Saturday, February 6, 2016

Physical Education

I have wanted my kids to take a PE class for some time but they always seemed to be scheduled at the same time we had other classes. But starting in January they changed the day of the week to a day and time we could attend. I quickly signed all four kids up for the class.

The class is done at a local park. Each month they are going to learn and play a different sport or game. January's sport was Basketball and February is Dodgeball.  My kids were a little skeptical about the class at first.

There are quite a few younger kids in the class but out of the 20 or so kids in the class there is another 14 year old girl that attends and that made Sophie happy. Ian was a little sad that he is the oldest boy. Henry is just happy to be out doing something. Molly is happy to be included in something. She is almost always too small or too young to do most things.

I am happy that they are getting to play some of the sports I remember learning and playing for p.e. or at recess when I went to school.

In addition to this new class which the kids have enjoyed the past few weeks, I signed Sophie up for a Fitness class through Williamsburg Academy.  Originally I thought it would count as the Health class the Charter school we belong to required for High School. But it is more of a P.E. class so they won't count it. But Sophie is doing it anyway and it has been good for all of us. It is a self paced class but each week she has to complete and report on an assigned activity.  I had had all of us do these weekly assigned activities. Henry loves this! He can never get enough outdoors, active activities. Ian is a bit more work but if I do it too then he is happy to also do it. Molly is just happy go lucky and goes with the flow of whatever we drag her to do. We mapped out a mile course near our house and we have had to run/walk that mile course three times this week trying to get it faster each time. None of us being runners we are not very fast and walk most of it but still can make it the mile in about 10 min, even Molly! but sometimes she is allowed to go on her scooter. Henry did it once on his roller blades just for a change of pace.

All this exercise made Henry decide he needed to go to park to play Tennis one afternoon.

 They do little more than hit the balls back and forth. They don't play a game and rarely get a volley. I asked Henry if he was tired of just chasing the ball. He said "yeah but it is a good tired". He just really loves to be out running around.
 Molly was the official ball retriever. She had her scooter out so she could zip around the courts and pick up the stray balls. She would then toss them to the boys so they could continue to try to hit balls to each other.

Oh and the boys are both playing basketball with the Boys and Girls club. A season at the B & G club is way cheeper than a season at the local rec. club.  They boys were on different teams which meant we were having to juggle two practices during the week and  two games every Saturday for the last few months.
 I kinda talked the boys into playing. Neither one was overly thrilled about doing it. They had never played basketball before. But I thought it would be good for them to at least play that game and know the rules.

 Ian attended 11 year old scouts last year and when they were done doing what ever scouts do they would often go shoot hoops in the gym. Ian would come and sit in the foyer with me while we waited for Sophie's activity to finish. He didn't know how to play hoops so wasn't comfortable hanging around in the gym with the bigger boys. My thought was that after a season of playing basketball he would be more likely to join in with the others after mutual activities.

Sophie is thinking of playing basketball again this spring. It would start in a few weeks. Which means our basketball schedule won't be much different even when the boy's season ends next week.

All this Physical activity is good for us. We are not the most athletic family. We are not going to win any awards and be any sort of "all stars" but getting away from screens and out of the house doing something active has been really good for us!

Sorry all these pictures in this post are so horrible. I really need to remember to bring the actual camera. I end up using my phone to snap quick pictures. It documents the event but it really doesn't do a great job!

Saturday, January 16, 2016


 Ian had a birthday at the beginning of the year. He is officially a YOUNG MAN, twelve years old! I picked up some doughnuts for the birthday boy since I was the doing the Seminary run that morning. And Ian got to open one gift at breakfast. Poor boy still had to attend classes and even go to his piano lesson that day. No rest for the birthday boy!
 He still got a chocolate cake with twelve candles.
 He picked Ravioli with alfredo sauce for dinner and of course he got the red plate.

 There was also some chocolate Ice Cream and a stack of gifts too.
It is great to have a birthday!

Happy New Year!

We had a rather quiet New Years Day. We slept in and then spent the day relaxing at home.

