Monthly Archives: August 2010

First Day of School 2010-11

No matter what age you are, it seems like the first day of school is exciting. Whether you are a Pre-K, off to your first day away from Mommy & Daddy, or are a 30-something beginning your first day of college, there’s just something about going back to school. The excitement is contagious. I don’t know if it’s the newness, or just a change in routine that ignites that spark, but it was all my kids talked about for almost the last 2 weeks of summer. I am an over preparer, so all school supplies were purchased, labeled, and ready for school weeks ahead of time. New shoes were bought & hidden away to surprise the girls with, backpacks were personalized & packed full of supplies. As the day drew nearer, open houses were attended, new haircuts were scheduled, and the anticipation grew. We adopted a new ‘back to school’ schedule to help us with what could only be described as partially organized chaos. (The kids were excited about this new routine, it is the Flylady Student Control Journal…I would highly advise you check it out if you have school age kids.) The first day of school went off fairly smoothly, kids were up and ready, looking beautiful with their new haircuts, clothes, and shoes.

Ready for 1st day of 2nd grade!

Ready for 1st day of 3rd grade!

Ready for 1st day of 5th grade!

Traffic was ridiculous as expected. We dropped Kara off first at her school which is in the process of being remodeled, so there was mass confusion as to where to pull in to drop her off. The first week is always insane because everyone thinks they need to drive their kids to school. There are parents who’s kids are not typically car riders, so they have no clue as to what to do. The construction zone did not help matters.    The kids started getting a little crazy waiting in line.

Insisting on a silly pic while waiting in line.

The other half of silliness...

After dropping her off at her school & snapping a few pictures while pulling away, as to not cause any more delay in the line for the other parents, we headed across town to take Trinity & Kylie to their school.

Happy to finally be out of the car & @ school!

Trinity & Kylie’s school is brand new. They are the first 3rd & 5th graders to attend the new school. It is an fantastic campus with all kinds of amenities. They arrived right on time, and eagerly ran up to the building.

Heading in to the new school for the 1st time!

And that was it. All the planning, and anticipation for such an anticlimactic moment. Grayson & I drove home feeling a little lonely, but satisfied at the same time. Grayson asked about their day, and we played ‘school’ so he wouldn’t feel too left out. We fell right back into our typical school-day routine from the previous year, and anxiously awaited for time to pick them up so we could hear all about their first day.

2:30 rolled around and we left the house to go pick up the girls. Grayson was very impatient with the pick up line, and there was good reason. The way it is supposed to work, is there is only one in and one out to pick up 1st & 2nd graders at Kara’s school. Once the line gets backed up to the street, the people turning left into the school use the turning lane on the road, and people turning right into the school just stay in the right lane. Anyone needing to get by coming from the right, go around in the turning lane. It is not a difficult thing. The problem began when someone coming from the right decided to use the turning lane as to not block the through traffic…evidently this parent had not done this before.

And the cavalry has been called in...

Less than 1/3 of the line for 1st & 2nd graders.

Traffic began to pile up in the turning lane & the right hand lane…both thinking they were in line. The cops eventually showed up, and attempted unsuccessfully to unclog the street. Once the line began to move, I noticed that the traffic for the left turning people had stretched back through the intersection and had once again drawn the attention of the cop. It was a total mess…I was really glad I had arrived early and wasn’t a part of this mass confusion. Picking up the other 2 was not nearly as bad…it seems as though the school staff had thought out the traffic flow a little better. After picking them up, the girls excitedly chattered all the way home about their teachers, new classrooms, new and old friends, and all the events of the day. I drove home smiling and thanking God for my kids, and that they had a great day & were looking forward to a new school year.

Thrifty Thursday on a Friday…I’m baaaack! ;)

I figured this week, I’d post a few pictures of how I did on back to school shopping, plus what I did this week. The first 3 pictures are of all the school supplies required for my girls to go back to school, along with new backpacks & new shoes. For everything pictured, I spent less than $100…that includes the shoes! (Not sure why Kylie & Kara’s shoes didn’t make it into the photos, but they got cool new shoes too!)

This week I went to Walgreen’s, and since I wasn’t planning on going, I didn’t have my coupon arsenal. I had to run in for a basic necessity item, and decided to check out the clearance section. Typically our Walgreen’s clearance section is lame, but occasionally I can find some really good deals. This was one of those days. I bought the following ‘seasonal’ items for around 75% off each!

Jumbo Bat & Ball – Reg. 6.99 on sale for $1.74
(2) Camping Chair – Reg. 6.99 on sale for $1.74/ea
(2) Super Miracle Bubbles 80oz. – Reg. 3.00/ea on sale for $.75/ea
(2) Splash Double Shot Water Gun – Reg. 2.00/ea on sale for $.50/ea
Total = $7.72!

