25 February 2011

Fitness Challenge

Samantha is in the sixth grade and the school sponsered a Fitness Challenge, with the students participating in various fitness tests - the point being to test their fitness levels. Students could choose their events - everyone did three. The choices were: basketball (most baskets in a minute), hula hooping (longest time with a hoop in motion), pull-ups (most pull ups), jump-rope (longest time, and most jumps in a minute). Girls were a separate category from boys. In sixth grade girls, Samantha brought home three ribbons - one for every event she entered! She won second place in Strongest Man (Pull-ups) with three pull ups in a minute. Samantha took first place for Hula Hoop; she kept the hoop in motion for 15 minutes, 8 seconds. Her time set a new school record! Samantha also took first place in Speed Jump; in just one minute, she jumped rope 140 times, without missing. Wow. Way to go, Samantha. We are not worried about your fitness level!

23 February 2011

Jay is Three

Three years have flown. Literally flown. Jay Michael went from a fragile little NICU baby to a full fledged B-O-Y, reeking havoc in his wake. Actually, he is quite sweet and tender. He'll hurl a ball at you with no mercy, mind you, but, he'll kiss you on the head where he hit you.

His birthday was low key. Just the ladies as party goers:

Some presents from the family, which Jay Michael knew exactly how to handle. (Open bag. Look at it, show Momma and smile for the picture.)
a new big-boy backpack for his allergy meds. Chillin...

New hot wheels and a cross stitch from Grandmom!
Jay Michael gave us a present for his birthday - he's potty trained! Thanks, Jay, it's just what we wanted! At three, Jay is a pro at the church nursery scene. He walks right in (usually) and loves singing time. He's always so proud of his picture when they color. Jay Michael will tell you "I Jay Miiiiiicool", with a sweet southern draw, when you ask him what his name is. If you ask how old are you? He answers, "I tree." He can dress himself, knows where everything in the house needs to be put away, and he loves the trampoline. He can feed the dogs, help set the table and loves to "help" Momma unload the dishwasher. Jay Michael can sing his ABC's through around H, after that it gets a little messy. He still loves any kind of ball - from footballs to lemons (which really get some distance; be careful). He eats everything, and if gets too close to anything nutty, he'll tell you "No, that tickles me".

Sweet, boisterous little prince...we love you Jay Michael.

19 February 2011

KidBits February 2011

KidBits is my way of adding a blurb about the ladies and Jay; it's usually stuff that isn't big enough for a full post - grandparent's kind of news, but, all are welcome to read on...

Rachel has been asking for Taylor Swift hair for a while now. She's not too into Taylor Swift anymore, but, loves her hair. Who doesn't? We relented on the "side bangs" and this is Rae's new hair, when it's naturally curly. She straightens it for church and school, which changes her look entirely, but, I like the curls! ps - Don't you love our Minnesota Vikings shower curtain? We do! Rachel's school conference this semester went well. She has some work to do in math, her least favorite subject, but, she was invited to AP English starting next year, in eighth grade. Soccer try outs are next week, and she is a Counselor in the Beehive presidency. Add texting her friends, and you get one busy pre-teen!

Samantha wanted to play basketball this past winter, but, we just couldn't swing it at the time. Meanwhile, we were leaving the house the other day to drop somebody somewhere, when we saw a basketball goal with a FREE sign on it. Yeah! I had the ladies push it the three blocks to the house and voila - driveway basketball court! For her school conference, Samantha was nervous. Sam is an athlete, and school in general has never been her favorite thing. She walked into this conference not being able to tell me if she was doing well, or if she would leave there in trouble for her grades. What a great conference! Mrs. Hicks, her advisory teacher (she has five different teachers, since they switch classes, but, you have a conference with the homeroom, or advisory, teacher) is her math and writing teacher. She told me that Samantha's conference was one of just a few she was looking forward to, since Samantha is doing so well this year! You go, Samantha! She has three A's and two B's! Keep it up 'til report cards come out!
This picture is of Codi, I mean Charlotte, but, mainly of Codi. He's a great Pyrenees mixed with lab or something. He's huge, but thinks he's a lap dog. The dogs have been coming inside to sleep in the kitchen at night, since the temperatures are dipping below freezing. In this picture, Codi is yawning, not being fierce. He's a big teddy bear. Charlotte's school conference went perfectly. Her teacher tells us she is attentive, focused and well mannered. Her teacher made it a point to tell us that she appreciates a student who says yes, ma'am, or thank you ma'am, and Charlotte is a great example of manners. Wow. I'm so proud of her for using her manners at school. Great job, Charlie!white

