Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of school for Sophie, Julian, and Lily. They were both excited and a little bit nervous. They all did great though! Lily has stayed up late at night many times worried about school and dance class. She conquered dance class last week and school yesterday! Go Lily!

Don't even ask about the second day. Pouring rain and tornado warnings made for a terrible afternoon and a very delayed pickup after school. Poor things had absolutely no clue why the sirens were going off or why they were all crammed in the hall in a funny position. Couple that with the boys doctor appointment today and the girls tomorrow and we are not feeling our usually calm and happy selves. The craziest part was that it took me a really long time to realize why I was sitting in the parking lot for so long. I had Tate with me (and Keaton too), which was really not a safe place to be. Live and learn. Lily came right out from dismissal and declared herself "all done with schoolah." As in forever. :) Poor little thing. She cried when I dropped her off today, although she was fine one minute later when I walked by the door on my way from Sophie to Julian's class. Either that or she was afraid to cry in front of her teacher and class. That wouldn't surprise me. Anyway, she isn't going back until next Tuesday (only 2 days of school the first week for K students and Monday is a holiday) so she has a week to be "all done" with school.

Fun sandwiches for the first day.

I did everything I could the night before because I am not a morning person and getting 4 kids and myself fed and dressed and out the door by 7 is not my idea of morning fun.

Having breakfast. I let Tate sleep a few more minutes.

The three kids, dressed and ready to go:

This was supposed to be the kids sitting sweetly on the stairs, but Keaton thinks he is one of them and as soon as the dog plopped down with them I just went with it.

Front and back sides. They love their backpacks and lunchboxes!

We may be the only family that still brings an apple to the teacher. :)

I guess they were practicing presentation.

Which led Keaton to think the apples were for him.

Had to show this one since it matches her first day of kindergarten dress.

We are on our way! Doesn't it look early? It felt early!

Getting out of the car. Kevin went in to work late (yes, he usually starts very early) so that he could take the kids to their first day. He is such a wonderful papa!

With their teachers. :)

Lily made me take a picture again this morning. Silly girl. I know I take tons of pictures, but I don't plan to take one every morning for the 180 days of school!

The kids are all excited. Our good friends Jeff and Melissa are arriving tomorrow morning from California to spend the week with us and meet the kids! The kids already "know" them from iChat, but they can't wait to see their Uncle Jeff and Aunt Melissa in person. Now if would just stop raining. We have plans to go to our town's carnival on Friday night, we rented a pontoon boat on Saturday, we want to go to the lake again on Sunday, and we are having a pool party with friends on Monday! I usually love the rain, but it kind of lost it's charm at about inch 6 today. Driving an hour each way in blinding rain to the international adoption doctor was no fun and I imagine I won't enjoy it tomorrow or Friday either. And why didn't anyone warn me how terribly heartbreaking taking kids for shots can be? :(

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lovin' the Lake

Kevin's parents flew in from California Saturday to break ground on their lake house! The kids were so excited to see them. We spent the evening together on Saturday and then we decided that we would spend Sunday at the lake. So Sunday morning we packed up, grabbed a picnic lunch at McAllister's and headed out to their property. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and the water was nice and warm. It was such a perfect way to spend our last day of summer. We can't wait until Babushka and Deudushka live here! The builders will probably start next month and hopefully finish by next May, just in time for lazy summer days at the lake. Sounds good to us!

The kids were all dead set on wearing their floaties even though the water level is still pretty low from the drought. They wouldn't even take them off to eat. They are all such little fish! They had such a wonderful time collecting shells, playing in the sand, swimming, jumping off the dock, and spending time together.

This isn't one of the better pictures I took, but it made me realize that Sophie and Julian really do have more physical similarities than I realized. Their faces look so similar in this one!

Sophie and Deudushka could join the circus! Or Cirque du Soleil's "O" in Las Vegas. :)

And Julian too!

