...Green grass coming up among the dead grass of winter...piano recital...tilled soil...end of school reports...buds on the trees starting to open...grades are in...longer days of light...last day of school...boat rides...expectant mother moose wandering through our yard...kids sleeping outside in tents and forts...bear in the yard...
We have been busy with the end of school activities and the beginning of our summer fun! School ended for us this last Friday. Ann Marie, Ethan, and Tyler had piano recitals the previous week and they all did so well on their pieces. The kids finished well this year for school and even though we were gone for several months in the middle of the school year we still managed to finish on time. This last month we changed our schedule for school and did alot of work on our Geography that we had been working on. It was alot of fun for all of us to focus on one subject mainly and to learn alot about US geography as well as many early American explorers. We celebrated the end of the school year on Friday with a picnic and I handed out certificates for completion!
Steve is out the door every morning by 6 to give his crews the run down for the day. The warmth of summer has been a little slow in coming so his crews haven't been too busy...yet! Next week he will be picking up 8,000 annual flower plants to be planted by the end of the week, after they are hardened off. The older kids get to get in the action when it is planting time...watering flats and flats of plants, planting, and just helping out wherever they can. The green grass and the little green leaves starting to bud out on the trees is always such a wonderful sight this time of year.
Last weekend we got to go on the maiden voyage of my dad's new boat, Cyane...an aluminum landing craft. We took a quick ride over to Sadie Cove to look for mountain goats and bears on the mountain sides. We didn't see any bears, but had fun finding the white dots of mountain goats perched on the edge of the rock faces. Because my dad's boat is a landing craft we got to experience the fun of pulling up to a beach and running down the ramp onto the beach to do a little beach combing. The wind was terribly cold so our fun was short lived, but the shells the kids collected were beautiful especially since it was beach rarely stepped on by human feet. We zipped back across the bay and we all got a turn at the wheel. I'm sure there will be more fun adventures on the Cyane this summer.
Every spring the boys can hardly wait for the weather to get warm enough so that they can sleep outside in their small tent on the lawn. They slept their first night last weekend and then put the tent away until school was over. So Friday night once again the tent came out, except this time Kailee and Alyssum got to take their turn at sleeping outside...they were a couple excited little girls! (Mom wasn't so thrilled with her precious little girls sleeping outside, but Dad reminded her that the boys slept outside at that age!) So the girls slept in the tent and the boys slept in their fort or "cabin" as they like to call it. It is actually a very nice fort with an upstairs carpeted area for sleeping...many Filipinos would probably call it home if it were in the Philippines! The kids slept great outside and no one came in complaining of being afraid! Saturday night everyone wanted a repeat, but we decided the girls needed to stay inside for the night and the boys could sleep in their fort. Little did we know how important that decision was...at 10:30pm we heard a loud banging outside the window as the lid to our homemade dumpster came crashing down! At first we couldn't figure out why the boys were in the garbage, but soon realized it was not the boys. A beautiful black bear was looking for a midnight snack!! Seeing a black bear in our yard really wouldn't have been a big deal except the boys were sleeping in their fort just over the side of the hill. We haven't had a black bear in our yard since we built our house in 1996, and we were sure surprised to see one! Steve went outside and chased it off just by clapping his hands, although the bear was rather reluctant to leave his find. Steve then went down and woke up the boys who were not too alarmed, but were bummed that they missed seeing the bear. They are really hoping it will show up again so they can see it this time!! Boys!! And sorry to say, but in all the excitement I forgot to take a picture...oh well.
So now we are off and running as our summer officially begins since we are finished with school...camping trips, bike rides, gardening, playing at the river, and just fun in the sun are on the schedule for the summer.