(It took a lot of bribery to get those kids to dress up like that!)
December 20 – opening a couple presents before we drove to Utah. The gifts included a new portable DVD player, headphones, and a bunch of DVDs — all things they could use on the drive!
December 22 – driving to Utah. We needed gas desperately somewhere in the middle of New Mexico and the only place to stop was this little, old gas station along Route 66. DJ literally went inside and asked if the pumps work because he hadn’t seen such old pumps since he was a kid! They sure worked, rotary dials and all! You just pump your gas, then go in and pay.
December 23 – family Christmas “Eve” party. For some reason, the only photos I have from that gathering are blurry.
Carter and Bryce opening presents.
December 24 – it snowed on Christmas Eve so Raine, Carter, Bella, and Tessa played in it.
These kids spent a lot of hours playing Shut the Box and Payday.
Raine started playing the viola this year in the district orchestra. They meet two days a week, after school, at one of the other elementary schools in the district. Tuesday night was their Christmas concert.
The first number on the video is all 3 orchestras (beginner, intermediate, and advanced). The second number is the beginner orchestra plucking a Christmas song. The third number is the beginner orchestra doing the night before Christmas where Raine is one of the narrators. We were behind her and it is almost impossible to hear her on the recording.
Raine took 3rd place in the school spelling bee this year!
Below is a video with each of her words (axis, Japanese, buzzard, martyr, sagacity, juniper, frippery, tomfoolery). You can hear how the pronunciation on the last word was incorrect, and Raine spelled it as it was pronounced, so she was a little upset about that. Regardless, she did great and I’m glad that she didn’t place any higher or else we would have had to worry about the district spelling bee!
This was our celebration that evening.
We celebrated Carter’s mastery of the letter R as well. Last year I started the process for him to receive speech therapy services at school and it took the entire school year to make it through the process. Right before school let out for the summer, Carter had one session with the speech pathologist. She showed him how to form the R sound and it made sense to him. He spent the entire summer working on making the R sound every time he spoke. When he went back to school this fall and had his first speech therapy session, he had mastered his R in all situations. His therapist was floored! It took another 3 months to get his speech services terminated so we celebrated him finishing speech as well.
Daddy standing at the top of his 20-foot ladder, using a 10-foot pool to retrieve the rocket from the tippy-top of a huge tree. The parachute fully opened the second time they launched it and it took so long to come down that the breeze carried it WAAAAY too far.
Dinner with a couple of tired kids.
Saturday hike to Parr Park.
Sunday evening, making rubbings of the leaves we collected on our hike.
Ward Halloween party and trunk-or-treat. Both kids invited a friend from school.
Abby, Raine, Catherine, and Maya
Matthew and Carter
I ordered Raine’s costume online and the first one was GIGANTIC! So big, in fact, that it fit me. Since it was so cheap, I kept it and we both went as glampires! (Good thing she isn’t at that stage where it isn’t cool to match your mom.)
Raine turned 10 on Friday. A full decade. Two full hands. Double digits. A tween. How could this be possible?
Donuts for breakfast, courtesy of Dad.
An electric scooter.
Carter gave her a Caboodle (flash-back to the 90’s), which she loved!
On Saturday, Raine wanted to get her nails done and eat at Texas Roadhouse, so we did.
How can I describe Raine? She is smart, sometimes too smart for her own good. She believes that she can do anything and doesn’t hesitate to try new things (as long as it is HER idea). She is sarcastic and sassy and we butt heads all the time because she always thinks she is right, but I always AM right!
Raine loves fashion and glitter and everything girly. She is prissy and flighty and drives poor Carter crazy sometimes! She loves dancing and singing to Kids-Bop songs. This week she started playing the viola in the district orchestra.
She is still a voracious reader, she is also a master speller. Her standardized reading, writing, and verbal IQ scores consistently put her in the top 99% of kids her age. Her math scores do not!
Raine keeps us on our toes and challenges us intellectually as often as she can. It will be interesting to see where this kid ends up in life because she is sure to do great things.
height: 59-1/8″ (7/8″ shy of 5′ and 1-7/8″ taller than last year)
weight: 75.8 lbs
shoe size: women’s 9 (we can now share shoes even though my feet are still slightly bigger)
Cathey Ellsworth had been telling the kids that she would let them ride her horse when her daughter Austin got home from school and Friday night was the day! She picked them up, fed them pizza, and then let them ride while DJ and I went out to dinner. She is THE BEST!
After dinner, DJ and I went over to the Vanderpool’s where Cathey keeps the horses to see how things were going. Carter was playing on the playground while Raine and the Moyle girls were riding Doug. I asked Carter why he didn’t want to ride and he said, very matter-of-factly, “because I don’t want to die.”
After MUCH coercing and a little bribery, he agreed to sit on the horse if I stood right next to him. The horse moved a bit while Carter was on him and Carter was NOT a fan!
Raine, on the other hand, loved every minute of being on the horse and didn’t mind at all when he trotted.