Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sleeping Beauty

I love this picture of Charlotte sleeping with her baby. I have it on my phone as well and she loves to look at it. 
We have quite the bedtime routine with Charlotte. It's one of my favorite parts of the day -- she is so sweet and we have such a good time getting her ready for bed.

Charlotte is my rocking baby -- she loves to rock! She won't rock all the way to sleep, but we rock and talk and sing each night. She started to say her own prayers this summer (June 24 for the first time). She says folds her little hands and says "Dear God, Thank you mommy, daddy, bubba, sissy, char-char." Then she fills in the rest with things from her day -- we often hear ice cream, bed, books, park, slide, etc. I usually cut her off and say " In Jesus Name" and she yells AMEN and throws her hands up in the air!

She also looooves to sing. We have quite a repetoire of songs that we sing. She can sing and knows the words to:
*Jesus loves me
*Jesus loves the little children
*Oh how I love Jesus -- this is one of my favorites. There is nothing like her little voice singing this and she knows the first verse as well. :)
*This is the day the Lord has made
*Oh God you are my God
*You are my sunshine
*The Wise Man
*Gospel Chariot
*Christian Light
*God made the round sun
*This is my Father's World

I'm sure there are more, but this is off the top of my head. :) She loves to sing and is like a sponge learning the words to these songs. I love when we sing one of them in church and she gets to sing along.

We sing and sing at night before bed while we rock. She snuggles up to us and is so sweet. When it's time to tuck her in, she roots down in her bed. We have to go over a list before we leave -- she askes if there is Thunder, Rain, Boom-booms (thunder again), flies, lightening. We say no to each of them and then she's off to sleep. Thankfully she is still an amazing sleeper -- she has to be to keep her energy level so high during the day!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Soccer 2012

This year it's Harrison's turn to try out a sport. He decided this summer that he wanted to play soccer and we signed up for both the fall and spring seasons. He has such a great coach this year and a great little team. It's been the perfect first experience for him. Fayetteville actually has such a huge soccer league for 5/6 boys that it has made 2 leagues -- and as it would happen one of Harrison best friends from school is in the same league and so our team plays them and they practice right next to each other. :)
Matt and I have been dividing and conquering on Saturday mornings. It's crazy out there so one of us takes Harrison so he gets some good attention and the other one keeps the girls. There have been times we've all gone because we do want to teach them the importance of cheering on each other. And, this week we decided that we are going to skip Tuesday night practices most weeks. It's just been too much for Harrison to be gone from 5-7 on Tuesday nights and then again for church on Wednesday nights. So we made the decision that church is the most important thing -- and while we don't like skipping practices and we want to promote the importance of team/teamwork -- we ultimately want to teach our kids that God comes first always.
Matt took Harrison to his game last Saturday and they played his buddy Owen's team -- Matt said the two of them talked almost the entire game, oblivious to what all was going on around them. :) I'm so so thankful that Harrison is making such good friends at school this year.
I took most of these pictures a couple of weeks ago at their first "real" game. 

 And, one of Miss Charlotte practicing her soccer skills. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New Park

We've discovered a new park near our house that we just love! There is almost never anyone there and it's HUGE. :) There is a playground for the big kids that has so much to do and there is a smaller one for Miss Charlotte. I snapped some pics one day last week when we stopped by after school. I packed a snack and we nibbled and played for an hour before heading home. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Getting Back into the Swing

