Preschool Graduation

Watch out, Kindergarten, BK is on his way!  Last week, we attended BK’s preschool graduation.

Preschool Graduation

BK with his teachers

The ceremony itself was on a Wednesday afternoon.  It lasted all of about 10 minutes, and in the grand scheme of things, isn’t really that important, but for that little boy on that Wednesday afternoon, it meant the world.

BK really worked hard for his preschool graduation.  In the weeks leading up to the ceremony, he practiced the songs they would sing (adorable, btw!!) and the motions that came with the songs.  He learned his place in the procession, and he solemnly took in the order of events.

The ceremony itself was really great.  As I said, it was only about 10 minutes, but they sure packed a lot of cuteness in those 10 minutes.  They processed in, sang songs, received their diplomas, and then sang again for us.  The kids were even wearing little graduation gowns and hats!Preschool Graduation

Prior to practicing for graduation, he focused very strongly this past year on learning the basics for Kindergarten.  “Going to the big school” next year is really important to him, and he’s proud of what he has accomplished.

As his mommy, I’m proud, too.  I’ve watched his coloring evolve.  It’s gone from scribbles to carefully planned out master pieces.  BK loves to write letters as we spell words for him, and he has an amazing grasp of shapes and colors.  I kid you not, the boy even knows color combinations (for example, blue and red make purple).  Academically, he could not be more prepared for Kindergarten.  He even very nearly aced his Kindergarten screening, scoring a 36 out of 39 while a score of just 31 is the goal.Preschool Graduation

BK’s preschool class was small as only 6 graduated with him.  I know of only 1 of those that will be attending BK’s same “big school,” and this both disappoints me and scares me.  He’s so prepared academically, but I worry about him socially.  That’s been part of the reason we signed him up for soccer and tball; we want him to have every opportunity to make friends.  I would imagine that most parents have these worries when their children enter new situations, but I sure do wish that I had a crystal ball so that I can reassure myself that all will be fine!  Ooh, Mom worries!

BK will do really well in Kindergarten.  He’s looking forward to riding the bus, and he loves that he’ll be going to the “big school.”  We will continue to support and foster that adventurous spirit and excitement!

Rhubarb Sauce!

Spring time around the Keller Family Tinker Farm means rhubarb and asparagus!  The rhubarb plants that grow in our garden have to be older than I am.  I certainly can’t remember a time without them, anyway!

There are four great big plants, and they produce well for us all summer long.  This means that I am constantly looking for rhubarb recipes!  I’ve made rhubarb coffee cake, strawberry rhubarb jam, rhubarb blondies, and rhubarb custard pie.  I haven’t yet tried strawberry rhubarb pie or rhubarb bars, but I plan to do both soon!  I also haven’t made a rhubarb crisp.  Mr. Keller’s grandmother Dorothy makes rhubarb crisp and rhubarb pie that are just delicious, and I just didn’t think my recipes could measure up; however, she did just graciously send me her rhubarb pie recipe.  Mr. Keller has been patiently waiting for me to bake it so I should probably get on that!

rhubarb sauce

Rhubarb plants

We do have one recipe for rhubarb that I always seem to come back to:  rhubarb sauce.  It’s just a quick and easy sauce that you can use as a side or a dessert topper.  It cooks while you make dinner, but you can serve it warm or cold.  I actually prefer it as leftovers that are a couple of days old.  Just like chili, the flavors seem to really blend well after a day or two of refrigeration.

My rhubarb sauce recipe doesn’t actually come from a recipe as much as from memory.  My dad’s mother used to make it as did my mom.  I watched them dump and stir it all together often enough that I learned to do it on my own, but that means that I have no written down measurements!  For this post, I had to do a little bit of experimenting on what the best measurements could be.  That being said, you may want to taste the sauce before serving as the tartness of your rhubarb will play into how much sugar you need to use!

rhubarb sauce

Rhubarb Stalks

Without any more ado, from my grandmother’s kitchen to yours, here is our rhubarb sauce recipe:

Rhubarb Sauce
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Rhubarb Sauce
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Cut up your rhubarb stalks. I had 6 stalks, and I cut them up into smaller chunks using my kitchen scissors. Add them to your medium sized sauce pan
    Rhubarb sauce
  2. Add the sugar to the medium sized sauce pan
  3. Add the instant granulated tapioca. I suggest using Reese's. It's the only kind I have tried, but it always turns out well!
  4. Optional: thinly slice up 1 cup of strawberries and add to the mixture. The strawberries will give the rhubarb added sweetness while making the color more appealing. You can always do more or less strawberries
  5. Cook the mixture over a medium high heat on your stove top until the mixture starts to boil. I stir fairly aggressively after it starts to cook down (just before boiling) in order to break down the rhubarb and strawberries.
  6. After it starts to boil, you can turn the heat off and let it sit, stirring occasionally, as it cools. You can refrigerate and serve later (this will cause the tapioca granules to thicken the sauce more) or you can serve warm.
Recipe Notes

The sauce tastes great on it's own or served over ice cream!

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TBall Adventures

BK has started his TBall Adventures!  He loves baseball, but he wasn’t too sure of what TBall was all about!  After he realized that it was just baseball with a funny tee to hit off of, he’s been pretty happy with it!  Practice started the day after we returned from our Florida trip, and we have practice one day a week and a game another day.

I think BK’s biggest issue with TBall has been the color of his shirt and hat.  Apparently, he doesn’t like green.  That was news to me and Mr. Keller, but we have now managed to get him to put on his game day shirt without too much of a fight!

