Thursday, November 8, 2012

We are here! We are here!

I feel like I'm the major of WhoVille and I'm needing to let people know that we are indeed still here:)

Last June, we made some major decisions regarding our children's educations that has caused an avalanche of change here in the Riddle household. Let me give you an overview of life here now.

Kyla is being schooled at home for fourth grade. We are using Connections Academy, an online public school in Oregon. I am her learning coach, teacher, planner, poker, lunch maker, chauffeur, the list goes on and on. The first month was so rough, that I was ready to give up and send her back to our local public school. The second month, wasn't as bad as we figured out a schedule that worked for us and adjusted our expectations of our educational experience. We are in our third month and I can truthfully say that this avenue of education seems to be working for us...with Kyla...for now:) I have never doubted myself as much as a parent, as a teacher, and as an educated woman as I have done these past three months. Kyla is carrying an A as her average grade and has settled into this new adventure. She does miss her old school, but enjoys all the extras we get to do like piano lessons, science experiments, art projects, and Science Days at Evergreen Aviation Museum.

Gavin is in the morning kindergarten at Wascher Elementary in our little town. He is enjoying the bus riding, the outside playing and the learning. He is officially a reader and is loving to do math and interact with his friends at school. This year he really enjoys Awana and looks forward to it each week, wanting to prove his memory verses and play the group games. He is our wonderful helper for Lego Club and continues to wow our fourth graders with his building and his thinking. 

Chad and I are coaching two Lego Robotics teams for Wascher and overseeing a third this year. Kyla is an active part in her team and truly seems to have a talent for critical thinking, building, and planning. Our 14 kids are wowing us with their determination, team work and growth. Meetings started in September and we will continue until our competition in early December.

We are still plugged in at Wascher. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to volunteer in Gav's class yet, but the plan is to do so while Kyla volunteers in the library with her favorite librarian. Chad is this year's PTA President with all the glory and work that entails:) He often falls into the PTA trance as he plows through emails and planning and meetings, all in effort to make the school a better place for the kids in our community. The principal actually introduced me once as the wife of the PTA President...pretty fancy:)

Oh, and he still works full time:) Life just isn't life if you're not super busy, right?:) Thankfully, he's working from home about half of the week right now until his next assignment. Then we will see...

That is where we are and where we've been. We are here, We are here!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day

In celebration of Father's Day, the kids and I took Chad ice skating at our local rink (by local I mean we have to drive 30 minutes to get there and it's the only one that I can think of within an hours drive). We bundled up in our jackets and gloves, socks and pants and then got into our hot car that had been sitting in the 80 degree sun.

It was Gavin's first time on the ice and a refresher course for Kyla. We played in the brisk 50 degree air and skated around in circles at a snails pace. Laughs were had as well as sore bums made:)

What a fun way to celebrate such a wonderful Dad. He is such a blessing in my life and the kid's lives. I couldn't image raising these two amazing children with out him.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


For the month of June, Gavin is our resident gymnastics Olympian. We signed him up for lessons once a week at our local community center. Our goal was to give him something special and fun to do while Big Sister finished up her end of the year. 

I think next time we will even comb his hair before we go. You know, just in case it needs to be done:)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Our Movie Star

She's famous! Our very own Kyla walked the Red Carpet last week for the premier of the much awaited My Experiences of You on "Red Carpet Day". Kyla's fantastic teacher, Ms. Morton, won a grant to make a teaching video of a classroom technique that she uses successfully in her classroom. They had a cinematographer who came to the classroom for a full day and recorded throughout the day; the kids, Ms. Morton, the principal, and a parent. The kids and Ms. Morton have been waiting to see the finished result and decided to make it a big party. "Red Carpet Day" was born. The kids all wore their finest to school and the press (me with my camera and backdrop and a handy outline of Mr. Oscar) took pictures of them as they walked the red carpet into their private viewing of the 5 minute video. 

