Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Getting in the Groove...

We've started the second week of school and things are going well. We've started carpooling again, setting up playdates and doing homework. Claire informed me (and Gram) last night that "she loves 1st grade and is going to be in that grade forever!" I think that is a good sign. Landon is actually enjoying his "me" time with Mommy, much to my surprise! I really thought he would miss Claire as a playmate; of course I've kept him busy since school started, so maybe he hasn't had time to miss her! He'll start preschool in Sept., which will be a whole new round of tears. Pretty sure these will be his, not mine (at least that's what I'm telling myself!). Hoping that it will go smoothly. I do have to brag a little: The girl with Claire in the fashion show is her good friend, Rachel, whom she dances with. This is the girl that is doing a duet with Claire this year. They are almost done learning it, and it's SO cute! They will start competing against other kiddos their age in February. What fun to watch my daughter enjoy something that was such a huge part of her Mommy's life!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Grade...Here She Comes!

Pretty in pink...and yes the same outfit as below. Showing off the backpack (this is the second one we bought).

Sitting at her desk. "Not tables, like last year. But real desks, Momma!"

Claire's first day of school...
Woke up early. Claire was already dressed before I had breakfast on the table. "Let's straighten my hair today, mom, since I'm wearing a headband." I'm just staring at my baby girl as she is asking me this; the Mommy trying to stay calm and collected while her 6-year-old is nonchalant and all business on her first day. We did straighten the hair, after I brushed it for way longer than it needed, just remembering how she used to have the cute little curls that went up in pig tails so sweetly. Took pictures. Not as many this year. Claire was much too anxious to get to school and get busy. The whole family went along to the mad house that is the first day at Central Park Elementary. Claire was one of the first children in the door, which suited her well today since she had lots to tell her teacher. Her teacher informed her she was the "captain" of her seating ship (desks) and that she knew she would be a good one. They remember each other from last year, which we discovered at open house Monday. We could hardly get a kiss from her before she had started on the the morning work sitting on her desk. Writing her name. Okay, so she's been doing that forever, but neatly and on the line? It was perfection. I just stood and watched her again as she read the directions. Where did the baby go? Suddenly remembered she was at school and we should probably get out of there. Said our goodbyes, no tears. Visited with the teacher, no tears. Made it home, no tears. Yes, I'm talking about me! Claire was fine, my last look at my first grader: a vision in pink polka dots and a beautiful smile. Now, let the tears begin!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fashion Show

I know these aren't the greatest pics...obviously didn't have the camera on the right setting!

Claire and Landon participated in a children's fashion show Saturday afternoon in Dillards at the mall. We picked out clothes Thursday, which Claire put on Saturday with zeal. She was so excited she could hardly stand it...practicing what poses she might strike, how to walk and what smile would work best (no, I am NOT kidding). She did all this in front of the dressing room mirror, while I tried to convince Landon that he should do the fashion show at all. He's standing there naked refusing to put on the darling outfit we picked out. Finally bribery with a transformers shirt he had wanted to wear in the show won out, and he did his thing too. They were really cute walking down the red carpet hand-in-hand with their good friends. Claire chickened-out and didn't strike a pose at the end of the carpet, but she worked it walking down and back! Landon just grinned and laughed...I think he was embarrassed. Totally darling, and lots of fun (at least for Claire!)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Keeping Busy for Mom

I am cleaning, cooking and prepping for a birthday party we are hosting this evening. The kiddos have been super during the last two days while I've been doing this. The only thing they've asked for is to play at the pool. We did that yesterday, but today, I've just got too much to do to make time for that venture. So I told them they could play out back with the hose instead. This was agreeable and out they went. I've been inside and with all the windows on the back of our house, I can see what they are up to with just lifting my head. This is what I saw the last time I peeked at them. At least they are keeping busy with each other!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Lake-Summer-Trip at Nana and Papa's

Jumping off the dock.

