Saturday, August 27, 2011

7th Birthday Party

Today we celebrated Mackenzie's 7th birthday and Lauren's 6th birthday with a double party at the pool. What fun! The two girls who share a birthday, one year apart exactly, had been planning this double party for over a year now. I believe today was a success for everyone. The kids really seemed to have a great time swimming and playing together. Between the two girls, there were almost 30 kids at the party today! The best count I got was 29 or so. Amazing turn out, and so much fun!!! Thank you to all who attended and helped celebrate with us. Above is Avery, Mackenzie, and Abby, friends from school.
This is Mackenzie with Alyssa, another friend from school.

Mackenzie is on the right with Lauren sitting beside her. The two birthday girls! Sweet friendship. We enjoyed having our friends from our H2H group at church there to celebrate with them both, too. I never figured out a way to get all the kids in one picture, so I just picked a few of Mackenzie to upload for the blog.

Mackenzie loved the double party! Sweet birthday girls...Happy Birthday to you both!!! I am so glad we could share the day together with so many friends.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mackenzie's Birthday

Somehow, among the chaos of this past week, my baby girl turned 7 years old! She is in the second grade. This was the first full week of school, and between early mornings and full days in school, we are exhausted! She has complained of not feeling well all week. Josiah has a cold with classic clear runny nose and sneezing. My case load at work has doubled, which is what I requested in order to have plenty of hours...however, one of the cases was "inherited" from another case manager who kinda went missing. Weird. She just stopped working. She did not really go missing, but she is not returning her calls or getting her responsibilities done. Therefore, her cases are being "off loaded" to other case managers. Problem is, there are MANY things left undone on all her cases that need immediate attention. I got one of those cases. Ha. No worries. I have an ultra supportive team of coworkers. I am truly and completely blessed with this team of people. I am getting plenty of hours and grateful for the job, too. That said, it was a crazy busy week....and it is not finished!

Tomorrow is Mackenzie's birthday party! Her birthday was Wednesday. She and Lauren, from church, are having a double party tomorrow. They have planned this party for about a year now, lol! I hope they have the party of their dreams tomorrow. It will be a pool party at a local gym. There will be lots of kids there, and the girls are very excited! I just can't believe how quickly her actual birthday came and kept on going...

We celebrated on Wednesday by taking sugar cookies with icing in between them and sprinkles, too, (like sandwich sugar cookies) to her classmates at school. After school, we celebrated with presents, ate at a Japanese restaurant so she could have mushroom soup (her request), and came home for cake and ice cream. It was a blessed day, and we are blessed to have her in our family.

On a side note...Josiah, as I tucked him into bed tonight, said, "Mom, the judge came into our class today and read Chester Raccoon to us." "The judge?" I asked. "Yeah, the judge. She came in and read to us and talked about not bullying." "Oh! You mean the principal?" I said. "Yeah." Josiah answered. That cracked me up! The judge. How cute is that?!

He also climbed onto the toilet, found the liquid Mucinex, took it to the sink, and attempted to draw his dose into the oral syringe. Sadly, he took an unknown amount. He showed me exactly where the dose came to in the syringe and told me he did that twice. Here's hoping that he is a good historian and is telling me accurately....if so, he got a "6 to 12 year old" dose. Should be fine. Sigh.

Did I mention that I witnessed a guy on a bike get hit by a car today? And the driver of the car zoomed off as fast as possible. The bike rider was fine. I rolled my window down and checked on him. Crazy world we live in, isn't it?!

Guess I was in the mood to type tonight. I mainly wanted to record a little about Mackenzie's birthday week. Kinda ended up rambling...He, he.

I will try to post about Mackenzie's actual party soon. She has enjoyed a wonderful birthday, and is eager to celebrate with her friends tomorrow. We love her and are very proud of her.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bunnies in the Garden

You have to look closely. Do you see them? Bunnies! There are two in the picture below, but there are four total. As we picked the garden tonight, something small, fast, furry, and gray ran so close to my feet that it almost ran across my feet! I almost screamed. I was not expecting visitors in our garden. As soon as I realized that the furry friends scurrying around my feet were tiny baby bunnies, I called for the kids to come and see. They came super fast and were super excited! The two bunnies that darted near my feet were the only ones we saw at first. Then, underneath the tomato plants, we spotted two more bunnies! Those are the two pictured below.
They were so very small and so fast, too!

You can see Mackenzie's hand coming in from the picture's left to pet the bunny. Josiah was able to pet one, too.

Josiah peering intently into the garden. Baby bunny is in the picture, too.

Josiah's hand reaching to pet a bunny.

This one was trying to escape up the rock wall area behind the garden. 3 of the 4 hid underneath the rocks and small Christmas shaped tree. 1 hid underneath another bush near the swing set. We were careful not to scare them away as we hope the momma will come back to raise them in our garden! :) We even think we found their burrow in the garden under some straw where our squash used to grow. How fun?! We even delayed bedtime to enjoy the bunnies. ;)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kindergarten, Second Grade, Twins!

