28 September 2016

the start of the school year

We are halfway through our 5th full week of school and I am just now sitting down to share about the first.  Oops.  

We actually did a couple days before our first day of Classical Conversations, just to reintroduce it to the kids and how our mornings would.  Additionally, we got back from our Canada trip the Monday before our first Community Day for our CC group, and I just wanted to get the ball rolling before then.

Lily is doing great.  She continues to memorize things pretty easily, and is doing well with math, reading, and spelling, even though I can't convince her that if she focused on her work, she'd be able to get it done in less time- and be able to do more than one page, some days- but her sisters "NEED" her, are "too loud," and "keep talking" to her.  Oh the joys.
To refresh for those of you who aren't familiar with the Classical Conversations group model, we meet weekly for a Community Day, where a tutor introduces the next week's information to a class of students.  So the kids get an "in class room" day, as well.  Lily is doing much better with working independently this year, both at home and our community day, and keeps telling me she doesn't need my help with her weekly presentations at CC- which is GREAT, but I keep forgetting and try to help her.  Oops.
Nothing too much to report here, her first grade year is off to a good start!

Emma.  Oh, sweet little Emma.  As I mentioned, our first Community Day was coming off a fun, long weekend away playing at Grandma and Grandpa H's, so I had to get the kids all moving pretty early Tuesday morning.  None of us were particularly thrilled with this.  The first day was incredibly overwhelming for Emma, and she cried most of the class time, poor thing.  She does fantastic at home, her memory work is down pat and she's buzzing through the math I have for her, but the in class days have been a struggle.  By Week 4, she finally was getting the hang of it, and only teared up once or twice, but no actual tears!  And no tears this past Tuesday either, YAY!  She isn't participating too much in class, but I know she's listening.  It's kind of tricky for me, because I'm tutoring her class, with Lily in it also, so I can't just handle things quite how I would at home.  She's getting there, and I'm figuring things out, I think.  Hopefully. 
Kaylee is doing well.  She isn't a huge fan of being dropped off for her preschool class at our Community Day, but after she calms down, she loves her class, and talks about it all the time.  She isn't really doing too much at home, mostly coloring or if I have a second, I'll work with her on tracing letters.  She absolutely lights up when she "stays in the lines!" and Lily and Emma come over to admire her work and praise her.  It's the best.  She is learning all the memory work right along with her sisters, and her favorites are to sing the Latin songs we are all learning, which is hilarious.  
And as this is my first year tutoring at our Community Day, I feel I might be getting into the swing of it?  I'm not sure yet, but I'm really enjoying it.  The kids in my class are fun and excited to learn (so far, we aren't close to Thanksgiving break yet!), so that really helps.  I feel much more organized with what I'm doing at home this year as well, which is making our days go smoother.

The girls are also playing soccer.  Well, Lily and Emma are.  They are on two different teams, on the same nights, at the exact same time, at two different locations.  Which is annoying for obvious reasons, but also kind of nice because we don't have soccer every night of the week.  Lily is enjoying it, and kind of paying attention some games.  Emma cries.  Haha, are you noticing a pattern?  Actually, the way this soccer program works is that the kids practice for half an hour and than scrimmage another team for half an hour.  She loves the practice part, but hates the scrimmage.  Oh well, she's only 4.  
ON THE FIELD, with no tears!

That's it for now, I guess!  Maybe I'll catch up on Lily's birthday and turning 6 next!  But in case I don't, no worries because Lily will be telling, "you know, I'm 6 now!" to pretty much anyone who will listen!

14 September 2016

Lily/Emma/Kaylee isms 41

Emma pulled the draw string out of one of my hooded sweatshirts.
Me: Emma, did you do this?
Emma: yes.
Me: Emma, please don't mess with other people's things, why did you do this?
Emma: because it was right there...
:: I laughed so hard I was crying and had to have Jesse send her away so she wouldn't see me laughing while I tried to be stern.

Emma: look! Horses!
Me: oh cool.
Lily: why are they cool?
Me: well, you can ride them...
Lily and Emma: I WANT TO RIDE A HORSE!
Me: we can probably do that sometime.
Emma: well, we can't until we have the right hat!

Emma: oh look, two deer!
Lily: oh yes!  One is a buck, and one is a unicorn.

After a long dinner prayer,
Emma: and please help my toe to feel better, because I really like it.

At soccer,
One of Lily's teammates to Lily: what's your name?
Lily: Lily.
Teammate: I'm going to call you Layla.
Lily: I'm not going to talk to you anymore.

Lily: Momma, we'd like to listen to smooth music, please!
Me: move music?
Lily: NO! SMOOTH! Like cement. Smooth.

Emma: hey!  Cookie and cookieS both rhyme because they both have the cookie sound!

Kaylee: this is a runny babbit!

12 September 2016

weekend trips

I just want to post really quickly on the last two weekends in August, because they were jam packed, I was super stressed, and a lot of fun was had.  And then I'll get to the start of our school year. 

