Sunday, July 31, 2011

Connor's Kindergarten Graduation

Connor graduated from Kindergarten!!! A friend asked me if I was "sad" at the graduation ceremony and I replied, "no...I am a little relieved." We had a "interesting" Kindergarten experience that I was happy to be done with. It started out well, with a teacher that seemed promising, and then with some class size issues, he got switched to a new teacher and into a portable. The whole thing was a big mess. His teacher was sweet, but soooo unorganized and had no idea how to manage a classroom. It didn't help that many of the kids were pretty difficult as well. Luckily, Connor is Connor, and he thrived-despite it all. He had two buddies in class-Erik and Simon-both neighbor kids. He was a great example to the kids in his class, and a very good student. When I asked him what the best part of Kindergarten was he said, "Recess, of course!"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Kindergarten Zoo Field Trip

I was so happy to be able to go with Connor and his class to the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma. It is a small, but clean and well kept little zoo. We lucked out with perfect weather, and most of the animals alert and awake for us. We especially enjoyed seeing the polar bears play, eat, and "fight." It was a great day!

The kids and I

Eliza on the splash pad.
Zach, Connor, Erik, Sadie, and Olivia

Friday, July 15, 2011

College Girls Reunion

So I totally copied Anna's blog about our reunion beacause she said it so well... "This last month I had a much-needed girls’ retreat with my college roommates in the Capitola, CA. I rendezvoused with Mary Hansen, Anna Packard, and Jess Butts. Our sweet Alissa couldn’t make it this year. I haven’t seen my roommates in a few years as it’s gotten more complicated to have reunions with families and careers. But this year we made it happen and I’m so glad we did! It was wonderful to reconnect, have long hours of girl talk, giggle uncontrollably, eat delicious food, and soak up lots of California sunshine.
What I love about being with these girls is that there is no pretense. We get together and let our hair down immediately. I can be myself with them completely and they accept and love me for all my quirkiness (we made fun of Anna for psychoanalyzing a spider in the shower). During the trip, we talked some of our college years but it is nice to know our friendship isn’t based in the past. We love each other and spent most of our time talking about our current lives, experiences, passions, and beliefs. I am grateful to have friends like Mary, Anna, and Jess. No matter how much time passes between reunions, when we get together, it’s as if no time has passed. I’m already looking forward to our next reunion!"
Thanks to my wonderful in-laws and amazing friends that helped take care of my kids so that I could have such an enjoyable time. Grandma and Grandpa had Sadie and Eliza. They did great! Eliza was a little stubborn and didn't take a bottle for the 3 days I was gone, but she eats plenty and drinks water and juice out of a sippy well enough that she was just fine. Needless to say,however, she was VERY happy to see me and nurse at the airport. Autumn and Nadia were so sweet to take Connor after school for Thursday and Friday. The plan was for Ryan to get the girls for the remainder of the weekend, but Grandma and Grandpa wanted to keep the Ryan and Connor got to have a bonding weekend! Everyone had a very happy weekend!
After a delicious Italian dinner. Yummy!
Mary and I (should have gotten my spray tan)-such a white Washingtonian!
Such a beautiful bike ride on the coast. Beach cruisers are so fun!!
Anna and Mary are so cute pregnant!

My first "real" sushi experience. I was really bad at using chopsticks.
Anna and Jess-the sushi experts

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Spring Dance Recital June 2011

Sadie was such a champ at her dance recital. She had a fever for several days previous. Her fever had gone away on Friday, so I decided to let her dance. She did amazing, especially because she wasn't feeling like herself. I'm so happy with her dance experience this year as well. My sweet friend Christine does such an amazing job with the girls. Its very laid back and a perfect first dance experience for these little ones. It's so fun to have little girls!!!

Grandma and Grandpa drove all the way from Portland for the recital and then had to leave to go out of town. (Translation-4 hours of driving for 5 minutes of dancing=Best Grandparents!!!) Notice Sadie put her nightgown on right after she got home in typical Sadie fashion.
Autumn was so sweet to order a trophy for Sadie. Now she finally has her own to add to all of Connor's collection of sports trophies on their dresser-WAY cooler than flowers. Thanks Miss Autumn!

Best Dance Teacher EVER!

End of Preschool

We could not have asked for a better experience at Good Shepherd preschool this year. Sadie made some great friends, had wonderful teachers, and got to do tons of fun crafts and projects that I don't do. :) For Connor, when he was three, he could have cared less about going to preschool. He could simply take it or leave it any day. He was just as happy at home with me. Sadie, however, LOVED, every school day and didn't miss any except for our vacation. I used school as an incentive to be good-ie (empty threats to not let her got to school if the didn't shape up...). I am truly thankful for such a positive preschool.

Waiting to get her "diploma"
Sadie and Mrs. Pharis
Lauren, Sadie, and Evie
Loves from Lauren
Sadie and Russell at Teddy Bear day

Sunday, July 10, 2011

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo is AMAZING! We loved every minute of it. It had unique animals that many zoos don't have. The animals all have nice exhibits and look happy to me. I know that sounds silly, but you all know what I am talking about when you have visited not so good zoos, and you feel bad for the animals because they don't look well taken care of. I'm pretty sure Connor's favorite part of the zoo, was being the photographer. He took all the pictures you will see, plus hundreds more. I am sad to say I did not get a picture of the Sky Tram (a ski lift type ride-that you can take to go across the zoo). Sadie and I rode it probably 6 times! She even convinced Grandma and Grandpa to be adventurous and go on it with her. Ryan was excited that he saw Mel Gibson and said "hi" to him. Eliza and I were just along for the ride-although I have to admit I was smitten with the 6 week old baby giraffe. :)

This pic is not good at all-was at the end of a long, enjoyable day-and you can tell that we are tired-but I did have to include it because we are all in it.

Sea World 2011

We decided to visit Sea World San Diego while in Southern California. I am so happy that we did. We seriously had the place to ourselves-no crowds or lines whatsoever. The kids and grown-ups all had such a fabulous day.

Eliza checking out the aquariums.
Connor checking out a star fish at one of the "hands on" exhibits with Grandpa.
Can you guess what show this was??? Yep-the dog and cat show at Sea World. (random, I know) I was afraid it was going to be lame-but it was really good, and of course it was Eliza's most favorite thing of the day! She is in love with dogs!
The highlight for Connor and Sadie was feeding and petting the dolphins.
Even Chad enjoyed the dolphins. Who wouldn't?? They are such adorable and friendly creatures!

We also loved the Shamu show, but got no photos. It was interesting that the trainers no longer got in the water with the killer whales-(I'm guessing because of the trainer that was killed a few years ago.) The orcas are such beautiful animals, but it the show wasn't as entertaining for me without the trainers interacting. Oh well!

If you'll notice in the other pictures we all have jackets and long sleeves on. It was a very cloudy, cool day (mid 60's) so none of us were worried about sunburns. I have heard a million times that its very easy to burn on overcast days, but personally it has never happened to me. We learned our lesson the hard way through poor Eliza. Connor snapped this picture of her after out day at Sea World. Her little face got so red, and I felt so bad. Some mini popsicles back at the hotel made her feel much better. :)