Friday, September 30, 2016

Fall Activities in Full Swing

 The month of September somehow whizzed by and its October already!  I have a lot to catch up on from this past month, but I'll start with a few of these cute pictures that Angela Ross Photography took this month. 
I can't take ANY credit for the matching outfits!  My mom coordinated everybody on the Kirkwood side to get a family picture done a few weeks ago, and as part of the photo shoot we got pictures of the 5 of us as well.  They turned out really cute!

Well, lets see!  I haven't blogged since the first week of school!  Where to start...We are all finally healthy and starting to get into the swing of our fall routine.  I love everything that we are doing, but it sure doesn't leave a lot of time for blogging!  Now that school has started, our new routine is..


Chore Day! We try never to schedule anything on Mondays, as it is our day to get caught up on laundry, cleaning, and groceries.  I tutor math in the evenings.

Colton doing a letter scavenger hunt on our grocery trip.  He is starting to notice sight words around him too!

Q was a tricky letter to find...but he found it...all on his own!

Larkyn at her first dentist appointment last Monday. She did great!  No tears the whole cleaning until the tall dentist walked in ;) She also had her first x-rays as her canine teeth still haven't popped through.  They *may* pop through soon, according to the dentist, but the x-ray was a bit blurry due to her wiggles!


On Tuesdays, Larkyn has gymnastics in the morning.

Larkyn's teacher, Ms. Linda is absolutely outstanding.  She has won many awards and judges the olympic trials, yet loves teaching the toddler class!  Summer had her too when she was Larkyn's age.

I always have a bag of preschool packed for Colton to work on while Larkyn and I are in the Mommy and Me class.  He does an amazing job! 

Colton is a busy worker during the whole 45 minute gymnastics class.  This day he matched lowercase/uppercase letters, read, cut out, matched, and taped three letter words under their appropriate pictures, and practiced his handwriting...all with "Blade" the helicopter looking on :)  He truly has amazing focus for a 4 year old boy and loves doing preschool activities.
 Library story time is on Tuesday mornings so we will often head to the library on the way home from gymnastics for new books, story time and/or to play games on their computers!

This was a special library story time where a police officer came and told us all about his job, the tools in his utility belt, and let the kids sit in his car.
Colton playing a math game at the library.
After school, Summer has piano lessons with Ms. Marie. 
Summer ready for her piano lesson at Ms. Marie's house!  She LOVES her teacher and when asked how her lesson was, replies enthusiastically, "GREAT!  I LOVED IT!"  Summer does a great job practicing her piano almost every day before school and is improving quite a bit.  She started reading notes on the staff combined with playing with two hands this month.
Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday, Paul and I have couples small group through our church, and Grandma and Grandpa K babysit!  We finished a short study on Heaven and are studying 1 Peter currently.  We love our small group of 12 young couples that includes many kids, and we support each other through prayer regarding trials with kids, jobs, etc.  It is a great support network.


On Wednesdays, Colton, Larkyn and I go to BSF (Bible Study Fellowship).  We are studying the book of John right now and already I have learned SO much!  Seriously, I am so excited about all the new connections I am making within the book of John and in relationship to the rest of the Bible.  My group is amazing and I have SO MANY women in my group that I would love to get to know better as a positive influence in my life.  Colton and Larkyn were both so confident the first day and walked right in!  I expected that from Colton...but not from Larkyn.  Last year Larkyn had some separation tears but this year, she loves being a big kid just like her big siblings, hugging goodbye, and walking right in to play!  I was thrilled :).  I especially look forward to our car ride home/lunch when I get to hear what they did in class, as they are learning the same Bible story the adults are, and both of them are good conversationalists :).

First day of BSF.

We meet at Peace Lutheran Church in Eagan (pictured in background).
On Wednesday evenings, we go to AWANA, a church program that emphasizes Bible memory as kids work through their handbooks, but also incorporates a lesson and game time.  Paul leads in Colton's group, the Cubbies, and I lead bi-monthly in Summer's age group, the Sparks (my friend Marcia leads on the alternate weeks).  On the weeks I lead, Grandma K comes to watch Larkyn as she isn't old enough to participate in Cubbies.  On the alternate weeks, I get special time with Larkyn.  We love the AWANA program and the consistency and motivation it provides for Bible memory.  We also love the CD's that come with the kids' handbooks, that contain songs, scripture, and stories.  We have had them on constantly in our van as we drive various places this month!

First night of AWANA!

On the book pick-up night, Colton got to meet Cubbie Bear!

Colton and Ian are excited to be together this year!

Summer and Ian's sister Adelyn are also so happy to be in the same group :).
I also tutor two students on Wednesday nights after Awana.  It gets a little crazy, but it allows me to tutor two nights (two of my students want two appointments a week) but frees up Thursday nights to have no evening commitments, which is worth it :).


On Thursdays, Colton has his community education Amazing Athletes class.  He has been enrolled in this class almost continually since he turned 3, and each session practices 11 sports, learns muscles, fruits and veggies, play fun games, and gets lots of healthy energy out!

Coach Ashley (the one in white) is amazing with the kids!

Colton and his classmates ready for "the pirate game".

In the pirate game, kids have to run across the "plank" (ladder) without getting hit by the flying sponge fruits and veggies :)
After sports camp, the kids look forward to their traditional Grandma Day ice cream from Culvers!

