Friday, May 23, 2014


It's time for a "pop-pop" (or two) a day!

Kindergarten catch-up

Right now, Finnan is having fun at his last day of kindergarten.  Truthfully, it took me a while to warm up to kindergarten.  I did not like Finnan being gone so much and I really did not like any homework.  I wouldn't say I ever was enthusiastic about sight words or homework, but eventually I came around.  He really had a great year and accomplished so much.  Not that I put so much stock in test scores, but on his first standardized MAP test he was in the 44th percentile in math and 62nd percentile in reading.  His percentiles for his most recent test were 95th and 86th respectively.  That is a lot of progress!

From what I can tell, he was a quiet, good, steady kid.  I think he only got two "checks" the whole year...which is also quite an accomplishment considering how often they were doled out whenever I was around the classroom.  He was very content.  He didn't seem to have any close friends, but was friendly with everyone and acted comfortable just where he was.  He rarely complained about going to school, but I think we are both thrilled to be starting summer break.  

I found a lot of pictures on my phone from events the second half of the year: two exhibit nights, the kindergarten musical and finally graduation.  

First exhibit night of the second half of the year:

Doing an activity in one of the classrooms

His travel journal, which showcases a lot of his work for the unit.

(I also realized I didn't take any pictures of their second exhibit night- there are four total.  This is the one where he created the panda documentary and then dressed up as an artic wolf for a little play the did.  I wanted to share his quote that was pasted on the wall: "Non-living things might have feet but wood feet.  If something is non-living it is not moving.  Non-living things are made out of things factories make.")

This month's exhibit night:

His class made a quilt.  Finnan's square is the flying eagle- first row on the left, second down.

He was a dollar.

Jude making edible maps.
And they sang a few songs.  Here is a link to one:

The Kindergarten Musical:

Last week they did a musical of 7 songs.  All the students dressed as something that might be found in the sea.  Finnan chose to be a scuba diver.  Unfortunately, it seemed as if he had a lot of trouble breathing in his mask.  After every song, he quickly lifted it up and gasped for air.  Then, for some reason, put it right back on again for the next song...

And then lastly...a picture of graduation!

Congratulations, Finnan!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Jude is 5

I haven't written much about Jude in the blog lately.  I am not sure why, but it is not because he is getting lost in shuffle as a middle child.  Jude could never get lost in the shuffle.  He is a happy, confident, outgoing, snuggly, funny, and loud little boy.  We have had a great year together.  I decided not to send him to pre-k so that he could go to play group with Rory and spend more time at home before he started kindergarten.  This also meant that every day Jude and I get a chunk of time, while Rory is napping and Finnan is still at school, just the two of us.  

Jude loves to ride his bike, play soccer, go swimming, race cars, create art and build legos.  He is a wiz at the games UNO and Sorry.  He is very excited for kindergarten.  He got his hair cut last week and was asked if he was excited for summer.  Without missing a beat he said, "I am excited for The Museum School."  He has voluntarily started learning sight words and is quizzing himself on addition.  He loves to sing and we often hear him singing to himself, anything from a Frozen song he learned from the girls at Gabriela's or songs from Sunday school.  

One of the things I specifically want to remember about this past year is Jude's relationship with Willa, our backyard neighbor.  Willa is in a half-day kindergarten so is on the same schedule as Jude.  These two are always looking out for each other at the back fence.  We have set up ladders on each side of the fence so they can easily climb back and forth to play together.  I snapped this picture about a month ago when Willa had a stomach virus, so could not play.  They just talked and talked from opposite sides of the fence.  They are so sweet together ending play date saying things like, "I had a great time. I hope you enjoy your dinner." 

I asked Jude the "survey" questions again this year.  Here are his answers:

