Saturday, September 23, 2017

Larkyn Updates - Preschool, Dance, Swimming, Biking

Larkyn and I are having a fantastic time together at home!  I had wondered if after school started the days would feel long with only one kid home.  Three weeks into the school year, and honestly the days fly by with us always having more we want to do than there is time for!  I love her silly, fun, sweet personality and we get along great just doing life together!  I am so thankful for my one-on-one time with her.  Here are a few updates:


Larkyn wants to do preschool every day, and despite "doing preschool" at least a half hour together most days, always wants to do more!  We have continued many of the same activities I blogged about last time, including practicing her letters and sounds, practicing writing the letters in her name, and practicing counting, but have also done many new activities.  I'll include a few pictures and videos of some of the things we have worked on lately.

Starting to learn and match lowercase letters (white spoons) with upper case letters (clear spoons)

I matched all 26 letters!

Spider Math (click for video): counting and matching "number of dots" with the numeric to make a full spider.
 Video of Spider Math:

I did it!

Practicing the difference between lowercase D, B, P, and Q.  (d,b,p,q all look similiar).

Sorting and naming the lowercase d,b,p,q letters (Click for Video)
 Video of p,d,b,q matching:

Learning the days of the week and how they "repeat" in a cycle (click for video)
 Video of learning the days of the week:

"Our Week" chart with a picture icon to help remember something that happens on that day for Larkyn, including Sunday (church), Monday (groceries/chore day), Tuesday (dance class), Wednesday (BSF), Thursday (swimming lessons), Friday Fun Day, & Saturday (Pancakes with Daddy).  (Click here for Video)



Larkyn has dance class with our friend Ms. Daria every Tuesday morning.  When I asked Larkyn what she was most looking forward to this fall, dance class (and gymnastics) was the highlight!  I don't have any pictures of gymnastics yet (although she loves her new teacher Ms. Sue!) but here are a few pictures and a sweet video from dance class.


Last week, Larkyn got to bring her tap shoes to class - and she was sooo excited and carried them in a pink Paw Patrol purse!!

Video of first tap class:


This fall, Larkyn has Ms. Ann for swimming lessons on Thursdays.  Ms. Ann is great, and is the perfect mixture of pushing Larkyn outside her comfort zone...but not too far!


 Biking and Scootering

 Larkyn LOVES biking and scootering and often asks to go outside for a bike or scooter walk.  Twist my arm ;).  I love that she enjoys being outside and being active, cause its something we enjoy doing together!
Scootering in the rain!

Biking to school with the big kids!

"Mom, I'm going to school!"

Larkyn's proud face, biking to school all by herself :)

Special Cuddles

 Being the youngest and last one at home means lots of special time with Mommy...but also with Grandma and Grandpa when they come!

I love this kiddo to pieces and am grateful for every minute I get with her!  From her entrance into this world she continues to bring joy to my life with her easy going personality and smiles!

Colton Updates: 1st Tooth Lost, Kindergarten Sunday, Soccer, Apex Run, Date

Colton is continuing to thrive in kindergarten!  Here are a few updates on my favorite little buddy.

First Tooth Lost

Colton lost his first tooth on Tuesday Sept. 19th.  It has been wiggly for the past month, but when it started to stick from his jaw line horizontally and interfere with him eating corn on the cob, he asked Mommy to pull it :).  One quick turn and it was out!

Kindergarten Sunday

At our church, kids move from the preschool program to the school age program on the first Sunday after Labor Day on the year they start kindergarten.  The occasion was special not only because now Colton can be in Summer's class (which they are both excited about!) but also because the kids are given their first Bible, the NIrV (New International Readers Version).  (*Note: While I had requested his Bible from our amazing children's director early last spring as he was ready to start reading out of the big Bible during our daily Bible reading, Colton still "officially" received his Bible on promotion Sunday).  Over the past four months, we have been daily reading out of it, including reading the entire book of Matthew together.  Now that Colton has started kindergarten, his and my daily Bible reading has moved from his afternoon quiet time (last year) to when I wake him up around 7am before school (this year), and he loves waking up this way (as does Summer :)).

Video of receiving Bible:

A friend texted me this picture of our sweet boy praying along with the Pastor after the Bibles were given out and I just love this picture so much!!!!!


I debated signing up Colton for fall soccer as I didn't want him to be overtired because it meant Tuesday night and Saturday morning commitments on his first year of full day school.  However I am so glad I did!  Not only does he LOVE soccer, but he comes home from school with so much physical wiggly energy that soccer is the perfect outlet!  My favorite part about watching Colton play is that he is engaged in the game 100% of the time.  Even if he is on defense and the ball is on the other end of the field, he is in ready position, constantly moving back and forth horizontally across the field with a determined look on his face that I cannot help but smile when I watch!  When Colton likes something, he likes it with a passion, and soccer is no exception.  I love watching how much he enjoys it!  This fall, Colton's team name is the Blue Lava, and he is #7.

Kicking the ball

In ready defense postion

With fans Grandma and Grandpa K and Auntie Kristin (Summer and Uncle Eric were with Teddy :) )

Colton, Mom and Dad

Playing soccer with Daddy in the backyard

Apex Fun Run

Southview's fundraiser each year is the Apex Fun Run.  The kids gather pledges, and fulfill them by running laps on the Apex Run Day at school.  I had fun volunteering at his run and got a few pictures.  He loved it and ran hard the whole time, running 48 laps around the 1/16th of a mile track (3 miles!)...and with a smile!  After volunteering, I stayed for lunch with him in the cafeteria for macaroni and cheese and mini corn dog day :).  How crazy that only a few short months ago we were coming to have lunch with Summer, and Colton was the little sibling learning how to do hot lunch...and now its him I'm visiting at school!  Crazy!  He seems so big!!

