Monday, August 16, 2010

What Happened?

The boys went with Gary to get two loads of firewood on Saturday. This is what they came home looking like. I can only imagine what three loads would have done to them! The funny thing is Logan didn't wash his hair when he showered and I didn't realize it until we were sitting in Sacrament meeting. He told me he was too busy getting the black off to remember to wash his hair. YUCK! They were two happy boys though.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Yellow and Blue

The first week of school was a smashing success. I have to admit, the first day Ethan was there I had to stop myself from calling the office to check on him during the day. It's a long day from 7:30 to 3:30! Maybe it's just a long day for me to be away from someone I've spent almost every day, all day, with the last year since moving to the canyon. He did great though. Here are some brief recaps.

Ethan almost missed the bus his first morning. The bus came five minutes early and he went running out of the house with his backpack as big as he was - it was filled with his lactaid pills and a giant box of granola bars for class snack - and he was yelling as loud as he could, "I'm coming bus! Don't leave me!" He was running toward the bus at this point. The bus driver could see him run the length of the neighboring house to get to the bus. My guess is he wouldn't drive past the running kindergartner.

After school he got off the bus and with eyes HUGE and smile even bigger said to me, "Mom! Yellow and blue make GREEN!" and then showed me his scribbles on a paper from art class to prove it. He was thrilled with his new knowledge. He was also thrilled to find out he didn't have to carry his medicine and granola bars every day back and forth to school and could, in fact, give them to his teacher the next day. At least I know I can keep things securely in his backpack for the entire day without him ever thinking about it.

Logan is a bit more cool about his day. He was very excited about the picture he drew for his homework folder. He was also way excited to write in cursive. He sat down in the first night of school with a clean sheet of paper and said, "I'm going to write the entire alphabet in cursive for extra credit." Extra credit? On the first day? That is one excited kid! Today when I asked him how his day was, he replied, "Awesome!" but that was the end of the description. I think he is loving third grade.

Tom is still acting as cool as ever. He loves being the oldest in the Elementary school. With it comes a lot of responsibility and prestige. I think I've heard a million times that he is in charge of the school flag so he may not be able to pick Ethan up from the Kindergarten room to get on the bus. He will be sure to send Logan who doesn't have such enormous responsibilities though. He's also told me he will probably be able to see Ethan at recess occasionally because he will be in charge of the "ball box" and Ethan will have to request playground equipment from him or some of his 5th grade colleagues. He also gets to be in 5th grade band and gets to pick his instrument he will learn to play. So far the list is narrowed down to the bass guitar or the saxophone but, since 5th grade is the youngest, they get to pick their instruments last after high school and middle school students are done. I'm excited that he is really pumped about learning an instrument again. I hope it takes better than piano did!

Dylan has been adjusting pretty well to being the only child during the day. The only time it came up was nap time when he looked over and realized he was being unfairly punished alone. He asked where Ethan was and wasn't thrilled when I told him school. Today we went to Flagstaff on a "date" together. It was nice to spend that time with just Dylan and I was surprised how much faster the shopping went with just one monster instead of two or three or four. I think I could get use to this!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

First Day of School 2010

This year we have three very excited boys starting school. It's so much more reassuring sending off a kindergartner if he has two older brothers watching out for him. I still get a bit nervous sending Tom because each year it is new territory. We've never sent a son to 5th, yes I said 5th, grade before. I know he can handle it just fine. It's not him I'm worried about, it's his parents. Can we pass 5th grade again?

He has grown so much since moving to the Grand Canyon. He's taller, a bit more muscular, and those feet. Don't get me started on those feet. Is it possible that his feet really fit in that size shoe? Is it possible that those skis on the ends of his legs will ever stop growing? Is it possible that I will be able to wear his shoes this school year? He has also grown emotionally in the last year. He is so compassionate and loving and responsible and yet totally a kid that is excited to go out bunny hunting with a homemade spear. He is at one of those major crossroads in life where he is still a little boy but a pre-teen all the same. Too cool for his parents and most everything else one minute and wanting to sit and snuggle in the next. How can my baby boy be turning into a young man so quickly? I'm am excited and a bit sad and also nervous about him this year. Fifth grade will bring more responsibility and more fun. I know he'll excel and grow even more this coming year.

Logan, Logan, Logan. It seems like yesterday we were putting him on the bus to Lincoln preschool to help with his speech and here he is in "upper elementary" this year. He's climbed the stairs from 2nd to 3rd grade and is more than ready for what this year is going to throw his way. He was so excited to start school this year and at the same time a bit anxious. He'd never admit being nervous but his outburst and tormenting of little brothers gives him away. He was so excited to pick out school shoes that came with green laces and then to find a shirt that was the same color to wear on the first day. Such a fashionista sometimes. He knows his teacher from Odyssey of the Mind last year when she coached his team so that helps a little bit with the new territory. I love his strong will and his independent nature. I love that he doesn't worry what people think and can ride around the neighborhood in full costume of his choosing. I love that he is constantly wanting to learn and explore the world around him. I can't wait to see him develop even more talents and gain even more knowledge this coming year.

My baby is not a baby anymore. He's off to Kindergarten. Even though today was just a drop in open house day for him, he was up at dawn getting ready for school. He proudly stood by the "first day of school picture tree" and couldn't contain his excitement. I asked if he would miss me just a little bit and he assured me that wouldn't be a problem. We talked about how sometimes some kids - not you of course I reassured - would be sad on the first day of school and a bit nervous. We talked about the possibility of some kids even crying because they missed home. Ethan, my little caretaker, told me he would be their friend and try to make them feel better about being at school. Tomorrow my little man will board the bus with all the other kids from Kindergarten to Seniors and he will no longer be just mine, all mine. I now have to share him with the world out there. I hope they will love his beaming smile, inquisitive nature, kind heart, and energetic bounce just as much as I do. I am sending off my little man and I will be getting back a boy that can handle things all on his own in a few short months. Where did his first five years disappear to? How will Dylan handle being home without his buddy? What will I do without my little snuggler? I now have to let his teacher have the majority of his time and I get to cherish the few waking hours that are left.

