Friday, September 28, 2007

And she's off...again!

So I went in to the school last week to see if I could get Mimi into some higher reading/math groups. She came home a few weeks into the school year and told me that Kindergarten was...kinda boring. It was parent teacher conferences and I thought I could get some good results.

As it turned out (happily) I didn't have to push for anything. The teacher (Mrs. N) and the instructional coordinator for the school were raving from the start of the conference, and before I had gotten a word in they suggested Mimi be moved up to first grade. Of course they prefaced it with the comments..."Her birthday is close enough to the cutoff." "Her test (evaluation) scores were the highest of all those tested." etc, etc. So I was like great! She'll definitely get more academic stimulation in first grade than in kindergarten! But I was left to wonder why they had to wait so long to move her up, when I had asked them about moving her straight to first grade before school even started.

Ah well, I am just happy that the move was made. Mimi is absolutely blooming! It is so fun to hear her talk so excitedly about her day and her friends. And I am amazed at the improvement I have seen in just one week, not just in her academic work, but in her willingness to help at home, in her confidence in herself, and I didn't think her reading could get much better, but it has! Way to go Mimi, we are proud of you!

A day at the Beach in SF

And no this is not the Bay area!) I've had this post in the back log for quite sometime. So enjoy!
A few months ago and a whole fifty or sixty degrees warmer, the inhabitants of Castle Town came to visit and we all took off for "the beach". The big girls made a Castle with a river that ran by it. After the construction was done the "big girls" took Naomi out in the water and floated around for a bit. Buddy took the opportunity to run off down the beach to the walls of the reservoir...he was fascinated watching some bigger boys play around over there. I felt much better when he came back to join our group! We took a picnic lunch and stayed as long as little Kierstie let us. Everyone had a great time

Sweetsa pretty much stayed out of the water...once you got deeper than about 4 inches it was pretty cold (good ole mountain water!)

We had a good time and just looking at those pictures reminds me how warm it was this summer (we've had a cold snap recently...snow in the mountains/benches and frost in the valleys...brrr!)

Friday, September 07, 2007

We've got Trouble!

Trouble, oh we got trouble,
Right here in River City!
With a capital "T"
That rhymes with "P"
And that stands for Pool,

So I've had these lyrics running through my head for the last month or so, but not because of any billiards halls or such. Nope. Our trouble is actually on account of one little girl who has gained a MAJOR attitude. So our trouble starts with a capital "T" which stands for 'Tude! That's our Sweetsa these days. She still has a sweet smile, but get on her bad side and she will let you know!!!
She is quite opinionated for such a little girl...she has a definite idea of how the world should be. The interesting thing is that she really doesn't say a lot of words (her total vocabulary might be 15 words right now), but the words that she does say she makes count! Being two now, one of her favorite words is, of course, "NO!" or "no-no!" which she will daily yell at Buddy or Mimi or Mommy. She is also our champion tantrum-thrower. And unfortunately I get to see those a couple times a day. *sigh* Unfortunately she has also picked up on what we term "nursery behaviors" but most kids go through them, whether or not they go to nursery: hitting and biting. We are trying to discourage these, but so far haven't been too successful. Although, she may have been deterred from the biting today. I was at a PTA meeting, when I heard her start screaming under the table. The "little" one year old she had been playing with bit her right on her forehead! Happy Birthday Sweetsa! She was pretty traumatized by it, and kept sobbing saying "beebee!" and pointing at her forehead. It was pretty sad, but maybe she understands now that biting really does hurt!

She has just picked up the word "Hi!" and will say hi to some one for literally five minutes... it's so cute I have to laugh every time I hear it! She will repeat "I love______." I have yet to hear her say it unprompted, but it still melts my heart when I hear it.

The easiest way for us to get Sweetsa to help out right now is to ask either Buddy or Mimi to do something. (Especially if we had previously asked Sweetsa to do it) She will suddenly run to do the task (turn off the tv, empty the trash, whatever!) yelling, "ME! ME! ME!" One thing we don't have to ask the others to do in order to get her to help is to clean up. She loves picking things up and putting them she's the special helper in the toy room!

The following picture is a collaboration of Buddy's talents and Sweetsa's great personality.

Sweetsa still loves to be outdoors. The other day I realized that the older kids were downstairs watching tv, but I hadn't seen Sweetsa come in from the backyard. When I asked Mimi, she said Sweetsa didn't want to come inside! I went out to check and she was there playing in the sandbox, as happy as can be, filling the bucket, dumping it out and doing it all over again. She also loves to swing and could probably stay on the swing for hours if allowed. She really enjoyed swimming lessons this summer and wanted to be mommy-less for them (It was a mom-n-me class in 3.5' of water...not really an option!) When we went swimming with some family at a different pool, she walked right into the pool, and started swimming (with floaties on, thankfully!) She didn't wait for anyone else to get in the pool! That was a heart stopper for me!

