Sunday, November 14, 2010

First grade in a new school and Fall Activities!

We're 3 months into first grade. We had a lot of change this year. We started a new school and Kai and Sierra are in different classes this year. Sierra was excited about the move because the school had a character (the Koala)! Kai had grand visions that first grade at the new school would be much different than Kindergarten. He thought the kids would be quiet and respectful and that the teacher wouldn't need to yell. Ha Ha! He quickly learned that wasn't the case. Even with that new knowledge, he still likes the school. They both go to the library once a week, and change classes for science lab, music and art.

Kai and Sierra are both in the highest reading group and Kai goes to the enrichment group for Math on Fridays. It's been a great year so far. Our teachers are wonderful and very well-suited for both Kai and Sierra.

Below are our 2010 school pictures and further down are more details about how we've spent the last few months.




The photo diary is below:

First Day of our new school
Birthday weekend away
Soccer Season
Fall Festivities

First Day of School (back to top)

The first day of school was very exciting. Kai and Sierra loved wearing their new backpacks and carrying a lunch box. They didn't do either in Kindergarten so this was "big."

Kai and Sierra's classrooms are beside each other. The kids sit outside the door until the bell rings and the teacher lets them in. We got permission from Kai's teacher (Ms Miller) and Sierra's teacher (Ms. Crenshaw) for Sierra to sit outside Kai's classroom with him, since hers is a longer walk away. She cuts through to her classroom when the door opens.

Sierra was very excited the first day! Kai was nervous (although he'd never admit it). We went with them the first day and sat outside until it was time for them to go inside. All the subsequent days, they got out in the car line and walked to their class. It's bitter-sweet seeing how big they're getting. They love the independence.








Within the first month of school, Kai and Sierra had been selected to have lunch with Principal Pfiffer (they receive ABC awards for good behavior which go in a drawing for a special lunch with the principal). They both lucked out and got chosen with in the first week.

In addition, Kai was selected for First Grade Student of the Week. He was briefly "interviewed" on the morning school news. Mom was at the door taking pictures and Kai was clearly embarrassed! He would only look over for one picture (although as soon as it was over and he was out of view of the other kids, he gave us a big hug). Sierra was so excited to see her brother "on the news." She is his biggest fan.







Birthday Weekend Away (back to top)

We planned a weekend get away for Mom's birthday. We took a little drive over to the west coast of Florida, which was beautiful. Initially, we only planned on staying one night, but at the last minute decided to make it the whole weekend. We did have to move hotels because of the last minute change, but it was an awesome weekend.

Hotel #1 - awesome!

Oh yeah - party time!


"Look, I match the couch!"

"Marshall is winning; WVU - you're going down" (actually, Marshall lost but it was a good run).


"Watch this mom. I'm going to make the birds fly away."



Sierra posing for mom so we can document the beautiful scenery.


It's time for Hotel #2.



"Check out this bed... so soft."


We came back to Hotel #1 to pack up so we could settle in to Hotel #2.




Here is a view from outside Hotel #1.


The water is so calm and clear on the West Coast.


Here is a view from the backside of Hotel #2.


"Look, you can still see my toes through the water."


"Shuffle your feet and look out for sting-rays. They're migrating this time of year."


We had lunch and fancy drinks by the pool.


The weather was so amazing and the resort was incredible.


We found a great little seafood place for Mom's birthday dinner.


The sunset from our seat at dinner was beautiful.


"Happy Birthday Mom"


The birthday tradition at the restaurant was to put a coffee filter on your head while singing... very flattering.




Mom holding her best present... time with the family!

Crabby Bills rocked!


Our hotel at night.


Boogie boarding on the west coast consists of laying on a board and having mom and dad drag you around in the water.


"Look how deep I am."


"I'm ready to catch some waves."


Our last swim before heading home and back to reality.


We had birthday cake before bed.


Sierra made cakes in her easy bake oven (with Dad's help).



Kerrigan made the cake, but then everyone got sick so they couldn't come to celebrate.



Soccer Season (back to top)

It's that time of year again. The kids were excited to start playing soccer again. Jim is coaching again and we moved up to U7. The field is bigger and we now play with a goalie. Kai still enjoys playing defense (and has gotten very good at it). Sierra also plays defense and has had a chance to play goalie, which she likes. Some pictures are below:

















Fall Festivities (back to top)

We love this time of year. It actually cooled off a little this year so it wasn't quite as hot/humid as last year. We don't have changing leaves to enjoy but do have lots of great fall festivities.

We went to Seaworld's Halloween Spooktacular, a fall festival at Painted Oaks horse academy, the Central FL Zoo Boo Bash, Downtown Disney trick-or-treating, the Wekiva Elementary fall festival, Sam/Alivia's Halloween party, and the Scott's corn maze. Lots of fun....



Kai is finished with the "cute" shirts. He preferred a skull for his Halloween shirt this year.


Sierra still LOVES characters!

We're not sure what all these characters are, but what the heck... photo opp.


"Take my picture by this one."


Posing with the pumpkin people.


Hurry up Mom, we have 5 stations left to go.



Sierra and the starfish.

More characters.

We got a free coupon to play a game (we usually only play the games when Memaw and Pawpaw come down).


Sierra liked her Hello Kitty spider shirt this year.


"I'm so cute."


Good picture of Daddy and Sierra.


"Hi, mom."


