Tuesday, August 27, 2013

First day of Preschool

Look who started preschool today!  Thumbs up for a new school year :)

He was so excited to wake up, get dressed and get in the car to go!

Why yes, Emma invited herself into a photo and posed this way :)

His new teacher, Mrs. Anitra!  She seems very sweet and good with kiddos.  Because we know we will hold him back the plan is for him to stay in her class for two years in a row.  

He marched into the classroom like a big boy and put his backpack and lunchbox away.  The first activity he chose was to to glue marshmallows to the letter 'M'.  He also painted a monkey picture today.  He loves arts and crafts :)

Right after this photo was taken he lifted his arms and asked me for a hug.  I took that as my cue to leave :)

Upon pick up Mrs. Anitra said he did very well.  She said that he was polite and precise and that he did a great job.  He is already looking forward to returning on Thursday :)

First day of 1st Grade

What "they" say is SO true.  Don't blink because your babies will grow up to be 1st graders WAY too quickly.  Emma had an action packed summer but was ready to get back to her school routine :)  

We initially met her new teacher, Mrs. Meredith, at Meet the Teacher last week.  I'm happy to report that I wasn't near as weepy as last year :)  I was doing SO well.  That is, until we passed the turn for the Kindergarten wing and took the first few steps down the big first hall.  I only had a mini freak out moment.

Mrs. Meredith seems great!

There are nineteen kiddos in her class this year including several from her Kinder class.  She also knows most of the others from VBS and recess last year.  Our social butterfly was over the moon to be reunited with her little friends.  She was especially thrilled that her BFF (Alyssa) is in her class again :)  Emma decided to get bangs for the first grade ("just like Alyssa"...)

Once we arrived in her classroom it was so very quiet that we very well could have heard a pin drop!  She sat down at her desk and ordered me to find her crayons.  She had some important coloring to do :)

 Owen asked if we could stay "just a lee bee (little bit) longer".  He might have stayed all day if I gave him the option :)

She had a huge smile on her face when I picked her up.  The first comment she made was "We don't get to do centers anymore; only lots and lots of work."  She had homework on the first day and will have her first spelling test on Friday.  I think she realizes that first grade is quite a bit more challenging.  This year she will actually receive numerical grades.  Her favorite activity of the day was recess.  She made new friends and caught up with old ones.  We are already so very proud of her!  Our prayer for her is that she pays attention, learns a lot, uses her best behavior, is helpful to her teacher, strives for excellence and continues to share Jesus with her friends.

"You're off to great places
today is your day 
your mountain is waiting 
so get on your way! -Dr Seuss"

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Before Owen.....

Before Owen came along.....

I very rarely used stain remover.  Now it seems like I pick up a new bottle of it with each grocery run!

I never cleaned up so many muddy foot prints on the beige carpet!

I never went through shampoo and body wash so quickly!  {If it is anywhere within reach he dumps it to make bath bubbles} :)

I never encountered such foul smelling shoes....and feet.

I hadn't given quite as much thought to how so very many things were made!

I never swept so much dirt off the porch

I never purchased so.much.peanut.butter.

I never stepped on so many tiny legos

I never found chase butterflies so fascinating

I never played toy trains, cars or blocks for so long

I never considered that a young child could remove child proof outlet covers so easily

I never spent so much time worrying over bumps, bruises, scrapes and broken teeth

I never knew the abundant love and friendship that could exist between siblings

I never realized how daring, mischievous and cuddly little boys could be :)

I never paid much attention to airplanes soaring high in the sky

I never mopped so much water off the bathroom floor

I never knew how messy one little face could get

I never knew exactly how adorable a dressed up superhero could be

I never could have guessed how much this mama's boy could totally melt my heart

I hadn't grasped just how much I would LOVE being a boy mom :)

(Photo by Gara Hill with Beyond the Blue Studios)

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord; 
children are a reward from Him....."  
~Psalm 127:3

Friday, August 16, 2013

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Every now and then Emma asks to go on a "girl day".  We were glad to squeeze one in before school (and football!) really get going :)

Emma created the agenda which began with 3 Spoons yogurt.  {Her choice: chocolate yogurt with gummy worms, nuts, sprinkles and mini M&Ms.  My choice: butter pecan yogurt with marshmallows....boring but oh-so-tasty!}

 After Sonic happy hour treats we headed to Target for school supplies :)

Last on the agenda was the nail salon.  She got orange tiger stripes, of course!

