Thursday, July 31, 2014

Crime-Fighting Cheerleaders at Spring Recital

As if the end of the school year isn't busy enough, Jadyn had her spring recital. This time around the theme of the recital was "At the Cinema" so all the routines were choreographed to music best known from movies.

Jadyn's cheer class were "wonder woman-esque" crime-fighters performing to the theme music from Inspector Gadget. It was a cute routine and I was proud of Jadyn and the other girls for giving it their all.

Ready to go:


A few action shots from dress rehearsal:



Jadyn with her Quakes cheer squad:


All smiles after the show:


I love recital time. Jadyn and I have a lot of fun being total girls; I get to curl her hair, paint her nails and I let her wear some stage make-up. She enjoys getting all made up for the occasion.

This past year Jadyn has also been taking a tumbling class at her dance studio and after a lot of hard work and some setbacks, she finally got her backbend kickover from standing earning her the chance to move up to the Intermediate class.

I love watching Jadyn perform. It's neat to see her doing something she truly enjoys and working hard to improve at it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Another one for the books

Precisely because the last full week of school was so busy with end of year activities, when it came down to those last few days of school, it was kind of anti-climatic.

I scoured Pinterest for the perfect gifts for the kids' teachers, classmates and my students: For Jake's teacher, a Starbucks gift card, reusable travel cup and card to say "Thanks a latte":


For Jadyn's teacher, a reusable travel cup filled with colorful sharpies:


For both of the kids classmates, some goldfish crackers declaring it to be "O-fish-ally summer":


And for my students, bubble wands telling them they really "blew" me away this year:  


 And for prosperity's sake a picture of the kids on the last day:


It's amazing how much they change, grow and learn in a 9 month period! And it was an amazing sschool year. Now we were ALL ready for an amazing summer! So what did we do on the very first day of summer break? While I cleaned....

 Jadyn did this:


and Jake did this:


That's a pretty accurate picture.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rally Monkey

Our school utilizes the Accelerated Reader program to encourage reading and foster a love of books. Even better, those who meet their own personal goals each trimester earn a special reward. First and third trimesters it is a fun movie night and second trimester features a trip to the bowling alley. For the first time, this year there was an even bigger and better reward for those students who worked to meet their goal ALL THREE trimesters. A trip to an Angels baseball game!!! I give a lot of credit to the teacher who puts this event together and since both Jake and Jadyn met their respective goals, I offered to be a chaperone at the event (I know, such a sacrifice to go to a major league baseball game right?).


At first, the game was mostly a social outing for the kids, hanging out with their friends, finding excuses to go to the concession stands to buy overpriced junk food and unnecessary souvenirs. The Angels were losing  5-1 (not that most of the kids were really paying attention) but everyone was still having fun.



AND THEN, in the bottom of the 8th inning, Mike Trout comes up to bat with the bases loaded (which means everyone had paused to actually watch the game) and wouldn't you know, he hits a GAME TYING GRAND SLAM!!!!!

It was an amazing moment.

Now all the kids are whooping it up, dancing, yelling the chants, clapping their hands and stomping their feet. This was a game to watch.




I couldn't believe it but the Angels rallied and came back to win the game. It was such an awesome experience. The evening was capped off with fireworks, everybody abuzz with energy. SO.MUCH.FUN!

And as a side note, I have to mention that the kids and I drove separate because Jake had a scrimmage out of town earlier in the day. Several parents, the principal, a teacher and all the students came on a bus. I found out Monday morning that the bus had broke down on the way home from the game and they didn't get home until 6 AM. Sunday morning. Talk about an experience! Yikes!

Celebrating the end of the school year

The first week in June was the last full week of school and full it was!

I knew with Jake going into 4th grade this year that it would be a big transition for him. Up until now, school has come fairly easy to him. This year he had to take more responsibility for staying organized and stay on top of both daily homework and more long term projects. Although certain aspects of this were a struggle for him, he really stepped up to the challenge. He was able to achieve Dean's List all 3 trimesters but even above that, Jake received the award for academic achievement for being the best overall student for the 3rd trimester. At the awards assembly, Jake's teacher spoke about watching Jake turn into an avid reader this year, finding his nose in a book during extra class time. She talked about how far he had come with his writing. She also praised his ability to think outside the box. For his final California mission project, instead of building a model out of sugar cubes or a prefabricated kit, he recreated the Mission San Luis Rey in Minecraft and gave his class a presentation on my laptop. It is with these types of assignments that Jake truly engages and gets excited about school and learning. I can only hope he continues to get teachers who spark this him and bring out his best. I am so proud of all his hard work this year.


Jadyn also had a great school year, continuing to put 100% into all her schoolwork. For these efforts, she received the Star reading award all 3 trimesters. As well, I was sad to see 2nd grade coming to an end because I absolutely adored Jadyn's teacher this year. Of course I was also sad because holy cow my kids are growing up TOO FAST!


One of the traditions at our elementary school is the end of the year field day. While other schools might mix a little water play in with other activities, in our neck of the woods it's just too plain hot for anything outside that doesn't involve water. So all of our stations involved getting the students wet and as a volunteer, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to be a part of it. I got my kids wet. I got my students wet. I got everyone I could wet. It was a blast.


Finally on Friday, Student Leadership helped out with the end of year dance for the upper grades. This year it was a Hawaiian Paradise theme and I supervised the younger SLT members who worked the game booths for those attending. It was also a blast.


But we still had some celebrating to do and the week wasn't over yet......

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jadyn turns EIGHT!

