Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Back to School

One day at church we found out that a missionary in our ward has the same birthday as Natalie. We were having them over for dinner on Sunday, so we had a little birthday cake for the two of them. I'm glad we got to help Elder Little "celebrate" his birthday while on his mission, and I think Natalie thought it was really neat.

A friend in the ward had asked if Nate would give her kids blessings before starting school the next day. Of course he was more than happy to, and the missionaries were able to be there as well.  The funny thing about all of it is that our kids did not want blessings. Jansen wanted to see "how it would go without one." After Nate blessed the 3 other children, Natalie changed her mind. Later that night, right before going to sleep, Jansen changed his mind too. 

We had chocolate chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast on the first day of school. It may not have been the wisest choice, but I don't think Jansen and Natalie were too off the wall after starting their day off with a double dose of chocolate. 

Neither of them expressed that they were very nervous or scared about going to school. I suspect I was more nervous than they were. I had wrestled with the decision of whether or not to send them on the bus for days. It really was a huge and difficult decision for me. I decided to have them ride the bus to and from school, and it has been going great. Here is our 3rd grader:

And our beaming first grader: 

The bus stop is probably 25 yards from our house. It comes at about 8:45 in the morning and brings them home around 3:55. It's a very different schedule than we had in Las Vegas. It's really hard for me to think about all the time they spend doing things that I'm not there for or a part of every day, but it has been a good experience so far being home alone with Emmy. The time actually flies while they are at school.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Last Bit of Summer

We ended summer perfectly...a day at the beach/lake. Some friends invited us to join them at this awesome little spot at Greenbrier State Park. I really can't think of anything my kids enjoy more than this. They keep asking to go back.

We spent hours digging, swimming, building, wading, and splashing.

 Adam is one of Jansen's favorite new friends out here. We were celebrating his birthday that day.

Birthdays = Cupcakes

What would I do without my crazy Natalie?  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Life Bits

I just HATE taking my kids to the grocery store. I actually haven't taken all 3 of them shopping even once while we've lived here. I did have to take them in to get a FastPass transmitter so we could go on the toll roads. They all had to get a tiny cart, everyone was asking for a candy bar, and Emmy was carried out crying. This store has a program where you do your shopping online, pull up at the store at a time you've chosen, and then they have it all ready for you and load it into your car. And it's free. It doesn't eliminate all my grocery shopping, but it has sure helped.

I took this picture before Nate left for one of Good Counsel's football games. It's kind of the "grown up" version of a first day of school picture.
And he took this one at a game.

There have been some great plans being made at this house to capture a squirrel.

Some bait...

...and a leash

We have a really fun park just up the street from our house. We love to walk there.

Sometimes my big kid is still a little kid.

Every morning after she wakes up, Emmy has me bring her pillow and blankets and we make her a little place on our recliner. She asks for books and some milk.

She makes me so happy.

Jansen has loved digging in the backyard lately. Everyone tells me the summer this year has been very mild. I'm grateful...the kids have spent a lot of time outside, and it's not too hot and humid.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Staying Busy

I didn't realize until now that it has been about a week since I blogged. I was asked to speak at church this Sunday, so I have been spending most of my free time working on that. I had a really unique topic: I Know My Teacher Loves Me. Glad to have that done. 

Only one more week till school starts. Starting school is always exciting, but I'm trying not to worry too much about things like sending the kids on a bus, not having them back home till almost 4, and imagining little Natalie eating lunch and being at school all day. 

A few of the parks out here have mini trains that run through them. We rode one this week and even saw a deer. The Rasmussens are another family new to the area, and we have been having so much fun going on adventures with them.

We went to the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. I almost deleted this picture when I saw it, but then I realized that it's actually the kind of thing I will love looking back on some day. The phase Jansen went through when he never wanted to smile for the camera...

But he will pose like this. :) 

I let them each do one ride and both Jansen and Emmy chose the carousel. So far, my kids take after me and they don't have much of a stomach or desire for the real rides.

They each chose a treat as well. There were candy apples, funnel cakes, and cotton candy, but they wanted good old ice cream, and Emmy just wanted an extremely over priced cookie.

I am so intrigued by the idea that these animals are a way of life for some people. It's what they know and enjoy, and it's how many of them earn a living. 

Yesterday we visited Great Falls National Park. Nate and I have to have a great deal of patience on these outings, because all the kids really want to do is fill their pockets with rocks.

Jansen worked and worked to free this rock from the ground until I finally started threatening him with consequences if he didn't catch up to us.

Saturday was also a Primary activity. There was a huge slip n slide at the bishop's house. They kids loved it so much, even Emmy. Nate was at one of his football games, so it was nice to have something to fill up the morning.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Being Brave

One of my friends here invited us to go to the National Geographic Museum with her and her kids. It would be a first time for both of us going into DC without our husbands. We were both a little white knuckled at times as we made our way to a parking garage. It was valet, which I was actually grateful for. You should have seen us piling out with our kids and sit-n-stand strollers as the line formed behind us. It was hilarious.

The museum was awesome. There was a pirate exhibit that didn't allow pictures, but it was the highlight of the place. I bought Jansen a book on Amazon about the pirate ship the exhibit was based on, and we are both excited to get it.

National Geographic issues from the past:

We walked to DuPont Circle after the museum, and I actually really enjoyed that part of our morning. It was a fun walk.

And here we are.

 If you look really close you can see a squirrel peeking his head out of a hole in the tree. He was so dang cute. Natalie loved him.

We stopped for frozen yogurt as we walked back to the parking garage. And here's everybody waiting as they retrieved our cars. Such a fun morning.