Monday, May 24, 2010

a whirlwind week

Last week was one of the busiest we've had so far this year. I didn't even take pictures of ALL our activities, but I still took quite a few. ;)

We started out on Monday with Benjamin's last day of gymnastics. Normally the parents stay out in the hallway, but Ben's instructor let me come in to get a few photos. (However, the lighting wasn't great, and I still am getting used to my new camera. I'm sure there was some setting I could've used that would've given me better pictures... haven't figured it out yet, though!) Here's Ben, working on cartwheels: Attempting to flip over the bar:
Ben still hasn't mastered doing it on his own yet, but with a little help from Miss Cindy, over he goes!
Time to climb!
On Tuesday, Ben's preschool had a picnic and playtime at the park. It was a very blustery day, however, so shortly after I took this photo, they went into one of the park buildings so the kids could eat their lunches without them blowing away!:
On Wednesday evening, Emm's 8th grade choir gave a concert. (She is in the back row, right in the middle.) They were awesome!

A few songs included some audience participation. During "I'm Yours" (by Jason Mraz), choir members and audience members could play along on some guitars and keyboards set around the room. Emm chose to play a guitar:
Later on, there was a "drum circle", where anyone who wanted to could come down and beat a drum. Mr. Hain (the choir director) is the one standing in this photo, and Nick is in the middle of those seated, in a light blue shirt:
Ben and Emmalie shared a drum:

Also on Wednesday, Ben worked on painting flowerpots for his preschool teachers. He spent a lot of time on them, and they turned out so nice!
Then we planted geraniums in the decorated pots, to give his teachers for a goodbye gift:
We did some yardwork that day, as well, and Nick snapped this shot of one of our backyard bunnies (several of them live under our shed!):
A peony:
Thursday was Ben's last day of preschool, and the kids gave a Spring Sing concert for all the parents. They were so cute!!:

"If you're happy and you know it, shout hooray! HOORAY!":
The teachers gave the kids certificates of completion, along with "report cards"... Ben received all positive marks and glowing praise! :)
Ben holds up his certificate:
Ben and his best buddies, Kassy (sword-fighting with him) and Alexander:
On Friday I took a few pictures of the pretty columbine in our backyard:

Then I took a whole bunch of pictures of Emmalie! (The following is only a small sampling, LOL.) Friday night was the 8th Grade Dance. Emm had been trying out hairstyles all week, and finally decided on this one:

When I dropped Emm off at the dance, I went inside with her for a few minutes and took a few snapshots before she shooed me away, LOL. Here she is with her friend Brianna:
With Dhrashti, Marjo, and Julia:
With Jeremy:
Afterwards, she said she had a really good time!

On Saturday, Emmalie and I went back to her school bright and early. She had a choir trip, and I was chaperoning. Emm designed the t-shirts that all the kids wore:

On the bus with Elizabeth and Annie:
Our first stop was Millburn Middle School in Lindenhurst, where the choir performed for the Music in the Park competition. They spent some time practicing in the gym:
and then later had some time to practice in the choir room before singing for the judges:
I didn't take pictures while they were being judged, but I did take a video that Emm put on YouTube: I thought they did an awesome job, and I was so proud of them!

An interesting note on the second piece (Mystery Kyrie): Mr. Hain had downloaded the song from Napster several years ago, and since that time he's been unable to find out any information about it (who wrote it, etc.). He played the recording for the choir, and they wanted to sing it. Since he didn't have any way to get sheet music for it, he and the kids have worked together for several weeks, listening to the recording and dictating the music, figuring out all the notes for the 4 different parts ~ not something that middle school choirs typically do!

We stopped for some lunch, and then headed to Six Flags Great America! Here Veronika, Sammiie, Emm, and Elizabeth wait to get on a ride:
Elizabeth and Emm rode this:
while the rest of the girls in our group went on this:
(I love the water rides, but the day was a bit too chilly for me to want to get sopping wet!)

After going on several rides, we met up with the group at the Ampitheater for the results of the competition. I know that the kids were very disappointed that they placed 4th and not higher, but I am still so proud of them for doing such a challenging piece. If I'd been a judge, they would've placed much higher! Here 2 of the choir members are walking back with their trophy:

After the results, we still had about 2 hours before we had to leave. Some of the kids played a few games:
and we went on a few more rides. At 7pm we all met back up again in front of the carousel. I got this photo of Emm holding the group's trophy:
And we got a few group shots:
We stopped for supper on the way home, and then got back around 9:30pm.

On Sunday, we all headed to church. It was the last day of Sunday School, so Ben's class had a little party. Here he is with his favorite Sunday School teacher. (Nevermind that he's only had one so far, LOL! He just adores her!!):
There was also a carnival after the service. We ate some lunch, then played games. Here Emm tries to get a clothespin in a bottle:
Ben and Nick try to stand a bottle back up (Ben almost did it!):

Then we watched a great magic show! We sat with Ben's friend Ben. :) (They call each other "Other Ben", LOL!)

There was even a bounce house to jump in:

And now, a new week begins! (This one shouldn't be nearly as busy, though, thankfully!)