As I mentioned, Jake had his first scrimmage for his club soccer team on the day of Jadyn's birthday. Since traveling 2 hours away to watch a soccer game in the heat was not the most fun way for a little girl to spend her birthday, I took her out Friday evening to Build a Bear for a pre-birthday celebration. She loves her stuffed animals and she really wanted to create a bunny in a cheerleading costume to celebrate her upcoming recital. Build a Bear is always so much fun.

Introducing Hoppy:


And here is Jadyn posing with Hoppy and her new Barbie house:


Jadyn had also opted for a low-key sleepover to celebrate her birthday so after the soccer game Saturday a few of her friends from school came over. This group of girls were fun, sassy, creative and LOUD. I don't know if I would describe the mayhem that ensued as low-key. Girls sleepovers are VERY different from boys sleepovers. I guess I should have expected that. There was make-up and dressing up, singing and dancing, giggles and tears and even a little bit of sleeping in there somewhere. Everyone had a blast.






Happy 8th birthday to my sweet and sassy baby girl!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

May Ketchup

May was filled with lots of activities as the school year began to wind down.

Jake had a celebration at Cub Scouts to advance all the boys to the next rank. Jake will be moving on to Webelos, which from my understanding is more challenging then previous ranks. We are very proud of the work Jake put into finishing all the requirements to move on and look forward to guiding him as he takes on this new challenge.

We put up the pool a week earlier than usual:


Bailey got spayed. No modesty patch. Here she is in all her glory:


Jadyn has been participating in Student Leadership at school and I have been serving as a co-advisor for the team. The teacher I work with decided to have them perform in the yearly talent show and while it was A LOT of hard work, it was also a lot of fun. They performed to Eye of the Tiger by Survivor and the choreography focused on sending an anti-bullying message. It was well received.


Student leadership works hard to encourage school spirit and keep all students informed and involved. I personally love being a part of it as does Jadyn. It has been a big part of our school year. Here they are getting ready for our weekly Friday flag assembly the Friday prior to Memorial weekend:


Jadyn and I went on another mommy/daughter date to see the production of "High School Musical" at the high school:


 And I got to accompany each of the kids on another field trip. Jadyn, along with the 2nd graders from my class went to Oasis of Mara, part of Joshua Tree National Park:


While Jake and all the 4th graders visited San Juan Capistrano mission, wrapping up the traditional 4th grade unit on California missions:




We had our last monthly "eat lunch with your child day" at school:



I attended the end of the year volunteer appreciation tea at school and to my surprise was awarded volunteer of the year. I really feel kind of uncomfortable blogging about it but at the same time, it is something I want the kids to remember during this time in their lives. Working and volunteering at the school has been so rewarding to me personally and I love being involved, not only with my own kids but all the kids I have had the good fortune to work with. I have learned so much about myself through them and hopefully, I've taught them a thing or two in the process.

Finally, Jake had his first scrimmage with the newly formed soccer club. While the team lost, they performed very well for their first game and I look forward to watching them grow as the season progresses.


 But of course, even with all this and the previous Mother's Day and Big Bear posts, I STILL haven't covered everything in May because on that very last day of the month, a certain little girl also had a birthday. Stay tuned....

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Jake's 10th Birthday Party Sleepover

It just doesn't seem possible that he could be in double digits but atlas, it is true.

Jake opted for a super low-key birthday celebration that included having several boys over for a sleepover. Joe grilled burgers (Jake's favorite) and I made chocolate cupcakes topped with Joe's homemade chocolate frosting. We sang happy birthday, had him open presents and enjoyed the chaos of having 10 kids running around the house.



Now, don't get me wrong. We enjoyed the relative quiet after all the kids had left too but it's nice that our kids are both so social and have such a great group of friends. Jake in particular seems to be entering that stage of adolescence where he wants to be with his friends ALL THE TIME. I'm sure that isn't going away anytime soon. In the meantime,  I will cherish the nights he is still willing to snuggle with me on the couch while we watch a movie or the rare night he asks me to stay at bedtime so he can talk about his day (or whatever he is working on in Minecraft more likely, but still, he is sharing).

No matter how old or how big he gets, he will always be my baby boy. Happy birthday Jake!

Seven Days of Spring Break 2014 Edition

Monday, after an exhausting weekend of Coachella and Easter, the kids and I went for their routine dental checkup (with no cavities!) and then headed to meet Joe who was at Camp Pendleton for the week for work.

We checked into the hotel:


And then headed to Oceanside Pier for dinner at our favorite restaurant Ruby's!


Tuesday while Joe was at work we met the Millers at Legoland for a fun-filled day at the amusement park:



Wednesday was Jake's 10th birthday (I seriously cannot believe my baby boy is TEN!).

He opened his present:


We went to Ruby's Carlsbad for breakfast (Jake's choice):


We went to Flower fields in Carlsbad, 50 acres of colorful flowers on a hillside overlooking the Pacific ocean. Pictures really do not do it justice. The fields are only in bloom for 6-8 weeks a year so we just couldn't pass up being there at the right time. They also have a fun little passport for the kids to fill with stamps at 8 stations located throughout the fields. After you have collected all the stamps (to include finding your way through the sweet pea maze) then you get a discount to pan for gold. It is really fun:




We finished off the day with games at Chuck E. Cheese, dinner out and night swimming in the hotel pool:


By Thursday, we were ready for a relaxing day of sun and surf at Swami's beach:





Friday we went to Del Mar beach on base because the kids just had to climb the rocks. Only our desert rats would come to the beach to rock scramble:


We headed home so Jake could have his friends over for a birthday sleepover (pictures to come in a separate post).

Most of Saturday looked something like this:


And the rest of the weekend and our "over in the blink of an eye" spring break was spent relaxing and preparing to go back to school. As usual, when our spring break is so late in the year, it serves as a great preview of what's to come for summer.