Friday, May 29, 2009

Last Field Trip of the School Year

Carson's class had their last field trip of the year this week. This was actually only their 2nd field trip and I wasn't able to go on the first. This trip was to an historic house in town where tour guides dress in period costumes. I love roaming through history so I was looking forward to the trip.
(Yup..."Dozer 18" is my son!) I know, I know, the flat screen TV doesn't really fit into the theme of the house, but it shows a movie put together about the former occupants. And, the lady in blue was Carson's 2nd grade teacher. She retired the year she had him in class. She's one of those amazing teachers who really ignite the fire of learning. And, she treats each and every kid like they are her all time favorite former student. (She even had one of the dads along in her class waaaaay back when he was in 2nd grade!) I'm sad that Elise won't get the chance to have her as a teacher.

Carson's teacher had to divide his class into 2 groups for the tour. For some unknown reason, he broke them right down the line by gender. Boys in one group, girls in the other. And he went with the girl group. Yeah, imagine a group of 10 year old boys in a setting where they can't touch anything and antsy because it's the end of the school year. I almost ran away when I realized they were going to give the boys a chance to play with pretend guns!

I just love the historical outfits. I wanted to get up close and look at how they were made.

It was a fun day stepping back into history. Since I didn't grow up in Illinois, I don't really know much about the history.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Photo dump from the past week

Another packed week. Here are a few highlights...

Elise's drama performace:

We'd been listening to a CD of music since January of 30-40 second snippets from music from the 70's, 80's and 90's. We had no idea how that soundtrack was going to evolve into a drama performance, but it did and the kids did a great job. Elise's big part was being the "sign holder" for the 90's.

Carson surprised her with flowers after the performance and she was THRILLED.

Visit with Cousin Tyler:
Even though Tyler just turned 13 this week, he's still willing to spend lots of time playing with Elise.

Carson's Cub Scout graduation was held at a park in town on a bee-you-ti-ful day and the kids had a blast playing.
And every time I turned around, another little boy from school would be yelling for Elise's attention. She was in her glory (and I'm already worried about the amount of attention she got from the boys!!)
Visit with dear friends:
One of my bestest friends from college spent the night with her family. This is her son, who is about to go into high school! Oh my goodness, I remember when he was born and there is no way possible enough years have gone by for him to now be going into high school!!! Age aside, he's a great kid!
Elise discovered two new friends in her daughter's. Her girls are 7 and 8 and they quickly became good friends!

Field Days at Elise's School:
Elise's school has a yearly field days for the kids. It's a fun day that the kids look forward to all year long. This year it was on one of the first really hot days in our area and the kids were melting by the time I dropped by in the afternoon. I caught her class in a game of tug-o-war.

The PTO surprised the kids with these cool bags full of lots of goodies! (Hmmm...I'm wondering how I might "borrow" this for myself!)

And try as I might, my daughter would NOT let me get a picture of her eating her ice cream.
I was too pooped to care about taking pictures at the pool party we hosted for Carson's soccer team and the family birthday to celebrate Elise and Tyler's birthday. Sigh...

And the countdown is in serious summer mode around here. Hubs has 3 days of school left and the kids have 6 days. The days are getting longer, the weather nicer, the calendar full of fun outdoor activities...I'd say we're ready for summer!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Birthday Party!!!

Yesterday was Elise's birthday party. You should know that she is HEAVILY involved in the planning of her parties, down to every little detail. Her party this year was an American Girl doll party and each guest was asked to bring their favorite doll or stuff animal.

Elise was dressed and ready hours before her party. She even dressed up her dolls in matching outfits that her Omi made. (The fabric Omi used for the doll dresses was the same fabric she used to make the flower girl outfits for our cool is that?!? I feel like I'm looking at my nieces ready to spread flowers at my wedding again...and they are now both in college!)

The excitement level ramped up when Grandma brought over the cake she'd made! Elise could not believe this beautiful doll was really a cake!

We had all the crafts and projects ready to go, just waiting for little girl hands to complete!

The girls finally arrived and we got down to some serious crafting. Each girl made a cozy sleeping bag for their doll or stuffed animal.

That's my sister who joined us for the party. My sister has 4 sons and has never attended a little girl party! :)

I don't know what we found so funny, but I never like pictures of myself and I thought this one was decent. I'm sure we were laughing at something goofy a friend said! There was a lot of laughter because these girls were silly!

Here are 2 of the finished products. The tiger and dolly were all warm and cozy!

We then moved on to make necklaces for the girls and their buddies.

It took a lot of precision and a great deal of concentration! But they created some beautiful bling for themselves and their dolls and stuffed animals.

Cake and lemonade (Elise's choice of drink...yellow, not pink as you might suspect!) were next. The girls all helped blow out the candles on the cupcakes. We couldn't figure out a way to put the candles on the beautiful doll cake...

Then it was time for presents! Wowza, did Elise get some great gifts. (This is one big difference between boy and girl parties, in my experience....boys could care less what they give one another so Moms usually either pick out the gift and/or get a gift card, girls REALLY get involved in the picking out of gifts and were just as excited about Elise when she opened their carefully selected gift!)

We finished the festivities by playing a few rounds of American Girl bingo. For a quick and easy game, the girls all really enjoyed it!
Here's the girlie gang. Most of the girls are in Elise's class this year. I'm so thankful she has such a good group of friends. The girls all have fun with each other and are very supportive. One little girl (non-Chinese) had even written out Happy Birthday in Chinese in her birthday card to Elise. I'm sure we'll be seeing many of these little girls over many times throughout the summer!

And what did the boys do during the party? They went to see the Star Trek movie then played with some tool Perry picked up (his Father's day gift that conveniently went on sale the week of Mother's day.) Some really expensive hammer thingy. And in my mind, that means he needs a new project to try out his new tool, right?!? out of the way, new tool in hand...the possibilities are endless!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Random pics from the week...

