Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Camping at Cumberland Falls State Park - May 2014

Since we moved to Kentucky 5 years ago Dorothy and I have been discussing going camping. This past spring we finally made it happen! Our families met Grammy and Grand-dad at Cumberland Falls State Park in southern Kentucky and we had a fabulous weekend!
McKinley, Grand-Dad and Jackson had fun playing with the games Aunt Dorothy brought.
 The big girls enjoying the kids tent
  Jackson and Holden enjoying some yummy camp food - cookies do count as a health food when you're camping right?
 There were a ton of tent worms around our campsite. Kennedy discovered she could have tent worm races and the other kids found this game entertaining as well. What a nut! :)

 On Saturday we headed to the falls to take a hike and enjoy the beautiful spring weather.
The girls and Jackson inside a tree.
  Grammy & Jackson taking a short break and Grand-Dad & Kennedy posing for me
A couple of shots of Daddy with his sweet baby
McKinley (14 1/2 months)
 Holden and Kennedy on our hike
  Quick family shot in front of the falls
  Cousins :)
Reagan (7) and Kennedy (5 1/2) with their new baseball caps 
 Not sure if she's my mini me...
 or Grand-Dad's mini me...
 These two girls are always ready to pose for a picture :)
 Instead of heading back to the car after we saw the falls we decided to keep following the trail. The kids found some fun rocks to climb on along the way.

And then we found a beach where we could get super messy and have lots of fun! :)

 Uncle Dan took time to try and teach Reagan how to skip rocks
 Missy K busy climbing some more rocks on our way back
 I thought this picture of McKinley and Jackson sharing Fruit-Loops for breakfast Sunday morning was so super sweet. :)
Thank you for such a fabulous weekend! This was sooo much fun and we can't wait to go camping again! I just hope it doesn't take us another 5 years to plan our next trip! :)

