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June, 2011:

Volunteer

I am fortunate enough to be able to volunteer for a lot of my kids’ stuff, and I do it for many different reasons.

I volunteer in their classrooms during the school year mainly so I can get to know their teachers and the other kids in the class. It’s nice to know who they’re talking about when they come home.

I volunteer to co-lead Princess’s Brownie troop because I get to spend extra awesome time with her. Also, I think scouts is very important . . . for each girl individually, for the girls as a group, and for society as a whole – that may be a little dramatic, but with everything else going on out there, learning the values and skills that come with scouting is an awesome thing.

I volunteer with Dude’s Boy Scout troop. This is new! I just volunteered to be the merit badge coordinator. The previous one is stepping down because her son just earned his Eagle. Congrat’s to that young man on an awesome accomplishment! I also volunteer to sit on the Board of Review when the Scouts are advancing rank. Hubby gets to do the fun stuff with Dude for Boy Scouts – like camping and hiking and all that jazz – but I like to be involved a bit too, so I can spend a little extra time with Dude, or at least watching him enjoy himself 😉 Just like Girl Scouts, I think Boy Scouts is a hugely important organization. I can already see a difference in Dude’s personality since he bridged to Boy Scouts.

I volunteer to coach Princess’ volleyball team at the YMCA because it’s the only sport she’s interested in that I know anything about – and she begged me to do it :-) I love the time we get to spend together as well as the exercise I get while playing with the girls and teaching them fundamentals. I think it’s important for young girls to have women role models in sports.

I volunteer on the Board of Directors for our local Little League because I love love love love love love love baseball! I like being able to help organize the season behind the scenes with a wonderful group of people who also love baseball (we have 2 volunteers who don’t even have kids who play Little League anymore!) I like to think that what we do helps the 400+ kids who register each season have a great experience learning the game of baseball and sportsmanship. Even though I love it, this is probably the most difficult volunteer thing so far because it’s the largest organization, and quite frankly, people can get a bit crazy about their kids in sports.

Here are my wishes for all parent volunteers, no matter what you’re volunteering for:

I wish you would all realize that even though some of the parents who can’t volunteer for whatever reason may complain, they really do appreciate what you’re doing. Most importantly, I wish you would realize that being a parent volunteer is a privilege for YOU. It does not mean that your children get special privileges as “payment” for your time and effort.

Go Fly A Kite

We decided to do some family pictures this spring again; however, we did it a little differently this time. Instead of posing in front of a canvas or some trees, we headed out to a meadow and flew kites :-) The folks at 20/20 Visual Studios in Palmer Lake, CO were so fun to work with and did an awesome job!

2020 Visual Studios, L.L.C.

I didn’t like the few photos they took in the studio, but I love the looks Dude and Princess are exchanging in this one :-)

 

 

2020 Visual Studios, L.L.C.

 

2020 Visual Studios, L.L.C.

 

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2020 Visual Studios, L.L.C.

 

2020 Visual Studios, L.L.C.

 Princess was much more interested in finding bugs than flying kites.

 

 

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 Dude and I found this plane in the yard. After closer inspection, we found there was a beehive inside, complete with bees!

 

 

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Havin A Blast

The Boedies are enjoying Cody :-) We’ve seen part of Yellowstone and dropped Dude off at Boy Scout Summer Camp . . . if you ask me, he was a little too excited and willing to leave us for a week to go camping! Something about merit badges and canoeing and trading posts and the boys and no parents around FOR A WHOLE WEEK . . . what (pause for dramatic effect) EVER! :-) I am super happy that the forecast has changed dramatically from 50 degree highs, 30 degree lows, and 50% chance of thunderstorms every day to 60s, 70s, and 80s – getting warmer each day we’re here – with 0% chance of precip. so the boys can really enjoy their time.

For the rest of the week, we have an only child. What’s on her to do list? Horses of course! Wild Mustang tours, horseback riding . . . anything having to do with horses I’m pretty sure we’ll do it in the next 5 days – old west style :-)

Off on another adventure for the day! More details and some photos when we have a decent Internet connection – like next weekend when we get home . . . we have no cell service here and we’re piggybacking off of the neighbors weak Internet signal at the moment 😉

Ride ’em cowboy!

