Monday, August 30, 2010

First day of preschool

Today marked Avery's first day of 3-year-old preschool at Saxe Gotha. She has been so excited for this day since her big brother and sister started elementary school a week and a half ago.

Every morning I step into Emma and Avery's shared bedroom to nudge Emma awake so she can begin to get ready for her new school day, and each morning Avery pops out of bed first and throws on her clothes eager to begin the day while Emma twists and turns trying to get back to sleep.

In fact, she was upset with the fact that we weren't leaving at 7:00 a.m. to go to preschool. I had to explain that her school doesn't begin each morning until 9:00 a.m.

We made our way into the building and stopped to take a few pictures along the way.

At this point, we are outside of her new classroom and she is a little unsure if she still really wants to join the other kids. I walked her in and she found something to keep her preoccupied. She loves the peg art toy they have in the classroom! It is something similar to this...

It is always the older vintage toys that hold the children's attention a little longer. The little peg pieces make me nervous around a crawling baby but I think Avery could sit at the table and play with this for hours. Something we might consider in the future...

I think Avery had a good first day of preschool although I had some difficulty pulling details from her day. She explained that they had Goldfish crackers for a snack and she got to play on the big playground. But then she said, "Nobody likes me!"

Hmmm...I'm thinking that is probably not the case and she'll require a few more days to warm up to her new classmates!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Our weekend: Part Two - Clemson University

Rewind a week and here we are for day two of our busy weekend. I read about Clemson's Fan Appreciation Day on Facebook and decided Sunday afternoon we should put all four kids in Clemson attire and drive several hours to campus to wait in lines for various football players autographs.

Yep - that's how I roll some days and lucky for me, I convince my husband that these are once in a lifetime opportunities that we don't want to miss.

Now to be perfectly honest, I had never even heard of Fan Appreciation Day for some reason and other than what I read online, really did not know what to expect. I gathered there would be lines but I also read that C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford would be on hand to sign autographs.

We didn't get that many of the players autographs and the lines were across the stadium by the time we got there. But we were able to make it down one line of players which was really neat. I had to include these photos of Jarvis Jenkins. I love the before and after shots of him talking to our kids!

Ryan, Emma and Avery didn't really know what to think about all of these big guys dressed up in Clemson uniforms. I had to prod them along and remind them to say,"Thank you."

A few more players that we saw...

Eden was excited with all of the Clemson action going on around her.

Two of my little Clemson fans...

I took this photo while we were waiting in one of our loooonnnggg lines. The kids were enjoying a snack near a closed concession stand.

They even had the opportunity to meet some of the Clemson cheerleaders!

Probably the best moment of the day for the kids was attempting to slide down the hill. They had a difficult time getting the cardboard to actually slide but had a good time trying with all of the other kids.

Obviously, it was a busy weekend but hopefully the kids will hold onto some of these memories as they get older!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chicken McCheeseburger?!?

*Special guest post brought to you by my husband, Michael*

Thinking about a McDonald’s run tonight? Check this out.

After visiting my parents in Anderson today, we went through the McDonalds drive-thru in Lexington around 8:30 PM. When we got home, we found the following masterpiece in our 3 year-old’s cheeseburger Happy Meal...

The picture is a little blurry, so I’ll explain further.

This is a standard "cheeseburger" with the burger mysteriously replaced by a chicken patty. At first we thought they just gave her the wrong sandwich, but no. Ketchup, onions, pickles, and CHICKEN on a bun! It was even wrapped in a "Cheeseburger" wrapper. How thorough do you have to be when checking your order to make sure it’s right?

We came up with a couple of names for this. After carefully considering the chickburger and the Unhappy Meal, the McNasty just seems to fit best (I know that’s the nickname often associated with the McRib, but after all, it only shows up once a year, right?).

Let me know if you can think of any better names for this culinary gem, and double-check that Mickey D’s order next time!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Our weekend: Part 1 - Charlotte

This weekend was completely unplanned and "fly by the seat of your pants." I'm not one for sitting around home all of the time and I suggested that maybe we drive over to Charlotte for the day on Saturday.

