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Archive for November, 2014

Our sweet 7 3/4 year-old girl!

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It hit me recently how old Ellie seems, and yet how much maturing she still has to do. Some days she amazes me with her wisdom and maturity and other days she seems almost toddler-like in her thinking and behavior. I wonder if it feels confusing to her, too. I will highlight a few areas of her life for this report.

It feels like the honeymoon of Kindergarten and 1st grade have worn off. It’s hard to know if it’s homework, which is more tedious than hard; a lack of teacher fit (her current teacher has a different personality than she’s had before); or if it’s just a natural phase. Her opinion of school has improved since she has started getting pulled out for an hour each day with an accelerated group. Speaking of which, Ellie recently tested into the gifted program. That’s a hard thing to know whether to share publicly. I do so because it’s nothing we can take credit for, and because it means she’s “exceptional” in the same way a student below average is. It poses it’s own challenges for the student, parents, teachers, etc., and we are beginning to feel our way through that. At this point, she is strictly identified as gifted and will have no significant change to her school placement until third grade.

Ellie FINALLY scored a goal (and a few more after that) this soccer season. We estimate it took her 36 games to do it. She showed perseverance sticking with soccer and improving each game. At this point we need to decide whether to have her continue soccer or move onto something new, as she will age up into a more competitive league.

The highlight this fall has been Ellie’s drama class. She adores this time each week learning to think and express herself in new ways. It utilizes some unique skills to be able to translate ideas and words in your mind into the physical body. We think it helps her build some important skills and we are grateful she finds it so fun. We look forward to her class performing a skit in a few weeks that is based on the book Miss Nelson is Missing.

With the little free time that remains, Ellie likes to spend time with her friends and prefers them over playing with her brothers. She continues to be a voracious reader and she can go through ten library books a week (I’m very thankful for the library’s request/hold system and for its close proximity to our house!). Ellie also likes to dream up projects and business ideas. She works on publicity for her “party planning” idea and she also has designed a menu and collected recipes to open the “Barry Breakfast.” Her entrepreneurial spirit seems to run in the Barry genes.

I’m looking forward to Ellie being home more during the holiday breaks. I hope we can find sweet togetherness in the midst of the busy times.

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These age breakdowns are sort of arbitrary, but at least it keeps this poor blogger from shutting things down altogether.

The boys have really had a great start to their final year before Kindergarten. I am so grateful we have had this extra time for them and I don’t regret the decision to delay their start of school one bit. They are in a class of six boys (yes, they are half the class). Their teacher is very experienced and seems to be the perfect fit for what they need. I couldn’t ask for more. They seem to be learning a lot, having fun, and just enjoying this season of life.

They also started team soccer in September. They have done an amazing job and they love it. They are almost half of the team (are you seeing a theme here?). Occasionally, the coach will have all three play together up front on offense. It’s a blast to watch. James considers himself the soccer star of the family. He is aggressive, very competitive, has good footwork, and is pretty accurate with his shots. Jack is the defensive specialist. He loves to get right up into his opponent’s space and disrupt plays. He’s also a decent goalie, as he moves quickly. Thomas uses his speed to his advantage as he can get down to stop the opponents very quickly. He also has a strong leg, and he’s been known to punt the ball way down field when he’s in goal. He says he’s an excellent goalie, and he is, but he is also a strong athlete. Because of his speed and eagerness, he often misses the ball or has inaccurate shots. With a bit more time devoted to perfecting his footwork, he should be a great player, too. It has been fun to see each boy excel in unique ways, make improvements, and to see each score some goals! We also appreciate anything that wears them out!

In a more general sense, it’s been fun to see how the boys have built up some stamina. We don’t need to worry about naps, we can do outings that last all day without meltdowns, they can trick or treat in full force, and play nonstop with their friends on the playground. In essence, we are having more fun than ever. That’s not to say we don’t see our fair share of fights and disagreements, but it’s nice to see more fun times emerging.

….And, it only gets more fun as we head into the holidays…

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