Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back to School Night

Back in my elementary school days, Back to School night was always held two, three, maybe even four weeks into the new school year before having a "Back to School Night".

Not Hannah's school.

For the last three school years, Back to School Night had been hosted on the first day of school. This year, it was the evening of the second day of school. So for the past two school days, the kids have been busily working on projects to make their classroom welcoming and personalized. They wrote newspaper articles about themselves as well as made a self portrait.Upon entering the classroom and signing in that we had attended, there was a Classroom Scavenger Hunt with a list of things for the students to show their families. The list included things such as showing what was in their desk, explaining their 'money' box and how the classroom store works, the grading chart, the multiplication chart, and finally ended with introducing your family to Mrs. Tatman. Mrs Tatman was very impressed that Hannah had brought her entire family, including her Gramma and Papa!After Back to School Night, we all went to Golden Spoon, accompanied by Amy and Bethany and celebrated the new school year with yummy frozen yogurt!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

First Day of School - The Update

Hannah had a great 1st day of school. She met new kids, has some playground acquaintances from years past in her class, and of course has her two friends she's been with since Kindergarten. One of the boys in her class, she distinctly remembers him from her Kindergarten days. He pushed her in the mud. I don't remember the incident, but she sure does. LOL.

She came home with a packet of paperwork to read, to fill out, to sign, and send back. She needed a plastic pencil box so we stopped off at Walmart on the way home to pick one up. After searching the very sparse school aisles, we did not find one. Therefore, thanks to Miss Barrett and her allowing the kids to take their pencil boxes home last year, Hannah will be taking a little piece of her second grade school year with her into her third grade desk, her purple pencil box!

Tomorrow night is back to school night where we can go and take more time in her classroom, listen to the teacher talk about her expectations, rules, etc. And get a good look at all those other families who we don't know! LOL.

Here's hoping tomorrow is another good day, and just as important, a good morning!! :)

First Day of School - The Drop Off

Once to school, you could feel the excitement through the halls. Although some of us parents are sad we've been split up. LOL. Hannah wasn't sad, she's pretty happy she has Julia. We made our way to Hannah's classroom and discovered it was open. She found her desk and then off to the playground we went in search of friends.It was after the visit to the classroom, and on our way to the playground that Hannah got a little nervous because of all the new and unknown faces in her class. Remember, this is the first time in the entire three years she's been going to school that the class has been split. With the exception of one or two students over the years, the rest of the twenty students have been exactly the same. They've gone through three school years together and have become such good friends, etc, etc. It's to be expected to be a little nervous. And quite honestly, I was surprised she wasn't nervous until this morning. Daddy was there to give her a little pep talk and to encourage her and then she was off to the playground. I'm sure she'll be fine.It's funny how almost half of her previous classmates had found their way to one another and gathered together. Talking, figuring out who is with who and what teacher, etc. In this picture, Hannah, Zierra, and Julia, the three girls who managed to be placed together. And boy, were they ever thankful!When the bell rang the teacher took the students that were in the classroom out to the blacktop to show them where it is they will line up, etc. We said our goodbyes and made our way to the car. But not without stopping and talking to parent friends first. :)

Hannah gets out at 2:15...details as to how her first day went later this evening.

So Excited!!!

Hannah had a terrible time falling asleep last night. Despite being put to bed at 8:00, it was close to 9:30 before she finally fell asleep. She simply was too excited for today.

It's only 6:30 and we don't need to leave until about 7:35/7:40. Hannah is already up. Dressed. Hair combed. Bed made. Room picked up. And breakfast has been chosen. All that and she's only been up all of maybe 15 minutes!!! LOL.

She's so excited! I asked her if she was nervous, she said 'No'.

I guess since she's ready, I better go get ready!!

Will post pictures after the 'big' drop off!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Class Lists Posted!