I had recently read an article in one of my magazines about the Dilworth suburb and we started our trek there. It wasn't exactly the small knit shopping experience I had pictured and not many places (that I saw) that would interest the kids so we just had some lunch at Brueggers Bagels (Fran's Filling Station closed 10 minutes before we got there and part of the reason we were visiting Dilworth!) and then decided to drive over to Philips Place shopping center.

We had to make a stop in to Dean & DeLuca and let each child pick out their own dessert. The peanut butter cupcake up above is what Michael and Ryan split. Emma and Avery each picked out a few pieces of candy from the many candy bins, I had an ice cream bar and Eden had...

...a really messy chocolate chip cookie!

Ryan decided he wasn't crazy about the cupcake as he finished it off. So we're walking down the sidewalk in this nice upscale shopping plaza when he decides to gag on the rest of it. Ugh! My kids were not on the best behavior so our visit was short lived.

We made it to Restoration Hardware and Michael took a quick walk through while I hung outside with my unruly children.

We walked by P.F. Changs were we once dined (I think back when we had two or three children) and the kids posed by the elephant.

Like I said, we didn't last long at Phillip's Place and then we decided to drive around downtown. After the sight seeing in the downtown area, Michael decided we should try and find IKEA. We have never been to one of those stores so he is trying to find it via his GPS system on his phone. It's not really a surprise that IT DIDN'T WORK! So we ended doing a little more "sight seeing" in other parts of Charlotte.

When we finally decided to give up and made our way back to the expressway to head home, what did we see?!? A giant billboard with directions to the IKEA store of course.

We did make it to IKEA and both Michael and I and the kids were thrilled to learn that they had a kid's play area where they watched the kids while we shopped. It just really doesn't get much better than that some days! The kids had a great time and we even had dinner there (pizza) before we got on the road and went back home.

The weekend adventures don't stop there. They probably should have but they didn't. So I'll have Part 2 of our weekend posted soon!

Friday, August 20, 2010

First day of school!

Wednesday was the day! The day when we had to once again begin waking at the crack of dawn, get up and get out the door before 7:00 a.m.

That's the ugly side to the beginning of the new school year. On a happier note, the kids are busy learning once again and enjoying their school friends. And me...I am down two kids during the day! Can I get an "Amen"!

Now I can not take credit for these adorable note cards or even the cute back-to-school teacher idea presented below...

I found this cute idea on one of my inspiration blog sites "Joy Ever After" and she found the teacher note card templates at "Creature Comforts."

I saw it and just had to do these for Ryan and Emma's teachers. Nothing like a little brown nosing to begin the year, right?!? Emma's teacher thanked me again this morning for the note cards and mentioned that she had already used one. I did add my own customization of the teacher's names to the bottoms of the cards and printed out that way. My handwriting just isn't that pretty!

Emma was a little nervous once we got to her classroom that first day but she is so excited when she gets home and just loves to share what she did all day in kindergarten. She knew a couple of girls in her class already and has made more friends over the last three days.

Ryan is starting third grade this year...whew! I just don't know when he got so big on me. He, too, already knew a handful of kids in his class from previous years and seems to really be enjoying his new teacher, Mrs. Kneece.

He has been a big help to Emma and likes to explain things to her like how to get your hot lunch in the cafeteria, what it is like to ride the bus home and where the nurses office is located...he knows that one really well!

Besides school starting, we have also started dance classes for the two girls and Emma has had her first Daisy Girl Scout meeting. Ryan will be starting Boy Scouts and karate soon so things are only going to get busier!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Folly Beach getaway

Last Saturday we decided to pack the gang up for a couple hour drive to Folly Beach to enjoy the beach for the day. You can see my youngest beach bathing beauty above - there is nothing pretty about that child at the beach! She tries to eat sand, rolls around in the sand, throws sand and somehow stuffs half of the sand in her swimsuit before she leaves.

One thing that I thought was hysterical was Avery and Eden playing "catch" with a football. Avery would throw the ball in Eden's general direction and then Eden would quickly crawl all over the beach to where it landed.

And these two enjoyed playing in the sand like I mentioned above. One of Avery's favorite pastimes at the beach is building sandcastles.

Michael, Emma and Ryan enjoyed playing in the waves and collecting seashells.

