Thursday, June 13, 2013

Schools Out.

Today is the last day of school for the girls.  

And because it seems as if yesterday was this...

I am feeling kinda sad.  If yesterday was the first day of kindergarten and second grade, that means tomorrow must be high school graduation.  I walked with the girls and gave them hugs and told them "Have a great last day of school!"  Then walked home with a heavy heart much like the day I dropped them off with "Have a great first day of school!" I haven't felt this in years past.  Usually it's only excitement of the beginning of summer, I'm not sure why it feels sad this year.  Maybe because I will never go through the oh-so-big feeling of dropping off a kindergartner.  Now, they both 'rule the school'.  They are confident school kids and each year is another year gone.  Fully immersed in school type things...learning, friends, teachers, activity.  Getting further and further away from our everyday influences and more by others.  Growing more independent, which is the goal, means growing more independent from us.  It's a tricky thing...wanting nothing more than for the girls to grow up into confident, independent, strong young ladies, yet knowing by doing that they will need me less.  

I try not to get too caught up in the "it goes SO fast, capture every moment" type things.  If I do that, I tend to get overwhelmed I might be missing something.  If I start thinking about a few years down the road when they are teenagers out with friends and not home with us, I freak out a little.  Instead I try to simply be present.  Enjoy these beautiful moments while they are here without fretting about them slipping by.  Truth is it really does go SO fast.  Worrying about it or trying to capture every minute won't make it slow down.  

Maybe I'm feeling emotional about it because for the first time, the girls are sad about the school year coming to an end.  Last night Ava got a little sad when talking about it.  I asked what was wrong and with tears in her eyes she said "I'm going to miss my teacher, she plays with us everyday".  This morning Layla said a similar thing.  I love the connection both of them have with their teachers, it just makes me a little emotional.  It makes me feel so lucky that the two women they have spend all year with have had such an influence on them and in a positive way.  I'm going to gush on teachers for a minute because I think they are amazing.  I'm not just saying this because my sisters and my best friend are all truly is such an important job.  Layla's teacher gave the parents a poem which I love, love LOVE.  I think it can explain better than I can how I feel about teachers and how big a job they have for our kids....

I dreamed I stood in a studio
and watched the sculptors there.
The clay they used was a young child's mind,
and they fashioned it with care.
One was a teacher;
the tools he used were books, and music, and art.
One, a parent with a guiding hand,
and a gentle, loving heart.
Day after day the teacher toiled,
with touch that was deft and sure,
While the parents labored by his side
and polished and smoothed it o'er.
And when at last their task was done,
they were proud of what they had wrought.
For this thing they had molded in the child
could neither be sold nor bought.
And each agreed he would have failed
if he had worked alone,
For behind the parent stood the school
and behind the teacher, the home.
--Author Unknown-

I cannot read this without tearing up.  I've read it over and over and every time it gets me.  It is so true.  We put faith in our teachers each day to watch over, teach and love our babies.  The great ones do this.  We have been lucky to have great ones for our girls.  Layla's teacher was always telling us this year that she credits the first teachers, the parents for the great students.  That makes my heart swell.  To hear someone compliment you on your most important job of parenthood.  And, coming from someone who gets to see your product first hand.  Teaching can be a thankless job, but to all the teachers I am so grateful.  For taking those long hours during the school day to help our babies learn, grow and love.  Yes, I feel very grateful.

I am going to stop with the heavy heart and move forward with what the end of the school year also means.  It means summer.  It means, I get my girls all day, everyday.  It means we get to cross things off our summer bucket list.  The summer bucket list is only in my mind and it has things such as...Get Dairy Queen, eat at the park.  Set up swimming pool and stay in it all day.  Bar-b-q with friends and laugh all night.  Camp.  Eat outside.  Go to a park.  Go to a different park.  Go to a park with cousins.  Go to a park and take a picnic.  Hike.  Go swimming.  Be outside more than inside.  Cook with fresh veggies.  Go to the Farmers Market.  Get more ice cream.  Yep...that pretty much sums it up.  

A few more thoughts from our week...

I love old books and watching my girl read a book from my childhood makes me smile.

Cooking is becoming more colorful as fresh veggies and fruits are popping up...
Rice, bean and Kale burritos...recipe at the bottom

Tomorrow we get our first CSA box for the season.  I am very excited.

The girls ended the school year with a field day.  The weather held out and they played old school games such as croquet, horseshoes, badminton and boccie ball.  I got to help out.  It was very fun indeed.

Tomorrow night is the first ArtWalk of the season.  Downtown Bozeman does this on the 2nd Friday of the summer months.  Art galleries open up for people to stroll through while enjoying hor 'd' ouevres and wine.  Last year we missed every single one.  This year we made sure to line up Grandma to watch the girls so we could go to the first one.  Date night with my husband after we just got a date weekend...lucky us.  

Now, I'm going to bask in two hours of a quiet house, then I'm off to get my girls and summer can officially commence.  I will enjoy the two hours of peace because soon it will be filled with the joyful noise of giggling, happy girls on summer vacation.  And, of course the occasional daily fighting.  

Happy Thursday.  

Bean, Rice and Kale Burrito
-Heat some olive oil in a large pan.  Add around 1/2 chopped onion with salt and pepper and cook around 5 minutes.  Add a teaspoon of chili powder and cook a couple more minutes.  Add one can of pinto beans (rinsed and drained), two gloves of minced garlic and a 1/2 cup veggie broth.  Cook a few minutes.  Fold in some kale and cook until it starts to wilt.
-Cook 1 cup of brown rice (you could also use quinoa, I just had rice).  Add to your bean/kale mixture. 
-On a tortilla add some of the bean/rice mix and top with some shredded cheese.  Fold up, wrap in tin foil and place in a baking dish.  Repeat with remaining tortillas and mixtures.  (wrapping each individually helps soften the also seemed a little wasteful as I did it.  I think next time, I'll put the burritos side by side in a pan and then cover them all with tin foil)  Bake at 400-degrees for around 15 minutes
-Top with guacamole (mashed avocado, garlic salt, cumin, celery salt, chopped tomatoes and fresh lime juice...all to taste) and salsa.  

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