First Grade!

Piper found out last Friday she was going to have Mrs. Wilkerson at Meet the Teacher.  Both Piper and I are excited about this school year, her teacher, and her classmates!
 Monday morning was the big day!  I set Piper's alarm for her and she woke up on her own, got dressed and even made her bed!  This is huge for her not to be asked!  She was in the best mood; so excited to get her big day started!  She didn't even complain when we had our back to school photo shoot!!!
 I CANNOT believe she's a first grader!!
 Let it be noted I caved on the Sophia the First backpack!  Whew.  I guess some battles are not worth fighting and this is one!  She's so happy to have it!

 Her desk!
 I think she already loves Mrs. Wilkerson because as she knelt down to take the photo she commented "Oh, I love your headband!" They pretty much sealed the deal right there!  Here we come first grade!!


Staycation 2014

Michael and I decided that we wanted to one last fun thing for the summer with the kids.  We could not agree on a place to drive or fly to so settled on staying home and doing a staycation of sorts here in the Dallas area.  It really was more like taking an adventure everyday somewhere with Daddy home and then sleeping in our own beds!  Which was nice!  Each place we visited or ate at were places we have yet to see and visit since our move to the area.
 To begin, we went to Medieval Times.  Truth be told, I was a little embarrassed to tell people we were going there because every time I've ever driven by the 'castle' I kind of poke fun of the people attending!  So call me a hypocrite!  It was cheesy and dorky but it was so fun with the kids.  If Michael had ever asked me to go while dating, I probably would not have stuck around!  That's how silly I think this place is.  But really, truly, I enjoyed it because the kids LOVED it!

 The red and black knight was the knight we were cheering for.  He won that that evening!  We were excited!
 Briggs did not want to wear his crown ever!
 Here is Piper drinking her 'dragon soup!' It was really just Campbell's tomato soup!  Ha!  She thought it was delicious and Briggs kept asking where the dragons were because they needed to eat their soup!  You don't get utensils while eating at Medieval Times.  That is why she is drinking it out of the bowl!
 Piper caught a carnation from our knight!  Oh Bliss!
 I snapped a pic of our commemorative photo we purchased!  Piper can't wait to hang it in her bedroom! And you can tell Briggs was happy to be photographed!
 The next day we ate a nice breakfast at home and relaxed, then drove to Grapevine to check out Legoland! We arrived at Grapevine Mills mall a little before our designated time slot so we could eat a quick bite of lunch and look around.  On the way to the food court, Michael seriously contemplated purchasing a hermit crab for the kids!  Oh Praise Jesus he came to his senses!  And, Piper kept talking about the Food Court like we were about to spend the day at Six Flags!  The girl couldn't wait to see the Food Court and pick what she was going to eat. (She picked Sonic, btw!) I think that is what we could have done for the day and called it good! So funny! After eating, Michael treated the kids to a carousel ride and they really enjoyed that.  Then we headed to Legoland.  It.Is.Crazy!  There were tons of kids there.  TONS!  There were fun amusement style rides, only two or three, but enough to excite our kids!  And as you can imagine, a lot of Lego's!  Our kids loved it!
 We watched a 4D Lego movie.  Piper disliked it because it had no Lego men just Lego animals and Briggs despised it because we were sprayed with a find mist of water and foam as part of the 4D package!  Yay! Oh I'm laughing just remembering his meltdown of getting wet unexpectedly!

 Part of vacations now, include Piper asking about twenty times if she gets to buy something!  At some point, she realized it is fun to shop on vacation, so she does not let us forget she knows this fun little fact!  Sweet Daddy let each kid pick out a couple of Lego sets to purchase at their store.  Really, I think he likes to help them build the sets so he's happy to oblige!  Piper is standing here with the Lego size Dirk Nowitzki.  After Legoland, we checked out downtown Grapevine and ate at a little Mexican restaurant Michael enjoyed growing up.
 The third day, we visited the Dallas World Aquarium.  It is really a cool place! Michael and I felt like it was more like a rain forest than an aquarium.
 This is the shark tunnel.  We stayed to watch them eat.  When I first read you could watch the shark feeding, in my mind I'm imagining large chunks of fleshy fish being devoured by these ravenous beasts!  No, it was more like little dead shrimp and squids floaty through the water while the sharks delicately munched away!  Haha!  Lame to say the least!  But it did create quite the frenzy and crowd!