One nice thing about being at the beach within the county park was the fact that they had restrooms, showers and changing rooms. So after our day on the beach, we showered everyone off and changed into clean clothing and ventured to the small downtown area of Folly.

Since it was a summer weekend, all of the restaurants were hopping so we walked around a bit trying to decide where to eat dinner. We came across a place called "Taco Boy" that was busy (good sign of good food) and had a nice laid-back atmosphere (we weren't looking that great after the day of beach fun.)

They had an entire list of fabulous sounding tacos. I chose the shrimp taco and the tuna taco that you can see in the picture above.

Eden snacked on tortillas...

The girls loved the chips and trio of dips...

All three of the salsas were so yummy!

Avery eating her cheese taco. My kids are not very adventurous when it comes to ordering tacos. All three ordered the plain cheese taco!

And for dessert, the kids enjoyed real Hawaiian shaved ice...bubble-gum flavor!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Free custom photo book from Picaboo

This is a great deal so I certainly encourage everyone to take advantage of it! I just completed my book yesterday and did a customized photo cover book of Eden's 1st birthday. It is very simple to upload your pictures and design. Here is the skinny...

New Picaboo customers can receive a FREE Large Custom Photo Book when you use code FREEBK through August 31, 2010. The code is good for one 20-page Large Classic, Classic Leather, or Classic Custom photo book up to $39.99!

How to get your FREE custom photo book:

Register your email address on Picaboo.
■Download the free custom photo book software.
■Design a 20-page Large Classic, Classic Leather, or Classic Custom photo book.
■Use code FREEBK at checkout.
■Pay only $8.99 for shipping!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Grab it and Go" Camp

Ryan spent last week in a day camp called "Grab it and Go." It is a Christian-based camp put on by our local Lexington Baptist Church. What caught my interest about this camp was not just the fact that it started at 7:30 a.m. and ended at 5:00 p.m. but the fact that each child was able to choose 5 different activities out of a list of 15 or so.

Ryan selected karate, drama, secret ops, mad science and creative cuisine, a kid's cooking class. Unfortunately, you don't get to do all 5 tracks but they select 3 of your 5 for you to focus on during the week. So Ryan ultimately ended up with karate, mad science and secret ops and I think would have been happy with any of them.

The camp mixed in bible studies, music, organized fun, lunch and breaks alongside the 3 focused tracks during each day.

On Thursday, parents were invited to spend the morning watching the kids in action. So the three girls and I hung out with Ryan for part of the morning and got to watch karate, special ops and the music portion.

Ryan received a white belt certificate in karate class and enjoyed it so much that he wants to continue in the fall.

Secret Ops for Jesus was such a cute concept! Each day the class did something meaningful for other people in a secretive way. On Thursday, each child copied a scripture verse onto a piece of paper, stuffed it in a balloon and let the balloon adrift for somebody to find.

Here is Ryan's balloon as it took off...

After the balloon launch, the class enjoyed dirt cake for dessert! It was a long and busy week for Ryan, but he has already mentioned that he would like to go again next year. I am, of course, hoping that Emma might even be old enough next year to participate but we'll have to wait and see!

Monday, August 2, 2010

My three beautiful girls

Ryan was in an all-day camp last week learning about Jesus, karate, secret ops and mad science (interesting combination, right?!?). It was a good change of pace for all of us and once I was down one less child, I felt like I could go anywhere and do anything with the other three.

So the girls and I hit up a local outdoor vegetable market, grocery store and did a little back-to-school shopping over the course of the week.

Emma and Avery saw these outfits at the store and "just had to have them." They thought they were dress-up clothes and the deal got even sweeter when I told them they could actually leave the house in the outfits! I have a feeling these little tops and skirts will get plenty of wear. Both girls wore the outfits two days in a row before I tossed them out of sight into the dirty laundry!

We joined Ryan for his last morning of camp (all parents were invited, although I noticed I was the only one with three other kids trailing behind me) and we watched Ryan doing his various camp activities. I took a few pictures so I'll share those next. We then spent Saturday over at Folly Beach playing in the waves for the day and even had a fabulous dinner at Taco Boy in the little downtown area. It was a great day away and of course, got pics of that too so I'll try and get back out here soon.