Earlier in the month, we attended the annual Santa/Pancake/Craft breakfast at the Methodist Church. It's a sweet tradition.
I've spared you the alternative photo, in which Kellen makes his favorite new face (nostrils sucked in with power vacuum force -- he looks very odd).
It was one of those years when Santa could make a long-time wish happen. Ryan has been asking to play violin for several years. I really love his expression in the very first seconds of the video.
The boys' school went roller skating during the week before break. Kellen was quite daring on wheels, and had a great time with his pals (below the video).
Jeremiah's Christmas looked like this:
Before the break, Jeremiah also joined the Mock Trial/Debate club at school, and has been enjoying that a lot. Some cruel fellow assigned homework over their vacation, so he'll be working on that soon, and these games will get a break.
Next quarter at Sinclair, I'll be teaching three sections of SOC 112, and Kellen will be switching to full day kindergarten twice/week. I think he'll enjoy the extra time at school, as he'd been complaining of a lot of boredom in the mornings.
Christmas miracle: all 5 of them looking at the camera with smile-like expressions, probably earlier than 8am.
HEX BUGS with Uncle Troy!
Uncle Bill is a cruel, cruel ear-lifter.
Jamie has enjoyed a very long break from classes at Sinclair. He's taken the time to write songs, bond with the cat, look for jobs, do a little work for a local builder, and play some shows.
W heels and S port F ishing USA (not really wanting fans of the bands to find this blog on google)
As it turns out, Ryan can play basketball very well. He's having a blast with it. Here is a very short clip of his awesome.
Fourth of July at Uncle Doug and Aunt Barb's house has been a tradition for several years. Before that, we had decades of Fourths at my grandma's. Marshmallow topped brownies, balloon toss, cooking out.
All summer, we've been attending the summer reading programs at the library. This one was really wonderful, engaging all the children completely.
Ryan is finishing up a clay class - they are creating an under-the-sea scene.
Ryan attended Bulldog Basketball Camp and had the best time. They were long, hot days and he wanted to be there every minute. He says it's more fun than swimming or soccer. I'm thinking, wait until he can get the ball into the net - how fun will it be then?
4-H Camp Clifton - Jeremiah's first week away from home. He did the high ropes course, a zip line at night, and a few activities that he described as "do it yourself..." They weren't terribly prepared. Think ice cream eating contest with no bowls, spoons or cones. Just kids and a tub of ice cream.
Ryan was better just in time for soccer camp, although he was definitely not fully recovered until the second day. During the first day of camp, he came walking over looking incredibly pale and flopped down into the grass. It took some peanut butter and rest in the shade, but he was back at it before long.
Next week, he wants to try out swim team.
He seems to be making some strides in reading and writing - practicing a little each day through summer. He has one lost tooth and another couple of loose teeth.
He wants to play violin. We're looking into it.
Jeremiah is teaching himself ukulele. Thank you, youtube. I imagine we'll get some real lessons after fall soccer. Right now, he's busy with Brasilian Jiu-jitsu and summer.
Uncle Doug, Uncle Gavin, Dad. Memorial Day/Dad's birthday.
Jamie has had a fantastic first year of high school. His grades are excellent; he played varsity soccer; he started a band with two fabulous boys (Wh66ls); he has a wonderful girlfriend. This summer, he's going to attend Friends Music Camp with several local kids, including his band-mates. It's 4 weeks long! I'm told they come home having learned so much and completely happy.
Kellen started attending Yellow Springs Montessori in January. The school is still getting oriented and determining its philosophy and routine. He's loved his teacher, but hasn't been separating easily. We've visited Antioch, where he seems a lot more at home and engaged. We're hoping to get a little financial aid and send him there for his last year before kindergarten, so that he will be able to attend 5 days, and possibly even a few full days toward the end of the year before full-day kindergarten.
Over the summer, Ryan had so much fun swimming. He took several weeks of daily lessons with Jan Gooodwin, and made steady and enthusiastic progress. He often continued kicking along with his kickboard back and forth, long after class was over. Kellen was able to touch the bottom in the shallow end of the regular pool, so we didn't have much back-and-forth with the baby pool. It was relaxing to be at the pool with the boys this summer, which was a fabulous and shocking development. We went almost daily, sometimes twice a day, because this was the one place in the world where Ryan had some caution and serious focus. It was really wonderful.
The week the cousins came, Porter joined into the swim lesson fun!
