Friday, April 18, 2014

A Good Friday

The girls and I did not have school today, so we planned a leisurely day - a trip to the library, out to lunch, long naps. We did all of those things, but, as happens often lately, it was also a day when I was reminded again of how BIG my girls have become.

Rachel pulled a book off the shelf and read it by herself. Not a beginning reader book, but a picture book we'd checked out to read together. I only helped with words like "would" and "crimson" and "beautiful". It is clear that Rae has become a true reader!

Katherine and I visited the Intermediate School, a sort of junior middle school for 5th and 6th graders, that she will attend next year. We met with the principal, toured part of the building, and heard the schedule of a typical day. Kate didn't say much, but she was bouncing when we left and I think the visit did a lot toward relieving her anxiety about the future.

And I find myself in the odd position of being both surprised that my daughters are no longer little and excited at what the near future holds for them. I suppose this is a combination of emotions that won't be going away any time soon...

In any case, we were all more than happy to go to Granny's and dye Easter eggs, just like we have every year since the girls came home. Granny had seen a new way to dye, using shaving cream and food coloring. The colors on the finished eggs weren't as intense, but the shaving cream sure was fun to play in!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Just Rachel

Rachel is still more than happy to pose for pictures. She loves the attention. And she loves to look at pictures of herself!
Most of our time at the Arb I just followed Rae around and took pictures of her as she played. Throwing sticks into ponds is just SO satisfying!
And then there is the swing... The Arboretum has the coolest swing in the universe. It's huge. It's high. It takes a lot of careful balancing...
But once you're on, the ride is fabulous!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Just Katherine

Katherine isn't much into posing for pictures right now, but she did humor me at the Arboretum yesterday.
All of a sudden she looks so grown up...
What Kate really wanted was to run around with her good friend Henry. So after a few pictures, she did.

She was willing to let me tag along and document the fun, though.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sisters at the Arb

We made our annual trip to the Arboretum today. We go the same weekend every year, to have a photo shoot, listen to music, watch the crowd, and admire the flowers. Some years we get gorgeous pictures of tulips and have an endless array of flowers to serve as backdrops for our photo sessions. But this year, hardly any flowers were blooming yet. Mother Nature just does her own thing! We did manage to take some pictures, although not many of both girls together.

The first picture of the day ended up being the silliest. Here are my daughters, my pride and joy... They do make me laugh!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Daffodil Delight

My favorite kindergartener, who lost another tooth this week, has a darling spring outfit with daffodils on it. I have daffodils blooming in the backyard that are too bright and cheery to ignore. So I convinced Rachel that a little photo shoot would be fun. And it was...

My delightful little daffodil lover!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Girlies

I have not posted much the past few months. It's been cold and gray and our lives have been mostly go to school, come home, do homework, eat supper, take showers, go to bed, get up and do it all again. We have had some fun times, but nothing that photographs well or brings to mind any interesting thoughts. But spring is here and life will get brighter and more lively. Today I feel like documenting where my girls are right now.

Katherine. Well, it's been a rough couple of months with Miss Kate. I'm not sure what the problem is. Growing pains? Teenage angst a few years early? In any case, we have seen an awful lot of sullen and surly behavior which isn't much fun for anyone invloved. Some days I really need some reassurance that this too, will pass and this stage won't last forever... Katherine does still have a sweet side and I am always happy to spend time with her then.

-- Kate wants so much to not be a little kid anymore. She is seeking independence, but her own fear get in the way and I think she spends a lot of time battling with herself. She loves to ride her bike and is forever begging to go on bike rides with Steve. We've encouraged her to go ride alone, but she's too scared to go more than a block in case she can't find her way home. So she circles the driveway on Rae's tiny outgrown bike, playing the clown and stopping periodically to peer down the street at the world beyond.

-- Next week, the 4th graders take their big state assessment tests. Every kid and teacher I know dreads testing week. Katherine is quite possibly the only person in the state who is looking forward to it. "I'm good at tests," she says with a shrug. "Besides, we can bring snacks." Personally, I am appalled that she casually tosses around terms like "sumative and formative tests", but the world of high stakes testing doesn't phase her a bit.

-- Kate continues to be a voracious reader. She really likes mysteries and age-appropriate horror stories. In the past week alone, I have seen her read a book from the Goosebumps series, a couple of Babysitters Club books, a simplified version of Frankenstein, and parts of Harry Potter. She has also been reading The Indian in the Cupboard at school and is quite annoyed that she is only allowed to read one chapter a day. The suspense is killing her.

-- Katherine has been learning all of the states and their capitols at school. This has led to some interesting state-related activities. She likes to list the 50 states in alphabetical order, which is amusing until she asks "What comes after Iowa?" She entertained herself at luch today by biting tortilla chips into state shapes - "Look, Mom, Vermont!"

As always, Katherine makes me think.

Rachel. Miss Rae has grown up so much this year. Sometimes that makes me excited and sometimes that makes me sad. She has become so big and so independent.
-- Rachel has always been incredibly affectionate, passing out hugs and kisses on a regular basis. Lately she has wanted, needed, even more hugging and holding than usual. I think she senses that she's growing up and just a little aprehensive about that. In any case, I am happy to savor lap time for as long as I can.
-- After many years of longing, Rachel is reading. Really and truly reading. She easily reads the books she brings home from school, happily reads simple books at home, and spends long periods of time poring over her beloved "chapter books" trying to sound out words and sentences. I, of course, am delighted to have her join the Bookworm Club.
-- For the past month, Rachel has been a blur of motion. She seems to have decided to focus on gross motor skills and spends most of her free time, both at home and at school, riding her scooter, figuring out how to do the monkey bars, and learning to ride her bike. She is the poster child for persistence. She falls again and again and just hops up and tries again. I wish everyone was as determined!
-- Several weeks ago, Rae bopped out after her evening shower with her hair in a neat ponytail. I had no idea that she knew how to put her hair in a ponytail, but apparently she had been practicing. (Kate belatedly decided that maybe it was time she learned, too.) I have watched Rachel fix her hair since then, and I can't say I even remotely understand how she does it, but she does. Just Rachel, once again proving that having two hands is seriously overrated.
As always, Rachel makes me laugh. Every. Single. Day.
I do so love my girlies!

I love birthdays!

the ladybug cake

The Ladybug Sisters


Jie Jie and Mei Mei

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Peeking through the windows

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Katherine and her toothless smile

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
The little one leads the way