Thursday, August 25, 2011

K-Girl is a Second Grader

Yesterday was K-Girls first day of school.  This year she's a big second grader.  She has been so excited for school to start this year.  She had her outfit picked and laid out 2 days before.  I can't get over how grown up she looks. 

I love that she wanted to take a picture with her brother.  He's looking forward to starting preschool in just a couple weeks.  He's going to really miss his sister. 

The bus pulled up and she gave me a hug and a kiss and then turned to get on the bus.  She never looked back.  

I'm glad to report that she had a fantastic first day and couldn't wait for the second day.  I hope this is going to be another great year for her. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What we've been up to this summer (Pt 3)

Another highlight of our summer so far was a visit by my best friend and the kid's beloved Auntie R. While she was down she decided she had really wanted to ride a train. Since Auntie R wanted to go and the kids and I have never been down to Strasburg Railroad before and The Husband's love of trains, we thought it would make a fun day.

We arrived early so after getting our tickets we walked around to see what there was to see. After that we sat on the benches and waited until it was time to board our train. Finally it came back... (but E-Man was much too excited and turned to look at the train instead of the camera) ;)

And finally it was time to get all aboard!!

It was a neat experience. The train took us out through the country and into Paradise, PA where it stopped, moved the engine to the other end of the cars, and took us back to Strasburg. It was a 45 minute ride and one I'd recommend if you are ever in the area.

We also took Auntie R along to do two passport hikes in Codorus State Park. To date they have been the most difficult of hikes (with exception of the copperheads) just for issues unrelated to the actual hikes. The first one took forever to find the starting place and the second I managed to drop our pouch containing our crayon for rubbing. The latter ended up being one of the kid's favorite things. While I went back and retraced all my steps and then bothered picnic'ers for pencils, they were rolling up their pants and wading in the lake by the marina.

They absolutely loved it and still ask if they can go back there so they can wade in the water. Oh and I did in fact find a guy who searched his truck till he found a broken pencil. I took the pencil and rubbed it on concrete until I made a point and then was able to go back and get the rubbing. It was quite the ordeal. :) It was great that in that moment the kids were happy with their Auntie while I was doing all the extra footwork.

And other than all of that, we've been spending a lot of time in the pool. Whether it is with friends or without the pool has been fantastic this year. The Husband recently built a small deck that will be added onto as time permits so that we can enter and exit the pool by steps rather than the ladder of death. Yes it deserved the name....well at least the ladder of pain as I nearly broke my back putting it in and nearly broke my thumb getting it out. Not to mention the danger of the actual use. Buuuuut anyway it's gone and it's fantastic. The Husband can add onto it in the off season, now it's time to use the pool. :)

The kids both love the pool this year. K-Girl is swimming on her own and E-Man actually wants to be in the water. Last year he had a little pirate boat floaty that he refused to get out of. This year he has his arm floaties on and he's all over the place.

So now I think you're about up to date about the highlights of the summer so far. Add to that lots of playdates with friends and you pretty much have the picture. We're staying busy but it's definitely working for us. I'm excited to see what August brings in the way of finishing out the summer.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What we've been up to this summer (Pt 2)

Our July 4th was insanely busy. We started the day off by doing 3 different "passport" hikes (explained in Pt 1) followed by a nice swim in our pool. During our dinner a little later we decided that we should really go see fireworks. Well actually we had talked about going to see them on the 3rd but nothing came of it. Then at dinner on the 4th K-Girl wanted to know if we were going to see fireworks. So we decided we should do that. The original thought was to drive to our church and see them off in the distance from there since we were told the view is perfect. However, on the ride over I was thinking about it and just decided that we really just needed to go to see them on location. So what started out as a little drive over and then easy out and home turned into a huge production where the kids did not get home and in bed until after 11:30. This is late on a normal night let alone on a night after they had done 3 hikes and swam. But it was a fantastic day and I'd do it again. :)

We also made a trip up to Hershey Gardens to see the butterflies. They have a fantastic children's garden with a butterfly house. The kids love it and so do I.

