School Update

The boys are about 2/3 of the way done with this school year.  It’s hard to believe that PJ is almost done with Kindergarten and Elliott is going to be a 3rd grader soon.  Mostly because that makes me feel old.  The saying “The days are long but the years are short” is so true.

PJ is doing very well with reading.  He is sounding out a lot of words and is very close to reading a basic book all by himself.  Report cards at this age are funny/frustrating. He doesn’t like to do his worksheets in the morning and was willingly skipping recess in order to postpone doing them.  In other news he and a classmate Alayna have decided they are getting married and will have a party with soda and cake.  I got an invite from the bride herself from PJ’s backpack last week.

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In other news PJ still loves Star Wars, Legos and playing outside in the farm fields.  He is a passionate fellow, telling me when I make food that displeases him and that (when he is mad at me) he will move to San Francisco once he is grown up.  Oookay.

Elliott is doing pretty well in school.  He is reading at a 4th/5th grade level (!!!) and oftentimes he’ll just disappear from the family room to go read his book in his bed.  It’s hilarious, he turns on their radio alarm clock pretty loud to listen to pop or hip hop while he is reading.  I have no idea how he can enjoy that, but he does…and I love it.  He struggles a bit with not distracting other people because he’s so chatty, but he gets good marks for participating and being generally pretty happy.  He reminds me a lot of myself (his desk is a disaster zone).  We are not very good at remembering to practice the cello as often as he should but he does pretty well with that too.  I’m not sure we’ll be able to continue with that in Washington yet.

Overall they are both doing well and still do just about everything together.  They say that in the new house they want their own rooms, though I think that PJ would have a harder time adjusting to that.

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Moving On Up

Way back in 2011, I painted the biggest room in our house navy blue and gold.

And then 6 months later we were moving to Portland.

So then, let’s see….3 houses later…summer of 2015 (yes that is almost one move every year!) I painted the biggest room in the house navy blue (Benjamin Moore Hale Navy).

And here we are.  6 months later.  MOVING TO WASHINGTON STATE.

Now…I am the first person to say that correlation does not equal causation.  But I think mayhaps next time I will let Evan paint his own room.

Right now I am in (and have been in) major house fixit mode trying to wrap up projects that I was in the middle of.  I’m re-finishing our back deck – almost done! – and I have pretty much all the interior paint done.  The outside of the house will be painted soon…we needed to do that regardless.

Evan will be tele-commuting with his new job until school is out in mid-june, so if we pull this off the way it looks in my head, our house will be fixed up and be listed for sale at the end of April, people will want to buy it right away, and then the kids will finish school and we will close the sale and move out shortly thereafter.  After that, who knows.  We have some temp housing available to us and will be shopping for a house somewhere in Snohomish County, Washington.  It’s pretty similar to where we are now.  A bit cooler temperature-wise.  The mountains are bigger, and it’s closer to the ocean.  And Canada.

So that is what we are up to now and will be working with for the next couple of months.  I will try to update here as we find out more info!

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Happy New Year

I have been so bad at keeping up with this blog lately.  We just got back from spending Christmas and New Years in Arizona.  The boys met their cousin Cameron for the first time, which was fun.  They got in one day of swimming in the pool, and also met up with their old daycare friends.

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In other news, PJ is getting glasses next week.  I’ll have to update with a new post when that happens.

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A very wet week!

I don’t know if you’ve seen on the news, but the Portland area has been getting a lot of rain lately.  In the city of Portland, they’ve gotten bout 6 inches of rain in the last 5 days.  I’m not sure if we have more or less than that, but we have had a LOT of flooding here.  The field behind our house is FULL of water and it comes all the way up to the edge of our property behind our backyard.  The boys’ school bus has had to re-route because of road closures.

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Their bus usually goes down this road and then turns near where those rows of trees are on the upper left side.

The school itself hasn’t had any flooding so school has been open as usual.  Speaking of school, I was hired as the school “librarian,” technically, a library clerk since they don’t have librarians anymore.  It’s a pretty sweet gig, only 5 hours a week.  On my off days I can sub for school aides if they need a substitute, and it’s pretty convenient with the kids!

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Happy Halloween!

2015: their idea, the best yet, methinks

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I was looking through my instagram and thinking i need to make another post re-capping a bunch of random fall-ish things.  On to November!

