"You can make anything by writing."

-- C. S. Lewis

Monday, May 27, 2013

Summer Mode

Ryley finished school on Friday, and it certainly didn’t take her long to get into the spirit of summer! We have long said that summer is her season. Already, her legs seem longer and browner, her cheeks pinker. I think she’s devoured 15 popsicles in the last three days. :-)

We always go out for ice cream on the last day of school. It’s our “first act” of summer.  This year, Ryley chose Cold Stone. Atypical of me, I let her get anything she wanted as a reward for such a terrific 4th grade year!


On Saturday we went to the library, and she got her very own library card! She has been waiting for this for months! So exciting. I then taught her how to go online and place a hold request on books; I honestly don’t know what we’re in for!

When she got her books home, she dragged her beanbag chair downstairs and developed a “reading corner” for herself in the corner of our living room:



Slurpee? CHECK!


Empty candy boxes? CHECK!

Endless supply of books stacked on both walls? CHECK!


All day yesterday, the house smelled vaguely of summer (cool humidity, thanks to the swamp cooler), and the tunes of Taylor Swift played quietly in the background. Fun times!

Earlier in the week, Ryley gave her puppy some love on the trampoline:



The pics were taken through the window so as not to disturb the serenity they were experiencing! Precious.


On Saturday, we left Ryley with my aunt and uncle for sewing and mini-golfing while Ryan and I braved our movie theater and went to see “Star Trek.” It was our first time to the Century 16 theater since the killings happened there last July. They’ve done a good job remodeling it, but it was still a little eery, especially since they had a security guard visit our theater no less than four times during the movie, checking every row and the exits. Still, it felt good to get that behind us. Plus, the movies are so cheap there….$4.50 matinees! Can’t beat that. :-)


Our friends Jenny and Jaime’s daughter graduated from high school last week, so after the movie, it was on to their graduation open house. They had this amazing “candy bar,” and we immediately regretted not bringing Ryley with us. ;-)


But we hooked her up. :-) Isn’t the candy bar a terrific idea??


My parents celebrated their 40th anniversary today!!!! Over the past two months, my brother and I have been putting together a scrapbook filled with all kinds of goodies…mementos, pictures, and letters from their friends and family. It was quite a project, but it was so rewarding! And as I read and looked through everything, my love and appreciation for my sweet mommy and daddy just multiplied!

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the book:

The chaos of making it….



The finished product…






It was so much fun, but I found that there’s no way to encompass 40 years in one scrapbook. Of course. :-) It was a tad overwhelming! But their friends and family really got in the spirit and contributed some amazing cards and letters!

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad!!!!


Lastly, here are a few pics from Mother’s Day. We went on a picnic, but we goofed and picked a park with absolutely no shade! I still have a peeling sunburn for a souvenir…



But it was so gorgeous, and we had fun eating, playing checkers, and enjoying the lovely day!

We have a very busy week and weekend ahead, so I’m heading back to my laundry, housecleaning, and seemingly endless supply of popsicles.

Happy summer, all!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Two Pigs, a Wolf, and a Mud Pie

What fun Ryley’s school play was! There are so many GREAT pictures, so I am just going to post a lot of them. :-)


The play was held at an outdoor amphitheater down the street from the school. It was a beautiful location with a gorgeous view of the mountains in the distance. But of course, thunder storms started rolling in….




The play was a fairy tale spoof, and Ryley played Snow White.





Ryley and her two best friends…


So this was an interesting situation. The boy playing the prince was a recent addition to the cast since the original kid couldn’t fulfill his obligation. The prince had lines only with Cinderella, not with Snow White.

While we were waiting for the play to begin, he said to Ryley, “Why can’t YOU be Cinderella? I don’t want to marry HER.”


Of course, there was all kinds of giggling in response, and the prince then pulled out his sword to show it off, while Ryley reacted with more giggles and taunting and, ahem, flirting.




It was amusing watching the interactions, and having a front row seat for it! Haha. :-)



This whole pre-production thing was more interesting than the play itself! :-)

Then the winds blew in, and the set blew away! The whole cast ran after the pieces of the set, and then Ryley had a new responsibility….to help hold it down!




