Saturday, May 31, 2014

Let the summer {memories} begin

Summer is here!  Well, I'm not sure if it is technically "summer" yet, but who really pays attention to the calendar start date??

For us, summer begins when the school schedule ends, the pace slows down a bit, the sun is hot, and (unfortunately) the air is sticky.

I'm not going to lie.  Last summer, I was scared to death.  I wasn't exactly sure how we I would handle a full summer with all 4 monkeys. But this summer, it doesn't seem as overwhelming.  I've learned to be smart about the activities we choose to participate in.  (I still can't do anything and everything with this whole crew)  And we have developed a few habits that seem to make out-of-the-house activities a little easier on everyone.  (More on that later.)  But the kids truly enjoy each other, and I am trying to practice a few spiritual disciplines to really help me relax and focus on these precious years.  (More on that later too.)

Caleb just finished his year of Transitional Kindergarten with the Fish Class.  What a wonderful year it was!  He had lovely, caring teachers who appreciated his spunk and encouraged his little mind to learn and be creative.  He loved it!

First day of TK - September 2013
Last Day of TK - May 2014

We were at Caleb's last day celebration at school.  He was so excited and enjoying the party.

And then I saw him start to slowly back against the wall.  His eyes got big and his brows began to furrow.  I leaned down beside him and put my hand on his back.  "When are we coming back?" he asked.  The realization that this was the last day of his Fish Class was just sinking in.  His lip started to quiver and then he began to sob. And so did his mama.  I still haven't mastered the mom skill that is able to maintain composure when your little one is a bawling mess.

Poor little guy.  But, at the same time, what a lucky little guy.  He was surrounded by friends and teachers that loved him.  He felt safe and looked forward to every day.  And even though my Caleb is drastically different that his big sister Eveley, he really enjoyed school and learning new things.

Some of you have asked whether we are still practicing a strict diet with Caleb, and the answer is a resounding YES.  I will definitely detail this more at a later time.  But let's just say that we tried to stop or even let up a bit and quickly realized the true benefits.  So it looks like we are in it for the long haul.  (Definitely more on that later.)

Our little man will start kindergarten in the fall.  I am admittedly a little nervous about the whole deal.  But he is definitely ready for a full day of fun and learning. And he is excited to be riding the bus with Eveley.  Oy vey!

We also spent this past week celebrating Robbie's birthday.  He would have been NINE on Monday.  It can be hard to balance the emotions of remembering Robbie with explaining the situation to his young brothers and sisters.  They ask some crazy questions.

Sweet Eveley is always very attentive and sentimental.  She made him a birthday card and was excited to release some balloons.

The other kids are still trying to understand.  But they are all happy to talk of him.

That morning, I told the kids at breakfast, "Today is Robbie's birthday.  We are going to celebrate it this afternoon."   Caleb's eyes got huge, "Are we going to heaven?"

Not today, I said. =)

So far, our summer is going well.  The kids have enjoyed their somewhat relaxing mornings and we have already had a few adventures.

We visited a friend's farm

enjoyed a picnic

had fun at the school's festival (where I HAD TO introduce Eveley to a funnel cake).

and are spending most of the days at the waterpark.

Eveley still has a couple weeks left in school, thanks to Ole Man {and stubborn} Winter.  While she loves school, she is excited to join in our day fun.

Our summer calendar is pretty full with a couple Vacation Bible Schools, two family vacations, one adult vacation, one mama vacation, and a trip to the Tennessee farm.

There are many memories to be made!


1 comment:

3 Peanuts said...

So glad to read this update. I was wondering about the diet too as you know how much it helped my boys for years and years!!!! Looks like summer is off to a great start. I love how you continue to celebrate Robbie's life and even his journey to heaven with the kids. You are such a special family. Hugs, Kim