Monday, May 22, 2017

Quick Spring getaway

We stayed home over official Spring Break. Everyone was feeling sad about it but me. A few weekends later, Robert said now or July. It was our last even free weekend, so we quickly boarded the dog, Pricelined a hotel and headed North. We had a lovely visit with our great friend Sara and the boys. The sun was shining and it was 70 degrees when we arrived, that was welcome after a week of 50's and no sun in Iowa. Way to go MN! Sara lives in a very nice-kid free-range neighborhood. Robert grilled, we had drinks and the kids played with the neighbors. We could see them shoot hoops, play tag, Noelle sit in the sandbox. It was so nice. Completely different from where we live. 

Saturday we got up and swam, had lots of donuts at the hotel breakfast and then hit the Mall of America. The kids have never been, and it had been 10 or so years for Robert and I.  I was very pleased with how nice and clean it was. They have  poured money into updating it since the last time we were there. 
 We got the kids unlimited ride wristbands for the Mall of America amusement park. I think it was a pretty good deal.
 Noelle really only wanted cotton candy at the MOA and she didn't want to have to split it three ways. She did share generously!

 Emily's first visit to an Ikea. One of her friends loves going to Ikea and has talking up the experience. Em has really wanted to check it out. On Sunday morning I had Robert drop us off, they went for a drive and to see the new Vikings stadium. I thought her experience would be more pleasant without guys who do not browse for FUN. She was smitten, so my work here is done.
Hotel swimming was fun. 
I loved all the Norwegian and Minnesotan artwork at Pizza Luce. I might have to order a print for my kitchen.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Emily earned Memory Master

Complete parent bragging post!

See this hard working girl? She has a bunch of knowledge rolling around underneath that red hair. She memorized and verbally recited all memory work we learned this year (Cycle 2) in Classical Conversations. And verbally recited it three times. The first proof was with me and she was allowed to miss 3-4 things total, the second proof was with Robert and she had to miss less than 1-2 things, the final proof was with her tutor and she had to be perfect. It takes a little over an hour to even recite all of this information if you are really clipping along.  If you pass the tutor proof you get "spot checked" by the director of the program. Our director asked her 2 random questions from each of the 7 sections, and then she was considered a MM! We are very proud of her, this was a goal she set for herself at the beginning of the year and she worked hard to earn it. I helped a lot in the final month, but I would say this is her first self earned-self paced school project. We planned from September on what she would have to do each week to obtain this goal without binge learning the final weeks.

-160 events and people in a chronological timeline, including all of the U.S. Presidents in order
-Multiplication tables up to 15x15 (she had to say each one- 12x14= 168, common squares and cubes, basic geometry formulas and unit conversions, and the algebraic laws of addition and multiplication
-24 History sentences focusing on the period from 800 AD to the end of Apartheid
-121 Locations on the maps of Europe, Central America, Asia, and Southern Africa, including countries, mountains, bodies of water and cities (and she did it with that black and white map seen in the picture above, black and white people!, not even blue for the water)
-22 Definitions and lists of examples from English grammar, featuring objective, nominative, indefinite pronouns
-24 science facts, including Newtons laws of motion, first three law of thermodynamics, astronomy, biology, and physic facts
-Latin all the 1st conjugation endings for the six tenses (presents, imperfect, future, present perfect, pluperfect and future perfect)

Octagon Art Center Elementary Art Show 2017

 Noelle's work entitled "Self Portrait" earned her second place in the Kindergarten catagory
 Emily did not place in the top three this year, but I really loved her picture. She worked hard on her picture and I can't wait to display it at home.
Dallas also earned second place in the Second Grade division. He used pastels and featured the use of depth or perspective, this might be his only work this year that did not feature a vehicle.

May Day shennanigans

 Once again May Day was cold and rainy. Noelle and Dallas each fell on slippery porches trying to dash away.

 It continues to be a fun tradition and worth the effort and cost. I hope my kids remember, and carry on someday with the next generation. I know it is an Iowa thing!

