Tuesday, October 04, 2022

First Concert!

 Bella and Christian both love the singer Alec Benjamin.  Back in May Bella told me that he was coming to Detroit to the Masonic Temple and we should get tickets.  She told me later that she fully expected me to say no, but was shocked when I said yes and bought some.  At the time Sept 30 felt like an eternity away but it finally arrived and, although I was nervous about a lot of the details logistically (parking, long lines, crowds, downtown Detroit at night), none of those things ended up being an issue at all.  It was all seamless and fun.  We got there in plenty of time to be near the front of the line to get in and at front of the merch line so Bella could buy an overpriced t-shirt.  (You can't go to a concert and not buy an overpriced concert t-shirt!) We also got great seats in the balcony which my old body and my introverted children much preferred to the standing-room only mosh pit area in front of the stage.  The only downside to the whole thing were the girls behind us who kept screeching at top volume after every song and the two girls in front of us to kept standing up at random times and blocking our view.  Overall, I think the kids decided that they were glad to have gone.  It was a lot of fun to listen to him personally play his music and experience the show aspect of things and see more of his style and personality than you can on spotify, but will stick to listening at home in the future where you can get the music without all the crazy fans.

Christian has decided he'd like to join the school band.  He promised me he'd never do that because I'm so tired of kids in band and all the work and time that involves. He was almost nervous when he told me and apologized about it but said he really thought it would be fun.  I was initially peeved at the cost of renting the bell-kit yet again!!  However, I'm happy for him that he wants to do this and I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun for him.  Also, it's meant that Benjamin now has a brother in percussion and he's been so sweet about teaching him.  They've been playing together and talking about it all the time.  It's the most I've seen them interact in a long time and it's so heart warming.  Benjamin even said today, "it's really too bad you're not a freshman so that we could be in drumline together.  That would be fun."  Never thought I'd hear that.  So sweet.  Peter has also loved having the bell kit at home again.  It's a fun instrument to play.

Christian has been enjoying soccer again this season. I made sure he was placed with a different coach and a couple old teammates have joined him on his new team.  Only sad part is the nearly all the games are on Sunday, so he's only playing in two games all season.  Thankfully the coach has been very understanding.

This is what it looks like when mom is too cheap to pay the $30/season for professional team photos.  She stands behind the photographer and secretly snaps her own photo.  Then she forces you to pose in the back yard for the individual shot. :)

A couple cute Peter photos from the week:

This was the closest I've come to getting a dog in my entire time as a mom.  Our friend Thea was dog sitting and Peter fell in love with the dog, Rooney.  They were so cute together, playing, wrestling, watching the garbage truck, etc.  I was so sad I didn't have my phone with me to get pictures of the cuteness. I finally went and got it, but I'd missed the best part.  When Christian found out, he said, "Don't you dare get a dog for Peter after we move out!  We've wanted one all this time and you'll get one when we're gone, won't you?!"  "He's going to be so lonely," I responded, teasingly.  "Then get one now!" he demanded.  No, let this be my witness, I will never get a dog.  I just think we should dog sit from time to time. :)

Peter stopped napping at the beginning of Summer but that doesn't stop him from falling asleep at random times now and again.  Here he was listening to Bella's piano lesson and the music soothed him right to sleep.

Peter has a group of little boys with whom he hangs out a lot.  Malcolm, Luke, and Peter have nursery class at church together and we moms get together at least once/week for playdates at various parks.  This week it was Malcolm's 3rd birthday and so we met at the park for the party.  An 8 year old brother of another guest took a liking to Peter and played with him the whole time.  Here they were all drawing with chalk together.  So funny how Peter keeps making friends with older kids.  Makes sense for a boy with teen siblings, I guess.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

First Preschool Fieldtrip and Letter Learning

The best part of a Michigan fall is the apple orchards.  Every one of our kids' first fieldtrip was to an apple orchard and Peter got his chance today.  He was so excited.  We rode the wagon out to the orchard and picked apples and pumpkins.  Then he got to ride on a tractor himself and play the rest of the morning on hay bales and inflatable obstacle courses.  He didn't even notice that I kept him away from the donuts all his friends were eating.  He was too busy having a great time.  A perfect day.

 In other Peter news, he's becoming a champion bike rider.  He's not pedaling yet because he's not big enough for the smallest bike we own, but I got him a balance bike and he rides it obsessively.  Every free minute I get asked if he can go ride. Well, that's not the whole truth.  He often goes out without asking and I end up frantically searching for him, only to find him several houses away cruising along.  The other day I was summoned outside by my neighbor because she wanted to inform me that she'd seen Peter across and down the street on his bike all alone.  A couple days after that I found him riding bikes with our 8 year old neighbor boy while I thought he was in the basement.  He can unlock all the doors in the house and open the garage, so I have no way to keep him in, but we've had some serious talks about this and I've even had to take his bike away for a couple days.  I hate that I have to do that, but cars drive fast down our street and we don't have sidewalks along most of it.  He's just too young still to understand.  So I try as often as possible to accompany him and I love seeing how much he enjoys it.  He'll get himself going fast, lift his legs up, and roll along with a big grin on his face. 