"Mom, here I come."


Happy Halloween Shamu.


Kai and Sierra spun Mom around so much, she was green when we got off the ride.

The boys are waiting for Sierra to finish up with Shamu.


It was a great family day!


Fun day!

"Check out this belly move."

"Here I come."


Kyle and Sierra going down the inflatable slide for the 20th time.


"I can't wait!"


"I'm ready to go!"


"I'm ready for my ride."


Kai had fun on his ride.


Sierra loves horses and enjoyed her ride.


Kai liked spinning around on the tire horse. It was popular so we couldn't stay on it too long.


Sierra riding the tire horse.


Mom tortures Kai and Sierra every year to get pumpkin patch pictures.


Crazy face....


Now a nice one!


Love the pumpkin pictures every year...


..especially when everyone cooperates.

"Check out my skull ring."


"Run, Forrest, run"


Handsome boy.


Pretty girl.


The boys found a good one.


"How about this one, Dad?"


"Check out our pumpkin."


"Hold on Sierra, we're going for a ride."


The Bakugan Draganoid.


"Ok - can we stop taking pictures and get to the party?"

Sierra/Russell by our garbage bag tarantula.


Scary haunted tree house at the party.


"Check out my extra eyeball."



Alivia and Sam's annual Halloween party.


We get a picture every year under this blow-up at the zoo. It's fun to look back and see how much they've grown.



Kai knows Mom likes taking pics so he proactively hopped up and said "do you want to take my picture?"



"Take my picture on the pretty butterfly."


"Mmmm, lemonade"


"Kai - watch out, you have a green snake by your head."

Kai did an awesome job on the rock wall at the fall festival.


The Chik-fil-A cow came to the Wekiva Elementary Fall Festival/Book Fair.


Sierra was excited that they had a Pumpkin Character at the Downtown Disney Trick or Treat.




"Happy Halloween!"


Station #5 - 15 more to go.


Trick or Treat!


"Daddy, give me a ride. It's hard work trick-or-treating."


Our family Halloween picture!

The boys and their skull t-shirts.


The girls in their Halloween t-shirts.


"Last picture, right Mom?"


"I love my Daddy."


"Do you like my crazy hair.. wait to see what it looks like after I put some of this rotten pumpkin in it?"


"Dad, how much more do we need to scoop?"


It's pumpkin carving time.



This pumpkin smells after sitting outside for a week in the heat... it's a little rotten.


More candy...


"Hi, mom"


"This house is kind of spooky."


Kai made mom carry his mask, complaining he was too hot.


"Where's the next house?"


Dick, Cathy and Putter babysat all the candy so we could take Kai and Sierra around to get more - big thanks AGAIN!

Daddy made a great pumpkin this year.


Searching for one piece of candy to eat before bed...

"We love candy!"


"Check out my horn!"


Sierra chose to be Russell, the Wilderness Explorer for Halloween. She posed with all her UP Characters (Alpha, Omega, Gamma, Kevin, Dug and baby Kevin).


I love being a Wilderness Explorer.



Sierra was doing the "Caw, Caw" sign that Russell does in the movie.


Kai was a Bakugan Draganoid for Halloween.


The mean face Bakugan Draganoid.


There's the smile Mom loves!


This was the design of the corn maze this year.


We're ready for our adventure!


Kai helped out with the corn maze hints.



Everyone is given a flag pole when they enter the maze in case they get lost. If you run into problems, you raise it high and someone comes to get you out.


It was a nice day out - took us about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get through the maze.


"We have a long way to go."


This year, we found all the clues in the maze!


Sierra is writing down one of the "hints."


There was a cool zipline for the kids to ride.



The zipline was a fun ride. At the bottom, the kids had to run the swing back up for the next person.


We haven't see a teeter-totter in years. Kai and Sierra had a blast on it.


Miscellaneous (back to top)

In addition to all the fun described above, we had lots of other miscellaneous adventures this summer (see below).


Mom and Dad got a little kid-free weekend getaway thanks to Barbara and Rob for watching the kids.


Cousin Katey invited us to her awesome birthday party.


We participated in the Wekiva River clean-up day.


We found lots of garbage on the bottom of the river.



They gave us a big garbage bag and nets to scoop the trash.


It's snack time!


We found a lot of nasty, old beer cans on the bottom of the river.


We went ice skating one night. It was our first time back on the ice since last year.


Daddy and Sierra liked to "shake their booty" to the music which mortified Kai. He told them how much it embarrassed him.


Daddy had a weekend with the boys, so Mom, Kai and Sierra went to a geocache event at the zoo.


We did pretty well. We found about 6 caches.


Kai loves doing the monkey bars.


Sierra has always had difficulty on the monkey bars, but finally made it all the way across today.


"Take a picture of this inflatable cat, so Daddy can find one for our house."



Sierra has been asking for months to go golfing so we finally took everyone out one weekend.


The kids like to drive the cart when no one is around.




It's putting time!


"Check out the flag."


Baby Kyle invited us to his birthday party at Monkey Joes.


"Here I come!"


Bounce, bounce!


"I love Monkey Joes"


Look who showed up!




Happy Birthday Dick!

We celebrated Dick's birthday with some yummy cake.


We enjoyed an outdoor family movie - the Cat in the Hat.


"It's almost time for it to start."






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  A Jim & Carla Creation - 2004