Tuesday, September 29

Craft Day

Wednesday and Friday are both days that Brooklyn and I spend hanging out at home. We go to "exercise class" both of those mornings at 8:30, but are back by 9:45.

Wednesday has been declared our craft day. Brooklyn's school does a letter and number a week, so I have tried to add to that on Wednesdays by doing a craft with the letter. Last week, was "B", so we painted Brooklyn's name. I wrote her name with white crayon and then she painted with watercolors over it. Once she started painting, her name showed up. I thought it was WAY more cool than she did, but oh well. She got to play with watercolors and she was happy.

Have I mentioned that I am loving my time with B? She is talking non-stop and saying the cutest things. Her little voice melts me.

Friday, September 18

Labor Day Weekend

John and I were able to get away for a weekend alone over Labor Day weekend. We went to Dallas to hang out together, shop and see some friends. The girls got to spend the weekend with Nana and GDad in Mountain Home and had a lot of fun too. It was a refreshing weekend for the two of us!

John and I started our road trip on Friday afternoon and arrived in Dallas right around 7:30. We drove straight to Chuy's to meet our friends Nathan and Melissa for dinner. We had a great meal and even better conversation. Although John works with Nathan's brother, we rarely get to see N8 and Mel. So fun! The only bad part about the night was that we did not get to see their little ones.
John had enough points built up from his work travels to get us a free room, so we stayed in a hotel on Friday night. We were able to sleep in a bit and casually get ready for our day. The best part was that I only had to get myself ready, not 2 other little girls. :) What a treat! We made our way to Bread Winners Cafe for breakfast. YUM! John and I split a huge omelet and were full until dinner that night. After breakfast, we shopped, shopped, and shopped some more. We also drove around Highland Park looking at houses. The houses were huge and beautiful, but the prettiest thing about that area are the trees. Big mature trees line the streets and it is quaint. We also shopped at two architectural salvage shops and they were fun. They had so many neat lights, hardware, plumbing fixtures, medicine cabinets, etc.....Our purchase was a phone niche for our house that hopefully we will get to build sometime in the near future. (our cute house is still for sale and the price has been lowered)

On Saturday evening, we headed to Arlington to visit my fun friends/roommates at Baylor. We went to Sydney and Chris' house first to visit and drop off our stuff. We spent the night with them on Saturday night. Syd's sweet parents kept all 4 of her kids so that John and I could stay with them at their house. So nice! We all met up with Holly and Doug at Moni's, which is an Italian place that we ate at last time we were in town. John had been dreaming of their rolls and alfredo sauce and wanted to go back. It was so good, but most of all AWESOME company. I love those sweet friends so much and love when we get to catch up in person. The best thing about our friendship is that we are able to pick up right where we left off. We headed back to the Chamber house and talked until really late. You might wonder about John in all of this Baylor reunion stuff. As most would suspect, he has made friends quickly with the spouses. Chris and John stayed up late watching YouTube videos and laughing. I'm not sure there was ever a lull in their conversation.

We woke up on Sunday morning, got dressed and headed to breakfast with Syd and Chris at La Madeline. John's one request for the weekend was to visit Fry's Electronics and that we did! It was so overwhelming to me, but a taste of heaven for John. We then drove 45 minutes to IKEA and spent the next few hours there. It was overwhelming as well, but so fun. We took a few pictures for our house wishlist, shopped, and ate lunch in their cafe. We spent about $30 at IKEA and $15 of that was spent on a treat for the girls. A new easel! One side is chalkboard, the other is white board and you can attach a paper roll too. $15, seriously??? The girls have loved it!

From there, we headed home and returned around 8:30 PM. We slept great in our quiet house and in our own bed. We went to meet John's parents around 11 the next morning to get the girls. It is always so fun to get away as a married couple, but also so great to be back as a family. The girls had a lot of fun. Besides putting Brooklyn to bed, I think it was fun for GDad, Nana and Grace too. They went down to the lake on Sunday and GDad snapped this cute picture of all the girls!

Thursday, September 17

Skippyjon Jones

My friend, Jayme, told us about the Skippyjon Jones books about a month ago. She highly recommended the CD's that come with them at the library. I got online to check our library for the availability and I was able to reserve 3 of them and they all came with the CD's that read the story to you.

