End of school

First day of 2nd grade / last day of 2nd grade
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Carter grew 2 inches and gained 4 pounds this school year—the poundage is thanks to the protein shakes that we’ve been feeding everyday for the past 10 months.

First day of 4th grade / last day of 4th grade
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Raine grew about 3/4 inch and gained 2 pounds—her vertical assent has finally slowed.

Start of summer party

Carter in the dunk tank
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Erika, Hadley, and Raine
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Fun day (aka field day)

May 24 was Fun Day at the elementary school and it was roasting hot. As I packed their lunches and backpacks, I kept adding water bottles, and ice!

Carter, ball races
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Raine, capture the flag
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Carter, tug-o-war
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Raine had more fun playing hand games with her friends than playing the field-day games!
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Carter’s class at the tug-o-war and Raine doing the tube tug. The point of the tube tug is to pull the tube close enough to your team’s cone that you can touch it. Raine’s group didn’t use much strategy and all just pulled, so they took FOREVER!

Talent shows

Back in April, Raine performed in the school talent show. She and Catherine Crandall played a piano duet that they composed themselves. I was in Austin at a conference the day of the talent show, but I was able to watch the dress rehearsal before I left town.

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This month, both Raine and Carter performed for Talent Day in choir. Below is a video of their “talents,” as performed at home. Raine sang “A Million Dreams” and Carter solved his 2×2 Rubik’s cube. I was pretty impressed that Carter was willing to do something in front of his class for talent day, he is not a center-of-attention, performing kind of kid.

Spring soccer 2018

Raine’s U10 Peppermints team

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Sophie, Bryn, Erika, Leighton, Claire, Raine, Hannah, Piper, Chloe, Eugenia

Raine’s team took 3rd place in the bracket this year (but the trophies haven’t come in yet).
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Carter’s U8 Great White Sharks team

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Carter, Alex, Owen, Blake, Branson, Luke, Conner, Jacob

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5/15 – Carter’s last game of the season
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5/8 – Raine’s 2nd to last game of the season
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4/28 – By some miracle, I started recording just as Carter made a drive down the field and scored a perfect goal — it was beautiful!

4/21 – Carter played in the pouring rain, and scored a goal too!
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4/17
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3/31
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3/24
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After our games, we went to the FC Dallas game. The association offers tickets to coaches to show appreciation for the time we spend. When I picked the tickets for that game, I thought it was early enough in the spring to beat the heat — I was wrong!
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We had great seats, it felt like we were part of the action.
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3/17 – First games of the season.
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Mother’s Day 2018

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After church, Daddy grilled some shish kabobs and we had dinner on the patio.

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Then I opened all of my gifts.

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Carter’s portrait is sitting in my office and I get lots of comments on it!

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After presents, Daddy baked a chocolate cake from scratch.

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These “all about my mom” forms are my absolute favorite part of Mother’s Day each year because they highlight what my kids actually think!

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On Wednesday, Raine and I went to a mother-daughter tea party for Activity Day Girls. Each girl introduced their mom and this is what Raine said:
“Hi, my name is Raine and my mom’s name is Kimberly.
My mom is amazing, wonderful, fabulous and she’s the best mom in the world
because she doesn’t get too mad when my brother and I fight.
We are alike because we both have a sweet tooth.”

Texas Rangers baseball game

Friday evening our good friend, and former neighbor Evan Eastman invited us to a Texas Rangers game against the Boston Red Socks. He had a suite with reserved parking — it was AWESOME!

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Our parking spot was right across the street from the main gates.
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You have to eat a hot dog when you go to a baseball game.
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After the game they had a really cool fireworks show set to music. It was pretty late by the time we headed home. Raine was tired, but little Alice was so wired from the cotton candy, M&M’s, and Twizzlers that she kept telling us that she wasn’t tired at all!

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This was the first time that our kids have been to a major league baseball game. Watching from a suite was definitely the way to go for kids because they could get up and walk around, and there was a restroom right in the suite. Hopefully they won’t expect this from now on!

2nd grade field trip

Carter’s class went on a field trip to the SeaLife Aquarium on Thursday and I went with him. It was pouring rain and driving wind when we arrived at the aquarium. It looked like a hurricane! We were all soaking wet by the time we made it inside.

