Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June Happenings

The beginning of June brought another piano recital. This time Aubrey (and Aubrey's little piano student Caitlynn), and Breck performed. 
Aubrey is a master sight-reader, and one of my favorite things to do is just sit and listen when she practices at home.
Caitlynn did a wonderful job on her two songs (Aubrey's and Breck's teacher Truett, is the one sitting in the background). Caitlynn is also a great sight-reader and Aubrey's challenge is to find more advanced pieces for such small hands. 
Breck is also enjoying his piano lessons especially when making pleasant conversation with Truett, or when trying to impress her. 
Finally the kids had a little down time for sunbathing.
This is Breck's manly solution for a wide-rimmed sun bonnet, to keep the sun from burning his face. 
Merinda, Breck, and myself went with Brad on one of his business trips to Tupelo, Mississippi. We had a great time swimming and relaxing by the pool. Once again Breck came up with a great solution (not) for keeping the sun off his face. Afraid he would suffocate, I suggested using the waterproof spf 50 we had in our possession. He declined due to the immense effort it would take to apply it to his face (it's good to know he is all man!).
Merinda enjoying the perfect summer scenario with her favorite book, snack, and cool swimming pool (which she enjoyed all to herself) on a hot Mississippi day.
Breck was a little grumpy during our trip and he said it was due to the fact that Merinda "hogged" the whole queen-size bed. I thought Breck was exaggerating until I woke up before the kids one morning and saw Breck literally teetering on the edge of the mattress.  

The last main event of June was Breck's fourteenth birthday.
He got some great gifts from his sisters (the cookie monster t-shirt from Brittney, and the snickers candy bars and i-tunes gift card from Merinda).
And we all reaped the benefits of his banana pudding cake, and Blue Bell cookies and cream ice cream!

Aunt Melanie's Visit

We had the rare privilege of having family visit. The opportunity opened up for Melanie and her kids to fly standby from Abilene TX to Lexington KY. She asked if I was ready to have a freight train invade our house. I told her if she was crazy enough to fly standby with four kids ages eight and under, I was crazy enough to entertain her brood for a week.
And what a wonderful week it was!!! Thanks to my good friend Amy Clayburn, who provided the car-seat, play-pen, and stroller, as well as a weeks schedule of fun (and free) things to do around Georgetown!
We all had a blast visiting the Salato Wildlife Reserve in Frankfort KY.

The kids loved looking at all the animals, reptiles, and insects, and playing with the interactive displays, as well as going on a really cool nature hike.
But the thing the kids liked most about Salato Park was chasing their big cousin Breck around, and ganging up on him!

Other fun things we did during the week was visit our friend's horse and llama farm. Rarely did we find Breck anywhere without a baby on his back or 3 little boys attached to his hip. We wouldn't of made it through the week without Breck and Merinda's help!
We all got a kick out of the llama who was trying to give Breck a kiss!

We enjoyed playing at Scott Co. Park because it was such a beautiful day, in fact, the entire week that Melanie was here we had picture-perfect weather!
We all had fun lounging on the grass. . .

and feeding/chasing the ducks and geese.
Aspen had fun eating grass. . .
and the boys had fun collecting treasures. 
Little Mason found a real egg!
Jaden also found a real egg and feather that he wanted to take home to Texas.
Other fun activities included going to the movies and out for pizza, making totem poles at our county library, watching the kids ride scooters a million miles an hour down the hill, and staying up all hours of the night talking and catching up. At the end of the week we were a little worse for wear, but had a wonderful time together, and are very grateful for the opportunity to do so!

Graduations Continued

After Seminary graduation came Breck's Eighth Grade graduation. I am still quite not sure the reason for an eighth grade graduation, especially when the students here move onto the ninth grade which is in its own building, and technically not a part of high school. Anyway, this pictures show only half of   Breck's graduating class.
The Eighth Grade choir and band played. Breck shares a stand with a friend from church, Ashton Barber, the only other member of the church in his grade.
Ashton was also the winner of the Middle School talent show, and played her winning piece for graduation. 
Breck then did the typical ceremonial walk with his good friend Samuel, and received his diploma.
Breck then had the privileged of saying the closing prayer at graduation. Breck was in a special leadership class this year and was very much respected by both his teachers and peers, which was evident went they asked a Mormon to say prayer in the predominantly Baptist Bible belt in which we live.
The final graduation was Brittney's High School Graduation. We went to a nice dinner the night before graduation with Grandma Heelis, and Brittney's good friend Daniela and her parents. Brittney and Daniela were the only two Seniors from our church, out of a graduating class of 500 students.
Aubrey dressed up on Brittney's graduation day because the band was an important part of the ceremony (who else was going to play Pomp and Circumstance a million times over for 500 graduating Seniors?).
Because there were so many students and spectators, High School Graduation took place in the Frankfort KY Convention Center.
Brittney sang with the other graduating seniors in the choir. . .
And Aubrey played her flute until her fingers ached.
The rest of us enjoyed the program from the nose-bleed section which explains why my pictures are so fuzzy, and why I was unable to get a picture of Brittney receiving her diploma (the little zoom on my camera is not that strong).

We made up for that by taking lots of pictures after graduation was over.

Everyone had a great time at graduation, and we all had a wonderful week with Grandma Heelis. We are very glad she was able to celebrate this important mile-stone with us!


Sadly, it was time to wrap-up another year of Seminary. I had a wonderful class, and am really going to miss seeing them every day during the summer. I am especially going to miss my Seniors next year!
Brittney and Daniela were my two Seminary Graduates. That means they attended a scripture study class for an hour every morning that school was in session, for the last four years! 
That's pretty remarkable. But then again, they are pretty incredible girls!!!

We topped-off our Seminary year with a fun picnic at the park with all the Seminary students and their families. Even though it was in the mid-nineties and very humid, we had fun eating pot-luck, challenging the bishopric to a scripture-chase (the kids won), cooling off with a water balloon fight, and just visiting with one another.

Breck found his own entertainment--climbing light poles and trees!