Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rocket Launch!


We went to a rocket launch after church a couple of weeks ago.

Many of the kids got to take turns pressing the launch button. Titus was so excited for his turn!

And boy, was he proud!

A whole bunch of kids and families from our church were there. A guy who goes to our church put this on.

This one was my favorite, R2D2!

All the kids would chase the rockets as they parachuted down. These boys did their best to catch one and had a blast... (pun intended)!

Could there be any greater fun for a kid?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hot Air Balloons

We normally get up in the wee hours of the mornings to see the hot air balloons. But this year Leeann was having her Italian Soda Stand on the same days so we opted for the night show where they light up the balloons. It was kind of cool, don't get me wrong, but next year we're definitely going back to the morning showing.
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Two Weeks

Two weeks of school have now come and gone. I feel like we're getting into the groove of this 'being in school all day' thing.

Titus and I have, so far, survived our days without the princess. In fact, we've kept quite busy, which helps. Yesterday I went to her school to have lunch with her. She was so surprised, and so excited! I was there just shy of an hour and I heard about all sorts of school rules in regard to the lunch room and the playground. I think she secretly loved having something she could teach me!

I really enjoyed getting a small glimpse into her world. I just found out my background check has been cleared so I'm hopeful to get to spend some good quality time in her classroom soon, too.

I do wish her school days weren't so long, but I recently realized that when you add up all of the days they have off, and the ones that they come home early on, she really isn't outside of my care as long as I imagined she would be. And, she seems to be doing well with it, which is very important to me. I can't imagine how difficult it is for parents whose kiddos hate going to school.

Anyway, all that to say, two weeks into it, she's doing well and enjoying her new school and new teachers. She's found some friends to buddy up with and seems to be finding her niche, as well as a first grader can in the first weeks of school. But right now, it's the weekend, and I'm not-so-secretly glad to have her home!

Friday, September 17, 2010


This was the 'back yard' area we've had for the last two years. Not much to look out on, that's for sure!

My husband and kids tore out the deck for me as a Mother's Day present when I was in New Jersey, and at some point this summer they gave me an instant yard by laying some sod, bark and bushes. 

And now, I actually want to open up the curtains, which lets the sun in, which puts us all in a better mood! What a difference a wee bit of grass can make!

Thanks, love!
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sprint Tri

Rob and I participated in a sprint triathlon last month to benefit the Albany Options Pregnancy Resource Center. Andrea (who we had been paired with, but hadn't met before the event) swam 1/3 mile. I biked 12.5 miles and Rob ran 3.1 miles.

I tell you what. My backside hurt at about mile 3. It hurt really bad about mile 8. By the time I got off of my bike at mile 12.5 I could barely walk. And, I'm not exaggerating!

The start times were all staggered between 8:00 and 9:00. We, unfortunately, started at 9:00 which meant that by the time I hit mile 1 pretty much everybody in the race had already passed me. There were a precious few. And by few, I mean maybe 1 or 2, possibly 3 people who came in after me on the bike leg. It was an extroverts worst nightmare. I spent an hour and 3 minutes looking at desolate roads, sheep and horses, literally praying that I wouldn't be the last one in!

But, I made it, and Rob passed quite a few people during his run so he wasn't the last one finishing the race That is why I really, really didn't want to be the last biker in!

All in all, it was a lot of fun. It was also fun to train for it, though I could have used more time to train for sure. I've contemplated doing the whole thing next year, but I'm not sure I have it in me. I like to be around people way to much to train that hard in 3 very isolated sports. We'll see what the year brings however!
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Leeann's Coffee Shop

Leeann hosted another coffee shop today. This time it was in our home and a number of friends and family members stopped by for an Italian Soda, Iced Coffee or Hot Chocolate. She's getting quite good at making some of these drinks!

As I was helping her count and divide her money (10% tithe, 30% car and 60% spend) tonight, I realized that there are an awful lot of skills that she used today. Talk about a real-life learning opportunity!

Here are some things she that learned, practiced, or improved upon today:

Proper food handling
Customer service
Customer satisfaction
Money handling
Change making
Taking orders
Saving for what you want
Hard work
Busing tables
General clean-up
Business and entrepreneurial skills
Cost vs. profit
Money changing (including exchanging money for the proper bills and coins to be able to split her income into the three categories)
Money counting (she counted back her spend and car money to me to see how much she had in each area)
Skip counting (as she counted with bills of many denominations. $20, $40, $50, $55, $60, $65, $66, $67, etc.)

