Saturday, August 31, 2013

Meet the Teacher - Drew 2013

My sweet little Drew will be going to a new preschool this year.  We were sooooo sad to leave our old preschool.  We have so many fond memories of that place - not a single complaint.  It is a precious little school!  The only problem was that it is only a Tuesday/Thursday program and I really needed Drew to go to preschool on Monday/Wednesday.  It just makes more sense for our family.  So, we decided to make the switch.  I have heard WONDERFUL things about his new school from our friends that go there.  We know that this was the right decision and Drew will have a great experience.  :)

In the week leading up to Meet the Teacher, Drew kept saying, "I'm nervous" repeatedly.  He would say it at random times, not just when we were talking about school.  I could tell that it was weighing on his little heart.  He is my shy, cautious little fella, for sure.  I have learned that he needs a little nudge when it comes to new situations.  Once he gets used to things, he does great!  He just needs me to instill confidence in him before something new.  This is a whole new aspect of parenting for me that I didn't encounter with my eldest.  ;)  They are all so different - aren't we thankful for that???  The world would be so boring if we were all the same!

His new school combines Meet the Teacher with Popsicles on the Playground.  We chose to focus less on meeting his new teacher and more on the popsicle.  Ha!

He was all smiles for a few pics before we left.  Love this little cutie pie... 

 When I finished taking Drew's pictures, Owen said, "I pitcher!  I pitcher!"  Ha!  Such a little ham...
 He stuck his hands in his pockets all by himself.  He kills me...  Such a funny boy!
 Drew did great with drop off!  We assured him that we would be right down the hall and would be back in less than an hour.  I took 5 pictures at his desk and they all look exactly the same - nervous, forced smile.  He was super brave and didn't shed a tear, but I could tell that he was anxious.
 His teacher seems super fun!  She called to introduce herself to me, several days prior to Meet the Teacher, and to ask if there was anything I wanted her to know about Drew.  I thought that was so sweet!  She assured me that she was praying for my little guy and that she couldn't wait to meet him.  I think Mrs. Chay will be great with Drew.  So thankful that we got two amazing teachers this year!
 After Meet the Teacher, it was popsicle time!  No more nervous grin for this guy!  He was happy as a little lark.  Mrs. Chay gave them all bubbles that said, "I'm bubbling with excitement that you're in our class."  Such a kind gesture!
 Baby Brother got a popsicle too (and red, no less!).  So far, he's a big fan of preschool!  ;)
Drew's first day of school is Wednesday.  I'm praying that it goes better than the first day of school last year.  :-/  He has grown so much and is such a different kid.  I'm praying that works in our favor and all goes well.  I'd sure appreciate a few extra prayers on Wednesday morning for my little Bub!  :)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Clayton's First Day of School

My Clayton started the 3rd grade on Monday, August 19th.  I used to LOVE the first day of school - just the thought of new school supplies made me giddy.  But...  it isn't nearly as much fun now that I have a school-aged child.  I love, love, love Summertime, and this summer was particularly great.  I was sooooo sad to see it end.  The only consolation is that it still blazing hot outside and my kids only go to school on campus two days a week.  So, we can still hit the pool for "P.E." on our homeschool days for at least another month.  ;)

A little Back to School decorating eased my sorrows a tiny bit.  :)

We took the obligatory back to school photos, but it has taken me a couple of weeks to actually put them on the blog.  The natives (a.k.a. grandparents) have gotten restless!  I have gotten calls from all four of them itching to see their grandson on his first day of 3rd grade.  Here ya go, Grands!  I now present to you the cutest 3rd grader EVER!

 His sweet principal, Mrs. Campbell, is such a precious lady!  We all adore her!  She always has a huge smile on her face and greets each child by name.  I'm hoping she won't retire before Owen is out of Grammar School.  Eight more years isn't asking too much, is it?  ;)
I think that Clayton's teacher is going to be PERFECT for him this year!  She is the mother of three grown boys (love that!), is from Louisiana, and has been teaching for 25 years.  She is so kind and loving, but you can tell that she means business.  She was so sweet at our parent orientation.  She said that she is dedicating this year to her parents, both of which have passed away.  Her theme is love & inspire - advice gleaned from her parents.  Her mother would say, "Love those babies." and her father would have said, "Inspire those children."  She had all of the moms crying by the end of her spiel.  So endearing...  Word on the street is that she does a cartwheel in front of the class if everyone makes a 100 on a test.  How cool is that?!?!  She is going to be so good for my boy!
Clayton had an awesome first day!  He was all smiles in the car on the way home.

Our first homeschool day was, well, interesting...  Drew and Owen play so, so well together, but even their happy noises are loud.  It doesn't take much to distract Clayton, so it is a bit tricky to have them all home at the same time.  We'll get a system down, but it will take some trial & error.  I'll have it down to a science by May, I'm sure.  Ha!

We did have a funny moment first thing in the morning on our first homeschool day.  Clayton walked up to me and said, "Salve, Magistra!"  To which, I said, "Huh?"  Super intelligent, I know.  ;)  Apparently, that means, "Hello, Teacher!" in Latin.

