Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I'm Back and a Triathlon!

April has had me other places besides here on this blog, but I do hope to be back more.

There is no way to even begin catching up, so I'll just post something recent that I'd like to have saved here on the blog, otherwise known as the only scrapbook my children will ever have unless they create their own!

My girls completed a triathlon!

My 9 year old daughter did it last year and loved the experience and her 6 year old sister was eager to join the fun this year.

It was a 100 yard swim, 3 mile bike ride, and 1/2 mile run.

The event is huge, so the logistics are CRAZY and this year there was tons of mud so that made things more interesting, but no rain during the event so we were happy about that.

The outdoor pool constructed just for this kids triathlon (you can see the crowds of people in the background to get an idea of the size of the event):

Little Girl running into the transition area after her swim (parents are not allowed in transition so the kids must switch between activities all on their own).

 During her run:

And after finishing!

Big sister doing the bike portion of her race (love that huge smile on her face):

And again with the smile walking her bike back in to the transition area (all riders have to get off their bikes and walk them at a certain point):
Crossing the finish line (The time on the clock is not her time since there were staggered start times, that is the total time since the first racer began.  My girls both took around 33 minutes to complete the triathlon) :

So proud of my strong, brave girls!

P.S. Now that their sisters have done it, my boys thought the triathlon looked like so much fun that they want to do it next year!  I think chasing 4 kids around the triathlon course with my camera will definitely constitute an athletic feat for me!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Beautiful Spring Flowers + My 4 Children Does Not Equal Good Pictures

The azaleas in our front yard have been blooming beautifully for a few weeks and as usual I've attempted pictures of the kids in front of the flowers and failed.  It's like I'm in denial about the impossibility of this task.

Sure, I can get a decent picture of 1 kid + flowers:

2 kids + flowers:

Even 3 kids + flowers:

But not 4 kids + flowers!  Nope, not gonna happen!

And my favorite:

The 9 year old daughter fussing at the 7 year old brother for not cooperating for the pictures.  That is real life right there, folks!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

City Kid Goes to the Rodeo

I just love my 7 year old's look of utter (udder -- ha!  couldn't resist) confusion here.  "I have to do what to get the milk out?"

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Hip-Hip Hooray

Many have asked me this year how Little Girl is doing in kindergarten.

And I have to admit that I, too, looked to the milestone of her starting kindergarten with some worry.  Worry that she'd be too far behind the other kids since she just began speaking English as a 3 year old.  Worry that some of her personality quirks learned from life in an orphanage would play out badly at school.  Worry that her hyperness and loudness would no longer be as precious as it was in preschool but become annoying and problematic.

BUT, as she tends to do, my little Ethiopian has BLOWN US AWAY with how well she's done in her kindergarten class!

One huge key to her success is the behavior chart system that our elementary school uses.  Each child begins each day on Green or "Ready to Go!" and they move up or down the chart according to their behavior.  Well, thankfully Little Girl is even MORE competitive than she is loud or active.  And she wants to be at the top of that chart (the "Hip-Hip Hooray" level) and can amazingly reign in her behavior to get there.  

This past week she even earned the "Hip-Hip Hooray" level every day of the week, and was the first child from her class to achieve that this whole school year!  Her class did a big cheer for her which she totally ate up and her teacher is making her an official "Star Student".

Here she is, proudly showing off her chart:

Rock on Little Girl; you are awesome and amazing!!!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Into the Land of Glasses!

Whew, I didn't intend to take a 2 week break from the blog, it just sort of happened!  Life has been full and busy, with so many areas needing every bit of my attention that the blog had to take a backseat.

But, I'll try to catch you up on some happenings around here in the coming blog posts (however erratically they may be spaced).

A little over a month ago, our family journeyed somewhere none of the 6 of us have ever been before --- into the land of GLASSES!

My 7 year old son got reading glasses.  It only took about 4 months of picking him up from school with him complaining of having a headache nearly every day before I finally scheduled a visit to the eye doctor.  Seriously, Mom of the Year candidate here!

But, I really didn't think he had a vision problem, they do a quick screen at the pediatrician, the school nurse screens each kid every year, and he reads above his grade level.  It turns out he can see fine, but he does have a condition called esophoria where his eyes have a tendency to turn inwards when he is focusing on something close-up and all day long his eye muscles were having to compensate to focus correctly, causing eye strain and headaches.  Not everyone who has esophoria needs glasses but since my son was having the headaches the eye doctor recommended we try reading glasses which would ease the strain of focusing when reading or doing school work and see if it helped the headaches.  I'm so thankful the glasses did stop the headaches!  And I'm so proud of my little guy for remembering to wear the glasses and remembering to pack them in his backpack each morning for school since he uses them to read before bed, not to mention how brave he was to start wearing his glasses to school half-way through the school year when all the other kids would notice the change!  

He might outgrow the condition, but for now, just look how cute he is with glasses (but DON'T call him "cute" because he really doesn't like being called "cute")!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Who knew life was so much easier with just two kids?

About a month ago, my husband took our 2 boys on a father-son camping trip.  They had a blast and the girls and I had a fun girly weekend at homeI was amazed at how peaceful things were with just the girls, how easy it was, and how clean the house stayed for the 27 hours the boys were away!  And then they came home and the chaos and mess came back.

So, I joked (half seriously) that it's THE BOYS!!  All the chaos and mess that I struggle with every day.  It's all their fault!

Then, this past weekend, my husband took our 2 daughters on a dads and dolls camping trip to the same camp.  They had a fabulous time (check out the pics later of my brave girls on the ZIP LINE!).

BUT, guess what?

The boys and I had the best mother-son time!  We went bowling, ate pizza, slept in a bit on Saturday morning, made biscuits from scratch+eggs+sausage breakfast together, CLEANED up the kitchen together, played an ENTIRE Monopoly game, and then watched a movie.  It was delightful.  And I marveled at how peaceful things were with just the boys, how easy it was, and how clean the house stayed for the 27 hours my husband and the girls were away!  And then they came back and instantly it was mess and chaos.

Later that evening I told my husband how great a time I had with the boys and how I was all wrong that they were the source of all the mess and chaos.  Then I joked to my husband that if it wasn't the girls and it wasn't the boys then maybe it was HIM!  He was the source of the mess and chaos that I exert so much energy to contain in our household every day!

He countered with, "I don't think it's the boys or the girls.  It's HAVING FOUR KIDS!"

Ah yes.  THAT!

Here are pics from their camp adventures.  First the boys, then the girls.  I would be jealous of all the outdoor fun, except that both camping trips they slept in tents with temps in the 30s -- NO THANK YOU!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Daddy Daughter Dance

My husband took our girls to a Daddy Daughter Valentines Dance recently.

The girls were so excited about their dresses that I only heard a few complaints that they were "too scratchy!"

My two daughters have such different personalities, yet they are the best of friends.  They are both beautiful and shine in their own ways.  I can only imagine the great plans God has for them! 

I'll let you guess which girl wanted to dance all night at the party and which was not so into the dancing!