School did indeed come to an end.
Like almost four weeks ago, although to me it seems like yesterday.
We have had many adventures since then that I'll get to documenting at some point, but first I need to back up to all the stuff that led up to when that last school bell rang, releasing us graciously into the freedom of summer.
Right in the middle of the end-of-school hustle and bustle my friend commented that she feels like May is a busier month than December is.
I just may have to agree with her on that thought.
Here are some of the highlights:
The girls had their dance recital.
Lucy's was a hula dance:
Here she is getting ready...she had to make her bed before we left, of course.
Lu did a great job, but I'm not thinking dance is her "thing."
She had such a great teacher this year, and she learned so much and got some great exercise, but as I watched her during that last recital I decided maybe squeezing her poor feet into those tap shoes isn't going to be her "thing" in life.
The big girls had a recital too, but later in the day.
They had to dress up like Madonna and a 50's girl for their big dance. They loved every second of it.
What a great teacher they have had!
They were delighted she gave them roses as they left.
Elle's choir concert was that same night. We raced over there to see these girls put on a wing-dinger of a performance.
Complete with costume changes and even some dancing.
I loved watching those girls, so many of them who I love so much, and I loved watching my row of observers too.
Especially Lucy who had me crying I was laughing so hard as she danced to the music in the isle.
Oh I wish I would have had enough light for a video...she looks pretty serious in that picture but believe me, she was rocking out like nobody's business.
We were so happy to have Nana and Papa in town so they could join us.
I couldn't find Elle at the end to capture one last picture with all her choir friends...instead I found her here with just one of them...and a bunch of boys.
Is this how it's going to be from now on with this girl?
We had a piano recital.
It happened to be on the same night as the solar eclipse.
Before we left my brother brought us over some special glasses so we could check it out.
It was so awesome. I wish I wouldn't have been so stressed out about making everyone practice one last time and all that jazz before a recital so we could have really soaked it in.
The kids did great performing their pieces.
Elle and Max played a duet in addition to their own individual pieces.
Claire was sure a happy observer...she's so excited she gets to take piano next year.
This recital was bitter-sweet because it marked the retirement of our beloved teacher who has come to our house and taught the kids for years. Oh how I love her and how gentle and sweet she has been.
She has brought little treats for the kids before every holiday and has cried with me through Lucy's issues...she can relate because she has dealt with some hard things in life. She is just the best and we will all miss her so much!
Lu had her preschool water party.
It took a little coaxing, but I was able to cajole her into leaving her "little sister" Ariel at home.
We experimented with some whiz-bang hair-dos:
Claire wore her Toms right out to the bone. They looked even worse on, but she couldn't even get them on by the last day.
We had one super-duper rainy day.
The kids are always in Heaven when that happens because thunderstorms don't roll in very often in the desert. They love to run around and get soaked.
...and go to birthday parties where they get to make huge barbie-cakes for their take-home gifts...
We decided swimming is going to be Lu's new thing. She's been taking two different sessions at different places and man alive, she's getting so much better.
We all went to Max's volleyball wrap-up banquet and awards ceremony. Oh man this boy has learned SO much from this great coach this year:
And from these awesome boys he's spent SO much time with:
Max won "Most Improved Player" which I would have to agree with. There's a lot to learn in volleyball and he's really stepped up to it this year.
He also won "most likely to send someone to the emergency room" amongst the gag gifts since I think he may have bumped into people a few too many times on his way to becoming the "Most Improved Player."
We're proud of that big brother of ours.
The last day:
Elle had a Golden Scholar ceremony along with the other kids who got great grades.
(...and she walked too fast for me to get a clear pic after she got her certificate :)
It was a little sad to say goodbye to this Jr. High chapter with so many great kids.
Here she is with some of the "1st Grade Girls" ...dubbed that when they were just that: little, little 1st grade girls.
And here they are with their moms who have become such good friends because of them:
I brought in food for a couple of the end-of-school festivities at the elementary school and got to hang with Grace and Claire in their classrooms.
Grace's class made these life-size pictures of themselves.
Sorry, iPhone's not too great inside...
I promised I'd run into see Claire for her last-day-of-school game day.
The problem is that I brought Lucy and her friend with me and he got lost.
In the parking lot.
Scary. Luckily there were a bunch of great teachers who helped find him.
Then the last bell rang. Phew. We are so happy about that.
And we have been running ever since :)
What a year it has been.
Lucy's preschool graduation is a post in and of itself for tomorrow.
We are finally home and in a serious schedule with summer goals so I'm off to get to our read-a-thon.