1. What is your favorite color? green
2. What is your favorite toy? My 88 race car
3. What is your favorite fruit? blueberries
4. What is your favorite tv show? Magic School Bus
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? cereal
6. What is your favorite outfit? My church outfit
7. What is your favorite game? Sorry
8. What is your favorite snack? Mmm, Mmmm, especially peanut butter and jelly sandwich
9. What is your favorite animal? Elephant and giraffe
10. What is your favorite song? Down by the Bay
11. What is your favorite book? I don’t have a favorite book, I like all of them.
12. Who is your best friend? Christian
13. What is your favorite cereal? Cinnamon crunch
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Swing on the swing
15. What is your favorite drink? lemonade
16. What is your favorite holiday? Valentines
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Big Giraffe
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cereal
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Pesto pasta
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Race car driver
We had a family birthday celebration for Jude when my parents were in town earlier in the month.  He had wanted an orange party with an orange cake for some time, but the bakery didn't have an orange cake, so we switched to a strawberry cake.  Last week, he had a celebration at Gabriela's.  It is quite a special event.  The children made a cake earlier in the day and I brought flowers from our yard for them to decorate it.  Then Gabriela told a story and Atticus and I filled in tidbits about Jude during each year of his life while he added candles to the cake.  He was very excited, and I was so happy that he felt so special.  Below are pictures from the celebration (and one from my parent's visit, where Jude looks way to old) the pictures you can see that Jude and Rory are the only boys!!! 

One of the most special things about Jude's birthday celebration was that Gabriela was able to be there and preside over it.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer right before Christmas and has been undergoing chemotherapy.  Jesse has taken over play group and we only see Gabriela occasionally.  We are very thankful that she is done with chemo, although she is about to undergo surgery and radiation.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

My Mother's Day

There is no doubt about it, I am one lucky mama.  As a family of five we stay pretty busy and with my pregnancy, Atticus' back, and Atticus' campaign for school board, our lives have been even more hectic in the past couple of months.  So, for my mother's day, I wanted to spend a day just with my guys.  

I woke up early to the sound of the boys "sneaking" down to the art room to work on cards.  Based on their conversation it was clear Atticus coached them that they should let me sleep in, but Rory couldn't wait to share his card with me.  He ran into the room, handed me his scribble art, saying "Happy Mother's Day, Mama."  The older boys didn't want to disturb me and continued making several cards and lego sculptures for me.  Finnan's heart, below, won my heart.  As soon as Atticus was up to supervise they made me chocolate chip pancakes (my sweet tooth is out of control in this pregnancy!).

We didn't have a plan for the day and thought about riding bikes in the neighborhood or going to the park, but I am so glad we decided to go to Stone Mountain for the day.  We have only been one other time for a birthday party and had been saying for ages that we should go explore it further.  It was so much fun.  We went for a hike, ate a picnic lunch and then, at the boys urging, took the "sky ride" up to the top of the mountain.  While on top of the mountain the boys found several large puddles from last night's rain, and they took off their socks and shoes and played for a quite a while.  Rory in particular would have frolicked in the puddles (or tidal pools as the boys were calling them) until the sun went down.  When we came down from the mountain the Georgia Bubble Man was waiting for visitors as they departed the ride and he treated the boys to quite a show.  

Once we got home Atticus took Rory up for a nap (and mysteriously disappeared himself), so the boys and I set to work on canning two batches of strawberry jam.  They have never helped me can before, but I am not sure I am going to can without them after today.  They chopped and mashed all the strawberries for me and kept me laughing through the process.  As they worked they sang about their task and told each other stories about how they were making the best jam in the world and they were going to get put on the news for it.  

We ended the day at Melton's with two big plates of the best nachos in the world.  And while I type this, Atticus is at the store, topping off my perfect mother's day, by doing the grocery shopping for the week.  We still stayed busy today, but my mother's day was so satisfying and so wonderful.  Thank you, Atticus, Finnan, Jude and Rory.

Jude, the photographer
Jude's photo

Rory insisted on posing by the tree...

And on using his binoculars backwards.

Best Brothers, Best Friends

This kid breaks out in song or dance anywhere. . .


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Strawberry picking

Jude, Rory and I made our annual trip to Southern Belle Farm for strawberry picking today.  We missed Finnan, but were happy that Shelly and Jack joined us this year.  The weather were perfect and the strawberries were incredible and plentiful.

They both found "big ones" right away.

Before we left Jude reminded me that last year he and Finnan did not have to stay with me and were allowed to pick anywhere in the field.  He wanted to be sure that was the case again.

This little dude loves his "gassies."

Once again, Rory was better at eating the strawberries than picking.

Relaxing with his bucket.

Hooray!  Three baskets of strawberries!

Jack was also a better eater!

A strange addition to the farm.  

Hyped up after a big cup of strawberry ice cream.
Finnan's class is going to Southern Belle Farm next week.  I hope I am lucky enough to chaperone that trip!