Today marks the end of the school year in the Bailey house. Liam and Caitie actually finished last Friday but since Lisbeth still had school this week we still have been slightly in school mode.
Kindergarten went well and Liam seemed to really enjoy it. Not nearly as talkative as his sisters he didn't share many details day to day but overall he enjoyed the work, the specials, his classmates and the whole school experience.
My take: Over the year I saw him meet each new challenge with ease and needing very little additional instruction. The pace of the work seemed to keep him interested but was never a source of stress. Am curious to read more with him this summer and hopefully get him set for an equally good year in first grade.
Caitlin had a good year in preschool and I think gained a lot of useful social skills as far as listening and sitting attentively. She made several friends and in the end I'm equally glad we decided to have her attend preschool where her brother and sister did; and that she is attending a more academically challenging program for Pre-K.
We were warned that there is a jump in the workload come 3rd grade and while occasionally cranky about it Elisabeth met the challenge and excelled. She enjoyed more time to explore science and social studies; tackled learning her multiplication tables and basic fractions, and learned so much about different types of literature and author's purpose. While writing continues to give her some troubles, reading no longer does and has become a source of enjoyment.
We marked the end of the year with a trip to Build-a-Bear where Caitlin made a Lalaloopsy doll, Liam ~ Sonic the hedgehog (not liking any of the Pokemon offered) and Elisabeth made a horse. I'm sure that this end of year tradition will evolve over time but given Lisbeth's love for stuffed animals she may not be the first one to insisted that they have aged out of this particular treat!!
Have a good weekend and Happy Father's Day to all those celebrating!!
The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell is a fun look at a learning about a new country and culture. British writer Russell learning that Denmark is one of the happiest places to live decides during their year of living in Denmark while her husband is working at Lego she would investigate what makes Danes so happy. Overall I found the book a little statistics heavy and wish rather she had shared more about day to day life in Denmark, but appreciated that she did not take herself too serious as the enviable outsider mishaps happened. Learned a little ~ laughed a little: win ~ win!
Frederica by Georgette Heyer; I've been reading and enjoying this author's books for several years now but somehow had missed this one and after several recommendations decided to rectify the oversight. While I didn't find the story of Lord Alverstoke and his distant cousin Frederica to be her best in the romance department, the plot is wonderful and the dialogue superb. A great balance of hilarious mishaps with believable character growth and enough plot twists to keep it interesting.
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff is my latest 'how did I not know this was a book'!! The book is a collection of the correspondence written by the author and the staff at an antiquated book store in London and one of their buyers in particular. A wonderful fun read spanning twenty years starting in the late forties touching on current events throughout. I am so glad I found and read this book but given that I was hearing Bancroft's and Hopkin's wonderful delivery the whole time I truly wonder what the experience would be for someone who has never seen the movie.
School is winding up in the next couple of weeks ~ and the weather is finally shifting into my favorite reading outside time. Thanks to MMD and others I'm having fun planning my reading list for summer.
I have gotten a slow start to this year's MMD reading challenge having only finished four categories so far but my current read (Talking as Fast as I can) fulfills a category and already have the next couple categories planned.
Am really enjoying Lauren Graham's memoir and am planning on reading her fiction book soon. Planning on also reading Northanger Abbey (one of two Austen's I've never read), Howard End on the Landing, as well as rereading some favorites.
Lisbeth is closing in on completing her 40 book challenge for this school year; and we are looking ahead towards summer reading. Two books are required but two others are to be picked from a list and I'm curious to see what will catch her interest.
Liam also has a summer reading assignment. He has done really well this year with sight words and early readers. Am wondering if it will be sometime this summer that he has that breakthrough moment when you start to view yourself as able to read!!
And for those times we are not reading; HGTV's Good Bones is such fun even if their design style is very different from mine.
Have a great weekend!! This weekend brings to end the gymnastics year and has us shifting towards swimming.
I knew May was going to be a whirlwind but didn't quite expect how business coupled with near constant rain would really wipe me out. Hoping for better things (and weather) in June.
A definite upside of the business was celebrating birthdays ~ Dr Daddy and mine. The kids outdid themselves even putting together a gift parade and working with G-ma to make me a yummy strawberry shortcake.
Luckily and blessedly I don't feel much older year to year but after attending the college graduation of a young cousin born the year I graduated from college I'm very aware of the passage of time. The trip was wonderful if rainy! The kids did great with all of the car time, loved the pool and allowed the grown-ups a good amount of catch-up time. And I can now add OHIO to the list of states I've been to!!
Favor and a link: The CDC's website still lists outdated information based on one flawed study of the effectiveness of NFP and Fertility Awareness Methods. This petition is asking that CDC update their information so that medical professionals and others using the website can find accurate information.
Fix Her Up; the book of my sister's whose cover I helped reveal here is live!
Plans for the holiday weekend are local as Dr Daddy is working but planning for some fun with the kids and a lot of yard work if the weather holds.
Finally my thanks to all those who served and payed the ultimate sacrifice and those who miss them!
Trusting God with St. Therese by Connie Rossini proved to be a very enjoyable Lenten read. Rossini balanced the biography, with the devotional and self-help aspects very well. I am enjoyed Rossini's approach as she highlights how St Therese's "Little Way" is grounded in complete trust in God's love and how we can better strive for that kind of trust in our lives. The reflections and exercises at the end of the chapters were insightful and helpful.
Belonging and Becoming by Mark and Lisa Scandrette was a bit of a risk for me as I tend to dislike most parenting books but this one lived up to its stated intent and its fans. The book doesn't focus so much on behavior modification but rather how parents can create a culture within the home that reinforces the virtues they value and desire their kids live by. While not Catholic it is centered in the gospel and the idea that God is present and acting with us to bring about a thriving family culture. While they share about their failures and successes as parents the book is full of practical exercises to allow each couple (and family if kids are old enough to participate) to determine what their family culture should look and feel like. A useful book now as my kids move beyond the basic keep them feed and clothed; and in the future as they ideally join in the discussion how we as a family want to exist in the world.
Any Joni Mitchell fans reading? Me too, especially Circle Game and the song speaks perfectly of the week or even month I'm having. All good things (mostly) but knowing that times goes in one direction I'm wishing I could "drag my feet to slow the circles down".
Last weekend we did indeed put together Lisbeth's loft bed (give or take a ladder) ~ and she loves it and has great plans for how she is going to stencil and embellish it. I thought my husband was crazy for wanting to build it himself and it was more work than either of us had anticipated but such is life and I do cherish those times when we tackle a project together and I imagine Lisbeth cherishes having a bed designed and built by her dad. (Holy run-on sentence!)
This week she also got her new glasses and suddenly looks much more grown-up and trendy.
Earlier this week I dropped off the first tuition payment for Caitlin's Pre-K next year. Now this is a program we sought out and I am so excited that she got a spot; I am also wondering what it is going to be like to have her in school five days a week come September. She is quite good at independent play but she is also a chatterbox and so will often find wherever I'm working and fill me in on whatever game she and usually her dolls are playing.
Earlier this month a beloved aunt of mine passed away and with losing my godfather a few months ago has me of course thinking about the giant wheel turning and those touchstone people of that generation in my life departing the stage.
After several days of rain the sun is again shining and so I have great plans for planting and weeding this weekend as well as great hope that the Lily of the Valley in my yard will bloom for the first of May.