The China Bag

So Hubby went to China last week to speak at an aviation conference. Being the thoughtful and thrifty guy he is, he went shopping for the kiddos and I while he was in Shanghai. He brought me back some awesome necklaces! A single round white pearl pendant, an oblong dark pearl pendant, a jade pendant with matching earrings, and another jade pendant. He also brought me back an awesome Prada bag! I’m so not the Prada type – I’m more of the Nike or Underarmour type :-) But I love the bag . . . Hubby knows me well and picked out an awesome one! Price in a real store? Way more than I would ever consider spending on a purse, or 100 purses for that matter! Price in Shanghai? I’m more than willing to not drinks Starbucks for a week or so 😉

So we’re getting ready to go to a movie. I grab my larger regular purse to put some waters in. Then we head to Walgreens to buy movie candy. Yes, I’m a smuggler . . . I will buy popcorn at the movie, but I refuse to pay $30 for candy and water when I can get it at Walgreens for $10! (Yes, I’m a bad person teaching my kiddos a bad habit. Sue me).

So I’m stuffing and stuffing the water and candy into my purse in the car and Princess says . . .

“Mommy. You should’ve used your new China bag because it’s bigger!”

Something about using a bazillion dollar Prada bag to smuggle $10 worth of candy and water into the movie theater just didn’t seem right :-)

Everyone Continues

I’m gonna lay it on the table before I gush over my Dude.

Not every kid who participates in a league/club/event of some sort should get a ribbon/award/trophy.

Kids do not “graduate” from preschool. They simply turn 5.

Kids do not “graduate” from 1st grade. Or 2nd grade. Or 3rd grade. Or 4th grade. Or 5th grade. You simply become a year older.

You graduate from High School – and that is a great thing.

You graduate from College – and that is an even greater thing.

So when I got the invitation to my son’s 5th Grade Continuation Ceremony, I wrinkled my nose. Really? 5th grade? Aren’t you EXPECTED to “graduate” from 5th grade? And where are you going? 6th grade is where you’re going. The beginning of the last 7 years of your beginning education. Some kids who go into 6th grade are simply going into 6th grade. Some kids spend 6th grade in elementary school. Some kids spend 6th grade in middle school. It’s just the next grade.

Because I’m not a total troll, I went to Dude’s Continuation ceremony . . . a continutation ceremony complete with Graduation Cakes. To my horror, his said “Class of 2018” on it. Wow . . . the class of 2018. That seems oh so far away . . . and I may or may not be a little sensitive to it because I got a terrible awful email today – inviting me to my 20 YEAR CLASS REUNION this July. Ack! Anyhoo . . . enough about me . . . here’s the cake :-)

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If you look closely, you can see that one kid is quite out of place. Which one of these kids is doin’ his own thing? Which one of these kids is kinda the same? Can you guess which kid is doin’ his own thing?

Um ya – that would be MY kid . . . sitting out front all alone by himself not in line with any of the other kids in his class.

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So it’s official . . . not only is my Dude the kid who wouldn’t sit in the nice empty space in the top row, he was also the 2nd youngest (by 3 days) and he’s the shortest kid in his class, as evidenced by this partial photo of the 5th grade.

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Dude is the one with the white shirt and tie in the front row . . . lookin’ pretty smart if you ask me :-)

All of that kidding aside, I am SUPER proud of my Dude. He got only one B this year – in science the first quarter. It nearly KILLED him. He did every single extra credit available all year, in every subject, to make up for it. I’d see him doing extra credit work and and say “Hey Dude. Whatchya doin’? Do you really need to invent a medical device, diagram it, and write a paper on it?” He’d say “Well, I DID get that B in science!” (Have I mentioned that I love my Dude?) As a result . . . he was one of 12 kids out of 137 in his grade to receive the President’s Award for outstanding academic achievement. I’m quite certain President Obama personally signed Dude’s letter 😉

Dude also received an award for demonstrating kindness and compassion above and beyond during the school year. So proud of him!

My Dude had a wonderful 5th grade year. I give 50% credit to him for just being a wonderful person, but I give the other 50% credit for his super fabulous awesome 5th grade year to his amazing teacher, Ms. Wintory (who would be proud of all the cupcake words I’m using, I’m sure!).

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This amazing person knows all of her students so well. She has an AWESOME personality. She is fun and exciting and inspires the kids so they WANT to learn. She gets to know each and every one of her students inside and out. She knew Dude so well that she gave him the only seat in the room with a view out the ginormous window so he could look at Pikes Peak all day every day, which made him the happiest boy in the class. He of course didn’t abuse that privilege, so he got to keep it all year.

I am so bummed that she is leaving our school and Princess won’t get to experience her awesomeness; however, I am so glad Dude had the most perfect teacher for him ever.

He worked so hard this year, made a bunch of new friends, and absolutely enjoyed school.

