Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sleepy kids

Mostly Noelle sleeps, but got a couple of those other kids that live here.  When do you stop being in awe of a sleepy kid. 
 Em's bed was in great chaos when I went to wake her. She starts with all those animals on her bed.

A picture from our last field trip, pond study at McFarland Park
I got a new van, and Robert left a bow on the windshield for me
Rare sighting, the dog on the carpet
A first, the dog in water. He had no idea what to think of it, it was a hot walk around the lake and i thought he would like a drink, but he wouldn't go close. I pushed him in ankle deep. I think he liked it.
Last day of school celebration

Sunday, July 9, 2017

June 2017 recap

 We had Zip up for the first weekend in June. He helped the Chevelle door close without chipping off more paint.  It was so fun to see his magic touch. I don't think Robert or him left the garage all weekend besides a run to the parts store, but we were glad to host, and show him a bit of central Iowa. And so thankful he came here on an airplane and the Chevelle did not have to travel to Florida this time.
 Dallas went to his first sports camp. He attended a one day camp put on by former ISU player Naz Long. Dallas was enamored, and I think he learned some shooting tips.  He also had Naz sign that ISU BB shirt he is wearing in the picture and he has not let me wash it since.  I think it was 3 sweat sessions dirty prior to it being signed.  hashtag boys
 Noelle still gets quite occupied with chalk and the sandbox.  I am grateful to give her a slow childhood and summer to be a kid.
 "Caption this"
 We headed East one weekend to help my only living grandparent celebrate her birthday.
 When we returned to Ames we met Aaron and they took off in the Chevelle for the Hot Rod Power Tour.  They picked up the parade in Newton and drove a couple days and came home with "dad tans" and 5 lbs lighter from dehydration. It was the hottest couple days yet.
 Robert spent his birthday with me! We had nana up to watch the kids, hightailed it to Omaha, changed into dress clothes in a sandwich shop bathroom and hit Darren Johnson's (first TMCP employee) wedding.  It was so fun.  We felt like the odd couple out on the dance floor.  We were about the only people who fell between the bulk of recent college grads and then people their parents age, a bit younger than our parents.  We would dance a song, then another would come on and there was all this "shaking" and it just felt like we were old, and wow! Also got to stay with some good friends in Omaha, just a lovely 24 hours.  We got off the interstate once into Iowa and took the slow roads into Ames.
 Home from Omaha for a couple hours, we packed up this girl, drove back West and dropped her off for a week a camp. She was so excited and had a great time.
 These guys however have a kill or love relationship when Emily is not around to be the buffer. These dollar store mustaches helped diffuse one fight.
While Em was at camp, Robert was in Mississippi for work, I fenced off this little corner of the yard. I caught Murphy in the act trying to eat/pull the Direct TV cable off of the siding, it runs into the house behind the air conditioner.  He love a cord and a good game of tug of war!

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.