On any given day, there is tremendous activity in our house. I'm not so different from most people with kids similar in age to mine, I'm certain.
We have acclimated to our new small town quite well. I have enjoyed becoming a part of the community, as have our children.
Since moving here, we have enjoyed all manner of activities, and I thought I'd share with you what we have busied ourselves with in the last couple of months.
:: Little Arrows - Isaac participated in an introduction to basketball program through the elementary school. It was a Saturday activity, where he learned the basics of basketball. The highlight of the program was a half-time show at a varsity girls' basketball game, where all the participants displayed the skills they had learned. It was even set to music, which made it all the better.
:: Pinocchio - Evy auditioned and was cast in a production of 'Pinocchio.' The Missoula Children's Theater came to our little town in late January. In the course of one week, they cast and produced 'Pinocchio,' with costumes, sets, and everything. Evy was a ballerina toy, and enjoyed being onstage with her friends. They did two performances at the end of the 6 days, and it was quite an impressive accomplishment. Evy did not, however, care for sitting backstage for the entire one-hour production.
:: Family Skate Night - Family skate night amounted to rollerskating in the gym. It was tremendous fun, although I had some difficulty avoiding the kids who frequently fell. I also learned that I have a real difficult time skating clockwise. Who knew? The physical education classes at their school had all been doing rollerskating, and this served as their culmination event. I felt badly for Rich, whose monstrous feet barely fit into the largest size skate they had. Somewhat fortuitously, Margot didn't care for the skating, so instead he kept her company and chatted with some neighbors, while the rest of us enjoyed whizzing around the gym on 4 wheels.
:: Sock Hop - The build-up to this event was pretty exciting. Girls talking about what their poodle skirt looked like, pleas for help from the parents, and numerous save the date flyers and invitations coming home in folders. Initially, Isaac was disinterested in attending. Dancing is not his thing. Evy and Margot didn't feel strongly one way or another, and I was willing to skip it only because it would've been our 4th night out that week. I thought better of it, however, and we went. It ended up being great fun for the kids, and tolerable for the adults. I'm not one to jump in and start cutting a rug with a bunch of elementary kids. I'm the wallflower that likes to watch from the sidelines. Unless it's rollerskating, of course - but even then I refuse to limbo. There was hula-hooping, poodle skirts galore, a picture booth, dinner, and much fun had by all. I'm so glad that we made the decision to go.
:: Dinners with New Friends - Evy has made the astute observation that we have been having "a lot of customers" lately. By customers, she means dinner guests. One thing the distance kept us from for the last 3 years (as a family), was having people over for meals on a regular basis. We enjoy sharing meals with others. We both enjoy cooking, and my kids enjoy having playmates. Since we've moved, we have dinner with friends at least twice a week, and lately, more often. We've made a point to invite over some people that we've wanted to break bread with, in an effort to get to know our community and the community that Rich is a part of at the university. It has been hard being away from family back in Illinois, and even friends. What makes our move all the sweeter, however, is the friends that we've made (and continue to make) since we've been here. It's reassurance to me that we picked the right place to settle. One could not ask for better customers.
:: Valentine's Tea/Classroom helper - I have the privilege of working in Margot's class for a short period of time once a week. I have been going in regularly for the last few months now, helping with centers in her classroom. We have done all sorts of neat activities, and the kids in her classroom are all familiar with who I am, which is a nice feeling for this former teacher. On Valentine's day, Margot's class had a special tea party where we made cards, friendship bracelets, read stories, ate a snack, and listened to and sang along with some songs. I will always feel fortunate to be able to share these kinds of moments with my kids, and hang onto the memory of them when my presence in school will be viewed as a threat instead of a treat.
:: Snow days - Ugh-this winter. We have spent far too many days home from school. It has been a brutally cold winter with piles of snow. In our move, things climate-wise have changed insignificantly. But this winter has chewed us up and spit us out. Right when you have a mild and sunny day -- BAM! -- Old Man Winter brings you a snowstorm the next. There is a little bit of rain falling and -- KA-POW! -- Old Man Winter drops the temperatures to negative 500 degrees and now the roads are sheets of ice. Not fun. At last count, we have had 7 snow/cold days. I have tried to make the best of them -- but even the novelty of them has worn off for the kids and all I'm left with is a bunch of whining about how they miss their friends or their teachers or their science experiment they were going to do in school that day. I've done the best I can to make up for what they are missing, and sometimes we're fine and enjoy our day together, and other times we all go to our separate corners.
Soon, spring will come and we'll be enjoying a whole host of new activities. I might actually get to start biking all over town instead of putting the car in to a lower gear just to get up the damn driveway. *Sigh*