Monday, November 18, 2013

Explode the Code!

I have been working with Lainah since the beginning of the kids' school year on a preschool book series called "Explode the Code" by Nancy Hall.  I love these books, they are the same ones that Taylor's preschool teacher used, and the same that Matthew's preschool teacher used.  I haven't found any that prepare a child for reading faster or better!  Lainah just completed the first of a 3-book series, and she is amazing!  She knows a handful of letters by sight, she knows their sounds, and she can write each one.  You can say a word and she can tell you which letter it starts with and write if for you.  It's amazing how quickly and efficiently this series can teach letter recognition, sound, and writing skills.

Addyson 17 months Lainah 4 years
I love teaching Lainah, she is so bright, imaginative and fun!  She learns so quickly that she keeps me on my toes, constantly thinking of new things to teach her!  She enjoys doing her schoolwork and is excited for Kindergarten next year.  I will miss her.  Addy will too...Addy has had so much fun throwing colored pencils around, climbing all over the place, and doing anything she can think of to be a part of the preschool fun!

Lainah with her completed preschool book and certificate!

I made this certificate for Lainah when she finished the book.  I told her that when she finished, that Andy and I would take her out to a special dinner.  She was SO excited about that and said, "you mean at a RESTAURANT!?!"  Her eyes got huge and she was all smiles.  I'm excited to take this little one out to dinner, she is a gem.

Lainah's certificate and dinner date with Mom & Dad

You're Just a Grandma

Yesterday night right before bed, I found these two boys in my room yo-yoing.  When I came in, Taylor stopped what he was doing, stood behind me and started pulling a wrestling move on me.  I said, "Hey!  You can't do that to me, it will hurt me!"  Immediately, Matthew said, "Ya Tay, Mom's just a grandma."  Boys.  Tay and I laughed pretty good over that one.  I do love these two so much, they bring such great light-hearted laughter and goofiness into the home that I would miss so much if it wasn't there. 

Matthew 6 years 1st grade

Taylor 13 years 8th grade

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lainah's Preschool Art

I have had the privilege this year to teach my little Lainah in preschool.  Instead of paying a private preschool a lot of money each month, a small group of my friends decided to get together and form our own preschool group.  So we four moms trade off teaching two week segments, twice a week for 2 hours.  We have several field trips scheduled for the school year, including the pumpkin patch (which we did in October), a trip to Clearwater Dental, to the Boise Aquarium, and to the Boise Zoo.  Lainah has thoroughly enjoyed having school with her three friends, Mersadies, Aftyn, and MiKayla.  Lainah is so bright and smart, and creative...she is just amazing!  She is very independent in her work at such a young age, and I'm just so excited for her and am so proud of her.  I know that she'll love Kindergarten next year, she is SO ready for it right now...and I am going to miss having her home with me every day...she has been such a joy to have with me all the time.  She is a bright, bubbly, imaginative, sweet and fun little girl.
Lainah 4 years old with her Indian Corn preschool craft.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Brooklynn as J.K. Rowling

Brooklynn at the Living Museum Project, 4th grade, Reagan Elementary School
Brooklynn dressed up as J.K. Rowling last week in order to participate in her school's "Living Museum" project.  Each student had to choose a famous person from the present or past, dress up like them, and then present some interesting facts about their life.  It was really great.  Each student took a pose and stayed still until someone pushed their button "which was a white sticker on their shoulder."  So we parents went around pushing buttons and listening to these famous people come to life and tell us their stories.  Brooklynn did a wonderful job, she looked beautiful, and I was so proud of her!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tom the Turkey goes Royal

Today Matthew turns in his "Disguise the Turkey Project."  Taylor helped him design the disguise for Tom the Turkey.  They decided to make him a member of the Royal Guard.  These two boys crack me up!  Their own personal impressions of members of the Guard were even better...but I didn't get pictures of that.  Happy Monday!!!  Who couldn't have a great week, starting out with a project like this?

Matthew's Disguise the Turkey project 1st Grade

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

East Valley's Got Talent

Every year, East Valley Middle School has a talent show competition/fundraiser to help benefit the school's choirs and bands.  This year, both Taylor and Rachel decided to try out for the show, which is called "East Valley's Got Talent."  This year, nearly 80 students auditioned, and only 10 acts were chosen for the performance night.  Both Rachel and Taylor were chosen!  We were so excited for them!  Taylor did a yo-yo trick routine, which is incredible, truly incredible.  We made a background disc for him using songs like the Pink Panther, and some others that are really upbeat and entertaining.  Rachel and her friend Lauren, performed the song "Sisters" from the movie White Christmas. 

Rachle and Lauren striking their final pose of their routine.
They were SO cute, choreographed their number all by themselves, and chose their coordinating outfits.  I was just so excited and proud of both of my kiddos.  We would have had to be there that night anyway, even if they hadn't made the final 10 because Rachel sings in the choir, and Taylor plays the trombone in the jazz band.
Rachel getting ready to sing another choir song, "Stand Together."

Tay in Jazz Band, his friend Jacob Bledsoe is to his right.
 It was just a fun and exciting evening.  Taylor got to play a solo on his trombone, and Rachel's choir performed some of the songs they sang at their last concert.  Grandma and Grandpa Belnap came over from Rigby to watch, and Uncle Kyle and Aunt Ashleigh and their family came over from Middleton.  Addy, Lainah, Matthew, and Brooklynn were also there to cheer on big brother and sister. 
Tay and Rachey with grandma and grandpa Belnap

Taylor with his award and Rachey after the show.
 Taylor won 2nd runner-up with his yo-yo routine, and Rachey and Lauren were just so cute to watch, and their singing was beautiful!

Taylor shortly after being announced as a winner.  Rachey is smiling and beautiful and excited in the background!
Rachel and Lauren waiting to hear the judges' critique.

Proud parents with these two kiddos.
 I was just so impressed by all of the talent numbers, and so pleased that Tay and Rachey had the courage to try out and then to perform in front of their peers and an auditorium full of parents.  I feel so blessed to have these talented, courageous, brilliant spirits in my home!  I feel overwhelmed as well with the responsibility of keeping up with them, and with teaching them well during the short time that I have with them.  My love for them just brims over...I feel very full of love and gratitude for my family.

Rachey, Mama, and little Addy...who thoroughly enjoyed wiggling throughout the entire show.

Tay and Rachey after the show