*Picture me waving to you*
Here I am!
And here's what I've been up to these past couple of weeks...
1. Giant graduated from 8th grade! It's a big deal when the school is K-8. It's an even bigger deal when it is the 4th Coop kid to graduate in 4 years. We now have FOUR high schoolers!
|Yup, this is the one we consider the keeper. Get the frames ready.|
2. Hanging out with the newly graduated! The 8th graders get out of school a week before the rest of the school (and their high school siblings), so that left all sorts of kids languishing at home by themselves. Giant and I went around picking them up so they could all have a fun day together.
|We found a new-to-us miniature golf place. $4 to play all day, even if you leave for lunch and come back later, which we did.|
3. Sports! Club soccer (Giant and Buttercup) and baseball (Turken) are in their final weeks, with championship games on the near horizon. The weather has been cooperating for the most part (Baseball on Thursday was perfection!), but we'll see how tomorrow goes. I hear there's to be lots of rain and some storms moving in. High school soccer practices started this week. It makes me all teary to see my three oldest boys walking up to the house, soccer bags slung over their shoulders, sweat dried on their brows, after practicing together. I'm really looking forward to the coming season!
4. Last day of school! Talk about a complete turn-around. The first day of school brought all sorts of emotions and tears as a phase of my life ended. As we all knew would happen, I got used to having the quiet days to myself. I got to enjoy doing errands and lunches and basically whatever I wanted whenever I wanted without worrying about how a child would handle it. And now they were coming back. To be with me all day every day. I'm happy to say, so far, it's been as awesome as always. Summer break is the best.
5. Taking a trip to Washington, DC! Remember when we surprised the kids with a trip to Disney, but Phoenix and I were delayed and had to change our flights? Well, we each had an airline credit that expired if we didn't travel by June 1. Bryan was getting on me to schedule something, but I was dragging my feet for a variety of reasons. In the end, I told him I didn't care where we went, just make sure the new flight costs the same as our credit. Ended up, DC was the destination. Phoenix and I spent a quick 3 days packing in as much DC as we could.
|This was not my first trip to DC. I was shocked to see how much security has been beefed up. No going up to the gates of the White House lawn anymore!|
|Duck. In the water flowing into the WWII memorial with the Lincoln Memorial in the background|
|WWII Memorial at night.|
|We went to Mass at the oldest Catholic church in DC.|
6. While we were in DC, we were able to meet up with Kristi and Tucker! (Sadly, Sarah was off visiting family in another state and couldn't join us.) It was a quick visit (WAY too quick), but it was wonderful. We watched motorcycles (I'll explain in the next thankful.), ate ice cream, and cooled our feet in a fountain.
As I've said before, I never guessed that blogging would lead to making friends all over the world, yet that's exactly what has happened. I've met quite a few in person, and I'm happy to say this is yet another one who didn't end up as a male ax murderer but was the funny, interesting, kind lady I expected her to be.
7. We remembered those who didn't make it back from the Vietnam War. One thing about being in DC over Memorial Day...there are a LOT of people. We waited in long lines to get into every single museum. Even the ones that weren't free. It was worth it, though, just to be there for the goings-on. Friday night, we walked around the National Mall. While standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, we saw hundreds and hundreds of motorcycles parked on the street and in the grass nearby. More and more were joining them. We walked down to see what was going on. Came to find out, each year, Vietnam Vets ride in for a candlelight vigil and a "parade". The couple we spoke with said that the last time they attended (2 years ago) 800,000 bikes were there.
My dad fought in Vietnam. He fought alongside of people whose names are on the Memorial Wall. We stayed for the highly emotional candlelight vigil on Friday night. We made sure to be standing along Constitution Ave. for the ride on Sunday. (The "parade" lasted 5 hours or so. We didn't stay for the whole thing, but we stood, watched, and waved at different points during the afternoon, including a bit with Kristi.)
|Before the vigil, people lined up by the memorial wall.|
8. Enjoying simply soaking in the beauty of flowers. Flowers that are actually growing around my house.
9. Beginning a summer of Fun Fridays! High school soccer is Monday-Thursday from 6-8 each day. Add in travel and such, that's a good 4 hours the boys are gone. And those practices are tough. So much running and conditioning besides playing soccer. Going to a state park to hike before practice is just a bad, bad idea. So, we instituted Fun Fridays. Today we went to one of my favorite parks. (I wrote one of my favorite posts after our last trip there. It kind of lays out my parenting philosophy. You may want to click back to it just to compare photos. Kids grow so daggum fast!)
The weather was perfect, and we had a great time.
|I have an almost identical photo of this scene in the other post. Back then Turken was too young to do such death-defying exploration.|
|No fear of heights in these boys.|
|A giant tree had recencly (very recently) fallen down over the creek we were following. Couldn't go around it, had to go over it. And hang out in it. And climb it.|
|Before the day was done, they were all soaked through. At one point they broke out into a roaring game of tag in which you tagged the person by kicking water onto him.|
10. Playing games and eating together and getting major manual labor done around the house and cooking with Cuckoo and and and and...so many ands.
How have you been? What have you been up to while I've been gone?
Tell me what you're thankful for!
Have a lovely day!
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Amycake and the Dude, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I Want Backsies, The Meaning of Me, Thankful Me, Uncharted, The Wakefield Doctrine