Saturday, June 25, 2011

Splashpad Pics

While Brandon had Cub Scout Day Camp, Jess joined her cousin at the new splashpad that opened at our local park. First off, Brandon enjoyed his week at camp! He was up early each morning so that I could take him to school to catch the bus to camp. The first day was a little rough. It rained and rained pretty much the whole day. He lost his lunch and extra water bottle. As in, they went to one shelter house and it was not the right one for their den. Apparently, his lunch could not be tracked down. But the other parents were kind enough to share their lunches to feed my boy. The rest of the week went much better! He even spent his own money to get a camp shirt.
Anyway, one of these "camp days" we went to the splashpad and asked Grandma and Ray to join us. I think they liked it. There sure were lots of smiles happening.
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Double digits now

I cannot believe that we have celebrated Jessica turning 10. That she could possibly be that old is ridiculous!! Where did it all go? So many things that seem as though they just happened; finding out we were having a baby girl; the search for the perfect dress to bring her home in; her crazy arrival; first day of school; last day of 4th grade.And now she is 10! This list could go on and on (and on...)!!
My bright and beautiful girl.
Only she could make me crazy proud of her and just plain crazy at the same time.
Happy birthday sweet girl!
We love you!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

My brother

Last week, we traveled out of town. While that sounds great, it really wasn't. It started with a late night phone call on the Thursday before (6/2). The sort that when the phone rings at that time you just know it can't be a good thing. And it really wasn't. My brother was on the other end. The way he said my name, you just knew it would be bad. The deep breathes that followed so that he could deliver the news; the reason he called. Our oldest brother had passed away. I had answered the phone in the loft/playroom, so as I was walking back to my bed. I practically yelled into the phone, "WHAT!?!?" Or maybe I really did. I'm not exactly sure. At that point Steve is upright asking what's wrong. It is like slow motion at that point having my brother repeat those ugly words as I curl up on my bed. This time asking in a whisper what had happened.

At that point, details were sketchy. He had been in Florida on a mission trip with his church. His youngest son on the trip also. He was only 50. He had always been an athlete. A standout football player in his younger days. At forty-eight, he joined a semi-pro team for that season. He lifted weights and ran every morning. He coached his kids in T-ball and football. He went to college in his forties and went on to become a teacher for troubled youth. He was a Christian man. A son, brother, husband, friend. A man who lived his every day and spoke every word to represent Jesus. That one day he would be Home.

His service was beautiful. His oldest son spoke such beautiful words. Even a bit of humor. But one of the many things that seemed to stick out is that he thought he would be fifty when having to stand up there to talk about his dad. I was so proud of him. I always think want to think of him as the little boy of years gone by. But he is all grown up. A Marine. A husband.  My youngest brother also spoke. Frankly, I was surprised that he would be speaking. Telling a tale or spinning some yarn is more his style. He is a storyteller for sure. He said such a lovely words. I just nodded in agreement with him. And also a laugh or two. But it wouldn't have been his words, his way, if you didn't.

Anyway. A screen printing shop in their town printed shirts in honor of my brother. The proceeds would go to the memorial fund set up in his name. On Friday, when my brother was buried, we wore our shirts.

It was pretty cool.

This is the back of the shirt.
The way he lived his life.

W. Dwayne Riley
November 1960- June 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Last Day of School

Monday the 6th was the last day of school. Part of me says that it cannot be the end of school already!! The other part is so glad that summer is here! I am just ready to get to sleep in even a little. I need the beauty rest! :) It is also the end of all classes and activities. We really take the summer off.
In the afternoon, I went to school. They had the awards convo. Jess was recognized for attendance. She missed one day. Brandon was recognized for his having all A's. She was one letter grade from Honor Roll. At the end of the program, they announced each 4th grader's name so they could come down front and center. Their own little commencement ceremony. Then played a slide show of pictures from throughout the year. It was a pretty cool send off.
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Some Scouts in the House

I had been wanting to get some pictures of the kids in their scouting attire for a while now. Jess doesn't uniform; just her vest. We just improvised a bit by having the tan shorts and white shirt. Stick to the basics. I was pleased with the shots we got. Funny how he wasn't really into doing a "photoshoot," but in the end, he did so well. I really like the ones with the dog. He loves her! And I with I had Jess take her hair out of the pony. It is hard to see how long and pretty it is.
(Also, I do need better lighting so that I don't have to use the flash. I don't like the shadow.)

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fun in the Sun

After recital rehearsal, the kids were able to come home and cut loose. Daddy brought out the slip-n-slide thing-y. Kids had lots of fun cooling off, then progressed to water balloon fights. Daddy caught all the action!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Recital Time!

The first weekend in June is recital time.
Saturday is rehearsal day and Sunday is the big production.
This weekend was no exception. The only difference to us, from previous years, is that we did not have the morning rehearsal. At first I thought, "Yippee!" But now having had an afternoon and morning rehearsals, I think I prefer the morning. And by default the earlier show. Our studio breaks up the recital into two shows so that it is not excessively long. Thank goodness!!
Here is my only complaint... professional pictures are on rehearsal day. It is a full dress rehearsal. I'm fine with that. It makes sense to me. BUT, I spent 45 minutes to curl the girl's hair. By the time I put make up on her and we went downstairs to get shoes on and leave, the curls were already drooping. The short drive to the HS, waiting our turn for pictures, and her hair was practically straight.
I would have put rollers in her hair the night before, but it was late when we got home from the ball game. Having her shower and do hair that late was not really an option. But we had a "take 2" for Sunday, the actual recital. It was a bit difficult to get some really good pictures of her during her performance. She seemed to be back just far enough to not have good lighting... for us. Or we had "good" light and she was on the other side of the stage. ...sigh...
Anyway, she did great! I'm always proud of her for getting up on stage to perform.
Stepping out of her element.
Brava! Brava!
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Monday, June 6, 2011

Baseball and Fireworks

On the same Friday as Jessica's school party, we had tickets for the Indian's game. We had gotten the tickets through Brandon's cub scouts. Being that it was a Friday night, there would also be fireworks after the game. As a Scout special, we could have signed up to camp out on the field after the game. We didn't this time, but heard from another of our fellow den mates that it was lots of fun. A very, very late night (and early morning), but fun stuff. 
Oh, and we won! Go Indians!
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Farewell Fourth Grade

The last few days of school were pretty busy! They had field day, a farewell party for the fourth graders and an awards convo. I had volunteered to help set up for the Farewell Party. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was a pretty big deal to my fourth grader. I was showed up about an hour ahead of time. Pretty much me set up a few different stations for the kids. They had a craft area where the kids could make foam picture frames. There was a picture station. It had a beachy background with a wave (wake?) board and beach balls as props. Loads and loads of cookies, fruit and ice cream for refreshments. They also had a DJ. How fun does this sound??! The kids had lots of fun playing, eating and mingling.
The PTO even gave them all shirts that had class of 2019.
That's the part that got me.... 2019!!
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Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I am working on getting caught up. Really. Even this post is backdated...geesh!

his Mini-Birthday was moved to 5/24

our trip to see Grandma Anne is 5/23

and his party is 5/29

So after this, I should be able to get caught up in order. I hope.