Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hilton Head 2012

We just returned from our 5th annual Hilton Head beach week, a trip that has become a wonderful tradition for us. We picked up Molly from her dance recital Saturday afternoon and headed for the beach

Thankfully the initial weather forecast of rain every day didn't hold up, and we enjoyed some mild weather and lots of sun toward the end of the week. We spent a substantial amount of money playing putt-putt golf and arcade games! This golf course had nets stationed along the course to use to fish your ball out of the water, which the kids used a lot.

Josh, Abbey, Molly
Molly takes a new approach to swimming every year, and this year she became some kind of ocean maniac. After her first swim at the beach, which appeared to be enough to get her acclimated to the waves, she wanted to swim on her own (with a life vest). I had to pull her kicking and screaming out of some rough surf on the last day because she didn't want to leave. 
Rare photo with everyone looking at the camera
Thankfully this year we did not have any issues with bikes running into cars or cars running into trees. I provided all of the calamity, falling over twice on my road bike, once on the edge of a busy intersection. I have a giant bruise on my backside to show for it. I'm sure I gave all of the drivers stopped at the light something to laugh about on their way to work that morning.
Emily, 16 months, and Mom
Molly, Elizabeth, Abbey
Molly is very serious about posing with Emily,
while Josh looks like someone just popped him on the rear end!
Celebrating summer family birthdays on our last night

Cub Reporters

I used to try and get babysitters or pawn the kids off on a friend when I had to work, but lately I've just decided to take the kids with me. People don't seem to mind the kids around, so in the spirit of trying new things, they are now my official assistants. It actually helps to have extra hands to hold notebooks, pens and my camera.

The kids and I have had some very interesting experiences in the past month! There are two trips I unfortunately don't have pictures of, the most notable a pet healthcare event in a questionable neighborhood where people were lined up around a parking lot with their dogs, primarily pit bulls. Josh and I almost got in the middle of a fight between two dogs that got off their leashes, and he got to see a bit of the perilous side of reporting!

This week we've already made a visit to an artist's studio, where Josh (and I) got to learn about encaustic painting, and have taken a tour a library. In the picture above, we were stationed on the course of a 5K for elementary school boys that ended in a baseball stadium. I was a bit horrified when Molly decided to use the dugout's bathroom, but the kids seemed to enjoy the afternoon. Josh even decided he'd like to try running a 5K himself after seeing some kids from his school in the race.

The best part about our library visit today was that after our tour, Josh agreed to sign up for the library's summer reading program and learned how to use the electronic check-out system himself.

Next week, the whole family is going with me to cover a bluegrass church. Hopefully it will be the first of many adventures on the job this summer!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

End of the school year

The school year came to a quick end this year! Molly finished preschool in late May, and what I thought would be a bittersweet ending to preschool for our family was not bittersweet at all! We're excited about her going to kindergarten next year, and I am very happy that my days will no longer be fragmented into dropping off and picking up kids every few hours. Molly had a great year at her new preschool, and now we are heading into a loooong summer.
Her preschool ended with a program for parents, and here Molly is giving me the "stop taking my picture, Mom" as she walks to the front of the church. The kids sang a few songs, and then all of the families had a picnic outside the church.

Josh finished second grade two weeks later, and we made sure to check that the "promoted to third grade" box was checked on his report card he brought home on the last day of school! Second grade is a bit of a wasteland as his school -- all second grade classroom are in trailers outside the main school building, so we're looking forward to Josh and his peers rejoining the rest of the school next year. He made a lot of progress in second grade, most notably learning to be a good sport in kickball and writing in cursive. 

Next up was Molly's dance recital, which brought an end to an excruciating year of dance lessons. Molly decided around Christmas that she no longer wanted to take dance, but because the dance school cleverly charges you $120 for the recital costume and "fee" in early December, we were committed to finishing out the year. I have employed many forms of bribery to get her to go to class without crying, and I will be relieved not to have to endure dance class drama every week anymore! 

Molly is fifth from the left in the line of girls below. She did fine in the recital -- I'm not sure what bothers her so much about dancing, but she's definitely made her opinions clear.

Josh and I attended the dress rehearsal and Chris attended the recital. I was thrilled to run into an old college friend as Josh and I were waiting to pick Chris and Molly up after the recital, then a bit mortified when Josh told immediately told my friend (who I haven't seen in at least 10 years) that he "came out of my mom's belly in September 2003." A simple "hi" would have sufficed!