Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Katrina's 8th grade graduation


I know that 8th grade graduation is kind of a silly thing to celebrate. But it IS the end of an era for Katrina. She's been at her school since kindergarten, and next year only one other kid from her school (one of her best friends, happily!) is going to City with her. Most of her friends will be together at another high school, so they might stay friends with each other. But she really probably won't stay in touch with the majority of her friends that she's had most of her life. And that's a pretty big deal.

Tonight was her graduation. These pictures were taken before graduation, which is why she looks really happy and excited. After graduation, all of the pictures show her smiling, but in-between pictures, she kept wiping away tears and trying not to be sad. I was given the job of following her around while she found people that she wanted to take pictures with (all of the people). She wound her way around the crowd frantically looking for friends and teachers to take pictures with. We were some of the very last people to leave. She just did not want to go, because that would mean that she really was finished with this school and these teachers.

And now she's a high schooler. I just can't even believe it. How is she that old already?! It's impossible!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Katrina's last band concert ever

Katrina graduates from 8th grade in a few days. She has a giant group of friends (Us: "Do you have a best friend? Or a couple of best friends?" Her: "Not really. All of them."), and she's going to City, while nearly all of her friends are headed to other high schools. So last week was the last week that they'll all be together at school. This week they go to Chicago for two days, and then graduation is on Wednesday.

At City, you have the choice between band, choir, orchestra, or art. Katrina was torn, because she loves playing the flute, but she loves art more. And so this band concert was the last. And they were great. Katrina was great. And i'm a little bit sad that this was the last concert for her. (She and her friends didn't seem sad at all.)

Also, in completely unrelated news: This week is Festival. Katrina and i went with Beth and Katie yesterday afternoon. This was the first time i've ever gone to Festival without children who were small enough to want to do all of the kid activities - the paint-in and the glue-in and the hat making and the face painting.... We watched a couple of different dance schools' performances and a bit of a couple of bands, and just wandered for the rest of the time. Katrina was completely bored by the bands. I was surprised how little there was to do when you're not racing from one kid thing to another. But it was a beautiful day, and we had fun seeing what we saw. Yay!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day

Holy cow, you guys. Today was HOT. Especially for May! This month went from cold to scorching with almost no in-between! The temperature was around 95 degrees, and super sunny. I love this kind of weather, but even for me, it was maybe a bit too warm.

Juanito and Zane went for a bike ride downtown at around noon, which Zane was super excited to do. Except then, in Zane's words, "Dad got a flat tire and we had to walk all the way home and then i got a pebble in one eye and a leaf in the other. So it was terrible."

This afternoon we all went to the park with the boardwalk. The great thing about it being so hot is that we had the place entirely to ourselves. Nobody else was insane enough to want to be outside walking around for any length of time. But it was beautiful and fun to get outside, and everyone had fun even though there were a lot of "It's SO HOT" comments. Afterwards we went to Meijer for Icees, so i'm pretty sure that made up for it.

Sunday, May 27, 2018


Usually my family all gets together at my parents' house every other Sunday, but since it's Memorial Day weekend, we decided to head out to my grandparents' house for one last Memorial Day. 

We could not have asked for a more perfect day. It was sunny and warm and just absolutely gorgeous. The water was chilly, but once you got used to it, it was bearable. Some of us might have gotten a bit sunburned, but not too horribly, so i'll call it a win.

The house has been sold, and they will be moving in at the end of July, so we have about 2 months to enjoy our own private beach before it goes away. 

I will really miss having that place to go. I mean, having a private beach is awesome, but i love the memories and the smells and just everything that goes along with it. We've watched the beach get huge and tiny and back again. When we were little, we'd spend a week there in the summer, watching Channel 8 Clubhouse and Captain Kangaroo in the mornings, eating Cream Of Wheat for breakfast, and then spending the rest of the day down in the water with our cousins. We'd be down there totally unsupervised - every once in a while, my grandma would come out to the edge of her yard, look down, and make sure we were all still alive. My sister commented today that that's really the last constant place we have in our lives, and that's totally true. This is the last place i can still go where i can remember spending a lot of time when i was little. So it's sad to lose that.

