Sunday, August 10, 2014

Day in the City

Wow, this summer has flown right by. I am sad to say that we are down to only two more weeks of vacation before the kids go back to school. For now I am trying to squeeze in as much family fun as we can. Matt had a day off work this week, so we decided to spend a day in DC. We were able to get passes to go to the top of the Washington Monument, which the kids were very excited about. The earthquake that closed the monument happened the week we moved to the area, almost three years ago. It only recently reopened, so this was our first chance. We also visited the Lincoln Memorial, which was Little Matt's request, and the Museum of Natural History, which Beth asked for. The tame squirrels on the National Mall were a big hit with the younger two girls. They looked quite pudgy...I think the tourist area must make for easy squirrel living.
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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spring is here! :)

It is the first day of May, and I hope May finally brings the warm weather. I optimistically packed up the kids' winter clothes several weeks ago, but I keep having to get them back out. After our crazy long winter, this southern girl is more than ready to move on.

This month also brings the start of baseball season. Officially they started a week or two, but we haven't had much cooperation from the weather yet. I have three kids playing on three different teams this year. I might just be crazy by the end of June. Beth is on a youth pitch 9-11 year old team. Her best friend is playing with her, and then the rest of the team (and the rest of the league) is made up of boys. Beth just turned nine, and these boys look so big to me. I am worried about my little mama, but Matt keeps telling me she will be fine. She's had one practice so far, and in fact did really well. I was proud of her holding her own out there. Her coach e-mailed me and told me she needed a bigger glove this year, so I guess that it is it for her little pink and blue glove. She didn't want to let it go at first, but when Matt brought home a new pink and black glove she was excited. Apparently pink is the key...haha. My Matthew is eight, and he is playing on a machine pitch team. His daddy is helping to coach this year, and he is excited about that. Finally, little Carrie is playing t-ball this year. She is so funny. When it was time to go to her first practice, she said "Where are we going? Is this an outside activity? Do I get to wear a special outfit?" Find you, we had already talked about where we were going AND she played t-ball last year too. Miss Katy is not old enough, so she will help me cheer from the stands

Thursday, January 16, 2014

January Update

I keep meaning to do a better job keeping up with this blog. In the meantime, I'll just give a little update on all of us Tysons.

