Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ellie's First Day of School & Lynnie's Kindergarten Assessment

The long awaited first day of school has arrived!  Ellie was feeling a range of emotions from palpable nervousness to overwhelming excitement.  She picked out her first day outfit and we headed out to take pictures.





It was also Lynlee's Kindergarten assessment, and she wanted to wear a uniform as well.  So, of course, we had to take pictures with her, too.



Cece was on board as well.

Greg goes to a conference in Chicago four times a year, and because RA started early, he missed the first day of school.  We Facetimed him for about an hour, so he was with us for everything from breakfast to the photo shoot to driving over, and even walking in.  Technology is magic.




Lined up, and still talking with Daddy.


Mrs Dominguez came out to get the children.  I love seeing all of the children lined up with their bags of school supply donations.

And, she's off!


 Then we headed over to wait for Lynlee's kindergarten assessment.  I signed up for the 2nd appointment of the day, mostly because our friend Katie had also signed up for that time.  I don't know if the teachers got started late or if everything was taking longer than expected, but our 8:25 appointment didn't get started until 8:50.  That is a long time to wait when you are nervous.  Good thing we had Cece to keep us entertained!






We were lucky enough to get Mrs Holmgren (the kindergarten team was working together so it was random which teacher you saw).  I was impressed with how well Lynnie did, and was able to see how prepared she was from UPSTART.  She knew everything she was assessed on, from the letters to their sounds to addition to science facts.  She even read 80% of the sight words.  The only thing she got wrong was the "q" because the font it was in did not have a tail.  She said it was puh-puh-P.  And she didn't know the word rhombus for a diamond (or something like that -- I didn't know it either).

It was a successful day, but it was long being home without Ellie.  Good thing we have a new backyard to play in.

Monday, August 15, 2016

August 5 - 15

Nothing like a fun ride with Aunt Tammy in the side-by-side to make it the best night ever.

. : funny faces : .



where did Lu find that binkie?

Babies are so precious.  And delicious.

Swinging is Cece's favorite thing to do now.  A big change from a few months ago, when she would scream if she even looked at a swing.

Paul, Staci, Dallin, Parker, and Kyralyn came over for cake and ice cream to celebrate Ellie's birthday one more time.  You can never have too much chocolate texas sheet cake.

Our charter school creates its own calendar.  Last year it followed the Alpine School District calendar, but this year, ASD only has 6 days off for Christmas Break.  So RA decided to start a week early and take 11 days off at Christmas.  And, thus, it was time for our back-to-school haircuts.

Originally, both girls wanted just a trim.  Then Ellie said she wanted to cut her hair to her chin,  And as we were driving over, Lynnie said she wanted to cut hers to her chin as well.







Take a picture of us jumping!




Thursday, August 4, 2016

Eliana is 7

This sweet, obedient, helpful girl is 7!  Her day started bright and early was jam-packed all day long.

Ellie requested her favorite food for breakfast (she eats it every day).  The recipe she loves best is 1/3 cup quick oats, 1 heaping teaspoon ground flax seed, 1 heaping teaspoon chia seeds, dash of salt, dash of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon white sugar, and 1 teaspoon brown sugar.  Cook with milk.

After breakfast it was time to open presents!  You can see Ellie's excitement for the new Lego Friends sets.

But her biggest excitement was for her Baby Go Bye Bye Baby Alive doll.  She loves to watch videos on YouTube Kids of other people playing with their Baby Alive dolls, and she loved the Baby Go Bye Byes.  But, alas, they are not currently manufactured (not sure how old those videos are).  Thanks to the magic of amazon, I found a seller with 3 of the dolls left and got her one.  She was really surprised, because I had told her that we couldn't buy one. 

Even though it was her birthday, we still had our regular activities, so we raced off to violin lessons.  We participated in group, and then elected to skip the private lessons so we had time to open presents from grandma (a carefully requested Get Better Bailey Baby Alive doll) and head off to...

...swimming lessons.  We were hurrying down the steep hill that is the way from the parking to the pool, and Cece fell and scraped her knee.  Poor girl was tired and could not get over it.  I rocked and soothed all the way through the big girls classes, and then we skipped Cece's class and went home.  I was planning on only being at her class for 10-15 minutes so we had time to get ready for Ellie's party, anyway, and it was just easier to be able to skip out early.

We got home, got Cece down for a nap, and then got all ready for Ellie's birthday party!  She elected to invite three friends so that we could all fit in the van together and head to the aquarium.  We put in the never before used extension seat in the middle row, and had six sweet girls in the back for the drive.

Some presents and cupcakes were on order before we left.


It was so much fun trailing Ellie and her friends through the aquarium.  We hit all of the highlights and then went and played on the indoor playground.


The penguins were amazing, looking at us through the glass.





The otters are also a highlight every time.



Pretend like you're falling off!



Greg loves to watch Shark Week on the Discovery Channel every year.  We learned that we cannot watch it with the girls, after Ellie freaked out one year because we saw a tiger shark eating a turtle.  Lynnie will pull out this fact on, shall we say, special occasions, when she is trying to tease Ellie.  Ellie gets really upset thinking about it, and has a hard time at the shark tank at the aquarium every time we go.  Can you imagine her, shall we say, delight at discovering this plaque at the aquarium?  Ellie is just nice enough not to point out to Lynnie that tiger sharks also eat dolphins...



Cece is really independent and increasingly good at stairs, and she climbed the whole flight by herself.

Where's Ellie?



Our final stop was the gift shop, where the girls all picked out bags of rocks as their "goody bag" treat.  What a fun party!


We drove the friends home and then headed to Cafe Rio for dinner.  On our way, Cece kept on signing {R} WHERE GO PLAY.  She just wanted to see her birth mom!

Then we raced home to pick up Olivia to babysit the girls, and Greg and I headed to McKinzie's wedding reception.  I snapped this oh-so-wonderful picture of the happy couple (sorry about your eyes closed, Miguel).  What an amazing day!


All about Ellie, age 7

What is your full name?  Eliana Caitlin
What are your nicknames?  Ellie, Ella, Elle
What are your favorite colors?  pink, purple, red, blue, orange, green
What are your favorite foods?  oatmeal, pork tacos, cheese pizza
What are your favorite treats?  homemade cookies, chocolate cupcakes
What is your favorite thing on the iPad?  watching Baby Alive and American Girl doll videos on YouTube Kids
What is your favorite movie?  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
What is your favorite song?  Fight Song by Rachel Platten
What are your favorite books?  all of the Chrysanthemum books
What do you want to be when you grow up?  A swim teacher or a life guard
What are your favorite animals?  turtles and lambies
What is your favorite drink?  water
What is your favorite "treat" drink?  sprite
What are your favorite toys?  all of her Baby Alive dolls


A couple of days after her birthday, we went out in the newly completed backyard to do her birthday photo shoot.  This girl is an amazing big sister, looks out for her siblings and friends.  She is obedient and kind and a good helper.  We are blessed to be her family.
















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