Tuesday, June 6, 2017

2016-17 School Year in Review


This year sped by ridiculously fast.  The boys thought so too, so I know I'm not completely crazy.  They were busy but had fun, made new friends and new memories.

In the fall, they participated in the Jogathon, Halloween Parade and Balloon's Aloft, which we love.  During the winter, the boys each did a science fair project, Beck went to Math night (Asher had soccer).  This spring, Asher was chosen for a special 5th grade honor's choir for which he spent an entire day learning and perfecting songs, ending with a performance that night for parents.  Beckett participated in to Caldecott Book Club and Asher did the OWL (Our Wonderful Library) Book Program.  Both boys attended parties for them at the year's end. There were field trips, class projects, birthdays, celebrations, and more.  The boys also had great teachers this year which is a HUGE bonus.  Mr. Flowers (5th) and Ms. Garcia (2nd) were both knowledgeable, helpful, efficient and just plain did a great job.  It's not every year you get teachers who care, and we were lucky twice this year! 

This was a nostalgic year for Asher as he looks forward to 6th grade and middle school next year.  He's sad to leave behind familiar surroundings, teachers and friends who are going to different schools but looking forward to change too.I'm definitely more nervous than he is.  Ash is on the excited side of things which will make it easier for me come his first day in August.  How can he be leaving elementary school?!  How did it go by in a blink? I was glad I was lucky enough to go to his 5th Grade fieldtrip with him.  They went bowling, ate pizza, played games and then had shaved ice back at the school. He had a great time. I jokingly asked him later if he was embarrassed the I was one of the chaperones.  His sweet reply was, "No, I wanted you there!" Sigh. Stop growing up, but keep being super sweet.

We've walked to school some over the years, but never regularly, and the boys have never EVER ridden bikes, although we thought about it from time to time. Thinking back on all the times I rode my bike to school, I was horrified and we rode the whole last week of school.  In our defense, its' a mile to school, up a big hill and we are rarely running ahead of schedule in the morning.  Bikes, scooters, strollers...they headed to school on wheels and loved it.  I'm just sad we didn't do it sooner. The last day of school, we rode to the 7-11 on the way home and indulged in celebratory summer Slurpees!

We are heading into summer, looking forward to warm weather, pop sickles, swim team, vacations, Yellowstone, and family times.  Watch out!  Good times coming soon! (*P.S. Yes, Beck dresses himself.)

Recital with the Reitz boys

Wahoo!  We just finished a 2nd year of piano lessons. The boys have and are continuing to learn a lot from their teacher Sister Walker.  They've really enjoyed working with her and so far it's been a good experience for them.  I love hearing them start a new piece and hearing how they improve over a bit of time.  Music in the home is wonderful!

Dawson was excited for them too, and after every performer he'd say, "Asher's turn?"  or, "Beckett's turn?" in his slightly too loud voice.  Cute and not naughty but too loud, so Corey walked the halls in between the boy's performances to help keep the peace.  

They learned some fun pieces this year.  For their recitals they each played three pieces.  Asher's favorite was the Imperial March and Beckett loved Herr Schmidt.  They both did fantastic despite being nervous, and were happy afterwards. Their teacher mentioned at the end that she loved

her view at the front because she could see their faces when they finish...so true! I did catch Beck's reaction as he gathered his things to sit down.  Satisfaction and relief.  Nothing like a job well done!  Love my little musicians.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day at Mesa Verde

 After years of being taunted by the amazing ruins of Mesa Verde on calendars, screensavers and posters, I was finally able to see them for myself up close and personal!  I've been wanting to visit the Park for years and I'm happy to say, WE DID IT and it did not disappoint.

