Sunday, August 31, 2008

Last day at the Lake 2008

Jolene and Neil invited all of the kids and Grandkids to the lake for one last hurrah in 2008. We had sandwiches planned for us at lunch and a wonderful grilled pork loin planned for dinner. It was one of those days to catch up with family, relax, and abuse the water toys one last time.

Grant and Gage were the most memorable...Grant was dancing and singing to every hip hop song we could play on the iPod. It is just amazing how young they start this stuff. We kept telling Nichole and Eric that the Catholic school teachers might need to be a little worried. : )

Gage was having a hay day in the sandy beach digging and flinging dirt everywhere. Pretty soon there was a hole deep enough to bury him in, so the girls obliged. They started to cover Gage up. Next they were filling the hole with water and they were encouraging gage to jump in the puddle. It was sooo funny the way he jumped in it with absolutely no fear...straight up in the air and straight down...

Danny and I also rode the jet skis with Benji and Laurie. I took over control from Danny and drove the jet ski at one point. I had a blast. I was laughing and jumping waves like a crazy person. Danny kept asking if I was trying to throw him off. : )

Such a fun day. It is just amazing how fast the summer goes.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Long time no post...

Looks like I haven't posted since before Labor Day...we have been crazy busy as usual. Let's see where did I leave off...

Saturday, August 30 we headed to Chuck E Cheese for a belated birthday party for Eliza. A lot of fun was had by all. Adults included!!! We had never hosted a party there before, but they make it really easy. All I brought was the cake. I booked the place on-line, and they did the pizza, drinks, games, goodie bags, and ice cream there. This kids ran around and around the place winning tickets like crazy... Here are some photos.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Back to School Night...

We met Skylar's teacher tonight. We learned about the classroom expectations (resilience, respect, responsibility, resourceful) and consequences. We learned that Skylar's goal for the school year was to learn cursive. We also completed a questionnaire about Skylar to teach Ms. Olson about Skylar's strengths and weaknesses in and out of the classroom...I hope you have a wonderful year, girl.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Look what I got in the mail today...

OWL STAMPS!!!! Owls just make me so happy lately, and this stamp set is new from Stampin' Up. I have a friend who is a consultant and ordered these as soon as the catalog was available.
YAY!!! The best surprise was the stamp that says, whoo-la-la. : )
Too funny! This has become an inside joke with Joan, Kevin, Jenn, and I due to a phone conversation that lead to Eliza saying, "ooh-la-la, ooh-la-la, ooh-la-la". She was so cute repeating it over and over and now we repeatedly encourage her to say it...
I can see the layout I will do with this stamp now...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First trip to Starbucks

Well, I finally did it...I had a drink at Starbucks. I know, I know it has been an American staple for several years, but I am not a coffee drinker and didn't get the fascination.
Well, I had the chance to catch up with Mom and Aunt Lynnae today and the West Des Moines Starbucks, and it was the highlight of my day! My Fat Free Chai Tea Latte was wonderful, but more importantly the company was a breath of fresh air in my chaotic week. I love you, ladies!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Horse back riding and other outdoorsy stuff..**edited with photos**

We started the day at a birthday party for Sydney and Halle at the Jester Park equestrian center in Granger. It was a very pleasant party. All of the kids were excited to ride the ponies, and the ponies were well behaved. Skylar rode Breaker and Eliza rode (sorry I can't remember I will have to fill in when it hits me). There were about 6 horses in all, I believe, and the party goers took turns with the birthday girls riding twice. (I will upload pictures later and check some of my facts on the video we took) They just casually walked around a ring with trainers leading the horses the whole time, but they encouraged the girls to give commands like Whoa! and Walk on! to learn a little bit about how the horses were trained. I was a little concerned with the kids being scared and walking behind the horses and such, but the kids and the ponies were all very calm. Have I said this was a very pleasant party. Thanks again, Herricks! Happy birthday Sydney and Halle!!!