Sweetsa loves Buddy and Mimi so much. Whenever one is gone (most recently Mimi to school), she will walk around with a searching look on her face her little hands turned over saying "Mimi?" or "Buddy?" She loves being with them so much that she has finally started going to bed at the same time as them! Hooray! This means that she actually stays in her big girl bed and falls asleep there !!(something that hasn't happened too well since we moved her out of the crib, when she was climbing out of it all the time.)

Another recent accomplishment is that Sweetsa is showing signs of potty training! After going through it a few months ago with Buddy, I can hardly believe we may be out of diapers by the end of the year (my expectations are not too high, are they?) She uses the toilet a couple times a day a today actually pooped in the toilet, and boy was she pleased!

She is so fun and sweet despite her new-found feisty-ness
Just like they sing in My Turn on Earth

"You've got to taste the bitter so that you can know the sweet."
Even though you've recently gained some 'Tude girl, you are Sweet and we love having you in our family! Happy Birthday Sweetsa!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Our Colorado Trip

We spent the last few days of August in Colorado Springs and Denver. D and all his siblings decided to surprise their oldest brother and show up at his promotion ceremony. On the 30th Captain JP was promoted to the rank of Major in the US Air Force. We found out a while ago that this would be happening, and made our congratulations to JP, but also let him know the Life was pretty crazy, so in all likely hood, only his Mom and Peggy would be there for the ceremony.
Imagine his great surprise and astonishment when at 8:00 the night before the ceremony, five siblings along with spouses and children show up at his door(total number of additional people: 30). It was great. He was speechless! Which is a pretty amazing feat! I said only five siblings showed up at the door because one sister (K) flew in to CO earlier that day with his Mom, Peggy and Great-Aunt Ruth.
Here he stands with Major Adams at the beginning of the ceremony on PAFB (Peterson Air Force Base). It was neat to hear the good things that were said about JP, that led to his promotion. And I know that the personnel there were impressed at the family show of support.

Here are the seven siblings (D, his twin Da, R, JP, K, Cr and Ch.
Here they are with their mom in front.
And here are 12 of the 14 cousins with Major Uncle JP.

Some of the other great things we got to do in Colorado Springs were go to Pikes Peak (BRRR it was only 40 degrees F there at the top at noon! The pic above is taken from the summit. They say you can see all the way to Kansas from the top of Pikes Peak.), visit Santa at Santa's Workshop (a Christmas/Santa themed kids amusement park at the base of Pike's Peak) enjoy the fantastic Colorado scenery (I loved all the different geologic formations and watching the zones change as we climbed higher and higher in altitude, past the tree line. We also loved all the wildlife we saw.) shop on base at the BX, go through the Garden of the Gods, visit the Denver Aquarium (not as extensive as Baltimore's but not too bad for an aquarium in a landlocked state!), listen to the BYU/Arizona game(BYU20, AU7), and of course spend lots of time with the family!
We had a great time, and of course Mimi said the now expected line as we left, "I don't want to go home! Why can't we live here in Colorado?" (Feel free to substitute any place that we have visited and she's probably said it!)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Harvesting the fruits of our labors

I know you can't see the girls' faces too well, but they really helped gather our first salsa harvest. We used the tomatoes and peppers to help Gramma SPH-1 make her famous salsa last week. And of course I've been eating tomatoes almost non-stop...every lunch and dinner, yummy home grown tomatoes! I love having a garden!

And here's our pumpkin that turned ready in July. Unfortunately, it grew in the irrigation pipe and grew so big before we discovered it, it got stuck. The little one next to it is now bigger than the orange one in this picture. The kids are so excited for Halloween and jack-o-lantern carving!

First Day!

So Mimi started school a little while ago. She has been champing at the bit to start kindergarten since she turned 5 (almost a year ago). She finally got her chance! And she loves it! She came home that first day saying, "And school is my favoritest place in the whole world!" She also shared that she met two bestest new friends, Rachel and Kayla. And Mrs. N her teacher is really nice, and her favorite part of school is recess and snack time.
It is so fun to see her so excited and it's almost crazy to hear her talk about things like Junie B. Jones. Now, Granted she has had a good dose of the Junie B. Books in the past few weeks, so maybe they are biasing her comments/experiences, but MAN does she sound like Junie B. when she talks about her time at school (But thankfully, without the crazy situations! Knock on wood!)