Dave loves sports and baseball is his absolute favorite. He watches it. He plays it. He has a secret blog where he writes an alternate version of baseball history, recreating old seasons with some kind of twist. For example, what if Thurman Munson hadn’t died in 1979? Baseball is his thing and the Cleveland Indians are his team. We’re just far enough from Cleveland that heading up there feels like a big deal. So, for Christmas I bought him two tickets to six different Indians games this summer.
I thought he might like to take each of the kids to a game, get some one-on-one time with them, make some memories, and maybe pass on his passion for baseball. This may have been the best Christmas present I ever gave him. He had so much fun!
So, the piano recital wasn’t officially a summer thing. It was on May 20th. But school was nearly out and in my mind, I was already on summer vacation, so I’m including it here, too. Julia, Lucy, and Phoebe performed. I made a highlight video.
It was the first time for us that the recital wasn’t on a Sunday, which was fine, but weird. The girls were great and Jack fell asleep.
The dance recital happened after school was out on June 6.
All four kids were in it for a total of eight performances and I made a highlight video of that, too.
Julia received her ten year award. That’s TEN YEARS of dance! (Remember the first one?)
She got to take a limo to the recital and at the end, she received a trophy.
I didn’t write here over the summer. I wish I had, so I’m going to play a little catch-up in the form of some lateblogs. (I’m not sure that’s a real word, but you know what I mean.)
Phoebe played tee ball this year. While softball starts in the spring and goes through the end of June, tee ball doesn’t begin until school is out. She was more than ready to play when the time came. I love these pictures of her playing catch with her dad before her first game.
Next year, she’ll play coach pitch softball and Jack will be the tee ball player.
Jack and Phoebe both took dance over the summer. Jack did a six week predance session and Phoebe did ballet twice a week all summer, which she loved.
Phoebe also went to College for Kids at Kent State at Tuscarawas for a week.
She took a Super Scientists class where she learned this cool trick.
And she took care of her doll Camille in a Teddy Bear ER class.
She had so much fun. She can’t wait to “go back to college.”
It’s the first day of fourth grade for Lu, which is also the first day of middle school.
And it is the first day of eighth grade for Julia. Around here, that’s high school, friends.
Jack doesn’t start preschool for two weeks, so he is exercising his right to wear pajamas all day.
We’ve made an after-school treat. Dirt. With worms.
And until we go and pick our students up, we’re playing with the newest Grimmett. Her name is Nala.
She was born the day my beloved Mabel somehow escaped the house and disappeared. I still have hope in my heart that Mabel will return, but for now, we’re back to an even number of cats which we all know is better than an odd number.
how long has it been
since we didn’t have to rush
to get everywhere
how long has it been
since I listened to you talk
and did nothing else
how long has it been
since I held you in my arms
til you fell asleep
We did as little as possible the first few days after school was out. Now, we’re starting to shift into our summer schedule. We’re staying up later and sleeping in a little. Sometimes a lot. Each day, I put a to-do list in a clear pocket folder for each of the kids. It usually includes some school work, piano practice, and a few chores.
It doesn’t take long for them to get it all done. I do my part along with them, so then we’re free for laid-back summer fun until softball or dance class.
We have some busy weeks ahead, but I’m hoping a lot of the summer is just like this.
We may never pass this way again! Seals and Croft sang that in 1973. And if you graduated in ’73, there is no way that wasn’t your class song. I was born in the 70’s and am soothed by that music. It makes me think of a golden-haired girl walking in a meadow at sunset. That may have been in the commercial for Sounds of the 70’s from Time Life. Still, it’s a nice feeling. I’m listening to it today because I am completely aware that a phase in our family life is ending.
Today was Julia’s last day of middle school.
It was Lucy’s last day of elementary school.
It was Phoebe’s last day of Kindergarten.
And it was Jack’s last school day at home as he’ll be heading to preschool in the fall.
We may never pass this way again!
The great thing about an ending is that something else can now begin. I’m looking forward to what will take us up. Always up.
I’ve been staying up late cross-stitching and listening to podcasts.
I just finished the family heart and have started a sweet little sampler featuring a 90s rap lyric. After that, I’ll stitch a Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure sampler. (I’ll share pictures when they’re done.) Then, I may just design my own pattern because I am the captain of my soul.
Today was track and field day at the elementary school. Look at my girls run!
Lucy also did the softball throw and rocked a side ponytail.
I missed getting a picture of Phoebe doing the long jump, but I can tell you she got fourth place and felt enormously pleased with that.
