The Extra-Curriculars

The kids and I laid low this summer with our extracurricular activities.  Swimming lessons and that was it!  Gotta say it was nice!  of course, that maybe made our transition back by adding them back in a little crazier!

Not to mention, we seemed to have transitioned preschool tuition directly into funding our new activities!

so yes, we continued swim lessons through the end of October, but also added in Sunday School, gymnastics and piano lessons for both kids.  Plus now Charlie is officially a hockey player (!) and Maria starts basketball next week.  Maria also started chess club… whew.

It’s all good. The hardest part is setting priorities and not going overboard. It’s really important to me to keep this fun for them. So for now, piano – I’m not strict about practicing… I kind of anticipate it will wear off for Charlie. Maria practices on her own for now.  It’s still new. I hated practicing as a kid – my teacher didn’t want to teach me anymore when i didn’t practice.  Essentially, I was fired from piano lessons.  I, of course, regret that now.  I took piano again in college, but it would have been a lot easier to learn when I was younger!

Hockey & Basketball are where their passions lie.  At least for now.  Charlie could not be distracted or deferred from wanting to play hockey. Believe me we tried to distract him with other ideas! Neither Chad or I have had much experience with hockey.  Fortunately his cousin’s have, so we have uncles and aunts that are helpful! Charlie has had 2 practices and loved them both! He’s pretty cute in all his gear.

Maria starts basketball next week.  It was supposed to be tonight, but there was some drama with another parent and the team her daughter ended up on.. So we graciously switched (along with another friend, so they remain teammates).  Still not sure if it was the right decision.  I would never have asked to switch based on not knowing the other girls, but I don’t know the situation.  It might be the girl, it might be the mom – whatever I just didn’t need to match the drama and put the poor volunteer coaches in a even stickier situation.   Still looking forward to the season, because this is Maria’s sport.  She loves it!

For now, here’s a picture of our hockey star… Basketball to follow once we get up and going…

Maria is 8!


I’m a month behind.  I realize this, but I wanted to share how awesome my EIGHT-year old is!

Maria’s personality has completely blossomed in this past year.  I think a lot of it is her age and growing up, but I think some of it is also her new school and new friends.   While she can be sassy and roll her eyes, she is still mostly fun.  There are plenty of days where she is “bored” and is drawn to any type of screen – Kindle, computer, TV, my phone or iPad.  But then there are days where she locks herself in her room to sing and dance and days that she can’t put down the book she is reading.  And while there are days when she just wants to be with her BFF Molly who lives up the street, she also is often perfectly content playing camp or school with Charlie in his room (his room because it’s cleaner).  Yesterday she read him 4 of his library books and helped him complete his summer reading “homework” from the library.  She did hers the first day she brought it home.    This girl likes to be on the go.  If we don’t see any friends over the weekend, you may want to watch out by Sunday afternoon.  I can’t imagine keeping her home in the summer.  The Y-care program is completely up her alley… swimming, field trips, playing with her friends.

Favorite things right now:

  • Socializing!
  • Swimming, biking, scooters
  • Music – Kidz Bop and Taylor Swift – and anything on KS95
  • Books – she just finished the Betsy Tacy Tib Treasury
  • Toys – Barbies & Ever After High

Birthday Number 8 – How we celebrated:

Beanie Boo Party with Friends

  • Each adopted a Beanie Boo to take home, complete with adoption certificate
  • Beanie Boo Bingo
  • Everyone wore PJs (but still went home at 8:30pm)
  • Cake & Ice Cream
  • Lots of giggles & screams.


Ever After High Party with Family

  • Taco Bar – complete with Velveeta-y nacho cheese (birthday girl’s request)
  • Ever After High Cupcakes
  • Simple, but good time with family and cousins.


More Pictures Here

Back to School

We’ve been “Back to school” for a week now.  And it was a good week!

Maria loves her new school.  We are so glad we sent her to the school age program this summer, because she knew so many kids before she even started.  (and at Sunday School too!)  When we asked what she liked about her new school, she says she likes that they have a school song!

