Things are beginning to settle down and our routine is falling into place.  Piper is easing into the increased load of homework.  Math has been hard but she seems to enjoy spelling.  I use the term "enjoy" loosely!

 Here she is on a Thursday night practicing her spelling words on the dry erase board.  We have spelling homework three nights a week and on the fourth night we practice writing out the words like this to prepare for the Friday test!
 Not all of September has been boring and drudgery!  We busted out the slip n' slide one more time before it cooled down too much.  (Or maybe the only time this season!)  Briggs was chilly but loved it.  We had neighbor friends over to enjoy the fun also!

 Briggs really is enjoying friends and socializing so much more now than he did last year.  It's especially fun to see him pretend playing!  He and Asher never seem bored together!  In fact, at Briggs' parent teacher conference, his teacher said they purposely separate Briggs and Asher because they can't keep their hands off each other and will not play with others if they're in the same activity! Ha!
And probably the most exciting thing that has occurred this month is..........................................
 Piper taught herself to ride a bike without training wheels!!!!!!!!!!!
 She's been working on this for a month or so, determined not to have either parent assist her in any way, shape, or form!
 And one day she got on the bike and took off!  She was so excited and so were we!!  There's been a lot of bike riding going on around here!


September Thus Far...

So far, September has flown by. That being said, it has been a hard month getting used to school and fall activities.  Briggs is doing really well in school and enjoying it.  Piper is not loving it as much but this happened last year and I think it just takes time for her to adjust to the new routine and expectations! Sometimes my/our attitudes are less than stellar and sometimes my/our responses are less than holy!  But in the midst of the hard days, I know the Lord has me exactly where he wants me to be...even if I don't want to be in that exact place at that moment!!  
 This is a rare sight of Briggs napping one Saturday afternoon.  Both kids were in trouble for their behavior while out shoe shopping so one of the consequences was to lay in bed for an hour.  Briggs decided he was overdue for a nap!  I won't lie!  I was thrilled at this sight!
 A first grader in our neighborhood hosted a petting zoo birthday party and my kids loved it!  Piper played with the animals some and her friends a lot!  Briggs played with the animals the entire time! He had no fear and enjoyed every second!

 In Piper's first grade class they have what is called "Flashlight Friday" in which they turn the lights off and turn their flashlights on to read quietly.  The flashlight Daddy ordered had not arrived so she was allowed to borrow his headlight last Friday!  I called this Breakfast Spelunking!
 Piper was among a group of kids who rescued a baby bunny under the swings, after school one day.  I'll be real honest.  I could have cared less about that little bunny, but it was fun to see them excited!  Hopefully, he's thriving in his new home by the creek!


First Day of Preschool for Briggs!

Oh my goodness how big does Briggs look!!??  And he's even trying to pose for the camera!  Big steps this morning!! He woke up bright and early at 4:30!  I think he may have been excited.  Maybe?? I made him go back to bed but he got up again at 6 am so I'm not sure if he slept during that time.  We've been talking about getting ready for school this past month.  Briggs has been adamant that "he not go to school!" But after meeting his teachers, I think he finally decided that school might be fun and has been acting a little excited about it. This morning he was ready to get dressed and we talked about taking his picture so he began practicing what his smile would look like.  I'm not kidding!  Once pictures were over, we went to celebrate the big day with donuts!  He had to take big bear with him because that's his fondest friend as of today.  And then we were the first to arrive at school.  He was ready to go in!  Briggs gave me a hug, kiss and said goodbye!  No tears or grabbing on to me.  He didn't ask me to hold him!  None of that clingy stuff. What a difference a year has made and even just in the last six months!  I'm excited for him because he has matured so much!  He has some fun teachers and his buddy Asher is in class with him!  It's going to be a great year!

 He was all smiles at pick up.  He said he "caught" a fish and a shark and played in the water.  "I share mom.  I not hit!"  Ha!  And when I said did you have fun he enthusiastically replied, "Yaaaaaaa!"


First Grade!

Piper found out last Friday she was going to have Mrs. Wilkerson at Meet the Teacher.  Both Piper and I are excited about this school year, her teacher, and her classmates!
 Monday morning was the big day!  I set Piper's alarm for her and she woke up on her own, got dressed and even made her bed!  This is huge for her not to be asked!  She was in the best mood; so excited to get her big day started!  She didn't even complain when we had our back to school photo shoot!!!
 I CANNOT believe she's a first grader!!
 Let it be noted I caved on the Sophia the First backpack!  Whew.  I guess some battles are not worth fighting and this is one!  She's so happy to have it!

 Her desk!
 I think she already loves Mrs. Wilkerson because as she knelt down to take the photo she commented "Oh, I love your headband!" They pretty much sealed the deal right there!  Here we come first grade!!


