Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Last Day of School

When I was pregnant with Snapper, my auntie told me to make sure to savor the lasts with my kids, and not to get too focused on the firsts and the milestones. That wise counsel has stuck with me, and I've been careful to heed it. This morning when the kids were leaving for the bus stop, I demanded a "last kiss of -- grade" from each of them. That delighted them, and I got four excellent kisses. Then they scooted out to the bus, anxious to have the day behind them so they can officially belong to the next grade. Slow down, kiddos! You're growing up too fast!

Last day of 1st grade for Sunny. She definitely struggled in school this year. There's still a possibility she will repeat 1st grade next year. It's what I want...what I'm pushing for. It would most definitely be in her best interest. I plan to work with her quite a bit this summer, in case my appeal is rejected and she has to go on to 2nd grade before she's ready.

Last day of 3rd grade for Piper and Pepper. Piper made A/B Honor Roll which is a big accomplishment, considering she really struggles with Language Arts! Pepper made Principal's Honor Roll (all A's). Great job, Pepper! Both of them have big plans for summer reading, and I intend to support those plans to the best of my ability.

Last day of 4th grade for Bubbles. She had an outstanding year, thanks to the incredible support of her teachers, the reading specialist, and the ESE support staff. She made great progress on her learning goals, and for the first time in her life made A/B Honor Roll! She worked HARD for this, and I am ridiculously proud of her. This summer, the library is going to be a magical place for Bubbles. Last year her reading level was so low that even though she was 9 years old, she was stuck reading the most basic readers. This year the whole children's section will be open to her, and we won't have to work so hard to find something interesting for her to read. I'm thrilled!

This afternoon I'll have ice cream sundaes waiting for my new 5th grader, 4th graders, and (maybe) 2nd grader when they get off the bus. Tomorrow we'll make our first trip of the library! Happy Summer, kiddos!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

One Year Away...

I started this blog in the summer of 2008, the summer between kindergarten and 1st grade for my little Snapper. This photo was taken on her last day of kindergarten. Look how little and cute she is!

And then I went to sleep that night, and woke up yesterday afternoon. Seven whole years passed in the blink of an eye, and I headed up to her school to help her clean out her locker on her last day of 7th grade. She rocked her finals, kissed the 2014/2015 school year goodbye, and just like that, I have an 8th grader. Look how tall and lovely she is!

At my baby shower when I was pregnant with Snapper, my auntie told me to make sure to savor every first, but also to savor every last. While I haven't always remembered to do this, I definitely remembered yesterday! As Snapper and I walked hand-in-hand to the car, I whispered in her ear that in one short year, we would be ushering in high school. I thanked God for her 7th grade year. And I thanked Him that it is over, because 7th grade is rough! She handled it pretty well, but I'm not sad to put it behind us.

I'm so proud of my beautiful daughter. I'm proud of her spunk, her effervescence, her passion, her smarts, and her compassionate, generous spirit. I'm proud of the young woman she is becoming. I'm so thankful to be her mom.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I Can Taste It!!!

I can't bear to close this blog forever, so when I do have something sweet or fun to post, I think I still will. It'll be good for me, as my other blog can be really hard sometimes. Therapeutic, but hard.

Summer is so close that I can almost taste it. 

Snapper has two days left of 7th grade. Tomorrow consists of two study halls and one last math review. Friday she has finals, and then she's out for the year. Another year behind her. She's a rising 8th grader, and I can't believe it! It seems like yesterday I was blogging about the difficult decision to homeschool her for 1st grade. Oh, how the time flies! Snapper is 12 1/2 years old, is in the midst of her big growth spurt (she's grown 5 inches this school year), and wears a women's size 11 shoe. She's on track to top out at 5'9" which is taller than Mommy! I asked Snapper what she's most looking forward to this summer. She's looking forward to sleeping in every single day, swimming in our pool, staying up later than usual at night, and having unrestricted time to read, read, read. She's also looking forward to time with her cousins in California.

The elementary school crew has four days left: a full day Thursday, and minimum days on Friday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Tomorrow is the only day that will hold any sort of instruction. The last three days are reserved for doing fun things, such as playing board games, doing centers, and extra recess time. 

Bubbles had a tremendous year in 4th grade! She has severe learning difficulties, and every C is a victory for her. Well, she worked HARD all year long, asked questions like crazy, faithfully attended reading tutoring before school two mornings per week, and tried her very best. The payoff was grand! She has made A/B Honor Roll for the first time in her life, and gained three whole grade levels in reading! We are SO proud of her. Bubbles is looking forward to going to Oregon with me in June for a cousin's wedding. Sweet Pea will be coming with us, too. It will be fun to have some time with just the two of them. Bubbles is also looking forward to lots of play time with her neighborhood friends, swimming, and going to the Boardwalk in California with cousins.

