Thursday, September 29, 2011

Look who rode her bike to school today!!

From Instant Upload
We are excited to have Petra moved into the new building, just a couple blocks from our house! We can now walk and/or ride bikes to school every day!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

She's getting it

Eliana and I rode my bike and the trailer bike to the coop for a date. We really like their bakery's bread, so we'll buy a baguette and spent a little time together gobbling it down. She prefers the soft bread from the insides and leaves the crusty bits for me.

While we were sitting here, she piped up and said, "They do have a restroom here!" That hardly seemed newsworthy enough for her exclaimation. Then I realized that she'd deduced this by reading a "restroom" sign across the store. I was impressed since the sign didn't have iconography, meaning she read the sign by herself. An eight letter word isn't too shabby for a kindergartener.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fishing with Grandad

Yesterday Leif's parents came out to Bozeman for my birthday. While they were here, Eliana and Grandad got to go fishing together. They were out at the pond for a couple hours and both seemed to have a good time!
From Instant Upload

From Instant Upload
The first thing Eliana caught with her fishing pole was a duck. Or, as she tells it, a duck wing. Thankfully Grandad wrangled the duck and freed it from Ellie's fish hook. Oops!

The next thing Ellie caught was a fish, but he got off the hook before Eliana could reel him in. 

The third time was the charm, though, because Eliana said she reeled really really fast and actually caught the fish! It was a little trout and she caught it all by herself. Go Ellie!

I don't know what luck Grandad had, but I know that he did catch a crayfish. Or, as Ellie says, a crayfish... that was a LOBSTER! 

From Instant Upload

From Instant Upload

Mostly, Eliana was big on the worms. She seemed to think they were funny to play with. When I came down to see what Ellie and Grandad were up to, she was very proud to show me the worm on her hook!

From Instant Upload

From Instant Upload

All in all, I'd say they had a good time together. 

From Instant Upload

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


At Petra, the kids learn to write in cursive first. When I first heard that, I was surprised. Back in my day, we learned print first, and then cursive in 3rd grade. As Eliana's kindergarten teacher explained it, by learning cursive first, the kids grasp the idea of word spacing better (since each word is connected, then a space separates the words from each other) and letter reversals are greatly reduced (since b,d,p, and q don't look as similar in cursive, and they all have leading edges and connectors that keep them going the right way). Even understanding the reason behind it, I wasn't sure how easy it was going to be for Eliana to learn, especially since she had already learned print. It turns out, though, that she's doing okay with it.

So far she has learned the letters a,c,d,g,o, and t. It's fun to listen to her recite how to make the letters as she writes. It goes something like this... "Upward stroke, stop at the 2, clock face stroke, add a connector." - That's an a. For c, she says, "Upward stroke, stop at the 2, clock face stroke, stop at the 5, add a connector." And for g she says, "Upward stroke, stop at the 2, clock face stroke, go straight down, backwards loop, add a connector."

In class, I believe they are working on writing the letters and learning the sounds each letter makes. Tonight, however, when I asked Eliana to show Leif what she'd been learning at school, she had no problem putting the letters together to form words. Here are the 3 she wrote when Leif asked her to...

From Instant Upload
And, yes, she did add smiley faces to each of the letters in dog. I'm pretty sure that was her own bit of pizzazz, not something they taught her in school. Still, not bad for the second week of kindergarten, eh?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'm going to go explore.

This morning Eliana came into my bedroom with a pair of binoculars and said, "I'm going to go explore." Then she opened the door to our deck and went out. She stood there looking at the ducks, the lady walking the three large dogs, and the mountains.

From Instant Upload

From Instant Upload

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

She's a kindergartener...

From Kindergarten
This little girl is a kindergartener at Petra Academy this year. It's kind of hard to believe, but believe it or not, it's true. We have officially entered the world of school supplies and uniforms and Eliana is loving it.

People ask me how she's doing with kindergarten. She's great! People ask me how I'm doing with it. I'm great! The worst part about the first day of school was that I missed it. Well, I didn't really miss it so much as I was too sick to get out of bed. So the cuteness you see above? Yeah, it's re-created. Here's the real first day of school picture:
From Kindergarten
Much thanks to Leif for taking that for me!! We pretended that this Monday was her first day of school, I took my own arsenal of pictures to go with it...

From Kindergarten

From Kindergarten
We are excited for what this year holds and Eliana is excited to learn! When I asked her what she was most excited about in kindergarten, she told me "just learning!"

Monday, September 12, 2011


Ellie built herself a little "beaver fort" out of cushions and pillows and wanted to write a sign that said "No Coming In The Beaver House" to keep people out.

(First off, let me just say... not even her first full week into school and suddenly she's wanting to write signs? Crazy.)

She wrote "no" with no problems, "coming" required a little help from me, and she got "in" on her own. The word "the" is a tricky one, and I asked if she remembered what made the sound "th". She said she didn't, then got a spark in her eye.

"These books over here will help me remember how to spell it." She ran to the bookshelf and pulled off one of the Chronicles of Narnia. "See this word here? (Pointing to THE Magician's Nephew) It's "the", so that's how you spell it."

