Sunday, June 28, 2015 take a moment to reflect

....on all the photos I have taken since the last time I have sat down to blog.

My biggest fan (Isabella) asked me today when I was going to start blogging again today and another fan (who knew I had two fans? Thanks, Aunt Patty!) also mentioned her disappointment that my last entry had been June 9th.

In honor of my two fans, I decided to share two photos...the first and last photos that were on my memory card. 

This photo is important for several reasons:

1.  It shows how great Abbey is doing physically!  She continues to amaze us with how great she is doing.  She is nearly back to her old self.

2.  It also shows just how long it's been since I sat down to download photos...this photo was taken on fun day.  At least a week before the kids were finished with school.  Oye.

3.  It shows just how wild-and-crazy I am...I allowed my 7-year-old to go to fun day in white shorts.  That's me.  An out-of-the-box thinker.

The last photo:

We enjoyed the company of our large extended family today to celebrate the life of Mark's cousin.  This was the last photo on my camera.  

Four darling cousins enjoying each other's company.  

Fitting I think.

Finally I thought I might share two photos that I found particularly amusing.

1.  Forget the four kids on their last day of about that adorable dog?  How cute is he?!?

2.  Does this photo need any words?  

I think this horse has a lot to say...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 plan, prepare, attend...

...the end of year activities.

While life here on the blog has been quiet...I can assure you life at the Crow house has not been.

The end-of-school-year activity fairies have been busy creating activities, field trips, class picnics, field days, outdoor fun days (not to be confused with field days), and sporting banquets for us to participate in.

Multiply those things times four.

Meanwhile, I have been day-dreaming about the start of summer vacation.  I have been creating chore-lists, activity lists, and project lists.  It's going to be so lovely and relaxing...drinking coffee, catching up, and my house is going to be so tidy.

I also have visions of preparing farm fresh veggies and fruits for dinner al fresco, riding our bikes to the local pool, picnics at the park, perusing at the Art Fair....

In the meantime, the kids are in school thru the 12th and I am in school thru the 18th.  We'll muster through the last of the homework, bring popsicles to the picnics, attend Will's 5th grade graduation ceremony, and try to fit in playdates, playground fun, and softball and baseball practices.

And I'll try to share a few Kodak moments when I get the opportunity to sit and reflect.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 enjoy the beginnings

...of the end-of-the-year madness

One of the benefits that I have had working part-time this year is that I can swap my work days to do special activities with the kids.

Today I had the opportunity to go on a walking tour of Ann Arbor fields with Will's class.

We walked 7.5 miles.  All over the city.

We went to:

The Farmer's Market via
Nickel's Arcade

Our chaos through Nickel's Arcade
A science presentation

A photo from the beginning of a wonderful science presentation
The Business School
The Law Quad
The Art Museum
swinging on a sculpture at the Art Museum
Next was a soccer scrimmage.

There are two, first grade soccer teams at Burns Park.  I am the coach of one of the teams and many of Abbey's friends are on the other team.  We decided we would host a 'friendly' scrimmage in lieu of our last practice.

I was worried about this event...because Abbey was worried about this event.  The girls on my team have come a really long way.  They run after the ball.  They are more aggressive.  They take chances.  They play hard.  I try to be diligent about making sure every girls gets to play nearly every position each game.  They are awesome in my eyes.  I love watching them improve each game.  But they haven't won very many.  

And her friends' team hadn't lost a soccer game yet.  Eek.

Our team played one of their best games yet this evening.  They took chances.  Passed the ball a few times.  Ran hard.  Our goalies had several saves.  The other team played well too.  At the end of the third quarter...the score was tied.  It was shortly after 5:00, the time when our practices were supposed to be over.  So...we called the game.  

It was a tie.


I think all the girls were pretty pleased.

I can't think of a better ending for a 'friendly' scrimmage.

Except of course to finish off with a pizza party to celebrate the season.

I think she was pretty happy.

Saturday, May 30, 2015 watch them play, soccer, soccer, and baseball.

Our weekend was full of activities and it was the first time in a long time that I had to try to juggle the madness on my own.

Here in AA, much like in our former Army communities, neighbors and friends are always willing to pitch in.  Audrey attended her game with her friend Clara and then was invited to stay for a playdate until I returned from the other two girls' games.

I wasn't able to take very many photos of the activities this weekend...

