Wednesday, August 13, 2014

All Camped Out

School starts tomorrow. Aghh! Where did the summer go?

Since we acquired a whole pile of paperwork yesterday at Back to School night, I decided that it was finally time to sort through the slew of papers that the girls brought home from school in May.  In Brooklyn's 3rd Grade Memory Book I found a "Lista de cosas para hacer este verano" (List of things to do this summer.)  On her list was 1. Go to Alaska (Actually, it says Ir a Alaska, but I'm taking the liberty to translate)  2.  Go to a softball camp  3.  Go to Spanish camp, and  4.  Go to swim camp.

Given the hundreds of photos forced upon you, we obviously ticked off goal number one.  You'll be happy to know that she accomplished the rest of her goals as well, and I didn't take a single picture!  Brooklyn enjoyed a few days of softball camp at nearby South high school early in the summer, Talia and Brooklyn both attended a great Spanish camp taught by our friend Maestra Julia, and swim "camp" turned out to be a fantastic session of swim lessons for Brooklyn, Talia, and Eli.  Coach Roger's teaching style was definitely one of tough love.  Got a mouth full of water?  "Spit it out or swallow it."  Yet over the course of two weeks, the girls made great progress and Eli went from being afraid to put his face in the water to jumping off the diving board.

Lest ye be afeared that I have no pictures at all, here are some photos from two additional camps that didn't even make the original summer wish list. 

Violin at the Omaha Conservatory of Music:

The Omaha Conservatory of Music (OCM) generously offered a few scholarships to Violin Sprouts with interest in attending their junior summer institute.   The program was fairly rigorous--nine to noon for six days straight.  I initially planned on bypassing the opportunity since it would be nearly impossible for me to be there with him every day.  Fortunately, NomiAnn cleared her schedule so that she and Eli could attend together.   Eli had a great time improving his technique and musicianship.  I think he's realizing how much fun violin can be!
Eli on his way to the final performance at Westside Middle School.
Eli and Ms. Liang, his Masterclass instructor.
Waiting to perform.
A silly photo with all the tiny violinists.
On stage, Eli kept using his hand as a spy glass to try and find us.  During intermission, this man saw me walking with Eli and explained that he'd taken some pictures because Eli was such a hoot.  A few days later he e-mailed me this picture of our "spy guy."

Hummel Day Camp:

Last week Brooklyn and Talia attended Hummel Day Camp--an Omaha tradition.  This camp has been going on for decades--if you mention Hummel, many adults in the area will fondly recollect their own experiences there.  The camp activities are classic--cooking over a campfire, archery, hiking, dodge ball, wilderness survival, smores, and of course dirt.  Lots and lots of dirt.
I took this picture on Tuesday just to show how dirty Brooklyn got after playing on the mudslide.
Definitely time for a bath!
I thought Brooklyn's grime was pretty impressive until Talia came home on Wednesday, having taken her own turn on the mudslide.

And this is how she looked after her counselors spent five minutes hosing her off.  Just imagine!

Mounds of dirt from head... toe.
As if she didn't look enough of a ragamuffin, Talia also managed to trip and knock another tooth loose.
At times we Wheelers may try to pretend we're all sophisticated and French, but let's face it--we're just a bunch of hillbillies.
Sisters--filthy but joyful.

Only Talia can make grime look stylish.  Love you, munchkin!
So Talia's dirt was so impressive that earned her the award of "Mud Monster" at the final program.  Really, though, I think Aunt Callie is the one who deserves an award for spending almost an hour getting Brooklyn and Talia clean enough to come in the house.  Here's what the kiddie pool looked like after rinsing off the girls and their clothes.
Totally disgusting!
While they may not ever be completely the same, Talia's clothes at least came clean enough to handle another day of camp.  Here's Talia during her skit for the final program.  I love how the rest of the kids are paying attention while she's off posing.
I promise this smile wasn't prompted.  Even so, it may be a good clue that we take too many pictures.

And here's Brooklyn (in red) during her group's skit about launching the camp director into space.
All in all, Hummel Day Camp was great.  We all look forward to making many more memories there in years to come.


Julie L said...

Oh, no! Last I saw you were just leaving Vancouver for Alaska! I missed all your posts. Time to start winding backwards! Love the mud photos. I think every child needs the experience of playing in the mud and looks like Talia managed to bring it to a whole new level. And hooray for photographers who are willing to take a darling photo and then seek you out to get it to you! Eli is a hoot! You have had one packed summer!

Anonymous said...

Well,I'm certain Brooklyn and Talia are very prepared for their first day back in school today. After viewing their "mud monster" photos, I was reminded of this terrific quotation:

"It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it." -Jacob Bronowski

Susie said...

Love the darling pictures and synopsis of your busy full summer!

Grandma H said...

What absolutally wonderful pictures & comments! What a great summer! And how times have changed! Back in the "olden" days, children didn't have to go to special schools & camps to learn how to become dirty. It just came naturally! Ha!