Having a girl is SO much fun!  I'm so glad she wants to hang out with me and I hope that never changes ;)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Already August?!

Whew!  What a wonderfully busy summer it has been.  The months of June and July practically raced by like we knew they would.  We had an over abundance of  activities back to back.  We have enjoyed swim lessons, a dance recital, VBS, our Jamaica adventure, a couple of different trips back to central Texas to visit family, Emma's camps, coaching school and so much more.  That brings us to AUGUST and suddenly school supplies, routine and Friday night lights are on the brain.  The kids and I plan to soak up every bit of what's left of sweet Summertime 2013....

More Owen Lingo

Owen has made huge progress in his speech over the past several months.  He has most recently improved on the ending 'L' sound.  It certainly seems like he is turning into a big boy more and more by the day, so I thought I would take note of some of his current words and sayings before they are lost.  He is becoming more vocal and is initiating more conversation.  In fact, some days he is extra chatty and asks endless questions.  That's totally okay by me :)

"Musbeard" - Mustache and/or beard

"Nake" - snake (still working on the beginning 'S' words!)

"Nack" - snack (see above!)

"gas" - grass

"woof" - roof

feezaor - refrigerator 

"Amma do it?" - Is Emma going to do it too?  (He is her shadow.  If she doesn't do it, neither will he!)

"Ow dey make dees?" - How did they make this (chair, trash can, house, shirt, etc)?

"Uhwen" - oven

"Peesha" - Pediasure

"Owkide" - outside

"It no wok" - It doesn't work

"Nufsing/nusfing" - nothing

"Take ooo" - Thank you

"Yuhsa lee bee" - just a little bit

"Musfin" - Muffin

"Bee bops" - flip flops

"You ahways" - You always say that; you always make me do that

"You newah" - You never let me do that; you never give me a break

"Leap" - sleep

"nebermeye" - nevermind

"Dat tee go and go" - That tree will grow and grow

"nong" - song

"nosh" - fish

"sofsing" - something

"tain" - train

"nuh one" - another one

"bool" -blue

"Owie" - Owen

"lellow" - yellow

"cower" - used for both flower and shower

"Chick kick A" - Chick fil A

Saturday, August 3, 2013

JAMAICA ~ anniversary adventure

It's hard to believe that our ten year wedding anniversary will be in March!  We decided to return to our honeymoon destination to celebrate a little early :)  You might enjoy listening to THIS to get the full experience :)  We snapped over 400+ pics so please excuse enjoy the picture overload!  We highly recommend Couples Swept Away!!  It is an all inclusive resort located on 19 acres of Jamaica's famous seven mile beach.  They have THE BEST customer service and breathtaking scenery!  We did our fair share of eating, relaxing and enjoying time focused on one another (which doesn't happen often at home)!

The day after our wedding we barely missed our flight.  It was such a bummer!  We were determined not to do so this time so we missed an entire night of rest to ensure our crazy early arrival!  After 4th of July festivities concluded we completed the kids' usual bedtime routine, kissed them goodnight and headed toward DFW.  We enjoyed an I35 Ihop midnight snack (including plenty of caffeine!) and arrived at the airport a couple of hours earlier than necessary.  Jarrod gave me a hard time about over packing but I was proud of myself for limiting a week's worth of things to just one bag :)

