Sunday, June 3, 2018

Spring Birds

This Spring I cleared out an old nest that some robins had built, only to see a new one replace it within a few days.

A momma bird decided it was a safe enough space to lay her three eggs. Now we have three little chicks who live in it. The kids enjoy sitting by the front door and looking up at the baby birds.

On occasion, we are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the mom feeding her babies.

On a side note: Andrew has been going through a dress-up phase. Sometimes he dresses like Cinderella (his favorite princess), other time he is wearing a Batman cape (his favorite superhero), and racing like a daredevil down our driveway and to the cows on his wiggle scooter.

Memorial Day

Last year for Memorial Day we honored our fallen veterans by attending a commemorative ceremony held at the cemetery behind our home. This year, we decided to honor a living veteran by serving him and his family.

A neighbor of ours is a Korean war veteran. He is in frail health and cannot care for his yard as he used to. We have had a particularly wet couple of weeks and the grass and weeds have been growing non-stop.

 He has a rock area where the grass has grown over time. Because of the rocks, it cannot be mowed, so the grass keeps getting taller and taller. Every time I drive past his house, I look at his yard and think to myself - I really ought to help.

On Sunday, we held a family council to find out what the kids wanted to do on Memorial Day. Their vote was a picnic and to fly kites. My desire was to do something meaningful on this holiday. In the end, we decided to do both.

We spent the first couple of hours of the morning shopping for the right kites. It took several stores to finally find some.

At 10 am we walked over to our neighbor's house and began working on his yard. It took a couple of hours of strong labor to get it all cleaned up, but we did it! It is the best feeling to see the area under control once again.

After cleaning up our work, we had a picnic in our yard and then took the kids to a park to fly our kites.

It took them a few tries to get the hang of it, but eventually,

they all did. Emilia stuck with it the longest, and now they keep asking to go back to do it again.

Afterward, we took the kids out for dinner to celebrate this fun and meaningful day.

Here is a picture of our front yard, festively decorated for Memorial Day.

Happy Birthday to Me!

My birthday was on a Saturday. So we spent the morning doing the usual chores with the family. Finally, in the afternoon, I was able to really celebrate my special day. I received a discount coupon to Rodizion Grill, an upscale all you can eat Brazilian restaurant downtown.

I happen to receive a gift card from a vendor at work, so between the two promos, we were able to afford to take the entire family there for lunch. The kids loved the food and the experience. Now they are asking to go there for their birthday dinners.

Later, a friend of ours watched the kids while Todd and I met with the Whitney's for a fun evening at Boondocks. It would not have been my first choice since I've never been before, but I enjoyed it. We played laser tag and some other shooting game, which Todd and Jordan enjoyed and were really good at. I had a blast riding the go-karts on the track and miniature golfing.

Later we went to Red Robin for dinner and finished up with a free birthday shake from Iceberg. It was a really fun day. I truly enjoyed doing something different than usual for my birthday.

Super Hero Fun Run

My kids charter school has a sister school in Zambia. Each year, the local campuses rally together to raise funds to help with book, uniforms, and other needs.

This year the school had a lofty goal of raising $10,000 to bring water to the school and with it provide not only sanitation but access to potable water for the kids.

The campaign was called Heroes for Zambia. Each of the kids could contribute to the fund by registering to attend a fun run. They could raise additional funds by promoting the event and fundraiser online or in their communities.

I decided to enroll the three kids on the run. It was a fun evening, albeit the run was a little challenging. The course was set up at a rodeo ground and some of the race was on loose gravel. My kids did OK, but there were several kids who trip on the gravel and injured themselves.

One of my favorite things about APA, aside from their academic approach, is their patriotism and how they value citizenship and civic duty. Before the beginning of the 5K race, the radio announcer switched from pop music to National Anthem. Parents and youth alike, turned to face the flag, placed their right hand to their heart and began to sing in unison the first and third verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner".

The outcome of the fundraiser was phenomenal. Not only were they able to reach the $10,000 goal. They raised over $40,000 overall. We have some amazing and generous families at our school.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Carson's First Pinewood Derby

This was Carson's first Pinewood Derby. Todd has been researching hard and sharing with Carson tips to make their pinewood derby car fast.

Carson chose a Steve from Minecraft design. They worked together to cut, sand, assemble and paint it. It took several evenings to get it together, but it turned out great in the end.

As you can see from the scoreboard, it was also a pretty fast car. Our cub scout group combined with another troop for the race, doubling our number to close to 25 kids. Carson's car ranked 5th overall, and 1st in his cub scout rank category.

Way to go team Carson and Todd!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day to Me!

I am so blessed to answer to the title of Mommy whenever my four kids call for me. They are the most wonderful children. I am very fortunate to have them in my life.

Todd gave me a fancy digital photo frame to keep at my desk at work and the kids each wrote me a sweet card.

For dinner we visited the Humphries. We took an owl vegetable platter to share with everyone.

In year's past, I have not gotten a photo with the kids on mother's day, so this year I made it a point to request one. It took a few tries, but I love how their personalities are reflected in the picture.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Emilia Ballroom Dance Performance

Emilia has been taking a ballroom dance class at school. She had her year-end performance on Friday and Saturday. She has so thoroughly enjoyed it that she keeps asking if I will re-enroll her next year.

American Prep began their dance program for secondary students in January, so it is a relatively new thing for them and the students. That said, I think they did fabulously for the little time they have had to prepare this year.