Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Last Day of School

It is finally (FINALLY!) the last day of school.  I thought this day would never come.

I took my usual End of The Year Photos.

So without further ado, I present to you - Georgia, on the first day of school:

And Georgia on the last day (of sixth grade):

And Josephine on the first day of fourth grade:

And on the last day of fourth grade:

And finally, Henry.

Here is he on the first day of ninth grade:

And on his last day (which was almost a month ago):

I hope we never have six snowdays ever again!  This school year has been longer than any I can remember.  It's hard to believe that next week is the Fourth of July and the summer is only just starting!!

Happy Summer, everyone!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Henry's Home From Camp

Henry got home from camp late last night.  He's still sifting through about 400 photos and videos he took with his GoPro camera, but he nicely let me have these three pictures to show you all.

He left for camp 13 days ago - flying first to North Carolina to spend a day with my sister and her family and then travelling from NC to St. Maarten.

The camp was called a Marine Biology Adventure but sadly, there wasn't a marine biologist on board and while he enjoyed the camp, Henry was disappointed that the promised marine biology / coral reef work didn't really happen.

He did get his Advanced Scuba certification, so that's good.  And he did do some pretty amazing dives, including two night dives and he did get to see a lot of neat marine wildlife - like an octopus, multiple turtles, a terrapin and some colorful fish.

I spoke to Henry half-way through the camp and he told me about how they hadn't done any marine biology work yet and I have to admit I was pretty annoyed.  I encouraged him to make the most of the situation and I know he did.  He took advantage of all the dive opportunities offered and he enjoyed being in such an amazingly beautiful place.

The campers lived on a sail boat, travelled around the Caribbean, went on a couple of hikes and did four hours of community service (Henry's school requires graduates to do 40 hours of community service in order to graduate and with his Sea Turtle Camp work last summer, he now has 24 hours under his belt and he's only a sophomore).

I'm sure I'll get more stories from Henry as the week goes on - and I'll be sure to share them.  

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Vocabulary Parade

Today was one of my all-time favorite elementary school events:  The 4th Grade Vocabulary Parade.

Josie's word was "lighthouse."

The students were able to choose from a list of words / places that they learned about over the school year.  

The parade goes around the school (twice, in this case) and all the fourth graders are cheered by their parents and the rest of the student body.

Henry didn't attend Fourth Grade at this elementary school, so we missed out on this gem of an event with him, but we did get to watch Georgia parade by two years ago.

Here's a photo, in case you've forgotten:

This current crop of fourth graders did an amazing job.

... but my favorite was the lighthouse. 

Her light actually worked!  Although the hat was so heavy that Josie had to hold on to it with both hands.

After the parade, the parents were invited up to the classroom for a poetry recitation.

The children had decorated the desks to look like tables and they wrote poems on all the table runners.  We parents were encouraged to write our own poems, too.

I wrote:

"Josie is so cute
Especially when she wears a suit.

Josie is so kind
She's very smart and has a great mind."

perhaps not my best work, but at least I tried.

Five more days of school!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Josie Gets Her Ears Pierced

The day that Josie has been waiting for finally arrived:  yesterday, she got her ears pierced.

Our family rule is that you have to be ten to get your ears pierced, but you also have to be done with soccer season.  A lot of soccer referees make you take out your earrings for games, and you can't take out newly-pierced earrings for 6 weeks.

Josie's last soccer game of the season was on Sunday, so on Monday, we made an appointment after school.

Josie was very nervous but she remained still.

You should have seen the grin she gave after the first earring was shot into her ear and she realized that it didn't hurt to get your ears pierced.

She was even more stoic for the second hole.

Ta Da!

I think her earrings look really great and so does Josie.

On a separate note:  I got a call from Henry yesterday.  He said they got phones to call home because this is the half-way point, but it's really not.  He has about a week left to go.  It didn't matter why he was calling, I was just excited to hear from him.  He reported that he is a little seasick being on the boat all day but not too much.  He likes the camp and the people.  He was put in the advanced diving group so he's be able to do a lot of fun dives including a night-time dive last evening.  He's only had to cook for the group once (they take turns) because the Advanced diving group often is diving when dinners have to be made.  It's sounds like everything is going well but it's hard to tell since (like all teenage boys), Henry prefers to speak in one word sentences.  He did want to know who was winning the Stanley Cup and I had to deliver some bad-news.  

It's probably a good thing that he's been away for this Chicago vs. Tampa series!

