Monday, September 29, 2008

End Of The First Month

It was the last class in September for Gracie and her preschool mates.

Gracie had a good day and said that Jackie's mom came in and took their pictures and helped them make hand print flowers. I knew that they were having their pictures taken for some sort of memory book, and I will be excited to see it when it is finished.

Snack today was furnished by a little girl (sorry forgot her name) who brought in chocolate chip cookies. So, it was a good sugary day for all the kids.

They did Simon Says today, and she tells me she will teach me how to play--I can't wait ;)

Since daddy will have to work late today, I took Gracie over to his office after school so she could tell him about her day. She was excited to see daddy and her pumpkins which were waiting for Mr. Rich to take a picture of them.

After emptying the contents of her backpack and showing all of her crafts from this month as well as coloring pages, we headed home.

Happy Anniversary To Me

Garren bought me a house for our 8th anniversary, so you can imagine how excited I am!

Actually, the more baffling question you should be asking is "only 8 years?" It does seem more like 20, but as I told Garren (who didn't necessarily find this amusing)--in a good way.

Actually I can barely remember my life without him, and that isn't the worst thing in the world. I am happy being a wife and a mommy, and I will be happy to continue doing that for the next 80 years. (Let's be ambitious shall we.)





My House

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mommy & Gracie

Check out how cute we looked this morning in church on my Photoblog. Or, click here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pumpkin Fun!

What a fun evening we had (as we always do when our neighbors come over), doing what else--but pumpkin carving.

Yea, we know it is only September, but Garren had a fall feature story to do and thanks to Tom's gift last month of a Drimmel tool made just for pumpkins--Garren got a good idea.

Our neighbors came over around 4pm and we had a chili feast, which Gracie was ready to speed through and get to the fun stuff. Actually, she had been waiting (barely) for the fun since yesterday.

We cleared the table, and got down to the business of getting messy.

Gracie wasn't excited about getting out the pumpkin guts. As a matter of fact she was repulsed by the sight of it. Daddy had to make sure she got her hands messy too though, and smeared her with a little--which sent her in to drama queen mode.

We had four pumpkins, which left Gracie as a supervisor, and again this year Colette some how got out of getting her hands messy too. But, she took tons of precious pictures and was in charge of tools.

I mentioned the Dremmel tool, and we were excited to see just what it could do. I picked out four templates I found free online, and after lots of groans--we got started. Garren took the easier of the four and helped Gracie turn that pumpkin into Cinderella. Mallory got another easy one and made the cutest Noah's Ark. Neither of these used the Dremmel--that left Tom and I with the biggest projects. Tom took on Elmo, and it came out spectacular. I actually took the hardest template--because I wanted to do Kipper from the moment I found him! He is just too cute! I am pleased, and surprised, that he came out so well.

Hours later and the biggest mess ever, we had four of the cutest and most spectacular jack-o-lanterns around....that we hope will last at least until mid October!

Using the Dremmel by the way was fun, but extremely messy! It throws pumpkin skin in your mouth, on your clothes, in your eyes and sticks to your face. But what a neat way to jazz up your pumpkins!! I will post the story when it is in the paper for all to see.

Colette took so many awesome pictures and I want to share them. Click here to see just how much gooey messy fun we had.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Family Is Special

Isn't that the sweetest thing?!

That was the theme at preschool today. Gracie came home with a picture of her family and I swear I thought I was going to cry. She drew mommy, daddy & Gracie. We look very happy together.

There was a special snack today: cupcakes, courtesy of Cole's family who wanted to celebrate his birthday. Gracie, of course, ate every bite.

She didn't share much else about today, except that they played "Simon Says." I asked if they got a chance to use the pictures that we brought in, she said "not yet."

On Monday they will have their pictures taken for some sort of preschool book. I will have to pick out a very special dress just for that.

A happy day for a proud mommy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Leaf Hunt


Gracie and I braved the high winds this morning and went on a leaf hunt before the rain could come and make fall all soggy. We are in store for several days of rain, so I decided we were going to get out in this perfect season for as long as possible.

Equipped with a ziplock baggie we went in search of different kids and colors of leaves. By the time our 40 minute walk through town was finished we had a baggie full of leaves, acorns, and even a rogue bird feather.

We dumped out our finds and started in on a few leaf projects I found.

First we made leaf rubbing's. This was very fun and Gracie loved this activity because she could do it all by herself.

