Thursday, June 22, 2017

Spring Choir Concert

Savannah's choir held their spring concert at the Big Red Barn in Mapleton. Gorgeous setting, gorgeous music. Savannah's little choir held their own with some cute nursery rhyme songs and a lot of two part pieces. Next year she'll get to sing with the older group which sang some really challenging songs!

She'll sure miss Jenny when Savannah moves on to the older choir. She's been a great teacher and has even given Savannah rides home when I am running late.

Father's Day

This is how we do Father's Day around here. Dad settles in for some golf and a nap while various kids try to get as much contact with him as possible. He might look uncomfortable, but he secretly loves it. And we not-so-secretly love him. We got a good one!

Olivia's Baptism

My niece, Olivia, was baptized this month and we met up with the entire Pendleton clan in Wyoming to be there for it. It was a quick trip, but the drive felt short (only 9 hours!) and we maximized every minute there. On the way home we drove through Billings to see Eric and Kristy's new stomping grounds. Montana and Eastern Idaho have some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, if you ask me. The drive home was absolutely breathtaking.

I haven't been taking many portraits lately, but Amy asked me to sneak a couple of Olivia and I was thrilled to dust off my camera and train it on such a lovely subject. What a doll she is! Olivia is as beautiful inside as out. I am so proud of this cute little princess band the sweet, generous, kind young lady she is growing into. It's crazy to think our first trip to Wyoming was 8 years ago for her blessing!

I have to take a moment to talk about these three. Savannah, Olivia, and Avery are peas in a pod. When we get together for family functions, they are absolutely inseparable and when the time comes to leave, Savannah is a crying mess for at least several hours. They are the sweetest friends and playmates, and I know they will be a support system for each other through the trying teenage years and beyond. I love all three of these girls to pieces and have to stop now before I cry on my keyboard!

Summer Sticker Chart

Every summer I try to come up with a new and exciting game plan to keep up off screens as much as possible and not lose all semblance of a routine. It took me a couple weeks to get my act together this time, but I came up with this simple sticker chart and it's going great so far!

I stocked up at the dollar store on random items, then put them in a treasure box. The kids can earn stickers through a myriad of chores or activities, then 10 stickers earns them a treasure. Savannah is particularly motivated by this method and has been known to work hard for hours on end to earn a prize nearly every day!

As with summer's past, I'm sure this will peter out by mid-July, but we really only need to make it to the first of August when all our summer travel really takes off. Even Sawyer has gotten into it and has mastered putting his seatbelt on independently since we began! We're a week in now and those charts are covered in stickers. Keep up the good work, kids!

Arrow of Light

Logan earned his Arrow of Light which means 5 things:

1. We have spent the past three years attending scouts every single week, planned and organized by incredible leaders, even when inconvenient, crazy late, or unwilling to attend.

2. Logan has earned every rank of cub scouts, starting with Bobcat, then Wolf, Bear, Webelo, and now Arrow of Light. I have gained quite the scouting education in this process (like being able to name those ranks in order!) and feel like I just about have it figured out.

3. I got pinned by my best boy. Again. Twice.

4. No more pack meetings!! Can I get a heck ya!

5. Boy scouts has already started. Oh boy.

And That's a Wrap!

Another school year is in the books! Adios, Kindergarten, 3rd and 5th grade!

All three kids ended up with great teachers this year. I was initially hesitant, but throughout the year grew to love and value them for the gems that each one is.

Isabelle's teacher, Mrs. Tanner, retired this year. We got her last and best year, and I will be forever grateful for the encouragement and support she offered Izzy this year. With half day kindergarten, she only had a few hours a day with each group of students, but that only meant that she made every minute count. Isabelle LOVED science Wednesday, and Mrs. Tanner never disappointed with cool experiments and lots of facts that Izzy soaked up like a sponge.

I was especially worried about Savannah's teacher and class at the beginning of the year. She had 34 students and her classroom was jam packed. She looked tired (justifiably so) before the year even started. I offered to volunteer in her class as much as I could to alleviate the demand on one woman, but as I came to realize, Mrs. Hartung had her class under control and was doing great things all on her own. Savannah had a great year and loved her big class (more friends!).

Poor Logan got put through the ringer this year. His teacher, Ms. Wertner, ended up leaving just after Christmas. She was a cute young thing and he was in tears when she left. I was apprehensive about who would replace her midyear, and worried about my sensitive boy who has experience more school and teacher changes in his 11 years than one should in a lifetime. His Kindergarten year he had three different teachers, then two teachers for first grade, two for fourth grade, and now two for fifth grade.

I shouldn't have worried. Mrs. Bingham took the reigns and set off at a gallop. She taught with a firmer hand than Ms. Wertner, but just as much affection. Logan had to step up his game and actually ended up with his first less-than-perfect grades (due to not turning in his homework) which I was grateful for! I'm glad she forced him to take accountability for his own work. I'm glad she's joined the Sage Creek staff and would love to repeat her class with Savannah.

And finally, it wouldn't be the last week of school if we didn't have a dance festival! Here are a few gems from that event.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Tulip Festival Field Trip

Back in April, I scored one of the coveted spots as a chaperone to the Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival field trip. (It pays to compulsively check your email sometimes!) We had beautiful weather and I got assigned the sweetest group of girls to chaperone. They were all so polite and easy going.

We thought these origami cranes made for a very zen feel in the upper pathways.

How cute is this tic tac toe log? Now I need to find someone who is cutting down a tree so I can make my own.

Being in the midst of spring yard work myself, I spent most of the day looking in vain for weeds and wondering how on earth they manage to keep the place to meticulously perfect! We saw tons of gorgeous flowers (not just tulips, although there were plenty of those) and now I have all sorts of ideas for bulb planting in the fall.

I've spent a fair amount of time working with the kids in Savannah's class this year. Although reviewing math facts got a little old after week 8 or so, I loved getting to know her classmates and teacher. We had a great day together and I'm so glad I got to go!