Monday, September 11, 2017

Beginning of the Year

Guys...there is NOTHING like beginning-of-the-school-year-exhaustion that we teachers experience.  Seriously.  The first week back is full of running around, not eating lunch till 3pm, helping lost students find their teacher when they don't know who their teacher is, convincing kids to come in from the playground, and buses dismissing late because kids keep getting on the wrong ones.  Then to come home and work on all the stuff you didn't get to during the day so that you have an actual class list for next day's fire drill or popsicle sticks with lunch numbers ready, or making sure you know how to teach the new lessons.  It's tiring!  I think I had over 10,000 steps every day BEFORE I got in the car to go home!

I think it's going to be an interesting year...I have a good class and they're just so darn cute at 6 yrs old!  The challenge for me this year is taking a room and materials that I have enough for and know how to work for 24 students and making it work for 26 students, possibly more if we get more new ones.  It's a lot of kids!  And my organizational mind is in overdrive trying to make my room work for that many.  It's going to be interesting and take a lot of trial and error.  Good news is that 6yr olds are fairly flexible when it comes to changing things up!

I don't have too many pics from the week but here are a few from last weekend and the first week back.  Ben & I had a wedding to go to the Saturday of Labor Day and since it was a few hours away we just got a hotel room for the night so we didn't have to worry about driving back so late.  The wedding was for college friends.  The groom, Nate, lived on Ben's floor freshman year and the bride, Lindsay, was a freshman in their dorm their sophomore year.  They started dating and TEN YEARS LATER he proposed...Lindsay is one patient woman!  There were several jokes during the ceremony about how we've waited a long, long, long time for this day lol!

 
Ben's roommate all 4 years of college, Matt, was the officiant for the wedding.



 
Finally husband and wife!

 
That dress....all the heart eyes!

 

 
Pictures during the cocktail hour.


 
The wedding was supposed to take place outside at that little gazebo but remnants of Hurricane Harvey forced the wedding to take place inside.  There was a break in the rain during the cocktail hour so we could go out for pictures.



 
It was fun seeing college friends that we haven't seen in awhile, some in several years!

 
I've been playing with my Silhouette Cameo some more and decided to try glass etching.  It's pretty simple.  You use the vinyl to make a stencil, put the stencil on the glass, plop on some etching cream and then wash it off.  I thought it turned out kinda cool!

 
After the A I decided to try our family business' logo.  Not too bad!  I have one more side to try so I'm deciding on another design to do.  I've also been working on birthday shirts for a friend at daycare...can't show them yet!

 
September and cooler weather means all the pumpkin!  I made some GF pumpkin bread that didn't last very long.

 
And some random pictures...we tried a new park out last weekend and we were watching Daddy fly his drone :)


 
Natalie loves to swing!


 
The girls almost always "read" to themselves after we put them to bed and almost every night I have to put their books away for them.  How sweet!

 
Reading with Daddy, accessories on point.

 

And that's all I have from the past week!  
 

 



Friday, September 1, 2017

August Pics!

I like to try to round up all the random pictures I take each month...you know, the ones that don't quite get their own blog post but I still want to remember.  So here are the random August ones!

 
I did a Cards For A Cause fundraiser through Usborne Books & More for one of my friends but since she was due with her 3rd baby any day, I sent the cards to my house.  Look at all those boxes!

 
Went to Family Day at Daddy's work and ate popsicles and chips!

 
Finally, my lap all to myself!

 
Noelle wearing a little jacket that was mine when I was a baby!

 
Another silhouette project, this time for my mother-in-law's birthday!

 
Noelle's ready for a rainy day at daycare!

 
In August we FINALLY got our playset up!  The girls love playing on it!

 
Noelle was upset Riley ate a cracker that I gave to Riley.


 
We went to a downtown festival in our town and they had giant draft horses!  Tom and Jerry were beautiful and gentle giants.

 
Ready for their first day back to daycare!


 
Seeing the playset for the first time!

 
Just adorable!

 
Noelle woke up for her first day back to daycare and was ready to go!  Natalie was not and was quite grumpy.

 
Natalie's ready for the rain.

 
During nursery at church, I noticed Natalie carrying these two Little People figurines around.  I asked her what she had and she said, "Look mama, Natalie and Noelle!"  She played with them the entire time!

 
Heading to the street festival!

 
Natalie was not ready for her first day back at daycare picture.

 
Cooking french fries

So there you have it!  We did a lot in August trying to enjoy the last bit of summer!  Now we're ready for all the fall activities!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Weekend Getaway

Last weekend Ben and I had the opportunity to get away just the two of us!  We have not been away to a new place together by ourselves in 5 years!!!  We've been to the beach just the two of us but we wanted to go somewhere new but somewhere close and not super expensive.  After lots of googling, we ended up going to Williamsburg, VA.  I've been there before but only to Busch Gardens and since Ben isn't a big amusement park fan, we did the Colonial Williamsburg part.

