Monday, August 15, 2011

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for Emma and Heidi. Emma is starting 2nd grade at East Side Elementary. Heidi is in pre-K at Mt. Bethel Christian Preschool. Here are a few pictures from this morning.
According to the girls, they both had good days at school and enjoyed it. Praying it's a great year of growth, development, and fun for both of them!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer Trip to Ohio

Summer wouldn't be Summer without a trip somewhere, right? Well ours was to Ohio - with several missions: Visit with Jason's family, participate in a boomerang tournament in Delaware, OH, participate in the US Boomerang Nationals in Canton, OH, and have some fun all along the way.

Including travel days, we were gone 11 days, drove over 2,000 miles, slept in 5 different hotels in 3 different cities (thanks to Priceline, we spent two nights in a row in the same city, but at different hotels - but the price was right), and the girls made sure we swam in every hotel pool. :-) Here is a (long) recap...

First stop was Delaware, OH for the 32nd Annual Free Throwers Boomerang Tournament.

Rachel sitting on Daddy's Boom Box (with her hat on backwards - as she seems to always put it on that way).
Emma and Daddy coming in from the field.Heidi & Rachel playing in some shade.
Rachel hanging out with Mr. Chet.Next stop was Lorain, OH where Grandma & Grandpa live. On our first day there, we all went for a bicycle ride along a really nice bike trail. Emma & Heidi have finally gotten big enough to ride the co-pilot behind Jason's bike (I say "finally" in that this item was purchased at a consignment sale when I was pregnant with Emma. We've had it a little while. ;-)) Heidi rode it first.The initial plan was for me to pull the other two girls behind me in the trailer. However, Grandpa was gracious enough to pull the trailer behind his bike. Made my ride really easy. Thanks Grandpa!When we got to our turn around point, we rested a little then Emma got on the co-pilot for the ride back.The crew back in the parking lot.Sisters! :-)That evening, Aunt Kirsten & cousin Becca got in to town. The next day, we went to the Cleveland Zoo. It's a great zoo - very big. Our first animal visit was with the elephants. They have a viewing window right next to a feeding box so you can get up close and personal with one of these big animals. The girls really liked it.There were a lot of these painted elephants all around the zoo.We had to get a picture of all three sitting on the elephant statue.And I just love this picture, so you get to see it too.Rachel & Heidi trying to blend in.Rachel and her cousin Becca were constantly climbing railings to get a better look.There were some neat animals there that we don't have at Zoo Atlanta. Some highlights were a polar bear,a koala,and seals and sea lions. We watched the seal and sea lion show - which Heidi really enjoyed. One of the sea lions was actually named Heidi!Rachel enjoyed seeing the tigers (they are my favorite too).Yes, I was really there.As we were making our way towards the exit just before closing time, we passed a place where they give camel rides. Jason quickly asked Heidi if she wanted to ride a camel. She said, "yes!" So before she could change her mind, he had tickets in hand for the two of them to ride the camel. (Emma wasn't interested and Rachel was asleep by now.) Check this out!She said she liked the ride but it was bumpy.

Our last full day in Lorain, we went to the beach on Lake Erie. It's not exactly the white sandy beaches of Florida, but there is sand to play with, water to play in - complete with waves, and sea gulls to chase. Rachel was after them as soon as her feet hit the sand. Heidi's preferred activity was digging in the sand and building a sand castle with Grandpa & Uncle Nate. (Uncle Nate & Aunt Laura had arrived the night before, so the gang was all together.)Emma loved being in the water. She enjoyed jumping over all the waves. While Heidi pretty much stayed on the beach, Emma pretty much stayed in the water.In addition to chasing the seagulls, Rachel took her turn in the water, but mostly played in the sand - covering herself from head to toe.After we finished our time at the beach, we went up to a pavilion and had a nice picnic lunch and then just spent some time playing in the park and watching boats out on the lake.

CousinsSistersAnd I LOVE this picture. :-)That night we even got to celebrate Grandma's birthday - a little early, but we were all together.We really enjoyed a lot of fun family time. Now we were off to our next stop - US Boomerang Nationals in Canton, OH. Thankfully, Grandma & Grandpa drove down both days to watch the girls so Jason and I both could compete. It was a great weekend and a fun time connecting with boomerang friends we hadn't seen in awhile. However, as a consequence of both of us throwing, we don't have any pictures of either of us. But we of course have a few of the girls.We forgot to bring any of our chairs on this trip, so Emma would occasionally just find one to climb up in. And Rachel joined too.We had a cooler of Gatorade and water for us. I think the girls ended up drinking more Gatorade than we did!Each day as we drove between our hotel and the field, we saw signs for the Smucker's Store. On our last day in the area, we decided to check it out. It was Sunday and they were closed, but we were able to take some token pictures.We'll have to go back another time when they are open. :-)

Now it was time to drive home. Some fun things from all the car time was Rachel learning new words and phrases. They all had to do with selecting, playing and watching movies in the car. "My pick." "Play please." "Put back." I would say 90% of the time she picked either Ms. Pattycake's Christmas (yes, a Christmas movie in August) or Sea World's Believe. But it was funny how each time she would pick the new one, she got so excited like she had never seen it before.

And Heidi very much enjoyed playing the license plate game. I recently purchased a Melissa & Doug version of this game that has a map of the US and all the license plates on wooden blocks. When you see the license plate, you flip it over and it tells you the state and it's capital. She really got in to it. We saw 44 states on our trip. She is still asking if we've seen any new license plates.

We've had a week back at home and have attempted to get everyone back on a good routine. I think we still have some work to do, but ready or not, school starts tomorrow!