Friday, August 27

Tooth #2 Gone.......

Emma lost her first tooth earlier in the summer and the one next to that one has been slightly loose for a while. A few weeks ago, Brooklyn and Emma were playing with their blankets and while Emma had Brooklyn's blanket in her mouth (who knows what they were doing!), Brooklyn yanked her "gankie" back and it made Emma's tooth really loose! Emma wiggled and played with that tooth for a week. Last Friday, on the way to get Emma from school, I told B that I had a feeling that Emma's tooth might have come out at school. It was so crowded that Brooklyn and I parked and walked to get Emma. Sure enough, a very excited little girl came running with a baggie in her hand. In that baggie, was tooth #2!

Apparently it got super loose at recess and her teacher sent her to the nurse. Emma said he barely pulled and it came right out. No blood, no pain. Don't you remember the fun days as a child when you would loose a tooth at school and get to show it off????

Friday, August 20

First Day of First Grade

Is summer really over? I think I'm holding on to summer because I know we get to go to Disney World in 2 weeks!!! Once we do that, summer really will be over. :(
Emma went to meet her new teacher, Mrs. Waterman, on Monday night and was so excited to be back at school. She loved visiting Ms. Norris, her kindergarten teacher, and seeing all of her friends from last year. Nervousness set in the night before school, and she was saying she was not ready to go back. She also woke up saying she didn't want to go. Ugh, broke my heart! As soon as she ate her "Back to School Breakfast" and put on her cute outfit, her spirits perked up. I let them choose their breakfast for the first day and this year she chose cheesy eggs, bacon and chocolate toast with sprinkles. Chocolate toast is toast with Nutella spread on it. No, it is not good for you and something we normally have for a treat, but the first day of school is a special occasion, right? :)

All four of us went to school this morning. John snapped some pictures of Emma before we left and one with her and Mrs. Waterman at school. I took our traditional picture (it is now a tradition since it has been 2 years!) in front of the school marquee. We hugged goodbye and left. I did not cry, but had the same huge pit in my stomach as I did last year. I'm guessing that "first day pit" never goes away. Although it is the same school, it is taking the step to once again, entrust your child to someone for many hours a week. It is hard.

Brooklyn and I met some friends at Chickfila to play for a bit and then headed home to a very quiet house. We cleaned, ate lunch and rested before we went to get Emma. The car line was SO long, so we parked and walked to get her. She was so excited and talked a lot about her fun day. I was so relieved to hear good things! We met the Elleman's at Braums for ice cream after school. Carley started kindergarten this year and Davis is also in first grade, but a different class. Allyn and I asked Emma to take our picture in honor of the fact that our kids are now in first grade and it is the same school year that Allyn and I met so many years ago. We were not in ideal picture taking condition, but I'm glad we took one. It has been a while! All in all, it was a good first day of school. We are praying for a great year!

Thursday, August 19

Last Day of Summer

Yesterday was the last day of summer before school started. Boo Hoo! We had a few back to school errands to run, but we made time to meet Jayme, Molly, and Morgan at the park for a little play time. They are some of our besties and we do not get to see them as much during the school year, so Jayme and I squeezed in one more play date. These pictures are not from this particular day, but a recent day when John was around snapping pictures of all 4 girls. Are they not cute? The one of Brooklyn and Morgan is one of my very favorites. I love the one of all four of them stair stepped too. John did not even line them up.

The girls and I ate lunch at home and then headed to the cousins house to pick them up for one last swim date. We were out there for about 2 hours and took a short snack break for ice cream at the pool. They all 5 played hard and had a great time!!

We had some down time after swimming. Once John got home, he fired up the grill and we had cheeseburgers and french fries. By the time we ate, it was time for baths and bed. As soon as they went to bed, it was back to my routine of laying clothes out and packing E's lunch. I miss summer already.

Tuesday, August 17

Our Summer List

We had a very busy first part of the summer with swim lessons, our anniversary trip and Emma's day camps. When John and I got back from our trip we had about 4 weeks before school would start back up, so we decided to make a list of all the things we wanted to do for the rest of the summer. Emma wrote out our list for us and we all helped with ideas. Here is the list:

With only two days left before school starts, I would say we have done pretty well with our list. Now that our temperatures in the evenings are a little more tolerable, we are hoping to hit a bike trail tomorrow night and cross that off our list. I tried to document our time doing these things together, there were a few that I didn't catch (school shopping, school supply shopping, haircuts).

John's Grannie lives here in Fayetteville and we don't see her near enough. Emma wanted to see her and added her to the list. We went to visit with her this past weekend and it was great. We also got to meet her new dog Kadee.

Swimming! This particular picture was taken on a day when we went to the pool with Jenny Beth and her kids and we stayed for 3 1/2 hours. We were having so much fun and had no idea it had been that long. We spent a lot of time at this pool with many fun friends!

Tropical Sno! We had the pleasure of getting to go with Kate, Olivia and Annika when they were in town visiting.

Springdale Aquatic Center!

Playing Golf! It has been so hot that John has not been able to take Emma out to try her new clubs, but he finally did tonight. They had a blast!