We have survived the first 5 weeks of school! Yay! It's been quite a transition, having 2 of them in school full time this year and Charlotte in school 2 mornings a week. This is the first week that has been a "normal" week, with everyone settled and in our routine.
I'd forgotten just how busy the school year is! Somedays I long for the slow pace of summer and all the fun things we did and not being so tied to a schedule. I had so much that I thought I was going to get done when school started and my list seems to be getting longer by the day and my days seem to be getting busier -- how is that? It seems like most days I don't even sit down! With Charlotte in school 2 mornings a week, I'm volunteering at the big kids school in a kindergarten classroom either one or both mornings for a bit. I love doing this! It's fun for me and helps the teachers out too. :) And, we've added a new mentor family which is keeping me quite busy as well. Add in church, soccer, playdates, and let's not forget the never-ending pile of laundry and life is just busy! But, I love every moment. I love falling into bed at night just exhausted because I've given it all that day.
The school transition has been a tough one on Harrison. Poor kiddo. He cries almost every morning when he gets to his classroom, but is fine after just a few minutes. It's just a rough time for him. He's is missing be home with me so much and the feeling is definitly shared by me! I miss having my sweet boy with me all day. Even though he went to preschool this year, he really spent most of his week with me and I guess we just had too much fun! He's getting better all the time but it just breaks my heart to see him crying. Thankfully, by the time I pick him up each day, he's happy and full of stories about school. He's found a best friend who is the sweetest little boy and they have made a group of about 5 little boys that play together at recess every day. I love hearing him talk about them each day!
Madeleine is doing great, as usual. Third grade is quite different from second grade though. She has alot more homework this year -- we always have math and reading homework as well as studying for a weekly spelling test and whatever other test she might have. So far, they've had 2 big math tests, 5 multiplication tests, and a geography test. Yikes! And, reading today isn't what reading was when I was in third grade. Madeleine is currently reading a scaled down version of The Odyssey. The Odyssey. Crazy?! They read one chapter a day with their reading group and she has to read one chapter at home and respond to a writing prompt over what she read. I have to admit though that I'm enjoying reading it along with her. :) We are trying to create the come home/do homework asap routine which is tough, but in the end she's always glad to have it out of the way and be able to play until bed.
One of the things I did at the beginning of school to help us create a routine was to make morning/night charts for Madeleine & Harrison. I made them to cover the first 5 weeks and so we finish up today! They have done a great job and now our mornings are much easier and we get a lot done before heading out the door -- most mornings the kids even have 15-30 minutes to play which is something they both just need. At the end of each week they get to pick something from the treasure chest which is filled with toys, lego sets, games, candy, etc. Everything had a point value and they could earn up to 5 points/week for filling out each day (snuck in a little math lesson there too!). 

Charlotte and I are enjoying our days together. I'd forgotten just how easy it is to have only one child with me all day! It is lonelier when we go to the park or playing at home, but we have lots of friends and playdates! We try and take a short walk a lot of days after lunch and before nap....this one day she wanted to take her stroller with her.

And, I have to add this picture because she is a mess!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The beginning of preschool

September 5th was Charlotte's first day of preschool. She's going two mornings (9-1) a week this year to a preschool at a church near our house. She was so excited that morning! But, as we got a little closer to going into the building, she got more clingy. I left her with a few tears that day, but since then she's done just fine! She already loves her teachers and has so much to tell me about her day! They are painting and coloring and playing outside. They have art and music and chapel. And, it's so fun to listen to her get to talk about what she's doing at school -- she is always eager to get bubba and sissy to tell them too! 

I can't believe how big she is getting! 3 years old is just around the corner!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Moving UP

August 26th was the Sunday before promotion Sunday at our church which meant that it was the last day for Charlotte to be in the nursery. I've had a baby in the nursery for most of 8 years, and the times that I didn't I was pregnant and knew I'd be back there in a few months. My baby is growing up and I still can't believe I no longer will have a baby in a nursery class. She has loved loved loved her time in this class. She has had some amazing teachers but her favorites are most definitely Ms. Leslee and Mrs. Kay. Each Sunday we talk about Mrs. Kay and what she's doing as we get ready....Mrs. Kay getting dressed, eating her breakfast, driving to church. And, Charlotte adores Ms. Leslee and I think the feeling is quite mutual! This class and these wonderful teachers have been such a part of our life and have loved our Charlotte and taken such good care of her.
 It was Harrison's last day in the Pre-K class on the toddler side of the building. Now he's going over where the big kids go to class. He's so ready to move on, but he has had some wonderful teachers as well.
It wasn't a big day for Madeleine (thus no picture) because our 2nd & 3rd grades are combined right now, so she's staying put at least for another year. :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Going out with a BANG!

