Last Day! Last Day!!

The four best words in the world: Last Day of School!!! Is there anything more wonderful than getting your children back for the summer?  There is a lot of stress that comes from being "School Year Mom" and I think everyone in our family prefers "Summertime Mom."
 Ellie -- 5th
It's official: We are entering the teen age years.  We will survive though because Ellie is an angel.
 Nate -- 2nd 
He's still as sweet as ever and I'm nervous 3rd grade is going to eat him alive.
 Sadie -- Kindergarten
Sassy McFunny Pants. Boy crazy.  Heaven help me.
 Luke -- Preschool
Only one more year. It's hard to imagine him being ready for school in a year.  He still seems so little to me.

To celebrate I woke early to get cinnamon rolls and bacon ready  for breakfast and then took one last morning to try and hurry the kids around the house so I could take a quick picture before they left for the day.  I had actually tried to talk them into let me pick them up early but they all wanted to stay for their class pizza parties/movies/games etc. Whatever.  I guess summer can wait (only it can't in Arizona, people, because it's already over 100 degrees).
I can't believe how much they've grown in 9 months.

We had some friends over for Luke, did some last minute shopping and went to swim lessons before the kids got home. Kristin had to jump into the pool fully clothed to save Charlotte.

For our afternoon celebration we went swimming at my very favorite friend Sara's house.  Actually Ellie went with her friends because she's all grown up that way.
After a relaxing afternoon, I drove Ellie and friends to a Skateland party and then picked up dinner for my kids because I had no energy to feed them myself only to find them all asleep in the back seat. Maybe that's why they didn't sleep in the next morning?

The Graduate!

On Tuesday night, Sadie became an official 1st grader!
We are so proud of her and I cannot believe how much she has learned and how much she has grown in the last year.  Kindergarten is such a year of change.  I feel like I sent her off as a little thing and she came back all grown up.
I got a little teary eyed when they sang as song where the chorus sang something about "as a Kindergarten class" and they end with the chorus being changed to "as a First grade class."

Dustin had to fly out Tuesday night so he missed the actual ceremony, but I made him go up early to save us a spot on the basketball court.  We were actually lucky because it was only 94 degrees that night, so the cement was only mildly scalding under the blanket.
I left Luke with a friend so we could enjoy Sadie and ended up with Ellie and her best friend McKenzie goofing off with my phone and Nate sticking by my side trying to rebuff the adoration of a girl from his class (and also probably because he loves McKenzie).
The songs were adorable, even if I've heard them before, and Sadie sang her heart out.
They read the names of each child and the teachers say something nice.  It's very sweet and I love how individual it is, but it gets looooong.  Sadie sat very patiently for her name to be read 3/4 of the way through.

Sadie's says: Sadie brings great spirit and energy to our class. She is very creative and enjoys learning about how things work.
After the ceremony and cookies, we went to her classroom to watch their class slideshow.  She has some cute friends in her class.
Her little best friend's name is Juliet and they have been so sweet to see together.
We will especially miss her amazing teacher, Mrs. Wilson.  She is phenomenal. I don't how she works her magic, but she makes teaching Kindergarteners to read and write and sit still look easy.
I'm hoping we get her for Luke too because I cannot imagine anyone more apt for the difficult job ahead.


Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend this year was actually gorgeous. Mid-90s and overcast is a luxury this time of year in Arizona.
I had been really excited to go out to dinner with the Kallers since I don't think I had seen either of them in over a month (unless dropping by while Sara was feeling like death counts).  Poor Sara has been so sick with this pregnant, in and out of the ER and finally on a Zofran drip.  Finally she was feeling better and we had big fancy plans and the poor thing got the stomach flu.  We were all bummed.  Since I had already showered for the day and I never waste a good shower day, Dustin and I decided to still go out after we dropped by some rainbow sherbet (for Travis, not Sara) and gatorade.

We hit up a Jean-Georges restaurant at the Phoenecian and bonus -- it was restaurant week!  Afterwards we tried to see Iron Man 3 for our second time and FAILED.  Blah!  We had tried the week before with some friends and it was sold out.  This time we got tickets but there was only room on the front two rows.  We passed.

