Thursday, February 3, 2011

First Day of School 2010

Jacey started school again in mid-August.  I decided to start a new tradition this year of taking the kids out on a little mommy-daughter date the night before school starts.  Jacey and I went to the movies to see "Despicable Me" and had a lot of fun.

Jacey is in 3rd grade this year and her teacher is Mrs. Zeigler.  She loves school and does so well there both scholastically as well as socially.  Here are a couple of pictures from her first day, unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of her in her classroom because she said she was "too embarrassed" to let me take pictures of her there.  Sigh. (btw, she got some new, stylish glasses right before school started and picked out this outfit by herself at the store)
Brooklyn didn't start school until a couple of weeks after Jacey.  She started kindergarten this year and is in the morning class with most of her friends.  Her teacher is Mrs. Ross, who we love and was also Jacey's kindergarten teacher.  Since she is not embarrassed by her Mom yet, she let me take pictures of her in her classroom and with her teacher.

Rounding Out the Summer

A couple of days before school began in August we met up with some friends and headed out to explore the new reservoir that they opened by our house.  It was kind of a fun place for the kids although I wish that they would have brought in real sand for the "beach" instead of the gross, gravelly stuff.  Sand or no sand, the kids still attempted to make sand castles and do other "beachy" activities.

We also started another year of AYSO in August.  Jacey missed the age cutoff by only a month to play with her school friends and actually had to play on a team with 1st and 2nd graders.  Although she didn't have any friends on her team, she seized the opportunity to become her team's star player and scored most of their goals.  Her team only lost a couple of games all season. Unfortunately, Brooklyn's team had a tough season but she still had fun and also scored quite a few goals.  Here are a few pics of them in all their soccer glory:


And finally, you know it's time for kids to go back to school when they are so bored that they start dressing up their little brother.  Poor Landon.

Beautiful Bryce Canyon

We decided to take a little trip to Bryce Canyon one weekend at the end of July.  It was fun to explore another national park that happens to be right in our own backyard!  The kids had a great time and especially loved staying in the hotel.  It's funny, because it doesn't seem to matter whether our hotel is nice or not (it wasn't that great) or where we are, our kids LOVE staying in hotels!  When we first got to Bryce we checked in, got changed into our swimsuits, and went swimming:


After swimming we went back to our room to clean up and then went to eat at the Ruby's Inn buffet:

I'm not usually a big fan of buffets, but this one was actually one of the better one's I've ever been to.

Finally, we headed into the park to check out the spectacular hoodoos:

We followed a long trail of switchbacks down into the bottom of the canyon
Some neat trees that grew up from the bottom of the canyon
Cool balancing rock
Landon loved riding around in the backpack!
Sun setting over the amphitheater

Before retiring for the night we checked out some of the neat little shops and got our cowboy on!

The next day we headed out again to explore Bryce.  Here are some of the things we saw/did:
More pics of the amphitheater
Petted a dog visiting from New York
Walked through cool archways on the trail

The "Queen Victoria" Hoo-Doo (quite a hike to get there, but very worthwhile.  Notice the dragon-head hoodoo behind the Queen.
We found this cool waterfall outside the park with a neat little wading pool

We did so much driving this trip, that Landon had time to discover the "art" of picking his nose!
We had a great time and I can't believe how well the kids did with all of the hiking around.  They rarely complained.  We will definitely go back in a couple of years when Landon can do his own walking and doesn't have to be carried around in the backpack!

We've Been Workin' on the Basement, All the Live-Long Year!

We began to work on finishing the basement last January.  Since we are not handy people, we hired contractors to do the plumbing, HVAC, framing and sheetrock.  All of this progressed really fast, and by March the basement was ready to be painted.  I figured that painting would be easy enough to do on our own, but trying to find time to paint with 3 small kids proved to be challenging, so it sat, and sat, and sat until July when we finally decided to get cracking on it.  We bought the primer and most of the paint, borrowed a paint sprayer from a friend, and got to work.  Unfortunately, the sprayer kept jamming and wouldn't work, so we started to do it the old-fashioned way (by hand).  The girls wanted to help too, which was cute, but the work moved VERY slowly.  About 3 hours later, and with only 1/4 of the family room primed (with 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, hallways, closets and ceiling still to do), we resigned ourselves to the fact that it was just too much work for us to do on our own and decided it would be worth it to hire someone to finish it for us.  As of this posting, we have still not gotten anyone out to paint, but we are hoping to get it done soon (along with all of the finish work so we can actually enjoy the basement!)  Here's hoping that some pictures of the nice, completed basement will be posted soon!