Next we pressed the leaves in to play dough. This idea I found on Fisher Price's website. It is supposed to leave an impression...and technically it did, you just couldn't see it very well. My idea was to make the impressions, let them dry and then go back and paint, but as I said you could barely see them and I tried several ways to get it to work. Maybe my play dough is too old?

Gracie wasn't too disappointed, because fall fun then became play dough fun. And, I have found a few more fall craft ideas and mini activities online since then. Isn't the computer a wonderful thing?! I have been thinking about starting my own website full of all of the ideas I think up and find for kids and parents to do together.

We hope that all of you are enjoying the fall because we are! We carve pumpkins Saturday after a chili lunch with our neighbors. No, we are not that excited for Halloween, but Garren has a feature story due, and he is using my idea of the tools involved in pumpkin decorating (we got a Drimmel too just for pumpkins!!!), so we have to do ours early before his deadline. I hope they last!!!

Gracie's Dresses

Okay, not like I don't have plenty of other things to do...but Gracie is avoiding a nap and I am avoiding the dishes, so I created a folder on Picasa of as many of Gracie's dresses as I could find.

Sure I should be ashamed of how many she owns, but I am actually proud. Especially considering the average price I have paid per dress adds up to about $2 :)

I have nearly 170 in the folder...take a peak and let me know your favorites.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another Wonderful Fall Day

Another awesome picture, if I do say so myself!!

Gracie had a good day at preschool today. The class went outside to play with the parachute, and as always the kids love to be outside and to shake the parachute.

Snack today was Cheese-Its and grape juice. I think they are using up their cracker supply. Maybe we will have to pick out a special treat the next time we go grocery shopping.

Ms. Christine wasn't feeling well today, so Ms. Julie came by to help and play. I think all of the kids were glad to see her since she doesn't help out with the four year olds, only the three's.

Gracie and her class also worked more on colors. Today they pulled apart pieces of white paper and glued them on to black paper to see the contrast. Gracie described this as "opposites," so I asked "what is the opposite of white?" She was proud to announce "black!" Clearly she is headed for Harvard ;)

She also brought home the leaf she made Monday and a picture of a person standing under a rainbow. I asked her who it was and she told me "Papaw Charles." I guess she was thinking of him today since we decided to make him a feel better card after school.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lots Of Leaves

We decided to continue the leaf theme from school today--at home.

First to make it smell like fall, Gracie and I cut up the apples we got a the orchard yesterday and we made apple pies. I guess that counts for making it taste like fall too since we enjoyed those pies after dinner.

We also pulled the fall decorations out of storage and got our apartment all festive and now it looks like fall inside.

After Gracie's nap I let her make her own snack, and it came out very pretty and tasty. I used a very neat leaf cookie cutter (thrift store find!) to make leaf shapes out of tortillas. Then I let her brush the leaves with melted butter and sprinkle on a mixture of cinnamon & sugar (with a little red and orange sugar sprinkles for color). Then we baked for about 4 minutes. They came out crispy and very yummy, plus the crackling sound of baked leaves made them pretty realistic and it sounded a lot like fall.

Once her snack was gobbled all up, Gracie got to make some more fall for the house. I found this cute idea online to make fingerprint trees. We painted Gracie's hand brown and made her hand print in to branches. We painted some grass and tree trunks, and then she used her fingers to make colorful leaves to fill those branches. Mommy helped too, and I loved the finished project so much it is on display in our living room.

In addition to crafts and treats, we heard about fall today too. I pulled out our massive fall book collection that was also downstairs and we read books about fall leaves including: Pooh's Leaf Pile, Clifford: Big Leaf Pile, Autumn Leaves, Ruby's Falling Leaves, Fall Leaves Fall.

It feels like fall already!

Looking For Autumn


Gracie and her friends went looking for signs of fall today, and I got to see them out and about and snap a picture.

Gracie's preschool class went on a walk just before time to go for the day. Luckily I, along with a few other parents were there waiting early, and I asked if I could snap a picture of them coming back from their walk.

You can tell the kids love to get outside, and Gracie was right; they do hold on to a shape rope!

I asked if they saw signs of fall, and she said "not yet." They were specifically looking to see if the leaves have changed. I told Gracie we haven't gotten enough rain for that yet.

