Monday, August 21, 2017

First Day of School 2017

Rhode man is in 3rd grade this year.  His teacher is Ms. Gardener.  She is young and cute and a ball of fun.  Rhode is loving school.  He is still my most likely child to walk out the door empty handed but he is doing awesome in every subject.  

For extracurriculars this Fall, Rhode is playing the piano, playing soccer with the Henderson league and taking climbing lessons.  His climbing coach is amazed with how well he is doing and wants to put him on the competitive team.  We did not know competitive kids climbing was a thing up until this point!

Scarlet is a 5th grader at American Preparatory Academy this year.  Her teacher is Mrs. Tooker.  Mrs. Tooker isn't very young and isn't always fun but she and Scarlet get along just fine.  Scarlet has already been challenged in her classes and I have seen a major jump in her work ethic and capability to learn.  I am so proud of this girl.  p.s.  She gets a locker this year, thus she is the coolest.

Scarlet's extracurriculars include violin lessons, playing on the Henderson league volleyball team, competitive cheer through her school and musical theater club.

Her favorite baby accessory is getting pretty big this year...

And then Asher went and got big enough to go to Kindergarten.  He is in afternoon Kindergarten which means we still get to hang out every morning.  Since he's mostly just gone during nap time, it's really not that different from last year for me.  But this kid is loving school.  I thought there would be more behavior issues but he comes home with good reports almost every day.  He is in a small group of 3 kids for his reading group because they are such good readers and his cursive writing is already almost legible!  And my goodness does he look cute in a uniform.

Asher is also doing climbing class with Rhode and doing an amazing job.  He also started piano this year and is way more committed than I ever thought possible.  

Yup, it's a good group.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Bozeman - Best. Summer. Ever. Part 1

I have wanted to move out of Las Vegas for a very long time.  But, it just doesn't make sense for our family right now.  So we did the next best thing.  We moved when Las Vegas is at its worst, in the summer.  Jon and I came up with a plan to let our kids have a different kind of summer experience and go see a different part of the country.

We chose Bozeman, Montana for our adventure.  It may seem like an odd choice but it fit our three requirements.  1) It had to have beautiful summers, 2) it had to include a ton of outdoor time, and 3) it had to be a destination of Allegiant Air.  The last one was crucial.  Jon would fly out of Las Vegas every Thursday evening and fly black every Sunday evening so he could still run a company but still have some summer fun with us.  We were also able to use miles for all of his flights. It may seem like a lot of time away, but with Jon's normal work schedule, it was great to have him completely for the three days each week.

We rented two houses for our summer stay.  One was just a few minutes from downtown Bozeman for the first half and one was more out in the country in Belgrade, the city right next door.  To make it a little more affordable, we rented out our house during the weekends while Jon was gone.  I haven't actually sat down to do all the math, but I know we were pretty close to breaking even between the renting of our property and renting the ones in Bozeman.

The youngest three kids and I started our adventure with our suburban full of a summer's worth of living and drove up to Moses Lake to film a dance recital.  Jon flew up with Scarlet and Rhode to meet us that weekend and we took off for our new summer home.

This may be one of the pretties road trips I have been on.  It was green and beautiful the entire drive.  We stopped in St. Regis, Montana which is the turnoff to Glacier National Park and enjoyed a cool aquarium and our first huckleberry milkshake.

Ridley was a fan.

Our first house in Bozeman.  This house was located on Sourdough Drive.

 Every time we ate sourdough bread (which was pretty frequently since they had an awesome breadmaker at the farmer's market) my kids just laughed and laughed that they were eating sourdough on Sourdough.  Ridley is always stealing my sourdough.

We were just down the street from Main Street but it had such a beautiful outdoor feel.  It was surrounded by homes that were more and more beautiful than the last.  This is the view from the balcony.

This is part of the backyard.

One of the first things we did is scout out the local thrift stores for some board games, outdoor toys, a few baby toys, and some warm clothes (it was about 60 degrees at the high when we got into town).  My kids love a good board game.

Ridley finds it very rude when we play out of her reach.

Babies adjusting to new places + no husband for a few nights = mom gets kicked in the head all night.

Happy baby in a jean jacket!

We saw and did as much of Bozeman as we could.  We tasted all of the treats like at the French chocolate company.

We found yummy treats at the local Co-op grocery store that my kids called the "coop".

We even found a local oils and vinegar store.  Oddly enough, my kids were obsessed with that place and I had to limit the amount of oil samples they were allowed to try.  We came back to try new things regularly.

Most of the treats were tasted at the weekly farmer's market.  We tried everything worth trying and then a little more every Tuesday.  Then we played in the park on the property.  It was one of our favorite summer traditions.

They also had a wonderful library with a great kids section.  It came in really handy when our second house didn't have Wifi.  Library to the rescue!

Right outside the library was one of the many park.  This one was a beautiful walking path that kept going and going and going.  But the main road was called Sculpture park.  We spent several afternoons enjoying the creations.

Another park had dinosaur fossils and climbing walls.

and when those walls weren't high enough, we found some higher ones.

I learned how to belay all of my climbers up the wall and they would spend hours going up and repelling down.

Jon and I got out once or twice on our own.  We found a Shakespeare in the Park performance of Macbeth on the college campus.  How cultured do we look?

We got out to dinner once or twice and had a grand time.

Next Up, the hiking.