Sunday, May 13, 2012

Such great heights

 We climbed literal great heights this week, which we'll post about in a minute.

But even more amazing were the symbolic heights Elena and Clara reached this week.  It was their last week of preschool, and they graduated (the first of many graduations we hope to witness!) from their very first school.

The kids could choose to either shake hands or hug their teacher, Miss Karen, when they got their diploma.  Here's Clara going in for the hug.
She proudly totes away her diploma (and a sweet gift from her teacher).
And then, with the help of Miss Kelsey, she leaps into the future!
Elena also opted for a big hug (we are so lucky that both girls loved their teachers so much).
And then she bounds off, confidently, to her future.
Their preschool class of 2012 (with four of the other kids they originally started out with and a few new additions this year).

Clara and Elena capped off their preschool experience by previewing their kindergarten adventure.  They got to go to "kindergarten roundup," where all the soon-to-be kindergarteners head to school and meet the teachers, scope out the classrooms, and do some activities.  Our girls both literally skipped in to school, were excited about all of it, and left not really ready to wait a whole summer before they get to start kindergarten!  

To wrap up that time in their lives, here is a collage of their first day of preschool ever (in 2010, top), their first day this year (2011, middle) and then their last day (2012, bottom).
 Sadly, Elena was really not into taking the end-of-school picture this year - but that shift in attitude of catering to our photo-desiring whims shows as much about her growth as the physical growth could have, had she stood up!

Back again to the literal heights now - one of the last things the girls did at their preschool was go on a hike to the "M." (photo borrowed from here).
The M sits above the university on a mountain, and the preschool shares the campus and the view of the M.  Their teachers thought they should hike up the mountain, which is no small feat!  It's 1.5 miles to get up and back, and has a stunning elevation gain of 620 feet (from 3,200 feet to 3,820).
The views are pretty incredible all the way up - on this day it was fun not just to see the campus and town beneath us, but also to watch all the preschoolers making their way up the mountain.
Here are the girls halfway up - spirits high, despite the wind and cold on this day.
We took advantage of a few of the benches at the edges of the switchbacks to gear up - here the girls are taking a breather with their friend, Lucy Mae.
And here they are at the top!  Elena had been up once before with Grammie Ellen and Steve, but Clara has never made it all the way up before to sit on the "M" and she was SO proud of herself!
It was a blast - Christina was happy she got to join in on this field trip.
In addition to these accomplishments, this blog post marks an accomplishment on its own that we just wanted to note.  This is our 1000th blog post.  It's a bit shocking to recognize, especially as Christina (our family's main blog poster) realized that at about 30 minutes a post (to take the pictures, upload them, and narrate them before publishing) she has spent 500 hours (or 20 full days!) blogging about our lives together.  It's also amazing when you consider picture we started this post with and then realize the one below is the photo that kicked off our first blog post - what growth! (Clara is on the left and Elena is on the right in both pictures).
We've made each year of this blog into a book for both girls (with one copy for ourselves) so this blog has really been baby books and family year books rolled into one.  Without you all as an "audience" for the blog we certainly wouldn't have recorded all of these moments and photos - thank you for being a part of this journey with us!

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