Saturday, July 30, 2011

Back to School (and some catching up too!)

This week we had to get "back in the saddle" so to speak! I returned to work last Friday and the kids started on Wednesday. I must say that returning to school with a three day week is pretty nice!  Travis is in Second grade (across the hall from me, we get to see each other quite a lot these days!) and Connor started going to a preschool program at the local high school.  He really likes it but it is a big transition for him.  Right now I think he would be acting like this no matter where he was going.  He likes being home with me and he does not like the fact that Travis comes with me. He feels left out. In fact he told me (in between sobs and tears) that he wanted to go to school with me.  I told him he had to wait until he was 5, those were the school rules.  That helped a bit but I can tell his feelings are still hurt about it! Poor guy! I do know that he is having a wonderful time once he is there though.  Here they are on day one.. all smiles of course!
 For some reason I started taking Travis' back to school pictures in front of our front door.  This makes it easy for me to see how much they have grown. Here is Connor's first back to school picture.  (Pardon the dirt and dust... we live in the desert plus there was a big storm the night before!)
 And of course here is Mr. Travis. Does he look as cool as he feels?? He picked out this type of bag this year. When I asked him why he told me a little girl in his class had one like this last year. Wow, he has been thinking about that for awhile now I guess!  He never fails to crack me up!
 Here are my two baby boys... all ready for school.  (I hope they let me do this picture thing until high school... well, a mother can hope, right??!)
 When I came home after the first day Connor ran and gave me a big hug. He immediately ran and brought me his picture he made at school.  He told me, "Let's hang this one up mommy!" (I love it, but can see we have some work ahead of us!  lol)
 This week has also been full of change for me as well.  Four of us teach second grade together.  This year my "best buddy" moved away and another teammate moved  back to kindergarten.  That leaves me being the "veteran" helping out two new people.  One person is a good friend of mine who moved up from Kindergarten.  She of course just needs a lot of help with the curriculum and everything else. At least she knows the school and kids! My other new teammate is new to the school but has at least taught second grade before.  She does not know our school so for her it is like being a brand new teacher all over again.  I enjoy them both and I have my other teammate who has worked with me for two years now.  We will be busy this year helping out our new teammates. I will do anything I can for them, I know how it is to be the new kid on the block!  I just miss my friend.  After five years of working together you just get in a routine, you know? Anyway I was excited because I got to see her today! It was her son's 7th birthday so of course we had to go!  The boys had a blast and Connor got to go bowling for the first time. I am so excited because now we can go bowling as a family.  I love that he is three and potty trained, it is a whole new world for us!  Here are Travis and I putting those cute little bowling shoes on Connor.
 Travis so cleverly put their shoes on a bar stool....
 Go Travis, go!  (We need to work on his form a bit...!)
 Connor's very first time bowling.. pretend I am not in the picture. I need to learn how to use photoshop just to get myself out of  some shots like this!  lol
 Connor has never found a piece of cake he didn't like.
 Travis and Colin.  We have been to all of his parties since he turned 2.  We miss seeing him at school.
 As I was uploading these pictures I realized I never posted about the Fan Fest. The All Star game for baseball was held here this year. Since my husband is the ultimate baseball fan of course he signed up to volunteer.  He had so much fun.  So much fun that now he wants us to plan a road trip to Kansas City next summer so he can do it again. I am considering it. But only because I have some friends not too far away that I would love to see too!  Next summer is a long way away, so we will see.  My parents took Travis on the last day so that Daryle could take him around when his shift was over.  Here are my two baseball fans.
 Somehow Travis got up on the jumbo screen!
 Eat those fruits and veggies Travis!
 Now THAT'S a baseball!
 What?!  An official monster truck?! 
I guess that about sums it up.  We are all getting back into a schedule. I miss my old teammate and Connor misses his old baby sitter and friends.  We will adjust, these things take time. However, change is good for the soul and helps us grow.  (Now if I just keep telling myself that enough I just might start to believe it!  LOL)  I can tell this will be a great year, I am anxious to see what it brings our way!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Girls Weekend

