Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Conferences

Andrew had his spring parent teacher conference this week. Eric and I are never worried about his performance in class, he is extremely good in school and he always tries his absolute hardest in class. In 1st grade at our school there are several criteria that they want students to hit to be considered at "benchmark" for their grade by the end of the year. They are supposed to be able to read a certain number of words out loud a minute and they are supposed to have a certain level of accuracy with math facts 0-10 (addition and subtraction).

Andrew currently is reading 38 words a minute. The benchmark for his grade is 40 words per minute. He should have no problem reading that by the end of the school year. He is getting better and better at reading. Recently he started participating in the school libraries "book clubs" where students set a goal for themselves and then receive "book booty" for the books they read. Then when they have earned a certain level they can cash in their booty for a prize. Andrew read all of the "Frog and Toad" books on his last reading club list. Now he is working on the Poppleton books. We will see how well he does with those over spring break. He has his eye set on a stuffed monkey for a prize.

Math is an area where Andrew is absolutely excelling. He not only can do the math work but he also has been explaining how he arrived at his answers to the class. Math comes extremely easily to Andrew and often the concept doesn't even have to be fully explained before he gets it. He does mental math in class which is (according to his teacher) slightly advanced for 1st grade. Every week his class takes a speed test of math facts in preparation for the big test at the end of the year. The tests started with math facts 0-2 addition or 0-2 subtraction and then continued to become more difficult until the student reached 0-10 addition or 0-10 subtraction. To pass the test and move to the next one you must receive better than 90% correct. There are 50 problems on each page and the students have 3 minutes to complete the test. Andrew has scored perfectly on each and every test with the exception of one. The one time that he didn't score perfectly he only missed the answers because he ran out of time. He only ran out of time because he started the addition test with subtracting. Stopping and correcting the ones that he had missed caused him to run out of time at the end of the test and he didn't finish. He was upset about it to say the least. He still passed the test though. I guess the last day of school before spring break they took a test. Andrew took the 0-10 subtraction test which is the last one. He says he was the only student to take it. Somehow I am not surprised.

All in all it was a wonderful report card. Good job Andrew!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Breakfast with Lucy

Lucy is a big breakfast eater. As in she eats her breakfast, the boys breakfast, my breakfast, daddy's breakfast. You get the point. If food is out, she is eating it. Which is good I suppose since she tends to be kinda a bird eater the rest of the day. This morning was peanut butter and jelly toast. You can see how dainty and ladylike she is while eating.

Often she wants to wipe her hands and face in between bites. Today? Not one of those days!

Calvin, her constant eating companion. He is not dumb. He knows where the food comes from. His focus and inability to be distracted truly are admirable!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Update on the Gwen

Just got done with Gwen's eye doctor appointment. The doctor didn't see any problems with her eyes which is good. She is tracking together which is fabulous. We don't have to take her back until next year. So all good in the Gwen eye department.

Because I Had To

Most of my readers will probably never be at my house so I just had to share the picture that I got taken of the girls earlier this month.

This is a picture I had taken of Andrew and Zane. Andrew was almost 2 and a half. Zane is 3 months.

I knew that I desperately wanted to try and get a similar picture of the girls. Lucy was a bit temperamental the last time we took photos so I had low hopes. It turned out better than I thought it would. Lucy is 2 and Gwen is 6 months.

Now I can get matching frames and put them up! Isn't God good to give me book end babies!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Leprechaun Lunacy

I thought that the obsession with leprechauns was limited to St. Patrick's Day. I was wrong. Very, very wrong. Andrew tends to be completely literal and somewhat skeptical of things. However he has gotten totally into the idea of leprechauns. At school they learned about leprechauns. Once he got home from school last Wednesday his imagination really took off. He went and played outside. He found some footprints made out of paint. They had to be leprechauns right? (Possibly a raccoon got into some paint that was left out) Then later he found more footprints on his shoes (possible sister or dog stepping on his shoes after stepping in previously mentioned paint). Then there was the mess of toilet paper found in the toilet (also probable sister naughtiness) that had to have been the work of a pesky leprechaun. After all these repeated sightings, the only thing left to do was to build a trap.

According to Andrew the trap, pictured above, was to trick the leprechaun into running off the table on the strip of green and then fall through the holes into the leprechaun trap box. (The box had been moved and was no longer in proper position)

I think the gold coins are to keep the leprechaun busy while it is in the box. Very sneaky they are for sure.

Eric said that Andrew spent the entire weekend out in the yard looking for leprechauns and by the end of Sunday he had Zane and Lucy convinced they should be on the lookout for them too. Eric attempted to tell Andrew that leprechauns are only out around St. Patrick's Day but Andrew didn't buy it. Oh well, it is nice that he has a fun adventure while he is outside playing! And it is pretty stinking cute!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Loves

I have been horribly neglectful of the blog lately! Things have been clicking along at our house. Nothing too exciting but I still try to post more often than I have. For record keeping purposes at the very least. Someday my kiddos will appreciate all these cute stories about when they were young... right?

Andrew has been very busy this month doing several things. He is currently working on a book club at school and is reading all the books by Arnold Lobel (He wrote the Frog and Toad series). It has been fun to watch Andrew push himself to meet a goal and then exceed it. Plus it ups the difficulty of the reading to a good degree. Fiction is not his favorite so it has been nice to have a reason to push him to read more.

