Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The First Day

You know how you have those grand plans like for instance when it is your daughter's first day of kindergarten and you are going to get up early to make her pancakes and spoil her before she heads off? Well, I had those grand plans. They were foiled. Pumpkin who is my early bird decided to sleep in and my cell phone which I use for my alarm clock died in the night, so we did not get up in time. She didn't seem to mind that she had cereal and toast. We even had enough time to squeeze in pictures so it was fine.
1st Day of Kindergarten
She was super excited to wear her new outfit for her first day and use the special backpack she got for her birthday. She got a special hairdo too. She was ready to get in the van and go!
1st Day of Kindergarten
There was no fear, no anxiety, no worrying...she bopped right up that sidewalk ready to take on kindergarten.
1st Day of Kindergarten

1st Day of Kindergarten

1st Day of Kindergarten
These are her VERY sweet teachers. The one in the front is the actual classroom teacher and the one behind is the teaching assistant. They are both very friendly and so excited about the upcoming year with this class.
1st Day of Kindergarten
One of Peanut's best buddies is in the same class which makes it even that much greater. We had to get a picture with him and Pumpkin wanted in on the action too.
1st Day of Kindergarten
Here she is at the end of the day in the line waiting for Mommy to pick her up. She was all smiles which says to me that it was a great first day indeed.
1st Day of Kindergarten
She even gave it a thumbs up!
1st Day of Kindergarten
Once we got "home", had lunch and got Pumpkin down it was time to take Daddy to his first day of school too...Grad School! He was a bit more anxious but his schedule and classes will be a wee bit more demanding than Peanut's.
Daddy's First Day of Grad School
This was his Facebook status update after his first day, "Enjoyed my first day of class. Am I really going to study something that I am passionate about for the next two years? I believe so."

I feel so blessed that both of my students love what they are doing and are doing really well. I also feel so blessed that I get to have a few hours each day with just Pumpkin. I am so looking forward to seeing our bond grow even more from this special time.

Now....this weekend we move to our new home and get settled in! Whew! What a roller coaster, but it is a great ride!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Kindergarten Decision

If you remember last spring we were very excited to have signed Peanut up for public school all day Kindergarten. Then summer hit and both Daddy and I started wondering if we had made the best decision. The realization that kindergarten students must be 5 by August 1 made us realize that she was going to be one of the very young ones in her class having just turned 5 on July 28.
Kindergarten Orientation
I started talking to lots of people and got quite a bit of feedback. 99.9% of the feedback was that if we could hold off a year in sending her to public school it would only be positive whereas sending her could cause some negatives. As a former preschool teacher and preschool director I knew this. It is just so different when it is your own child. We ONLY want to do the best thing for her.
Kindergarten Orientation
After weighing out the feedback and having many discussions, we decided to look into two private school kindergartens that provide a half day program. This was a really big decision as it meant there will be a tuition cost but deep down we knew this is what is best for our girl...smaller classes, more one-on-one with teachers, half day and so on.
Kindergarten Orientation
We chose the school and feel very confident that this is the best place for Peanut this year. There was certainly that doubt in the back of my mind. Are we doing the best thing? Should we just send her on to public school? Then I heard feedback from two parents who have sent their children to the public school all day program and both are so concerned about their children and the exhaustive schedule. The school day has been lengthened here in the county that we live in. One of the parents was almost in tears telling that her daughter was really struggling and they felt they had made the wrong choice. This confirmed to me that we are in fact doing what is best for our girl.
Kindergarten Orientation
Last Friday we went to Kindergarten orientation and it felt right. I felt excited, she felt excited. We'll have to make some sacrifices so that she can be a part of this program, but it will be worth it!
Kindergarten Orientation
In the spring we will evaluate her progress with her teacher and decide then if we will send her on to public school first grade or if she will need that extra year of full day public school kindergarten. The later is the plan for right now. I want to give her a strong foundation for the many years of school and peer pressure ahead. This will add a really solid base to that foundation!

Stay tuned for the first day of Kindergarten pictures!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Breakfast with Dobbie and Papa

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We had a special treat yesterday morning. Dobbie and Papa were travelling through our area on their way to get the rest of their things from their cabin up north. So we got to meet them for breakfast together.
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The night before we met as we were praying with the girls at bedtime, Daddy prayed, "Thank you that we get to see Dobbie and Papa in the morning." Pumpkin started flopping around on the bed and saying over and over, "I so 'cited. I so 'cited." It was pretty cute.
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We sure miss seeing them. It is hard to wrap our heads around the fact that they are now 9 hours away. This was a very short visit but we are so thankful we got to have that.
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Friday, August 26, 2011

