Saturday, August 28, 2010

Our Neighborhood Pool

Summer’s coming to a close and so are our relaxing and enjoyable visits to the neighborhood pool. This evening it was cool and shady and we nearly had the pool to ourselves. With Jonathan away for a guys’ weekend, three hours at our pool was the easiest and most fun ticket to getting the kids to go to bed on time. Gotta’ love that…

{if i hadn’t caught a picture of it i might’ve missed this sweet kiss sent my way.}

Friday, August 27, 2010

Say Hello to Our Little Friend

This little guy caused quite a stir at our house tonight.

{i don’t know why jack felt the need to get so close to the praying mantis that he had to look at him cross-eyed…}

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Some Light Reading

Now this is something I love to see—Jack sitting quietly, trying to read a book on his own.

Off to School

Today was Ella’s first day of school as a 1st grader (*sniff, sniff*).  Yes, our sweet little girl is a grader (what she called all of the non-kindergarteners last year, which totally makes sense—I guess you have to earn the “grader” in your title).  Yesterday we went to the school’s open house to meet Ella’s new teacher, check out who is in Ella’s class (some old and new faces), dole out the hugs to last year’s teacher, the principal, all of the specials teachers, and even her new teacher, and just basically help us come to terms with the fact that the Summer is coming to a close and a new school year must begin.  Luckily, as is always the case, I’m having a harder time with the end of the bounty of free time spent with my darling girl and the nerves about the new year.  Ella can’t wait to be surrounded by friends and teachers each day again.  She didn’t want to leave the school after open house yesterday—I had to pry her away with the promise of one last Summer hurrah at “the jumpy place”.  But, seeing her wandering the halls yesterday, walking past groups of kindergarteners, I could see just how much she has grown up in the last year.  She looks bigger and more mature, self-assured and with a sense of belonging—she’s looks like a 1st grader.  The difference between the picture of her first day of kindergarten and today’s picture blows my mind.  It’s scary (and exciting) to think these kinds of changes will happen each and every year… Regardless, we’re looking forward to another great year at Ella’s school and all of the changes and growth in store for Ella in the 1st grade.


I was also surprised by how many teachers/moms/administrators assumed Jack was a kindergartener yesterday.  I suppose that shouldn’t really be surprising, considering he is 5, but I sometimes have trouble thinking others will perceive him as such.  I guess it’s just hard to notice how much your own kids are growing up right before your eyes.  With all of the hiding behind me, pulling on me while I was talking to teachers, and running the halls Jack did, though, I’m quite glad he’s a TK-er instead. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Visit from the Cousins

My sister and her family drove up from Atlanta this weekend to spend our first weekend of the Summer together, which just so happened to be our last weekend of Summer vacation. Ella and Jack definitely got a proper send-off to Summer this weekend with cousins Jake, Zane, and Drew—an afternoon at the pool with the dads (Jonathan and Uncle Ken), a dinner enjoyed in the backyard complete with Summertime faves corn on the cob and watermelon, poolside ice cream sundaes, Saturday night swimming until closing time, and then nearly 5 hours at the pool on Sunday. Most of the pooltime was dad-accompanied, so Aunt Tracy and I had plenty of quiet, catch-up time (thanks, Jonathan and Ken!)—something we don’t get a lot of, even over the phone, because she’s a busy homeschooling mom of three young boys (!). Thanks for the visit, guys! We had a such a fun weekend together and hope we can enjoy our pool together every Summer.

{8pm at the pool on saturday. this must’ve been yummy ice cream because i was surprised by the licked-clean bowls considering they were all that stood between the kids and the last hour in the pool before closing.}

{on sunday evening we tried a group photo. zane wasn’t on board at first, but it didn’t take long for him to whip out his smile. i had to include one with his dour look—it’s just so cute to me. these kids were so wiped out from a full weekend of swimming (notice the wet hair—it was hard to get any pictures with dry hair this weekend) that i’m surprised i got any cooperation at all.}

{love to see first drew’s entertainment by their silliness and then him join in on the fun.}

{can’t believe i have a nephew in braces! they make him look so big.}

{ella was either coddling on sweet drew (love those lips, lashes, and red curls…makes me wonder if i had a 3rd if i’d finally get a redhead, too…very fleeting thought) or feeling like a big kid playing with jake.}

{jack and zane were like two peas in a pod (or partners in crime, depending on how you looked at it…).}

Monday, August 16, 2010

This Is How We Roll

We went roller skating today with our good friends Baden and Ilse.  Ella has only gone skating one time before and this was Jack’s, and I believe Baden’s and Ilse’s, first time trying it out, so it was, once again, an adventure in roller skating.  Sweet Baden brought Ella a bouquet of “back to school” roses (his idea)—we were definitely there more for the company than the activity.  But, for all of the falling that was going on, it was amazing how happy these kids were to have wheels on their feet.  They just kept getting back up and trying again.  A little boy (you’ll see this in the video) who was in camp at the skating rink, kept coming up to Ella whenever she’d fall to try to help her out and give her a few tips.  It was nice of him, but Ella practically ignored him (in a kind way)—I guess it was the Baden effect, she only has eyes for him.  We had a very fun afternoon—as you can see from the video—but every time I watch it I’m still amazed that Jack asked if we can go back to the roller rink again soon.  These kids are troopers!



Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Willing Subject

I got (yes, another) new lens. Wanted a bit more zoom to capture the details. My darling little boy, while working on painting an alligator (and himself, apparently), willingly let me turn my big new lens on him.

{this is the view my other fave lens has at the fixed distance of 35mm. sometimes it’s just not close enough.}

{now i can get here without him even noticing me.}

{ok, so he noticed me. but, now i can be across the table and still get eye detail. i’m excited.}

{a lot of pictures of the same subject, but he’s so just so cute. i couldn’t help myself.}

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Note from Jack’s Teacher

Jack does not start school until after Labor Day, but we’ve already gotten a hint of the exciting year that he has ahead of him in TK (transitional kindergarten). Jack received a postcard in the mail today from his TK teacher, Mrs. Hagemeyer. A former kindergarten teacher at a local public school, Mrs. Hagemeyer apparently has the wondrous ability to prepare the kids for entering kindergarten and keep them excited about school. Most of the seasoned preschool moms I spoke with regarding TK said that the year with Mrs. Hagemeyer was definitely their favorite year. Now, although Jack has already had 4 terrific years at this preschool (hard to believe this is his 5th “school” year), I’m starting to see why this year in TK will be so special. Her note to Jack has him excited about school starting again—and I think it’s so cool that she mentioned something personal to Jack, referring to how he always asked her to chase him on the playground when the 4’s and the TK classes would play together last year. This thoughtful postcard has set the tone for a great year.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Blondies

Ella couldn’t get enough of Jacqui’s super-high heels (or her favorite dress, a birthday gift from Aunt Chrissy, that Ella insisted on wearing just about every day on our trip). Ella lovin’ on her Nana and Aunt Jacqui made for an impromptu photo op of three generations of blonde-haired, blue-eyed Williams girls.