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Katya’s Role Model

Katya’s Role Model

Today’s final “kid bragging” post is a writing assignment that Katya did.  It was deeply encouraging and humbling, especially to this mom who often finds herself at odds with her creative, independent, passionate daughter.

“My mom is a great role model for me for many reasons.  To begin, my mom is a Christian woman.  My mom shows that she is a Christian by disciplining me very well.  Also, she teaches me about God and how to love God.  Next, when I think of my mom I think about how loving she is.  My mom comforts me when I am sad, and she is gentle when I am hurt or sick.  Also, she encourages me in hard times and is patient with me when I am grumpy.  Last, my mom is always joyful.  I can see that she is joyful because she always wears bright colors.  Also, my mom smiles a lot and loves everyone around her.  I admire my mom as a role model.”

Some moments are so very hard, but then there are other moments that are so richly beautiful.  Thanks, sweet girl.

Nathan’s Hero

Nathan’s Hero

One more “student work” post from Nathan…

Hero Project

My hero is my little sister, Katya. She is a charismatic person who loves acrobatics, art, and people. She is my hero because she proves that the best gifts come in small packages and she shows me an example of generosity. She is generous, creative, sweet, adorable, innocent and brilliant and she shows me how to have fun even when everything seems serious. She is very creative and adds new things to playtime every day. She is very responsible and she is similar to Aurelianus [a character in the book this pieces was an assignment for] because she loves dogs, she is a lover of harmony, and she loves magic. She also is very observant and knows lots of things. She is different than Aurelianus because she does not have a very conventional mind she has more of a creative one. (She also doesn’t have a fur coat that changes colors, wink, wink.) Katya helps so many people have love and joy in their lives. She gives gifts and smiles at what people say. She fills people’s lives with creative ideas. Katya and I are alike because we both love each other very much. We are different because she is very creative but I like orderly, conventional thinking.

Katya’s Dog Poetry

Katya’s Dog Poetry

Normally I try not to do too much “kid bragging” on the blog, but sometimes it is just the best forum for sharing what they are up to!  As the school year ends and the summer begins, I’ve got a few things I’ve collected from their year that I hope you enjoy.

First up, poetry!!  Of course, when it is time to write some poems, you choose your favorite thing.  And for Katya, that would be dogs!  This writing even got illustrations…


There once was a big dog named Bear

Who chased hare after hare

One day while chasing a hare she jumped into a lake

and she came out holding a rake

and she swam out of the lake with much care

Golden Retrievers

A big ball of fluffy happiness

fun, silly, smart, crazy ball of fluff

frolicking, licking, running ball of sunshine

doing tricks, playing games, your best friend

in the water splash, splishing, sploshing

licking children, being friendly, your pet!

A Bean Grows in Denver

A Bean Grows in Denver

As part of her science unit at school, Katya has been carefully tending some bean seeds in a plastic cup.  She has loved watching them appear and has faithfully photographed their growth from when the sprout appeared to when we put it outside.

I was amazed at how quickly they grew–the first few photos were taken with only about 12 hours between each picture!

Creation is amazing!

The End of Book 1

The End of Book 1

After many years of practice and hard work, Katya was able to play all the songs from Suzuki Book 1 for her graduation recital.  We were grateful for the encouraging audience that gathered to patiently listen, and to enjoy treats afterwards!  This is a big milestone, and one that both mother and daughter are proud to have accomplished.






Something’s Missing…

Something’s Missing…

Look who has a gap in her grin!


Katya finally lost her first tooth, an anxiously awaited event that has been a long time in coming.

Since she sleeps up high in her loft bed and knows that the resident tooth fairy can be a bit forgetful, she left her treasure down low with the following note:

To: The Tooth Fairy

I lost a tooth.  It is OK if you don’t have time to come.  Just write me on your list to see.  If you want to see tooth, follow this path.

(The tooth was hiding in the pocket of her little owl.)

Fortunately the tooth fairy did not forget, and the next day Katya drew her a lovely picture!  Alas, because it was drawn on the whiteboard, the artwork has been lost and replaced with something new.  Oh well.  There is another tooth getting wiggly…

Summer Play

Summer Play

After a few recent posts, you might be tempted to think that I spent the entire summer devotedly cooking and crafting creatively with my children.  Hah!  Just remember two things…

1) My blog is a highlight reel of the things I happened to remember to take pictures of.  NOT real life, only an edited glimpse of life.  Always keep that in mind.

2) I spend LOTS of time on the computer–having fun, writing this blog, wasting hours on Pinterest, and working for Get HOPE Global.  I also cook and clean and do laundry and whatever else.  That means lots of time when my kids are off doing their own thing.

And what, you may ask, do they do when they are doing their own thing?

There are the usual suspects: slogging through piano practice, doing household chores, fighting as siblings do, and hanging out in the corner with a pile of books.  I have been surprised, however, that the older they get the more fun they seem to have with each other.  It is neat to see their personalities interact, and to watch how the unique combination that is them turns into a variety of interesting activities.  Here are a few of my favorites from this summer:


Creating a miniature world with lots of little objects, plastic animals, and random other things from their rooms.


Turning the IKEA umbrellas into the base of a fort/ship.  Blankets, games, books, stuffed animals–all kinds of stuff ended up out there.




Crazy backyard water play.  We’ve sure gotten our mileage out of that kiddie swimming pool and the little toddler slide!


Garden experiments–mixing, stirring, lots of picking leaves and making mud.  This particular time they added some almost-dried-out paints and glitter glues that were headed for the trash.


Time alone–the scene above is a fairly typical one.  Katya keeps going with a project long after Nathan has left to go back to his book.  Sometimes they do really well at drifting in and out of interacting together.

Can you tell I love summer with my kids together?  Yep, I do!

Idaho-Katya’s View

Idaho-Katya’s View

This is the last Idaho post, I promise.  We gave Katya the camera for a bit while we were camping, and I always find it interesting to get a glimpse into how my kids see the world.  These are the pics she took…






And there you have it, folks.  Another Idaho vacation filed in the memory banks.  I’m already looking forward to next year…

Seven (for a Month!)

Seven (for a Month!)

Not only is Katya seven now, she has been for a whole month!  Here is my report about seven-year-olds, based on an extensive survey with a sample size of one…

Seven-year-olds are excited about thoughtfully chosen presents from family, near and far.


Seven-year-olds want a family trip to the zoo, especially when their birthdays coincide with a day off from school.


Seven-year-olds ride carousels and get their brothers to come along.


Seven-year-olds are delighted with boxes that come in the mail–the gifts are great, and the box is still fun too.


Seven-year-olds appreciate special outings like girl-grandmother shopping and lunch.


Seven-year-olds are gleefully surprised when their dads and brothers fill their rooms with 84 balloons.  (Sometimes they are also afraid when lots of those balloons pop loudly and without warning, but they are also grateful for dads who step in and make it fun again.)


Seven-year-olds might request a raspberry Napoleon instead of birthday cake, to go along with their dinner meal of homemade pizza.


Seven-year-olds like coloring on the table, blowing out candles, and being the center of attention.


Seven-year-olds are creative, full of energy, and a marvelous part of any family.  Seven-year-olds are dearly loved!


If you know a seven-year-old, be grateful.  I sure am!