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We rang in the New Year quietly with Fernando– Jeana and the kids were still out of town visiting family.  Handsome Husband and Fernando played a couple of games.  Come midnight there were all sorts of big fireworks that went off close to our neighborhood.  We poked our heads out and caught a few glimpses of the big bursts that probably weren’t quite legal.  

Here are a couple shots from our trip to Bend:

I hit a sale on jeans, $25 or $30 a pair at American Eagle!  Yes, please!  American Eagle is my FAVORITE brand for jeans and it was good timing for a sale because I had just worn a hole in my one pair that fit me.

Captain Adorable likes to hop in bed with me in the mornings that I don’t get up to go running (I’m still jogging three days most weeks with my friend C).  He’s showing me his bullfrog toy.  Captain Adorable was VERY excited about this pouch, it holds about 25 Nerf darts.

The girls ran a little “shop” in their room with a cash register they borrowed from Gabby.

Baby Dragon was the cashier and Sweetie was the stocker, the books were the merchandise.  Look at that cute flower with the girls’ picture in it.  Baby Dragon made that and said it meant “Best Friends, Best Sisters Forever.”  I about cried, I thought it was so sweet that they were getting along so well and being so nice to each other.  I honestly feel that it was because of our wonderful family vacation where we were all trying so hard to communicate well and build unity.

Sweetie reading to Captain Adorable.

This is what Sweetie’s ballet costume will look like for her recital in June.  Soooo adorable!  And look!  I made bread!  I went to a Relief Society meeting all about making bread and I made this the next day.  The sad thing is that I didn’t bake it long enough and the center was just a ball of dough.  At least the ends were good!

The cat snuggled with me.

Handsome Husband read to the kids.  He is such a good daddy!

On one of the days that the kids didn’t have school I took them to my Aunt Abra’s school. Well, it’s not her school, but she teaches 1st grade there. It is a private school for grades 1-12 and we are seriously considering putting our girls in it next year. We came on this day to see what it was like. Each school day is only 4 hours and they only meet 3 days a week. We got to come on pajama day. The class sizes are insanely small. This first grade class only has 6 students. The third grade class that Baby Dragon went to only has 3. Abra is teaching English this first hour. The kids did some worksheets and listened to her read from Little House on the Prairie while they practiced copying vocabulary words. (I ran to a local store to pick up some snacks for the Laura Ingalls Wilder party at the end of the day).

I went to Baby Dragon’s class to see how she was doing. In the first hour (that I missed) she got to act out a battle of the Revolutionary War. She got to be a captain and they made construction paper weapons and powder horns (definitely not something you can do in public school). She loved how challenging the math was. I loved that one of the students who was more advanced at math actually left to go the fourth grader math for that hour. So that means that the students aren’t held back by their classmates like they are in public school. Then for science they studied feathers and bones of birds. Then they looked through stacks of books about birds, chose one and made a mini report on their bird of choice. Baby Dragon chose owls. She traced a picture of an owl and then wrote four facts about owls on her paper and presented it to the class.

Back with Sweetie and Captain Adorable for the last hour, we had the Laura Ingalls Wilder party. They gave the kids a little bit of cross stitch material that they had dyed last week and taught them a few simple stitches to make their very own sampler.  Sweetie LOVED that part.  She thought the best thing she learned was how to sew (she kept calling it knitting).  They each got their own little jar of cream to shake and make into butter. Then they got to munch on the food I’d bought (simple foods that Laura Ingalls Wilder might have eaten) and their butter on some bread.  At the end of the party they turned on some music from Frozen and the kids got up and danced and sang to the music.  Sweetie was in her element because that is exactly what she loves to do at home.  She loved that part of the day.  All of my kids were begging to come back the next week.  Of course, Captain Adorable would be too young to start next year since they don’t offer Kindergarten.  I can volunteer to pay for the girls’ tuition.  Some of my hang ups about it have been that I would have less “me” time since they would be home more with only having school for 3 days a week for 4 hours at a time.  The school is also a half hour drive away.  But when we went there and saw how great it was to have such individual attention with such small class sizes and how many fun things they do and how we felt the Spirit and peace there… we are pretty much sold.  Maybe we’ll even find a house closer to the school when we are finally ready to buy.  Either way, we still have time to decide, but I’m pretty sure we will be venturing into the world of private school next year.  It will be a shame to leave their dual-immersion behind but the girls were telling me how wonderful it was that they could understand everything at this private school and I felt a little bad that I’d dumped them in a school that didn’t speak their language 90% of the time!  How frustrating that would be!  Granted they have come away with great accents and Sweetie can read just as well in Spanish as she can in English, but I feel good about this choice to pull them. Especially because Baby Dragon hasn’t really caught on to Spanish as well as she should have by now and she’s starting to feel a little picked on being one of the only white kids in class.

The next day there was no school again, so we used our zoo pass and headed to the zoo.  We got to see the penguins get fed.

The penguins have tags with their names on them and the kids were racing around calling out the penguins names as they swam by.

Before we could go to the zoo I had the kids help me fold laundry.  Captain Adorable got very excited about the idea of bringing a change of clothes along in case he had an accident.  So he put his spare clothes in a plastic grocery sack and carried it around the zoo.  Then when Sweetie (who was guiding us by reading her map) announced that we were going to the bathroom next, Captain Adorable remembered the purpose of his bag.  But he waited until after we were done at the bathroom and were walking away to DELIBERATELY pee in his pants and announce that he had had an accident. I know it was deliberate because there was not much pee and normally when he has an accident (which is not that often lately) it is not a little bit. He was very happy to use his change of clothes. Stinker.

Lucky for us, we chose to go to the zoo during mating season.  So glad the kids were oblivious to the bats mating.  Because it was a little disturbing.  I know it’s nature and all, but it seemed a little like watching gang rape.  The kids did notice that some bats have tails, luckily they didn’t notice that the “tails” were on the wrong side…

I also had to explain that that leopard was a boy because of a certain bulge under his tail.  Incidentally, bats are also noticeably male thanks to a certain prominent pair of spheres and the kids delighted in pointing out which were male and which were female.

The lion statues were much safer during the mating season.

After a great two and a half hours at the zoo, I took the kids for an early dinner to McDonald’s while I researched and wrote my Sunday lesson for the Young Women.  It is one of my favorite places to do this because I have nothing else to do while the kids run and play, and eat crappy food that they love (Handsome Husband had to work late so I didn’t need to worry about getting home to eat with him).  I was very proud of Baby Dragon because she made friends with a girl who started out being openly hostile with her.  She simply confronted the girl, asking if she had done something to upset her.  When the girl said no, she decided that Baby Dragon was ok and they ran and played together. Toward the end of our time there, a boy was playing with Baby Dragon (who was pretending to be a cheetah- thankfully not a bat). She thinks he thought she was pretty because after seeing her, he was very adamant about being on her team. Baby Dragon confided in me that he was cute. Yep, we’re definitely in the tween years, she’s noticing boys.  Help us all.

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