Dance Camps

This summer the kids (especially Mayci) spent lots of time at dance camps (plus a sports camp for Zeke). They all had a great time and it helped break up our days.

Mayci started the summer with princess camp. One day her teacher even came in dressed as Belle ready for the ball. That was an exciting day for all the girls.

Mayci, Nicky, Noah, and Joel did a ballet and jazz camp. The boys were kind of crazy but they had tons of fun. One day we went to pick them up and Joel was sound asleep, totally worn out by all the activity.

Mayci’s next adventure was Encanto camp. They danced to We Don’t Talk About Bruno. She had a ball at that one. After all, she absolutely loves Encanto!

Zeke did a two day Disney sing-a-long camp and then did musical theater camp. He really enjoyed being on stage when he did the acting class at school, but add in singing and dancing and that’s his idea of heaven (he loved it so much he’s taking musical theater at the dance studio this year).

Mayci and Anthony took acro camp where they both enjoyed dancing and flipping and stretching. Mayci was made for acro with how bendy she is (she’ll be taking acro class this year).

Ballet camp is where Mayci discovered not only does she enjoy doing ballet, she is good at it. Anthony, who had never taken ballet at all before this camp, learned so much including the correct terms for some of the moves. Mayci was disappointed to discover she’s too young still for a ballet-only class, but that’s okay. She’s taking a ballet/tap combo and a ballet/jazz combo this year so between the two of them it’ll be like she’s getting a whole ballet class after all.

The last week of summer all four of the older little ones went to camp. Anthony and Nicholas took hip hop. My new favorite thing is little kids hip hop dancing. So of course Anthony will be taking hip hop this year.

While Anthony and Nicholas were doing hip hop, Zeke and Mayci were doing ballet and tap. Zeke loves tap (so of course he’s taking ballet/tap with Mayci this year).

This summer of dancing ended in Mayci winning a spot on the competition team and us picking out classes that will put at least one kid at the studio five days a week. Apparently dance is our life now.

More Hairstyles

This one is just a quick and simple double ponytail braided into three braids each with ballies at the ponytail bases and Gabby Bows on the ends of the braid.

Little kid (no hair added) box braids have become my specialty. I’m getting faster and faster at doing the braids. Mayci always asks for rainbow beads. She likes to be colorful (she regularly tells her oldest sister she doesn’t have nearly enough braids because of course Haley needs rainbow beads, too).

After reading a biography about the Williams sisters, Mayci wanted her hair done with ALLLLL the beads. I was worried that even though the white beads were extremely lightweight, doing them around her whole head would just be too heavy at her age. So we compromised and put in two thick double braids in the back. I was so worried the bands holding the beads in place would break at school (they didn’t).

This is another quick and easy style. One ponytail up on top and two in the back with each one split into two braids. Ballies and big yellow beads completed the look.

I absolutely love Mayci’s hair up in twists. It’s truly my favorite style to do tiny twists all over her head. Takes a long time, but totally worth it.

For Mayci’s recital I did box braids with some fancy beads (sadly the color on several of the beads wore off rather quickly so that was a disappointment). I was able to pull it up the way they wanted for the show and she was just totally cute.

Another box braid style, this time for Fourth of July with a little bit of red, white, and blue in the beads. I love how the same style can look so fresh with just a different bead color.

Another quick style inspired by someone on Instagram. Ponytail with colorful elastics, beads, ballies, and tons of braids… so much is going on with this colorful style. I even learned how to secure ballies to the end of her braids when I did this one. So cute!

July Literati Box

Adrian has now gotten an entire year of Literati boxes (see boxes onetwo, threefourfivesixseveneightnine, ten, and eleven). Once again the books weren’t as great as they have been in the past. It’s interesting. They started doing more targeted boxes and since then we’ve had more misses than ever. I readjusted Adrian’s interests so hopefully August’s box will be better.

The theme this month was One A-Maze-ing Summer. The colors were nice and bright. There was a sort of game/puzzle included. It’s very confusing that they only provide three bookplates but five books in each box now. They used to give six.

This box included All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and A Show for Two by Tashie Bhuiyan. Adrian wasn’t interested in A Show for Two at all so that one went back.

Also in the box was The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Adrian was on the fence about this one. He went back and forth and ultimately decided to keep it.

The final two books in the box were The Darkest Park of the Forest by Holly Black and Blood Metal Bone by Lindsay Cummings. He decided to keep both of those.

Summer Workbooks

This summer Anthony completed the PK-K Summer Quest workbook, Mayci completed the K-1 Summer Quest workbook, and Zeke completed the 1-2 Summer Quest workbook. They had lots of fun adding stickers to their maps all day and were so proud when they made it to the finish line ready for their next year of school

I’ve been going through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with Zeke and Mayci for two summers now and we managed to finish it just before school started, bringing them both to a second grade level in reading. Some of those lessons felt disjointed and some of the stories were downright strange, but it truly did teach them to read very well.

A Conversation With Noah

Noah’s been slow to talk. He is very, very good at parroting and can mimic tone and inflection very well. When he speaks spontaneously it’s not so clear. Recently he’s been holding little conversations. On Sunday he had one of those little conversations with Jamie’s Mum, Noah’s Nan.

Noah: Hiiiiiiii!

Nan: Hi, Noah.

Noah: Ow orryu?

Me: He said “how are you?”

Noah, enunciating carefully: How are you?

Nan: I’m doing very well. How are you?

Noah then got distracted and wandered off for a bit. When he came back he finished their conversation.

Noah: I’m good!

Taste Test

In an effort to reduce wasted food, I decided to have a taste testing with the seven kids who will be in school this year to see what they like for their lunches and snacks.

I didn’t realize I had bought quite so many snacks. I’ve been building up my supply over the last three weeks.

The result was that Noah liked absolutely everything. Most foods were liked by all seven (or the six who can eat gluten depending on what the food was). Everything was liked by at least three people.