Thursday, September 29, 2011

Things They Say

Laura: Was that Thunder?
Heidi: Check the radar.

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Friend at church (to Emma): What makes your blue buckle special?
Emma: God made my blue buckle special!

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(Heidi is not generally known for being quiet herself, so it was funny to hear her say this.)
Heidi: I'm teaching my baby (a stuffed hippo) to be quiet.

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(Totally unprompted comment.)
Emma: Now THAT was a good dinner!

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(Heidi & Rachel like to make sure they tell Emma goodnight. This particular night, they were all in her bed.)
Emma: One at a time!!!

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(Rachel was laying in the kitchen floor for no apparent reason.)
Emma: Rachel, get up. Someone is going to step on you!

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(Finally, Rachel likes Bandaids. Any time she thinks she has any "boo boo" of any kind - no matter how small - she asks for a Bandaid. The way she says it is "bay-bay." We had some Mickey Mouse Bandaids, which we ran out of and subsequently learned that they were her favorite. Now she keeps telling me, "more Mickey Mouse.")

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Emma's Fun Run

Emma's school fundraiser was the Boosterthon again. I really like this fundraiser. The Boosterthon team does such a great job making it fun for the kids, and I really like the character building program they present. This year they went on an EPIC Adventure. They learned four ways to be a great teammate:

E- Encourage – Team members build each other up with their words and never tear anyone down.

P- Play – It’s important for teams to exercise and play together outside, building friendships on the playground and in the neighborhood.

I- Invite –Sometimes people may be outsiders or feel excluded from the group. Great teams see others on the sidelines and invite them into the group.

C- Celebrate – Celebrating other’s victories is so important. Team members are not jealous of other’s successes; they celebrate with them and should applaud everyone’s accomplishments.

I don't know about you, but I think those are wonderful things to be teaching elementary students these days.

Anyways, each child gets pledges for the number of laps they run. On the day of the fun run - it is a big party! They have music blasting out on the field. They introduce each class and the class runs "out of the tunnel." Here comes Emma's class!Then they do some fun warm up exercises with the kids and go over what they have learned over the last two weeks on their "EPIC Adventure!" Then it's off to the races. Emma had fun, but I think she walked more this year than last year. But here she is running - complete with the swinging pony tail! :-)She completed 26 laps - this is the back of her shirt. A teacher marks their shirt each time they come around, so they can keep up with the number of laps each child has completed.Rachel and I went to cheer her on this year (Heidi was already at school this time - much to her disappointment).Emma with one of her good friends.It really is a lot of fun for everyone involved and the fundraiser was a huge success for the school!

Rachel is 2!

Rachel turned 2 on Sunday, Sept 4. While we had the family birthday party the day before, we went out to lunch after church with Grammy, Papa, Grandma & Grandpa.It was obvious the girls were tired from the party the day before and an early morning at church. All three of them fell asleep in the car on the way home.Later in the day, it was time to open a few more birthday presents. First, a jewelry box from our friends, the Futrells.Next from us was a baby doll care kit, two Miss Patty Cake DVDs...
(Singing Miss Patty Cake's song - "Patty Cake, Patty Cake, clap & play...")and a tricycle - her own "bike."She still has some growing to do to really get around, but she's already enjoying it.

And her 2 year stats - 32 inches tall and weighing in at 25.4 lbs. She is on the smaller side, but she is tough, rough & tumble, and has no fear. She loves playing with Heidi (most of the time) and always wants to make sure she tells Emma "Good night!" each night. At her check up, I think they asked if she had between 30 & 50 words - she was WAY more than that! She is quite a talker and often very loud. I think I've said this before, but she is a third child that is going to be heard!

Happy Birthday Rachel! Can't wait to see how you continue to grow and develop over the next year! We love you!!!

Girls' Family Birthday Party

With our 3 girls' birthdays within 7 weeks of each other and with out of town family, it seemed best to have one birthday party for all 3 of them. So that's what we did the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Jason's parents and two Aunts as well as all of my family were able to come celebrate with us. It felt a little bit like Christmas morning - with all the presents - but it was a really fun day!
Yes - I made 3 cakes! (Rachel checking them out.)Emma's cake had dogs on it.Heidi's cake was a "Belle" cake (from Beauty & the Beast).And Rachel's cake was decorated with Miss Patty Cake's apron. (If you're not familiar with Miss Patty Cake and you have little people in your house, check out www.misspattycake.com.) :-)Rachel and her party hat.Great Aunt Shirley with Heidi & Rachel.Emma opening presents with Papa.Grandma and Heidi.Great Gram with Rachel.My grandmother (Great Gram to the girls), who is 95, painted a watercolor print for each of the girls. Each is a different bird. Here is Emma with her bluebird. A special gift to treasure for years to come.Rachel received a Clifford book (and she really enjoys books) as well as a stuffed Clifford - which is now a permanent occupant in her crib.Yes - that is a princess boomerang!!! And it kind of works. ;-)Emma reading with Aunt Susan.Finally, the day of the party was actually my birthday. Heidi couldn't wait to give me their presents. So I got in on the present opening too.As I said, it was a lot like Christmas, but it was a lot of fun! So glad our families could come celebrate our girls with us!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Heidi's First Soccer Game

Heidi is playing soccer this fall for the first time. She watched Emma play and has been asking to play ever since. She is on a team with 7 other pre-k girls and their team name is Pinkalicious! :-)Their first game was this past Saturday and she had so much fun. She has seen enough soccer that she generally knew what to do. But this age is so cute in that each girl is really their own team. They each want to kick the ball and score a goal - even if it means taking it from a teammate. I wonder at what age passing starts.

