Sunday, August 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Zui!!

A few days before Zui's bday he found this Weber Spirit grill on sale.  Normally $482, bought for $315!  We called it his bday present (for the next few years!).  We've been looking for a grill for a very long time, ours was definitely on its last legs...

The old grill, ready to retire

Enjoying practicing with the grill

FHE with the Kim ohana

The kids loved tickling Daddy blindfolded while I got his icecream cake ready

The kids gave daddy his favorite: orange Dreambars!

Happy Birthday, Zui!  Sure love ya Babes!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jazzy at 15 months

 Jasmine has been quite a handful lately (I mean that in a good way...most of the time ;)  She is definitely our mess-maker. And she is such a quick little bugga!  Jazzy is taking a few steps here and there but still not walking, taking her sweet ol' time ;)  She is such a climber now.  Everytime I turn around she's either on top the kitchen table (throwing everything off of it and breaking dishes..), on top Anjuli's desk turning on/off the light, or on top the piano--not joking!  She is growing up everyday and becoming more and more lovable.  Here's what Jazzy's been up to the last few months.

Jazzy enjoys her oatmeal for breakfast uncooked.

Look, I can pray!

My favorite place to be

Taking mommy's makeup bag everywhere with me

Hungry?  Help yourself!

When I'm cranky I go in the sink for a spa treatment

Anjuli at 11 months
Jazzy at 15 mos

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Homeschool here I come!

 Anjuli was all set and ready to start Kindergarten.  I was excited for her, too.  Filled out all the paperwork, got her caught up on all her shots, bought her brand new school shoes--she was set!  Here she is on her first day of school.  She was soo excited to be a big girl.  Her favorite part was riding bikes with Daddy to school.  Being a public school kid myself I never planned on anything different.  I thought public school was good enough. 
 Anjuli went to school 3 full days before I pulled her out.  Kindergarten here is a long day: 7:45 to 2:10.  By the time she got home I almost immediately left to teach piano.  Most days I teach til 7pm.  I felt guilty for not seeing Anjuli all day, but didn't see any other way to do it.  Then Anjuli started crying whenever I would leave and it tugged unbelievably at my heart.  She would hang onto me with both hands and scream.  Then she started wanting me to sleep with her at night, and crying when I wouldn't.  Any other time I'd have to leave for visiting teaching or other church things she would again put up a fuss.  It was really hard on both me and her, and deep down I knew as a mother I wasn't spending enough time with her.  The thought of homeschool crossed my mind but that was for weirdos and who in their right mind would want to be home with ALL their kids ALL day, right?!

A few days before it came time to meet the teacher and see the classroom.  Anjuli's teacher was Ms. Johnson, a surfer girl from the North Shore.  She was nice and I liked her at first (although she had 4 misspelled words in her autobiography?!).  Anjuli's class was in a portable--totally ghetto, it looked like they were camping!  No colors, no space, old brown tennis balls stuck to the bottom of equally old, rickety chairs.  Then I asked the teacher what she would learn by the end of the year ("the letter sounds and 3 letter words, putting #'s in order).  I was surprised, and disappointed.  Anjuli already knows how to read books, write her own stories (sounding out the sounds) and do simple addition and subtraction.  I wondered if she would be bored sitting in Kindergarten all day.  Still I never imagined I would pull her out. 

Then I went to pick her up from school.  While waiting I could hear the teacher yelling at the kids "Push in your chairs!"  I was annoyed, to say the least.  Then I began hearing all sorts of stories from my public school (good kids!) getting in trouble for speed-walking or humming and getting their recess taken away, 6 year-olds using the F word, kids being mean and excluding others.  For all of these reasons I decided to pull her out.  Afterall, it's just Kindergarten! 

Looking at the school requirements, she already knows enough to go into First grade, so I didn't feel much pressure to keep up with her schooling.  For right now we are taking it a day at a time.  On a good day, we start at 8am, sing our good morning song, have prayer, gospel study, exercise time, piano practice, then hit our three main subjects: Reading, Writing, and Math.  On a bad day, when Jasmine is fussy or sick, we wing it, and Anjuli plays in the morning until I can get the babies down for naps and then we get to our schoolwork.

Anjuli is pretty good (most of the time) about sitting at her desk and doing her schoolwork.  She reads from the scriptures (with some help on the big words), and then practices writing by writing letters to friends and family, or copying scripture verses down.  We have been using manipulatives to help with math, like using the blocks.
 And of course there are the art projects.  Here we painted salad macaroni all different colors, then they glued them onto their name. 

Anjuli of course liked this the most, putting all the colors into patterns.

It entertained Zion for a few minutes...

 And Zeya just did his own thing ;)  I love seeing the age progression in this project.

Anjuli makes sure we never forget recess time, which is plenty longer than the 15 minutes they give at Kindergarten.  So far it has surprised me how much I like homeschool.  I finally feel like I'm spending quality time with Anjuli, instead of relying on the kids to play and fight with eachother while I multitask and try to get things done around the house.  And I have to say it is really fun to be the teacher and watch your child learn.  Just recently Anjuli's learned about money and telling time.  
What I like about homeschool: I love the flexibility.  I love not having to rush her off to school and stressing everyone out in the morning.  We can go to the waterpark, or the beach, or leave for vacation anytime we want.  I LOVE not having to deal with the school: signing forms, parent signatures, paper after paper...  I love not having to do homework.  We learn during the day, and finish with plenty of extra time to play.  Mostly, I love seeing Anjuli and feeling GOOD about leaving for piano, because I feel like I've given her all my attention, and that I now deserve a few hours away.

What I don't like about homeschool: It's not very organized, or should I say, I'm not very organized-- just yet.  I hear it takes about 6 months to get into a good rhythm of homeschool.  Afterall, it is a big change of life.  Also, Anjuli misses friends.  There are some parts of public school that I can't recreate: big field trips on the bus, choirs, relay races with tons of kids... for the mean time I'm trying to find more activities and playgroups to take her to.  Surprisingly, there are a LOT of homeschool families here on Oahu.  There's a great Facebook page so I feel a lot of support from others.

 I don't know how long we will homeschool.  Maybe next year Anjuli and Zion will be in public school together.  We've talked about possibly a charter school (Myron B Thompson Academy) that allots $1500 a year per kid for extracurricular activities, like gymnastics, art, or dance classes.  For now, we are taking it one day at a time, and hoping and praying we are doing the right thing.

Monday, August 6, 2012

WetnWild fun

 On Monday we headed to the waterpark with the Jones'.  By some miracle it happened to be "Bring a friend for free" day for Season pass holders!  What luck!  The kids had so much fun, and Tyler and Jarod were great about swimming with the little kids ;)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

White Plains with the Jones'

 My brother Carl and his family came into town for over a week--so fun!  We had a blast at the beach with them.  Aimee and I talked story while Zui taught the boys how to surf.  The kids loved rolling around in the waves.  Good times ;)  Afterwards the Jones' treated us to dinner:  Panda Express and McD's happy meals for the kids! (thank you!)

Zeya, so tuckered out.  He loves his slippers :)