Thursday, February 16, 2017

Oregon Battle of the Books

Back in November, Evelyn signed on to be a part of Oregon Battle of the Books, a state reading competition that is held at schools across the state. Students compete in teams and "battle" against other teams on book knowledge. Evelyn was fortunate enough to have been chosen as an alternate last year as a 3rd grader (its mainly for 4th and 5th grade) and battled on a 5th grade team and did very well. Reading definitely is one of my sweet girl's loves so I was happy that she wanted to do OBOB again this year.

Her team consisted of 4 sweet, smart, energetic and silly girls whom I took under me wing to mentor for the big battle, which was TODAY! For the past 3 months or so we have meet weekly or even twice weekly to talk about the books and go over sample questions. The girls also made sure to have fun too, and we did things like make Christmas cookies, took walks around the block and took trips to the park.

During our first meeting we had back in November, I had two things for the girls to decide, the first being their team name. They chose the team name "Huckleberry Rubber Duckies", after Evelyn shared about the rock formation with the same name that she scaled up at Anthony Lakes this past summer. The second thing to decide was how serious they wanted to be. I really felt these girls had the potential to REALLY do well, but I also didn't want to push them if they just wanted to have fun. The girls were ALL IN and were committed to working as hard as they could.

This morning, they all were nervous but excited. I gave them a pep talk and off they went to their first battle.

Matching "Huckleberry Rubberduckie" socks... a little gift to them on battle day. They loved them!

Ready to go!

Cheering section.. kids from their class made them signs for support. 

First battle.. they got off to a bumpy start but once they got into a rhythm they won handedly. 

The girls kept winning battles and eventually made it to the fourth grade final... and they WON!!!! They were so excited and I was so proud of them.... they worked so hard and totally earned that title. Fourth grade champs.. and a chance to battle the 5th grade champs for the title of Fir Grove champs and earn a spot in the regional competition!

The big final battle was at the end of the day. The girls fought hard and did so great.. and lost to the 5th grade boys team by just ONE point! ONE!

Even though they didn't win that last battle, they were so happy and excited that they did so well and that the day was over! :) I have to admit, I was a bit misty eyed as they celebrated... I am so proud of them!
I took the girls to Dairy Queen after school to celebrate a job very well done. 

I will miss working with these girls but know we all will remember our time together. Proud of my Huckleberry Rubberduckies!!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Big Snow of 2017

What a winter we have had already... and it's just getting started!! The past 2 weeks have been full of inches of both snow and ice, missed school, lots of fun and some cabin fever thrown in there as well. Overall, we managed just fine and did our best to enjoy the pretty white stuff, knowing it could be a while before we see this much snow again!

It started with a little snow on Saturday the 7th. Not much to get excited about. But Sunday night brought freezing rain... quite a bit of it... and made for quite the shiny and slippery streets. Church was cancelled and we hunkered down for the day.

Hard to see all the ice, but it sure is shiny out there!!

The ice thawed some Sunday afternoon and Doug actually made it downtown to do some work. His company held a HUGE conference last week and hosted all of its salespeople from around the world. Doug and his team had a large role in this event and he need to go into the office to finalize things before the start of the event Monday morning. 

Of course, what had melted Sunday afternoon froze over during the night and school was cancelled for the day. This was "Snow Day" #3 for the kids this year (remember the snow that added 2 days to their Christmas Break?). They went back to school Tuesday with the forcast of snow starting that evening. 2-4 inches tops, the weather reports said. Oh how wrong they were!

It started snowing Tuesday evening and by morning almost a FOOT of snow was covering our fair town. It was so crazy.. and so beautiful too! It stayed cold for DAYS and led to SIX more day of cancelled school. Pretty nuts!

Our backyard! I don't know why I didn't get more photos of our yard!!??

Doug made it to work Wednesday, but it was a very dangerous commute. He made the decision to get a hotel for the evening and stay downtown to avoid getting stuck on the way home and also to ensure his availability at the conference, which was in full swing.

The kids were really hoping to sled first thing Wednesday. Sadly the snow, while so pretty, was too powdery and deep. The kids just sank into it in the sleds. They were bummed, so we decided to go for a walk and look around and brainstorm ideas for playing outside.
Almost a foot.. just nuts!
Our poor canoe slid off it's stand in the ice!!

Glad Doug had the truck parked in the shop.. his poor car was covered in snow for days!!

The kids decided to make an igloo since they couldn't sled that morning.. and worked really heard with help from neighbor kids (and me and neighbor parents..haha) to make an awesome ice fort!

Proud of their work!

Later in the day the snow got a little icier and harder.. better for sledding. So we met some friends up at the middle school and had a fun afternoon with them.

Owen, Cannon and Matthew.. good buddies

Elysia (LiLi) is Cannon's little sister. She LOVES Evelyn and Evelyn was gracious and took her down the sled several times. They both had fun together.

Thursday morning, the kids and I adventured out and walked to Sharis. Sadly my phone died right after we left the house (I forgot to charge it overnight) and the above photo is the only one I got. Sigh... We had a fun time, got some good exercise, and have good stories to tell of our journey. Trust me..haha!

Thursday afternoon we met up with friends again to sled. The sun was out and it was glorious. Such a fun afternoon!

Evelyn and Ellie.. so happy to see each other!!

Matthew, Kellan and Sam.. three amigos. So thankful for good friends for my boy!

To top off our day, we went night sledding in our yard, which was way more fun than I thought it was going to be. We could have stayed out all night!! :)

This is the sled Doug made for Evelyn when we had the last big snow in 2008. She was just 2. It was fun to get it out and reminisce see it still working great!

Thankful for great neighbors who like to have fun, too!

After our full day Thursday, we had a quieter day Friday, sledding just a bit in the morning. We did some school work (I printed off writing worksheets and math worksheets) and AWANA studies. I also did a little "home economics" with them and challenged them to make a cake. All by themselves.

I had to intervene only a couple of times but otherwise they worked well together and did a great job. The cake turned out perfectly!! 

We did some more night sledding Friday, too! :)

If I am being honest, by Friday evening I was getting pretty weary of all of the "togetherness" that was being had. At the same time, I love these two and they can get me to smile and do crazy things and make my heart burst with pride. Thankful to be their mom and thankful for the extra time we have had together, even if there were times they drove me a bit nuts!

Doug was home over the weekend and we got to venture out in the truck and do things, which was so nice. For some reason I didn't get any more photos of our "snowpocolypse".. but it lasted until yesterday, when the snow started melting and the kids went back to school (after a 2 hour delay). Today they went back all day..yay!!

It certainly was a week (or more) to remember. Thankful for the beauty of the snow and the memories made in it!!