Four and 1/2 Years Old!

The Jack Man has officially turned 4 1/2.  Those "and a half" labels are pretty important to kids their age, and we forgot to tell him when it happened (Feb 17th).  I remembered a few days later and told him and it was cute watching him process that new exciting information. He said "so....did I turn 4 1/2 while I was playing or.....?"

Jack is doing great at preschool and is learning so much.  They just finished up learning all about the planets and before that they learned all about the arctic and built a giant igloo out of milk cartons.

They spend a lot of time talking about "special letters" (the first letter in a word) and each time they learn about something new they talk about that word's special letter and other words that start with the same letter.  As part of their special letter focus, each child has taken a turn collecting pictures of things at their homes that begin with their special letter.  Then they create a poster and present it to the class. Jack apparently did great!  He even got to use a pointer (Lincoln Log).  Love it!!
Showing the Jet he brought as a prop

Using the Lincoln Log pointer

Lots of Js at our house: Jack and Jason, Jammies, Jumping, Jelly and Juice and Jackets
We are so happy with all he is learning.  He is learning how to spell new words each day and can spell his first and last name, Charlie, Daddy, Mommy, Jason, Batman and lots of three-letter words like hat, dog, cat, car, etc.  He can also generally sound out words with some help.  He is completely into drawing right now and spends a lot of his free time making pictures for all of us.  Once he teaches himself to draw something new, he draws it over and over for weeks.  His favorite things to draw are the planets, Batman and Robin, and now police stations with fire trucks, helicopters, etc.  Even his printing has improved so much over the past few months.  So fun!

Our favorite was a few weeks ago when he learned to draw this:
Minds out of the gutter, people, these are baseball bats (see Grandpa Lang's sample on the right).

Jack is one of the few of our friends' kids who still takes a solid nap every day.  He usually sleeps 2-3 hours at home and I don't expect him to ditch that nap any time soon.  Bedtime is pretty easy at our house still - we read a book or two, each of us gives him a kiss and that's that.  Sometimes he still thinks of questions to ask us and calls us back in but many nights that's the last we hear from him.

He is really into listening to (and singing) the Armed Forces medley on our Yankee Doodle Mickey CD.  Ever since I told him that Grandpa Clayton was a Marine and therefore that was his song, he LOVES to listen to it.  He always requests "Grandpa Clayton's song," and of course the Marine part is his favorite part.  He's getting pretty good at singing the words to the Marine Corp Hymn, but still has some work to do on the others.   Observe:
That's our big shot!


Soccer Stars

Both of our little guys are becoming quite the little soccer stars.  Jack switched from outdoor soccer to an indoor team this winter, and played two sessions with the Little Stinkers.  He LOVES it!  He really does a great job and generally scores a couple goals each game.  When he plays goalie, he stays focused on the game the whole time and makes some saves.

Before this winter, Jack was really only kicking with his left foot.  We've been working with him and reminding him to use both feet, and it's paying off.  He's consistently using both feet now, and almost every week Coach Kenny proudly reports that Jack scored a goal with each of his feet.  It's amazing how far he's come from the sort of timid player that started out on his first team this fall.
The Team from left: Jaxton, Aidan, Hayden, Caroline, Nate, Beckham, Piper, Jack and Addison
It's tough to get good pictures of indoor soccer because of the plexiglass and nets, but I took a few videos:
When this session ends this week, we will be switching to t-ball for the spring and summer.  We are so excited about that as well - more on that in another post.

Charlie started doing Kickaroos at Vetta Sports this winter.  He too is wrapping up his second session.  We started with a parent and me class which involves a lot of drills.  He does well listening to the coach's instructions, most of the time.  It's funny; every week as part of their warm-up, they go back and forth on the field doing different things (run, walk backwards, fly like an airplane, etc) and every time Coach says to act like a scary monster, Charlie just walks normally.  He's apparently too cool for the monster walk.  This session started out as a parent and me class and then gradually the parents move off the field.  Last week was the first class with us off the field entirely and Charlie melted down.  Both Jason and I tried to convince him it was OK but he refused to stay out there without us.  We ended up just leaving.  This past weekend, however, Jason took him and he did great - stayed on the field alone and followed instructions.  So proud of our little guy!

A video demonstrating why it's tough for me to get videos/photos of Charlie in action - I felt like Mom of the Year when this happened.
Charlie had a bloody nose and a fat lip but wanted to get back out there and keep playing.

Our boys are definitely going to enjoy playing sports which couldn't make their sports-loving Mommy and Daddy happier!

Happy Valentine's Day

The boys both had a Friendship Party at school to celebrate Valentine's Day, so of course we wanted to bring Valentines for their friends.  Jack helped me decide what we were going to do (after I gave him a few choices), and we decided to go with Hot Wheels.  I printed off tags that said "I'm Wheelie Glad We're Friends" and "Valentine, I Like the Way You Roll."  Luckily I still have a huge stash of these mini zipper bags from a previous Valentine's Day so our project was pretty easy. Jack helped me cut out the tags and then wrote the names on the back of each one.  It was fun - he put a lot of thought into which car would be for which friend.
For Charlie we recycled an idea we used for Jack a few years ago and gave bouncy balls to his friends.  We used the same zipper bags and same tags, but his said "You Make My Heart Bounce" and "Have a Ball This Valentine's Day."
That evening the boys each got a new puzzle.  We are VERY into puzzles at our house these days.  Jack loves to do 100 piece puzzles and Charlie loves the floor puzzles with the large pieces.  Both can hold their own and do the puzzles with little help.

Pirates & Princesses

In February we went with the Ashers and Minchers to see Disney Pirates and Princesses at the Chaifetz Arena.  The big kids really enjoyed it.  The little guys liked it too, but each lost interest at some point during the show.  Overall they did great though.
Addison, Jack, Nathan and Charlie

Ethan and Tyson (and Greg)

Ty and Charlie sharing a seat

Sweet brothers

We had a fun night!