Alexander 2010 Family Vacation ~ Day 3

Day 3:  6:00am the alarm goes off.  The typical thought of ‘Already!?’ goes through my head. Then I remember…I’m on vacation! I hop out of bed eager to sneak a peek at the beach.  I grab my camera and tiptoe out of the bedroom, through the house, and out the sliding glass door.  The sound of the waves on the shore, the smell of the salty air, and the fact that I am nearly alone in enjoying this moment is amazing.  I sat on the steps of the balcony relishing the experience.  It was as if God had made this beautiful morning just for me…I was enjoying it immensely, but wanted to share it with my family.  The sun was starting to peek up over the horizon, so I went inside & coaxed everyone out of bed with promises of breakfast and coffee.  Clad in pj’s my sleepy-eyed children lumbered out of bed and out the door.  The looks of awe on their little faces at the first glimpse of the beach were priceless.  The photos of the sunrise weren’t as spectacular as I had hoped because of the overcast sky, but it was beautiful nonetheless.

Sunrise on Cocoa Beach

We ate breakfast, donned our swimsuits, grabbed our beach gear & headed down the steps and onto the beach.  We were once again greeted by a local, and the girls made a beeline for the waves, while Grayson tried to figure out how to walk in the sand.

The bravest of the crabs...welcoming us to Cocoa Beach!

Heading straight for the waves!

Grayson's first beach experience.

The majority of our day consisted of the girls catching waves with their boogie boards, and Grayson either playing in the sand or attempting to leap over the waves with the help of Marie-Antoinette.

Running into the surf to catch some waves!

Grayson burying his hand in the sand.

Grayson doing his 'cool pose'.

Grayson & his wave jumping partner...Marie Antionette

Kara and Trinity were magically transformed in to mermaids, and even Greg played in the sand.  My Uncle Ron extended the invite to come back any time…we will be taking him up on that offer for sure. =)

Kara as a mermaid.

Trinity transformed into a mermaid.

Daddy playing in the sand.

Uncle Ron & Greg

Lunch was brought to us courtesy of my Aunt Sunni & Marie Antionette…delicious sandwiches, chips & fresh fruit.  While we waited for tummies to settle, we collected shells, played in the sand and visited a nearby turtle nest.  (One of the turtles we had missed the previous night because of the crab attack my being scared of the crabs.)

Me & my Aunt Sunni

Sea Turtle Nest

Me & Greg on Cocoa Beach

We continued our beach day, nearly oblivious to the crowds that were gathering to stake their claim to a good spot for that evening’s fireworks.  We had other plans, of course…our hotel awaited!  Even after being at the beach ALL DAY, the kids were reluctant to leave.  I reassured them it wouldn’t be our last visit to the beach, and we had much more in store for them.  Everyone pitched in and gathered our stuff, which somehow took more trips to bring back to the beach house than it had taken to bring out to the beach originally, and the kids had to ‘rinse off’ about 15 times each, but we finally got everyone back to the beach house and changed.  After loading up and saying our goodbyes, we headed to our hotel…The Westgate Palace in Orlando.

Alexander 2010 Family Vacation ~ Day 2

Day 2 began with the attitude of “Let’s shower & get the heck out of here.”  We thought ahead about the comfort of travelling with 4 kids and all our luggage, and purchased a ‘saddlebag’ that hangs on the back of our SUV to house most of our bags.  What we didn’t think of is how big a pain it was for someone who is ‘vertically challenged’ like myself to assist with the attaching of the aforementioned saddlebag.  It involves balancing on one foot standing on the back bumper, trying not to be scorched by the lava hot roof of the truck while threading straps through the luggage rack bars, and helping lift an 80+ lb. bag while securing clips.  I must admit, by the end of our journey, we had it down to a science.
Not long after leaving the “hotel”, I busted out a surprise for the kids from the Activity Bag…new DS games for all.  Not just any DS games, these were like DS games on crack…the smallest cartridge containing 55 games, and the largest 116. And these are real games, not lame ones…all in English from a company based out of Hong Kong for about $16/each.  The kids played the games until they passed out, and Mom took the opportunity to snap some pics…even one of Daddy. hehe
Anyways back to the point, we had a pretty uneventful drive from Alabama, through Georgia, and down to Cocoa Beach.  We arrived in Cocoa Beach to visit with my Uncle Ron & Aunt Sunni Rae, and stay the night in the beach house.  We arrived around 8:30pm, and I got the bright idea of taking a walk on the pitch black beach with my husband.  My uncle had said the turtles had been coming ashore to lay their eggs, so we might luck out & see one.  As most of you know, I’m not a huge animal person, but was excited about the possibility of seeing a turtle.  We left the kids eating pizza & discussing our trip with my family while Greg & I walked down the steps and out onto the beach.  The experience of the ocean at night is amazing.  You can’t see much, but you can sense it’s power.  I love when you can actually feel the greatness of God’s creation.  We took a flashlight to watch out for turtles, and began our walk.  Sweeping the light back and forth in front of us, I saw movement.  I stopped suddenly, and let out a little scream as a crab scurried unbelievably fast across the sand and into the sea.  We laughed at the fact that I was frightened by the little crab, then saw how many crabs there actually were.  It was crazy…I had no idea they were so fast.  This is the closest shot I could get with my phone.
Needlesstosay, I’m a weenie & we didn’t stay on the beach long.  Considering how skittish I was about the crabs, I probably would have lost my mind if I actually encountered a giant turtle.  We walked down the street enjoying the music and laughter coming from the local bars & restaurants, the warm air and smell of the ocean, and looking at the items for sale in the windows of the darkened shops.
When we returned to the beach house, the kids were ready for bed and excited about hitting the beach in the morning.  I set my alarm for 6am to be sure to catch the sunrise, and headed to bed.

