Arts & Crafts on Fort Huachuca – Episode II

Now that the girls have been back for a month, we are finally getting back to our usual activities. Pajama Night at Cochise Theater on Fridays. Arts & Crafts on Saturdays. And Bowling and errands on Sundays. Last week the girls wanted to drop by the Fort Huachuca Arts & Crafts Center to paint some more ceramics. Given that it is still a fun, cheap, and safe activity that provides hours of enjoyment, peace, and quiet, you know I was in.

Arts & Crafts has never been so fun and safe!
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First Day of School

The girls “recently” started school at Colonel Johnston Elementary School on Fort Huachuca. By “recently,” I mean that they started class almost a month ago, which just shows you how far behind I am with writing. Life continues to be extremely busy for the Calkins Family (not hectic, just busy), with schoolwork and activities keeping all three of us extremely occupied. Elaina and Gabriella were still very excited about school and look forward to the coming year.

Calkins Family First Day of School Tradition: Check!
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Month of the Military Child – Sierra Vista Herald Article

So the girls are famous now, at least across Fort Huachuca. Based on some brainstorming in the Public Affairs Office about April’s Month of the Military Child, my First Sergeant and I’s families were selected for an article in the Sierra Vista Herald about the wonder and difficulties of being a military child. Of course, I jumped at this opportunity and was very eager to support the initiative. The girls were pretty excited too at the prospect of being in the newspaper. When the crew arrived, Gabriella went shy and stayed in her room most of the time, while Elaina opened up as soon as the first question was asked of her. And just like that, the girls were a household name (within a five-mile radius).

To no one’s surprise, shy Gabriella just wanted to cuddle while Elaina the Extrovert would not stop talking.
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A Sleepover, A Marathon, and a Lost Tooth

This was another fun yet busy weekend for Team Calkins (last weekend we spent in Phoenix, which I will post about later). As much as I talk about needing to take a step back and relax, it is just not something that we do. To quote Russell from Up, “Adventure is out there!;” we are not going to find it sitting at home, especially in the time of COVID (who’s impact we continue to manage very well). So the girls had a sleepover at their friend’s house while I ran a marathon. Sounds like a pretty good time for them.

Having the girls waiting at the finish line was all the motivation I needed
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Arts & Crafts on Fort Huachuca

As living in a COVID world becomes more and more like the new normal, we are slowly trying to branch out and try new things around Fort Huachuca and the surrounding area, of course, all while implementing our mitigation strategies. Last week as I was posting the weekly announcements for my unit, I saw an advertisement on the Fort Huachuca Facebook page about an event at the Fort Huachuca Arts & Crafts Center called Pick-It-and-Paint Ceramics. It sounded like a fun, cheap activity for the girls and I, so as we headed back home from our Saturday errands, we decided to stop in to see what all the excitement was about.

At age five, Gabriella is already a better painter than her Dad will ever be
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Milestones Update (or Gabriella Can Ride a Bike too!)

After Elaina learned to ride a bike without training wheels, Gabriella and I were very excited to get her to do it as well. We were a little too busy during the week to put some serious work into it, so we went out on Saturday evening to get Gabriella to ride on her own. I expected us to be there an hour or so, with the hopes that maybe she would get pretty close… we were there about a minute before she was riding on her own.

Wow… that happened rather quickly…
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Milestones or: How Elaina Learned to Stop Worrying and Ride a Bike Without Training Wheels

There are certain moments in the lives of your children that bring you indescribable joy when they are reached, such as walking for the first time, speaking their first word, or learning to tie their shoes, just to name a few. As the title implies, Elaina hit one of those milestones last weekend by learning to ride her bicycle without training wheels. As a parent, it both lets you know that you did something right and that your child is developing on schedule. I am so proud of her. And of course, as much as she denies it, Gabriella wants to be just like her big sister and tried it too (she is almost there).

“On your mark. Get set. Read!”
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Elaina and Gabriella’s First Day of School (2020 Edition)

Today was Elaina and Gabriella’s first day of school.  Elaina started 1st grade and Gabriella started Kindergarten, and it was the first day that they would both be going to the same (real) school together, Colonel Johnston Elementary School.  While it is certainly sad seeing my little girls grow up, I could not be more proud of them.  Thankfully, the months and months they spent waiting for this day were definitely worth it.

It seems like only yesterday I was writing about Elaina’s first day of Kindergarten…

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Looking Back on Last Year’s First Day of School

So tomorrow is the girls’ first day of school.  Elaina will be starting 1st Grade and Gabriella will be starting Kindergarten.  While I certainly will be posting about how the day went, when I went back to look over how I felt during Elaina’s first day of Kindergarten a year ago, I realized that I had not even posted about it.  Given that it was an extremely stressful day that also brought out the best in my being a parent, I figured I would share that today.

This feels like it happened a lot longer than a year ago…

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And Coronavirus Promoted Me to Teacher…

While kids worldwide are ecstatic about school being cancelled for the rest of the year, parents quickly found out that they were not quite off the hook.  Instead of just helping their kids with their homework and reading to them at bedtime, we became their primary teachers overnight (Note: This is in no way a slight to actual teachers, as they still have to assign and grade the coursework.  They also miss their kids like crazy).  It was a little difficult at first, but like all things with single parenting, you eventually get the hang of it.

Gotta get that “G” right, otherwise all hope is lost

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