Thursday, August 31, 2017

Dakota the Hair Styler

Dakota and Sydney have been playing "hair styler" a lot lately.

Dakota is the "styler" while Sydney is her very patient customer. They literally sit at the table for hours talking and clipping things into Sydney's hair.

This was a recent "do" and it makes me laugh every time I see it! They were SO proud!

Meet and Greet

With school being less than a week away, the kids were invited into the school to see which teacher they would have for the year. On the way there Tony was saying that he bet there would only be a few people there because it was in the middle of the day (2-3 pm) and how it was silly to do this, so he was really surprised when we pulled up and the entire parking lot was full and there was a very long line of people outside the school! I remembered it being quite busy last year but I think there were more people this time.

Harper is going to have Mrs. Pinkney this year, a teacher Landon had when he was younger. Dakota will be with Mrs. Anderson but we won't meet her until next week. Each child's desk had a little questionnaire on it for parents to fill out and the last question was: Is there anything specific you'd like me to know about your child? I wrote: He's awesome. (It's the truth.)

He enjoyed the Swedish fish goodie bag and was even kind enough to share with his sister. When we were done introducing ourselves and looking around for familiar names we headed outside for a snocone that the PTA graciously paid for. 

Harper has been saying that he's not ready for school to start but I think this might have helped. He looked excited about his new classroom and left there wondering what they'd be learning this year. I think 2nd grade is going to be a great year for him! 

Harper's Homemade Obstacle Course

I know it's time for my kids to go back to school because they seem intent on dismantling my house on a nightly basis. Every single day they pull every pillow and cushion from every room and make some type of obstacle course. I pretty much just let them have at it because I can no longer seem to think of things to keep them summer brain is fried. 

Tonight's course was pretty cool though and I let Harper make a little video tour of his creation. I'm pretty sure that was a bad idea because he'll likely see this as encouragement and want to make more courses and more videos. Luckily we've only got a few more days to spend creatively before school is back in session. 

Ginger 2001-2017

After 16 wonderful years together, I had to put my girl Ginger to rest today. It was not an easy decision but one I knew was right because of her declining health. She had pretty much lost control of her bowels, was mostly blind and deaf, had trouble walking and was running into and getting stuck beneath furniture. It was difficult to watch to say the least. 

I called her vet yesterday and they were able to squeeze us in today. I'm thankful for that because it was absolute hell knowing this was coming and I don't know if I would have been able to follow through with it if I'd had a few days to second guess myself. 

I knew taking her in was going to be rough but it was much more difficult than I'd imagined. At first I told the vet I didn't want to be in the room but as I sat there I realized I wanted to be with her in her last moments. I wanted her to feel my hand rubbing her ears even if she didn't know it was me. I wanted to be the last loving hand to touch her, to kiss her head and thank her for all the happy years. 

I stuck it out with her to the end and although it was hard, I'm glad I did. 


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Go Twinkle Birds!

Dakota's soccer coach told them they that they all needed to think of some possible team names. She is all about that kind of stuff so as soon as she got home from practice the other day, she thought of names while Tony wrote them down for her.

Here's her list:

She came up with all the names except Pickles which Tony threw in as a possibility. While I love all the options presented I just love Twinkle Bird. I'd love to stand on the sidelines of her games shouting "Go, Twinkle Birds"! Unfortunately most of her team is made up of boys so her suggestion is unlikely to be chosen, but I've got my fingers crossed! 

Maryland Renaissance Festival

This weekend was children's weekend AND opening weekend at the renaissance festival so we thought it'd be a great way to spend a Saturday with the kiddo's. Landon (surprisingly) opted not to go, but the two little kids were ready to see what all the fuss was about. We got there right around 10 am and were stuck in line waiting to buy tickets for over an hour. I knew I should have bought the tickets online but I kept thinking Landon would change his mind and want to go and I had no idea the line to get in would be so long. Thankfully the weather was nice or we may have turned around and headed out of there after seeing that long line! (It would have probably been the best thing too since the kids were off the hook whiny the entire day. They were miserable to be around.)

Although Harper did want to be in the picture below, he refused to smile. I should have known then that he was going to be a pill for the rest of the day, but my hopes were high and I was in the mood to have fun so I ignored it...

There have been a lot of changes to the festival since we were there last and the only show we remembered from before was "O". The set up is the same as it has always been but I think it was much more crowded than other times we've been. 

We were walking around checking things out when we walked by a "strength" tester game. I could tell that Tony wanted to give it a try so I egged him on a bit and he gave it a go. He didn't ring the bell but he did get close. We saw many people give it a try and not a one was able to ring that bell!

We had some lunch (mini corn dogs for the kids, huge turkey leg for Tony and I had a falafel wrap) and then found some seats at the jousting arena which I thought the kids would love. (Harper complained the entire time but the rest of us enjoyed the show.)

After the jousting the kids spotted elephant rides and since that's just not something you get to do every day, we got in line for that. I wanted to ride but knew if I did I wouldn't get good pictures, so I watched instead. (Not sure who the guy is behind Tony but kind of makes me laugh that he's in the pictures!)

We let the kids try out a bowling game and Harper was able to knock them all down with only two tries! Bowling is quite different when the ball is hanging from a rope!

Before leaving we watched a few shows. 

And A Fool Named 'O' and 'Lala', one of our favorites from years past:

The shows were all unique and fun to watch but the kids only really enjoyed 'O'. They laughed and laughed at all the silly stuff they did!