They did some team stretching before the game.They practiced taking shots on the goal.Every girl (I think) had the opportunity to play goalie (Heidi in the goal).Heidi kicking the ball.
And she did score her first goal! Every time the team scored, the coach would lift up each of the girls that was out on the field at the time. Here he is lifting up Heidi after she scored her goal.
She had a lot of fun. I think she's really going to enjoy playing soccer.

Emma's Horseback Riding

In thinking about and looking for an activity of some sort for Emma to try, I thought about horseback riding. She has always loved animals and enjoyed every opportunity she has had to ride a horse or pony. Additionally, several people have mentioned hippotherapy to me as something that Emma might benefit from. So I checked into it and found an equestrian center that was certified for hippotherapy. So during the Summer, Emma went to speech hippotherapy and got to ride Mystic.Every time she was on that pony, she was just happy as can be grinning from ear to ear. We were hoping that our insurance would cover some of the cost of this therapy, however, they did not cover any of it. So, after 6 weeks (1 day a week), we felt the need to stop the speech hippotherapy. It is something we might come back to in January once we're able to budget the cost a little better.

However, the same equestrian center also offers therapeutic riding lessons which are more affordable for us. So, since the beginning of the school year, Emma has been taking riding lessons once a week. Now she rides Cosmo.She is learning to steer the horse, tell him when to go and when to stop. We're hoping that in addition to having fun learning to ride a horse, that it will improve her coordination and increase her confidence.

The last couple weeks she has trotted with Cosmo - and she just grins so big. (I apologize for the shaky video - you'd think I was on a horse, but I wasn't.)

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Wrapping up Summer

This post is a month or more overdue, but here are a few more details and pictures from our Summer.

We have been talking about going camping sometime. Jason and I did a little camping before kids, but we haven't braved it with the kids. Jason thought a good place to start would be our house - inside. :-) So we set up our tent in the playroom and got everyone in. The girls seemed to really enjoy it - however Rachel did not like her assigned spot at the end of the tent. She ended up in between Jason and me. And let me tell you - that little girl moves around a lot in her sleep. It seemed like she was constantly kicking me, rolling right up next to me, or draping her arm across me. It was very restless sleep for me. About 5AM I went upstairs to use the restroom and then just crawled in my own bed. :-)My conclusion is that we need a bigger tent - maybe one that has two rooms??? Then we're also contemplating a pop-up camper. We'll see. The girls seemed to really enjoy it. I think they would like camping a lot.

Emma attended Extended School Year during the Summer. It's 1/2 days of school, 4 days a week, 6 weeks of the Summer. It's a good opportunity for her to stay in the school groove and work on things. But it also means scheduling everything else around the weeks she's in school.

One of the weeks she did not have school, she went to Grammy Camp! My mom and dad take each of their grand kids (beginning the Summer before Kindergarten) for several days during the Summer and have time with them by themselves. Grammy plans all sorts of activities, outings, and just a really fun time. (Heidi is already looking forward to going to Grammy Camp next Summer.) Here are some pictures of Emma's Grammy Camp:

Playing in the creek.Sifting for gem stones.And doing things mom just won't let you do at home (play in mud).Emma had a great time. On her last day, Heidi, Rachel and I met them at the Chestatee Wildlife Park. It's a good little zoo and was a nice way to end her Grammy Camp.

Me and my girls.Heidi checking out the roosters.And this place is world famous for it's zedonk (zebra/donkey offspring).Beautiful girl.The week of July 4, Emma did not have school so we took advantage of our annual Zoo Atlanta pass and took our friends to the zoo again.

The line up of girly girls checking out the flamingos.Emma and the giraffes.Rachel and the giraffes.Emma in the petting zoo.Heidi in the petting zoo - yes, actually petting the animals - although if you notice her position, she looks ready to bolt if he moves.And we all rode the carousel this time.This was Rachel's first carousel ride. She looked a little afraid while it was moving, but she did not want to get off once the ride was over.And we ended the day with treats - cotton candy and icee's.One other major part of our Summer was swim lessons at the Y for Emma & Heidi. They each did 8 weeks of swim lessons (various days). I felt like we were living at the Y. But they both did really well and learned a lot. The Y near us has an indoor pool, so with as much as all 3 of them like to swim, I'm thinking we'll be visiting it year round.

Finally here are just some cute pictures to share (yes, mostly of Rachel)...Duck towel after bath time.Reading one of her favorite books, "Goodnight Gorilla!" (Thanks Great Aunt Shirley!!!)Rachel's first pig tails.The girls in downtown Dahlonega (it was a weekend at Grammy & Papa's).Future musician???