Monday, August 31, 2015

The little ones start school!

 Today was Piper and Rory's first day of school!

 Piper is in Kindergarten...and boy oh boy, was she excited!
But as soon as Ryan and I dropped her off in the classroom she completely freaked out!  It was so heartbreaking, definitely not the goodbye I was hoping for.  The teacher had to help pry her hands off me as she screamed, "Mommy don't go!!!!"  Yeah, it hurt my heart.  I had to leave quickly though because we had to drop Rory off at her preschool.  I later found out that Piper's good friends' mom saw Piper still upset after we left and bribed her with going over to her house to play and have Popsicles...problem solved...she was all smiles the rest of the time.  Thank goodness for friends.

Hopefully, we don't have to go through that everyday.

Rory started Preschool!
I know, my baby is in preschool!  What is happening to my children?  It's like they're growing up or something.
I friend of mine started a preschool this year.  It's just a couple of blocks away and I think it's going to be just perfect for Rory!! And luckily she didn't have any issues with me leaving her...all smiles!  She'll go three days a week in the afternoons, so on those three days I'll have two whole hours with no children...say what???  It's crazy, I know.  

To celebrate a little bit of freedom today, Ryan and I went out to lunch!
It was lovely.

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 28, 2015

What a week.

So with the first day of school also comes the dreaded sickies.  Morgan was first Friday after school...then came Piper Sunday night...then it took out Haley Tuesday night.  And here we are today...will there be another?????  Time will only tell.

Needless to say the week has been a tough one.
I just hope I've killed off this dreaded bug...I've washed and cleaned up through the wahzoo.
Give me strength!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Back to School Feast 2015

On Wednesday we had our first annual Back to School Feast.

The idea behind a Back to School Feast is so we can honor the girls as they embark on a new school year.  I love this idea so much...they really felt special having a dinner dedicated to just them.

A couple days before the dinner I had them decorate their hats or "crowns" for the feast.  My kitchen table looked like a craft store exploded!  I'm still sweeping up glitter.  But they turned out really cute I think!

I gave each of them a cute headband as part of the place setting.

After we finished eating the girls opened what our yearly theme is.

 I wanted something simple, yet important.
"Have Courage and Be Kind"
Yes, straight out of the new movie Cinderella.
What can I's perfect.
I just printed it up myself and found a nice frame for will be going in the upstairs hallway for the girls to see every morning as they come downstairs.

I also ordered a glass star to represent this year and to remind the girls that they are "shining stars", "beacons of light".

I really love having a dinner to kick off the new school year...and who doesn't love another tradition?!
Menu: Grilled Salmon
Roasted potatoes
Strawberry and Spinach salad
fresh rolls
Magic juice to drink (flavored bubble water mixed with juice)
And for dessert: Sugar Cookie Bars.

Thanks to Stephanie Nielson for sharing her Back to School Feasts so I can pretty much copy her ideas.
What can I's a good one. :)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

First day of school 2015

Yesterday was the first day of school!
I can't believe how fast the summer zoomed by!

 Morgan is in 4th grade.
The school hired a few more teachers this year so her class size has dropped down to 19 kids!!  I'm pretty thrilled about that because she had about 35 in her class last year...and from my understanding they were quite the rowdy bunch too, which frustrated the heck out of Morgan.  So, she's pretty excited for this year.

 Haley is in 6th grade...this is her last year in elementary school.  I'm so glad they keep 6th in elementary instead of moving them into middle school.  They're still so young to me.  Anyway, one of the perks to being in 6th grade is that they now get a locker...yeah...big time!  Haley already has a ton of ideas on how she'll decorate the inside of it.

Unfortunately, kindergarten doesn't start until the end of next week.  Piper has been excited for school ALL summer, so waiting a WHOLE week is very difficult for her.  

And Rory will also be starting Preschool this year too...but again, she doesn't start for another week either.
So pictures on that to come!
Happy new school year!!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Lake Arrowhead: Days 5 and 6

It just so happens that Ryan's older brother also has a home in Big Bear (they live in Temecula) and happened to be up there at the same time as us.  So we were pretty excited to spend the day with them since we haven't seen them in a few years.  They have two kids as well, so it was nice to have all the cousins hang out together.  We spent the day boating on Big Bear lake and pulling the kids in the raft.  Now, my girls have never been in a boat (with the exceptions of canoes and kayaks) so this really blew their minds...and the raft!!  Oh my, they were overjoyed!  Even Piper and Rory took part in the raft.

 Oh, and it just so happened to be our 16th wedding anniversary on this day!
Just for the record.

They beached the boat at a really nice spot for the kids to run around and to have lunch.

 Ryan's brother, Richard and his wife, Kelly.  Yes, two Kelly Barretts in the family.

