Friday, May 22, 2015

Summer Tenleigh - Ballet Recital and First Soccer Game

Summer has been asking to do ballet for a year!  When the opportunity came up to take a 6 week community ed ballet class this spring, it was the perfect opportunity to say "yes" :).  Summer loved every minute and was so excited for her recital.  Her exuberance and love for the stage make her very fun to watch.  She even surprised everyone at the end of the recital by serenading her teacher with a self-written solo thank-you song - (too bad I already had the video camera turned off!).  She cracks me up!  I love her confidence!

Here are a few pictures (Thank you Grandma Kirkwood!):

Ms. Paula was seriously AMAZING and so full of energy!  You could tell she LOVES doing what she does.

Sisters :)

Colton wanted to join the picture!

Colton did a great job during each of Summer's classes and her recital.  He packed a suitcase full of cars and his car mat and played quietly the whole 45 minutes each class.  I was SO proud of him!

Larkyn enjoyed watching all the movement and music and dressed up in her ballet tutu to support her sister ;)
Summer's recital was 45 minutes long, so I condensed it into 5 minutes worth of clips...Here is the video:


Summer has also been LOVING soccer.  She is all smiles for this as well, and is ecstatic that her Daddy is her coach!  The field is her stage in this case, and she loves it when Grandma Kirkwood comes to watch her games!  She is #4 on the blue team.  The first scrimmages and game, I would describe her as the cheerleader and team nurse, as she loved shouting encouragement to her team as well as stopping to make sure everyone who tripped was ok :).  Her strength is definitely her energy as she runs full speed the whole time!  Each time, however, she is getting better at learning the game.  She is starting to learn it is ok to take the ball from the other team.  Her two best game moments so far are, offensively, when she had a breakaway and ran down the field dribbling the ball all by herself and almost scored a goal in game number 1.  The second was, in a defensive move, when she kicked the ball away from a kid on the other team who was about to score a goal in game number 2..  For the most part, however, she stays with the ball, running constantly, and touches it sometimes :).  I am most proud of her great attitude, her smile, and her kindness toward her brother, and all on her own sharing her special team soccer snacks with him.  Melted my heart :).

Here is a few video clips of her playing soccer (sorry the sound isn't working, but that is ok you can still watch blue #4 with the blond ponytail ;)

BSF and Verse of the Week Wrap-Up

We finished BSF for the year, studying the Life of Moses, and reading through Exodus - Deuteronomy.  We had such a great year! 

Here is a picture of our first day of BSF this year...
First Day of BSF
 And our last day...
Last Day of BSF
The kids have grown so much in so many ways!  All 3 kids had AMAZING teachers that loved on them and taught them about Jesus and I am so grateful for this program.  Here are our last three "verses of the week" that never got posted...

To keep us memorizing thoughout the summer, we have decided to memorize a cluster of verses.  We have roughly 4 months until we start our BSF Revelation study in the fall, and we are going to attempt to memorize 1 John 4:7-21.  The goal is to "keep up" each verse as we add the new ones, so that when we are done we can recite the whole section.   It is a lofty goal but we will give it a shot!  Instead of recording individual verses each week, I will wait and video them at the end of the summer.   (That is the plan, anyway!)  As the kids and I refer to it, we are "putting verses into our bucket" so we can pull them out when we need them :).

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mother's Day and Garden

Mother's Day was last weekend, but I am just now getting to post about it!  I feel more blessed than I can describe to be called "Mommy" by these three kiddos.   I love my life, I love these kids, and I am BEYOND blessed :).

They made me the sweetest cards...

For Mother's Day this year, Paul surprised me and said he was going to build me a raised bed garden!!!!  This is something I have wanted for a while as it provides more harvest and less weeding.  I am SO excited!! While I took a nice relaxing shower after a long run, the kids and Daddy went to go get the supplies.  He and the girls started working on it while Colton and I went to a birthday party for Colton's friend. Summer took some pictures...

 It turned out amazing!!! 