Next time we go we're getting a babysitter. We missed so much stuff and so many shows...

Friday, August 25, 2017

Art Camp: Fairytale and Imagination

My kids had their second day of art camp today and they had as much fun this time as they did last time. This weeks theme was Fairytale & Imagination so the art work went that direction.

They drew frogs (Harper's artwork will always be the top photo, just to make things easy):

They painted frogs (Dakota said her's looks like a potato, Harper and I thought more like a jalepeno):

They made rock monsters:

And splatter paint monsters (Dakota made one red and one green):

They drew maps:

And they made cute popsicle stick fairies:

I just love all of it and love that they enjoy their time being creative. Dakota may have had more paint on herself than all her projects combined, but at least she had a good time doing it!

While the kids were making messes I did some shopping at Target, picked Landon up from cross country, filled the van up with gas, went to the bank and then drove to Zoe's place to hang out for a little bit. We walked her neighborhood, had lunch together and talked about the wedding. I left her house around 2 pm and made it home in time to mop the kitchen and take a shower before going back to get the kids. 

It was a nice day off and I guess a taste of what it will be like when they're all in school full time in a few weeks. So weird. 

Eclipse: Scrapbook Page

I haven't made a scrapbook page in ages but for some reason I felt like making a page last night and this is what I came up with. :) Hopefully there will be more scrapbooking in the near sure was fun making this page!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

First Day of Soccer

This year we have two soccer players in the house. Landon is running cross country and has been practicing for weeks already but the two younger kids had their first soccer practice on Monday. Of course since they are two years apart they are on different teams but they also happen to be practicing at different schools. So, Mondays and Wednesdays are going to be a bit crazy around here for awhile. 

As Harper and I were making our way to practice we saw lightening so I was pretty sure at that point there wouldn't be a practice at all...I ended up being right. It started to lightly rain within minutes of getting to the field and that turned into a full blown storm. So, we didn't get to practice but we did at least get to meet his coach and drop off the required paperwork. (Same story for Dakota who was with Tony.)

We have rain in the forecast for tonight again so I don't know if we'll be having practice or not but games start mid September so I hope they can at least get a few practices in before then.

Mustangs in Training

Yesterday Harper, Dakota and I went to their elementary school for Mustangs in Training. It's basically a way to show incoming kindergarten children where their classrooms will be as well as a tour of the rest of the school. They showed them the office, health room, cafeteria, gym, music and art rooms as well as the playground. Harper was so excited to show Dakota around and was a little disappointed when the assistant principal did the guiding for him. 

Other than the tour the counselor read them a book about beginning school and then they drew a picture about how they felt about starting school and one way someone could make them feel ready to begin kindergarten. When they'd finished their papers the kids were given some time to run around on the playground before leaving.

Dakota said she is "happy" about starting school and the way we can help her feel ready for school is by "getting a hug from mom". 💘

Saturday Skate

We hadn't been skating in quite awhile so we decided to give it a go this past Saturday. I could tell right away we'd waited too long since the last time we were there  because neither of the little kids could remember how to do it!

Landon decided to come hang out with us and skate too. Luckily he remembered how to do it even though it's been a few years since he's gone. He started out with inline skates but thought they were too hard and switched to speed skates. 

Colin and Wyatt joined us at the rink but my kids saw some friends they knew from school (and that is always SOOO exciting!) so they ended up skating with them most of the time. I've got to remember to take them skating a little more often because they had a great time and they need to work on their skills! 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Great Total Solar Eclipse 2017

Today was eclipse day. We've been ready with our eclipse glasses for weeks now and it's all anyone's been talking about so I was ready for it to get here already. I wasn't positive the glasses I bought were certified (until this morning when I finally looked it up) but I was double prepared because I made sure to buy boxes of cereal to make our own just in case. I found out on NASA's website that our particular glasses were fine though so that's what we ended up using.

The solar eclipse was way cooler than I had thought it would be. It's weird when you hold the glasses up to your eyes because you can't see anything at all. I mean, it's totally black. But, when you hold them against your face and look at the sun, you can see the eclipse and that is so neat! Here in Maryland we only got to see 80% of the eclipse but my family in South Carolina were in the line of totality so they had complete coverage. My nephew Jaron took some amazing photos and told me I could post them here to share. :)

After we'd had our fill of staring at the sun, Dakota and I ran down the street to share our glasses with neighbors who didn't have them. I loved seeing other people's reactions! When I asked people if they wanted to use our glasses most of them asked if it was happening right then. They thought it would get really dark so they thought it hadn't even begun! The one's who hadn't realized it was happening at that moment were the most impressed when they put the glasses on and saw the moon covering the sun! It was a fun way to share the moment and Dakota loved letting everyone borrow her glasses.

As we were walking home I noticed the shadows on the sidewalk looked different than usual. It wasn't until I got home and was thinking about it that I realized it was actually the eclipse I was seeing on the ground, not the pattern of the leaves on the trees! I ran back out to get a picture but I didn't end up getting anything great. Here's what I did get though, and if you look towards the bottom right, you can see a moon shape there. It's very light, but it's there. 

The next eclipse that will be in the United States is April 8, 2024. It will be crossing nearer to us than this one but I'm thinking we'll need to pick a really good spot to make sure we get to see the total eclipse. 

Water Balloons

When my kids told me they didn't know what to do with themselves yesterday I suggested they go outside and play with the water balloons....