Wednesday, August 31, 2011

School's In: Off To A Rocky Start

Today marks day 3 of school but for Kaitlyn she's only been in one day! Fevers have hit our house hard and while Kaitlyn made it to the first day of school she managed to pick up her sister's fever. Alyssa started it, then Julianna had it higher and for longer than Alyssa did so I kept the girls home on Monday. At least we got Kaitlyn's first-day-of-middle-school picture! Doesn't she look so excited to be going??
Caleb started 2nd grade on Monday and he has been doing great. I think he secretly likes school though he won't admit it to his big sister :)
Kaitlyn seems a little more excited when she gets to school and has the joy of having her own locker:
I can't tell if this is the "I'm happy about this" look or her "I have no other choice but to be here" look...
At least Caleb's ready to get started!
The little girls started K4 on Tuesday. Because their birthday falls in November they have another year of preschool before Kindergarten. While they feel like they are ready for Kindergarten, I'm really glad they aren't there yet!
Some sisterly love (they did this on their own!)
So eager to get to class that they don't even wait for mom or wave goodbye.
Miss Miles has a whole basket full of apples this year :)
Alyssa doesn't miss a beat as she gets right back into the swing of things.
And Rachel got right back to playing with her favorite friend, Cody - we talk about him often at our house! So cute, that she has a crush at her age :)
Looks like the girls will be going five full days a week so that I can work a few mornings a week at the school. I'm a little nervous about my duties but the girls couldn't be more excited to be going every day. They LOVE school and for now even their big sister can't talk them out of it! We are praying for a great year. It's certainly going to be really busy around here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Dorinda!

I know this post is a day late, but we were gone all weekend at a church retreat, so I'm just now getting it up. Anyway, for those who couldn't join us lat week for Dorinda's surprise party, please help me in wishing the love of my life a very Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Life Is Full Of Surprises

Like today, for example, when I was sitting at lunch with the kids and Kirk and the table begins to shake.

I was *this close* to turning to yell at the kids to stop shaking the table because really it wasn't funny to be shaking the table so hard when I realize the entire building is shaking. And not just our building but the building next door!

Kirk says, "It's an earthquake."

But despite all the evidence that he's right I'm still thinking, "No way, we live in Virginia, how could this be an earthquake?"

I'm sure if you've seen the news you know it was in fact an earthquake. Details HERE - so while I thought it was the kids shaking the table and the kids thought it was daddy shaking the table it was actually, well God, shaking the table :)

For me, this was my second surprise of the week.

On Saturday evening Kirk through me a surprise party for my 35th birthday. He very sweetly invited my friends, ordered the food and picked up the decorations. He arranged for my SIL to take me out to a movie to get me out of the house, cleaned everything up and pulled it all together.


Yummy spread!

Could I really be that old??!!

Thank you sweetheart for giving me one of life's good surprises!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Night At The Fair

Two years ago to the day we took all the kids to the county fair - the triplets for the first time. Last year we missed it (I think we were out of town) but this year thanks to a Certifikid deal (like Groupon) we were able to take all of us plus a few more to the fair - rides included! And oh how they rode and rode and rode.

Two years ago they didn't get a chance to ride the ferris wheel - this year it's the first thing we did :)

Waiting on line with Aunt Liz.

Riding the wheel - don't they look excited?

After that we made our way around the fair from one ride to the next.

First it was the little red roller coaster:

Then it was the elephant ride that went up and down in a circle:

And the boat ride - went up and down in a circle (lots of circles here) - this was a favorite and the girls begged to go again and again. After two times around I encouraged them to another ride. That one was and I quote "boring!" Had to laugh though they were right - compared to the boat ride, it was boring :)

More circles in a construction vehicle:

And then in a go-kart (the sad face is because she's in the blue truck):

And the big kids? They were all with dad so they could ride the big rides rather than the little kid ones :)

Pretty much the only thing we could go together on was the big slide in the middle of the park. Funny thing it's pretty much the only one that didn't go in a circle!