Monday we headed over to a Bottle Rocket BBQ picnic at the park.  It's an annual event but it was our first year and it did not disappoint.  We didn't have time to make a rocket once we realized it would work with our schedule, but they had stuff there to make your own.  We christened ours the Peanut Butter Cup (since there was only orange and brown duct tape). 
I do not know what happened, but the first three times the kids tried to launch ours was an epic fail.  The rocket went nowhere.  I have to admire my kids' persistence because they kept trying until it flew.  We're already planning next year's Revenge of the Peanut Butter Cup.
After that we headed over for a pool party and BBQ at the Ashton's.  The one thing I insist my next house have is a pool.  I love to host, but I don't have a pool and everything in the summer revolves around staying cool.  I always love it when someone invites us swimming.
It was a great time with my very oldest friends complete with a watermelon eating contest. 

Luke and Sadie pulled it out for the Rogers' family during the littlest competition.  Winner!!

 My big kids did not fair as well. 
Nate quit after about 5 bites (which actually surprised me since he never shows such restraint at dinner) and then Ellie was spitting hers out under the table so we disqualified her.
Maybe one day they'll be having a Memorial Day BBQ of their own with their kids.  I hope they invite me because I probably still won't have a pool.


One more year

In one more year Luke will be off to Kindergarten.  That means only one more year of this fabulous lady:
I know I gush over her every year, but we honestly love Miss Becky and preschool is still one of my kids favorite memories.  All of the kids tell Luke how lucky he is all the time to get to go spend time with Miss Becky.

Graduation is always amazing.  She makes scrapbooks with letters and pictures of each of the kids.  There are songs (which Luke decided not to sing) and a DVD with pictures from all their fun activities during the year. I'm so sad we're on our last year.
And so grateful to have one year left with my buddy (who is going by the name "Bungy" today).


Fathers and Sons

I have anxiously been awaiting the year when all the boys would take off for Fathers and Sons.  I watched years of facebook posts and blog entries where mothers and daughters had crafts nights, stayed up too late and ate lots of junk food.  Last year I practically forced Dustin to take Luke so I too could join in on the fun and this year it was EVE.BETTER!

Dustin invited a friend and his two boys to come along with our Ward, so after we stuffed our car and roof rack full of enough food and camping equipment for just one night (seriously, we can never camp, I don't know where we would haul all the stuff) the girls and I ran inside the house and squealed to be boy free.  Actually we just came in the house and counted the hour until we could leave for our own fun. I had just been up at school for the Ellie's "Human Growth and Development" class so we were both a little "girls only"ed out.

Jill, Chelsea and I planned a night out to the Cheesecake factory.  Chelsea's Nixon is one of Luke's favorite friends so he was off camping with his dad too so she just had her baby and Jill only had her Sadie and little Tessa. I decided to let Ellie invite a friend so she would have just as much fun as the rest of us.  On the drive there I realized that ironically enough she had invited her friend Ellie.  So we had 2 Ellies, 2 Sadies and the two babies.

After Cheesecake Factory we did some shopping around the mall.  Holy cow did I learn an important lesson -- never take Sadie shopping.  She literally cried every time we left a store without something she wanted.  Even if it was the pet store.  Somehow in her head, she thought I was going to buy her a dog. But that's kind of how her mind works -- whatever she wants should and will come to fruition.  That explains how I got suckered into getting her the exact same pair of sandals that broke not 2 weeks earlier.

After we were all shopped out we headed back to our house for manicures and pedicures and to eat our cheesecake.
I'm assuming it would have been amazing to sleep in the next day, but I got up at 5 to go running with my girlfriends.  When I got home the girls were still tucked in their bed, so I crawled back into mine and caught up on my DVR ilst. I could not believe how quiet the house was. Luckily for us, the boys were home soon and the chaos was restored.


Mother's Day

I keep thinking how sad I will be once the kids grow up and I no longer get to go hear Mother's Day songs and they buy me gifts instead of making them for me.

My first celebration was Luke's pre-school.
They hosted a brunch for us and sang some songs.  Luke sang so loud and so sweetly (unlike at his graduation).  Even better, he insisted on giving me a kiss after each one.

