Friday, February 17, 2012

Continuing On...

This post was started back in September.  I think I updated all the things that are no longer relevant. :)
Well, I left off with sharing about Hunter & Faith so what about my little ones?
Hope is now in the 2nd grade. She is doing really well and already at the top of her grade for reading. She would be ahead of 2nd grade but her fluency (speed & expression) is not where it should be. She likes every word to be correct and doesn't like to go ahead until it is. I tried her on Junie B. Jones books, thinking she would love them like Faith did. Well, nope, not all. She wants to correct her grammar all the time and tell me that it really isn't funny if you speak that way. Oh we are in some other books. She immediately informed me that she felt like her chapter books were far too easy. "Suddenly...suddenly...that seems like a level A word to me mom." Oh the joys of having one who likes to push herself. She basically taught herself double digit addition and subtraction this summer. She is a gifted learner.(Update: She now loves Junie B. Jones books!  She has incredible fluency and has about exceeded a grade ahead in reading according to their "tests".  She is far more expressive than I was even in Jr. High.   She actually would be many grades ahead but the fluency assessment gets harder.)
She had a blast in Florida on our vacation and during the summer prefers a pool to just about anything. She can swim like a fish too! And, I am sure you can tell, she has lost handfuls of teeth. She has a permanent dentition that will rival any large man. Her new teeth are huge and have managed to help baby teeth fall out that are supposed to remain for years from now. The orthodontist already loves her and knows she is going to be one of his big cases. He referred to her as the only case so far with this huge set of teeth and this small of mouth. That sounds like fun...doesn't it?
She is back into soccer for this Fall. She has been on the same team now for almost two years. She loves her coach and is just now starting to make relationships with the other girls. She generally just stuck to herself. She is A-mazing. I'm not exaggerating either. She has the natural athletic ability and drive that I have never before witnessed. She even talks to herself in her head and says stuff like..."your job isn't to be number 3 it is to be number 1" or "you need to be up front not back here or you won't win". Sounds like we talk a lot about sports to her...but we really don't. We have never emphasized that winning is anything. We still ask her after every game...did you have fun? She has been scouted by a couple of select teams already. We do not want to go that route. We want her to just enjoy it and let her explore her interests.
Speaking of exploring...her soccer team is now a softball team too. Well, most of them. They are all first season girls and to date have not lost a game. Hope is incredible at fielding the ball and plays pitcher. Sounds like a big deal but we are at coach pitch level, she mainly fields and throws them out at first. I have to give it to her. When we started she could hardly throw a ball and now she looks as good as anyone when she does. Her soccer/softball team is made up of girls just like her. They are all just naturally athletic and do really well at sports. I like that she is trying something new. :) I would normally have not allowed two sports at once but with the entire team going, we felt like we wouldn't have that opportunity again. Now, they are all hooked.

Well, Love began Kindergarten this year. She was really excited about it...for about 3 days. Then we hit a rough patch. I am not even going to candy coat was just plain awful for a full month. We are talking bawling...full blown tears and wailing. Bless her little heart. It was just about all I could bare. I am usually pretty strong for my kids but I had to wear sunglasses just to hide the tears I was crying right along side of her. She is a very young Kindergartener - like real young. Her birthday was July 31st and she turned 5 but she is still very, very young. It was crazy. Then one day...poof! It was over. And now we are finally back on to the days of loving school and looking forward to it each morning. Recently just had a conference with her teacher and due to her age and lack of maturity we are still evaluating whether or not she will remain in school. We will meet again in October. Her teacher said that with her being so little and so young that all the other kids and staff tend to really favor her and help her do things. (Update: Love came home to homeschool the end of Jan.  She struggled with tremendous separation anxiety after Christmas break.  We tried to make it through but eventually took her to the doctor for consistent chronic stomach aches while at school, or mentioning school, or the night before school, or even the morning of school.  She was crying much more than the beginning of school and no longer even liked the thought of it.  Her pediatrician recommended we bring her home and she has been back to her smiley joyful self ever since!)

Love played her very first season of soccer this past fall.  She did pretty well for her size.  She can kick a ball the length of the field.  She was intimidated by the taller girls and would generally steer clear.  She did not however care for the heat.  I ended up coaching her team and we did pretty well.  We took 3rd in a 7 team tournament.  She loved the trophy and medal. She had planned on playing again this season but at the last minute decided against it.  She just wanted to stay home with mom.

 I really think her talents are going to be more creative.  She loves singing, dancing and drawing.  She is quite good at all three too!  She is our artsy child.  I have to say, for the most part, this is new to me.  She also loves to paint and play with playdoh and moon dough.  She is our first of four who truly seems to be herself when she is creating something.  She goes through the paint, paper, chalk and other supplies pretty quick.

Well, like I said earlier in the update...Love is homeschooled now.  She has been such a delight!  I love to have here.  She loves learning and being home so it suits her really well.  I do believe we will most likely try public school again next year.  I think when she matures she would like to be back among her peers.  She has a true love for learning and enjoys the social aspects of school as well.  But, as I have learned over the years...nothing is set in stone.  We will cross that bridge when we come to it.  She is getting really close to reading and can sound out most three letter words and spell quite a few as well.  She is doing well with her sight words and is now on her way to rhyming much more consistently.  She still struggles a bit with counting to 100, and recognizing the teens but can add and subtract well.  Teaching at this age is new to me.  I know I do not want to leave learning gaps at this age and really want her to have a great foundation.  Another thing I did not know was that as a homeschool student she still qualifies for her speech services through the ISD.  This is wonderful!  In fact, it was the main reason I did not put up a fight to pull her any sooner our of school.  If I would have known she would still receive the therapy I probably would have just kept her home                                                      
in that first month of school.
Love still enjoyed the water this summer.  She was just about the cutest thing on the beach.  She worked hard to keep her pail full of water.  She has already been asking when she can go swimming again.  She enjoys being outdoors.  She is our big pretender.  She is always someone's mom, teacher, doctor, chef, puppy or cashier and has her baby dolls to play along and listen if her friends won't.  She looks up to her big sister Hope so much!  She enjoys playing with her and being read to her by her.  When I ask her if Hope is her best friend, she always laughs at me and says, "Noooo!  She is my big sister!"  Which, in her mind, completely trumps the best friend title.  I think I would have to agree...being a big sister myself.  Ha!

Well, here a couple of more recent photos.  Hopefully I will post again soon.  It is always on my back burner, it just never seems to get to the cooking stage. :)