I'm proud of my little girl. She's growing up so fast! It's hard to believe that she's old enough to really be able to do well at being a genuine barista! Someone said today, "She'll be able to put being a barista on her resume." Yeah, I can see it now: Leeann at 17 years old applies at a local coffee shop and puts Barista: 10 years experience on her resume!

She seems to really, really enjoy it. Of course, we only have such a wide circle of people to sell too, so I don't know how often she'll actually open up her shop. But, I can certainly see her doing more of them in the future.

We were talking a little bit about maybe taking orders for some baked goods, like homemade cinnamon rolls, maple pecan scones or frozen cookie dough. Think there'd be any market for that? She sure does love to bake with me, and the idea of putting in some hard work in exchange for money is one that's catching on quickly.

Have I mentioned that I'm incredibly proud of Leeann? She's an incredible girl!

First Day of First Grade

Tuesday marked the first day of the first grade for our little princess. It's so hard to believe that this day is already here! I feel like my life is quickly flashing before my eyes. Where did my baby go?

She enjoyed her day and made some new friends. Titus and I survived our day without her as well. It's so strange to just have Titus during the day. We purposefully kept busy, including a date to Starbucks and to Surefire which is a pottery place. He painted a little lady bug that we should get back next week, and he was so proud of it! We had plenty of fun together, but we were both incredibly excited to pick her up. Our trio's not the same without her!

Leeann had good reports coming home. She was too busy talking in the lunch room and lost track of her class apparently, but other than that had a great day.

Leeann is in a new school this year so she can be involved in a dual immersion program. She wasn't the least bit nervous about starting a different school, which I was really grateful for. She also seems to be quite okay with the fact that every other day she's in her Spanish speaking classroom where it's the only language spoken for the duration of the day. All of her subjects are in Spanish every other day... how crazy is that! I'd go stir-crazy, but she's excited about learning Spanish. We'll see how it progresses!

Does it ever get easier to let go of your kids? I think I want them both to live with me forever!
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Friday, September 10, 2010

A Mommy Daddy Date Day

Last Sunday Titus was invited on a play date. He was slated to be gone for a couple of hours so as soon as we dropped him off we turned to Leeann and offered that she make a plan, any plan, for how to spend a couple of hours with just mom and dad. Because honestly, this NEVER happens.

We threw out the options of bowling, mini-golf, going to a restaurant, Starbucks, Cold Stone, the park, a bike ride, etc.

She determined, without wavering, that she wanted to go home and she wanted all of us to get our jammies on, bring our blankets and pillows downstairs, snuggle, eat pop corn and enjoy one of "Mommy's yummy smoothies."

We honestly tried to talk her into doing something that she normally wouldn't get the chance to do. We even went so far as to tell her we could do something else, then the jammies, movie, pop corn and smoothie once Titus got home. You know, the best of both worlds?

She wouldn't be deterred however. So we came home and did just as she planned. And it was a fun, delightful, relaxing afternoon!
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Monday, September 06, 2010

Ready Or Not...

First grade starts tomorrow. Leeann is so excited and so ready for this. I am so not ready for this!

6.5 hours a day. 5 days a week. Friends, lunches, homework, play-dates, tears, triumphs, accomplishments, struggles, memories, teachers, games, field-trips...

The good, the bad and the ugly begin tomorrow. First grade!

As we begin a new school year my prayer for Leeann is this:

Lord, help me to navigate the waters of life with my daughter. Please, help me to be the kind of mommy that is deeply involved in her life and her education. I am begging that you teach me how to be the kind of mommy that she wants to talk to, share with, bounce ideas of, confide in, cry with, dream with and pray with.

I pray that you would protect her heart and her mind. I am not asking you to keep her from 'mean kids', but that you would be her strength, her hope and her refuge as she interacts with the world. I pray that you would help her see each and every person's need for you. And with that firmly grasped in her mind I pray that she would be your light and your mouth-piece in this fallen world.

Please bring around her some good, life-long friends that she can grow and learn with. Help her to stand strong, and to always do what's right. Please help her to navigate through the waters of peer-pressure ahead. When she succumbs to it, help her learn and grow from her mistakes. Help me to be sympathetic and to do more correcting than punishing. Help me to point her toward you, the one who loves her even more than I could ever imagine. She is yours and you have trusted me with her for this short period of time. Grow her into the young lady, and eventually woman, that you have planned for her to be. Thanks for letting me be her mommy! Amen.