Monday, March 23, 2009

Go Go Go...Then Take it Slow

March 23, 2009

Oh my goodness, there's a lot going on in the world of the Lutjens kids these days. Our routine has been thrown a little off kilter because of my recent trip to Sacramento--we've flipped our at-dad's-house/at-mom's-house schedule to accomodate the trip, and we're getting ready to have to do it again this week. The kids are troopers, though, and pretty flexible, so we're just taking it one day at a time. Although I love the Sacramento gig, I'm pretty glad it only happens twice each spring.

So this week, here's what's been happening with everyone:

Danielle had her last week of pre-production rehearsals for her school play, "Do Wop Riding Hood." She's really been loving drama, and was excited to find out that her Aunt Lisa and her cousins are going to be in town to get to see her Friday night performance. We've got her poodle skirt and saddle shoes ready to go!

She also started softball for the first time this past week. She's been talking about wanting to play for a couple of years now, and this year her good friend Vanessa asked her if she'd like to join her team. We got her all signed up, and even went to the first practice Wednesday, and then the coach called and told us that there weren't enough girls to field a team. They all got broken up in pairs and added to existing teams, and luckily, Vanessa and Danielle got placed together. So now they are on a new team, but they're a little nervous because the first game is this Saturday, and they haven't even met the new coach yet. We'll see how it goes! And by the way, can anyone explain to me how it is that baseball SOCKS are more expensive than baseball PANTS? Wouldn't you think the pants would be the more critical piece of the uniform, and therefore more expensive? I don't get it.

As for Nicholas, the talk of the sixth grade classroom is the impending move to Junior High. Kind of unbelievable, actually. His class got to take a 'walking field trip' to the big campus where they got to see performances by some of the elective classes, such as band and choir. Nicholas gets to take an elective next year, and he's debating which sounds most interesting to him. He's been in band, and the fact that his dad's a band teacher makes that elective appealling to him. He's also expressed some interest in the Film Studies class they offer, and I'm inclined to say that might be a good choice for him. He'd love for there to be a woodworking class, but they don't offer that anymore at the Junior High level, so he's out of luck there. I have a feeling that our biggest decision we'll face is whether or not to enroll him in the laptop program. He is lobbying very hard to get to do it, but I'm a little concerned about his ability to remember to cart the thing around with him everyday. On the other hand, it might be just the thing to get him excited about getting all of his homework done, since getting on the computer right now is a privilege.

With Brianna, I am thankful that she's pretty adept at balancing her workload with her downtime. While she recognizes that with the tough classes she's got, she has to maintain her work ethic, she also knows how important it is to let herself relax and to socialize. She's gearing up for the World History A.P. test, and managing to muddle through the dreaded Lunchtime P.E. (I assure you, she won't be signing on for THAT again!). She's also, believe it or not, studying to take her Driver's Permit test this week. In addition, though, she's organizing an almost weekly social activity with a fabulous group of friends who are positive, upbeat, and very outgoing (and also just as concerned about their academic success!) and who love to laugh, joke, and generally make each other happy. I love that about her group of friends. They are genuinely good kids with big hearts. I have always been impressed with Brianna's ability to choose wisely the people she surrounds herself with. It's something that I think will serve her well for the rest of her life.

Our family time was pretty mellow this week--it was my dinner choice Friday, so we went to Weinerschnitzel. (I know--strange choice for the mama to make, but it sounded tasty, and it was cheap, and it WAS my choice.) Afterwards, we shopped a bit at Fashion Fair, and of course the girls loved it. Nicholas groused a little, since shopping is not his cup of tea, but he was patient and stuck it out. Finally, we headed to a late night showing of "Bedtime Stories." Nicholas, who was the only one of us who hadn't seen it before, giggled and laughed the whole way through.

On Saturday, everyone slept in late and got up at their leisure. We cleaned a little and then decided we'd head off to the park around the corner, since the weather was beautiful. We brought Danielle's friend Vanessa with us, as well as little John, an extended family cousin. The kids took turns on the swings, the monkey bars, and on the scooter we brought with us. John and Nicholas played with Nicholas' nerf gun, and the girls blew bubbles. I even ran into one of my oldest friends, who was also there with her kids. We couldn't have asked for better weather. Meanwhile, Doug was at home, and he washed both of our cars, so they were sparkly when the kids and I returned.

Sunday was another leisurely day. We had no plans, no place we had to be. It was a welcome respite from the hectic school days we usually have. Now that softball season is starting up, I have a feeling there will be fewer of these days we don't have to watch a clock. I love that my kids are active and involved, but every now and then, it's good to stop, close our eyes and

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