Tuesday, May 26, 2015

last day of school 2015

Samuel's last day of school was also Noah and Evie's "last" day of school. I used quotations because Noah still has some work to do, but the amount is a lot less. He and I had to work extra hard this year because he was finishing up third grade work and also trying to complete all of his fourth grade work. When he was five we decided to hold him back from Kindergarden. But really, he was doing Kindergarden work anyway so it was kind of pointless. I just wanted to give him a little extra time I guess. Moving him up now has more to do with keeping him with his friends in Awana and eventual Youth Group (how is that coming so soon? just two years! ahhhhh!)

After we picked up Samuel from preschool that day, I took some photos of the kids. 

This is back to August 26, 2014, on our very first day of school. So young and full of hope and promise. Until I squashed them under my heel that is. ;)

And again with the last day of school. I thought a proper size comparison would be good. I'll have to remember to do this next year. 

And check out the school room. It's been well used this year. We filled up the walls (and are continuing to do so this summer) with Story of the World coloring sheets. To familiarize oneself with what we have learned this year (in history at any rate), all you would have to do is look at those pictures. Evie colored all of them while I read a chapter. I love it. The room looks so much more lived in than at the beginning of the year. And I must say, the improvements we made to the school room really helped. It was so much more bright and cheerful without the gray walls, huge red fireplace and dark brown car siding.

Here's Noah on the first day of school...

...and the last day. 

Evie on the first day...

...and the last. 

Samuel's first day...

 ...and last.

And lastly, Ezra's first day (because he's always learning)... (awwww, look how cute and widdle!)

...and his "last" day (though he's still learning - mostly how to be naughty, the little punk).

Okay, now that all the cute stuff is out of the way, I want to put down for remembrance's sake what the heck we even did this year. 

We've been following The Well Trained Mind, a classical approach to education. I tried extra hard this year on reading, especially for Noah. I checked out hundreds of books from the library over the course of the year to reinforce our history reading. Noah read these books aloud (because he needs lots and lots of practice with his reading) and then he would write a summary, or narration. These are supposed to take the place of reading comprehension worksheets, etc. I think I might try some of those next year as well though. The library, as I discovered has a couple really neat functions on their website. What I did was search for the books suggested by our history workbook and add them to lists which I saved. I would then make a request for all the books I wanted and a hold was put on them. The wonderful librarians would then pull my books from the shelves, send me a text when they were ready and I would drive down to the library drive-through and pick up my books. It was awesome. Here is a sampling of some of the things we read.

Here are the kids' narration notebooks. I mentioned in March how Evie started writing them as well, much her to chagrin and Noah's satisfaction. 

Check out that pile of paper! Boom baby! 

Here is Evie's pile o' books. This summer we are still reading the top book, The Story of the World - Volume 3: Early Modern Times. Under that is a Science book we completed about Space. Noah is quite fascinated by it. The black binder is Evie's Math-U-See workbook. She finished her first grade workbook several months ago and finished the year nearly halfway done with the second grade book. The blue binder is for her Narrations. The skinny one you can't read is her Handwriting. Below that is her Reading book we started last year and finished this year. I loved it. I did a much better job than How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (which is what I used for Noah, regrettably. it  worked okay, but not thorough enough. and seriously, how cute is he in these old photos!!). Under Reading is her Spelling book, then Grammar and finally her first grade Math book. Go Evie!

Here is the pile for both kids. The books in the middle are what we did together for both of them: Two Science books and Volume two of The Story of the World, The Middle Ages. 

Noah's stack is of course larger, since he did one and a half grades. On top is the Math he completed, multiplication. He's currently seven lessons from finishing the 4th grade division. Next are both Spelling books he completed. Then is his third grade Grammar workbook. Under those are two skinny white books which is Latin. We began our Intro to Latin two years ago and finally finished this year... The green notebook are his Narrations. The yellow books are the Math he's finishing up. Next to last with the white/teal is his fourth grade Grammar. That's what's holding us up, really. We are doing several lessons a day now just to knock that puppy out. And finally, on the bottom is his cursive Handwriting book. 

And that's it for this year. Go us!

Samuel's last day of preschool 2015

On Thursday, May 14th, Samuel completed his first full year of Communication Preschool (he had done a month at the end of last year as well). His schedule was light - Tuesdays and Thursday from 8-925am - but he did have homework to help him with his speech. We all just loved his teacher, Kim, but sadly, she retired this year. I've heard from probably like five people who either had her as a teacher or their kids did, and we all agree, she is amazing. Driving away with Samuel that day, I definitely had a downcast heart. She could make anyone smile. I hope next year will go okay. 

