Sunday, October 21, 2012

First days of school - pre-K

Brett started school just before Labor Day and Jackson and Peyton, who go to a different school, started just after. They are all loving school and it's really amazing to see how far they've come with skills like coloring, drawing, cutting and writing their names.

Jackson, Brett & Peyton get on the "bus" at the mall!
Grandma took the boys back-to-school shopping for their school shoes. They literally walked in the store, picked the pair they liked, tried them on and never wavered. If it were that easy for me I might actually shoe shop!

Good thing Grandma's carry quarters. She treated the boys to a few rides on the race car and motor cycle at the mall. Brett loved that the race car moved!

Grandma and Brett hangin' at the mall.

Brett's first day

He did not want to take his eyes off the Spider Man backpack he picked - he loves that thing!

Brett had a great time this summer, but he really loves school. I think he was looking forward to getting back - especially the bus ride. He still squeals with delight when the bus pulls up every day.

Jackson and Peyton's first day

Jackson insisted on this backpack - it's an adult size and he rarely has more than one or two papers to carry, but he will not give it up!

Peyton sporting the Superman backpack.


Last year Jackson clung to me for dear life on the first day screaming and Peyton had a day or two of hesitation. By the end of the school year they were running to the door barely looking back to say good bye.
This year on their first day they had to line up and tell the teacher how to spell their name and pick a name tag color. Most of the other kids had their moms standing with them - not mine. I got the "no mom we can do it ourselves." So I cried on their first day of school ;)

Labor day - so long summer

It has come a tradition to spent Labor Day weekend at Grammy & Poppy's in Wisconsin. We had good weather - we went to a craft show, let the boys "shop" at a few garage sales, played outside and in Poppy's garage, collected golf balls that strayed from the course just beyond Grammy & Poppy's yard, celebrated Grammy's birthday and went swimming at Cow Beach - a private beach owned by friends of the family who are super generous and let us come play.

My boys are early risers and eventually wake the girls sleeping across the hall. We try to let the other adults sleep in a little so they would start the mornings playing games and watching things on the iPad all the while saying - "Is it time to go upstairs yet?" 
One of the favorites is the big breakfasts prepared each morning. Auntie Kerry selected two helpers each morning. Here Caroline and Peyton get busy in the kitchen.

The fire department was at the craft fair and everyone got to climb on the truck - Auntie Kerry helped Brett get into the driver's seat.

Poppy helping Jackson & Peyton check out the back of the truck.

Auntie Nancy helped Brett hop on a tractor in someone's yard when we stopped for a garage sale.

The kids helping Grammy celebrate her birthday.

Auntie Nancy gets a thank you kiss from Grammy.

Grammy & Poppy hanging with Brett at Cow Beach.

Auntie Kerry spent the day helping the kids build a sand castle and moat.

Brett hauling sand for the castle.

Jackson & Peyton bury Sophie in sand. I don't have pictures as I was the catcher in the water, but all the kids took turns jumping off the pier without water wings - a long way from barely jumping at all around Memorial Day.

Peyton on the cow.

Office space

The boys visited me at work one afternoon and I took them to have lunch with Tate one day. It's funny what impresses them - they like that they get to go in an elevator up in a tower when they come see me and they talk about the giant fish tank that is at Tate's office.

Peyton trying on my "office"  aka cubicle for size.

These cardboard cutout superheroes were part of a campaign to motivate our sales department. The boys thought it was cool that I work with The Green Lantern.

Trying out Tate's office. Jackson on the chair and Peyton saying "hey that's me!" to the pictures on his computer screen.

Brett loved hanging with Daddy on a weekday!

Great wide open

This is just a blog about the arboretum. We have an awesome arboretum just a short drive from our house. Grandma and Granddad have given us a membership as a family Christmas gift the past two years. I love that on any given day I can just pack the boys in the car and every time you go you can do something different. The boys just love that they can run and run and climb and explore without too many boundaries. Here are some photos from a few visits this summer.

