Friday, August 28, 2009

We Are Going On A Caterpillar Hunt

Alexa had her first field trip as a 1st grader today.  She was so excited because it was an all day field trip.  I feel so blessed that I am able to be involved in the kids school and go along on most of their field trips.  I have gone on quite a few field trips through their preschool and Kindergarten years but I would have to say that this has to be one of my favorites so far.  We went to Lake Vermilion for the day.  It was a beautiful sunny 70 degree day and the kids were so excited about hunting for Monarch Caterpillars.

When we got there the kids got a little time to play and hit the bathrooms before an early lunch! 

Then it was time for the big hunt! 

This was my group of 5 little caterpillars hunters.  They were so excited!

And we are off! Do you know where you find Monarch Caterpillars?

The kids were quick to educate me on where we were supposed to hunt.  They are on milk weeds and usually around flowers.  So we were off to hunt for milk weed.

Just so you know you don't just look on milk weed plants you look under the leaves.

And if you look under those leaves this is what you might find ...

some Monarch Caterpillars!

My kids were such great hunters we found 9 caterpillars.  They had so much fun and so did I!

The hunt is done and now it is time to head to the beach!

The rest of the afternoon the kids enjoyed time with friends, playing in the sand ...

and splashing in the water!

It was a picture perfect day and was really fun to be with the kids for the day.  It was fun to meet other parents of kids in Alexa's class and in the other 2 sections of 1st grade.  I have to say it seems as though Alexa is blessed with a wonderful class of kids.  There were 60+ kids and we didn't have one issue with one child.  I taught before having kids and I have to say that is pretty good for an all day field trip.  I can't wait to spend more time with her class!

The New Chapter Continues

The new chapter continued in our house this week.  My baby started preschool.  I can't believe that Shane is 4 and he is off to preschool already.  Where did the time go.  Eric and I were looking at these pictures tonight and he said,"Wow, he is getting so big!" It seems like we blinked and now he is our big boy.  

Shane was so excited for his first day of preschool.  He was a little bummed that he didn't get to pack a lunch and eat there like his sisters.  

He felt like such a big boy with his backpack.  I love this picture of him.  He is trying to figure out what in the world his mommy wants him to do.  I would turn him to the tree and then say look at me and he would turn all the way around and then we would try again.  He wasn't getting the backpack shot and I was laughing at him because he was so cute! 

He is getting so tall.  He has 1 pair of pants that fit him from last year.  

Once again the tradition is that daddy takes them to school in his car on the first day.  Shane made sure daddy was planning on driving him in his car.  I once again followed closely behind with my camera because again this mommy doesn't like to miss out on those big firsts!

Daddy helping him with his backpack before heading into preschool.

Shane and his teacher Ms Jean.  Can't you see the love in her eyes.  We are so excited for Shane's year with Ms Jean.  We have heard she is an amazing teacher and she is so gentle and loving.  Eric is pretty sure we need to have a prayer team set up for Shane's teacher because of all of his energy and the fact that he never stops talking.   

Shane went right over the train track when he got in his room! There was no hesitation and hardly had time to tell us bye and give hugs.  

Shane had a great 1st day.  The first thing he said to me was, "Mommy I listened and obeyed my teacher and I was nice to my friends!"  Do you think we talked about that before class?  We went out for doughnuts to celebrate his great day then we cuddled on the couch for some reading.  I gave him the book "What I Like About You".  It is such a cute book! One of my favorite pages says, "But you have a purpose no one else can fulfill; No one can replace you- no one ever will." 

Shane I can't wait to see you blossom and grow this year.  You are a special little boy and we couldn't imagine our life with out all the energy, excitement and love you bring to it.  You do have a purpose no one else can fulfill! I can't wait to see what God has in store for you little life!  

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A New Chapter

This year marks a new chapter in our household.  First, we are starting a new school.  We are excited about calling this school home.  It is a K-12 Christian School that we are hoping to call home for the years to come.  Second, last year Alexa went to 1/2 day Kindergarten so I still had my 3 little ones with me at least half of the day.  This year Alexa starts 1st grade so will be gone all day and Emma's Kindergarten is Monday, Wednesday and Friday full days for the first half of the year.  So it feels strange to have 2 that are going to be gone all day for some days.  I love it that I still have Tuesday and Thursday to spend with Emma and Shane is excited to have his sister home a couple days as well.  