The class lists for the new school year were posted this afternoon. After three years of being with the exact same classmates, due to the school schedule changing, we are now a one track school, which meant everyone was being split up amongst five classes. So we went anxiously to check out the class lists.Hannah was extremely excited to have her best school buddy, Julia, in her class. Both the girls had kinda suspected they might be together since Miss Barrett had asked the kids 'if they could choose one friend to be with in the new school year, who would it be?' Both the girls were so excited, and I think it'll make the transition of being separated from the rest of their friends a little easier. After determining who their teacher was and what room they would be in, we went in search of their new classroom. And as we were coming back, they got to meet their new teacher! The teachers have been working the past two days with meetings and getting their classrooms ready and in order and she as still there as late in the afternoon as it was. She politely introduced herself and shook their hands and said she looked forward to seeing them tomorrow!

And with that, it's official, the new school year is upon us!!!

Color Me Mine

Hannah got a gift card to Color Me Mine for her birthday, in April. For some reason or another, until today, we'd not made a trip to redeem it. Seeing how today was the last day of summer vacation for us, we went for our last "summer vacation hoo-rah!". Gramma joined us and lent a helping hand to Rachel and her kitty.

It was no surprise that Hannah chose a dog to paint. She's been wanting to go and paint a dog ever since they had the Dalmatian special back in the Spring. She painted her dog brown, and named him "Brownie".After her dog was finished, she painted a little tea spoon rest for Gramie as a birthday present. Rachel painted one as well. Both turned out so pretty and we just know Gramie will love them! We had a great time painting, even despite the rocking and rolling that went on here in Southern California late this morning! LOL. Our painted pieces will be done in the next or so, and then we can go pick them up and bring home to enjoy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

New School Year = New Chore Chart

The starting of the new school year is like a new year for me, starting fresh. New routines, new experiences, and new chores!!

Today we went to the Dollar Tree and picked up some poster board and cute boarder in the teacher section. And this afternoon, Hannah's new chore chart went up on her door. I've done the sticker chore charts in the past, where she earns a sticker when a job is well done, etc. That only lasts for a couple of weeks and then the chart has blanks and holes and is forgotten all together. So I simply listed out what is expected of her in the morning, afternoon/evening, and anytime. This evening after dinner, I tried giving Hannah a new chore...sweeping the kitchen floor! Our six year nephew has been doing this for some time, and I figured it was high time our eight year learned! She did a fantastic job!! And I think if I took the time to teach her how to clean and do things, she might just turn out to be as good and detailed cleaner as her Daddy!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Toy Story Mania

We met Uncle Bart at Disneyland late this afternoon. And the first thing we wanted to tackle was the new Toy Story Mania ride in California Adventure. It opened up last month, but due to long lines, we've not attempted it the last couple of trips. We got in line and it was posted a 60 minute wait, but I don't think it was that long. This Mr. Potato Head is something you encounter while in line. He's animatronic and talks and sings, and even pulls his own ear out!! It was pretty cool to see him in person.The ride vehicles sit four people, two back to back, and the car moves and spins. Steven and Hannah sat together, I sat alone, and then in the seats behind me, was Uncle Bart and Rachel. Inside the ride were a series of typical midway games you would find at a carnival. In addition to the coolness of the games, the decor and detail were amazing. It's too bad the ride vehicles move so quickly from one game to the the next. After dinner, and a few more things inside California Adventure, we headed across the way to Disneyland, in hopes of getting on the Finding Nemo submarines. Uncle Bart still hasn't been on that ride yet, but the line was too long so we skipped it. Maybe next time. We did a few more things and then ended our evening with ice cream sundaes!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Shopping for School

Hannah starts school one week from tomorrow!!! :::Gasp::: Where have the last eight weeks gone?? We've done A LOT and probably would have done more trips to Disneyland, maybe the desert outlet stores, maybe even the museums in Los Angeles, if it weren't for the price of gas having kept us home a little bit.

Today, we set out on a mission for a new lunch box and backpack. Hannah had seen one she liked a few weeks ago at The Children's Place, so we headed out to Ontario Mills for some shopping. We got the backpack she wanted, even picked up a cute sweater for each of the girls and was able to use a coupon I had that saved us 15% on the already outlet prices! Whoo Hoo! We walked the entire mall, making stops into a few stores here and there. We parked outside one of the big anchor stores. And each time we passed through, in and out, and then once out to the car to put a big package, Hannah, and Rachel, both attempted to open the "automatic" doors with their Jedi Powers. They are their father's daughters. LOL. We grabbed a quick lunch, using some coupons that came in the mail. And then went to Target and found a new lunch box and some other needed things. We had a good day out. Minimal fighting and arguing. And Rachel cooperated by staying in the stroller and shopping cart! On the way home, Hannah said "today has been like a Mommy and daughters date, huh Mom?".

