Friday, June 6, 2014

Glosser Chronicles: May Review

Ah, May. You came. You went. Is it just me or is time moving faster than ever before? Have there been any scientific studies on earth's rotation around the sun lately? Someone out there must be logging our trek. Perhaps light is moving at a faster rate now, causing the lines of reality as we know it to blur? Surely something, somewhere has changed in the universe to cause this speeding of moments, days, months... Or maybe it's my age. (I am rapidly approaching 30, you know.) But I digress.

Seriously, May was fast but wonderful. It marked the beginning of spring (even though it technically began in April) and end of our homeschool year. (Finally!! Can I get an "amen", homeschool mamas and teachers everywhere?!)
Spring has officially made its home in Iowa and we experienced the return of frigid, sudden Iowa temperature drops, the ever increasing Iowa heat and humidity, as well as the marvelously refreshing rain & spring storms... Yes, sometimes even in a single 24-hour period. But there are seasons! 4 of them. And for that I will never complain. The transition months of spring and autumn are my favorites, and I'm so thankful we get to witness them firsthand.
Along with the warmer temps comes gardening season. I mentally battled for months with what to do in our own home garden this year. Usually I love it and look forward to planting a variety of nutritious, tasty herbs, fruits, and veggies in our front & back yards; however, last year's fight with pests & pitiful harvest left me a little discouraged, our beds need some intense refreshment and care, and, well, there's this baby due any day now... What to do? What to do? I decided early on to not start anything from seed this year to help ease the burden, and then my dad offered me the seedlings he wasn't going to use so I just went with that. Thanks to him, we now have several varieties of tomatoes and peppers in the ground as well as our previously planted strawberries & blueberries (which hopefully will give us a good showing of produce this year!) I let my herb garden self-seed last summer and it's growing beautifully. In fact, I think I prefer that specific spot in our yard more than any other. It's just gorgeous & so low maintenance! I wish I could set up a chair and little table in there to claim as "mine" to retreat to for tea, a book, and relaxation. Ahh, but I must settle with the mere ideal for now, I suppose.
Most of my kids love being outside, and I enjoy it very much as well as long as my swelling, pregnant ankles can tolerate it. So we are spending as much time outdoors as possible, soaking up the springtime sun and cooler mornings before sweltering summer heat invades.We've dusted off the grill & fired it up for the first of many grill-outs and hang-outs this year. And I am starting (and finishing) a few outdoor projects that need to get done before Baby's arrival!
Our last day of homeschool wrapped up on May 30th, after which I pulled out all of my kindergartener's completed work for the year, sorted it, and gushed over reviewed it. We pulled out the lapbooks we put together and looked them over, reviewing what we learned through the process. It was about that time that Bubbaloo checked out and left me to read some books... I just sat there for a minute thinking of all the hard work we both put in this year and where it has brought us, and all I can say is, "I am so so proud of my 5 year-old!" It's been fun seeing her bud & blossom this year in school. She has learned SO much and has taught me SO much! I'm already fired up for next school year and just planning away, but let's not get too carried away! (No, I never do that.) First thing's first: a nice, relaxing summer with the family. But before I say, "Ready, set, go!" please enjoy some of May's highlights with me.

We like to begin each month with story time at our local library. Then we spend 30-60 minutes picking out our books for the month. The kids look forward to it every time!

We discovered some brand new baby robins in a bush right outside our church! One of the kids found them when they were just eggs about to hatch, and we checked up on them every week to see how they were growing. What a neat thing! God's creation never ceases to amaze me.

We joined the Walking Club at the neighborhood zoo (literally in our neighborhood... we only live about 5 blocks away!) We try to make it once every other week. It's fun to get a peak at the animals before the zoo opens, see the workers getting things ready for the day, and get some fresh air and exercise. We're just not great morning people. :)

I am so proud of my little reader! She finished the school year strong and is loving reading on her own. Even though I've never pushed her in reading, she gladly challenges herself with chapter books on a regular basis.
As if it weren't enough to be called "Mommy" by these 3 precious little ones, they (along with their wonderful Daddy, of course) spoiled me rotten for Mother's Day, taking me to an old favorite restaurant, the Olive Garden, for dinner and sweetening me up with ice cream from Marble Slab for dessert! This mama is completely blessed and extremely happy.
For those who don't know, the majority of our family's birthdays fall in the month of June, making it one HECTIC month! This year, with another baby due *shock* in June, we decided to plan a trip before the accursed busy month to celebrate everyone's birthdays all at once. For Josh's birthday, I wanted to buy him tickets to see his favorite baseball team, the Seattle Mariners, so we checked their schedule, discovered that they play the Minnesota Twins this month, and planned our trip around that. The game we chose happened to fall exactly on Ellie Belly's birthday, so really it couldn't be more perfect, right? We hit up the Mall of America for most of Saturday and did the baseball game on Sunday afternoon before heading back home. This was the kids' first trip to Minnesota and therefore their first visit to the Mega Mall, and they were SO excited! (Can you tell?!)

The mecca for all things Lego: the Lego Store at the Mall of America. Ecstatic is the only word I can think of to describe how the kids reacted to their first visit here. :)

Have you ever seen the Sea Life Aquarium in the Mall of America? It's a little pricey but well worth the experience if you don't have a good aquarium locally. (Plus, there are discounts and coupons available through their website... or you can do what we did & use the coupons that come with kids' meals at the Rainforest Cafe!)
My son is kind of obsessed with ocean animals (especially deep sea creatures) right now so we chose to go mainly for him, but it ended up being a memorable learning experience for all of us! When you live in the Midwest, it can be costly & difficult to visit the ocean with your family. Great aquariums like Sea Life bring a little of the ocean to you! And we'll take it where we can get it. :)

Lastly, you may have caught it already, we went to the Rainforest Cafe for our celebratory birthday dinner. Who can resist charming the little ones with animatronic rainforest animals and live fish, pretend thunderstorms, and the VOOOOLLLCAAAAANNNOOOO!!!


Who says you have to be at home to celebrate with style? We surprised our Ellie Belly on her birthday with a few decorations & presents in our hotel room.

Those are the sticky, syrupy cheeks of a two year-old!


 Sunday was game day -- Twins v. Mariners. This was only Josh's second Mariners' game ever AND Felix Hernandez was pitching (If you don't follow baseball don't ask, because I don't either! But it was a big deal.) AND he got to take his kids to something he loves. I don't think we'll be taking them ALL to a pro game again any time soon... let's just say the first half was pretty rough... but we did enjoy ourselves & went home super tired.


A budding baseball fan? Eh, maybe she just likes to clap.

But they're ALL cotton candy fans!

Felix pitching = Felix Day

Ok, just one more birthday shot, I promise. (Yes, technically she got to celebrate THREE times!) But I had to get the classic blowing-out-the-number-candle photo in there, didn't I? Hooray for 2!!!

Last but not least, my darling sister & brother-in-law offered to pay for a date night & watch our kids for an evening so that we could have one last "hoorah" before Baby #4 arrives. I cannot even begin to tell you what a blessing that was! I love my family. :)

Hopefully the next time I post will be with a sweet baby in my arms. Just 5 more days until she's "due"! This mama is ready but I know God's still finishing her up and she won't come until the time is just right. I appreciate your prayers as we wait!

In the meantime, why don't you share how your school year ended? Maybe you have some fun summer events planned? I'd love to hear about them.