This series of books are the funniest children books I have read in a LONG time and we read a lot of books around here. The books are 100% better when read to you from the CD. The author reads it so well, accent and all. The stories are about a Siamese cat that wants to be a Chihuahua and they are hilarious! Emma and I just listened to one together and were both belly laughing.

We have already re-checked these books once and I'm sad that we will have to give them back in 4 days. I have a feeling they might be wrapped up under the tree this Christmas, so that we can always have them. Check them out!!

Monday, September 14

4 Weeks into School....

We have been doing this school thing for almost 4 weeks now and we are starting to get in the groove with the schedule. The things I dreaded about Emma starting school have been blessings (mostly) which is ironic. I love hearing Emma's take on school, new friends, her teacher, etc....I am completely in AWE of how much Emma has learned in just a few short weeks. Things (like days of the week and months) that I tried to teach her at home and I know they went over in preschool have clicked. How you might ask? Well, I'm convinced that Kindergarten is a musical. Seriously. I think everything they learn is put to song and it clicks for them. Here is a list of the funny things and blessings of kindergarten. This is going to be a long post, but I wanted to make sure that I documented these things for myself and the girls.

1. I dreaded, most of all, having to get up every morning and get E ready for school. It has been the biggest blessing. I still don't love when my alarm goes off, but I have loved getting up 30 minutes before everyone to read and spend time with the Lord. I love B getting up earlier in the morning, laying down earlier for a nap and thus going to bed peacefully at bedtime without much of a fight. What a change! A blessing.

2. Really not funny at all. Really. Emma came home on Friday telling us that her class (mainly 2 specific boys) had made their student teacher cry. Bless her heart. I have no idea what happened, but I felt so sad for her. Then for some unknown reason, it became very funny, but I hid my laughter from Emma. We love Mrs. Gardner and I actually feel like I click more with her than I do E's actual teacher.

3. Emma also told us on Friday night at dinner that a boy and girl in her class kissed on the lips at P.E. SERIOUSLY??? (A wiser, older Mom had once told me that her biggest rule for herself was not to react to anything her children say. She was to remain calm and cool as if it was no big deal. Not that she didn't talk to them about it, but she did not react. She always wanted her children to confide in her and she knew that if she reacted they would stop talking.) As soon as E said this, I thought, I must not react. I tried to stay calm, but asked a million questions. Apparently Emma and her little friend told on them. We are working with Emma on not tattle-telling, but honestly, I'm glad she told on these kiddos. Seriously, in kindergarten???? We went over again not to kiss until she was 30. :)

4. We love carpooling with our best friends!! Allyn and I have been best friends since first grade and now have the chance for our kids to go to school together and carpool. We take turns picking up after school and it is so fun! Every now and then, we get fun after school treats.

5. Eating lunch with Emma at school is really fun. I have been able to eat up there with her a couple of times. My Dad (Papa) came one day with Brooklyn and me up there. Today, was Grandparents Day and John's parents (GDad and Nana) plus John's Grandma (Granny Dill) ate lunch with Emma. They strongly encourage family to eat up at the school and it is fun to be there and get to talk to her friends and meet some of the teachers.

6. The funniest thing that has happened so far was also one of the more sad days for me. Last Thursday, Emma broke down and decided that she DID NOT want to go to school. John was out of town, so I took her to school. She was nearly in tears the whole way there. We prayed for her day and I tried to encourage her. When asked why she didn't want to go she said, "I have to work to hard." Another time she told me, "I want to stay home with you." I assured her it was almost the weekend and we would have plenty of time together. Once to the drop off line, she would not get out. Was not going to budge, so I went to park. I got her out of the car, but she wouldn't go in. Two sweet friends came over to try to walk with her, but she told them, "I am NOT going to school today!" I walked her in, hugged her, kissed her and handed her over to her teacher. I walked so fast out of the school. I was dying to get to my car so I could let my tears go. I prayed for her the whole way home and then emailed her teacher in hopes that she might reply before the end of the day. This was my email to her:

Ms. Norris,
I'm sorry to bother you and sorry about having to leave Emma with you crying this morning. It started last night with her not wanting to go to school. We were gone all last weekend and I think that is the problem. She didn't get her time at our house + my husband being gone this week. I just wanted to make sure that she recovered fairly quickly and was okay for you the rest of the day.
Thanks for all you do!
Allison Nelson