Yeah it was. And it was nice.

And then within an hour of getting home, the fighting and arguing started. :::Sigh::: At least it was a nice morning and part of the afternoon. .

Camping at San Elijo State Beach Campground

We're becoming quite the camping family! This weekend was our third time camping in eight weeks! We had our weekend out at Lake Perris, then our Mammoth Camping trip, and now this one. All three trips have been different and we've camped with different groups of people. Each trip making memories in our camping adventures.

We arrived to the campground shortly after lunch on Thursday. And once to our site, Hannah helped unload the van some, but mostly she was interested in seeing what Parker was up to. The kids all managed to stay out of the way of unloading and then setting up camp and then it was time to head to the beach for the afternoon.

As Hannah gets older, she is building more and more courage. We were so proud of her for going into the ocean, and then for giving boogie boarding a try. She had so much in the water. Here she is with Parker. They were having so much fun, just look at the huge smiles on their faces.Thanks to Scott and his persistence and encouragement, Hannah surprised both Steven and myself when she willingly followed Scott out into the water with a board. She tried it and loved it! She kept at it for most of the remainder of our time on the beach. The rest of our Thursday evening was spent having dinner, chatting with our friends and the kids playing. Hannah went to bed pretty easy, of course she was pretty wiped out from all her surfer girl action. LOL.

Unfortunately, Hannah woke up Friday morning with a really bad neck ache. She mentioned it before going to bed the night before, but upon waking up, she was in tears. We chalked it up to all the action the afternoon before on the boogie board and her holding her head up out of the water. Eventually, later in the morning, after some Tylenol and Motrin, the pain subsided. We were up really early, thanks to the trains, and joined our friends in making a trip to the beach for beach combing of shells, and other things that had washed ashore in the night. We spent close to two hours on the beach and found a lot of nice little shells and rocks.After beach combing, the rest of Friday morning was spent sitting about the campsite, playing games. Hannah got along with all the kids so well, kids she's not used to hanging out with at that. She played the game of Life a couple of times and at other times, she was happy to just sit and watch. Friday afternoon, we were back down on the beach. It was a pretty uneventful afternoon as far as Hannah goes, she complained she was tired, and rather than cart her back up to the campsite, we laid out a blanket and she fell asleep for a couple of HOURS!!Friday evening was fun for the kids when Paula set up a movie theater once it got dark. The kids all sat in their camping chairs with popcorn and snacks and watched a movie appropriate for the beach, Finding Nemo! The outdoor movie theater came in handy both Friday and Saturday nights, it allowed the kids time to unwind and sit still and eventually fall asleep!Saturday morning it was overcast and chilly. We hung out around camp for the morning, the kids all playing games, and once the sun came out after lunch, it was down to the beach we went! This time Hannah went wave jumping and had a blast doing it. Now that I think of it, I'm really surprised she didn't complain about her legs hurting that night. She had so much fun and really loved jumping the waves.

All the kids on this weekends' camping adventure,
Sunday morning we had a nice breakfast. Hannah enjoyed sugared cereal, something she only gets when she is camping, or at Gramie's house. LOL. After one more walk on the beach, it was time to pack up camp and say our goodbyes to our friends. Uncle Bart only lived a mile from where we were camping, so we made prior arrangements to meet up with him for lunch. Being a camper himself, he knew how good a shower would be, and offered us his shower! It was so nice to get all the sand off the girls and wash their hair and into nice clean clothes. After that, we went to lunch and then for some ColdStone ice cream! It was a nice couple of hours with Uncle Bart.Hannah had a lot of fun camping this weekend. Both the girls are getting really good at camping and adjusting and making do. Course it helps when you camp with people who have trailers and hookup and portable DVD players.

