It's the last day of school and it's COLD! It's rainy and in the low 50's - I had to dig out the boys' long pants and long sleeved shirts (that have been put away for summer for a while now) for them to wear to school today. Weird. It's been fun this week to see the boys' excitement over the big water party they had and the final assembly and remember all that last-week-of-school excitement from when I was a kid. I'm really excited to be done with school and have a more relaxed schedule and be able to do more fun stuff with my kids. I love learning stuff with them! And I really loved seeing them teaching things to each other and playing together. They're all at such fun ages right now. This is going to be a great summer.
I love how the rain brings out the colors here. I'm sitting here looking out at the misty red mountains and the saturated greens and blacks and reds of the vegetation and lava rocks and dirt of the wash. I'm so blessed to have this ever-changing but always gorgeous view every day. There are flowers everywhere right now - a few lingering cactus flowers, orchid-like blooms on all the desert willow trees, scarlet flowers on all the olleander bushes, and tons of random yellow and purple flowers on ground cover and bushes all over. There's a bush in front of my house all gaudy with the most heavenly-smelling flowers - the smell throws happiness at me every time I walk outside. There's nothing like spring in the desert.
It's been a good year for all our school kids. Ashton's had a good challenge with a tough teacher named Mr Garcia who has really made him work hard on writing and Spanish and he's had some tears over how hard it was at times. He's never really had to work hard at anything at school so it sort of came as a shock to him - but I think it's really been good for him - especially since he was pretty much totally bored in his English class with Ms Hammond this year. Ashton's really bonded with some great friends this year - mostly Aiden and Dallin. He's loved the wild atmosphere of Dallin's house with Dallin's 4 big, cool brothers and the skateboard half-pipe they built in their backyard. And he's learned about divorce and showing support and compassion as Aiden's parents have been through lots of hard stuff this year. Plus it's been a great experience for him to get Aiden (who's not a Mormon) involved in his cub scout group. Ashton's loving scouts.
Isaac's really bloomed this year with reading and it's been a much more positive year for him this year than it was last year. He really struggled with minor behavior issues last year - he was so young in his class and hadn't had a lot of structured activities before kindergarten. But this year he was in a class with a lot of rather rowdy boys and he shone in comparison which was very nice for him. He's become a much more comfortable reader and has done really great in math. He seems to really "get" school now and that makes things a lot easier. He's also done great with tennis lessons and is a very good swimmer.
Eliza LOVED her Little Einstein's preschool - she went there 2 days a week (and they learned some sign language and Spanish which she really loved) then had Joy School on Fridays (I LOVED teaching Joy School this year - I've never done it with 4 year olds before - with the big boys, I did Joy School when they were 3 and sent them to preschool when they were 4 - I've decided I did it backwards! 4 year olds REALLY get Joy School and it's so much fun to teach them - 3-year-olds have fun with it but the concepts don't sink in that much and they're hard on the teachers). According to her teachers, she was always right there with a good answer to every question and was the model student. She also got to go to this one-afternoon-a-week pre-K program at Dixie Downs and it got her really excited for Kindergarten there. I'm going to miss her like crazy next fall - she's such a wonderful little helper and babysitter for the twins and I love reading with her and having her bring me beautiful pictures she's drawn for me several times a day.
I've got Pandora radio going right now and I LOVE it. I put in one of my favorite songs "Falling Slowly" and it created a great, mellow station with pretty songs and acoustic guitar and I love having it in the backgroud of my day. My other favorite station is "Today" by Joshua Radin. Good music, good scenery, a beautiful home, wonderful kids (who are currently crying for me to turn on "Wonder Pets") - life is good.