Monday, August 30, 2010

Ready Or Not, We Started School

And I was NOT ready.

I felt like we were scrambling around, throwing things together. Like I'd forgotten how to make lunches or get kids dressed :)

But somehow the 7 of us got out the door and to school on time.

And don't they look cute going?

(apparantly the cat wanted to go along!)

Kaitlyn is an official 5th grader. She did great on her first day back though I think she's forgotten a few things since 4th grade :)

Caleb is a 1st grader. He said his first day didn't feel too much like school - not sure if that's a good thing or not! Maybe his teacher has to give him harder work.

And the triplets are officially preschoolers!!

Do notice Julianna's bangs - she did that to herself - nice right? And just days before school. I hope I see a little growth before school pictures - I have NO idea what I'm going to do...

When I came back to pick them up Julianna was wailing that she hadn't napped. Poor thing was so tired. I think she was hungry too as they have no afternoon snack since they are supposed to be sleeping! I carried her out as she cried both about leaving and about coming back (who can understand 3-year-old logic?) - after some time to reflect at home she wants to go back to school and is disappointed she won't be returning tomorrow. We have all assured her she will get to return on Wednesday :)

Isn't Rachel a doll? She wasn't completely innocent in the hair cutting incident though she has learned to cut layers into her hair instead of cutting off her bangs :)

She did the best in preschool - the only one who napped and the only one who didn't cry. Kaitlyn reported overhearing their teacher saying, "Rachel, you're the line leader, Julianna get up off the floor and Alyssa stop crying" - oh, I'm so glad it's not my problem for a few hours!!

Alyssa didn't nap either but she often doesn't so she wasn't as distraught over it as Julianna. Apparantly though she did have a few minor meltdowns but she has an experienced teacher who handled it quite well and said all three of them did very well for this first official day of preschool. I'm proud of them - 7 hours is a long day and they all did as well as could be expected.

What did I do with my free time?

Well, I didn't have any. For one thing I'm still babysitting this week so I left all 5 of my children at school but came home with 2 of somebody else's. Not as ideal as I would like but it's only for this week until they go back to school next week. I did, however, drag them along with me on errands all day and with no nap time to worry about we were able to get a lot done.

For the first time I have high hopes that I can get my house in order and get rid of stuff we don't need. Though if all my "off" days end up like today I'm not sure that will happen.

I need to get to bed or tomorrow will be even worse than today!

Here's to a great new school year and a whole new chapter in life...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Dorinda


As I look back on all that's happened... growing up, growing together, changing you, changing me -- there were times when we dreamed together, when we laughed together and cried together. As I look back on those days, I realize how much I truly miss you when we are apart and how much I truly love you when together. The past may be gone forever... and whatever the future holds, our todays make the memories of tomorrow. So, my lifetime friend, it is with all my heart that I send you my love and warmest Birthday Wishes, hoping that you'll always carry my smile with you, for all we have meant to each other and for whatever the future may hold.

Happy Birthday my Love,

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Few Days In Luray

For a few short days this was our home away from home in Luray, VA. A bit rustic and woodsy but it's large enough to fit our family as well as some friends and their 4 kids.

Our view from the house:

Last year this was the lake where Caleb caught his first fish :) This year Julianna and Rachel also caught a fish.

Julianna is going a long way towards dispelling her girly-girl image :)

Caleb trying for another fish - took him 2 days but he finally caught one. He REALLY enjoys fishing. I think he gets that from my brother because he does NOT get it from me :)

I should use the term "catch" loosely - it's more like they set their fishing poles in the water after dad put the worm on it and the fish took the bait but hey, they caught a fish! And Rachel even caught the biggest one :)

Our first day there was rainy so the kids enjoyed fishing and swinging on the tire swing Kirk hung up for them :)

At dinner we didn't eat fish but we did kick the kids out of the dining room!

Our second day was also slightly overcast so we decided not to go swimming at the lake and instead went hiking up the mountin. Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared for this - I had beach clothes and shoes! Oops :)

The kids didn't seem to mind and they did really well hiking the 1.2 miles down to the waterfall:

Well, that's partly true - Alyssa made it about 2/3 of the way before breaking down in tears unless she was carried - Rachel also seemed to give up about that point so Kirk and I hiked back up while everyone else continued down to the waterfall. I was disappointed not to see the waterfall though I wasn't disappointed to get off the seriously rocky trail in my flip-flops!

The group that made it down :)

I hear Julianna did very well finishing the trek down and heading back up. I'm very impressed that she and Rachel did so well on the trail since it was soo rocky and rarely level. Kaitlyn and Caleb also enjoyed the hike - I guess I have a few outdoor types - they didn't get that from me either...

A shot of the waterfall - at least I think it is since I didn't take it :)

Friday we left the house and did some swimming at the lake and we had a great time then too - we had perfectly warm weather. We enjoyed our time away and are already looking forward to next year!