Staycation 2014

Michael and I decided that we wanted to one last fun thing for the summer with the kids.  We could not agree on a place to drive or fly to so settled on staying home and doing a staycation of sorts here in the Dallas area.  It really was more like taking an adventure everyday somewhere with Daddy home and then sleeping in our own beds!  Which was nice!  Each place we visited or ate at were places we have yet to see and visit since our move to the area.
 To begin, we went to Medieval Times.  Truth be told, I was a little embarrassed to tell people we were going there because every time I've ever driven by the 'castle' I kind of poke fun of the people attending!  So call me a hypocrite!  It was cheesy and dorky but it was so fun with the kids.  If Michael had ever asked me to go while dating, I probably would not have stuck around!  That's how silly I think this place is.  But really, truly, I enjoyed it because the kids LOVED it!

 The red and black knight was the knight we were cheering for.  He won that that evening!  We were excited!
 Briggs did not want to wear his crown ever!
 Here is Piper drinking her 'dragon soup!' It was really just Campbell's tomato soup!  Ha!  She thought it was delicious and Briggs kept asking where the dragons were because they needed to eat their soup!  You don't get utensils while eating at Medieval Times.  That is why she is drinking it out of the bowl!
 Piper caught a carnation from our knight!  Oh Bliss!
 I snapped a pic of our commemorative photo we purchased!  Piper can't wait to hang it in her bedroom! And you can tell Briggs was happy to be photographed!
 The next day we ate a nice breakfast at home and relaxed, then drove to Grapevine to check out Legoland! We arrived at Grapevine Mills mall a little before our designated time slot so we could eat a quick bite of lunch and look around.  On the way to the food court, Michael seriously contemplated purchasing a hermit crab for the kids!  Oh Praise Jesus he came to his senses!  And, Piper kept talking about the Food Court like we were about to spend the day at Six Flags!  The girl couldn't wait to see the Food Court and pick what she was going to eat. (She picked Sonic, btw!) I think that is what we could have done for the day and called it good! So funny! After eating, Michael treated the kids to a carousel ride and they really enjoyed that.  Then we headed to Legoland.  It.Is.Crazy!  There were tons of kids there.  TONS!  There were fun amusement style rides, only two or three, but enough to excite our kids!  And as you can imagine, a lot of Lego's!  Our kids loved it!
 We watched a 4D Lego movie.  Piper disliked it because it had no Lego men just Lego animals and Briggs despised it because we were sprayed with a find mist of water and foam as part of the 4D package!  Yay! Oh I'm laughing just remembering his meltdown of getting wet unexpectedly!

 Part of vacations now, include Piper asking about twenty times if she gets to buy something!  At some point, she realized it is fun to shop on vacation, so she does not let us forget she knows this fun little fact!  Sweet Daddy let each kid pick out a couple of Lego sets to purchase at their store.  Really, I think he likes to help them build the sets so he's happy to oblige!  Piper is standing here with the Lego size Dirk Nowitzki.  After Legoland, we checked out downtown Grapevine and ate at a little Mexican restaurant Michael enjoyed growing up.
 The third day, we visited the Dallas World Aquarium.  It is really a cool place! Michael and I felt like it was more like a rain forest than an aquarium.
 This is the shark tunnel.  We stayed to watch them eat.  When I first read you could watch the shark feeding, in my mind I'm imagining large chunks of fleshy fish being devoured by these ravenous beasts!  No, it was more like little dead shrimp and squids floaty through the water while the sharks delicately munched away!  Haha!  Lame to say the least!  But it did create quite the frenzy and crowd!

 Briggs loves animals.  Here he is waving to the little outdoor penguins!  They were cute!
 And, along the rain forest, we ran into a native!  Haha!  They had some Mayan tribal dance show with music.  One guy was running his thigh across a flame of fire over and over!  Um, why?  He told the kids later, that it was very ouchy and not to try at home.  Thanks!  Their costumes were elaborate!
We spent close to three hours there and saw it all!  Whew!  Very neat place to visit!
 Afterwards, we drove to Pokey O's and have an ice cream and cookie treat then caught the McKinney trolley in Uptown.  The kids thought they were riding the train.  It was great!  But along the way, it started pouring rain and Piper was scared!  That made the trolley ride last a little longer than we anticipated!  But still an experience I'm glad we had!

 At the end of the day we ate at the original Campisi's restaurant.  Piper pretended to be a our waitress while waiting on our pizza.  She's a character.  The pizza was yummy and the mob-looking staff was intriguing!
 The next day was Sunday.  We went ahead and attended church because it was promotion Sunday for our kids and we wanted them to meet their new teachers and see their new classrooms with everyone else. In the afternoon, the kids and I went with my friend Robyn and her kids to the CR Smith museum.  It's an aviation museum but it has a traveling Lego display there temporarily.  Both Robyn's kids and my kids were more interested in the Lego stuff than the aviation stuff!

Our final day of the Staycation, no pictures were taken.  We took the kids to see Planes 2 and were going to visit the Chase tower downtown to look across the city skyline; however, on the way there we had a flat tire on the van that needed to be taken care of!  So the trip ended a little abruptly and sooner than we had planned.  It really was like a vacation since we had that little hiccup! We had a fun few days and spent a lot of great family time together!