I will NOT try to recapture the last THREE years...let me sum up, instead:
- The family survived the 530+days that daddy was gone doing Navy "stuff"! Dad returned home on Father's Day, 2012.
- In July of 2012, we arrived in Monterey, CA! YIPEE!!!! Miles has been assigned here for the next three years! Did I mention...YIPEE?????
You may be wondering why we have revisited "blogdom"? Well, there are two reasons. One, my parents entered the MTC today to begin their two year mission to Mexico City South Mission. We are so very, very excited for them as they embark on this new adventure, and since Nana and Papa have started up a blog to keep us informed of all that they are doing...we are returning the favor! The second reason I have resurrected this blog has to do with my girls. While Miles was deployed, I took the time to take ALL of the entries I had made to the blog, and compile them in a book, and send the book to him. So that even if he were unable to access the internet, he could have a way to connect with his girls. A couple of months ago, Maddie found this book and read through it cover to cover...and then, she read it to Ellie, and the Emma read it, and then ALL of them sat together on the couch and laughed and laughed at all the silly pictures, and the sillier stories of the things that they "used" to do when they were "little". So, I write for my girls...so that they may have a way to always remember the things they "used" to do when they were " little"!
What kinds of things are the Maschger's doing? Well, we are still busy homeschooling...yep...still! That little experiment that we started just four years ago, has become a full time obsession. It is not only something I LOVE doing...but we are really seeing such tremendous benefits in each of our girls. We just completed our school year, and are happy to report that 100% of the students at The Maschger Academy had 100% attendance. AND 100% of the students made the honor roll! Really! We grade our girls, and they earned straight A's in all subjects. Additionally, I can report that all of our students are at or ABOVE grade level! Right now they are learning math, writing, grammar, handwriting, spelling, science, history, keyboarding, Spanish, and piano. We have also enjoyed completing several art projects, and have spent this year teaching Maddie and Emma to ride a two-wheeler...and just this last Saturday they completed a 6.3 mile bike ride---which I think is pretty good for those little legs! :-) We are looking forward to getting "our" aquarium back---we have let the tourists have it over the summer--but after Labor Day we will resume our weekly trips...because we LOVE the aquarium! :-) We will be taking a brief two week vacation, and then we begin our new school year on September 9th!
A quick note on each of the girls:
Maddie (9) is doing so very, very well! To say that she is reading like CRAZY would be an understatement! I feel as though she has read every book in the library---she checks out 5-15 every week! AND, she reads them ALL! She LOVES to read! When she isn't buried in a book she is writing. She has several FANTASTIC story starters, and her poetry is pretty awesome for a 9 year old! Her favorite subjects continue to be history, art and science.
Emma (8) continues to be the beautiful soul she has always been---that remarkable mix of pure charity, and competitive drive makes for some very interesting parenting challenges---she LOVES to serve and help---as long as she gets to decide how she serves and help...and if she can be the FIRST one to help and finish! We are also moving into the 8/9 year old phase---don't know if anyone else has dealt with the phenomenon...but Maddie did the same thing---right around 8.5, there is this sudden decision that your parents are idiots, and it is your job to let them know that you--the child--know more than those parents do. It is like a preview of the teenage years... Maddie has moved out of this phase, and she is really so very, very pleasant and helpful and mature... Emma is not. Emma continues to be incredibly responsible, and is exceptionally bright---as long as she directs what she is learning and how she is helping. She doesn't take direction well AT ALL! Her favorite subjects are whatever Maddie doesn't like---sigh! She likes art, and piano, and handwriting, and math...
Ellie (4) is Ellie! That will FOREVER be what will describe Ellie! She is Ellie. You have to meet her to understand---she is a MASSIVE personality squished into a little person...she lives in a world of opportunity...nothing can stop her---and I do mean NOTHING! She is REALLY bright, and she is still learning that she can use all that intelligence for good...She is a force to be reckoned with, and we LOVE that about her! About 4 months ago, she started begging us to let her start "school"...the rule has been when you turn 5, you start school with Mom...she was so very insistent, that we started her really slow and easy, and the more we gave her, the more she wanted. She now sits through an hour of instruction a day which includes handwriting, math, and reading. She has about 8 books that she can read on her own, and adds a new one every week. Often, while we are reading scriptures, she will announce that she wants to learn a new word...so she picks a word out, and from that point on, she reads that word whenever it crops up. She is pretty amazing!
Lizzie (2). Lizzie will turn 3 in November, so we are well into our terrible 2's and barreling towards those terrible 3's. She is plagued with lethal cuteness AND being the baby, and she wields those weapons with skill and precision! :-) She has also insisted on doing "School"...so we do Lizzie School...and the girls LOVE to help her. While she knows all the sounds the letters make, she still doesn't know her colors...which is fine...she is TWO! However, it is a bit amusing to have her constantly point out letters and the sounds they make---and then tell you the bus is purple! :-) Lizzie is by far the most social of all our children...EVERYONE is her friend! And I do mean EVERYONE! She says "Hi" to every single person we pass... I am pretty certain that is the Grandpa Lemmon blood in her! :-)
Miles has been EXTREMELY busy at his new post. He is over an entire division---which averages about 80 students. They keep him busy with all the various needs that are inherent in a military training/ school setting. However, as this assignment comes right after a lengthy separation, we have PERSPECTIVE! So, those REALLY long hours he is having to put in every day, are "OK" because he still comes home every night (except those nights when he is standing those 24 hour watches)! :-)
Other than work and school, we are doing our best to take advantage of this most beautiful part of the country. The girls favorite activities are hiking, and biking, and going to the beach---and when we "go to the beach", the intention is to "get our toes wet"...which NEVER happens---toes quickly become the entire body---soaking wet---so very fun! :-) As previously mentioned, we love the aquarium, and have made that an almost weekly habit!
Before I wrap this up, and head off to do all those "mommy" things, I wanted to leave you with a quick couple of Ellie "moments":
Mom: When you whisk, you stir fast, like this.
Ellie: OH! Like a monkey who has to eat bananas.
Ellie: This is SOOO GOOD it will make your heart fall down!!
Mom: Are you ready, Ellie?
Ellie: Ready as a noodle steady!!
Love you all!