Sunday, June 04, 2017

Spring catch-up...birthdays, sports, and school!

 Oh gosh, so much has been happening!!!

Abigail turned 12 in April and my parents met us at the temple. We had a really wonderful morning--my dad & Neil baptized Abigail for the family names that my mom & Neil's mom had collected for Abigail (while my mom hung out with Nathan and Matthew outside the temple), and then my dad, Neil, and Abigail chilled with the little boys while Mom & I did the iniatory ordinances for those names. It was so so so so so wonderful.

Then my parents took us out for Indian food, which was also wonderful. :-)

That night Juliet & I ran her Girls on the Run 5k--she did the whole thing without walking, even though she wasn't feeling fantastic and it was SUPER SUPER hot (easily the hottest day by a good 20 degrees we'd had yet that spring). She wanted to hold my hand every step of the way and I was so proud of her! My mom snapped this picture of us at the finish line (she was there cheering us on with Matthew).

Meanwhile Abigail was at softball practice and my dad & Neil were at Isaac's game with the younger boys. Pretty much our life is spring ball right now.

The next day was the birthday of Luke the Magnificent, Magician Extraordinaire!!

He was very specific about wanting a "sneaky cake--white on the outside with my name in blue, and then CRAZY inside!"

The kids all had a piano recital after baseball/softball practice this morning, which my parents were able to attend. It was so neat to have them there! I don't think I took any pictures--oops.

And then it was off to Luke's first softball game!

We celebrated Nathan's birthday a few weeks before; he had some of his little friends over for a lunch party and some playtime. I didn't take a single picture, but Nate LOVED it so much--we ate "dirt cups" and had construction hats and served a construction themed- lunch (I can't remember everything now but I know we had clementines for wrecking balls, chicken nuggets for boulders, carrots for logs, etc. And we had baguettes and roasted tomato bisque to appeal to adult palates as well).

 We got some new chicks and our old chickens went to a new farm, where presumably they are happily laying away. I was SO sad to see our older hens go--they are nearing the end of their laying career, so we let each kid pick out 2 chicks this year with the understanding that we would have to rehome the older hens once the chicks got big enough. But four of our chicks died (and it was absolutely awful--totally devastating to everyone, especially since 3 of the chicks were killed by a predator when they were pullets and had really developed some personality and had been around long enough for the kids to really love them).

Here is Nate with one of the six remaining new chickens--Excavator. The ones left are Darth Vader, Excavator, Goldie, Raccoon, Spot, and Parsley (who survived being pecked by the older hens whereas sweet tiny Nutmeg managed did not--she wriggled through a gap in the chicken wire and it was very very sad and awful; Parsley's pecking happened after the young pullets were 8 weeks old and we'd very carefully integrated them in with the older hens, and after 12 hours when Parsley had been attacked we decided we really had to move the older hens on...argh).

I know this photo wasn't from Mother's Day--maybe the week after? My six cuties! (We matched because we were singing in church that day and I wanted us to look a little more visually coordinated!)

We finished up another year of school and we are 4/4 for kindergarteners starting to read the Harry Potter books at the end of kindergarten! I was really not thrilled with Luke's teacher this year, so I was happy that his school day ended up being only 2 hours every day. I actually didn't have him go the last 4 days after his teacher went on maternity leave and the substitute lost Luke on her first day. Yep, we're done. 

Isaac finished up his first year of high ability with his fabulous teacher who I love so so much! He was invited to skip 3rd-grade math and do 4th-grade math next year, so he's super excited about that!! I didn't get a picture of Jules with her teacher, but she has her same teacher next year for 4/5 and I am so grateful--I just love her teacher to pieces. So different from Isaac's amazing teacher and so wonderful in her way. Those two have really lucked out on teachers this year; Jules was also on the 4/5 highest honor roll for the year (they don't do one for 2nd grade, but Isaac had straight A's all year) and Abigail was on the highest honor roll and got a bunch of awards--one for English, another for band. She had a great year but I wasn't really blown away by her teachers.

And boy were we excited to be done with school this year--not least because we were headed down to Tennessee the next day for a week of camping, hiking, and Dollywood-attending!

But before I blog about vacation, a few more baseball pics...nice and blurry for most of these, but with a few great sharp ones taken by my friend with her nice camera when her son's team was playing Isaac's (thanks again, Melissa!!)

Neil is Luke's head coach this year for t-ball; it's been really fun for them both!

Abigail has had a fabulous time with her softball team--her coaches are awesome and the girls on her team are so sweet!

When we started the season, all of our kids were total novice players. It's been awesome to watch their improvement in both skill and confidence!

I confess that I'm not the biggest fan of frantically rushing everyone through dinner/packing up dinner to eat at the fields/figuring out how to get 3 kids to games & practices all over town, but the kids have LOVED LOVED LOVED the spring ball season so much that it looks like it's in our future for the next 18 years!

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