Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fall School Activities

Reese's big school "activity" has been happily going into class in the mornings.  It only took until mid-November.  At first, she'd cry for about 10 minutes.  Then she moved on to throwing things out of her cubby (and at her mommy) to show her sadness.  Then, she cried for a few seconds just because it seemed necessary.  ...Then, one glorious day, she ran into her classroom, put her baby doll in her cubby, and ran across the room to hug her teacher.  Success!

Kate has been learning Spanish in her class and loves to speak fluent Spanish-Gibberish.  This is a language unique to Kate where she says a few actual Spanish words and then fills in the rest of her sentence with sounds that seem to match.
She also got to help prepare and partake in a Thanksgiving Feast at her school and was excited to make the fruit salad and to try apples with cinnamon and a little sugar.  It's appropriate that her class made lunch together, because Kate is an extraordinary chef at home as well - involved in most of the cooking and baking and really quite helpful!

Avery has kept busy with school activities.  She hosted her entire family, including Nana and D, at her Open House night and was incredibly proud to read every poem
in her poem folder to us.
She celebrated her Thankful Party at school and made a thankful tree to take to Lockhart.  On it, she made a plaque that read, "I'm thankful for Nana, DD, Nanny, Mimi and Gran."  Sadly, the tree got squished and then rained on, but pictures of it remain.
Then, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving break, Avery rocked her school's Field Day.  She earned 65 points balancing on beams, throwing rings and bouncing balls.  But what was most impressive was Avery's sportsmanship.  When she'd fall off of the balance beam or drop a ball, she'd stop and let the score-keeper know rather than waiting for them to stop her.  When she was finished with activities, she'd tell the score-keepers thank you before moving on.  Most impressive to the score-keepers, she was one of the only kids in her entire grade level that would help set the activity up for the next player.  She'd reset bowling pins, collect frisbees from the places they'd been slung, and chase down her own balls to hand to the next player.  Over and over again, the score-keepers would act surprised and thank her.  It was a little thing, and no surprise to those of us who know Avery's sweet heart, but it was encouraging to watch nonetheless.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

The Beard

In May, Jordan started growing a beard to support Trey (Trey didn't shave until he was healthy enough to go back to work, and Jordan kept his beard as a show of support.)

In June, we got wind of a fundraiser some of our friends were starting (  We love beards, we love the Hoffmans and we love babies, so we signed up!  The gig went like this: Jordan wouldn't shave for 6 months.  People would sponsor his beard growth and the money from those sponsorships would go to our friends' adoption.

In late July, Jordan needed to trim his beard for a work function, but aside from that, the beard grew and grew.

Sometimes the handlebars would come out.

Sometimes we all got in on the fun.

But mostly, this altruistic beard just grew.  And caught crumbs and yogurt and queso.


And created a beard company with another bearded friend. (

Originally, we were scheduled to have a Shave Party on December 1st, but another work function came up and so the shave date was moved forward a few weeks.

So, how does one say goodbye to a beard of 7 months?

I'm glad you asked:

And interestingly, the girls were not shocked or sad to see the beard go.  Reese even cheered Jordan on: "Beard off! Take beard off!"

We love our beardless man!

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Thursday, November 14, 2013


(transcribed from a retelling by Avery)

(Boosterthon is a fund run that the school participates in.  The track length is roughly 1/20th of a mile and the kids get pledges for each lap they can run.)

When I did Boosterthon in Kindergarten, I didn't run that many laps.  And then last year, I had a broken arm so I only ran like 20 laps.  But this year I really wanted to reach my goal of 35 laps.  (During the race) I ran a lot, but then they said "only 2 minutes left"!  I still had a lot of laps to go until my goal, so I started running faster.  I felt a little nervous that I wouldn't reach my goal when they said "only 1 minute left" because I still had two laps to go!  But I just really focused and ran as fast as I could and I made it!  I actually ran 37 laps.  Two m
ore than my goal! I felt happy that I beat my goal.  And hot.  My face was really sweating.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Halloween 2013

Avery's Halloween:
Having recently discovered The Rainbow Magic Fairies, Avery was dead set on using Polly the Party Fun Fairy for her decorated pumpkin for school as well as for her costume.  And NO, the blue fancy fairy costume is NOT the same as what Polly looks like.  Blue Yoga pants, a tank, purple shoes, belt and necklace were the ONLY way to be Polly.  But no worries.  Four stores later, all of the necessary costume pieces were found.  And Polly the Party Fun Fairy was full of Rainbow Magic this Halloween.

Kate's Halloween: 
Kate had trouble deciding between dressing up as a cowgirl or Queen Esther for Halloween.  In the end, a Jasmine costume caught her eye and it was her newest heart's desire.  Sadly, the costume was way too big and waaaaaaay too itchy (according to Kate, which we found out the morning of her parade).  So then the decision became a little easier: which of the costumes in my closet might I want to wear?  For her school parade, she picked Aurora, but the end winner was Pocohontas (which, yes, she had to explain to most people when they saw her).

Reese's Halloween:
Reese decided months ago that she was going to be Handy Manny for Halloween, so much so that when we watched Handy Manny on tv, she'd identify with his struggles and whimper when he was in trouble.  We did find a high quality $6 Handy Manny costume at a resale shop, but Reese also has very wily parents.  While shopping for Handy Manny's costume, we came across "what Handy Manny wears on Halloween".  Sure enough, Reese was sure that Handy Manny would dress in a Captain America costume.  So, to the outside observer, Reese might've looked like Captain America.  But if you were in the know, you'd see Handy Manny.

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