Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day of First Grade

Well, today was Sept 6, 2011 and Lucas and McKenna had their first day of first grade.

The day started of with the kids waking up WAY to early.  I mean they don't have to be on the bus 'til 8:59 so I don;t think it is necessary to be up at 6:00.  Granted Luke is quite the morning person, but we have rules about not getting up before 7:00.  The only problem is that instead of laying in bed being quiet he feels that he needs to wake Kenna since he is awake.  In his defense, they brokee their clock a while back and we never replaced it.  New clock...check.

Breakfast went over well.  Can't go wrong with pancakes on the first day of school!  Or ever for that matter.

Then Kenna, being the over dramatic girl she is, (teenage years should be fun) didn't like her leggings and had to change even though they were fine in the store.  Then she didn't like her hair so she kept messing with it until the curl from the braid she had the night before started to straighten.  Kenna has stick straight hair like her dad and it doesn't hold curl well and since she was complaining about not liking her hair she wouldn't let me spray it until the curl started to fall.  Then it wasn't curly enough.  Let's see.  The next problem was her socks.  She doesn't really have any plain white socks, so finding socks that would look ok became an ordeal and she had to change 4 times instead of just putting on the ones I had picked out.

By then I was pushing to get out the door so we could take pictures outside before walking to the bus stop. Now, Kenna does not like having her picture taken (at least not on her terms) so was intentionally being uncooperative.  Regardless, we did manage to get some nice pics taken.

Then it was time to walk to the bus.  This went okay.  We we a little early for the bus like the letter said and then the bus ended up being 10 minutes late.  The kids did a quick pose before getting on and of they went.  This was a major accomplishment for Kenna.  This summer when she went to summer school on the bus it was a battle everyday to get her on that bus.  I think it was a great help that Luke was with her and she knew that he had been given strict instructions to sit with her.

Mike and I then spent the morning running some errands and enjoying breakfast out alone.  The afternoon was kinda different since this was the first full day or school EVER for Luke and Kenna.  We spent some time in silence.  I baked the kids some bars for after school and then cut Mikes hair.  At about 11:30, Zoe started to get excited about every noise since last school year that was when she got to go for her daily car ride to pick up the kids from school.  She seemed kind of comcerned that her kids weren't home when the should be.

About 15 minutes before the kids were due home, we made our way to the bus stop.  We were early.  It (the bus) was almost exactly on time. 

We did what every parent does and asked how their first day was, what they did, who they met.  The awnsers were pretty much as expected.  Kenna didn't want to talk about it and Luke didn't stop talking.  The only thing was Luke was walking a head of me so I only got snippets of what he was saying.

As I said before, their was only one other child in their class from last year and from the sound of things the three of them stuck pretty tight together.

Once we returned home, the kids each had a snack and we headed outside to enjoy some beautiful weather because in this state winter could come next week.  You just never know here. 

 I did eventually get some information.

Doesn;t know the names of anyone in the class except Luke and D.
She didn't do anything in gym because she wanted to go home.
Lunch was good and her teacher helped her enter her pin.
She played by herself at recess (I knew this might be a problem since all her friends from last year are in other classes and she wont approach other kids to play.  They do have recess together, but she said they were just playing with the kids from their classes.)
She is looking forward to art tomorrow ... step in the right direction.

Also doesn't know any of the names of the chilren in this class except Kenna and D.
Sits in a pod with two girls and one other boy. (They are in separate pods)
His pod is blue.  Kenna's is black.
Lunch was good and he's looking forward to hot dogs tomorrow.
He also played by himself at recess.  The boy he thinks of as his best friend is in another class and Luke said he played with the kids from his class. D's best friend is in another class so D played with that boy instead of Luke.

I'm praying that McKenna quickly finds things about school that she loves (art and music).  I also pray that over the next week or two we start to hear the names of some of they other children in their class from both kids.  Kenna usually has a difficult time opening up to new people (including other children) so I would love for her to find just one other little girl who she can really become friends with who will remain her friend for years to come.  Luke on the other hand usually makes friends pretty easily, so I'm sure it wont take long before he starts to talk about his "new friend".