Charlie is in the same classroom that he started in this summer and with the same teachers but most of the students changed rooms, so it’s kind of new to him too!

Looking forward to a great school year!  Glad it is off to a good start!


It’s “I Love To Read” Month

It’s “I Love to Read” Month, and Maria’s school is doing a read-a-thon to help raise money for new playground equipment.

Plus we went to the library today. It had been a really long time, and she had a hard time deciding which books to bring home – so many choices!  It’s the first time that she spent the entire time in the shelves looking at books, and not the bins of picture books, although she did sneak in a couple of DVDs.

She read 50 minutes today, so I told her I would make a chart for her to track her daily minutes and the list of books she reads.  And if you know someone who would like to read-a-long, feel free to download and play along!


My First Grader

My First Grader:

  • is still waiting to lose that first tooth
  • loves reading Little House on the Prairie
  • wants to be a pop star or an artist
  • loves watching The Wizard of Oz and Annie
  • loves her little brother
  • loves her cousins and 2nd cousins
  • formed a club with other girls on the playground and they compete against a club of 3rd grade boys! (help!)
  • likes to dress “like a teenager”
  • wants her grandma to teach her how to sew
  • is a member of the school chess club and a daisy scout
  • does her homework on the bus

I just love this girl so much, and she’s growing up so quickly!

First Grade School Pictures - 2013

Our 2nd Annual Wisconsin Dells Weekend

After last year’s fun weekend in the Dells, we were more than ready to do it again! Maria had the whole week off from school again, so we left Thursday morning, stopped for lunch with Grandma in Rochester, and then proceeded on to the Dells. What I loved about this, is that it was exactly like last year, and Maria did not figure out where we were going!


Our first stop was the outlet mall for new Crocs for Charlie, and of course, Jibbits for both kids! We then checked in at the Wilderness for our 2 night stay. We got a good 3 hours in before a late dinner and bed. And then up early Saturday for more water fun!


After late-afternoon naps, we headed to Buffalo Phil’s for an awesome dinner! Yummy food (gluten-free for me) delivered to us on a train! Then on to a night of fun with our friends at Knuckleheads! It didn’t take long for Maria and Briann to team up and go on the rides. They even took on the ropes course and had a great time. Charlie and Brooke were stayed on the smaller rides, but Brooke soon learned that Uncle Chad would chaperone her on the bigger rides.


Sunday we got in a little more time in the water before heading home. All in all, a great time!

More Pictures (you’ll notice more pictures of Charlie… this is because Maria was often off on the bigger slides with her daddy!)

Rally Sunday

We had Rally Sunday this past week.  Charlie started Sunday School.

There was NO separation anxiety at all. He just walked in the classroom and made himself at home!  When I picked him up he said “We went outside. And God made Everything!!”

When we picked up Maria she showed me a picture she drew of herself on the Wild Thing and could not remember the Bible story they read. (Which I especially found amusing later that afternoon, when she told me that she was a better listener than Charlie)

Here they are being cute before church. Both are wearing hand-me-downs from their cousins!
Ready for Rally Sunday!

2013 – First Day Of School

Here we go again!  More milestones – of the first day of school type!

Charlie had his first day of preschool today and Maria her first day of First Grade.  Both had great days. Both were tired tonight – Especially Charlie!  But his teachers said he just went with the flow and it wasn’t like he was the new kid at all.  Of course, it helps that they all know him as Maria’s little brother!

First Day of Preschool!

Maria declared the new girl in her class her new Best Friend in the car ride home from after school care.  Which is good, considering her Kindergarten BFF is at a different school this year.  And she came home with homework (1/2 page of numbers). She has also been asked to read 20 minutes a day. So we set up a little table in her room, where she can work without Charlie and I showed her how to set the timer to make sure she gets 20 minutes in.

First Day of School - 1st Grade!

All in all, based on the first day. I think it’s going to be a good year!
First Day of School!

More First Day Pictures