August 22, 2012

First Day of First Grade

I sometimes think I'm the only mom in Lewisburg who isn't sad to see her child to go off to school, if the Facebook postings on my wall are any indication.  But not only do I get some time to myself again (I weeded and did errands, woo-hoo), but the excitement on Katie's face is worth everything.  I always want her to love school, to love to learn, to love to part of a community, and I can't be sad about that!

So today was the first day of school for our school district, and she was up before the alarm clock (so was I, consequently)!  She got herself all ready in her new first-day-of-school dress, and then all three of us went to the bus stop in the cold fog - hence the sweatjacket in August.

She bounced off the bus in the afternoon with as much joy on her face as she started the day.  The biggest thing, apparently, is that they have DESKS instead of tables.  And her teacher does look like a Barbie doll (only not blonde), and her art teacher from last year is back.  Oh, to have that kind of delight in one's day every day!

August 21, 2012

Summer's over

OK, I guess it's not officially over, but it's the last night before school starts for everyone else in the family! I thought, before I share the First Day of School photo tomorrow, that I'd report on what I did on my summer vacation.

 - Went to San Antonio (Dave conferenced, Sara reminisced, Katie vacationed, we all sweated in the HOT Texas summer)

- Went to Chicago (Dave conferenced, Sara and Katie played tourist and had a ball)

- Watched my kid grow up all in one week in early August (learned to swim and dive, skipping a whole level of swimming class in one day; got her own library card; grew two big front adult teeth; started taking showers and not baths, and on her own; got new shoes 1 1/2 sizes bigger than the ones she'd worn the day before; got a new big-girl bike)

 - And got to spend down time just playing with my family (in addition to the usual work stuff for both grownups) - we hiked a little, kayaked a little, swam a little, partied a little, played games a little, watched the Olympics a lot.... Guess that means my fall starts tomorrow, too? Maybe I'll just be in denial. I think I'll just keep watching the swimming video over and over. When I can get it to upload, I'll share it with you, too!

April 7, 2012

The Jungle Party

Katie decided in January - yes, three months before her birthday - that she wanted a Jungle Party. Based on the Jungle Book. Knowing that my life is totally crazy at the end of March/beginning of April, I took advantage of her sureness and did a little planning every week, with a lot of internet help.

We ended up with a really fun party, and Katie helped a lot. She wanted some boys at the party (yikes - we're already there!), but I was glad to know they were boys I knew and liked! They played 20 questions, guessing their animal IDs, and started to grow sponge animals before the pizza. Big hit, that pizza, and everyone was done with lunch in something like 10 minutes. I have to give credit to elementary school timetables.

My word-oriented kid wanted a word puzzle, so I made a scrambled jungle word game. All the kids managed to finish, with parental help, clues, and Dave making elephant noises!

Then they "fished" for piranhas, made and decorated homemade binoculars, and went searching for wild animals (cute nail brushes with tiger and elephant heads).
Then they had to jump for the food in the trees (we hung bananas and animal crackers from these palm trees) so they could have ice cream sundaes/banana splits. It was funny trying to keep the candle lit in the ice cream! Every party has to have present opening, which was a big to-do.

But I think the most fun was for all the kids to have free play with the jungle balloons, and their binoculars, and their natural energy and laughter. I think everyone had a good time, particularly the birthday girl!

February 19, 2012

Big kid weekend

The weekend before Valentine's Day turned out to be a big weekend, although it didn't look that way on the calendar. Friday we knew about: the Dragon Dash!
It's the only fundraiser at Katie's school, and the kids raise pledges to support them jogging around the gym for 15 minutes. That's it - and we're done for the year (yay!). They make a really big deal about at school and the kids really get into it. Here's Katie, jogging her way around (she's got a slow pace, but steady, and she was proud of herself for walking "ZERO times, Mommy!").

Saturday's adventures started with a loose tooth that would NOT come out, leading to a standoff over lunch, to her finally pulling it out. No carrots or apples for a while! We finally got to meet her friend Charlotte, with her dad, for ice skating, then back here for a sleepover weekend. Katie's first - she was so excited!

We took the girls out for dinner - here they are with their matching front tooth gaps, and they stayed up way too late, and got up much earlier than we did, and had a ball. We brought Charlotte back to church to meet up with her family, and here's Katie on the way home from church. Good sleepover.