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Parent Teacher Conference Time!

Yesterday we had our first Parent-Teacher conferences of the year.  It’s always an interesting experience to hear things you already know combined with stuff about your kid that you don’t know.  In short, PJ is doing very well and is progressing ahead of schedule with many of the kindergarten benchmarks.  I know a lot of people love to hate on the Common Core standards but I really like them.  It’s easy to find out what is expected of kids at various grade levels and track progress – and knowing that it is the same for all schools is helpful in case we ever move.  PJ’s teacher said he would be in the top reading group if he was a little better with participation in group activities.  He is smart and independent, but doesn’t always like to do what he is supposed to do.  Mmm hmm.

Elliott is doing pretty well in math and reading, and got many compliments for his positive attitude and just generally being a happy kid and eager learner.  He needs to work on staying on task and not chatting up his classmates so much.  He is reading at about a 3rd grade reading level currently, and has been getting into some longer books lately.  Today he also got a compliment from one of his strings teachers about how he is looking very good in class and he is very good at keeping in tune, which is apparently not super common at this point in the class.

PJ had his first field trip to the pumpkin patch yesterday, he had a great time 🙂  Here he is with our neighbor gal from a few houses over.
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New Routines

Now that both boys are in school we have some new routines we’re all adjusting to.  Elliott started string lessons at the university and we brought home a Cello on tuesday.  He can’t play anything with it yet, but supposedly they have some sort of concert near the end of the semester.  There are university music ed majors helping teach the kids under the supervision of a professor.

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PJ learned about fire drills and safety at school.  He came off the bus looking like this.
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Speaking of the bus, he loves riding it.  We got some new neighbor girls a few houses down, their oldest is in kindergarten also.  It’s fun having lots of kids at the bus stop!
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One day he brought flowers for the principal, his teacher and the secretary.
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This is just a random photo of him posing like a mannequin while we were shopping for jeans.  He asked me to take this picture…so here it is.
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Both boys are pretty exhausted by the end of the day.  We’ve been putting them to bed a bit earlier than usual.  PJ still needs to be woken up in the morning, that kid sure loves to sleep in.  So far we have only had a few over-tired meltdowns, so I’m considering that a back-to-school success.

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First Day of 2nd Grade

Today Elliott had his first day of school.  PJ will start next wednesday, the kinders have to do assessments this week so they start later.
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Blazing NW

It’s still quite hot here.  We’ve had a day or two of cooler temps but for the most part it’s been quite toasty up here in the NW corner of the US.  It’s seriously hindering my plan to refinish our deck this summer.

We have spent our mornings at swim, and ET has progressed nicely, he is in level 5 (6 is the highest level).  PJ is still trucking along in level 2.  He was verrrrrrrrry close to passing it a week ago, and so we’ll see if he can do it this friday.  He’s got a nice small class but his teacher is not one of my favorites.

A few weeks ago we did a race in town to benefit the high school’s cross country team.  Both boys did the kid race, and ET and I did the 5k.  It was his first 5K ever 🙂  The newspaper came and took pictures of them, though I couldn’t find any pictures of us in the longer race.

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We have also been spending a lot of time at the school (i know, right!!) working in the garden.  It’s starting to look a lot better in there now.

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My helper gives me two thumbs up for the new picnic table we built2015-07-28 12.01.22

 

And last but not least, they tore out our beautiful hazelnut grove across the street and have started the construction process for building a new neighborhood (sob!).  It’s sad but the kids love watching it all happen.2015-07-22 14.23.30

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Summer Fun

It has been such a HOT summer here.  I thought last summer was hot but this year it’s been an extended heat wave with many days in the mid/upper 90’s.  I think a lot of weather records are being broken this year.  We haven’t had any rain in about a month either.  I enjoy it, but it does make it difficult to get outside work get done after the morning hours.
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Both boys have been doing swim lessons.  PJ is getting closer to completing preschool level 2 and Elliott just passed into school age level 5.
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ET sat out this round of lessons to go to string camp again, and we will probably sign him up to play with the string program this fall.  He’s in the middle of this first picture in a black vest.

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He has been singing/humming all the songs he learned at camp while he plays at home.  (adorable)

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