Snack today was crackers and grape juice. They made leaves and decorated them with some sort of paint spray. She seemed especially proud of this. The teacher called them up one by one to "spray" their leaves. Gracie said they used 3 colors: red, orange and gold. I can' wait to see her craft.

Gracie looked very fall in her handmade dress by Grandma and Lou today. She even had a fall leaf bow to match. Although, I am starting to notice that her dresses from last year are getting pretty snug! Not that I don't have tons more of course :)

Aging Not So Gracefully

Have I mentioned lately that I am old! You would think after 7 months I would finally be able to cope with the fact that I am 30. Nope. I cringe when I have to give my age for anything, and man do I hate having to check a new box on forms and questionnaires. But, I better get over it quick because in 5 more months I will be 31. Time marches on and I am not handling it very well...but perhaps I can turn my attention to better milestones for 2008. For example, Gracie turned 4, Garren and I will have been married for 8 years, we are paying less for car insurance. It is a short list, but I know in my heart that this year has been a wonderful one, and so will next year and the year after because I am so blessed.

I never did post this newspaper article that my Aunt Karen gave me..because, well, I didn't want to be 30. But it is kind of neat. I was born in a super small town and this was published in March of this year. Click to make the image larger and then take a look at the 30 years a go section and read at the top of the second column.

And, I am not the only one aging! Most of my friends and classmates turned the big 30 this year. Welcome to the club

Garren: Jan 31
Me: Feb 15
Becky: Feb 19
Shannon: June 3
Heather: July 3
Christy; Sept 5
Sara: Sept 5

Up Next:
Rachel: Sept 26
Katie: Nov 17
Angie: Dec. 19

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Family Day At The Orchard

What a great afternoon we all had at Marker Miller Orchard this perfect Sunday.

It was daddy's idea to go, and I am so glad he thought of it. It was a lot warmer outside than should be for a first day of fall, but it was beautiful.

We hurried to Winchester to get in as much fun time as possible since they close at 4pm. Gracie had the best time playing on the playground and taking rides in the adorable cow train. They have really built the place up since we went 2 years ago! And, we are definitely going back soon and often!!

We also picked some apples and are planning on pies and other yummy treats. This place is perfect because the trees are so small that kids can easily reach the fruit. Although, I had to snap our traditional picture of Garren holding Gracie up to reach an apple at the top of the tree. If you like this picture you are going to love the rest! Check them out here.


video

Friday, September 19, 2008

Gracie

Today in school the theme was about how special the children's names are. Of course you know I think the name Gracie is special, because the most precious thing in my life has that name. Gracie wasn't named after anyone, although she has a great, great Aunt who was named Grace...I just wanted a "Gracie" so badly. So, Garren and I negotiated and came up with Tabitha Grace. I like Tabitha as well.

Tabitha means "gazelle" in Aramaic. Tabitha in the New Testament was a woman restored to life by Saint Peter. Her name is translated into Greek as Dorcas (see Acts 9:36). As an English name, Tabitha became common after the Protestant Reformation.

Grace means goodwill or Grace of God.To Christians, grace means free salvation from God. In Greek mythology, the three Graces were goddesses of charm, beauty, fertility, nature and creativity - they were normally Aglaia, Thalia and Euphrosyne.


Gracie wore a dress that I fell in love with at a consignment shop in Lynchburg. Since I wouldn't pay $8 for a dress, Grandma stepped in an insisted on getting it. I also let her wear her name pin. That pin came from Lou who saved it from her sister's things. I also have a handkerchief with a "G" on it that came from Lou as well. It is a special pin, and so is her name, so I let her show it off today.

Each child got to decorate a piece of paper with their name on it, and apparently they did a name game. I was fuzzy on the details, but I am guessing each child said their name in a funny way.

Snack today was cheese balls with grape drink. They heard a story, and she couldn't remember who she played with since she played with so many friends.

**Is this not the best picture!! I love it! It was a little chilly here today so she had to wear a sweater to and from school. I sat her down on the stone wall and snapped a picture and it is quickly becoming my favorite!!***

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Colors

Gracie and her classmates got a lesson in colors today. While Gracie says that she only had 2 colors, I am pretty sure the idea of "rolling pin" colors was to roll together blue and red to make purple. Despite her inability to realize this was the task, she apparently had a great day.

Ms. Stephanie told me she is getting better at playing with other kids, she and Mia played for a long time, and she is using her words to tell what she wants to play with, she was a great clean up helper...and Ms. Christine chimed in that she is really associating with the other kids and saying "hold my hand."

