Monday, May 13, 2013

Updates on our Family

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.


Jen Kesler said...

Darling children and darling mom!! Loved reading about your little family! Take care!! :)