Sunday, June 24, 2012

{Last Day of School}

Yes, yes, we just got out of school last week.  I know most of you have been out for a month, but up here in Seattle, school goes until the 3rd week of June! Luckily we don't start back up until after Labor Day in September.  (I like that the summer coincides with the best weather in the PNW, July and August). 
  
The weeks leading up to the last day of school, I attended the kids' field trips. I didn't get to volunteer in the classroom as much as I wanted to this last year because of the little boys at home, so I really wanted to chaperon the field trip while the kids still REALLY wanted me to. Thank you to my babysitting friends for helping me out with the boys so I could attend!

Addy's class went to the fire station. Since it is about 3/4 of a mile from the school, we all walked. Of course it rained on us both directions, but that didn't get anyone down one bit. Here's Addy with her BFF from school. 
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The fireman pulled out all the stops to make this an incredible afternoon for the kids. The entire station was practically shut down!  They had about 15 fireman, EMTs, and police helping out as the groups rotated through stations. They got a tour of the station (including the private quarters and all important fireman kitchen!), a tour of an ambulance, a turn spraying the firehose and riding up the bucket ladder, and a break to eat lunch with the crew. I was so impressed. The kids absolutely loved it!
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Carson toured a historical mansion in downtown Puyallup, Meeker Mansion, and also did a walking tour around the town viewing the different historical buildings. It was really interesting to learn more about our little town.
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The last week of school we attended 4th grade Author Night where Carson got to display the book he has been working on for the last month. He was pretty excited to show it off, and he has become quite the little author this year! 
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At the 4th grade awards assembly he was awarded the "Achiever" award. To qualify, he had to meet certain criteria in a bunch of different areas (from academics, exercise, clubs, citizenship, and leadership).  He was one of only ten 4th grades to get the award. Pretty proud momma!



Here he is with his teacher, Ms. Suarez. She has been fantastic this year in really helping Carson improve in a number of different areas. I appreciated all the special attention and guidance she gave Carson.  So wonderful to have great teachers!

Addy had a "Success Day" in which parents could come and view their first grade portfolio.  It was such a treat to have her explain all her artwork and projects to us and watch a year end slide show and video.

 Mrs. Gendreau is fantastic and we are so happy she is "looping up" with this class and will continue as her second grade teacher...awesome!

We put these little gifts together (idea from Pinterest) for their teachers.  The kids helped me make the homemade jam (strawberries from our very own strawberry patch!).  And then we added the "fresh picked" soaps from Bath and Body Works including the chrome soap 'cover'.  Love it. 


Last time dropping them off as 4th and 1st graders!

We made our traditional slurpee run on the last day of school. Every year my kids are wearing jackets on the last day of school. We had an awesome spring, but June (each year) is really tough! Kids didn't seem to mind. 


Over the last few days we sorted through all the papers I saved throughout the year (see that white box on the top of the stack below? I have one for both Carson and Addy in my office) and all the garb they brought home the last few days of school.  Have I ever written about my school paper organziation system?  I couldn't find it on my blog, I love it and copied it from my friend after reading it on her blog...so here ya go, if interested. 

I put certificates, sport and dance team pics, special awards, extra family pictures, birthday cards, special notes, etc. ....all in sleeve protectors in a binder. Simple, no crafty non-sense. It's not a photo album (I do those separately).  They sort through the rest and we save whatever artwork, assignments, etc. that can be clipped into a large binder clip. If it is a large item, we make sure we have a picture and then toss it.  I try to keep some writing assignments from the beginning and end of year to show improvement, and then I stick their final report card on the top.  This way they can unclip the papers and look at them later and then place them all back in the clip. The binder clip stack and the the binder go in a large plastic storage bin with just a few other 'memory items' (cub scout books, dance tiara, pinewood derby cars, etc). Carson is on binder #2, so I think we will be able to fit all of elementary in one storage box. My hope is to fit middle thru high school in a second bin.  Thus all childhood memories in two manageable storage bins.  If you are like me, I get so overwhelmed with what to keep and toss. This helps me pick the very best items to keep while limiting it to a quantity that won't get out of control!  And organized in a way that it can easily be looked at and enjoyed (my kids love looking back at their old stuff). 

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I also use a plain folder to store any items they made for Trevor and I.  My kids are big crafters and constantly giving me darling notes, cards, and letters.   I am torn on what to do with this stuff? Don't I keep my own Mother's Day cards and crafts?  For now I have a folder for each grade with this stuff from the kids to us.  Maybe I'll pull those out of the bin someday to keep.  Anyway, that's the only thing I am unsure about it this whole 'system'. Any other school memory-keeping ideas out there that you love?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

{Ballet Recital}

We have had so much going on the last couple weeks as the school year came to close. Our schedule has been stretched pretty thin with award assemblies, classroom field trips and parties, final homework assignments, etc.  All this activity means a lot of pictures to post up. 