Here is Samuel on the first day of school last fall, August 26th.

And again on the last day of school. He's still wearing the same shoes, but those jeans are way too short for him now. 

And here is his happy little Samuel sized robot backpack used to haul around his notebook.

Again, here is the first day of school. He definitely looks a lot younger here to me. Before and afters are so fun.  

And this was about a month before school ended when he was checking out the caterpillars that would become butterflies. The shorter haircut makes him look older, but still, he's matured. 

Here's the notebook I mentioned.

 Yeah, it's rather large. Jam packed with speech related games and exercises.

One of his favorites is The Three Bears. With these little pieces he is supposed to tell us the story. He prefers me to read the story of course, but I hope either way he's learning. And I think he has come a long way this year. He still has a ways to go, but I'm hopeful he will be ready for Kindergarden after 3 times a week preschool next year.  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

swimming with friends

A few weeks ago we had some missionary friends visiting, Klodi and Megina. The last thing we did together was to go swimming at Terry's co-worker's condo pool. We had all of our kids along with another family as well so they had quite fun time. Thankfully no one drowned. Though Evie did have a scary moment where she lost her floaty and was floundering a bit until another kid helped her. I was nearly in the pool though, fully clothed. I had one foot in, up to my shin, ready to rescue her. When my kids are in the water I am just so freaked out and can't hardly enjoy myself. That scares me about more than anything else.

I guess I forgot to take any pictures except for Terry taking Ezra under the little waterfall in the pool. 

He was totally freaked out at first but eventually enjoyed himself.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 2015 spring blizzard

It's more than halfway through May and yet right now it's starting to snow at our house. And that's nothing compared to two weekends ago when we received approximately 13-14 inches of snow. Whatever happened to the 70-80 degree temperatures we were having back in February?? 

That Sunday was Mother's Day. This is what we woke up to...

The day before I had worked at the clinic. There were all sorts of warnings about the anticipated huge spring snow storm so I took precautions by taking the Envoy with it's 4 wheel drive. However, there was no need. It only looked like this all day.

By 6 o'clock that evening it was supposed to start snowing in earnest, but it hadn't done much even by 8pm when I took this photo. I was wondering if the storm would miss us...

Since church had been cancelled for the morning, I was actually glad to see all that forecasted snow dumped on our back deck the following morning. Very wet, thick stuff too.

I woke up early that Mother's Day with some pretty nasty nausea. No, not pregnancy related because we are done. I don't know what the deal was, but I threw up later in the morning and spent most of the day laying down watching Alias on Netflix. I guess I was kind of thankful for the snow so Terry could be home and take care of the kiddies. 

After snapping a couple photos for the blog I laid back down and the kids brought me their cards. Noah loves me a trillion times.

Evie loves me Sooper Booper much because I make her food.

 So yeah, this was the back before anyone had gone out. 

Lots of snow on the Envoy. Though the roads were all pretty buried, it was so slushy that it didn't seem impossible to get out. Plus the ground was warm and the temps were rising. Things were melting already. 

These pictures are taken from our bedroom, which is on the second level of the house, about 20-25 feet above the ground. This is looking southeast towards our neighbor's yard and the National Guard land beyond the fence.

And here is the same shot just over 24 hours later. Crazy spring weather! 

The trampoline was quite weighted down with that heavy snow. 

Terry likes to clear a path for short Snap dog. 

And again, just over  a day later it was mostly gone except for the big piles.

Here you can see the Hills and blustery snow beyond our neighbor's yard. 
Terry and the kids spent a lot of time outside that morning. They are in the back corner of the yard, the top of our "hill." They were making snow ramp.

Noah is going down the ramp. 

Here is a short video of Noah going down.

Samuel is going down backwards on his knees.

Here's Samuel's run.

Evie going down on the little green sled.

And here is Evie's version of a penguin :)

Of course my poor hydrangeas couldn't survive the freezing temperatures overnight, nor the weight of the snow. So Terry rigged up a frame with his ladder and covered them with several tarps. Not so pretty much very effective... 

They survived! Now, a week and a half later, they are covered up again due to the storm we are getting, but they have been looking good.

Terry buried Samuel and Evie later in the day. They were so soaking wet. It was like they had been playing in rain puddles.

The next day I was feeling all better, thankfully, and wanted to shop for my mom's mother's day gift - some flowers and rhubarb from before the snow came to crush our plant. When we came out of Safeway, I thought the snow on Dinosaur Hill was pretty.

My folks watch baby Theo and we were able to snuggle him up. He's so stinking cute! Ah! 

I hope that storm was the last time we will be needing the snow boots and pants for a while. They're put away now in hopes...