Friday, May 29, 2009

Cleaning Without Interruptions

This afternoon, I kid swapped with my brother and sister-in-law. They have Rachel and she is spending the night, and I have McKenzie. So the two younger cousins can play together, and the two older cousins can play and do 'older' girl stuff without the inquisitive little girlies.

But with Rachel gone, I was able to clean her room without any interruptions or struggles, etc. I cleaned out the toy box and straightened closet shelves and the toys on the shelves, cleaned out all the toys that were just shoved into the cupboards of the Little Tykes kitchen and put them into their proper homes. It feels great to have it clean and organized and having gotten it all done in less than two hours because Rachel wasn't here to 'play' with whatever I had out organizing and cleaning.

Now, if only her room can stay that way until after Tuesday, when her preschool class comes over for the year end party/picnic in the yard!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Camping at the Beach

The first big kick off weekend of the Summer has come and gone and so has our Memorial Day Weekend camping trip. We spent the weekend at our new favorite camping place, San Elijo State Beach Campground, with four other families from church. We had a great weekend and I have lots of cute pictures to share.

Camping with Rachel just gets easier and easier the older she gets, that and the fact that the people we camp with have older kids and therefore enjoy loving on small kids by taking them on walks and spoiling them with special surprises and treats. LOL.

We arrived to the campground late Friday afternoon after picking up Hannah from school. We got our tent set up and our gear all placed and then we were ready to relax and enjoy all the weekend had to offer. Rachel was ready for a stroll on the beach with Daddy. The tide was high that evening, but it didn't stop her from enjoying her beach stroll.Having had a nap in the car on the way down on Friday afternoon, Rachel was wide eyed and bushy tailed late into the night. In fact, I was in bed before her! Her and Steven finished off a game of "Go Fish" and came to bed after 11:00. It didn't prevent her from waking up at her normal time the next morning though, and after a stroll on the beach looking for shells, it was off to the donut store for donuts, or in Rachel's case, a pretty cookie. She loves the pretty cookies and cupcakes at the bakery and chose the Happy Face cookie over a donut. She was happy with her choice.Mid Saturday morning, friends who normally camp with us but weren't able to get reservations, came down for the day. They brought their puppy and Rachel fell in love with little Preston. She loved being able to carry him in this purse. In addition to the five families camping this weekend, there were three dogs and both our girls were in 7th heaven playing with them, hanging out with them, etc. But Preston was just Rachel's size!Late Saturday morning, the kids dawned their bathing suits, everyone was lathered in sunscreen, sand toys were toted and we all headed down to the beach. Rachel was happy to have her friend Caleb to play with, even if it was only for the day. Despite not having anyone her own age to play with most of the time, she managed to be kept entertained. She played dominoes with the big people a couple of times, and rode her bike, and went for walks and helped walk the dogs that were camping with us. During the trip to the beach on Sunday, after taking over 2 hours for Steven to build this sand castle, it took merely seconds for Rachel to destroy it, and had a blast doing so! Just look at the smile on her face. Priceless.Sunday evening, Uncle Bart joined us for dinner and chatting around the campfire for a while. Uncle Bart always provides the fire wood for our camping trips at the beach as he literally lives just a mile away from the campground. It was nice to have him come back and join us for dinner and Rachel loved having him visit as well!Monday morning, after a trip to the donut store again, and one last game of dominoes, it was time to start packing up the campsite. Check out time was noon and we packed up and made it out with time to spare. We met Uncle Bart for lunch and then were on our way for home. The sure tale sign of a great weekend, sleeping kids on the journey home, exhausted from playing in the fresh air, the sand, and late nights. We had a great time once again. And of course Rachel is already asking when we can go back camping at the beach. I love that we're providing great vacation/get away memories for our kids and that they have just as much fun being away from home as we do!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Our Last Preschool Open House

This evening was the annual Spring Open House for the preschool. It's an evening whereas the current preschoolers can bring all of their family - parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends, etc, etc, to check out their classroom and their school and see all the fun arts and crafts they've been working on for several weeks leading up to tonight. It's also a time where the new families registered for the Fall are invited to come and check it all out and see what their little ones are in for.

I seriously thought we'd skip going to tonight's Open House, we have a Bible Study that we started attending at church last Thursday night and I just thought we'd skip this year since we've been to three over the past few years and we know the routine, etc. But then I got to thinking about it, really thinking about it, this is our LAST preschool open house. Our very last. Exactly four weeks from today, our baby will be done with preschool, and will be on her way to Kindergarten. So aside from being asked if I might be able to help out in the kitchen tonight, I was pretty much leaning towards going and I'm glad I went. Steven went ahead to our Bible Study and the girls and I made one last visit to the annual Open House. This year, the teachers decided to do a different theme in each of their class rooms. And wow! What a great job on all the classes. But there were three classes where the teachers put a lot more effort and energy and creativeness into theming their classroom, and if you are a follower of my own blog, you'll know I'm big on theming. LOL. Rachel's class was a jungle, complete with lions, snakes, tucan birds hanging from the ceiling, jungle leaves everywhere, and monkeys hanging about all over the class room. Intertwine all those animals with about twenty four full size body pictures all over the room and you've got yourself a real jungle! It looked awesome! They kept the parents out of the rooms this morning during drop off and pick up so that the rooms would be a surprise for tonight and what a surprise they were, they were amazing. And the kids all loved it and were excited about showing off their themed classrooms.

And with that, our days of Preschool Open Houses are behind us. Come August, it'll be visiting two classrooms at Back to School night at the same school!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Simply Amazing

Rachel loves to hold the door open for people. Whether it be at Miguel's when we're exiting, or even yesterday afternoon, after our dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.

I stood and watched as Rachel held the door open for handfuls and handfuls of people.

Only a couple people said 'thank you', much less even realized the door was being held open by a four year old!!! Most people, like the one in this picture, just walked right in. Only a couple of people even acknowledged the door was even being held open for them.

It just amazes me how rude we have a society have become.

Monday, May 04, 2009

"May the Fourth Be With You"

We had dinner guests this evening for dinner...
2 Jedi's, Darth Vadar, and Princess Leia.
May 4th is Star Wars Day.
Happy Star Wars Day!