Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend Camping

Over Memorial Day weekend we went to William O'Brien state park with friends (6 families total). It rained most of the day so we showed up after dinner and only camped one night. We got a group campsite, which was great because then we had a lot of space to ourselves.

Steve and Harriet have been to this annual friend camping event before, but it was Eloise's first time camping. Might be her last for a while (or at least a year). She was not a very good listener in the tent and didn't go to bed until 11.

Harriet slept right through everything in the morning, including a very loud bird (turkey perhaps?) squawking at 5:30 am that woke everyone else up.

Eloise refused to go to the bathroom in the outhouses by our campsite so everytime she had to go to the bathroom we had to drive to the regular campsite where they had a regular bathroom.

The next morning we all took a junior naturalist class about insects and the kids all loved it. The kids got a state park patch when they collected at least one spider and 10 different insects.

Harriet getting her bug work checked by the ranger. 

We had a fun time, but really exerted a lot of effort packing, hauling, unpacking, tent pitching (in the mud), repacking and then unloading for about 16 hours of being in the state park. I'm still glad we did it and each year will be easier going forward as the girls (and our friends' kids) get older.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Kindergarten is over

Kindergarten seemed to fly by! Harriet had a wonderful year (although, if asked, she would say she didn't like school). Everyday she excitedly told us about the new things that she learned and made at school and Mpls Kids. She generally has a lot of ups and downs emotionally, but there seemed to be more ups than downs this year.

One exciting development was learning to read. It started out rocky and was frustrating (for both of us), but she learned how to read and ended up finishing exceeding grade level expectations. I worked with her night after night for over 6 months so it was very rewarding to get this news.

She made new friends and learned a lot from the diverse group of kids in her class about their respective cultures. We loved all the multicultural events that school put on, our favorite one being International night. We ate foods from all different cultures and boisterously participated in traditional Somali dancing. It was so sweet (and somewhat emotional) to see kids of all races and ethnicities and their parents dancing together and having such a carefree time.

We look forward to what 1st grade has to offer, but in the meantime we will all enjoy summer with a more laid back routine (with more reading, of course).