Monday, August 31, 2009
Ella walked to the bus stop in the rain this morning.
Jack waited patiently for Ella's bus to arrive this afternoon. Even though it wasn't raining, since he got to bring his umbrella with him to the bus stop this morning it had to come with him once again.
Jonathan and I both breathed a sigh of relief to see Ella getting off the bus first.
While the big kids were at school today (namely Ella, Miles, and Kathryn) we took a group of 6 little boys for a tour of the Metrolina Recycling Center. Each day about 250 tons of recyclables from the entire Charlotte area are brought to this facility, sorted, and pressed into bales to be sold to manufacturers. As part of our tour we learned about what can be recycled and why we recycle, saw a puppet show, and viewed inside the live operations of the facility via a remote control camera (even getting an up-close look at all of the cool sorting mechanisms).
The center also has a viewing platform where we got a look at a HUGE pile of plastic recyclables and several bales of aluminum cans. After a walk around inside, which also included checking out another way to recycle--turn things into art, we went outside to check out all of the trucks coming in and getting weighed. Messy piles of trash, things getting smashed, and noisy trucks--what more could a boy want? Well apparently to these rowdy boys, most of the fun was being surrounded by their 4-year-old brethren (a.k.a. partners in crime).
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
When she got home from school today I asked her how her day was and she said, "Fun." Then she started telling me, and often acting out, all of the things they did today. This first week, the kindergarteners are doing a staggered entry where each kindergartener only goes to school for one day with about six kids in each class. The school does this to evaluate the kids for the purposes of balancing the classrooms, which will be assigned tomorrow. So Ella told me that there were three tables for evaluating the kids recognition of upper- and lowercase letters and their sounds, ability to read words, and then ability to pick out the first letter of a word by hearing the word spoken. From the sounds of it, though, this was just a small part of a very active and fun day. They read a story about a raccoon whose Mommy's kiss on his hand gave him comfort on his first day of school (we were told to kiss her hands before she arrived at class today) and then they each made their own raccoon puppet. She also made "some special secret gifts" for us. She ate almost her entire healthy lunch and snack and thought that the school lunch "the girl with the hair past her shoulders" ate looked disgusting (but she didn't say that to her, of course). They played some game where they ran around different colored circles in the gym with the P.E. and art teachers. And, they went outside to play on the playground, where she saw and said hi to her friend, Hayden (a 2nd grader who is Ryan's big brother).
When Ella looked as if there was nothing more tell, she'd spilled it all, she suddenly looked at me with wide eyes and a big smile. She said, "One more thing--I LIKE KINDERGARTEN." We are so proud of our wonderful Ella.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Ella, who had earned her yellow band earlier in the year, was testing for her green band. With the green band, a kid can swim in the pool without her parent even dipping a toe in (love it!). To earn her green Ella had to swim the full length of the pool and then jump right into, without catching a breath for long, treading water for a minute. Way to go, Ella! You're swimming with the big fish now and no water slide is off limits for you!
The Brown family was on hand to join in the congratulations and fun. Miles is glad to have another friend in the green. They had tons of fun hitting the slides together. Thanks for the picture, Brooke.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
The setting at Camp Lake James is just so beautiful (have I mentioned how beautiful it is?). The kids were all smiles, but probably more because of the company and activities than the surroundings.
It was actually a cool morning so the kids and dads enjoyed a refreshing dip in the pool, then in the hot tub, and then back to the pool.
While the dads broke down the tents and packed up the cars, the fun continued for the kids with some lake swimming at the beach of Camp Lake James. Ella and Jack liked finding interesting rocks and plants in the lake while Grace and Cate were on a quest for clams.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
A dip in the pool was a refreshing way to kick off our August camping weekend, although, we did luck out with slightly cooler than average temperatures. We couldn't have asked for better weather to enjoy our outdoor weekend.
Even though we've had kayaks hanging in our garage for the kids' entire lives, this is the first time they've gone kayaking. Lake James is such a beautiful, clean, bluish-green colored lake. The waters are lined by sloped forests and the Blue Ridge mountains are silhouettes on the horizon. It's just breathtaking. Ella was a natural paddling the kayak--she was actually moving that thing. I guess it's time to get our kayaks back to the lake.
After the kids swam in the lake for a bit and then a quick rinse off, it was time to head to camp. Camp Lake James has an amphitheatre surrounding a fire pit and stage. For this event, an inflatable movie screen was set up for a showing of The Land Before Time. While we waited for the sun to go down, the kids played games (find the dinosaur egg, a.k.a. watermelon), ate snacks, and had fun with sparklers. We then watched the movie until bedtime. Walking back to our tent when the movie was done, we looked up at the sky and could see the Milky Way--it's not often, living in Charlotte, that we get to see so many stars. I'm very thankful for a clear night.