Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer comes in like a lion . . .

At last, summer is here -- though you wouldn't know it by the weather this year. It's been cold and rainy for the past three days. Aaron's and Nathan's last day of school was last Friday, which was a gorgeous day, thankfully. (Our photos are a little blurry -- we had the camera on the wrong setting for a few days, and now I can't rotate the vertical photos in our new photo program, so most of the good ones would show up sideways. Argh.)

After school ended, we went to a farewell party at a local park for some of their classmates who are moving to South Carolina. Then it was off to the library to sign up for the summer reading program, then out for a special treat: a meal out to celebrate the start of summer. The restaurant we went to has old Tilt-a-Whirl cars for booths, and the kids love it. They could serve cardboard with a side of sawdust, and our kids would still want to eat there, just to sit in the Tilt-a-Whirl seats!

Last weekend, we celebrated Peter's 40th birthday. He kicked off his birthday weekend with his three brothers by going to a Brewer game -- the tickets for their outing were my sister's gift to him. She's a big Milwaukee Brewers fan, and likes to share the love. :o)

The children and I had a big surprise for him . . . ever since the boys started taking piano lessons last fall, Peter has mentioned several times that he's always wished he knew how to play the cello. So, for his 40th birthday, the kids and I arranged to rent a cello and find a teacher. A former babysitter of ours just happens to be a cello performance student at Julliard, and is home for the summer -- perfect!

I think we had more fun working on the surprise than he even had receiving it . . . like the fun of hiding a cello in the house for two weeks before the big day!! Now every time he practices, Anya Rashi says, "Happy Birthday, Daddy!" The surprise is just as fresh for her, no matter how many days have gone by.

My present to him was time away together, something we haven't done since Anya Rashi came home (18 months ago as of June 16). We went to Chicago for the weekend and stayed with our best friends from college. They are so much fun, and we had a terrific weekend. Lots of good food, lots of laughter, and somehow it always feels like no time has gone by since our last visit. They surprised both of us on Saturday by sending us off to a day spa for a massage -- so I got to celebrate my birthday a little early!

This weekend was full of the boys' first baseball practice, having some friends over for brunch, and Aaron's and Nathan's first piano recital. I love the picture of them taken afterwards with their teacher -- their shirts are already untucked! Add to that mix the fact that Peter's summer theatre production is next weekend . . . whew! We always seem to start summer off with a flurry of activity . . . and then get into a more reasonable summer groove.

Still waiting for the groove . . . today is rainy, so we're taking care of errands, then baseball practice (maybe), and tomorrow is eye doctor appointments for my poor sons (who have inherited both my and Peter's awful eyesight), and a visit with a friend who's here from Kentucky, then Wednesday is our first official baseball game and we are watching some friends' kids . . . not sure when the "groove" is starting!


Amy said...

Wow, lots of activity at your house. How neat that you have such a musical family. My mother and father both play instruments. I love the cello!

Enjoy the crazy days of summer :)

Shad and Maggie Alsworth said...

I wished I had known you were in Chicago! We could've met up some where!

Looks like you summer is going to be as hectic as ours!:) I would never change it though!! Hope you have some nice weather soon.

Prayers for a safe and fun summer!


Julie & Patrick said...

Wow! Sounds like your household is in constant motion, but all with fun activities for everyone. We still have not gone away overnight...not because of any nervousness; the right opportunity has just not come up yet. Will be seeking some advice when we do :) Love the cello gift and massages...great imaginations for gifts and so fun too!!

Happy summer...hope your sunshine arrives soon!


ColleenC said...

Aww, sounds so fun! I love the activity and stickiness of summer! My boys are already addicted to popsicles and watermelon (of course it's very hot here already). Can't believe you're done with school already we still have a week and a half!

The Labontes said...

You know I'm a sucker for a musical family :) Peter looks like a natural holding that cello! We've had a chilly start as well, but I'm loving all the outside time with the kiddos! Can't wait until school is out so I can have Maddie home, too.


Lynda said...

Hi Nancy,

Sananda is sitting here on my lap and I clicked into your blog and starting looking at the recent pictures and all of a sudden she proclaims, "It's Anya". She remembers!
Looks like you all are having a great time.


Jeff and Leslie said...

So how's the cello coming along? I always wanted to try it too. I played the bass in high school and college, but it's not the same. Time away together...what's that? LOL

Matthew said...

This is out of the blue but is that "Tilt-a-Whirl" restaurant in Appleton and if it is could you please forward me the name of it? I would really appreciate it! I have friends who want to go there but no one we know can remember the name!