First up was Addy's dance recital.  She had a wonderful, young ballet teacher who really focused on specific skills this year and it made such a difference!  It was less "dancing princesses" and more "always stand in first position" and "point those toes straighter".  More across the floor one at a time work with individual correction and suggestions. She really improved this year, and she was sweet as can be in her recital.  Those dimples and her toothless smile just melt my heart. 



We carpooled with Chanel with year and it worked out great. Chanel has a brother just about Rylan's age, so the non-car pooler kept the boys at home and everyone was happier all around! As the kids get more activities, car pools are a must!

In the dressing room ready to go on stage!

She was in a blue costume for the third year in a row, but I have to say... it looks fabulous on stage!



Flowers from Dad.


 I debated on taking Rylan, but I'm glad we did because he actually really enjoyed it. He was so excited when Addy got on stage!  It was a good thing she was in the first half, because Ry fell asleep under his chair for the second half. Thank you to our friends for watching Miles for us back home!


A beautiful dancer with another recital wrapped up! She did great!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

{Memorial Day Road Trip}

My mom planned a little reunion with our long-time family friends: The Goodwins.  We met up in Boise, about half way for everyone over Memorial Day.  We couldn't round up the entire group due to distance and other scheduling conflicts, but we had 3 Dalley siblings represented and 2 Goodwin siblings.  Plus the parentals who have been BFFs for a long, long time. 

We were so excited to get away for a few days.  It was a hectic spring with work at the clinic and the extra long weekend provided some much needed family time and fun! 

Of course, the weather ended up being well below average. The rain actually followed us to Boise along with cooler temps. Saturday we got rained on as we walked around the BSU stadium. 


But the weather didn't stop these kids from living in the pool for 3 days.  It was nice and well-heated for an outdoor pool, thankfully!



So fun to have Aunt Erin with us! 



Ry having fun on Grandpa's iPad.
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Pretty exhausted at night...they had no problem falling asleep
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On Sunday we headed to sacrament meeting at a local ward and then stopped by the Boise temple (currently being renovated). 

We ate good food (Cafe Rio 2 times!) all weekend.  I love this pic of my mom and Rylan playing checkers outside Cracker Barrel. 



Our hotel was right next to the riverfront park.  We enjoyed a nice walk on Sunday evening. It was such a nice park...and went on for miles! 

 
Can't resist this sweet face!

Addy with Mary.  The kids love her!

And Thomas was a huge (HUGE!) help with the kiddos. He played in the pool for hours with these little tykes...coming up with games and activities and spoiling them with all kinds of attention and video game knowledge. SUCH a good kid! 


 Me, Becca, Mom, Peggy, Erin (oops...missing Mary!)


Didn't take long before Carson was soaked playing in the fountain.
 
 The whole group!

And a shot with all the ladies.


My parents sold their house the day before the trip.  They had planned to divide up some of their furniture to give to the kids this summer. But since we were meeting them halfway for this trip and they just accepted an offer, they scrambled and AMAZINGLY got everything together and pulled two uhaul trailers up from SLC to Boise. We hauled one to Seattle and the Goodwins hauled one to Vancouver. Between the two (completely jammed) trailers, we got all the furniture intended for those of us up here in Seattle and Vancouver.  It was huge effort on the part of my parents, not to mention giving us really cool stuff! I'm so glad it worked out, and we don't have to worry about how to get anything up here this summer.
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On the way back home we stopped in Nampa to visit Trevor's grandparents for a couple hours.  They treated us so well and just doted on the kids the entire time.  We really miss them and were so glad to sneak in a visit!  Pictures with your great-grandparents is a pretty cool thing!

Thanks to my mom for organizing such a fun trip and spoiling us all weekend!  The Goodwins are like family so we were all right at home, laughing and talking, talking, talking the entire time.  It went by too quickly...we'll be ready for next year!

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My little blog is a family journal. I include things on here I want to remember years and years from now. So when I post a zillion pictures...it is because I want to have it for my posterity. So please forgive the often posted-picture overload.

Currently I am trying to focus on my photography skills...reading, reading, reading, and taking pictures when I can. Then edit, read, read, read some more. I finally feel like I have a basic understanding of exposure...hooray! I updated my blog template so I can display larger photos because...aren't pictures better than anything I have to say anyway?

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