Unlimited Cuteness…

There is an endless supply of cuteness that I get to enjoy everyday.  Some days it is like a geyser consistently bombarding me with nearly overwhelming feelings of love and awe that I have been blessed so greatly.  Other days, it is a trickle…brightening a rough day.  Regardless of how it is supplied, it is endless.  Here’s a few instances from the last couple days.

Greg & I were joking around, I punched him in the arm, he retaliated playfully.  Me (laughing): Ow!  That hurt!  You frogged me!  Grayson (acting like I am crazy): Momma! He is NOT a frog!

A few minutes after waking up… Grayson: Momma, I’m hungry.  Can you fix my breakfast?  Me: Yes, sir. Do you want a bagel or cereal?  Grayson: Crackers.  Me: You can’t have crackers.  Bagel or cereal?  Grayson: Cereal. Me: What kind? You can’t have the one with the peaches, you ate it all yesterday.  Grayson: Mom, I don’t want peaches. I want the other kind.  Me: Good, you can’t have peaches because you ate it all yesterday. It’s gone. I threw the box away. Grayson: Mom! I don’t want the peaches kind. I want a different kind!  (This went on a good 5 minutes.  Then he was about half way through his cheerios when I hear…) Grayson (to himself): Ohhhhh! I ate all the peaches!

Grayson: Momma, can I do my homework? I want to write my name.

While eating dinner, Grayson was chatting with the girls, and said something cute (that I can’t quite recall). Me: Grayson… Grayson (cutting me off, sounding exasperated): I know, I’m too cute…and smart. Me (slightly shocked): Uh, yes you are! The girls then erupted in laughter.

I am so blessed to be the mother of my wonderful children.  I know my girls don’t get as much blog content as Grayson does, but that’s just because they’re not with me near as much.  They are all hilarious, and keep life interesting.  I have the most amazing husband on the planet, and I thank God each day for him. I’m not sure how this post went from being all about cuteness to being so mushy, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes. ;)

To-Do Tuesday

So….if you looked at last weeks list, you pretty much know this weeks list.  I started alot of projects, got about halfway through, lost motivation, and put it away.  I have got about half of the kids school supplies bought, tagged & in their backpacks, so I’m in pretty good shape.  I tore apart the closet, and began organizing the crap stuff that has been thrown in there, but didn’t get very far…I’m thinking I only need to put one major project on my list per week.  Otherwise, I feel like I failed. *sob* ;)  So with the mindset of taking it down a notch…here’s the revised list.

1. Continue to blog about our wonderful Florida vacation, complete with lots of pictures. =)

2. Finish scanning boot camp year book & return to amazing USMC friend in Missouri. (Thanks Nicole!)

3. Plan menu for next 2 weeks. (Complete w/ shopping list & coupons.)

4. Send out care packages to my sister & my aunt.

5. Finish organizing closet. (Need some nice photo boxes or bins or some type of storage container.)

6. Get hubby to FINALLY fix blog problems. (Not sure why I keep putting this one on here…it’s not happening.)

7. Have quiet time everyday. (Actually multiple quiet times…I think I deserve more than one.)

This list is, of course, in addition to my daily ‘To-Do List’s’ that I have to have to function.  If you’d like to join in on the To-Do List ‘fun’, feel free to link to your site using the MckLinky below.