Thursday, June 22, 2017

May little things

With the pace at which we are moving around these days, I'm going to borrow the idea of monthly "little things" and hopefully it will mean at least a memory of the fun things that happened throughout each month. We'll start with May little things.

We shared some fun lunches before the end of school with the girls and their adorable friends.

Mother's day came and went, was full of love from our little ones and a (not as terribly long as I thought) U of MN Graduation commencement ceremony.

Regan performed in her band concert, then raced over to her dress rehearsal before having to skip softball practice for the night with all the other hoopla going on.

Our girls had a combined 4 dance recitals and together performed 14 dances and I sat through all of it :)

We started playing summer ball, then it got cold and then it got warm again. And although it's June, I still have the bag of hats, mittens and warm clothes in my trunk....just in case.

Sidney won player of the game.

And then took 2nd place in her gymnastics meet! Way to go Sidney :)

Ryan ventured over to Germany for a week of travel, fun and far too much food! We were very jealous that he left us behind.

The kids and I ventured to New Ulm while Ryan was away and got to meet one of my dad's trees on the golf course.  Plus I managed to help my mom do some tree trimming and somehow the girls and I ended up on the roof of the shed as I trimmed trees!

It was a wild month, but I wouldn't want it any other way! And just like that we were on to end of school events and the beginning of summer. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

5th grade "graduation"

I'm going to run with this disclaimer that Ryan thinks it's pretty silly that I'm calling it a graduation. Heck, he thinks it's pretty silly that I was as tearful as I was on Regan's last day of 5th grade. I get it, we have far too many "graduations" these days: pre-K, kindergarten, 5th grade and then eventually 8th grade and 12th grade. But this one....this one really pulled on my heart strings. I couldn't shake the fact that Regan would never return to her elementary school (he told me that was crazy silly because we have 2 others who will be going through the same school so of course she'll be back in the school!). Men, they just don't get as attached to these types of things, at least not Ryan!

Let's rewind several years and remind ourselves that we purchased this particular home we live in based on the schools surrounding us. We live just blocks from our neighborhood elementary (and middle and high) school and I fell in love with it the first time we walked through the doors. Honestly. It just felt like home, like we belonged there. The people, the fellow students, it was like an extension of our family. That feeling has only grown over the course of the last 6 years.

walking in on her very first day of school.

another first day of school

And as Regan sat up on stage for the 5th grade awards program, I teared up listening to the amazing principal speak as my mind wandered back 6.5 years when I listened to him first speak before she entered Kindergarten. And I distinctly remember how he talked about "these kids, I love them like my own kids". And you know what?, he meant it. He repeated that phrase up on stage this particular day, and I still believe him. The entire community has been incredible.

We have loved (almost) all of Regan's teachers, some were better than others. But never did I doubt how much those teachers cared about their students. And every year, since she was in kindergarten, Regan's teachers told us "she talks too much". I would roll my eyes and beg her to stop talking while the teacher is talking. This year, her teacher said "she talks too much" but for the first time, we heard "but she still gets her work done, and she doesn't interrupt me, so I have a hard time disciplining her". That girl finally figured it out!! Sort of :( She still talks too much, but at least she is completing her work and not being rude in the process. Multi-tasking; I like it!

the kindergarten teacher-Mrs Checco, who first told us "she talks too much"

fifth grade long term sub: Ms Crippen

At her ceremony, she was awarded with superintendent academics, presidential fitness, battle of the books and school patrols. We are so proud of our little "graduate" and can't wait to see what Middle School has in store for her!!

And then on the final day of school, after one heck of a class party, she walked out those doors for the very last time during the ceremonial "clap out". Oh boy did I shed a few tears. Let's be real, I was in good company between the teachers, parents and even students who bid one final farewell to those amazing 5th graders. We'll miss her's a good thing Sidney will be returning there next year :)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

End of school year hoopla

Our elementary school likes to have some fun at the end of the year.
Go big or go home, as I like to say!
I do my very best to get to each and every one of the kids' party days plus award ceremonies, Olympic days and more. It's stressful given my work schedule and each year I swear that I'm taking off the last week of school, but in six years, I have yet to do so.

We started off with Olympic Day where both girls participated in various outdoor relay events. There were plenty of giggles and a lot of sweat! (did I mention it was hot that day?!).

As fifth graders, Regan got to be outside ALL day long. The first half was spent helping the little kindergartners, and the last half was for their own benefit. To be honest, I'm not sure which part Regan liked better :) She sure loved having those kiddos look up to her.

 Then it was on to Sidney's class party and picnic. Again we had a beautiful day and basked in more outdoor fun events. There happened to be a plethora of volunteers that day so I was fortunate enough to wander around and hang with Sidney for a few hours instead of getting assigned my own station. Best day!

