Friday, June 17, 2011

On the First Day of Summer Vacation, My True Loves Gave to Me....

It's the time of year when everything comes to a close. I have been saying goodbyes, addressing cards for thank-you gifts, or writing my own thank-you cards for gifts since May--not to mention making my last outings to stores sans girls! I have experienced this "second Christmaslike" season enough times to expect it, anticipate it and plan accordingly for it.

But, if you talked with me in the last week or so, you know that I have been crazy stressed because of the high-voltage, ear-splitting, patience-zapping "bomb" that is The Last Days of School!! I don't know who has been living here most of this week, but I don't recognize them. I'm not sure why I haven't expected, anticipated and planned accordingly for it. There is no such thing as a disarmament treaty for this, apparently.

The girls really love school. [No, now is not the time to interject with a "But....," CJ.] There is nothing better than having a regular flow to your day--in school and out of school. Something happens in June, however, that's like a rug being yanked out from under your Crocs. Both girls have struggled with getting through these last days--exams for one; Field Day, Pajama Day and all kinds of special fun days not usually on the schedule for the other. And, you know how it goes--all's well until you get home. Then, "it" comes out!!

* * *

But, now it's Friday, and there were no alarms or backpacks or buses. Everyone was in PJs until 10. The morning agenda? A celebratory beginning-of-summer outing to Michaels.

CJ received an extremely generous gift card for making origami flowers last summer. She had her shopping list and bag--and a 50% off coupon from me!--and came home with...treasure! Lime green duct tape, gum and erasers, among other goodies. Nervous at the checkout, she awaited the final total from the cashier. Wow! Only $15! The [Our] agony of the days prior completely dissipated. She happily stowed her treasure and proceeded to clean out her desk drawers!

RJ2 was the real reason we were at Michaels today. If you follow me on Facebook, you know that RJ2 had to buy a present for a friend's birthday. She had to be brave and go INSIDE the store to pick out something. She not only went in the store that day, and picked out a great gift, but she had the best time ever, talking about it for days. I promised the girls right there in the kids' section that we would come back the Friday after school finished.

A true sensory girl, she picked out a bumpy cucumber, a purple tentacled bracelet, a "finger aquarium" and Swedish Fish. She had to wait in several places, but she handled the store amazing well once again. "Just one store," she reminded me. We're still a one-store visitor, but, we're planning to make that "one store" a Target next week.

Not to be left out, I had my own list of things (that I didn't buy the day before--and I have all these coupons!). Now that the girls' artwork is finally coming home, I have the chance to make some selections and to frame some of my own treasures. Can you tell who that is?

CJ was in full-blown multi-media mode in her art class this past semester and made a self-portrait. This photo doesn't do the art justice. There is all kinds of texture and technique going on here. I just love it, and I love how she stuck with her own thoughts, even as fellow classmates were saying, "You're doing it wrong," [as if you can do art "wrong"!].

The girls enjoyed a really nice afternoon--organizing, playing, relaxing. CJ is at a middle school girls lock-in tonight at church, and I baked those yummy chocolate toffee cookies I make a lot. It was so pleasant to hear the happy hum of happy girls!

And, after the cookies, I moved on to something I could eat--gluten-free granola, from scratch! I baked the gluten-free oats with a little oil, honey and cinnamon, then added coconut, macadamia nuts and cranberries. Oh my goodness! Why have I been buying this stuff for so long? Crazy goodness!! The recipe actually calls for coconut oil--that would be truly outrageous and decadent. [It's expensive!]

Chocolate chip pancakes and bacon for the girls' dinner tonight. Yes, school must be over, for sure, now. Happy and thankful, they were! Five o'clock brought on some traditional, regular grouchies, but I told them to sit at the table with their sketchbooks and color or write until dinner was ready to serve. RJ2 drew pictures and provided captions that CJ wrote in. Once CJ gets a writing implement in her hand, then she just has to use it:

[A note on the "no spend attitude": CJ likes to save all of her money. Unless she knows she has to spend it, like to buy breakfast at Chick-fil-a, so she can eat with the rest of her small group. We've been talking about the importance of using your gift cards when you get them.]

She started by drawing the picture of the girl, complaining that all her people don't look like people. [Huh? They do so.] She asked who I thought it looked like. I said it looked like her. From there, she drew the entire background and all the details, adding the extra frames and captions. "OOPS! Only problem is, I drew it in RJ2's sketchbook." Thinking tomorrow night's sketch will be back in her own book!

So, the day finished with CJ off to her lock-in. RJ2 and I watching deer frolic in the field across from church, with an amazing sunset behind them. Then, with Mom and Dad all to herself, RJ2 had a Q&A session with fill-in-the-blanks (ala, "Don't forget the Lyrics") followed by stealing Dad's Nats' cap and a massive giggle fest. [Wonder if she's asleep yet? I know CJ isn't.]

Glad that Friday was a new day in the truest sense of the word--the first day of the new season that is Summer Vacation. [And, perhaps a few more blogs????.....]


LouiseBC said...

I love (!!) that last drawing. Perfectly illustrates a feeling I know well--being overwhelmed by choice and just wanting to walk away with nothing. Figure it out some other time. This is why we've lived in this house for six years and still haven't replaced the ugly "chandelier" in the dining room!

Love all the artwork and wish I lived at your house (or was at least allowed in for all the meals!).

Kelly Combs said...

Love her painting! Sometimes art just speaks to you. I have one Gabi did of a flower that I framed, for the same reason.

I'm so excited that RJ2 has graduated to a "one store" mentality. Woo-hoo!

I hope we have some time over the summer, pool dates, (followed by Sonic of course!) and some fun.

Love that your blogging on JWalking again!