Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Kindergartener!

We officially have a kindergartener!


A little sidenote:

Last Tuesday was Back-to-School night, and the school had two food trucks on the grounds to serve dinner, with a portion of the proceeds going to the PTO.  The kids were excited to picnic at Jacob's school.  However, a monster storm rolled through right around the dinner hour and forced us into the gym to wait out the tornado warning.  Nothing like being in an unfamiliar place with two kids, two bags of school supplies, two plates of nachos, and a tornado overhead!

After things calmed down, we found Jacob's room.  (As you might imagine, he's very excited about the Smart Board!)




The next morning we had cinnamon rolls and bacon for breakfast, per the kindergartener's request,


and I took about a million pictures





 until Jacob zoned out!

It even felt like fall that morning, and we needed jackets for the first time since spring.

It's so, so nice that our bus stop is right on our corner.  For six years now, we've been watching everyone's kids get on and off the bus, and today my kid was out there with them.  (That still kind of blows my mind!)

With his bestie Elsah

Our morning bus stop crew.


Jacob loves waiting for the bus.  He honestly thinks he hosts a little party for a bunch of girls every morning because they all come over to his house to wait!  He has never been nervous about going to school (knock on wood), and he wasn't even nervous that morning.

The bus pulled up, and he climbed on as though he'd been doing it all of his life.


I did fine until the bus actually drove away! :)

After school, I picked him up, and he was pretty impressed with himself.  He was wearing a crown that said, "I'm a Kindergarten Star" and he had lots to tell me about the bus ride  Not surprisingly, I've gotten very little information from him about his actual day, but he seems to enjoy it.


Overall, the first few days have gone better than I expected!



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Seven Days


It was a cold, grey morning in mid-December.  I was spending my first day home alone with my 8 day old son after Frank had gone back to work. I remember Frank calling mid-morning to ask how it was going.

"I don't know,"  I replied. "I just kind of want to go back to work...How long until kindergarten?"

Fast forward five and a half years- through a horrible babysitter experience, my job change from full-time to work-at-home, a year of breastfeeding, a new brother, potty-training, preschool, and a plethora of Matchbox cars and pretend phones- and the answer to that question is seven days.

Seven days until kindergarten. Such a cliche, but it does go so fast.

That little baby would learn to walk less than ten short months from that cold morning and would simultaneously scare and amaze us with his coordination.  He would start talking late, at exactly age 2, and chatter non-stop first about cars and fans, and later about electronics such as phones, and iPads.  Everyone was right when they said to enjoy the quiet because he once he started talking, he would never stop!

At five years old, his favorite things are riding his bike, going to the park, and playing with his grandparents. This summer, he's enjoyed being on a t-ball team and has surprised me with his progress in swimming lessons.  He loves anything remotely fast and scary: carnival rides, waterslides, and the neighbor's motorized scooter!

His memory and deductive reasoning are well-beyond his years; it's impossible to pull anything over on him.  And oh, the vocabulary!  Just this morning, he correctly used the words, "circulate," and "sarcastic."  In a group, I have seen him as reserved but kind.  We've always referred to him as the third adult in the house

The thing I really like about Jacob, though, is his sense of adventure.  (I think he comes by this naturally, since Frank is much the same way.)  He likes new places, new ideas, new people.  There isn't much that he will shy away from or say no to.  More than anything, I think this trait will serve him well in kindergarten.

In seven days, I'll put send him to school, and for the first time, I won't be the one to control what his day looks like.  In the short-term, I won't be able to protect him from being hungry or tired, just as I won't be able to save him down the road from mean kids or tests he didn't study for.  As a mom, there is a part of me that wants to hide him under his bed and let that bus roll by!

He has no idea the journey on which he's about to embark, one I hope that is the beginning of a long (long) academic career.  Last year, my mom told me, (I'm paraphrasing), "You don't have kids for you.  You have kids so they can go out into the world and become Christian adults who make a difference; to go out and do things you would have never done or would have never dreamed of.  They're on loan.  Use your time wisely"

Too deep on a Wednesday?  Probably.  But it does remind me that he can't change the world if I hide him under his bed.



I think he's ready.

I think I'm ready.

Bring it on, kindergarten.



Saturday, August 1, 2015

Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

{Subtitle:  A Whole Bunch of Randomness in One Post}


I bet you've been wondering about my cherry tomato plant (surely you have, haven't you?).  I"m happy to report that it has far surpassed my expectations and has been giving us a few cherry tomatoes each day for the last few weeks.  Jacob and I take turns each morning going out to pick them and eat them for breakfast.  Happiness is a warm cherry tomato straight off the vine. 


Speaking of happiness, a few weeks ago Frank and I escaped to a local winery.  It's a tiny, out-of-the way place that feels like you're sitting outside on someone's back porch.  They just built a structure, probably for weddings, that overlooks their pond, and it was so peaceful.  



I think grapevines are cool.  



The kids spent some time with their cousins that evening.  These pictures cracked me up!



Have you met my new little tiger/kitty?  We got him at the Hudson Fun Fest last week.  I suppose we'll keep him. ;)


We've been hard at work.

 Jacob scooping watermelon


Helping the neighbor shuck corn


Carter lining up his cars


Helping dad mow


And we've also been playing hard

At the park




Doing some painting


A tour of the fire station



And their very first all-night backyard camping experience!

We've eaten well, too

Lunch in the tent.  It was about 90 degrees, but these two didn't care!


Make-Your-Own-Mini-Pizza Friday Night.  


And an evening picnic in the park.


Summer is just so much fun!




Friday, July 17, 2015

Wisconsin Dells- Day 3

Our final day of vacation can be summed up in one word:  waterpark!  After a quick breakfast, we were ready to go when the park opened at 10.  Even Carter got in on the action, albeit briefly.

I'll just let this total overload of pictures do the talking...














Rather than spending $7 for a kid's burger at the cafe at Great Wolf, we opted for a little Culver's as a late lunch in our room.

After lunch, we went back down to the waterpark, but a certain someone was sooo tired.  I situated us on a chair at the pretend beach overlooking the wave pool, and Carter was out!  I had to post this picture because I can't remember the last time I've held a napping kid.


Once Carter woke up, he was back to his old self. :) :) :)


The rest of the kids continued to play until we had to get ready for dinner.  For dinner we went to Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty, which is kind of like Cracker Barrel on, well.. crack!  The amazing thing was that Gary, Anna, and Frank all remember coming here when they vacationed in the Dells in the '80s.  Meals are served family-style, and the gift shop was huge.

For our final activity, we headed over to Knuckleheads, a huge family fun center.

We did a little bumper car riding,



played some arcade games, and rode some other rides.  If it's called, "Tornado," you know my kid is going to try it!



Hey, what about me?


Carter even found a little car ride that he loved.


I have to give props to Jenna at this point, because after finding out he enjoyed that ride so much, she used her own tickets to let him ride it again. There might be a reason Carter is so smitten with her!!

Meanwhile, Frank and Brett were having some sort of face-off with a crazy game where the objective was to stomp on the floor and kill aliens.


We finished out our night by jumping on a huge jumping pillow while Jenna and Brett went to another area to jump on trampolines.




Best part of vacation?  Tired kids!!



Thanks for the memories, Great Wolf Lodge!  We will be back again!