 Also, this baby lost her other front tooth, she is now symmetrical again. I love the toothless grin, and will stare at her for the next 6 months until the giant grown up teeth appear, signaling yet another passing childhood moment.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Dance Recital 2017

Noelle did another year of dance. She loves it so much. This year her class performed a ballet dance to "A dream to wish" from Cinderella".
 This sums up waiting at the dress rehearsal when your act is 2nd to last and your mom says you can't run around crazy up and down the isles like everyone else. 
 I'll have to track down the picture of Robert and I and the star from the show. I think it is on FB. Aunt Lynne and the grandparents also enjoyed!
Sadly none of my friends with super-awesome cameras had daughters in Noelle's class, so all pictures are from my trusty iPhone!

6 months with a lab puppy

We did it! Survived 6 months with little Murphy. I am guessing is at the 50 lb mark -so not little.
 The good news is, I cannot remember the last time he had an accident in the house. Well- I can, it was the day we brought him home from his first time being kenneled, he was probably really excited/scared/nervous and we didn't think to make him pee before coming inside, so he peed on our brand new outdoor rug I had just purchased at Ikea. But if that had not been so memorable, I really proclaim him to be house trained.
 He loves playing with an empty jug. Although they don't last him but 5 minutes, I used to get an hour of occupation. Here he stuck his front paw through the handle and was quite annoyed.
 Emily loves for me to have Murphy wake her up on her band mornings (the only day she has to truly be out of bed at a specific time)
 Murphy enjoying my post run glass of water. Go ahead, help yourself. 
 Biggest downfall is his constant table and counter surfing. He loves to jump up on all surfaces and grab anything that is available. I cannot wait to get this fixed. My best bet is to keep everything cleared and out of reach for a year or so until this phase passes and he gets zero gratification. 

 He is very smart. When we consistently work with him he remembers and picks up our commands well.  He can sit, speak, lie down 90% of the time. We are working on leave it and stay. He walks on a leash fairly well for Robert and I - when we are walking solo. Forget about it if we are trying for a family walk. If one of the kids is slightly in front or behind, or on some sort of wheels, it is chaos! He wants in on all the action and can't decide who he should walk to the left of.
 Happy Half Birthday Murphy!

He is still confined to the Lego free, cord free, nerf ball free side of the house. We are very tired of the gates and occasionally try giving him full reign, but her goes straight for "something" and puts it in his chompers. After the kids go to bed Robert and I will sometimes allow him to watch a show with us. Hopefully I can dedicate a day or two when we are done with school and following him around yelling no and get it sorted out so he can start living with us in the whole house!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A March in photos

 Upwards Basketball season wrapped up, Robert got to sub-coach once. We enjoyed watching this guy play. Emily and I also worked the Coffee shop/snack counter a couple times this season. She really likes volunteering but is not old enough to do it solo. She is quite good at making the smoothies, and likes to eat a cheeseburger on her break.
 Dallas and his friend Cole have enjoyed after church playdates to play lots of basketball, 3 hours does not faze these boys.
 Robert took me to Kansas City to see the Big 12 Championship game, Iowa State won! It was my first game to see coached by Prohm in person, it was a good one! It was a very fun environment and we would love to go again. Thanks to Lynne for watching our kids for 30 hours (mostly the dog-he is the hard work)
 Emily finished her math book at the beginning of March. 
 This guy has gotten to be quite the soccer dog
 Robert's perfect parking job at the Crowne Center in KC. I don't know how he maneuvers this truck, but he is amazing at it!
We had a Spring Break Medieval feast to eat with our hands, celebrate what our 5th graders have been learning and to joust! We all dressed the part (the best we could!) We had a four course dinner (all gluten-free) and ate with our hands. We did sub ginger ale for "ale" as to not serve minors. The water was not often safe to drink, so mead (honey water or ale was drunk by all)

The dads jousting for our entertainment. We had a couple of jesters to acrobatics, poem reading, historical facts read, Dallas was a page or a knight in training so he helped serve us.
Late season snowman, made with possibly our biggest snowfall.
Two quiche Lorraine's  for Pi day plus a pumpkin pie for dessert. 

Noelle finished a phonics book
We tried Hurt's donuts in West Des Moines.  Verdict- to sweet, fun to see being made and look at all the flavors, but no one finished their choice.
Noelle and her straw bridge she made for science. It held 200 pennies!
I am going to remove this lovely carpet from our basement stairs. I am guessing we won't miss it. The carpet comes off easily, but the glue underneath is going to need some muscle to remove.
Checkers at the library. The kids would like this set. I am guessing this is the Cracker Barrel version.
This girl likes to read Garfield