Alexa is growing up so fast.  She loves, loves, loves school.  She is a very diligent worker and takes her learning serious.  She loves learning new things and adapts well to situations.  She is a little bit nervous about going to a new school.  Since she has been little we have been calling this the big school.  The school they will go to when they are big.  So she was excited but not sure what to expect.  I know she will do great and will continue to grow and blossom this year.  I can't wait to see what is in store for her this year.  

It is hard to believe that Emma is off to Kindergarten. She is soooooo ready and so excited for school.  She is a social bug and loves everything about school.  She is one of those girls that just enjoys everything about life but can learn and pick stuff up easily. There are so many times she says or does things I look at her and say where in the world did you learn that.   I am so excited to see her blossom this year in school socially, emotionally intellectually, and spiritually.  

The girls were so excited to get their backpacks and fill them with their school supplies.  They are more than ready for their big day!

Before school I prayed with the girls and gave them these butterflies.  We talked about how proud I was of them and how excited I was for this new adventure.  I told them I saw them as butterflies today.  When they were born they were like little caterpillars and I had them in my little cocoon.  I told them I loved being their mommy and I loved being home with them all these years.  We talked about the fun things we've done together and the lazy days of naps and reading books, playing games and dress up.... I told them they were beautiful girls on the inside and outside and that God had a special plan for them.  I also let them know I was a little bit sad to let them spread their wings and fly but most of all I was excited for this new adventure.  I gave them the butterflies as a reminder of this new adventure of spreading their wings like beautiful butterflies.  I also told them I wanted it to be a reminder that God was always with them, that I loved them and that everyday while they were at school I would pray for them. Alexa came home from school so excited because they had a caterpillar in their room that was starting to spin a cocoon.  She said, "Mommy it was what we were talking about this morning and pretty soon it is going to be a beautiful butterfly!"  They are talking about caterpillars and butterflies in school and on Friday I get to go on a field trip with her to hunt for Monarch caterpillars!  I love how God works! 
Since the girls started preschool daddy has always take them on their first day per their request. It can't just be daddy riding with us but it has to be going in daddy's car.  There is something special about daddy taking them to school in his car the first day.  I love this little tradition they've started.  Now there is no way this mommy is going to miss out on the first day of school excitement or pictures so she always follows behind in the van!

Emma and her Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Wyjia.  Her teacher is the perfect Kindergarten teacher.  She is so sweet and has such a gentle, nurturing spirit.  Emma loves her teacher already!

Do you think she looks like she loves life and is excited?  I had a parent who I didn't know say to me "Is that your little girl!" I said "Yes!" and she said, " She looks like she is so excited she can hardly contain herself!"  Yes, Emma is our social bug and just embraces everything about life.  This is the typical look and smile you get from Miss Emma!  She didn't eat too much breakfast so I do thing she was a little nervous but an excited nervous!

Alexa's 1st grade teacher is Mrs. Odens.  She is also very sweet and Alexa loves her already.  Alexa loves that her class is quiet when they work.  She had a chatty class last year which bothered her a little since she was a rule follower.  I get the sense that Alexa's class is a peaceful class. Her teacher loves music so Alexa said they sing praise songs a lot and she puts the CD player on when they work.  I also love how she instills life skills and character in their classroom.  I'll have to write about that in another post.  I may even do something similar at home.  

Alexa all excited to start her day as a 1st grader and saying her last good-byes to her daddy!

Shane and I stayed for Chapel.  It was so much fun to see the girl with their classes and what a blessing to start the day and school year with some wonderful praise and worship.  We also got to see all the teachers in the elementary school as they were introduced.  Everyone was so friendly.  I had numerous people ask us if we were new and introduce themselves.  I am so glad we got to join the girls for this on their first day!

Shane was not too sad to see his sisters go.  He enjoys his time alone with his mom and he had big plans for the day.  His first request was to go the mall and stop at Gymboree because they have a TV.  His next request was a stop at the cookie store for a Double Doozie and his last request was a little time in the play area.  He knows how to get his mom when she's down.  I was eager to give him his wishes after a bit of an emotional drop off at school. Actually I wasn't too emotional it helped that they were excited.  I did remind him that we can't do this every day when the girls go to school.  He starts preschool a couple mornings a week next week so he is super excited about that.  He decided we should make the girls some cookies for after school.  He thought it was pretty nice that he was my only helper and that he was the only one who got to lick the beaters.  As we were making them he said,"I think the girls are going to smell them and say Shane and mommy did you make some chocolate chip cookies for me!"

