Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2nd Day of Kindergarten

Since I forgot to take a photo in our traditional spot:

And now I'm caught up through August! Yay! Only September 25th...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ellie Turns Eight

The first thing Ainsley excitedly told her teacher when she met her was, "My first day of school is my sister's birthday!" After dropping Ainsley off at kindergarten, I headed out to buy Ellie's requested treat for her class—cupcakes. In case you're wondering, no, Costco does not sell cupcakes. Well, they have some gourmet cupcakes that are over a dollar each, but I couldn't see that for a class of 3rd graders. I finally found some mini cupcakes, and opted to buy popsicles too, and made it to the school to serve them just before the end of the day.

Ellie didn't get a special breakfast, since it would have been to hard to fix and serve before Robbie left, so she picked crepes for her birthday dinner.

Ralph and Judy came by at just the right time to join us, even more fun.

Ellie asked for, and got, a lot of new clothes. And a fashion design coloring book.

And...a pink iPod shuffle, loaded with a playlist of her favorites

She's growing up way too fast.

I couldn't see eating birthday cake after crepes, so we stuck a candle in a leftover cupcake for our special Marsh-family-tradition version of happy birthday. If you're not familiar with this tradition, be grateful. It's pretty much a contest to see who can be most off-key and off-tune.

At eight, Ellie:
  • loves music, cute clothes, shoes & accessories, just like a teenager
  • luckily still plays with Barbies, dolls and dress-ups
  • goes to ballet twice a week
  • turned down an invitation to play on a soccer team
  • has beautiful handwriting
  • won't eat five fruits and veggies at all, let alone every day—she'll eat bananas, raw carrots, potatoes and (sometimes) watermelon
  • is usually the peacemaker in sibling squabbles
  • wants to get her ears pierced
  • still loves playing the piano, and practices without complaining
  • does her homework quickly and well
  • thinks of ways to serve others
  • tells me that she misses Jesus
  • makes us very, very happy
Ellie, we love you!

Back to School, Finally!

Ainsley's first day:

She was so excited, and I did just fine too. It's next year, when she's gone all day, that I might just break down.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Man it's a hot one...

Like seven inches from the midday sun...

In spite of that, Melissa and I had planned a visit to Tracy Aviary on Friday, since we couldn't fit it in before school started, and we needed to go before our groupons expired. When the temperature reached near a hundred degrees we reconsidered, but some of the kids had their hearts set on it, so we went. Joey opted out, arguing that it was way too hot, and he was right.

It was okay, I guess, although too hot, and birds are really not my thing. I don't think we ever need to go back.

The kids wore their swimsuits so we could go to the fountains at Liberty Park afterward, but we were all so hot we ended up going to the club to swim instead. It is the only time this entire year we made it over for open plunge, and they all took advantage of the chance to go off the diving boards.

I never loved the high-dive, but I've always encouraged the kids to go for it.

It's not too bad watching Robbie, Joey or Ellie take the plunge...

But my baby?

She thinks she's just as big as the rest of them.

I get a little bit of vertigo just looking at the photos.

I hope my grandma isn't having a heart attack looking at these.

Turns out, she loves it.

It couldn't have been worse than sitting by the pool in my hot clothes, that's for sure. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011


The kindergartners don't start school until a week after the rest of the school, so that the teachers can assess each child individually. Ainsley woke up and got herself dressed before either Joey or Ellie all week, asking if it was finally the day she'd get to meet her teacher. Finally, on Thursday, we went in.

She was disappointed when she didn't get Ellie's kindergarten teacher, who was fabulous. But after meeting with her teacher, we are both thrilled. She is cute and nice, plus she's got a master's degree in early childhood development and a teaching philosophy very similar to Ainsley's awesome preschool teacher. She will be perfect. Ainsley already loves her.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School already?!

As much as I love summer and doing fun things with the kids, I am usually ready for them to go back to school. Not this year. It was way too early (August 22nd!). I really wish it'd start after Labor Day every year. Especially this year, with the hot weather and no A/C working at the elementary school. But no one consulted me, so off they went.

Robbie was up and ready to go early. He was still willing to pose for a first-day-of-school photo before his carpool came at 7:20. He had a great first day, and really likes junior high so far. This semester he has Honors Science, French, CTE (Career & Technical Ed.), Utah Studies, Honors English, Keyboarding and Honors Pre-Algebra.

Joey is starting 5th grade. He got the same teacher Robbie had in 5th grade, and is excited, because she is awesome. He's also in the gifted reading and math classes.

Ellie is in 3rd grade this year, and already loves her teacher.

We were almost late for school because I had forgotten that the memory card on my camera was mostly filled with photos of Bear Lake and we had to wait for them to download to the computer before deleting them. So I didn't get the usual pictures at the school in the morning and had to take them after school. Here's one of Joey with a couple of his friends.

Joey and Ellie in front of the school:

Ellie with her teacher (I actually took this one at her SEP conference on August 18th).

Joey with his teacher (it was sort of cruel to take this at the end of the day, it was REALLY hot, but I'd forgotten to take it at SEP's even though I had my camera with me).

I may not have been ready for it, but I hope and expect this will be a good school year. Best news of the first day? No homework. (Well, for the kids anyway. I spent a couple of hours signing "disclosure statements" for Robbie and taking him shopping for school supplies.) Serenity now...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

End-of-Summer Clean-up

We pretty much missed any sort of Spring clean-up, so our yard was totally overgrown. We came home from Bear Lake on Thursday afternoon so that we could go to SEP conferences that night, and Rob (who had to leave Bear Lake on Monday to go to San Francisco for a conference) took Friday off. So we spent half the day trimming bushes, weeding, and mowing & trimming the lawn. I wish I'd thought to take before and after photos, but I did get a few of everyone in action.

Then on Saturday we got up and did the same thing, but in the backyard. So nice to have it all cleaned up. Hopefully next year we'll do it earlier, in lower temperatures!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Belated Bear Lake post

It's one of our favorite weeks of the year. Bear Lake is always fun, but especially fun with extended family. I'm kicking myself for not getting a big group photo, but it was challenging enough to try for a family picture—notice a very mad Joey in this one:

Yeah, we pretty much gave up on that.

The Oreo game was back, by popular demand:

The kids loved swimming just for fun.

And of course the kites came out.

I love it when I accidentally capture a "then and now" moment, and remembered this photo of Robbie, taken 11 years ago:

Other fun activities included playing "Jail" at the tennis courts,

miniature golf,

Ice cream from the store,


and, thanks to the Stringhams, lots of boating.

A few fun activities went undocumented: playing cards, reading, riding bikes, LaBeau's, yummy dinners, movies, hula-hoops, playing on the grass, and just talking.
We love Bear Lake. We're so thankful to Ralph and Judy for a wonderful week, and for this great tradition with so many happy memories over the years.