Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Graduation Girls

Our two lovely older daughters had a special night tonight. So special that Grandma and Grandpa even brought them both flowers. And Grandma and Lyle drove all the way up from the farm to help them celebrate in the middle of the week. And Mommy and Daddy were so very proud. Why? It was Graduation Night! Tonight was the annual 4th Grade Farewell at the elementary school. Melissa has been at this school for 7 years now, and it is time to move on. We love this school and all it has done for our kids, and especially for Melissa. The people we have come across have been instrumental in Melissa's overall success. From OT consults and classroom adaptations to Speech Therapy and Adaptive Physical Education, Melissa has blossomed over the years.Not knowing precisely what we will be doing next year for Melissa's schooling options, we do know that we will miss Bayview greatly for her.
Melissa's grade performed several songs and little skits for us tonight. As they stood up there on stage, now "all grown up", they retained their enthusiatic attitudes and childhood innocence that brings with it contagious smiles. It was an absolute delight to watch these kids perform for us one last time before becoming tainted by middle school concerns of next year.
The show was followed by the awarding of diplomas, refreshments in a festively decorated cafeteria, photos on the wall from previous years, and lots of hugs from teachers both past and present. Melissa was proud of her accomplishments, as well she should be. We are so very proud of her and her "can-do" attitude.Melissa's teacher this year was a perfect match for her. Mrs. K has a gift for reading these kids perfectly, and innately knowing what they need to reach their potential. She was a strong advocate for Melissa this year, obtained a laptop for classroom use, and modified things just enough for Melissa to accomplish her goals without making her feel "different" in the main classroom setting. We loved Mrs. K!

We had our own little celebration at home with Dilly Bars, and just a few little presents. As Bayview has done away with a formal Kindergarten Graduation, we took tonight to celebrate Laura's moving forward as well. She has been looking forward to this day for at least two years. Not the actual graduating part, but the fact that she finally gets....

...... a Nintendo DS. Our family tradition continues. Each kid has to wait until they graduate Kindergarten before they can get their first hand held Nintendo game system. Oh, the agony of the wait!

Instead of the typical grad ceremony, the Kindergartners had had an earlier program at the end of April. During the day. And only parents were invited. Though an entirely wonderful little program full of heartfelt singing, dancing, and movement, it could be hardly considered a graduation ceremony. In fact, I had no idea that the Parent Tea(which they have always done anyhow, by the way) was now considered a replacement for the ceremony. But at the time, I did thoroughtly enjoy watching my little girl confident on stage, singing her heart out. And my own heart melted as she poured me punch and led me to the table she had decorated for my visit. So sweet!

Laura has had a great first year of traditional schooling. She is such a social little girl, and considers everyone to be her friend. She has been kind, helpful, and accepting of all in her class. And I guess she is a chatterbox. No, really. Yes, it is true. Hard to believe, I know. Um, or maybe not such a stretch of the imagination is needed there.

I think both of the girls felt pretty special tonight, as indeed they should. We are so proud of our two little princesses. I think they are both pretty proud of themselves, too! Congratulations, Girls!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Deja Vu?

I took this picture on our Anniversary in May. It is my newest baby wearing one of the oldest dresses that my mom put me in about 40 years ago.

I wonder if Grandma felt any kind of deja vu as she babysat that evening?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Father~Daughter Dance

Is there anything sweeter

than two pretty little girls
getting all dolled up
to spend a special night
with their adoring Daddy?

Father~Daughter Dance: May 22, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Stuff Going On

When I began keeping up this blog, Thomas was a baby, and it was so much fun to sit down everyday to write and add pictures maintaining a high-tech daily scrapbook of our lives in which to capture memories perhaps otherwise that would be destined to be forgotten. Lately, I have found myself just so busy keeping up with life itself(with 8 kids, go figure!), that it has saddened me to have fallen so behind on the blog. I still take pictures daily (and have 1000's to prove that!), but to take the time out to sit at the computer and invite creativity to flow....well, that time just isn't available these days. So my poor neglected blog sits dormant for days and days, weeks, and weeks on end, as the memories I wish to capture are beginning to already fade. For crying out loud, I still haven't told you all about the exciting conversion to exclusively cloth diapers after 7 kids in disposables....and I have been meaning to write in detail about that since January!

So, without wasting another moment, here is a quick snapshot of some of the things that have been going on around here over the past few months........

Crispy has been playing soccer:

Having taken last year off, Crispy renewed his interest this spring. Though on a team that never won a game, and which only scored a handful of points all season, he had a blast, loved playing goalie, and got some really good exercise. I think being on a team with his best friend helped greatly. And it is always fun when one of our favorite neighbors happens to be the coach!

As adoring fans, we were treated to many a beautiful Saturday morning and some very lovely evenings this year. No rain, coldness, or extreme heat to contend with which is usually a challenge to get through every other year.

Melissa has been riding horses again:

My favorite activity for my special girl. Nothing compares to Melissa in the saddle, riding her horse with confidence, watching her self esteem renewed. Melissa remains on her horse from last year which she is so happy about. Melissa and Doc are matched quite well. Doc listens to her directions, but in no way is passive enough to give her a free ride. Melissa works hard, gets stronger, has fun, and is making some good friendships this year with her fellow riders. Can it get any better than that?

Melissa also is blessed to have her own fan club to accompany her each week. She has fun, they have fun, I get to watch Melissa ride which is one of my absolute favorite things in the world....we all win.

Concerts of all kinds:
Alex with band concerts at Mankato State University.
Alex and Michael with Jazz concerts, solo competitions, and Ensemble Concerts

Jonny with Jazz, Choir, and regular Band Concerts:
all with solos and followed by ice cream, of course!

Melissa with Musicals and Recorder recitals.
Paired with our now weekly piano lessons that I have finally begun with the kids, the music around our house is nearly constant. And perfectly lovely.
End of the Year Events:
This is what really keeps me hopping. It seems as though there is some sort of thing going on every other day/night at one or more of the schools. Sometimes, I need to split myself down the middle to attend them all! Here is just a sampling of a few of such events.....

Wacky Hair Day

School CarnivalEnd of Year Parties

Kites & BubblesShopping Night with Good Friends

Track & Field


Tug of War Contests


Pet Day

The list is much longer, but hey, I am so far behind, I need to catch up quick!