And summer starts

The girls wrapped up a great school year today. First and fourth grades are in the books! 

  

  

And since it’s Thursday, here’s a throwback to the beginning of the year – just nine months ago.

What do you think – do they look older and wiser?

Summer camps – gymnastics, art, STEM/science, and music – begin next week. Piano and gymnastics classes continue, but it should be a relatively low key season (for those not yet old enough to drive…).

Out of doors 

Owen: “There’s a bird on the fence, Mommy – look!”

Rebecca: “That’s a female cardinal.”

Owen: “I want to hold it.”

Rebecca: “That’s not a great plan.”

Owen: “It will bite me?”

Rebecca: “No, you will scare her.”

Owen, in the general direction of that poor cardinal: “RAAARRRWWW!”

Ava fix

Earlier this month, Ava and her friend Sophia completed the last of four volleyball camps at a local college. I was surprised to learn “Nebraska roll” isn’t a universal term, and equally surprised to learn they teach this maneuver quite so early! The girls were no worse for the wear. 

 

Olivia fix

Olivia partcipated in a bridging ceremony for Girl Scout today–she transitioned from a Daisy to a Brownie, along with several sweet friends. 

  

Olivia Fix

Tree climbing at the lake this weekend. 

 

A night at the zoo

A couple of weeks ago, Ava and I traveled to Omaha with her Girl Scout troop for a night at the zoo. Roughly 18 sets of mothers (or fathers) and daughters met in the Old Market for dinner, then headed to our home for the night – the Hubbard Gorilla Valley (made semi-famous the day before, thanks to this “breaking” news).

The night began with tours of the nocturnal exhibits (where it was as light as day at 9 pm in order to be dark as night 12 hours later), as well as a very dim tour of the rainforest. As fruit bats flew at our heads, the tour guides reminded us to remain calm and avoid flailing (not possible, as it turns out, when a bat dive-bombs your person).

Here, Ava and her best friend Sophia come close to a stingray.

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The Desert Dome (home, at least temporarily, to another set of campers that evening) must look pretty impressive on an evening approach to Epply Airfield.

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At midnight(!) we were finally able to settle in. Ava selected a spot under a window to the gorilla enclosure. The occupants made their presence known at night via thunder-like noise.

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An incredibly short six hours later, our guides woke us up for the morning tour, which delivered on the promise to include very active animals. We wore ponchos to ward off he rain, and visited the aquarium to find sea turtles and sharks pretty thrilled with their breakfasts.

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The cats were also very active (and vocal) that morning, and Ava snapped this photo of a three-legged tiger. Lions (including the mountain lion Omaha) were all engaging. The kids (and really, I think, the parents) were pretty impressed with this behind-the-scenes look of this remarkable zoo.

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Overheard: Gramma edition 

Gramma: “Oh, Owen. What did we do before we had you?”

Olivia: “Well, we sat around and watched TV and cared more about me than Owen.”

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