Yelow Springs tee-ball is a treasure. Our friend Bob got this picture of the boys with their friend (and Bob's son), Max. Each year there are new P (for Perry League) caps, with a new color, and each year there is a mob of kids on the field, throwing dirt, yelling, running, hitting, catching and smiling. It's definitely the least organized sport you've ever seen, and yet somehow it all comes together week after week, year after year, in pretty much the same way. No one ever strikes out in teeball, there is no keeping score, and when the ball does finally get hit, there are parents behind the batter to throw out additional grounders to the 27 kids in the field.
As if this fine Friday evening ritual were not enough, coach Jimmy Cheshire also writes up an article about the kids several times during the season. He's a fine writer and his love for the children is so clear. I'll paste in an example from a few years ago (I'd link to it, but there's some scrolling involved, and this is easier. ) ---------------------------------------
Batter up for t-ball opener
By Jimmy Chesire
Perry League, Yellow Springs’ happy, happy t-ball
program, opens its 2006 season Friday night, June 2, at 6:30, in Gaunt
It’s the village’s noncompetitive beginners’
baseball program for girls and boys ages 2–9. Two- and 3-year-olds
are welcome if accompanied on the diamond by an adult. There are no fees,
no sign-ups, no registrations, and no requirement to play every week.
Come when you can, come when you like. We will play on 10 consecutive
Friday nights, June 2 through Aug. 4, and you can begin on any of those
10 nights, up to and including our final potluck trophy night on Aug.
If you’ve got one of those remarkable creatures
in your life, one of those Hi-Energy Love Beings — aka toddlers,
preschoolers, kindergartners and kids in their middle childhood —
and if that creature is frequently flinging him or herself about; or if
you have a little person often found roaring about in mysterious raptures
we adults can only dimly remember; or if you have a kid who is occasionally
going off like a rocket on the 4th of July, that kidder-roo seemingly
exploding with an overabundance of something — zeal? passion? an
early on-set dementia? — then we may have just the program for you:
Yellow Springs’ exuberant, joyous, unpredictable and what some might
call mildly demented Perry League.
We’ve got the bats, balls and gloves —
gloves: which many of our darling young charges find clunky, obstreperous
and as often as not, totally useless. We’ve also got both the beautiful
Gaunt Park baseball diamonds every Friday night for the rest of the summer.
All you need is the time and inclination — and, of course, one of
those passionate pint-sized whirling dervishes, one of those Hi-Energy
Love Bugs. Just bring her out, just bring him out, cuz we’ll be
out there, ready and willing, looking to have ourselves a good time. You’ll
find us lining up on the third base line and then running out to right
field (it will not be a race this summer, Steffi Cooper, no, it will not)
where we’ll do our peculiar Perry League brand of calisthenics —
doing one thousand seven hundred eleventeen twelve push ups, four million
twelve thousand two-hundred-teen jumping jacks and four hundred million
zillion quadrillion trunk twisters. Right? Right.
We try to keep it simple and we’re serious about
keeping it noncompetitive. There are no outs in t-ball, no runs, no scores
and no one ever strikes out in the Perry League: you get a thousand strikes
in t-ball. Every child gets a chance to field and bat a couple of times
each evening. The first 100 or so kids showing up will get a free cap
and a chance to buy the 2006 edition of the often beautiful, frequently
glamourous, but always glorious Perry League t-shirt.
We’re a Yellow Springs Recreation Board program.
United Way funds — which come through the good work of the Yellow
Springs Community Council — get us started each summer. Then the
sale of t-shirts, donations from generous parents, loving grandparents,
awesome aunts, ugly uncles, silly stepsisters, bodacious brothers and
the many supercalifragilistic friends of the program — with the
Lions Club being uniquely and most sensationally supportive of us these
past six or seven years (they’ve been paying for our trophies) —
and gifts from the kids themselves, allow us to pay back the Rec. Board
and pay for the program ourselves.
We welcome all the community’s children regardless
of race, color, creed, national origin, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation,
ability or disability. And we work assiduously at being tender, patient,
kind and loving to them all.
So, you-all ready to play a little t-ball? Ready for
another fantabulous, mugglelicious summer of fun? Yes? Yes? Yes! Of course!
Then come on out to Gaunt Park, Friday, June 2, 6:30–8 p.m. We’d
just love to have you, to see you again, to play with you-all again. We
really and truly and honestly would.