Friday, November 30, 2012

Eli's Sports Morals

It's been another growing season for Eli. Not physically (the boy is still on the small side), but in so many ways related to maturity. And it's really really cool to watch.

Since the beginning of time, or at least baseball time, we've used as many opportunities as we could to remind Eli that, in a game, the referee has the final say. In fact, they really have the only say because arguing with them will not change their minds AND it is disrespectful. Eli's seen it on the field in his games, but he never comments on it or seems to notice much. This fall he's gotten much more into watching football on the weekends with Lehr. Obviously there are many opportunities for 'bad calls' on any given Sunday. This last weekend I walked in from outside to find Eli watching the (tivoed) Florida/Florida State game. He gave me a quick update since I had a vested interest. His exact words were, "Well, I don't want to say that the ref was wrong, but it didn't look like the right call to me. Soooo, Florida has the ball again." Cool, cool, cool.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Overnight Reader

Maddux learned to read FAST. For real!

I promise this is not just a case of parental amnesia. You know, where you forget how it was the first time around a particular milestone. "Surely Junior didn't walk so well so quickly." "No way was potty training this hard the first time." Nope...not the case this time. I really do remember when and how Eli came to be a reader. It developed slowly over his Kindergarten year, but at a very steady pace and it wasn't until summer or the start of 1st grade when he was really really reading.

Just this week it became quite obvious that Maddux is a reader. As in: now - this IS happening. At the beginning of the school year, she was reading through some BOB books, needing some prompting here or there, but mostly making it through the 3-letter words. But that was it. Then she progressed through more site words, but outside of that didn't yet grasp the concept of sounding things out and all. This week, she has started to really read when she and I go through a book together. Just the other day she sounded out the work 'funny': "f-uhhh-n. fun. nnnn-ee. funny?" Amazing. And then we came to the word 'alone' and she said, "ah-llll-ah-n. Oh wait, there is a bossy e!! Ahh-l-O-n?" That girl.....

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Play

Eli has been preparing for a few weeks for a class Thanksgiving play. He was chosen to play the part of Chief Massasoit, meaning he got to inform the audience that we'd be joining for a meal AND tell a few jokes. We practiced his lines at home and he was fairly comfortable with them from the get-go... It was amazing to me that he wasn't nervous. Well, I think he maybe was, because of the way he smiled wide through the delivery of his jokes and the way his leg twitched as he spoke, but he never mentioned his nerves.

The main responsibility for us regarding the play was creating a costume for Eli. We took a family trip to the craft store and got feathers, felt, a brown t-shirt, and a few random beads. Lehr was the mastermind behind much of the headdress, and Eli was very happy with how it turned out.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Eli lost two teeth last year, but nothing so much as a wiggle since then. During recess on Friday, Eli spiked the football and ended up with a mouth full of pigskin. Blood and a wiggly tooth later, he was released from the school nurse. He assured me there was no pain, but he talked very cautiously and wouldn't eat a snack that afternoon. A few times as we were doing homework and the such, he would hop up to grab a napkin due to his mouth bleeding again (totally due to him forcing the tooth front and back with his tongue or fingers). Then, just before Daddy got home, he extracted the front tooth completely from his mouth. His poor gums looked traumatized, but he once again maintained that it didn't hurt. So now we have a small little boy with a shaved head and a BIG hole in his mouth where a very little tooth used to reside.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


Because we like to keep our life complicated and full and always 'in progress', we started a backyard renovation last spring. Just before school let out, we had 14 trees removed from our yard, then we had the ground leveled and retaining walls built, then we added a fence and grass. we can actually PLAY in our backyard. (A garden is soon to come...maybe spring?) A few weekends ago, we took the day to clean the yard (pine straw and leaves accumulate on grass much quicker than on ivy, or maybe it's just more noticeable....) and spread out some pine straw on un-grassed areas. Once we finished that, we made a temporary fire pit. Since it was so nice outside that weekend, we just HAD to try it out that night. Lehr got some marshmallows and the kids found roasting sticks. After dinner we sat on a blanket by the fire and roasted. Eli brought out the current Harry Potter selection and I read from it until there was no more light to read by. My conclusion? Fire pit=happy family times.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Parent Teacher Conferences

At the end of the first nine-weeks, our elementary school has parent-teacher conferences for all students. We've been through it twice with Eli, but this was the first time through for Maddux. With both teachers we have had some communication throughout the fall, so we weren't expecting any surprises.

Maddux was first and her conference went great. The teacher touched on her love of talking, at ALL times, but didn't dwell on it at all. She gave her rave reviews, academically, especially for being the youngest in the class, even commenting that she is one of the top few readers in the class. Her report card reflected the same, only dipping down in areas like 'self-control' or 'not monopolizing every conversation and/or discussion in the classroom'. Lehr and I inquired about her desire to be 'involved' with the other kids; we were curious if it ever came across like she was overstepping her bounds and starting to be bossy. The teacher assured us that Maddux's classmates LOVE having her in their group or at their table, and none of them have yet to see her interactions with them negatively. (So far, so good!!)

Eli's conference went well also. He is doing well in all of his subjects, especially reading and math. His teacher seems to really enjoy him and even when she told us about his tendency to talk too much at times, she did it with a genuine smile on her face. Our concern with Eli is his short stature and how he holds his own in a class of BIG boys that seem to want to control things on the playground. She said that so far he's doing really well with it and he's standing up for himself when he needs to.

Both kids with great report cards and teachers who seem to enjoy them: Life Is Good.

Friday, November 02, 2012


My gym rats...Eli and Maddux are still LOVING their once/week gymnastics class. Maddux is a monkey out there, she can walk the beam, forward or backwards, often not even glancing at the beam. And Eli has come a long way with handstands, cartwheels and all kinds of 'hanging' things. They both look forward to their classes, but even more so, they are both constantly 'practicing'. Even in the driveway, they will do handstands or cartwheels in between tosses of the ball, or while raking the leaves in the yard.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Halloween Week

Hurricane Sandy blew up the east coast this week, leaving us with really windy and cold weather. Luckily, it was starting to die down by Halloween and the kids still had a great time trick-or-treating and enjoying outdoor festivities that day.

Two days before the holiday was Maddux's first field trip. Her class (and all of the other Kindergartners) got to ride a school bus a little north to Cagle's Dairy Farm. Maddux got to feed a baby pig and see all kinds of farm animals. She loved it, but she did say it was very cold.

The night before Halloween, we finally carved the pumpkins. We'd held off over the weekend in hopes of some warmer weather, but when that didn't come, Lehr and Eli just carved them inside. (Maddux had an incident at school resulting in her loss of 'carving privlidges' that night.) Eli REALLY enjoyed this. We let him do the actual carving for the first time this year, and his close attention to Halloween Wars on the Food Channel paid off. He was very focused and intentional about everything he did, and he even had a story to go with the pumpkin when he was done.

Halloween night found us parading in the neighborhood with our friends and then trick-or-treating home from the pool area. Eli did complain quite a bit about his costume once we started; he was wearing the costume, carrying his candy bucket and a light saber, wearing a mask and gloves. It was too much and I think we all decided next year we would go for a 'less involved' costume. We spent most of the night with our neighbors across the street, and no one had to pay the fee for running through other people's grass this year. (Our penalty is miss two houses and give mom or dad a piece of your candy.) The kids didn't even flinch when I told them to pick their favorite seven pieces at the end of the night because we were donating the rest to the soldiers. (We did that last year too.) All in all, another great year with the Wicked Witch of the West and Darth Vader!