Always Crazy, Always Fun, Always Love

Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Last Days.....

Do you like the ominous sounding title?!  Ha!  No worries- this post is not ominous at all.

The last couple weeks of school can be quite busy with all of the end of the year flurry of activities.  It sometimes has this air of "What can we cram in one last time before the year ends?"  It can get a little hectic, but I have also decided that there is no other time of year that my motherly pride shines more than this.  It is a great time to be reminded just how wonderful your kids are as you are there to support them in their various activities.  Here is the last few days....


Jacob:  The day started with a "poetry breakfast" at school.  This was to finalize the poetry unit the 3rd graders have been doing.  My wonderful friend Amy watched my girls so I could enjoy the time with Jacob.  It was an opportunity to eat some muffins, drink some juice and enjoy his work.  He got to share his poems with everyone at the table and we got to listen to the other kids as well.  I always love to read what my kids write- especially poetry- it seems to say a lot about what is going on in their heads.  I don't have any to share right now because the teachers had to keep the books to be graded, but I will share when he brings it home.  He did a wonderful job at coming up with creative ideas.  His favorite that he wrote was about a man named "Tam" who enjoyed eating "ham" (it was his limerick.)  It was also fun listening to the other kids at the table and neat to learn about them.  For example, I learned that one girl has a critically ill uncle who she is clearly worried about because he appeared twice in her poems.  My heart ached for her and her mom who was there with her.  I learned the favorite food of a boy at the table was "greasy pizza" since it also appeared more than once in his poems!  Anyway- as I said, I will share some of Jacob's poems next week when he brings the graded project home.

Kenny:  Thursday evening was his first band concert!  There was a concert in the fall, but due to a time mix up, we totally missed it.  He plays trombone and did a great job!  I didn't have my camera because Aaron had taken it on his business trip so I took a couple pictures with my phone, but only one turned out even useable at all.  He saw me trying to get a picture and kept making faces!

 That is him all the way on the right in the front.


Kenny: This was a day I was worried about for a week and a half!  They had announced at school there would be a talent show for grades 5-8 and Kenny thought it would be fun to do a magic show- he came home and told me he had signed up at school they had approved him.  I was immediately nervous.  I know the "tricks" he wanted to use and that they would be pretty easy to see through.  Not to mention he has had some bullying trouble in the last couple years ranging from mild to severe so I feared how the kids would treat him.  I also had plans Friday night but ultimately decided to cancel those plans and let him participate and be there for him.  I didn't want to dampen his excited spirit- especially when it was something he WANTED to do. I have been having a hard time finding things he wants to do.  But, all week I worried about how it would go.  I helped him practice his tricks over and over and was just honestly not sure how it would go.  But, I also told myself- how much would they REALLY expect of a 5th grader anyway?!  I prayed that all would go well.

There was a mandatory practice Wednesday after school and I was hesitant to let him stay for the practice- again because I just didn't trust the other kids.  Before he got out of the van for school in the morning, I made sure he knew my cell number from memory and told him to be sure to call me and for any reason I would come get him if needed.  I never heard from him and was so nervous hoping all went well.  When I went to pick him up, I walked in the school and there was a group of girls standing there- one girl I recognized from his class.  As soon as I walked in, she recognized me and said, "Hey, Kenny did a really good job!" and then another girl I didn't recognize piped up and said the same thing. I thanked them for saying so but I really wanted to hug them and tell them they had no idea how much they had just made my day and eased my fears.  I did tell Kenny's teacher in case he wanted to pass the compliment onto the girls parents, that their daughter gave such a good compliment on her own- which he said he would. (many of the 5th graders have been behaving pretty rotten so this gave the teacher an opportunity to share something GOOD).   We continued to practice his show to get ready for Friday.

