The official start of summer may not be until the end of June, but in Ohio, MEMORIAL DAY is always the "unofficial" start to summer. Our church always does an amazingly fun picnic. This year was no different. What WAS different this year is that I played in the band! Last year at this picnic, a small community band came and played for us. I had been interested in picking up my trumpet again and they were interested in more players, so I joined them! This year, the band was asked to play again so it was a little weird but fun to play for my church family! Here is a very non-flattering pic of me Aaron took while playing. I was tempted not to post it, but oh well- it is what it is!
I am really not that good and have virtually no time to practice, but I enjoy it and am gradually improving. I figure it is better than not doing it at all! Here is a picture of most of the group that I swiped off of facebook- (You can't see me because I am off to the left- see the trumpet player in the red hat to the left? I am two more left of him)
The group is a lot of fun with people ranging in ages from their 20's to their 80's! Aaron and Meghan decided to dance together for part of one song. I captured this with my cell camera...
Of course, it isn't the beginning of summer without GRADUATION PARTIES!!! We were invited to a few, but due to scheduling, we only made it to two. The first was Aaron's cousin, Elise:
This is one of her senior pictures. Isn't she adorable? Her party was on Memorial day right after our church picnic. Her parents know how to throw some pretty amazing graduation parties (she is child 4 out of 4, so this was also their last!) At Elise's request, they even had Karaoke! I took this shot because it had several from Aaron's family in it. From left to right is Aaron's cousin-Evan, his uncle- Mike, don't know, Elise, don't know, don't know, Aaron's cousin David. Everyone had a blast. I chose to help them all enjoy by NOT getting up there to sing! Some people should never Karaoke- I am one of them! Ha!
Yesterday, was Jackie B's graduation party.
She, as well, is just adorable. Jackie was one of the young women in our church while I was a leader there. I was her leader from the time she was 12 to 16. She is an incredible young woman and I just love her! I am so happy for her with all she is doing.
Of course, what better kick off to summer is there than the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!!
Can I just say I could not possibly be prouder of my boys???!!!! They both did so well this year. Kenny was in 4th grade and Jacob in 2nd grade.
This is Jacob with his teacher, Mrs. J:
She was really great and worked hard to challenge Jacob- he is working far above grade level right now!!! I really appreciated him having a teacher who knew this and pushed him even farther ahead. He earned several awards during the last day of school ceremony: honor roll 4th quarter, honor roll ALL YEAR, effort roll 4th quarter, effort roll ALL YEAR, and perfect attendance 4th quarter. (they are graded on "effort" as well for each subject and when they score perfectly in effort, they get the "effort" roll).
He also won a special award called the "G.O.O.D Student" (Go On Or Defeated) award.
There was once a teacher (who taught at my high school!) who had a stroke and was left blind. Instead of giving up, he kept going. He now gives motivational speeches to schools about staying in school and keeping on even when tough. He gave each 2nd grade teachers 2 shirts to award to students in their class who fit the 4 criteria (good attendance, good listening skills, good work habits, good citizenship). Jacob won for his class!! Not that I was surprised- he always works hard. He is perfectly behaved at school (wish he would do that at home...). At school, they have a chart where each student starts the day on "green" (for good behavior) but as they misbehave, their color is changed. Jacob's color was not changed once all year!!! In Kindergarten, it was also never changed and in first grade only a few times (mostly for forgetting to bring homework home- not really for behavior). He is an amazing kid and will do amazing things in 3rd grade!!!
Kenny also did great! Here he is with his teacher, Ms. W:
He got effort roll for 4th quarter and effort roll ALL YEAR! He didn't make honor roll, but he worked very very hard for every grade he got- his grades were so very close to honor roll and he is reading above grade level. We are so proud of him. He always gives it his all and is also perfectly behaved at school. 5th grade next year will bring so many exciting opportunities for him!!! He will get to be in the band for the first time (at first he said he wanted to play trombone and now he is saying drums...). He is also interested in Karate, so we will look into that. I think it may be good for him. He is an amazing older brother and his level of compassion amazes me! He will be 10 in just a couple weeks and I can't believe I have been a mom for a decade! I can't wait to see the amazing things I know he will do as he grows.
And, one more thing- what would summer be without FRIENDS to visit with!! My best friend, Jackie, from- well- all my life (we met when we were 6) comes to town to visit her family/ friends usually in June and she got here this week. I don't get to see her or talk to her enough so I always count down the days to when we can see each other. As an added bonus, our friend Lynette was also in town this weekend!! In high school, it was always the 3 of us together. We got to hang out together again!! The last time we were all together was 4 years ago when Jackie got married. Before that, I think it was college the last time the 3 of us were together.
I think I have posted this picture before, but it was the quickest one I could find (I have a ton but don't have a scanner so if I wanted to use a scanned picture, it takes advanced planning!)
This was after a high school marching band competition in 2004. It is me, Jackie and Lynette. Unintentionally, our pictures are almost always in this order. Here was us last night before we went out:Again, it is me, Jackie, Lynette!
Jackie now lives in Nebraska and Lynette in Alabama, so it was pretty neat that they were in Ohio at the same time. We enjoyed a yummy dinner and lots of talk talk talk!!! Later in the evening, Lynette had to go home (she had her 4 month old baby with her- soooo cute- and had an early morning flight) so Jackie and I went out for ice cream at Cold Stone. There were some crazy storms all around! While out driving, we actually saw a huge bolt of lightning come all the way down and hit something less than 50 yards in front of our car! It was so loud and bright and sparks flew everywhere. Then, everything around us went black! It was so scary- I had never actually seen lightning as it hit something before!
Of course, there is so much more to do this summer!!! Within the next few weeks alone, there will be cub scout day camp for the boys, Kenny's birthday, summer reading programs, zoo trips, sprayground trips, outdoor play and much, much, more!!! Yay for Summer!!!!!