. Paul has just gotten into the Hardy Boys series and is reading his third book right now.
A birthday invitation from two months ago to an Angry Birds party.
His math textbooks.
His speech for class office. He ran for president, vice-president, senator, and supreme court justice. Every office you could run for. He didn’t get elected for anything. He’s a super-smart kindergartener in a class of second and third grade boys. Of course he’s not going to be elected. But you couldn’t tell him that. Surprisingly, he never seemed disappointed. He just said, “Oh well. I’ll run for the next office.” And when there were no more offices left, he said, “That’s fine. I’m an alternate in case someone loses his office for bad behavior.” I would have voted for you, Paul. If we had more candidates for office who had the qualifications you have, the world would be a much better place.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Friday, March 1, 2013
I know that these posts are all sorts of random, but I’m really trying to catch up on things. This is the year of not running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I started out right and seem to have the dinnertime battle conquered, then I began exercising again, and now I’m trying to catch up on all the little things that have been sitting undone. My vow is no new projects until all the old ones are finished, and we’re getting there. Tortoise and the hare, right?
One of those things is getting all my older pictures posted. I don’t really scrapbook anymore, and I’m not an awesome journaler, so this is it. So if Christmas pictures are no longer of interest to you now that it’s March and everyone is three months older, then skip it. But I know grandmas and grandpas will love it, and I want a record, so post I will.
In 2011 we started doing an activity advent calendar, and I’ve really enjoyed that tradition. It helps us to get the important things in, and makes sure we plan our calendars in advance so we don’t run out of time to do the things we really want to do. I think we got nearly everything done this year, which is a big deal.
We began the month with the Corrales Christmas parade. It’s a quaint, small-town parade, and the perfect length for our kids. Now that our kids are getting older, we’re going to add an activity onto this one (maybe the town bonfire afterward?), but for now it’s just right.
That weekend we put up the Christmas tree and decorated it together. I actually wound up changing how the tree was decorated, because I wasn’t loving it. I did really like what we wound up with. Pictures of that to come later on. We also opened our first Christmas presents. Usually I get them Christmas jammies, but for some reason everyone’s pajama drawer was overflowing this season, so they all got Christmas slippers, except Bridget, who did need more jammies.
We went to see the River of Lights at the botanical gardens, another one of our Christmas traditions. We rode the train in from Tingley Beach this time, and they kids thought that was totally awesome, because we never spring for the trains at the zoo.
We made our family gingerbread house together. I make it all from scratch, so we only do one large one, and we spread it out over several days. It just wouldn’t feel right to not have the delicious smells of fresh baked gingerbread wafting through the house. I try to let them do as much as possible, and it’s fun to watch their different personalities show through in their decorations.
I think that just about everyone would agree that some of the most meaningful memories of Christmas center around the story and the music. I love hearing the first verse of Luke, chapter 2 read out loud. I get chills up my spine every time.
On Christmas Eve we started the morning with Rudolf pancakes and cookies. Because if you can’t indulge on Christmas Eve, when can you?
The stockings were hung on the railing with care (since we have no mantel to speak of)…
and we made sparkly ornaments with pinecones from our front yard.
Then we made our New Mexico Christmas dinner of tamales, and it was a smashing success. Everything went perfectly this time. Cooking the meat the day before was definitely key.
Katie was channeling her aerobics instructor look.
Bridget ate so many tamales over the space of a few days. Her…um…movements…were bright red from the chiles for at least a week.
The tamales were delicious, but my favorite thing I made was the green chile stew. Heaven in a pot. I slathered that stuff over everything I could, and I ate it for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.
When we weren’t looking, Bridget found the tub of sour cream and ate nearly the entire container.
After dinner we drank hot chocolate and read the Christmas story as a family. Then we put out homemade cookies for Santa (he told me they were delicious) and a carrot for Rudolph) and then hustled the kids to bed. That’s when the real work for Christmas began in earnest.
Next up…Christmas Day!
Posted by Chelsey at 1:38 PM