Check out more of our camping pictures at San Elijo Camping, July 2008.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Napping on the Beach

July 2003, Corona Del Mar

July 2008, San Elijo State Beach

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Emma Comes for a Visit

It's been a while since we've had Emma over to play and to spend the night and with only two weeks left of Hannah's summer vacation, today was as good as day as ever. They played, they went in the pool, they watched a new episode of Hannah Montana, watched movies, and eventually went to sleep...sometime after 10:00.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Adventures in Hollywood

Today we drove into Los Angeles, Hollywood to be specific. We were going to the El Capitan to see WALL-E. We had tickets for the first showing at 10:00 and it was nice to get there before all the crazies were out on Hollywood Blvd. Although Hannah seems to enjoy spotting the crazy people dressed up as famous movie characters.After the movie, we grabbed some lunch and then headed off for more adventures. We had planned to visit the Griffith Observatory as you no longer have to have reservations and take a bus to the top, like the last time we went when it first reopened. When we arrived to the top of the hill, it was just as we had expected, there was no parking available, and people were parking along the sides of hillside and walking up. We decided to skip the observatory and went in search of something else to do. While we were driving through Griffith Park, we came across a place that offered horse riding. Hannah has this fascination with horses and was excited that she was going to ride one. We chose the Medium Horses for the girls to ride. The horses had this track that they walked or trotted around. Some stayed right behind the other horses, others trotted ahead and left more space between the horses. Walking slowly seemed to be more Hannah's speed.Because when the horse picked up speed (to trotting), when Hannah passed by me she was telling the horse to slow down. LOL. It was funny to see such opposite reactions between her and Rachel. When their ride came to an end, Gramie asked if the girls wanted to ride again, Rachel's answer was of course yes, while Hannah's response was "Nah". LOL. After Rachel taking one more ride on the ponies, we headed down to ride the miniature train, stopping to do a butterfly craft along the way.We had a fun day of adventures with Gramie in Hollywood, and like all good things, they must come to an end.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Keeping Cool at a Pool Party!

As if being out in the extreme heat most of yesterday wasn't enough, Hannah had a pool birthday party to go to this afternoon for a friend from school.

There were just a few other friends from school that came, but Hannah enjoyed seeing her friends now that we are a little more than half way through our break. It was a hot day and I think Hannah only came out of the pool twice, once for pizza, and second for the opening of the presents.

Friday, July 04, 2008

4th of July

We spent our 4th of July with church family this year. We were invited to the home of some people at church and it turned into a huge church event, with more than twenty families in attendance. It was a great afternoon of fun and fellowship.

Hannah had so much fun on the big inflatable slide as well as the little slip n slide. She had a bit of an accident coming down the slide one time, her nose hit the back of another little boys' head and she ended up with a bloody nose, but despite being a little sore and tender, all is fine. And it didn't stop her from going up the slide again!The house was absolutely beautiful, inside and out. It was perfect for hosting such a large event! There was a huge front yard where there was a small slip n slide and a volleyball net and one side of the driveway housed all the shade canopies lined up one right after another. Shade was a necessity to keep a little bit cooler in the 106 degrees heat that this afternoon brought.

It made Hannah's day when her good old friend Emma arrived.
Hannah also had the opportunity to play and hang out with a little girl who we know from church, but she also goes to Hannah's school. There's a big chance that Hannah and Hayley could end up in the same 3rd grade class come the end of the month and that would be awesome!At the end of the evening, once it was dark, there were fireworks and some kids did sparklers. Not remembering that fireworks were legal in the city we were in, I didn't pick up any sparklers for the girls to do. Hannah was bummed, But once we were home, Hannah went out back and watched the neighbors behind us do sparklers and a few other fireworks through our fence, and the neighbors so graciously gave us about six boxes of sparklers over the fence. So Hannah got to do sparklers all by herself! She had fun, and despite it being well after 10:00, she had the energy to do three boxes! We're saving the other boxes to do with Rachel, seeing how she was asleep and missed the fun!We had a great day! We're so blessed to be a part of a church where it's enjoyable to go to 'church' functions and look forward to spending time with friends.