Thursday, December 30, 2010

Zoe's Night Out

Zoe received a free ticket to a Portland Pirates Hockey Game from her school for having perfect attendance during the first trimester. Matt and I gave her the option to go to the game or to have a night out involving activities of her choosing. She chose her own activities and I was privileged to go with her Tuesday night. :-)

She started out at Aeropostale to spend some of the gift card money she received for Christmas. She was so excited that both sets of grandparents gave her a gift card to Aeropostale! I felt so old and out of touch as we wandered through the store. I had no desire to shop and I would have been content to sit on a bench and wait for Zoe, but she wanted me to follow her around. So I did.

We went to see "Tangled", which was a cute movie. Then we ate dinner at Bugaboo Creek.

We talked about how nice it would be to have the power to wave a magic wand and have the house cleaned up. That would be heavenly. It would also be fun to be able to think about where we want to be and then be there instantly. I would really like that.

It was a fun evening and I'm glad we were able to go out and celebrate Zoe's perfect attendance thus far. :-)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Morning

Some woke up grumpy...
Others woke up smiling and anxious to open presents!

Eleanor woke up sick. She threw up twice before we opened gifts.

Our new tv and wii made this THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Dream Has Come True

A white Christmas!

It may be too early to guarantee a white Christmas since it has rained after our last two snowstorms, but there is no rain predicted for the next few days, so I am counting on a white Christmas.

Kate's Night Out

A dinner at McDonald's with Mom, Grammie, & Great Grammie.

A seat at the Girls' JV & Varsity games. Go Lady Bucks! It made us all happy to see both teams win. :-)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Report Cards

Emily, Eleanor, & Zach brought home their report cards today. All of the kids are doing great in school. 4th grade is when the kids start bringing home letter grades and Emily got all A's. :-) Here are the comments from Emily's report card.

Language Arts ~ "Emily's strong skills are reflected in all her written work. She is able to convey her ideas with clarity, description, and detail, while doing so with her own unique voice. Her writing captures a reader's attention and keeps it throughout!"

Reading ~ "Emily has shown herself to be an avid reader! Her comments (both oral and written) reflect an increasing depth of understanding of what she reads. We'll keep working on word-solving strategies as she tends to often "guess" and not notice her errors."

Spelling ~ "Emily writes with a high degree of accuracy in her spelling. Her occasional errors are sometimes careless omissions, or indicate a particular spelling pattern that she didn't know. We'll continue to work to increase her awareness of those patterns."

Math ~ "Emily has worked consistently and accurately in all math areas covered - add./sub. computation, place value, measurement, and data analysis. She's demonstrated good understanding of all math concepts and has nearly mastered her add. fact timings!"

"Emily demonstrates good work habits, focused attention, and interest in learning - consistently across all areas of her school day. These all contribute to her growth and success as a learner."

Yay for Emily! We are proud of you!

Here are some comments from Eleanor's report card.

"Eleanor is such a delight to have in class. She is an excellent student who works hard and is making excellent progress in all areas, and especially in handwriting. She is a joy to work with and is kind to others."

"Eleanor has shown excellent progress in reading this trimester. She is using her strategies and becoming a fluent reader who reads with good expression. Her papers and projects show very good comprehension skills!"

"Eleanor's stories are well organized with good word choice and great use of details. She is also making good progress on her handwriting and I have been working on her speed and pencil grip."

"Eleanor continues to make very good progress in math and loves to be challenged! She is especially good at solving problems and loves to create her own!"

We are proud of you, too Eleanor! Keep up the great work!

Zachary has adjusted well to Kindergarten. Here is a comment from his teacher.

"Zach is an enthusiastic learner who readily accepts academic challenges. He has positive student behaviors and work habits. He's an active participant in class discussions. Zach gets along well with his peers and is a responsible and respectful student."

We are proud of you, Zach! We hope you continue to love Kindergarten and continue to bring home wonderful artwork for us to enjoy in our home. :-)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Around the World

In 4th grade, the kids celebrate Christmas in their classes by studying Christmas traditions in different countries and then they share with the class what they have learned. Emily chose to learn about Mexico's Christmas traditions. She made a shoebox diorama this afternoon for her presentation tomorrow.

