Honors and Graduation

The end of the school year is always busy, but it’s a little extra busy with Lex graduating from middle school this year.  Earlier this week was Honor’s Night and tonight was their graduation ceremony.  Lex made Honor Roll for the past two years and High Honors in 6th grade.  Before Honors Night he was asked to give the Student Speech for his team, but he said a hearty “thanks, but no thanks!”

Shaking hands with the principal.

Check out the cool clothes!

 

Tonight we went to 8th grade graduation, which was a lovely ceremony in the field beside the school.  The weather ended up being perfect, despite days of thunderstorm warnings.

I dragged Eve along to both nights, despite her best efforts to be miserable.

This year they asked the students to answer a short questionnaire and then used their answers to say a few things about each student at graduation. I missed his name being called (but they called him Alexander, so whatever) but caught his comments.  Watch his team teachers try to give him a hug in the background.  :)

He’s so handsome. :)

Lex and his band teacher. This guy was an instrumental part of his middle school success!

Not sure how two such dorky parents ended up with such an awesome son!

I feel like I should post something deep and meaningful, but I don’t have it right now.  It was neat to see all the parents of kids he went to elementary school, and even preschool, with!  Everyone’s looking as old as I am. LOL!  I have special fondness for his DBS class and was proud of each and every one of them.  So cool to see them all growing up.  Lex is happy and confident and ready for high school!  But first, summer vacation!

All about this guy!

I asked for a picture of us together for his birthday. We remembered at the end of the day and got this dark, tired picture. Maybe he’ll let me try again on a sunny summer day. 

He had a birthday recently.  14 years old!  Finishing up middle school and preparing for high school!  He’s excited and feels ready.

Morning presents

Books! Surprise!! :) :)

Aunt Rosy got him grown up books!!

He didn’t want a cake or a party this year, but he did request macaroons. Yum! Lex and Alan even dipped half of them in chocolate!

We had a nice day.  Pizza and a movie for dinner.  He didn’t want a cake, but did want macaroons.  I guess he’s a birthday cookie guy, like his dad.  He’s 5′ 6″ and didn’t even gloat that he’s taller than me, and he started shaving!  Eeek!

He is a rock star in karate and a rock star in band.  The middle school held their spring concert this week and Lex once again stole the show, in my opinion anyway!  After the jazz band songs, the director even called out the percussion crew by name, just Lex and his buddy.

Lex on the drum set

For March of the Armed Forces, the band director asked people in the audience to stand when their anthem is played.  It was neat seeing how many (if any) people stood for each one.

He’s rocking his school work as well.  Not only will he be on the honor roll again this year, but he was asked to give the 8th grade speech at Honors Night!!  He said “thanks, but no thanks!”

A sci-fi version of Don Quixote, all in Spanish. He has a 105% average in Spanish!

He is such an amazing, smart, funny (and punny!), handsome fellow.  He’s content with life, happy at home and at school, and moving forward as a competent and confident human being.  I’m so lucky he’s part of my world. <3

Middle School Musical

The middle school musical this year is Once on This Island Jr. The original version is a TONY award winning show in Broadway.  These middle schoolers were pretty close. :)

Eve played a villager in the show and Lex worked the spotlights.  They both had fun, though Eve will deny that to her dying day.  Lex was happy that after putting in the time for the last two years, he was finally getting to do something more interesting.

See the elegant villager in the purple shirt and peach skirt? She’s my favorite villager!

Handsome tech crew!

Eve’s in the middle, towards the back. Big smile on her face!

Lex at work!

I took them to the show last night, Opening Night, and worked concessions.  Tonight Alan and Amanda went with them while I went to a free CrossFit Ladies Night. Now they are all getting ice cream and I’m home, drinking tea in my PJs.  It’s a pretty good Friday night. :)  Tomorrow is the final performance.  The highest praise I’ve heard so far came from my husband who said, “It was so great! I want to go back tomorrow night!”  Fortunately I bought a ticket for him, just in case. :)

Horseback riding

After many months of asking for lessons, I finally found a place that’s nearby and offers beginning horseback riding lessons.  It was not an easy task! Today was Eve’s first lesson.  She learned to groom the horse, tack it, and mount/dismount.  She was quiet and reserved, but when we left she said she loved it and definitely wants to continue with lessons.  That’s good, I suppose.  It will get her one step closer to her goal of living on a mountain side and riding a horse everywhere instead of owning a car.  :)

Mounted and ready to ride

She rode in the barn today to minimize distractions for her and the horse. Nothing to speedy today! :)

Hello Murial!

