Thursday, August 27, 2009

1st Day of School

Yesterday was Bethany's first day of school - First Grade! She was very excited. Surprisingly, our morning went quite smoothly. I woke up before everybody else, except Mallory, and I showered while Brad got breakfast for the girls. We all had time to fix hair, get dressed, and say our family prayer before heading in different directions. Mallory and I took Bethany to the school, and even though the "Safe School Guidelines" don't allow it, I walked her to her classroom. She really didn't want me to, but we had a huge and heavy shopping bag of school supplies to give to her teacher so she decided it was okay for me to walk with her -- THIS time. :) After school I expected her to be wiped out, but she was upbeat. She said, "Mom, 1st grade is really fun. I'm going to like 1st grade." I was relieved to hear this. Bethany goes back and forth on her opinion of school, likes it - doesn't like it- it's boring - it's fun, etc. I'm really pulling for her liking it because if she doesn't like elementary school, what's going to happen as she heads into middle and high school?
(I just realized when I was posting these pictures that she's wearing the same shirt she wore for her last day of school in kindergarten. It matches the skirt she wanted to wear which is a hand-me-down from her cousin. She had a growth spurt last spring so she got lots of new clothes toward the end of the school year, so we didn't have to get a whole lot to start off this school year....except jeans. I think she's grown at least 2 inches since her last birthday.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The rest of our vacation......

So, Wednesday we began the next installment of our Bennett Family Vacation Summer 2009. We drove to Canaan Valley to go horseback riding again because the kids loved it so much. Let me just say, though, that I am done - finished- retired from horseback riding. I think it's great for about 30 minutes, but anything after that is pure torture. ( at least on the mountain/hill trails) We had to do the 1 1/2 hr ride this time because the hour long ride was full. It ended up being 2 hours, not to mention the fact that they got started late and we didn't begin our ride until an hour after our scheduled time. So, we didn't finish until 1:00 when our ride was scheduled from 10:00 - 11:30am. But, the great thing about vacation is that I insist that we do things on our own time, no hurry, no "we've gotta be there by....." because that's when Mommy gets cranky about running late and I can't enjoy things as much. We went to have lunch at this great cafe that's in the mountains and then continued onto Washington DC. We stayed with my aunt and uncle who live in Silver Spring, which is like 10 minutes from DC and 5 minutes from the temple. We visited the temple Wednesday evening after eating dinner with our relatives. Brad and I took turns going in to do work while the other stayed out with the kids. Our girls were so excited to visit the temple grounds. They were singing " I Love to See the Temple" on the way into DC, and when we got there they were actually quiet and reverent. I took them through the visitor's center and walked around the grounds with them. Brad let them watch a movie while I was in the temple. It was very special that we got to include this into our vacation.

The next day we drove to the National Zoo and walked all over to visit the animals there. It was HOT! We love to go to this zoo because it's free and they always have panda bears. There was a baby named Tai Tai. When we left the zoo we ended up having some bad MapQuest directions and spent about an hour driving around in downtown DC. What an adventure! Once again, no worries, we had no place to be so we pointed out the monuments, memorials, museums, the Capital and the White House to Bethany while Mallory napped. Eventually my uncle was able to guide us out of DC over the phone. Whew!

Our last day we decided to take the Metro to the Mall and visit the Natural History Museum (Smithsonian). The girls love "Rexie", the dinosaur from the Night at the Museum movies, so they spent a lot of time in the dinosaur area. We visited lots of the animal exhibits and then they were ready to leave, and were quite excited to ride the "train" again. It was a short visit, but just long enough for our family, I think. We got out of the area before rush hour and were home before 5:30 that evening.

Brad said more than once that this was a favorite vacation for him because it was so relaxing. Sometimes when we go away for a whole week, we get overloaded with too many things to do and see. And not only was this laid back, but very inexpensive. When our kids get older we'll spend a lot more time in DC visiting more of the Smithsonian buildings and the other attractions, all free. If you haven't done this with your family, think about it. Many of us are lucky to live in the Eastern states where we can easily visit the capital city.

We still had the weekend which included the "Dive into Back to School" activity at Bethany's school where we met her teacher for 1st grade, and then Bethany and I had a Mommy/Daughter Date when we went to the spa together for pedicures. She also got a manicure, and was so excited about it. She chose a different color for her toes than her hands and had sparkles put over top of the color. She also had her glass of iced water and plate of fruit, cheese, and crackers. It was adorable. I just watched her the whole time when I was supposed to be relaxing to enjoy my own pedicure. It was great! (The only rough part was that I was fighting off some kind of virus from Thursday evening through Monday with a very sore throat and a fever and achy-ness. I rested Saturday evening and Sunday, and am much better now.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Our weekend

Brad and I decided to take a laid-back vacation this year. We are staying kind of close to home, and keeping it simple and inexpensive. Over the weekend we visited my brother's family near Charleston, WV...actually, Nitro is the name of the town. (named for nitroglycerin during WWII because of the plant that was there at the time - interesting tidbit, huh?) We had a great time relaxing, playing Wii Resort (my first time with Wii, and I loved it), and visiting the local water park. We had beautiful, hot weather for our pool/waterslide/lazy river day and lots of strangers around who won't remember seeing me in a swimsuit. :) We all really enjoyed the water fun, and Bethany even rode a tube on one of the waterslides all by herself. I was kind of surprised but wanted to support her, so I went with her the 2nd time (even though I was a little nervous about it). This slide was divided into 3 or 4 sections, each one ending with a big splash into a small pool. When I reached the second pool, Bethany was clinging to the side and crying because she'd been tossed from her tube and pushed underwater. I had been tossed under, too, but for her it was very scary. The lifeguard didn't seem to even notice her until he saw her mom coming over to see what was wrong, then he offered to walk her down to the bottom. Kind of irritating that he wasn't helping her before I got there. Who knows how long she was clinging and crying?! So, she is done with least for a while. Other than that, great day! We're planning a short trip to DC later this week, so I'll fill you in when we get back. And, we're doing Daddy and Mommy dates individually with the kids this week, too. Brad and Bethany are golfing right now, and I think I'll take her to the spa for pedicures before school starts. We're not sure about Mallory yet....probably movies and park. She's easy to please. :) Hope that you're all having a great August!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Can you feel the excitement?!

I'm feeling in the mood for some school time fun!! Hence, the new background. :)

You still feel it, right? The excitement about a new school year, new supplies, school clothes shopping, finding good deals, and the children's anticipation for new teachers and seeing their friends again.....I love it.
I don't miss teaching, but it does feel good to know that I'll be involved again once school starts. I'll be coordinating the Parent Volunteer schedule for the teachers, staff, and parent/grandparent volunteers. I'm looking forward to working with all of these different people, and it will be fulfilling for me to be helping out with something the school and teachers need that hasn't been happening.
Although I'll miss having Bethany at home so much, I know how much she'll enjoy first grade, so I'm ready for it, too. And, yes, I'll get a break from the days where she is bored and the girls fight and annoy me. You all know what I'm talking about. I'm also looking forward to days that require more routine in my life. A specific time to wake up, lists, chores, pickup schedules, etc. It's all good for me and for my family....not that we won't struggle because we take our time about eating breakfast all summer long, like 9 am, and now it has to be before 8 am. That's our biggest battle with Bethany before school.

But, anyway, are you feeling it too?!