The big kids did their fair share of circles too:

Besides rides we also checked out the animals - the girls pet sheep, saw baby goats, big cows, little pigs and lots of roosters and chickens.

We also saw some bees - which doesn't sound hugely fascinating to me but the girls loved every second and asked all kinds of questions. Who knew?

Know who this is? It's Alyssa! You knew that right? :) Our good friend and favorite babysitter drew it - and look at that - she one first place!

I think she got Alyssa's expression spot on - don't you?

We had a great time at the fair and I'm so glad we went! We're already looking forward to next year!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Girls: Julianna

Every day we inch closer to 5 years old. I can hardly believe that it's this close! The girls have all requested that they not turn 5 because they know they will get shots at the doctors. It cracks me up because they will actually catch themselves asking for birthday gifts and realize it means they will have a birthday so then they will say, "not for my birthday mommy, for Christmas because I don't want those shots!" Too funny.

I still get asked from time to time how I tell the girls apart. While everyone still knows which one is Rachel (the blonde one) many people still have trouble telling who is who between Julianna and Alyssa. This always makes me smile because the two of them couldn't be more different than night and day.

To prove my point I thought I would share a little bit about my girls. Julianna is my girly-girl; the one who loves to dress up, to wear make-up, to pretend she's an adult, to get her nails done. So, it doesn't surprise me one bit when new clothes come in the mail (the ones I picked out for our professional fall pictures later this year) that she would want to try them on immediately!

And like a good mother how could I refuse? Besides, I've been anxious to begin learning Photoshop. Yes, me! After all, I'm married to one of the best graphics artists every (yes, I'm a little bias but that doesn't mean it's not the truth!) - on top of which he's a very good teacher so I thought maybe he could show me some things to spruce up some of my photos.

Here's to giving it a try!

My before photo:

And my touch-ups (with Kirk's help of course!)

(yes, I know her bangs are a little long - we're growing them out - hopefully by picture time they will stay back!)

And the whole outfit - my lighting wasn't that great and a little shadowy but she really wanted to pose by the tree.


I did most of the work on this one though Kirk did some work lightening up her face - hopefully I will find time to improve my skills soon!


And just because she's so cute and having fun and I love the photos of the girls on the steps (you'll see when I get to a post about Alyssa)



And as if you needed to see more to remind us how much of a girl she is - she also sings and has absolutely no camera shyness! I hope you can hear all the words she says - I couldn't help but laugh at one point - sorry about that!

Yes, yes, I'm in trouble when she grows up and the fact that I have three of them isn't lost on me!! Can't help but love them all though :)

Monday, August 01, 2011

Still Celebrating Kaitlyn's Birthday!

Kaitlyn turned 11 on July 19th but that doesn't mean we stopped celebrating. We have, in fact, been celebrating for over a month. In June while we were in Florida we celebrated with Aunt Kim and Uncle Daniel. Then two days before her birthday as a family, then on her birthday in Luray with our close friends and finally this past weekend with a few of her closest friends spending the night.

Boy did Caleb feel like the odd man out with SOO many girls here! Add all the girls to girly things like make-up and nails and I know Caleb was wishing he could have found a place to hide :)

The girls on the other hand seemed to have a lot of fun!

They got their nails and make-up done with special help from my sister-in-law, Liz (on make-up) and my good friend Lisa (who does an awesome job on nails!)

Because the big girls chose to play outside in the sprinkler the little girls cut in line to get their fingers and toes done. The best part for them? The color doesn't come off in the bath! (they had some little girl "nail polish" that wiped right off and they were so disappointed)

The "drying chair" - seemed to be the perfect place for the girls to wait for their nails to dry...

(Sorry about the yellowish color - our flash still isn't working so inside pictures aren't that great - sadly all the other pictures we got of the big girls are too blurry to see)

But the biggest highlight of the night?

The cake!

The before picture: a candyland cake FULL of candy thanks to Mrs. Shepherd

The after picture: the cake is completely destroyed but their bellys were all full and happy!

Now that it's August Kaitlyn is officially officially 11 and I think we can stop celebrating now... at least until next year!