The only downside to our visit was that it was about 100 degrees and little shade. We didn't last but 2 hours. It was still worth the visit though.

I had to take a moment and get a new picture of the kids with the pig and the cow.

Now click this link to go back to my post on July 17, 2009. Oh my goodness how they have grown!!! That pig looked a lot bigger 2 years ago. Wow.

*To Be Continued...

Monday, July 25, 2011

What we've been up to this summer (Pt 1)

Just one month left until school starts again. I'm ready for Fall and the consistency it brings, but at the same time I'm handling this summer much better than I had expected to. It's been a busy one and I think that's the key.

Next week The Husband is taking a week's vacation and instead of going anywhere we plan on staying close to home and having fun here. We have two trips planned to visit Hershey Park one day and Knobles another. We haven't been to Knobles since E-Man was riding in a sling and I'm not sure that he's ever been to Hershey. K-Girl is a roller coaster nut, well at least she's obsessed with the ones she has been on at the amusement park made just for kids, Dutch Wonderland. But I'm excited to take her on some of the bigger ones. I hope she loves them as much as she thinks she will.

I thought perhaps I would take a little time to do a few posts (because we have definitely been busy) to let you know how we've been spending our summer.

We've been spending many days at the bowling alley. If you haven't heard about the program check this out - The program runs all over the country so there's a good chance you might find a local bowling alley that participates. Every weekday kids get to bowl 2 free games. In addition you can purchase shoe tickets so that rental is a lot cheaper - one time small fee vs a little each time ends up being a huge savings if you go often. They also have a special that you can add up to 4 adults to bowl 2 games daily for just under $25.00 one time fee. It's fantastic. On K-Girl's birthday The Husband took a vacation day and one of the things we did was go bowling. She was so excited to bowl a strike that day...a little birthday luck!

The York County Libraries put together this FANTASTIC summer program for us. There are two sides to it. First of course they have a reading program where you track your minutes of reading with a goal to get to 800 before the end of summer. They give prizes at 200, 400, 600, and 800. The kids are very excited about that, especially K-Girl since she is now an independent reader as well. Nothing like reading with a stop watch running. ;) The kids have just about made it to 800 already.

The second part to it is a Get Outdoors program to help give the kids (and whole families) something fun to get up and DO. This year the focus is on countries of the world. There are 30 selected. At different parks and trails throughout the county there is a check point. On the post there is a little plaque that you rub and shows that you made it. There are directions that you have to follow to get you to the checkpoint. It's a lot of fun and we're really enjoying it. We did it last year but the kids were a little small and there was a lot more whining. This year we are currently halfway with exactly 15 "passports" collected. We hope to do all 30, but the current heatwave has slowed us down. Hopefully we'll be able to pull it off. There is still whining this year, but I think it's one of those things - they love finding the "passport" but the trek there is not always the easiest and most fun.

Most have been pretty uneventful like when we visited "Poland"...

But then there was the day we tried to go to "Kenya" but encountered 5+ copperhead snakes. I said I was being responsible, but more than anything I was scared too much to go any further. I'd like to go back and try again on a less sunny warm day.

Others have had rewards like yummy red raspberries along the way like our trip to "South Africa"...

And others, breath-taking views that make all that walking worth it like when we went to "India"...

I just love that our libraries do this and look forward to taking part in it for many years to come!

*To Be Continued...

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Happy 7th Birthday, K-Girl!

It's hard to believe that K-Girl is 7 years old. Her birthday was actually last Thursday, but we've been busy so I haven't had a chance to post anything here. Seven and a second grader. Time is flying.


I promise there is more coming. I've uploaded a bunch of pictures to share how we've been keeping busy. I just need to put it all together. And the closet is basically done as well. I swear that's not why I haven't been back. ;)