Sunday, February 15, 2015

Elijah's Birthday Presents!

Elijah opened presents after bathtime on his birthday. He was thrilled to have such a nice pile. Presents included a kickball, legos, money and a giftcard, clothes, tons of games, art supplies, and several books.

Swimming Lessons Completed

Friday, February 13, 2015

Elijah's 7th Birthday!

Elijah is Seven Years Old today! Happy Birthday, my ever-growing and completely amazing boy! Time for his update too...

Eating: Elijah is an amazing eater, period. He eats us out of house and home more often than not. He has a few more pronounced dislikes than he did in his younger years - mostly spicy foods, and a few foods that he doesn't like the texture of, like pureed bean soups. Otherwise he eats everything and anything cheerfully, happily, willingly, and quickly. He eats as much as I do for dinner most nights. He drinks around 8-12 ounces of milk a day, I think.

Sleeping: This is not my problem. I assume he sleeps at some point. He has a "Lights Out" time for the night and a "Lights On" time for the morning. He is quiet, in his room, and in the dark in between those two times.

Schedule: Typical days go like this-

5:30-6:30 awake for the day
6-7 up for the day
off to school between 6:30 and 7 most days
2:45 bus pickup
play outside, about 1 hour
homework time
play inside, sometimes with electronics
5 dinner
bath, pajamas, roomtime/stories/reading time
7 Lights Out

On non-school days, he has a snack around 8:30am and another at 2:30pm. He plays outside twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. He has a quiet time in his room during the girls' naps, and typically spends this reading and playing with electronics. (Our rule is that he can play his electronic, like the Kindle, for as long as he read for, whether that's 10 minutes of each or 90 minutes of each or whatever).

Skills & Other:

Elijah has lost one tooth and has another very loose one. He is still amazing in math, and his writing and handwriting have improved a lot. I'm not really sure where his reading is at - his teacher is interested in seeing him develop his skills in summarizing and analyzing stories right now.

Speaking of school, I had a mini phone conference with his teacher this week. She mentioned that she has been "amazed" by his knowledge so far this year, and that he was obviously "very well educated" during his year of homeschool. She said that she is so sad that we're moving, and some of the teachers of the older grades are as well because they were hoping to get to have Elijah in their classes! She said that I should give advice to other homeschool moms since I clearly knew what I was doing. :) This was wonderful to hear from her perspective since I know that those in the public school realm can often have deep (and often justified - but not always!) reservations about homeschool and especially the education that kids in homeschool receive. Obviously we have done pretty well. :)

Elijah is a fantastic swimmer and becoming very athletic overall. He is actually the second tallest kid in his class at school, which has us surprised!

Elijah is wonderful with Ingrid but still struggles with Kirsa sometimes - other times, they are the best of friends. At home, school, and church, he is working on not leading or participating in "crazy energy" though we all know that this is typical for boys this age (but also something that needn't last forever, either). He can be very mature and responsible and helpful around the house - getting Ingrid washed and out of her high chair, running errands, fixing or cleaning things. Other times he is clearly a little boy and not so helpful. :) He tends to be very honest and earnest, and truly likes to see the fun and interactions run smoothly around the house.

Right now, Elijah's interests include Mario Kart, playing on his Kindle and Leap Pad, playing outside, Angry Birds, Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, stuffed animals, math, riding his bike, playing with friends, bossing around his sisters nonstop, creating things, and eating.

That's all I can think of on Elijah for now. Happy Birthday to our incredible, wonderful boy!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Seven Years of Elijah

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Music Class for the Girls

Every Monday this year, I walk down the street with the girls to our friends' house, where they homeschool their three kids who are close in ages to Elijah and Kirsa. My friend wonderful Heather, who taught music in the public schools before beginning to homeschool her kids, teaches a music class for the girls - their youngest Colette, and Kirsa and Ingrid. Sometimes Ingrid participates and sometimes she doesn't, but Kirsa and Colette have a fantastic time and learn a lot about music too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ingrid's Gymnastics

Elijah's Birthday Party!

Elijah's birthday is coming up on Friday this week, but we had his party last Saturday at Jumpoline. Six friends were able to come, which was perfect because that's what they "allowed" as part of the party anyway! His friends were Aaron, Bella, Carson W, Ethan, Forest, and Liam. Forest's and Liam's little brothers were there for a short time as well. A few parents dropped kids off, and a few others stayed for the party.

The party was complete and total chaos and insanity. Elijah and his friends ran around so wildly that I could hardly find them with the camera, so there are more pictures of the girls. My telescoping lens came to the rescue again, although all the pictures are poor quality thanks for the indoor-warehouse-likeness of the facility.

Chris was an absolute saint and jumped with the girls and entertained them for 90 minutes. He even did a flip! The last 30 minutes of the party were spent with cake, water, and a little more playing. (We took the presents out to the car to open at home). Overall it seemed like a successful party and everyone had fun!

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Three Little Fish - Swimming Lessons Winter 2015

Every Saturday morning since Christmas, Chris has been taking the three kids to swimming lessons by himself, while I stay home and clean the house as quickly as I can. It's so nice not to have kids making messes while I clean! This week, though, I put my new telescoping lens on my camera and joined him at the pool to take a million pictures.

Our kids are such little fish in the water. They all think it's hilarious to go under the water - Ingrid asks to be dunked again and again. Kirsa practices her backfloats on her own while her teacher (who happened to also be Elijah's teacher this week) works with other kids. She is fearless about jumping into the pool, but they are all smart and don't go jumping in without being told to.

I watched Elijah tread water for 60 seconds this week (mouth barely above water) and then swim back to the wall, and I got pictures of his very first dive! I am so impressed. He is near the top of available swim levels for his age, and as you can see the other two kids in his class are a bit older than he is!

Next week will be their last week and then I'm not sure when we'll do another session of lessons, but I have really enjoyed getting them in indoor winter lessons to keep up their pool skills for the summer!