This morning at 5am, Ashton took off for the Grand Canyon with a school group. He's got a 30-pound backpack full of camping gear, food and clothes and he's happily tucked into a car with some good friends and a couple kind chaperone parents, enjoying a LONG drive that will be followed by a LONG hike as he explores the amazing waterfalls and unique Indian culture of Havasupai. He had to fill out a big application to be accepted as one of the 30 students who could go and worked hard to earn a big chunk of the money required for the trip. And he was SO excited yesterday, he was practically jumping up and down.
I was a little sad I couldn't sign up to be a chaperone since I love hiking and have longed to go to Havasupai plus I'd love the chance to see Ashton in action with his friends more. But I've got these four other kids who need me to be around. Plus that backpack did look awfully heavy... Maybe when the twins are old enough to go, I'll make the trip.
I'm so grateful for the teachers and parents who are sacrificing a lot to make this excellent opportunity possible. And when I went to the info meeting for parents about this trip, not sure whether I was quite comfortable sending my 13-year-old off for a week on a school trip, I saw the parents and kids who were going (many of whom I know), got to know the teachers heading it up (they're no-nonsense but really fun), and felt totally comfortable. Plus almost all the kids who came to Ashton's party a couple weekends ago are going and after spending more time with them, Jared and I felt extra great about the trip. Plus Ashton is just a good kid. He's smart. He's tough. He makes good decisions.
Anyway, with Ashton off on his grand adventure, Isaac's the big kid around here for a week and he's quite pleased about it. The twins have decided to share Oliver and Ashton's room for the week, leaving Isaac with his own room which he's excited about.
And today was Isaac's big day to get the braces he's been waiting for. He's been flashing his "buckers" (as he affectionately calls them) for years now, happily making authentic "rabbit faces" on demand, no self-consciousness with this guy. But he's excited to get those babies tucked in where they belong and was really happy when we got him set up with today's appointment.
Here he is ready to get started (and no, his hair doesn't usually look like this - it's Crazy Hair Day at school today and he was going for the wind-blown look):
Here he is ready for the orthodontist to place those brackets (oh, yeah, that's pretty, huh?):
And here is when we came out:
Bye bye buckers! (well, in a couple years...)