Hailey completed her reading chart!
Hailey has always loved books and had a knack for remembering and quick to learn. After she mastered all of the letter sounds I began teaching her a few sight words last spring. This past fall we began pushing reading a bit more and she has taken off! Honestly, I think a lot has to do with the computer program she uses everyday. The UPSTART program is provided to us from the State of Utah, free for any child the year before they enter kindergarten. She has learned so many words from doing this program since August. I'm proud and excited for her!
To help encourage her to read outside of the program I made a reading chart for her. The goal was to reach 100 total points and then we'd head to the bookstore and pick out a new picture book for us to read together. I gave her points based on the difficulty of the book. Simple two word sentence books earned her 1 point. Books with longer length and more complex sentences earned her 3 points. As she improved in her reading I phased out the 1 point books because they became too simple. It was no easy task, it took her a few months to finish the chart. We didn't read everyday, sometimes she'd read a couple books in a day, and then it'd be a week or so before we pick up another. We weren't consistent, but at least we were doing it. When she was 9 books away from finishing she pushed through and read 5 in one day and 4 in another!
Keira is potty trained!
Potty training Hailey was what nearly swore me off of having any other children. Really, it was my own doing, she just wasn't ready when I was. When Keira started showing signs of readiness before she turned two I was worried and not prepared to start. I really, really was hoping to wait until she was older and make it easier on all of us. Turns out Keira took matters in her own hands and made it easy on us. Afraid of losing my window of opportunity, I decided to start potty training the first of February. We picked a weekend and just went for it, straight to undies, no pull ups, and a lot of trips to the bathroom. Once that girl went in the potty it was relatively smooth sailing from there. She caught on quickly and began to go immediately after she sat on the potty, every time. There were still plenty of accidents, we flew through underwear those first few weeks. Now a month later I've gotten brave enough to take her out in public sporting her undies. She is doing awesome, and I feel like I haven't done anything to help it along. Honestly, I kind of slacked off for a little while and some days she ended up in a diaper most of the day, but she still kept it dry. Last week she started waking up in the morning completely dry. I'm shocked! Unfortunately she's waking up at 6:30 instead of 7:30, I think from a full bladder. That I'm no fan of... but to have my 2 year old potty trained, I'm a HUGE fan of. Just in time to stock up on baby diapers. :)
The Hill (big) girls went to a fashion show
Kyle's sister Brittany is tall and skinny, and of course beautiful. She has modeled in a few fashion shows put on in Provo, just for fun. She was asked to do it a couple years back and has done it twice a year since. Rara Hill drove down and all the grown up Hill girls went to the show to support Brittany.
I always enjoy the fashion shows. It's just fun. I'm not one for fashion, not at all. But I love going and seeing the designs local designers have come up with. For this show Brittany sported a long sleeved spandex wedding dress. Of course it looked fantastic on her!
Pictures courtesy of Chelsie. :)
Kyle went rabbit hunting
One funny thing about me and Kyle's families is that both of our sisters married hunters. Neither of our families are into hunting, though Kyle's is much more firearms friendly and enjoy the occasional shooting outing. It is funny how hunting has slowly crept it's way into our lives.
Corinne and Taylor used the rabbits they caught as bait for coyotes. They set them out in front of Taylor's trail camera in hopes of spotting coyote activity. Instead eagles have been snatching them away. I stole this awesome picture they captured on the trail camera from Corinne's facebook. :)
Kyle was invited to go rabbit hunting with my sister and her husband. Kyle invited his brother-in-law. The boys were so excited about going. I was excited for Kyle to go. It's good for him to get out and do something he enjoys every now and again. While the Hill girls were away at Brittany's fashion show, the boys (and Corinne) went out looking for rabbits. We were sent the picture of Kyle with the caption, "For the fashion show." Ha! They only nabbed a few rabbits, but I'm pretty positive they still had a blast.
