Saturday, October 31, 2015


We had a great Halloween trick or treating with our friends. Em was a goddess. Ben was spiderman again. Noah was Leonardo again.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Field Trip

I went with Ben's class today on a field trip to the Highland Center. It's like a nature spot in Prescott. I went with Emily's class two years ago. We learn about native plants and animals and I learned as much as the kids today. It was a super fun field trip.

Except the teacher gave me the difficult group since I'm the most familiar volunteer with the kids. Ugh, I knew I'd have the difficult kids. And, I did. I found myself thinking several times that I'm happy my kids are easy. There was the kid who is just like Rainman. No joke, a total genius but socially not there. The kid who obviously had ADHD. The girl who couldn't stop talking. The two kleptomaniacs who wanted to take every berry and acorn home with them. Their pockets were full. Seriously, leave something for the squirrels. Then, there was the kid who raised his hand for every question. We get it. You know everything. Then, I found out what a no contact contract was. Basicaly, when two kids are contractually obligated to not talk, look or breathe in the other kids direction. Really?  They need that in school these days?  Sad.

But what I learned from these kids is they are all pretty great. The savant is awesome in his own way. The hoarders are just doing their thing. Mr. ADHD skipped down the trail; man, I wish I had some of his spunk. And chatty Cathy is always the first kid to say hi to me and never leaves anyone out.  They were all pretty great. But, I am super grateful for my easy peasy no contract kids.

A storm moved in during the afternoon. The day was over and as we were walking to the bus it started raining and then hailing. Perfect timing. I'm so glad I get to have these fun experiences with Ben. 

Oh my gosh, I just went back and looked up Emily's same field trip, just three years ago.  She looks so tiny.  She  needs to stop growing up.  Can I just say how happy I am that I've kept this blog all these years.  It's so neat to look back on things.  We pulled up Halloween this morning and were cracking up at the old pictures.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Noah's First Party

Noah has been to invited to lots of birthday parties from school, but we never go.  Unless it's a kid he plays with and likes, we're not going.  A lot of kids to the obligatory invite of every kid in the class, and we don't do that.

Noah has yet to have a big birthday party.  With such an early August birthday, the kids that were his friends last year are in different classes or he hasn't made new friends yet, etc.  I think we'll do a big one for him next year and just do it a few weeks late, so he has time to decide who he wants there.

But, last weekend, he got invited to his best buds party.  Him and Levi were in class together last year.  This year they have different teachers.  Levi turned 7, so he's almost a year older than Noah.

David took him and said Noah had the best time!

This little girl likes Noah and always asks him to play with her at the pool.  One of the recess aides at school told me she chases Noah around.  :)  Maybe this is their first "date".

When Noah came home, he said he wished the party could start all over again.  I love to see him with such a huge smile on his face.

Monday, October 19, 2015


I'm always so proud of my kiddos, but today my proud parent cup runneth over.

Noah brought home an outstanding report card with almost all Outstanding marks. They don't do assemblies and Student of the Quarter, etc. until third grade.

Ben got all A's, so he got Principal's List, Perfect Attendance, Student of the Quarter and Student of the Quarter for P.E.  When we got home, I said "Wow, P.E. that's pretty great!"  The P.E. coach only picks one student per grade to get it.  He said, "Yeah, I was surprised.  I think I'm only average in the arts of Physical Education."  He makes me laugh.  I told him it's probably because he runs everywhere and shows lots of enthusiasm.  Which he agreed.

He got so many awards.  They were falling out of his hands.

And our beautiful Miss Emily got Student of the Quarter and Principal's List.

I'm always so proud of them, but they really did great.  To get Student of the Quarter in the first quarter means the teacher considers you to be the tops in the class.  Emily and Ben's teacher are both recommending they get tested for honors next week.  It's super hard to get in.  If you miss more than one question, you don't make it.  But, it's just an honor for them to get recommended for testing.

Here are their videos and the sweet things their teachers said about them.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Worst School Pics Ever

I struggle with buying school pictures. We always do a family photo shoot for the holidays, and we get great pics with natural smiles in a beautiful scenery. I usually take about 100 pictures of each kid to get that one good one that I use for our holiday card.

The cheapest class photo package that I can get from school that has an 8x10 cost $26. I get a couple of sheets of pictures and a class photo. I love the class photo. All the kids looking a little dorky and later, you look back on the clothes and smile. I love the individual photo too. The hair slightly out of place, the dorky smile, the collar askew. They are a right of passage, and I want them every year.

But, this year, they didn't take the big group class photo. They are going to a new style. They display each persons individual photo with their name under it. Boo. That's boring. Each kid's photo is the size of a thumbnail and I want the big group class picture. So, that was one reason not to get pictures this year.

But, I got them anyway. And let me say, I wish I hadn't.  These are beyond awful.

Noah seriously looks about 50 pounds overweight. The kid weighs 40 pounds.  And, I know you don't know this, but that's his face he makes when he's pooping. Seriously.  His side swipe of bangs is down and looking all jagged.  I kind of thought it was cute and that I might be able to keep it.  I was trying to let it grow on me.

