Sunday, September 18, 2011

Porch Invasion

This summer was so different for us. My girls spent almost every day outside on our porch - hours at a time. Our next door neighbor was usually over and they played "family" or something equally exciting. At times, other neighbors found their way over to our porch and my kids figured "the more the merrier." As I listened to them play outside, I couldn't believe we were at this moment. I've been a mom for seven and half years and it was so weird to have my kids home, but not. I could watch a show I wanted to watch. I could start a chore and actually finish it in one sitting.

It did get a little old that my kids were constantly coming in and out and hauling their toys to be spread out over our front lawn. And they were frequently asking to share popsicles with everyone who had found their way to our porch. But in a conversation with a friend this week I was reminded that I want our house to be one of those houses where all the teenagers are hanging out. I want our girls to stay here and bring their friends with them. But I guess we don't really need to wait until they're teenagers! They are already having friends over and passing out food. Eventually it'll just evolve from imaginary games and popsicles to movies, pizza, and pop. I hope our house continues to be "the place to be."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Day of School

I have to post every year on the first day of school. I can't resist sharing pics of my adorable girls. This year is a bit different, as I was also going back to school. Allie and I had our first day on Tuesday this week. I was heading for my first day back to teaching after 7 1/2 years off , other than subbing and tutoring. So with that day approaching, I hadn't really thought about the fact that my sweet baby was beginning kindergarten! We've talked about it for years and the day came! She was pretty nervous and worried. I got lots of hugs and kisses in her class as she had trouble saying goodbye. But I finally got her arms off of me and shed my tears outside of her room. I'm pretty proud of her :)

Entering kindergarten!

And what to say about this sweetie? She is growing up so fast. Second grade seems so old! She has a really great teacher and I know she'll have a great year.

Love my girls! And I love having elementary aged kids!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bible Bee

We made a giant commitment this summer in signing up for the National Bible Bee. I think this was the 4th year of its existence, but the first year for the Salem, OR chapter. I knew it was going to be a challenge. I knew there would be days where I would have to work hard to keep Avery interested and motivated. Well, I underestimated what a challenge it would be for our whole family. It's pretty intense. In the end, Avery participated in the "easier" level, which doesn't qualify to compete nationally. In order to do that, she would have had to memorize 250 verses in 12 weeks and take a 200 question test on the book of 1 Peter. As it is, the girl did amazing. She memorized all 50 verses (30 passages) for her level and division. We tried to stick with the 1 Peter study, but it was just too challenging for her reading and ability level (she had to take a 100 question test on 1 Peter). So we focused on the Scripture memory. After the 12 weeks, we had the local competition and my parents and Rich's mom came to hear Avery show her stuff. She was escorted into a room with 2 judges and had 10 minutes to say 25 passages. I knew that was nearly impossible. It was a little sad for me, since I knew she knew her verses and wouldn't get a chance to say all of them, but that's just my over-competitive side rearing it's ugly head. She did great! I could hardly hold the tears back. There's something pretty wonderful about hearing your somewhat shy child stand in the middle of a room and quietly quote the Word of God. I was so happy that her grandparents came to hear her. They were blessed, also. She got to one verse that she didn't know very well, which I was surprised. Turns out we had learned it a few weeks before and lost the flashcard for it, so she hadn't been practicing that one. Bummer! Of course that was the only she didn't know perfectly and of course they asked her that one! Again, mommy is too competitive...

This was her turn to be on stage and receive a certificate.

Not sure why this picture is so blurry, but it still documents that Nana and Gramma Ginny were there to support her.

Overall, my daughter memorized an amazing amount Scripture this summer. It took a lot of work and effort on my part to keep her motivated. I think we've decided that we'd love for her to participate next year, but it needs to be something she's sure she wants to do. We'll see what she's thinking when next spring rolls around. I'm really proud of her and thankful for the brain God has given her to be able to do what she did this summer!