My Mom let Emily borrow one of her nativity sets, which made the making of the diorama go quickly and it looks awesome!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Recent Photos

Kate and Noah as sheep in the nativity play. So cute!

Matt at Man Camp. The temperature dropped down to 7 degrees that night, which made Matt happy because 20+ degrees wouldn't have been challenging enough!

Here is Eleanor at the Senior Citizens' Center with her school mates.

I love this snowman display at Miles Lane!

We had our Christmas program today during Sacrament Meeting and it was as fabulous as ever! We are so blessed to have Liza's musical talent. She brought her harp to Primary today and we all sang songs as she played. Zoe was so impressed that she played all of the songs that we sang in Primary with no sheet music. Liza IS amazing!

We celebrated my Dad's birthday today. He officially turns 61 on Tuesday.

Noah pouting after we all freaked out when he went to put the hot end of the candle in his mouth.
Eleanor has a very loose front tooth...that she won't let anyone touch!

Kate had her last day in Nursery today. She spent some time in Sharing Time after she got hit by a boy in the nursery and left crying. It wasn't the best way to leave Nursery, but I think it worked out well because she was able to get a taste of what she will experience the first Sunday in January when she is a Sunbeam!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Movies & Shopping

Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor were treated to a movie today with their friends. Zoe, Emily, and Daisy went to see the latest Harry Potter movie and Eleanor and Anna saw Tangled. They also went to see Santa and went shopping at the mall. Fun!

Matt was home most of the day with Noah and Kate while I went Christmas shopping with my Mom and Grandmother. It was a long shopping day, but it was very productive.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Man Camp & "Kids' Camp"

I went to volunteer in Eleanor's classroom today for the first time this school year. I volunteered quite a bit when Zoe had this same teacher, but it has been harder this year to get to the school. It has been harder the past several years and I have gotten out of the habit of volunteering, so I'm trying to get back into the habit. Eleanor's class started their gingerbread houses today and then they went over to the Senior Citizen's Center to sing and hand out cards that they made. The Senior Citizen's Center is connected to my grandmother's apartment building, so my grandmother was able to come down and listen to the children sing. That was special.

We are a bit scattered this evening. Matt is camping out at Camp Bravo with Peter, Justin, and Jason. After sleeping out last year in single digit numbers, this year's 20+ degrees is going to be they say. I'll stick with my 70 degree home. Zoe and Emily are staying over with Daisy, and Daisy's sister, Anna is staying here with Eleanor. We watched "Elf", ate popcorn, and now the kids are playing. Zach is the only one asleep. I plan on being asleep soon, too. Eleanor and Anna do not have that same plan.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Report Card

Zoe brought her report card home yesterday and she got all A's this first trimester.

Language Arts...96
Social Studies...97
Physical Education...97

We are proud of you, Zoe!

Zoe has a goal this year to have perfect attendance at school and so far she has met her goal. She had perfect attendance in 1st grade and she'd really like to accomplish that again this year. So, hopefully she'll stay healthy and continue to do such a great job in school!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


There was point tonight where I didn't know where Emily was and Matt didn't know where Zoe was. This is the plan that I thought was going to happen. I would bring Zoe to basketball practice at 4:15 and then head to church for Cub Scouts at 5:30pm. My Mom would pick Emily up at home and then pick Zoe up from practice and then bring them to church for Activity Days at 6:30pm. Matt knew I was leaving at 4:15 to bring Zoe to practice, but he wasn't sure who was picking Zoe up. I left around 4:10 to bring Zoe to practice since I realized that her practice was in Orland, which would take a few extra minutes, so we left earlier than planned. Emily was in charge for the few minutes before Matt got home. Matt saw me leaving early and wondered why I was leaving early and still didn't know who was picking up Zoe. He tried to call me, but my phone battery was dead (I left my diaper bag at Church on Sunday, which had my phone and camera in it, so I just got that back this evening. We sadly have no pictures of the kids decorating the Christmas tree this year because I didn't have my camera at home. :-( Matt tried calling the church and my parents, but he couldn't get a hold of any of us. He went to the school to pick up Zoe, but she wasn't there. So, he was at home wondering where Zoe was. I was at church wondering where Emily was because she didn't come into the room with Zoe when we started Activity Days. I thought I saw Emily in my parents' car when they drove into the parking lot and I thought Zoe had told me that Emily was in the car with her, so I was totally baffled as to where she was. I checked the bathrooms and other rooms in the church. No Emily, which was weird. I called Matt and with relief found out that Emily was with him and he was happy to hear that Zoe was with me. I realized after talking with Matt that Zoe must have thought that Emily rode to church with me, so when Emily didn't come into the room at the start of the activity and then didn't show up 10 minutes later, it really freaked her out. I had figured that Emily was in the bathroom when we started the activity, but as time went on, I started to worry. Matt and I are so grateful to have all of our children home, accounted for, and now asleep! :-)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's looking more like Christmas

