Sunday, May 26, 2013

Creation, Graduation, and a Small Vacation

This was Landon’s last week of preschool, so we had plenty of activities relating to his moving on to big boy school. On Monday, he and Mike joined several kids and parents at Arts and Scraps, a local non-profit that encourages creativity through the use of recycled materials.

During Landon’s soccer game, Eliza decided to get into the action.

Hallie attended Landon’s last enrichment class on Tuesday. The kids showed off to their parents all the skills they have learned to get ready for kindergarten.

We got all dressed up on Wednesday to attend Landon’s graduation from Sunny Days. The kids performed some songs they had learned and gave their mommies thank you carnations. We feel so grateful to Ms. Audine and Ms. Mary. Landon has really benefited from all their loving work.

Compared to the other days this week, Thursday felt really low-key. After their late night the night before, the kids slept in. Hallie has been experiencing some pretty severe back pain for the last few weeks, so she finally got in to see the chiropractor for some relief. In the evening, she took the sister missionaries and some members of the branch to see Ziggy Ansah (the Detroit Lions’ first round draft pick from BYU) speak at Pres. Holmes’ last mission fireside.

We caught the kiddos in a rare moment of sibling harmony:
It was followed in short order with screaming and brandishing of weapons.

Last year for Memorial Day Weekend, we went up to Mackinac Island and discovered one of our favorite places on earth. While we hoped to come back for a full month this year, reality forced us to make more modest plans. We have made it back up this year, but we opted to stay in Mackinaw City and go over to the island each day of the weekend. We took our time on Friday, stopping for chicken dinner at Zehnder’s and popcorn at the Popcorn Wagon.

By the time we got to Mackinaw City, it was late enough to start getting the kids ready for bed. After a long day in the car, however, they had other plans. Let’s just say tears were shed, and not just by children.

We woke up early to bright sun on Saturday. The babies had migrated during the night. Maybe we expect more of ourselves and the kids than is reasonable, but they’re so amazing we forget they’re little ones sometimes. We had more ambitious plans for what we intended to do once we got to the island (i.e., walk the whole way around it), but we also had two little ones who are much more prone to wandering and stopping and climbing. We made it as far as Arch Rock (about a mile outside of town) before having a picnic and heading back. We did walk at least four or five miles all told, so we did get quite a bit of walking and riding in, just more of it in town than planned. 

(He was fine.)

After returning from the island after a long day of riding, Dad and the kids relaxed at the pool while Mom napped. Bedtime went somewhat better than last night, but we still ended up playing musical beds.

We made it up to the island earlier Sunday morning and took our activities at a more leisurely pace. We started with a carriage ride to some points of interest, including a butterfly pavilion, Arch Rock, and Fort Mackinac. We spent more time on the island doing less, which is as it should be. As Mike sat with Eliza sleeping in her stroller looking down the hill from the Grand Hotel, soaking up the clopping of the horses, the scent of the tulips and daffodils, and the cool kiss of the breeze, that beautiful sense of peace the island gives came just as it had last year.

The Grand Hotel from the carriage

Budding photographer

Arch Rock from the other side. Do you see the heart down in the water?

Once again, after returning from the island to the hotel, we played in the pool and then spent too much time trying to get the kids to settle down for bed.

You would think that after all the non-stop physical activity, the kids would be more than ready to crash. Not so. Yet another slowly learned lesson of parenting these rambunctious beasties.

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