Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Folsom Lake

Last Saturday was literally the only Saturday until December that we don't have something going on. So we decided to take advantage of the opportunity and do something fun as a family. So after early naps, we packed up a picnic dinner and took the kids to Folsom Lake. The weather was PERFECT for an afternoon at the beach and the water was still relatively warm.

The kids enjoyed swimming in the lake and they are all so confident in the water now which makes it so much easier.

There was also a good chunk of time taken up by playing in the mud. They were COVERED in mud by the end and had so much fun.

Another highlight of the day, was when Steve and Molly caught two frogs. Garrett was so intrigued by them and we had a rather hilarious conversation about it:
Garrett: "Those are pretend frogs"
Amy: "No they're not, Garrett. They're real."
Garrett: "But they're not hopping!"
Amy: "I know... they're just resting right now. But they're real."
Garrett: "Ooooooooh... they're REAL frogs. Just dead."

And Steve and I tried to get a picture of the two of us since we never seem to be in photos together. Unfortunately his camera phone accidentally got switched to black & white. Oh well... I'm still happy I didn't have to bring my big camera and risk getting sand in it!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cowan Family Social

On Friday, we took part in the Cowan Family Social at Molly's school. This year was a "pirate" theme, and I volunteered to make a cake for the cake walk. There were 4 cakes donated from each class, and for some reason I figured most people would be making some marvelous creations to go with the theme. So I busted my butt making this awesome pirate cake to find out the day of the social that most people just bought something from the grocery store. Sigh... only something a newbie kindergarten mommy would do.

I did hear that most kids dress up for the event, so I made a point of getting costumes for my three kiddos. I found three costumes at a thrift store for $15 TOTAL! I love a good deal. Anyway, I'm glad I didn't pay much for Garrett's because he refused to wear it. Apparently he's not a fan of polyester! But here's Molly and Paige...

And here they are saying "ARRRRRRR" like a pirate!

The event itself was really well done, and they even had a skull and cross-bones flag flying from the school flag pole! There was games, face painting, food, dancing and even an appearance from the school mascot... the Bobcat!

AND top off the evening, Molly even won a cake on the cake walk with pirates on it, which we enjoyed all weekend! Thanks to all the parents that worked so hard to put this event together! It was so much fun!

Missing Shirley

I've been working on an album in Photoshop to memorialize Steve's mom's life. I've completed 50 pages and probably have another 10 to go (no small feat... let me tell you). It's a huge job, but it's been so wonderful to pour over the old pictures of her. She's was such a beautiful person on so many levels. And this morning I took a picture of Paige and I couldn't believe how much her expression reminded me of a photo of Shirley at a similar age. It made me a little teary when I saw them side by side.

It's just proof that Shirley lives on in her five grandchildren. That's the biggest gift of all she gave us before leaving here!

A trip to the Zoo

I am so behind in my blogging. This post is from several weeks ago, when I was working and Daddy took the kids to the zoo. I have to say that I have one of the most competent husbands I know, and I don't know many daddies who would gladly decide he wants to take three kids to the zoo by himself just "for fun". But he did... and even shot some pictures with his phone while he was at it. Love that man.

The kids, as always, loved the animals... but they particularly loved being able to touch the peacocks. In fact they still talk about being able to touch them! I'm surprised the peacocks let them!

And Steve even took them on the train ride by himself AND took picture while holding Paige on his lap. Now that's talent! That's why I love that man!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

Our Labor Day weekend was filled with BBQ's with friends and family on every single day. On Saturday, we enjoyed a fun BBQ with two other families, complete with a giant inflatable waterslide and cupcakes. The kids went to bed completely happy and completely exhausted.

Then on Sunday after church, we were off to another BBQ to celebrate Steve's cousin's sons' 9th birthday. The kids had a blast in the pool and were spoiled with ice cream sundaes for dessert. Here's the birthday boy, Logan, with our kiddos. I couldn't believe that I got a picture of them all smiling so nicely!

And of course Daddy and I weren't above enjoying some ice cream! I also got some adorable pictures of Logan's little brother, Hayden, that you can see HERE on my business page.

And then, on Monday we hit up Aunt Nancy and Uncle Fred to enjoy their pool. Debbie's family joined us and the kids had a blast swimming. All the swimming this summer has done wonders for the kids' confidence in the water. Molly was jumping off the water fall and swimming under water at Aunt Nancy's and Garrett & Paige were swimming all over the pool with floaties on.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sacramento Children's Museum

On Wednesday, it was the first day since Molly started kindergarten that I didn't have something on calendar. It also just happened to be a week after the grand opening of the brand new Sacramento Children's Museum. So I decided to take Garrett and Paige and go check it out! We also me their little friends Oliver, Jadis and Isaac there (although I only got a picture of Oliver).

I have to say that I was totally impressed with the Children's Museum. It wasn't huge in size, but there was a great diversity of things for the kids to do. Garrett's favorite area was definitely the one where he got to run balls down a variety of ramps. He literally spent a half hour playing here.

Paige's favorite part was the pretend play areas. First she went grocery shopping at the store...

... then she enjoyed being a mother of twins...

... and then she decided SHE was the baby and made herself a little bed in a crib.

They also had a variety of dress-up clothes for kids of all ages. My kids liked the animal costumes in the toddler area. Here's Paige as a fuzzy ducky, and Garrett after he came down with Mad Cow Disease.

There was also a cool water play area, with fountains and water wheels and things that float. Paige wasn't big on getting her hands wet, but Garrett was all over it.

There was also an art area with several projects that the kids could work on. Paige really got into the fact that they could paint on a big plexiglass wall and Garrett enjoyed coloring.

It was a really cool place and I have already dropped a hint to my sister Michelle that the kids would love an annual membership for Christmas. She agreed so I took the opportunity to that up while I was there!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Life in Kindergarten

Molly has almost completed her first 2 weeks of kindergarten. I have to admit that things started a little shaky with her teacher, but we seem to have it all sorted out and things are going well now. I have volunteered twice in her class so far, and it looks like I've secured childcare for the twins so that I can be in the class every Friday. The teacher definitely needs all the help she can get, because there's 31 kids. But I am THRILLED with the school and level of parental participation. Both times I was in the class there were FOUR other parents in there helping. What a difference that makes!

The school is definitely holding true to its history of having high standards. I was shocked how quickly (and to what extent) they've started teaching these kids their fundamentals. Even the "fun" activities have scholastic foundations. It's pretty amazing. Here's Molly working in her class.

But there's also a component of music and movement in every class which I appreciate. It's fun to see the kids really get into it.

And they also get time to play out on the playground. There's a separate playground for the kindergarteners which is nice... so they don't get trampled by the bigger kids.

I have to say, the kids in her class are SO GOOD! It's probably a reflection of how involved the parents are. I'm so thankful that she's with such a great group of kids!