Thursday, June 11, 2015

An Early Father's Day

Delayed gratification is not just difficult for children.  Let's be honest, it is hard for all of us to wait, including, and maybe especially, Josh.  For years he has dreamed of getting a remote control airplane.  He grew up doing Civil Air Patrol and dreaming of being a pilot.  This spring a good friend of ours decided he needed to pick up a hobby he could enjoy with his kids and got himself an airplane and RC car.  Josh and Caleb would jump at every chance to go out with him to play with his toys!

Josh decided with the new technology of a panic button and beginner mode, making it possible for amateurs to be successful flying, he would join in the fun by getting his own airplane.  I told him he could have one for Father's Day and he promptly went out and purchased one (a month early).  Of course he couldn't wait to get out and fly it.  He was like a kid on Christmas morning!!

It has been a fun family activity.  Unfortunately about a week in he accidentally hit "advanced" mode rather than the panic button when he lost control and had his first crash.  It was a sad day.  (Johnny poured a full glass of water on my computer that day too.  It caused enough damage that I had to get a new laptop.)  Josh fixed the airplane and had it up and running again in about a week, but sadly during it's next flight the battery fell out mid-air.  Needless to say that didn't go over very well either so now we are waiting for parts again.

Caleb sold a bunch of his toys and actually did extra chores for a few weeks to earn money and paid for 1/2 of an RC car.  He loves it.  I have a hard time comprehending how a toy can be worth hundreds of dollars, but I guess the saying is true that boys love their toys.  It is true for my boys at least.

Monday, June 8, 2015

"Okay, fine"

Johnny's favorite phrase is "okay, fine."  He says it in every tone and scenario imaginable, and to most requests, despite his plans to complete the request or not.  He is such a fun kid.  He turned three this week!  He fills the role of BABY so perfectly.  He loves hugs and kisses and the more snuggles the better.  He'd rather be carried than walk and he is making potty training so difficult that he confirms the decision to be done having children. He didn't really get the birthday thing and I took advantage by allowing it to be one of the more laid back days of the summer so far.  He did get plenty of extra attention and his birthday gave us an excuse to play all week.

My mom has been giving the grandkids a candy bar lay for their birthdays this year.  Of course they love it.

Johnny was a pro at blowing out his candles.

Yet another temple has been built here in Utah so we took the drive to Payson and made a day out of attending the open house.  Josh's brother Gabe and his wife Alexa had their first baby so we stopped in SLC to see their cut little newborn. We then headed to an awesome dinner in Provo.  We decided to brave it and take the kids to a Brazilian Steak House.  The results were shocking.  The most shocking is that Andy was an adventurous eater for the first time in his life.  He loved it and tried many things.  He has NEVER done that before.  Caleb whined and complained the whole time that it wasn't the kind of meat he expected.  (Not a surprise.)  They were very well mannered.  It was fun to share that experience with them.  

The temple was amazing, of course.  It was the last day of the open house so the crowds were huge, but always worthwhile to make the effort to show our children the inside of the house of God.

Our neighborhood is so wonderful.  We love having children always available to play, but to enjoy family time we have to make a concentrated effort to get away which is what we did one of the first sunny days of the summer.  (May was incredibly rainy.  Like it felt like the rain never stopped.)  We enjoyed an evening campfire and talked about some goals and calendaring for the summer.  Josh was a great sport and spent the night in a tent with Cara, Andy and Ali.  (Caleb had early morning basketball so he didn't stay.)  It is especially fun for the girls to get out and camp.  It seems like they don't get as many opportunities as the boys.

We have already taken advantage of our Lagoon Season pass many times! "To celebrate Johnny's birthday" we went to Lagoon-a-beach.  The water was cold, but it was fun to be out in the sun and enjoying time with our friends, the Campbell's.  It is fun to have the kids growing up so these types of activities are possible with one parent.  Don't get me wrong, it is still a ton of work, but it is at least possible.

It was an extremely busy day at Lagoon so we didn't hit may other rides, but this was my "log" of beautiful children on the log ride.  I'm happy to report that we are creating many happy memories!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Celebrating a FANTASTIC school year

I can hardly believe that we are through with another school year!  It seems like it just started.  The end of school is always filled with excitement and celebration.  This year was no exception.  Cara had a whole lot to celebrate with the end of school this year.  FIRST, she was released from speech! She has been in speech since before she was two so this is a huge accomplishment.  We were both so happy that she has done so well.  

Cara loves art!!  Some of her art was displayed in the district art show.  She could do art all day long! She would like to keep all of it, but a picture will have to due with some of the more bulky art projects. 

Cara works so hard in school.  Her dyslexia continues to present some major problems, but she has the best attitude and work ethic.  I am so proud of her!

 For their end of school program her class did little plays.  They presented cute fables. She is pictured here as "the dancing camel."

Cara finished her year of ballet.  It turns out that she'd rather not continue to dance, but she had a friend in her class, Aspen, the second semester which made her time at ballet much more enjoyable. 

I wish she was more interested.  She is such a beautiful ballerina and always has such graceful form. 

Andy has had the best year!  His kindergarten teacher was so adorable and three of his best neighbor friends (all four in the cul-de-sac) were in his class, Dylan, Hayden, and Beck. They would go to a few hours of school in the morning and then PLAY all afternoon.  If one friend wasn't home or available there was always another option.  The four of them as well as two other neighbors played on a soccer team this spring.  They were incredible!  Most games they won by a landslide.  We didn't even cheer when they made goals because it was so ridiculous.  Andy is a lucky boy!! (Their last game was cold and wet, hence the awesome outfits.)

Caleb had an incredible teacher this year.  Not only was she honored as teach of the year, in 2014, but this year she was one of 5 teachers in the nation to receive an award for teaching science in the classroom.  She is out of this world!!  We joined them on one of their class field trips to plant little fish, that they had raised from eggs, in a local pond.  

Running is NOT Caleb's thing (it's genetic) so just completing the Wellsville mile is a big deal for him.  Not his best time, but he did it.  He is glad that part of they year is over. 

Mrs. Anderson created a before school service club, The Panda Power Club, and here Caleb is being recognized for participating in that service club this year. 

The fifth grade end of school program is a Civil War Reenactment.  I was touched and so impressed by the program they put on.  They reenacted six battles in the form of a water balloon fight, but it was touching, educational, and a fun memory for the kids.  

Our neighborhood knows how to celebrate!  The Millers host an end of school party that gets better each year.  It is the perfect way to bring in summer!

I really can't believe that I don't have any pictures of Ali's end of school celebrations.  She went to the USU lab preschool four days a week this year.  She LOVED school.  She loved the songs, the social, her teachers and everything she learned.  It was a crazy year with Andy getting home from school at 12:20 each day and Ali's preschool starting on campus at 12:30 four days a week.  I'm glad it is over, but I wouldn't take any of it back.  I think she had a great experience.  

Ali was also in a neighborhood coop "ABC Group" on Mondays (the day she didn't have school at USU.)  There were 8 other children from the neighborhood that she LOVED playing with and going to each of their homes.  Ali had a fantastic year of learning and FUN!!