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Monday, October 28, 2013

Soccer Girl

Since Nathan started sports while in Kindergarten, we had always promised Abigail that she would too.  So this year we enrolled her in both, ballet and soccer (soccer at the school).  She does like ballet but she loves soccer.  We were really surprised.  A nice change at how the school divides up the soccer players helps that.  At first she was going to play with older kids as well but because enough little ones signed up, that was not the case.  We figured it was easier for her to not compete with those strong boys.  :-)  Or get in between them and the ball.  We've discovered another side of Abby during this time.  She can be pretty fearless going against other kids.  She no longer screams when she gets knocked over.  She can dribble really good.  And she adores practicing with dad (see below).  She can be super-tough when it is pouring down rain for her first practice and continue to play, soaked, with a smile on her face. (I would have left...)  

Abigail and dad making good use of the gorgeous weather we've had.

Abigail practicing hard kicks.

Isn't it the cutest little team?  Abigail is next to Peyton (in the black with pink shorts), who is also in her class.

Isabelly is already practicing for when she grows up.

Look at Abby going for that goal!  Goalie be aware!

We are pleasantly surprised at how much Abigail is enjoying this.  It is so much fun to watch her and see her having all these new experiences.  You can tell she has been waiting for her turn for a while.  That is a good thing about being a middle child, you relish these experiences that you earn with age.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fall Ball

Fall ball season is almost over, but for the very last few weeks, we've been having this gorgeous fall weather.  I love fall when it is sunny.  The colors are just breathtaking.  The blue skies with the burning red leaves standing aflame in stark contrast.  When it is weather like this, fall ball is fantastic.  Nathan is really enjoying his season.  He is in a hitting slump but hopefully he can finish strong.  The last game seemed to indicate that he is finally out of that stretch.  He is making lots of new friends and gets to play with some old friends (for example Connor who has played on all of Nathan's teams so far).  Nathan is doing awesome fielding and he has emerged a leader on the team.  Baseball fever has also hit this little W-guy for the first time, much to the delight of his dad.  Dad and me are very proud of him.

Abigail does not always want to go to the games.  Especially since there aren't any girls her age.  There is one girl, aged 3, whom Abigail and Isabelle like to play with.  But it is hard for our little red-head who doesn't like being outdoors without purpose.
Above: Glitter shoes, the only thinkable gear for a muddy baseball field.  :-)

Isabelle seems to be having a lot of fun at the baseball games.  She is definitely bonding with Abigail.  They are having a great time together and Abigail is doing such a great job of taking Isabelle around and playing with her.  She is developing some great mothering skills.

Hi, you!
Talking about the red leaves in contrast to the blue sky, maybe I like them so much because they remind me of Abigail's hair?  

Nathan running to catch a fly ball.

That was an easy catch.  :-)  

Nathan played first base a lot this year.  Other than first base, he played third base and pitcher (without actually pitching).

Nathan has always had number 11 so far.

That runner is safe.  Bummer.
David took this awesome pictures of Abigail, Aubry and Isabelle.

Hopefully the remainder of this year's fall ball season will be blessed with more weather like this and fantastic hitting by Nathan, coupled with great fielding.  Oh yes, and yesterday Nathan played for another coach and got his first game ball.  He was super proud.  Fall ball is great.

Update:  Nathan's season ended fantastic.  More great weather.  And while Nathan has become a great fielder, he did struggle with hitting for a long time.  However, his last 3 games he got out of that slump and got a hit every time he got up.  Some of those got him on base due to the fielding errors that just simply happen at this age but it build up his confidence enough to where he is now starting to hit out there where he should be hitting .(He had been hitting good in practices with Dave, indicating that his lack of hitting was most likely due to nerves.)  We also started this funny thing that I would sometimes tell him: "You will have a hit next."  And for some reason, he would get a hit.  Then he started to believe that I really knew when he would hit and actually hit every single time I told him he would.  Funny little man.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Caroline and Me

A year or so ago Grampy gifted Abigail with her very own American Girl doll.  Those are lovely and expensive dolls with their very own story (that accompanies them via a book), era-matching outfits and accessories that can be purchased separately.  Abigail had decided on Caroline.  With our budget, the American Girl doll outfits and matching owner outfits are just out of the question.  However, at our local one-stop grocery store, there was a fantastic summer clearance event and we found matching outfits for very, very cheap!  Abigail was very pleased.  Alas, here are Caroline and Abigail, sporting the same matching outfits.  Abby asked me to take her pictures.  Here you are.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Random Dog Pictures

The dog has truly become part of our family.  I don't know why I like calling him "the dog" but I do, so bear with me.  He has his own routine now and except for him thinking that our dining room table is a toy that can be chewed up, he is awesome.  

