Monday, March 24, 2014

Sunny Start to Spring Break

Spring break is here!! I am SO happy to have Evelyn home this week... and how awesome is it that the sun has been shining the past few days! We have thoroughly enjoyed being outside, playing, riding bikes/scooters,etc. Even though both kids have been a bit under the weather (thankfully Evelyn is better, Matthew is still coughing a TON) they enjoyed getting some vitamin D!

Due to Matthew being sick we had to stay close to home Monday. Evelyn was a bit sad, but her spirits were brightened by a surprise visit from her friend Ellie, who was on a bike ride with her mom and stopped by. Totally made her day!

 The weather was so nice that we even got the fire pit up and running. The kids enjoyed not one, but TWO evenings of staying up late and roasting marshmallows. Good stuff. 

I know the rain is coming soon.. even maybe tonight... but I will relish in the small taste of lovely weather that hopefully will be coming back soon!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Look What He Can Do!

It may be hard to see (it was done in crayon on the back of a  McMenamins kids menu!) but my sweet boy is getting smarter by the day! He hasn't ever written his name this well!

He was so proud of himself  and when we got home from the restaurant he kept "pwacticin'"! Love my boy and proud of his learning of late!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Passing the "Pen"

When Evelyn turned four, she got a Leapfrog TAG reader, and although she was already reading at that time, it was a great tool for her to read independently and also to get her exposed to age-appropriate technology. She used it quite a bit the first couple of years, but as her reading skills took off (and continue to grow) it was too easy for her.  Matthew really hasn't has much interest in it until lately. He has been using it some when he goes into Evelyn's room quite a bit so we talked to Evelyn about officially passing it on (along with the books she has) to her brother. She was very supportive of that idea and has spent time teaching him how to use it. He now has it in his room and is very much enjoying it!

Thankful for toys (especially educational ones) that can be passed down! I have a feeling my sweet boy will be a stellar reader too!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ballet Class

Over Christmas break Evelyn really started talking about getting back into dance, specifically ballet. Her very first ballet teacher (for that post see here) started her own dance company a couple of years ago, so we decided to  try out ballet there. To make it more fun, we invited her best friend from school, Ellie, to take it with her. So, every Tuesday, Ellie would come home with us from school and I would take them to ballet later in the afternoon.

It was a rough start for both the girls, to be honest. First of all, it was NOT the class I think they were expecting. No tutu's and flitty dancing in this class. Instead, a lot of barre and form work. With a very specific uniform. Second of all, their teacher, Rodney, is a male instructor who expects hard work, demands respect and makes the girls work hard... and I think he is pretty awesome. The girls, however, didn't really share my sentiment. They both were quite apprehensive and were in tears a few times both before and after some classes. But with some encouragement and other incentives, they both plugged thru the session. In fact, two weeks ago, both girls came out SUPER excited about the dance they are learning for the recital (in June... which means you have to take another session if you want to be in it) and I think it finally clicked as to why there were doing what they were doing in class. It was great to see their happiness!

Below are pics from the last class of the session, which was yesterday.

Evelyn is excited to start class back up again in April, and even more excited about getting all dolled up for the recital in June. I am proud of both the girls for working so hard and sticking it out.. and eventually having fun!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day

Today was a typical St. Patty's Day for us. Lot of green, lots of  good food, and lots of fun! The sun was out and it was warm, so we got to play outside a lot! YAY!

 My pretty girl all decked out!

 As you can see, Matthew DID have a cute St. Patty's shirt on, but he never let me get a good picture of him in it.
 ...cuz all he did was THIS. All. Day. Long. I love that he loves his bike, but I was hoping he would cooperate and take off his coat for ONE picture. Oh well!!

For dinner I did a traditional meal and it turned out SO good. We all ate it up!

My every Irish Blessing be yours! Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Good Bye Mrs. Beltran

Evelyn has such a great year at school, and most of the credit for that goes to her amazing teacher, Mrs. Beltran. She has worked hard to keep Evelyn challenged and yet keeping learning fun for her, too. Evelyn's love for reading and writing have grown tremendously as well has her proficiency in those areas, mostly due to the encouragement of Mrs. Beltran. The whole class adores her, and her love for teaching is so apparent.

We found out Mrs. Beltran was pregnant at the beginning of the year, and all of the kids have been SO excited for "Baby Gabby" to be born. On Valentine's Day I helped organize a surprise baby shower for her in the classroom. The kids were all in on it, and made her a special book of their hopes for the baby (which we worked on with them whenever Mrs. Beltran had a sub. We even had our principal in the loop and she would let us know when there was going to be a sub in class!). She was quite surprised and a teary mess when she figured out what was going on!

 "No  Way!!"

 Reading the book her students made... she couldn't get thru it without crying and the kids were handing her tissues... it was a sweet moment!

She is quite loved by these kiddos!

She had planned on working up until her due date (Mar 14th) but decided she would make Friday her last day just to have good closure for her and the kids. Although we were sad, I totally get it and respect her decision.

Ev and her beloved teacher.

It turned out to be a VERY smart decision for Friday to be her last day because she actually had baby Gabriella SUNDAY! I got an email with some pictures this morning...both mom and baby are doing well. The kids were SUPER excited and can't wait until Mrs. Beltran and Gabby come to visit the class, which she promised she would!

So as of yesterday, Evelyn has a new teacher. Mr. Culbertson has been an instructional aide and a sub at Fir Grove this year and the kids know him. He seems like he will do a find job carrying the torch. It won't be the same, and Evelyn was a bit anxious about this change, but we are encouraging her to keep on doing what she has been doing and finish the year strong.

That being said, wee are so thankful for Mrs. Beltran and are already plotting to have her teach second grade next year (which is an actual possibility...woohoo!!).