Sunday, January 30, 2011


Faith worked a on huge research paper in January. Each student had to decide on a person to spotlight that was involved in Idaho history. There was a list of about 50 people. Faith really wanted to do Sacajewia. When we went to the library, her books were already checked out, so Faith decided on Chief Joseph. Together, we research through 5 books and about a dozen different online sources to complete her full paper. It was definitely a challenge!

Chief Joseph
Do you have a hero you cheered for? A hero to me is a person with great courage and strength of the heart. In the summer of 1877, newspaper readers found themselves cheering for a hero just like this. His name was Chief Joseph.

Faith tells about him from his childhood, to when he faced insurmountable odds, ending just 40 miles from the Canadian border. She enjoyed writing this paper and learning so much about this hero in American and Idaho history.

I was very proud that she was able to do this poster all by herself and the bulk of the paper. I helped proofread it and give her suggestions. But the end result was all her. Congrats Faith!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011


In January, Dawson took the IRI (Idaho Reading Indicator) to see how he is doing compared to other readers in his grade. In the fall, he read 5 words in 1 minute, which landed him right in the middle with a 2. (3 is at grade level, 2 is near grade level, and 1 is below grade level.)

We have been working on it, even though it can be frustrating. We read to him, he reads to us, we do flashcards (ahhh, the dreaded flash cards), and also the lessons in this book, "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons."

I just have to put in a quick plug. This book has made a world of difference. It has funny lettering called "orthography." Orthography is a fancy word that refers to the letters that make up words, or how wards are spelled. This book has an altered orthography.

For example, he is spelled with a line over the e so that the child knows it is a long e.
She is spelled with sh connected to look like a letter, because it makes one sound.
Finally, lake is spelled with a line over the a, and the e is very small because the child does not make a sound for e.

Clear as mud? Right!

Anyhow, Dawson's test in January went incredible. He was able to read 27 words in 1 minute. He scored a 3!!! Wa-hoo! Go Dawson!

We look forward to all of the Magic Treehouse and Junie B. Jones that we will get to read in the future!

Faith and Dawson reading together

Emergent Reader Poem
I'm trying hard to learn to read
But what's a kid to do
When there's a NO and a GO
and a SO and a HO,
And then there's a word like TO?
Reading BONE and CONE and
Can almost be kind of fun,
But I get upset when I have to believe
That D-O-N-E spells DONE!
It's plain to see a kid like me
Sure needs a helping hand.
No matter how much I really try
I just don't understand.
I'm trying hard to learn to read.
Somehow that's what I'll do,
But for now if you'll just read to me
Someday I'll read to you!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


New Year's Eve was a time to visit with friends and get ready for 2011.

A few final thoughts about how our life has changed this year and what we would like to remember about 2010.

Kate started off the year still a bit sick and not speaking "smoothly". She was able to go to Lincoln Early Childhood Center with Miss Sally, who took her under her wing. Kate loved Miss Sally so much! In February, Kate had surgery #5, this time to take out her tonsils. This was a real turning point for her, and has changed this once little shy girl. She is much more outgoing and is really growing up. In September, she started school again, but has Miss Angela, a young new teacher. She loves Miss Angela, but really, really misses Miss Sally. Kate speech is still very disfluent, but we are working on improving what we can. She loves her 'sissy' and has a love/hate relationship with Dawson. I know that he will be her protector, and she will do the same for him. She is a blessing and a joy to have in our family.

Dawson has grown so much this year! He turned 7 and also started 1st grade with Mrs. Chandler, who has a soft spot for him. School has not been his favorite thing, it might not ever be, but he is getting it! (Another post on that soon.) Dawson had his first professional massage this year and loved every minute of it. He has a special relationship with his sister, Faith, and cries when she is 'too busy' for him. He really likes to have play dates with friends, and cherishes 'guy time.' He continues to make us smile and laugh every single day. He is a snuggle bug and loves to hug everyone.

Faith has turned mom and dad into 'old.' She is almost as tall as mom and really likes to make sure everyone knows it. She has a beautiful radiance about her and is starting to feel emotions when she has fights with friends. She excels at school and piano (when she puts her mind to it.) She also was able to participate in Girls on the Run this year. Shortly after the run, she had her tonsils out too (throat nuggets!). She feels so much better, which is a 360 degrees from last year. She is a free spirit at times, but really wants to please everyone around her. She is also 'everyone's favorite'.

