Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mid-July Summer Fun

It's the middle of July, and the weather has been beautiful! Most days are hot, but not unbearable. The nights have cooled to at least 60-65 degrees. And the kids and I have had happy, fun, carefree days - for the most part. :)

This week, we began a beautiful, wonderful storybook collection called "The Complete Brambly Hedge". If you have never seen it, you are seriously missing out. The stories are happy and sweet, and the illustrations are just out of this world. If you have toddlers, particularly girls, I highly recommend finding a copy of this out-of-print book!

Kirsa has also started playing dressup, and will run around for hours in the costumes she finds in the playroom.

Elijah continued doing a daily journal page, and a little math and handwriting. His handwriting book is beginning cursive strokes, and he likes that! He also did a "Z" coloring page, shown here, and Kirsa did her do-a-dot page, the last one. Then she began some counting printable worksheets.

The kids also tried out sack races and silly string outside. We cut most of our activities, inside and out, due to swimming lessons and making other preparations for vacation. But Elijah read "Prairie School" and I continued reading "On the Banks of Plum Creek" to him. We will also finish Pippi Longstocking this week, just one chapter to go!

This is the last week of swimming lessons, and Ingrid is much happier in the pool now! My sweet friend Heather came early to lessons one day to snap some pictures of Ingrid in the water, since I can't hold her and the camera at the same time. I think this girl will one day turn into a fish like Elijah and Kirsa. Right now she's convinced she wants to be underwater at all times, and no amount of inhaling and choking on pool water can deter her!

Swimming lessons have made Kirsa particularly tired, and she has napped well most days this week and last. Ingrid has finally completed the transition to 1 nap a day, and is napping like an angel for a good solid 2 hours every afternoon, from about noon to 2pm, give or take.

We did our school supply shopping for Elijah - I think I probably had more fun than the kids, but it was a good time anyway.

That's it for this week! Not much summertime left now!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Swimming Lessons

The kids have been thrilled to have swimming lessons this week! The weather has been nice and warm, and they are swimming like little fish in their classes. I'm really proud of how hard they try and how well they behave at the pool and in their lessons.

Ingrid has NOT loved the wading pool and it's been a trick to even sit on the edge with her on my lap, but we're working on it. I'm not sure if it's because she's sick, or just because it's something new. I hope to get her fully and happily in the water by the end of the two weeks. It would help a lot if some of the wild kids didn't have to come and be splashing and crazy every single day.

Usually we get there early enough that Elijah and Kirsa can play in the wading pool before classes start. They really love this, and play nicely together and with the other kids!

Most heart-warming of all has been to watch Kirsa reach out and make friends with the kids sitting next to her in her class!!

Just one session this summer, but hopefully we can sneak in some evening or Saturday lessons indoors during the year sometime!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Just a few weeks of summer left!

It's very strange to think that mid-July means that summer vacation is wrapping up around here! School starts up again very early in Colorado. But we had a great week this week. Elijah and Kirsa started swimming lessons in the mornings, but we still managed to fit in lots of other activities.

Elijah finished his 1st-half-of-second-grade Horizons math workbook, and moved on to some new math activities in a booklet I got from an amazing local bookstore for teachers. This is his last week of handwriting worksheets, and then we will just focus on having the best handwriting in his journal notebook. Kirsa is nearly done with her do-a-dot letter pages as well. We read more Beatrix Potter, though I admit that "Little Pig Robinson" was just a little too long and drawn-out for our modern attention spans. :)

The weather was impressively hot one day - 100 degrees! - followed by a 60 degree day the next. On the hot day, the kids played with umbrellas outside, but still came in hot and sticky to decorate their t-shirts.

They also made cereal necklaces, painted rocks, ate lollipops, wrote letters, played with games and toys, and painted the fence with water and paintbrushes! Elijah worked in some time to play with his Snap Circuits too.

Elijah is reading "Dust for Dinner" to me, a reader about the Great Depression. And I am reading a few chapters of "On the Banks of Plum Creek" to him each afternoon. We're still working through Pippi Longstocking in the evenings.

I've been scheduling like crazy to get Kirsa's homeschool-preschool year ready as well. It's really coming together nicely. A few pieces for the spring I will leave blank until January, when I can assess our momentum and her current skills, interests, and needs.

Ingrid had a bit of a rough week with that cold we all caught. It's causing a lot of night-waking for everyone - last night I was up with all three kids - three times with Ingrid alone! She's been very clingy, demanding, and tired during the day. She has not loved the wading pool so far, and thrown back-arching tantrums when I try to get her in there. So we are having a bit of a slow week with her.

That said, Elijah decided that he would institute "Ingrid Coloring Time" every morning after Kirsa's academic time and before Ingrid's roomtime begins. It was a huge hit today, anyway, and she didn't even eat the crayons this time! :)

This is also about the age that Kirsa first began to sit at the little table from Great Grandma and color with Elijah as well.

That's about it for this week! We have only a few weeks of summer left, and one little vacation. I have started getting info from Elijah's school for the first day, and am trying to wrap my head around all the things I need to do for him to go in early August. He's very excited to go - and I'm excited that school supply shopping is coming up!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Happy 4th of July 2014!

We had a fun week this week, ending with the celebration of Independence Day! The weather was hot and the kids enjoyed the sprinklers, kiddie pool, and water table in the backyard.

Inside, we read more Beatrix Potter stories. I finished Little House on the Prairie with Elijah. He read a book to me called "The Long Way Westward". Kirsa did her do-a-dot letter pages, and Elijah did his handwriting, math, and journaling. We did puppets, charades, Chutes and Ladders, tissue paper collages, tracing bodies with sidewalk chalk, bug-catching, trumpet-playing, and made fresh lemonade.

On the morning of July 4, Chris went up into the mountains to run two 14ers (Grays and Torreys) in preparation for his Pikes Peak Half Marathon Ascent next month. He completed both of them - 10 miles roundtrip, and 4000 vertical feet - in 2 hours and 40 minutes, and was home in time for lunch!

We also all developed slight colds, with runny noses, tiredness, and sore throats. Ingrid is by far the worst-affected, and was not able to stay up for the fireworks. She went to bed at 6pm, was asleep by 6:30, and slept soundly until 7:00 exactly the next morning!

Kirsa and Elijah, however, got to stay up for a really fun night! First, we ate a delicious and festive dinner of grilled burgers, potato wedges, cucumber salad, fruit salad, and our fresh lemonade.

After dinner, the kids played on their own while I put Ingrid to bed. Then they came down to watch almost all of the movie Frozen, while we waited for the sun to set a little more. Around 7:30pm, Chris and the kids left for Dairy Queen to get some ice cream before heading to the fields for the show.

Chris said the kids were very well-behaved and played nicely while it got dark out. Then it began to get chilly, so he sat on the picnic blanket with a child on each side. They leaned their heads on him and folded the blanket edges up on them, and loved every minute of the fireworks! Elijah especially loved the "grand fioli", and Kirsa said at the end, of her own accord, "Thank you for the fireworks Daddy."

They got home around 10:15 and we had them showered off and in bed by 10:30. It was a wonderful holiday this year - Happy 4th of July!