We have our Christmas tree! Matt walked around our land this afternoon until he found the perfect tree to chop down. He had to cut a little off the top to make it fit, but that was minor. Matt and I put the lights on the tree and then the kids enjoyed putting on the ornaments. Now our tree is lit and full of homemade ornaments with sweet memories. We love it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Happenings

Some of you may be wondering if I survived my snow day with 10 kids since I haven't written since that day. It was a CRAZY day, but I did survive. :-) The kids went out to play 3 different times that day, they watched movies, they played, and they ate, and ate, and ate. It was so quiet the next day when the kids were back in school and I just had Kate and Noah at home!

I went to my first Cub Scout meeting last Wednesday and I learned how to tie a square knot. :-) I am so unqualified to be a Cut Scout leader! I will be learning right along with the boys.

Zoe had 2 basketball games last week and her team won both games. Yay! We missed her away game in Blue Hill on Friday night because Matt and I went out to dinner at Bugaboo Creek (our new favorite datenight spot) to celebrate our 14th anniversary. Zoe scored 2 baskets at that game. Emily and I went to the game on Thursday night. We were all going to go, but Noah was sick that day with a fever and he threw up once, so Matt stayed home with Noah and the rest of the kids.

Kate had a fever on Friday and slept most of the day. The older kids were worried that they were going to get sick too, but they never did.

Eleanor went on a field trip on Thursday with her class to the Farnsworth museum. The kids viewed paintings, played a scavenger hunt game, and they each made a collage mitten ornament. Sounds like a fun time!

My Mom came over Saturday morning to watch the kids while Matt and I helped my grandmother move into her new apartment. She lived in Bradley, which is about 45 minutes from us, so it will be so nice to have her 10 minutes away. She lives right near the schools, so I plan on visiting her often before I go pick up the kids from school, just like I did today. Matt and I helped her unpack a bit on Saturday and I unpacked some more this afternoon. She is liking her apartment already and she has super nice neighbors who have given her a warm welcome. :-)

Emily started a new basketball program on Saturday. This program is run by the rec department and will be every Saturday for an hour until February. Emily will get Christmas off...she was concerned that she would have to go to practice on Christmas.

We had our Branch Christmas party Saturday night. We had a really nice potluck dinner with lots of yummy side dishes and desserts to go along with the ham that was provided by the branch. After we ate, the kids acted out the nativity play. They were so cute and they did a great job! Zoe and Emily were angels, Eleanor was supposed to be an angel, but we forgot her white dress, so she ended up being a sheep along with Kate, and Zach was a shepherd. Noah was a sheep as well, but he clung to me and wouldn't go with the rest of the sheep. Our Primary President, Sunshine sewed CTR on pillow cases and Mere, who is a counselor in the Relief Society made CTR bookmarks to give to the children after the play. All of my kids LOVE their pillow cases! Now Kate and Noah want "real" pillows to put in their pillow cases.

Zoe and I gave talks in Church on Sunday. I was able to work on my talk here and there throughout the weekend and I helped Zoe with her talk on Saturday. This was Zoe's first Sacrament Meeting talk and she did a fabulous job! She tends to talk really fast when she is nervous, but she talked slow and clear and she didn't even sound nervous. We were able to sit up on the stand together during the meeting, which was nice.