Colton led his class out to the field!

Running strong!

We did it!

Getting his hot lunch like a pro!

Mom and Colton selfie in the cafeteria.  I loved sitting at his lunch table and meeting all his classmates that I had heard so much about! 

Mommy Colton Date #1

I'm trying a new thing this year, now that the majority of my kids are in school ;).  My parents come on Tuesdays to hang out with Larkyn while I volunteer in the kids' classrooms at school and stay through the evening two Tuesdays a month to babysit while Paul and I have our small group Bible study. On the two Tuesdays a month when my parents stay late, I have started the tradition of a date afternoon rotation with my two school aged kiddos so that I can make sure to get special one-on-one time with them despite the fact that they are in school most of the day.   My first date was with Colton, and he picked to have special Mommy time at the library playing a mechanics computer game and cuddling/reading books just us two.  I loved his choice:). 

Colton continues to love how things work and building things.  He loves math and has an outside the box way of approaching things that I love.  I wonder if he will be some sort of engineer?  I enjoy watching what he builds, creates, asks, thinks, and is interested in.  Its so fun seeing him grow and learn!

I am so proud of how Colton is taking his faith with him to kindergarten, wanting to and trying so hard to remember to pray before eating his lunch, naturally praying for classmates who don't treat him kindly, and trying so hard to live out the values we discuss at home.  Specifically this week, our verse of the week talked about humility.  Multiple times he came home talking about how he tried to put that into practice at school.  God is so good to me, encouraging me with a kindergartner who will not only talk with me after school for as long as I like, but also one who truly desires to be the same Christian he is at home, at school.  Thank you, Lord for daily answering my prayers!  I am beyond blessed with a son like Colton.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Larkyn - Preschool and life at home with Mommy!

Sweet girl trying on her winter gear!
Mommy and Larkyn get lots of special time together now that she is the only kid left at home during the school day!  I wasn't exactly sure what our new routine would look like, but we easily developed a comfortable new rhythm of a fun outing, errand, or social activity in the morning after we drop off the older kids at school, coming home for lunch, and then a quiet afternoon of Mommy-Larkyn preschool, Bible reading, quiet time, and cuddles/books on the couch until we pick up the big kids.  I have truly enjoyed my time with Larkyn this week and love, love, love the fact that I get these special two years filled with 1-on-1 time with her.  I have been looking forward to this ever since she was born, as it has in the past been tricky to get time alone with her given her busy, talkative older siblings!  Here is a look at our first week broken into two pieces: 1) Preschool with Mommy and 2) Fun with Loo

Preschool with Mommy

Every day Larkyn asks to do "preschool".  She loves it, and doesn't want to stop!  Its pretty cute.  This week we worked on letter names and their sounds, identifying numbers, counting objects, and writing her name.  Here are some pictures and videos from this week.

Practicing tracing in preparation of writing letters (using paper in plastic sleeve and dry erase marker)

Practicing identifying numbers and counting objects

VIDEO: Identifying numbers and counting objects:

Practicing tracing/erasing her chalk name with water, paintbrush, and chalkboard.
VIDEO: Chalk Name

Reading her Bible daily

Making her first bar graph out of last Easter's jelly beans (lol!) and learning about "least" and "most"

Practicing tracing the letters of her name in a salt tray
VIDEO: Salt Tray

Letter flashcards to practice identifying letters and their sounds

Larkyn's shaving cream art done at a Mom's Club event

Showing her art to her siblings after school :)

Candy corn math

Practicing tracing her name with a pencil and forming her letters correctly
VIDEO: Name Tracing

Love this handy dandy pencil gripper for teaching her how to hold her pencil
Larkyn's name tracing


Fun with Loo

We spent our first day of school at the zoo with friends!

And then came home to cuddle and read books!

Larkyn gets a lot more opportunities to cook now that the older siblings are out of the way!  (Spreading the oil on the spaghetti squash)

Larkyn is my most adventurous eater - so we've had fun cooking different lunches together and trying new recipes.  She tried shrimp for the first time and loved it!
I didn't get any pictures, but on Wednesday morning, we volunteered to watch the kids of the BSF leaders while they had their training.  On Thursday morning we had swimming lessons and went to a friends house to play.  On Friday morning we went to the children's museum.

She loved working the car wash

We spent about an hour in the air/ball room sending balls all different directions. I had fun with this room too!

Sledding/skiing down carpet hills with the special shoes :)

I have really seen a confident and independent side come out of Larkyn when her older siblings aren't around.  She is no longer in their shadow, but her own person, proactively introducing herself to others, initiating conversations with employees, and actually surprising me by how outgoing she is in public!  Here she initiated puppet play with a worker at the children's museum.
Balancing area :)
Generally speaking, our weekly fall routine for Larkyn at home will include:

Monday: Chore Day (Cleaning, laundry, and groceries)
Tuesday: Dance Class and time with Grandma and Grandpa K while Mommy volunteers in the big kids' classrooms and with math connection at their school
Wednesday: Bible Study Fellowship/BSF (and after school gymnastics with Summer)
Thursday: Swimming Lessons
Friday: Volunteer at Southview together and Play Day!

I know its going to be a great year with my little Larkyn!