 Briggs loves animals.  Here he is waving to the little outdoor penguins!  They were cute!
 And, along the rain forest, we ran into a native!  Haha!  They had some Mayan tribal dance show with music.  One guy was running his thigh across a flame of fire over and over!  Um, why?  He told the kids later, that it was very ouchy and not to try at home.  Thanks!  Their costumes were elaborate!
We spent close to three hours there and saw it all!  Whew!  Very neat place to visit!
 Afterwards, we drove to Pokey O's and have an ice cream and cookie treat then caught the McKinney trolley in Uptown.  The kids thought they were riding the train.  It was great!  But along the way, it started pouring rain and Piper was scared!  That made the trolley ride last a little longer than we anticipated!  But still an experience I'm glad we had!

 At the end of the day we ate at the original Campisi's restaurant.  Piper pretended to be a our waitress while waiting on our pizza.  She's a character.  The pizza was yummy and the mob-looking staff was intriguing!
 The next day was Sunday.  We went ahead and attended church because it was promotion Sunday for our kids and we wanted them to meet their new teachers and see their new classrooms with everyone else. In the afternoon, the kids and I went with my friend Robyn and her kids to the CR Smith museum.  It's an aviation museum but it has a traveling Lego display there temporarily.  Both Robyn's kids and my kids were more interested in the Lego stuff than the aviation stuff!

Our final day of the Staycation, no pictures were taken.  We took the kids to see Planes 2 and were going to visit the Chase tower downtown to look across the city skyline; however, on the way there we had a flat tire on the van that needed to be taken care of!  So the trip ended a little abruptly and sooner than we had planned.  It really was like a vacation since we had that little hiccup! We had a fun few days and spent a lot of great family time together!


The End of Summer

This summer seemed to fly by, yet drag on.  Towards the end, we really tried to make the most of it.  Having play dates, swimming, a few crafts, museum visits and other fun kid stuff.  I am ready for a change of pace and a normal routine because I do not seem to create a good routine during the summer months!  Piper is ready to be around friends more and could use a good challenge.  Although, I am sure she'll be tired of all that two weeks after beginning school!  We only have 15 weeks left until baby girl arrives and I have so much to do!  Eek!  Trying to enjoy these moments with my two big kids before her debut!
 While I was getting ready one day, Briggs began playing in my drawers (a normal occurrence!).  He stacked all these products and declared it was Daddy!  The head is the clippy and the two little bottles on each side are his arms!  Clever!
 Piper enjoyed helping me watch Bennett at our house.  He looks a little scared here!  Ha! But he was happy!  Piper is really excited to help take care of her baby sister soon!
 Briggs' latest thing is to pretend to sleep in order to get a laugh from his audience!  He took it a notch further with the eye mask one day!  He is our little comedian!
 Speaking of comedians...Both kids enjoyed pretending to be babies in the infant carrier! Sadly, it is expired but thankfully, we have a friend who is loaning her carrier to me when baby girl arrives!

Michael spent many summer hours building Lego's with the kids.  This is one activity they all love to do!  Mommy, not so much!!
 We visited the local fire station with the Wallace family!  It was hot in the garage and I can't imagine how how they feel in their suits!  The firemen gave us a tour of the engine and educated on some fire safety.  Piper asked several questions and seemed nervous at the thought of a fire in her home.  I really was expecting more questions that night but she never asked again!
 Piper had her friend, Ruby, over and they had a toy sale!  I think the profit was $1!
 I took the kids to the Dallas Arboretum on a very hot day.  We stayed cool in the misters and the spray area!

And I'll leave you with my little ham!  I love his little cheek balls!


