Friday, June 10, 2016

High Five for Friday (6.10.16)

1. Will and Hallie took four summers of swimming lessons through the City of College Station. While both kids did fine in their classes, neither made tremendous progress until I enrolled them in semi-private swimming lessons the past two winters.

After a couple of issues last year, I decided to move Will and Hallie to Bryan - our neighboring sister city - for swimming lessons this summer. A week in, I couldn't be happier with the change: the lessons are more organized, the teachers are better trained at both instructing kids and communicating with parents, and the expectations are higher. Hallie may not love lessons quite as much now (that girl is TIRED at the end of her 45-minute class, and on the first day she told me she almost "drownd-ed"...she didn't), but both kids will end the summer as even better swimmers.

2. Though I always have a headache when I finish a painting (I'm a tense painter, and I think that tension travels up my back and neck and into my head), I LOVE these girls nights and my finished products!

3. On Monday night we visited a new(ish) STEM education facility in College Station called FUNgineering. When we walked into the open house, Will dove immediately into the many activities set out for the kids. Hallie, on the other hand, looked around and declared, "I already don't like this place. When can we go home?" She wandered around aimlessly for 10 minutes, finally sitting down - somewhat defeatedly - at a building station. But then I watched, out of the corner of my eye, as she started following the instructions on the screen. 20, 30, 40 minutes later she was still working, and she stuck with her "drumming monkey" until she finished it just as it was time to go home. BCS parents, if you haven't visited FUNgineering, head over there soon! They have LEGO Education, LEGO Mindstorms, Robotics construction and programming, physics-based computer gaming, computer game and animation programming, 3D modeling/printing, and electronics classes, camps, and parents' nights out, all of which Will - and Hallie - can't wait to try!
Hallie's "drumming monkey".
I have no affiliation with FUNgineering. I am, however, incredibly impressed with FUNgineering's facility, staff, and programs and plan to send both Will and Hallie there this summer.

4. As of today, we're two weeks into summer vacation. We've had loads of fun thus far - soccer tournament, track camp, swimming lessons, painting, cookouts, dance lessons, movies, and LOTS of swimming and playing with friends - but on Tuesday afternoon I could see that both kids were nearing their first breaking point. So instead of going to the movie theater or the swimming pool, on Wednesday afternoon we just stayed home. The kids played outside and worked on their summer/school activity books while I wrote and folded laundry, and then we showered and watched a movie, cozied up together on the living room floor. I love spending time with friends, but a low-key afternoon was exactly what all three of us needed!

5. Finally, in place of my regular Happiness Highlights, a few "feel good", funny, and/or interesting links I've come across recently. I hope they brighten your Friday!
  • A 93-year-old woman and kind-hearted men - volunteers with the Raising Men Lawn Care Service - who saved both the day and her lawn. (link)
  • The "code of the wolf in a pack" fascinates me. (link)
  • A lovely article about the "second worst dorm in America"...which also happens to be where I lived during my sophomore year of college. (link)
  • Sometimes you need your friends to make it over an obstacle. (link)
  • Does anyone else find this as satisfying to watch as I do? No? (link)
  • I love stories about and videos showing animals reuniting with their humans. (link)
  • Lots of videos of senior walks - when graduating seniors walk through the halls of their elementary school wearing their caps and gowns - have made the rounds recently. This video is of a different but equally cute kind of walk through an elementary school hallway. (link

Happy Friday, Chasing Roots!

Linking up with High Five for Friday here:

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