Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Catching up ………

Wow, it’s been like forever since I’ve blogged (almost 2 months!!)   Sam and I have both had work travel almost every week  (alternating) – it’s crazy. 

So….let’s see – what have we had going on over the last month and a half  … we painted the kids rooms and got the girls new bedroom furniture which they were in desperate need of.   Their room is pink, green and purple and we found these “sparkles” you can put in paint, so on two of the walls we added the sparkles (you can only really see it if you’re standing off to the side and the sun is shining – but they love it.)  It looks cute with their new white bunk beds and a “big girl” dresser with a mirror, and sparkly curtains.   Zach’s chose CUBS for his bedroom “theme” so it’s fully decked out in CUBS decor complete with one red wall, one blue wall and a white wall.   Editors note: I say “we decorated” the rooms, but Sam did ALL the painting (smartly, I might add since I tend to be a wee bit klutzy) so he definitely gets kudos for doing the hard work! Zach’s room looks awesome – he has an “Addison Street” street sign, a “W” flag and daddy put together a collage of baseball cards, and a giant “fathead” of Ryne Sandburg which Zach loves!!!    Check out these pics below to see Sam’s hard work!!

Sam’s been to Minnesota twice since I’ve last blogged and has been able to see Kayla and Ben both times.  The first visit he helped Kay move out of her dorm (can’t believe it’s been a year already!!)

What else, what else ……

We’ve been spending lots of time on the weekends at the pool and the girls are almost complete toe-heads, not to mention little Coppertone models (their skin is so brown…..their little white bums are so cute!!)   The weather has been unbearable lately – hot and humid and UGH.   We’ve had a million mosquitos and the ticks have been HORRIBLE this year.  Literally almost every night I have to line the kids up for a “tick check” (yes I am now the tick police!!)   Between them and the dog….UGG!!!

The twins had their dance recital, and it was cute, though I’m VERY disappointed in the studio that they has their lessons all fall/winter/spring.   Not only were their costumes 150 bucks (which I expected), but we either had to purchase the tickets through ticketmaster.com (for 15.00 plus like 7.00 in “convenience fees”) or get them at the door on the day of the show which is what we did (so we didn’t have the best seats.)  But that wasn’t the worst part – and I probably wouldn’t even complain if it weren’t for how HORRIBLE the show was ran and this was apparently the studio’s “36th” recital. You’d have seriously thought it was their first.  There were people walking in and out during the whole thing – including through a door that led outside– so the sun kept coming in / out of the dark auditorium WHILE kids were performing!!!  There wasn’t any usher that would keep people from walking up/down the aisles during performances and there were so many people talking, texting and doing whatever else with their handheld devices that it was totally frustrating.  We actually had to tell the group in front of us to sit down because they decided to get up in the middle of the performance, and it was our girl’s ONE SINGLE dance!!  They don’t keep the kids in the “back” for the rest of the recital so I had to run out and get them changed and then bring them back inside so we could see the rest of the show.   Participation for the younger kids in the “finale” (which was basically all students get BACK into their costumes and return to the stage for a bow) was optional so we booked as soon as they were ready to leave.  Pretty lame.  I definitely won’t be recommending anyone to Maureen’s School of Dance anytime soon!! 

Oh, along with the milestone of Kay finishing her first year away at school, her littlest brother “graduated” Kindergarten!  (Can you believe how fast time goes by??)  He was so proud, he got a trophy in front of all of the AM Kindergarten classes for “most improved reader.”  He’s fully reading and LOVING it.  He takes a stack of books to bed with him every night and falls asleep reading.  (Boy after his mama’s heart.)   Though I have to say, I’m glad he was happy about the trophy – but I don’t really condone the reading trophy thing at his school at all. I think that reading is one of those things that kids have to learn on their own pace – and they don’t even EXPECT kids to be reading until like end of first grade …so I don’t know if it’s fair to take a 100 kindergarten students and bring them into the auditorium, open the curtains on the stage where there is a table of shiny trophies (imagine a 100 5 year olds gasping when they saw that!!)  for an assembly where only a handful of kids get recognized. I felt bad for the other kids – because they may have tried hard – or maybe even harder – but for some reason, one day reading just “clicked” for Zach. He went from only reading the “sight” words to being able to put it all together and read entire books, almost overnight.  So while he likely was the most “improved reader” in his class, it doesn’t necessarily mean there weren’t other kids who didn’t try as hard.  Kids at 5 and 6 are not emotionally ready (IMO) to watch just a few kids from the entire morning kindergarten classes walk up on stage where all these shiny trophies are waiting and not get one themselves.  In our school they also have an “advanced reader” (AR)  program, where the kindergarten, 1st, 2nd & 3rd grade students can read books and take computerized  “tests” about the books they check out from the library to earn points and if you reach a certain number of points you get a trophy at the end of the year.  There were only two kindergarten students who got an AR award at all (my next door neighbor’s son was one of them!!)  I think the downside to the AR program for trophies is that it tends to take the “fun” out of reading because while one student may take a week to read a book, another student can be whipping through a couple – so more opportunity to get points and win a trophy.  Zach didn’t participate in the AR program this year, and I’m kind of glad that he “found his own groove” and picked it up without us pushing him.   When his teacher told me how well and how much he’d actually been reading she said we could start the AR program with him even though the year was more than half over – but I just didn’t see the benefit this year.  I didn’t want him to have to feel like reading was homework, and fortunately he doesn’t – he loves it.  He even has a couple of “chapter” books which he’s really proud of!!  

Wow………so much time has passed by I’m not even sure what else I missed.  Sam’s been riding his bike a lot – he recently did a 100 mile ride from Williamsburg to Richmond and back.  He told me the other day that he’s put the 1000th mile on his bike this season (WAY to GO!)  And that hard work is showing off – you should see his legs, WOW.  I don’t know HOW he does it though in this heat – If I walk to the end of the driveway to get the mail, I’m dripping in sweat!! 

Wellllll, I could probably go on long enough to bore you to death since it’s been so long since I’ve blogged, so I’ll just add some pictures we’ve taken over the last 6 weeks as we’ve been out and about. 

I’d say I promise to better about blogging but….I don’t want to lie to you, I’ve been having a hard time fitting it in!    We’re going to be having a bunch of guests over the next few weeks – my brother and his family are coming out 4th of July week, Ben comes the week after that, Nana comes a few weeks after that and Kay is coming for a few weeks this summer (middle of August) so we will have a houseful for the next few months!!   Sam and I both have work traveling on top of all of that, and I’m trying to plan a few days in between everything to schedule a trip to Las Vegas to see my dad (a mini-vacation for me!!)

Anyway - hope you’re all well and I miss you!!