Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Back to School Feast

I've seen a lot of people do big fun fancy feasts for back to school. I didn't go too fancy this year and maybe as the kids get bigger so will our celebration. But this year we did Peyton's favorite food (long noodles/spaghetti) and acted as though Wes and I were waiters who took her order, came and poured drinks, checked in periodically and made it all very formal. I think it was fun, but Peyton didn't act like anything out of the ordinary was happening, go figure. That girl has a great imagination so I'm guessing she just thought all of nights should be like that and she acted right into it. It will be a fun little tradition that might get some more pomp and frill in years to come.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Summer Moves

Now that summer is done, I find myself really missing it. More than I have in the past that's for sure! I still have one little darling home with me, but we are kinda home-bound lately because of half day kindergarten and our friends being gone, read Peyton being gone. Let's reminisce one more time on summer fun even though we are now totally out of chronological order shall we?

Since Peyton was a wee baby we have done the kids summer movie program at our local theater. We rarely go to the movies regularly, but during the summer it is a weekly habit the girls LOVE. Boppy joined us a lot, which made it that much better too!
 Let's just title this photo "summer shenanigans" and leave it at that. I am just happy they had this much clothing on if I am to be completely honest.
 Peyton used her $5 b-day money from Nana and Boppy to buy this hat she just had to have from the mall.
Hanging out in bathing suits just screams summer. Don't you agree?
After a fun evening of scooters and bikes, a popsicle hits just the right spot.
And we ate a lot of popsicles.
We also did a wonderful evening hike up Mt. Rubidoux with some cousins. It was beautiful and the weather sure agreed with us that night.
After waiting literally almost the whole summer, these 2 finally  got to have a true play date. They literally could not have been happier either!
In an attempt to get the last fun out of summer we went to the little gymnastic place near our home for their toddler time. Now this time neither of my kids could have been happier!
Used our summer reading program treats which included free meals from Chili's.
And without a doubt this was Jovie's favorite activity of the entire summer. Roller skating for Claire's 8th bday after her baptism. She (not exaggerating) asks to go roller "skaping" with cousins a minimum of 5 times a day, everyday since we went earlier this month. I think I will have to be taking her soon.
We also hit up the Cove Waterpark for a day where the girls again had a blast playing with friends and cousins.
(As you can see I hung with Jovie most of the day while Peyton was off with her cousins having a grand ole' time, thus the lack of her in photos).

Yes I am still a little in shock that everyday is still not summer for us.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Milestone: Kindergarten

Speaking of being sappy over milestones we just had one of our biggest! Peyton started Kindergarten! I seriously started debating homeschooling as this day approached... I was a nervous, emotional wreck. But through prayerful consideration we went ahead and sent her to the local elementary. I'll tell you in a few months if I still feel it was the right thing, but so far I am happy I did. She loves it. She has such nice friends. She is learning so much. And honestly she will gain understanding, insights, and experiences I literally could not provide here at home.

She was a little nervous preparing for the first day. She told me those exact words numerous times. But, we requested a specific teacher along with 3 other joy school friends (church friends), so the moment those friends showed up, she forgot all about Wes and me. She literally walked right off laughing and talking to her friends and never looked back. Wes and I looked at each other and joked that we could yell and reach out to her and she wouldn't even look back, and each day after she never has. She's really in her element. She has since become her group leader (blue group) and gotten the top points for behavior each day. I am proud of how well she's done not really having any past formal school experience.

After her first day of school we took her to Nubi for frozen yogurt in an attempt to talk about her day. Within minutes of sitting down she saw another little girl and was convinced she had to sit by her. We tried to explain to her that we were there to talk to her, but she was insistent that she had to sit there. So, off she went (followed by Jovie) to sit with this little girl. They talked and exchanged names, etc. And each new kid that entered Peyton walked up, introduced herself and asked their name. She was the socialist of social butterflies. Wes and I were happy to say we think she learned her first lesson of public school.

I am actually kind of excited for our first year of school. Maybe not the schedule, but the experience.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Peyton is 5!!!

I am so sappy when it comes to my kids growing up. So the fact that my first born is 5 makes me cry.... no like literally, I have cried. More than once. But, at the same time each new year brings the opportunity to do fun things we were previously not able to do. Well, I guess we could have done them, but it's more work than fun when they are little. Like dates to get yogurt and things together have become so enjoyable now because she "gets it".

Peyton can be described as sweet, smart and funny. She tells funny anecdotes and is just pleasant to be with.... which has actually always been the case with Miss Peyton Jane. I love this girl. I love her smile. I love her willingness to serve and do kind things. She is a pleaser and wants to make everyone happy and finds joy when she does. She is seriously the sweetest sister and best helper! She is a smart cookie and naturally obedient. I think she will excel in school, it just seems to be right up her alley.

We don't do parties every year, but just for certain milestone... so 5 was it. Because of school, and other scheduling conflicts I made it into a giant family party on a Friday night a week after her birthday since it was summertime and well, dang it, I could. It was fun, but I am definitely not a party planner. It is tough for me, so we were a little behind when it came to setting up, decorations, etc. But, it all ended fine. It seemed like everyone had a good time but most importantly Peyton was happy. Between family and friends she was well loved! I cannot ever say how blessed our family is to have the people in our life we do. We are always loved and surrounded by good friends who treat us sooooooo well and are supportive, helpful and overly kind. That is one of our greatest blessings!

