Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Start of a new school year- Venily 1st grade, Haven 4K!

My girls go to the same school now!!!!  How cool is that?!  :)

Here are some pics of my big 1st grader and big 4k-er on their first day of school!

Haven is in 4k this year, she did exceptionally well on her early admittance testing.  She has Mrs. Graham and Ms. Jill, just like Venily did.  They are phenomenal teachers, I just love them!  She goes 1/2 days, 5 days a week, in the afternoons.  So far, she loves it!!  Her teachers say she is quiet in school, but will burst out and say a whole bunch of stuff at once and then go back to being quiet again, lol.  I think she has warmed up a lot to the whole experience from the beginning of the year until now, too.  She has a lot of friends in her class!  My cousin's daughter, Ashlynn, is in her class as well, so that's been a lot of fun!  Kelli and I take turns bringing the girls to school in the afternoons and then Haven rides the bus home.  She doesn't like riding the bus very much.  I am so grateful for my grandparents, Kelli, and my mom, watching Haven in the mornings on the days that I have to work!  I don't know what I would do without them.  I am still subbing at Wheatland (I have taught both Haven's and Venily's classes on multiple occasions!).  I probably average about 3 days a week, sometimes more, sometimes less.

Haven is very smart!  She loves to read her BOB books or any other easy reader phonics books.  She has great number sense and loves to learn about things that interest her! 

Venily is in 1st grade, I can't even believe it!!  Wow, is there a change from Kindergarten to 1st!  1st grade is so academically focused and lots more homework every single night.  I am amazed at how awesome Venily does in school though!  She is a rockstar.  She has to read for 20 minutes each night, has math homework almost every night, has spelling tests each week (she has tested out of the "regular" list each time and takes a challenge list each week), and will be having her 2nd social studies test tomorrow.  

Her first s.s. test was intense!  I bet if I randomly found 100 adults and gave them the test, 95% of them would get some wrong.  It was a "maps and globes" test.  She had to know where all the continents and oceans were on a map, where Wisconsin is, that Canada is to our North, Mexico is to our South, that Washington D.C. is on the east coast, all the compass directions for various other things, what an isthmus, bay, island, and peninsula were, where the equator is, northern hemisphere, southern hemisphere are, etc, etc.  And she got a 100%!!  

Tomorrow's test is on the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia.  Say what?!  LOL!  She has to locate it on a map, know that it is what is now present day Iraq, know the meaning of the name, what 2 rivers surrounded it (Tigris and Euphrates), that they flooded and left behind rich soil for farming, that the first written language was cuneiform and that only boys from rich families learned how to read and write cuneiform, that they wrote on clay tablets, that they made ziggurats, which were high temples to honor the gods, that they believed in over 3,000 gods, that the code of Hammurabi was the first set of written laws, that the world's first story was about Gilgamesh (a half god) and that he was friends with a half man, half animal, plus a bunch MORE!  I definitely don't remember learning about things like this is 1st grade, lol!

She is so smart though!  I always have teachers coming up to me saying that they can't believe that she's a year ahead in school because she's so smart.  I am so proud of both of them! :)

Summer Recap!

I started so many posts and deleted them.  It's just so intimidating to sum up our whole summer in words or pictures!

I am going to make this VERY brief and hope to never again get this far behind!

This summer we kept very busy!  We played outside a lot, swam down at the beach and in pools, attended many library activities and presentations, and participated in lots of other activities.

Haven took beach volleyball and tumbling classes and participated in t-ball.  Venily went to summer school and went for a week to Girl Scout summer camp (of which I was able to volunteer 3 of the days).  Both girls had a blast!  Haven's classes were hilarious, especially the t-ball.  She went in not knowing a single thing or even a single term and it was kids ages 3-7, so she was one of the youngest and often times the only girl.  Venily loved her summer school class.  This is the last year where she was in a "getting ready for" class. Next summer, she gets to pick her classes and there are so many cool ones to choose from like cooking and robotics!  Camp was SOOOO much fun!!  We are already looking forward to next year.  We actually talk about it a lot and still sing all of the camp songs, lol.

Lisa also got to spend the month of July home from Colorado.   That was awesome.  The girls miss her so much.

Some super random summer pics (makes me really miss summer already!):

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lack of updates :(

The beginning of April was the last time I posted!!  It's been over 6 months and I have so much to catch up on!  The primary reason that I stopped blogging was that I was just too overwhelmed with some hard-to-deal with things.  I didn't want to have to write about them and I couldn't pretend they weren't happening either.  I will briefly get them out of the way as I try to catch up from this last 1/2 a year!

* We took Haven out of preschool 2 months early.  Without getting into too many details, the neighbor of the preschool she was attending is now facing several felony charges and we just didn't feel safe sending her there any more.  It was a very unfortunate ending to an otherwise really great school year.  Haven, even though technically a victim, is blissfully unaware that anything ever happened.  I, however, will forever be changed from the whole ordeal.  It changed something deep down inside of me on how I perceive people and wiped away a good portion of my naivety.  I will be relieved when this chapter is officially closed from our lives for good.

* We spent several months hoping to adopt a family member, but it didn't work out in the end.  It was an incredibly emotional journey for me.  However, I feel good knowing now some of the processes involved and Jason and I are 100% committed to expanding our family through adoption!  After much research, I am fairly certain that we will be doing an international adoption and in the countries that I've narrowed down, China feels like the best fit for our family.  Specifically, I am interested in a special needs adoption with a child that has a similar heart defect as Haven.  It just feels so right to me!  Jason is not as convinced on the "special needs" part, but he will come around. :)  I hope to write more about this in the future.  I am super excited!

* Haven had her heart procedure postponed until next summer.  I was so mentally prepared for her procedure to happen in July, that it really hit me hard to have to delay it.  I hate the waiting and the worrying, but they wanted to wait until she is a little bigger since she is not having any major difficulties right now.  Everything will be bigger, which will make the process easier and it will be safer to put her under anesthesia as well.  The drawback is that she will be older and it is going to require more explanation and is now likely going to be something that she remembers.

Stay tuned for MANY more updates in the days to come!  I am going to have to skip over so much or I'll never get caught back up, but I will definitely be writing about summer, Jason's new job, Venily starting 1st grade, Haven starting 4K, Haven turning 4, the girls' joint birthday party, Venily turning 6, and more!