Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer Begins!

Tomorrow is the last day of fourth grade for Jamie and Linda. Linda has made significant progress academically since she began her medication. She is still very behind, but we are encouraged. The kids will be taking summer band. We went to the school to be fitted for instruments. I had a short list of instruments I was trying to "steer" them to because I was trying to think of long-term scholarship potentials. I called and spoke to my former college choir/band director and asked him what instruments he had the hardest time filling scholarships for. I was ultimately ruling for the French Horn, but it was not to be. Jamie ended up selecting the trombone and Linda (in a surprising turn) picked the baritone. They will go to daily band lessons for a few weeks this summer to get a jump start before the school year starts. I really hope they stick with it because I must admit, I see dollar signs when I think of the chance for scholarships. Next month, Jamie and Linda will turn eleven. Pre-teen years have begun. Linda especially had begun to "blossom". It was time to have a detailed puberty talk with her. This was no fun and I was dreading it. Linda's emotional and social maturity does not match her physical maturity and so I had to be very careful in how I presented this topic. I did a lot of research and finally selected a book by American Girl called the body book for girls. It covers the girl's body from head to toe and addresses puberty without the topic of sexual intercourse. I liked that fact. It also discusses hygiene for every part of the body from shampooing to deodorant. I cannot seem to get Linda out of the shower now! She handled the talk very maturely I thought. We discussed "periods" without making it seem scary. We talked about how to use feminine products and created an "emergency" kit out of an old pencil case. She knows to talk to Mom, or the school nurse and knows how to use pads. She also knows that all she has to do is tell Jake that she needs to talk to Mom if it happens while I am at work and she has any questions. I think she is well prepared and it will hopefully go smoothly. Jake thinks he doesn't need to have the talk with Jamie yet. I am trying to find out what time is a good age for boys. I have all sisters so raising boys is brand new territory. Speaking of boys, Noah is all boy. He loves trucks, tractors, sports, transformers, anything at all that fits under the boy category. We are beginning to realize that he is exceptionally bright. His language and speech skills are very advanced for his age. He also loves to be read to and only has to hear a book a few times and then it is memorized. We are looking into preschools for next year for him and Mina. Mina is all girl. Jake says she is all Mommy. She loves animals (especially cats), nail polish, pretend make-up, dress up, jewelry and anything sparkly. She is very sassy at times and does not take guff from anybody, no matter how much bigger than her they might be. She can definitely keep up with the boys, but is all girl at the same time. She has an amazing fashion sense already and is very picky about her outfits. I tease that she picks cuter outfits for herself than Jake does. She loves Linda and follows her around faithfully. Linda actually loves to play with her and most of the time they play well. I have spent several years collecting Fisher Price Little People for the kiddos. We are getting quite a collection of both modern and vintage. Linda will sit with Mina and Noah and they will play with these sets for hours. We have about 25 different sets- barns, zoos, castles, houses, carwashes, airports, amusement parks, malls, just about anything you can imagine. I am constantly looking in thrift stores and amusement parts. Jake keeps busy with fishing, shooting league, and his metal detecting. He has found a lot of cool stuff. I am keeping busy with my glass projects. In addition to a huge panel I am working on, I have also started creating garden gazing balls out of bowling balls and glass. The demand is high for those and people keep asking me for them. I get funny looks buying five different bowling balls from thrift stores. That is a big update for today. I will finish the post with some pictures.