Medieval Europe is the emphasis in 3rd grade history.  They started by studying St. Augustine's Conversion to Christianity.  I saw this quote on the back of his paper and it made my heart smile.

I ran across this quote years ago and it has become one of my favorites!  "You have made us for Yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You."  Seeing it in my Sweetheart's handwriting makes it even more meaningful!

I have a good feeling about the 3rd grade!  I think it is going to be a good year for my Boy!

The Greatest Show on Earth 2013

Last year, we went to the circus as the last hoorah of the summer.  It was so much fun that we continued the tradition and took the Carpenter Brothers to see the Ringling Brothers on Wednesday, August 14th.  ;)  My Hubs found really great tickets smack dab in the middle on $10 night.  Score!

The boys had a ball and were so much fun to watch!  We planned to get to the arena super early for all of the pre-show festivities, like we did last year, but the traffic flow was not in our favor.  We missed out on seeing the animals, but got to see the performers. 

Posing on the stunt motorcycle was big fun for our crew.

 Love these clowns so much...  ;)

 They asked for kids to come out in the middle of the center ring to learn the choreographed dance for this year's theme.  My big Clay-boy went straight out there as brave as could be.  He makes me so proud!  I would have NEVER done that as a child.  I was sooooo shy!

 We got cotton candy (hence the blue lips) and waited for the show to begin.
 Owen was so stinkin' cute!  He sat there wide eyed, with his mouth open, pointing, and saying, "Wook!  Wook!" the entire time.  Shock & awe, for sure!

 This year the tiger show included 4 tigers, 4 female lions, and a male lion!  What in the world?!?!?  I whispered to Wade, "That dude is going to die.  Right here in front of our children.  Be prepared to cover eyes."  Ha!  Luckily, there was no bloodshed, and my children did not have to witness a horrific event.

 They also had the "Hair Hanging Wonders of the West."  These ladies hung by their ponytails and twirled around.  In the middle of their act, Clayton leaned over and said, "You and Mrs. Leah should totally do that!"  I have never laughed so hard...  Not gonna happen, Bud!
 The highlight of the show, for my little brood, was the Shaolin Warriors.  Drew called them "ninjas."  ;)  They had a wire frame that they stuck swords in.  Then they lit it on fire and a guy jumped through the middle blindfolded.  Blindfolded.  Wowsa.
 There were looks of amazement from all.

 At the intermission, I got to snuggle with my cotton candy eating, tan, bleached out blond-haired boy.  That boy...  Too cute for words.
 I loathe cotton candy.  So gross.  He taunted me with a bite until I submitted.  Ew - just as gross as I remembered.
 Me and my Littles
 Clowns.  Both of them.  Straight up clowns.  ;)

 The finale was the Dragon Riders - 8 motorcycles in a spherical, wire cage.  Apparently, that is a world record.  Clayton was seriously impressed.
Such a fun family night!  I love this little back to school tradition of ours.  :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Birthday

As a kid, I hated having an August birthday.  I didn't get to do all of the fun stuff that they do at school to celebrate your birthday, my friends were always hit-or-miss for a party due to vacations and camps, and birthday parties were tough to plan because it was always hotter than the surface of the sun outside.  Luckily, I loved a good pool party, so that was my theme for many years.  :)

Well, somethings never change, because I chose to celebrate my birthday this year with a pool party of sorts.  So fun!  As an adult, I love having a summer birthday!  My kids are out of school, we have no agenda, and there are tons of fun things to do.  I am so grateful for my August birthday now.

This year, the day started with breakfast in bed from these two cutie pies.  They make some mean cheese toast, let me tell you.  ;)

After breakfast, we headed to Hawaiian Falls!  My sweet Hubs took the day off and treated us all to a day at the waterpark.  We had so much fun!  I can definitely see us splurging on season passes next year.  The boys had a blast!

There were water slides of all shapes and sizes.  Wade and I took turns going with the big boys while the other would hang back with Owen.  There was plenty to do for kids of all ages.
 After lunch, this sweet little curly haired boy fell asleep while we were floating in the wave pool.
Those chubby cheeks and long eyelashes...  I could stare at his sweet face all day long.  We shifted to a lounge chair and snuggled for almost two hours.  Such a great birthday gift from my Baby O!
 He woke up happy, happy, happy.  Yay!
 Sun-kissed cheeks and a full faced smile - sure signs of a fantastic day!
 My big boy...  Love that crazy kid.
We went home and got cleaned up just in time for our sweet sitter to come and watch the boys so that Wade and I could go to a fancy dinner.  Another major perk of my birthday is that it falls during DFW's restaurant week, where many restaurants offer a special menu at an excellent rate and then donate much of the proceeds to the food bank.  We got to have a five course dinner at Grace in Fort Worth for a fraction of what it normally would have cost.  It was positively divine and our waitress was a hoot!  Such a great date night...
Thank you to my Hubby for planning such a fun day for me!  It truly was one of my favorite birthdays ever!