Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 2014 videos

Dance recital

This weekend was Emily's year-end dance recital for Dance Wave studio.  There was class practice on Wednesday, dress rehearsal on Thursday and performances on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.  It all went smoothly, but I don't think I'm cut out to be a "dance mom."  Thankfully, Emily only had one dance, and it was at the beginning of the program.  We ordered the professional DVD of the performance, but I took a video at dress rehearsal of her dance and the finale.  It was actually very impressive considering it was Emily's first dance experience!

 The theme of the recital was "Kaleidoscope" and Emily's ballet class (grades 1-3) performed to "Colors of the Wind" from the movie Pocahontas

There were many other great performances!

One of the fun parts of a dance recital is getting flowers.  Andjelka enjoyed coming along!

Dance was fun, and it definitely did great things for her confidence, posture and general gracefulness, but Emily didn't love it enough to do it again.  She's going to try something new next year. :)

Friday, May 30, 2014

7 years + 7 months

This month Emily celebrated FINALLY losing her 3rd tooth.  She has a consistent track record of having a loose tooth for months before it finally comes out.  This one was hanging on by a string for days.  I finally told her the tooth fairy would pay double if she would pull it out herself that night.  She got a little over-eager and the tooth popped out and rolled right down the bathroom sink drain.  Luckily, she wasn't too upset.  Yes, the tooth fairy kept her promise.  This one actually left a hole on the bottom because the new tooth wasn't almost completely in like the others.  

Emily has really enjoyed two book series this month, both of which are oldies but goodies.  We found out we can get more Hank the Cow Dog books via inter-library loan from Cedar Falls.  Emily has also read a LOT of Boxcar Children books.  Who knew there are now 150 mystery chapter books, plus other spin-offs and formats?!?

There has been significant growth in Emily's desire and ability to write summaries of the books she reads.  At the beginning of the year she fought hard against the idea of writing down a one sentence summary of her daily baggie book from school just as proof that she actually read it.  By the end of the year she was writing more than a page worth of sentences in her daily school journal summarizing the latest book she had read even though it wasn't required.

Another thing Emily has been working hard on is snapping her fingers.  She couldn't quite get the concept of which fingers to move in what way to produce a noise.  Most of the time it just ended up being some sort of flicking movement.  This month she finally got the basic idea.  It's not loud, but she got it!

Here are some of Emily's art and writing projects from the beginning of first grade and Mother's Day:

Summer bucket lists

Summer officially began when school dismissed at 12:45pm.  The first order of business was to make our annual summer bucket list.  We decided to each make a separate list this year.  Lincoln's was dictated to me.  Note: "Thriller" is the name the kids gave the swings on the play set when they swing high enough to kick the bushes.  Hence, "trim bushes" on my list.  It looks like we'll be busy!

Last day of school

Today was Emily's last day of first grade.  It has been a fantastic year!  We loved her teacher, Mrs. Betts.  However, Emily is already looking forward to second grade. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mission Monarch

While Emily had dress rehersal for her dance recital, Lincoln & I checked out the "Mission: Monarch" fair being held in the lobby of the high school.  In addition to getting some potted swamp milkweed plants for our garden, Lincoln got his face painted for the first time. :)

Mexican Fiesta

Today I volunteered to help in Emily's classroom for the art section of their Mexican Fiesta.  After spending 1.5 hours with 23 kids and plates of paint, I fully understand why Mrs. Betts wanted as much parent help as possible!  The kids painted wooden maracas, created a type of traditional Mexican nature painting and made sombreros out of paper grocery bags.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day weekend

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Hull with my family.  One of the highlights was visiting the home farm with all the cousins.  Everyone loves riding in the tractor with Grandpa to help feed the cows.

We tried to take some group pictures in the hay with mild success.  The kids were more interested in jumping and climbing.

 Another popular activity was digging the the big sand pile at Grandpa & Grandma's house.

Lincoln got to help Grandma feed the orioles grape jelly and orange slices.

Before heading home on Memorial Day, we stopped to see my Grandpa Vander Kooi--a WWII POW vet.  Memorial Day has always had a special meaning because of him, and I will always associate the day with memories of him in his American Legion uniform helping park cars at the cemetery for the community memorial service.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Last day of preschool

Today was Lincoln's last day of preschool at Little Lambs.  It was a little bittersweet.  I took Lincoln & Owen out for lunch at the Pizza Ranch to celebrate.  Then we joined most of the rest of the class to play together at Kids' Kingdom.  We are going to miss Little Lambs!

Here are some year-end art projects from preschool:

RAGBRAI poster

There was a RAGBRAI poster design contest for kids with local and state winners.  Emily whipped this up after school on the last day it was due.  She's convinced that she's going to win. :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Field Day

Lincoln & I volunteered to help with Field Day at Emily's school.  Lincoln ended up playing on the playground with some preschool classmates the whole time while I chased soccer balls.  It was a serious workout!  Emily's class won the 1st grade tug-of-war (she's wearing a pink & gray hoodie 7th from the front) and her group won the ping pong pop game.