Abbey was watching Isabella play in one of the rare moments this weekend when the sun was shining...

Isabella enjoyed her last soccer game of the season and played in spite of not feeling very well again the few days previous to her game.   But these two coaches were the kind of coaches you WANT to play for.  They were kind, well-spoken, demanding, and they really cared for the team.

Isabella enjoyed playing for the Strikers...

And they were a really nice group of girls.

It takes a special person to coach middle school girls...and these two guys did a stand-up job.

Not only did they send out a team Mother's Day photo earlier in the season but they also handed out personalized medals to each of the girls.  AND they baked chocolate chip cookies for the shapes of each of the girls' initials.  

AND at the beginning of the season they bought the girls their soccer socks with their team name on it.

We were so pleased to hear they are going to coach again in the spite of the fact that the head coach's daughter is moving up to high school.  Isabella reported she "is definitely playing in the fall". I am so glad that I 'highly encouraged' her to play this season.  Turns out:


The rest of the day I watched Will play two baseball games between the rainstorms.  

You can't tell from the photo, but it was a downpour at this moment.

Bernie enjoyed the day of darting between games...he didn't seem to mind the mud and rain either.

one wet pup
Thanks to my darling cousin and her husband, I didn't even have to entertain the girls.  The tournament wasn't too far from their home and they brought the girls back to their house to play and hang out.  I was able actually to watch both games; uninterrupted too.  Too bad they didn't win either of their games.  

Bernie didn't care if they won or lost...He was just happy to be included.

Friday, May 22, 2015 enjoy a lemonade stand that I didn't have to run!

This young lady and her three friends have been planning a lemonade stand since April.  Each day she would come home from school and give me additional details about this plan.  These details became increasingly elaborate.

  • There was a plan to have a chef (little Olive).
  • There were to be walkie-talkie's to radio the prep staff.
  • There was a driver (driving his little electric car) to drive the goods from the kitchen (at the back door) to the front yard.
  • There was a raffle to meet the chef.  
  • Facepainting.  By real artists.
  • Oh yes...and there was to be food.  Cookies and fruit.

Charley and Abbey.  Two of the four masterminds.  Charley's mom earned her mom-of-the-year badge for this event.  Not only did she agree and coordinate this event, but she went above and beyond in setting up and carrying out all of several of the important details.

Chef Olive.

Advertiser and sous chef Sylvia.

Their stand was a happening place.

The face painting was a hit.

And we even topped the event off with the release of our butterflies.

They were amazing to watch...

And a couple of them even stopped to smell the flowers.

The event was a success.  The kids really enjoyed their entrepreneurial event.  They are already planning another one.  I told Abbey that we are busy that weekend.    

Sunday, May 3, 2015 enjoy a few activities

...over the weekend...

This weekend proved to be no more relaxing than last weekend.  But it sure was full of activity, fun, and exercise!

Isabella had a soccer practice.
The family participated in the Burns Park Run.  Mark is going to help chair the event next year so he was busy shadowing this year's event organizers.

The rest of us participated in the running portions.

Isabella, Abbey, and Audrey all did the fun run.

Will and I both ran the 5K and while I didn't break any PR's Will beat his time from a few weeks ago by 5 minutes!

The girls and I attended a local community theatre production The Little Mermaid.

Will played five baseball games this weekend.

Here are a few fun photos from the weekend...

How cute is this kid?

How about this little guy?

Like father like son.

Thanks for coming Mimi and Richard.

Thanks for coming Grandma and Grandpa.

Thanks for coming big and little sisters.

And thanks for coming Papa (not pictured).

After announcing their boredom...the little girls finally found a place to entertain themselves...

And Isabella enjoyed the peace by herself.

As for Will, his team came away with second place in the tournament!

And Mark is now home recovering from two solid days of being on his feet morning till night.

Thursday, April 30, 2015 go to Abbey's bridging ceremony can it be that she is already a Brownie?

Can you see her tiny picture in the photo below?  I have had a hard time locating other early photos of her in Daisies.

You can see just how small Audrey was...and charming too?  :)

The photo of Isabella is perhaps the most representative of how young they were nearly two years ago...

I think she has had a lot of fun in Daisies.

Here is a photo of our new troop here in Ann Arbor.  I am so glad that Abbey and Audrey got to overlap together for these few months!

There she goes...over the bridge.  On to...Brownies.