SO ...  the next chapter has just begun.  Ready ... Set ... GO!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Train Bell 2011

Last week we made our trek to the Brainerd Lakes Area for our stay at the Train Bell Resort.  We had a beautiful trip up on Monday and the kids were even able to get some swimming in.  They have a wonderful swim beach that is super shallow so the kids aren't forced to stay within 5 feet of land.  While there the kids spent a lot of time playing outside with Luke on his scooter and Kenna on the playground and in the sand.  In the evenings the kids enjoyed  movies nights and the dance party. During the day they were able to sneak in at the end of the minnow races and take a ride on the Train Bell Train.  On Tuesday, Mike made a trip to a nearby town with his mom, her husband and his daughter for some antique shopping.  Then Wednesday morning we returned for the kids to play on the community's wonderful playground and climb on a statue of a giant serpent.  Late Wednesday night we returned home.  Friday morning the kids met with their teacher to be evaluated for their reading levels and it was confirmed that Kenna will be in a program called reading recovery to help her get up to pace with her peers.  Friday afternoon the class lists went up.  Out of 23 children, they only have one other kid in their class from last year.   I'm sad that they will be missing some of their friends, BUT there is always recess and the opportunity to make SO many new fiends.  We then ended the week with a shopping trip for new tennis shoes. 

We now find ourselves a week from the start of school.  Luke had an eye check up today and his vision continues to become stronger in his left eye.  Tomorrow we'll be shopping for a couple of back to school outfits because ya gotta have that one new outfit for the first day of school.  Wednesday afternoon is their open house.  This is where they get to take their supplies to school and find their desks and lockers and I get to write checks for things like lunch and yearbooks.

As sad as I am that my kiddos will be entering first grade and school all day for the first time, I look forward to getting back in a routine and seeing them grow and learn.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August already?

I can't believe that it is August already and that 4 weeks from now McKenna and Lucas will be snoozing away after finishing their first day of first grade, but we'll get to that later.

This month started of on a sad note. Mike's Uncle Terry past away at the age of 53 after suffering brain damage due to a sudden cardiac arrest while on vacation with his wife a three sons.  The was a great man and will be missed.

Saturday,  I spent the day making a checkerboard cake.  I have owned the pans for years and just finally decided to utilize them.  I even made my own butter cream.  A first for me.

Sunday, the kids and I spent 4 hours at the zoo with my friend Tammy and her son.  We all live such busy lives that it's hard to find time to get together.  It was great getting to spend some time catching up and watching our kids together.

The past few days have been spent catching up on some housework and trying to get the kids motivated to clean their playroom and bedroom. 

Three weeks left in this month and I'm sure we'll find a way to fill them.  We have trip to Brainerd planned to spend a few days with Mike's step-family.  It's a yearly trip that Mike, Kenna and I missed last year due to Mike's shoulder surgery.  Then we meet the kids' first grade teacher, Mrs Tam, so she can do some testing to evaluate where their reading abilities are.  The last day of the month will bring us to their open house at school.

Normally people get sad when their child enters kindergarten.  I didn't.  I think it was because they were only in school half day and they didn't ride that bus.  This year my babies are truly off to school ... all day, every day and on the bus.  But that's more of a different month.

June and July came and went!

WOW!  June and July have come and gone! June was spent with plenty of time outside as some pretty hot days.  The end of the month we headed for our annual trip to ND.  It was a wonderful trip.  We made the drive out at night and the kids and I slept most of the way.  A little more than half way there we hit some pretty heavy rain.  Wouldn't know know it?  Right in the middle of a pretty good shower off flew the driver's side wind shield wiper,  We did stop at a rest stop to try to switch the other one over, but it was about 3 in the morning and neither of us could figure out how to get the good one off.  By that time the rain had let up and we said forget it.  Things were good from there on until we got about 40 miles from my parents' house and hit fog with almost zero visibility.  Do you think we stopped at the next gas station to buy wipers.  OF COURSE NOT.  Instead we cranked the heat and Mike drove looking out my side of the wind shield.  Needless to say, we made it there in one piece.

Shortly after arrival (10 minutes)  Mike headed for bed.  He was whipped.  I, on the other hand, had some breakfast and then headed off to the county fair parade and county fair with my kids, my mom, my sister, her kids, my cousin and her husband and daughter.  It was SO much fun to watch the kids (ages 2 - 6) bond.

