Monday, August 28, 2017

Back to Fun - School, Fair & Volunteering!

Noah started the second grade! The second grade is in a new building, so Noah was pretty nervous. Luckily he had 5 kids in his class from last year so that helped. I walked him in on the first day and he was all smiles when I left him! He said his first day was great and each day of the week seemed to be better and better.

Thursday night it was time to go to the Fair! The kids literally ask me at least once a month when the fair will be here again so I was glad it was finally time! We got there at 6:00 which is when the armbands start. Each year the armbands are more and more of a good deal as the kids grow and can ride more rides. We picked a good night to go since my brother and his family were there, my mother-in law came, my best friends Alicia and Talen were there, and my nephew Paxton also came - he and Ryan became quick riding buddies. Noah seemed bored on the kiddy rides so we separated and I took him to ride all the big rides. I am not big on Fair rides, the whole folding up on the back of a truck thing scares me, but I try to overlook it so Noah can have fun! We rode rides and played games and looked at farm animals and before we knew it, it was 9:00! The weather was perfect and the lines were short so it was just the perfect night to make some memories.

Finally it was Friday and not just any Friday - back to volunteering Friday! Oh how I missed my time in the volunteer room with my Friday girls! I got to put the new message on the blackboard (a job I got nominated for last year and have come to really enjoy it). Noah is not in the Primary anymore but I decided to still volunteer there in the mornings before Noah's lunch and then if the elementary needed anything I could help there after lunch. The principal at the Primary was glad to have his Friday girls back for the 3rd year in a row! It felt so weird going to the elementary to eat. I didn't know where to go or anything - it was like my first day of school! :)  It was interesting to see how much more independence they give the kids at the elementary school - they got to choose what they wanted to eat, throw all their trash away alone and got to face other students and visit through lunch.

Our first elementary lunch together :)

My niece Alex spent the weekend with us. We love having Alex over - she is a great house guest and the kids love her! All the other cousins have their work cut out to make favorite now - Alex not only plays Minecraft with Noah, but she knows what she is doing! Noah was so excited and hasn't stopped talking about it since!

Saturday evening we went on a walk with my mom and her dogs. I went for a walk earlier in the week and didn't see a single mosquito. It was a totally different story Saturday! The mosquitoes were so bad that we would swat and kill 5 at a time. So we ended up taking the long way back to the car to avoid the heavy mosquito areas - but the long way also had 2 big hills! We were all very "well exercised" as the kids say :)

Sunday we had lunch with my mom after church and then spent the day at home cleaning house and working on Rhea Lanas. I got everything divided by side and tagged. Now I just have to enter it in the computer this week.

Ryan's selfie :)

Gravy goatee :)

Now for a pretty calm week before the basketball, flag football and 2 soccer teams start - oh plus ballet and school and work. It is a good thing I love being busy!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Our last Fun Friday :(

At the beginning of summer the kids and I made a list of things we wanted to do on Fridays since it is my day off work. We didn't get it all done, but we also did things not on the list also. I am so happy I had the opportunity to make all these fun memories with them this summer. We are already starting a list for next summer! For our last Fun Friday we decided to go big and take a mini vacation to Branson! I had a free hotel stay and we have Silver Dollar City passes so that was all free! The great people at Gap gave me some Gap cash back when all my stuff got stolen in May and it had to be used this weekend, so it was the perfect time to go!

We started our time with lunch at one of our favorites - Joe's Crab Shack! The kids love their fish sticks and I love the shrimp! The also always have to get the Paint Your Own Rice Krispy Crab where they can paint strawberry, chocolate and caramel sauce on a rice krispy treat.

After our shopping was done we went to the new Bigfoot Golf and Arcade. We have been watching it being built over our last few trips there so we were excited when it was finally open. First we golfed and the kids really surprised me with how good they were!

Next up was the arcade - my kids are obsessed with arcades! It is so fun to watch them get so excited! With the 250 tickets they won they were able to get a purse, candy, pokemon characters, army man and a hand buzzer - I probably could have bought all that for $5 but they had so much fun winning the tickets it was worth it!

For dinner we went to one of our Branson favorites - Pasghetti's! The food is good but I love the atmosphere! It reminds me of Vegas because it feels like we are eating outside. The kids love the ferris wheel too!

