*Monday, June 9th--While I was packing that afternoon, Karcyn and Calvin played down the street with friends. I went down to retrieve them and Karcyn greeted me while riding a two-wheel bike! She'd never been on a bike before. Calvin (because he's Karcyn's non-twin) could do it too! Holy cow! Our neighbor friends, Jenna and Jessie had taught them while they were playing outside. Sweet! One less parental responsibility to do! Thanks girls ;)
Jake had a piano solo and performed in front of the ENTIRE middle school student body and staff. He played "Hall of Fame" and NAILED it! I couldn't have been more proud. The piano was facing the audience so they could obviously hear the music. Though I wish they could have seen the incredible movement of his hands and fingers on the keyboard. When he was halfway through with no mistakes, I knew he had it. I don't know much about piano, but what I do know is that it's SO hard to play on another piano once when you've been practicing for 100x on another.
*Tuesday, June 10th--I went into Brown Middle School that morning to get Jake for his orthodontic appointment and then later that afternoon, I went back for his jazz band concert. I realized I'd be at that particular school four times in three days--more than I had for the whole rest of the year. Jake had an awesome alto sax solo in his jazz concert. It was all improv.
Jake had mentioned a few days prior that he'd like to go to his friend Josh's house and play basketball after the concert because Josh lived within walking distance from the school. Somehow after the jazz concert, Jake's plans morphed into going to Josh's basketball game at the high school and then laser tag after. Jake swears he told me about the latter. I swear he didn't, but given my life's condition at the time, it is likely in this case that Jake was more on the accurate side :) I told him we needed to work on this communication thing and clearly, I needed to talk to Josh's parents to clarify a few things. Trusting that you're getting the full story with a teenager is a fine line, my friends. Even with a kid as good as Jake. Not because he's deceitful, he just leaves out much needed mommy details that he knows but doesn't think I need to know to make a decision. I drove him to the high school, which was just down the road from the middle school but I wasn't very confident we'd be able to make contact with Josh's parents. Plus, I didn't want to interrupt them while they were watching their son playing in a game and I didn't have the luxury of waiting around all night. I told Jake not to get his hopes up. As we pulled into the high school parking lot, we followed a suburban that looked similar to the one Josh's mom drives. And it was! Crazy! I pulled into the parking spot beside her and was able to talk to her real quick and verify she was aware and on board with the plans as well. She told me they were going to celebrate Josh's birthday and Jake was the friend Josh wanted to invite. The only conflict was Jake's last dance festival rehearsal that night. He knew his routine though and considering we're dragging Jake 2500 miles away from his friends, I figured he could sacrifice one rehearsal. Even Josh's mom was grateful Jake could come. They had a blast and one day hope to meet up at a BYU basketball camp in the future.
*Wednesday, June 11th--Jared and I surprised Jake with his first cell phone on the last full day of school, despite our "no phone til you're 16" rule. I love that, as parents, we can totally ratify and amend any aforementioned family rules and policies as needed for the greater good. Sixteen is still the baseline age and family rule, but we decided it's up to the individual child whether that age gets moved up or moved back. We were considering getting Jake one at the beginning of his freshman year in the fall or on his birthday the end of December. But the amazing McCulloughs were flying him back to Oregon for High Adventure (that he would have missed otherwise) and I couldn't let him travel from Texas to Oregon without some way of contacting us. I'm kicking myself too because apparently we learned we would actually save money if I upgraded to an iPhone (which I had been resisting) sharing Jared's data plan AND added a 3rd line with Jake's cheap-o-can't-send-or-receive-pictures-or-access-the-internet-call-and-text-only-phone.
I was envisioning Jake going ballistic when we surprised him with a new phone. Nope. He was one cool cat...a raw dawg (tribute to Tyler Nelson). He freaked out more, jumping up and down, when the hard copy of his Patriarchal blessing arrived after he had waited for three months to receive it. Jared commented on the comparison of these two events and said, "Well, at least his priorities are right." But then Jared added, "He cried (sobbed!) when he witnessed Damian Lillard's series-winning buzzer-beater shot" (against the Houston Rockets--in the playoffs the month prior). "Yeah, as far as priorities go for Jake, that sounds about right!"
*Thursday, June 12th--the Last Day of School. Exciting, but kind of sad for us, too.
*Saturday, June 14th--Jake participated in the Portland Regional Dance Festival, the theme being: "Believe.Stand.Shine." Here's a link to take you to the dance videos. Jake was a Russian dancer and was given the unique task of dancing with not just one young woman, but two!! The girls, Lisa and Kendall, were both from our ward at church...and in Jake's Sunday school class, which made it fun for all of them. On the video link, Jake is actually in the bottom left corner right at the beginning...far left. Then you don't see him again until the very end around 2:27 on the bottom right.
I had been anticipating this whole festival but especially the specific dance my boy would be performing! He had learned to execute the Russian kicks as well as other cool moves. He told us where to sit in the gymnasium so that he would be facing us, but apparently, we didn't completely understand because when his number started, he was not facing us...he was facing the other direction! Every once in a while we could see the left side of him. Sort of. I was so MIFFED--at no one, in particular--just the cruel irony of it all!!! I was kicking myself for not grilling him for more specific details regarding his dancing position. But I guess I was lucky enough to be as close to him as we were. Some parents, especially with multiple youth involved, would have to just pick a spot and hope for the best.
Fortunately, Jared got some good pictures--considering they were taken with his iPhone.
This is the back of Jake's noggin. Lisa is on the right.
Jake in the center, facing the camera. Lisa is on the left and Kendall is in the right.
Jake is the one closest to us--doing a mega jump over his ladies.
Jake dancing with Lisa. I just love that Jake actually looks like he's having a good time. That it doesn't appear painful like it did for some of the other teenagers we watched that day. I'm sure it made his dancing partners feel good, too!
Landing another jump.
Prepping for the classic Russian kick.
Some more fancy moves--reminiscent of break dancing :)
The trio :)
Love this picture!
And this one!
The whole dance festival was SO impressive and well done. To consider the amount of work and organization that went into this event for months and months is staggering! I was jealous of some of the teens, especially during the ballroom dance routines. What a fun and unique opportunity these youth had.
This is Jake with his friend and basketball buddy, Josh Walkenhorst. To give a little perspective, Jake is my height, 5 feet, 6 inches. I like to fondly call these two: Stockton and Malone (from the Utah Jazz :)