Did someone wind up the clock of life lately?!? I have no idea where the past week went, other than I know it flew by in what seems like seconds.

A belated HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all the moms out there. We had a great day and Carson presented me with this lovely cupcake (among other gifts but this one "took the cake" so to speak!)

Elise wanted to open her presents before everyone left for the day, so we opened birthday gifts at 6:00 AM. Fun, fun, fun!

She has wanted a new bike for some time and got her wish. I don't think the training wheels are going to last long.

Carson picked out the perfect Littlest Pet Shop play set and Elise was thrilled!

When I look at her, I'm just amazed at how grown up she is looking these days. She had a great birthday. Her class had a field trip to the Library and a favorite ice cream place in town. I took the day off to join the class. It was fun to catch up with some of the other moms. Elise has such great friends in her class this year and it's been fun getting to know the families of those good friends. She also got to bring in treats for her birthday. Her poor teacher, the kids were pretty sugared up after the ice cream and they then had birthday cake waiting for them in the classroom! (I didn't stick around for that part!)
She asked to go to Red Robin for her birthday dinner. She LOVES Red Robin but got a little freaked out when they came out singing Happy Birthday to her. :)
Better go clean the house since we're having a birthday party here tomorrow!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, baby girl

My baby girl turns 7 years old today. I so wish we could freeze time for a bit because she's just growing up so fast.

Her birthday party is this weekend and it'll be a girly crafty party right up her alley.

Happy birthday, my sweet Princess.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Standing up for herself

Anyone else's kids have a million field trips in May?!? I think Elise has a field trip a week until the end of school! Needless to say, I can't volunteer for every one. My mom agreed to go with Elise's class to the zoo yesterday. They had great weather and Elise was THRILLED to have her Grandma along.

Elise's teacher called me at home earlier this week to talk about some concerns. This is actually the 2nd time in a month that she's taken time out of her evening to call us at home. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE this teacher?

Elise is doing so well in school this year, socially and academically. She was overwhelmed last year and did OK but has really come out of her shell much more so this year. I love seeing pictures like the one above with her friends.

One of the things her teacher wanted to talk about was a situation with a fellow classmate where Elise has been "picked" on. A little boy has been making negative comments about China around Elise and her friend V (who is half Chinese). The teacher wanted to let me know how the school was handling it.

It makes me sad that she's having to deal with these types of comments in school. She had a situation where she was picked on for being Chinese 2 years ago on her soccer team. The little boys involved go to her school, but it's another little boy who has made the most recent comments. You know when kids make these types of comments that they have heard it from adults.

While it makes me sad that my daughter has to put up with these types of ignorant comments, I'm glad she's becoming more self confident. Her friend V is VERY self confident and I'm glad that Elise has a buddy in these situations. I'm so proud of how Elise is handling the situation. She's standing up for herself (with V's help) and just staying away from this little boy.

But, when are we going to see a world when people are judged by their character and not their skin color or cultural background?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Those Crazy Critters

The 1st grade classes at Elise's school put on an adorable musical tonight.

Apparently it was put together within just the past few weeks (I only learned about it last week and I'm the type to have things on my calendar MONTHS in advance.)

Here is Elise with her BFF. Now that Elise got her hair cut, folks can tell them apart (I didn't think they looked all that much alike before but I guess the whole Chinese thing threw people off.)

Carson had a soccer game right before the school show. He was hot, sweaty, still wearing his soccer gear, hungry and not so thrilled to be sitting through a 1st grade performance. You can't tell that from his face, though, can you?

I was going to crop this picture, but check out the kid in the GAP shirt...too cute!!! :)

For putting the show together in just a few weeks, the teachers did a terrific job. The songs were fun and the kids did a great job.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I have a confession....

I'm green with envy over my Dad's new camera. Sigh....

The kids had games this morning at the exact same time on two adjoining fields (yeah for us...we were able to sit in the middle and watch both games!) My folks joined us and my Dad brought along his new camera. I love his new camera. It's much like mine, except his doesn't have interchangeable lenses. As much I love being able to put on different lenses, it's bulky and the zoom can get pretty unstable.

I love the zoom on this camera. Do you think Carson is paying more attention to the girls on the sideline or the goal he is guarding?

Elise is really improving in her skills this year. She gets into the game and stays with the pack of girls trying to kick the ball.

I think the girls on the other team were a little jealous that Elise's team got the pink shirts (or maybe it's because her team sponsor is the favorite ice cream joint in town). Check out the stink eye on the girl behind her!

Carson on the sideline watching the game. At least he's not screwing around on the sideline!
Hmmm....Dad is pretty engaged in the game, think he'd notice if I walked away with his new camera?!?

Maybe if Carson sees how his hair looks when he's running, he'll consider a haircut? Probably not but it's worth trying!

Wrong way, Carson!


Elise on the sidelines (taken from quite some distance away...I LOVE this camera!)

Elise and her 3rd BFF. Not her 1st, that'd be Vivian. Can't remember who she said was her 2nd BFF but Abby (above) is her 3rd BFF. Elise and Abby are about the same size (much smaller than most of their classmates) and were both convinced they'd be the only 1st graders to not lose any teeth. Elise's first tooth fell out some time back and Abby's first tooth just fell out a few weeks ago. Phew!

Besides his fashion sense (yes, he's wearing a red Cards shirt with blue plaid shorts), Elise's coach is great this year! Although I think Elise was trying to convince him she was still tired and needed to stay on the sidelines a little longer.
And, darn it, my dad remembered to take that lovely new camera home with him. I was really, really hoping he'd forget it and I'd get to play with it a little longer.