My mom came up Wednesday, spent the night with us, and then took the girls to her house for the weekend on Thursday.  We wanted to leave Thursday morning but we had several things to get done, including dropping Ben's car off to get worked on, so by the time we did that, got lunch, and hit the road, we were in prime traffic time :(  What should've been a 3.5hr trip turned into a 5+ hr trip....Ben has sworn off Virginia and says he will never go back, haha!

We finally got to our hotel around 7:30pm and after checking in we went to a yummy Mexican place for drinks and dinner.  After that we crashed because we were both so tired from being in the car all day.

On Friday we went to Colonial Williamsburg.  We got our passes at the visitor center and did the 10min walk to the town.  The morning wasn't terribly hot but I had of course forgotten to pack sunscreen and they apparently don't sell that in Colonial Williamsburg.  So we tried to stay in the shade as much as possible and by afternoon we were hot, sweaty and sticky!  It got to over 100 degrees and I felt really bad for the people in costume!

 
Replica of a plantation


 
Walking to Colonial Williamsburg!




On recommendation of my friend Kara who has been there several times and lives in Virginia, we checked out the Governor's Palace tour.  Thank goodness it had air conditioning!  We came into the tour a few minutes late so Kara caught me up via text.  The mansion is not the original one, it was burned down a long time ago but in the 1930s they found the original blueprints and were able to reconstruct it based off those.  So our guide said it was a very very close remodel of the original.

 
The outer yard of the palace.




 
The back of the palace.

 
Ben's favorite room...it was covered in thousands of swords, knives, and guns! This was the front entrance hall of the palace...makes quite the impression!

 
An old harpsichord.




 
The front of the palace.


 
Before we got all hot and sweaty!

After the Governor's Palace, we saw the gardens, the giant lawn in front of the palace, and a church where we debated on whether or not the weathered headstones were real or replicas.

 
The lawn in front of the palace was huge!  There were lots of horse-drawn carriages going around the lawn.




 
The palace from the other end of the lawn.

Next we ended up in downtown Williamsburg and did a little shopping.  By then it was after lunch so we started looking or a place to eat.  We soon learned that Williamsburg is not a big gluten-free place so Ben got by with some Coke and candy.  We wandered in and out of various buildings that had different uses, like the blackshop (the poor guys in there were drenched in sweat with the fires going!), the tin shop, mercenary, gunsmith, and more.


 
The blacksmith shop...I felt so bad for the guys in there!

 
Gunsmith shop.  I learned that rifles were really long so that they could lean the barrel against the ground to reload instead of holding it.




The other tour that Kara suggested we go on was the Capitol building tour.  Our tour guide was named Lindsey and she was phenomenal!  I am not a history person at all (I find it interesting but quickly forget it all) and even I found myself listening with rapt attention.  She was very energetic and captivating.  I learned that the capitol was moved there after being in Jamestown and it has burned down 3 times.  Each time they rebuilt it in the same spot.  Luckily it hasn't burned down in a long time :) It was interesting to think we were standing in the same spot where hundreds of years ago they decided to commit treason, break away from England, and fight for independence and equality.





After the Capitol tour we took the shuttle back to the visitor center to head out.  Ben found a brick oven pizza place that served gf pizza and it was really good!  We were starving and ate a lot of pizza!  Then we went to a mini-golf place and played a round.  I started off great with a hole-in-one but quickly lost my edge.  I think Ben beat me by 6 strokes!


On Saturday we had talked about going to Jamestown or Yorktown for the morning but we were still tired from all our walking on Friday, plus it was another hot day so we decided to head to the outlets and do a little shopping.  Everyone got new shoes (girls included!) and a few other things.  After lunch we tried a local winery.  We did a wine tour and tasting and came home with several bottles!  Then we went to a few other stores, including the Yankee Candle Village.  I'm not a huge candle person but there were so many candles there!  It was basically a gigantic store with lots of little stores inside...almost like it's own little mall.  We met Santa and it snowed on us in the Christmas section!  Finally Ben found some coffee and just sat while I completed my tour of the village.  After the village we went to a restaurant called Food For Thought.  If you're ever in Williamsburg, you should check out this restaurant!  It was delicious, the atmosphere was fun, and they even had a gf bread basket for Ben.  The owner was there walking around and talking to people and it was packed!  I definitely recommend it.

Sunday was a travel home day.  We left in the morning because we wanted to get back and use the kid-free afternoon to our advantage to get some stuff done around the house.  Thankfully the ride back only took about 4hrs, stops included.  It was nice to get away just the two of us and thank you to my parents for watching the girls and Ben's sister for watching Riley!