Mom and Dad have been working this year on debt reduction (Dave Ramsey). This has changed our life in so many ways financially, but has also provided more peace in our home. The snowball is slow, but continuing... We continue to have date nights and to enjoy our time together in our modest home with our cute and sometimes messy children.

When we look back on our year, we know that miracles have occurred. And for that, we are so very grateful. Let us remember!


So I have finally found something great about Facebook! Another friend and blogger copied some of the things that her kids said throughout the year. I thought that it was an awesome idea, so here goes! (This may be long, but it is totally worth reading to the very end!)

What I posted most about this year was cleaning the house, budgeting, getting out of debt, couponing, the weather, and sweet yummy food.

My favorite quotes of the year:

Simplify life. Magnify living.

"The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." ~William James

"'KNOW FEAR,' because that's how you make dreams happen." ---Betti Sue

"The assumption of time is one of humanity's greatest follies. We tell ourselves that there's always tomorrow, when we can no more predict tomorrow than we can the weather. Procrastination is the thief of dreams." - from The Walk

Have I done any good in the world today?

Have I helped anyone in need?

Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?

If not, I have failed, indeed.

I am still looking for the world's greatest chocolate chip cookie recipe, haven't completed last year's new year's resolution (to pay off the credit card), though we are close, and my house could still be cleaner. Each of us grew one year older (and we definitely hope wiser) too. Kate turned 3 in February, Dawson turned 7 in September, and Faith turned 10 (double digits) in October. We had an amazing year, complete with surgeries, but no broken bones. We are definitely blessed!

Here are the funny things they did and said in 2010 (along with a few other memories):

January 7th

My 6 year old doesn't know what a 'telephone' is. LOL! He knows what the phone is, just not a telephone.

January 8th

Kate (almost 3 years old) decided to drink her ear drops last night --- Poison Control is always so helpful. I just hate calling, because I'm sure by now they know who I am - LOL! She is fine, and there were no adverse affects or trips to the ER --- thank goodness!

January 8th

Cutting of tags of new clothes today when I ask my son to run and get scissors. He goes to his night stand and whips out a pair of scissors. I ask, "Why do you have scissors in your room?" His answer, "For emergencies, of course!" I wonder what kind of 'emergencies' he needs his scissors for.

February 24th

Kate's first day of school in a nutshell --- she enjoyed it and didn't look back; Mom's eyes were holding back tears.

March 31st

Found Kate asleep with chocolate chips melted all over her face. Not happy, but I will probably smile about it tomorrow.

April 5th

Written on a post it note from Faith on Friday while I was on the phone: "Good news! I feel 58% better." Can't stop smiling from that one!

April 22nd

Love it when the kids do the tree hugging/recycling section at school. (Yes, we broke down in October and have our very own recycling bin!)

May 13th

Only when I say 'work' or 'chores' are my kids 'starving to death' or 'can't hold it any longer.'

July 11th

Kate's baby doll is sick and wrapped in a blanket with a 'puke bowl' next to her. I asked Kate why baby Allie is sick. Her response? "Because she has tonsils." Super sweet response from one that had her tonsils removed this year. Maybe they really were making her sick.

August 10th

Last week in Primary, the Bishop asked if anyone in the room spoke reformed Egyptian. Dawson raised his hand and said, "I do!" I believe it too!

August 20th

Dawson said this morning: "Strudels are the bomb!" Kids are SO cute!

August 21st

You tube is helping Dawson learn his sight words! That's something I never though I would say!

September 8th

Last night Dawson tells the family: "I got my massage at Sunsations. They massage big people all the time, but only little kids on their birthday." I said, "Maybe you're right, because this could be an expensive habit."

October 16th

Me, today: "I'm going to take a quick nap." Kate, responding: "Don't do it mama!" I wonder if that's what all 3 years olds think about naps.

October 28th

Skeleton came home today with Dawson. He managed to write a few 'words' on the paper pointing out the following parts of the body: head, underarm, leg, and nuts. I tried not to laugh, but really, boys will ALWAYS be boys!

November 3rd

Kate (3 1/2 year old) just started my car. What will she learn to do next?

November 8th

Hmmm, sight word flash cards that Dawson has problems with have magically disappeared. Coincidence?

December 8th

Dawson's last primary prayer: "Please bless that if we follow the light, we will not die."

December 12th

Kate (3 1/2 year old) says today: "Faith and Dawson are ruining my life!!!"

December 19th

All right! Which one of you introduced Barney to my three year old? I must thank you personally!!!!