Monday, September 28, 2009


Friday evening the whole family went to Claire's school for the school kickoff celebration of Tailgator. This year was even bigger and better than last. Camel rides, a mechanical bull, and a huge inflatable obstacle course were among the new and amazing things the children could do. We spent a lot of time on the inflatables (there were four), and playing the carnival games. The kiddos rode a camel and did a cake walk. We spent the most time in the library with Daddy winning the "teacher time" silent auction for Claire's teacher. Explanation: Tailgator is a PTO fundraiser. Each teacher gives "time" to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Claire will spend time at JumpZone and Chickfila with her teacher and friend after school one day. This is super exciting for Claire and fun for Geoff, so a win-win situation it is!

Weekend in the Woods

The gang before we headed out. Most of the kids are in the Ranger.

On the way back...the two little girls on the end are asleep, as well as Landon in the front seat.

We spent this last weekend in the Ozark mountains with some good friends and their children. One of the families has a cabin way up in the wilderness that is attached to lots of forest service roads. These are fun to ride...if you have a good 4 wheel vehicle. That's where the Ranger comes in! We hauled it up there and rode around most of the day Saturday. We got muddy, wet and just down right dirty, and everyone had a ball! We cooked hot dogs by a waterfall, made our own pizzas that night at the cabin while listening to bear stories, and got up early Sunday morning for another drive up the mountain before heading home. Geoff has had the most fun making videos of the unfortunate demise of one of the vehicles taken along (it got stuck and then flooded and had to be towed back to the cabin by the Ranger), and the kids have good stories about all the "daddy long-leg spiders and the hike by the bear bait"!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

School Work

My friend, Serena, gave me the idea of taking a picture of the school work I am proud of in order to share it with everyone. And that's exactly what I did! (Thanks, girl! Hope you don't mind!) The apple painting is Landon's. His teacher handed me this painting and said "I need to preface this work with a statement. I did NOT do this for him, he was just that neat!" I found this hilarious because 1: She obviously doesn't know my obsessive child well yet, and 2: His painting was, by far, the neatest I've ever seen him create! I am very proud and will keep this for later years when I am giving lectures on sloppy handwriting. On second thought, with him, I may never have the need! The grade card is Claire's interim grade report. All A's!!!! We have been repeatedly reminded this year that grades will be taken. Claire has been weary of this and seems to be performing at her best level. Obviously!!! Anyway, the discussion of the grade report is as follows: Mommy: "Oh Claire! I'm so proud of have all A's on your report card!" Claire: "I do? How did that happen?" Mommy: "You worked hard, followed the directions and your teacher gave you A's!" Claire: "But Mommy, I missed one on that spelling test, remember? I forgot the period on the sentence!" Mommy: "One missed period does not result in a lower letter grade, honey!" Claire: "Thank goodness! Now I can be excited!" Excited indeed!
PS: Each week Claire has ten spelling words they are tested over. Then the teacher dictates two sentences that they must write. These sentences must be capitalized, punctuated and all the spelling words spelled correctly to get it right. The first test, Claire forgot to put a period at the end of one of the sentences. She was terrified that day and has not done it since!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Future Miss BHS

Claire in prep phase...the American Girl doll (named Kayle!) had to share in her grief!

Claire shows off her dress and Claire with contestant Kayle!

As mentioned earlier, Claire was chosen by her student dance teacher to participate with her in the Miss Bentonville High School pageant. Claire was a Future Miss and her job was a serious one. She had to come out and hand Kayle a flower, curtsy and blow a kiss before the "bigs" did their evening gown walk. It is an honor to be chosen, and Claire was chosen by one of her favorite girls. Claire did a wonderful job, smiling and looking cute the whole time. Kayle was in the top 5 girls of the night, but sadly did not win (Claire and I think she got slighted!!!). Anyway, it was a wonderful experience for Claire and taught her about being a gracious contestant and a lesson about not always getting what you want! She is anxiously awaiting next year; she has already called dibs on our best girl and neighbor, Sara, to be her Future Miss as well!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

An Afternoon at the Fair

The kiddos and I trekked out in the mud this afternoon and attended the county fair. As we were taking in the sights and sounds of it all, I heard interesting, and quite amusing, questions and comments. Here are a few scenarios:

There is a free petting zoo consisting of farm animals. Claire's favorite is the baby chicks. She looked so sweet holding and cuddling one and then she said "Mom, wouldn't it be cool if we had our own baby chick at our house that we could hold any time we wanted?" "Sure," I agreed "but chicks grow into chickens, and then what would you do?" She responded: "I would just let it go. Who wants a smelly chicken in their house!" Baby chicks must smell like roses.
We walked around in the livestock barn and looked at the cows, goats, and sheep. Landon was unsure of himself, and seemed uneasy being that close to such big animals. As we walked down an aisle of cows (all of them facing away from us), Landon says "Momma, can we get out of the way of these cows...we are looking at the wrong end!" Well said honey!

