Highland Elementary Hawk Walk

Every year Highland Elementary holds it’s only fundraiser, the Hawk Walk. Normally I am not a fan of fundraisers, but for some reason I look forward to this one every year. The kids can get pledges per lap or a flat amount. My kids usually just have me sponsor them and sometimes a grandparent, but that is about all. Not a real big money maker from our family, but it the excitement these kids get when participating is so fun!

They grab their workout clothes, water bottles and sunscreen and although you don’t have to run (you can walk too) my kids like to make a goal to beat their laps ran from the previous year. Some years I run with them and others I run around and cheer them on. They often run at different times on different fields so I am bouncing all around to keep up with them all.

They have music booming, parents cheering, cheerleaders rooting on the kids and of course the Highland Hawk runs around and hooting and hollering. And of course nothing is better than the otter pops they get when they are done. All of my kids have participated in this at some point in their elementary years and they love it. We are already excited for next year!

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Claire’s field trip to Timpanogos Cave

I volunteered to go with Claire’s class to hike up to Timpanogos Cave in American Fork Canyon. I have been fortunate enough to have gone on this fifth grade field trip with Miss Louw’s class three times in the past. I always volunteer because I love it. If you’re going to go on a field trip with 35 fifth graders, it is hard to beat being outside with beautiful scenery and lots of excited kids. Plus, it provides a some good morning exercise as well.

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The class was broken up into six groups. We were the lead group and Miss Louw spaced every group about five minutes apart. We had to stop at each number and read the brochure and discuss the rocks, lichen, canyon, animals, etc. Then the students document it by taking notes and pictures.

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Unfortunately, because of all the stops we are unable to tour the cave at the top of the canyon. However, our group made really good time getting to the top and the ranger, Deb, really took a liking to us and let us take a sneak peak in the first two caves. The kids were so excited so see the rocks and formations.

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We enjoyed walking down the trail on our way back catching views of the things we missed on the way up. It is such a great little hike. The kids were surprisingly well behaved. Plus, I got to spend some quality time with Claire, which doesn’t happen nearly enough in our big family of eight.

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Lunch at the end…food never tasted so good! 🙂

Back to School

All the kids were pretty excited about school this year. I know they really love summer and try to pretend they don’t want school to start, but I could tell in their anxious faces that they were getting excited.

Following tradition we had our annual “Back to School” feast and fashion show. I took care of dinner and dessert and the girls took care of the fashion show by decorating, making a poster with our theme and scripture and by creating ballots to vote. It is funny how a tradition we started years ago has become something we can’t do without!

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I saw this theme on another blog and loved it so we adopted it as our own for this year as well:

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Monday arrived all too quickly. Everyone was up and ready for school promptly. I don’t think the nerves and excitement let them sleep in too much. Each were wearing the outfit that was given the most votes during the fashion show the night before. It was all smiles around our house. Well, except for me.

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By 9 am the house was silent. It was a somber moment for me. All the years of having someone to take care of and then just like that, they were all gone to school. Some find this exciting, but for me, it was a little melancholy. I am grateful to have been able to spend the past 16 years taking care of my little ones. Although it hasn’t always been perfect, I have loved it and learned so much about me and my children through the process. I hesitantly look forward to the future as it now is. I wonder what I will do? How I will fill my time? Will I be needed? All the questions one would ask as they make this transition. I have been told it will be good. I am sure it will. But for now I just need a little time to adjust. 🙂

Midsummer Night’s Dream

Mrs. Yingling, Katelyn’s sixth grade teacher, has her class perform a Shakespeare play every year. She assigns a student as the director and the director assigns all other parts and roles. They also tweak the play so it has its own little twist. It is ALL done by the kids…no adult help on anything. The kids even make the costumes, choreography, do lights and sound. It is a pretty awesome experience.

Sweet Katelyn was chosen as Helena in the play, Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was one of the main roles and even gave her a solo at the beginning. Don’t be confused, the song is from the Beauty and the Beast, but that was part of the Disney twist they used throughout the play. Katelyn has a beautiful voice but she is also quiet and a little bit shy so I was super excited to see her accept this role and go full-speed ahead memorizing all of her lines and practicing her parts.

When the performance day rolled around she was ready. They had four performances. I love watching her so much that I attended three of the four of them! It was so fun to see her having fun and showing off her talents. I was extra proud of her for trying something new and killing it!

This is the best video I got of her singing. Unfortunately the microphones were sub-par so you will have to crank up your volume to be able to hear her. I think she should make a habit of this acting/singing thing!

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Ellie’s Kindergarten Graduation

Little Miss Ellie had her kindergarten graduation this week. It was bitter-sweet for me as it was my last kiddo to go through kindergarten and I may have shed a tear or two. Ellie has loved being in school. She has a real love of learning and working hard. She loved being a mother hen and always made sure the kids were on task and following the rules.

Her teacher was Mrs. Beck. We love her! She taught Katelyn, Claire, and Drew as well so she is one of our favorites. I have had the opportunity to volunteer in the class every other week and help with centers. I have loved getting to know the kids and see them learn and grow throughout the year.

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We are so happy that G’ma Jan came to support Ellie!