June 1, 2011

Blue Plate Special

I have hardly posted at all this last week and I know how badly you have missed me (*snort*). Why have I been so conspicuously absent? Simply because I was exhausted and ran. out. of. time.

Why is the last month of school always so full of foolishness and mayhem? Seriously, it has been cra-zy.

Some of it has just seemed like busy-work but a lot of it has been FUN and full of lots of proud moments; concerts, banquets, track meets, new milestones and activities.

At the Samuels' house, we like to celebrate as many of those accomplishments as we can.  One of the ways we celebrate is by giving the honoree the 'blue plate' at an evening meal (hopefully the day of the event but that doesn't always happen - so we just get as close as we can.) Getting the blue plate at supper means "Woo-hoo, for you!" - you've done something that deserves a little bragging and maybe even a little applause.  It could be for good grades - or just passing a difficult test, passing swimming lessons, losing that first tooth, meeting a goal or just doing something extra kind or special.  And of course, you always get the blue plate on your birthday!

Needless to say, there have been lots of reasons to get out the blue plate this last month.  So, whether you're up to it or not, a little bragging is about to commence.

Son #2 is following in his big brother's footsteps by doing a paper route. Son #1 delivered 7 days a week for almost two years, but Isaac is starting off slow with a once-a-week delivery (primarily because he is 12 and does not have a car!) but he is saving up for a moped so we'll see what happens. It was completely his idea to start the route:  he found the ad in the paper, made all the phone calls and worked out the terms of his route without any help from Mom or Dad.  Way to go, Isaac (and when you get that first big paycheck, remember to share the wealth.)

Son #3 lost both of his top teeth - though the first one came out after quite the ordeal, which you can read about here, I predicted the second tooth would not last a week and I was right. It fell out 3 days later while he was eating a waffle at a friends house. There is just something too, too cute about kids and their toothless smiles and Colin is no exception - adorable!

Colin also rocked it at his first guitar recital.  While he was waiting to go up on stage, he confessed his tummy felt funny and he was a little nervous but when it came time to do his piece he didn't show it. He played 'Alouette' and did a fantastic job.  He has only been playing since December but his teacher says he's  picked up really quick.  Yeah, Colin!

Isaac had back to back concerts last week.  First a music/vocal concert where he surprised us with not one, but TWO, solos.  Solos that he had volunteered to do, I might add.  (The proud factor just went up a couple of notches.)  The next night he had his band concert (he plays the clarinet)  - it was truly a fun concert.  It always amazes me how fast the students learn to play. Ahhh...to be young again, huh?

At the beginning of May, both of the boys participated in their first track meets and I found out that I have two very fast boys - plus one that can JUMP!

That's a first place standing long jump right there...

Isaac makes it look so easy...

Can you see the look of determination on Colin's face here?  He is NOT going to let that boy win!

On the first Sunday of May, Isaac took an important step in his spiritual walk and chose to get baptized.  As a parent, this was probably the highlight of our month.  We knew that he had carefully considered what he was doing before he did it and was ready for it.  We want his faith to be real and believe that it is.  Yes, mom cried.  And, yes, that is a watering tank he is being baptized in 'cause that's how we do it in North Dakota (at least in churches without a built in baptismal or when a summer-warmed river/lake is not readily available.)

And let's not forget Scouts!

Colin joyfully moved up from a Tiger Scout to a Wolf Scout and celebrated racing his Raingutter Regatta boat - it is SO funny watching these boys put all their energy and hot air into getting these boats to go - but they love it!

And not to be outdone - Isaac earned both his Tenderfoot and his 2nd Class rank.  He has been learning how to organize himself and work towards his own goals and achievements - one of the many benefits of Scouting.  We cannot wait to celebrate his many milestones down the road as he works towards his Eagle Scout award.

Finally, of course, we ran our 5K.  You can read about all the glorious (I mean that!) details here.  It was an incredible experience that I pray is just the beginning of a healthier lifestyle for our family.

On Thursday, son #1 texted to let us know that in one week he will officially be a Corporal in the USMC.  Let me hear your "Ooh-Rah!"  (Is that the BEST you can do?!?  LOUDER this time!!! Tee-hee - JK)  He is a little far away to get the blue plate right now but rest assured he will get it next time he is home.

Thursday was also the last day of school for us around here and summer officially began for us on Friday.  And it looks like it's going to be bu-sy.  Crazy busy.  But it will be fun and we'll make lots of memories and dig the blue plate out a few more times.

But first I need a nap.  Seriously...

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