Clearly I’m going to have to work on my horse photography skills if this becomes a real hobby.

Happy Easter!

Easter, like many other “minor” holidays, has been in flux a bit over the past few years as the kids grow up.  Easter baskets are harder to fill as the kids lose interest in tchotchkes and really just want candy.   This year I didn’t add jelly beans because I didn’t get around to buying them, and when I asked the kids if they noticed anything missing they said, “Yeah, there were no jelly beans. Just like last year.”  Oops.  Good thing we already ate a bag of jelly beans earlier this month!  :)

Both kids were indecisive about coloring eggs this year, so we bought one box of dye and a dozen eggs and I got things started yesterday.  They halfheartedly joined in and colored a few eggs each.  I did most of them.  This morning I hid the eggs outside while they were playing MInecraft, then made them turn off the computers and go outside to find them.  That turned in to a lot of fun, with many rounds of hiding and finding.  The sky was threatening the whole time, but the rain held off.

And they’re off!

Alan joined in on the fun too!

We had lots of places to hide eggs, and a variety of boundaries.

Do you see the green egg?

This one is my favorite picture. The trees are blossoming! I can’t wait to find out what these flowers are going to be!

Hunting for Easter Eggs in a construction zone! Not the safest of ideas, but we had fun.

The final round was down in the pit. The kids each found six eggs, so they decided to rock/paper/scissors for a winner. :)

Can you guess who won?

Now we’re going to settle down for some dinner and a Spider-Man movie.  Very traditional celebrations around here.  :)

On a tangentially related topic, I’ve been thinking a lot about Grandpa and Grandma this week.  It started when I drove by a cute house in the neighborhood with colorful eggs hanging from a small tree and a cute Easter wreath on the door.  It made me think of a grandma house.  Later in the week I stood behind an elderly man at the grocery store with a cart full of Easter candy and small toys.  I guessed he had grandchildren coming and baskets to fill.  I was reminded of our visits to Grandpa’s house and all of Grandma’s little decorations, several of which I have now, but it’s not the same.  We were there one year when the kids were small and Grandpa and Grandma hid so many eggs and filled them with so much candy that both of the kids threw up!  It wasn’t funny at the time, but it sure is now.  And long, long ago wearing Easter dresses and hunting for eggs in the park in Northport.  For some reason Easter in my head is a grandma holiday.  Or just an excuse to eat candy and play hide and seek with colorful eggs.

(Apologies for my lack of religiousness in this post.  I know Easter has a much bigger meaning that chocolate and eggs, but that’s how we celebrate around here.)

Walking

We are on school vacation this week and Eve has been happily accompanying me on daily walks around town.  She is pretty amazing at keeping up a running monologue for an hour and half each day!

The other day, after severe rains, we were out checking out the water levels.  One guy had his driveway completely washed out!  He had a board propped over the ditch so he could walk from his driveway to the road, but he couldn’t get his car out!  (We passed by the next day and he had fixed it, don’t worry!)  We also saw the Dothan Brook, usually just a small babbling brook, now a rushing river!

Eve also tried to save the earthworms that were scattered about the street and bike path.  Fortunately that effort didn’t last too long.  There were A LOT of earthworms!

I love this time I get to spend with her. When we’re out walking I’m able to mentally just be with her and not be distracted by all the things I should be doing around the house.  She still has ridiculous life plans, but she is so happy to tell me all about them and I love to hear her enthusiasm for life and all creatures big and small.  I’m lucky to be her momma and so lucky that she likes spending time with me.  <3

TEDx

This past weekend we went to a TEDx event hosted by Dartmouth College.  It was really cool!  The topic was “Living Bridges” with the the morning being dedicated to defining the problems and the afternoon focused on finding solutions.  We dragged the kids along, with the promise that we could leave at lunch time if they were bored.  They were bored, though I’m sure they learned a few things as well, even though they’ll never admit it!

I didn’t realize until just now, when I was finding the URL to link to, that they do this every year.  We’ll have to go again next year too!  Maybe we can get the kids to stay a little longer. :)

Happy Birthday Eve!!