His shirt is wet because he played in the soaking wet water during the eating portion of the event.

His teacher gives us all the cutest gifts every year.  I love them.  The year Sadie got hers, she promptly ran home, threw the one Nate had given me on the floor and put hers on the plate stand.

 Then Sadie's kindergarten class had us in for Moms and Muffins.
 They had filled out the usual survey, but Sadie's was surprisingly accurate (except for the weight -- if only).  Nate actually filled one out for me in his class as well and I laughed when he answered, "My mom cooks. . ." with "cookies" too. 

Sunday was wonderful just having Dustin home and he even made me shrimp for lunch. Poor Ellie ended up being really sick so I came home with her right after Sacrament Meeting.

I felt badly for making her even get dressed for church once I realized she had such a bad fever.  Thanks kids for indulging me for the day!


A visit from Virginia

I am really lucky see my parents a few times a year. Usually they come out and watch the kids for a week while Dustin and I go on a trip.  Or we see them for large family get togethers like baptisms, holidays or family reunions in the summer. But this time they came out just because and I was really looking forward to a nice relaxing week of one on one time.  We were really careful about making sure we didn't have anything scheduled so our days would be nice and open.  So what did we do?
The question you should be asking yourself is -- what DIDN'T we do? We were so busy I didn't even take pictures.

Monday --
  • I made my mom come with me to my 5:30 weight class
  • Got volcano books at the library
  • Costco
  • My parents took Luke to Peter Piper Pizza while I did laundry and took a quick nap to recover from not sleeping at Women's Conference
  • While I was sleeping the school called because Sadie's shoe broke at recess. I did not check my cell phone when I woke up, but rushed to school to get butcher paper. Everyone at school asked me if I was there to bring Sadie a shoe and I had to admit I, yet again, was napping when the school called.  I'm pretty sure they must think I'm a lush.
  • Mani/Pedis for the girls
  • Shopping for Legos for Nate and my dad
  • Painting pottery and Cold Stone for dessert
Luke literally painted this for an hour.  Layer after layer after layer.  He did a pretty thorough job.

Tuesday --

  • My parents came along to help put up the Art Masterpiece displays at the District Boardroom 
  • Picked Ellie up from school and my parents took her out to lunch
  • Then my mom and I took her belated birthday shopping
  • Shoe shopping for Sadie (where she picked out these beauties among others)
  • Ellie got her cast off (SHOWER TIME!!)
  • Activity Days
  • Piano
  • Did we eat dinner??

Wednesday --
  • Zoo.  I finally bit the bullet and joined the zoo.  Luke loves that place.  We saw every single exhibit that day and spent an hour at the splash pad where Luke made a best friend, Leia. Luke and Leia. No joke. 
Luke is especially fond of the farm part of the zoo
  • Late lunch at Paradise Bakery
  • Birthday shopping for Luke (he got Woody AND Buzz)
  • Sadie got her ears pierced and didn't even cry!
  • We took my parents out to dinner at Cafe Boa
  • Mutual

Thursday --
  • My mom and I spent the day at the spa and ate this for lunch:
  • Shopping for dance/gymnastic wear at Sparkle Dazzle
  • Teacher Appreciation shopping at World Market
  • Sadie got to go out for Dairy Queen and took my parents to watch her gymnastics
  • Scouts
  • Dessert out for Nate.  Yes, all those desserts for one boy.

Friday --
  • My dad went on a field trip with Nate 
  • I went to Mother's Day Tea with Sadie
  • Then I "busted her out" of school and we all had Pita Jungle for lunch
  • Took my mom shopping at Designer Boulevard to spoil her for Mother's Day
  • Outlet shopping with Dustin
  • Kai for dinner for two
  • Overnight at the resort

Saturday --
  • Slept in (I literally slept ten hours straight)
  • Breakfast in bed -- my favorite (Dustin even ordered extra water for me)
  • Picked up Mother's Day goodies while my parents took the kids to see the Croods
  • Dustin got his haircut
  • We went swimming for a few hours
  • Dinner at Joe's Farm Grill
  • And then dessert at home

My parents left early Sunday morning.  It was a sad sad day, but we can't wait for the beach!!