All the cousins!
I just love their kids...they are so polite and kind and even though they are teenagers they didn't mind having all my kids hang on them (my kids adore them and really look up to them too). 

 Our last full day was basically spent just hanging out at the cabin.  We had plans of going on a hike or visiting the lookout tower, but it never happened.  I think we (me and Ryan) kinda liked to have a day to chill.  Ryan and I went for a ride in the morning and then he took the girls out for a walk in the afternoon while I cleaned up and packed. 
Andrew came down from Big Bear to spend the day with my folks and us.
We picked up some pizza and had movie of the evening: Legally Blonde.  A little much for the little ones especially...but I think most of it went over their heads.
It was a nice relaxing evening...perfect.

And that's that!
The next day we were on the road for home.

Happy Weekend ya'll!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Lake Arrowhead: Days 3 and 4

 There is an attic space above the garage at the cabin and the girls became quite obssessed with it while we were there.  I remember when I was younger I played a couple of times up there too...I set up a little table and pretended it was my office. But then it gets mighty toasty up there during the summer, so I called it quits pretty quick.  But the girls played up there in the mornings before it heated up too bad.  Most of the time they played pretty well...some of the time they fought like crazy driving me bonkers!  I kid you not, girls fight over EVERYTHING!!

 It's a pull down ladder to get up there, I can't help but think about the movie Goonies every I pull it down.

They also set up a table, hung drawings for decoration and always brought up snacks and water.

A few days before we arrived to Lake Arrowhead they had quite a bit of rain so our favorite beaches were closed due to run off...I guess they had high bacteria levels or something.  So anyway, we had to find new beaches to go to for the week!  And luckily we did!

I was able to do a bit of riding too, thanks to grandma for watching the kids!
Ryan and I rode a total of 3 times one week!!!  That is unheard of, we haven't been able to ride that much together since before kids!  It was super fun...except for the climb we had to do in order to get back to the cabin...that hurt like the dickens.

Even rode with the pops too!

You would think with all the riding in hills that I would have dropped a pound or two...not so much though.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Lake Arrowhead! Days 1 and 2

I WILL get a post out today!!!  I tell ya, this week has been crazy!  And to make things more difficult, I'm having trouble getting my photos off my phone to the computer...actually I'm having trouble doing a lot of things with my poor's seen better days.  

So yeah, we squeezed in a last minute trip to Lake Arrowhead last week.

 Road Trip!!

We were motivated to make this trip happen because my brother bought a house in Big Bear (about 25 miles away from Lake Arrowhead) this summer and I've been super anxious to see his new place!  He's starting a new job as the high school art teacher in Big Bear this year...we are all super excited for him!!  He's been teaching art in Lynwood  for the past several years but everything about this guy says mountains...he hunts, he hikes, he skis, he mountain bikes...he's pretty much in his element in the mountains.  And his new house is perfect for him!!  I just love it!!

So of course on our first day (which happened to be Haley's birthday!) we drove to Big Bear and spent the day there.
Andrew and his dog Levi in front of his new house.

 We decided to take the kids to Big Bear Lake to swim for the afternoon.

 Morgan had been DYING to go fishing for months, so Andrew and my other brother, Matt, took her out on the canoe (oh yeah, Andrew has a canoe too...see what I mean...Big Bear is his town!)  Unfortunately, she wasn't able to catch anything but she still had fun.

We went back to Andrew's house to celebrate Haley's 11th birthday!
BBQ, cake and presents...perfect!
By the way, I can't believe she's 11...she's growing up...and I'm getting old...sniff, sniff.

 The next day my mom, Ryan and I took the girls to the Lake Arrowhead village.  I think it's about 2 mile hike to get there...maybe...I'm not really sure.  But I have fond memories of my brothers and I hiking to the village when we were kids.  It's pretty much a given that you have to hike to the village at least once during a Lake Arrowhead visit.

And of course nothing is complete without a picture of Rory napping somewhere weird.
Apparently, the hike was a little much for her...on the way back she hit the wall.

Hopefully, I can get the rest of the trip documented in due time.
School starts next week and I feel like I'm scrambling to get everything ready and squeeze in last minute summer outings with the kids.

Happy Wednesday ya'll!!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Happy Birthday Haley!

11 years ago my oldest child came into this world after 19 hours of labor!
When she finally popped out the first thing I remember thinking was, "Oh my gosh, I can breathe again!"  The next thing was how perfect and beautiful she was and how I was so excited to be her mother!  And now look, she's 11!!  How can that be?!  I kid you not, it feels like yesterday she was born!

We spent her birthday in Big Bear swimming in the lake and having a BBQ at her Uncle Andrew's house...complete with cake and presents.

Happy Birthday Haley!
We love you!
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