Love that picture!

The teachers just shrugged and laughed, and the show went on!



That’s a pig and the big bad wolf! They’re the narrators!


The pig’s two brothers were on a mission to find their missing brother (seen above). They thought he may have been eaten by the wolf.

Their journey took them to Hansel and Gretl….


and then to the lovely Snow White’s cottage…



And then to Cinderella’s castle where random fairy tale characters danced in the background at the ball…



Finally, the pigs returned home to find that their brother was safe after all, and the wolf was friendly, so there was no reason for them to have been afraid in the first place! Go figure!


And everyone lived happily ever after!











As we loaded Snow White and our chairs into the van, the first rain drops hit our windshield. Perfect timing.

And that’s a wrap!


The Final Frontier

The past week has been so crazy busy, but so much fun too!

It started out last Saturday with a little “field trip” a few of us mothers planned. Because of a snow day in April, the 4th grade class’s field trip was canceled, and they weren’t able to reschedule it due to the museums’ availability. The kids had so looked forward to the trip, and I had taken the day off work to be a chaperone, so I was disappointed too! My friend Dawn suggested that we take our kids anyway, so we called up a few friends and rounded up six kiddos for our weekend field trip to the History Colorado Center and the Denver Art Museum!


If you haven’t been to the History Colorado Center, you simply must go! It was super fun, and it was actually quite affordable too ($6 for kids)! We all learned a lot about our great state!


There were a lot of interactive exhibits perfect for elementary-aged students!




I’m not sure the kids understood the significance of the Barrel Man exhibit, but we adult Broncos fans did! :-)




We had lunch at the little cafe on site, and the kids were begging to go back to the history museum after lunch; they insisted that they were having so much fun! So we voted to skip the art museum altogether and just stay at the history center! It was a good plan. :-)


Ryley also had her school play on Tuesday night (look for another post coming soon) and her choir concert  on Thursday evening.

My aunt Coleen and uncle Paul are so faithful to come to all of Ryley’s “events”! They live on the other side of town (30-40 minutes away), and last week they came over for both the play and the choir concert, even after I tried to tell them they didn’t have to!  That’s tough on week nights, after they’ve already worked all day and then commuted home! We so appreciate the fact that they’ve taken such an interest in her activities, often sitting through hours of performances before Ryley’s itty bitty one at the end. :-) Anyway,  these pictures below (and many of the school play pictures) were taken by Paul.




It was a nice little concert! They certainly had a lot of fun!!! :-)



“Tell me about Star Trek, Daddy,” she says.

“Not today. Not on Mother’s Day,” he answers.

And she understands.

So now, as I type, a day later, Ryley is sitting at Ryan’s feet in our family room, while he sits and explains the plots of all previous Star Trek series and movies. His Spock impression is pretty spot on.

I wish you could see them. It looks like the student is learning from the master. And she’s eating it up!


Ryley has blossomed so much in the last few weeks. I think it’s interesting as a parent to suddenly have these epiphanies where you realize that you haven’t had to deal with such-and-such an issue for awhile…where your child suddenly seems to be growing out of certain behaviors or problems. Of course, there are always new challenges to deal with…new issues to tackle. But it’s refreshing to have those encouraging moments once in awhile.

For instance, when she plays outside with the neighbors, we don’t let her go past the mailbox. And you know what? Even when all the other kids go around the corner and play on the other street, Ryley stays on our side of the mailbox. We can trust her to obey the rules. We may be over-protective, but so be it. 

Does she still not count “studying for tests” as homework, leaving us in a pinch when she’s said all night that her homework is done and we just realized there’s a big old science test tomorrow?

Yep, that’s our baby.

And when Ryan questions her about it, she insists that if she’s paid attention in class, there’s no need to study.

Ryan looks above her head and meets my eyes with a hidden smile. Because he realizes that she’s his child and that she thinks like he does. And despite the progress she’s making in some areas, we are still in for a world of trouble. :-)