Traveling to Oklahoma

We traveled to Oklahoma one more time before the school year begins.  Michael drove us to Clinton to visit Grammy & Papa John for a couple of days then the kids and I took Michael to the OKC airport and he flew home to get back to work while we stayed and visited more friends and family!  It's always so fun to go, but it isn't for the faint of heart to travel with two children!  I'll really be feeling crazy next summer with three!
Grammy had a fake snake in her backyard that looked and moved like a real snake.  Briggs bonded with that thing and played with it for hours!  The weather was so perfect while we were visiting.  It felt nice to sit on the patio and relax while the kids played.
 Their cousin, Garrison, got a new hunting dog.  It's a coon dog so I guess it hunts raccoons!  I think Garrison and his family have a dog for every animal you can hunt!  My kids loved Flash!  They loved leading him with the leash, petting him, and pretending to be raccoon so he'd chase them!  Neither child was afraid!  We've made big progress in the dog department!
After dropping Michael off at the airport we went to my sister's house for one night since she lives so close. The kids swam in the afternoon and that evening we played outside after Trebor treated us to frozen yogurt.  Uncle Trebor worked on Briggs' golf swing!  Pretty cute!

 And they had another opportunity to play with a puppy.  There was a lot of sharing involved with this puppy because everyone wanted to hold him.  Even Briggs fought over his turn!
 After spending one night at Aunt Sheryl's, we drove back to Clinton to stay with my best friend, Chandra and her family.  It rained most of the day that day so we were a little cooped up; however, we managed to get outside some in between the showers!
 Sophia is four and Briggs is three.  They don't usually play well together but did for a little bit in this moment. She has Piper's clothing on.  They both thought it was hilarious to be bucket heads and kept laughing even as they posed for their picture!  Briggs played so well with and playing alongside little Evelyn this time.  I didn't get a picture with her!
 We drove to the farm and played at their grandparents house for a change of scenery.  While there, Piper and Lilly fed the horse, Easy, some carrots and cucumbers!  Piper thought that was the best!
 The second day there, the three big girls took a painting class.  Piper said it was fun but not as fun as Ms. Helen's class because the instructors looked mad the entire time.  I did notice they weren't smiling a lot, but they did have about twenty kids to help!  Eeek!
 After painting and lunch, we drove to Grandma Judy's and Papa Roger's house in Fargo.  This was our third day in a row to be in the car!  Woo!
 Briggs was cracking me up wearing Papa's glasses!  So funny!!!
 Fargo is an itty bitty town, but they are going through a remodeling/rebuilding/adding on of their school.  The elementary school and junior high/high school are all on the same property so it's somewhat of a construction zone right now.  But the new playground is complete and we were able to take advantage of it!  We went there twice during our visit and the kids loved it!  Really, it's the nicest playground I think we've ever been too and I think we've visited many in the past six years!  So that'll be fun little excursion each time we go for a visit in the future!

 Briggs making silly faces at me!  We picked a pillow and a blanket around seven that night.  I think he was getting worn out!  This was our first trip in which he didn't fuss about being away from home or say, "We go to Mama's house."  He seemed to enjoy every minute and found something to play with at every house!
 My parents have these office-styled swivel chairs that my kids love spinning in it multiple times during our visits.  Although the picture is blurry, you can see the joy in their faces!
 After a night at my parents we drove back to Edmond to stay one more night at my sister's.  That evening, my nieces had a special after hours swimming party at Pelican Bay, a small local waterpark.  Piper was able to attend.  It was such a cool evening that night and the water was freezing but the girls still had a blast! Piper said her favorite thing was the rock climbing wall and the big slides!
 Then the next morning Piper woke up determined to learn how to ride a bicycle without training wheels. She refused to have any adult balance her and she came very close to doing it!  We are continuing to work on it at home and she continues to refuse our help!  She is so close!  I'm excited for her to learn and even though she's being stubborn, I'm proud of her determination!  I don't remember how old I was when I learned how to ride a bike, but I remember my brother and my sister both working on it with me in the sand in the country!  It was so hard but I figured it out finally!
It really was a great trip.  On our way back home the last day, Piper said "Mom this is not a different kind of day.  It's just a normal day to us because we go on trips like this a lot.  I think we are the only family that goes on trips like this a lot.  So it makes it just a normal day to us!"  Ha!  Piper was a little more dramatic than normal this week but she and I had some great one on one time together and some really sweet conversations especially when we slept in the same bed.  She would talk to me and ask me a lot of questions which is exactly how I was and still can be!  Moral topics and talking about God were really on her mind. Like doing the right thing when a friend is trying to get us to do the wrong thing, etc.  It is really great to listen to her processing these thoughts aloud!