The theme was a puppy party... Peyton's choice. I was expecting princesses or Frozen when I asked her what she wanted, but nope she chose puppies. Poor kid did NOT get a real puppy. I am not ready for one again quite yet. But the one present she wanted was a Puppy Surprise, which she did get! We did the party in the grassy area behind the church right by our house. Grilled up some dogs, played some games, and I (poorly) painted faces. The kids ran a muck and just had fun being kids. The only downer is that both Wes and I were so busy neither of us had any time to chat and I love chatting so that was a bummer. And I got about 4 pictures, 2 of which are super blurry.

Happy birthday to my FAVORITE 5 YEAR OLD!!!!!!!!!

Just know their faces looked a little better before all the eating and running around. And her bone cake was a hit, though the kids were nervous to eat the bones (Scooby Snacks).
 This one is super blurry but look at the excitement!
 To show off my "fresh" work.... the kids chose the color of their dog spots, ere go the red dots on his face.
And with her loot. Kid made our like a bandit. See what I mean... she was spoiled by so many people who love her!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Angels Camp to San Francisco: Day 6

This was our last official day of vacation and we had to be out of the hotel by 11am. Patrick and Kati and their boys left early (8:30ish) to best accommodate cute napping boys who were not happy too long in the car. But the rest of us were just not ready to be done with vacation quite yet. Besides, it was a day to celebrate as my cute little PEYTON turned 5 YEARS OLD!!! Wahooooo!!!!!! I can't describe to you non-parents yet the truth behind every parent saying you blink and time changes, because seriously, I am genuinely confused how this could possibly be my baby's 5th b-day. I will do a separate post about Miss Peyton and my undying love for that sweetie, but because it was a big part of the day, you will get to see a lot of it here too.

So since, it was her b-day we tried to make it as special as possible. Wes and I went out the night before and got a big poster for all the family to sign so that when she woke up she had that. And I had pre-planned and brought a lot of little presents with us for her to open (we thought we would do it in the car on the drive home, but plans changed as you will soon see). All her cousins helped do "heavy heavy hangover" on her head to help out too. She wished a unicorn upon Brinley, a nice day on another cousin, and I wish I wrote the other wishes down she presented on them because they were pretty cute and funny. Most had to do with what she liked or what they were wearing for the most part. She got goggles earlier in the week that she used everyday at the pool. She also got some new sunglasses she had loved one day we were at the mall. A new "dog" shirt since to say she's obsessed with dogs is a major understatement. A few movies to watch on the long ride home (Stewart Little being one of them, and we also listened to the book on CD on the drive up). Also some little crafts to do in the car and a puzzle for when she got home. It was an awesome morning.

Of course we did a candle and cinnamon rolls in the morning; and since we were pretty squished in the hotel it all happened on poor Uncle Shaun's bed. I kidded with him that in the pictures he looked like a convalescent or something. I am sure he'll just love these pictures, though they gave us a good laugh. Poor convalescent Uncle Shaun.
"Heavy heavy hangover......."
 P.S. We literally woke up and started celebrating, so don't mind the bedhead, pajamas and food on our faces above.

Okay, like I said the initial plan was to go home Saturday. But, we were all having so much fun we extended. And since San Francisco was a mere 3 hour drive we decided to go there. I have to say Jaime and Matt and family made our drive much much easier, well not just to go there but everywhere. Peyton begged and begged to drive in their car, so most trips was just me, Wes, Jovie and Shaun. It was a pretty quiet group in our car. Well, beside Jovie who can talk non-stop. 

I love San Francisco. But this trip was kinda nuts! Parking in lots was a flat rate of $40... we lucked out having to make an emergency potty break and finding street parking for a mere $9 for the whole night. Sheer luck I tell you because the whole city was so slammed there was NO PARKING anywhere... all the lots we tried prior to finding this gem were full. Walking Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf was more slammed than a busy day at Disneyland. And when you have strollers and 7 kids that proves to be a bit of an issue, but we made it work and enjoyed our day.

My kids LOVED seeing the Golden Gate Bridge though we didn't get too close. And their favorite part was watching a seagull try to eat a huge fish on top of a car near where we ate.

The best part in my humble opinion was getting a HUGE birthday ice cream sundae to share at Ghirardelli Chocolate... which was also slammed. They brought out the sundae and we started to sing to Peyton. Our group is pretty large by itself, but the ENTIRE restaurant started to sing. It was loud and fabulous... I may have started to cry being so touched that I could not even finish the song. The whole night was wonderful.


We drove the city at night. Played in the arcade, enjoyed the views and had the stinkiest, sickest bathroom experience ever! 

Afterward we drove an hour south to our hotel; Stayed the night and finished driving home the next day. Stopping in Santa Barbara to get our wiggles out at the park and our crepes on! Crepes filled with ice cream might be my all time favorite treat.

The whole vacation was magical! Loved every moment of it! It literally could not be any better than it was!