It is 10 ft by 5 ft

He did an especially great job with the top edge!
A garden was such a fun Mother's Day gift for many reasons.  First, it was such a thoughtful gift because he knows how much I love being outside and gardening.  Secondly, he is so busy, yet took the time to make it for me!  Third, gardening is something I LOVE doing WITH the kids.  They love helping me plant, water, watch things grow, and picking the harvest.  This week the kids and I got our garden all set up, and I have so many wonderful memories of doing it that I don't want to forget:

First, with Colton:
The first task was filling the garden with good healthy dirt/compost/etc.  My strong hubby bought and transported all the bags to our garden.  Last week was very rainy and cold, so while Grandma K was here on Thursday, I decided to run out and till/remove the grass under the garden, spread newspapers, and fill the garden with dirt. Because it was drizzly and cold (40's), I figured I would do it alone, however Colton repeatedly said how much he wanted to come out and help me.  It was seriously one of my favorite times with my little guy.  He helped shovel up the grass and put it in the wheelbarrow, raked the dirt, helped spread out the newspapers and keep them from blowing away, and helped spread the new dirt as we poured it in from the bags.  We looked for worms, laughed about spreading "cow poop" (yes some of the bags had manure in them!), and chatted the whole time.  I love getting one-on-one time with him and he was so cute working hard and getting all dirty ;).  At age 3, I can definitely say that he has moved from needing total complete guidance, to being a person I love hanging out with.  I love my buddy.

The following day was a bit sunnier and warmer, so the kids and I got our plants.  I chose most of them but let them each pick out one packet of seeds - Colton picked carrots and Summer picked daisies.

I am trying square foot gardening this year, which is a relatively new trend in gardening.  Instead of making paths between the rows of vegetables to pick them (which creates more weeding), the garden is created so that all plants can be reached from the outside so that you never need to step on any part of the garden and can completely fill the garden with plants (less weeding).  Furthermore, it is not necessary to put space between rows (more wedding), but rather there is a certain number of each type of veggie you can plant in one square foot.  Usually one large plant (like a tomato), 4 medium plants (like strawberries), 8-9 small plants (beans, peas), and 12 tiny plants that will be thinned as they grow (carrots).  Alternating the squares between large and small plants allows each plant to have the nutrients it needs, while also maximizing harvest in a small space.

Here is a pic of the garden all filled with dirt and squared off for planting.  I just hammered nails around the outside every foot and strung twine across to make the grid.

The dirt was really easy to dig holes in and the kids loved helping.

We planted our tomatos.  peppers. and bush cucumber (doesn't spread as much as regular cucumber) from plants, and did our sugar snap peas, beans, carrots, lettuce, cilantro from seeds. Much of our garden will be filled with 3 varieties of strawberries which I ordered from a strawberry farm out east for cheap bulk pricing - they come on Wednesday and then we will plant them.  Yum!

Colton's favorite job was watering the plants...

He spent most of the afternoon watering or washing something ;)

And now, one of my favorite memories with Summer:
Summer is so responsible.  Each day she remembers all on her own that she wants to go water them, and can do everything all by herself.  One morning I saw her go out in her sweet yellow dress, with her bright red watering can, and it was such a cute sight I had to take a picture!  Here she is watering the pots of flowers we have strategically placed in a sunnier area of our yard.  We are hoping to grow some cutting flowers this year so we can cut flowers to put in vases.  Summer is my flower girl.  Often when we see flowers at the grocery store she asks if we can buy some to put in a vase.  I am hoping they grow this year so we can have cut flowers in our kitchen throughout much of the summer!  We will see ;).

And so, long story short, I LOVED my Mother's Day present and continue to love it as the kids and I can enjoy it TOGETHER throughout the whole summer.

After church on Sunday, we celebrated Mother's Day with my mom at a super yummy brunch buffet!

I am so grateful for the influence my mom is on my life, the prayers, understanding, and encouragement she gives me and my kids daily.  Also a huge shout out to my amazing mother-in-law, who raised the awesome man I get to call my husband.  She also makes such a wonderful grandma.  I am so blessed.