Friday, August 26, 2016

Evan's 1st Day of 4th Grade

Yikes!  I can't believe we already have four years of elementary school behind us and only two more to go before the dreaded middle school is upon us.  It has been a crazy four years, but I think this year has started out about as smooth as we could have hoped with two kids in school.  I do think it helps with me being home and not having to worry about other childcare arrangements right now.  That was such a stressful part of our lives during Evan's first years of school.  So for now, this lifestyle is working out okay even if it does mean a few sacrifices here and there.   Now that sports is also in full swing with two busy boys, our schedules during the week do get pretty crazy.  It does seem like their school days are very long because even though they don't have to be at school until 9:15 in the morning, they are there until 4:00.  With sports practices starting at 6:00, that doesn't leave us much time to get them fed and do homework in the evenings.  Since Evan started back to school on July 11th, we are currently less than three weeks away from our first quarter break in September so we are definitely looking forward to that.  For Evan, he has just matured so much this past year in all areas.  I have been so impressed with his physical abilities as he has been through some pretty intense conditioning training to get him ready for his first season of football.  I can really begin to see the teenage years approaching fast, and I definitely have mixed feelings about that.  Sigh.  I think 4th grade in our state is a pretty fun academic year.  Evan will enjoy learning lots of NC history and will get to go on some fun field trips.  I still remember our 4th grade field trip to tour our state capital, Raleigh.  For us, it was a fun "far away" trip since we didn't live in the Raleigh area.  I know that it will be different for him, but I still think it will be fun.  It is like a "rite of passage" trip for fourth graders in our state.  Evan is also proud that he is finally on the last Harry Potter book, the Deathly Hallows, although he is also excited to read the newest book/play too. He is just growing up so fast!

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Family pictures!
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I made him stop and pose for a picture on the way into school. 

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Yes, he wants to be some kind of engineer and thinks nuclear engineer sounds cool.  We do live down the road from a nuclear power plant.  Haha!  We also finally gave in and let him get Minecraft when it was available for Wii U.  He still doesn't play it on any other devices.  He and I have built a pretty impressive city with skyscrapers, roads, apartment buildings, suburbs with houses, and even a Target, grocery store, movie theater, and gas station.  Haha!  Hey, I may be pushing him more towards being an architectural engineer. 

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He loves being in a pirate themed room this year.

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Getting to work.

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I think I was most excited to see his stack of textbooks for the year. 

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His teacher sent us pictures of their first group project of the year making a model of North Carolina out of yummy treats that represented different aspects of the three regions of the state, mountains, piedmont, and coastal plain.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Brody's First Days of Kindergarten

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Yep, I know this post is over a month behind, but my OCD would not let me write out of order.  I am slowly getting caught up on my blog posts list.  I am very happy to report that Brody's first days of kindergarten have been a huge success with no tears.  He continues to love going to big school, and I have been so impressed with the progress he has made already.  I was very happy to see they use a good phonics program that Brody really loves called Letterland.  Each letter is represented by a little character, and they watch videos for each character and learn about the sounds they make.  He learned all of the characters very quickly and can now help me spell words based on sounding them out.  He also loves doing his homework every night.  He usually has a worksheet to practice writing his letters or numbers and then we read a book together and answer some questions about the reading.  He is really starting to pick up some sight words now and sounding out words by knowing the letter sounds.  He calls the letters by their letterland character most of the time, but I am not going
to be too picky at this time if that's what works for him.  He received his first progress report already and got top marks in all areas with phonics and reading, of course, being the areas to concentrate on.  It has been such a relief to have another child who loves school so much.  Let's hope this trend continues! 

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For the night before the first day, we were all prepared with our clothes laid out and our backpack ready.  Of course, that is not the case the rest of the year.  He has been taking his lunch every day because I don't want him dealing with going through the lunch line yet.  He can be a slower eater at times so I want him to have plenty of time to eat.  He loved his little love note in his lunch box.  That is definitely his love language.  He picked out the book to read the night before which continues the tradition started with Evan. 

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When did this baby get so big?  Holding his chalkboard that he wrote his name on again.

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All ready to go.

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Trying to do big brother's pose with his foot on the wall.

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Big brother was so proud.

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And so was little brother.

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But Mommy just can't believe how big all of her boys are getting.

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Daddy is proud.

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Walking to class.

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Brody found his class.  This was a staggered start day with just a few kids from each class.  They didn't meet in his classroom this day. 

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Brody chose to make some numbers with the cubes as his first morning work.

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Showing his number 5.

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Little brother wanted to help.

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I think I could have left them both here, and they wouldn't have cared.

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Working through his numbers.

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With no tears, he gave me big hugs and said he was ready for me to leave.  *Sniff*

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He only went to school one day his first week and then we went to meet the teacher night to hear about the plans for the year.  Brody had to do a little classroom scavenger hunt including cutting lines on papers.

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Checking off his list.

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Counting bears.

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And building with blocks.

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This little calendar is how Brody tracks his daily behavior.  Purple is the highest and this day he earned double purple.  His teacher says he always gets extra credit for actually napping at rest time.  He is one of the only kids who sleeps.  Haha!  He always gets top marks for good behavior just like his big brother, and he has earned his first big reward of getting to eat lunch with his teacher next week.  We hope this is all just a foreshadowing of the good things to come!


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