Tuesday, August 30, 2011

School Days and Reading Out Loud

Maddy the 4th Grader in her classroom

Happy to report the first week of school went very well -- even though it was very hot and there is no AC at Maddy's school.  Yikes! 
That made for a couple of toasty days!

But just like that -- we're back into the school days groove of pop quizzes, real quizzes, a math test coming up and nightly reading.  Nightly reading is about my favorite time of the day!  Yes, for real, I mean that!  Since Maddy is just a 4th grader, she and I read together . . . out loud.  And truthfully, I hope we're still doing that in 8th grade!  Yes, I am one of those moms who is trying to enjoy my youngest at every single age and school year.  So, anyhoo, back to reading.

Maddy -- Reading in 2008!

     We (Maddy and I) have discovered that we get so much more out of books when we read aloud to each other.  During the summer, we read Shiloh.  It started off slowly, but as we read it  out loud, it came to life. At school now, they are reading A Dog Named Kitty -- another one that started off a bit slowly. Truth be told, at first we both thought it was more of a "boy's" book.  But we are enjoying it too and talking about what we think might happen next, why did the character act that way?  I loved reading when I was young and hope that  by reading aloud she develops that same love for reading and books.  These days (gah -- I sound like an old hag  now, don't I) kids just don't read enough and everything is electronic and fast-paced.  I say, it's time to sit back and take turns reading out loud before lights out!

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of 4th Grade!

Today  marked Maddy's first day of 4th Grade! She's been alternating between looking forward to seeing her friends again and worrying a little bit about her classroom.  Even though she has some good friends in her room, her two bff's are both in the other 4th grade classroom and that has really concerned her.  Reassurances that she'll see them at recess have helped a little bit. 
One of her sweet friends yelled her name when she saw her this morning and gave her a great big hug.
I loved watching that and seeing the girls be so sweet!

We kept very busy on the last weekend before school with a trip to the pool, the miniature golf course, the zoo and visiting my Dad. And, of course, we had to shop a little.  The stores called our names, after all.  The bad thing about wearing a uniform is that those most adorable first day of school outfits are unnecessary.  The good thing is that it really cuts down on morning decisions! :)  Hmmmm -- what color polo to wear today . . . navy? white? yellow? green?   Love that about uniforms! :)

Is it just me -- or is there something too cute about that backpack with her name on it!  I love it!  No more backpack mix-ups like happened last year!

Don't worry -- she put that silly Elmo in her backpack for the photos --
 he did not go to school, but waited in the car! 
 Her sweet baby niece, Janie, loves Elmo and since Maddy loves Janie --
 Maddy also loves Elmo all over again!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Beach Dancing - Outtakes from a Windy Day

These photos just really make me smile!
She is such a card and loves to move and groove!  Plus, it was so windy!! Are you wondering where she got those cool moves from!?! Possibly moi.  I have tried to educate her in the finer art of car dancing! Somehow, I just don't see Mr. Tennis doing any car dancing!

And . . . a few more!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Black & White Wednesday -- Back to the Train

This photo was taken in our Haymarket area -- it's a fun part of town and love the vibrant colors of the rail cars.  I am especially fond of trains because my Dad is a retired railroad engineer!

So, here's the photo in color! 

And again in Black & White.

Check out Lisa's blog for more B&W Wednesday posts!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Camps

This summer Maddy spread her wings a little more than previous summers and tried a few of the summer camp programs put on by our local high school. 

First up -- theater camp -- who knew my quiet girl could sing and dance too?  She had so much fun! For her age-group's performance, they sang and danced a bit to Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast songs -- "Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a  match, catch me a catch . . . "

Next -- cheer camp!   She had a couple friends at this camp along with 165 other girls!  Wow -- that's a lot of girl power in one place.  All of the girls did a great job on their final day performance.

And then it was on to dance/cheer camp.  She was worried -- she didn't know anyone there at all.  But she still had a lot of fun and learned a ton in only 3 mornings!
One day she, said, "wow, the dancers [teachers]really shake their booty"!  Funny!

So proud of her that she tried new things this summer and really enjoyed all three. 

 Both the cheer and dance/cheer groups will perform at the first football game of the season. 
So exciting for my little fourth grader!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekend Update -- The Good and Not-so-Good Report

Oh my word -- what a weekend!!  
Let's start with the good stuff, shall we?

The grandbabies came to visit and stay overnight!  What fun!  And their parents left -- so we had them all to ourselves.  Love those kiddos with those little smoochable faces.  Miss Janie (almost 18 months) seems like such a big girl now.  She and Maddy were joined at the hip.  They had a blast -- they colored, they played with stuffed animals, with zhu zhu pets, went to the park and watched a little Barney.  When Janie cried about going to bed in the pack n play, Maddy climbed in to be next to her and helped her go to sleep.  Janie gave Maddy so many loving hugs and held her hand almost non-stop.  It was so so sweet.  At one point, Maddy asked if Janie could live with us forever!  (Hmmm -- well, I think her parents might object!)   Last night when Maddy headed to bed, she said she really missed Janie and shed a few tears.  She has the most tender heart!

And little baby Walt -- he's a sweetheart!  Seriously, look at this face -- is that not the face of an angel?!!  He was so good and only cried occasionally when he was hungry or needed a diaper change.  He reminds me so much of Philip when he was a baby though Philip used to chug down his bottles fast and demand more!!!  Walt is more easygoing and takes his time drinking a bottle, savoring every drop! :)

Now to the "not-so-good"! 
We had a huge storm blow in Saturday evening and I mean really really big.  Winds were extremely strong resulting in enormous tree branches falling and destroying our fence.  Power was knocked out here and there in town and most definitely in our neighborhood.  We had no electricity from 8:20 PM on Saturday night until 1:30 PM Sunday afternoon.  Holy smokes!!  Plus, it was SO hot and NO AC!!  But, go me -- somehow I figured out how to make a baby bottle in the dark at 4 AM with the help of only a flashlight!

So, to recap -- grandbabies -- Very good!!  
 No electricity, no air conditioning, fence broken -- No Good!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Black and White Wednesday - To Train Tracks!

Black & White Wednesday has been speeding right by me lately!  
But, Summer is like that, isn't it!

 This photo was take a month or two ago in our downtown Haymarket area - a lovely little urban oasis.   I talked Miss Maddy into going there one Saturday morning for the farmer's market. 
The free kettle corn was all gone by the time we got there.  :(
But, bonus for me, she was agreeable to a few photos! 

So here it is in color.

And here in black and white.

Actually, her picture was also taken there about 3 years ago -- fun to see how tall she's gotten lately!  Isn't she the cutest?!

Check out Lisa's blog for more B&W fun!

the long road

Monday, August 1, 2011

MM Sighting!

Can you guess whose sign we saw at Hilton Head??  

Even though we saw his sign, we didn't see a whole lot of evidence that he was around, so we have decided the best place to see the Mouse is Orlando or maybe California. 
 And, of course Disney Hong Kong is also on the wish list! :)