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Thursday, May 29, 2014

summer reading

Before school was out….I was already making plans in my head of what I wanted us to work on with Parker throughout the summer.  Namely:
1) reading
2) math facts
3) sight words

I knew I wanted to do a reading log of some sort, but just wasn't quite sure how I wanted to do it.  Searches on google, pinterest, and teachers pay teachers all gave lots of good ideas….some just regular ole reading logs, others more involved with coins, with 'time spent reading', etc., etc.  I never really found exactly what I wanted and for the right price (FREE)…so I just made up my own very simple one.  I'm still not quite sure exactly how I want it to go….but here's what I'm thinking so far….

-I only chose 10 books per page because I didn't want her to feel so overwhelmed and like she would never be able to reach her goal.
-Goal?  Not sure exactly how many I should expect.  This is her first summer reading so we are just going with the flow.  (hence, the reason I only wanted to do 10 at a time)
-So I'm thinking there will be a small prize after she completes each sheet.  I want her to continue to have motivation.  Prize?  Not sure what?  I don't want to go get her more stuff/junk…so this might be a 'snow cone night'…or special lunch date with mom or dad…or swim at the pool 2 times in one day.  

So far (and I know the excitement will dissipate) she is so excited about all of this.  We went to the library yesterday to pick out a new chapter book to read to both girls (we've read Charlotte's Web to them before, but that's the only one), some readers for Parker to actually read to us, and a few books that we will read to Grace (and Parker, too).  Grace also has her own reading log…and we write down the books that we read to her and she rates them.  I'm pretty sure she doesn't understand the rating system…I tried to find some free 'thumbs up/thumbs down' clip art but was unsuccessful.  That would have been perfect for her!

Anyways…reading after breakfast…

She thinks the rating system is so fun.

Reading while leaving Costco…(I pulled my phone out so quickly to take her picture after I saw her doing this.)

In the car...

And Daddy reading the chapter book tonight before bed.  We are trying out the first Magic Tree House book.  Last night I think they really enjoyed it.  Tonight they were kind of in lala land….but Nolan and I were still in there so I'm thinking maybe that had something to do with it.

Anyways…..a few additional thoughts…
-At the library…I just discovered the 'green dot' section….where they have quite a few shelves of easy/beginning readers.  It's probably always been there, but I just discovered it.  There are several different kinds of readers so I'm still figuring out the levels and such.  
-With Parker….we read to her all the time as a baby.  At 8 months old she would turn the pages as we read Brown Bear, Brown Bear.
-Grace has been read to much less than Parker
-Nolan has been read to even less.

Sooo,,,,,I'm really wanting to remedy this and hoping this is a step in the right direction.

I am also going to make another reading log sheet titled "Family Reading Log"…with maybe 4-6 spots for books…..I'm thinking we can get in that many chapter books by the end of the summer.  And then maybe have a special outing with both girls and get a sitter for Nolan.  We'll see.  :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

it's summertime!


the high temps 'round these parts this week are in the 80s.  and do not get me wrong…i am not complaining in the least.  in fact- the older i get, the more intolerant of the heat i get.  so this weather is actually amazing.  however…my girls (namely parker)…is ready for summertime (for it to be hot) and swimming.

our neighborhood pool opened this past weekend….and due to schedules and weather…we told the girls last week that we would take them swimming on wednesday this week.  well….we woke up this morning and it was 66 degrees and cloudy.  parker was bound and determined, though,….and by 1:30pm…it was 81 degrees and mostly sunny out…and she had worn. us. down.

so father-of-the-year goes to this guy who took his children swimming despite the cooler temps and cold water!  it took some getting used to….but they did eventually.  looove grace's face here.

for the record…this guy walked right up to the water, initially, and would have walked right in if we had not stopped him.  at first, we sat him on the side and he splashed his feet around for a while (it was so cute and i didn't get a picture)….then i gave the ok for geoff to let him stand in the water…and he seemed to like it…until he started walking and lost his balance and fell in.  he was not a fan.  poor bub.

but that's ok because he had fun doing other things.  :)

so it took a bit…but they all finally got 'warmed up' and used to the water.  they swam for almost an hour.  (nolan and i left early for his nap).

the girls haven't had swim lessons yet this year…and parker seems to have picked up where she left off last year….so i'm excited to see how much she learns when she does start lessons next week.  grace will get in the water, so that's a plus…but she's very timid…so also excited for her to have the lessons.


geoff took nolan around in the deep part for a few minutes right before we left.  he didn't seem to mind too much.  it'll be fun to see him in the water when i get in, too, AND when it warms up a bit.

love my boys.

here's to summertime!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

special 'date' night

Tonight we had a special date night with JUST Parker.  She was SO excited….and so were we.  Time alone with one of us and one of them is rare…but time with 1 kid and 2 adults is pretty much unheard of.  :)

For graduating kindergarten and just having a great first year of school/homeschool….we wanted to do a little something special.  This won't happen at the end of each school year…. we plan to do the same thing with each child when they graduate kindergarten.