January 11, 2012

Now it's 2012

I guess my New Year's resolution is to start blogging again regularly, since it's been months! Sorry especially for all my relatives who get their Katie fix here. :)

So the quick catch-up is that Katie started kindergarten in August and LOVES it! (see the profile photo at right for her first day) She also has now lost three teeth. The last one was knocked out when she was "pretending to sleepwalk" into a metal sign at a mall. Traumatic, but effective. The first picture is Katie after her first lost tooth; the second is with her church friend Charlotte and their matching top tooth gaps just last week.

The biggest event of the fall was the Colorado wedding of Dave's brother Doug to his now-wife Georgia. Dave was best man and Katie was a very excited flower girl. A very fun weekend was had by all. Here's the happy couple, with Katie at left.

We got back just in time to meet Elmo (and Kevin Clash, his puppeteer):

And I can't sign off without the obligatory Christmas photos.
Katie only asked Santa for one thing: "broadline dry erase markers and a board to go with them" (and she said it at top speed whenever asked). So Santa delivered, to great delight - check out the movie. The other photos are just our cute kid.

Happy New Year, all!

August 21, 2011

Summer - at the end

Sheesh, did I really forget to post all summer? I guess that has been summer for us: a little step back from our regular "work" of all kinds. No big vacations, but plenty of fun. I figured I better post some highlights before school starts. Yes, school - for Dave AND Katie this year. That's another post.

Katie's summer highlights: Princess camp (for the second year)

and swimming. She took two sessions of swimming lessons and FINALLY put her head under the water. Once.

But she got pizza and ice cream out of that once. Oh, and ice cream. That goes for all of us.

Dave's summer highlights: trip to Spokane and biking, a whole lot more than usual.

Sara's summer highlights: gardening (we have cukes, broccoli, and honeydew, all new for us); playgroup again, since we missed it during the school year; and fresh produce. We went blueberry picking with friends in early July, and raspberry picking just last week. Yum!

For all of us, it would have to include the time we hit a deer with our "new" (10-year-old) car. The only one with air conditioning. When it was 90+ degrees this summer. It's finally back, looking new - at least in the front. We survived four weeks with the old car (21 years old), and we're happy not to have to coordinate schedules *quite* as much.

Now we're practicing for the school year to start - earlier to bed and earlier to rise. We do get to see more sunshine that way!

June 24, 2011

Summer vacation

Our summer vacation was really Katie and me tagging along with Dave on one of his conference trips, this time to Baltimore. Cheap and close. :) But lots of neat places to see in Baltimore, especially for kids. It was just SO hot that week - it hit 100 degrees one day! Oh, and Katie had a bad reaction to the antibiotics she was on for strep, which made her cranky, itchy, tired, and on medicine (after spending half a day finding a diagnosis). She really was a trooper, though, given all that!

We spent six hours at the Maryland Science Center, part of it with Dave (who played hooky for a few hours). What a great place for curious people! Lots of cool hands-on stuff about so many topics. We went from paleontology to astronomy to geography to medicine....

And the next day was the National Aquarium, probably the one absolute must-see in the Inner Harbor. It was World Oceans Day when we went, which meant extra exhibits and activities (and prizes).
We splurged on the dolphin show, which was worth it. Two of their dolphins had calved this spring, and we got to see the moms and calves. I thought it was funny the main trainer was pregnant!

The other highlight of Baltimore was Fort McHenry, which we saw with Dave. Katie and I had read a children's book about the woman who made the big flag, so it was neat to drive by her house downtown and then see the fort. Katie really likes the national anthem, so the exhibits were fairly interesting. Dave and I caught her singing it around the house this week.

The vacation part of the trip for all of us was a visit with our great friends Ingrid, Jeff, and Emma in New Jersey. Emma invited Katie to her dance recital, so we all tagged along. LOTS of dancing - Emma was in 10 numbers all day, four in the one show we saw (one of five different shows all day long). What an incredible undertaking for the dance school. But Emma was great, and Katie loved the dancing - sat upright and mesmerized, even after being sick most of the day. And we all got rewarded with fabulous Indian food. Oh, and mehndi painting (henna) for the girls.

After the week, I think we'll be piecing together a "vacation" of short visits and travels - to fun places and of course to great friends.