Ben Murdock was in our group. (There were 11 parent chaperones for the 19 kids in his class so the groups were very small!)
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Carter looking down into the stingray tank.
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Carter and Ben watching a shark swim toward them in the glass tunnel.
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A giant ray swimming overhead.
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Jellyfish.
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These guys were such 7-year-old boys, they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. They were constantly poking, pushing, and picking up each other! And laughing the ENTIRE time.
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Touching sea anemonies.
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Touching sea stars.
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They had a “shark school” presentation at the end of their tour. When it was over, Carter informed me that it was the stupidest presentation ever! I had to agree. If you are going to call it shark school, it needs to be about sharks, not sustainable fishing. I appreciate the conservation efforts, but the best way to encourage conservation is to give kids an understanding of the amazing creatures under the sea so that they will WANT to preserve them.
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Skateboarding

Yesterday Carter had a skateboard lesson at Alliance Skate Park. His awesome teacher Trent helped him with his kick-turns, taught him how to do an ollie, and worked on dropping-in with Carter. The video shows it all. Carter really, really wants to learn how to skateboard and is willing to fall on his bony little tush to learn it (like he did when he tried to drop in all by himself). Every time he gets back up and tries it again, because he wants it.

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Carter didn’t always have this attitude. Back on March 4, I recorded the following in my journal after taking Carter to the Watagua skate park:

About a year ago, Carter decided that he wanted to learn to skateboard. He bought a skateboard at the local sport store for about $7 and gave it a few runs. After watching the Olympics recently, he stated that he wants to be a snowboarder. Since we don’t have any snow or mountains around here, I told him that he needs to learn how to ride his skateboard because it’s similar to snowboarding.

Carter’s cheap board had some really cheap wheels and bearings so I told him that I would buy him some new ones if he would do 12 extra jobs (essentially a job for every dollar).

The new wheels made a HUGE difference and he has been riding his board every chance he gets (unfortunately we’ve had a record wet February), including to school every day.

Carter had asked me to take him to a skate park and yesterday we finally went. On the drive over he mentioned that he hoped there weren’t any professionals there. In reality, he was hoping that there weren’t many people there at all. To his dismay, it was very crowded when we pulled in. Regardless, he put on his pads and ventured over to the skate park.

Everyone there was at least 5 years older than Carter and all of the skateboarders were at least 10 years older. The place was full of boys on scooters, bikes, boards, and even a few remote-controlled vehicles. It was packed but it was organized chaos. Still, it was a bit much for poor little Carty. He ventured in and fell flat on his side the first time he tried to go up and back down one of the walls. He cried, got frustrated, but went back out. Again he fell. He came back to me the second time saying that he wanted to leave because it was too hard. I told him that if he would go back out there for 20 minutes then I would buy him a slush on our way home.

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He went back out and within a couple minutes had taken another hard fall. He came back to where I was sitting on “my” skateboard, sat down on the board behind me, buried his head in my back, and cried. I knew that his pride was probably just as injured as his tush because there were so many really good skateboarders there. But I also had seen the way they would sympathetically pick up Carter’s board and hand it back to him when he would fall. They had all been there and remembered what it was like to be a beginner. No one ever gave Carter a look that said beginners weren’t welcome or that he was in the way. I was actually quite surprised by how they watched out for him and I even heard one say encouragingly, “you got it, buddy.”

As Carter sat on the back of my board, crying and vowing to never skateboard again, I gave him a pep-talk worthy of a Hollywood movie! I told him how all of these kids were at least 5 years older than he was and that when they were 7, they skateboarded just like him. I also told him that if he kept skateboarding for the next 5 years then he would be as good as they were. But that if he just went home and cried then he would never get any better. I pointed out that all of them were falling and that everyone was working on something that they couldn’t do yet. I assured him that he would have a good bruise or 2 but also told him that falling and getting bruises was part of skateboarding. I told him that nobody thought he was in the way and that when people were telling him that they were coming down it was just to let him know so that he wouldn’t run into them, not because they wanted him to move somewhere else.

He calmed down and said that he didn’t want to go home yet. He wanted me to go over by the little ramp that he felt like he could conquer — I think he just needed me closer. He got back out there and seemed more comfortable. A bit later he fell hard again on the big wall and came back to me to cry. But this time he didn’t talk about wanting to go home, he had accepted that everyone falls, that it is part of the sport. He was a little frustrated though. His skateboard had long board wheels but softer trucks than mine which had wheels better suited for a skate park but tighter trucks which made it harder to turn. I told him that there was a boarder across the park who had a wrench and I would go ask him to adjust the trucks if he wanted. He agreed and so we ventured over to the skater with the tattoos down his arms and asked if he would adjust Carter’s trucks. He happily did it, saying that it would make it a lot easier to learn.

By the time we left, Carter was all smiles. He had mastered the little hill and felt much more comfortable on his board. The confidence he gained was visible on his face. He now appreciated how hard skateboarding is and was committed to putting in the effort to get better. As a mom, it was really awesome to watch. In a small way, I felt like I was watching my little boy take his first step toward manhood.

We stopped at Sonic on the way home to get a slush and a hot dog. Carter was on top of the world! He had conquered a giant.