Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Summer wrap up

The other day I was reading a blog where the mom did a recap of what her kids were up to.  I like that idea and haven't really done that much in the past year. Times flies and I can barely remember last week let alone last year! I thought this would be a good way to remember what my little hooligans were like in August of 2016.
Matthew..age 11, about to enter fifth grade. I can hardly believe this boy is entering his last year of elementary school. He is not exactly a fan of school and would love everyday to be a stay at home day. He's a homebody and is most comfortable hanging out here. Matthew has a great group of buddies and I am so thankful for that. I pray that he continues to foster these relationships. One of things I worry most about with my kids is who their friends are. Friends can make or break you. Matthew loves sports! He is a little encyclopedia of sports facts. He especially loves the Tigers, Cubs, Lions, and Red Wings. Matthew is gearing up to play hockey again. He is a little sad this year to start again because many of his buddies from his beloved last year's team have moved on to different teams. He had such an amazing experience last year. His team won a lot, he developed his skills and we had some of the best kids and parents you could hope for. So many people inquire why we invest so much money and time into hockey? I am quick to defend this costly and investment of time sport because it has done so many wonderful things for our boy. Matthew has learned so many lessons and gained so much self confidence through his years of playing hockey. Matthew's personality has really blossomed over this past year. He is funny, thoughtful, kind and has a great laid back attitude most of the time. That being said, he can tend to error on the side of lazy and if you try and get him to do something he doesn't want to you start to see a "tweenager"attitude. But, overall, Matthew is really a joy to be around. He still loves to chat with me and don't tell him I told the blog world but he will still give me a hug and kiss before going anywhere!  I am proud of the young man he's become.
Caroline, age 9, nearly 10, is about to enter fourth grade. Caroline is one of the most creative people I have ever met. She can create a story, video, project out of nothing. Caroline is smart and driven, especially when she is motivated. Something I will remember about her from this summer is her soccer tryout experience. Caroline had been playing for a club for the past two years but this year they did not have enough kids for two teams and she was cut. Rather than give up and throw the towel in with soccer, she decided to go out for another team, the day after she was cut. She was not dismayed and showed her new team that she has what it takes to be a part of their team. I can see a change in her over the past few weeks since practices have begun. She wants to work on her skills and impress her coaches. Caroline can really accomplish anything she sets her mind to. She is the most fabulous organizer! She can clean like nobody's business! Caroline is independent and that certainly serves his well in many circumstances but she is also incredibly stubborn. This has been a constant source of strife for us over the years and I have especially struggled with this trait over the summer. Sometimes she is just relentless and it can be frustrating. However, we are determined not to break our dear girl's spirit. She has so much potential and I'll be damned if I am the one that squashes her will. It will always be a work in progress, Caroline and I. That girl has taught me so much about myself and definitely about my shortcomings. Caroline will have the same teacher that Matthew had last year. I love Mrs. Konkel and think she will be an excellent match for our Sweet Caroline.
Ellie, is less than a week away from turning 7! SEVEN!! How can that be? It really does seem like yesterday that she surprised us all with her early arrival! Ellie is full of life. She is dramatic and girlie and loves to act much older than she is. We are going to have to keep tabs on this one for sure. Ellie struggled a bit last year in first grade and after thoughtful consideration, we've decided she will repeat first grade. Academically Ellie struggled with reading last year but ,honestly, she's come leaps and bounds. We've continued with a tutor this summer who is a retired reading specialist. Ellie adored her and despite the challenges she's faced with reading, she's continued to persevere and I am happy to report she loves to read! She is so proud of how far she's come and so are we! This year Ellie has a teacher that Matthew also had in first grade. She is an excellent teacher and I think she will compliment Ellie well and challenge her during this "extra" practice of a year. The other day a friend asked Ellie what grade she was entering and Ellie proudly said, " I am going to do first grade again, I need a little extra time." That's exactly right sweet girl! Ellie is thrilled to be turning seven and can not wait to get a new bike and her ear's pierced! Ellie is playing AYSO soccer this fall and can't wait to start
This summer we've had a great "manny" who has held tight with these somewhat challenging Simpson kids. Christian was fun and laid back and held his own with those little girls! We will all miss him. We are excited to get back into our routines. Wait, who am I kidding, mom and dad are excited for earlier bedtimes and regular activities to resume. We're excited to watch them compete in soccer and hockey. This summer we did lots of fun things like our trip to Silver Lake, camp Grandma in Chicago for the big kids, real tent camping with our small group from church, bonfires and swimming with friends. We've made new friends and in many ways are the happiest we've been in years. Sure we struggle.Usually daily with this, that or the other thing. We are all works in progress. But, we are determined to keep on working on it,whatever IT may be!

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