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!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Biker Girls

The girls have been spending all of their free time playing outside, mostly on their bikes. Rachel graduated from the tiny bike to the next size up and has mastered that as well.
She has been on her first official bike ride and her poor legs are finally starting to heal!
She is SO proud of herself!
Kate, on the other hand, has largely abandoned her bike in favor of the tiny one.
I'm not sure what the appeal is, other than to be silly.
I suppose it will be useful if she decided on a career as a circus clown...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Road Rash

Her elbows and knees and legs have taken a beating...
...but this girl can ride a bike!
And is she ever proud!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Leprechaun Day

It was our  elementary school's annual St. Patrick's Day celebration (we will be on spring break for the actual day). That meant that the hallway was strewn with "gold" and every kid in school was scrambling around filling their pockets with little nuggets.
This was Rachel's first experience with the leprechauns, who also tossed around furniture in her classroom, scattered candy, and left notes claiming responsibility for their naughtiness. Of course, she thought it was all fabulous!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Glimpses of Spring

March has been rather bi-polar, as it often is. Saturday, we had sleet and snow all morning. Sunday was sunny and we were comfortable in shirt sleeves. Monday is was nearly 80 degrees. Today it was in the 70's, but this evening is terribly windy and the temperature is dropping by the minute to considerably less than pleasant levels. But the girls are determined that spring will come.  And soon.
This was their weekend entertainment - Rachel's bike tied to Rachel's scooter and a sort of harness to help Rae balance. It was great fun until Steve declared it unsafe.

The girls have spent every free moment outside playing. Rachel has scrapes on her elbow and wrist. Both kids have begged to wear shorts. Neither wants to come in to bed at night. Rachel managed to fall in a mud puddle at recess today. Yup. Spring is here!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Potato Art

We had a Sunday Snow Day today. Church was cancelled because of ice and sleet, so we got to experience how loooong Sunday can be without church activities. The girls spent most of the day at Granny and Poppy's playing games, cooking, and begging for time on the ipads. Granny had uncovered some well sprouted potatoes in a cupboard and decided that they might make an interesting art project. Boy, did they!
Here's Kate's reindeer, with its "antler" growing through the potato sack.
There was a singer...
...and a potato person with a loose tooth.
Rachel's addition of red marker gave this potato a zombie look.
Katherine's favorite creation was a potato angler fish.
I even joined in and made a bushy tailed potato squirrel.
This was certainly one of the oddest art projects I have been a part of, but it sure was fun!

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