Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wednesday Night #3

Looks like we are on a roll.

Mommy took over teaching this week, and I think I may have nailed it.

Of course, the kids were super excited that daddy joined us for the evening at church too.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Anniversary #15

Not what most couples plan (or want) for a big one like #15, but this is what we got.

It's been a rough year sweetheart, but I wouldn't want to celebrate 5475 married days with anyone else but you!

Happy 15th Anniversary to us.

Back To School Night--Elementary Edition

It was Thomas' turn to take mommy to see his classroom and re-meet his teacher.

Despite the fact that he and best friend Bryce are for the first time ever not in the same class ever, Thomas seems to be doing well in 1st grade.

Mrs. Tapper seems like an enthusiastic teacher, and Thomas was proud to show off his work and his desk and his friend Jaiden from last year.

 And, we took Chewey. I didn't get to see Chewey at school today, or get a photo, so Thomas excitedly offered to bring him with us.

He even asked me to take a photo of him and Mrs. Tapper before we left.

Here's hoping it is a good rest of 1st grade year.

Kissable Cheeks!

To say that I got an amazing Anniversary preset today is an understatement!!

I wasn't super thrilled that my OB appointment was scheduled for our 15th anniversary, but knowing that Back To School Night was already going to suck it up as well made the point moot.

I knew I was going to get an ultrasound, but I wasn't expecting the new (to me) technician to switch the mode over to 3-d (4-D?) for a few photos!!!  Most pregnant women pay and arm and a leg at specialized places to have this done. And, while I have wanted one for as long as I have known they existed, I didn't get to see this detail with either of my other cuties.

While, I loved watching him on the screen (in color by the way!!), I loved being able to bring home photos of our newest little man to show his daddy.

He has Miller cheeks! Look at those kissable chunky cheeks!

I think this has made everything so much more real, and that much more exciting for all of us.

Chewey Goes To 1st Grade


As you may remember, Chewey snuck on the school bus last year on picture day and had to be rescued.  But, today, he was an invited guest.

Thomas had earned enough "money" to buy the opportunity to bring a stuffed friend to school, and you can imagine there was no debate about who would go.

I almost emailed Mrs. Tapper to ask for a photo, but I didn't want to be "that mom" so soon in the year-- I need to spread out my neurotic.

Thomas says Chewey had a great day, even though he had to stay on his desk the whole time. I figure that was better than having to stay in his back pack all day!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sara & Ella Come For A Visit

...and Dean too.

What a fun reunion we got to have this afternoon.

Sara and I have been friends since 7th or 8th grade when we were in Girl Scouts together (not the same troop, but we often saw each other at events), and then we got to be better friends when we ended up in the same High School.

You can easily to the math, but that is more than 20 years of friendship, and I love that we are still in touch.  She lives in Chesapeake and I am in Mechanicsville, but thanks to modern technology we can still stay connected.

So, you can imagine I was thrilled that she would be stopping near our house this weekend after a visit with her grandparents.

Thomas and Sara's daughter Ella got to meet a few years back when we went to Maymont for a play date, but Gracie hadn't met her.  Both of my kids were super excited to play with this sweet girl--especially Gracie who planned out all sorts of girly-play time ideas hours before she arrived. Unfortunately for Gracie, Ella wasn't really into all of her ideas, and just wanted to check out all of our toys.

All three kids had a great time, and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with Sara. (The boys watched football on TV, so I guess they had some sort of happiness there).

I can't believe I didn't take a single picture at the house, but I definitely made up for it when we went to dinner.

I have a feeling Ella keeps Sara and Dean on their toes, but what a precious reason to be exhausted at the end of the day.

Thank you all so much for sharing some time with us! We were so glad to have you and hope you visit again very soon!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tooth #6 Out For Thomas

Good grief he is losing them fast!

Maybe it isn't fast, but it seems like it.

#6 came out fairly drama-free. In fact, it was the lowest amount of drama with a tooth for Thomas. Now, don't get me wrong, he freaked when he saw the blood, but that tooth just fell out in his tissue that I handed him because he kept sticking his fingers in his mouth.

And, there is a bonus--this is the other tooth that had to come out soon or the dentist was going to have to pull it! Yea!

So win-win on the drama front for mommy & Thomas. Because, let me tell you, the idea of him having to have a tooth pulled freaked ME out!


You know me, I love a good chart. So, really, he lost his at about the same pace and the same age as she did.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

First Day Of Fall

What a gorgeous first day of fall we had!

Plus, the big bike race through Richmond this week let the kids have the day off, so we could all enjoy it together.

Now, I can't take credit for the picture perfect day.

I took the pictures--but only after Grace invited us for a park play date.

 I was worried about the massive amounts of traffic and had vowed to stay inside all day.  Clearly, I am so glad we ventured out.

I took my good camera and got great shots!!

After the play date at the park we made an impromptu stop at the Pole Green Produce. Their hay bale maze was set up.  I think they do it every year, but we haven't been since the fall we moved here! Thomas was tiny! 

Not that it isn't fun, but this mama loves fall so much and I cram so much in we can't possibly do it all.

The big kids loved running through the maze, and Gracie loved that she and Emmy found the way out long before the boys.

I made them pose for some awesome pictures before we said our goodbyes.


