Monday, June 21, 2010

Swimming

Even though it is near the end of June, we've barely been able to use our pool because it hasn't been warm enough. Can you believe that? Here in Fresno, not warm enough?! Every year for years, it has taken a lot of coaxing and bribing for Grace to even get into the pool. For whatever reason this year, she has gained enough confidence that I can actually say that she's become a fish! She has begged to go swimming every day, even when it is cooler outside, and now it takes a lot to get her out of the pool. She is eager to try new things in the pool, and we are so proud of her!
Jeremy seems to be following in Grace's footsteps in that it has taken some coaxing for him to get in the water. He is slowly getting used to it- he enjoys doing "airplanes" with Jason, occasionally blows bubbles, and will splash around. I wish now that we had signed him up for swimming lessons in Edmonton in a few weeks, but he was so reluctant to be anywhere near the pool a while back, that I opted out of it. Looks like he'll have to just settle for airplanes in our backyard pool!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

End of the School Year

Well, it's the end of the school year! It's unbelievable to think that an entire school year has passed! Here's an overview of how each of us has emerged from this past year.

Grace: Her last day was Thursday. I wondered if it would be emotional, but it wasn't. That's likely because her teacher has been off since before Spring Break recovering from knee surgery. The kids had Water Play Day, but since it was rather breezy, the sprinklers weren't turned on. All 4 classes of kinder rotated between different activity stations outside. I had planned on helping all morning- the teachers were ok with me bringing Jeremy, so he was with me the entire time. He did pretty well! Grace's report card is wonderful and she mastered everything she was supposed to. Lots of kids from her class will be moving so it'll be interesting to see who's in her class next year. In her words, she "loved kindergarten!"

Jeremy: I have enjoyed spending time with Jeremy in the mornings when Grace is at school. He has grown a lot this year, though it's been harder for me to see since I'm with him all the time. I know that the home daycare he returns to in August will be surprised to see a "boy" and not a "baby!" Aside from always being with me running around doing errands, some things he and I have done this year- playdates, library visits, storytimes, trips to the park, and mommy-and-me gymnastics. He was potty-trained this year, learned how to ride a tricycle, and has a great love for books! He continues to have both "terrible" and "terrific" days, all in the life of a two year old!

Jane: I have loved being able to focus on my family, and am immensely grateful for this past year. Aside from focusing on my family, I have been able to focus on "me" this year. I learned a lot and gained so much perspective from being in Trinity Presbyterian's Thursday morning Bible study, I worked out at the gym regularly (it doesn't show- it's more that I committed to it), I read many more books and even started a book club, I was able to reflect and write in my Mother's Journal for my kids, I accomplished my goal of completing Jeremy's First Year of Life Scrapbook, I spent more time with friends... I definitely consider this past year to be one of rejuvenation! I recently found out that I will be returning to 5th grade at Harvest (where I've been for the past 3 years). I am filled with excitement and anticipation, already brainstorming and making plans for the year ahead. Again, I will face the challenge of balancing work and home... After this year and seeing the effects and importance of focusing on the family, I know that "home" has to tip the scale! I will work hard to do that!

Jason: Jason loved having me at home this year. It wasn't as stressful as it can get when both of us are working. He particularly loved Tuesdays (Baking Day for me and Grace). When I return to work next year, we'll have to go back to sharing "house duties" such as cooking and cleaning. After teaching eighth grade for seven years, Jason has decided that it's time for a change. There was an open sixth grade I.B. social studies position, and he asked for it. His principal approved and has said that should he not enjoy the year, that he won't be bound to it the year after. It's still at his middle school and he'll be joining a team of teachers that are very collaborative. Jason is really excited about the idea of working with I.B. students, having less emphasis on testing (sixth graders do not have state testing for social studies), and working with a fun curriculum (Ancient Greece, Rome, China, etc.). He will likely still coach volleyball and resume his duties as Department Chair.

Looking ahead to summer, it feels like it'll be gone before we know it. It's pretty packed- hope you'll keep checking in for updates of all of our adventures!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Grizzlies' Game

This past Saturday, our family went to see the Fresno Grizzlies play baseball against the Sacramento River Cats. It was Jeremy's first baseball game ever (and Grace's first one that she can remember). It was also a chance to hang out with our friends, the Wiens family. Since there were so many available seats, we decided to sit way at the top so that the kids would have some room to roam. There was no way that our kids would be able to sit in their seats for an entire game. Grace barely noticed that there was a game being played. Jeremy paid more attention to the game, but it was Parker (the mascot) who really caught his attention. Partway through the game, Christa and I took the kids to the Fun Zone, a chance for the kids to take a walk and go on the inflatables. We stayed until the 7th inning, which was about 9:45pm, probably the latest our kids have stayed up in a long, long time (we didn't find out until much later that the Grizzlies won 4-3).
Look who we ran into- it's Grace's friend, Madison!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Gymnastics

This past semester, we enrolled Grace in gymnastics at Break the Barriers. We are drawn to this amazing place mostly because every person is made to feel successful in their programs. Another reason why this semester was so enjoyable was our dear friends, the Yamashitas, were also enrolled in the same class, so we got to see them and spend time with them every Wednesday! Last week was Grace's last class and I'm so disappointed that I didn't take more pictures over the semester. In these last few weeks, I was asked not to take pictures because there were kids in the class who didn't have "clearance." It didn't matter that I was only taking pictures of Grace! Anyway, this is all I have of her experience!Getting her stamps at the end of class video
Every week that we take Grace to gymnastics, poor Jeremy has only been able to watch. He has often asked to join in and isn't allowed to. Well, we looked into a class for his age group at Break the Barriers and there were no openings. So, we splurged and decided to enroll Jeremy in a parent & me gymnastics class at The Little Gym. Our dear friends, Christa and Levi, also enrolled with us, so it has been fun to spend a little time together on Fridays. Jeremy's been going now for almost two months. Unfortunately, during all this time, he has been very reluctant to try many of the new skills. I never would've guessed that he'd be so hesitant and clingy! I always thought that he was a risk taker! Yesterday was the final class, also called, "Showtime." videoI invited Jason's mom to come and watch, hoping that with an audience, Jeremy would actually perform and do some of the skills. It took A LOT of coaxing- I felt bad that she drove all that way and he didn't do very much! (There are a few more pictures in the album on the right).

Gymnastics is done for this year... I'm glad both kids got to experience those classes, but I can't say that either of them loved it enough to continue in the Fall... I wonder what they'll try next!