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First graders start spelling tests this semester! Em chooses the hardest list (of three) and loves to practice and gets almost all of them right every week. She laughs at the sentences I make up to go along with the words!

Em starts skating lessons! She is in the same class with Amanda and Claire. She falls down LOTS OF TIMES but Bill says she got right back up each time and never got frustrated. 1/8

I take Em to her next lesson and it is clear she has improved in just one week--she didn't fall down nearly as often and is getting better at all the motions! 1/15

Emily helps me get ready for my party at work by setting up the meeting rooms. We meet Erica, a coworker and fellow party-thrower, there early. Erica goes to get some tape and I ask Em to come with me to get some decorations, but she says, in a very blase I'm-almost-seven type of way, "You can go. I'm going stay here and help Erica." !1/15

Em is a little under the weather. She doesn't want to do much and voluntarily lies down on the couch to rest. It is very very odd to not have her in constant motion! 1/16

We spend another good morning with Nigel and Susan! The kids play a Cranium game, Balloon Lagoon, and Emily LOVES it. It's really for preschoolers, but Em doesn't want to stop even after Sarah has pooped out and wandered away! 1/17

Em has four writing assignments every month and chooses to work on "writing a pie recipe." She lists ingredients easily enough (buter, shoger, solt) but when I try to prompt her to write out some instructions she balks and says it's too hard and she doesn't want to do it! After she calms down a little Bill talks to her about how if we only did things that were easy, we would never learn anything new. Em is skeptical! 1/19

Emily asks Daddy, "Can you do math with letters?" And of course he says, "Yes, it's called algebra." Now she likes to do simple problems with him: 4 + a = 9 so a = 5. Bill did tell her it gets a lot more tricky than that!

Em started the month at "level 10" for reading at school and is ending it at level 16! She is reading Nate the Great books smoothly and only needs help with the occasional word. She can read a lot of picture books herself now, too. She started the school year at level 3! She has come a long way and has really been willing to work hard at this.

Emily has been waiting ALL school year, and now she has finally been chosen as the "Cool Kid of the Week." Every day at school this coming week, she gets to do a special show and tell (she wants to bring Sarah in for one of them--what a great sister!). She has filled out a couple of worksheets about her favorite things and Mom and Dad have to write out why we think she is so cool (Bill says, "Oh, sure, summarize everything that's great about your child in two sentences!"). She is so excited! 1/28

After Em's skating lesson, we head out to Hayden's so Sarah can go to his party. Em has a fit of the "It's-not-fairs." (This is something that's been happening quite frequently latetly--a favorite refrain is, "It's so hard to be a big sister.") She is very upset that she doesn't get to go to a party, too. We remind her that Sarah didn't get to skate today; and we tell her again that she can choose to be sad about what she can't do, or be happy about what she can do. Which we have said a few times now! In the end she manages to get herself calmed down again and she and Bill go have lunch together while Sarah and I stay at the party. 1/29


We keep Sarah home for one more day of winter break and help celebrate Christine's birthday by hanging out at the mall with her! 1/3

Bill says, "Okay, so we have to check on Sarah after lights out...I just found her over on the floor near her night light playing!"

While I am reading the text from a picture book at bedtime, Sarah points to a word bubble in the illustrations and reads, "No! No!" Yay, Sarah!

Sarah insists that her night-time pullups are glow in the dark. I say, "I don't know, sweetie, I think the last bag was, but not this one." She says, "But there's a G on the wrapper!" She points it out and she is right; there's a G for Glow in the Dark!

Sarah is on skates for the first time! She goes with Mom and Em to free skate to practice after Em's first lesson yesterday. She uses a sled--like a walker for the ice--to help herself, but by the end of the hour she would stand, push the sled gently a foot or two ahead of herself, then scoot forward to get it, all on her own! 1/9

I think Sarah has the most expressive eyebrows on the planet.

We have a discussion one night about how some (!) of the candy from Halloween is yucky now. A night or two later, Sarah turns to us from what's left of her candy bag and assures us, "I can handle yucky food." Oh, yeah, right, Sarah!

Sarah's new favorite word: "Well..."As in, "Sarah, why don't you have your pjs on yet?" "Well, I was just..." It comes out "Waaaalllll" and sounds so cute! 1/11

Sarah has a blast helping me get ready for my party at work, then is quite entertained the whole evening by college-age Anna (one of the shelvers) and her boyfriend! 1/15

We spent another good morning with Nigel and Susan on our day off for Martin Luther King Jr Day. Sarah likes to play with Nigel's tool bench! 1/17

Nigel made Sarah and Emily some doorknob signs with their names on them for Christmas. Sarah started telling me that she made a door sign too. (After lights out, of course, see note above!) She went to get it for me--a little sticky note on which she had written
"D O O R R S I N." I said, "Sarah! Where did you get these letters?" I was thinking that Em must have helped her...but she just smiled and pointed to her forehead!!!! 1/17

Sarah plays Slapjack with Em and Mom. I worried that Em and I would be too quick for her and she wouldn't have fun...but I shouldn't have! She held her own and slapped a respectable number of piles first! 1/19

I go skating with Sarah's class--they all do great (Sarah pushed the sled ahead of her again), but I fall and break my elbow! Rats! 1/21

Sarah writes me a get well card, with just a little help from Em: She also wrote a note for Daddy all by herself:

We figure if Sarah is writing, she might as well start reading and get out the Bob books from Emily's room! We sound a few out together at bedtime and Sarah loves it. After all, she has been listening to Em sound out words for the past year! 1/24

I am still home sick from work with my elbow and Sarah teachers have a planning day, so we get to spend the whole day just us two. Very special! We read some books, had a snuggle in the big bed, and did a LOT of puzzles. 1/27

Daddy drives Mom and Sarah to a birthday party for her friend Hayden. There are several neighbors there, but Sarah is the only one from Purple Coyotes. She makes lots of new friends and has a great time. Now she wants a helicopter for her birthday just like Hayden's, and a cake with a car on it! 1/29