Friday, August 30, 2013

First Day of School 2013

The first day of school was here before we knew it. The kids were up and ready early that morning and excited to start their first day. It's amazing how much they change in a year, or even over the summer. They are looking so big and grown up -- too much for this mama!
This was a big day for them. We made a very last minute decision to change school with just 2 weeks left in the summer. One of the school in our district is changing over to a continuous learning calendar in a year. At the same time they will become an open enrollment school, meaning that anyone in the district can go there and they will potentially fill up faster. This school is an elementary/middle school in one building (kept in 2 very separate areas, but in under the same roof). Well, when they announced that they are going to be a CLC school next year, we decided that we wanted the kids to go there. Matt is a big supporter of this type of school calendar -- it's not that different from a traditional calendar. They will have 3 weeks less summer and get a week off in October, February and April. It helps fight the "summer slide" and provides them the opportunity to do fun/enrichment activities in those weeks off if they want. Or we can go to Disneyworld (hint, hint).
So we decided to go ahead and make the switch now. It will allow the kids one more year to get plugged in at this school. Eventually, it will mean one less school to run through at carpool -- eliminating the 3 kids/3 different schools down the road. Charlotte will go to kindergarten in the same building that Madeleine will start middle school. Awesome!
As an added bonus, Matt will be in their building one-ish day per week. I've learned that we should never set matt's job in stone until the school year actually starts. :) This year, he had the opportunity to change and become the middle/junior high math coach for the district. It all happened the week before inservice started and was quite a whirlwind. But, it's turned out to be the biggest blessing! This is a job that Matt is so well suited for -- he's passionate about math teaching, and more than qualified since he almost has a Ph.D. in this. This job puts him in all the middle/junior high school during the week and he'll be a the kids school some! He won't be in the elementary area, but he can pop over and have lunch with them and take them and bring them home from school. It's perfect!
Also, Madeleine's teacher this year lives across the street from us which is great! And, her oldest is in Harrison's first grade class & they sit together.
All that to say that this was a big, exciting first day!

 This is Madeleine with her sweet teacher, Mrs. Meesey.
 Harrison & his buddy Hayden.
 Harrison & his teacher, Mrs. Brown.
 They are off to a great start and already adjusting to their new school well! We are ready for a great school year.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Last Week of Summer

Before I knew it the last week of summer had rolled around. We had done most of the fun things on our summer list, but we still had a few remaining. I knew we wouldn't actually get to everything this summer, but it was great to have a list of ideas for days that we needed something fun to do.
So the kids and I decided to pack the last week of summer with as much fun as possible! We started out Monday at the pool. I snapped this picture of Charlotte on our way there -- such a diva! 
 Monday night Matt came home early and Madeleine & I had a girls night out. We wanted to have one before school started and this was the only night we had free all week. We went to eat Chinese food (her choice) and then did some shopping at the mall. She's been asking to explore our mall, not that there is much to explore, but it was what she wanted to do. Then we made a stop at the bookstore and then at Braums for dessert. It was a great evening of talking and we did some serious "girl talk" as well that night.
 Tuesday we played at home and had a Wii tournament. Then in the afternoon we headed to Fun City to play. The kids had been wanting to go to Fun City for awhile and this was a good night. Matt met us there and we ordered dinner and took advantage of their double tokens night. :)

There was a crazy skeeball machine that night that was shooting out tickets like crazy and all 3 kids ended up with a huge number of tickets to redeem which made the night even better for them!
 Wednesday morning we got up and headed to Rogers to go bowling. The bowling alley up there had a free bowling program for kids this summer and we've had fun bowling several times. They have these cool dino-tails that Charlotte & Harrison can use to help them and everyone is happy.
 This girl got a strike her first try!

 We finished up bowling and met up with AJ, Drew & Titus for lunch at Chick Fil A. We'd been planning for Harrison to have a long afternoon playdate with Drew while Adam was at a birthday party and they could have some special time together. He was so excited!! It worked out great, because Madeleine, Charlotte & I met up with the Scogin girls to have back to school pedicures. This was Charlotte's first pedicure and she was in heaven!
 Charlotte & Whitney having such a fun time together! I couldn't help smiling the whole time just looking at them -- they were loving every moment!

 We headed back to their house to play for awhile -- Whitney wanted to ride with us so we did a quick car seat switch and Madeleine rode with the big girls and I took the little girls. Their conversation was so cute on the way!
 Thursday was pretty low key for us. We needed to double check school supplies and label everything. The Scogins came over to our house to play that day and then late in the afternoon we headed to open house at the kids new school!

 Friday morning was open house at Charlotte's new preschool. I took a bag of colors/books and Madeleine and Harrison were amazingly good and sat out in the hall for an hour while I met with Char's teacher and got the scoop about her school. And, Charlotte was pretty excited about starting!
 She has a really sweet teacher and I know she's going to have a great year!
 I love these sweet friends!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Branson Bound

We did a family trip to Branson in July for a couple of days just to get away. We swam and made good use of our SDC passes! The kids were excited to get out of town (who am I kidding, we were all excited) and go to Branson.
I think we actually picked the hottest days of July to go. We didn't last long at SDC and ended up swimming at the pool lots. The heat was killer those days and trekking around outside got to us. The first day we parked and decided to walk up the hill to SDC instead of waiting in line for the tram -- the line was long and we got there faster walking, but that walk almost did us in! We decided to try a water ride, which surprisingly didn't have a long line. Out of all of us, I'm the only one that got completely soaked and after that I was pretty much done. Nothing like walking around in soaking wet pants and shoes in the blazing heat. It was not a happy time for me.
I was much happier when we got back to the pool and went swimming! The water felt great, it wasn't crowded and we had such a fun family time!

 We did dinner that night at Fuddruckers! We were all starving after that full day of fun.

 Then it was Marble Slab for dessert. Yum!

 The rest of the trip was more of the same. It was a great time!

 We can't do a trip to Branson without stopping to do bumper boats! I stayed out and took pictures this time -- last time I got so soaked that we drove home with my shorts hanging out the window to dry -- and crossing our fingers the whole way that we wouldn't get stopped for anything! Ha!

This was a perfect little getaway for the 5 of us! We are hoping to get to go back this fall once things settle back into a routine.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Water Park Fun

One of our more fun adventures this summer was the discovery of 2 water parks. There is a new one in Rogers that just opened this year and is amazing!  It was perfect for our family -- small enough that Madeleine can run around by herself and I feel safe about it, but big enough that we can stay 4 hours and no one is ready to leave. We went several times, sometimes alone, sometime with friends and it was always so fun. We discovered that if we go after 4pm, not only is it much cheaper, it's also not crowded at all! 

 We also ventured out to the water park that's just minutes from our home in Prairie Grove. It's smaller than Rogers, but it's so close. It had some great slides and they had life jackets for the kids to wear on the diving board and on the deep water slides.

Charlotte is fearless! She can't swim, but can hold her breath under water. Once she discovered that she can wear a life jacket and jump off the diving board/do the deep slides she was off! Matt & I took turns in the water with her just in case, but she did those 2 things in that deep water over and over! It made me laugh to see Charlotte, all 37 inches of her, in line with big ol' teens. :)
 Harrison did it too with a life jacket and was pretty proud of himself!

 The deep water slides were so fun! Matt and I did those lots too so we'd be close to the kids.
I'm pretty sure that water parks will be high on our list for next summer!