It was finally time to check-in to the hotel and hit the pool! Since I had a free hotel stay I splurged and booked somewhere out of our normal price range. We stayed at the Welk Resort so the kids could have a cool water park area. As soon as we walked into the Splashatorium Noah ran straight to the slide and did not stop for an hour! Ryan hung out with me in the pool that was half indoor and outdoor, then we got in the hot tub. It was about this time that Meme surprised the kids and joined us on our trip! We always love having Meme on vacation with us! It was about time for the pool to close and Ryan finally decided she wanted to go down the slide. I took her up but she chickened out. Then she went to Meme and talked Meme into going down with her. Of course, as soon as she went down the first thing she said is "I want to do it again!" I literally watched the life guard close the slide as soon as Ryan said that, so she started crying when I told her. Well, Meme worked her magic and they were able to go down one more time :)

The next day we were at Silver Dollar City when they opened the gates! The crowds were so low and the weather was great! In the 5 hours we were there, we were able to ride the Powder Keg twice, Fire in the Hole, Lost River, all 6 rides in the Firemans Landing, Thunderation 4 times, the train, the Lost Mine, all 5 kiddy rides, American Plunge, Huck's River Blast and Grandpa's Mansion!  It was a great day! We were all soaked and tired but full of memories!

Noah had been begging all day to do the Mountain Coaster before we left Branson so we stopped by there on the way out of town. They loved it and are ready to do it again, and of course "go faster next time" :) For the first time in a long time, they napped in the car on the way home :)

Now it is back to the school life! Noah begins school this week and Ryan starts her last year of pre-school. Not to mention we still have ballet and are about to start soccer and basketball! I love my busy life making memories with my kids!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Post Vacation Busy!

The day after we got back from the beach I had to load the kids back up and drive to Arkansas Childrens Hospital for a special appointment for Ryan. Ryan had tubes when she was 2 and once they came out the holes never healed up. Since it has been over a year, we were referred to a specialist. The doctor was very nice and thorough and explained all 3 options to me: 1 - cutting her head open to remove tissue to make a patch for the holes, 2- cutting cartilage out of her ear and placing it over the holes, or 3 - making tissue in a lab and placing it over the holes, but this option is experimental and may or may not work and will require several follow up visits.  Well, I didn't like any of those options so I told the doctor that and just asked "what if I do nothing?" He said he will test her hearing and if it is normal then we can test her hearing yearly and check the holes yearly and wait. But if her hearing is abnormal or she begins getting lots of ear infections due to water getting in the holes then I will need to pick one of the options. There is also a slim chance they will heal up on their own. So, we go back August 30th for her hearing test - I am asking for lots of prayers for a normal test and for these holes to heal up on their own so I do not have to make a decision on how to fix them!

Thursday night was Open House for Noah. He had to move buildings this year so we are both a little more nervous that we were last year. Thankfully I know his teacher and am so grateful she will get to help mold his mind this year! I have heard nothing but good things about her and I can't wait for her and Noah to get to know each other better.

For Fun Friday last week we decided to stay local and had to do some indoor activities due to the rain. Meme and my nephew Paxton joined us for their last Fun Friday of the summer (we get one more bonus one due to the delay of the first day of school). First we went to our local library and the kids each got their own library card. They were so excited about this. They read 5-6 books while we were there and ended up checking out about 6-7 each!

After a quick lunch at McDonald's we went to The Painted Canvas and each kid got to paint their own picture. They LOVE doing this and it was on our Summer Bucket List so I am glad we were able to squeeze it in. It is SO hard to let the kids do the painting all on their own. I did help Ryan outline her unicorn so she could focus on the bigger parts, but she insisted on doing it mainly on her own.

That evening  I continued Fun Friday with my friends! We had dinner at The Old Bank and then watched Girls Trip in the VIP recliners. Dinner was really good and the movie was hilarious. I laughed until I cried and I haven't done that in a while. After the movie we decided to go to see our friend Talen at work since she couldn't make it out with us for a few drinks. Before we knew it, it was 2:30 a.m.! It was so much fun and much needed!

Saturday we celebrated my niece Alex's birthday with a pool party. The kids swam for hours and had the best time! After the pool party we meet my friend Alicia and her son Davey for pizza and bowling! We all had the best time and laughed so much!

Sunday the kids and I went to church followed by lunch and little school clothes shopping. Noah was supposed to start school this week, but due to the road construction at the school it had been delayed a week, so we get one more week of summer! So, when we get extra time we do what we do best - we are going on a little trip! ;)

Rainy Church Cuties :)