 We spent our long weekend near Purgatory Ski Resort at Cascade Village Condos.  The view of the Needles from our condo was unbelievable and the boys enjoyed hanging out on our little deck every morning and night overlooking all the trees.  We headed up to Mesa Verde first thing and ended up spending two days there because there was so much to see, and also because we couldn't get tour tickets for the same day.  It worked out though and we were happy to see more of the sites on our second day along with the tour of Cliff Palace (uh, wow!). The sites were truly amazing and the boys had lots of questions and we discovered lots of answers.  They just love the Junior Ranger programs the National Parks offer and couldn't wait to add this one to their repertoire.  The highlight for me was the amazing tour of Cliff Palace.  It's the biggest of the sites and is a wonder to behold.  I wish I could have seen it 800 years ago with all the plaster and paint in tact.  I bet it was beautiful!  And I marvel that they could dry farm on the desert mesas...if I planted seeds in my garden and then just waited for the rains to come and grow them we would never see a single tomato.  Amazing! Our entire family really enjoyed Mesa Verde and had a great time.  Also, I must give credit to the family burro, Corey, who carried Dawson on his back up and down ladders and on trails everywhere.  I offered to take him if he needed a break, but was secretly relieved when he didn't take me up on it. Besides, they had a good think going.  Dawson started saying, Daddy let's ride! or Daddy faster! or my favorite, Daddy, let's fly! which he coupled with extended airplane arms. Daddy the burro was a great time for little D.

We played up at Purgatory for a day too.  We'd promised the boys a hike (even Dawson was begging to go) and after realizing the road was closed for the morning for a bike race, we decided we'd go ahead and hike over to the resort and check it all off with one fail swoop.  The hike itself wasn't hard, but all of the winter run off made for a very mucky trip in some spots.  Beck even lost his shoes at one point trying to leap through a stream/mud puddle.  Yuck.  Everyone was a trooper though and it ended up being lots of fun at the resort.  We rode down the alpine slide.  The boys each wanted to ride up alone, leaving me alone too...their independence is always taking a step forward I guess.  A highlight (especially for Beckett) of the ride down was seeing a little beaver hanging out just to the side of the tracks.  The low point of the slide was when Corey's sled bolted off the track and he crashed, ripping thru the sleeve of his jacket and leaving him with a few war wounds.  Whoops!  While at the resort, Corey and I also did the zip line, and the boys panned for gem stones (bringing home bags of rocks was a surprise favorite), were launched on the trampoline (Asher saluted every time he hit the highest point...hilarious), did a ropes course (with me and lots of my help connecting hooks), and Asher even rode a mechanical bull!  Dawson LOVED his time there because they let us check out a strider bike and helmet which he rode all over the plaza, although his favorite place to ride was up and down the thankfully empty mini golf course.  When we had to check it back in he was so sad, crying "my bike, my bike!".  We made it back to our condo, tired and ready to relax with some dinner and movies and our fantastic view.

We are all sad our long weekend is over.  It was too fun, and too short.  Til the next adventure...

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Baptism Day for B

Oh my goodness. This was indeed a special day for a special boy.  Beckett had been looking forward to his baptism day for some time now and none of us could believe it was here so quickly!  We have been talking, preparing and reading up with Beckett so he would be as ready as possible for the big baptism day.  He was especially excited to get his own new scriptures (which he asked for a few times on his baptism day...he just couldn't wait! So sweet.) The baptism itself went great.  I think he was a little nervous, but it didn't show a bit.  He even said later that the water felt warm...lucky boy! It seems like the kiddos always say that the water was a little cold.  There was a wonderful spirit in the room when he entered the water and was baptized.  I had a nice spot with Dawson in my arms to see it all, behind the little spectators gathered in on the floor in front of the font. There is nothing quite like your own child's baptism day.  It is such a special, joyous, heart filling spiritual experience.  Corey confirmed him a member of the church afterwards and did a beautiful job.  Dawson had decided he liked the baptism part okay but was done by the time the confirmation rolled around, so he was getting loud and squirmy!  I REALLY didn't want to have to take him out.  My sister Jen rescued my by swooping in to save the day and take him into the hallway for me.  I was so grateful, truly.  We were so blessed to have friends and family there to enjoy the day with us.  Grandparents on both sides, as well as two of my sisters (Jen and Kayla) and their families came out to support us.  It was wonderful to have everyone there and the kids couldn't get enough of all the cousin time.

After the baptism, we had a fun ice cream sundae party to celebrate...cherries and all.  And we gave him his new scriptures, which he spent the next several evenings eagerly marking up.  We are so proud of our Beckett and the choice he's made to be baptized into the church and receive the Holy Ghost.  He's a great kid with many talents and this first great choice he's made will be a boon to him throughout his life.   Congrats on a wonderful baptism day, B!  We sure do love you.