I just came back from a very relaxing weekend at my aunt and uncle's "cabin" up north.  It was my many aunts and cousins that got together.  I lovingly say "cabin" because this is a very luxurious resort-like home.  No kids. No husbands. Just great company and lots and lots of fun! On Saturday we all went to the clubhouse for neck and shoulder massages followed with a lovely lunch. The weather was gorgeous. It was wonderful to get out of the heat for a few days. This was just what the doctor ordered for me since I have to go back to work on Friday.  The kids start next Wednesday. Sigh. It really has been a great summer!  Here is a picture of our group.  A few people were unable to make it, hopefully the next time they will come too.
 Here is the front view of their lovely home.
Here is the newest addition to our family. Little Charlie Ann was born at the end of May. She was the only child that was allowed to come.  =)  We enjoyed passing her around and getting our "baby fix" if you know what I mean!  On a side note, she is their fourth child... and fourth girl!  They named her after our grandfather. I think it is pretty cool.
 The clouds were so beautiful, every view was breathtaking.
Of course we had lots of fun drinks like this the whole time. Just look at that smile!!
I realized that I need to do things like that more often ... once or twice a year would be ideal!  LOL   Of course there are some things that went on that I can't mention here... what happens at Girls Weekend stays at Girls Weekend!  It was so nice to have some girl time with my family, bonding like that makes for some great memories!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's Time to Wrap Things Up!

Finally, we are at the end of our vacation!  I had to get some quick shots of the boys with family.... I am always thinking of that calendar at Christmas! Here is my favorite one of Uncle Billy and Patti with the boys.
Uncle Billy always has cool gadgets with him. Now he has an iPad. As you can see this makes Uncle Billy even more popular than he already is.  They had fun making up some songs and playing different instruments together.
Of course we had to get a picture of the boys with grandma.... Charles even got in on the action!
I don't think we are lacking on pictures with Grandpa... but wanted to make sure he was there too!
Finally it was Saturday and time to head back home. The boys really enjoyed looking out the window at the planes and all the action going on down there. It is so much nicer not chasing a two year old or 18 month old around an airport.... ahhh, thank goodness for 3... then 4 and 5 will be even better!  lol
 All ready with our boarding passes. Thank goodness they let family board a bit early.
On the plane, ready to go!  As soon as we were in the air this is what we got....
Yes, Connor fell fast asleep!  He slept almost the whole time.  We had an uneventful flight.  The boys were both excellent, I couldn't have asked for a better trip home.
Now we are back home and life is busy as usual. I haven't taken many pictures, but I can assure you our pace has not slowed for one minute.  Here is a quick run down of what we have been up to. 
  • On Monday Travis went to the Fan Fest. This has to do with the All Star Game for baseball.  I do have pictures from that.  Before he went to that though we met up with some friends and went swimming at a very cool, very cheap water park. 
  • On Tuesday I was brave. I took both boys with me to my classroom.  I was amazed ..... they actually let me get some work done!! 
  • Then on Wednesday we met up with my cousin Anna and her two girls at the Bounz House and then we had lunch. 
  • Today I took the car in for an oil change and because it had two recalls on it that needed to be taken care of.  Toyota said it would be a few hours so we had the shuttle take us to my mom and dad's house so we wouldn't have to hang out around there.  After the big crane took off their old air conditioner and put up their new one we all went for a swim.  That was pretty cool!
Then I wonder why I am tired??  I think I need to get back to work so I can rest a little!  LOL 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Adventure Part 4

Don't worry, I am almost caught up from our California summer adventure!  Last Friday we went to Sonoma and met my Aunt Mary Ann at Train Town.  We had a wonderful time!  Before we left the boys had to have some soccer time together! 

Back when Travis was 3 we took  him to Train Town. This was during his obsession with Thomas the train.  Connor likes trains too, but not nearly as much as his big brother. However, it is a fun little place and I knew that Travis would still enjoy it too.  While we were waiting the kids got to climb through some old train cars. Here is Travis sitting up high in this chair.
Connor enjoyed sitting on the train rides. He was ok with just sitting and climbing on them, no need to put in any quarters!

