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Thursday, June 11, 2009

"A Change is as Good as a Rest." (Especially when you have colorful cheerios.)

You know how they say, "A change is as good as a rest"? I'm going to hold onto that, because the kids' first full week out of school hasn't exactly been restful. But it has been good, in a change-of-routine kind of way.

Conner got invited to spend the week at the University of Notre Dame, Olivia's been in dance camp, and Sean-Peter has been attached to me at the hip. Albeit in a good way.

Notre Dame

Conner's good friend John Paul invited him to go with his family on their annual trip to Notre Dame, his mom's alma mater. They stay in the dorms and gallivant around the area. I'll just show you the email I received from his mom last night (it was to me and another friend's mom):

"Thanks for letting your boys join us on our annual ND trip! They both have been wonderful!

Here are some highlights:

*Monday...arrived on campus, unloaded gear and went to Steak n Shake for lunch with my parents.
Walked around campus.
Went to discount merchandise store.
Ordered pizza in for dinner.
Went snack shopping at Meijer.
Took grotto run and lit candles.

*Tuesday...slept in a bit
Visited Golden Dome Admin Bldg - met Fr. Jenkins, UND President!!
Went to Lake.
PB&J plus pizza leftovers for lunch.
Played volleyball.
Met Tony Rice (1988 Nat'l Championship QB for ND).
Met Kathy Sullivan (author and web site master of
Went to South Dining Hall for dinner.
Late night campus/sports complex tour and grotto run.

*Wednesday - slept in.
College Football Hall of Fame tour.
South Bend Chocolate Company.
PB&J/Snacks/Cheesecake/Brownie lunch.
Played Volleyball.
Went swimming at Knute Rockne Memorial pool.
Dinner at Hacienda.
Late night grotto run and went to Hesburgh Library - 13th floor (nice Janitor let us in to small room that has great view of campus).

*Thursday - planning on getting up around 9am and packing up.
Krispy Kreme, discount merchandise store and RV Hall of Fame.
Then lunch on road returning home! :)

Hope the boys had fun! I know I enjoyed being here and all we did!! It was nice mix of hanging out and just being as well as activities to keep people interested in things.

We had nice dinner conversation about what people liked best and least about the trip too..."

Notre Dame President? Tony Rice? Cheesecake and brownie lunch?

And how organized is she?

Obviously this was an amazing opportunity for Conner. In addition to everything you read above, John Paul's older sister was visiting as a prospective student and they got to accompany her on the campus tour with that perspective.

It never would have occurred to me to visit a college campus with my middle schooler. Even if I had, it probably wouldn't have been Notre Dame! I'm wondering how much more encouraged he might be to go to college? (And to get his grades up? *Ahem*) Already we talk about it like it's a given: it's not whether you go; it's where you'll go. (And how are you going to pay for it?)

Conner's friend John Paul, an up-and-coming eighth grader himself, told me that even though his mom went to Notre Dame, and his grandpa went to Notre Dame, and his sister wants to go to Notre Dame... he has no intention of going there himself because it's too expensive. He's shooting for somewhere "more realistic", as he put it.

I tell you, it's kids thinking like that that give me hope for the next generation.


With Conner gone, and school out, I realize how many things I have been scheduling for times when I don't have to schlep kids around. With his sister at dance camp, and Conner in Indiana, Sean-Peter has been attached to my hip. And boy have we schlepped. I've plum worn him out.I found this scene when I turned around in the car at the end of the day, coming back from the commissary. He clutched his beloved Fruity Cheerios, aka "colorful cheerios", all the way through the store and all the way home. I buy these so I can pump myself up with self-righteousness and falsely justify, "At least I don't buy my kids Fruit Loops." And apparently they make a pretty good chin rest.

Dance Camp

Olivia's thoroughly enjoyed her week of dance camp. It's not a question of whether she'll take dance next year; rather, how many classes of dance she will take. Have you any idea how many options are out there for kids and dance? Ballet, tap, jazz... And that's just for her age, at this mom and pop studio. It can quickly take over your life if you let it -- and your pocketbook.

At the dance camp this week the girls got to choose an outfit from the costume closet and practice some modeling! The video is about 30 seconds long...

How cute is she?!

They also performed five different dance numbers that they learned this week: a rhythmic dance; baton; a scene and dance from "High School Musical" (my camera acted up right in the middle of that one); the Macarena; and a Hannah Montana number -- that Sean-Peter got into as well! It's a little over a minute long...

Sean-Peter's "solo" pops in about half-way through. You'll also see that Olivia is demonstrating quite clearly why they ask the girls not to wear underwear under their costumes for the dance recital itself.


Carmen said...

Very cool things are happening in your neck of the woods! I would love to visit Notre Dame! And Olivia modeling...oh my goodness!!..she is the prima ballerina! Love it!

Mike and Erin said...

What a great summer your kids are having! That's so awesome that Conner has an opportunity to see and experience a college campus. Watching Olivia's videos makes me long for a little girl. Sean Peter with his cereal was so sweet. Can't believe how big he's getting.