We then headed back towards home with Delaney along to try our hand at some fishing. Skylar had a melt down Saturday about not having enough family time, so Danny promised a fishing day. Knowing my irritation with heat and bugs this is usually not a long-lived event for me, so I brought our swimming gear along hoping to get to the pool at some point too. We had a very fun time, and I felt like the paparazzi. I had either a camera or video camera going at all times to capture the muddy girls. They were all splashing in the mud at the creek and giggling up a storm. I am so thankful for the video...don't kill me , Jenn, for Delaney's soaked shoes and jeans. There were several worms sacrificed, many fish caught and released, and even a couple fish kissed. We brought three nets along as well, and the girls had fun hunting frogs, butterflies, and grasshoppers also. Thanks for the fun, Dad!!!

We did get to the pool after a couple of hours at the creek. Delaney had fallen in to her thighs and was getting a little annoyed with the wet clothes. The cure...swimsuits. We played in the pool for about 3 hours while Danny mowed the pasture. We had a nice visit with Aunt Kathy and Grandma Mary while we were there too. It was a very nice Summer Sunday...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Celebrating Eliza's birthday

Grandma and Grandpa Peterson came over today to celebrate Eliza's birthday with us. We did a lot of playing outside and even a board game inside. We ate a nice home cooked meal and enjoyed each other's company. The girls soaked up every second of grandparent time they could as they always do. They had Grandpa and Grandma hopping from the moment they arrived! This time together is priceless, and I am thankful the girls are able to spend this playtime with their grandparents!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday, Aug.22

Well, Eliza fell again today. 2 for 2 with school accidents. The teacher has requested no more flip flops for recess. She is tripping while running by the merry go round. She is looking pretty tough now with a cut on her nose and under her nose. Hopefully we will have better luck next week without the flip flops.

Skylar and Eliza are both still liking school. Can't wait to hear Eliza reading and hear all of the new skills Skylar will be picking up on this year.

Danny and I are headed to a party in Ankeny tonight via an invite from my friend Tina. It will be nice to talk to Tina and her brother and sister. Danny and I don't get out much either, so it is always fun to hang out with him too. : ) The girls are spending the night with Grandma Jo and Papa Neil.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My baby's a Kindergartner

Well, today is Eliza's first day. YIKES!!! I think the teacher and us have a long year ahead. I had matching outfits for the girls to wear today. They won't let me dress them alike for long, so I will soak it up while it lasts. It makes for good photo ops at least.

We were running around frantically this morning, and we had many plans we weren't able to carry out. I was going to introduce Eliza's teacher to Skylar to make after school go easier. I was going to get a picture of Eliza with her teacher and help them put all of her supplies away. I was supposed to bring birthday treats, so Eliza could be the first birthday girl in class.

Well, we were running into the school as the bell was ringing. PERFECT, not! Turned out I dropped off Eliza, walked Skylar to her classroom, then went back to Eliza's classroom and quietly organized her supplies while her teacher began class. Mrs Cole did a great job organizing the new classmates and trying to not look annoyed by the crazy mother who is always tardy. I even took a couple of photos while in the classroom. I am sure rude sometimes, but I wanted to remember this day despite the chaos. We also forgot the birthday treats, but I went home to retrieve them then dropped them off in the office. No big deal, right!?!

One great thing about all of this time to mourn for the loss of my babies. My girls have grown up, and another era has passed. The kids are all in school. I was actually thankful for the distraction and never really took a chance throughout the day even to reflect. Life is just marching it or not. With every new stage there are pros and cons. Here are a few I have since come up with.

cheaper day care
my baby is learning and growing
my baby will need us less and less

more expensive school lunch and milk bills
my baby is further influenced by others
my baby will need us less and less

Turns out everything went great this first day (except for a fall on the playground). She made it through class, enjoys her classmates, thinks here teacher is really nice, and made it to the bus and daycare perfectly. She was even a birthday princess complete with crown and drawings from each of her classmates as gifts. Why did I have any doubts?

Love you , girl! Take this world by storm one classroom at a time. : )

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Skylar's a 3rd grader

Skylar could not wait for 3rd grade to start and endless days at day care to end. She really enjoys the challenge of school, and I hope this year meets her expectations. She has a new teacher to the Perry School District, Ms. Olson.

