Friday, July 3, 2015

Sister Update


Sis had a magnificent year in 1st grade!! She found her love of school! She had a wonderful teacher that understood her and liked her and helped her become academically successful. Sis's reading ability soared and she is now comfortable doing math. Yeah!!

Sis's hair is beyond beautiful. It's very long. When it's wet the curls stretch all the was to her hiney. She does NOT like to wear it down. She likes it up in a ponytail and then the ponytail braided. One day after school she came home and took her hair out. I quickly snapped the above picture. Whoa! So pretty. I'm encouraging her to wear it down but she won't. I'm hoping that changes.

Sis is a good friend to kids at school. This year she had best friends of boys and girls. She loved to play "ninjas" and hide and seek on the playground. Fitness and music were her favorite things at school.....right after recess.

She is especially helpful with Tuba. She has gotten him dressed from head to toe....including shoes...several times. He outweighs her by 100 lbs. but she diligently works to get him all outfitted and ready for the day. Her heart is easily swayed if Tuba feels sad. She often talks Cam or I into taking Tuba along on errands because she feels bad when he's disappointed. She gets him to agree that he will behave and then walks him hand in hand to the van. Now, anytime Tuba wants something he goes straight to Sis.


Sis continues on in TKD and she's already excited for fall soccer. She goes out into the backyard and kicks the ball around with Moses and George. She's in swim lessons and is making good progress. She's finally not scared.

My sweet girl will be off to 2nd grade in the fall. She's a tiny (41 lbs.) of mighty muscle and sparkly energy. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Moses

Moses is off to 4th grade. Woot!!

He had a spectacular year. I was so appreciative that his teacher took a moment to tell me this....

I was signing in at the office and she stopped to tell me, "I just want you to know that Moses is such a helpful person. We were in the middle of stapling papers and when he noticed the stapler was empty he went off on his own, found the staples, loaded the stapler and continued on".


Wow!! That is exactly the sweet, kind, helpful boy we have at home too! He is amazingly resourceful and always willing to help. I can send him down to my tool area, tell him what to get me and he quickly returns with said tool in hand and willing to help me. He knows where EVERYTHING in the house belongs...or even where it was last seen. I've decided that he can never move out.



He does not brag about himself (so I will). Several examples from this last school year. On the night of the Holiday Concert he nonchalantly tells me, "oh yah, by the way, I'm performing with the 5th graders and I also have a drum solo". What?! He hadn't said a single word to me until that point. He of course did an amazing job! Later in the year he won the bridge building contest in his classroom. At dinner he causally mentioned it. Hello?!!! I want to know these things!! He's so humble that he let his classroom partner take home the bridge they built. Phooey...but okay, very kind.



Anyway...amazing kid! Just this morning he asked if he could "PLEASE get out my window washing equipment and wash the front window inside and out. Not your typical 9 yr. old's morning routine. This pic is Moses cleaning the front of the stainless fridge and freezer. He wanted to exercise healthy caution and not breathe the 409 cleaner. Ha!


Moses also played Flag Football and Basketball. He didn't know a single person on his Flag team which had me worried but he reassured me with, "that's okay mom I'll meet new friends". Ummm....okay my child is a mentor to me.

Summer is here and Moses is excited to fine tune his swimming skills...AKA pass the final swim class and not have to take swimming lessons any more! He is also looking forward to our camping trip in a TRAILER. He can't wait to help park it, set it up and test every button, switch, latch and lever on the thing. He will be able to tell us exactly how to operate the whole thing. I am taking him along when we pick it up and get our lesson!


Friday, June 26, 2015

Mr. P

What a year for Mr. P! He is finished with 5th grade, elementary school....and off to middle school in the fall. Gulp!!



The end of the year was FULL of fun activities for 5th graders. He got to spend three days away at camp. He had never been gone overnight for TWO nights in a row. We all missed him a ton but he had a fabulous time!!



The 5th grade also put on a magnificent musical called Go West. Mr. P had a lead role with LOTS to memorize. He was AMAZING!! He delivered all his lines with ease and poise. I was blown away. He never practiced at home and must have quite the gift for memorization.