It has happened. It is official. My kids are now ELEMENTARY age. No more "preschoolers" at our house. The formative years, by definition, are now complete. On to the next amazing phase that God has planned for our lives as a family. As I woke the kids up this morning, they were both excited. Mackenzie jumped right out of bed (unusual for her) and Josiah tried to stay in bed (unusual for him)! Once up and dressed for this first day of school, we headed downstairs for a special confetti pancake breakfast, courtesy of Aunt Jemima. Last night, as we laid clothes out for the week, the kids decided they wanted to match! Twins. I love it. I was happy to accommodate them by laying out khaki shorts and white polos for them both. How fun that they can match since the school uniforms are the same for both genders!

Mackenzie eagerly ate both of her pancakes.

Josiah was so excited (or perhaps a bit nervous); he ate only a few bites of his pancakes.

My baby boy, ready for his first day of Kindergarten!!! Where, oh where, has the time gone?! I am so proud of him. He is so smart and ready for this step. He is already reading, and I am confident that he will do just fine in Mrs. Haluska's Kindergarten class.

Posing for the camera. I had to take lots of pictures for the first day of school. Even more so since it is his first day of Kindergarten! Today is only a half day. 0745 to 1130 today. They stagger the Kindergartners this first week, so his next day of school will be Friday. Friday will be a full day, 7:45 am to 2:45 pm. What a big week for my handsome little man!

My beautiful baby girl. All ready for Second Grade! It is truly hard to believe she is in second grade already. She is smart, and she is ready. She has 11 of the kids in her class that she already knows. I am sure she will get to know the other 7 or so kids pretty quickly. Mrs. Scott is her teacher, and Mackenzie is excited about that, too.

Isn't she beautiful?! I love how you can see her two permanent teeth coming in already. She has lost the two front bottom teeth. Classic second grade look! I am so proud of her.

My "twins," all dressed alike and ready to head to school!

This picture captures their personalities quite well. Mackenzie, standing all proper-like; Josiah, standing all crazy-like. She is a rule keeper; He is an entertainer. Great combination for our family. Would not trade either one of them for anything! I am so thankful that God has blessed me with these two precious children. I am so thankful for the school they get to attend. Humbled by it all, and grateful for God's blessings. To Him be the Glory. Always.

My precious babies!!!! (Who cares if they are starting Second grade and Kindergarten...they will always be my babies!) We read the books, "Kindergarten, Here I Come," and "Love You Forever," last night at bedtime. Fun and sweet. Mrs. Haluska will read, "The Kissing Hand," to Josiah's class today. That is also a good book, but we don't have that one!

They sure where good to pose for pictures today! I love it.

One last picture on the door step before loading into the van.

This is the first time I have taken them BOTH to school at the same time and for the same amount of hours. Wowwie. Changes things on the home front. I am grateful for my job and the flexibility it allows me to have with the kids schedules. I have been able to stay home with them, for the most part, and I will continue to do so. I will be able to drop them off and pick them up every day. I will be able to work while they are in school, and be home with them when they are home. What a gift. I will still be able to use my nursing license in home care, too. Best of both worlds. Praise the Lord!!!

All buckled in and ready to roll! And, David is on call this week. Another blessing. When he is on call, he does not have to go in to work until 0930. He was able to be with us for our entire morning routine. How special is that on the first day of school?! All four of us laughed and talked on the way. I am so thankful that David got to be a part of that. He mentioned that he will not soon forget this day.

(We even had a date to McDonald's for coffee together, just the two of us, after getting the kids situated at school!) ;)

My two babies. Ready to enter the school. I was impressed that the Head Master was holding the door for everyone. I love the visibility of the administration.

I held Josiah's hand while walking down the first part of the hallway. I turned loose of it so that I could snap some pictures of the two of them heading towards the Kindergarten room! Can you believe that I did not even cry? I kinda surprised myself. I feel a peace about it all.

Mackenzie leading the way around the corner into Mrs. Haluska's room with Josiah right on her heels.

The sign above the door.

Josiah followed the directions, put his backpack in his cubby, and got his supply box out of his cubby. He was very intent on doing everything the right way. He got really quiet and serious when we entered the classroom. I could not get him to smile for the pictures after that! Very reminiscent of his first day of preschool. Too funny. He will warm up very quickly. He is familiar with the room and the teacher from Mackenzie's time in Kindergarten. That is a gift for him, indeed.

Standing by his cubby for me to take a picture.

Posing with Mrs. Haluska. We love her and are so thankful that Josiah gets to be in her class this year, too! I believe he will have a wonderful year.

I think he was ready to get the day started. There were just going to be a few other children there today, due to the staggered schedule, to allow the kindergartners more one-on-one time to adjust this first week. On Friday, all 16 kids will be there together. We are so happy that he has Mrs. Haluska! :)

One last picture of Josiah sitting at his desk before David and I headed upstairs with Mackenzie to the second grade classroom! I think Josiah was happy to have Mackenzie help drop him off on the first day of school. :) I love knowing they are there together, even if they are not in the same classroom lol.

My big girl. She is now upstairs! Second grade. That's a big deal, ya know?!
She led the way. David and I followed her up to her room.