Andrew also started baseball last week. Right now they are just practicing but the games will begin right after Easter and it will be nice to see how he does. Eric has been taking him to practice on his own and I have been hanging with the kids. It makes it really nice to not have to think of things to do at the field yet. Games will begin soon enough and it is kinda cold out in the evenings still.

Zane has been a swimming fish lately. He still working on Preschool 2 at swimming lessons. Honestly I think he will be at that level forever but he enjoys the lessons and swimming is just one of those need to know type of things. He recently discovered that he can touch the bottom of the pool in the shallow end and still keep his face above water. It has been a slightly unhealthy realization. Now I worry that he will get over confident and drown himself at the first opportunity. Even with the swim instructor there.

Zane has been working really hard on his letters both writing them and saying them. We are working on the sounds of the letters too. He is getting it slowly but surely. By the time he hits kindergarten he should be good to go! Art work has also become a big pass time with Zane. I am starting to wonder if he doesn't have some natural artistic ability. He drew me a picture of a heart the other day that was pretty stinkin' good and he also draws his people as "mat men" rather than stick figures. And I know that is something they work on in kindergarten. Seems pretty good for a 4 year old.

Missy Ma'am Lucy Lu has been in rare 2 year old form the last few weeks. She is getting more and more verbally expressive which is wonderful. She also has been more and more stubborn. This morning we had a huge fight over what barrettes to put in her hair. Since I was running late to Bible study I told her she had to pick or she wasn't getting any at all. She continued to take her time. I carried her (kicking and screaming) down the stairs and put her shoes on. She ripped them off her feet and went back upstairs. I carried her down a second time and wrestled her into her shoes. Eric carried her (kicking and screaming like a feral cat) and put her in her car seat. By the time we made it to church (all of 3 minutes down the road) she had removed both her shoes and her socks. And then she sat and screamed that the socks were off. Good times. It is just a sample of what any day can look like with her too. Ahhhhh 2, you are so fun!

On a more positive note Lucy is singing these days which is adorable. She particularly loves to sing Happy Birthday and will break into song at any given opportunity. She is also very sweet with Gwen and loves to play mommy to her. Some days I think she is confused who the real mommy is!

As I mentioned in the last post Gwen got her first tooth this week. She has also become extremely mobile. Not exactly crawling but certainly mobile enough to be concerning. She moves from her tummy into a sitting position easily and has been fun to watch scoot around after everything that her siblings have and then set down. Also she pushes up onto her feet and her hands and kinda looks like she wants to do the bear crawl. I am choosing to believe that walking will not be something she does early! Gwen adores Zane and Lucy (Andrew too, he is just at school for so much of the day) and watches what they do carefully. Soon she will be chasing after them!

Just had to do an update. I will try to be better in the next few weeks. It has just been not on my mind to sit down and blog!

New Tooth!

Miss Gwen has been super crabby the last few days and it appears that she has finally gotten her first tooth! Can't see it yet but I can feel it with my finger. Hopefully she will start sleeping better. I am exhausted! (Please ignore the green nose, it was the only picture I had handy!)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gwendalyn Lily- 7 Months

Baby girl is 7 months old today. CRAZY. She is on the verge of crawling and at the least is scooting around all over the place. She has mastered the tummy to sit. I saw her do it no less than 10 times in a matter of about 2 hours. She is very impressed with her ability to wiggle and squirm to anything she wants. I give it a week before she is full on crawling and being a holy terror.

Zane is completely in love with Gwen. He seems to think she is the sweetest sis in the world. He is very gentle with her too and loves to play games with her. They are going to be good buddies for sure.

I was commenting that Gwen was pretty today and Zane said No. I asked, "what is she then?" Zane then replied, "the prettiest girl in the whole world"

Lucy is also particularly sweet with Gwen. She will share her blanket with Gwen when no one else can touch it. It is so nice to see them as friends. I hope it lasts forever and ever!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Me and My Girls

It is rare occurrence that I get pictures with my kids. I usually forget to ask Eric to take one and he never remembers. And of the ones that I do take I usually only like a fraction of them. That said, I got a shot of me and the girls tonight. And I didn't even mind my picture. Although I did have to ask Eric to take it! Hooray for little girls to love on! My boys only want me to be snuggling them infrequently these days. Just means I will have to cherish Lucy and Gwen's little kid time all the more!

Gwen Claps and Crawls (well almost)

Gwen is just getting bigger and bigger. She will be 7 months old this week and she is on the verge of crawling. She gets herself up on her hands and knees and rocks and rocks and rocks. It will be fun to see how pesty she is when she is fully mobile. She is also clapping her hands these days which is adorable to see. Gwen likes to babble and talk all the time. I think she may be the chattiest of my kids. She already babbles da-da. (Eric's favorite)

It is so hard to believe that she is doing all this stuff already. It seems entirely too soon. I will need to lower her crib mattress in the next week or so because she is close to being able to push back into a sitting position. I have caught her doing it once or twice but she isn't consistent with it yet. All I know is that one morning I will go to get her and she will be sitting in her crib which is not exactly safe with the mattress not lowered. Eric and I will have to be on top of that so she doesn't tumble out. That would be another mommy first that I would just love to avoid!