Josephine, at six years old, is becoming our resident artist. She loves nothing better than to sit at the kitchen table and color and draw. I found her some How-To-Draw books, which walk her through each step and let her learn some drawing basics. These are Josephine's creations: a fairy and a princess fairy. She writes her name in the squiggle letters, on the fairy drawing, so I was showing her real cursive writing on the princess drawing. She likes her squiggles better. Joey's conference was great. She's reading at first grade level and, not surprisingly, loves her art class the most. She's still really attached to me when I drop her off at school, but, at least now she will get out of the van without too much drama. Every day, though, she leaves me with this command - Mom, check me out today, if you can, please?! Every day, Joey.

Jay is potty trained! Wow. What a load off our minds and our budget. He still wears a diaper at night, but, he asks to go to the bathroom first thing, and he can go all through church and nursery on Sundays without an accident. He likes to ask to use the bathroom in new places, I think just to see bathrooms everywhere. Whatever it takes, he is potty trained! Yeah, Jay Michael! This creation of blocks was a group effort. We used every block we had and he was so excited to get his picture taken. He loves building towers. Then he loves knocking them down! Jay is talking a lot, eating a lot and his allergies are still going strong. He is healthy and busy and full of personality -
his birthday is next week, but he already says, I three!

13 February 2011

Ahoy, Pack 354

I am the Webelos Leader in our Ward. Whew. These boys are ten years old and for an hour three Wednesdays a month I get to hang out with them. They work hard, play hard, and if we do it right, they learn something along the way. This month, for Pack Meeting (which is a meeting for my Webelos plus the Bears and Wolves in our Pack) we had a pirate theme and supper. Plenty of awards to hand out for the work they have been doing, plenty of games and fun. Here are some highlights, courtesy of Sister Woffinden, our Primary Counselor, Scout Mom and general super woman. Thanks for the pictures! The Scouts really went all out when we told them to dress like a pirate, didn't they? Good job!

The scouts "fighting" with their Dads to receive their rank advancements. Then everyone wanted to sword fight - even the little sisters!
And the cake/cupcakes. Treasure Map Cake! Don't you just love it? I do. I also love the way the families of our scouts are supportive - from impromptu sword fights to making great decorations and treats - I could never do any of this all alone! Thanks everyone!

11 February 2011

Snow Balls ......

This week we had almost eight inches of snow. Rachel is hoping for exactly seven and three quarter inches, since one of her teachers at school is giving extra credit for the student who predicts the exact amount.

All eight inches fell in one day. It was pretty, but, it called our little town to a dead standstill. School was out for three days, we had no babysitting kids come over, and Mom and Dad were home all day. No one left our house for three days, except Samantha playing with her friend down the street and Rachel walking to her friend's house, almost a mile away.

The ladies and Jay got out into the snow, but, it was fluffy and didn't pack well. What good is all that snow if you can't pack a decent snowball? For the most part we stayed inside and rearranged furniture, played video games and cleaned out under the beds. I did laundry. I did a LOT of laundry.

The cute kid quote of the snowstorm goes to Josephine, who after being amazed at how dark the inside of the house is after playing in the snow said, "Mom, it's a wonderland out there!"

It felt great not to get out of the house for three days. No schedules, just a mini obligatory stay-cation in the winter. I ventured outside only for pictures....

Joey and Samantha making snow angels
Rachel, with Samantha in the distance, and Codi
Jay and Charlie, trying to pack a snowball
I honestly hope this is the last of it. The weatherman promises me it will be in the sixties next week. I'm ready for summer!

04 February 2011

SNOW ... again

I'm not a snow person. I miss the heat of summer from the first day I see a leaf fall. I wear flip flops ALL year long. It was really snowing when I made the ladies and Jay pose for the picture in the splash. They hate snow, too. Good kids.

This morning I got the ladies off to school. That was 8 am. At 9:30 I got a phone call from the school district. The voice said, "Schools will be closing today due to inclement weather and projections from the National Weather Service." Closing at 10:15. Ugh...

The snow on this blog is on the only kind I endorse! If you want it to snow on your blog, go here for instructions!