I had to laugh at the holding hands thing. What makes kids grab each others hands and go off and play? It is so adorable, but it isn't something adults do. Who knows.

Snack was cheese and crackers with grape drink, and while she couldn't remember many other details, she went on and on all afternoon about school and her new friends. She even named a few: Ashton, Melody (I think), and a few others.

I continue to be thankful for her teachers and finding this school. What a difference it has made!

So a good day for Gracie, and while her mood still isn't up to par, I know that "this too shall pass."

Love This

Monday, September 15, 2008

School Apprehension

Gracie has been in a sour mood all afternoon, and out of know where she started to get upset and told us she will miss Grasshopper Green.

It took me a few minutes to realize that she was talking about Kindergarten. Each day when she has come home from preschool she has told me she can't wait to ride the bus. I am guessing the teachers are getting them prepared for Kindergarten already.

Garren was home at the time she made her declaration and decided that the realization of change had set in. They talked about how change can be scary, and I jumped in with all of the fun things she will get to do this year and then all the exciting things that come with Kindergarten (riding the bus, eating lunch at school, recess). It seemed to calm her down a little, but she announced again that she would miss her preschool.

I am no psychiatrist, but I am seeing my child starting to realize things change and people and things go away. Remember that she is still reeling from missing Grandma and Grandpa and we have been talking about all the ways she is a big girl.

So, this afternoon before our walk, I drove her to see what her Elementary School looked like. We drove to the parking lot and saw kids playing outside. She told me she bet there were a lot of desks. She asked other questions too about her friends and cubbies. I told her many of her preschool friends would be in Kindergarten with her, and that I would wait for her when she got on and off the bus. We were about to drive off when she made her crying face and said "but I don't know how to do plus by plus." We talked more about all the things she would learn in Kindergarten like reading and "plus by plus," and many other things. By the time the school was out of sight she was clearly more relaxed and maybe even a little excited, and she was on to deciding which lunch box to pick.

Have I mentioned how sensitive she is?! All of this because she has her father's mind and she can't stop all of the thoughts that roam around up there. On the "plus" side, I have become very good at talking out and showing her ways around her fears and how to conquer them. I pray that God continues to give me that wisdom.

Family Photo

Everyone was dressed and all in the same place this afternoon for a family picture. Gracie needs to take one to school for a project, and the last one I had was from Easter! So, I made everyone sit nice and smile. I am actually quite please at the way it came out!

Notice anything different between the top picture and the bottom?

Gracie is 9 months younger (she was still 3), it is winter time...and I am 16 pounds lighter! Actually, the 16 pounds happened since May, but this was the best picture to illustrate my point!

Another Fun Apple Day

Gracie's preschool class continued the same theme today: apples. And, yes, she had on another apple dress to match.

Today they made apple turnovers for snack. I completely forgot to leave my camera, but apparently it wasn't too messy Ms. Stephanie says. Although she made it a point to let me know that Gracie ate every bite. I laughed it off. Gracie is always the last to leave the snack table. The other kids will eat a bite and go play, not my Gracie. She stays until the last crumb has been mopped up.

Gracie told me they put apples (cooked apples from a can) on their biscuits and then shook cinnamon on top. I am not sure if she liked making it or eating it better. Then she told me "I ate all of my snack, and I drank all of my water, and then I got another cup and took a few sips, and then I poured the rest in the sink and threw my trash away."

The story today was about Grover, but when asked what he did she didn't know. They also went for a walk. She told me they held a special shape rope and everyone held a shape with one hand. I asked how far they walked, but she was ambiguous. She wants me to take her on a walk later today. The weather is perfect and I think that sounds like a lovely idea.

Oh, and they did "Sammy's" today. I am still trying to figure this out, but it is a movement activity that is on the calendar a lot. I am guessing it is like "Simon Says." She says you jump, walk, hop ...etc.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Following Directions


I am so proud and impressed with Gracie today. Well, I am always proud and impressed, but especially today because she proved she can follow written directions--by herself!

Gracie wanted to do this small craft kit that mom had given me a long time ago, and I was tired and was in one of those "whatever" moods. I opened the kit and laid it on the living room floor. There were four separate things you could make inside. She picked a monkey first and I pulled out all of the pieces and the directions. Then I told her, follow the directions (they were picture). The first one I watched her and talked about the steps. After that I left her on her own. 20 minutes later Gracie emerged from the living room super proud of all 4 of her crafts that she did following step by step instructions.