SO- we go for the "big show" Friday night.  There was a lot of kids doing a talent at all different levels, so it did continue to put my mind at ease.  And the audience- parents and children- were very supportive to all acts, which was so wonderful to see.  The only down side was the show went waaaaay long.  It was supposed to go from 6-8. We reached the intermission at 8pm.  I was worried about Kenny since he had been waiting so long and so just as the intermission was ending, I went to check on him. I was glad I did!  He was crying.  A teacher was there and said that the kids were all getting stressed because it was taking so long and Kenny (and others) were getting a little crazy so she just told him to sit and calm down.  Being he was so stressed he thought he was in trouble (which she said he wasn't really) and he melted down.  I talked to him a while and he calmed down and perked up. It was almost time for his show so I went back out to watch.  Kenny didn't even take the stage until 8:40!  The show didn't end until 9:35!

Kenny did an absolutely outstanding performance!!!  He was so fun!  He came out smiling- no indication of the meltdown he had had just 20 min. before.  He showed no fear (he said later he thought he would be nervous but he wasn't) and he ENTERTAINED the crowd! He was a natural!  His magic was at the level of a 5th grader at best, but he was genuinely FUNNY!  The crowd (which was about 1/3 of the original size since it went so long, many had left) laughed and clapped and really enjoyed him.  He made eye contact, connected with them, joked as he went and just had fun.  My pride in him was BURSTING!  I was so proud and so THANKFUL that I didn't let MY fears stop him.  Here are some pics:

Kenny the magician....

Here, he even called up an assistant from the crowd to make a quarter appear magically from his ear:

Here he shows his hat as he made a matchbox truck magically disappear into it-
He also put a bead into a cup and made it "disappear" but on his first attempt, he dumped the cup upside down to show the bead had disappeared and, well..... the bead didn't behave and came falling through the cup onto the floor.  Instead of getting flustered or embarrassed, he just rolled with it and laughed and said, "Well THAT wasn't supposed to happen! Let's try that again!" And he did- just kept right on going!
Afterward, when he came and sat down with us, this boy a couple years younger then him came up and asked for his autograph.  His mother told his later that as soon as Kenny was done, the boys was so excited and said, "I HAVE to get his autograph!"  Kenny was so thrilled to give it!  

They only gave a 1st prize in each category and he didn't win, but he had so much fun and I really think this boosted his confidence in a big way which was more than I could ask!  It also showed me he has a talent for entertaining. 


Kenny and Jacob:  I have felt like I have failed as a parent in the swimming department.  Here they are 11 and 9 and had only had swim lessons once before. They were just so expensive that I just kept putting it off.  But, thanks to some friends I discovered a way to get them cheaper and signed them up for a recent session over the last 5 weeks. This morning was their last swim lesson.  They did great and got certificates.  I watched during their lessons and have seen a huge improvement over the last 5 weeks!  They both have their strengths and weaknesses.  Kenny does a strong swim stroke and swims pretty far pretty fast.  But, he fears the diving board and never once got brave enough to try.  Jacob's swim stroke and kick isn't quite as strong yet, but he would go off the diving board over and over any time the teacher gave them a chance! 

We are going on a beach vacation in August, so I really wanted to be sure they got some lessons.  If I can squeeze in another session before that, we will do!

Jacob:  This afternoon, he had another piano recital!  His teacher gives her students lots of chances to publicly perform.  Thankfully, Jacob has no fear of playing in front of others!  Here he is with his teacher, Christine, and then playing:

The recital was held and a cute little ice cream cafe so OF COURSE we HAD to get ice cream after, right?! I mean, he did such a great job and deserved a treat and the cafe was so kind to let them have the recital there that they deserved the business.  Not to mention the bright blue mid-80's day...... ya- ice cream was a must!

So, as a humorous close to this post.... I felt I must document the occasion and take a picture of the kids together eating their ice cream.  Well, I tried 3 times and could NOT get them all looking at me AND smiling.  That was too much to ask.  But some of the expressions are hilarious so I just had to post all 3.

So, I know this has been at least 3 posts in one and if any readers are still hanging on, I am impressed.  But, sometimes I prefer to just "get it all out" in one post while it is all fresh in my mind instead of trying to remember to post it all through out several days.  My main purpose here it to document history anyway.

More house updates coming soon..... we have hit a snag (FHA appraisal came in low) where things could go really good or really bad from here.  We are praying for good.... I am waiting to see what happens and will post everything when I have more to tell.  Hopefully by tomorrow or early next week, we will know!!!

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