Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Labor Day Weekend and Someone's 1st Birthday! :)

1 year old!  Wow does time fly!!  This smile has lit up our home for a whole year now and we are so thankful!!  Isaac Matthew is such a sweet little guy with a little bit of a flirty, bashful side.  Lately I have been calling him my little hurricane.  Guess it's my own fault...if you remember he was quite literally named after a hurricane!  He loves the bookshelves...Thomas' dresser...Kierra's closet...and the dish rag drawer!  

I didn't realize when Isaac was born that most of his birthdays would be celebrated around Labor Day weekend.  A new tradition for our family has been the Soldier Hollow Sheepdog Championships...which of course we didn't do last year because we were in the hospital!  :) 

Our Heber cousins used to live in Heber (thus the name)...but have since moved so we had to come up with a different plan than what we had done in the past.  This year we decided to camp the whole weekend and go watch the sheepdogs on Saturday and Monday. We used to only bring the kids in the morning and then let them play at the cousins house in the afternoon, so being there for 2 whole days made me a little nervous, but they were great!  Got tired and ornery at times, but overall we had a great time there with Grandma and Grandpa!
It rained pretty hard the Monday we were there, but for the most part the weather was PERFECT!  Not too hot!  Great shade!  We had our amazing set up with the canopy and even the play pen and stroller.  It was a blast! 
Emily got a new hat for her new horse riding adventures and the kids rode back and forth in Grandpa's truck a few times!
We had a great time at the campsite as well!  Awesome food!  Great company! Lots of card playing!  The girls had a blast together!  I love when we can just get away and be us.  The kids just love that time to hang out with each other!  I wish I had taken more pictures of them, but they have tons of video of fun games and story lines they were coming up with.

We hiked a lot!  Geocached, found a cave and this amazing rock slide area that we had remembered going to many many years ago!  I wish we could have stayed up there longer to see where it headed.  It was pretty cool! 

Family time is the best!  We had tons of fun!
And what better place to celebrate a birthday than up in the mountains!
Happy first birthday to this guy!  ENJOY!!  :)
He got some fun stuff...including these cute Cowboy sweats from Grandma and Grandpa Hoopes!
Like I said earlier.  He is our little tornado man!  I catch him getting into everything!  But he is also the sweetest, cuddliest little guy!  He is starting to say everyone's names which has been fun!  He has such fun little relationships with each sibling!  They all love to be around him.  He folds his arms in a funny sort of way for the prayer.  He pretends to talk on the phone.  He was born knowing how to make car sounds!  He is all boy!  We love him!  We love that smile!  Happy birthday buddy!

Friday, October 25, 2013

First Days of School

School is in full swing now!  The girls are doing great!  The boys are too!  :)  

We don't think much about school in the summer, but once the middle of August hits we get antsy and can't wait to find out who our teachers will be and what track (early or late) we will be on.  Kaylee and Taylor were on their backpacking trip with their daddy when the class lists were posted (the weekend before school starts!).  So I took Emily and Kierra that Friday afternoon!  The track part is the most stressful for me.  We love to get up and going and get school done early so that we can teach piano, do homework and have time for activities in the afternoon.  I was completely content after seeing that we got the schedules we wanted.

Then...I was even more excited when I saw who the kids had for teachers!  We have been so blessed!  I honestly don't think you can go wrong at our school though!  We have always had wonderful teachers!  Kaylee had been wanting a certain teacher all summer!  She talked about it often so when I saw that she got him I wanted to call and scream and give her a big hug.  And not only did she get him, but nearly our entire street was in the class too!!  I knew she would be excited!  Taylor got a new teacher...which was fine and now we know that she is awesome...but the biggest news was that our next door neighbor and one of her greatest friends was finally, after all these years, in the class too!  Emily got one of the very best teachers (from what I've heard) so again I was thrilled!  None of her closest friends were in her class though so she was a little bummed...but then she saw some names from our neighborhood and some of the boys that she likes to hang out with and she was happy!  Kierra!  I don't know how this girl pulled it off!  But her and her bestie...that are practically attached at the hip (along with Thomas) are in the same class!  Could kindergarten be any more amazing?!  :)

Here are Emily and Kierra looking at lists:
And then as soon as Kaylee and Taylor got back into town we took them over.  It was a major thunder and lightening storm.  In fact, I'm remembering now that I didn't let them out of the van the first time we drove by the school.  The lightening was just so close!  So we came back while it was still drizzling and went to look!
Back to school night was fun!  Taylor's class did a random costume dress up thing.  And Kierra was SOOO excited about the activities in her room!  Plus...most of the kindergartens are in official kindergarten rooms with tables.  She was so excited to be in one of the other rooms with her own desk!!

Then Tuesday was the first day of school!!

Kaylee is in 6th grade...Taylor in 5th...Emily in 3rd...Kierra in kindergarten, but Kierra didn't start until the next week.
I LOVE our morning routine.  I go to the gym most mornings and come home to this!  Matt is so supportive and great to get the girls up and have them start eating and/or practicing the piano.  I love walking into the garage door every morning to see these happy faces!  (although...a few minutes after posting I notice that the picture of Matt with the mixer is not him mixing crepes...not sure where this picture came from, but no...he does not feed our kids jalapenos for breakfast!)  :)
 Then it's off to school they go.  I love when they can ride bikes to and from school!  We have great friends to ride with!  We give them our "love you signs" and off they go!
A week later it was Kierra's turn for her first day.  She put her kindergarten confetti under her pillow the night before!   She was soooo excited!

She looked too beautiful!  Her sisters were almost as excited for her as she was!!
And did I mention the best friend?!  We LOVE these kids!  Thomas really misses his two buddies in the mornings, but gets plenty of time to play with them when they get home!
So tall and so grown up!
And one of her first homework assignments was doing the dishes!  I'm liking this teacher!!

And a picture in the black and purple skirt!  She would wear it every day if she could!
Kierra gets home at noon so some days, after picking her up on our bikes we will stop off at what we call the "Worsley park" (our friends used to live next to it!).  We'll eat lunch and play for a little bit.  We LOVE when Kierra comes back home!
So it is me and the boys!  A mom of boys...sometimes I still have a hard time getting used to it!  :)  But they are awesome!
A couple of weeks later was Thomas' first day of school!  And it was so fun to have the girls take his first day of school pictures with him too!  I've never done preschool with my kids because we just really LOVE the literacy center!  They do an early reading program for kids that are a year away from kindergarten.  Thomas will be 5 next July and we still aren't quite sure if we'll put him in, but so far he has done great at the literacy center and has really loved it!  He is soooo cute with all those other students!
So for 2 hours twice a week it is just me and this little guy!  Obviously I'm pretty entertaining!
 I sure love the school routine.  It gets crazy and stressful sometimes and by December and then again in May I am totally done and ready to just relax.  But my kids love school!  They enjoy the work (for now) and love to be with their friends!  We miss them every day, but really love gathering together as a family at night and enjoying the time that we do have together! Another year ahead of us!  Next year I could have 5 in school...with one of those at the junior high!  Yikes!  It just makes me enjoy this year that much more!!  :)