Area 4-H Speech competition was today; another spring milestone- done! I can see the end of the tunnel... summer break! For co-op, summer break begins in May, although we still have some math and other miscellaneous things to continue after that. We have been working so hard this year with school work; I am feeling it and I know the kids are feeling it too! I guess that's to be expected with all of them getting older. This will be a well-deserved summer break!
Anyway, back to the competition. Usually we spend some time between County and Area adding additional material to the kids' speeches and refining their presentation skills. This year, nada. We ran through each presentation maybe twice yesterday, and that was it. We've just been so busy with all the other school work that the speech competition was relegated to the back shelf. Becca did a good job with hers and she won a blue ribbon and alternate for state champion. The girl who won champion in that category did the same presentation she did last year. I told Becca that with two years to work on it, you would hope she did well (and she did). I didn't get to see John Mark's "Bridges" presention because I had to stay with Becca in a different room, but he received champion in his category and can go to State in July. State is a lot tougher, so he'll have to do a good bit of work on his presentation to be in the running for champion. He did a lot of reading about bridges, especially the Brooklyn Bridge, when he was researching this presentation, so we plan to walk the Brooklyn Bridge when we go to New England for Uncle Dave's wedding.
I've spent some time recently trying to get this New England vacation planned out; we figured since we were going to have to go to Boston anyhow, we should make this into one of our "big" family vacations. We don't get to go on vacations every year like some families (not counting trips to see grandparents), so when we do plan a vacation, it's a big deal. We're spending the night in Niagara Falls, Canada on the way up and then after we do the wedding in Boston and see the sights there, we're going to take the kids to Plimoth Plantation, New York City and then eastern Pennsylvania before heading home. I'm sure it will be a lot of fun, but trying to plan a multi-city vacation that all seven of us will enjoy on our budget is stressing me out! I'll be so relieved when this part is done.
Word is that John, Philip and Ben are supposed to be in the wedding, so at least I won't have to worry about their clothes. I lucked out at the children's consignment sale last Monday and Becca and I found a beautiful purple semi-formal (with silver sequins!) for her. This is her first dressy "grown-up" dress, and we bought some matching silver heels at Walmart to go with it. She is ready and excited! I also found a black suit for John Mark and a little blue suit for Nathanael at the consignment sale. Everyone has clothes- one less thing to worry about!
We are tired and we are vegging tonight. John was out last night until 1:30 am fixing the brakes on the van. I stayed up doing laundry and ironing the kids' clothes for their speeches. After the 4-H thing this morning, we ate lunch at Ryan's, went to the Cingular store (more on that later) and got haircuts for three kids and John. John Mark attended a "really awesome" birthday party for his friend Benjamin, and John went in to work. Now the older three kids are watching the new Harry Potter video and the two little ones are upstairs giggling in their bunkbeds while Dad is trying to watch TV ("I told you to go to bed... don't make me come in there!") Tomorrow, church and CARE group. Life is good. Busy, but good.