Sunday, August 30, 2009

Back to School Prep

Washington Virtual Academy doesn't officially start until the 9th, but I've been trying to ease the kids back into school mode since they are used to being able to do whatever they want all day long. I've been having them do Math and Reading each day. So far it's going okay. I'm starting to realize how much harder it will be to have Isaiah officially doing school this year. When I'm helping one, the other one needs help.

I got all the curriculum for both kids now. Isaiah's came the other day. I have a feeling that we're just going to have to send it back because they didn't do the testing during the enrollment process like they did with Kyrie where she was able to test into 1st grade Math and Language Arts. Isaiah is at the same place Kyrie was when she started last year, but they sent me the Kindergarten curriculum, and supposedly the teacher will give us the test to determine where he is when school starts. Which means it will be a week or so before the new curriculum comes. I still have Kyrie's workbooks from 1st grade Math(we got her curriculum late last year and mostly did on-line stuff at first), so Isaiah has been working in that for the last week.

The other day I took them to the library while Jayden was napping(one of the perks of Mark working from home) and we did school work there. Kyrie and Isaiah also received their final prize for completing 1000 hours of reading this summer. At the half-way point they got a free coupon for Pizza Hut, and this time they got an art kit with paint, markers, colored pencils, pastels, etc. They were thrilled!

Mommy got her own reading time in while Isaiah played on the computers and Kyrie cracked open her new art kit.

Isaiah worked on subtraction.

Kyrie did multi-step word problems.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Official Swimmer

Kyrie got really brave this week and told me that she wanted to jump off the diving board without me there to catch her. I told her that she would need to demonstrate to the lifeguards that she could be by herself in the deep end by swimming across the pool and back. And she did! She was very proud of the wristband she got as proof.

And it's not very easy to see in these pictures, but she has a really great tan this summer!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

playing with pictures

I used to want to learn Photoshop Elements for the simple fact that I could selectively color images.
A person on the scrapbooking message board did this picture for me:

Well, today I found a program on which doesn't require as much of a learning curve as PSE, and it's free!
So here are some photos that I've played around with today(that came from our recent trip to the zoo that I should blog about soon).

Cute Giveaway

If you're in the market for a birthday banner for your young daughter, you might take a look at this giveaway- Little Bit Funky's site .

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Look at the similarities between Mark and Jayden at the same age! No wonder everyone calls Jayden "mini-Mark!"

My Favorite People

Enjoying lunch at McDonald's. This is what I bribed Isaiah with if he would do swim lessons with out a big fuss- even though it was kind of cold outside.

I love this picture. Jayden liked wearing goggles. The other people in the restaurant got a kick out of him, too.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The End of Swim Lessons

A little over 2 weeks ago, Isaiah wouldn't jump into the pool without holding on to someone's hands. He was afraid to put his face in the water. The same was pretty much true for Kyrie. They both grew a lot in swim lessons over the previous two weeks. They both learned to do the freestyle. Isaiah discovered the joys of jumping off the diving board. Kyrie was passed on to level 2 swim lessons because once she got the hang of it, she could float by herself, swim underwater and get her toy, etc. Isaiah's report card suggested that he repeat level 1. Even though he can freestyle swim on his own, he refused to show the teachers that he could float on his tummy or his back. He also had a hard time dealing with getting his toy off the bottom of the pool. I think he only needs a little more time to realize that he really CAN do it. I don't want to pay another $50 for him to repeat a level. I'm thinking that we got a good start to swimming skills, and that they both can swim well enough not to take any more lessons. I thought that they would do better to have someone else teach them how to swim, and I think initially it was good, but Isaiah does better without the pressure. I don't know. I'll keep practicing with him to see if he improves.

There's your toy down there! Are you going to get it this time?

Isaiah puts his whole face in the water! A big accomplishment for him!

He's so proud of himself!

Kyrie is pretty much a pro at this

Their favorite part of swim lessons

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thursday Night at Seattle Center

On Thursday, we met up with Auntie Kim at Seattle Center. It was Free First Thursday at the Experience Music Project,

and we wanted to take the kids to see

We got in okay, but there was a big line of others waiting to see the Jim Henson exhibit, too. They told us that we wouldn't be able to get in, but they would give us a free pass to see it the next day. Mark didn't want to go back, so we passed on that, and looked around at the other exhibits. I didn't bring my camera in because I had read on their website that photography inside wasn't allowed, but everyone was taking pictures anyway.
You can see some cool pictures here, though.

We enjoyed seeing and hearing the musical instrument sculpture. Even with the large numbers of people there that day, we were able to get access to the headphones to hear them. Jayden didn't want to take the headphones off. We also went to the sound lab, and the kids got to play on the interactive percussion table, but the lines and wait times were too long for them to be able to do any of the other activities. Jayden's limited two year old patience didn't last very long, and I had problems carrying him around since they made me check his backpack carrier because it was too big.

We headed back outside to the International Fountain. This fountain was constructed for the 1962 World's Fair. It has a changing pattern of shooting water, and is accompanied by world music that is changed once a month and is choreographed with the fountain.

