Josh’s Morning Routine

When Josh is getting ready for a school day, I can only imagine how he processes his to do list.

“Lets see, I have to

A. Bug Joe
B. Bug Amy
C. Bug Lauryn
D. Change underwear
E. Get dressed
F. Put on socks AND shoes
G. Brush teeth

Wow, that’s a lot. Time to prioritize. A-C are non-negotiables, but that’s going to leave me pressed. D is optional, so I’ll put that off til next week. I can manage to squeeze in E and F as long as I leave out the sock part. If I just run my toothbrush under the faucet, that might just leave me enough time for another round of A-C. This should work.”

Dances with Wolves . . . in Pink

Today began a new chapter in the cultural life of our family.  Our two daughters, Amy and Lauryn, began dance lessons with a local studio.  Amy had taken ballet a couple of years ago, then tried some other activities, and decided recently that she wanted to get back into it (the fact that a friend dances with the same group may have something to do with the decision).

So, we called, got info, and as of 5:30, we found ourselves immersed in the world of ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop.  Since I’m the only one driving right now (Melissa is recovering from a broken shoulder–‘nother story), I had the privilege of ushering a very pink 11-yr-old and her fly-girl 6-yr-old sister into an estrogen-rich world.  An hour later, a few bucks poorer (class fees, costume fees, list of required clothes and shoes), and we’re in.

I still don’t exactly know what Lauryn did in her class, just that she has apparently befriended the entire staff and several of her classmates.  Amy, on the other hand, is already mentioning sore abs, so it must have been a good workout.  While waiting, I got to listen to opinions on various subjects: snow days (we’ve had a lot lately), middle-school dating dramas, and the best place in town to buy training bras.  Looks like all of us are in for an education.

Joe, Amy, and Lauryn Enjoying Their Summer

Joe, Amy, and Lauryn 2010, originally uploaded by Chuck238.

Even though life around our house gets a bit chaotic over the summer (less structure), it’s always amazing to me to see how much personal growth occurs in my kids when they’re around each other more during the day than when they are separated by their school lives (different schools, different grade levels, etc).

I had mentioned in my post about camp that Josh and Lauryn loved having Joe and Amy gone for a week, but I should also mention that Lauryn and Josh also LOVE having the attention of their big brother and sister, and Amy loves having real “students” populate her “kitchen classroom,” versus the imaginary pupils, who seem to get called up to the front of the room a lot for disciplinary actions (don’t know WHAT that’s about).

They are all getting geared up for our big two-week trek into New England in July, to visit relatives in Vermont, see Niagra Falls, and explore Boston. We plan to do all of this while building togetherness in a 10 x 14 tent.

THAT oughta provide a few blog ideas.

When a third of the family goes to camp

This has been an interesting week in the Gobin/Bowman household.  On Monday morning, I loaded all four kids into the car to take the older two, Joe and Amy, to summer camp in Ravenna, KY.  (It’s Camp Aldersgate, a United Methodist camp they’ve gone to for the last three years.)  Maybe it was the fact that school had just let out the previous Friday, but EVERYBODY was wired.  Amy was admiring her new sunglasses in the mirror and wanting to make sure we got there in time for her to get a bottom bunk and to check out the bathroom situation.  This is her first time camping for a whole week, in cabins. Last year, she did mini-camp, where she got to stay for two nights in what amounted to a vacation condo.  Joe, her helpful older brother, informed her that cabin camping was very different, including showering in spider-infested bath houses.

After two loud hours in the car and a short respite at McDonalds, we escorted them to their respective cabins, said our goodbyes, and drove home.  What has transpired since then has been an interesting sociological experiment.  Our four children’s ages are 11, 10, 6, and 5.  I mention this because this week at home the two younger ones, Josh and Lauryn, have morphed into these other creatures.  I know there is a tendency in all older siblings to dominate the younger ones, and—on the whole—ours treat each other pretty well, but you would gather from Josh and Lauryn that we should all be singing “ding, dong, the witch is dead,” or “free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, I’m free at last.”  Yes, the house feels quiet, and, yes, everybody misses Joe and Amy, but we suddenly have these eloquent conversationalists at the dinner table who are clearly loving having mom and dad all to themselves (not to mention the TV and their respective bedrooms).  It will be interesting to see how these changes continue to manifest themselves on Saturday, when our household number returns to six.

Lauryn, June 2010

Lauryn June 2010, originally uploaded by Chuck238.

Lauryn, my energetic five-year-old, is set for the summer in her new swimsuit, complete with a ruffled skirt. Today, she informed me that we should leave Mommy and Josh at the store, Joe and Amy at school, and head off to a hotel, just the two of us. “What would we do,” I asked? “Swim, play with toys, and eat hamburgers with ketchup only, french fries, hot dogs, and juice,” was her reply.

This is a girl with a plan.