I wanted to do something fun to celebrate the end of summer. One of my friends did a water balloon fight last year with her family and I decided to borrow her awesome idea! The final friday of summer, we had a fun morning playing/lunching with friends. Then it was home for naps/rest time and to get ready for our big blow out. I'd been talking this up to the kids and they were soooo excited! We grilled out and they played on the blowup. Then it was time for the big fun!
We started with a silly string fight. They actually didn't like it too much at first, but then found out it's waaaay more fun to shoot it at people than to be chased and shot at. :) 

 I'm not sure, but I think Matt may have had more fun than anyone! After silly string we started on the water balloons. At one point there was silly string and water balloons flying around us everywhere. Fun!
 We ended the night with more fun on the blowup. Charlotte has finally semi-conquered her fear of going down the slide and being pelted by water.

It was a great way to end our summer! I'm thinking it might also be a fun way to start out summer as well. ;)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

We've had a busy Labor Day weekend around our house! Tropical Depression Isaac came through Friday and we thought we were going to have to cancel our plans, but it ended up clearing up faster than we'd thought. So, we packed up and headed out early Saturday morning. We started for Little Rock and got there just about lunch time -- just in time for the amazing taco salad spread my mom had for us.

We spent the afternoon hanging out in LR with my family. Sugar and Stewart came over and Sug and I got to go out for a bit and do some baby shopping. I have to say that the highlight of the weekend was getting to feel my nephew kick for the first time!

We spent the rest of Saturday hanging around the house, watching the kids play, eating bbq for dinner and laughing around the table after dinner -- so hard that at one point I was crying!

After the kids were settled for the night, I got to spend some time working with my dad on my lesson for class on Wednesday night. I'm getting to speak in our Women's class this week and I'm very excited and very nervous. Although, after this weekend I feel ready for it -- finally!I've been working on it for awhile now and I just needed some help tying up some loose ends. I know that I'm one very lucky girl to have such an great resource at my disposal and my dad was infinitely helpful and encouraging.

Sunday morning we got up and went to early service at PV which was great, as always. Then we headed up to Searcy to visit with Grammy & Pops. We had lunch with them and enjoyed getting to visit -- poor Pops was laid up most of the time with a bad back but we still had a fun time. We headed home that afternoon so we'd have Monday to catch up and get ready for the week. Matt had a crazy week last week and we needed a day to recoup.

Today has been a full day around our house. We've had a great mixture of work and fun -- I went to the grocery store, we went to a new park, Matt mowed our very weedy lawn, I worked out, we went to the pool, I finished my power point, Matt worked on his on-line class, we played on the blowup and I got a new phone. It's been a very full and fun day!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pool Pics

We have had such fun at the pool this summer. I've only brought my camera with me a couple of times since keeping up with 3 of them leaves me too busy for pictures! We've come a long way this summer in our swimming -- we started the summer with Madeleine only being able to swim a bit and Harrison & Charlotte staying in the shallow end. By the time summer ended, both Madeleine & Harrison are swimming all over the place and Charlotte is right there with them in her floatie! It has actually been a really fun summer at the pool -- the kids are able to play on their own and with us in the deep end.
We found this great floatie for Charlotte and it gave her a new life at the pool. :) She is all over the place -- jumping in and swimming around.  I'm going to be sad to see our pool time come to an end. It's been part of our daily norm this year and something all of us really enjoy.

 They love nothing more at the pool that having Daddy throw them across the water. I'm not sure Matt's back will ever be the same after this year. :) I will never forget Charlotte's little voice saying over and over, "Daddy, throw me a BIG one."