Our weather was amazing this week! Lovely fall weather with just a touch of wind. The leaves are falling all around. I love when our yard is decorated with pretty white Birch tree leaves each fall. The boys and I spent some lovely hours in the side yard. Evelyn loved lying on the ground staring at the pretty patterns made by the leaves and sky through the tree. Nothing makes my mommy heart feel better then watching my kids play outside with each other. Sunday it was cold and windy so I let the kids finger paint on some photo paper. The roll is almost exhausted! No better way then to let little fingers practice art. Everett really, really enjoyed finger painting. He made about 200 circles! I can see improvement in Phillip's control of his finger movements. He can almost write his name now. Amelia made an "abstract heart human." She is drawing all the time so she can be an illustrator/author one day. I love letting my kids make messes and explore. Yes, these activities require some time and patience, the reward is education.
Elder Jeremy Lance just received the best box in the mail. The box was kindly decorated by Amelia, Phillip, and Everett. There is even a dot to dot game for him to connect. We stuffed the box with his favorite candy, family photos, and paper towel ghosts to decorate his room. We talked about missionary work while we put his box together. The Elders came over Tuesday for some dinner. I made them Bulgogi wraps: Korean spiced shaved beef, lettuce, rice, and various spices. It was so simple and delicious.
Justin and I went to Amelia's first parent-teacher conference on Wednesday. She is doing awesome! First Grade so far focuses on introducing math addition and reading. She scored off the charts on reading and writing. Her cold turkey math score was 32%, they test end of grade skills then work the entire year on achieving a 90% by March. That seems backwards to me. Her score was in the top tier for first grade. Mrs Dobry said that Amelia comes to her throughout the day and tells her random things. I can imagine Amelia saying something like, "Mrs Dobry, my sister and I match today." She earned her first Book It! Good job sweet pea. So proud of her and all her hard work.
Wednesday was crazy...with parent-teacher conference, ballet, and Webelos in a row I felt a bit tired. The boys and I spent 20 minutes "hiking" around my favorite photography spot looking for 6 tree types and vegetation that animals eat in the wild. We collected the samples and maybe 20 extra sticks. I was highly amused at how excited the boys were just to walk around picking weeds. The Webelos had to use books to identify the tree samples and they made a collage of the weeds. Their homework is to identify the weeds.
Thursday we went to the park for a hour or so with Dani and Stella while Meagan went to Stella's conference. Darn it, I am going to miss them. Evelyn learned how to lift up her feet into the air on Thursday. She was so proud of her little self! Now she constantly has those toes in the air.
Friday Amelia had the day off. She went to play with Stella for a couple hours. I took Evelyn to the clinic for a weight check. The nurse was put out I was there since Evelyn had her checkup two weeks ago. Oh well, deal with it! She grew by a whole pound and 1/4 inch. The kids were extremely excited for Trick or Treat Street. This year the line was out the door and wound throughout the lobby too. Amelia dressed up as Mulan, complete with a white face and lipstick. She practiced bowing like Mulan. Phillip was Superman Costume. Literally. He was quite disappointed his cape was not working. He thought this costume would really help him fly. Everett made a cute turtle for the second year. He still fit in the costume so, BINGO, he was a turtle. Evelyn made a boo-tiful little princess. Once again the Cabela's departments went all the way decorating rooms for the kids. They must have contests to see who has the best theme. My favorite was the Minion room, complete with foamy flooring, and the best costumes. Second runner up was the Monster's Inc room. Everett is a candy hound. He ate candy throughout the entire time and ate more on the ride home and even more at home. I am surprised he went to sleep. He will do anything for a fruit snack or candy. Amelia said her favorite room was: EVERY ROOM!!
Saturday Justin went duck hunting. He shot a duck but lost it in the water. He spent Friday evening getting packed up for the hunt. I am glad he enjoyed some alone time. I had a photo shoot for a family I photographed for the past two years. Jeremee watched the kids for an hour. She busted out their bouncy house for the kids. I might need to get one! Since the weather was so awesome I decided to try taking family photos for our Christmas cards. I needed a purple shirt for Phillip. Daisies and Dragons to the rescue, found one there. We met Justin at Subway for lunch because Amelia almost ate her arm off due to hunger.
Yeah, family photos. Disaster. Evelyn was uncharacteristically sad, Everett only wanted candy, Phillip grabbed every stick in reach, Amelia wanted to hike, and then my camera battery died. Yeah. That was stressful and so not worth the effort. Yet...I will do it again today. Justin worked on the yard. We went to bed crabby and tired. Maren and Matt took a couple photos of the kids and I since those were the only photos I did not get yesterday. In turn I took a couple photos of Maren's cute baby belly. The kids were perfect! We went on another hike after as a reward.