Saturday, August 29, 2015

Finley Visits McT

Next week, Finley will officially begin kindergarten at McCarthy-Towne Elementary and we are all very excited!  This past Thursday, we went for an orientation. Finley got dropped off in his classroom to meet and play with his classmates and teachers while Dan, Dagny, and I went to a parents meeting.

Afterward, all the children got to ride the bus around town with the teachers and principal.  Then, the principal gave each child a McT pencil and a carnation.  This is a school tradition that begins in kindergarten.  When the sixth graders leave McT each spring, the current kindergarten class will give them carnations.  Finally, when any McT children graduate high school (down the block), they can come back for a special ceremony to receive their third and final flower.  Here's Finley getting his flower from David, the principal, and his teacher is the one in the dark blue sweater, Cheryl.  FYI: All teachers at his school are referred to by their first names!
 He was very proud!
He was adamant that we rush home and put it in water, which we did. The first day of kindergarten is Wednesday...oh, the anticipation!!!

Assorted Fun

We aren't always out and about, often we are just at home playing in the playroom, the basement, the yard, or the driveway :)
Here are some summer videos from the basement:

Finley was inspired by the "One Man Band" we saw downtown the week before:

Dagny's joining the sports lineage that is rightly hers!

But perhaps a life of juggling in the circus is NOT in her future.

Last Bites of Summer

With Dan up in Maine for frisbee, the kids and I headed back to Parlee Farms for peach and blueberry picking.

Peaches first! We got to take a hayride out to the orchard, which was certainly part of the appeal of the whole adventure.  The farmers directed us to down the right rows and off we went to fill our box.
 But before long, we realized we better sample what we were picking!
 Dagny took a short break for some contemplating.
We all enjoyed a peach (Finley's second) and then made our way back to the hayride pick up area.
 Finley carefully held onto our goodies on the bumpy ride back and proudly didn't let one peach fall.
 Selfies in the sun.
 Next, we put our peaches in the car and then grabbed some containers for blueberries and made our way to the patch. We agreed we'd only pick a couple of pounds this time (last time we picked 9!).
 Time to see if they are just as delicious as the peaches!
 Finley kindly carried back both buckets and thankfully, we only picked 2.1 pounds this time!
Of course, we had to get some of their fresh blueberry mini donuts before riding the tractors and feeding the goats.
It's always sad to say goodbye to summer, but lots of school fun on the horizon for fall!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Finley Finishes Up at Camp Sewataro

Here's Finley on his first morning of camp back in mid-July.
Here he is the first afternoon after camp.
He kept those same smiles and that enthusiasm for all six weeks and had the most amazing experience from start to finish.

He caught a few of fish this summer and his camp was so on top of it that the "fish cam" always sent us photos the next day of any successful casts!
He dressed as a pirate on his tribe's costume day.
This isn't a photo of Finley, but he did get harnessed up and climbed this rock two times!
 He loved all the fun sports and games though his favorite was puff hockey and whiffleball.
Here's one photo of his beloved Delaware tribe (he's in the orange and striped blue shorts).
The second to last day of camp, Finley proudly came home with a swimming card that announced he'd passed the American Red Cross Level 1!!  This is a kid who was mildly comfortable in the water and wouldn't even put his face in the first week -- within three weeks, he had requested goggles since he was going underwater at camp!!  Now he's a total fish -- swimming across the pool doggie paddling and keeping himself afloat, gliding on his front and back, bobbing up and down under the water, jumping off the side of the pool/dock, and telling us, hands down, that swimming is his favorite camp activity.  Hooray for swimming twice a day for six weeks and being taught to swim by super cool counselors!!

The last week of camp, we spent some time writing and drawing thank you notes for all his counselors and it was a great way for me to see what impact each counselor had on him through the summer.  I wrote the note and Finley drew a picture and signed his name to each one.
 (yes, once Finley rode the bus home after a tornado warning had been lifted, but just as a patch of hail came down in our area!!)
Did I mention he loved swimming? I love this back float drawing -- who knew floating would create  such a positive memory??

I teared up that first morning dropping him off at camp but surprise, surprise I teared up dropping him off on the last morning, too, since I knew he had had such an amazing experience that we were all sad was ending.  That afternoon, Dagny and I were super excited to greet him off the bus and find out how camp had wrapped up for him.  Here comes the bus!
Finley and his bus buddy, Jack, were quite beloved by their bus monitor, Hannah, and I think the feeling was totally mutual! (too sunny for a good smile, but you get the idea)
 Finley's already counting down the days until next summer at Sewataro and we are too!! He just gained so much confidence--in the pool, making friends, and trying new things--though it was hard to tell who loved camp more, Finley (who was actually at camp) or Dan (who was reliving his own life changing summer camp experiences all summer long)!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Uncle Eric Comes to Town

One of our dearest friends, Eric, came to visit yesterday! Dan has been telling Finley about meeting Eric at sleep away camp when he was a kid and how he can't wait for Finley to go to sleep away came and make the coolest friends :)  Eric just completed his first Ironman Triathlon up in Canada (AMAZING ACCOMPLISHMENT!!) and was passing through Boston on his way back home to Austin.

The kids put him to work immediately reading an array of Elephant and Piggie books.
 Later, he cordially played Busytown Airport with Dagny.
 When Dan got home, we piled into the car and headed off to Kimball Farms.  Finley's been eying the bumper boats the last couple of times that we have been to Kimballs but wasn't ever interested in trying before tonight. Dan, Eric, and Finley got tickets and found boats while Dagny and I went to the bridge to watch.
 Finley had the biggest smile on his face and so did the older boys!
 Lots of bumping and some minor splashing!
 Everyone had a good time and dinner was up next! After we ordered, I desperately tried to get the kids to take a decent photo together...

Fail #1: Good smiles, neither looking at camera
 Fail #4 (2 and 3 also fails): Decent smiles, only one looking at camera
 Fail #5: New pose, but no eye contact
 I gave up and said they could just be silly.
 So silly they got.
 I'm just so proud :)
Dinner was delicious and time consuming, but we managed to fit in some mint chocolate chip ice cream before heading home.
We love you, Uncle Eric, and hope to see you again really soon!