Skylar has also said she has a "new style" this year. She pondered over the purchase of these new pink Converse shoes from Grandma and Grandpa Peterson. She has decided they are just her style, and she wants more of them. She came to me wearing a hug ring, and a hat on sideways to go with her look; however, we agreed that wasn't going to work for school. Maybe for a weekend look though.

Good luck this year, honey!

Eliza's 5!!!

My baby girl is Five today! We started the day with a balloon bouquet and card with stickers and 5 $1 bills in it as a surprise outside her bedroom door as she awoke.

Since it was a work day, we still had to get ready for work and daycare, but at least breakfast was special. Skylar let her wear her princess crown, and she ate hostess cupcakes, after blowing out a candle in them, of course.

The day care staff said that she wore her crown all day and she couldn't wait to get home and open presents. She was sure we would have 5 of them for her at home. : )
Well, there were 4 (2 from Grandma Jo and 2 from Mom, Dad and Skylar). I told her she could count her card from earlier that morning at number 5. From us she received: new clothes and some awesome PJs, 2 Hannah Montana toys, a DORA color by number, a notebook, and double ended crayons. From Grandma Jo she received: a Barbie laptop and a new dance leotard. She was giddy, and her reactions were priceless. I am so thankful for video tape to capture it!

We had an interesting cake also. Since it was only the 4 of us, it seemed silly to go with the traditional cake given that we planned to have cake this weekend. I decided to buy 4 Reese's Peanut Butter Cup candy bars and put candles in them. It was one of the best birthday cakes I have ever had. : )

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Meeting the teacher

It seems liked I raced around the world and back again today. I was up until 3 am this morning because I couldn't sleep which of course, meant I ran late to work. My day was productive but jam packed with meetings and work. I didn't even have a chance for lunch.

I literally jogged out of the office at 2:15, grabbed Burger King, jogged to my car, crossed my fingers that the "low fuel" light in my car was just joking and drove towards home hoping not to be too tardy for our 3:15 appt. with Eliza's new teacher, Mrs. Cole. I even had to make a couple of business calls and calls about vacation plans as I was rushing toward Perry. Why is life so chaotic?

Well, Eliza and I were 5 minutes tardy, and we didn't have time to stop home for her supplies, but Mrs Cole was very understanding. We learned all about the classroom and where Eliza's seat, coat hook, and "mail slot" would be. We learned about bathroom rules, snack and nap time rules. We also worked out that Skylar would pick Eliza up on the way to catch the bus in the afternoon, since Skylar's classroom is right outside the door of Eliza's classroom. This is such a relief to me because I am really dreading Eliza's first week or so. She is my baby, and seems so tiny and vulnerable to me yet. I know she will be fine and can handle her own, but I am having a hard time reconciling it all. I will be there Thursday AM, but not Thursday PM to see how things go.

The teacher even asked Eliza if she would like to be the first birthday girl and bring treats the first day of school on Thursday, since she is 5 on Wednesday. I thought it was very nice of her to ask us about it. Eliza also had some testing done while I talked to the teacher, nurse, and lunch ladies.

Skylar's first day is tomorrow, so we had better get to bed at a decent time tonight at least.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Last summer weekend**edited with photos**

Delaney spent the night on Friday, and the girls ended up spending the whole weekend together. They made tents, played moon sand, and hung out in our back yard on Saturday until being forced to clean up ( "blow the stink off" as I call it ) late in the afternoon. We then headed over to Jenn's for an Anniversary celebration for Danny's Aunt Kathy and Uncle Kirk. It was their 40th anniversary.

Happy Anniversary Kirk and Kathy!!!

Skylar ended up spending the night with Delaney that night, then Eliza and I met back up with them at the Farm for one last dip in the pool before school on Sunday. We soaked up the 90 degree weather and 88 degree pool water until the sun went down. I even got a little reading in. It turned out to be a very relaxing day. Kathy and Jenn treated us to a wonderful dinner of porcupine meatballs and corn on the cob also. Perfect summer day, really. Thanks, Jenn and Eliza for making me get out of the house...Iwas having a hard time getting motivated to vacate my pj's Sunday AM.