Then, I opened Ben's envelope.  What the _____.  There are no words.  There is nothing right in this photo.  Not one thing.  The crazy thing is I saw him about 30 minutes before this picture was taken when I went to get Emily because she was sick.  He looked great.  As to how they ended up with a photo like this and didn't think to retake it is beyond me.

Emily didn't get pictures since that was the day she went home early because she was sick.  At this point, I don't know that I could take seeing it.

All I can say is what day is retakes?  

Thursday, October 8, 2015

New York, Day 6

Our last day in NYC was awesome!

But first, funny story from yesterday that I forgot.  At the Statue of Liberty, we tagged on to a tour lead by the a National Park Service Guide.  It was almost over.  So, we stood and listened for a minute.  Then he says, "Follow me down here where we'll conclude our tour."  Our group headed the opposite way as that was the direction we were headed.  We walk for about a minute and David says, "Where's Ben?"  Ben kept going with the tour group.  David goes to find him and Ben is just laying in the grass with his feet up watching the sky.

I asked him later if he was wondering where we were, he said, "Nope."  I don't think he really cared that we weren't around.  He's going to be one of those solo travelers when he gets older.

Ok, now on to today....  

While David was waiting to get us tickets to a tour, we went to the Lego store.  The kids LOVED it!  They have never seen a Lego store. They get their Lego's in the toy aisle at Walmart, so this was quite a treat.

Emily and Noah had gotten a few souvenirs, so Ben was trying to pick a set.  Batman no less.  I thought for sure he'd go for Superman, but whatevs.  I told him we could get Lego's anywhere and he should get something else, but he wanted the Lego's.

Then, we headed to the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center).  We had to wait 30 minutes to go up, so we had a snack and watched the guys make the ice skating rink.

Noah once was going, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom.  I finally look at him and he makes a fish face.  Really?

This was the gorgeous chandelier in Top of the Rock.  It's an upside down version of the building.

Here's some nice views.

You can actually see an orange crane in the middle skyscraper.  How it gets up there, I have no clue. 
That's the Empire State Building.  

If you look in the water in the center of the picture way off is The Statue of Liberty.

Poor Noah's feet hurt.  He has to do double our steps.  And I'm clocking about 20,000 steps a day on my Fitbit.  Poor guy is probably doing 40,000 to keep up.  He hitched a ride with me for a bit.

David ended up carrying him a lot.  

Then, we went on the tour that David got us tickets for earlier.  It's called The Ride.  And you sit in these double decker enclosed buses and get a tour,  But, it's not just a tour.  It's totally fun and interactive.  

We passed this guy and at first you don't know if they are part of the show or just someone on the street.  Then, he started dancing to our music.  The best part is the people on the street and their reaction.  Most the time, they don't even glance over.  It's really funny.

The kids weren't sure what to think of it.

This was the breakdancing UPS guy.

This is just a person on the street, not even part of the tour.

Same with Iron Man.

And Spider Man....

Then, came a ballet dancer dancing all around this circle.  The guy from the first stop joined her.

We like this guys honesty.  Need money for weed. 

And there was some singing.

It was totally fun.  Emily really wanted to do it and then she was just quiet on the whole thing.  I think it was a little too much for her, but we are glad we did it.

Then, we went to lunch.  The kids wanted Subway and we refuse to eat at regular places on this trip.  But, we got them Subway.  My Dad and Suzy got some pizza.  David and I wanted to eat on 9th street somewhere since all the guides talk about all the great food there.  So, we stop in at Lenwich by Lenny's and order a few sandwiches.  And then, Rod Stewart comes in with his daughter and orders some food.  David shook his hand and said hi.  Suzy told him she loved him.  :)  Suzy got the first pic.  I got the last one.

Then, we headed to the Intrepid Museum.  I had never seen a boat this big.

The first thing we did was tour The Growler, a submarine.  These guys would be on there for 2-3 months without ever getting fresh air or seeing sunlight.  After walking through, I realize that there is absolutely no way that I could ever do that.  

This is their sleeping quarters.  Four guys stacked on top of each other, 12 in one area.  

But, they had some fun and played games.

Then, we walked around the Intrepid ship.

It had all these super cool planes on top.  This is an F16.

And the stealth bomber.  It goes 2200 miles per hour.  

The kids got to drive the ship.

I liked this one that looked like a shark.

Noah and Emily pose for pictures and then Ben is doing an acting pose.  

I wonder if you felt better or worse sleeping on top of a missile.  

Noah looking through the periscope.

Then, we had ice cream for dinner!  Why not?

Noah liked this little self serve water station more than his ice cream.  Ugh, that kid drives me crazy sometimes.

We had some fun in front of the play Kinky Boots.

We ended up in Times Square and just spent a little time taking in the site and people as it got dark.  It was a nice way to end our evening.

We headed to our hotel rooftop deck to get one last shot of The Empire State Building.  We are all sad our trip is ending.  Emily had a great time.  She was really worried about going to a big city, but I think NYC has changed her mind and she knows it's not a big scary place.

Noah is sad to leave.

Ben gives it a thumbs up.

And that's our trip!  The kids have decided that big cities are fun.  They want to do beach vacations, but want to do big cities in the Fall.  Sounds good to me!