June 29, 2011
What a strange summer we've had so far! After several months of commuting several days a week to Upton, Wyoming (for a plant start-up), Daddy got word that they needed him there full time for 6-7 weeks. Then they put him on six day a week night shift! We decided to bring the whole family to Wyoming so that we'd be able to see him sometimes. So we are renting a little house in Newcastle.
In the mornings I try to keep you all very quiet; we eat breakfast then go for a walk so Daddy can sleep. Then we get to spend 9:30-12:30 in the morning with him. We've been having fun trying out new playgrounds, bike paths, and library. It's getting pretty hot and there's no a/c in the house, so I bought you guys a little wading pool and squirt guns to use in the yard. You're also doing VBS this week, which seems to be a hit. The a/c is broken on the van too, so I was amazed at how well you all have done with the 1.5 hour commute. We've done fun things on the way – ice cream in Custer, a tour at Jewel Cave, stops at Old MacDonald's Farm – to keep it interesting. But no doubt it's been a little hard to live two places! Sometimes you ask me “Are we in Wyoming or Rapid City?”
Last week we really mixed it up and spent two days near Valentine, Nebraska. My high school friend was visiting her childhood home (a ranch!) so Natalie and the cousins caravaned with us to see my friend Joye and her four children. Between all of us (plus Joye's brother) we had thirteen children seven and under! It rained much of the time, but you still got to swim in a waterfall the first day! The second day we wore trash bags for ponchos while alternating between huddling by the fire and getting towed on a sled by the four-wheeler. The night we slept there was spent with Natalie, me and all seven cousins in one bedroom! Memories for sure.
You did so great in your ballet recital. You were a “pear” in the “Very Hungry Caterpillar”. The whole ballet was over an hour and a half long, yet you were the only dancer to “steal the show” by generating an uproar of laughter throughout the whole crowd (of several thousand!). You pranced onto the stage – apparently determined to own your moment. Every movement was TO THE MAX and as your classmates tiptoed and stumbled through the motions you acted with CONFIDENCE! Finally when you did a series of sweeping arabesques followed by a double pirouette, it was just too much and everyone started laughing! I'm so glad we got the DVD! Grandma B even got to see you dance because she came for a week to see baby Elise.
You are a very good big sister – so sweet and helpful with Elise and always trying to play with Matthew and calm him down. But you and Isaac argue a LOT. It drives me crazy – but I think you just think the birth order isn't what it should be. In your mind you were MEANT to be the oldest. And it's Isaac's problem if he doesn't like your ideas.
You've started riding your bike on just two wheels. You're still a little tippy and I have to help you get started, but you're getting the hang of it. You're so good about just trying again! You and Veronnika are inseperable. You spend time in the bathroom every morning brushing your hair and requesting lip gloss. The times I let you use your make-up set, you emerge from the bathroom with a face coated in purple and pink goo. It's pretty funny.