Thursday, July 28, 2016

24 hours with good friends

Our sweet, close friends, the H family from NC, came and stayed with us for a night this week! (They were in the middle of a 2-week trip around the Midwest). We have missed them so much and it was such a treat to have them come our way! 

We colored, had pizza, went to the pool, went to the park, played. We introduced them the Chicago-style hotdogs. Even the adults had plenty of time to catch up. 

See you again in December!

Paige at 3

Paige is the funniest, most cheerful person we know :) She is just a joy to be around!

She has met all her three-year-old milestones (speaking, fine motor, gross motor, academic) and then some. The doctor said she met most of the four-year-old milestones as well. {It's my blog and I'll brag if I want to! ;)}

Favorite food: bananas
Favorite TV show: Space Racers
Favorite Book: her new Shopkins book
Color: pink

She is in about the 80th percentile for height and weight.

Beautiful, healthy, fun, and sweet! We love you Paigey!

11 months old!

Daphne is 11 months old!

She has definitely grown from a baby into an almost-toddler this month! She is pulling up, climbing stairs (yikes), saying words, and sporting a little ponytail for the first time! (Gotta keep the hair out of her eyes :))

Daphne is waving and saying "bye-bye," "Dada," "Hey," and "yeah."

Her favorite food is cheese.

She is totally teething these days - I'm thinking one-year molars. It is rough.

She loves being read to after nap time.

She is still the kids' favorite person of all time :) ...even though she does try to take all their stuff now!

Sweet, growing baby girl!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Paige's Birthday Party

We had Paige's third birthday celebration last night! We had a little party with some of her friends at a small, children's-museum type of place. She had a total blast. 

Funny Paige moment: she had to tell everyone "This is my birthday outfit. These are NOT pajamas." (Apparently she thought her birthday outfit looked like pajamas!)

The other kids had a blast too!

(Russell was having a "fight" with this lion.)

Paige's friend Micah came:

And Valerie! (And one more, Linnea, of whom I didn't get a picture.)

We had a pizza dinner. Everyone had to have a party hat. Paige LOVES and insists on party hats at every birthday!

Daphne enjoyed the pizza too! (and she didn't mind the party hat, although she preferred to chew on it.)

Paige chose a Hello Kitty bithday cake. She sang "happy birthday" along with everyone else!

She got some sweet presents. She said "you're welcome" for all of them :) and tried to give the first one back! We said, "no, they're yours to keep" and she said, "why?" 

Well, it was her first birthday party (besides the one she shared with Russell when she turned one) so I guess she didn't quite get it!

We love you, Paige! You make our world brighter :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fourth of July Pictures

We went to the village parade with friends and had 2 cookouts (with 2 different sets of friends) on the fourth of July. A great, simple holiday!

First Day of Homeschool 2016-2017

After a {lovely and much-needed} break, today was our first day back at homeschooling!

I don't like to take a break that's too long because of a) brain drain; b) the kids get bored and need structure (and so do I). 

We are calling Russell a first-grader again, purely for social purposes. As I said before, he's on a 4th grade reading level. But he fits in better with the younger kids for friendship and socializing, and since he has a summer birthday anyway, we decided to say he's in first grade. This pretty much only affects Sunday school and church activities (well, and the type of sign he holds in first-day pictures :))

Russell's curriculum this year: All About Reading Level 3 (which is a bit beneath his reading skills but it teaches some important things I don't want to skip); All About Spelling; Singapore math 1B and A Beka math 1; Writing With Ease for writing and grammar; Story Of The World for history; Everything You Need to Know about Science Homework for science; Awana for his religion/Bible.

He will also be going to a Classical Conversations community once a week, where he'll learn more history, science, grammar, art, math, Latin, and geography. We're really excited about it!

In addition, he'll keep taking piano lessons, going to homeschool gym on Thursday nights, Awana on Wednesday nights. We will also start going to a new Bible study on Tuesday mornings (with a homeschool class), and he will probably join a fall/winter swim team.

Meredith is in kindergarten this year! I can hardly believe it. She is very excited about it!

Meredith's curriculum this year: All About Reading 1 (second half) and 2; Singapore math Kindergarten B and probably A Beka; and she'll be using the same history, science, writing, and Bible as Russell (at a grade-appropriate level).

Meredith will also be going to CC once a week. I don't know yet if she and Russell will be in the same class.

Meredith will also be doing Awana (her first year of Sparks) and homeschool gym (her first year of that too!) and our Tuesday morning Bible study. She will also continue her violin lessons.

And Paige is doing three-year-old preschool. She currently knows the letters in her name; colors; counting up to 30 (I think, but maybe more); all basic shapes. This year, she'll work on: learning all the letters in the alphabet (what they look like and maybe how to write them); recognizing written numbers; some fine motor skills - an assortment of preschool things, really.

Paige will be in the childcare at CC once a week. She'll also do the Tuesday morning Bible study with us - she'll be in the 3-yr-old class. And she'll probably do Awana Puggles on Wednesday nights. She will also be starting swim lessons soon.

Daphne isn't working on anything formal, of course - just snuggles, reading with Mom, and learning one-year-old skills! But she's too cute to leave out of our school pictures!

We had a great first day!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Little Loves

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young. ~ Isaiah 40:11

Daphne is 10 months old!

Well, I completely missed a nine month update. This 4-kid thing gets the better of me sometimes!

Happy 10 months, Daphne!

My assistant (Meredith) had to get me another sticker for Daphne to play with so she would stop messing with the one on her romper!

Daphne just had her 9 month appointment (late, obviously). She's 27.3 in tall (22nd percentile), 18 lb 7 oz (28th percentile) and 43.3 cm head circ (19th percentile). Her iron levels are a little low, just like Paige's were, so she needs a supplement and iron-rich foods.

Daphne is loving all table foods - she's eating much of what we eat and prefers table foods instead of baby food. She's army crawling her way into everything. She loves animals (like all of our babies have) and gets so excited to see/pet a dog on a walk. She also really enjoyed our trip to the zoo with friends. She still has 2 teeth but she is really teething right now (swollen gums, drooling, etc) so we expect to see 2 or 3 more soon.

Daphne turned 10 months on the day Russell turned 7, so I got a sweet picture of just the 2 of them. She loves her siblings!

Happy 10 months, sweet girl!

Russell is Seven!

This kid is seven years old! How? I remember so much of his babyhood like it was yesterday.

Russell's Favorites at 7:

Color: Blue
Food: Mac and Cheese
Team: "Whatever Dad's is...but I would prefer watching swim teams on TV"
Sport (to play/to watch):Swim team/Dude Perfect sports (a YouTube channel)
Toy: Legos
Book: Lego Ideas books
Movie: Clutch Powers (a Lego movie)
School Subject: History
Best Friends: Ayden and Laylah

On Russell's birthday, he had a swim meet, and he placed fourth in both backstroke and freestyle. He loves getting those swim meet ribbons!

After the meet, he chose Subway for lunch, and opening presents, of course! He got mostly presents from family (since he had no party this year), but a couple of our sweet neighbors decided to get him a present as well :)

Russell picked mac and cheese, pears, and raspberries for dinner...then, cake! He chose a superhero cake this year.

We loved celebrating this guy! He's sweet, loud, energetic, smart, and becoming a Godly young man. 

Official Swim Team Pics