Apparently the kids were suppose to be working on their costumes for weeks ahead of time. My sweet boy came to me about 25 min. before we needed to leave and asked, "so Mom, do you have any cowboy clothes?". HUH??!!!! I about died. I pulled the shirt out of a bin of Tuba's old clothes. It was too small for Mr. P so I told him to roll the sleeves up. Someone at school handed him the stick on mustache....it was perfect. The hat was loaned by the music teacher.

Mr. P was a mediator...which means he was given some training in conflict resolution and then worked shifts on the playground helping younger kids work out differences. The crossing guards and mediators were treated to an all day field trip at a local pool. The next week was an all day trip to a park to play games and hang out. Wow...5th grade is pretty fun!


Then there was a ceremony to celebrate moving up to middle school. It was a bittersweet night watching the slide show of the kids as they grew up. I've known all those kids a long time. Some of them attended preschool with Mr. P. I was teary! My baby!!



Mr. P played basketball and flag football this year. He is looking forward to sports in middle school.....yeah for track!! I cannot wait!!


Speaking of middle school...Mr. P is SUPER EXCITED. He signed up for advanced placement reading/writing and math. He also chose band as his elective. He's hoping for the saxophone.

When report cards came home I couldn't have been prouder! Not only did he have wonderful grades but his teacher's comments made me smile from my heart.

Okay....I know....bragging. But, really this blog is for me and for my kids as a diary of our life. So, I'll brag if I want to. :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tuba

I thought I'd write an end of the year recap for each kid. Lots to share!


Tuba worked all year at the school district headquarters. He worked in the offices delivering mail, shredding, putting paper into copiers, and wiping tables. He loved it...and they loved him!! It was a good fit for him because he loves the social aspect and the positive feedback from the wonderful staff. On the last day the staff had a party for Tuba and the other two students.

Lucky for all of us Tuba was able to catch an extra hour and 1/2 of sleep this year. Not having to get up so early helped his grumpy morning disposition improve. And...his new aide was wonderful!! They worked great together. He would fling open the door every morning when she arrived and yell, "TI-NA"!! Loudly! This cute pic is of Tuba and his good buddy on the bus. She is graduating the job program and Tuba is going to miss her friendship.


Tuba's seizures had their ups and downs this year but right now they are good. I see a few small 1 sec. "jerks" about once a day. I see a big seizure about every 4 or 5 weeks. Much better that the fall when we were seeing several big bad ones daily.


Tuba is stillllllll growing. He's huge! 5'10...or 11 and weighs 143 lbs. And size 12 shoe.

Summer can be long and hard for Tuba. He gets bored and is too sedentary. We have him in swimming twice a week and we are having him go for frequent walks. He tends to want to sit....I call him grumpy old man. I inquired about a trampoline for him but his neurologist said no. It's too dangerous for his VNS leads. So, I'm working on other activities to stimulate him and keep him busy and active.

Tuba is looking forward to beach days, and swimming, and bonfires....FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mother's Day / Father's Day


I haven't posted our Mother's Day photos yet so I'll combine it with a Father's Day post. I LOVE Mother's Day! My favorite thing is all the beautiful and sweet things the kids make for me at school. I cherish them!!

After a leisurely morning we headed out on a bike ride and picnic. We grabbed lunch to go and ate at the trail head. There are chickens and a crazy rooster that crows about every 2 minutes. The kids like to little park there too. I like the restroom...a real restroom and not the portapotties along the rest of the trail. 

We love this beautiful lake along the trail. We like to ride to it, get off to rest, and enjoy the view before turning around to head back. 

There is a board walk and dock and the wildlife is amazing. So many birds!


Along the trail a creek runs under a bridge and we always stop for  water break and have fun looking in the water. We saw crawdad and tadpoles! 




Unfortunately Moses had a total tire blow out! The pop was so loud I thought it was a gun shot. We made the most of the bad situation....we put Moses AND his bike into the trailer with Tuba AND Kali. Sheesh. Kind of squishy! 

After a couple of miles Moses was in pain from the bike on his lap so he opted to get out and jog. He ran the last 2-3 miles. 



Father's Day!! The sun was shining and we headed out for the same bike ride again. 


It's very peaceful on the dock watching birds flit around. There were a few row boats on the lake with kids and dads fishing. 



I adore the lily pads. 


The bike ride was uneventful! The kids rode 16 miles total...they rock!! 

