Wednesday, August 23, 2017

First Day of School

The exciting thing this year was that THIS little one got to have her very first First Day Of School!  And she LOVED it.  She was looking forward to it for days!

Actually everyone must have been looking forward to the first day because we were ALL up a good hour before normal.

It didn't take long, though, for the whining and bad attitudes to take over.  By 9:30 am we were ALL praying and repenting together of our not-so-good morning behavior.

Miles with his bad attitude, Colsen with his wet and spotted shirt, Rayna being a good sport, and Jinna completely thrilled

We couldn't seem to find many of our Poplar Streams shirts, so only Jinna Rai and I were wearing them, but we did manage to do the rest of our regular traditions:  the night-before Treasure Hunt, apple pie for breakfast, and starting the day with the pledge to the flag.

Jinna was not a fan of the apple pie idea,
 so she stuck with eggs and rice cake
She did LOVE the Treasure Hunt the night before, though!

We gathered by the actual Poplar trees near our "stream"

By 10:00 am, Colsen was already complaining of a finger cramp, one backpack was discovered to be broken, and once pencil case missing.

Pretty sure it will be an interesting year!  (And I'm looking forward to it!)

UPDATE:  Strider's first day of his senior year!

Solar Eclipse

For the last several weeks I have had several boys telling me over and over that we HAD to do something huge for August 21, because the planned solar eclipse was going to be a ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENT.

We thought about driving to South Carolina to be in the path of "totality," but I made the game-day decision (to many cat-calls and boos) that we would stay closer to home.  The threat of traffic jams coming home, and the fact that I was already tired and was planning to start school the next day, tipped the scales to the conservative (read: boring) side.  We heard of a 90-mile traffic jam on I-77 afterwards, so I think I made the right call!

BUT, since it was a very exciting event, we decided to make a party out of it and traveled to Wingate (where there was NO traffic) to join in with a bunch of the students at their viewing party.  The astronomy professor had telescopes out, so that was pretty cool.

 Other cool things:
Seeing all the campus lights come on in the middle of the day,
and hearing all the insects start their evening songs
Seeing the shadows under the trees

...And being with all kinds of excited people!

So we didn't see it get 100% dark -- only 98% of the sun got covered here, but I think it was a memorable experience anyway.

End of Summer Party/Cousins Day 3

Saturday was a BIIIIGGG day here!

The Cousins all arrived after lunch for our final Cousins Day of the summer, and then the parents (and grandparents) arrived in time for dinner.  In the in-between time, the Cousins were VERY busy!

First we had to start with some games and songs and stuff...

But then we got right to work, preparing food, props, and the skits that were to be the entertainment for the night.

Picking herbs to eat
The parents arrived and the party got into full swing.

Lillian wanted to know why she wasn't invited to Cousins Day

Then the Entertainment got underway.... Some songs (led by Ellie and then Miles),

...and 2 short skits, "Three Wishes" and "The Ugly Duckling" (which had an unexpected and rather unfortunate ending).

 Dessert was next, along with a campfire.  Jinna Rai got to try her first roasted marshmallow...

... She was not a fan.

Finally we played a loud game of Capture the Flag In The Dark, parents vs. kids.  I'm sad to report that the kids bested us 2 out of 3 rounds.  In our defense, there were THRONGS of them!

It was definitely a highlight of our whole year!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Growing up

Today was our annual Watch-As-Much-TV-As-You-Want-Because-School-Is-About-To-Start-Day* but Strider chose to work a 12-hour shift at Chick Fil-A, starting at 5 am, instead.  When I asked him why he wasn’t going to participate in the Big TV day, which used to be his favorite day of the year, he answered, “There’s more to life than TV, Mom.”

A very good corner has been turned.

Meanwhile, Jinna Rai kept walking around asking me why I wasn’t telling them to turn off the TV.  I tried to explain the concept to her, and how they wouldn’t be watching much TV once school started, but she continued to look perplexed.  J

* AKA “Mom’s Great Big School Planning Day”

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cousins Day, Round 2

The Wray cousins, minus the 2 in California, the 2 teenagers who have jobs, and the 1 little baby, all came over for another fun Cousins Day this week.

"Who's excited for Cousins Day??"

We sang some songs, learned a new hand-clapping song, played Freeze Dance, which turned a little wild...

Then we did some cooking, some crafting (making marshmallow popper/shooter things, and some rehearsing of a couple skits.  After lunch we headed outside for some relay races and water games, including, "Duck, Duck, Splash."

Love these kids!!

Rayna turns 15

Our oldest girl is getting very old indeed!  She had a great birthday, celebrating with a lot of her cousins.

 She continues to be the most enthusiastic gift-receiver I have ever known, and thoroughly enjoyed every single moment of the day.  She kept telling me how great her birthday was.

It has been fun watching her grow into a young woman.  She recently was part of a tea party at Nonna and Poppa's house, and she came home intent on re-creating the whole event here at our house.  She made list after list, planned out all the food, went shopping, and then made everything.  Then she wanted to invite some people over for it, so we invited our new friends, the Pillers.  (Liam, age 12, said it was his first tea party -- and he was the perfect gentleman!)

Our lovely hostess!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Boy talk

The males in our house keep things colorful, that's for sure.  In the past 24 hours, I've heard a range of things come out of their mouths....

From the dramatic...

Colsen: This is how my legs felt:
You dip your leg in liquid nitrogen, and then pull it out, and then dip it molten lava, then pull it out.
It feels like a noodle that is numb and is about to fall off.

... to the gross?...

Miles: It smells really bad in the bathroom right now because (and between the beginning of this sentence and the end of it my mind had already concocted a dozen different scenarios for why this was so)… someone knocked over a bottle of soap and it’s leaking all over the counter.  (Not what I was expecting.)

... to the the rather confident:

Pete to me:  Thanks for praying for the talks I had to give today.  They turned out well --  I was really inspiring!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

In the car

You know what makes for reaaaaaallllly fun and relaxing car rides?  When your 8-year-olds play a continuous game of who saw the stop sign first, and they keep yelling out, “S-T-O-P, Stop! I saw it first! No, I did! Yes, I did!” over and over and over and over…

It also has the side benefit of showing you just how many stop signs there are in this world.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Colorado Days

Our final days in Colorado were spent fishing and tourist-ing.

Colsen had a great couple days fly fishing in the Poudre Canyon area.  Much like his rod "flexes," though, his moods flexed considerably from hour to hour.  Sometimes he was overjoyed, sometimes he was frustrated beyond measure.  I kept telling him that most people like fishing because it's relaxing, but this boy's intensity leaves no room for that mentality!

Meanwhile, his siblings just had fun wading and whatnot.

Poor Miles.  He's lost his rock and can't find it ANYWHERE
Then we went into town and browsed for awhile... Do you think anyone could tell we were tourists??

Farewell, Colorado!  Thanks for the memories!