He has officially “continued” to Middle School.

I am happy.

I am sad.

Most of all, I am proud.

Yummy Saturday Afternoon

Life is sweeter with a BFF who lives across the street.

kemalts

Go Twins!

Anyone who knows me knows that I love baseball. I remember listening to the games on the radio out at the lake every summer with Dad. I can still hear the announcers voice . . . and hear him talk up 1st baseman Kent Hrbek and how he loved to fish and rave about Kirby Puckett and how that little round body could cover the entire outfield like no other.

I’m on the local Little League Board of Directors and Hubby’s company sponsored Dude’s team, so the board member in charge of uniforms asked what team we wanted . . . the first thing I said was NOT THE CUBS! Then I requested the Twins. And so it is :-)

Dude’s Twins are doing great this year! They are currently in 2nd place with one game to go. We have a WONDERFUL coach that I just can’t say enough good things about. A coach who expects a lot from the boys, but nothing more than each is capable of. A coach who expects the boys to be good citizens – I’ve seen him bench 2 players for games (one was my son) when he witnessed them being disrespectful to their mothers (my poor Dude got caught in a very rare moment, but the lesson certainly was learned!) – I’ve seen him give them so much encouragement each kid has suddenly become 10 feet tall – I’ve seen him help each and every one of them improve without them even knowing he’s helping them. We have an AWESOME group of kids who practice hard, play hard, encourage one another, and best of all have a TON of fun. Especially after the games, when we walk across the street to the local ice cream shop and they hang out and celebrate being 10 year old boys doing what 10 year old boys should during the spring and summer :-)

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Hubby went to MN for a weekend for work and brought back some Twins gear so we could all be fans since I was the only one who still had any wearable Twins gear. Dude LOVES his new jersey and wishes he could wear it for games :-)

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And then there is my little Princess. My wonderful little Princess. I am the assistant coach and “official” scorekeeper for Dude’s team (pitch counting for the boys within all the rules can be a nightmare – OMG!), so when we’re at the games, I’m pretty busy. But my wonderful little Princess, who gets dragged to every single 2-hour long game, never complains. She happily puts on her Twins gear and supports Dude’s favorite pasttime.

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It’s not all awful for her. She does have a group of other “little sisters” to hang out with and play with during the games. And I’ve been known to give her some money to run and get ice cream during the games. This may be just me, but sitting in a lawn chair with an ice cream cone, watching Little League baseball in a small town complete with a train running through the outfield is a pretty darn good way to spend an evening.

Go Twins! (now if the REAL Twins would actually start playing baseball I’d be happy!)

It’ll Probably Just Happen Some Summer

I remember last fall, chatting with Hubby after Dude and Princess had gone to bed. I asked Hubby when we’d stop going in to Dude’s room every night when he went to bed, kiss him goodnight, tell him we love him, and to have sweet dreams.

He told me “I don’t know. It’ll probably just happen some summer.”

Apparently, that summer is THIS summer. We’re only 4 days into their official summer vacation, and I can already see the change. Not only does Dude stay up later, he typically just gets up when he’s ready for bed, says goodnight, gives me a kiss if he feels like it, and heads to his bedroom. I of course tell him I love him and beg for a hug before he heads off to his room, but only about half the time do I actually follow him to his room.

It’s kinda weird . . . this feels like a huge stepping stone in the whole growing up thing. I know I’ve been saying he’s growing up for years now, but this time, it seems like a huge step. Before, he could walk, then he could talk, then he could talk better, then he could play sports, then he could play sports better, then he got contacts instead of glasses, then he went from 2nd grade to 3rd grade to 4th grade to 5th grade.

Now, he’s suddenly grown about 4 inches. He’s officially a middle schooler. He’s officially playing his cards with me to get what he wants without me even realizing it until I’ve “been had.” He’s gotten good at baseball. He goes camping alone with the guys in the Boy Scout troop. He comes home after dark when he’s busy in the clubhouse with his buddies. And, he goes to bed without me tucking him in.

This last burst of growing up, in all aspects, seems to have come on so suddenly – and even though I knew it would happen, I was totally unprepared for it. It really makes me not want to miss out on anything!

And it makes me appreciate even more my lovable little Princess who will ALWAYSsit on my lap and hug and kiss me goodnight and want me to tuck her in . . . she’ll be 37 years old, married with kids, and asking me to tuck her in as she gives me a hug and kiss goodnight. And this will all be easy because my Princess is never leaving my home . . . never :-) I’m pretty sure I won’t allow it.