Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Silly Kids

Ignoring how ridiculously awful I look, this picture was taken by Addison - it's me posing with her pet invisible monkey, Abu. Note the confusion on Avery's face.

Avery telling me "in a sec" as she pretends to check her email.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Computer troubles

Sorry for the delay in blog updates. I've actually been creating them but am having major issues with getting pictures uploaded and edited. For example, it won't let me put my text ahead of pictures or move pictures around in the appropriate order, which is why the School Days pictures start with the end of the day and go backwards from there. I'll continue to try to figure this out but will post anyway. I'm just sorry if pictures don't seem to make sequential sense. Enjoy anyway!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Reeds Lake

Waving to the ducks

Check out this behind the back move

My sagging bottom babies

As we're approaching the end of summer we're trying to soak up as many moments as we can - pretty soon the weather will be turning and there will be a new little body to take care of. Tonight Matt had off so we grabbed a pizza and headed to Collins Park - a little grassy area on Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids. The kids had a great time feeding the ducks and playing frisbee with Daddy. I had a great time sitting and watching :-)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

First Days of School

Showing off her stamp at the end of her "good day"

A little hesitant

Walking in with confidence with big brother

My crazy kids outside before Addie's big day

Addison's First Day

"Okay, Mom, I'm ready to go!"

Caleb waiting to be picked up after his first day

Looking ready as he sits with his class before school

Caleb's First Day Picture

Writing this retrospectively, the week doesn't seem nearly as harried as it felt at the time. We have now officially made our entrance into the world of school-aged children, though are still young enough to avoid homework and (hopefully) playground drama.
For the sake of time and reliving several horrible experiences, I will keep this short. Caleb started first on September 8th. He was quite nervous about starting back at school, as were we for different reasons. LONG, emotional story short, he is loving it, the hives are gone, he has made it two days without making himself throw up and his teacher just can't get enough of him (phew - and that's the part we were nervous about).
Addison officially started on her own this past Tuesday, the 15th, though we went together for an orientation day last week. Though she was her bashful self, there were no tears on this first "real" day - second day was another story - and she is also loving school. It's incredible how big they both seem all of a sudden - Addison especially. We are all of a sudden seeing how capable she is and I can't get over how excited she is to get to school. The smile on her face at the end of the day is priceless! If only I could get her to be a bit more descriptive so I could know just what kind of fun she's having. All I'm getting out of her is, "really fun", what did you do today? "played", did you play with any friends, "no", can you tell me what you did at circle time? "no", and so on. But really, all that aside, she is quite excited to be a big girl at school :-)
Caleb, on the other hand, is so fun to listen to as he is quite the rule follower in school this year. He is also very big on sharing with me all that he learned, with cute little descriptions I assume are from his teacher, "although we had the fun of our special picture day, the bad luck of the day is that Book Buddies didn't have time for a visit". He's very into the inner-workings of the classroom and takes great pride in his involvement and special responsibilities.
I stifled a laugh the other night at dinner when it was his turn to pray and I was instantly reminded of the grandma on National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation as Caleb broke out into his version of The Pledge of Allegiance. I totally forgot that that's what you do in school and was impressed on day 4 as to how much he knew. My favorite line was at the end: "one nation, under God, indescribable (Chris Tomlin I'm sure) to libraries and Justin and all" :-) Last night, though, Matt was finally home for dinner and I asked Caleb if he could try to teach the girls - he got it perfect, word for word. It's just so fun sitting at the table and hearing the two "big" kids go back and forth about their days, "WE have art class too!"
And though I, for the first time, feel officially crazed I am looking forward to the joys that come with them being big kids in school.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

First Soccer Game

What an exciting day! Today was Caleb's first soccer game and boy was he excited! He looked so cute and grown up in his uniform, carrying his bag to the field. He's on a team with a great bunch of boys - Matt and I are very impressed with how well they all play together, focus on what they're supposed to do, and how kind they are to one another! Somehow, long story, Matt was designated the coach. This is fun for Matt, though doesn't quite work out well with his schedule. We'll take it a week at a time and see how it goes - so far he's good for the first two games and is loving his chance to coach his son :-) Oh yeah, and they won their first game: 7-4 - Caleb had two goals :-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Caleb's Birthday - Part 1...

Sharks - a new obsession

I couldn't get him to stop talking long enough to pose for a pic with his Mom

Elated over his new golf clubs!
My baby is five! I just can't believe it!

We have had a very busy few weeks over here, but are very excited to slow down (a bit) to celebrate Caleb's very special day. Matt has the weekend off and we have a full weekend of activities planned. First, Caleb was able to celebrate his day with his friends at school: no snacks these days due to allergies but we picked out some very cool dinosaur mechanical pencils to pass out :-) A great friend watched the girls so that I could pick him up from school by myself and take him to lunch - his favorite, Culvers. He had to have asked me 8 times, "Mom, are you teasing me? Am I REALLY five today??"
I know it's warned to new parents several times, but it wasn't until this week that I truly believe it: the time they are little just FLIES by!! I can remember every detail of my pregnancy and delivery with him, so many sweet stories from when he was an itty-baby, and now all of a sudden he's five years old and seeming bigger every day! We couldn't be more proud of our little man and hope he enjoyed his special weekend.

Friday night we went to dinner with grandparents - Red Robin. It actually worked out that my dad had off the same weekend this month and, since they'd been trying to get back for a visit since this past winter, they were able to work it out to join us for the weekend! The kids had a blast chowing down on milkshakes, burgers, and making mommy proud by ordering oranges and carrots as their sides to their meals :-) After a fun time there we headed to our house for some presents. The girls did a great job sharing the attention and Caleb was elated by everything he received, once exclaiming, "I have to be the luckiest boy in all of Michigan!" after opening up a gift from Grandpa Popa.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More Swingset Fun

Avery checking for an ear infection with an Allen Wrench

Patiently waiting for the slide to be put on

Making her own fun

Deciding to speed along the process

The Finished-enough Project

So we have decided that this swingset project - estimated to take 16-20 hours - has actually taken Matt about 40. Now, remembering that his 40 hours of time off is stretched over a significantly longer period of time than your average worker, this has definitely taken a lengthy time commitment for him. I am so amazed at how dedicated he has been at working on it during any and all time "off" he has had. The kids have had fun "helping", too. Now that the swingset is about 95% complete the kids are having a blast climbing all over their new toy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oval Beach

We were so excited to have one of my college roommates, Deanna, in town this week with her daughter Gwen! Though my kids were testing some limits, they all had a great time playing together! The weather was very cool for this time of year which limited some of our activities, but we managed to find our fun. We ventured out on Tuesday to a new beach for us - Oval Beach in Saugatuck. We knew it was chilly (low 70's) but had no idea the water temp was 48!! Needless to say the kids had zero interest in playing IN the water, but had an awesome time playing in the sand - especially because no one else dared to venture to the beach that day! Here are some cute pics of the kids enjoying what seemed to be the entire Lake Michigan to themselves.

Caleb, Addison, Gwen, Avery

Um, yes, this is posed.

I love this one because you can't tell where the lake ends and the sky begins.

Blow up to appreciate - two seagulls flying just in front of him