Here are Connor and I getting ready for our ride!
Here we are with Aunt Mary Ann. 
Uncle Billy and Travis had to ride up front.  I think Travis feels like he is driving it if he sits up close like that!
Once the train reached our destination we got out to look around. On one side there is a petting zoo and the other side has these cute little buildings.  I thought we had as much time as we wanted.  Oops.  We were only there for about 15 minutes then we had to load up and head back. The last time we saw the animals. This time we went in the buildings.  I like the building tour better myself!  Look- they found a jail!!
Travis is teaching school in the school house!  It looks like Connor and Uncle Billy are deep in thought....
Riding on an old fashioned fire truck.
After our return trip on the train Travis wanted to check out some rides. I tried to get Connor to ride on the plane but he was just too scared.  Connor? Scared? It must be something to do with turning 3. I have never known him to be "scared" of much. I am sort of glad to see a little fear set in with him though.
Another carousel ride! Riding the carousel is becoming a favorite of Connor's!
After all of that excitement we went to lunch at Mary's Pizza Shack.  I wish I could say my boys were "angels".... however, I won't tell you how many pictures I took until we got this cute one of the boys with my aunt!  I think they were on overload by this point in the vacation.  Sorry Mary Ann!  Hopefully the next time we see you we will be able to have a more enjoyable eating experience!  LOL
Here is a picture of the happy bunch! 
All in all it was a lot of fun!  It was so nice of my aunt to meet us there, she really made the day special! After this we went home and just "chilled out" so to speak.  A relaxing ending to a fun filled day! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Adventure Part 3

On Thursday we planned to meet up with some friends that live just around the corner from grandma's house.  Karen was friends with Daryle in high school.  Rumor is that she tried setting him up with several of her friends, but nothing ever worked out! When Daryle and I were dating we would run into Karen and James from time to time. Since I was attending college in a different city we didn't get to hang out too often.  We ended up getting married just two months apart, in the same church!  When we did our marriage preparation classes Karen's brother and wife were our mentor teachers. Karen's mom had us on her prayer chain to be praying for couples getting married that summer.  Conicidence or what??!  Then, their first son was born just as they celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary and then later that summer we brought Travis home.  We also were celebrating being married 10 years!  Fast forward a few years and their second son was born.  Six months later we brought home Connor.  Connor is just 6 months older than her son.  We thought it was funny how we had two boys and they were all pretty close in age.  Imagine our surprise when Karen found herself pregnant last fall!  I won't go into details, but this pregnancy was a true miracle due to unforeseen life threatening medical issues for both mother and baby.  As with the first two babies they didn't know the gender until the baby was born.  Surprise, surprise, it was a girl! And she was born on Connor's birthday! I couldn't be in Santa Rosa and not see them so we planned a little get together with the boys.  Here they are early on. Travis and Dominic have been hanging out for years, but this was the first time Derek and Connor had been together since they were little babies.
Travis took this shot of Karen and I. Not too bad!
 It was getting a bit warm so a Popsicle break was in order!
 Connor and Derek enjoyed filling up this water table from the little pool.  I was wondering how in the world we were going to keep all four of these boys out of the pool. Suddenly, this started.....
 A water fight was in full action!!!  They had a BLAST!

 As I was taking these shots I was having a conversation with little Kristen about how I would help protect her from all of those boys! Something tells me she will be able to hold her own though!!  lol
 Travis asked, "Can I pet her?" (I guess we have seen one too many dogs and asked permission for that!) I told him we don't pet babies but he could touch her head if he wanted to. He gave her a gentle pat and I got this picture of them.  He asked where she came from. I told her from Karen's tummy. He kind of looked at me, processed that and then went back to his water fight. I still am not sure what was running through his little brain at that moment!
I can't say for sure whether or not we will keep "matching up" with these two as far as kids go!  On one had we would love to have a little girl. On the other hand I wonder where the money tree will go in my backyard?? Until then I will live through them as they raise this precious little girl!
 After that fun and exhausting afternoon we went back to grandma's house. She was planning a family get together. Here are my boys with Matilda. She was born on Travis' birthday, how weird is that??  Both of my boys have a birthday twin in the same city!  Connor and Matilda are just 3 months apart, they had a super fun time running around together.
 Connor was trying out his scooter.  I love how his little leg is up in the air!
Phew, he is exhausted!  As you can see from the picture above, he didn't get very far!  lol  I guess I didn't get pictures of anybody else that evening. I was busy visiting and chatting it up with everybody.  We had a great time, good food and  good company for sure!