Thursday, June 8, 2017

Wrapping Up the School Year ~ Larkyn & Dance, Colton & Soccer, Summer & 1st Grade.

We had a lot of "last days" this past week.  Larkyn had her last dance class.  Colton had his last soccer shots class and also his last soccer game.  Summer had her last day of first grade!  Here are some pictures to go with each "last".

Larkyn: Last Dance Class

Larkyn LOVED dance with Ms. Daria this year.   As mentioned previously, Ms. Daria lives nearby and teaches dance from her basement.  Larkyn loved being a part of the 2-3 year old class.  Her recital is on Saturday of this week, but we will be out of town, so I took a few videos and pictures of her last class.  Because Larkyn's dance was to a song from the new Trolls movie, the kids got to wear "troll hair" headbands :).  Here are a few pictures and a video of their "practice" performance.

With teacher Ms. Daria

Colton - Wrapping Up Soccer

Colton LOVES soccer.  Like REALLY loves it.  It's pretty cute! He has truly grown so much this year in his understanding of the game and ability to do what he wants to do with the ball.  He has a passion and an excitement that makes it really fun to watch him play.  It has also been fun to watch him grow!  I am most proud of his growth in his good sportsmanship.  I saw him grow from thinking of himself and being very focused on how many goals he could score, to truly thinking of others, passing the ball so others could score, being humble when he scored, and truly congratulating others when they scored.  He followed directions well, and I am proud of the TEAMMATE he became more so than even the improvement in his skills.

Colton with Coach Jeremy.

DQ celebration
DQ celebration :)
Aside from his Monday/ Wednesday night community soccer league, he really liked his Tuesday morning community ed soccer skills class through Soccer Shots.  Coach Scott was AMAZING and so patient and fun with his creative games that had the kids practicing and learning both soccer skills and good sportsmanship.  That class ended on Tuesday, however we have him signed up for the next session this summer.

Each kid got a medal and a certificate at the end of their last soccer shots class

Pictured is 3 out of 4 kids from his class.

Coach Scott was fantastic.

Summer - Done with 1st Grade!

Summer had her last day of first grade on Tuesday.  She had a fabulous year with an amazing teacher, Mrs. Gile.  Mrs. Gile was intentional with each student, built a strong community among the students, was excellent at parent contact, and truly cared for each student.  Her tagline on her email was: "Teaching; I'm in it for the outcome not the income" and this was SO true and SO evident.  We all loved her!  On Summer's last day, they got to walk to a local park for a picnic and games.  Here is a class picture:

Summer is in the middle with her arms up :)

Summer with friend Laney

Mrs. Gile gave each of her student's an award with a title that embodied something she liked about then.  She gave Summer "best classmate"
 On Summer's report card, Mrs. Gile wrote the sweetest note about Summer's first grade year:

"Summer's name says it all.  She is truly an absolute ray of sunshine and give me joy each day.  All year long Summer has shown maturity beyond her years.  She is caring, thoughtful, cooperative, intuitive, and intelligent.  She uses her goodness to help those around her to feel better about themselves.  There were many days where her kind words or her hugs helped me make it through a tough day.  I hope that she never loses her sense of curiosity for learning.  I cannot wait to see what this world has in store for her.  Thank you for sharing her with me." ~ Mrs. Gile

Summer's favorite unit of study was Penguins and she taught us all so much about them when we had family movie night this winter watching both Happy Feet 1 and Happy Feet 2.  I loves seeing how much she learns and retains, and then how she teaches it to us and to her siblings!

 She also loved doing some special projects with another student from her class and an amazing teacher, Mrs. Madson, including coding a sphero (computerized ball) to tell world history from part of a timeline and also doing some research on magnets through both art, and experiments including separating the iron from cereal.  It is fascinating how much she learned this year!  Below I will include some of my favorite/characteristic writing/art from Summer's first grade year.