Baking cookies and cupcakes! This was a picture of the girls baking cookies. The cupcakes were made for Emma's celebration.

Silver Dollar City! We had quite a few things we wanted to do in Branson and we had not been there since Memorial Day, so we packed up last weekend and spent Saturday-Monday at John's parents condo enjoying our family of four. We were able to utilize our season passes at SDC and do a few other things on our list (see below!). I love getting away from home with the four of us. It is nice not to have the every day chores around the house to distract us from enjoying each other. We went to SDC and all the other fun stuff, but we also spent time eating together at the condo and swimming at the pool. Thanks to John's parents it is an easy getaway with a free place to stay!

Pirates Cove Putt Putt in Branson! My three little pirates at the end of our 18 holes.

White Water! John took off last Monday, so we could stay in Branson for White Water. We received some great coupons because of our SDC passes, but they did not start honoring them until Aug. 8. The girls had a great time in the kids areas, the lazy river and the wave pool. We got Emma to go down a few bigger slides and she loved them!

Roller Skating! It is harder than you think to teach little ones to roller skate. We are still not quite there. :)

The Carwash! The girls have never actually washed a car before. We always just drive through.

All of these pictures make it look like we were never at home, but really the majority of our time was spent hanging out at the house playing with toys, dressing up, coloring, painting, reading, running in the sprinkler, etc...This picture makes me smile. This space in our living room is where the girls' wooden kitchen usually is. We have had it in the garage for the majority of the past 9 months while our house has been for sale because it really clutters our living room. (SO ready for it to be back inside) The girls decided one day to pull out every house they have (big doll house, Little People dollhouse, Cinderella's castle and the Pet Shop House) and make a village. I took a picture before all the figurines and pieces were out there too. We have all had so much fun with their creative little village.
We have had a great summer and have done lots of really fun things, but the best times are when we are having fun at home and being silly together like this crazy girl. Emma actually took this picture of Brooklyn on my phone and I had no idea. I just found it when I was uploading pictures and I laughed out loud!

Princess Dance Camp

One of the dance studios here had a two hour Princess Dance Camp this summer. It was the only camp that Brooklyn was old enough to go to and she was dying to go to "camp", so I signed them both up. One of Brooklyn's best friends, Alyssa, was also there. They danced, made crowns and wands, and had a snack while they watched part of Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses. The parents came the last 10 minutes to see them perform. Emma and B loved it!

Summer Crafts

I love crafts! I feel like we did not craft as much this summer as we normally do and I'm not exactly sure why. It might be because I now have two kids that don't necessarily always need a nap, so we would head to the pool mid morning and not come home until the afternoon. Who knows? Here are two crafts that we did have fun with!

I bought a fiberboard "E" and a "B" earlier this summer at Hobby Lobby. I let the girls tear/cut pictures out of old magazines and catalogs and then Modge Podge them to their letters. I think they turned out pretty cute. Emma did hers all herself and all I really did for Brooklyn was help her cut.

I bought some Food Coloring Markers while John and I were on our trip because I knew the girls would love playing with them! I was right. They made marshmallow men and decorated them with the markers and used toothpicks to stick them all together. You can also use these markers on cookies (they have really cute ones you can buy and are like a coloring book), tortillas, bagels, etc.....

We utilized our library this summer like never before. We went almost every week to story/craft time and checked out MANY new books each time. It was fun. Emma and Brooklyn got rewards (a free book at each place) from the library and from Barnes and Noble (just Em at BN) for completing their reading page. Emma read all six books of Ivy and Bean and is anxiously awaiting the 7th book out in September. She even illustrated a few pages for me!

Monday, August 16

Slug Bug Ride with Barbi

We have a friend from church that lives in the same neighborhood as John's sisters family and her name is Barbi. Brooklyn had met Barbi at Bible study last fall and was mesmerized by the fact that her name really was Barbi. On top of her name being Barbi, Brooklyn found out she drove a Slug Bug Convertible! To say Brooklyn was fascinated by this, is an understatement. She has been telling Emma about Barbi's convertible for months. Barbi had told me last fall that she would take us for a ride sometime, but our schedules just never matched up right. I finally was able to coordinate with her 2 weeks ago and we surprised the girls with a ride in her car! We told them we had a surprise for them and they had no idea until we got to her house and the car was in the driveway! We didn't want to move car seats into her car, so we cruised her neighborhood a few times (said hi to Aunt Mamy) and went to the neighborhood right across the street. The girls were beside themselves!

A Celebration Worth Celebrating!

