Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Big graduated from kindergarten last week. He aced his testing and is ready to move to the big time. Boy, is he ready. The kindergarten classes performed a short program of a dance and songs outside of the school and then each kid took turns completing the phrase, "Before I came to Kindergarten I couldn't do _____, but now I can." Big filled in the blank with "math". He totally could do math before he went, but whatever. Ha!

Here are some of the photos I took while I watched. Of course, I was standing on the wrong side to get a good angle of his face, but that's what always seems to happen when you don't know where your kid is going to be standing.

I love how he reacted when he caught sight of us.

Okay, here we go cowboys and cowgirls...

I was proud of how patiently Big waited in line to say his little sentence about what he learned in kindergarten. A lot of the kids seemed a little confused by the system. And I love his stance as he delivers it. So him.

Waiting for the other kids to finish so they could sing to us..

See the little kid standing next to Big as they sing (to our right)? I don't know how he managed it, but somehow on the height chart they brought home on the last day, he is marked as taller than Big and as, like, the 3rd tallest in class. Cracked me up.

Happy graduation, Big! We love you!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Food Desperation

Lately, I have been having a hard time getting Big and Edith to sit and eat a good lunch. With the blood sugar issues my kids have, it just doesn't fly. Not getting enough of the right kind of foods in them always leads to trouble later. Out of desperation, I have been occasionally resorting to some food fun. I looked back and was surprised to see that it has been almost exactly 5 years since I gave it a go the last time. I don't know why I stopped, because it's amazing how fast the food disappears when I do it. 

Here are a few photos of what has come from my food desperation:

(Yes, I realize the dinosaur looks like he's floating. He was jumping up to reach the leaf. For real.)

Okay, I'll admit it. Even though I made the meals out of desperation, it was really pretty fun. And all I know is that it works. Having well-fed kids is so nice that I might even keep it up for a while. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Mother's Day

I don't even know how to approach writing about how Mother's Day was for me this year, so I will just talk about my wonderful family and the things they did to make it great. Rophone was fabulous, as usual, and treated me like the 'Queen' that I am. I was so excited (yes, for real) about the white board he bought me so I can create a (much overdue) chore chart for the kids. I'll post about it when I'm done.

The younger three kids all made me cute little cards/gifts. I knew I was getting something from the boys, but was surprised and so happy that the nursery leaders at church helped Edith make something. I love her tired face in the photo. I adore all of the things they made for me, and the loves and hugs that came with them.

We had a lovely dinner over at my Mother's house. It's always nice to eat a good meal without having to do any of the work. My sister, Art, took a picture of the 'kids' table'.

I managed to get all of the kids to fill out a little questionnaire about me for Mother's Day. Surprisingly, the older girls were super willing. The only one that didn't seem to want to do it was Big, but once I realized he just didn't want to do all of the writing entailed he happily dictated his answers to me. 

Edith was pretty funny when she did this. At times she answered me seriously, with some of them she tried to be funny (once she discovered that funny, non-sensical answers made her siblings laugh), and with others she clearly wasn't sure what I was asking. 

I definitely love that Big is a hard worker. And, he's right, the bran muffins rock.

I love that Bud thinks I'm so good at sewing. I guess fixing holes in stuffed animals must make me an expert.

I'll totally forgive Ginger for getting my age wrong because of her sincere guess that I weigh 105 pounds (Seriously, it's what she really thought).

Pen isn't really my creation, but I'm doing my best to help her become a masterpiece. At least she thinks I can be funny. 

I love seeing how my kids see me, although they probably try to make sure they answer in a way that won't hurt my feelings. Whatever. I'll take it. It's just an exercise in being tactful, right? Thanks, Rophone and kids, for making me feel special for Mother's Day! I love you!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Last Dance

Well, the last dance of the school year, anyway. Last Saturday was Pen's final dance concert of the year. In addition to the competition dances that we've seen before, there were some dances choreographed by some of the team members (one of the dances chosen was choreographed by Pen and one of her friends), some solos by the Seniors. It's always fun to watch Pen do something she loves. 

We sat a little further back this concert, so the stage lighting didn't help clarify my no-flash photos as much as I would have liked. But, I still managed to get a few shots of what went on. 

This next shot is Pen and her friend at the beginning of the dance they choreographed. It was lovely.

And then there's this one. I kinda want one of the hats.

It was great to see Pen dance. Way to go, Pen!

Monday, May 13, 2013

The 'Big' Six

Big turned six last Friday. He knows his birthday comes only 9 days after Bud's, but boy did it seem like a looong nine days. We were all excited when the "Big" day arrived. 

It was pretty disappointing to Big that he wouldn't be having a friend birthday party this year, but then he found out that the elementary school would be holding their huge extravaganza on his birthday. It was like Big had the best party ever, without all the planning (or cleanup!). Perfect. 

Pen had a dance rehearsal and Ginger ran off to find her friends, so Rophone and I wrangled the 3 youngest. Big was really hoping that they would have the giant shark blow-up slide like they have for the past few years. When he saw it he was super excited. It's huge (I wish I would have taken a picture of the whole thing)-- the kids climb up the ramp to the side of the shark, enter through the tail and slide down the steep and fast slides, exiting through the mouth. My sister, Opera, mentioned that it kinda sounds like a shark colonoscopy. Kinda.

Anyway, Big absolutely loves it. I think he used about half of his punches doing it over and over. I love his pose in this shot. It cracks me up.

Big's other favorite thing to do is the giant blow-up obstacle course. I just love that it wears the kids out. 

The other kids and Rophone really enjoyed "Big's Party", too. 

After spending a bit of time (long enough) at the Extravaganza, we headed home for presents, pizza, and cake and ice cream. My mom and sister, Opera, met us there. Big got some really great stuff and has played with and read his presents pretty much non-stop since he got them.

I know that was a bunch of pictures, but I'm about to add on a ton more. Big's candle-blowing efforts really cracked me up this year. And alarmed me. He got awfully close. And it didn't even work! Well, not right away, but eventually.

Success! Happy Birthday, Big! We love you.

Oh, and I just have to add on this picture of Big wearing his birthday swag the next day. Stud.