Later that afternoon was the annual 5th graders versus the teachers kickball game. I adore a friendly competition, and the idea of playing kick ball thrills me even more! I wanted to jump into that game so badly but was happy watching the kids have so much fun even though they got crushed (as the 5th graders do each year).
I loved that Regan assumed the role of catcher just like she loves to in softball.

And then she scored a run right past her favorite elementary school principal (and ours too!).

From there was Regan's 5th grade award ceremony (more on that in another post of it's own) but I loved how silly she and her two good friends got sandwiching themselves into this portion of their new middle school auditorium. I wonder if they'll fit when they finish 8th grade?....I plan to take another picture :)

With my attention focused on the girls and their end of the year, I was so thankful for my mom to come pick up another day (or two!) of hanging with this little guy. He is in his glory when anyone brings tools and had no problem saying goodbye to me when Grandma showed up with her drill that he got to hold and even play with!

Finally, it was Regan's last day of elementary school (again, more on that later) and her over-the-top end of elementary school class party!! There were bouncy obstacles, pizza, yard games, Maui Waui's and more. Those room parents sure know how to throw a party!

I'm told that slide was super fast, and the laughs out of everyone's mouth at the exist sure proved they were having fun!

Despite the heat and humidity, once Regan got inside of those oversized inflatable, she never got back out. I think she may have played games from inside for close to an hour! My favorite game to watch was when the kids just ran into each other trying to knock one another over. It was like watching turtles laying on their backs :) So much fun!

I couldn't resist taking picture after picture of she and all of her friends. She may not have let me hoover too closely, but she always obliged when I asked to take pictures. Love those friends of hers.

I'm beyond grateful for all of the fun things that our elementary school does for these kids. Sure makes them longing to come back again next September. We miss them dearly over the summer but are always happy for summer vacation!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Gymnastics meet 2017

Sidney is turning into quite the little gymnast. She practices her tumbling moves whenever she can and we always see her doing cartwheels and handstands around the house, in the back yard or in the random parking lot. Each spring, she is able to partake in a progressive meet with her gym and she works so darn hard to achieve the best score. 

I have a love / hate relationship with gymnastics. I love it in so many ways, but it certainly scares the dickens out of me for fear she's going to get hurt. Can't help it, I work in a rehabilitation hospital after all, it's my nature to worry! 

This little girl is strong. She does push-ups every night and I'm telling you, it's paying off! To see how far she has come these last couple of months just blows my mind. Her upper body strength is sure growing! 

In the end, she took home a first place, second place and third place finish in the events; putting her on the podium for 2nd place in the All-Around!
Way to go Sidney!

I think she was pretty proud of herself....just look at that smile! 

 Turns out, she missed first place by only .1!! 
Congrats Sidney! We are so proud of you! 

Dance recital 2017

In my mind, the dance season is 1 month too long, and I think our girls agree. They love to dance, I see them practicing and I love the art of dance and the exercise it provides. Mind-body-soul it is good for them. But come recital time, we are all ready for it to be o.v.e.r!

This year, Regan took danceline, ballet and lyrical classes as well as took part in the opener and finale dances for the recital. Sidney took acro (acrobatics combined with dance), tap and jazz. The studio is so large that they host 2 dress rehearsals and as luck would have it, each of our girls were in one :( There are also FOUR recitals and we had to get the kids to all of them!! It's over the top, but we oblige and they had so much fun!

In the end, despite the whinning 4 weeks before it was all over, they are now asking to sign up for MORE dance classes next year! We'll have to wait and see on that one....

Innagural band concert

When we heard that our elementary school required the 5th graders to participate in band, we were a little surprised. But like two good parents would do, we set out to give Regan the experience she deserved with her first year of band. We allowed her to choose any instrument she would like, either standard band or orchestra and set to practice and learn this new instrument. Her choice?: clarinet. I know she was inspired by the 18 year old neighbor girl who also plays clarinet, and figured it was give her an incentive to practice.

Sadly, I think that clarinet collected more dust than we would have liked. It's not that she doesn't like playing it, she just hasn't found a practice schedule that works for her. Of course we know that she should "practice everyday", but let's face it, that's not realistic in this house. But when she did practice, I tried to get little snippets of her music. Click HERE to listen.

After 8 months, she and her classmates gathered up for their first band concert. I must say, I was actually impressed with how well they sounded! Unfortunately, due to the evening concert coinciding with softball and dress rehearsal for her dance recital, Regan was only able to make it to the day concert....hence the not-so-dressed up 11 year old :) Still so proud of her!