I have no idea at what age or stage they should be able to do this task, and I really don't care, I just feel like it is another stepping stone in her learning.

Didn't she do a good job on her fish?!

Saturday Duty

Saturdays are normally Daddy-daughter time, starting with family breakfast and the newspaper. But this Saturday was a work Saturday, so I was up and gone before Gracie was awake. The downside is that we didn't get to spend much time together. The upside is I got to see some really interesting things.

Most notably, I went behind Confederate lines for a time at a recreation of the Battle of Fisher's Hill. I snapped a few quick pictures at the top of the hill (after some Union skirmishers took a shot at me).


One of the Confederate skirmishers attempting to hold back Union probes of the line. While they didn't break through while I was on the hill, history records that they were outflanked and routed just two days later.










Fisher's Hill is in such good condition that some of the original stuff from the battle is still there, most notably this tree. Confederate sharpshooters perched here at one point in the battle in an effort to pick off Union officers.








The view from the top is stunning. Looking roughly northeast, you can see Massanutten Mountain and the Blue Ridge in the distance... and haze. Saturday was miserably hot.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Soggy Party


Well it started out as a hot-as-can-be party, and then about 20 minutes later the rain came down, and then it came down harder, and then we started building the ark.

While Gracie is somewhat disappointed, we got in several games and many prizes before and in between bursts of heavy rain. Although, I was afraid in the end that I would waste the last of her baggie of tickets. But, we decided that we were soaking wet and the rain was likely not going to stop so we cashed in at the lollipop tree. Gracie had 8 tickets left, and now we are 8 suckers to the good.


I hated it for the church and all of the people who worked so hard. They moved the music into the sanctuary, so the groups didn't travel for nothing.

We participated in 2 cake walks, and won neither. Oh well, I have seen more than enough cake in the past 24 hours! I think they only got through 3 rounds and there were a lot of donated cakes. I have no idea what they will do with the rest, but I had no desire to carry those back to the house!

As for my cakes, they came out pretty well. I made four: a bunny, a kitty, a teddy bear, and a train. Check them out.

You can see the rest of the soggy pictures here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Apple Day


We decided to continue the theme at home today. Despite the fact that I have to make four cakes for the church's yard party tomorrow.

I found the cutest idea in a craft book I checked out from the library; making sock apples.

Gracie just got new socks, so I gathered some of the old ones that hadn't been thrown out (I used to save all of her old clothes including shoes, socks and undies, and realized I would not likely reuse them or be able to give things like that away, so now I save storage space and toss.)

This craft was harder than I thought, but it turned out pretty cute and looks great as a center piece on my kitchen table.


Step 1: paint the feet of old socks red.


...or green or yellow. There are many different colors of apples you know!

Step 2: Let dry, this will take apparently over night...DO NOT DO WHAT I DID and try and microwave them dry. We lost a few :(

Step 3: stuff the foot of the sock with stuffing..etc. (we used toilet paper and the tops of the socks.

Step 4: cut the sock to the right sized apple you want.

from here we created our own directions because it didn't look right tied off to me. I folded over the top of the sock and hot glued shut and inserted a painted (brown) Q-tip for the stem (the Q-tip was Gracie's idea) and then glued a construction paper leaf to the side of the stem. I think they came out pretty cute.

All About Apples

Gracie had an apple day at school today. She of course dressed the part in this darling dress I found..where else...a thrift store for a $1!

Gracie and her classmates sponge painted apples today. They got to choose from red, yellow, and green. Gracie chose red. The "apples" were paper plates and they are the classroom decoration for the month.

She told me they also heard the story "The Apple Pie Tree," which is one of the many fall books we read each year. And when she came home she was talking about different kind of apples including golden delicious. I guess she really is picking up information at school! :)

They also played "apple toss" today. Gracie informs me it was a pretend apple, and I can only assume it was a beanbag.

She had lots of fun and was excited to tell that on Monday they will get to make an apple treat for snack. I think I will ask if all of the kids have signed release forms and see if they can snap pictures of the kids making their treats. Sounds super cute....and messy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pretty As A Flower


Gracie actually asked me to take her picture in front of the flowers this morning. So, I was more than happy to pull out the camera and take a snap shot while we were waiting to go in to school.