Jackson & Peyton in the bush mazes. There are some areas where the bushes are higher than them and they are really into playing hide and seek so we can spend a good hour just running around in this area. Some areas even fit Brett's wheel chair and he loves when I hide him and his brothers can't find him.

Snack time! There are chipmunks that have no fear and will come right up and take food right from you - the boys love it and fear it all at the same time.

Brett loves the feel of the water rushing over his feet and the sound of the water moving over the rocks. I swear he would spend a whole day just sitting just like this.

Jackson and Peyton exploring the "river".

 There is a whole area of forts and climbing ropes.
There is a newer portion where they have built "forts" in and around the trees. Here are just a few. The pirate ship and castle.

Summing up Summer

I was terrible about blogging this summer but we really were busy and outside a ton so I'm playing catch up. We did a lot this summer. In the spring during a couples Bible study we had talked about time and one of the questions asked "How often do you say hurry up?" or something similar. I spent the next few days really paying attention and realized I was constantly trying to get the boys to hurry. I realize part of that is life with preschoolers, but I found myself saying it even when we weren't really in a hurry and I was just impatient. So my personal goal for the summer was to stop saying "come on guys," "lets go!" and try to enjoy a slower pace. I think I succeeded and it helped our summer have a little more of a laid back feel.
I already blogged about the beginning of summer and Fourth of July. But here are some of the other highlights:

Brett and Jackson at the zoo playing at being zoo keepers. We made quite a few trips to the zoo including two play dates with other families. Love our zoo!

The boys all loved the Olympics. Tate would record and they would wake up and ask to watch the Olympics. Favorite events included swimming, diving, track, soccer, gymnastics and beach volleyball. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of Brett in his Olympics shirt. After the Olympics Jackson and Peyton asked to take gymnastics. They go once a week and are still loving every minute of it!
Here's Jackson during his first time on the bars.

The boys love to go to the dentist. They actually ask when they get to go again. This time they had their first X-rays and all had great reports. No picture of Brett. He does not love the sounds of the dentist office.

T-ball was a highlight of the summer. They played on a "real" field this time and thought that was the best. Peyton went through a phase where he didn't want to go and sat on the sidelines and watched, but their coaches were good and got him back in action pretty quickly. (above) Jackson in orange next to Peyton in white. (below) Helping Brett get a hit.

This blog is about the boys, but I wanted to include my birthday party. I turned 40 and my family threw me a party I've been talking about for years - a food on a stick party. My sisters really outdid themselves and I wanted to share some of the photos. All the food was on a stick and it was so much fun - there were veggies on a stick, caprese salad on a stick, fruit salad on a stick - you get  the idea. Lots of friends and family came to hang out and the kids got to swim and play. It was a highlight of the summer.

Watermelon porcupine
Margarita on a stick - one of my favorites!Aunt Gina made a giant cake pop and lots of individual cake pops - yummy!

The Summer of Swimming

Auntie Kerry has a rockin' pool in her yard. It has been years since it was open and operational - primarily due to time and finances. This summer we talked about opening in the pool and decided to all pitch in to get it up and running. It was one of the best decisions as we had such a hot summer. We spent nearly every Sunday at Auntie Kerry's for Family Fun Day and Tate and I each took one or two turns drifting in the pool looking up at the stars after the boys were asleep.
The boys started the summer a little reluctant to let go of the ladder, even with their water wings on. They ended the summer begging to take their water wings off - jumping in and swimming by themselves back to the ladder. Looking back on summer our family pool time is at the top of my favorites list! Special thank you to Auntie Kerry and Auntie Nancy for hosting us, always having a stack of beach towels ready, planning and preparing many lunches and dinners and for doing all the required pool maintenance. It really was like having our own private country club!

 Peyton smiling and swimming.

Sophie easing
into the water.

Caroline swimming with her Barbie.

Brett & Tate

Auntie Kerry & Brett

 Jackson hamming it up for the camera

This photo just says summer to me!
(from left) Jackson, Peyton, Sophie, Brett & Caroline