Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Camp

It’s been really quiet around the house today.  Too quiet.  I even got in a nap while Mia took her nap this afternoon.  I’m down three kids.  Jack and Ryan took off to scout camp for the week and Morgan went to Camp K until Friday.  That’s right, a full week without my little girl.  The one whose never slept away from her family.  I’ve been a nervous wreck these past few weeks.  Questioning my decision of signing her up for camp.  I started talking more about it with her last night.  We pulled out her camping list, started checking off the items as it got packed into her bag.  It made it easier on me as I saw her excitement grow and grow as we talked and packed.  “You’re going to go swimming, hiking, horseback riding . . . you’ll get to sleep in a cabin with lots of new friends.”  Her first words this morning when she woke up were all about camp.  She was ready and excited for her big adventure!

Jack and Ryan all packed up and ready to go!

The scout troop

Oh my goodness!  I can’t believe this little one is at her first camp!  I miss her so much already!  This is the longest I have ever been away from her while being home.  She’s my little homebody,  always by my side, wherever she is, I’m not far behind.  I’m hoping she is having a fun time and loving her new independence and new friends!

We all went with her this morning to check in.  She got a mini assessment and then a little tour of the camp and cabin areas.

We got her bed all set up for the week.  My girl likes her routines and bedtime is the one she is most particular about.  She has to have the exact same pillow case on her pillow and same blanket.  The blanket has a top and bottom (one that only Morgan knows) and she insists that the blanket be fixed if it somehow turned around and the top got down to the bottom.  The blanket needs to be straight and touching all of the corners of the bed without any of it being bunched up.  I started explaining her routine to the counselor when Gavin stepped in and reminded me that Morgan would be just fine.  Maybe the routine is more for me than her?  Haha!  She’s sleeping in the top bunk bed which is ideal.  She sleeps in the top bunk at home too.  After I got her bed all set up, she looked up and said, “There’s my bed (and then pointing to the bottom bunk) and there’s Hadley’s bed!"

Morgan with her new buddy and counselor, Gerber

We said our last goodbyes and smothered her with hugs and kisses and without any hesitation, she walked off and didn’t look back!

I may just need to drive up there and peek in on her sometime this week.  I can’t imagine going a week without a little glimpse of what she’s up to.  Mia is already missing her too.  On the drive up to camp, the kids watched Beauty and the Beast in the car.  Morgan, of course, was ‘Belle' and Mia was the 'four girls’ as they sang their parts in the car.  After we dropped Morgan off and got back in the car Mia realized she could be whoever she wanted to be and declared, “I’m Belle!!!”  After swimming lessons Mia told me that we needed to go get Morgan from camp.  That she needed to come home and play dolls with her.  I love watching the two of them interact and am so happy they have each other!  I know they will always share a special bond together!

Can’t wait to get my family all back together on Saturday and hear about all of their adventures!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father’s Day!

It rained and rained today for Father’s Day.  I was wiped out from just getting home from Youth Conference and wasn’t very prepared for Gavin’s special day this year.  Hoping he liked his Father’s Day Eve celebration (a 90 minute massage in the afternoon, swimming with the family and then dinner and a movie) enough to make up for the lack of festivities today.  Our fridge and cupboards were bare which meant no breakfast in bed.  Cinnamon toast for lunch.  And a pizza dinner with my family tonight.  I’m so lucky to have Gavin by my side helping me raise this wild group of kids!  He is an amazing father and always striving to be better and better at this job.  

Father’s Day picture outside in the rain.

Primary saved the day with cute gifts and cards for Gavin.  Mia made him a candy bar with her own wrapper around the edge.  Luckily daddy shared it with her because she really thought it was hers and showed me the proof . . . her name written on the side.

