Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Eating the Egg


This is the egg that Ally found in the chicken coop at the Farm. A few days after her farm day we decided to cook the egg. It was Ally’s first time actually cooking on the stove!


Here is the egg – she asked me o take a bunch of pictures of the egg. I was just glad she did not ask to save the shell! Then she cracked it.


into the bowl. Stirred it up to scramble it


The she stirred it around in the pan on the stove. It was only her egg in the pan, no milk, no seasoning no additional egg.


Becky took the pan off the stove for Ally, and put the egg on her plate. It was breakfast for dinner night – pancake, syrup, strawberries and egg.

Ally said it was delicious.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

First Book

Last night Ally completed reading her first chapter book, ALL BY HERSELF!!!

She read Ivy + Bean, by Annie Barrows (book 1)


Ally was so excited and so proud of herself.  It was late – about 715pm when she finished – she had been reading for 45 (which is 30 more than her 15 minutes) she had gotten so engrossed in the book. At the end of the book there was a section called “Preview” which was an intro into the next book in the series. Ally was super excited to learn there were other books. Even though it was late, bedtime actually, I called our local bookstore to see if they had the next book, and  then Ally and I drove over to the store.


I don’t think I’ll forget the huge grin on her face when she saw that there 10 books in the series. Here she is holding book #2.


We also bought books 3 & 4. On the way home she started reading book 2. There was a chapter about a Gymnastics Club – and Ally thought it was so funny that they called Back Bends “Back Bend-Overs” She giggled, told me about it and kept on reading. She was quite tired by the time we got home – between finishing book 1 and starting book 2 she had read for over an hour. Straight to bed she went and was sound asleep quickly.


This morning she continued on with reading book 2. I’m starting to think I need to get the rest of the series ASAP. She is reading up a storm.

Becky and I are so proud of her.

The Ivy + Bean books are about two 7 year old girls, who are opposites. Bean is scraggly and adventurous, and has an older sister Nancy she does not like very much, and Ivy is studious and neat and an only child. They never thought they would be friends, but they are.

We’ve tried a couple of different series and types of books for Ally. She loves the National Geographic early reader series, but they are non-fiction, and we tried My Little Pony books, and The Magic Tree House (which Becky is reading to her – they are on book 19 of that). None of those seemed to be the right level or interest for Ally. But this Ivy + Bean did the trick. Its so fun to see her so engaged in reading.

I decided I should read the books too, so far I am about half thru book 1. They are pretty interesting. And the author wrote one of my favorite books The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Farm Visit


Olive and her parents invited Ally to spend Sunday with them at a Farm’s Family Fun Day. The Farm was in NH about 2 hours away. It would be the first time Ally spent the whole day with someone other family. She was super excited about it. Farms and animals are her thing!


On the left is the pile of stuff Ally had to bring with her; car seat, bag with change of clothes, towel and swimsuit, backpack with ipad (for video watching in car), journal, a special thing and snacks, and her boots. On the right was Ally coloring before they arrive at 730AM to pick her up.


All of the farm pictures are from Lucia and Drew, Olive’s parents who texted us  these thru out the day.  The girls fed the chickens, went on pony rides.


Ally milked the cow, and groomed a horse.


They went swimming at the greenhouse pool, and Ally found an egg in the chicken coop!


They even made friendship bracelets!

Ally had a truly wonderful time. When she got home, exhausted she had a bit of a meltdown, but frankly that was a small price to pay for all of that fun.


This is the thank-you note she wrote them. (They bought Ally and Olive each a toy pony as a souvenir)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spanish Homework

Ally has been really successful in Spanish this year. Her teacher says Ally is the only one who tells her “I love to write in Spanish” . Truth is Ally likes to write in any language – but her spelling in Spanish is stellar.

See this example of the persuasive letter she wrote today:


Ally decorated the envelope “Parra mi familia  de Ally” and a picture of the 3 of us with a magic tree house, complete with  the tower and telescope like the books she currently loves.


The letter says “Querido mama, Quiero nuevas crayolas yo no tengo crayol(as) nuevas. Puedo dibujar contigo. Puedo colorear sola tambien.”

In English that means:

Dear Mama,

I want new crayons.  I do not have new crayons.  I can draw with you.  I can also color alone.



Here she is doing her Spanish homework with some help from Becky. Becky has been really great encouraging Ally to speak Spanish at home and reading with her.

Yesterday Ally’s teacher told me that Ally seems so happy in class – is raising her hand, participating, even asking questions – in Spanish! The teacher said its so nice, to have an excited and happy student in class. I’ve gotten the impression from other parents that many classmates don’t really like the Spanish week; they have lots of anxiety about it and really prefer the English week. Ally told me she likes them both.

