Sunday, May 29, 2011

Endings and beginnings

The kids finished up their school year this past Thursday with a week of movies, water parties, etc. in school. Plus, it seemed like everybody and their dog needed to squeeze in a birthday party before school ended. I am happy to see the days of make-a-project-entirely-out-of-paper and make-a-working-volcano-and-diorama come to an end, although I don't know how much more relaxing summer vacation will be since I signed Mister and Sweetie up for swim team for the first year, so we'll be at the pool, hanging out from 7:50-9:20 Monday thru Thursdays in the sweltering heat. (And by "hanging out" I mean keeping H from getting in the pool, going into the men's locker room, going into the women's locker room, and breaking the drinking fountain and vending machine dividers by banging on them with all his might.)

But anyway, so we have the ending of a really, really good school year for both kids, especially for Mister who truly thrived with this particular second-grade teacher. With the ending of the school year came the end of the community karate class the kids begged to take (and then complained to no end about actually attending). Here's a pic from their last class and with each one displaying one of the basic moves or stances that they learned:
And the end of swim lessons. I signed them up for 1 session because both were very nervous about having to swim the length of the pool for swim team. So I figured a refresher session would help them remember their strokes. Here's they are diving and Sweetie doing the butterfly. Here, also, is little H, who took a 10-minute individual lesson, which he hated, but he did great in. You can see one of the teachers dropping him into the pool. He learned to turn around and kick to the side and reach up, then "monkey walk" along the edge to the steps. He also learned to roll over and float on his back (although he didn't quite master the floating-on-his-back in just 1 session). He cried at the beginning of every lesson, but he always wanted to get his swim suit on when the kids got theirs on, so it must not have been too traumatic.
And here's Sweeite at the swim team clinic, trying to make it across the entire pool.
So, just as we end many things, we begin others. I'm excited for the summer and so are the kids. As I was tucking them into bed tonight, I told them that tomorrow is Memorial Day, a day for pancakes and swimming and barbecuing and being with family. And Sweetie, after reminding Mister that he needed to make sure he repented now that he is 8, said, "And a day for laughing all we want?" Yes, that sounds like a perfect plan, Sweetie. A day for laughing all we want.

(1) A breezy, cool evening bike ride as a family, (2) brownies from caring and considerate neighbors, (3) eyes that are no longer in pain, even if they can't really see this screen

Mister's Baptism

Mister's baptism was a special and almost surreal experience. It seems we've talked about getting baptized for, well, eight years now, so it was strange to actually have the event for which we've tried to prepare him come and go. Big milestones like these make me think about if I live in the moment enough as a mother.

Anyway, we were so glad to have both sets of grandparents and one family of cousins/aunt/uncle here to participate in the baptismal service and to celebrate Mister's decision with us. We also feel blessed to have good friends, neighbors, ward members, a school teacher, and a Primary teacher come to support us and to act as our family when other family members couldn't be there.

Lots of tomato sauce stains means . . .

Grandpa Louie's in town, making his much-loved sauce and meatballs! One of the reasons for his visit is the subject of the next post.

Catching up: Sweetie's birthday

I'm forever playing catch-up with my blog. And sometimes with my life. Oh well, here's a quick report on Sweetie's sixth birthday. We spent most of the day in the car, coming back from California, but we still managed to go around and collect her birthday freebies ( 3 meals, including her favorite ribs; 1 sub sandwich, and a dozen donuts). We also opened birthday presents that night. The next weekend we had her cake and ice cream and games when her cousins could come celebrate. At the last minute, I decided to make her a Tangled tower on her cake and it was only moderately successful. :) We played Sweetie Jeopardy and guessed at the facts of her birth day, how old she was in certain pics, and her favorites. How grateful we are for Sweetie. We love her laugh, her wit, her imagination, and her offers of help.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What a bunch of characters

In lieu of birthday parties this year, we decided to hit the happiest place on earth. We had a great time with not many lines and a lot of sun. We only stopped for pics with these 2 characters, though, because they happened to be around while J and Mister were taking their turn on California Screamin'. Otherwise, we couldn't pause for pics with characters when there were rides to be ridden and cotton candy, Nestle cookie ice creams, popcorn, and churros to be eaten (we skipped dinner in favor of pure treats).

Mister went on all of the rides, of course, and even braved the Tower of Terror twice just so I would have someone to go with (even though he didn't like the ride--what a great kid!) Sweetie was brave enough and tall enough this time around to go on all of the rides but California Screamin'. She actually liked Space Mountain, refused to go on Thunder Mountain Railroad again, and loved Soarin' over California. H loved all the rides we put him on, although he was a little worried about Pirates at first. He was enthralled by Small World and cried at the end of King Tritan's carousel. I thought he would be fighting to get out of his stroller the entire day, but there was enough to see and enough rides for him to ride that he did so well.

Jungle Cruise and Pirates
Bumper cards and It's a Bug's Life Rides

Small World and happy kids!
While in SoCal visiting Disney and visiting Grandma and Grandpa, we also managed a trip to the beach. It was close to evening, though, and a little on the cold side. That didn't stop the kids, of course.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Catching up: Piano Recital

We crashed another piano teacher's piano recital so the kids could have a chance to memorize a piece and perform it for an audience. They each played 2 pieces and did very well.

Catching up: Mister turns EIGHT

An 8 year old. How can it be that I have an 8 year old. I don't know, but I will keep him. He is sensitive, kind, helpful, fun, and obedient. I'm so glad that I get to be his mother.

And, this year, he was particular--he had definite plans for his birthday. Those plans included having his cousins over for a dinner of wings, little smokies, and mashed potatoes, followed by games (spoons and speed), followed by presents and cake--confetti with white frosting and blue writing. See--a boy who knows what he wants. And that's what he got! I didn't get any pics of the food, though, because we were too busy eating it.