Thursdays are my day to volunteer at Summer's school.  I will be doing pull-out math help for first graders this year, with potentially some reading help as well.  That doesn't start until October, however I did get to help with Summer's fundraising fun run at school.  Students asked for pledges for a certain dollar amount for each lap they ran around the school gym.  I was a "ticker", marking off Summer's class' shirts each time they completed a lap, so they knew how many laps they completed in the allotted time.

Summer ran with a smile on her face the entire time!

Here is a picture of me in the "Gile" class corner, I just finished marking off Summer's shirt for another lap.

Summer's class.

The shirt had a wheel with 36 spots to mark off (the maximum number of laps they could collect pledges on).  Summer ran 45 :).

I LOVE every minute I can spend at Summer's school!  I miss her so much during the day!
After school on Thursdays, Summer has gymnastics.  Summer has tried many things over the last few years, including soccer, dance, gymnastics, and acting.  This fall we told her she could pick one activity - and she picked gymnastics. 

It has been fun to see her work so hard this year.  While Summer was having fun trying many various activities over the past year, one of her best gymnastics friends stayed enrolled in gymnastics all year long and progressed to the next level.  Summer is very motivated wanting to be in the same class as Alexa again and has been working so hard each week practicing her handstand and cartwheel, the last two items she needs to be able to do, in order to move to the next level.

 Her sweet coach, Ms. Erin, even sent Summer a postcard this week saying she noticed how hard Summer was working and that she was doing a great job!  No matter what level Summer is in, I am very proud of her determination, perseverance, and great attitude.  I would be dizzy if I tried as many cartwheels and handstands as she does in one session!  Here is a short video of a few of her cartwheels and handstands last Thursday.  She has improved so much in only a few short weeks!


Fridays are fun days - they are low key and unplanned.  After getting Summer to school, Colton, Larkyn and I are on a rotational schedule to help pass out the right number of bags of food to each classroom teacher at Summer's school for students/families in need to have food over the weekend as part of the Sheridan Story.  Then we have a free day to schedule play dates or do whatever we choose!  Last Friday, we went to the zoo with Auntie Kristin for a cousin date!


ALL mesmerized by the fish tank.

The bears were really active - and Larkyn loved talking about how the bears were doing their "scoopers" when they swam (swimming lesson terminology from lessons this summer!)  Thanks for the great pic Auntie Kristin!
Last year, we did Friday Fun Nights as a family, however this year we are keeping with some of those ideas but changing it up a bit.  I have a similar calendar to last year, where I schedule out family activities for each week, however the main difference is that they might be on any day or time of the weekend, instead of just Friday nights.  Also, I have a bucket list of ideas for most weekends, and we pick one that works best with our schedule, rather than planning them out too far ahead!  This keeps it more flexible as well as allows us to stay in and relax together on Friday nights instead of planning something big.  So far it has worked out great!


On the weekend, we try to do at least one thing as a family.  The rest of the weekend, as much as possible, is spent low key.  The three kiddos love this time to play together at home, and Paul and I often use time to catch up on chores.  We have had some fun family fall activities in September.

Pahl's Market corn pit!

Hay bale maze

Picking out pumpkins!

DQ date

The pumkin-dahl family :)

Apple Picking!

 The kids love playing together when they are all together, and I love watching them!

With neighbor dog Molly

Larkyn kept asking to sit on Summer's lap while they played trains/train tracks.

Playing "birthday party"

Building a fort

Preschool/Tot School

Well, that is our week in a nutshell these days.  I am loving preschool/tot school with my two littles.  After a mile bike ride to drop off Summer and return home, Colton gets his energy out right away in the morning and is so focused for preschool!  We squeeze preschool/tot school in at various times including while I am doing daily tasks like making dinner, as well as time in between activities.  We often do some preschool activities during Larkyn's nap.  Colton likes to see how things work so, based on his curiosity and questions, through youtube videos we have learned about how clocks work and also how our digestive system works.  This past week we worked on the difference between "b" and "d" as he gets them confused when he is reading.  (Side note: this video helped a lot!)  Another great DVD that has helped Colton so much in reading is the Sing and Spell Heidi Songs.  After watching this DVD 5 times over the past month Colton went from recognizing 4/26 sight words to 17/26 sight words.  Even Larkyn goes around the house singing/spelling the sight words! 

One staple routine is that Colton always reads me one book during Larkyn's naptime to practice his reading right before we read his Bible together.  We found a ton more Bob books to add to our collection at a recent consignment sale, so those have been our books of choice lately. 

Each day we do a different book, so its always new and he has to sound out the letters not read from memory.  Here is Colton's current reading level as shown by the (7 minute) video reading one of the books.


 After we do some learning activities together during Larkyn's nap, we often do a "Colton choice" activity.  Usually it includes either a game or playing cars :).

 Here are some of Larkyns recent Tot school related activities:

Search, find, and naming letters.

Washing letters.

Salt tray and chalkboard name practice

Making her name using cheerios/glue and stickers.
Oh, and one more quick sidenote!  Summer learned to tie her shoes this month!

I'll end with a picture of Summer and her friend Laney.  They both happened to have their cowgirl on for school picture day this month.

We are so grateful for Laney and her mom Amy, who brought Summer's school work each day when she was sick 4 days of the first two weeks of school!
Thank you Lord, for your MANY blessings in September!


The Baum Family said...

Love this update! So fun to hear what a typical week sounds like for you. It sounds busy but fun! :)

Jill said...

Such a busy and adorable family! Love you all!

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