BK is a great fielder, you know, for a five year old.  He really gets into chasing that ball down and throwing it to first.  Did you know that in TBall, they throw it to first base pretty much no matter what.  It’s kind of silently killing me to watch them ignore the easy tag out or the force out plays at second or third in order to throw it to first base.  They also pretty much can’t get out at first base, either.  First, it takes way too long for those five year olds to field the ball and then throw to first base.  Second, you know that little TBall player on first base isn’t paying any attention to the fact that a ball is being thrown at him/her.  Ooh, TBall Adventures!

TBall Adventures

Play Ball! BK ready to go!

Truthfully, it’s kind of fun to go watch.  BK is certainly enjoying himself out on the field.  He dances, puts the glove on his head, does somersaults, and throws freshly cut grass in between “pitches,” but he’s ready when it’s time for that ball to head his way!  He also does a great job in leading his team; yelling “are we ready!?” as the batter steps up to the batting box.

BK does need to work on his batting skills a little bit.  Two weekends ago, his papa (my dad), worked on BK’s batting stance, and that’s definitely helped.  You forget how much there is to learn in baseball until you have to teach someone else:  the proper stances, mechanics, and strategy!

TBall Adventures

BK practicing with Papa

TBall Adventures

Oops! I captured a picture of the pitching hitting BK!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MK is having a little bit of an issue with not being allowed to be on the team, too.  She wasn’t quite old enough, and, frankly, if she were playing, she would be one giant black eye waiting to happen!  She’s just not quite there yet, but I don’t think her complaint is with not playing.  I think she just wants to feel like she’s on the team!  She loves to steal BK’s baseball hat, and she tried desperately to get in the team pictures.  She also runs over to their little huddles, constantly; yet when they’re on the field, she almost never shows any interest in joining them.  We will see what next year brings as to whether or not she participates.

I was worried that TBall might turn into the chore that soccer turned into (MK’s may have had something to do with that), but so far so good!  We’re having fun and enjoying our TBall Adventures.

Florida Vacation Recap

Ahh, vacation! The Keller Kids and I have recently returned from our Florida vacation. Can you believe that little MK had never been on a vacation! When I realized that, I knew it was time to take a trip!

BK, MK, and I headed down to Florida at the end of April. Poor Mr. Keller had to work, but the kids and I were still excited to take a vacation!

We were able to snag a deal on our airfare, and, even better, it was a direct flight to Punta Gorda, FL. We even lucked out and obtained first row seats. The Keller Kids were thrilled. Heck, they were thrilled to ride the shuttle from the airport parking lot to the airport before we even arrived in Florida! BK very excitedly announced as we stepped onto the shuttle, “I’ve never been on a bus before!”

Florida Vacation

We’re so excited to go on our Florida Vacation!

Florida Vacation

So excited!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It only got better from there! As we took off down the airstrip, both kids were convinced that we were preparing to go into outer space. They were enthralled. Neither take off nor landing bothered them a bit, and, frankly, the landing was rough! They spent the entire flight happily coloring (BK) and talking away (MK). The only trouble I had with them was when MK was absolutely convinced that she wanted to go yell at the pilot for not coming out to meet her.

The cutest moment we had during the flight was after we landed. MK turned around (remember, we’re in the very first row) and very magnanimously says “Welcome to Grandma Pat’s Florida!” (we were arriving in Florida to visit my grandparents, Bob and Pat).

My grandparents and mom were waiting for us upon arrival. We grabbed our suitcase after it FINALLY appeared (sidenote: why does it take so long to claim checked baggage??),

Florida Vacation

MK and Andy. He’s a labradoodle who was trying so hard to be a good friend!

and we headed to my grandparents’ home in Punta Gorda. From there, we jumped into their pool! BK and MK still both need to take swimming lessons, but they still absolutely love the pool!

Ever cautious, BK swam around the pool with water wings on and pool noodle clutched in his arms. MK, on the other hand, is on the other side of the spectrum when it comes to risk tolerance. She was happily splashing around and swimming with only water wings, and, I suspect, would have relished the opportunity to try swimming without them. Hopefully we can get the kids enrolled in swimming lessons this summer.

Our vacation also included a couple of trips to the beach, of course! I think the beach is what both kids were looking forward to the most. BK had been to the beach before, but it was when he was very little. He really had no memory of it.

Florida Vacation

The Banyan trees in Boca Grande

Florida Vacation

They loved the beach!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was surprised this time, because BK absolutely threw caution to the wind as he played in the waves! MK was actually more concerned than he was, but that was probably because she caught a mouthful of the water early on and did not like it! Both kids enjoyed playing in the sand and building little sand castles.

We took the kids to the Mote Aquarium, too! I’m not a huge fan of fish so I can’t say that this was my favorite part of the trip, but my kids aren’t hampered by the same phobias. They really enjoyed it–BK probably more so. He had me take a lot of pictures to send to back to Mr. Keller, but we really focused on the jelly fish. BK is, apparently, a big fan!

Florida Vacation

The kids really enjoyed the Hurricane Simulator. For $2, I wish it had lasted a little longer!

Florida Vacation

Brayden’s Favorite Jelly Fish at the Mote Aquarium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sister joined us on the last part of our Florida vacation. We hadn’t seen her since Christmas time so we were pretty excited! Both BK and MK could hardly contain themselves when we picked her up from the airport. They were even more excited when they learned that she had brought her hula hoop!

Our Florida vacation was a great opportunity to catch up with family! Our once very close knit family is now spread between Texas, Illinois, South Carolina, and Florida, and it really makes me sad. I’m thrilled that modern technology allows us to bridge the distance regularly between travel and FaceTime conversations, but it’s just not the same. I stayed near home… they should all come back to me!

Florida Vacation

My mom gave the kids these Care Bears Build a Bears

Florida Vacation

Enjoying the splash pad and slide in Punta Gorda