All she needs is a chain around her neck to hold those glasses, a lavender cardigan with appliqued cats, and sensible shoes. And a cracked vinyl, snap-top handbag filled with crinkled Kleenex, cough drops and Life Savers.
Perhaps we shall call her Vera. Or Bernice?
As we walked toward the car, one of her hands clutching my hand and the homework bag in the other, she announced that she now felt exactly like a first grader.
Alas, she never clarified that statement because she breezed right into a detailed description of what her homework bag contained and how she was so excited to bring it home for the first time and what she was supposed to do and where her teacher bought those sparkly glasses and what she was going to do right when we got home.
In other words a fairly typical day around here.
After reading The Looking Book together she adjusted those sparkly looking glasses and headed out to look for five things (she's supposed to have ten, but plans to do five more tomorrow in order to stretch out the adventure). She soon brought in her items and started writing her list.
The instructions specifically stated she had to spell her words herself and to sound out the words as best she could.
I'm curious to find out if y'all can figure out what she saw through her sparkly looking glasses.
(And I'm giving y'all a freebie since it happened to be in the photo and because I'm just sweet like that.)
Here's the fun part, I'm making this into a mini giveaway.
This is the part when you get really excited and maybe fall out of your Laz-Y-Boy.
Just leave a comment with your best guesses of what Annelise saw and I'll draw a random winner Friday night. (Don't worry, you don't need to be correct, the fun is in the guesses).
Hmm? What's that you say?
Oh, yeah, the lucky winner will receive a Starbucks gift card because I am desperate for fall and a pumpkin spice latte.
Let the guessing begin!
I didn't think so.
This morning I woke up about ten minutes before my alarm was about to go off at 5:20, which you know, is delightful. I proceeded to then lie there in bed having a ridonkulous conversation in my head about getting dressed to go for a looooong overdue run (I'm not fooling anyone, probably more like a walk at this point) and then do one of my weight workout DVDs, take a shower, fix hair, do morning stuff and have myself all together when I take Annelise to school because I was going to my first Moms in Touch prayer time (more on that in a minute).
Since I was still prone on my bed, trying to snooze for five, ten, or thirty more minutes, my little conversation soon changed to whining in my head about being self-conscious about running (or walking) after such a long hiatus and little to no self-control when it comes to sweets for the most recent forever, so I switched gears and told myself I would just do my workout DVD. Later.
Why didn't I just get up? Why didn't I just tell my brain to SHUT UP and stop making excuses? Why didn't I just get over myself and tell my jiggly wiggly parts that they're never going to get better if I don't, you know, do something? (ideally more often than once or twice every other week)
I don't know. I gave in to my laziness and my weak excuses that I'd be too rushed and hot after my run/walk/workout to be ready and not be a showered but still overheated sweaty puddle with make-up sliding down my sweaty face at the prayer group.
(I am setting my alarm, again, to try the whole thing again tomorrow morning--and actually follow through. Blog, make me accountable m'mkay?)
However, I was really excited to go to my first Moms in Touch prayer group meeting thingie.
Even though this picture might not exude excitement, I promise I was.
From what I gather, Moms in Touch is a nationwide organization for moms to meet weekly and pray for their children, their teachers and schools. It's a fairly structured time period (there are even hand-outs) for some scripture reading (along a certain theme, today was God is able) and then prayers of praise, confession (that part was silent), thanksgiving and intercession were then offered in a popcorn style format (which basically means every one takes turns, you just pop your prayer in--if you feel like saying it out loud). I guess I was a little slow to warm up since it was my first time, so I mainly prayed silently, but I was definitely uplifted by being there and sharing in the experience. We won't meet next week due to Labor Day, but I plan to go back the following week.
Now that Annelise is in the second week of first grade, it's time for HOMEWORK. Today she brought home a spelling list and a book to read for at least 10 minutes.
She seemed to like meeting The Littles, but they can't top Ramona. She'll also have a homework bag (??) that comes home tomorrow, we'll have a few days to work on it and then turn it in Friday. Who knew first grade would be so tough?!?! (Kidding.) (I think.)
I don't know if you noticed in the previous photos glimpses of the small doll that is accompanying Annelise almost everywhere she goes (except school, she has to wait in the car). That's Jane, the almost American Girl doll Annelise got last year for her birthday. Scott and I are highly amused to see her, um...renew her interest in Jane as a clever campaign tactic to hopefully get a real deal American Doll this birthday.
I missed getting a picture of Jane hanging out the window as we drove around our neighborhood this evening looking at the ongoing development (destruction? progress?), but did catch Annelise.
It's so hard to be in my head sometimes.
Scott is knee deep in the middle of one out of two fantasy football drafts this afternoon. He's having to do the second draft by proxy (thanks J.) since there was a scheduling overlap. Oh the drama. I don't *get* fantasy football, but then again, I don't *get* real football either, but I do attempt to listen and nod at appropriate intervals.
Instead of working in the craft room this afternoon, which requires serious work just to enter the room safely, I decided to blog. Yes, I have perfected the art of avoidance and procrastination.
Annelise was quite the party girl this weekend since she was invited to two birthday parties. One was for a school friend and was after school Friday from 4-6. We'd never been to an after school party before but the timing worked out well. 20-30 kids ranging in ages from baby to first grade descended upon the birthday boy's house in a progressive storm then proceeded to play and partaay for the next two hours. They mainly played outside on the play set and/or trampoline coming in occasionally for AC breaks and food. It was all low key, the only organized game was a pinata, but it all went smoothly. I almost had a birthday brouhaha change of heart. Almost. The birthday boy cracked me up because every so often he had to escape from the chaos of all of his friends by going off by himself in another room for a few minutes for some Serenity Now time.