We have had a great summer and have been able to do so many fun things as a family, but there was one night this summer that will forever be celebrated by our family. On Saturday, July 31, 2010 Emma asked Jesus to come into her heart! We have always known that she believes in God and that Jesus was sent from God to die on the cross, but she never exactly made a decision to trust in that fact. John was actually out of town for the evening at a family wedding. We were unable to find a babysitter, so I stayed home with the girls while he went. Brooklyn was already asleep and I was putting Emma to bed. We read some books and she asked a few questions that lead me to share the bridge illustration with her and ask her a few questions. I shared a lot with her and she listened very intently. I told her to think about the things we talked about and feel free to ask us any questions she had. I sang her our nightly songs, prayed with her, gave her kisses and left the room. A few minutes later, she called me back in there and told me, "I do believe that God sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. I want him to always be in my heart and I want to live forever in heaven with Him." From that, we said a prayer together and gave lots of hugs! She could not get over the idea that Jesus and all the angels were having a huge party in heaven for her at that very moment! :)
I was sad that John was not there, but the Holy Spirit really prompted me to keep going with her questions. I called John immediatly and he was able to share the good news with his family at the wedding. She was so excited the next morning to tell John, Brooklyn, and everyone we saw at church! We called my family that afternoon to tell them. It was a great celebration and we are so very proud of her. We celebrated more on Sunday night by making cupcakes together and having a family night at home!

Tuesday, August 3

Emma and Brooklyn's Week in Little Rock

While John and I were on vacation in Monterey, Emma and Brooklyn were in Little Rock with my parents. It was also the week of Vacation Bible School at my parents church, so the girls got to go there each morning from 9-12. We planned our trip this week thinking it would be fun for the girls to get to do VBS in the morning and it would give my Mom a little break too. The girls had a great time, but I think my Mom learned that it might be easier to keep them a week when they didn't have to be up, ready and out of the house by 8:45 everyday.

The girls did all kinds of fun things that week with GG and PaPa! Most importantly, they all got to hang out with my sister and Claire a lot. I was a little sad to be missing their sweet cousin time! We don't seem to get enough time with them. Emma and Brooklyn spent the night at my sister's one night. She attempted to get them all asleep in Claire's room, but she ended up having to separate them. :)
My Mom bought pizzas for them to make one night and they made ribbon flip flops (or I should say GG and Zia made flip flops) another day. My Dad took off work early one afternoon and treated Emma and Brooklyn to the Discovery Museum downtown. Emma has been asking my Mom for a pumpkin pie for about 6 months now, so the two of them did that too.

Emma and Brooklyn had such a great time and I know made many memories! It makes me smile to think of them spending time at their grandparents during the summer, like I did with mine growing up.

We got home on Thursday night, so we were able to go to their VBS Celebration on Friday night. They provided dinner and then each class performed a little song. We also were able to get our traditional picture with Cooper, the VBS mascot at Immanuel. He's pretty famous with my girls. :)

Monterey-Part 3

Wednesday, July 14-Wednesday was a low key day. John decided he really wanted to go on the Whale Watching boat ride and I decided I really didn't want to take the chance of getting sick on our last day of vacation. We had done a "Dolphin Evening Cruise" one time while we were in Destin and I did not do well on it. I opted for John's suggestion of going to get a massage at the Spa down the street from our hotel instead. Good choice on my part! I went early to enjoy their rooftop spa and laid out alone, with my book and some yummy strawberry water. Then I got an hour long massage that seemed to pass by way to quickly. I laid out a little more, picked up some lunch and went to meet back up with John. John loved the "Whale Watching" and saw A LOT of whales. He did not get sick, but very well could have since he was on the edge of a boat, looking through his camera lens for 3 hours straight. It was a great experience for him and I'm really glad he got to do it and that they were successful finding the whales.
When we met back up, we returned our bikes and then walked to the Ghiradeli Cafe for an afternoon sweet treat! We went back to our hotel and finally decided we were going to drive Big Sur again and go back to Pfiefer State Park and hike to the waterfall that we didn't do the first time. It was a sunny day, so the drive was even better than the first time when it was cloudy out. We stopped at a few places again for John to snap a sunny day picture. We hiked to the waterfall and it was pretty, but it was a very uphill hike and we were not mentally prepared for that. We were both ready for it to be done at the end. :) We headed back to Monterey to eat dinner. We got a little side tracked along the way when we ran into the back of another car at a stop light. They, too, were heading towards Monterey and we were only about 8 minutes away. Our rental car had very sensitive brakes and accelerator and when the light turned green (we were also on a hill) John pushed the gas a little to hard. The people were really nice (they were also in a rental car) and so was the cop. We did do some damage to their poor little car, but our rental stayed pretty clean. Luckily, we had opted for the daily insurance coverage so we didn't pay a dime. When we finally made it to our hotel, it was almost 8 and we were starving. We walked to a Mexican restaurant in town called El Torito and it was excellent. We split tableside guac and fajitas. We also had AWESOME blackberry margaritas! I would never order something with blackberries, but after I tried John's I got one too. Yum. It was late when we finished, so we headed back to our hotel and started packing up.
We left our hotel early the next morning to drive to San Jose to catch our flight home. It was an amazing trip and one we will always remember. I am so thankful that we were able to make it happen and that my sweet parents were able to have the girls for the week. By the time we got home, the girls were asleep, but I loved kissing their little faces when we got there. I have never been so thrilled to see our sweet girls the next morning, even if it was 6:30AM (4:30AM our body clock)!