I'm very glad.
I'm so ready for a more relaxed schedule and time to just hang out with my kids. I feel like our lives have been way too rushed, way too busy for a long, long time. Sure, we've had beautiful adventures and have accomplished good things thanks to all that busyness. But it feels so good NOT to be taking off on a cross-country road trip like we were at this time last year. We're ready for a mellow June full of simple un-planned fun combined with our "Loosli Adventure Camp" (read about that here if you want). I'm excited to just hang out with these fun kids of mine and follow our interests and whims a lot more than we have in a long, long, time. I'm scaling back on Power of Moms stuff and other committments so I can work with Eliza on Violin, read with the twins, go on walks and hikes, spend individual time with kids as much as possible, take a few day trips, and really live in the moment.
Then in July we'll be at Bear Lake most of the time and in Ashton, Idaho part of the time.
Day before yesterday I sat shivering (what's up with over-air-conditioning???) on a hard metal chair through a LONG awards ceremony at the middle school (I've got a few ideas I'm going to pass on to the administration about how they could improve this very tedious event that I think could be a fun celebration of what the kids have done rather than a 2.5 hour reading of names...). Ashton got an award for getting a rare perfect 30 on his writing (he's really a great writer) and Isaac got a Presidential Award for academic excellence. Plus they were recognized for being on the volleyball and soccer teams. But it was hard to see some kids get recognized again and again and again and others not get recognized at all. I sat there feeling frustrated that I didn't know about some of the different things Ashton and Isaac could have been involved in - why weren't the boys pro-active about getting involved in more things? Why didn't the school make sure parents knew about more of this stuff? Am I being as involved as I should be? What am I doing wrong to make it so my boys didn't get more awards? Are awards a good thing anyway? I took notes on things to follow up with the boys about and realized I need to be more pro-active in encouraging the boys to be more pro-active when it comes to school activities. Those are just a few of the rambling thoughts I had while sitting through that long long assembly - I had plenty of time to think.
Here's the only photo I could get that sort of showed Ashton and Isaac - they were both up there to get their awards for being on athletic teamsq (I couldn't get them to look my way...)
Eliza's school's award ceremony was yesterday and it was thankfully much shorter and most every kid seemed to get an award for something - much more positive experience for everyone, it seemed. Here she is getting the Presidential Award for academic excellence and an award from her beloved science teacher, Ms. Singleton:
Eliza happily looked my way and posed for pictures frequently (the diference between her and her older brothers - is it an age thing? girl/boy thing? personality thing?)
Presidential award - see her there on the back row, seventh from the right?
Yesterday Ashton had a bunch of friends over for a party - trampoline jumping, playing guitar and singing together, watching a movie, eating pizza, talking and laughing. He's developed some great friendships this year - and has had a chance to go with many of these kids on awesome school trips to Havasupai (last fall) and Southern Utah (last week).
This year, Ashton's had great teachers and has learned a lot (quite a bit of it the hard way) about getting good grades. He's grown a whole lot this year in so many ways. As he gave me a rare hug last night and thanked me for the party, I couldn't believe that my little baby is now way bigger than me.
Today I did one last story time in the twins' classroom and it was hard not to be emotional as I looked at all the beautiful 3rd graders I've known since Kindergarten. They're getting so big! I love that the twins still have to give me big hugs when I get to their classroom and when I leave. I love seeing their faces light up when I walk into the room. I love knowing and loving many of their friends.
After my storytime, I got to see the kids learn to do the Flamenco from their teacher who is from Spain. It was pretty cute watching them.
Next year they'll be in different classes for the first time and they'll be switching around classes a lot more rather than being with one teacher the vast majority of the time. My babies are really growing up. Forth graders are seriously big kids. I remember forth grade - really well. How can it be that my youngest children are already at an age that I feel like I was at not so very long ago?
Then Isaac and Eliza had their end-of-school parties today after school - one party right after another.
Eliza and her friend jumped on the trampoline, made artistic arrangements out of flowers and leaves and had me judge them, had chips with guacamole and smoothies, played hide and seek and giggled and talked. Such cute girls.
Isaac's still got his friends here. Only girls showed up. But Isaac didn't seem to mind one bit. These are some great girls. They've been jumping on the tramoline while spraying each other with the hose (it's HOT!), eating the delicious cookies Isaac made for the occasion, playing with the neighbor's cats, and playing some pretty tame truth or dare (one dare was to give me a compliment - which really wasn't half bad...). Plus Isaac has been showing off his unicycle skills and helping is friends try out that crazy thing.
Next week, I'll be sitting down with each child to go over the piles and piles of stuff they've brought home from school - deciding whether each piece should be trashed, photographed and put into their digital "special things folder" or saved physically in the special things folder they each get for every 2 school years. Trying to be cheerful about this upcoming task...
Hmmmm. Now what shall I make for dinner? We were going to do pizza but Ashton wanted that for his party last night so we all had pizza. I want to do something special and celebratory. But Jared's getting home from work late and I'm just tired. Going out to eat might be the right answer. But then maybe that takes more effort than just eating something quick and easy here...