I went to work over at my sister in laws house and told her all about it, tearing up a bit while explaining. About an hour later, I got a reply to my email and again started crying because I was laughing so hard! I will preface the email by telling you that Emma had already told her teacher on Tuesday (when John left town) that her Daddy would be gone for 2 weeks. Her teacher asked me about it and I told her it was only for 2 days. This is her email back to me:

Mrs. Nelson,
Yes. She did recover quickly. However, knowing she was worried about dad being "on the airplane for two weeks" (smile!) I asked Mrs. Brown, our counselor, to visit with her. Mrs. Brown reported that they bonded, and Emma is excited to go at 2:30 to Mrs. Brown's treasure box. Thanks for checking on her.
Ms. Norris

My little kindergartner went to talk to the school counselor. HA! I love it! Emma had already met Mrs. Brown once before and talked about how nice she was and what a neat office she had, so I knew that she probably thought it was such a treat to get to go hang out with her for a bit. I really was so glad that they were sensitive to h
er feelings and let her talk about what was going on and her sudden feelings of not wanting to go to school. John got back that night and she was completely fine on Friday morning.
I should note that I emailed with Mrs. Brown and thanked her for chatting with E. I told her I thought she was just sad about John being gone. She emailed back and said, "That is funny because she never mentioned anything about her Dad being gone. All she said was that she missed her Mommy." Kids! You never know what they are thinking.

7. Weekends are really weekends. I have always loved weekends because John is home and we can all be together and do fun stuff. It has also always been a time that I can run a few errands without the girls. I can't explain how it is different now, but Fridays are truly TGIF for me and the weekend is treasured for a different re
ason. I get my whole family for the weekend. I could honestly care less if I'm by myself for one second. I have been soaking up my time with John, Emma and Brooklyn. Friday night is officially family movie night and this last Friday, John built an awesome tent for the girls.

8. I have loved my one of one time with Brooklyn. I have never been alone with Brooklyn for a consistent amount of time. I did not know what we would do with just each other at home. We have had a lot of fun running errands, eating special lunches, playing Barbies, learning letters and numbers, crafting, etc....She is talking up a storm and soaking everything in.

I am not going to lie and say that the past 4 weeks have been easy. They have not, but they have been good. It has been a good change in our routine. I also won't lie and say that I don't still miss Emma during the day. It is still weird for me to be at home while B naps and not have E nearby. It is still weird for me to watch her walk through those big school doors in the morning. It has been super hard to learn to "really" hand my child over to the Lord. I never knew what that meant until 4 weeks ago and it took me a while to realize that I was struggling with that very thing. I have had to learn (and I'm still doing it) to release a bit of control and trust God to carry her and to guide her decisions. Not that I am no longer her Mom, but that I can't be there every minute. God can. This is the one thing I have to pray for myself every morning. I have a feeling I will pray this for the rest of my life.

Thursday, September 10

Jill Went up the Hill

As most of you know, B just started really talking about a month or two ago, so everything she says to me is so cute and funny. About 2 weeks ago, Brooklyn and I were at the grocery store and ran into a friend of mine. Her little girl, Jill, was with her and we introduced Brooklyn and Jill.

B and I strolled off and B looked up at me and said, "Who that girl?
I said, "Her name is Jill."
B asked, "That went up the hill?"

Hilarious and something I wanted to make sure that I remembered.

Thursday, September 3

B's Prayer

Emma learned the "slugbug game" from her friend, Davis, and now whenever she sees a slugbug she gets so excited and keeps track of her points during the day. The whole game has caught on in our family. In fact, today, after dropping B off at her school, I passed a slugbug and without thinking said outloud to myself, "SLUGBUG!"

I explain all of this as a preface to Brooklyn's prayer this morning. B is really talking (Praise the Lord) and I am in complete awe of how cute her voice is and all the cute things she notices and points out to me now. I love it! She has been wanting to have her turn praying on the way to drop Emma off at school, before dinner, and going to her school. She always prays for all of us, her friends at school (specifically Alyssa whom she loves), her teachers, her school, etc....This morning as she was praying in the car this was the last sentence of her prayer:

(imagine all of this in the most precious 2 3/4 year old little girl voice)
And God, let Emma see a slugbug today. Amen.

PRECIOUS! And as John said, "Such a little prayer with such sweet intentions behind it." She wanted Emma to get her points for the day. :) Love it. Love her.