Monday, May 29, 2017

The Toothless Grin

Lincoln, I think, takes the prize for most gap mouthed smile in the family.  His two bottom middle teeth (which he has lost) are starting to come in, or the smile would be even MORE impressive.  Even so, I do think it's quite fantastic:

I don't believe any of his older siblings lost quite so many teeth at once.  It's quite the look he has going on!  He likes that he can stick his tongue all the way through the hole in his smile.... :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Matt and Bentley's Southern Roadtrip!

Matt and Bentley headed out on adventure together a couple of weeks ago.  Bentley has long *yearned* to go check out the park in Arkansas where you can hunt for (and keep) diamonds!  It took us a while to get a trip arranged (mostly it took me a while), but finally - it happened!  They flew into Texas and did a lot of driving (1,474 miles according to the rental car!)

Highlights of the trip?  Lots of gorgeous crystals, beautiful weather, golfing, boating, cool museums, swimming, hiking, ball games, the zoo... good times.  Scary parts of the trip?  Apparently the huge and weird bugs of the Southern wild were not a hit.

Here are some photos from their 10 day adventure!  It included 2 days at the diamond mine in Arkansas, 3 days in Texarkana, a stop in Little Rock, and a few days in Branson Missouri.  3 states, 10 days, and lots of fun!

Off they go with lots of gear!

A ball game and a fun museum (or two) in Dallas:

The Dallas Zoo!

Crossing into Arkansas, and a stop at the Diamond park!

Little Rock and some hiking.

Another cool museum (William Clinton) in Little Rock, then on to Missouri!

The "lodge" they stayed at in Missouri!

The next day started with golf, then off to see the Ozarks, rock caves, and lots of gorgeous scenery.

Boating, more caves

Another day, more driving!  Bentley took breaks to practice karate.  They checked into a "cabin", close to the Diamond park.

The last two days?  Cooking outside, diamond hunting, exploring a quartz field, and (of course) more driving!  Then back to the airport!

Cello Recitals x2

We had a busy musical week around here at the very end of April.  This spring Bentley joined a Suzuki strings orchestra group.  I'm really happy we found the group, they have inspiring, talented, and passionate leaders and the group of kids are all dedicated to their music.  They get together and practice weekly and have two performances a year.   Unfortunately I didn't get any great pictures,  nonetheless, I wanted to note that we attended this great event!  They played a great mix of music including Star Wars, Pink Panther, Danse Infernale, Vivalid's School Year, and Beethoven's Lullaby.  Very impressive how great this group of kids sounds!

Here is a short medley of the some of the songs the group played:


That was on Monday.  On Saturday of that same week our cello teacher had her spring recital.  Bentley, Lincoln, and Evan all participated - very cool!  They have been practicing hard and it went off perfectly.  This year the recital focused on group pieces.  Lincoln & Evan are in a group with two other little guys.  They played Twinkle, Frere Jacque (Lincoln!), and a song called Scotland's Burning.  Bentley's group opened the show!  They played a beautiful variation of French Folk Song, a song named Boil them Cabbage Down (it was much prettier than the name!), and Tzena Tzena.  They've had many group practices and it all sounded gorgeous.

Doing music with little peeps has been a bit of an eye opening experience for me.  It's probably obvious, but they require a LOT more supervision than older students!  It's been a fun way for us to spend some extra one on one time together, however, and I think the benefits of music for personal, spiritual, and brain development are all AWESOME!  So we'll keep at it.  :)

Good job, strings crew!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Playground Fun…or Not?

It was a gorgeous day, so I offered to take the children over to the school playground after school was out. We drove over there and hit the playground only to discover that the school has a track and field program that meets on Mondays and Wednesdays. It was crowded on the playground so the grandkids asked to go to another playground.

Back in the truck we went. I drove over to the next closest school. I drove behind the school. Viva immediately asked to play in the stream that runs just outside the playground. I put her off for a few minutes, but then we went down to the stream.

Lincoln walked right into the stream. (He had sandals on.) Viva tried to stay dry for a while, but eventually got her feet wet. Jake played near the stream, but didn't go in. Evan stayed away from the stream, but threw rocks in it. Lincoln fell in the stream and got his butt soaked, but he didn't care. (Jake last year made us leave when that happened to him…although he might have soaked more than just his pants.)

Every child is so different one from another. Every playground visit is, too…when we tried to leave the playground we found ourselves locked in by padlocked gates. It turns out we had perfect (?!) timing and arrived during a narrow window of time when the gates are open for buses to come in and leave. I had to visit the school office to have a custodian unlock the gate for us.

When did visiting a school playground become so difficult?!

The water was cold. There's still snow on the stream!

Evan scavenged for rocks to throw.

Jake found an island in the stream.

Evan had to dig rocks out of the dirt to throw.
All the loose rocks had been thrown by previous visitors. LOL