We took some time to cool off and chill out before enjoying the first fall afternoon outside with our neighbor Cheyenne.

I told the kids to stay outside, that it was too nice to be indoors. Well, you know kids--I think they came inside 100 times! But, I managed to stick to my guns and they made an afternoon of it from bikes to bubbles.

It was a wonderful day, and I am so glad that we were encouraged to take time to soak it up.  This mama loves fall, and the fall weather, and the fall temperatures and all the colors. 

I am one happy lady!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hat Day For Thomas

I'll be honest and tell you I am still not quite sure how this reward system works--but here's what I have figured out:

*Each student in Mrs. Tapper's class receives $1 each day they are well behaved in class. 

*The money is fake and is being used to teach money and addition with money.

*The kids can "buy" something from the "treasure box."

*The items you can buy are not tangible things (i.e. certificates for something fun).

So, Thomas was excited to choose "wear a hat" with the money he had earned over 2 weeks.

I was excited for him, but he says he can only wear it at recess. Part of me wonders if he will even remember! 

Either way, I couldn't help but get a picture of him and his hat and his newly "bought" certificate.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Thomas' First School Library Book

You know I make a big deal of all the "little" things.

In Kindergarten the kids aren't allowed to bring home their library books--they have to stay in the classroom.

Now that he is a big first grader is he excited to bring his first book home.

Thomas picked out the Pete The Cat book on Friday, but we decided to read it for bed time tonight.

Here's hoping he loves to read (Gracie never did). I love watching kids who love to read!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Thomas Gets His Bible

So, another big Sunday for Thomas.

All 1st graders were presented with a Bible from the church today.  Thomas stood proudly with his friends at the front of the church and received his Bible from Shady Grove United Methodist Church--presented by mommy & daddy.

What a neat idea. I love the pomp & circumstance of Methodists. I love the ceremonies, making moments into big deals. And, I love that I can pass off my camera and capture it all!! (Thank you Nikki!!)

This was a moment just for moms, dads & first graders, but Gracie was more than happy to sit back and watch. And, she was proud to video the moment for mommy.

I feel terrible that we moved to Mechanicsville weeks before Gracie started first grade, and we weren't fully involved in the church until the following Easter--so she missed out on this opportunity.  (And, honestly, with my shy violet, I guess it is more like mama missed out on this moment) But, there will be more "moments" to be had for all three kids.

The ceremony was short, and I am so unhappy with how I look in the video, but I am 6.5 months pregnant and fighting a cold--so I cold look worse.

But, I am sharing it, because it is hard to hide this proud mama beaming as my child officially receives his church Bible. He has several Bibles in his room--but this is a big deal, and a big moment that his father and I were only too proud to share with him.

 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
--Proverbs 22:6

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Back To School Night, Middle School

They don't do it anything like elementary school does, and after the welcome in the gym and the itinerary, I wasn't so sure I was up to more middle school chaos.

But, I am very glad I went. And not just because as her parent I need to be involved and learn about what she is doing, but it really was informative!

The evening was broken down into 4 sessions.  You couldn't meet your child's team of teachers until your slot, which was by alphabetical order. (And this is why I swore in high school I would marry a man with an "A" last name!)

Of course, the S-Z group was the last group to meet teachers, so we choose 3 other options while we waited.

Gracie was excited to go and listen to her strings teacher talk-- and for me to meet her. Mrs. Hawley seems like a wonderful woman and instructor, and I can see why Gracie is so excited.

I choose the computer lesson next.  Well, sort of lesson.  Middle-schoolers have to use two different internet applications at this level: PowerSchool and Blackboard.  I have never used either of these. They were offered in elementary, but really not needed or pivotal, so I never signed up.  Well, we have to use these now, so I was thankful for the instructions on how to use and how to manage. These applications are for assignments, homework, notes, etc as well as grades and parent communication.  So, good items to have. And bonus, both have app's!

We used our third slot to look at the book fair, which was kind of piddly compared to MES, but then again, there aren't as many options for middle-schoolers.  We didn't purchase anything, but since we were in the library I was determined to undermine her announcement from yesterday that there was nothing in the library for her to read.  Apparently the entire class went to the library and she was the only one who couldn't find something to check out.  It took mommy about 5 minutes to find a good spot to start, and in the end she had 10-11 books that were fairly to very interesting to my princess-obsessed girl.  Score one for mom!

We had some more time to spare, so Gracie was more than excited to show me that she had mastered her locker. Last week it was quite a difficult thing and led to so much more anxiety, so I was so happy to watch her nail it first try and beam.  And, yes, I have no idea how she gets anything in there, but she has a system and it works--so I say nothing!

We finally made it to our turn with the the teachers, and we were of the very few left. Clearly not many parents stuck around until 7:55 and either missed their turn, or snuck in with some better lettered last names.

This was clearly the most informative part for me. All 4 teachers from her "block" were there to go over what they expected, what they needed, and to answer questions. This was my first time meeting 3 of the 4 teachers. I had only met the one as she is also her "FLEX" (i.e homeroom) teacher.

When we left, the parking lot was nearly empty, which was interesting since we got there 15 minutes early and had to park across the very busy 2 lane road at the funeral home again.  But, I felt better. I am not sure if any helped Gracie, but I was very glad that we went and I was able to get a better perspective on a great deal of things.