I started a puzzle that we had only attempted once before about two years ago on New Years Day after Sophie got it for Christmas that year.  We were actually able to finish it this year. The Periodic Table of the Elements is kinda difficult because so many of the images are silver. But this is one puzzle where the edges are the last things that get done rather than the first. If we do this one often enough we may master the periodic table. 
 While we worked on the puzzle we put on our traditional New Years Day movie. Every Year we watch Holiday Inn.  They go through the whole year and sing and dance to a bunch of Holiday songs.
They finish off will New Years so it always seems a fitting movie for the day. My kids always look forward to Fred Astaire dancing with fire crackers when they get to the Fourth of July.

When that was done we couldn't stop and had to watch a few more Fred Astaire Movies.

You really can't beat the dancing and music in Shall We Dance. Fred and Ginger singing and Dancing to Gershwin tunes. 

 Molly especially loved the roller skating dance.

Swing Time may be the best Fred and Ginger Movie ever!

I love old movies and I am happy my kids don't seem to mind watching these black and white movies with me. 

It was a relaxing way to start the new year!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Before December officially slips away......

We had a very busy Christmas season. It felt like there were events and activities almost all through the month that kept us very busy. 

We did have time to make Christmas cookies and even had friends over to help decorate and eat them up.  We used the recipes from Cranial Hiccups for the two kinds of cut out cookies.

We made to Temple Hill in Oakland three different nights for different events. 
 We saw the Nutcraker ballet, Zion's Choir (which is directed by friends of our from when we lived in the city) Fun to see and catch up with them!
We also were able to watch Behold the Gift which was a retelling of the life of the savior through dance. And that was followed by the Christmas concert of the Backward Piano man Jason Lyle Black
 I guess he is from the area and has done a Christmas concert the last few years. This was our first time seeing him perform (other than on Youtube videos). We all agreed we would try to make his concert again next year too. Very fun performance!
I don't have any pictures of the kids piano recital. I took movies of their performances but didn't snap any pictures. Sophie performed the "Happy Working Song" from the movie Enchanted as well as a duet of O, Christmas Tree. Molly played "Jingle Bells". Ian played "Scarborough Fair" (He is my shy boy and only wanted to play one song) and Henry performed "Moonlight Sonata" and "Linus and Lucy" and "Christmas Time" from Charlie Brown. It love seeing my kids progress with their music.
 The kids were treated by their Dad to the new Star Wars movie. I stayed home with Molly so I still don't know what happens. I guess I will have to wait until the DVD comes out.
Christmas Eve was very rainy and we had nothing planned for the day so we started a Harry Potter Movie Marathon.

We actually had Harry Potter going most of the day and still only made it through 5 of the movies.

 At one point the rain started to really come down. We could hear it, and then we all looked out the window we saw hail pounding down.  It didn't last too long but that was as close as we were going to get to a White Christmas so we enjoyed it.
Of course being in California anything wet coming down from the sky is something to celebrate!

I really tried to get the kids to stay in bed on Christmas morning. I had set the rule that we couldn't get up until the sun did. But at about 5:45 Henry could be heard dancing around. He claimed the cat woke him up. Their bedroom doors had been closed and she was scratching on their door trying to get in.  We tried to send him back to bed but by that point everyone was up and all excited to get going on the stockings and presents.

So the kids dug into their loot. 
Stockings had socks, beanies, yo-yos, sketch and joke books and a few other more personalized things for each kid.
The presents under the tree were quickly dug into.

Henry was given some Minecraft stuffed animals. His favorite was the Ender Man but there was also a pig, a mooshroom and a creeper.
 Molly doesn't look excited at all to have a stack of gifts to open!

 Sophie picked out a Sonic Screwdriver for Ian. He really likes the 10th Doctor best so that was the screwdriver he was given. Now he needs a fez!

 Molly got some new fashion plates. This is the Glamor collection. We take these with us to piano lessons quite often and she has requested this particular collection so she was thrilled!
 Each kid was also given a new Wii game. I hadn't bought any new Wii games for years. Henry told him he was bored with all the ones they had so needed new ones.  Kirby's Big Yarn was the favorite new game!
 Molly picked out a puzzle for Sophie that had castles and Dragons and if you look closely Chitty Chitty bang bang is flying over too.

 A few new games made it into our collection too.

We have spent the last few days relaxing and enjoying all the new games and things that made it's way to our house. We even finished the Harry Potter Marathon and watched the last three movies (just not all at once).

I am actually looking forward to getting back into a more normal schedule. Next week we jump back into classes and school work.