Big Matt is still working as a liaison to the Navy here in Maryland. He has another year and a half at that job, and then we will be on the move again. It has been so long since he had a "normal" CG job, that sometimes I forget he is in the Coast Guard at all. Our time here has really flown by, and he has enjoyed his work. This August he should get the "shopping list" which tells us what jobs are opening in 2015, and where he can ask for next. "Ask" being the key work, because in the end they can send him anywhere they want. In any case, August makes it all seem so soon! In addition to work, Matt is finishing up his degree in Biology. His goal is to graduate before we move, and so far he seems to be on track. The whole government furlough and then shutdown put him back a bit, but he is back in classes and working hard now.
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As for me, I am still enjoying life as a stay at home mom. The three older kids are in public school this year, and even little Katy goes to a preschool at church two mornings a week. My life seems VERY different than when I had all four home and was homeschooling. I miss them, but you know my house is cleaner - haha. In all seriousness we may very well return to homeschooling after our move. I miss the freedom in our schedule, and I am not at all sold on this new common core. For right now though we are very happy with our set-up. The kids go to a lovely small town school that is right down the road, and the teachers and families are fantastic. We will leave them there for the duration of our tour in Maryland, and we are thankful for the opportunity they've had to go there. With the kids being in school this year, I've also been able to a little volunteer work to my schedule which I have really enjoyed. After being home full-time for several years it does feel good to get out a little bit. I'm sure having slightly older kids (and getting to sleep through the night!) helps in that aspect too.
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Miss Beth is almost nine years old now. I just can't believe it. She has been a very easy child so far, and we just enjoy her so much. This year she is in third grade, and she is taking violin lessons at school. I think that has been the highlight of her school year. She just loves it, and I never have to remind her to practice. Outside of school she loves to read. She read through the Harry Potter series three time this summer. I finally told her she had to pick something new. Currently she is enjoying factual books, like the "Guinness Book of World Records" and "Ripley's Believe it or Not." She always has some crazy fact she wants to share with me now. She found out that there is a Ripley's museum an hour from our house, and is gunning for a visit. She also loves art, and has decided she is expecially good at drawing horses. At home she loves to play teacher, and tries to get the other kids to join her as pupils for very lengthy school sessions. Her cat Waffles remains her most loyal companion, and she hopes to be a veterinarian when she grows up. As far as sports go, she has taken a gymnastics class at the rec all winter, and this summer will be switching to baseball. She'll be on a "youth pitch" team for the first time this year - wow! She continues to enjoy Awanas as well, and is in her first year of T&T. She started as a first year Sparkie, so this is her fourth year overall.
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Mr. Matthew is seven and a half, and is midway through his second grade year. He is growing like crazy, and is always in need of longer pants and bigger shoes. He is not that interested in hugs and kisses from me anymore, which makes me sad. He still love spending time with me though, and always wants to show off his Lego creations or his toy car set-ups. He is his daddy's loyal helper, and loves working on cars, electronics, and building projects. I think he is smarter than me already, at least in some areas. He is definitely better at directions and helps me find my car in big parking lots. The girls all take after me, and we get turned around easily - haha. At home Matt loves to play restaurant, and sets up elaborate displays and menus for us to order off of. I am glad that he would still rather use his imagination than watch tv or play video games. He has a ton of energy and likes to play outside, so this time of year is tough on him. We have a small house and live in the country, so I have to be creative in finding ways for these little guys to be active. The yard stays too wet to play in this time of year, but any time it gets the tiniest bit sunny I slog their bikes or scooters through the yard and set them up on the road to ride. At church he is a third-year Sparkie in Awanas, and has little sister Carrie in with him this year. He loves to memorize his verses and always has such good insightful comments to make about the scripture he reads.
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My Carrie-Berry will be six years old this month. She is enjoying a great year of kindergarten and is doing so well. She is (finally) getting help for her speech delay, but it has not held her back academically like I was afraid it would. In fact, she is the earliest reader of my kids so far. I have noticed a great improvement in her speech, and as a result in her confidence. It made me feel so bad when her preschool friends and teachers could not understand her, and I am glad that that is not the case this year. She has been become much more outgoing and has made a lot of new friends. Carrie does well at school, but claims she only likes "playtime." Playtime for her entails center time, recess, and all her special classes (art, music, pe, and library.) I am thankful this kindergarten is not as academic as some in other areas we have lived in. Although it is full-day, it seems to be just the right mix of seat-work verses playtime and creativity. Carrie's best friend is her little sister Katy, and Katy and I really miss having her home with us this year. The two of them play so well together, and love dressing up and playing with dolls and stuffed animals. Katy is a loyal side-kick, and lets Carrie take charge and be the "big kid" for a while. As for sports, Carrie has been doing gymnastics with her sister Beth. She said she is the smallest one in the class, and also the prettiest. Apparently not the most humble though.... This spring she will play t-ball.  photo blog-carrie_zps107cee0d.jpg
Finally, we have our sweet little Katy. Katy is 3 1/2, although I still call her "the baby" and maybe I always will. She seemed like a really young three to me (she does have that summer birthday) so we really debated putting her in preschool this year. She was just so little, and only potty trained the week before class started. I am glad we did though, as I have seen her grow in independence and confidence so much this year. She loves to go to school, and the two mornings a week is just enough for her. I still have her home most of the time, and she is my best helper. We run errands together, do housework together, and just generally pass the quiet hours anyway we please. Katy loves to do art, and has just recently switched from scribbling to drawing shapes, people, animals, and rainbows. As always, it seems like an amazing transformation to me. She also can cut along a line, sing songs, play ball, and peddle her trike. Just a delightful little girl. She is still loud, but I guess when you are the youngest of four, maybe you have to be.
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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Checking In

Wow, I can't believe it has been five months since I've updated here. Life is humming along happily here at the Tyson house. We are still in our little house by the bay, and should have about another year and a half here. I am already starting to think about our inevitable move, and it makes me feel mostly sad, but then also a little excited about the possibilities. Hopefully as the transfer time approaches the sadness will fade and the excitement will rise...and hopefully the kids will pick up on that mindset as well. Although I am a military wife, and therefore destined to a life of moving, I truly don't like it. However, it is only the moving I don't like. The goodbyes...the nostalgia....the two weeks of hard hard work. Once we get to our new locale I always perk up. We have been blessed so far to truly enjoy each of Matt's duty stations. Anyway...back to the here and now.