So we went camping.  Lily, who we took camping when she was about 11 months old, tried telling her sisters all about it, and filling them in on what to expect.  Which was highly entertaining and not at all accurate, but whatever.  We have tried to encourage the girls to try new things, and remind them often that they can't know they don't like something until they've tried it.  While we typically are discussing foods I serve at dinner, Emma has caught onto it and started using it as her motto when she's nervous about new things, and will tell us she's nervous, "but I just have to try it because 'you don't know if you like it until you've tried it!'"  Love when they repeat the good things. 

our super awesome tent.
Anyway, we met up with our friends and their kiddos at the camp site on Friday night, down near Summersville, WV at a place called Ace Adventures.  We participated in the giant water park/pond, but they also have all kinds of outdoorsy activities.  The same weekend we intended to go, Ginny discovered that there was a 8 mile trail run.  AND we got a free night of camping and a free burrito bar out of the race, so of course we signed up.  Holy trail run.  They were serious and I about died.  It was the hardest race I have ever done, I hated every step of it and probably whined to Ginny too much, which is the real reason she was ahead of me the whole race and finished first (just kidding, but she did finish before I did!).  It was hilly.  The rocks hurt my feet.  I rolled my ankles all the time.  I fell.  BUT I got a free burrito at the end and a tshirt that says, "this was a lot of work for a free burrito," so all in all, a great race.
TADA, still alive.
this picture is just hilarious. this was after we finished, and the photographer asked us to cross the finish line again so she could get a better picture. 
We had a blast at the water park pond.  So.  Much.  Fun.  We played all day and watched the storm clouds roll in and we decided that we had had enough fun and we'd rather bail a night early than pack up in the rain or pack up wet tents, so we left Saturday evening for home.  Which worked in our favor, because there was a torrential downpour and I had no regrets about sleeping in my own bed for that.

So then we were home for a few days to unpack, laundry everything, and repack before we took off for Canada.  Jesse and I dropped the kids off at Mom and Dad H's on Wednesday evening and took off for upper New York to overnight with my aunt and uncle before heading into the neighboring country.  It was a short and fast visit, but I'm so glad it worked out we could see them and cousin Beth!  

We got up Friday morning and headed to Niagara Falls.  We had both been to the falls previously, but not together and we had all day to get to our hotel, so why not?  And since Jesse despises driving in big cities and hates stressful driving, I got to drive us into Canada and through downtown Toronto when we got there.  Jesse was very twitchy and nervous about the whole border crossing bit, but I made the guard laugh so I felt I got bonus points.  So at the falls.  It was ridiculously hot, Jesse saw his first selfie stick in the wild (which may have been the highlight of his trip?), and he kept getting feisty that I was giving my phone to random people to take our picture.  I told him he should have bought me a selfie stick and we could have solved this problem.  He wasn't amused.

After our pit stop at the falls, we headed to Toronto.

Several months ago, Jesse told me that the North American finals for a computer game he plays/follows would be up in Toronto.  I suggested that because it was so close, he should go.  What followed in the next 10 minutes was a very hectic conversation of him telling me some of his college friends would be going, me saying maybe the kids and I would tag along and go explore the city and then finally both of us settling on the fact that we'd ask grandparents to watch the kids for us so we could go together to the finals.  Done and done, don't have to ask me twice.  In addition to a group of college friends going, one of my cousins basically runs the whole lighting aspect of it (or something...but this is my blog and you don't know, so I'm gonna say the whole production would fall apart without him), and he would also be going to do his thing, so yay! 
So anyway.  We got to our hotel, checked in, and Jesse spent a few minutes changing our cell phone plan to include Canada so we could actually use our phones, and then headed out to try and intercept our friends coming in from the train station.  I was navigating us there and just as Jesse was getting antsy that I'd taken a side street and we'd certainly miss our friends- as they'd be on the main street- we just about literally ran into them on the corner.  Since we walked everywhere, we got close to 30 miles of walking in a 3 day (ish) period, and Heather and I were glad we had decided not to go for early morning jogs. 
I have no idea why there was a boat there...but there was and we were on it!

greatest picture ever.
super excited to try poutine. 
Jesse and I were also able to meet up with another friend from college who lives in Toronto, which was very spontaneous and awesome that we got to, and do some sight seeing in between League of Legands events.  We made it out to the Toronto Island Park with Heather and Teddy, which was very pretty and cool, and definitely worth the trip.  

After the finals, Geoff invited us to go hang out with some of his production people, and I'm not sure how it the connection was made but we also ended up with some of the production people for Kanye West's tour?  AND I got to go on my first Uber ride and felt super VIP. 
So the tournament.  I've watched Jesse play, I've watched the professionals play, I just never really followed what was going on until that weekend.  And now Heather and I actually get what's going on.  I don't think the guys were too impressed by all the names we were coming up with for the champions, but it made it much more entertaining for me, at least.  The third place game was crazy and loud, mostly because of the high school girls behind us, but the finals was just on a completely different level of intense.  
packed house for the finals
A very fun and different experience.  The first time I've ever been in an jam packed hockey stadium/arena/field (what is it?) where there was never a single line for the women's bathroom, but the guy's was out the door.  I took a picture because I was so amused.  

And that is that!