Gramm & Poppa had given her a Target gift card and Grandad gave her some money….and it has been burning a hole in her pocket ever since.  So first up…Target.  She wanted me to sit with her in the back which I thought was so sweet….and Geoff drove.  Thank you, Geoff, for taking this picture despite your distaste of taking 'selflies' and my incessant need to take pictures, in general.  

Walking through Target….you could not wipe the smile off of her face.  We were both holding her hand and she was just soaking it up.  And we were, too.
She picked out this Lalaloopsy Pony that lights up…she's been eying this for a while…and also this Princess Luna pony that she is able to color (which she has almost completed and done a very good job with).

Dinner.  Her choice.  McDonald's.  She also chose for us to sit at this little bar area… 3 seats just right for us.

And for the extra special treat….dessert at the top of Reunion Tower at Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck.  We had showed her a picture of the tower before we went and also told her about the rotating floor.  I think it was hard for her to understand at first…thinking that the actual table and chairs would spin (think Tea Cups at Disney World).  But once we got up there…it was really nice and she thought it was pretty neat.  Well- we did, too.  :)

follow the path...

Waiting to go up the elevator.

Going up, up, up.

And she had to do a super silly face.  With her chop sticks, of course.

Dessert!  Both SO good.  Some sort of strawberry rhubarb…..and so sweet of them to write Congratulations!

And Chocolate Souffle.  Yum!!!

She also had a fresh squeezed lemonade, and Geoff and I had cappuccinos.  We enjoyed each other's company and the view…and by the time dessert arrived…she was ready to go home.

Such a big girl riding the escalators.  She liked being the last one.  I remember loving to ride them when I was younger, too.  It's the little things.

Thankful for wonderful night enjoying our oldest girl.  
I will say…it was pretty hard to leave Grace behind.  I knew she'd be just fine (thank you Papaw and Gran for watching our littlest 2)…but when we left she was hysterical.  It was hard for her to understand why we'd be going without her and made her sad….which completely broke my heart.  But I do think it's important to give them some one-on-one time every now and then.  And I can't wait to do the same with her in 2 years.   Of course, when we got home she was just fine (and had been).

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

We had a pretty good day over here.  Shortly after lunch- we headed over to my mom and Terry's for an afternoon of visiting and dinner.

Poppa got some Coca-Cola's and root beer in bottles and the girls thought it was so neat.  Only thing is….they ended up not liking to Coke.  Haha.  Owell.  :)  They looked pretty cute drinking it.

Just lounging around…having some pre-dinner watermelon and chips & dip snacking

The girls were all in the best of moods.  First of all- my girls and my niece pretty much love anytime they can 
a) go to Gramma and Poppa's, and b) play with each other.  
So they were pretty much bouncing off the walls.

me and my love

Grace wanted to take a silly face picture with her daddy.

My niece, Payton.

Poppa & Gramma

I pretty much did a HORRIBLE job of getting pictures of everyone.  My sister and her family, as well as, Terry's sister and mother.  Also- all of the food was delicious.  Hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage, lots of chips and dips (my favorite!), fresh fruit, and these brownie sundaes for dessert.  Yum!  I'm so miserable right now.

Most important thing though….I spent a lot of time reflecting on how much I take our freedom for granted.  During prayer yesterday in church, the minister of music commented on how he knew and has seen first hand what it's like to not be FREE and able to go to church and worship God….how in Zimbabwe as he was preaching to a group of people….how the men were drug out and beaten for attending 'church' instead of a political gathering.  And it just really hit me…how I take for granted that I have the FREEDOM to worship God whenever and wherever I choose.  And how someone has fought and sacrificed…and are STILL sacrificing for this freedom.  It's like I've known for a long time now that not everyone is free.  But I think sometimes we get so caught up in our own little bubble (I'm talking bout myself here)…..and fail to see how much we really have.  I know our government is far from perfect…but there's no other place I'd rather be.

So today…and everyday….thank you so much to those who have served and sacrificed and are still serving our country so that my family and I..….that we can be free.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Kindergarten Graduation

This past Wednesday was Parker's last day of school and her Kindergarten graduation.

She woke up to find breakfast made (bagel, turkey bacon, and milk)….a special graduation balloon and flowers.

First day of Kindergarten (on left) and Last day of Kindergarten (on right).

They had a cute little ceremony.  The director prayed a blessing over them and talked to them a little bit about character and how we treat others.  Then they took the stage and recited Phillipians 4:4-8 and sang  Deep in the Heart of Texas.

And finished up the performance with This Little Light of Mine.

They lined up…and one by one their name was called and the director read who each child said what they wanted to be when they grew up and who their hero was.

Parker wants to be an art teacher when she grows up.  And her hero is her cousin, Payton, because when she is hurt, Payton gives her things.  Haha!

So cute in their little caps and gowns!  I know her high school graduation will be here before we know it.  I'm really trying to slow down and enjoy these days.  The good, the bad, and the ugly. Ha.

Parker & Payton (her hero)

I'm pretty sure the last picture we had of JUST Parker with BOTH Geoff and I was before Grace was born….so I knew I wanted it to happen on this day.

Parker and Grandad

Gramma, Parker, and Poppa

Gran, Parker, & Papaw

Our family.

Parker and her teacher

Our little Kinder Graduate.  First grade here we come!


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