one sleepover to rule them all

My niece turned five recently if you recall, and her mother decided it would be fun to have a lady cousin sleepover... a spa sleepover if you will. They basically did all the things. Played with their Our Generation dolls, pretend school, ran around outside, homemade pizzas, spa masks, fire pit, The Greatest Showman, and and and and. Basically a ton of fun was had. All of these were taken by my sister-in-law of course!

farm show week!

Last week was our hometown's annual Farm Show! It's a thing we do.... Animals and tractors and lots of your typical fair food. And of course the boys had field trips, Letty I guess is too old now to do such things. First up was David's! We wandered around and they completed a photo scavenger hunt and of course there was a whole lot of giggles about all the poop. Animals are fun. We were also the baaaaad chaperones and let our group of kids make their own jump ropes. It's actually pretty neat to see how it all comes together although I'm sure their teacher was none to pleased to have them come back into the classroom....

the walk for dyslexia

You may be wondering why there is yet another dyslexia related event happening over here with us Olsens and that is because October is Dyslexia Awareness month. I know. Who knew? Dyslexia "is a disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words." Basically a disconnect between what letter a dyslexic person sees and what sound accompanies said letter (phonological awareness). I used to think it meant switching letters or seeing a letter backwards, which does happen, but it is so much more than that. It affects processing what a person sees or hears, or coming up with the right word to form an answer to a question, or remembering sequences, or difficulty pronouncing a new word, or spelling, or the time it takes to complete any activity that involves reading or writing.... So basically, a lot. 

If you have been around here for awhile you know that Letty has always been concerning... She had great difficulty as a toddler and even into preschool learning shapes, colors, her letters... She took awhile (long long while) to learn how to spell her name or when her birthday was... She struggles to remember people's names and frequently switches out her friend's names that have the same number of letters and start with the same letter. She constantly says "thing" or "stuff" because she struggles to recall the word she wants to use to describe something. Her reading level is far below grade level and the time it takes for her to read even the simplest of texts is exhausting. She is self-conscious and anxious when she is asked to read something. But she gives maximum effort. She tries so hard and is the very opposite of lazy. She is so smart! She is a creative thinker and loves art. But she also recognizes her difference. This video helped her get a broad understanding of what was going on in a way that didn't make it seem like a bad thing...

She was tested multiple times before public school and we were told she would outgrow it, but once she started first grade it became more and more obvious that something was up. We got to know individuals who knew the ropes and they really encouraged us to have her tested and get her an IEP. Which we did. We got her a tutor and got her on the waiting list for The Children's Dyslexia Center of Lancaster. Which is a non-profit that offers free tutoring to approximately thirty students per year (this year, Letty is one of those students). The cost of this (for the center) is as you can imagine quite a lot and so they do several fundraisers and awareness type events during the year. This walk being one. 


when i refuse to let traditions die...

File this one under why do I keep making my kids do these things? They are too old for it, I think. Maybe not Dom, but most definitely the older two. Not that they don't have fun, because they do.... but it's just changed so much over the years. This is a free little festival that a local store puts on every year.... And well, I make the kids go. As I tend to do.

makayla rae turns five!

How I have three nieces who are now five is beyond me. And how Dominc, my baby, will be five here in another month and a half is a whoooooole other issue. But it is what it is and last week Mikayla turned five! And we celebrated in style as her parents do, with a mermaid themed bash!