Kyrie LOVED the fountain and got soaked- even though the weather was pretty mild and we didn't bring a change of clothes. To my surprise, Jayden loved it, too! He didn't get as wet as Kyrie, but he and I both got a bit wet with a surprise shot from the fountain.

(By the way, I did take my little guy in to get his hair cut on Saturday. He really needed it!)

We stopped briefly to watch a street performer with hula hoops and card-throwing at a pretty amazing distance.

Walked around the Center House for a bit and headed back outside where the kids found a clown making balloon animals. On our way back to the van, we ran into some old friends who used to go to our church in Pullman. They were going to see Harry Potter at the I-MAX. I thought it was a pretty cool coincidence that we would run into them in Seattle. In the sea of so many unknown faces, it's nice to come across an old recognizable one.

And that ended our little family jaunt for that day. We've been having a lot of adventures this summer. The kids have been loving it!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

After wedding brunch

On Sunday we got to go to a brunch held at the house of the mother and father of the bride(Mark's aunt and uncle). It was a lot of fun! Lots of wonderful food! They have a beautiful house, and it's right on the lake, so everyone brought their swim suits and had fun in the water. Kyrie had a blast, literally, squirting her cousin(once removed- had to look that up. The whole genealogical lines confuse me sometimes) with water guns. He got her back, too.

Kyrie got to meet up with her 2nd cousin after several years since the last time we saw her. They are 4 months apart, so they had a lot of fun playing together.

They took us out on boat rides- wish I had my camera with me then-Kyrie and Isaiah got to drive the boat. Jayden had fun on the boat, too. He almost fell asleep, but he loved watching the water off the side of the boat.

Jayden slept well on the way home! What a great time we all had!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I Think I Can!

Another cold morning in the Seattle area. Two more days of swim lessons. I hope it doesn't get any colder! Kyrie remembered to take her jacket off before she got in the pool today. I had to pretty much toss Isaiah in the pool, once again. He had a pretty rough go today. Didn't want to do anything because he was f-f-f-f-f-reezing. He refused to give up, though. He whined at the teacher pretty much the whole time. I was embarrassed. She kept telling him that if he wasn't going to participate in swim lessons that he could get out. I knelt down at the side of the pool and got ready to pull him out. "NO, NO, NO! I'll do it!" The task was to swim freestyle to the teacher standing 3 feet away. Isaiah doesn't like putting his face in the water, but he doesn't understand that his body sinks when he keeps his head up. As soon as he saw the other kids get out of the pool and head for the diving board, though, he was motivated! He wanted to go off the diving board, too! This kid who was afraid to jump in the pool last week without holding on to someone's hands!

So anyway, he stuck his face in the water and actually did it! Nice big arm strokes and everything! My tears broke the dam out of both frustration and pride. With lots of praise from me and his swim teacher, he climbed happily out of the pool and walked over to the diving board. Looks like he will actually pass Level 1 this summer!

The weather report calls for a high of only 75 tomorrow, but hopefully the promise of McDonalds for lunch will get him to focus on completing his goal.

I'm proud of my Little Train Who Could.

Cooling Down

The temperatures we've had the last couple of days are starting to please the Seattlites a bit more. I was kind of nervous taking my two kids to swim lessons today. Isaiah had complained about being cold yesterday, and it was even colder today. They wore their jackets to the outdoor pool today. Kyrie forgot to take hers off when she got in the water. Oooops!

Isaiah was very reluctant to get in, but I managed to lower his body in the pool. Sorry, little guy! He eventually realized that it wasn't as bad as he thought it would be. By the way, he is having more success in swim lessons- including reaching down at the bottom of the pool for his toy! At the end of lessons today, the teachers told the kids to get out of the pool and follow them. I could sense what was coming. They were going to jump off the diving board! Another mom was sitting next to me, and we discussed how our reserved offspring would balk at such a task. We both watched in amazement when they actually did it! I was so proud of Isaiah! He was proud of himself, too!

On a funny note, Jayden has been learning to sing. He sings a long when we play Rock Band 2. Well, the only part he sings is "Na, na, na, na,na, na, na..." on the song "E-Pro." The funny thing is that he's singing "Ring Around the Rosies," but cannot quite pronounce the word "ashes." Can you figure out what word is coming out instead? If he grows up cursing like a sailor, I'm going to blame my husband. Today he said that while we were at swimming lessons, they watched part of "Live Free or Die Hard" today. He thinks he heard Jayden repeat Bruce Willis after he said the "S" word. In the meantime, I'm still trying to teach the kid how to use words to communicate instead of grunting and crying and pointing. He is coming along, though, and I suppose one of these days he'll start talking so much that I'll be complaining about that!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

11 years!

11 years of my life well-spent with my husband.
I love you more than words can say!

I got to spend this lovely day at his cousin's wedding. It was really inspiring to listen to their celebrant give the ceremony and talk about things that we were living. Especially the part about people being more important than possessions. It has been a frustrating couple of months wondering about where we're going to go next, but the most important thing we have is love for each other and for our family. I renewed my vows today in my heart as the bride and groom made their vows for each other.

We're in this together, and I'm glad we are!

It's late(and technically not our anniversary anymore since it's after midnight), so I'll try to find some time to upload a picture or two of our wedding tomorrow.