Friday, August 27, 2010

Jake, Pre-schooler!

As hard as it was to send Haley off to school, it was a little easier to watch Jake start pre-school the following week - he was SO EXCITED. He's been ready to start school since last Spring when he turned 4 and just couldn't wait to be in on the fun. The first day he pulled me down the steps saying, "Come ON, Mom!"

Jake is going to the same pre-school that Haley went to, and was even lucky enough to get the same teacher too. He goes two mornings a week and so far he loves everything about it - show and tell, recess, snack time, crafts, music, new friends, and of course his Transformers backpack. As fierce as Jake was as a baby and toddler, he is turning into such a sweet and helpful big kid. He's my best little buddy and I'm going to miss him terribly when he starts kindergarten next I refuse to think about that for now and will just enjoy the days and afternoons I get to spend with him.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Haley, 2nd Grader!

Back-to-school time came way too quickly this year, and before I knew it we were sending Haley off to 2nd grade. I always loved going back to school as a kid, with new school supplies and clothes and tanned-and-bug-bitten limbs. But it's different as a parent and I have to hide my true emotions in order to be sure our kids feel that same sense of excitement and adventure. It all just goes by so fast and every year I can see her growing up - and just a little more away from me. Of course it's also exciting to watch Haley becoming her own person, with her own ideas and opinions, and I can't wait to see how she'll grow and change this year. Here's to a wonderful school year, Haley!

In kindergarten she read a (very old) book where the kids brought apples to the teacher. Loving old-fashioned stuff as she does, this is now one of her traditions.

That's our goofy girl!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Maple Lake

I know I've posted about Maple Lake in years past, but it's one of my favorite nearby spots to spend a summer day. If I squint just right I can almost pretend I'm at Chism beach on Lake Washington, with Mt. Rainer to the south and sailboats bobbing towards Mercer Island just ahead. Okay, that's a stretch, but it does remind me just a teeny bit of the lakeside parks back home and the kids and I try to make it out there every few weeks in the summer.

This year the water level was very high, leaving only a tiny strip of sand for playing in, but that didn't stop the kids from digging and building in it. It's fun to watch Haley and Jake's new-found confidence in the water after only one session of swim lessons, and I look forward to the day when Alex has some water safety skills as well. For now we're content to splash in the shallows and only drink a few mouthfuls of lake water.

Buckets and shovels and rocks, oh my!

Jake shows off his moves - boogie!

They were in a goofy mood this time.

I love these kids, and I love having them home all summer!

"Time to pack up, Mom...and get our traditional mini Blizzards on the way out of town!"

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Church Campout

This past weekend we participated in our church camp out at Turtle River State Park. I was not too excited about the idea, but Haley and Jake were thrilled to get to go camping again. For me, camping plus a just-walking toddler equals a lot of work, mess, and headache.

However I was pleasantly surprised, and the weekend was a big success. The kids played happily with friends while we helped with dinner and Rob set up his gear for the evening's musical program - a touching re-telling of the Mormon pioneers' journey to Salt Lake. Afterward we enjoyed s'mores around the fire with friends; the kids could make s'mores every night of the summer and not get tired of them. It turned out to be a memorable and enjoyable trip that I hope we get to repeat every year.

Haley and friends in pioneer costume.

Jake watches one of the dozens of frogs we caught - oh, the delight those little frogs cause!

Poor Alex spent a lot of the time buckled into his stroller, but there was lots to see and explore from there, thanks to kids giving him "rides" around the campground.