Beth is in third grade this year. She is learning the play the violin at school, and is so pleased with herself. Her first concert is at Christmas time, and I can't wait to see her perform. At AWANAS she moved up to "T&T" which is crazy to me. T&T has the BIG kids...the 3rd-6th graders. How did she end up there, and so quickly? In school she continues to do well. She is having some slight issues in math, which quite frankly I blame on the school's new (common core) curriculum. I went in and looked at it, and it just defies logic. Like they no longer teach the multiplication tables, but just teach the "strategy" of multiplication and then go straight on with long division. So confusing! It's enough to make this mama miss homeschooling. Maybe we'll return to that after we move... Here the kids are just too happy with their school to consider anything else. It truly is a nice little place. At home she continues to love to read, and has read through the Harry Potter series multiple times. I try to get her going with new books, and she'll read them a bit, and then I find her with Harry Potter again.

Mr. Matthew is in second grade this year, and he is really doing well. In school he brings home straight B's. It makes me laugh, because literally every problem he misses in math is because he didn't read the directions for it, or he didn't check his work and just flat out skipped one or two. He always knows how to do the problems, so that's something at least. In reading every problem he misses is because he answers their "thinking questions" with "I know this, because I read it in the story." Not the supporting details they were looking for. Ha! Oh well...B's are good enough, and I think the small issues will resolve as he grows and matures. He never gets in trouble at school, and after raising such a crazy toddler and preschooler I am just flat out impressed. He is still very energetic, but he aims to please, and apparently keeps himself in check enough to get through the day. After school I send him outside to jump on his trampoline and burn off some energy. After that he spends all his time setting his toy cars up into huge patterns of traffic and/or wrecks that he then wants me to come and admire.

Caroline is in kindergarten this year. She is unbelievably cute. Five has got to be one of my favorite ages so far. She is getting so independent, but yet she is still so sweet and loving. She is learning her sight words and her letter sounds at school. She is my free spirit and really just wants to play all day. When I ask her about her day she'll say something like "I went to PE! I played in the sand box with my friends! I sang a song! And then my teacher made me do some work." The work...such a downer in kindergarten. Really though, this kindergarten is less academic than the other two my kids have attended. Even though it's full day I think she gets lots of play time and center time, and that suits her well. She still asks to go back to preschool on occasion though.

Katy Ann started preschool this fall. She goes two mornings a week, so that means I have six kid-free hours each week. First time in YEARS. She is also potty trained now, so that means I am done with diapers after 8 1/2 years straight. And a lot of that time was with more than one kid. Dare I say babyhood is behind us? So sad in a way, but it is fun to see her grow. She still colors on my furniture and on the walls if given the chance, so perhaps "toddlerhood" is not quite gone. Haha! She is a little artist, which is why I can't bring myself to disarm her, despite her repeated infractions with the art supplies. The best I can do is try to keep her using crayons, and hide the markers.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What a week

This week has been one marked by sadness. A little boy from our base was killed in an accident...only six years old. His family has been weighing heavily on my heart this week. Such a sweet boy, and oh so young. I told the kids the sad news, and that same evening we found a baby bird that had fallen from it's nest and died on our patio. My daughter asked me if the bird was in heaven...with the little boy. And were they lonely without their mothers. I told her no, our time on earth is so incredibly short compared to our eternities with God. It would be like arriving in Heaven one day, and then your family arriving the very next. And in the meantime those who have gone before you, like loving grandparents, are already there waiting. That seemed like an acceptable answer to her. It just touched my heart how her first concern would be that he would be lonely. I know that is not the case, and I am thankful that our children are watched over by their Heavenly Father in addition to their earthly parents.

Of course last night added the tragedy of the tornadoes in Oklahoma. The first news report showed an elementary school that had just been completely swept away. While the children and teachers were still inside, hunkering down for the storm. As of right now the recovery work continues at that school, along with the entire surrounding area. I just can't imagine a greater tragedy than losing your child. I have seen how the loss of one little boy has touched so many in our area, and then I think of that loss multiplied so many times for this community in Oklahoma.

I guess at times like this there is nothing to do but pray, and to reach out to your fellow humans. Our church here is working on getting a recovery effort towards Oklahoma already, as are many other organizations and individuals. And of course there is always a constant need in local communities as well. For shelter, for help, for understanding and companionship....

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Awanas wrap up

The kids have now completed their third year of Awanas. As of September I will have one child in T&T, two in Sparks, and one new little Cubbie. Katy is so excited to finally be old enough to join in. I guess that is the fate of the baby in a many years spent watching and waiting for her turn.

Miss Beth was our Sparkies graduate. Over the past three years she has learned over 150 Bible verses.
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