Monday, August 25, 2014

Destin - August 2014

In August, before school began, we were able to spend a wonderful vacation week Destin, FL. We went with Nani and Poppy, and I think everyone had a wonderful time. The weather was great and the memories spent together were even better.

We got to take some family pictures on the beach:

We were had a great balcony overlooking the ocean, and the kids loved to sit out and watch the waves.

 The pool was steps away from the ocean, which was wonderful!!

Our lunch and the pool one day.. we always had enough food!

We were so thankful to be able to go to the beach and make wonderful memories with our family!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Evan - 8.75

Time for another update on Evan!! As I mentioned, Evan is 8.75. :) That's appropriate since he's our math kiddo.

Evan finished up 2nd grade in May and did awesome. We did school at home again this year. His favorite subject continues to be math and he also enjoys science and reading. He surprised us and loved Gifted and Talented Language Arts. He was able to have book discussions and present his writing to other peers. He did great!! Writing is still his least favorite, but we figured out it's not writing, but handwriting that's not his cup of tea.

Evan played basketball with Upward again this year and was on the same team as his best friend, Zachary. He really improved this year and even made the first basket for his team.

He also played soccer this spring, which was fun but was rained out a lot. He continues to take archery classes and has really improved. He even took 2 weeks of archery camp this summer!

We have all had the chance to try out some fun activities over the last few months. Both kids loved rollerskating, and we went several times to home school skate. In February, we tried out snow tubing at Perfect North with our good friends. We all had a blast and stayed until it closed.We also tried out ice skating, which was a bit more challenging than rollerskating!

We joined Lifetime for the summer, and Evan has loved swimming, racquetball, and doing the climbing wall! He is really good at climbing and I even took a belaying class so that he could climb more challenging routes.

We were also lucky to go to the lake once again this summer and Evan was an expert on the tube. He also enjoyed jumping off the 12' cliff - over and over!

Evan continues to do Cub Scouts and has a blast. He had a great performance at the Pinewood Derby, and enjoyed a lock-in (where Evan and Doug stayed up all night), and camping at Wright Patt (well, sort-of - the grass was  feet tall so we just decided to stay late).

We had the best time at Disney. You can see more here. Evan told us when we got home that it was his favorite days ever. His favorite ride was the Rock-n-Rollercoaster and he had a blast doing Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.

Speaking of rides, Evan hit 52 inches at Kings Island! He is tall enough to ride the new rollercoaster - the Banshee. (He was even one of the 1st 5000 riders, earning a tee shirt that he's been wearing to sleep in all summer.) Due to rider swap, Evan has lucked out getting to ride double all summer. His favorite seat it in the front and he's easily ridden it over 40 times.

Evan said goodbye to his first best friend, Tyler, this summer who moved to Seattle. We squeezed a ton of fun into the weeks before he left, and we have been face-timing to keep in touch. They are going to move back, so we are thankful for that!!

Evan is definitely growing up. It's fun to see him challenge himself to try new things. He likes to get things right the first time, but is learning to not give up when something is tough. Sometimes he just likes acting like a crazy boy!! He also still has his sweet spirit. He still loves to snuggle at night and is great with younger kids. We love him so very much!!

Ainsley is 5!!

Ainsley turned 5 in April. Five! She celebrated with a family party along with a small friend party. She had a few of her good friends, Mya, Leah, Angel, and Mia over for a tea party. It was so fun to have a girly party, with "tea" (water), fancy dress ups, and dancing. I think it was a success!

Since December, Ainsley had been taking dance class, which she loved. Every week, she was so excited to go to class. (She also was in class with Mya.)  In June, Ainsley had her first recital. It was awesome! She had the biggest smile the whole time. - it was so precious! I may have had a few tears after watching her dance.

In the spring, Ainsley decided that she wanted to ride a two wheeler. She is a very determined little girl when she wants to do something! After a week or two of practice, she was able to accomplish it! She now zips around the neighborhood with all the big kids.

In the winter, Ainsley learned to roller skate. She was once again determined to keep up with the other kids and not have me help her around the rink.

Ainsley, Evan, Nani and I have enjoyed going to the Cincy Children's Theater. We have seen Annie Jr, the Night Before Christmas, and Pinkalicious. Ainsley loved going! Her face lights up when she is watching the shows. Speaking of shows, Ainsley also loved the move Frozen! We were able to see the movie 3 times in the theater, and even got a chance to dress up for the sing-a-long.

In May, our family had such a wonderful time at Disney. Ainsley's favorites were meeting Ariel, the Ariel ride, and meeting all the other princesses. :) She also was selected to play the part of the Beast with Belle and loved the parades. She tried out Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain, but once was enough. We were proud of her for trying! (She was not so crazy about the live studio shows at Hollywood Studios.)  Watching her face light up and experience everything was so special. I think Doug and I will always treasure those memories.

In May, Ainsley finished up preschool! She had a wonderful year. She was in class with Mya and loved going each day. She has learned so much this year. She can write her first and last name, and is able to read the first few BOB books by herself. We can't wait to see where kindergarten takes her!

Here is a sample of her writing. These are all words that she wrote herself (without us telling her spelling, etc).

