Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Happy Boy

Owen literally skipped into school on Friday for "Meet the Teacher Night" while reminding Michael of the rules of his school (which may or may not include NO SKIPPING). I cannot do justice to his level of anticipation and excitement, but Michael and I went to bed marveling at how THRILLED Owen was to be back.

Here's the big kindergarten dude at his desk (after looking over the entire room with curious questions about the year to come).

He caught up with some of his pre-K friends in the halls, saw his Grammie welcoming students in the atrium, and came home with a school shirt. It's funny to watch how geeked out he got about it all. After a long summer, I had forgotten how much school lights up his rule-loving, structure-needing, and learning-driven heart. And it made me miss school for myself too. ;) Takes one to know one, right?

This afternoon he told me that we needed to buy him an alarm clock so that he doesn't sleep too long and miss a minute of school.

And this is his teacher, Mrs. Butley. It's nice to put a name and a face to our prayers for this year.

The Lord has been so generous to us in Owen's caregivers over the years. Our Fuller friend Karin helped nanny Owen on the days Michael had class his first year. Miss Gloria spoiled her "muneco" (Spanish for doll baby) at Altadena Christian Children's Center in Pasadena until he was 2. Miss Raquel was Owen's go-to lady at PreSchool Enrichment in NRH for year 3, and Miss Nazeli is still talked about when he remembers his Fresno days and First Steps Preschool.

Friday, he got to read for his Pre-K teacher Mrs. Garcia, and on the way home, he kept saying, "I saw Mrs. Garcia. Woot! Woot!" Mrs. Butley has no idea that Owen is about to become her biggest fan. Reflecting on these fine ladies and one fine dad, I'm reminded that no parent can do it alone, however one arranges one's work and home schedules, and this time of year reminds me of that even more.

May all my teacher friends value the precious ones with which they are entrusted. I have friends who teach at public schools, private schools, online schools, missionary schools, and home schools. We love you all and send blessings for a fantastic school year!

Rollerskating Like It's 1985

Owen's cousins came up to visit for a week. I'd like to say that I had them at our apartment for the whole time, but Aunt Natalie deferred to Grammie's judgment and met them down at her house everyday for some fun. We did have one sleepover though in preparation for next year.

One of our first outings was to the roller rink. After skating with the kids for over an hour, I saw a sign that said no parents on the rink. Come on, momma needs some exercise! AND, no one else was skating backwards, so how are these kids ever gonna learn?

Here is my 10 year old niece and me:
Isn't she gorgeous?

Here's the whole crew. I wish I could tell you what Owen's sign represents, but all I know is that I'm glad we're not in some of my old neighborhoods when he throws that thing.

Owen and I have a silly picture every summer, so here is the one that represents this year.

Owen and my nephew, who turned 7 this fall. I like how he squatted down to be on Owen's level. It was nice to see K-dog being the leader (good practice for a second born) and Owen being a follower (even better for a first born) some of the time. least Owen and June helped distract them from each other. No shame, it's just a long summer at home with your little bro or big sis...arguments are bound to happen. Thankfully, this was a temporary truce.

I think Keely is stretching her neck a little bit...she compares our shoe sizes every time we meet to see when she will pass me. I think I only have a few months left before I'm dwarfed by a tween.

Last observation, the limbo is not as easy as it once was...

Perfect Pairs

After several overnight trips with friends, I've decided I should move to a commune...or start my own. Seriously, communal living is the way to go. Kids playing with each other, one mom cooks lunch while the other entertains, one mom cleans the kitchen while the other cleans the kids, etc. Being a stay-at-home mom in the summer time is a tough gig, but other families joining in makes it so much fun. A suburban kibbutz...that's all I'm sayin'.

So, in making my short list of who will be on the commune, I'll start with my niece and nephew. Kaden & Owen are truly a knock-out! Sure, Owen gets taken advantage of as a naive younger cousin and Kaden is subjected to kid shows like Dinosaur Train, but most of the time, they kept each other laughing and both spent less time in time-out than normal. (wink, wink!)

Handsome dude!

Hmmm...trying to think of an appropriate adjective for the picture below. So many places to start...the eyes, cheeks, ears, hair, fingers, and mouth. Ok, the adjective is AWKWARD!! Could not one part of his body be normal here? Ha ha ha! Still, it's good for a chuckle. That's my kid!

The boys doing the dino-dig at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. To families going, there is no shade out at this part, so it is like digging for bones on the South Dakota badlands. Be forewarned.

Keely and June. Keely has my mother-in-law's nurturing and caretaking side. K is tenderhearted and empathetic to the hurting. It's often a discipline for me to be merciful, but Keely and her Grammie remind me how it's done. June loves being with the Keelster.
Speaking of Grammie, no one should pass up an opportunity to hula hoop in public, right?

Side note for my Camp Deer Run friends: Yes, I know my kid is a city slicker. I did not need this photo of him riding a virtual horse to prove it, and yet, here it is. The boys loved this area of the museum that shows Fort Worth's cattle connections. Taxidermy, barbed wire, gun cases, and cowboy hats...the boys were loving it!

Shame these cousins live 3 hours away, but we take 'em when we can get 'em.