02 September 2020

Evelyn is Seven

This girl is going places. She is spunky, loving, emotional, opinionated, strong-willed, eager to learn, loves to create, and loves to make a mess. She hates cleaning up her messes. She is still missing her top three teeth. Evelyn is a really good model! If I ever have a creative burst she is willing to pose for me. We all enjoy Evelyn's amazing outfits. She comes down in the morning looking like Pippi Longstocking half the time. Her aspirations in life is to be a missionary, a mom, a tophographer, and make-up artist. Evelyn is improving her prayers and scripture reading skills. She cannot wait to get baptized now. 

At Evelyn's well-child she weighed 50 lbs (48.9%) and measured 45.5 inches (13.2%). She eats all her veggies and fruits. She can ride a bike, scooter, and roller skate! Evelyn is working on her tumbling skills. We love this spicy pizza. 

Phillip is 11


Phillip. He is a strange breed of dinosaur. He is all 11-year old boy! Starting to reek of pits and stanky feet. Those aside this kid is so snuggly. His hugs are the best in our family. His smile will bring you out of the darkest days. Phillip is learning to be helpful and kind, especially to his little sisters. I love the bond Phillip and Everett share, they are close friends. 

If you catch a side-glance of Phillip you might see a T-Rex Pterodactly mix winging by. He still sleeps with his feet resting on his cheek. He can put his feet over his head! Phillip is now wearing a size 12-14 for girth but a 10 for length. He loves to play with his Legos, Pokemon, and stuffed animals. He is growing his love of reading. We are reading the Fablehaven series out loud right now. I love discussing the books with the boys after reading. Their theories are wild and amusing. Ambree reports he eats paper and dirt. Maybe his brain cells haven't kicked in yet. Maybe he is craving trace minerals. Phillip astounds me with his spiritual depth. He has Justin's intuition for spiritual things. 

At his well child the 31 August 2020 Phillip weighed 104.8 lbs 90th percentile and 56.6" 49.5th percentile. He just started methylphenidate (Ritalin) for his ADHD. He is taking the non-extended drug because the extended version was way too expensive. I like that option since he only really needs it in the mornings. I suspect he will grow a couple inches before Halloween!  

Phillip (11) Evelyn (7) 2020 Birthday Edition

Last week was stressful, STRESSFUL. Hobbled in from vacation after 10 pm on Monday. Tuesday morning was our "first day" of homeschool. It was actually Monday...guess we worked on PE as we hiked up the hill dozens of times. Second day of school was Phillip's birthday! He was very excited to finally turn 11. I cannot believe he will be passing the sacrament in January. Justin had the day off work so we mostly just tried our best to get something done educationally. I tasked the kids to finished their Jr Ranger badges for Yellowstone park, watch a documentary about the park, and read some books. That was our first day of school. The park will mail them badges since that service is closed per COVID. All day long parents reported on the Tech Trep FB page about all the websites shutting down due to overload. I'm glad we skirted that issue. Phillip opened his gifts, nicely arranged by Evelyn on the coffee table. Phillip got a mini drone, RC car, awesome scooter, 5-minute Marvel card game, and a new Lego. He was disappointed over the volume. It's hard to want only the expensive toys! Phillip grew a couple inches this summer, he is gearing up for another spurt. He is a bit fluffy right now but only because his body is going to grow a few inches in height. Phillip requested homemade spaghetti for dinner. I used garden fresh tomatoes to make the sauce, so yum! I took a couple hours to shop for Evelyn's gifts, get a cart for our school supplies, and pick up Phillip's cheesecake(s). We invited over the neighbors for happy birthday cheesecake. We've all had the chance to play 5-minute Marvel, it is a really fun game cousin Everett introduced the boys to. 