Can't think about that right now though - this is the kids last week of summer - soo hard to believe and so much to do. At least Alyssa seems to be potty trained - yep, that fast! She has also given up diapers at night and moved on to pull-ups - she has finally taken notice of what her sisters wear to bed and wants to be just like them. That and she really doesn't want to miss school. Of course, she's already telling me she doesn't want to wear the pull-up either but I'm going to give her a while with that even though she has woken up dry already!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Goodbye Diapers

It has been 10 long years.

Even though my children are 3 years or more apart (except the triplets of course) none of them were out of diapers before the next one (or three) came along. We have not had a break from diapers in 10 years and 1 month.

But now things have changed.

Now we are down to 1 diaper a day!

Julianna and Rachel are fully potty trained - through the night and everything - they have been for about 2 months now.

But Alyssa is different. Alyssa is taking a little more time but she's catching on and I'm not going back. So right now she wears just one diaper a day and that's to bed at night (a pull-up during nap but she's kept them dry most days and I'm not counting that as a diaper).

I want to do a diaper burning dance! I can't believe it's finally happened.

Goodbye diapers, I won't miss you...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Oh My Word, Oh My Word...

Sorry, I'm just a little bit overwhelmed right now - it seems my girls will be going to preschool in a few weeks - THREE FULL DAYS! What?!


Take a breath. It's a good thing.


Of course.

Except it's just I haven't been home without a child for TEN years! I barely know what one hour home alone feels like let alone 7 hours 3 days a week. What in the world do I do?

The bigger question: how did my girls even get big enough for preschool?

Sure 2 of them are completely potty trained (Alyssa has yet to start and oh yea, add that to my list over the next 3 weeks - potty train her so she can go to school) but still, they are still my babies.

Except they aren't anymore.

They are big girls. They remind me all the time. With what they say and what they do. The above photo was taken at the insistance of the girls. They were playing outside and decided they were very cute and I should take a picture of it.

This is a great age and I enjoy so much of it. Not the fighting or the constant whining and tears but I love how they play together, how they look out for each other, how they love their big brother and sister.

The funniest thing in our house is how the best friends change from one moment to the next. They don't quite get how they are sisters and how that is different than friends so whenever one of them matches another one at that moment they are best friends. Sometimes it's about the hair - Julianna and Alyssa have the same color hair so they are best friends. But then Rachel and Julianna will be eating the same cereal for breakfast so they are best friends. If Alyssa matches Caleb then he is her best friend. It's a rotating title and it cracks me up.

The best is when Julianna puts her arm through mine and says we are best friends because that's how best friends walk together. How cute is that?!

In my head I'm working on a post of the fun things they say but they always seem to slip my mind even when I swear they won't.

They are my sweet princesses. Somehow I let Kaitlyn and Caleb get older and there seems to be nothing I can do to stop the triplets from growing up either. Of course I know this.

This is reality. This is what happens.

But while I can enjoy every second it doesn't mean I have to like the fact that all five of my once babies are now old enough to walk, talk and OH MY WORD...

Go to school!!

What am I doing blogging? I have a MILLION things to do to get ready and barely three weeks to get it all done in.

Anyone have tiny uniforms they're not using?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Not Sure I Like My Shoulders Medium Rare

Ouch! My sunburn is killing me. I know it's my own fault for the lack of sunscreen but when I'm the only adult in charge of 7 kids at the lake a few things slip my mind...

After all the thunderstorms we had a nice day (read: extremely hot day) at Lake Anna. The scenery was beautiful but I'm still not a fan of the water/sand combo. A friend of mine invited me along and despite having to take 7 kids by myself I decided to go ahead and go. Yea, I'm crazy.

I'm grateful the 4 bigger kids are very good swimmers and are able to be independent. They enjoyed the chance to get out of the house for the day...

And enjoy the sun and sand (which they seem to like a lot more than I do!)

Caleb really wanted to build a sand castle. He got plenty of help from the other kids around and he wanted to be sure that I shared with you that if you want to make something nice all you have to do is ask other people for help. I'm paraphrasing but that's pretty close :)

Julianna spent most of her time on the shore playing in the sand:

But she did find some time to go swimming.

Rachel and Alyssa on the other hand spent most of their time in the water both by themselves and with the bigger girls.

We also met cousin Amber, Branson and Addelynne there. Amber is still in VA with her MIL (pray for Amber - she just found out her husband will not be coming home on leave at all and she won't be able to see him again till next March - a FULL year apart!!)

Branson swam with Alyssa and Rachel.

And on the sand with Julianna - he really loves the triplets and they love him!

As for me, I'm still recovering - sleeping is hard, moving is harder but we still had a very active weekend. But don't feel sorry for me, my sad, pale skin may soon have the slightest glint of a tan...