When we got home yesterday Ally went her her white board and wrote out all of the days of the week in Spanish, spelled correctly! I don’t think she can do that in English yet.

Becky and I are so pleased and proud of her efforts.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Nerf Birthday Party

Ally’s friend River turned 7 and his party was a nerf theme – actually it was a capture the flag playing with neighborhood friends birthday party. The party was at our local Community Center – they rented the gym.

I wasn’t sure how Ally would be with it. She had never actually shot a gun ever of any kind. The closest thing so far had been a “pig popper” toy that you squeeze the pig’s tummy and a soft ball shoots out. So a full out nerf gun war with lots of people…

But she loved it! As soon as we got there Max asked her to play tag. Then when the nerf guns came out, one of the dads showed her how to do it. Eventually Olive arrived, and the two of them were buddy buddy having fun with it.


It took a bit for them to get the hang of it – and Ally was shot a couple of times, and had to lie down until a team mate tagged her.


Ally had a blast – each kid got safety goggles and their own gun to use. That is River’s Dad dead on the right.


Hanh and her daughter Kai had fun trying to shoot her son and Kai’s brother, Liem.


Lucia (Olive’s mom), Summer (below running) and I even got in on the action.


The cake and cupcakes were bulls-eye themed.


Which went really with the target practice and theme of the party.

I was a bit skeptical of the theme – I am not in to guns at all and frankly am still a bit ambivalent about the whole experience and Ally’s exposure to guns. But it was a very fun party – no one got hurt, all the kids had a terrific time and that is what really matters. They played 8 games of Capture the Flag and River’s team (with Ally and Olive and Liem) won 6 out of 8 games. It could not have gone better. New things are good – and exposure to different is good to. I was so glad to be invited and spend time with our friends and we really enjoyed ourselves.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March Guat Girls Gathering

This month we got together on Sunday morning at Julie and Rosa’s house for brunch. Bagels, coffee cake, tea, coffee, juice and yummy desserts from Cheryl and Alice.

We stopped at church beforehand so Ally could complete her Easter project. The children are all making birds that they will carry in a parade on Easter Sunday.



Rosa, Roxie, Ally & Gabi – all looked so cute on the window seat staring out the window in to the back yard. The stream behind the house had flooded with the Spring rain and the water was gushing. Alice was pretty happy to smile for my camera solo!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Saturday Fun

Friday was a really long day for us.

Ally and I left for school at 730. I picked her and Erik up at 3pm and took them to swimming lessons. They swam for over an hour. Then Erik came over to our house after swimming to play for an hour until it was time to go to a family event at their school. We met Erik’s mom at school at 6pm. We had dinner at the pot luck at school, socialized, and had fun until 745 when we finally came home. Ally was exhausted, but went to sleep really well at 830. Which is great, since the night before she didn’t fall asleep until 10pm!

Needless to say we had one very tired girl on Saturday. After some her usual 2 Saturday morning TV shows and art we had breakfast and headed out to our town’s winter farmer’s market. We’ve heard really good things about it. It was pretty fun, a nice morning for a walk, and we stopped at the park on the way home.


If there are monkey bars at a park Ally is happy. This one also had a tire swing!


Becky set up a PB & J tasting plate for us using honey peanut butter. One piece was PB & blackberry jam, One was just the PB and the third piece was PB and Ally’s typical strawberry jam. Turns out the black berry jam was a hit – and after eating all of the tasting pieces Ally had a sandwich with PB and blackberry jam. I gloated a bit since that jam was my idea.


After lunch we sorted books and did laundry. These were daunting tasks. We emptied Ally’s bookcase and re-organized it and took about 30 books out of circulation to make room for new ones. Afterwards, Ally was so tired she decided she did not want to go to the movies – we had offered to take her to the new Muppet movie that is in the theaters. But she cried and said no – she was too tired to go and enjoy it. I suggested a movie at home, and so she watched Frozen for the 11th time. It is hard to argue with a girl who knows her limits. She is just so exhausted from the past two days she can’t really do much of anything. About 3 minutes after the movie was over and the tv turned off she was in tears again “because I don’t know what to do” after a couple attempts at coloring and a game I finally suggested a walk in the rain. She readily agreed and she and Becky are outside now.

I hope bedtime goes well. Its only 415 now and we need to make it until 7pm. For the record we did suggest a nap, but Ally does not like naps, and frankly they do make it harder for her to go to sleep. I have a feeling there will be more TV in our evening than we would like. Oh well.