The kids were treated to popcorn and other goodies while they watched themselves and their friends.

Red Carpet Day ended with an Autograph party and the press handing out pictures to take home. All in all, a fun time was had for everyone...including the press and the press's helper.

In other news, Kyla has had all her stitches removed! On Wednesday (11 days after her accident) we went to the hospital to get the 10 external stitches removed. The Doc took one look and so no way were they ready to come out. They took out five of them and five remained. On Saturday morning, we tromped back into the hospital with high hopes. Again, they took one look and said the stitches HAD to come out. Her body was treated them as a foreign body and was not happy. They took the rest out and then we were to use steri strips until the last little bit closed. Unfortunately, steri strips don't really stick in that area:) The wound has fully closed as of yesterday and life is back to normal. 

I am a bit more cautious as Kyla and Gavin run around like monkeys

...and it appears that Kyla is as well:)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Promotion Time

Way back in September, Gavin started preschool at Little Lambs in McMinnville. He attended Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a couple of hours a day. He learned his letters, numbers, and calendar facts. He can write (and recognize) his name and is a whiz with his numbers up to 100. He also learned about Jesus and how to treat others kindly and with great respect.  

This past Thursday we were able to celebrate a year well done and watch him graduate to kindergarten. There was a little music, a little picture opp and lemonade cake waiting at home.

We are so thankful for the school and the wonderful ladies that have spent their time with Gavin this year. 

Now we are ready for Kindergarten!

Monday, May 21, 2012


My brother and his son came over this weekend. It turned into WrestleMania 2012! 

Dutchrub action!

That is all:)

Thursday, May 17, 2012


We are on day five of Kyla's recovery and she is doing phenomenal! She doesn't seem to need any pain medication and her round of antibiotics is almost done. She went back to school full time on Tuesday and has made it through every day...some days being a little bit rougher than others. Gavin and I get to have lunch with her everyday as I have to deliver her lunch time round of meds:)

I've made a couple more skirts for her to wear, since most of her warm weather skirts are from last summer and seem to have shrunk:) She is having to learn how to walk without pulling her stitches and is sitting very carefully still. She is healing quickly and is looking forward to getting her stitches out next week.

We set her up on the day bed and Gavin seems to miss sharing a room with her. He is periodically asking her how she is and pats her on the back. He's asked to pray with me several times for her to heal quickly and to not hurt. What  a sweet brother!

Things are moving along nicely here. It's amazing how quickly this "Major Incident" is slowly fading in importance and life is continuing on. On to the next moment:)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Adventures

I was pampered by my kids and husband for Mother's day this past Saturday and Sunday. I had uninterrupted time in my garden, donuts, no cooking duties, gifts and a trip to the ER. Did you catch that? As a special treat right after we finished up having dinner with Kyla's teacher on Sunday, Kyla got her shorts caught on a part of the swing chain and ripped more than her shorts. After we noticed blood, we checked her out on the kitchen floor, bundled her up in some towels and flew to the ER. 

They got us all checked in super hero fast, and had some topical numbing medication on within minutes. Once the pain and bleeding were under control, we got the verdict. She had a 3 to 4 inch laceration on her groin area, missing her lady parts by 1.5 centimeters. It was deep but didn't need surgery as feared. Praise the Lord for his guiding hand! 

After some major washing, numbing shots, and some mythbusters, she was ready to be stitched up. She is the proud owner of two internal and 10 external stitches and a very sore bum. Two hours later, we rolled out of there and headed home.

We are so thankful for God's care, the hospital staff who were quick and gentle while helping preserve her fragile modesty, and for not being pulled over as I climbed from the front to the back seat while passing a police officer:)

So today, we are hanging out at home and sitting on pillows, taking antibiotics, and making sure that she has Advil in her. What a crazy time.

As Kyla was getting ready for bed, she looked at me with a sweet smile and wished me a happy mother's's one for the books alright:)