Chicago! U2!

Beth and i went to Chicago. The ultimate purpose for going was a U2 concert on Tuesday night, but we left on Monday morning and spent a couple of days hanging out in Chicago and just having fun until the concert.

On Monday we drove to the border of Illinois (where Beth's friend lives), left our car, and took the train downtown, and checked into our hotel, which was right by the corn cob buildings. Seriously, this was the view from our window:

We then walked (in the rain) down to Water Tower Place, ate lunch at the Cheesecake Factory (yum!), walked around for a while until it had mostly stopped raining, and then headed back to our hotel. We enjoyed the complimentary wine and snacks, and then both of us were asleep by about 8:30 because we are party animals.

Tuesday morning we woke up, packed, and left the hotel just after 8:00. We walked a little over a mile and a half, dragging our suitcases, to the Field Museum, where we then spent the next six and a half hours looking at everything. Mummies and dinosaurs and giant bugs and stuff from Ancient China and Ancient Aztecs and more mummies and a million animals (real but stuffed). The animal section seemed to go on forever and was organized like a maze - we went there at the end of the day, totally got lost, and eventually were just hopelessly searching for a exit. (Seriously, if you were ever in the animal section when a fire broke out, you might as well give up, because you'd never find an exit in time.) The museum was amazing and overwhelming and incredibly fascinating and also exhausting. 

Eventually we dragged ourselves to the train station, got our car, and headed back to the city for the concert!

U2 is just my favorite. Band. Ever. I love them. I've been to several of their concerts now, and they never fail to make me really, really happy. I love their music. I love that they're so completely fighting for the underdog and for justice. And i just think that all of the band members are adorable. 

This was the "Experience" part of the "Innocence and Experience" tour. The "Innocence" part was a couple of years ago, and when Beth and i went to that concert, we were sitting so that we could totally not see the giant screen at all. This time we had perfect seats to see everything, and i kept thinking, "I feel so sorry for the people sitting in those sections, because the screen is SO COOL." 

On the down side, they were experiencing technical difficulties at the beginning, so they started the concert an hour late, which meant that our very late drive home was even later, and we finally got home at about 4:00 in the morning. Waking up at 7:00 was brutal, and i was fairly exhausted all day, but it was totally worth it.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Zane! SOTM!

Yesterday Zane got the Student of the Month award for the moral focus virtue of compassion for the month of April. Each month of the school year has a different moral focus (perseverance, honesty, etc.). The teachers choose one student from each homeroom (there are 3 per grade) to receive the award. One of Zane's best friends, Finn, got the award for a different homeroom, and Zane says that the girl who got the third award is ALSO one of his friends. So they're a compassionate bunch! That makes me happy!

Also yesterday, we finally watched Psych the movie after months and months and months of working our way through the series. Beth made cute cupcakes and cake balls that look like Pluto and brought cute napkins and other adorableness. Everything was very pineapple-y in honor of Psych. Fun!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Painting and whatnot

The past few days have been filled with painting and organizing and painting and cleaning and generally trying to get the bathroom clean (along with all of the surrounding areas where the bathroom stuff had been during the painting) (and all of the other rooms that fell into complete disarray while i was busy concentrating on the bathroom), and it is now as finished as it can be until Juanito builds a shelf. So! Yay!

Today Juanito set the middle of our backyard on fire so that he could burn piles and piles of junk wood that he somehow accumulates in our yard. And he mowed the lawn! Our house/yard is starting to look almost presentable again!

Yesterday Zane came home from school sick, and i was worried that the rest of us would just start dropping like flies as well, but so far the rest of us are healthy, so.... Fingers crossed!