Friday, September 11, 2015

End of School

Before we knew it, the end of the school year was upon us! In the spring I had signed the girls up for a theater production that was performing The Aristocats. I had initially signed up just Abbey because I thought she would want her own thing and she seemed so excited about it. The first day we went and she immediately noticed that she knew a lot of girls there from school, but they were all older than her and she was immediately intimidated. So in typical Abbey style, she refused to participate. The ladies were so nice in trying to get her to come join the group but she would not be deterred because she had already decided she wasn't going to do it. One lady asked if it would help Abbey to have her sister go up on stage and do it with her. So they asked Juliette if she wanted to go up and first she said no, but then she quickly changed her mind and went up on stage. Although that interested Abbey, she still didn't participate. By the end of the rehearsal, Juliette was begging to be signed up and Abbey was feeling more comfortable. The ladies were so nice and said they would make a part for Juliette so she could join in and after we left Abbey decided that it looked like fun and she promised she would participate next time. As usual, things need to be on Abbey's terms and once she decided she would do it, she did. The next time we went in, she went with Juliette up on stage and I was able to leave. They both totally loved it and had so much fun. They did not have speaking parts this time because they were new (and didn't have a great start), but they loved being part of the ensemble and signing the parts. It was such a cute performance and the girls can't wait to do more of these productions in the future!  Abbey is in the middle...

Juliette is second from the left.

The whole cast.
After the show the girls were happy and proud of themselves, but they were still a little nervous I think because they wouldn't pose for any pictures!

With the end of school quickly approaching, we went to lots of end of year class picnics, which Matthew enjoyed!

Here is Juliette's class at the park.
Then they decided to take a picture of the kids with their little siblings.  It cracked me up to watch Juliette hold Matthew up!

Juliette really loved her teacher.  Towards the end of the year I started to get sad thinking about her going to school all day next year and missing my afternoons with her.  I started telling her how much I was going to miss her in the afternoons next year.  Suddenly, she looked really sad and started to cry.  I was touched....until she looked up and told me how much she was going to miss her teacher next year!!!  Thanks Juj ;)

The end of the school year also means the patriotic concert, which is always a great concert.  Juliette looked so cute in her outfit!

Then it was the last day of school and the kids were so excited!!
Juliette was sad to say goodbye to her teacher, but she promised to visit her next year!
Good friends!

What a great year!  Can't wait for summer fun!!

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Daddy Graduates!!!

Big news in our house this spring...Paul graduated with his Masters in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology! It has been a long road, taking one night class at a time, but he persevered and graduated! We are so proud of him. I decided to take Ben and Abbey down to the ceremony to watch while Juliette went to a friend's house and I got a sitter for Matthew. It was going to be a very long and hot day and I just figured the younger two might not handle it so well. I wasn't even sure how the older two would handle it, but they were amazing. We got up early to head downtown with Daddy. Once we got parked, we separated so Paul could get to where he needed to be to line up and we could go get seats. But first, we took some pictures with him in his regalia.

The ceremony was outside on the baseball field.  So before heading in, we stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom and grab some drinks.  Then we found seats and settled in to wait for it all to start.  We were there early, so we had lots of time to wait!  The kids had brought books and coloring stuff though, so we were prepared!
After sitting for a while, we decided maybe the kids should get some energy out before the ceremony began.  So I had them run laps between our seats and the fence and back.  They had a lot of fun doing this - running from opposite directions and slapping hands as they passed.
Then it was time to see Paul process in....he didn't see us at first.
But he was on the look out for us.
Finally he saw us and everyone was so excited!!!
The main ceremony was very nice, although a little long.  It started to rain a little, but they had ponchos they handed out so we were fine.  After the main ceremony, there was a short break (kids ran laps again) and then the Electrical Engineering ceremony began.  This time he saw us right away!

This ceremony got really hot as the rain stopped, the sun came out, and the whole field got steamy.  But the kids did so well and we loved watching Daddy get his diploma!

Afterwards, the kids could not wait to go give Daddy huge hugs!

So very proud of him!
Time to go to the reception to celebrate!
Way to go Paul!
After a quick snack at the reception, we noticed there was a park next to the reception, so we headed over there.
While other graduates were munching on goods, this one was pushing his kids on the tire swing at the park.   That is the awesome kind of Dad he is!  The kids really deserved it though - I just can't even tell you how excellent they were during the whole thing.  I was so proud of them too!

What do their futures hold???

We stopped for ice cream on the way home and then Paul grilled some steaks for dinner.  We had a carrot cake and champagne (and kids sparkling grape juice) to celebrate!  I got Paul a very nice bottle of Bourbon as well (based on a true Louisville native's recommendation - thanks David!).
 Ben helped pop the champagne!
It was truly a fantastic day and a wonderful memory both for us and for the kids.