Reagan - 7 years old

Reagan - 7 years old - April 21, 2014
Our not so little Missy Reagan certainly keeps us on our toes! She is one very bright little girl with a wild and crazy personality. As you can see from her picture, at the age of 7, she is also our toothless wonder. :) Reagan is extremely sweet young lady and a very thoughtful big sister. She is becoming so much help around the house by increasing her independence and capability to do things on her own like fixing her own breakfast or cleaning up messes. It's definitely nice to have a little helper I can depend on!
Reagan's favorite activity is gymnastics. She finished up Level 2 in the spring and began Level 3 in the summer. Things have settled down a bit this fall but over the summer she was in the gym 3-4 hours each week day with a total of 18 hours per week. She LOVEs gymnastics! This fall that has been scaled back a bit with only 3 days (Tues, Thurs and Sat) a week for 4 hours and Friday for an hour and a half for a total of 13 1/2 hours per week. I do not know how families in public school keep up with the crazy gymnastics schedules! Reagan doesn't mind competition but she would be happy not to compete and focus on up-skilling. She is getting extremely close to her aerial (a cartwheel with no hands) and spends more time upside down on her hands than on her feet most days.
While it is not Reagan's favorite activity she is very good at violin as well. She finished up Book 2 this summer and is moving right along in Book 3. She is currently working on the third piece in book 3, Gavotte in G minor by J.S. Bach. Reagan has such a good ear that she frequently amazes me with how quickly she memorizes her music. She has been showing a lot of interest and desire to learn how to play piano, but I'm not ready to take that on yet. I've shown her a little to get her going, but think this is a better project for Miss Reagan and Grammy to take on after Grammy retires and moves to Kentucky.
Reagan continues to be an extremely good reader and thoroughly enjoys it. Her achievement tests in May indicated that she is at approximately a 5th grade reading comprehension level. Not only is her reading comprehension note worthy she is one little speed reader. There are times I can hardly believe how much she has read. This summer she discovered Harry Potter and is speeding through those books. I thought she would lose interest with Book 4 (it is huge) but she is zooming right through it as well. We may have to re-visit whether or not we let her continue to read the series. A number of friends had told us their children lost interest around Book 4 so I was depending on her choosing to put the series aside herself before the more serious later books. Guess we'll have to think on that one... In any case, I hope this love of reading stays with her throughout her life! We certainly intend to continue to encourage it!
Reagan excels academically in general. She is pretty smart and memorizes information quickly and easily. Shortly before her 7th birthday she became one of the youngest (she actually might be the youngest I'm not positive) Classical Conversations (CC) Memory Master in Lexington. For those of you not familiar with CC it takes approximately an hour to recite 500 pieces of information which includes a chronological timeline of 161 events, 24 history sentences to add depth to the timeline, all 44 U.S. presidents, over 100 locations and geographic features in Europe, Asia and select parts of the world, 24 science facts (including biomes, planets, laws of motion and laws of thermodynamics), Latin verb endings of the first conjugation, English grammar facts (including pronouns {this was the craziest part to me - who knew there were so many types of pronouns? In case you're like me and didn't know, there are nominative, objective, possessive, reflexive, interrogative, demonstrative and indefinite pronouns and you have to recite all the pronouns in each of those categories}, multiplication tables up to 15x15 (for Reagan's age skip counting up to 15x15), common squares and cubes, as well as basic geometry formulas and unit conversions. She knew/knows all this information inside out. You actually have to know all the information inside and out because if you make even one mistake you cannot be given the title of Memory Master. Reagan is now well on her way to learning the next year of memory work as she is determined to become one of the youngest Super Memory Masters 2016. That takes being able to recite all three years of memory work so it's quite a challenge!
Reagan is as full of spirit as she has ever been! This sometimes still results in an inability to control her temper. She works hard on this, but it is definitely a constant battle. She remains on the same path she has been since she was little which is that just about every time we think she has things under control we hit a rough spot again. Looking at Jackson, however, makes me realize how far she has come. I know if we keep at it this sweet girl will master this challenge as well and become an amazing young lady!
We thank God every day for the blessing of Miss Reagan! She keeps our lives interesting and fun. :) She stretches us and challenges us in ways I never dreamed possible before becoming a parent. Thank you for being our precious girl, Missy Reagan. We know God has big things in store for you and we can't wait to find out what all that includes! :) 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Reagan Turns 7

I cannot believe my little Missy Reagan turned 7 in April! I guess she's not so little anymore! For her birthday we of course began the day by celebrating our traditional way with Krispy Kreme donuts and presents.  
 Reagan was thrilled to receive her very own box of Cheez-Its. What a little nut! lol :)
 We ended the day with our tradition of Chick-Fil-A with Uncle Dan's family. I captured some super sweet pictures of these sweet (semi-toothless) cousins. :)

For her big birthday celebration Reagan had a "Dispicable Me 2" Minion slumber party. The kids absolutely love this movie and especially all the Minions. She wasn't saying it in April yet, but even McKinley walks around saying "Minion! Minion!" when she wants one of the big kids to show her them on their Kindles or TV. Maybe my little "Munckins" have turned into my little "Minions?" :)
 Reagan sent a note to Santa asking if Hermie could visit for her birthday. Just like with Kennedy, he arrived with a very special chair design that Reagan loved! :) Hermie not only decorated a birthday chair for Reagan he also did a small one for himself. This is one creative and busy little elf...
For the party the kids made their own individual pizzas.
They had special Minion drinks
 For dessert I made yellow and purple Minion cupcakes per Reagan's request
 Making her wish, sure hope it was a good one! :)  
 These two buddies are too cute - after cupcakes they headed back to Holden's house for a slumber party of their own. Thanks so much Aunt Dorothy! :)

 These two buddies are pretty cute too! Does life get any better than a godfather who keeps giving you sugar???

Thank you to everyone who made Reagan's 7th birthday so special! We are truly blessed by such a amazing friends and family! :)