Friday, September 13, 2013

Summer Wrap Up and Life Lately

We were super sad to say goodbye to Summer this year! Living in Stonegate for our first full summer has been a dream! This post is just a bunch of random pictures from our last lazy days and life lately.
Nolan has still been loving school. He's loving learning in Kindergarten. Next week, I'm going to start volunteering in his classroom, so I'm really looking forward to that. He has so much fun with all kinds of extension activities at Kindergarten Enrichment. And he earns tons of prizes there! But his favorite of all is actually After Care. He gets to play wii and hang with his older neighbor friends as well. Fridays are popcorn and movie days which he loves! And he is making good friends in all of his classes, which is super nice to hear. His closest pals are James and Jaden. Before he even started official Homework, he would want to come home at night and put the finishing touches on any papers he brought home that day. He is dedicated! Last night he was given his first real homework packet, so we sat right down and did 4 pages right then and there. We both had fun doing his Homework! And in just about a month of school it's amazing to see his progress already! His handwriting has become so much neater and he is starting to read! Love it! 

September 2nd was my birthday and it was Labor Day! It was so nice to have the day off! But we started celebrating early. Mark surprised me and took me to Water World for the day on Saturday. We left the kids with Oma & Opa and played like little kids all day! We hadn't been there together in about ten years. The weather was pretty good, it clouded over in the late afternoon and got a bit chilly, but it wasn't very busy and we rode tons of rides! It was such a nice, carefree day! Then that evening, Brad & Jayne watched the boys so that we could go out to dinner as well. Mark said that I could pick anywhere to go, and I picked Cheddars. He thought this was a funny choice, but I just wanted a good ol' American menu. And Cheddars is actually very nice! We had a nice, quiet, calm, meal together! Thank you Mark for planning such a fun day and thank you family for watching the boys for us! We really appreciate it! 

Then Sunday night we celebrated my birthday with Mark's whole family. 
It was a nice night for a backyard party. 

We had an Italian feast and a yummy DQ ice cream cake for dessert. Thank you Jansen fam for a fun night and for making me feel so special. 

My sister posted this picture of me on Facebook. It was taken on my 1st Birthday, 31 years ago. Think I liked my cake? I promise, I DID NOT pig out like that this year! Ha! 

The boys each made a page to help decorate my Birthday Chair! And I was more than spoiled with fun gifts. We slept in that day, but then the boys insisted that I open my gifts the second I got up. I love sharing my special day with them. They have such giving and sincere hearts. 

Along with my birthday gift, my Mom sent a package of papers that I had made when I was in Kindergarten. She thought it would be fun for Nolan and I to look at the work together. Compared to how most of my Kindergarteners draw now, I was actually really impressed with my drawing skills. I didn't know that I was such a good artist when I was that young! Nolan thought I was pretty good too. But my Mom also included this fun little letter that my friend Kerri wrote to me in Kindergarten! 
I love it! I snapped a picture of it and texted it to her right away. I SO treasure our friendship that has lasted 27 years! 

After gifts, we grabbed Starbucks, and sat outside at Panera and had breakfast. The boys love their bagels! Then we hit the pool...
It was the most crowded day there that we have ever seen! But we expected it to be busy, it was a hot day and the last day of the season. We still had a blast! 

Brad and Jayne and the boys joined us for awhile. 

We pretty much stayed all day and soaked up the sun! 
Notice Brooks' low hanging diaper. We ran out of swim diapers and I didn't want to buy a new pack for just one last trip to the pool, so he had to deal with a heavy diaper all day! Didn't seem to slow him down though. Poor third child. 

It was a fantastic way to celebrate my birthday and close out the summer! 

Even my students celebrated me! A few made me cards and one even brought me these beautiful roses. It was such a nice birthday. 