The girls had a wonderful first day of school.  Emma loved making new friends and reading some books.   The girls have recess and lunch together so they thought it was great to see each other on the playground.  Emma loved school and was ready to go back the next day but I was glad that I got to have her home for a day before she went back.

Alexa thought it was so great to have her own desk.  She is Type A so loves everything in order! She thought the work was way too easy!  I reminded her it was the beginning of the year and they would be reviewing a lot and it would get harder. She also couldn't believe that she had 3 recesses and both girls thought it was pretty great that they got to eat lunch at school!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

They Are Growing Up Right Before My Eyes

Two years ago my sweet girls were going off to preschool together

today they are off to school! 

I can't believe they are that big already! 

More to come on the first day of school!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Last Week Of Summer Fun

I haven't posted much the last month because we have been enjoying our lazy days of summer! I wanted to take time to enjoy these last couple weeks before school started.  We spent a lot of time at the lake and last week it was finally "hot" here so we lived at Wild Water West.  We have a season pass at our local water park and love spending our warm summer afternoons swimming, going down slides, splashing on the pirate ship, bobbing in the wave pool and relaxing on the lazy river.  We even had some cousins and my brother and his wife join us for a day at the park. Daddy took the day off too!  I was so bummed I forgot my camera that day.

Love the sunny smiles here.  They just wanted to swim instead of take a picture for mom and the sun was shinning in their eyes!

Alexa turned into a fish this summer and loved just swimming around with her goggles on.

The highlight of our time at Wild Water West is when daddy comes with us because then we get to go down the big slide.  The kids were so excited because daddy joined us twice last week for some fun!

Alexa splashing around in the fountain!

Shane could live on the pirate ship.  It has water spraying and splashing everywhere, there are tons of slides and every couple minutes a big bucket of water dumps on everyone.  He loves getting wet and crazy on the ship! There is no fear in this little guy!

Emma's splash landing!! She makes the best faces when she is going down water slides!

One of Shane's favorite slides on the Pirate Ship!

We had so much fun enjoying the water and sun our last days of summer.  I can't believe it is over! 

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Where Has Summer Gone

I can't believe that it is August and summer as we know it is nearing its end.  We have had such a wonderful summer with the kids.  I felt like numerous times this summer Eric and I commented about how fun the kids are right now and we have enjoyed our time as a family so much.  Now, not to say we didn't have fun with the kids before or enjoy our time but it seems like life got really easy this summer.  Having 3 babies in 36 months was busy.  I enjoyed every minute of it but when I look back some of it seems like a blur.  I also hoped the day would come that they would be the best of friends and enjoy their days together since they are all so close in age.  This summer has seemed to be that magical time.  They are perfectly content to hang out with each other, playing make believe, running through the sprinklers, riding bikes, going to the pool, building forts, playing house  ....   

This was one of our outings lately that was so much fun as a family. 

Emma is so my daughter.  She mini golfs just like I did as a little girl.  Every time we got to a new hole she would need some guidance from daddy as to what side of the ball to stand on. Notice the upside down club? She also needed some guidance on how to hold the club and which way.  She then was ready to swing and the ball would sail into the rocks or water or bounce back at her.  She was so cute! She could have cared less where the ball ended up because remember she is our "life is a party" girl so she loved every minute of being out on the mini golf course! She didn't even care if she finished the round by getting the ball in the hole. Sometimes she would just pick it up with her hand with a smile and drop it in the hole.

Now Alexa on the other hand would never think of picking the ball up and putting it in the hole.  She is our rule follower and is our serious girl with drive and determination.  So no matter what it took Alexa was going to use her club to get that ball in the hole. Mini golfing came naturally for her and she was all about the game and getting that ball in the hole.

Emma watching where that ball was going! I love the tongue out! 

These were two of my favorite close up shots of the girls from the evening! 

Now Shane on the other hand was pretty sure he was going to show his sisters how to golf since he has been out golfing with daddy lately.  Every single picture I took of him had a great expression.  Here are a few of his mini golf expressions! 

That tongue is going to help get that ball in! 

Notice the bent knees and the oohing after his putt?

The serious swing! 

The perfect stance and the open mouth concentration!

Pretty proud of his shot! 

We enjoyed a beautiful summer evening on the mini golf course as a family. I'm sure there will be more in the years to come.  Off to enjoy our last full week of summer before school starts! 
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