This is my favorite piece Summer wrote this year.  It is a non-fiction book about birds she wrote within her writing journal.  She said she got her information from her head, her classmates, and her teacher.  I just love her "lingo" and especially her definitions in her glossary!

Here are a few drawings/art she brought home from her first grade year.

Summer was characteristically known for her pink light up sparkle cowgirl boots, so her classmates all got a kick out of her representation for herself on "all about me" week when she printed out pink books for "herself" to wear. 
Summer grew and matured so much this year, and I am so proud of the person she is and who she is becoming - most importantly in her love for the Lord, passion for learning about him and telling others of his work on the cross, and genuine care and empathy for others including classmates, adults, and the poor.  I am so grateful for God's hand in her life and work in her heart.  God is SO good.

Girls Visit to Michigan

My sister and I really wanted to go see my Grandma and Grandpa Kirkwood, who live in Michigan.  We hadn't seen either of them since a wedding in October, and since then they both moved out of their home of many years to Storypoint, where my Grandma is in independent living down one wing of Storypoint, and my grandpa is in the memory care area in the same building.  Unfortunately my grandpa's Altzheimers has been progressing rapidly, and my sister and I wanted to make sure we made seeing both our grandparents a priority as there was no future scheduled time to see them, and we missed them!  We decided to bring Summer along, as she is so good with talking to adults, lighting up a room with her energy and love, and is a great traveler.  Both Kristin and I loved having her along.  Due to unfortunate last minute events, my grandpa was in the hospital for all of our visit - he broke his hip two days before we arrived and had a very last minute surgery.  It ended up being good timing for us to be there as we were able to drive my Grandma many times to go see him in the hospital as well as stay with my Grandpa in the hospital to help with tag-teaming his care.  We had a wonderful visit with my Grandma and loved seeing and staying in her new place, meeting the wonderful personalities that live around her (my sister and I said it felt like a college dorm with all the energy of excited women conversing in the hallway...just add a few years! - wonderful!), eating together, looking at old photo albums, reminiscing about fun times, and just being together.  I also truly enjoyed spending some quality time with my Grandpa in the hospital.  Although he couldn't really communicate much, I appreciated the opportunity to just hold his hand and attempt to read his body language and make him as comfortable as I could.  I will forever cherish the hours I had with him, as I know due to recent developments, he is given a projected 2 weeks to 2 months left on earth (the anethesia due to the hip surgery progressed his Alzheimer to the point where he is currently no longer eating).  I am so grateful that he trusted Christ as his personal Savior and I look forward to the day when he is out of pain, with a new body, praising his Jesus.  Without further ado, here are some pictures of our girls trip!

Summer was so excited about riding in an airplane...and everything that went with it, including having her bag searched!
Auntie Kristin and Summer in the airport :)

Girls on the plane!  Summer's face shows a glimpse of how excited she was for this trip!

We figured out our first uber ride and made it to the hospital!

Walking into GiGi-ma's new home - Storypoint.

Storypoint does dinner like this every night for my Grandma!  We all joined her for dinner and the food was delicious.  A bunch of family was in town last minute due to my Grandpa's hip surgery (which they were not sure if he would make it through).
The kids all three made cards for GiGi-pa and we read them to him.

Summer shared this pink teddy with GiGipa and he enjoyed feeling it.

I love watching the love between GiGi ma and GiGi pa.

Despite being in the hospital for much of the day on Saturday, Summer did amazing.  Book + push-pop :)

We went out to Checkers for burgers and shakes for lunch.

Summer LOVED looking at all of GiGima's albums.

I love this picture.

Summer's favorite chair!  Its the little things!

Summer and GiGima

We visited a local church with my Grandma and loved it.

After church we went out to Big Apple Bagel with my Grandma's friend Linda, who also lives at Storypoint and also attends Berean Baptist Church.

Linda took this picture for us :)

We stopped by the hospital to see my Grandpa one last time before we had to board our flight home.

We love your GiGi ma and GiGi pa!