Monday, August 12, 2013

Back to School

The end of summer came way too quickly. I hate back to school time, but it is a necessary evil. The boys were excited to go to their new school. What we didn't know was that they were going into a brand new building that had been built over the summer. When we moved into the neighborhood in May, their school was a few older buildings. I drove by in July, and the old school had been demolished and a huge, new school was being built next to the old one. The boys felt comfortable knowing that everyone would be going to a new school, not just them. 

We were able to tour the school prior to the first day. The boys' favorite part was the playground which had several different sections to it. After school actually started, the boys' favorite part was the fact that breakfast is served in each classroom every morning for all the students. Silly boys.

Checking out one part of the playground prior to school starting
On the first day of school, Wes and Calvin were so nervous. I don't think I've ever seen either one be so nervous. It just made me want to break down in tears seeing them sit at their desks nervously. At the end of the day, the boys came home so excited. Wes had made a great friend, Miller, and they were inseparable for the first month of school. On the second day, Calvin had made a great friend, Seth, and they are still great friends now. Since then, the boys have found a group of kids that they play with each day at school, and they get to eat lunch together. Sometimes, we will have lunch with them which allows the boys to bring their friends and eat outside rather than the cafeteria. Their best friend, Sullivan, who lives down the street is also at this school and is in their group of friends. 

Their best friends, Sullivan and Seth (eating lunch outside with Grandma and Grandpa Allen)
More friends and an outdoor lunch with Grandma and Grandpa Fischer
Wes and Calvin absolutely love their school, and they have never had such a close group of friends in any other school. Their friends are so respectful, and we really like them too! A few weeks after school started, I ran into a mother than I had met over the summer. Her daughter was in Wes' class. This mother told me that her daughter had seen Wes sitting by himself on the first day of school (they could pick desks, and he picked a desk with no one around). The little girl knew that Wes didn't know anyone, so she left the group of desks where her friends were sitting, and moved her stuff by Wes so that he wouldn't be by himself. That story brought tears to my eyes. 

My nervous Wes
Sweet, nervous Calvin
We love their school. LOVE it. The teachers are great, and they seem to understand our boys really well. Not much has changed -- Wes has trouble sitting still, and Calvin is teacher's favorite and wouldn't dare breaking a single rule. Wes works super fast, and Calvin still has no sense of urgency. Third grade is hard, very hard. We have heard it is a transitional year, and then this is the first year in Arizona that students have to pass a big test at the end of the year to move on to fourth grade. So we are working really hard, and the boys are doing well. They have begun to love reading. Sometimes they will take their books in the truck, or even a restaurant, to read. Calvin is really into "Flat Stanley" books, and Wes loves "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". Both boys have read almost all the books in those series. I am so proud of how well they are doing. And with how great things have gone at this school, it is more evidence that we made the right decision by moving to this area. 

Walking home from the bus stop
Enjoying yogurt for the first time after the school open house. They liked the yogurt (if it was topped with a lot of candy), but they still won't eat ice cream.
Wes and his teacher, Mrs. McLean

Calvin and his teacher, Mrs. Billings

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer Fun

As always, we had a blast this summer. I went from working nonstop in the spring to becoming super lazy this summer. I slept in every day. We hung out in our pajamas most days. It was awesome. I was so depressed for school to start again.

Below are some pictures from the summer (minus the vacation pictures previously posted):

The boys went to a lego camp for a week. They loved it!

They are always playing with stuffed animals.

We had lots of play dates with friends this summer. We went to Makutu's Island (huge indoor slide area) with friends several times as well. Even though we moved away, we have stayed in close touch with our friends.

Swimming, swimming, swimming. We were at the pool a lot this summer. The first few times, Alemitu was in the baby pool. After that, she refused. She wanted to swim in the "big girl pool". While she has to be closely supervised, she can dive down for sticks in 3-4 feet of water (with a little push) and swim back up to you.

Raining in Phoenix is a HUGE deal. Wes and Alemitu were quick to run outside and play in it. Calvin wanted to finish his lego project first (of course).

When Calvin joined them, the boys thought it was freezing outside (July in Phoenix), so they put on their winter jackets.

Wiped out from another playdate. She always has that little Mickey close by.

Our 13 year old basset hound, Clementine, passed away. It was really hard. And now we are left with this big, dumb puppy who is trying her millionth time to fit through the cat door in this picture. She'll give up and just rest her head inside the room.

Every single night that we were home, the boys slept on the couch. Seriously, every single night. They love the couch. The night before school started we had to introduce them to these big pieces of furniture in their room called 'beds'.

Trying to get a nice photo of these crazies.

Alemitu wanted to start carrying a purse like mommy.

Helping daddy debadge mommy's truck

Neighborhood fireworks. We laid out on the golf course and watched them overhead. This was the longest fireworks show I have ever seen.

Of course, we went to see a lot of movies.

Adam took them to a dinosaur museum before school started.

Mommy's new monster truck. It was so hard to leave the Jeep family. So hard. But this has a lot more space with better air conditioning, and we were offered almost as much money for my Jeep as we paid for it from the dealer. We always were getting people wanting to buy it, but I think our mouths hit the floor when we realized they were serious and would pay well over blue book value. I have to admit, I do love this truck. (Sshh ... don't tell my Jeeps)