The next two days were spent hanging with my immediate family, as well at my cousin's family, my dad's sister and her husband, my dad's brother and my Grandma.  I love that we were all able to be there to spend that time.  Unfortunately, my dad's side of my family is pretty spread around the country and VERY RARELY are about to get together at the same time.

In that time, we also celebrated Mike's 34th birthday.  The kids loved helping their aunt to decorate the cupcakes for his big day.

The next couple of days were pretty chill.  We did make it up to Lake Sakakawea  and the Garrison Dam.  We couldn't miss out on seeing the lake at historic levels and the spillway letting out water for the first time ever.  It was amazing to see that much water moving that fast!  After that I got to try out my Dad's new mower.  First time I've mowed lawn in over 10 years!

The weekend before the 4th of July, the made it out to Lake Sakakawea for a second time.  Except this time we took Grandpa's boat and went for a ride.  The kids loved it! That evening we had our own mini firework show at the farm.  Mike was like a little kids.  Growing up in MN, he never really got to shoot fireworks so my dad let him have free reign and sat back and enjoyed the show after years of put it on himself.  Since this year the 4th fell on a Monday, Hazen held their firework show on the 3rd.

We headed back to MN the morning of the 5th.  On the way, we stopped to see two large animals.  The giant Holstein in New Salem, ND and the giant Bison in Jamestown, ND.

The next 3 1/2 weeks as Kenna attended summer school and we spent a lot of time just trying to stay cool and temps hit record highs.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wonderful Weekend

Once in a while I can say we had a wonderful weekend.  This weekend was one of those weekend.  For starters the weather was gorgeous!  Saturday morning the kids did some picking up.  We didn't even have any tantrums.  The afternoon was spent outside washing, waxing and cleaning up the car show for our fist show of the summer.  Then we ran to Menard's for a few things, ate dinner outside and ended the night watching a couple cartoons with the kids before they went to bed. 

Today, we spent the day at our first car show of the season.  Mike and I both got a little too much sun.  He's gonna be hurting tomorrow!  The Galaxie was in a class of 15 - 20 cars.  It got third!  What a way to start car show season.  After the show we set up the sprinkler and the kids and dog had a great time.  It wore them all out!  bedtime came early for the kids tonight.

Busy week ahead.  Last week of school and lots of appointments.  Then BRING ON SUMMER VACATION!  We're ready!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kidergarten is coming to an end

Almost 9 months ago my babies started school.  Now in only 9 days they will be first graders!  With the schoo year coming to an end the kids have had a lot going on.  Two weeks ago they got to try eating in the cafeteria (they only go half day right now).  Last week they had their end of year concert.  This Friday they have their end of year field trip to the Minnesota Children's Museum and picnic.  Then next Thursday they will oficially be first graders.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday, McKenna and Lucas!

Before a person has children it is hard to understand how every year moms can recall every detail leading up to and during the birth of their children.  Well, today my babies turned six and I remember every detail of that day.  If your interested, you can read about it here.

Today started out with a boom.  We woke to a pretty good thunderstorm and even had some weather sirens.  Then it was off to school as usual.  Every morning the kids' school has a short news program put on by some of the 5th graders (I think).  During that news program they recognize the children who have birthdays that day.  Today McKenna and Luke were that lucky two.  Then, their classmates sang "Happy Birthday".  I even got some good news at school today.  McKenna has gone from a reading level 1 to a reading level 3. 

After school, we headed to Chuck E Cheese.  The kids had a great time playing games and riding the little kids rides.  Of course we came home with the necessary cheap toys.

Next on the agenda was a visit from their Grandma Judy and Grandpa Vic.  They opened a few gifts.  Since we had cake for their birthday party, we opted to pick up some cupcakes for today.  We sang "Happy Birthday"m had our cupcakes and Grandma and Grandpa headed home.  The rest of the afternoon was spent playing with their gift.

I know that every year we comment on where the year has gone and how we can't believe they are growing up so fast.  Yes, that is true.  The year has gone fast and some days I wish they would stay little forever.  On the other hand, it is some much fun to watch them learn and grow.  I love being able to have real conversations with them.  I love that they have an AWESOME bond and an excited to see where that bond takes them.  I love when I can see glimpses the young adults they are going to be someday.  I love that some days I am Mom and other days I'm Mama or Mommy.  There are so many things I love about this age. 

Happy Birthday, Kiddos!  I love you.