In the morning, after he gets done with his little routine, he waits at the top of the stair until it is time to wake the kids.  I think it is his favorite part of the day....
He has now even earned the right to sleep in Nathan's room.  This makes Nathan a very happy little boy.  The other night, when offered to sleep in our room (which he LOVES), he declined because his dog got really excited about going to bed and he couldn't disappoint him.

He almost started chewing my throw rug.  Then he saw my face and intelligently decided otherwise.  Smart doggie.

Him and Isabelle are best buds, especially on days when the older two are at school and Isabelle is alone at home.  He has to fight her for his kennel most days (he loves to sleep in there during the day) as Isabelle likes to lock herself in there and go to sleep on his blanket.  He is so sweet and even when he was just sleeping, he leaves his kennel and makes room for her, then resumes sleeping outside of it.

Watching TV with the kids.  He may be thinking he is one of them.  He usually steals the blanket too.

Copper is an all-around great dog and we all love him.  Not one of us has problems with him or is scared of him.  He is gentle, mellow and easy-going.  Plus he is just cute!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Die Schultüte

Germans have a beautiful tradition of the Schultüte for your very first day of school.  Not your first day every year or even for pre-school.  Just your very first day of Kindergarten.  Luckily for Abigail, I was born a German.   So both her and Nathan got a Schultüte on their first day.  Nathan's Schultüte was brought by my brother Matze and his wife Mandy.  For Abigail, nobody happened to come over this year, so we just made one out of wrapping paper, poster cardboard, Modge Podge, ribbon and tissue paper.  Here is the finished product:

If you would like to know what a Schultüte is, you can follow this link.
At the end of a very exciting first day, Abigail was eager to come home and open her Schultüte.  But probably not as eager as Nathan, who was hoping that some of the candy might come his way (he was right).

With the great sales for school supplies, it was easy to fill this cone to the brim with all kinds of goodies, plus my family had sent a few things as well: A Hello Kitty pencil box from Matze & Mandy with matching pencils, binder clips, etc; lots of German candy from my mom, particularly gummies in all shapes and sizes which Abigail loves; and grandma had put in a Dr. Seuss eraser as well.  The rest was filled up with little books, stickers, markers (Abigail's other passion is coloring), journals, etc.  And of course, more candy.  This tradition was definitely one that the kids loved.  I just think they are sad it is only a once in a lifetime kind of thing.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

First Day of School 2013 - Abigail - Kindergarten

Abigail's first day of school was the day after Nathan.  Unlike her older brother, who was very unsure of himself his first few days of Kindergarten, Abigail had been thrilled for days.  Well, months really.  She got up with a big smile on her face which stayed there all day.  She was loud and extra animated (sure signs of excitement).  She hopped downstairs and followed all morning routine instructions eagerly.

Abigail in her school uniform, wearing that first day smile.

She also wanted a sideways picture so that people could see her super cool "Schulranzen" (backpack) that Oma had sent her.

And then of course one shot from the back so that everyone could really see her Ranzen.

An excited and eager Abigail, counting down the minutes until our van would finally load with children and drive toward its destination.  Oh, the wait.

Entering the school.  Abigail swiftly follows Nathan, who is a pro at this routine.   Since we were early, the kids assemble in the lunch room until the morning bell rings, signaling that their classrooms are open.

Nathan quickly found his group of friends.  Don't you love how they line up to walk (yep, not run), to their classroom?  The school does a fabulous job on teaching the kids not only what they need to learn in the classroom, but also outside the classroom.

Since it was the first day, Abigail didn't really know anyone from her class yet.  But she did run into a friend of hers!  Hannah!  Abby was very thrilled to see Hannah.

In the classroom, finding her place to hang her jacket and her backpack.

With her name tag and even more enthusiastic than before.

Her little table set-up that her teacher made.  All the students have little baskets with their names (those make great bookmarks after the school year), their own crayons, scissors.  Then they have a community basket with different kinds of glue, pencils and other items.

Abigail and her fabulous teacher. 

The daily Job Chart.  For her first day, Abigail was Teacher Helper!

First craft of the day.  How fun!  They made themselves little crowns. At this point it was time for the parents to leave.  While some little ones had a hard time leaving their parents, our daughter was eager to start her day all by herself.  It is so funny how different your kids can be.

Abby's first pick-up.  Both dada and mama came for this special occasion and she was very excited   The funny thing that happened was that when she talked and talked about all that happened in her day, Nathan who usually just says one or two words about his day, started to talk more about his day as well.  I found out quite a few new things that day!  That was delightful to me.
For some reason Nathan always waits to eat his lunch until we pick him up.  He is super hungry then too.  Maybe a good time to feed him broccoli?

Isabelle had not missed her siblings so much.  She had just had a great day baking with mom and doing all kinds of housework together.  When asked if she was ready to go and pick up her siblings, she quickly said: "No."

Abigail was sick the second week of school and not happy about it.  :-)  She is now happy to be back in school and loving every minute of it.