Monday, June 15, 2015


We've had a busy few weeks, but I didn't take any photos.  Henry and I went to Block Island last Monday to check on the progress of our construction project and to move all the furniture back to it's regular spot.  Things are going well with the project - all the new windows are in, most of the painting has been done and 2/3rds of the new siding is up.    

Henry left for camp on Wednesday.  He flew by himself to Meredith's house in North Carolina, spent the afternoon and evening with the Southerns and then left for the Caribbean on Thursday morning.  There were a handful of campers on his flight, so he had company when he went through St. Maarten's customs and made his way over to the camp meet-up spot.  This is a technology-free camp, so we haven't heard from him since we got a phone call telling us that he'd arrived safely, but we have been getting daily updates from the counselors (via email) and it sounds like he's having a great time.

We had a fun (but brief) visit with our good friend, Aaron (hello Aaron!) who was in Boston for a conference.  It was fabulous to see him.

 Josie finally did her Expert Project.  She lugged 12 cupcakes and four filled pastry bags to school on Friday and by all counts, her presentation went well.  Friday was also the elementary school field day, so it was a busy day for Miss Josie.

Georgia went with a friend to the beach on Friday night and came home on Saturday with the worst sunburn I've seen in years.  Her whole back is lobster red and super-painful.  Well, not quite her whole back.  She obviously didn't burn the parts of her body where her bathing suit was, so her back looks like she's wearing a flesh-colored bikini.

Lesson learned, I'd say.

Josie also went to the beach this weekend.  She was invited to go to Cape Cod with her friend Eva for Eva's sister's birthday.  They spent the day on the beach and then built a bon-fire and roasted things to eat.  

As for Gordy and I, we actually had several hours this weekend without children.  Which was very odd.  We went to the mall (by ourselves) to get Georgia's phone fixed, we went to the blind store (by ourselves) to order blinds for Block Island and we took Pippa Middleton for a walk (by ourselves) into town to get some candy.

Being an Empty Nester was pretty amazing.

We also went to Ikea and I watched the entire Swedish Royal Wedding live on the internet, but Josie was with us for those items.

Next up:  Josie is getting her ears pierced today (hopefully).  The place where Georgia got her ears pierced can't do Josie's ears today, so we are going to a different store pretty far away.

Needless to say, Josie is pretty excited.  She's been waiting all year for this day to arrive.  

We also have the Vocabulary Parade this week and some sort of poetry recitation and then next week, it's EXAMS! for the sixth grader.  

The fun never ends!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Josie's Cello Recital

Josie (and her cello partner, Eva) had their cello recital last weekend.  The concert was at a local VA hospital and some of the residents came to watch the cellists perform.

Josie performed one solo piece (Polka Dots) and then she and Eva played two duets.

Josie and Eva started the performance since we had to rush off after their pieces to a soccer make-up game.

We were a little sad to miss hearing the other students perform, but we were also pretty grateful that we could get to both activities in one afternoon.

It's the start of the End of the Year Rush.  Everything is ending and all the ends have to include a recital, a presentation or a bunch of make-up games.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Henry Turns 15 (and other happy moments of the week)

Henry turned 15 the other day!  Happy Birthday, Henry!  

Fifteen year olds do not want to be on their mother's blogs, apparently, and I've been banned from showing you what Henry's celebration looked like, so I'm posting a photo from Henry's fourth birthday instead.

We've had a busy week.

Last Sunday, we hosted Georgia's soccer team End of The Year Party at our house.

The girls prepared a presentation for their coach which was very sweet and emotional.

(that's not me above on the left side, but it looks like me, right?)

Here is Georgia's coach:

Next year, the girls move into a different division and Tona won't be coaching them any longer. 

Pippa really enjoyed the party.  She went from person to person, licking faces, wiggling all over and jumping into people's arms.  

But afterward, she passed out for about six hours:

It's tough being a puppy.

On Monday, Josie used some free time after school to make an apron:

Pretty, no?

And ok, I lied.  I'm going to sneak in some Henry birthday photos.  This is what a 15 year old Henry looks like (shh!  don't tell him!)

Georgia had her end of the year band concert on Henry's birthday.  We dropped her off at school, Gordy rushed back home where we celebrated Henry's birthday with dinner and a cake and then Gordy rushed back to school to watch the concert.  

Josie and Pippa, photo-bombers:

Here's what Henry's cake looked like (please disregard the classy, open dishwasher in the background):

Today is Henry's last day of exams as a Freshman.  Tomorrow, he just goes to school for final assembly where the school says good-bye to the seniors.  What's up next?  Packing and gearing up for camp, getting him off to camp and the finishing up the school year for the girls.  Summer, here we come!

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