Wednesday was a disaster. All the kids were tired, cranky, and resistant to everything I asked them to accomplish. Amelia was having difficulties with her anchor classes, the 8th graders were not connected to the schoology accounts all the other high school students are using. We finally discovered on Friday that the class syllabus' were linked in the course description webpage. Stupid. Once we printed those off she had something to work on. Poor kid had to create 3 schoology accounts as the teachers figured out the best way to get the 8th graders into the system. Communication was slow due to the amount of students with issues and the ratio of teachers working on the problems. I think we are finally getting things figured out. I just need to remember this is new for us all and we will figure it out as time moves on. I was able to identify several gaping holes in my plan of attack that I am working on filling this week. This week I discovered several other gaping holes that I also need to fix. This is a work in progress. This year we have Amelia in 9th/8th grade. Mia wants to be a mom-tographer. Phillip is in 5th grade (taking 4th grade math), Everett is in 4th grade, Evelyn is in 1st grade, and Josie is preschool. 

This is our basic schedule:
Monday: math, ELA, reading (Call it Courage)
Tuesday: girl's gymnastics, math, reading, journals, piano lessons
Wednesday: math, ELA, reading, journals, science
Thursday: boy's gymnastics, math, reading, journals
Friday: Social Studies, journal presentations, reading 
M-F: 20 minutes of Josie time, the kids rotate turns teaching Josie preschool skills

The kids are taking some science and social studies through Tech Trep, so they will meet the basic PLG's by the end of the year. I can then focus on what I want for those subjects. We are studying nature as we explore our state and for SS learning about the US Constitution and the Voting Process! Amelia is pretty much doing her own thing. She does join us for family reading time. After school I found Josie carefully shaving Styrofoam on an air vent, the little balls were floating around on the air current! She was making snow! She was happy to clean up her mess with the vacuum. I pulled out a hand towel, pair of undies, and a shirt from the vacuum canister after she finished cleaning! Everett and Ambree built a fantastic multi-roomed fort in the backyard. They quickly tore it down when the rain came, which lasted only 3 minutes. Both kids were upset the tent came down for only 3 minutes of rain. They rebuilt the next day...only to have it rain again for 5 minutes. 

Thursday was Evelyn's birthday! She woke up at the BCoD excited for her day. Justin worked from home so she was able to open gifts here and there throughout the day. She opened her first gift a, Rainbowcorn...the heart was a spicy pepper! We were all amazed the toy manufactures knew about her spicy personality. She named it Stripes. She requested cupcakes for her birthday treat. We made yogurt cupcakes with buttercream frosting. For dinner we celebrated the kid's birthdays with a restaurant dinner at Jalapenos. Justin chided the kids to refrain from eating the chips and salsa like animals, no such luck. I was happy for a break from making dinner. The stress was eating away at my soul. My neighbor came over for a quick minute to answer some questions I had about the semester learning plans (due that night) and the reporting on learning goals. I was in over my head, she recreated my mountain into a tiny hill. Evelyn opened the rest of her gifts outside on the lawn so her friend Ellie could join us. Justin helped the girls to bed that night so I could focus on getting the semester plans done for 4 kids. I made the deadline with an hour to spare! The boys and Josie had their first gymnastics lessons earlier in the day. I was not happy about making 3 trips so had the gym place Josie in the 5+ homeschool class with Evelyn on Tuesday. Now I have a girl day and a boy day. 

By Friday we had no food in the fridge, a mountain of laundry, the car top carrier still installed, the lawn a mess, and a house rated level 4 disaster. BUT we got school squeezed in each for a couple hours each day. Success. Over the weekend I was able to work on trip photos and tidying the house with the family's help. The kids earned some extra money cleaning the van and garage. 

Sunday I got a calling! Hooray! I am one of 3 ladies over the Activity Day Girls! I get to be the instigator and help the program actually start bi-monthly classes. YAY! I'm a bit overwhelmed at the moment but in a week or so things should settle down into a pattern.  

Evelyn threw some epic tantrums this week. Wednesday she ripped up a shoelace tying learning tool I got to help her. I asked her to wait until I could help her out...no...that kid ripped up the cardboard and cut the ties to shreds all while screaming like a banshee. Seems like everyday she threw major tantrums, hitting, spitting, pushing, and tearing things to pieces. It hurts my heart to watch her deal with her anger in such a destructive manner. The best way to defuse her is alone time in her room, hugs, and remove her from the home (take a walk). Justin read an article that kids with ADHD often experience drastic/short mood swings. Depression/bipolar swings are long and even. Any tips are appreciated.