What started out as a trip to check out the First Robotics Competition in Shrewsbury, MA, ended up being an awesome birthday weekend for Eve in Boston!

Lex will be joining the local FRC team next year and I thought it would be fun to check out a competition.  Unfortunately I was a little slow with the planning and missed the two closer ones (day trips) and leaving just one in MA and one (championship, I think) in Washington, DC!  It just so happens the MA event was this weekend and just outside of Boston, so I suggested a birthday trip for Eve.  She hadn’t asked for any other birthday events or parties, and she jumped at the idea of going to the Boston Aquarium!  Yay!

So we drove down to Shrewsbury, MA yesterday, arriving mid-afternoon.  The event was big and loud and we lasted about 20 minutes. LOL!  After about 10 minutes Eve was ready to go, and Lex was ready shortly thereafter.  We stuck around to watch our local team compete in one match and then took off.  Lex says he’s still excited to join, but thinks it will be much more fun next year when he’s part of it and knows what’s going on.  I can’t argue with that!

As soon as we left this mansion of a high school, Eve found a hill she wanted to climb.

Since we were out sooner than expect, I asked Eve what she wanted to do next.  I suggested a movie, or bowling, or shopping.  She suggested a nature hike.  She’s so smart!  We found a local nature reserve and took a beautiful hike through the dry spring forest.  We heard lots of frogs and saw some signs of busy beavers.  We also decided to have family meeting in the woods.  :)

After that we headed to the hotel for check in, then out to dinner at the Olive Garden. Her permanent birthday request. :)

This morning we drove into Boston to check out the Aquarium.  I love parts of that museum and feel totally overwhelmed with other parts.  I think we all felt about the same way. :)  The fun starts before you even get inside, with a seal exhibit containing fat playful seals who do flips and swim upside down.  They were so silly.

Inside, we had a great time watching the penguins and checking out the enormous tank in the middle!

This turtle is over 95 years old and weighs 535lbs!  Her name is Myrtle and she’s a Green Sea Turtle.  They have two other turtles, called Loggerhead Turtles, that are a bit smaller and younger, but they were napping in the tunnel below so we couldn’t see them.  I remember them from years ago though. One is blind and feels his way around the tank.  Both are rescues that the Aquarium took in.

We headed to Quincy Market for a late lunch, then home.  We got out of town just before the driving rain started!  Poor Alan had to drive in it. :/

Back home we  opened presents, ate cake, and measured Eve on the wall.  I had to reach UP to write her height!  She’s a pretty amazing girl.  She was in a good mood all weekend and we had fun laughing and being silly together as a family.  It was wonderful and heartwarming. <3

Tomorrow it’s back to reality with work and school and meetings and play practice and dentist appointments.  But for now, we relax and enjoy the the rest of the evening together with our amazing 12yr old!  Happy Birthday (not so) little girl!

If you want to see all the pictures from this weekend, check out the Google Album.

High School!!

I can hardly believe I’m saying this, but Lex is prepping for high school!  The 8th grade class went on a tour there yesterday, and tonight was “8th grade family night” at the high school.  We met the principal and assistant principal, met some teachers, got some questions answered.  All very crazy.  And yet, we all feel ready.  He is excited for it and I’m not nervous, which is a HUGE change from the elementary-to-middle school transition a few short years ago.  He’s come a long way.  At the tour yesterday they got a course catalog and a form to fill out to select their first semester classes.  He’s hoping to take a 3D printing class and I’m hoping he tests out of Algebra I. Have I mentioned that math debacle this year?  It was frustrating, but I think it will all turn out ok.  I’ve been emailing with the high school math director and she has been super helpful.  It was nice to put a face to the name tonight and for her to meet Lex.  He also chatted with the high school band director and came away from that all excited to join pep band!  He already does (and will continue doing) concert band and jazz band, now he’s excited for pep band too! Pep band plays at the home football games!  That will bring a new element to our lives.  :)  I’m not thrilled with the way they handle the language program, but that’s a small concern.  Lex is excited and that’s AMAZING!  Before I know it my little guy will be in high school!  (He’s not so little any more!)

Spring Concert

The HMMS Spring Concert this year was great.  Mostly Lex, of course. :)  I love watching him on the drum.  He’s such a neat kid.

Ready on the timpanis!

Volume up. Enjoy!

I don’t remember any of the song names and he’s in bed now, so you’ll have to just guess.  :)