25 May 2015

Suminter Vacation

Summer vacation is here. Too bad it feels more like winter. I created a new season just for Western Nebraska: suminter. Basically, it is winter weather in summer. I do not really enjoy the first couple weeks of summer vacation here in Sidney, it is cold, windy, rainy, stormy, with a chance of tornadoes. By the time summer does come our vacation is half way over. The kids go to school this next school year the 13th of August. A couple weeks ago it was the 10th, they must have pushed it back a couple days. Gripe over...maybe

I really enjoyed assisting Amelia's class with Staycation this year. Each teacher had fun games to play for the kids. Mrs Belieu had marshmellow poppers and several games to play. I stayed and helped her assemble 105 poppers (cups with end cut off, hole covered with a balloon). Other favorite stations were: minute-to-win it, playing minecraft (the 5th graders built the second graders houses based on emails the kids sent earlier in the year), card games, second grade trivia, and other fun centers. I stayed until lunch. It was rainy outside and the first graders were in PE so we got to eat lunch in the hallways. I discovered "Go Noodles" from Mrs Belieu. It is a website with fun 10 minute activities for kids, physical exercise and brain exercises. It looks really fun! My favorite station with Mia was the room with minute-to-win it. I walked in to find Amelia trying to get a cookie from her forehead to her mouth. Oh the expressions on her face! Crack me up. The boys and Evelyn enjoyed a fun morning with the Stokes family. Phillip and Everett were quite the mix up from the usual 4 girls in their home. Jessica is Phillip's age, they really enjoyed playing. Amelia had so much fun that when she came out of school to find snow on the ground she was quite sad. I think she also had a little bit too much fun all day and was over-tired. Yes, we had a couple inches of heavy wet snow. I dehydrated an entire box of apricots, I LOVE using the Cabela's flavor guard. It adds some sweet and sour plus preserve the color. Now I have an entire box of apples to deal with! Send me your ideas.

Wednesday was the last full day of school. Mrs Belieu had the kids bring in blankets, pillows, and favorite stuffed animals. The kids built a huge tent fort in their classroom! I am so sad to leave Mrs Belieu in second grade. She is one of those amazing teachers you find once in a lifetime. Evelyn decided she was hungry so climbed up on the table and poured herself a bowl of grape nuts. I found her munching on cereal with a huge grin on her face. I think Vader also enjoyed the cereal. We now have a new rule to put your cereal away after you pour yourself a bowl.

Thursday Amelia and I went to check her out of school. We learned that Amelia had ranked the highest in all of second grade with her reading scores. She can read 240 WPM! The ceiling for 2nd grade is 200 WPM. I am so proud of her and all her hard work this school year. She is amazing! We celebrated with a trip to the doughnut shop. Right when we came home I had a newborn session for a little baby girl with 4 older brothers. We managed to squeeze the entire family onto my backdrop paper. Amelia was enthralled with a few moments she got to snuggle the baby. Last week I purchased a newborn posing course by Rachel Vanoven, a leading photographer in the business. I spent the last week pouring over the videos and learning. I used one of Mia's baby dolls to pose along with Rachel. It was even more fun to try new techniques on the real baby. I sewed up a cute outfit for Gina Hill;s new baby. Megan threw a fun baby shower for her. Gotta love girl time.

Amelia's summer vacation started with rain and more rain. We only saw the sun a handful of times throughout the week. The sun came out today for a couple hours. The kids put on swimsuits expecting to play in the sprinkler...it was 55 degrees outside. I put the kibosh on that idea. Instead we played outside kicking leftover puddles of water. A couple hours later all the puddles were replenished with more rain.

Justin wanted to check out a used motorcycle in Scottsbluff on Saturday. We made the trip as a family. The dang store was closed all weekend for Memorial Day. That was disappointing. Instead we went to Target to look for birthday gifts for Everett and to Payless for shoes. Phillip goes through a pair of shoes in about 4 months, he pulls the velcro tabs so hard that the tabs rip off. Amelia and I found cute sandals in hopes of warmer weather. It was a short trip, worth the time and gas to be out of the house. Justin drove us home through a heavy rain storm. The streets were flooded by the time we pulled into our garage. The kids immediately searched out swimsuits and rain gear. We enjoyed an hour of play in the cold rain puddles.

From 5-10:30 pm I photographed a wedding for a family friend here in Sidney. She looked so gorgeous! Her little son, Elliott is just two months older than Evelyn. The rain stopped long enough to get a couple bridal photos. The rain started to fall just as we started bridal party photos. Darn it all. Justin came in time for the ceremony. We made our way to the reception afterwards. Amelia found a friend from her class to dance with. Goodness sakes, that girl danced the entire time, only resting to eat a bit and drink punch. Phillip and Everett found some Hot Wheels cars they races across the dance floor. Phillip wore holes in his church pants sliding across the floor on his knees, Michael Jackson style. We had a really good time. I had to tear Amelia away from the party at 10:30 pm, she requested the DJ to play "Let It Go." I finally convinced her that they DJ was not going to play it after 10 songs passed by. She has some awesome moves! The girls found a 6th grader boy (gasp) to dance with near the end. The girls dissolved in giggles while they dance with a real, live boy. I almost died laughing over their delight. Congratulations to the newly formed Relerford family.

I was called to serve as the 2nd couselor in the YW on Sunday. More fun times for our family! I now have five YW to serve. We will have a great time. Amelia went home with a sore throat and earache. She wore herself out dancing for 3 hours. This week we have a fun visit from Miekka, Seth, Jacob, and Lia. They are coming to visit and attend Amelia's baptism.