Friday, September 18, 2020

LB is a Kindergarten Graduate!

Well, she did it! And in record time.  It only took our girl around 5 months to do an entire year of kindergarten! I am blown away with how well she did once she was ready to get going and she just blossomed through her kindergarten program.  She went from barely recognizing her letter sounds to reading fluently.  She went from barely counting to doing basic addition and subtraction.  She gained so much confidence and was ready to launch into 1st grade!  We are so incredibly proud, but not just for how much she has learned but how determined our little girl has always been!  We can't wait to sit back and watch where life takes her! 

How old are you? 6
What is your favorite color? orange
What is your favorite animal? horses 
What is your favorite book? Please Baby Please
What is your favorite TV show?  Goldie and Bear 
What is your favorite movie? Descendants 3
What is your favorite song? My Girl
What is your favorite food? Pizza
What is your favorite drink? pink strawberry lemonaid
What is your favorite breakfast food? pancakes
What is your favorite snack? goldfish
What is your favorite outfit? a dress
What is your favorite game? Mario
What is your favorite toy? PJ mask toys
Who is your best friend? Selah
What is your favorite thing to do? Play at the park 
What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Grandma's trampoline
What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
What do you like to take to bed with you? pink blanket 
Where is your favorite place to go? Wendy's  
What is your favorite restaurant?  Wendy's
Where do you want to go on vacation? Disneyworld 
What do you want to be when you grow up? A chef
What is your favorite part of school? Writing
What is your least Favorite part of school? Phonics

And then we headed straight into 1st grade which she was so excited to do!  She took right off and is doing a great job with a program that is moving pretty fast. We are excited for all that 1st grade will hold for this girl as she continues to learn all sorts of new things! 


Friday, September 4, 2020

Family Day 2020

Our Family Day this year looked different a bit different this year, as pretty much everything looks different this year.  But all that to say, we still made the most of it and had a blast celebrating how our family was created.  For the first time ever, we stayed home for the day and just played various games and spent time together.  We went up to Portland and got some really tasty Ethiopian Food and Malachi was super happy to try some new things.  I am so thankful for how my family was created and the gift that each of these kids is in my life. Sometimes I still can't believe that all these children are mine :) 

Friday, August 21, 2020

14 Years

 At the end of July we celebrated our 14th Anniversary.  On one hand, I would find it very easy at this point to pass over this occasion and just move along. But since my intent is to publish these posts for my kids to reflect on someday I thought it was important to recap this past year as we have done with every anniversary.  We have been married long enough at this point to know that some years of marriage are amazing, mountain top, beautiful years.  And then there are other years that are hard and down in the dumps. Sometimes the years are hard because of circumstances outside our control and sometimes the years are self inflicted times of hardship.  If I am being 100% honest about the chapter of marriage we just wrote - I would describe it much like I would describe 2020 as a whole - blah!  

Don't get me wrong, there were some really beautiful times too.  Our trip to Bend for a babymoon comes straight to my mind.  There's also something amazing and intimate about those moments leading up to and immediately after bringing a new child into the world that we were fortunate to share together. I mean, we brought life into the world this past year! It has also been amazing for our family to have Peter working from home these past 5 months. There is always good to be seen if you look for it.

So why would I consider this year sort of blah?  We have prided ourselves on how we have also focused and prioritized our relationship. For the majority of our marriage we have worked hard to carve out time for one another and invest in our relationship knowing that was the key to keeping our marriage and family strong.  This last year has been full of adjustment. The expectations put on Peter at his job meant many long hours and even long nights put into work. I had a very rough third trimester and then of course the adjustment to a new baby is no joke (I mean, we have 5 kids now!). Combined with Peter's work schedule this often met unmet expectations for where I felt his focus needed to be at home vs the insane pressure Peter was feeling trying to meet work and family demands.

I don't want to overly dramatize the year because it wasn't like we struggled too bad, but I do want to paint a picture of reality because this is sometimes how life looks.  I think we've had a slow fade and drift from one another as needs weren't being met and our priorities were focused off of our marriage and into what we both saw as outside pressures.  Our marriage was never in doubt, but it just felt kind of "blah".  

The good part of anniversary's though is that they kind of act as a reset button for us.  We can reflect on the good and the bad and we can talk through things and try to make adjustments.  One thing for sure, is that we love each other with all of our hearts and still want to strive to make things the best they can be. We want to be the best spouse we can be for each other.  Our anniversary served as a reminder of what we have built together and how we want to improve. I am happy to report that already this last month since our 14th Anniversary has been amazing.  We are communicating better and prioritizing one another again.  I am thankful that this year our anniversary served as that reset button!

I am so thankful for the past 14 years with Peter. They have been everything I wanted in life and even more. I am so proud of the man he is and how he works hard to provide for our family and also strives to be the best husband and father he can be.  I am thankful for every day I have with this man and I am looking forward to this year ahead with joy and gratefulness for everything we have, particularly these 5 precious kids we've been gifted with.  We are already planning all that is to come as we approach 15 years together!  When we work as a team, we are unstoppable! 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

LB turned 6!

