Friday, November 21, 2014

Charlotte's Adventure in Tumbling

I think this week is a good time to do an update on Charlotte's tumbling skills -- which is more for my record than for anyone to actually read. :)

This week she finally, finally did her back handspring without anyone close enough to jump in and help. She has been doing them for months without having anyone truly spotting her, but she demanded that her coach be there "just in case." She was fearless last spring, but sometime this summer, fear of getting hurt set in and she became very cautious. Which is not a bad thing. But, she had the skill to do back handsprings on her own, she just lacked the confidence. And, thanks to a coach that never gave up, she finally got there.

At the end of class on Tuesday, she let one of the coaches stand next to her, instead of squatting by her and that was a BIG DEAL. Then we had a private lesson on Thursday and she went into the lesson saying that she wanted Mr. Joe to squat by her, but not touch her. And, then she hopped out on that trampoline and did a back handspring like she'd been doing them by herself forever. :)

She was hooked. Joe took video. I took video. He moved farther and farther away until we were across the room and she was over there doing back handsprings one after another. It was amazing. I never thought I'd see this day get here. She has had such a mental hangup for months and has struggled with knowing she could do this herself and being scared to try. It has broken my heart to watch her fight this internal battle and know that she had to figure it out on her own. We have tried encouraging, begging and bribing, but, in true Charlotte form, she did it all in her own time. And, I have  a pretty good feeling she'll never look back.

And, thanks to months of extra practice they are pretty close to perfect, especially for a 4 year old. Joe even told her today that she can do them anytime on a trampoline. That's how good they look. :)

I am so so thankful that she has such a wonderful coach. He has been amazing patient with her and she had learned so much this year! She started regular lessons just 11 months ago (January 2014) and I am amazed at what she can do. And the trust she has for him is just amazing. She will try anything if he'll be there to spot her.

She can do a front handspring (on the trampoline). She can do a front walkover -- on the trampoline always and occasionally on her mat at home (when she's practicing it a lot). She can do a good handstand and is learning to walk on her hands. She can do a roundoff back handspring on the floor and tumble track with just a little spot. She can do a back handspring on the tumble track with a little spot and the floor with a little spot. These are skill that she should have in the next few months by herself. She is starting back tucks (although she has a looooong way to go on this -- but she LOVES them!). She can do backbends and kick back over and does these all the time at home. She is super flexible.

She may not always love to tumble as much as she does not -- although it's hard to imagine that she will ever tire of it. She would take lessons every day if I'd let her. :) And, the look on her face when she gets a new skill is probably why she may never quit.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Last Time

There is this poem going around the internet right now about how we don't always realize that the last time we do something with our children is actually the last time. I have tried to soak in those little moments with each of my children, especially as they grew and got to that point where I knew we were reaching the end of certain seasons with them. I took special note of how their little fingers felt wrapped around mine or of how it felt to to hear those broken first sentences. 

But, I think I've been even more aware with Charlotte knowing she is our last baby. So when crawled up in my lap after a rough evening last night, I was more that happy to rock her. And, we rocked long enough that she went to sleep. It's been a long time since I have rocked her to sleep. And, I may never do it again. So last night I enjoyed every moment and soaked up the feeling of her little body against mine as we rocked the night away. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rainbow School Thanksgiving Lunch

Tuesday was Charlotte's Thanksgiving lunch at Rainbow School. I cannot express how thankful I am for the sweet ladies from our church that love on our Charlotte on Tuesday mornings. She loves being there and playing with her friends. And I can enjoy a couple of hours to run errands alone, knowing she is happy and loved. 

They stared out by singing some of their chapel songs. 

Charlotte was thrilled that Daddy got to stop by! He was between meetings and was able to see her sing before he had to get back to work. But, it made her day that he was there. She was so proud!
After Matt left, Charlotte and I stayed for the soup lunch they had. Each kiddo brought something to contribute to the meal and I have to say that was the best vegetable soup I've ever had!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

My Little Helper

This little girl is such a good helper! I remember Madeleine at her age and what good help she was too and how much fun we had every day. And, now I'm getting to do that all over again with Charlotte. She loves to help me clean each week. I give her a bottle of watered-down windex and she cleans the baseboards and all the doors. My house is cleaner than ever! What am I gonna do next year??

She helped me unpack the Christmas dishes this week. I let her do the box with the kids non-breakable and I think she said "this is sooo cute" at least 50 times while she was unpacking! Then she organized them all in the cabinet for me too.
And, she is working hard on making her bed every day. One of the few things I'm really big on is making their beds every day. I want to teach them to take care of what they have been given and not everyone in this world has a bed to sleep in and Daddy works hard to provide for us so we are going to treat what we have with care. And, in this house that means making our beds (and picking up their toys, but that's another post). Hopefully, one day they will understand that I'm not mean, but that we are trying to teach them thankfulness and steer them away from entitlement.

And, she did all of this without any help! And look how proud she was of her work. I don't go in and "rework" what they do. I want them to take pride in their work and that will  never happen if I'm just going to redo it.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Rainy Day Tales

In early November, Matt had a conference in Little Rock and he took Charlotte with him and she stayed with my mom & dad while he went to his conference. That meant that I had 3 whole days all to myself. It's amazing what I got done during those days! 

The morning we were packing Charlotte up to leave we looked out her window to see 23 geese (she counted!). It was a rainy day and we sat there and watched them on the pond. I love being able to stop and share these sweet, simple moments with her. 

One of the days that Matt & Charlotte were gone, I did my usual volunteering at Harrison's school. Since Charlotte was gone, I stayed longer and then checked him out for lunch. We went to Sonic (PG has limited choices :) and sat and ate there, just the 2 of us. It was a treat for me to be able to spend this time with just him!
And, we finished reading Tales From The Odyssey, Part 2. He loved these books! Madeleine read them in 3rd grade and loved them, and I've loved getting to read them with Harrison -- and Madeleine who listened in most nights. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fall Ball 2014

Well we wrapped up Fall Softball and came out with a winning game! Yippee! 