 On a completely different topic...we've been doing a little redecorating around here. Just finishing up a few empty spaces. 
I found this cute chalk board at Homegoods and we hung it in our front entryway. I've been wanting to make one, but when I found this for $30, I decided to snatch it up and save myself some time and energy. I hope to switch out the Bible verse seasonally, or when we need to focus our thoughts on a specific topic. Hence, our current verse. Something the boys, and even their Mommy has needed to remember recently. The boys have memorized it and it has really helped to change their attitudes when needed! 

And we FINALLY bought a Dining Room Set. I still want to buy 2 head chairs that are different-probably in a fabric. And we need to find a rug and one more thing for the walls, but it's coming along. And it feels so nice to have a place for a large group of people to gather. 

Mammoth Heights had Back to School Night on the same night as the Broncos Home Opener. So we quickly headed over to check out Nolan's classroom before the big game. This is a student led night, and he had so much fun showing us all around his classroom. And I enjoyed getting to chat with his teacher for awhile too. 
Here is his self portrait that was hanging in the hall. Cute. 

Then we headed home to cheer on the Broncos to victory! How cute are these 4 boys?! 

Heath has been rockin' preschool as well! 
His teacher told me that he is warming up nicely and chatting and participating and making friends well. I love seeing his little art projects coming home. 

He always has such fun little stories to tell me. I especially loved the one where when I asked him what he did at school today, he proudly announced, "I pooped! And my pants stayed on." (Disclaimer: he always takes his pants off when he goes #2, so I told him that if he ever has to poop at school that he needs to keep his pants on.) Then later he told Mark, "I stuck my hand in there and didn't feel any dirt, so I didn't have to wipe." Oh that boy! He keeps me on my toes! 

Saturday night we had Rick, Mandy, and Jack over for dinner. It was so cute to watch the boys snuggle up together to watch a movie and chow down on popcorn late into the evening! They are best buds already! Notice Brooksie, not too interested in any T.V. or movies yet. Which is good, I guess, but sometimes I just wish he would sit and watch so Mommy could take a shower! 

On Sunday, Brooks helped me cheer on the Bears for their first game of the season. Too bad his jersey is Urlacher. Nolan and Heath don't have any Bears gear that fit them now, so they weren't able to join in. But the Bears won, and I clinched week one of my school pick 'em league that night as well. I've already won my buy in money back, plus $5. So now I'm playing with House Money! Hoping for a few more weekly wins this season. Last season I think I came out winning my money back plus $50-$75 dollars overall! That's my kind of fantasy league. Just pick the winner of each game and hope for the best !

Last Sunday was a nice relaxing day. Mark headed out with Nolan to do some landscaping shopping. And I stayed home with the 2 littles. 
Heath was not too happy that he was left behind and pushed my buttons all.morning.long! Good thing he's cute, because it helps make up for all the moments he drives me mad! 

Nolan thought he was so cool driving in the front seat of the truck Daddy borrowed to haul some crushed gravel. They had a nice morning together. 

This little guy has been known to drive me a bit bonkers lately too! Ha! He is into everything and very feisty lately. Today we found out that he has a small ear infection, so hopefully that explains a bit of his terror! I was about 3 months late in taking him in for his 18 month well check! Ha! But here are his stats at almost 21 months: height- 33 1/2 inches, weight- 25.6 lbs., head circumference-48.3 cm. His stats are almost exactly what Heath's were at his actual 18 month check up. Nolan was an inch taller, 5 pounds heavier, and had a smaller head by a bit. So Brooks is still holding out as our smallest kid at 21 months. But he is doing great and passing all developmental milestones after, yet another, slow gross motor start! Woo hoo! And boy was he a ham in the doctors office today. He was making everybody laugh and smile. He sure knows how to turn it on! Love that about him. He's charming already. 

