Jack and Peter just competed in Oregon Battle of the Books and made it to Regionals (second time
for Jack). It was a great wee team this year and we had pretty high expectations only because we absolutely killed the competition in the pool rounds and came in first. Unfortunately, we were once again eliminated after making it through to the 'awesome eight'. Same classroom too...it's a curse! It was a crushing loss as we got some tough questions and felt like the competition got a lot of easier ones. It's ok though, we did so well. Gracelyn and Jack took it the hardest and were in tears, I wanted to cry along with them, but held it together for their sakes. It's been about 8 months of work, so when it's over it's hard to separate yourself from it! I find myself waking up thinking about it and having a hard time going to sleep because I'm thinking about it. Anyways, we found out that same day (March 10th) that the new book list contains a book with the topic of a transgender boy. Ryan and I are currently reading it before we decide if we are going to participate next year only because some of the content in the book is not age appropriate. We definitely don't want Peter reading it at the age of 8. Time will tell if we are going to compete next year or take a year off, which would be sad as it's Gracelyn's last year at the Elementary level.
Jack moves onto middle school next year and so I have been meeting with his teacher, Stephanie Sayles, and Mrs. Putnam (who teaches him Orton-Gillingham) to talk about his IEP. We don't live in the Mountain View boundaries anymore, but I have a request in to have him go there. I'd rather he go to CV as it's closer, but I totally understand why he would want to stick with his friends. Overall Jack has had a great year so far and we are super grateful to his teacher for helping him with his self esteem issues. He is so smart, and I hope one day he realizes that! He continues to be the most sensitive and caring boy. Ryan has been working with both boys on their pinewood derby cars and Jack is constantly saying that he hopes Peter will win since it's his first time racing (he's always thinking of others.) Unfortunately, he found out today that is best friend from school is moving out of State this summer, that will be even more of an adjustment for him, but he's very social so I know he'll be okay. I was able to go into his class 2 weeks ago to watch him do a presentation on his heritage. He made two paper dolls who he named, Hamish and Otto, he did an amazing job.
Peter is doing really well in his class with Traci Vail. It's nice having her with him after getting to know her as the twins kindergarten teacher. She is kind and is really challenging Peter in Math which is good since he seems to be very advanced in it. I'm glad he committed to doing OBOB with his brother this year, it was nice having them on a team together. His best friend is a Hispanic boy called Izac. Peter seems to always make great friends with all the Hispanic kids at the school, although he still doesn't seem to know a lick of Spanish! Peter is definitely like me in that he's quiet at school, then he comes home and talks everyone's ears off. He really hates going to scouts and honestly I can't really blame him since he's the only one in the wolf den. There are a few boys starting to come up, but it doesn't seem to make him want to go any more. Thankfully Ryan was able to convince him to make a derby car and he's actually getting excited about it. I'm mostly grateful for the time that he's getting to spend with his brother and dad making it. Peter continues to be totally hilarious and very witty. Never a dull moment with him around.
Olive is 6 now and as bossy as ever! Ha. She's going to absolutely hate reading this one day. Sorry Olive, you take after me! I am a bossy boots too. She's on a roll in school, top of her class in everything and a really great helper to Reiko Haupt, her teacher. Her two best friends, besides Penelope, are Ada and Ezra, although she really loves Layton too. I get to go volunteer in their class once a week on Wednesdays and Olive is always so pleased to have me there. She's been bouncing to the stars on that trampoline every day the sun is out! Santa did good on that gift!
She loves to read and her favourite books are anything by Mo Willems, especially 'Time to Pee!' She will read that book to anyone willing to listen and laughs the entire time. Olive really can bright a room with her lively personality, although she can also be very shy in public. I love to hear her sing and that is definitely a trait she claimed from me, we both love to sing, although neither of us are particularly good at it! But we don't care one bit.
Penelope is still my wee timid lamb, although she is becoming more and more confident according to her teacher and Mrs. Gilmour (who helps her in Title I Reading). She is like Jack (of course) in that she needs a little extra time to process, but she's very hardworking and committed. I am grateful to have kids who are people pleasers at school and want to get their work done and done well! Penelope also attends a speech class just to help her with a few certain sounds, but she has made so much progression and again works harder than anyone else. She too loves to bounce with Olive after school and ride her bike (this is a new thing) over to the church car park. I am amazed by her artistic talent. Penelope seems to be good at any art medium she touches. All of the wee ones love art and are good at it, but she seems to have a passion that just takes over her! I hope it's something that continues with her throughout her life. She is very silly at times and I love that about her, she is constantly giggling and always looking to play with one of her siblings. Olive is her dearest friend and I don't think she can stand to be apart from her for very long. They don't need to sit beside each other in class anymore, but they do need to be able to see each other and whenever I drive by the school during recess time, I always see Penelope standing close and holding onto her sissy. It's very sweet to watch their bond.
We bought a new house back in November, I think the date that we closed was the 13th, but we officially moved in on the 18th. It's nice to be out of the Masse's house and into one we really love and actually own. Renting wasn't my favourite, but that seemed to be what was needed for those 2 years while we waited for this one to come available I guess. I truly love it here and still have to kinda pinch myself that we managed to get it when their were 3 other offers higher than ours on it.
We started buying some new furniture (2 couches to be specific) and it's all looking so nice!
I'm excited to paint our bedroom and start working on the upstairs spare room.
I don't have my new permanent resident card yet which is very frustrating, so as of right now going home isn't an option for the summer. I'm missing family, but I also feel like I just need to stay put and maybe I can go back next year. Daniel moved to Shetland (Lerwick) with his family and Euan is moving his family to Utah in June. Two big moves, but both pretty exciting. We are heading to Utah for Ryan's cousin's wedding in July so maybe we will be able to see them then. They just had their fourth, a lovely wee baby boy called Callum. We are excited to meet him.
And Isabel just had her second baby boy early this morning! It's hard to know that she has another now and I still haven't even met Lee in person yet.
Hooray, I feel good knowing that I managed to get this blog post done! Now hopefully I can keep it up.