These 2 little sisters cheered on their big sisters every Friday night. And, played and played together too! 
Our last games were night games. Madeleine played a double header every Friday night for 5 weeks. It was fun and I like the Friday games (so nice to know we can all sleep in the next morning!) but I think we were all ready for the season to end. It started out so hot and by the last night, we were freezing! And, our team wasn't the best, but we ended on a VERY high note -- beating the best team in the league!
And, while Madeleine played softball, Harrison played football with the other siblings. I snapped this picture of his "football buddy" that played with him that night -- who also happens to be our local weather guy. :)

The last game of the season was what Matt called the "Madeleine & Lindsey Show." These 2 girls rocked it that night! Madeleine played pitcher and Lindsey played 1st and every ball that came anywhere near Madeleine, she caught, threw to Lindsey and she caught it and got them out. It was sooo fun to watch! These 2 girls were like a machine out there!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Halloween 2014

Halloween this year was on a Friday, which makes it extra fun! We headed up to Harrison's school first thing that morning for the Costume Parade. Then we were back up there that afternoon for his Halloween party. They don't have homeroom moms at his school, but I got to plan the Halloween Party. :) We ate yummy food, made a cute spider hat craft and had a "candy buffet" for the kids. I hope they enjoyed it because I had such a fun time planning it!

We trick-or-treated around our neighborhood that evening and it was COLD! This is the first year we've actually make the entire loop without having to cut across the golf course 1/2 way through. But, the kids did run the last 10 houses toward home. It was sooo cold!

Darth Vader, 80s Girl, and Gymnast

Thursday, November 6, 2014

October Wrap Up

Finally getting around to wrapping up the fun times we had in October. :)

Matt finally got his diploma in the mail! Woohoo! Such a fun and exciting moment to finally hold that (very expensive) piece of paper in his hands!!
Harrison got really sick and spent most of one week at home. He had what started as a crummy fever virus and eventually he started throwing up as well. Thankfully no one else got sick!
Harrison earned enough DOJO points (behavior points) to get to bring whatever he wanted to show & tell the class. :) Of course, he chose Lunge, his 6 foot stuffed gator!
We have discovered some wonderful Minecraft novels that he's loving reading these days. It's so hard to find good books for boys. He read this whole book in just a couple of hours!
The girls did fall cheer camp and that week Harrison and I got to spend some time just the 2 of us after school. He was my shopping buddy one week and helped me bag up the groceries.
Madeleine and I made a late night grocery run one evening while the other kids went to bed. I remember doing this with my mom as I got older growing up and I thought that night that this was the first time that Madeleine & I got to do this. Crazy the little things we look forward to doing with our kids. :)

Sunday, November 2, 2014


I've forgotten how much I love my kids at 4 years old! It is by far one of my favorite ages. I think 4 is the reward for surviving 2&3. Ha! 

This is the first time that I've had a 4 year old without also having a toddler and it is the BEST! Charlotte and I truly have the best days. Sure, she can still be a lot of work. And, yes, it is still easier to do things by myself. But, it's not nearly as fun. I am determined to soak up every single moment of this year with my last one at home. 

Charlotte is just too cute right now. She's still part baby but she's also part little girl. She has the cutest voice. It's tiny. And I love the way she says some words --- some of my favorites are "breaktfast" for "breakfast," wunch for lunch. She counts things by "sleeps" and loves babies. We take a baby doll with us most places. Her dolls are named "pink baby" "blue baby" and "sweet baby." I love that. 

She plays by herself really really well. She can spend hours in our playroom with her dolls and her kitchen and just be in her own little world. Such sweetness. And, she is obsessed with cheer and cheerleaders. Even as I type this she is on her tumbling mat doing her own made-up cheers. 

And, as far as tumbing goes....she is kinda amazing. She can do a front walkover, front handspring (on trampoline), back handspring (on trampoline), roundoff back handspring on the trampoline as well as cartwheels, etc. Yesterday they started working on back tucks (aka back flips) and she loved it! I forget when I see her out there in that class that she's only 4 -- she is holding her own in a class with 8-12 year olds. It's crazy! 

She is such a good eater! She asks me at least 2 times a week for a "fruit lunch." I keep the fridge full of washed apples and grapes and she will just help herself to them. She loves cheese, yogurt, turkey, grapes, apples, oranges and pretzels. Those are her favorites. We try and do a LOT of calcium products since she is working so hard in gymnastics. She isn't a big sweet eater -- but she does like ice cream (vanilla) and skittles. :) 

She is smart and can count to 100 and recognize each number too. She knows her letters and can write a handful of words by herself and write most works if I tell her how to spell them. She "writes" all the time -- I find notebooks filled with her writing and she loves to write on the white board and play school. 
 She  loves to help me clean. She will take a spray bottle and clean all my baseboards and wipe down the doors for me every week.

 She also LOVES games! Her favorites are mancala, uno and memory. She keeps them in a box and brings it out almost daily. She's also gotten to be a whiz at parcheesi.
 Donuts before school MDO one morning. She is loving MDO one morning a week! And I love the sweet ladies that take care of her!
 I promised her ice cream when she got her front walkover on the ground. I wish I'd recorded the look on her face the first time she did it -- it was like Christmas morning. She was excited/surprised/proud!
 Miss priss. 
 I've been helping out in Harrison's classroom one morning a week this year. Charlotte goes with me and sits by me and does her "work" while I do reading groups. She loves to pass out papers and "help" me too!
 She won the spirit stick at cheer camp last week and was so proud!