{On our way to the airport}

After two flights and one layover in North Carolina we stepped foot in Montego Bay.  We were exhausted yet thrilled to be back :)  The airport had changed drastically over the past decade.  In 2004 it was very small and quaint.  It is now full of well known eateries, gift shops and VIP waiting areas.  We couldn't believe it was the same place!!  Immediately after clearing through customs we were warmly welcomed by the nice people of Couples resorts.  We loved touring the countryside on the hour commute to Negril.  The steering wheel is located on right hand side of the vehicle and they drive on the left hand side of the road.  Super strange to witness!!  We arrived at our resort mid afternoon and got checked in.  We stayed in a gorgeous garden veranda suite.  It was almost identical to last time except for the added TV and stocked mini fridge.  Our spacious back porch view was dreamy.  Lots of lush plants, exotic flowers and palm trees of all shapes and sizes.

The first thing we did was get comfy and head out the door to put our toes in the sand :)

{Our perfect view!}

That evening we enjoyed dinner at the main restaurant, The Palms.  They offer a buffet style meal featuring locally grown fresh fruit (tons of pineapple and banana in particular), seafood pasta and a variety mouthwatering dishes galore.  We totally stuffed ourselves silly at least three times per day ;)

{A chef at The Palms ~ he is the watermelon artist!}

We enjoyed breakfast at The Palms each day.  Jarrod's favorite food was the personalized omelettes he had made.  My favorite was the banana foster.  Yum!  Jarrod has actually made it a few times since we have returned home and it is delicious :)

It didn't take us long to figure out how much the resort had grown!!  It seemed that everyone had discovered our favorite place :)  They had started construction ten years ago but we were blown away with all of the new additions.  There were easily double the number of guests there this time.  The workers told us that summer is their least busy time of year.  December is actually by far their busiest time!

On our first full day (Saturday) we decided to take full advantage of the BEAUTIFUL Caribbean.  We floated for hours and enjoyed the gentle breeze and sunny skies.....

....that is, until the storm clouds rolled in daily!!

Little did we realize this is their rainy season.  Shortly after lunchtime everyday the rain came.  The beaches cleared and everyone took cover for awhile.  It presented the perfect opportunity for a nap :)

Here is something we saw while laying on the beach.  We were surprised at how many locals were allowed to openly solicit goods along the beach.  We remembered this being strictly discouraged last time.  We were repetitively offered music CDs, jewelry, jet ski rides, horseback rides, shells and, of course, weed.  We actually purchased beautiful shells for the kiddos from the same kind man we purchased one from on our honeymoon!

 I purchased some cute coconut earrings from this local {they are holding up 'ones' for "one love"}

On Sunday evening we went on a sunset catamaran cruise.  It was definitely one of the most fun things we did :)  We got a tour of the area and went swimming in a cave.

We floated past Rick's Cafe and watched the locals dive off the cliffs.  Incredibly fascinating to see!

Gorgeous lighthouse (check out the amazing water!)

That evening we were invited to the repeat guest dinner.  We enjoyed visiting with the resort general manager and other outstanding staff directors.

Monday was lobster night!!  I assure you that we did not leave hungry ;)

Each night the resort offered great entertainment on the stage in The Palms.  We loved the live reggae music and even did a little dancing!

Did I mention the abundance of delicious food?!?  One day we enjoyed a sushi snack at Sea Grapes Cafe.  Cabana Grill was also open throughout the day and offered snack foods such as nachos, sandwiches and wraps.

On our last full day on the resort we enjoyed a glass bottom boat tour.  We saw lots of tiger striped fish and star fish.

That evening we enjoyed dinner at Feathers, the fancy reservation only restaurant.  It had changed locations on the resort since our last stay but was just as delicious and elegant as we remembered :)

Jarrod's roasted cauliflower & white bean chowder (smiley face!) soup

Caribbean sunsets are the BEST!!


A few more fun paradise pics:

We are so thankful for recent advances in technology and were able to communicate with the kiddos each day via Face Time.  We even got to briefly walk the iPad around the resort to show them where we were.

Headed home!  We were excited to be reunited with our babes but we were sad that our second honeymoon was over so fast.  We sure hope it's not another ten years before our next visit :)