Ryan conveniently used a left over Skor candy bar from Griffin’s teacher appreciation gifts.  He just needed to scribble out a few words (“teacher” and “Griffin Seal”) and he had the perfect gift.  “I skor-ed getting you for my Dad. Thanks for a great year! Ryan Seal"

Hadley went all out today!  She spent the night before making lots of cards and crafts with Griffin for their dad.  She wanted him to know it was his special day and kept wishing him a happy father’s day.  She made him brownies tonight and then asked him if he wanted a back massage.  She is always such a thoughtful girl!
Dear Dad,
Your #1!!!
I don’t know how I got so lucky 
to have you as a father!
Thanks for all you’ve done!
I want to say so much (well write) 
however I’m running out of room!
I love you sooooo much!
Love, Hadley Seal

Griffin decided he didn’t like to have his picture taken and hid under the table and wouldn’t look at me.  I loved his cute cards!  He wanted his daddy to know that he really did love him 400 times!

Jack made a card tonight and left it on his dad’s nightstand.  He kept trying to print out a card on the computer yesterday but it wouldn’t print for him.

You are such a great dad.
The best dad anyone could have.
You have loved me so much. 
I love you so much.
Hope you had a happy Father’s Day
Love, Jack

Morgan’s cute card and picture of her daddy.  

Happy Father’s Day to my dear dad!  I have been blessed with incredible parents (happy 47th anniversary this past week!).  One of my favorite memories of my dad would have to be testimony meetings in the 10th Ward.  Every testimony meeting when we were growing up my dad would stand and bear his testimony and he would always end with something positive about my mom, usually about how he was so lucky to have such a beautiful wife.  He’s been such an incredible example of love, patience and acceptance.  I love you Dad!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

End of School.

It’s always full of emotions.  I have a hard time letting go and seeing a good thing end.  My kids have all had an amazing school year . . . loving teachers, great friends, learning and growth.  But I think what really gets me is that my babies are growing up.  There’s no way around it.  I was an emotional mess today as I was putting together the teacher’s gifts and looking through my pictures from the past school year.  Luckily I had Griffin by my side who gave me a big hug while I was mid breakdown.  I’m the mom who cries every year as I watch the sixth graders walk down the halls on the last day of school with the music playing in the background and everyone standing on the sides, cheering and clapping.  It doesn’t matter that none of the students are my children.  It gets me every time.  But tomorrow it will be my boy who’s being cheered on.   And I already know it’s going to be emotional to watch.  I am so happy for him but at the same time I just want time to stop for awhile.

Ryan with his friends on a field trip to Noodles & Company

Hadley had a good year.  Different but good.  She started with one teacher, had a few substitutes in between and ended with a different teacher.  She learned about flocks of geese and sticking together.  Values incorporated with her curriculum.  (Video of her class and curriculum before her first teacher got sick). Then she was in a classroom full of chaos with substitutes but she’s ending the year strong.  She loves Mrs. M and so do we!

It doesn’t help the emotional-ness of school ending that we still aren’t sure what the plans are for Morgan next year.  I’ve been told by the district that she is still going to be in the regular classroom, but instead of one full time aide, she will have two part-time aides.  We have been extremely lucky with Morgan’s aides.  Both of her aides from the past 2 years matched up perfectly with Morgan.  Expected big things from her.  Challenged her and pushed her to be more.  And most importantly, they loved her.  Genuinely loved her.  Not knowing what will happen in the fall and if we are getting Aubry back has been hard on all of us.  I put together a scrapbook to give Aubry.  I loved looking through all of the pictures and reflecting on the great experiences Morgan had in 2nd grade.  Here’s a look back at her year.   It’s been a good one.

I spent some time with Morgan helping her write her thank you cards for her teacher and aide.  It takes her so long to focus with all of the distractions in our house but she finally got them done.  My favorite part about writing the letters was that she knew what she wanted to write and she knew how to spell all of the words except “sweetheart”.  She got mad when I tried to get her to put a “t” at the end of the word.  Clearly anyone knows it is “sweethear without a t on the end”  Never noticed that she had been saying, “I love you, sweethear!”  all of this time!

