Category Archives: montser

Kindergarten. The first Quarter.

Kindergarten is a trip you guys. From the first day at drop-off, to sitting in those tiny little chairs at parent-teacher conferences.

I was excited for conferences. I knew Rylee was doing well, but I was looking forward to hearing about her progress. So excuse my while I brag about my kid for a few minutes.

They do a questionnaire/worksheet the  first week week of school to gauge where the kids are at. Then they follow it up at the end of the first quarter to track progress, and again a few other times throughout the year. In just over two months, her progress is pretty amazing.

While she knew all of her letters to begin with, her handwriting has come a long, long way. Her teacher told us last night that she had recently been bumped up to the highest reading group…skipping one full level. It’s a little bit of a stretch for her right now, but she seems to be up for the challenge. Just recently at home, I’ve noticed that things with reading seem to be clicking a lot more, so that all makes a bit more sense now.¬†She is writing words and sounding them out on her own. According to the new Common Core standards, she meets or exceeds all of the benchmarks.

Her math is probably the most impressive. Since they only have a 2.5 hour day, they don’t focus on it a ton in class, but her teacher sends home math-based challenge homework with her almost weekly. While there are some pretty advanced concepts, like “which digit is in the tens column”, greater than/less than and even word problems, we work through them with her and she picks it up pretty well. She can count by 2’s to 16, by 5’s to 105 and by 10’s to 100. She’s trying to figure out how to tell time, even though they’re not teaching that right now. She is exceeding the benchmarks on all of the levels. She really seems to love math.

As far as citizenship goes, she is is a joy to have in class. She comes to class each day with a smile on her face and ready for the day. She is compassionate. She knows when to raise her hand. She follows the rules. She has fun and socializes when it’s appropriate, but she focuses on work when it’s quiet time.

Right at the end of the first quarter, they did a little awards ceremony for her class. She came home with 3 out of 3 awards given that day…perfect attendance, outstanding citizenship and math excellence.

Overall, Rylee loves kindergarten. Loves. And it really shows.

She happily climbs onto the giant bus each morning.


She works really hard. I am seriously just so proud of this girl. I love her love of learning and I hope it’s something that continues for a long, long time.

My hear swelled three sizes during that parent-teacher conference {ok, maybe my head a little bit too}. Andy & I actually high-fived eachother once we were in the parking lot. Sometimes we get flack for how “strict” we are with our girls and it’s nice to know that when we’re not around the foundation we’ve worked really hard to set is sticking with her.

Yup. Kindergarten. I kinda wish we could freeze time.

Conversations with Rylee

You know what’s kind of fun? Listening to Rylee talk on the phone. Mine and Andy’s parents call to speak with her every now and again. Inevitably, there’s always some point in the conversation where the person on the other line has trouble understanding what she’s saying. Sometimes she gets really irritated. Other times she tries to figure out different words to get her point across. Like tonight, for example.

As she was watching TV while talking to my mom…

“Ew gross…”

“Oh I just saw a skull in water…”

“No. A skull in water”

“A SKULL. IN WA-ter”

“No. A skull…like your face, made out of just bones. And it was in water…you know, like you drink. Only this wasn’t actually something you would drink because that would be gross.”

“Ok. Well I will let ya go.”


Family Traditions

I’ve shared here before about how I grew up hunting with my dad. And how it’s a passion I’m hoping to pass down to my girls.

The actual hunting is only a part of it. We don’t hunt for the trophies, we hunt for the meat…as a way to provide for our family. Once the deer is down, the real work begins. Growing up, every year dad got a deer it was the same thing…he’d bring home the deer and hang it up in the shop to cure. A few days later, we’d clear off the dining room table, set up an assembly line and cut and wrap the deer.

When I was Rylee’s age, I was in charge of the tape. I always so bummed all I got to do was the tape. If I was lucky I’d get to help label too. As I got older, and my sisters moved away, I was promoted to wrapper. When Andy came into the picture, he joined in our assembly line. Once we had kids, one of us would be on hand for cut & wrap and the other on kid duty. Sometimes my dad’s siblings will be there to help out. This year, my sister’s boyfriend got to join in the fun while my sister…uhhh…supervised. Our assembly line has changed many times over the years but one thing remains the same: it’s time we all come together and share in a family tradition that I have so many fond memories of.

This year I really looked forward to gathering around the table. This is the first year Rylee has been old enough to participate. After we all ate dinner, Andy took Reese home for bed and Ry stayed with me to help. She was excited and I was excited that she was excited.

We all took our places around the table. She asked Grandad questions about what he was doing.

20131115-154120.jpgShe was the official taper and labeler. She took great care in taping in just the right spot after Aunt Kathy wrapped up a cut.


Then she took even greater care in labeling each pack. Making sure to write “By Rylee” in case anyone wondered who wrote on it.


We all had our jobs. We shared laughs. We planted the seed of another beloved family tradition. There are so many things in life that now looking back I didn’t truly appreciate at the time. It’s amazing how appreciation and perspective changes and you get older. I hope that it’s something that when she’s an adult she looks back on as fondly as I do.


Our new Saturdays

Back when soccer sign up flyer came home from school with Rylee I admitted here that up until now I’ve purposefully avoided any real organized activities/sports for her. She wasn’t interested in playing soccer and I was totally fine with that. In fact I was happy about it because I couldn’t imagine adding one more thing on our already hectic evenings.

Andy and I talked more about it and we did think it was a good idea for her to start getting involved in
something. Almost out of the blue she mentioned she’d like to try gymnastics. So I made a few phonecalls, got some info and we found a gymnastics academy close to us that had class times that worked well with our schedule.

Long story short, I signed her up for a trial day. We went. She loved it. And this morning was her first official day of gymnastics.

And so it begins…





Thursday: By Rylee

Welp, I’m only a week into this NaBloPoMo thing and I’ve hit a bump in the road. I’m solo-momming it tonight since Andy is working late. After making the typical evening rush to leave work, get the girls, get home, get dinner made and on the table, I got Reese to bed. Early actually…I think she’s coming down with something. I got dinner all cleaned up now Ry & I are sitting on the couch and you know what? I’m spent. I’ve got nothing in this brain. I asked Rylee what she thought I should write and she said she wanted to do it. And so…

rylee and mom r laying on the couch

^So that right there? Took 15 minutes. Yup…taking the easy way out tonight. Cop out? Perhaps. Also? Officially spent.