This week on Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast, she recommended writing a daily haiku. Remember when I used to do a daily haiku? Those were the days, folks! I’d like to say I’m going to start that up again, but let’s take it a day at a time starting with today.
school’s out on Friday
the kids can’t wait to sleep in
but I know they won’t
Yesterday was Julia’s first game of the softball season and her first ever pitching.
I am so proud of her for trying something new! Pitcher is a high pressure position. She is sharing it with another team member – when one pitches, the other catches. I get so nervous watching her! It actually stresses me out to watch any of the kids play. My stomach churns when they go up to bat and I pray that they’ll hit it. They usually do and I realize my anxiety comes from my own experience with sports. I was never an asset to any team I was on. I know how it feels to see your coach hang his head and hear the crowd groan at your performance. I was an outfielder at best. I did have a kickass volleyball serve that landed me a spot on the varsity team in high school. My coach was never so nervous as those moments between my serve and his first opportunity to take me out of the game. He would give an audible sigh of relief when I’d take my place on the bench. I created such conflict in that man. He hated himself for loving my serve. Any time I played softball, I just wished to be walked because I was scared of striking out. Julia is furious if she’s walked. She wants to crush it! I love that about her.
Here is something I love about Jackson. He sings. For me and to me.
I know, his face is dirty. It’s always dirty. Last night, I washed it immediately before we walked out the door for the softball game. By the time I was strapping him into his car seat, it was filthy again. How did this happen? It is the mystery of age 4. He’s living his Filthy Face Years. He also has two warts on his face. And, a broken tooth in the front. Much of what is left of the tooth is yellow because there is enamel missing. People notice these things. But when he sings? Love and joy.
Phoebe has been singing, lately, too. She’s on a real Queen bender. We listen to Queen plenty, but she watched the video for Bohemian Rhapsody recently and was completely awed by it. She’s been working her way though all the songs on Queen’s YouTube channel. She can’t get enough of Freddie Mercury’s theatrics and pays close attention to the way he changed his look from one song to another. And of course, she is blown away by his voice. She has specific moments in each song that she especially loves. She’ll listen to an “oooh” or some phrase again and again and sing it herself. Anyway, now we’re trying to convince Julia to learn this so she can sing along.
Yesterday was the first day back to school after a short spring break and oh, it was ROUGH waking up. I don’t remember back to school after Christmas break being this hard. I think it has something to do with the longer days and pleasant weather and having had a little taste of what summer feels like. The kids love school, but they also really love summer vacation. After enjoying either of those things a while, we start to anticipate the shift back to the other. We are at the counting down point of school. 28 school days until summer vacation!
Lucy turned nine on Easter, though we did a lot of the celebrating the day before. Here she is making her birthday wish.
And here she is holding her birthday present.
That’s the most adorable guinea pig in the world. She calls him Spotty.
Oh my goodness, WE LOVE HIM.
It was a lot of fun to welcome a new pet, especially after losing one recently. Our cat Fluffy died last Thursday. Julia always claimed him as hers, but he found his way into all of our hearts. We spent the first day of break weeding and putting mulch down in The Jungle and it was lonely without that orange snaggletoothed beast winding his way around our feet and arms and brushing against us as we worked. He was the most talkative cat I ever met. And he had an incredible ability to hop in a lap as quickly as it appeared. His breath was as horrible as his personality was sweet. He loved us. He always wanted to be with us, which is not the usual way of a cat. His absence has left a gaping wound and, even this morning, the ache is incredible. We really miss him.
Since Lucy’s birthday happened during break, they didn’t celebrate it at school until this week. I sent in cupcakes.
Not just three, though. I made 30 for school and 18 more for Dave’s work and our dessert. It took all day to make them. It would have been so much faster if I’d had Wilton tip #233 to make the grass! I need to buy it! The cupcakes are meant to be eggs in a nest because Lucy is ALL ABOUT hatching eggs right now. There’s a bird’s nest full of eggs in the lid of our propane tank we’ve been watching and they’ve been incubating chicken eggs in Lucy’s classroom for weeks. They did some candling before break and yesterday during school one of the eggs hatched! The kids got to see it in real time which was THE MOST EXCITING THING EVER for Lucy. She really wanted us to be an adoptive family for some of the chicks, but we’re just not ready for that, yet. We just got a guinea pig! And maybe we’ll get one more. Some people say it’s best to have two. I only had one when I was a kid and he seemed very satisfied with our life together. But last night we were watching a video about what guinea pig noises mean and when Spotty heard those sounds, he was like, “WHERE ARE MY FRIENDS?!?!?” So maybe we’ll get another. Probably. Maybe.