Two Weeks

We were so blessed to be able to stay with Gigi for two weeks during the first part of our transition to a new apartment. The girls had so much fun playing outside and enjoying the space that he has at his place. There is always something to do which made for two really worn out girls but happy ones!
Mud Pies

Gigi's Garden
Check out who figured out how to drive the Barbie Jeep on this visit! She could make it go forward but that is about it so we had to keep a very close eye on her.
Look Who's Driving Now!
We took in a Monday morning Meijer trip with Gigi to visit his coffee buddies and of course ride the penny pony!
The Penny Pony
Daddy and Peanut camped out in Gigi's yard one night and in a friend's yard another night. That night Gigi took Pumpkin and I out to visit his buddy who gave Pumpkin a golf cart ride and then to Dairy Queen for a late night treat.
Golf Cart Ride
Gigi loves his girls so much and enjoyed the noise and chaos that comes when we visit. His girls love him too!
Gigi and Pumpkin

Gigi and his Girls

We were sad to go after such a great time and extended stay.
Pouty
There were great memories made though! We had a safe drive home...well almost home. We are now staying with some really awesome friends who have opened their home to us and their garage to our stuff! We really are blessed!
Sisters!

Gigi's Zoo Trip

On Saturday as we were running around Gigi's house and doing some things, Gigi came in and said, "Let's go to the zoo!" How fun was that! We scurried around and got our things around to head up! We had a very enjoyable time together.
Gigi took us to the zoo.

Gigi took us to the zoo.

Gigi took us to the zoo.

Gigi took us to the zoo.

Gigi took us to the zoo.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

An Evening with Friends

After BFF and her family's visit to Gigi's house, I discovered a cord had been left behind for her son's DS game. Phooey...that meant we had to see them again! Don't you hate it when you get to spend more time with really good friends? I don't! It was such a blessing to me!

BFF surprised me by taking me out for pedicures and manicures. What a sweet friend! We were even wild and got glitter topcoats. Peanut and Pumpkin thought that was really neat when they saw the finished product.
An Evening with Friends

An Evening with Friends
We decided that our men were fine playing their Settlers of Catan game with BFF's oldest daughter and our littles were having a ball playing together, so I surprised BFF and took her to a movie. We went to see The Help (it was my second time to see it but it was even better the second time). I highly recommend this movie if you have not yet seen it. We laughed hysterically and we cried while we savored the dark chocolate that we may or may not have snuck in.
An Evening with Friends
It was a joy to see Peanut and BFF's son playing together so well. They love each other so much and just love being together.
An Evening with Friends
Pumpkin had fun bopping around and playing as well.
An Evening with Friends
We sucked every minute out of the evening that we possibly could making it a very late night or actually a very early morning. The girls were tuckered out but it was so worth it. We love these friends so much, so very much!
An Evening with Friends

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Friend

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I have a friend back home that I haven't seen in quite some time. I miss her. She means alot to me. When Peanut was born she was over the moon and told me she wanted to be her fairy Godmother. She has also walked right beside me during some very difficult times. She isn't online so the past few years while we've been away, I have sent her handwritten letters a couple of times and she has responded back. I love that!
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While we were at Gigi's this trip, I made a special point of visiting her. It was so wonderful to be back in her home and welcomed with such warm hospitality which is a gift of hers. We had a little tea party. The girls even had their own little tea pot and tea cups which made them feel so special.
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She is a wise woman who is slow to answer. She thinks her answer through before giving it which I greatly appreciate. She offered me great counsel on raising these two special gifts of ours. She knew what I needed to hear and said it. I appreciate that too!
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She probably wouldn't be overly excited that I am posting about her but I want to. She is special to me and I want to share that here. I am so thankful that God led her into my life. I know that she will always have a very special place in my heart.

And my girls LOVED exploring her farm!
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I am so thankful for so many wonderful, true friends that God has led me to throughout my life.

Bucket Lists

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A highlight of our visit was to spend time with my BFF and her family. Her hubby and his brother have decided to do a yearly Brother's Birthday Bucket list. This was the kick-off year and they decided to go skydiving with their wives! They couldn't go the day it was scheduled due to cloudy skies so they came to Gigi's to spend an evening with us. We had supper together and hung out.
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BFF's hubby brought his gun so they could all do some target practice. I opted out on this though. Not too fond of the idea of having a gun in my hands. I was glad when they were all done and the gun was packed away safely.
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The skydiving event took place the next morning and we got to tag along to watch. I have to say that before watching it I was sure I would never want to do that....BUT after watching it and hearing their reactions, I may be more open to the possibility of someday doing it. It was so fun to be a part of their adventure!
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Do you see them? Where are they?
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There he is!!!!
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Even little missy had fun taking in everyone's adventures.
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We're glad they all landed safely back on the ground too!