At least I know that they will be there for each other. They are silly together, serious together, crazy together, Bishop boys together forever. As different as each of them are, I know they will look out for each other and enjoy seeing each other on playground, and most importantly acting like little boys together this year at school.

In just two short years, I will have one more little man at the bus stop waiting for the bus to come the first day of school. Will he look as little as Ethan? Will Logan be ginormous like Tom seems to be today? How much bigger can Tom get before he can't really sit on that little bench by his brothers and wait for that big yellow bus to come? Thank goodness I still have two years before I have to find out! Good luck this year boys! Your Dad and I are rooting for you!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wacky Arizona Weather

When we moved to Arizona, I knew we weren't in the Phoenix, Arizona climate but I wasn't prepared for the weather we've experienced. We were greeted to winter in November with amazing amounts of snow that continued through the spring. It seemed like it would never melt.

Spring came and with it came no wild fires. An unheard of event here in Arizona. April and May are typically wild fire season as things begin to dry out and tourists and campers are beginning to come in droves. Not one single reportable incident.

June is usually the hottest month of the year here we've heard. I built a fire in mid June because it was 40 degrees at two in the afternoon. The fire wood pile was still being used through the middle of the month. Strange.

July usually brings monsoons. We've heard that monsoons mean the clouds build up with the afternoon heat and then the thunderstorm comes for a quick downpour cooling things off in the afternoon.

Sure, there's been some thunder but the quick downpour is the understatement of 2010. It's been raining almost daily since we came home from Utah the end of July. There are flash flood warnings. There are new flowers blooming. There are green grasses growing. The humidity has been so high that we haven't needed lotion or lip balm. The clothes come out of the dryer dry but by the time you are done folding one batch, it is damp. Forget hanging them on the line. It takes all day for them to dry out. This is not the Arizona weather we were expecting but it is nice to hear the rain and feel the cool breezes in August, just don't tell my fire fighting husband.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Adventure Week

Since this is the last week before school starts for the three oldest boys, we decided to have a week full of adventure days. Every day has been something a bit different and every day a surprise to the boys. It has really been a lot of fun and I think it is something we will continue each year.

Monday we kicked off the week with Gary taking half a day off and the six of us heading in to Flagstaff. The boys kept guessing what we were doing right up until we pulled into the movie theater parking lot. We saw Despicable Me and loved it. It had a great message and was pretty funny. All the boys loved the movie and loved their popcorn and drink just as much I think. Since we live so far away from a theater, this is a special treat for them.

After the movie, Gary and I stopped by the hospital to see a dear friend who is battling cancer and the boys didn't even complain once about hanging out in the car to watch a movie for a few minutes while we went in.

From there it was off to dinner. We really wanted to have a family favorite, Chinese, but still hadn't found a great place so we just started driving down Route 66 in hopes of seeing one we had missed before. Sure enough, the Golden Dragon had cars in the parking lot - a sure sign - and we enjoyed one of the best Chinese dinners we'd had in a long, long time. We'll go back for sure.

Tuesday it was just the boys and me and we headed off for the Tusayan Museum and Ruins and the Desert View Tower on the East side of the Grand Canyon National Park. Even though we drive by it every time we go to Utah or come home, we've never stopped. It was very interesting. The ruins were the homes of people living in this area in the 1100s and told about how they survived in this harsh climate using everything around them. Dylan wasn't thrilled but the older boys and I loved it. The tower was a bit more nerve racking for me. We climbed the stairs and the boys insisted on looking over the edge in the middle of the tower to see how far they had climbed. The tower was filled with drawings on the walls and ended with an awesome view of the canyon. A stop at the Desert View market for some rootbeer and lemonade capped off a great morning.

Wednesday I decided to visit another place we often drive by but have yet to stop and see. Yabba Dabba Doo is a Flintstone village in Valle, 30 minutes south of our house. It has all the homes you would see on the Flintstone cartoon and all are made of rock. It was.....interesting. If it hadn't been so hot and if there had been more than my kids there, we may have stayed more than the hour we did. It was a great place to use their imagination and they pretended to be all the characters in the cartoons. Not sure if the season pass we bought earlier in the spring was worth it though.

Thursday we decided to do an adventure evening instead of day so Gary could join us again. We headed to the Best Western where the local bowling alley is located. It was a blast! Gary helped Dylan push the ball down the lane and they were the only ones to break 100. The rest of us just did our best and almost broke 80. Yeah, we aren't entering the professional bowling circuit any time soon but it was a lot of fun. Gary and I asked each other why we hadn't taken advantage of that place sooner. I think we'll be back for sure, if only for date night.

Today we are off to Williams to the swimming pool. Tom's fourth grade teacher hosts a farewell party to all her outgoing fourth graders each year the week before school starts. We'll swim, eat pizza, swim some more, and just have a fun afternoon. Gary is even going to take half a day and join us. I'm not sure if it's because he wants to or he's afraid I won't be able to keep all four boys alive at a pool but either way we are excited he's coming.

Now that I see how much fun it is to have a week long adventure right before school, I'm already looking forward to adventure week next year. Now the challenge will be to find five more fun events that we haven't done yet or don't get a chance to do very often. Half the fun is discovering something together and listening to the boys try to guess what it is we are going to do!