Jaden's archery tournament
Kyle has some cool cousins who are each busy with their own sport. These cousins live in Colorado and are busier than ever. Seriously, I don't know how they all manage it. Aunt Jen is busy with rabbit shows (they have 40+ rabbits at their house, they show some and breed some. Each of the girls have at sometime shown rabbits in shows), Jenna is a swimmer and working at the local rec center, Jill plays competitive softball and travels for tournaments (she was just in Las Vegas and will be in Park City this summer), Jaden is busy with archery and competes mostly in Colorado, but recently made the trip to Utah to compete in Salt Lake City.
The Saturday/Sunday portion of the tournament was a national tournament. Such a funny sight to see her shooting next to grown men! (Thank you to Brittany for the picture!)
We were so lucky to have Jaden come compete in our area! Andrew and Jaden stayed the weekend with us and it was awesome. Jaden's tournament was 3 days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Kyle made it to all three days to cheer Jaden on. We took the whole family Friday evening to watch her compete. We were shocked at how many kids were there competing, it was so fun to watch! Keira wasn't so into it, archery isn't the most fast paced sport to watch. I ended up taking the girls home early and stayed behind Saturday with Keira while Kyle took Hailey to watch some more.
The critter in the fireplace stove pipe
Two Sundays ago while laying down for a nap in the afternoon we heard scratching noises coming from the chimney/fireplace. Upon inspection, Kyle determined there was something trapped in the stove pipe of our wood burning fireplace. I was a little bit panicky... we had no idea what is was, a mouse, a rat, a bird... (Luckily we were positive it wasn't a raccoon. :) Whatever it was, it had to come out. This is what really made me nervous, figuring out how to pull off the stove pipe, while still keeping the critter contained and not letting it loose in our house. Luckily the stove pipe came off super easily, easily enough we could pull it just slightly loose, just enough to slide layers of saran wrap over both ends of it. Then we had the dilemma of where to release the beast. We didn't want it in our yard and were afraid of letting it loose out front and having it run right back into the house. So... all 4 of us went for a nice Sunday afternoon walk to the field behind our house. We put the stovepipe in the back of the stroller and walked it around the block. When we took the saran wrap off of one end both Kyle and I were expecting some sort of rodent to scurry out. Instead a starling flew out and away! I am sooo glad it was a bird, otherwise we would have the problem of figuring out how the creature got in, in the first place, and how to keep them out again. It wasn't as bad as we had feared, and put a little excitement into our calm Sunday afternoon.
Kyle took Hailey fishing for the first time
Two Saturdays ago Kyle took Hailey fishing for the first time. Kyle's coworker was taking his boys and invited Kyle to come along. While Keira and I ran errands, Kyle and Hailey relaxed by the pond. I say they relaxed, but I'm not so sure it really was all that relaxing. Hailey became bored after a while and quit watching her bobber. Apparently she missed out on some fish a couple of times. They didn't catch any fish, maybe next time. She may have complained of boredom, but after they left she said she wanted to go again. Kyle is totally down with that, hopefully they'll get out again this summer.
Kyle said on the way out to the pond Hailey brought up the point that they forgot a bag to put the fish in. Seems Hailey had the idea they would be bringing home a new pet. When Kyle explained that the only reason they would bring home the fish was to eat it. Hailey thought about it, then said, "I could do that." She may be the only one... we aren't much of fish eaters around here.
We celebrated Pi Day with Pie
Pi Day is a favorite holiday of mine. It may not be a standard calendar holiday, but it should be. A day with the perfectly good excuse to make and enjoy pie! Really, I only make pie twice a year, for Pi Day and for Thanksgiving. We deserve to have pie twice a year, right?
This year we invited our friends the Burgins over to celebrate with us. We made some pizza pie (pepperoni and BBQ chicken) and then enjoyed some dessert pie after we digested a bit. There were only eight of us total, but I made three pies. A bit overkill? No! Never... Ok... maybe, we still have pie in the fridge. But, I always make my favorite pie, pineapple sour cream. Kyle's family traditionally enjoys chocolate pudding pie, and Kyle also requested cheesecake, which really isn't pie, but it's in a pie pan, so I'll count it. It's hard to decide on just one pie, so why not three?