First Day

The new school year began for Sebastian this past Thursday.  It was a cool, but sunny morning.  The bus was several minutes late, but he didn’t mind waiting at the bus stop talking with a former baseball teammate who is also in 7th grade.  I wasn’t allowed to take pictures other than a couple at the house, but I did sneak an iPhone picture of the bus as it was headed towards the bus stop.

7th Grader

Sophia’s first day of school was today.  Her school was closed for a year of renovations and last year she attended classes at an old middle school that is now closed.  School started a couple of days later than the rest of the district so that the teachers would have extra time to get moved into their newly renovated classrooms.  The school has a beautiful new entrance, new gymnasium, updated cafeteria, school grounds and parking lot/drop off area. Sophia’s morning began early today – 6:20 a.m.  Her bus stop is at 6:59 a.m.  It’s going to be a struggle to make the bus each day.  Mike and I walked her down to the bus stop in foggy, drizzly weather.  We took a few photos along the way and had hoped to get a few pictures at the bus stop, but the bus arrived early.  She quickly got on, turned and smiled and then headed to her seat.  She waved out the window and was on her way to the first day of fourth grade.

4th Grader


I missed blogging about many special events that occurred during April, May and June. Here’s my chance at a quick catch up.

Nana Karen celebrated a birthday in April.  Although their trip to Duluth to celebrate was delayed, we enjoyed a belated birthday dinner at a local Japanese restaurant.  The kids tried their hand at using chopsticks and watching an onion volcano.

Nana’s Birthday

Sebastian worked on his Duluth project for social studies class during April and May.  He was given the task of researching a local landmark/event.  He was  assigned Grandma’s Marathon – the largest draw of tourists our city sees during any weekend during the year.  He spent several weeks working on research, writing content, locating photos and creating a poster board.  He even talked his Mom into photographing the headquarters building for his poster board.  He presented the poster after school and received an A on the project.  Well done Sebastian!

Marathon Headquarters
Poster Presentation

There were lots of play dates and time outdoors during the month of May despite the cool temperatures.  Notice the winter jacket Sophia is wearing during some outdoor fun with a neighborhood friend in early May.

Up A Tree

Sebastian had his band concert on May 16.  He came a long way from November when he first began playing the baritone.  He practiced his instrument faithfully every morning before school and it paid off.  Another “A” on his report card for band.

Middle School Band Concert
Baritone Player – Back Row 2nd from Right

Baseball practice got under way in April and May – all indoors due to the snow.  There were even indoor practices that canceled due to snowstorms and poor driving conditions.  The season finally began during mid-May.  It was cold and many parents wore winter jackets and were wrapped in blankets, but we were all glad that the season was finally underway!

At Bat
Here Comes The Pitch

Sophia had her BIG piano recital at UMD’s Weber Music Hall.  She handled it like a pro even though she had only been taking lessons for just shy of six months.  She had a house full of fans – two cousins, two aunts, an uncle, two grandmas, a grandpa, her parents and her brother.  Well done Sophia!

Ready For Her Big Performance

Memorial weekend was spent at Mike’s parents’ cabin in northern Minnesota.  The weather was a bit chilly, but the cousins enjoyed their time together.  It was too cold for tubing or water skiing, but we were able to go for a nice pontoon ride and see nesting eagles.  Mike also took the old boat out with the kids for a “speed boat” ride around the lake.

Family Fun
Bald Eagle

The end of the school year brought many field trips and activities for the kids.  Sophia’s class performed a play/musical that they put on for the whole school and also had a second performance for families.  All of the practice at home and school paid off.  The whole class did a wonderful job!

The Skunk
The Cast

We had the burial and graveside service for my Dad on May 31.  We all met back at my Mom’s house after the service and luncheon to help with a few things around the farm.  I took some photos of the old buildings that are no longer used.  The old garage was going to be torn down and a new one put up.  We explored the inside and found cardboard boxes that had been nailed to the walls back in the 1930’s or 1940’s for insulation.  A few pencil drawings were on some of the boxes.  They were dated the early 1950’s and were done by the daughter of the previous owner.

The Old Farm

Sebastian’s commitment to his studies during the school year paid off.  He was awarded a special honor for having straight A’s during the school year and perfect attendance.  He was given four tickets to a Minnesota Twins game…on my birthday!  Thanks for a great birthday present Sebastian.  It was a blast!!  Despite some rain, the game went on and the Twins won the game in the bottom of the 9th inning with a walk off triple.

Target Field
Target Field II
Joe Mauer Up To Bat
Plane Flying By
Dark Skies Upon Us
Twins Win!
The Boys After The Game
Me & The Kids
Mike & The Kids

On our way home from the Twin Cities, we stopped by Gordy’s Hi-Hat for a birthday dinner. We enjoyed some not-so-healthy, but delicious food.

Birthday Dinner

The last day of school was cool and rainy – kind of a theme for the entire spring.  Sophia and Sebastian let me snap a couple of photos before they left for their final day of 3rd grade and 6th grade.

Last Day Of School 2012-2013

The weather has finally taken a turn now that it is the end of June.  The high today is 82 degrees and the ten-day forecast is for highs in the 70’s and 80’s.  No 50’s or 60’s anytime soon.  We are all looking forward to a great summer ahead!!

Middle School, Baseball And A Milestone

Sebastian started middle school this past Monday.  It’s hard to believe he is in 6th grade already.  It doesn’t seem that long ago that he stepped on the school bus for the first time and began kindergarten.  He was quiet and shy and struggled with his new routine for the first month.  He didn’t know anyone in his class but made friends quickly.  Now as a 6th grader, he was a little apprehensive after the open house, but is confident and enjoys his new-found independence after the first week of middle school.

I predicted that he wouldn’t be overly photogenic on the first day of school.  I was correct.  I did snap a couple of pictures before he headed off to the bus.

6th Grader
Off To The Bus Stop

Sebastian finished the third week of a four-week UMD baseball camp today.  The first week was spent practicing and evaluating players.  After evaluations, the kids were divided into four teams and now are spending Sundays through September 23 practicing and playing games.  The games are six innings and each inning is pitched by a different player.  Sebastian’s inning was completed in just 11 pitches – he struck out the side.  He also did a nice job at bat.  He was 2 for 3 and had one walk.

At Bat

One final item about Sebastian.  We have been using the back of a bedroom door to measure the height of both kids since they were able to stand.  At just shy of 12 years old, Sebastian has hit the mark of five feet.  He grew two inches in the past year.  I don’t have much time left before he will surpass me in height.  My days are numbered.