This summer, Ainsley got to go to Safety Town with Mya, Angel, and Chloe where she had a blast. We also joined Lifetime - she has enjoyed climbing and swimming. Ainsley is extremely determined to make her way up the rock wall. Just yesterday, Ainsley passed her swim test swimming 25m without touching the sides. (Can you see a pattern with the determination? :)) We were also lucky to go to the lake again this year, which really helped Ainsley learn to swim.

At home, Ainsley loves to play! She is so good playing independently and with friends. She loves play pretend games like house, mommies, kitchen, going on a trip, and barbies. She also loves to dress up and pick out her own outfits.

Ainsley is such a joy! She is the perfect combination of sweet and independence. Either Doug or I still snuggles with her each night. She cares about other people and has the best dimpled smile. We love this little girl!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Disney 2014

We were so lucky to be able to take the kids to Disney in May. We had a FANTASTIC time and loved every minute. So many great memories were made. We wanted to remember as much as we could, so we created a photobook of our memories:


Monday, February 3, 2014

Evan - 8 and a little bit..

I can't believe it's time for another post! Evan is now 8 and growing up way too fast. :) He is still our sweet boy, but is definitely becoming more grown up and independent each day. 
All about Evan at 8...
- Evan and Doug have become "board game geeks". (I like to play as well.) The games that they play are mostly complex strategy games. Evan has a great attention span and is very good! (He wins at least half the time. :))

- The ipad has quickly become Evan's favorite free time activity. He would pick that any day over TV or Wii. His favorite apps are Minecraft, Dragonvale and he loved facetiming with his friends. 

- Evan still loves Cub Scouts and it's been keeping him busy. This fall, he sold lots of popcorn, made a Rain Gutter Regatta boat (which won his den), participated in the Fishing Derby, had fun camping in the rain with Doug, and just recently completed his second Pinewood Derby. (He came in 5th in the pack.) Most of all, he has a great group of boys that he gets to spend time with! 

- Evan played soccer again in the fall and plans to keep playing in the spring as well. He got to play with one of this best friends, and had a blast. He also starting taking archery, which he also loves! 

- We are continuing eschooling and doing co-op for second grade. (Evan wanted to keep doing this, so we did!) He loves math (already in 4th grade) and science, but is also really progressing in Language Arts. He's even doing gifted and talented Language Arts, which has been awesome for him. He gets to write and discuss books with his classmates once a week. He also loves doing science each week with Poppy, which is a great way for him to learn from someone else.

-Evan and I recently finished reading Harry Potter, which we both really enjoyed. Now, Doug and Evan are reading through the Chronicles or Narnia, which he is loving as well! It's been great to have that special time reading with him, especially as he gets more independent reading on his own. 

- He has his two best friends, who he loves to play with. He loves to play with other kids as well and pretty much gets along with everyone. He has also really come out of his shell and is quick to make friends in any situation. Of course, he is the best big brother! He is really patient with Ainsley and is loving and inclusive. He is also the sweetest big cousin and such a caring boy. 

- We celebrated Evan's birthday with a sleepover/outing to Skyzone with his two best friends, as well as family dodge ball birthday party at home. 

We love you Evan! We hope 8 is great!!

Ainsley - 4 and 3/4th

Ainsley has really come into her own these past few months and we've had the pleasure of watching her grow up before our eyes. She's always had a shy disposition around new people and situations, but she's becoming more comfortable and more willing to try out new things. Of course, at home, it's a different story. If she don't want to do something, it's really hard to convince her otherwise. :) She's still easy most of the time, and is always making up smile with those big dimples. 

- She LOVES dancing and dress-up! Those are her two favorite things. Anything girly and fancy, and she's game.  

- Ainsley besties are Mya and Angel. The girls love to play dress up (of course) and have tea parties. There is such a difference with boys and girls playing. 

- Ainsley and Evan also still play so nicely together. We love to see their brother/sister relationship so strong. They have their moments, but they are always game for running around in the bounce house or being silly together. 

- We tried out soccer this year. Doug coached Ainsley and we thought that she'd really like it. She was excited going in, but it turns out that her favorite part of soccer is waving to her fans. :) It was cute to watch, and she did get to play with 3 of our neighbors, which was great. We may try again ... in a few years.

-She's back at preschool this year, now 4 days a week. She really likes to take her time and do a good job, and loves to go with Mya. She is learning so much and she loves to spell things out. ("Mom, how do you spell ...") Her printing is really improving and she also loves to pretend to read. 
- Over the summer, Ainsley become quite the swimmer and was very brave - going down the huge waterslide at KI!

- I took Ainsley to see Annie Jr and the Nutcracker. I think she's going to be my theater buddy!! She loved both, and loves to sing along to the songs. Speaking of singing along, our favorite movie/songs are from Frozen!! Ainsley loved the movie, and loves the songs!! It's been fun to see her so into something. Of course, Ariel is still her favorite princess. 

- We have found one activity that Ainsley loves.. no surprise, it's dance class. She is taking ballet and tap, and is loving every minute of it! Her favorite part is free dance, where she gets to dance around and show off her moves!

We love you Miss A!!