Gracie and I both seem to be so much better this morning. She hasn't had a fever, and it is just a runny nose, so I decided to let her go to school this morning.

Today the snack was goldfish crackers (snack is always the first bit of information I get about the day), they heard a Curious George story, and they played some sort of game with circles and plates (I didn't get the explanation).

Also today each child stood in front of the class and told about their favorite things. I asked if Gracie was nervous, and she said "no." They sent home a little sheet about what they said. I live for things like this. I am very proud of her, and can't help but snicker at her answers. They are positively "Gracie."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ickies


Sorry for being behind in my posting--Gracie and I both have the ickies. Small colds I am pretty sure, but we are feeling retched. I am sure some tissues, chicken noodle soup, and Daddy taking care of dinner will be the perfect cure.

And, in the meantime I have updated my photo blog (thanks for guiling me Candice!) You will see the link on the left hand side of this page under projects "photo a day."

Monday, September 08, 2008

Little Grasshopper

I wanted to make Gracie a dress like this last year, but never found the time. I am super pleased with just how cute it came out. But, I can't take all of the credit. Grandma made the dress, I just added the pockets, the grasshopper and topped with a new hair bow. But, doesn't she look adorable?!

Today at school snack was cheese balls (the kids favorite), they read a Little Critter story and made butterflies for the window decorations. They sang songs today, but she couldn't remember much else. I am pretty sure there is lots that happens in those nearly 3 hours. Oh, but she did tell me "all the girls had to go potty." I was confused, but she mentioned it on the way out of the door and Ms. Christine agreed. Apparently it held up the day. I asked Gracie if she had to go potty too--and she said yes. That is kind of funny.

Gracie also came home with a little runny nose. To be honest I have been sneezing all morning my self. Hopefully it is just our allergies running haywire after all the rain.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Heartbreak


I can bandage an owie, I can kiss a boo-boo, but I can't fix a broken heart.

When you are a mommy you learn to be prepared for all the scrapes and find away to bandage them up and kiss them away. But, you aren't prepared for those tears you can not fix.

Grandma and Grandpa left today after having Gracie by themselves all weekend. Gracie knew the time would come for them to head back to Lynchburg, and as we figured the water works started at goodbye. What we weren't expecting was the sorrow that followed for the rest of the day. Poor Gracie would cry and cry whenever she would think about them. We tried to talk to her and comfort her, but all she could make out through shaky voice and tears was "but I miss them."

You can talk until you are blue in the face, but how can you really make your four year old understand that we don't live in the same city as the people she adores the most? How can you explain that we can't move closer, or that this is the way it will be for a long time? How can a preschooler understand when she sees her classmates being picked up by their grandma's and know she can only see hers once a month?

There are no easy answers and no conversation is going to fix how much she misses them when they are gone. And, this is perhaps one of, if not the most, painful challenges I as a parent had to face. I can't fix her broken heart, and I can only sit by and try to comfort her and wipe her tears. We look at the calendar and mark off the days until the next visit. But, you know it is not the same, and you know she is hurting and may never understand.

I wasn't that close to my grandparents, and I only saw them twice a year. But, I had my Lou and I went over to her house often and every chance I had. Garren lived in the same county as both sets of his grandparents and had his entire family within a 30 minute drive or so. For poor Gracie, life just isn't fair. We just do the best we can.

On the bright side she apparently had an amazing weekend with Grandma and Grandpa. You can see the hilarious pictures here.

Back From New Jersey, And Unscathed By Hanna

Shannon, (and anyone else who wants to see what I got from the wedding) the pictures and videos are in this folder. The videos are dark because all of the lights were out and there were only white string lights and battery operated candle light. Also, the camera is shaky from where I had to zoom in. But, the audio is good and you can at least here what they said to each other. Sorry you missed it. Heather looked beautiful and her family were so proud.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

We're Off

Garren and I are off to New Jersey. Yes, New Jersey. We will be following Tropical Storm Hanna all the way. Should be an interesting 4 hour drive to Heather's wedding reception. In the meantime, Gracie will be enjoying the company of Grandma and Grandpa who are driving down in all of this rain to stay with her. This will only be the second time we have ever left Gracie with anyone else. But, I don't think we will have time to worry. Gracie adores her Grandparents and we will be battling wind and driving rain. Wish us luck.