Piper had a tough school year. While her test results show she's on grade level, she continues to have a hard time with non-fiction reading comprehension, and a harder time with spelling and writing. She's moving on to 4th grade, but I already know it is going to be very difficult for her. Piper is looking forward to being able to dress up and put on makeup every day during the summer. She also is excited to have friends over to swim, and she is hoping to be able to watch some movies. We have a new baby cousin in California that she's especially excited to meet, and she is looking forward to a sleepover at Grammy and Grampy's house.

Pepper had an amazing 3rd grade year. He loved his teacher, had great friends in the class, and ate up every minute of his gifted and talented class on Tuesdays. He made Principal's Honor Roll (all A's) for 4th quarter, an earned honors in the G&T class. He is very smart, but he also works hard and really thinks things through. Pepper has big plans for the summer. The most important, though is being able to sleep in as late as he wants every morning. He's our biggest sleeper, and I anticipate he'll sleep in until at least 9:00 every morning. He wants to finish reading the Harry Potter series this summer. He also has plans to spend as much time as possible with his buddies Julian, Henry, and Carson. Their moms are in on that plan, so I'm sure it will happen. Pepper is excited to go to California because we're having a double birthday party for him and his cousin Lily, who is just five days younger than Pepper. Most of all, though, he can't wait to be in Oregon in July because he gets to snuggle with Auntie Joan, my 79-year-old aunt whom Pepper loves with all his heart.

Sunny is a hot mess, and I am SO GLAD the school year is over for her. Her life just continues to be hard for her, and not having to do schoolwork or homework over the summer is like releasing her from her shackles. It has not yet been determined whether Sunny will move on to 2nd grade in the fall or if she will repeat 1st grade. I'm in the midst of a big fight with our school to try to have her retained. I feel strongly that she needs another year to mature and to get her foundation solid beneath her. The school does not want to retain her because she is making academic progress. Not a good enough reason in my book! Progress or not, she's still on the very low end of her grade. I want to see her successful and less stressed next year, and moving her to 2nd grade will not help things. Sunny is all about swimming this summer. She wants to swim every day. She also wants to play with playdough, do some cooking with me, and build with Legos. She can't wait to go to California to spend time with all her cousins doing fun stuff and having sleepovers every night! 

Sweet Pea is one year old and is totally thriving. She just started walking yesterday! She adores all of her big sisters, but especially loves her big brother. She likes to climb, so we bought her a little indoor playset to climb on. She pretty much lives on the thing! She loves music and dancing, playing with her nesting cups and her baby dolls, and snuggling with Mommy and Daddy. She can't tell me what she's looking forward to, so I will tell what I'm looking forward to for her. I can't wait for her to meet my nieces! Hazel is almost 2, and Candice is 2 weeks old. Sweet Pea falls almost exactly between them. I am excited to introduce her to the rest of my extended family. I am excited to take her for a walk in the Redwoods, and to show her the tall trees. She loves trees, flowers, and birds. I know she's going to marvel at the tall, tall trees. I'm not so excited about taking her on four cross-country flights. It is 8 hours of travel to Oregon in June, and then 9 hours of travel to California in July, plus the equally long return trips. Three of those four long journeys will be made without my hubby with me. Ugh! Not looking forward to that.

As for me and my summer bucket list, there are quite a few things I'm anticipating. I also plan to sleep in just about every morning. The kids are all big enough to get their cereal and play quietly without waking me up. Sweet Pea typically sleeps until 8:30 or 9:00, so as long as she sleeps, I'll get to sleep, too! I am hoping to be able to do some reading. I'll continue my karate classes each Monday and Thursday, with the goal of testing for my purple belt in September. I hope to take the kids on some fun day trips. I hope to get my craft room organized.

Did I mention that we finally bought a house? It has a huge bonus room upstairs, and I have claimed half of it for my crafting area. I really need it organized. LOL!

While we're in California, I'm planning on taking the kids to Yosemite, which is my favorite place on earth. We took Snapper and Pepper there in 2010, but the other kids have never been! Most of all, though, I'm looking forward to family time. The cousin whose wedding I'm attending was the flower girl in Matt's and my wedding 14 years ago. My dad's entire family will be at the wedding, and I'm crazy about all of them! My cousins Karen, Missy, Katie, and Lotte are as close to me as sisters, and I'm going to get quality time with all of them. My dear Auntie Maggie is the closest thing I have to my mom, as she's my mom's sister. We've already planned some coffee dates. I'm also really looking forward to a getaway with my sister, just the two of us and our babies. How wonderful it will be!

What's on your summer bucket list?