“Mrs Aubry
Thank you
I love you
You are a sweethear
I will miss you
Come to my house and see me
I love you”

“Mrs Pendley
You are a fun teacher!
I love you!
I liked school
See you next year!”

I didn’t forget about Jack.  I honestly don’t really know any of his teachers.  They’re so on their own once they go to junior high.  No field trips.  No volunteers in the classroom.  No eating lunch with your student day.  No Halloween parades or class parties.  It’s all grown up stuff.  He’s had a great school year and continued to get excellent  grades.  He’s got a big year ahead of him next year in 9th grade.  He signed up for a few honors and AP classes.  I’m just hoping he gets his yearbook signed tomorrow. Last year they all took off early and didn’t do much with the yearbook.  I just remember it being such a big part of high school.  Must be a boy thing.  He just wants to get out of there and go bowling and hang out with his friends.

Fun Run

It may be just fun for some but for others it’s a full on race.  I couldn’t even get a picture of Ryan (or Gavin) before he took off with his friends.  I only saw Hadley long enough to hand over the dog.  She begged and begged me to bring Zeus to school so he could run with her.  Still not sure how well that worked out for her.

Morgan and her friend Claire (and aide, Aubry) started running right out the school doors.

There was no pacing involved for Ryan and his friends.  They sprinted the entire 2 miles.  Gavin ran with them.  Staying a few paces behind them.  He claimed he didn’t want to beat any of them.  Uh huh.  He said Ryan and two of his friends stayed together the whole run until the end then Ryan and his friend, Josh, stopped to catch their breath while Tate just kept on going.

The winner of the race.  Tate.  You can see Ryan and Josh running in behind Tate.

They all couldn’t walk the next day and were popping Ibuprofen, except for Gavin.  He had no problems with sprinting two miles.  You can see him running into the finishing area by the police car.

Mia and Griffin got to enjoy the after-race treat without the race.

Morgan shows her friends how to do this running thing.  Look at her catching air after running one mile!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Egg Drop

It's that time of year. . . end of school year activities which includes the annual egg drop. All of the students think of some sort of contraption to hold their raw egg with the hopes it won't break when thrown off the roof of the school.  Hadley was excited to think of a creative way all on her own this year.  She put her egg all wrapped up in toilet paper inside the egg carton.  Ryan didn’t care if he participated or not this year (being the big 6th grader and all) and used the left over spaghetti noodles from Morgan’s project.  Put his egg inside a Ziploc of noodles and then in another Ziploc full of air.  Morgan put her egg inside a Ziploc bag of noodles and then put it inside a big, black, fluffy pillow.  Hadley’s egg was the only one that survived this year.  Way to go Hadley!!!

Ryan with his friends Daniel, Tate and Giovanni

Morgan with  her aide, Aubry

Hadley and Ellie

Morgan was so excited to run and pick up her egg contraption off of the ground.

The excitement quickly died when she saw that her egg had cracked and was smeared all over her noodles!

Hadley anxiously waits to see her egg

I love that Hadley came up with this cute contraption all by herself.  

It worked!  No cracks!

Ryan finds his egg inside the spaghetti noodles

All cracked!

Moving on up.

Griffin is officially done with preschool (sniff, sniff).  He had a great experience and has grown so much these past two years, as most kids do, but Griffin has grown into a lot of his quirks and partially outgrown his defiant behavior.  He’s also made a lot of friends along the way.  He found his "best buddy", Parker, at preschool and spends almost everyday playing with his friends.

He’s quite the perfectionist and it shows in his schoolwork. At his last parent teacher conference (am I the only one who thinks it’s a little strange to have conferences when the kiddos are only preschoolers) the teacher commented on how it was obvious by Griffin’s penmanship and his attention to detail that he was one of the older students in the class.  I had to remind her that he is actually one of the younger ones, not turning five until mid-July.

His preschool had an end of school BBQ and game day

Griffin’s playgroup friends

Excited for all of the new adventures at the big school with his sisters, Hadley and Morgan.