After the lake we went home and dropped the boys off for baths. Then the girls and I headed to the mall to find Sophie some red shoes to go with her first day of school dress. Red or navy, or even white. Apparently we are not cool because we could not find shoes we liked for Sophie's dress anywhere. We had been to Target and Tootsies earlier in the week. We went through Nordstrom (who has great shoes, but none in the colors we were looking for), Belk, and finally found some for her at Gymboree. They are bright cherry red and look so cute on her! We ended up getting Julian some adorable brown topsiders at Nordsrom, but I bought the wrong size. This is the second time I had done this to poor Julian. So he went to school this morning in a pair of shoes he already had. We have a few pairs of shoes we got him for school, but none went with what he was wearing all that well. As the girls like to say, "Eatz oh-kay!" He is a boy afterall.

Kevin's parents spoiled us and brought us Sticky Fingers BBQ for dinner. It was nice not to cook. These Ukrainian-Americans sure do love their Southern BBQ!

After the girls bath and blow drying they set out their clothes for this morning, complete with socks in the shoes and everything! They actually tried them on first, which of course made Julian try his on too. (This is when we realized the shoe mistake.) Of course Tate wants to get dressed then too...

We did settle down for stories and bed a little earlier than usual. We read these four school books, followed by our one nightly constant "Goodnight Moon." We must have worn them out at the lake because they were all asleep pretty quickly!

I will try to post the first day of school pictures later. They looked so cute. Tate and I have spent the morning doing things around here and now we are off to Nordstrom to exchange the shoes. :) It is too quiet here for us!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Enjoying Our Last Days of Summer

We spent our week this week trying to squeeze in as much summer time fun as we could. Summer went by so fast this year since we spent most of it in Ukraine. We did our best to sleep in, spend lazy mornings around the house playing games and doing chores, played with friends, and eating outside. I think we accomplished our goal. The kids seem pretty ready to start school. Maybe much more ready than I am anyway.

One day this week we spent the afternoon with our good friends at the park. My friend Heidi and her husband actually went to junior high and high school with us in California. I met Heidi and Kevin both when I was in 7th grade (our school was 7-12, junior high and high school). I actually went to elementary school with her husband Dustin. Heidi was even my discipleship group leader for 2 years when I was a freshman and sophomore in high school, since she is a couple years older than I am. They moved to NC shortly after we did for pretty much the same reasons we did. They even stayed with us for a few months while their house was still under construction. It is so fun to live across the country from your childhood home, but still have old friends close by. :) Anyway, Heidi and her two kids (Trent, 6 and Kate, 3) invited us play at the park. Our kids all get along well. In fact I think Trent and Julian are already pretty good buddies considering they have only played a few times and they don't even understand what each other are saying. I was telling Heidi that water, mud, and running must be the language of little boys everywhere.

Here are some pictures of our afternoon:

We were out running errands in the morning so I packed a lunch to take with us.

Heidi pushes Lily and Kate on the swings.

The "Great Frog Hunt" of summer 2008 begins.

This is so Sophie. She is wearing a skirt and too many accessories (as usual) and frog hunting with Trent and Julian. She has such a fun balance of girly-girl and tom boy.

These little guys were hiding near logs all through the woods. They are anywhere from thumbnail to quarter size.

Sophie eyes her latest catch.

Tate, Kate, and Lily mostly stuck to the playground and left the frog hunting to their older siblings.


It was a really hot day. Hotter than it had been in a while. The kids drank all of the drinks I brought at lunch so we resorted to the water fountain. I don't even want to think about how dirty a park water fountain probably is. They saw their first water fountain at the airport when we landed in America. I never thought about it but I guess since people don't drink tap water in Ukraine there are no water fountains. They are still a novelty for our kids who had no idea how to use them at the airport.

The Tater Tot (as he is commonly referred to around here) is ready to catch some minnows.

Is there anything cuter than this little girl with her pink butterfly net?

Off they go...

Hunting frogs and feeding geese.

And more snacking. Then we went home and straight into the bath. Hot sweaty kids, dirt paths, juicy plums... you get the picture. :)