Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Beach Day with LOTS of cousins

My sister Emily and her family came to visit a few weeks ago. They came here after three awesome days of amusement parks (Disneyland, California Adventures and Magic Mountain), and we got to hang out with them for a few days. 

Of course they couldn't come to California without a beach day. We were happy to tag along.

I was editing these pictures, and my kids said, "You and Emily look so much alike!" They always tell me how much we sound alike too.

They stayed busy digging a big hole and moat. By the time we left, the tide was actually high enough to fill the moat.

Sabrina just turned 8. She was baptized and got her ears pierced! 

It's always a little tricky to get beach pictures in full sun. It's either washed out or too shady. It worked out best to have the light slightly behind him so his face was gently shaded. Then I had to lighten just his face a bit so you can still see the water behind him.

I managed to get pictures of their whole famiy except Andrew. 

The older kids left early to go to a youth luau dance in Solvang. That night the little kids had a fun party at our house with ice cream sundays and movies, while the adults went out to dinner and watched a movie at Kristen's house. What a fun day!!

The next day we all got together after church for dinner. Of course Kate got passed around quite a bit. It was so hard to say good-bye to everyone. Then Emily and Troy drove straight through the night to get back to Utah by Monday. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Park

One day we went down to hockey, and Santa Rosa Park there was gone. Seriuosly, it was there one week and completely gone the next. This was a bit of a disappointment, because the younger kids liked to play there while Spencer played hockey. All the play structures were replaced by a huge construction site with lots of dirt. 

Then a week or two later, a new park sprung up. When I first saw it, I thought it looked smaller and not much better than the first. By my kids thought it was awesome, so that's cool.

They especially liked this twisty sideways ladder.

In addition to playing at the park, the kids also liked to roller blade around the outside of the rink, play frisby in the field, and climb trees. Here's Dave doing his brother Kevin's hat trick. Usually Dave or I just took Spencer down for practices and games, but we had a lot of fun when we all went down together.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

End of the year craziness

The last 2-3 weeks of school are definitely the busiest around here. We are finishing up projects and attending awards assemblies, concerts, open houses and field trips. There is something going on almost every night, and sometimes we have to rush from one event to another. These two pictures were taken at the Elementary School Open House. Brennan was very sad he had to miss it (he was home with a fever, which ended up being Strep throat), so we did Facetime with him instead! We walked around his class, talked to his teacher, Mrs. Donavan, looked at all his artwork, and read everything on his desk with him via iphone/ipad. Dallin had an awesome teacher this year too - Mrs. Scheiffele was new this year, and we loved her!

The next day Dallin's team won 1st place in the district Battle of the Books competition! He got a medal and a book. He was one of the school finalists the week before, and he and his cousin Peter got out of school the whole day to compete at the city library with kids from all the schools. They even got pizza for lunch. It was a really fun day for him.

The following week was the middle school open house. I like how they do the band concerts on the same night - kill two birds with one stone. They both did a great job (Tyler on the sax and Spencer on the oboe).

We managed to visit all the classrooms between and after the concerts. 

Spencer got to do a few really fun things this year. He went to Disneyland with members of the 8th grade band. They played several songs in the Disney recording studio and then watched the corresponding Disney movie scenes with their own recordings. Then they had the rest of the day to hang out at Disneyland. It was a really long day - they had to be at the school at 4:30 A.M., they stayed at the park 'till it closed at midnight, and he got back to the school around 5:30 the next morning. He had a blast!

Then on the 2nd to last day of school all the eighth graders from his school went to the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz. It's an amusement park right on the beach, and he loved it!

He said it wasn't very crowded, and it was just so fun to run into friends all day long. 

Luckily Brennan was feeling better by this point. All the first graders had a walking field trip to the dragon park. They walked right past our house, and we had fun waving to everyone. We heard them all say, "There's Brennan's house!" 

Then we met him over at the park and hung out a little bit.

 Check out that rock-climbing skill!

Now on to Levi's preschool graduation. He went to Bearkittens at the high school again this year, where most of his "teachers" were high school students. My kids often get attached to one teacher more than the rest. The one Levi talked about the most was teacher Rose - she is on the left. The one on the right is Mrs. Brenda. She's in charge of the whole program, and she's awesome.

Luke acted really silly when he walked across the stage. He later told his mom he was nervous, so he thought of what his older brothers would do if it were them.  

These two sure had fun at preschool together. Now Luke is going on to Kindergarten and Levi is doing Transitional Kindergarten, since he has a fall birthday. 

 Such cute smiles! Love the cap and gown.

Then there are all the awards assemblies. Dallin got a reading award, and Tyler got Language Arts. I didn't go to Tyler's because I didn't know he was getting an award, but my friend took this picture for me.

It's funny, because there are LOTS of parents at the 1st grade awards assemblies. Just a few parents go to the later grades.  Brennan got reading and science awards. 

Finally, we made it to the last day of school. There was a big 8th grade promotion in the morning. Spencer got the science award. He's gotten that one almost every year since 1st or 2nd grade.

After the awards, they handed out certificates to all the 8th graders - there were a lot of them, and the whole thing lasted about 1 1/2 hours. I was SO glad I left Levi and Chloe at Kristen's house!  

Looking dapper there, Spencer! It's always a strange feeling to leave a school after being there for a few years. Now on to high school!!

Spencer got to go home right after the promotion, so he stayed here with Levi and Chloe while I ran up to the elementary school as they were getting out and said goodbye to these amazing teachers. They were both so good for my kids and really helped them with their individual learning styles. We will miss them!

Two of Dallin's good friends walked home with him and played at our house every Friday. This is Nick. Next year they'll be in 5th grade!

The following weekend was Spencer's piano recital. His Danish piano teacher, Torsten Juul-Borre, told him afterwards that it brought tears to his eyes - what a huge compliment! 

It was cool, because one day Dave was listening to Pandora and heard a piano song he really liked. He showed it to Spencer, who immediately downloaded it and started to learn it. We love listening to him play!

We made it to summer, yay!!