I wish Danny would have been there, but he did have some fun too. He spent the day riding 4-wheeler with some friends then relaxing in our cool basement at home in the peace and quiet. I am sure it was the perfect summer day from his perspective too. : )

Friday, August 15, 2008

Back to work

Back to work today. Thank goodness for my Blackberry I didn't have too many e-mails to catch up with, but had plenty of work to choose from. I actually had a pretty productive Thursday and Friday to round out the week with not too many meetings and a few "to-dos" crossed off.

Left a little early on Friday to check out Azalea's restaurant at 400 Locust for a United Way event I have been recruited to help with. This is a fairly new downtown Des Moines restaurant that recently received some press from visitors during the caucuses. Loved the ambience and the menu, and the prices were extremely reasonable too. They have some good old Iowa food like homemade noodles and free range chicken along with Angus Beef and locally raised pork along with some gourmet sides and a great wine selection. I am hopeful that we go with this venue for our event, so I may experience the cuisine first hand.

I took the girls to sign up for dance class Friday also. We signed up for hip hop and tumbling along with their regular tap, ballet , and jazz classes. When I say we, I mean we too. I even signed up for a class. Jenn, Joell, and I convinced them to offer an adult hip hop class, and we start on Saturdays in October. This should be funny. : )

After dance registration, we ate at the Christian Church and let the girls play a little at Perry's Friday fest downtown Perry. They played in several "bounce houses", but Eliza's favorite was the giant slide. She used all but one of her tickets on that one ride and kept inventing "new moves" on the ride down. She twisted while sliding and landed on her side several times. That child has no fear.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

prayers needed

I just wanted to pass this blog address on to those of you reading out there. One of my high school classmates suffered a brain bleed a few weeks after having her 3rd child, and was given little to no hope for survival let alone quality of life. Well, that was nearly 4 weeks ago, and she is recovering, walking, talking, remember, and hopefully going to physical therapy Friday.

Just wanted to pass on her miracle story and illicit any prayers you could offer up for continued recovery. She and I weren't close, but we were in a bible study together at school and she was a really sweet girl in high school.


Not much to post today...went back to work after vacation and had a hard time readjusting. Oh well, that's life, I guess.

I did have a funny conversation with Skylar tonight, though. She was sorting school supplies and organizing her new school bag, so I started singing in the kitchen. (Did I mention school supplies make me happy?)

Mom: (singing) School supplies ...they are so cool! School supplies...they make me drool! (I should be a songwriter, huh?)
Skylar: MOM!
Mom: Yes, honey? Did you hear my cool new song.
Skylar: AWKWARD!!!
Mom: What's wrong?
Skylar: Most mom's don't sing about school supplies.
Mom: YES! I have done my parental job for the day. I have made my child think I am strange. : )
Skylar: (rolling the eyes and giggling)

I am soooo looking forward to many more eye rolling, giggling days ahead. : )

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back to school**edited with photos**

Well, we had a day to get ready for back to school today. Eliza had to get her kindergarten check up and 5 immunizations and a blood test. RIDICULOUS!!! No child should have to go through all of that at once. She screamed and I cried. I don't know what was worse. She quickly recovered though, and we headed to the McDonald's play land for dinner and a little play.

Then, to Wal-Mart for school supplies and school hair cuts. YAY!!! I love school supply shopping. Eliza got an Elmo backpack and Skylar got a camo messenger bag. No more boring back pack for her. Why are they getting so big!?!? : (

Finally, we met friends for dinner at Cheddar's. Danny and I have childhood friends that I thought should meet each other. Andy was Danny's classmate and now lives in Kansas City and Tina is my classmate and lives in Ankeny. It was a little difficult and weird to find a place for them to meet, but I thought it was worth the chance. Setting people up is hard, but at 30 something, I was willing to take a shot for both of them to meet someone nice possibly. Bars just don't cut it as ideal meeting places... They've now met and have each other's numbers. My fingers are crossed.