So, I am alive and well and busy as usual. :-) This Christmas season is going by too quickly! I feel like it is going to be over before I have a chance to do everything that I want to do! I have Christmas music to listen to, Christmas movies to watch, gifts to buy, gifts to wrap, gifts to send, people to visit, activities to go to, goodies to make, and a Christmas tree to get and to decorate.

I have neglected to mention that all of the beautiful snow that we got last Monday is GONE. The rain has washed it away. I must have a white Christmas. I have ordered snow, but it must come on the weekend or on Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 06, 2010


Zoe had her second basketball game Friday afternoon. Zoe and her team looked much better during this game, but they still lost. Zoe's awesome play was when she had the ball and drove to the basket, got fouled, and made the shot. It was sweet! She missed her foul shots, but it was fun to see her have that experience.

We have a working oven now! We looked into getting our oven fixed, but it would have cost as much as a new stove, so we took our friends up on their offer to give us a free stove that worked and was just sitting in their garage. Matt went to get it on Saturday and I am anxious to use it! We have had 3 stoves in this home and all of them have been given to us. We have such generous and wonderful friends!

My Mom and I took the kids to see the parade of lights Saturday night. It was warmer than past years, but it was also rainy. Noah was more interested in the candy cane that he received than the parade. Although, the miniature motorcycles caught his attention. My Mom treated the kids to McDonald's after the parade. We went to the McDonald's in Bucksport thinking that we would avoid the crowd, but a bus load of swim team kids were there, so we ended up getting our food and coming home to eat.

Matt and I volunteered in the children's area of the Creche Exhibit yesterday for 3 hours. Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor helped us. We left church after Sacrament Meeting, so my parents took care of Zach, Kate, and Noah after church. My parents volunteered after we did in a different part of the exhibit, so they brought the younger kids to the Creche with them. We stayed for awhile to look around and to listen to the children's choir. Zoe, Emily, and Eleanor were in the live nativity play twice and Kate was in it once. That wasn't planned, but they were looking for kids to be in the play and our kids were there, so they did it. Kate was such a cute sheep! The older girls were angels both times. Zach was bummed that they ran out of costumes before he got one, so he couldn't be in the play. He enjoyed watching it, though.

Today is a snow day! I have my kids plus 4 neighbor kids, so it will be a busy day! Most of the kids are outside right now playing. It is good snowman snow and sledding snow. :-)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

New Experiences

My grandmother is moving to our town and I am so excited! She is moving here on December 11th. She came to town yesterday to look at her new apartment, so I was able to see it, too. She'll be living near the schools, so I think of her every time I drop off the kids and pick them up now. It will be so nice to have her so close!

Zoe had her first basketball game ever tonight in Ellsworth. She started the game and played throughout the entire game. Patti, a friend from church, came to watch the game with us. She was sweet and bought the kids popcorn. Zoe's team went the entire 1st quarter without scoring, so that was painful and they lost 46 to 16, but it was still fun to watch. Go Zoe!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

How many days until Christmas?

There are 6 different countdowns going on here. The kids are so excited it is December 1st! We picked names last night to see which child would start where on the countdown rotation.

Zach put our Christmas girl in the #1 bag for December 1st this morning. This is my favorite countdown. I love watching the little girl move closer and closer to Christmas Eve. It's a great visual for the kids to see where we are at in the month and to see that Christmas is in fact getting closer and closer!

Kate was the lucky girl this morning to get the first piece of chocolate. :-)

Zoe helped me make a paper chain last night and she was the first to take a link off this morning.

Noah was the first to put a decoration on our "drawing tree". I printed the tree off here.

Tonight, Eleanor will be the first to put an ornament on our "Scripture tree". There is a scripture verse on each ornament that answers a question about the birth of Jesus. You can find this countdown here. Go to page 26.

Emily will pick and unwrap the first Christmas book to be read tonight. The kids LOVE this countdown activity!

Do you have a special Christmas countdown activity? I'm always looking for new ideas. :-)