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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Last Days of School

I came across these tiny saddles in the hallway last night and realized that was the last they'd be out for a while. Tuesday was Baby Sister's last day of Kindergarten. Much to the great envy of her siblings (especially those taking exams) summer has already begun for her! So we've traded those little shoes for bare piggies and flip flops.

It doesn't seem like that long ago that my heart broke (and my face melted behind movie star sunglasses) as I walked Biggest Brother to his first day of Kindergarten. Beginnings and ends are always moist around here. I cannot even write the teacher thank you notes yet because I end up crying. Tears of gratitude for their wonderful year, but also a pangs of knowing time is marching on. The smalls less so every moment.

There is much to be thankful for. I am hugely grateful that I get the chance to see every grade four times. Often in new and exciting places. And sometimes in the same place which is always great! Also, we're so very happy that they all have one more year in school together next year. We never imagined the four of them would be in the same school. Having the chance to do that for four straight years?! We're so blessed. They love being together.

How neat is it that when I open my picture library it shows me photos from a year ago? Truthfully, sometimes that makes me blue, too but this week it sweetly illustrates the passage of time. Baby Sister's teacher measured and weighed the students at the beginning and end of the year so we have proof that she grew 3 inches. The top photo is from the first days of the year. The bottom two from this week.

In keeping with our near inability to get a good group shot lately, it took more than a few attempts to get shots on the last day with everyone in uniforms. They tell a story. New backdrop with a new house. Baby Sister's first lost tooth and evidence of a fall off a sliding board/her first broken bone. (That last bit promises to make our first few weeks at the pool a challenge...! She has asked me a million ways and times how she can swim with a cast. Bless.)

I see other things, too. Big Brother getting glasses this year. Big Sister having gained a sense of confidence and joy from a super teacher and great friends. And Biggest Brother nearly as tall as I am. All of them way more interesting, worldly, smart and creative than I ever was at their ages. I would have loved to have been their friends. Hooray that they're my babies all.

Even tho compared to a British school year it seems negligently early to be trading backpacks for beach towels, we're ready. I love our summertimes. I love our tradition of drawing the days' activity from a jar. We all want to be good summer readers and keep learning. But we'll be extra happy to be doing that while barefoot and without belts. Or saddle oxfords.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

For This Child I Have Prayed

Our first baby girl made her First Holy Communion over the weekend. She is a real blessing. And a true dolly. I could stare at this picture for days. She was so proud of herself and joyful. We are, too. 

Her fan club was equally tickled and we were all a little taken aback to see her look so much more grown up.

There are lots of the every days and then there extraordinary ones like Sunday that seem to come and go so quickly. Really this whole school year has flown and now somehow we're just days away from the start of our summertime. 

Someday, I bet I'll look back at these pictures and think they look so little. But for the moment, I see whispers of their big selves in these images. Legs are getting longer, faces are thinning out. But I always see them snuggled up together.

I can imagine these pictures on display at graduations and weddings. I hope they'll always be nearby in the extraordinary and even ordinary days. Standing together and celebrating.

These are the days!  xo