Thursday, May 29, 2014

Field Trips and Long Weekends.

The week has been filled with field trips with my girls.  This signals the end of the school year.  The weather finally nice, wrapping up school work and getting the kids out to end the school with a bang.  Both have several and I am lucky enough to hand pick the ones I want to volunteer for.  I do love that I get to do this.  They are tiring and make me appreciate all our teachers do every day for our kids.  But I'll take tired to get to take a day off work and hang with my kids on their turf.  It always shows the differences in my babes.  I like seeing this.  The young ladies they are growing into.  

First up was Layla's.  A day put on by the Montana Outdoor Science School at our Fish Hatchery.  A day of searching for habitats, looking at the tiny insects that live in the water and holding bugs.  My Layla was the first one to volunteer to hold the cockroach.  She eagerly took it in her hand and as it crawled up her arm there were no scared squeals from her, only giggles and exclamations of it tickling her...

I didn't have the same enthusiasm for holding this thing, but when she looked at my with her bright eyes and asked if I wanted a turn I put on my big girls pants and took the bug.  It wasn't so bad...the thing was actually kinda cool.  Now, if it was a spider...not a chance.  

The day ended with a hike up the mountain.  Like things went most of the day, my girl hung with her friends.  Miss independent, doing her thing.  I hung back as she ran ahead with her crew and a quiet girl from the class hiked with me, telling me all about her summer camp.  She was very sweet and I quite enjoyed getting to know her as she pushed herself on the hike.  The kids choose to go the steep way and this girl was slower than some of the others, but she never complained and I loved the look of pride on her face as we reached the top.  
As for Layla, we met back at the bottom.  That's cool.  
It was a glorious day full of sunshine.  It was spent outside with happy first graders.  It was awesome.  And exhausting.

The very next day was Ava's with her third grade class.  I was super excited for this one.  They've been studying the history of Bozeman.  I know I learned these things when I was a kid, but as I've gotten older I have more of an interest in history.  It did not disappoint.  We began at the Pioneer Museum.  This place is a hit with kids because it used to be the jail and they have one cell where they lock you in.  What kid doesn't want to "pretend" to be locked in jail?  Well, maybe Ava didn't...

It was a quick tour.  I want to go back by myself and read everything about Bozeman.  Imagining all those years ago, the people who came to our valley and decided to make it home.  Throughout the day, as the stories were told I was more and more fascinated.

After the museum it was a walk through downtown to learn about the old buildings...who designed them, what they were originally, what type of design they were, which was the oldest.  Seriously, I had to remind myself I was supposed to be keeping an eye on kids because I was so caught up in what her teacher was telling us.  I felt like I was on a tourist walk in my own city.  

We have a cool history here.  

Last up was a walk through the cemetery where many of the people they are learning about have been buried.  John Bozeman, Daniel Rouse, William Beall, The Story family.  I have walked through that cemetery many times and didn't realize the history right under my nose.  I love getting these second opportunities of learning through my children.  You miss a lot the first time when you are worried about who you are having lunch with.
Ava hangs with me a lot more during field trips.  I even get to ride with her on the bus.  She hangs with her friends too, but sticks a little closer.  

Before this week of field trips we had the long Memorial Weekend.  This was the first one in as long as I can remember that we didn't go anywhere.  Most have been spent at my parents lake or river house.  I think because we had been gone the week before we weren't feeling like packing up and leaving again.  We wanted to stick closer to home and be with our kids.  Unlike most Memorial Days, the weather was spectacular.  Each day sunnier than the next.  The three days were perfect.  No plans beyond putting in the garden and a barbecue with the neighbors.  Lazy mornings and late nights.  Campfires in the backyard and a Sunday afternoon hike.  

Swimsuits came out for the first time and our backyard became a splash park...

Walks to parks and cool downs in streams...

Sometimes staying home is the best for getting away from it all.  I need to remember this as we approach summer and I get the urge to flee to the mountains every chance we get.  

Although I am just dying to go camping.  A couple more weeks and it's on.  

Happy day to ya.  

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