The kiddos rode a couple rides before we left. The usual "ride people" were present running the rides and selling tickets. Although they were perfectly nice, it was obvious that their lifestyle was different from our own. My sweet, loving daughter noticed this and stated to me "These people who run the rides must really love their families to stand out here in the mud and take care of the rides. How boring!" As we were walking away and eating our kettle corn, Landon chimed in with some more philosophy: "God has the whole world in his hands, Momma, even the fair people!" Big hearts in little people...even at the fair that makes a Momma's heart melt!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nana & Papa Visit + The Rest of the Weekend

Nana and Papa made a trip to Arkansas Saturday to see us! The kids were super excited to host them and asked all morning "when will they be here?". Most of the afternoon was spent playing, although Claire and I attended a party in between (more below). That night we went to Doe's for steak and then watched some football and racing before heading to bed. Sunday morning, Geoff and I got up and went to church to teach Sunday School while the kids and Nana and Papa stopped in at Krispy Kreme for donuts and then were off to Chuck E. Cheese for game time! The grandparents headed home after lunch, much to the sadness of two sleepy kiddos. But everyone had a good time! Thanks for the visit Nana and Papa!

Claire and I attended the Big Sister/Little Sister party at her dance studio Saturday afternoon. Their competitive company director implemented this idea so that the new girls would have someone to tag along with and ask questions to during this opening year. Claire got paired with her favorite student teacher, Kaylee. She was elated! Sunday afternoon we both attended the Miss BHS social. Claire will be a Future Miss in the pageant this Saturday with none other than her favorite student teacher...Kaylee! Kaylee asked Claire this summer to do this with her and there has been nonstop talk about it! We've already attended the practice, so Claire knows what she has to do that night. A very special honor for a very special girl! (Plus, this dressing up and being on stage thing seems to be right up her alley! hee hee)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of Preschool

Landon had his first official day of preschool today! After we took Sissy to school, we got dressed, brushed teeth, washed up from some messy syrup at breakfast and combed hair. He actually let me use a little water to comb his hair...I asked for gel, but got "the look" in response to that! We took a few pictures before we left. He actually let me do that too! He smiled and posed; very proud of his bookbag that he decorated all by himself (he also wrote his name on it by himself, Mommy was proud of that!). Off we went...and I have to say I was quite apprehensive about this experience. Landon is known to cry and throw a fit when having to leave his Mommy in any place other than his own home. I was not looking forward to this as we walked into his new classroom. But low and behold, he walked in, put his bookbag in his cubby and immediately started talking to his teacher about all sorts of things! She took him gingerly to the playdoh table along with several other classmates. Landon sat down and started playing! I said "Let me take your picture!" He turned around and smiled and immediately after I snapped it he said "Bye Mom, see you soon!". WHAT ??!!?! No tears? No hugging on for dear life? I didn't know how to react! So I gave him a kiss. "Kissing hand Momma", as he held out his hand. Oh darn, here it goes! I kissed it, and he turned right back around and resumed playing. Okay then, I thought, I'm outta here! But I walked slowly out, thinking I'd hear his screaming...but nothing. Walked down the hall, visited with the director...nothing. Walked out into the parking lot...nothing. What a wonderful feeling to know that, even if for one day, my son was excited to go, and stay, at preschool!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Playdoh for Sale

I was in a baking mood this morning. Eventually the kiddos got tired of helping me and being told what to do and how to do it. So they found some playdoh and started making their own cookies. They were very creative; adding sprinkles and making their own "shapes". They even packaged the cookies in a Tupperware for Daddy and I to buy and take. Very convenient! Although I'll be waiting until this evening for the little bits on the floor to dry so I can vacuum them up, it was fun watching the kiddos take on their own "baking" project!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ready for the Weekend

Our family is ready for this weekend. We have no definite plans, no projects on the agenda and everyone is looking forward to just hanging out. Hopefully we will have some fun with friends, but right now I'm liking the whole idea of things being spontaneous! Claire finished her duet this week at practice, got a little sicky in the middle of the week (we think it was allergies), and has already determined her weekend plans are to "watch TV, play with a neighbor and have a party on Labor Day". Landon had open house at his preschool on Wednesday. We met his teacher and most of his classmates (which are mostly his PDO class). They will have hamsters as class pets, but Landon was most excited about the new toys in the room! He is also recuperating, but from a stomach bug, and busy with playdates and going to meetings with Mommy. So, that's about it. Just the same old grind started up again with school. Although it's taking some time to get used to, I think all of us are enjoying a schedule and early bedtimes!