Monday, June 27, 2016

Last Day of School !

Well, we made it!  We are all finally done with school!

The morning of the last day, I took Georgia and Josie's traditional Last Day of School photos.

Above is Georgia on the last day of seventh grade.

And below is Georgia on her first day:

The first day photo was shot with my old camera and was ridiculously over-exposed.  

And here is Josie on her last day of 5th grade:

And on her first day:

Some actual growth!  Impressive, Josie!

I am not posting Henry's Last Day / First Day photos and that is because he is refusing to be on this blog and I had to promise him I wouldn't post it, in order to get him to pose for a photo in the first place.  His last day of school was over two weeks ago.  

And so summer has now begun - I'm thrilled!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Josie Graduates From Elementary School

On Monday night, Josephine became the third Elliot child to graduate from elementary school.  She still has school until Friday, though.  Can we give a shout out for snow days?  

It is exactly this sort of situation that makes me angry when I get those 6am phone calls from the school superintendent telling me that school has been cancelled due to snow.  

It's my personal opinion that once you graduate, you don't have to go back to that school.  

The graduation ceremony was very sweet.

The fifth graders dressed up and they sung a couple of songs that were quite pretty and lyrically appropriate.

Diplomas were passed out, the principal gave an address and we watched a slideshow of photos taken throughout the year.  

Afterwards, we went to a reception in the gym and the kids signed each other's yearbooks and ate cake.

I ran around and tried to get photos of Josie with her friends but it wasn't easy.

Gordy and I declared this a "mandatory family activity" so Henry and Georgia had to attend.

Josie went to both of their 5th grade graduation, so I thought it only appropriate that they attend hers.

A friend even took a photo with me in it!  Unheard of!

Thank you, Angela!

congratulations, Josie!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Our First Field Hockey Tournament

Josie started playing field hockey this spring.  Years ago, both our girls did a field hockey day camp at a local college, but they hadn't played since then.  After ice hockey ended this spring, we were looking for activities for Josie and field hockey seemed like a good fit.  

She did about five weeks of a twice-a-week clinic and ended up really enjoying the sport.

After the clinic was over, Josie was given the opportunity to play in a tournament.  Her "team" played four 25-minute games....

.... and they managed to win all four!  So that was fun!

Josie is signed up to play field hockey at school next year, although we did just find out that her ice hockey practices might interfere with this plan.  We'll work it all out, I'm sure.  

Georgia had a successful weekend as well.  Her team won the State Cup which means that they will now be traveling to Colorado this summer for the national games.  

This is exciting, although a little sad.  The games are over a five-day period, so Gordy will have to take time off from work and he will have to spend those days in Colorado instead with Georgia's soccer team instead of enjoying his time off with his family.  And Georgia will miss some of her vacation on Block Island, including a visit with my sister and her family, which is sad.  

But mostly, it is exciting and she is very excited and very pleased and that's all that really matters, right?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What We've Been Up To

Our pool has a new slide and they held a contest to see who would be the first lucky child to get to use it.... and the winner was not Josie.  She did get to try out the slide a week after the pool opened and she reports that it's very similar to the old slide, except it has higher (safer) sides and it had seams that hurt your rump when you slide over them.

It was Town Day last weekend and Josie had a collage displayed in the art show.

We also bought a new collar for Pippa Middleton at the collar tent (town day is a little odd, don't ask).

It was also Henry's 16th Birthday last week.  He has refused to give me permission to post photos of him on my blog, so here's his cake:

And here's a photo of the cake being delivered to a random teenage boy who may or may not live in our house: 

Today (Wednesday) is Henry's last full day of school.  Hooray!  Usually the end of the year is a nightmare of exam studying and paper-writing for high school students but the way that Henry's academic schedule worked this year, he ended up not having any exams at all.  Instead, Henry had one short paper to write, a quiz to study for, a movie to make (which he had been working on all semester and was already finished) and a geometry project.

The math project was a killer, but it was still nice to not have to help Henry study for an exam.

Here's the final product:

On Sunday, I sat down with Henry around ten o'clock and he got out his supplies for the project.  The assignment was to create a house with a series of rooms that were different geometric shapes made of foam board, then figure out the square footage, the volume, the wall space etc and then calculate the costs to paint the interior walls, heat and air condition the structure  and something else I'm forgetting.  The final part of the project was creating a presentation to give to the class explaining all these results and what you did.  It also included a short essay, summing everything up.

Creating the house took about four hours.  The answers (most of which he had already figured out) took another hour and a half.  Creating the presentation took about 45 minutes and the essay - Good Lord - the essay took another 45 minutes, 40 of which were spent talking Henry off the ledge and encouraging him to suck it up, focus and get the #$#)! done.

It was a long, long day.

I'm almost 100% sure that I never did a project in high school.  We wrote papers, did research, read books and took tests/exams.  Education has changed completely since the 1980s.  This project, for example, answers that age-old question "When am I EVER going to use Geometry (or any other subject) when I'm an adult?"  And for that reason alone,  I think the project was worthwhile and it makes clear to me why education has changed over the years. 

I'm not saying that I loved helping to measure, cut foam board, holding glued sides together and assembling a structure that involved perfect angles and more ruler work than I am used to, but I do appreciate why the project was assigned.

I'm also thrilled that, with the exception of a few mandatory assemblies and activities, Henry is finished with school.  We worked hard to find him things to do this summer but without a whole lot of success.  It's hard to find jobs for teenagers in our area.  Henry applied for an internship at the New England Aquarium and he made it through the interview round, but he didn't get an offer.  Getting one of these coveted internships is difficult since they have so many applicants.  He was disappointed to not get a spot, but he also understood that he should be proud that  he made it as far into the process as he did.  We also looked into getting him a shorter internship through his school, but all the opportunities there were long-term and didn't work with other summer plans we had as a family.  Henry is going to do a few days of volunteering at a local lunch program and he's going to work on getting his permit and working on his driving hours.  Massachusetts has a long list of requirements that must be finished before a teenager can get their license, so hopefully he'll get some of that out of the way.  And we have a lead on an occasional job at a local plant nursery.  Hopefully this will be enough to avoid an "I'm so bored" summer.

The girls still have three more weeks of school.  Josie is basically finished but Georgia will have five or six exams to study for and take.  No one in our family is doing a sleep-away camp this year.  Georgia is taking a four-session photography program and Josie will attend a short hockey camp at the end of the summer.  

We should be busy... I hope!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend

The most unbelievable thing happened over Memorial Day weekend - we had no soccer tournament! We were free to do whatever we wanted and what we wanted to do was to go out to Block Island and spend the weekend at the beach.

And that is exactly what we did.

We arrived on Saturday and spent the first few hours doing house maintenance.  We put up all the screens and I made up all the beds.  And then Gordy and I took a long bike ride while the kids played on the beach.  We cooked at home and watched a movie.  It was a beautiful day but a little chilly.

Sunday, however, was amazing.  It was sunny and it was hot and while no one felt like wearing swimsuits and going into the water, we did went all want to go to the beach.

We brought Pippa Middleton - who absolutely loves a walk on the beach - and decided to work on training her to beach walk off-leash.

She did a great job, which was encouraging.  

I've just realized that all the photos I have are of Pippa wearing a leash or one of us holding a leash, so you are probably wondering what I'm talking about, but we really did let her walk around free-range style, we just kept her leash on and dragging behind her, just in case she started to run away and needed to be stopped.

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