While we will likely be soggy, we want to wish Elliott a wonderful birthday today! Happy 40th birthday Elliott! :) (Ah, 27, 40 close enough)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Second Day Of Preschool

I thought today instead of typing what Gracie told me she did at preschool, I would let you hear first hand. She rambles like her mommy, so be prepared--it's a 2 minute video.

video

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

More About First Day


Gracie had a thumbs up first day at preschool today. She told me they did the Pledge of Alleigence, sang the Happy Day song and Grasshopper Green is My Preschool.

They played a game with a beach ball where you roll it to someone and they tell you their name. Gracie said she rolled it to Emma.

Gracie is sitting at a new table this year. She seemed proud to be sitting at the yellow table next to Maddie. She couldn't remember who else is at that table besides Maddie and Madelyn. (Both girls are from last year's class as well).

She brought home a certificate from her first day at school, along with a calendar, and a not so exciting health warning form. I can't believe it is the first day of school and we are already getting one of those! Apparently a child was at the Open House with lice!!! It says it could take 2 weeks for her to get it...I will have to keep a close watch on her. Ah, the life of a preschool parent. Cross your fingers that she doesn't get it at all.

After school I took Gracie to McDonald's for a Happy Meal. We had a nice meal, and Emma and her mommy from school had lunch behind us.

When we got back home I had another surprise: cookies and milk. She devoured them and changed her clothes. I know it is a lot of not-so-healthy food and is very much unlike me, but today is a special day.

I have added new pictures to Gracie's "storybook" in the blog entry below, so be sure to scroll down and see more of her day.

First Day

Gracie off at school for her first day of her last year in preschool.

She was actually very excited this morning, and I was able to get her up, dressed and fed on time. Usually this is a struggle, but with first day morning excitement--I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

But, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were a lot of returning kids from Gracie's class last year. You could tell the new parents. Since there was only one 3 year old class, the kids we didn't recognize were going to preschool for the first time ever. Those parents looked a lot like I am sure I looked last year. I know they will be relived as I was to know our kids are in such good hands.

Gracie has the same cubby as last year and she proudly put her bunny back pack inside. She gave me extra hugs and kisses this morning and made her way happily to the table to color.

This is going to be a good year. :)

As you can imagine I snapped pictures all morning. I have included a "storybook" of her day, but if you are watching it early, check back because I plan to add more to it as the morning goes on.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Gracie Helps With The Laundry

Gracie has been a big helper lately, and today she followed me again downstairs to do the laundry. She likes to put the wt clothes in the dryer, and then take the nice warm fluffy ones out of the dryer and put them in the basket. Today I decided to snap a picture of my big helper in action. Of course the best part would be her quote of the day...


"Yea, now Daddy's shirts aren't stinky anymore!"


Before daddy gets too upset, she wanted to put the dirty clothes in the washer, but I didn't want her to touch them and told her they were stinky--eww! So, when she got to put your clean, but wet shirt in the dryer, she was happy it was clean again. :)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day With Friends & Family


I don't remember this picnic, I wish I did. But, as you can plainly see I was pretty young. I love this picture, it reminds me of so many wonderful lunches at my Aunt Lou's. I spent so much time in her home (probably more than my own home!) and there was always fried chicken and tea and corn and homemade pickles. You can even see an open jar on the table. You can bet we kids fought over our fair share of them.

I don't know when this was, I am guessing during summer time, but I find myself trying to bring a little of my Aunt Lou's style and love in to my own family's celebrations.

Today, our neighbors came over for a Labor Day "picnic" at our house. I pulled out one of Lou's blue checkered table cloths, and I used her bowls. We had chicken (on a stick, Garren's specialty), corn, watermelon and more. All that was missing were her homemade pickles. I have a few jars left, but I am trying to make them last as long as I can.

All of us had a wonderful time talking and sharing and laughing. We have such a good time anytime we get together. I am so thankful that they have become such good friends and we are able to celebrate the moments in our lives together.

Can you find me in this picture? Ha, I am the only girl. My brother Brian is on Lou's lap, and my Uncle Hubert is beside her. Aunt Jane is beside Hubert. Cousin's Bill and Jason sandwich me in. Sadly all of the adults in this picture are gone. I am so glad for the invention of the photograph. Pictures make losing people in our lives just a little bit easier, as we can look back and remember the good times.

I can't belive I didn't take a picture today!!! My mind was preoccupied. But, thankfully we get together often, and I will have more pictures of our times together.