I was pretty impressed with her resourcefulness. Way to go, kid.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Big Church

This little girl...

From Instant Upload
... sat all the way through "big people" church today, without a hitch! I am so proud of her!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


While we were camping at Lava Lake over Labor Day, Elizabeth took a picture of Eliana, sat down and said, "I'm trying to be better about blogging." Ellie responded with, "Blah, blah, blah... What's blogging?"

I think she inadvertently distilled the spirit of blogging.

Friday, September 09, 2011

You're Awesome!

On Tuesday Elizabeth was feeling very badly, so I drove her to the doctor. She was having trouble walking, so I pushed her to the office in a wheelchair. In between, we needed to take a ride on an elevator.

Eliana wanted to push the call button, so she was in front of us when the door opened. When it opened, an elderly gentleman with a crutch slowly hobbled out. Once he was clear, Ellie ran in. I started to push Elizabeth in when the doors closed in front of us. She didn't feel well enough to kick out to keep the doors from closing and I didn't try to dive around the wheelchair. Instead the doors closed. As the elevator took away our five year old, we heard panicked screaming fading.

We were on the second floor. Elizabeth and I quickly rode the other car in the direction I thought Ellie's car went. When we got to the third floor, I popped out, look around, and saw no kiddo. I left Elizabeth sitting in the chair there and rode down to the first floor, then back to the second. Repeating the drill on both floors revealed no Eliana. I rode back to Elizabeth. She hadn't seen the daughter either.

After a little bit of discussion with a not entirely lucid Elizabeth, I decided to go check her in and ask the receptionist to call security about Ellie. We did that. The receptionist was surprised when I calmly explained that I'd lost my kid as an addendum to checking in my wife.

As the receptionist started to call security, Elizabeth's phone rang. The caller said they were from hospital security and had an "Ariana." Elizabeth told them which doctor's office we were in and they said they'd bring Eliana there.

It turns out that when Ellie got to the third floor, the woman who had called the elevator found a crying kid and took her to security on the second floor, which explains why I couldn't find her.

I was really proud of Ellie; she remembered her mom's phone number at a really stressful time. A woman who works in the gift shop by the elevator heard the story and was also very impressed. A little later she brought a "You're Awesome!" balloon to the doctor's office for Eliana.

Thursday, September 08, 2011


This morning when I woke Eliana up for school, she surprised me by asking a question I wasn't expecting.

Eliana: What does throw up mean?
I wasn't terribly surprised that she asked that since Elizabeth has been sick lately and we've been talking about throwing up.
Me: Throwing up is when your food comes up out of your tummy into your mouth.
Eliana: (Calmly) I need to throw up.
Me: What did you say?
Eliana: I really, really need to throw up.
Me: (Wild scrambling to get the kid to the toilet.)

She managed to wait until we got to the toilet. She was totally a trooper about it.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Labor Day Backpacking

This weekend we decided to take a short backpacking trip up to Lava Lake to celebrate Labor Day. We went up on Saturday, stayed the night, and enjoyed a beautiful Sunday up there. There were LOTS of other hikers, but we had the lake to ourselves for camping, and it was perfect.

Before we left, I put new batteries in our point-and-shoot camera so we'd be able to have decent pictures of the weekend. I took a few pictures on the way up to the lake, and as soon as we pitched camp pulled out the camera to take a few more, only to find that the batteries I had in the camera were dead. Doh. We are thankful for smart phones, though, so we didn't have to go without pictures. Woohoo!

Our little campsite:

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We got up to the lake, set up camp, and had dinner. I wasn't feeling well, but this little girl was immensely helpful to her daddy as they set everything up!

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After dinner it was getting chilly, so we all snuggled into the tent and went to bed. After a bit of musical sleeping pads, we all finally fell asleep.

Morning came with below-freezing temperatures, so a warm breakfast was wonderful!

From Instant Upload

From Instant Upload

Eliana and I even went and picked thimbleberries to put in her oatmeal. She loved it!

From Instant Upload

From Instant Upload

From Instant Upload

After breakfast there was exploring, more sleeping, and general enjoyment of the day. It was great!

From Instant Upload

From Instant Upload

From Instant Upload

Memorable moments from this weekend included seeing quite a few small animals... pika, squirrels, chipmunks, snakes, and bats. We picked huckleberries (or, rather, A huckleberry), raspberries, and thimbleberries. Ellie got to swim in the lake and said it was cold. =D We had a great time together and plan to make it an annual tradition!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Vestiges of Summer...

September 1st came and with it came cooler weather. We've enjoyed the brisk mornings of fall, followed by warmer afternoons just perfect for playing at the park. Today Taylor called and said they'd be stopping by the park near our house to play and invited us to join them. The girls had such fun playing together, especially playing in the tree by the creek! Eliana enjoyed swinging from a branch over the creek and managed to keep herself from falling in or losing a shoe. Good job, Ellie!!

From Instant Upload

From Instant Upload

After some swinging around, I watched Eliana climb a tree for the first time! She was pretty happy sitting up on her branch after settling in!

From Instant Upload

From Instant Upload

From Instant Upload

It was a beautiful day for fun!!

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