And finally, you've probably heard it's been raining around here. Pretty much for the past 3 days straight. I've been running around between our 3 schools dropping kids off and picking them up and heading to and from work through the torrential down pore. I've been soaked all week. No umbrella or raincoat could really keep up. But thank. the. Lord, today we were gifted with a RAIN DAY!!! I've never heard of it before, but some areas of our district were severely flooded and many of the highways were too. So they called it last night to be sure that no students would be unsafe driving or walking to and from school. But sadly, Nolan still had school this morning. So up we got, just like usual, and headed out to drop him off in the "Kiss and Go" lane. Luckily, he can just hop out of the car and run right into his dry school building quickly, because it was pouring during his 8:30 start this morning! 

The boys and I came home and splashed in some puddles when the rain had died down a bit. 
 They loved it and were soaked! 

And now, as I sit typing this, instead of teaching, the sun is shining and I see blue sky! Love how that seems to work! Happy relaxing weekend everyone! Stay dry and pray for Colorado. There are a lot of people in need due to the floods. We are blessed. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Look out comes Heath!

Heath is attending South East Christian Preschool this year. He is in Miss Birgitte and Miss Nancy's class. He is going to school just two mornings a week- on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We thought this would be the perfect transition into school for our sometimes unpredictable middle child. We chose South East Christian because it is super close to our house and because he's just going 2 days a week. We thought we could make it work to have Mark help pick up the boys from school and drive them to his Mom & Dad's house for the afternoon on just those 2 days. 

We got to go in and meet his teachers and check out his classroom the week before school started. Heath walked right in and felt right at home. 
He loved checking out all the fun centers. 

I love his smile in this photo. He looks so proud of his classroom! 

It will be fun having Heath go to a Christian Preschool this year. We LOVED Nolan's preschool, Sand Creek, and he met great friends and really blossomed there. But it will be neat for Heath to learn about God during these 2 formative years of Preschool. Heath will also be joining Nolan and I at TRU on Wednesday nights at church. I'm really looking forward to serving my church with both of my boys this year! 

The first day...
Nolan started a week and a half before Heath. So when it finally came time for Heath to start, he was MORE than ready! He has watched his big brother put on his back pack, line up, and love learning for a couple of years, and now, it was finally his turn! He picked out this cool backpack from PBK. And of course he wanted his name on it just like Nolan's. And he picked out that cool turtle keychain in Cancun. 

Showing off the folder that Grandma bought him. "Evil Beware!" Ha! So appropriate for his Christian school! 

What a cheese! 

He always does the funniest things with his arms when he poses for pictures. And can you spot the bruise on his forehead? A mishap at Arie's first birthday party a week or so before.

Love this one! 

All ready to go! He loved the new shirt we bought for his first day! He thought that he was supposed to wear it every day he went to Preschool! 

This one is going on my fridge! 

And of course, we had to make a special treat for his teachers as well. I love his sweet handwriting. 

Outside of school, waiting to go in. Check out his arms again...

and again! We don't know where he got that from! This picture is inside of the school lobby. 

Mark dropped Nolan off at school, so I snapped some pictures of Heathy, once inside, so he could show his Daddy. 
Hanging up his backpack. 

Silly smiles by his cubby! His classroom is an Owl theme this year...just like Grandma's is! 

Heath got started playing right away. I gave him a smooch and walked out the door! He did great and has transitioned so nicely to his new routine! He loves school and is always excited to go! 

When I picked him up 3 hours later, a donut treat was waiting for him, just like Nolan got on his first day. What you do for one, you have to do for the others. 

We have been super impressed with Heath. He has surprised us in so many ways with his independence. He has had a good role model to look up to and he has been so well behaved and such a good listener in school. I asked his teacher the other day about how he has been doing in class, and she said, "He is SO obedient!" She told me how great he's doing and I was so proud! If only he was always "SO obedient" at home too! 

When I pick Heath up each day he always remembers a couple of specific things to tell me about his day. He has made 2 good friends already, Landon and Lincoln. And he has taken home some cute projects already as well! 

This will be such a fun year of learning for him!
 We love you Heath Tyler and can't wait to watch you become a confident, funny, sweet, thoughtful, and persistent young man! We pray God will use your spirit and spunk for His good!