Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School 2012

First day of 3rd grade for Sam, and 1st grade for Josh. These were their notes for the day:

Josh: The best thing was it was a short day.
Sam: The best thing was we got to have a paper snowball fight! And I also won 30 tickets, and....(several more things)

Josh: Yes, Jackson and I got in trouble for not paying attention. (he sits next to his best friend, that won't last long!)
Sam: The worst thing is it was REALLY REALLY hot.

Josh: Oh, and I didn't like hot lunch so I don't ever want to get it again.
Sam: I loved lunch! There are 4 new kids in my class! We have 12 boys and 10 girls. I finished my paper first!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Today was the LAST- day of kindergarten for Josh, day of going to the babysitters house for Zeke, and the last full day of school for Sam. Here are some photos!

These two photos were taken at the beginning of the school year. They've changed quite a bit, check out how short Sam's hair was then!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spring 2012 Program

A photo from a friend, with his caption, "I am reminded to have Faith Like a Child"

Spring program was fantastic! Great singing, great motions, great dancing. Unfortunately my videos didn't turn out fantastic. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of the night. You can view videos on my youtube channel-

Zeke's picture is my favorite- so overwhelmed with the awesomeness of the program he...fell asleep.

Friday, May 25, 2012

a CALMER summer

Last summer I organized learning time for my boys and it was a great way to prevent "summer learning loss". We had a few lessons and camps and weekend vacations. However, despite all this we still experienced summer "boredom". Then, this past spring break I had nothing planned and the boys were, well, not themselves! They need routine and structure. (Some more than others!) So I set out to really plan for the summer.

A lot of my information is from a great website called Power of Moms There are two parts to my plan- sort of morning and afternoon blocks of time that can flip flop, or be adjusted during the weeks the kids are at VBS, camp, or sports lessons. So, the first part of my plan is CALMER. Every morning (unless it is a flip flop day) the boys will know that they have to complete the 6 parts of calmer. They will be rewarded a pompom to their jar, and each pompom is worth 25cents. Here is what calmer means:

C- chores. 5-10 minutes of a chore, from a list on the fridge and they write the chore they did on their chart.
A- author. 10+ minutes of writing in a journal or writing a story. An author corner will be set up in the house.
L- learning time. Like last summer I will have prearranged daily packets for their completion.
M- ME time/whatever they want. But they will learn to prioritize and save time to complete all of their morning tasks.
E- exercise, at least 20 minutes of activity. Some days we may do this together at Calvin or GRCES.
R- reading. 15+ minutes of reading in the reading corner. This will also help them complete all their summer reading programs from all the book stores and libraries (a great way to get free books!)

I know the first couple weeks they will need reminding, but my goal is to get to the point where they know they have 3 hours to complete all 6 tasks. In addition to CALMER, we also have fun daily "stuff". Again, another 3 hour block of time, and the days will look like this (again from that great website power of moms):

Masterpiece Monday - art and science projects together, I have a long list thanks to Pinterest!
Take a Trip Tuesdays - most of these ideas came from GRkids summer bucket list We already have planned with small group friends too.
Wet Wednesday's - this is perfect since I work on Wed. they will head to Nana's, who has a pool!
anyThing goes Thursdays - more fun ideas from GR kids bucket list
Friend Friday - out with friends or have friends over.

I have already told the boys all about this and they can't wait to start! Hopefully this organization and structure does indeed make a for a calmer summer!

Monday, May 21, 2012

End of soccer and the Letter Parade

Wow, the end of soccer. What an exciting Saturday. As previously mentioned, Sam and Josh have greatly improved- for Sam his aggressiveness and passing are really coming together. But the change in Josh was very obvious- he is competitive, aggressive, and LOVES playing. Grandpa John was very impressed with the complete change that has come over Josh since the last sports season. He loved trying to catch video of Josh- here is one- you can see him kick the ball and then his celebration- and of course after his domination at forward the rest of the game he dominates at defense (the coach did this all season!) JOSH'S GOAL Zeke's coach surprised all the kids with a little trophy! The parks and Rec program gives every participant a medal and certificate, but this coach then went and got them each trophy's- his says "Ezekiel 'Zeke' VanSchepen" Excited doesn't full describe how he felt!
Sam's last game was a really good one- the other team was the best they had played all season. I wish I had Sam's amazing goal to show you, but alas we didn't catch it!
finally, all the Kindergartners did a letter parade today. Josh's teacher was kind enough to let Zeke go too. He was ECSTATIC! He got to sit in the classroom with them for about 15 minutes, then came up to do the parade all around the school. He passed me and said, "I don't need you mom." thanks. It was super cute though! LETTER PARADE

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Two videos

Two Zeke videos for you, sorry about the poor quality: Here is Zeke's awesome dance moves- Zeke Singing and this one was taken after James' last visit with us- Zeke talking about James