Seems like there is always something we are celebrating around here, and a constant stream of birthdays but it keeps life fun!  In the midst of our always busy July, LB also turned 6 years old. This has been a really fun year with LB as we have seen her grow and mature so very much!  She went from barely knowing her letters to reading!  She jumped seamlessly (without a hint of jealousy) from being the baby of the family for 5 years to being the big sister.  I am just so incredibly proud of the girl she has become!  

And so we celebrated as best we could in this darn covid era.  We had a small family party that we still went all out because she deserved it!  On her birthday we celebrated with custom unicorn themed donuts, new clothes in the mail to try on, we took her to one of her favorite spots for dinner (take out in the car) and some ice cream on the drive home.  Oh and we must not forget the highlight of her birthday, she got her ears pierced!  She is looking so grown up now! 

Miss LB, wow, another year has gone by! It feels like 6 years have just flown by. But the growth I have watched in you this last year just blows my mind. You have completely left toddlerhood and preschool behind and entered straight into being a little girl!  You are fun and funny and live life loud and fast paced!  You are determined and strong.  You are going to be dynamite someday!  I am so fortunate to be your mother and watch you become amazing you.  You make me proud!  So Happy Birthday sweet girl and we love you so much! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Ready for Another School Year

We have started our 7th year of homeschool and I have never been more thankful to be on this path than I am as we start this year! And I don't say that flippantly or arrogantly, it is just something I am extra thankful for the consistency we have with this even if it is extremely difficult to homeschool at times.  We are at least not finding ourselves in complete limbo heading into this next school year and will proceed with business as usual.  

With that being said, we are almost a month in at this point and we are working through the challenges. After being pretty hands off last year with pregnancy and a newborn I have really wanted to be involved this year and make sure they are where they need to be and grasping all their concepts. That is pretty much a full time job each day as I balance the 4 kids and a baby but we are hopefully figuring things out. The kids are doing great, Mom feels overwhelmed :)

We are covering a wide range of Elementary schooling this year.  Malachi is kicking off his final (sniff sniff) year of elementary school.  This should not be too difficult of a year for him as he just expands  on the concepts he's already been working through.  I am excited to see him complete this year of school and move on to a new journey in middle school (wow!) soon!   

Eli is conquering 4th grade this year.  I actually think 4th is going to work out really well for him.  Last year he got brand new 3rd grade that was pretty intense and this year he is doing an older version of the curriculum that basically covers a lot of what he covered in 3rd grade.  Since 3rd was so challenging I think what is going to end up being a lot of review in 4th is going to be great for him as 3rd grade basically felt like a jump right into 4th last year. He is already off to a great start! 

We continue our journey into these later elementary grades with Sabrina this year. She had an awesome year in 2nd and has had updated curriculum all along in her journey through school so I am confident she will handle the challenging curriculum well in 3rd grade. She is already working hard and doing pretty good. It is no easy task to handle the uptick in work from 2nd to 3rd but I know she is up to handling that challenge! 

And of course I am still working with LB. You may or may not remember that last year with the input of her preschool teachers we decided to continue preschool at home last fall. That was 100% the right decision for her and we have completely let her determine the pace of school this year. Preschool started out pretty slow for her but all of a sudden we hit the new year and she was just eager to learn her letter sounds and write her letters and showed all the signs of being ready for kindergarten.  We decided around March to test the waters of kindergarten and she has just bloomed and is flying through her kindergarten curriculum and is now reading and writing in cursive and just blowing me away!  I anticipate it won't be much longer before I post that she is starting 1st grade herself!  

So clearly we have a lot going on over here and we are still navigating the waters of 4 kids in full time school and a baby who is all over the place! This is definitely not the easiest decision I have ever made and it challenges and refines me everyday but I love having my kids home with me and getting to witness for myself every school challenge and every school victory. I am so proud of all of these kids! 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

4th of July Weekend at Great Grandma's

Covid has ruined several of our travel plans this year so we didn't know what to expect for our 4th of July plans but we decided to just go for it and still visit Great Grandma for the holiday and just get out of town for a couple days!  Her house is the perfect place to get away but also not have to go anywhere and stay away from the general population.  

But first we had to get there! I wasn't too concerned about the big kids as they're good travelers but a 4 hour car trip with Ayla was going to be a new experience. 

She actually did pretty good considering there weren't all that many places we could even stop the car to take a break with Covid restrictions. But we got her out once and got to watch the elk for a little bit at the same time. She was a trooper! 

And then the rest of the weekend at Great Grandma's filled with sourdough pancakes, walks exploring the tide pools, reading books, playing piano, cornhole, and lots of exploring Grandma's vast backyard!

It is always an enjoyable place that the kids really look forward to visiting, and it was really nice to finally get away even if it was a quick trip!