We went out to dinner at a favorite pizza and calzone place. We had our rehearsal dinner at this place many years ago. Since then it had changed owners and then closed. We were thrilled that it re-opened with the original owner. The food was delicious!! AND....when I went to pay the bill I was told a gentleman had anonymously paid our bill. I was stunned....and got teary. How nice is that?!! We will be paying that kindness forward. 















Thursday, June 4, 2015

Long Weekend Fun

I don't know why but the month of May is always a "belt tightening" month. Meaning our checking account was looking rather empty. There is also a long holiday weekend in May...and five kids home wanting to go do fun things.

So...I pulled out our coupon file (I put all coupons and gift cards into a folder on my desk). Low and behold I found five movie tickets! Score! I also found some Five Guy Burger gift cards....totalling $45.00. Woot!

We took the kids to dinner at Five Guy. If you've never been there it is a burger place that makes all their food fresh...not from the freezer and hand cut fries made fresh. It sounded good. I was really in the mood for a beer and was sad to learn they do not sell any. Darn.

I like to be positive so I'll start with the good. The food was good. The restaurant was very clean. The service was friendly. The kids were happy. We had gift cards.

And the negative. You order at the counter and for each burger you order you have to tell them which condiments you want....and the list is REALLY long! So for each kid I had to say, "do you want lettuce, pickle, relish, onion, tomato, ketchup, mustard, etc.......UGH! What would you guess the total cost for 7 burgers (small ones not the double patty large size), 3 large fries, and 5 small sodas?

I'll give you a minute to compute.






It was $70.00!!!!!!!! I about died!! Good thing we had $45.00 in gift cards. But still! Yikes. Okay, on with more of the negatives. You take your bags of food to your little table in a crowded room and then unpack all the burgers trying to match the number on the burger to the number in which you ordered it. Then pass out fries and condiments and drinks. I was squished and cold from the AC blowing on me.

The kids loved it and we will never go back. For $70 we could sit at table relaxing while a wait person brings us drinks (including a beer), and food and then takes it all away.

Okay....on to the movies the next day. A much better deal. We took the kids to see Tomorrowland. Since it was a new release we had to pay a dollar to upgrade our movie passes. Tuba stayed with Grandma so we only had to buy one ticket. The total was $13 for six of us. Yeah!! Then of course we all wanted popcorn and drinks. Ouch! But still $38 for six of us to see a movie and have treats isn't bad. PS We loved the movie!!

We also did a couple of FREE outings. We took a hike. This beautiful place is only 10 minutes from our house. It was very peaceful and the trail is nice and wide and level which is great for Tuba.




On the last day of the weekend we took the kids to a car show. We love this yearly event! I'll tell you a secret about me. I LOVE muscle cars. My fav is a Charger...with stripes. Ohhhh! The sound of the engine is magical. It moves me. 

The other thing I love looking at is how clean the engines are! Seriously! You've never seen anything so sparkly clean. Oh! And the interiors of these cars...some of them with white uphostery...obviously they have never had kids in those back seats!



We have a great time walking around finding our favorites. The Slug Bug row of cars is always a big hit.

This pic is hilarious to me. There was someone smoking a cigarette near us while we waited in line for kettle corn. Ha! The boys did not appreciate the smell! 



It was a really fun weekend. We also went to the library and the park...both free! We spent a little money on outings but did LOTS of fun things. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Year's End

It's the end of the school year. It's been full of field trips, and loads of extra fun things.


Field trip to release salmon fry. 

This is good because the end of the school can be hard to get through. I'm tired and have lost my sparkly enthusiasm of the beginning of the year.

Lunches at the end of the year become a stale boring chore. I adore my BIL and his childhood story of his dad packing a can of tuna and a can opener in his school lunch. I know I'm suppose to side with the BIL and feel outrage but really I relate to the dad....it must have been the end of the school year.

This year I bought some fun treats (junk food) to spruce up lunches and make lunch making more fun for the last few weeks. Nothing motivates my kids like a mini bag of Cheetos in their lunch box!

As for homework. Oh! It's so hard to muster up the energy for end of the year homework. I have slacked off on some of it, but make myself feel better by maintaining nightly reading time. It's all I've got.

I'm looking forward to lots of unscheduled hanging out time...beach days...and loads of snuggling.



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