Feeding bunnies. Climbing cousins. at the wildlife park.

Feeding lorikeets. Little man is ready to slide.

Claire and Lucy swam together...alot! The kiddos pulled behind the boat.

The title is how the kids have dubbed our trip to Wichita this last long weekend...the lake-summer-trip. We headed to KS Friday to spend some time playing before school starts; plus Geoff had to work. The kiddos hung out on the beach everyday, got pulled behind papa's boat, and jumped off the neighbor's dock. Sunday morning we ventured to Tanganyika Wildlife Adventure to see some animals and get up close and personal with others. This is a beautiful park and a fun place to play, even when it is hot! The kiddos enjoyed spending the majority of the time with their cousins, Lucy and Laney. They played til there was nothing left to play! We also got a chance to catch up, albeit briefly, with some old friends Saturday night. Jason and Mindy were hosting a get together and Mike, Heffy and his wife, Jenny were in attendance. We got to chat for a little while before the kiddos decided they were hungry and tired. Thank you Nana and Papa for a great weekend, or should I say, lake-summer-trip!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Beach Pics

More Beach Fun

Waiting for dinner at Mikee's. Waiting for the perfect wave.

Getting a hair wrap.

Posing for the camera.

Four happy parasailers, arriving safe and sound!

Getting dipped in the water after flying high.
We hung out on the beach most days, at least for the majority of the time. We did spend some time in the town of Gulf Shores, eating at our new favorite restaurant, Mikee's, and shopping. We spent one day off the beach playing miniature golf and riding go-karts, because the kiddos were just done being in the sand after a while! Besides that we just hung out. The guys built a huge sand castle...okay, actually they dug a large hole and put sand castle around it...but the kids thought it was cool the next day when most of it had been washed away. We hunted (wait, chased) crabs around the beach in the dark. This was a hilarious spectacle, as those crabs can get feisty when threatened! The kiddos enjoyed finding shells and eventually making frames out of them (you know me, can't get away without a craft!). And then also, the parasailing! This event seems to have everyone the most curious, and excited! Sara had done this last year, and wanted to do it again. Geoff asked Landon if he wanted to go (I think he was teasing) but Landon said yes and off they went! This Mommy, who is a little anxious of big bodies of water, held her breath as her baby and husband went up on a rope in front of a parachute 680 ft into the air, over that extensive body of water. There was no crying or screaming, from Geoff or Landon, but lots of awe over how quiet it was and what they could see. Landon enjoyed every minute, and although he was not as worked-up afterwards as I thought he might be (he played it very cool), he did talk more and more about his experience in the next few days (maybe a little shock?). We had a super time hanging out with good friends and just taking in the beach air. The few thunderstorms that rushed through gave us time to eat and plan, and the rest of the sunny time we just lazed away. A great way to end the summer break!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Sights and Sounds of Summer

Aw, the sights and sounds of a summer evening: children and dogs playing, crickets and locusts chirping, sprinklers and lawn mowers running, and my 3-year-old son peeing on the fence.

I'm still doing laundry and cleaning up from our trip, but we did take some time for the family this evening. I'll do more beach blogging tomorrow!

The Beach Trip '09

The kiddos just chillin' at the beach. Landon boogie boarding...which was a major pasttime. The "manly, oversized" sand castle in progress.

The kiddos got temporary air-brushed tatoos. The house that was our home for a week. Landon and Geoff went para-sailing. Video and bigger pics to follow of that activity!

Last year, on a whim, our family and our good friends neighbors, the Symons', went to Gulf Shores AL for a few days. This year, as the tradition continues, we went again. Although this time it was much more planned and for a longer span of time. We left last Friday evening, stayed over in Jackson, MS and arrived on the beach Saturday late afternoon. We stayed all week long, splashing and sunning. I'm trying to decide exactly how to get all the great memories in to a good blog, but for now, I'm going to post some pics. These are what everyone wants anyway!