Friday, June 10, 2016

Spelling Bee

One day as I walked across the playground at school, one of Avery's classmates ran up to me and excitedly started telling me about their class spelling bee. "We all stood in a line, and I came in second!" She said. "And can you guess who won? AVERY!" The first thing that struck me was how happy this little girl was that Avery had beat her, something that would have been hard for my ultra-competitive spelling bee winner to do if someone had beat her. The second thing that struck me was that Avery was going to have to compete in the school-wide spelling bee with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. I walked across the playground, looking for Avery, and found her warming up to do cartwheels with her friends. She nonchalantly told me she had won the spelling bee, shrugged her shoulders about the going up against the older kids, and let me tell her how proud I was before she went back to recess. 

As the big spelling bee approached, it turned out to be the same day as a class performance in music that all the parents were invited to attend. So, either Avery wasn't nervous about the spelling bee, or she was too busy to be nervous. She sang her little heart out as a chrysanthemum (which I thought was totally ironic as chrysanthemum is the word that helps Anne beat Gilbert in the spelling bee in Anne of Green Gables), then she took off her flower crown and headed to the spelling bee.

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And Avery was phenomenal. She was incredible. She lasted SIX rounds, and eventually misspelled ATMOSPHERE from the 8th grade word list! And the best part was the school live streamed the event so our family and friends could watch it from work or home, and they all sent the cutest texts cheering her on while it was happening. She seemed relieved when it was over, and when I walked her back to her classroom her whole class erupted in cheers. She's 7. And she's amazing.

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Can you believe how nervous they all looked in that first picture? And here is the video of the spelling bee...man, it was intense! And, I mean, Avery is barely 8 years old. And she was AMAZING.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

PTA

I'm in the PTA. Like, I don't just attend the occasional meeting and help out where I can...I'm on the board of the PTA. I'm the PTA Secretary at our school, finishing up my second term, and I'm the newly elected Vice President. My younger self would be appalled, but I actually really enjoy it. It has it's ups and downs, and can be crazy hectic at time, but I have made the best friends through the PTA. So, when I was given the Outstanding Website award from the Washington State PTA, I was able to go the State Convention with some really awesome women...our newsletter chair, Brianna (who also won an award for her newsletter), and my partners-in-crime, co-treasurers Karie and Teddy. Considering we had to wake up at 3 am (the day after the PTA Carnival) and drive 4 hours to Yakima (Yakima?! YAKIMA?!) it was a pretty great weekend! We didn't know what awards we were getting until the awards ceremony that night, but we ended up taking home the silver level Award of Excellence for the newsletter, and the gold level Award of Excellence for the website! So much fun!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Let's Go Tigers! (In Which Avery Plays Softball)

I grew up playing softball. I played on a tournament team until middle school, when I decided that soccer was more up my alley. It wasn't, but my friends were playing soccer and softball was at a traumatically competitive level (in 5th grade we finished 3rd in Washington State, and won every other tournament we played in). I left the life of softball behind and had a great time playing mediocre soccer. Plus I was a good track athlete and a decent basketball player, so I had those to carry me into high school.

Avery was never interested in softball, until this year. She desperately wanted to play, and I tried everything to talk her out of it. "Are you SURE?" I asked about four hundred times before filling out the paperwork and paying the fees. I knew what softball was like and didn't necessarily like the idea of throwing Avery into the lion's den of parent coaches and intense, high pressure tournaments. But she desperately wanted to play, and she is...on the same fields where I use to play. She's pretty happy with it. It's still intense, although the real intensity starts in the U10 league. Avery can move up with her team next year, or continue to play down in U8 since she's still 7. Who knows what she'll decide by them. (Mostly she just wants to be a gymnast. She'd probably be the best 6-foot-tall gymnast ever by the time she got to high school.)

Anyway, here she is walking to her first game, which was immediately rained out. And a couple snaps from a game where she hit the ball straight to center field.

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Here is her very first hit:



And her very first (RBI!) double:


And an Instagram snap from her very first practice. I love watching this kid play ball.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Spring Break and a Trip to the Market

Our spring break was a disaster. Avery got our of school on Friday and started throwing up at 5 pm (two hours into spring break). She continued to throw up non-stop (and I mean NON-STOP) for 2 days...I have never seen a kid so sick. She hadn't fully recovered until she went back to school 9 days later. One day when she was feeling a little better we went to the book store, and at one point she had enough energy to climb up into our big flowering cherry tree, but other than that her spring break was shot. (The cherry tree, however, had quite the week...look at those blossoms!) 

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So one weekend after spring break we decided to take a little trip down to the farmers market with Avery's friend, Ava, and her mom, Karie. We bought plants and guacamole, the girls got a bag of fresh powdered donuts, and we had the best Mexican food at Woody's Tacos. It wasn't quite the trip to Seattle we had planned for spring break, but it sure took away the sting of not getting to do anything.

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Plus it's always fun hanging out with these cuties.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The End of the Psycho Dogs

Basketball came to an end just in time for softball to begin. Ha! Did I say just in time? Um, no. The two sports overlapped for a couple of weeks in March that had me running all over town like a crazy person. I was shouting things like "Do you have your cleats?!" on the way to the gym, and "Grab your basketball!" on the way to the field. To be honest, I don't really mind the chaos, but I'm sure glad when were down to one sport. Here are some pictures from the last BASKETBALL game...how cute are these Psycho Dogs? Next year they have to play separately (boys and girls), but it was sure fun to watch our girls hanging tough with the boys.

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There was also an awards night where the kids all got special awards from their coaches. They ate pizza, ran around the restaurant like hooligans, and had the BEST time. Here is a shot from Instagram of Avery with her "Bet you can't shoot over me" Award...Dad and I are really sorry about those freakishly long arms and legs.

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P.S. Did I mention that while basketball AND softball were going on Avery also had volleyball camp? Well, she did.

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Let's Go to the Beach!

On President's Day weekend my family headed down to the beach. My parents were gifted a few nights at a beach house in Netarts Bay, so we all spent the entire weekend doing absolutely nothing. Well, we did eat a ton of amazing food, and we did drink a lot of wine. And we did manage to see the Tillamook Cheese Factory on our way home. But mostly we did nothing and it was fantastic. So, here are a few snap shots from our stormy trip to the Oregon Coast. (Just look at those cute cousins!)

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Highly Capable Little Girl

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Over the last two weeks Avery has taken the HiCap test for the District's Highly Capable Services. Erik and I received a letter in November informing us that Avery had been selected to to test after doing so well on her iReady scores at the beginning of the school year. The thought of moving Avery away from her friends and into a Highly Capable program isn't something we're very excited about. We know she's outstanding in reading, writing, spelling, and math. She whizzes through unit tests, spelling tests, benchmark tests, homework and all of her classroom work. She's very smart. Each year of school has brought a clearer understanding for Erik and I of just how smart she is and the responsibility we have as parents to not let boredom overtake her love of learning.

Because in all honesty, Avery is bored. She wants to know why should she show her work when she can do math in her head. And why should she study her spelling words when she scored 100% on her pretest? And one of the worst things to come out of this school year is Avery repeatedly saying "This is a waste of my time." We never want school to feel impossibly hard, but we also don't want Avery to be so bored that she considers the work to be a waste of her time.

So we allowed her to be tested for a program that could potentially rock her little world, or perhaps it'll be the best thing that's ever happened to her. Either way it'll be awhile before we get the results...now we just sit and wait.