Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Skating Before the Skating

A few weekends ago, when Tyler was up in Idaho by himself (sans kids) I wanted to be fun mom. Usually on Saturday, we do chores. (Well, we always do chores.) Some days we do less, some days...more. (I am not very fun. Ask the kids.) This particular Saturday, we still did chores, but I told the kids that we would go swimming in the afternoon.

Swimming is fun, but not my favorite activity because it involves a lot of getting ready and remembering essentials like towels and goggles. (The latter of which we frequently lose.) Then there is the stress of trying to watch five children and pray no one drowns. This is less frightening now that three can swim, but it still crosses my mind every time we go.

Finally, there is the exodus from the pool. Kids are tired, wet, and cold. Such a lovely combination. We usually skip the pool showers and head for the barn where we throw everyone in the warm tub, but wet bum-prints and a pile of swimsuits and towels are what I can look forward to. (See, I am NO fun.)

This swimming trip, I decided to watch from the edge. Kids paired up (quite the trick with an odd number) and happily swam for an hour or so. (No pictures this time around, although they were all cute little ducks as usual.)

An hour in, I received a text from Jana. (Hannah's mom - Hannah being June's best friend in case you forgot.) She asked if we wanted to come ice skating that evening for free.

I won't lie. The fun mom that I had forced to come out for the afternoon was looking forward to a quiet evening with children going to bed early. She did not want to go ice skating. She also realized that few opportunities come up for kids to go skating for free.

There was an ugly internal battle, and then I texted back that we would love to come. (I was all sorts of proud of myself at this point. One activity without the husband in tow is amazing. Two is phenomenal!!)

We rushed home, ate a quick dinner and changed from skimpy suits to coats and gloves.

And it was fun, just like I knew it would be. I have proof too. Here is everyone happy at the beginning.

Here is everyone happy at the end. Success!

And even some pictures in between. First, Jana didn't have a camera with her, so I took photos for her as well. Here is the Keen Clan. (And the only picture of Chris since he didn't don skates.)

Rachel and Esther on the ice.

Ivory was as happy as a clam. (Wait, who decided clams are all that happy?)

James seemed to keep his balance well.

June spent plenty of time standing, and plenty of time not standing, but she seemed to fall with grace.

They had these nifty blue helpers. They were just the right size for Bethany.

Actually, they were good for any size.

Wait, go back a second. Robyn started bundled in a hundred layers. I guess she warmed up throughout the evening.

Hannah was strutting her stuff.

The best part was the 'time out box.' I would leave one child there, do a circle and then come back for the other little one. We didn't get a blue helper thing for quite sometime, so the girls relied on me to keep their balance. The box always seemed to have plenty of company.

Even the moms took a 'time-out' in the box. (Maybe more than one.)

When we took out turn with the blue thing, Pearl was a pro. Skating all by herself. Woot. (My arms were super happy with some down time.)

Is June giving her a push, or taking a break? Hard to tell.

I had to take a selfie and send it to Tyler. (He knew right where I was.)

It was a really fun evening. So fun in fact, that Ivory decided right then that she wanted to have her birthday party at the Ice Arena. So, I had to get these pictures on the blog before I post a whole bunch more ice skating photos next week.

Thanks again Keens. You were wonderful to invite us and entice fun mom to take an extra shift.

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