Mrs. Scott is the new second grade teacher this year. She has 8 or so years of teaching experience. About half of that was in Florida. The other half here at a different Christian school. I think she will be great. Mackenzie seemed pleased with her after we met her at the Open House. I am thankful that Mackenzie is with several other children that she already knows!

My beautiful girl, at her desk, ready to begin her first day of second grade. It is a half day for her, too. Full days begin tomorrow. Second grade hangs backpacks on hooks instead of using cubbies!

Here is Mackenzie with Mrs. Scott, her second grade teacher.

Mrs. Scott has four children. Her oldest, a boy, is in 10th grade. Her youngest are in 4th grade. They are twin girls. She seems excited about the school year, so that is good.

I guess that completes this post. Major milestones at our house. It is a good day. I hope you all have a blessed day, too!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Catching Up

The summer seems to be gone already. Back in June (12th through 18th) we spent the week in Maui with my momma, my brother, and my brother's wife. We all had so much fun. I was going to post LOTS of pictures from the trip, but somehow that just hasn't happened, lol. I figure I better type some of the highlights here while they are still fresh on my mind...and before another busy school year begins! :)

We stayed at Aston's Kaanapali Shores on Maui. It was fabulous! We had two bedrooms, a full kitchen and living areas, and two full bathrooms. We enjoyed a view of the pool, gardens, and Pacific ocean! Amazing. Maui is windy most all of the time. The rain forests on Maui are among the wettest on earth, receiving tons of rain per year. We drove part of the Road to Hana and stopped at Twin Falls for a hike, complete with splashing underneath the falls themselves! That made for some great pictures.

Another highlight of the trip was getting to eat at Mama's Fish House. Thanks to my mom, we enjoyed a meal that is beyond description. It was THAT good, folks. Extremely expensive, but totally wonderful! What a neat memory. We loved walking around the grounds at Mama's Fish House, too. Maui is simply gorgeous. Love the tropical beach areas!

Josiah loved hunting for hermit crabs, catching them, storing him in his bucket, and then releasing them. He still says, at least once per day, that we will be moving to Maui someday. He LOVED it, and he bawled when we loaded our luggage to head home on the last day of our trip. He could not stand to leave. He also loved getting to drink Coconut Milk from a real Coconut!

Mackenzie enjoyed all the swimming, and seeing a real Sea Turtle. She is a fish herself, and enjoyed the ocean with boogie boards, the pool with goggles, and our snorkeling tour to Molokini and Turtle Town. She says going on the boat ride was her favorite thing. A giant Sea Turtle swam up to the shore during our professional portrait session. It was amazing! We all loved seeing the turtle. Mackenzie also enjoyed the shopping in Lahaina and playing in the Banyon tree in Lahaina. Josiah loved climbing on the Banyon tree and all the swimming, too! He has learned to swim without floaties this summer.

Thanks to Evan (my brother) and Mia (his wife), we all enjoyed the Old Lahaina Luau and a professional photo shoot. The photographer was Mariah Milan, and she was amazing. Mia did a fabulous job of researching photographers on Maui and choosing the perfect one for our family. This was Mia and Evan's gift to my mom for completion of her doctorate in nursing this past December. They surprised my mom with the photo session. We got such great pics! What a neat gift for us all. Thanks, Evan and Mia! And the Luau was neat, too. Great food!

I am sure there is much more that I could type about the Maui trip, but for now, this will do! Maui is 6 hours behind us in time zones, so we all had quite the adjustment to make going and coming from that trip! Totally worth it, though. Thanks to my grandparents and my mom for making this trip happen, from airline tickets to lodging, for all of us. Wow. What a gift.

Other things to remember from this summer...Mackenzie lost her 2nd on July 24th, 2011. Our friend, Bill, pulled it just like he pulled the first one. Perfect!

On Tuesday, as in this coming Tuesday, August 16th, BOTH of my kids will start to school. Wow. Mackenzie will be in 2nd grade. How is that possible? And, Josiah will be in Kindergarten! I always thought it would be sad to see my "baby" start Kindergarten. Somehow, I think we are ready for this step! Mackenzie says she is a little nervous about starting back to school. Josiah says he is worried that no one will like him. I assured him that he will make lots of new friends and they will like him. He already knows one child, Lexi, in his class. He told Lexi yesterday, "You're gonna get to see me every day!" It was very funny. Mackenzie knows 11 of the 19 kids in her class this year already. Josiah has Mrs. Haluska and Mackenzie has Mrs. Scott. I am very pleased. School year, here we come!!!! :)

Just wanted to get those updates recorded before the school does start. I am sure there is much, much more that I should type, but for now, that will do.

David and I got to take a two night get-a-way, just the two of us, for the first time ever (since the kids were born) last week while his parents watched our kids. What a gift! Thank you, Zearl and Betty, for staying here with our kids while we enjoyed some one-on-one time.

Oh, and on June 11, 2011, Mackenzie was a flower girl and Josiah was a ring bearer in Aunt Mallory's wedding to Tom in Arkansas. What an honor for the two of them to be included in Mallory's wedding! How neat!!! We have some great pictures from the wedding, too, but for the sake of time I am just typing this post without pictures. Sorry.