Now that preschool has started, I've made a renewed effort at sparking an interest in letters.  He's been completely uninterested up until now, but I'm hoping I'll find a few activities that are fun for him.  This week I got lucky.  I put up sticky notes with letters on them around the basement and then drew the letters on the white board.  We played music and had a dance party while he tried to find the sticky notes and match them up with the letters on the board.  He enjoyed that for longer than I thought he would and then proceeded to roll around on the yoga ball for far longer. :)  Today we used those same sticky notes and I laid them on the floor.  Then we went from letter to letter and did an action that started with that letter - kick on K, wiggle on W, jump on J, run on R, etc.  He seemed to like that even more and he kept brining it back up later as he did other things.  I'd hear him say to himself, "kick the K!" or other such things.  Made me happy that maybe I'd found something that works.  I don't want to put any pressure on him at such a young age, but I also know that Peter can learn anything he really wants to learn, so if I can make it fun and active, hopefully it'll stick.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Back To School!

 We now have two high schoolers and once again a preschooler.  That means that once again we're getting up at the crack of dawn for seminary and staying up late with homework and football games.  I'm already exhausted and it's only been a week. So far things have been going well, though, and Peter was fantastic on his first day.  No tears, no worries, just walked right in and started to play.  He was very happy when I got back and had lots of good things to report. It was so dark when Benjamin left that this picture turned out quite sub-par, but his smile still shines through.

The picture of the three of them was on the older kids' first day, but I wanted a picture of Peter on his actual first day too. 

Before the big day we held our traditional back to school dinner.  This time my mom got to join us.  Our theme for this year is "Go With God."  We discussed asking ourselves questions every day such as "Have I made time for Him today?" "How have I noticed Him in my life today?" "Would he want to be here?"  "What would he have me do right now?" Every day becomes better when we invite God to be with us on our journey.  Kelly also gave all the kids a father's priesthood blessing for the school year.

Peter wanted to have a fire outside afterwards and I thought that would be a fun addition to the tradition.  Of course, no fire is complete without marshmallows.

After a long week of school, Benjamin was too tired to join us for our service project in honor of the 9/11 national day of service and Bella had a scout meeting, but Peter and Christian came along to a nearby farm to weed and do other work along with dozens of other members of our church.  It was a wonderful, although very hot, day.  Peter made a little friend along the way, but the highlight for him was definitely the farm's animals.

Friday, September 02, 2022

Last Week of Summer

I can't believe school starts in 4 days.  Summers in the US are way too long in some ways but when you've reached the end, it feels like it only lasted a few days.  We tried to stuff some more fun into our last few days finishing up our bucket list items.

Greenfield Village one more time. I love that Bella got excited to come when I mentioned it.  Lately everything has been me, Christian, and Peter.  But Greenfield Village holds a special place in all of our hearts.  The older ones even got into the fun at the playground.

We've been coming for 16 years and this was the first time I actually saw them load a train on the roundtable and turn it.  Very interesting.  Peter loved everything about it except the engine and steam sounds.  A bit loud for his little ears.

Christian had so many questions but the guys working there never made themselves available to answer any.  A bit sad.  Thank goodness for google.

Sky Zone trampoline park with friends.  We met 4 other families there and since a lot of schools have already started, we 5 families had the place nearly to ourselves!  We kept commenting how it felt like a private party.  It was so much fun for way longer than our allotted time because it wasn't ever crowded enough to necessitate our departure!

Impression 5 science museum and Michigan State University in Lansing.  Peter's favorite place in the museum was the room for kids 4 and under.  Besides the amazing climbing and sliding structure and toys, he spent almost an hour at the water table.  Far better than the table at the science museum in Ann Arbor.  I finally had to drag him away because I felt so bad that Christian had been alone in the other parts of the museum the whole time.

Christian's favorite room was the nuclear power room.  His favorite of that room was the isotope display - multicolored balls whizzing around this maze and you have to flip levers and switches to isolate "isotopes."  The whole room was full of really great hands-on ways of teaching nuclear concepts.

Of course, the giant bubble room never disappoints.

After the museum we went to the campus of Michigan State University.  None of us had ever visited it and it was the day of a football game so it was the perfect day to show Christian how fun a university campus can be.  Marching band, tailgate parties everywhere, crazy antics at the frat houses, thousands of fans in green and white, etc. etc.  It was a lot of fun.  Of course, I didn't take a single picture. :(

Touch-A-Truck Day.  Christian refused to join us on this one.  He'd had enough last year and felt he was too old.  I agree with him. Peter, on the other hand, had a blast.  

I had to get a picture of him in the Rubicon again to compare to the picture I took last year.

Last year on the same day:

All we have left of our summer is the Labor Day picnic.  I'm excited for new adventures and my little boy's first day of preschool!

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Christian Turns 12!

Christian turned 12 away from home so we celebrated a bit late, but had a great time.  Also, Benjamin had early band practice, so he was up for the festivities, for the first time in a long, long time - probably for the first time since becoming a teenager. Christian got everything he asked for and a little bit more - a customizable computer keyboard, a new watch, mechanical pencils, some t-shirts, underwear, and of course, an Alaskan cruise!!

That's where he was on his actual birthday - Alaska!  He and my mom sailed on a giant cruise ship from Seattle to Alaska for a week and had a wonderful time.  What a lucky kid!  He loved every minute of it.