Big Ten Read 2 Succeed Competition:
This spring, Brooklyn and three other classmates from Crestridge participated in a reading competition, earning silver medals and Golden Tickets in March before moving on to the next level of competition in May.
The Reads? Shakespeare's Secret, How I Nicky Flynn Finally Get a Life and a Dog, Once Upon a Marigold, Wildfire Run, SCAT, Go Big or Go Home, Ungifted, Wonder, Night of the Howling Dogs, & Smells Like Dog. Here's the Crestridge team going to head to head with another school in a quiz bowl tournament.
While Crestridge may have been eliminated more quickly than they wished, they represented their school well and had a lot of fun.
On May 9th, Jason and I celebrated our 12th anniversary. The day was slightly upstaged, however, by the second annual Romahoak bike ride from the Omaha to Red Oak offices of Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture. As evidence of my undying love for Jason, I agreed to join the festivities and bike this year, at least until reaching the sag wagon.
Here we are setting up signs the day before. As you can see, Jason was all smiles in anticipation of the ride.
Unfortunately, Jason's own ride turned out to be quite different from the trip he originally anticipated. Thanks to a blown tire wall that wasn't discovered until minutes before the ride was scheduled to begin, Jason ended up borrowing this folding Branson bike from his boss, Michael Alley.
Let's just say that riding this six-geared "clown bike" with studded tires was unexpectedly challenging. Jason was pretty frustrated to be lagging behind instead of leading the pack as usual. As for myself, this was first time I've ever been able to keep pace with him, so I didn't mind.
Unusual bikes or no, the scenery along the Wabash Trace was gorgeous. Despite many worries about rain, the course was dry and the sun peeked through. Just perfect!
Ultimately, I biked farther than expected and called it quits in Emerson, about 42 miles from the start. At this point, I was all too happy to lend Jason my wheels so that he could finish the race in style on a "real" bike. Here are Jason and Erin, arriving in Red Oak with giant smiles.
Remember Michael Alley, the guy who lent Jason his folding bike? Well, this is how he rode the 55 mile course. I kid you not, I could not keep up with this duo!
This great fellow, Marty, kept us all rolling with his calls of "Ro-Ma-HOAK!
Time for a picnic on the square. Jason's been heavily involved with a facade renovation project that recently began in the downtown area.
NomiAnn and Papa Kay were saints and watched the kids all morning, driving down to join us for lunch, despite Annika crying almost the entire way.
Papa Kay playing with Annie Mae. She's lucky she's cute!
Until next year, Romahoak, farewell! Who knows? By then, I might even be able to handle all the entire journey from office to office.
By the way, just in care you felt sorry for me spending my anniversary sweating across Iowa, this is where Jason and I found ourselves two night's earlier: waiting for Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. The concert was amazing; the only thing that would have made it better would have been twelve extra inches to help me see.
End of the Year Elementary Madness:
Once standardized testing ended, it seems like the rest of the school year was play, play, play! Between field trips, field day, talent shows, awards assemblies, and more, the munchkins had plenty of special events to keep them amused during their last days of school. Here are Talia and some of her friends during a field trip to the Henry Doorly Zoo. I see lots of monkeys in this picture.
I didn't take any pictures at the talent shows, but Brooklyn told jokes with a friend while Talia stood on her head to the tune of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" until the finale when Annika ran on stage to tip her over.
During the awards assemblies, both girls got plenty of exercise popping up and down to be recognized for all sorts of great academic stuff. Mileage Club, however, brought the most attention. Brooklyn was recognized by the Crestridge United Nations and her principal, Ms. Schmid, for her vision and hard work organizing the program. Here's Brooklyn getting ready to announce the grand total for number of miles recorded by students: 2957! That's more miles than you'd need to get from the Statue of Liberty to the Golden Great Bridge.
With Mileage Club wrapped up, Brooklyn was ready to receive her Girl Scout bronze award. Here she is with her two leaders, Angie and Megan, explaining her project. Hanging around her neck is Talia's colorful necklace.
Receiving her awards:
While Brooklyn didn't bridge between levels this year, I wanted to show the cute bridge they made for those who did.
This woman, Angie, goes to a great deal of behind-the-scenes work to help the Jefferson troops run smoothly. After being a scout leader myself this year, I have a much greater appreciation for her service.
All the juniors, admiring their badges and patches.
Between Mileage Club (I calculated that we doled out over 13,000 punches) and all the other year-end chaos, life at home achieved all new levels of madness this spring. One night a friend brought over chili and scones for dinner, for no reason at all. The sweetest thing ever! (Even without the honey.)
We tried to pay it forward by inviting the missionaries over for a dinner of cheese and chocolate fondue. So fun! (Now if only it were a bit lighter in calories.)
On a healthier note, Brooklyn's been busy growing a garden from seed with these "Grow-Ums" sent home from school.
And of course, Jason's been busy as usual trying to keep our home pieced together. Here's the wonky plumbing in our upstairs bathroom before...
..and after Jason smoothed everything out.
Since we were going to have to replace the subfloor anyway, we decided to redo the tile while we were at it.
Gotta admit I love it.
What an amazing hubby!
Unfortunately, the porcelain pot broke during the re-install, so we had to purchase a brand new toilet.
Here's the princess atop her throne.
Unfortunately, this little princess is not only beautiful, but naughty as well. No sooner had we finished our project than she flushed an entire wad of paper towels down the toilet, completely clogging the waste line and thereby causing it to shower in the front room while Jason showered upstairs.
Nothing like tearing out the brand-new sheetrock that you just barely put up, or ripping out the toilet you just installed. Many wax rings later, and we think we've sealed up the flange well enough to avert a similar catastrophe should she be naughty again.
Never a dull moment, folks, never a dull moment. :)
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