There was more fun partying on Saturday when Annelise went to celebrate her friends, R. and J. (they're such sweet twin boys) turning four years old.
Lots of fun was had playing party games (along a Peter Pan/lion theme--the boys have varied tastes) and enjoying yummy cake and ice cream. We had a great time!
Today after church and lunch at Panera (just lunch there, not church) Annelise and I popped into Barnes & Noble, otherwise known as paradise, so I could buy Mockingjay after not so patiently waiting all summer for the final installment in the Hunger Games series. I also gave in to Annelise's current obsession, Ramona Quimby. She trailed behind me with her nose in her new book as I wandered the aisles and I had to snap her picture after we checked out. I did make her put it down as we walked across the parking lot since that could be dangerous.
Last year I read a few chapters of Ramona Quimby, Age 8 out loud to Annelise but she wasn't all that interested. Now, after seeing the movie this summer and listening to a few audio CDs of Ramona, Annelise is all. over. it. She can't get enough and I am beyond thrilled to indulge her in all things Beverly Cleary.
I am not 100% sure she is ready to read them on her own, although she thinks she is, so I think we'll try some shared reading at first. It's kind of a challenge right now to find the right level of chapter books for her, ones that aren't too easy or too hard, and ones that really grab her interest. She's a little like Goldilocks. We shuffle through a mix of beginning reader/chapter books, some Junie B. Jones (I know), Magic Tree House and now Ramona. Sometimes she reads in her head, as she says, or we read together depending what it is, then some books I read aloud to her.
Today, while we were in paradise (B & N), we ran into a mom and her daughter from back in our Mother's Day Out Days when our girls were three. Seriously, time flies. The girls didn't really remember each other but did talk about books for a minute. The other girl likes the rainbow fairy series (I keep hearing about them) and so I told Annelise we could look for them.
No way Jose.
As soon as the girl and her mom left, Annelise told me she wasn't interested in reading about fairies at all and only wanted to find Ramona.
I was not so secretly thrilled.
She also asked me if I could stop calling her sweetie when we were public.
This request did not thrill me.
Neither does venturing upstairs into the mess otherwise known as my craft room, but I suppose I have avoided it long enough. If you don't hear from me again, please send help.
It's that time of year again, the time when Annelise's birthday rolls around and Scott and I have the never-ending conversations about having a party with (for?) her church/school friends vs. only having a family celebration.
Yeah, that horse? It's dead. And stinky. There might even be flies.
Last year we did a Star Wars themed party and invited Annelise's friends from church and school. It was crazy. It was fun. I might still be recovering.
This year Scott and I are once again on the party fence. And yes, her actual birthday is one week away. We've talked about having another friend party in our home, possibly with a Scooby Doo themed mystery to solve and we've talked about having her party somewhere like the roller skating rink (but only briefly because it's way too expensive for a large group).
And we can't get fired up about either of those options.
Since she is still so young she doesn't yet have a set, core group of close school friends, she has friends in both first grade classes. Would we invite only her class (12)? Would we invite both classes in order to cover all our bases and not hurt any feelings (24 kids)? Plus her church friends? Where do we draw the line? Is there even a line? Does she have to have a friend party every year? Do some people have buckets of money sitting around in order to throw massive kid parties every year? If we don't have one this year will she be scarred for life? Will we be riddled with guilt?
We don't know.
Aren't we pitiful?
And not the look that says I'm up for mom of the year either.
But she stayed home from school today just in case.
Sometimes it's hard to know, you know? I mean, fever (and 24 hours after), stomach bug, flu, YES, please keep your child at home, but what about a runny nose? A sneeze? A cough? Every time? I don't know, I certainly don't want to perpetuate the petri dish, but sometimes these parental judgment calls are iffy.
So we had a low key day around the house with Kleenex and anti-bacterial gel never far from our side. Remember how I smugly announced our new no TV on school days policy in yesterday's post? I must admit there were moments today that I regretted muttering those fateful words, but I stayed the course with only one small detour. During lunch she got to watch one recorded DVR show and then we shut it off. Guess what? She relinquished the remote with nary a wail or moan. Who knew that cutting back on TV would be, well, I hesitate to say easy since it's only the second day, but not as terrible as I imagined.
However I did stumble upon this sight this morning as I headed to the kitchen for a much needed coffee refill...
How mini-me can you get?
Seems she was researching the bountiful selections over at American Girl.com since her birthday is right around the corner. Even though she keeps updating us daily on the rapid approach of her special day, it hit me today that next Saturday IS in fact almost here and we have yet to do much about that.
Looks like I'm up for mom of the year again.
She has her hopes set on a Just Like Me American Girl doll that looks, you know, eerily like her. However none of the choices have dark brown bobbed hair so she may have to settle for an Almost But Not Quite Just Like Me version. This morning, while doing her research, she made us a helpful list of clothes for her future ABNQJLM doll:
She went on to explain that her doll would need the bow toe flats for church and funerals and the sneakers for playing outside. I'm not sure if the heart dress is formal or everyday attire, she didn't say. This is probably the third or possibly thirteenth list she has made of accessories (she writes them, forgets about them and then they somehow magically disappear), but since the doll clothes cost almost as much as my clothes, I can't promise ABNQJLM will have an extensive wardrobe.
Later on in the day she busied herself in her room while I did my workout. She could not wait for me to drag my sweaty self upstairs when I finished to show me what she had done.
* We are settling nicely back into the groove of school (Annelise is on her fourth day). We have been on time or early each morning (this, my friends, is big); she loves her teacher, her classmates and the whole first grade routine; and we're having earlier dinners (home cooked! by me!) and bedtimes.
* Thanks to Roald Dahl and the vehemence with which he extolled the evilness of television at the end of Charlie in the Chocolate Factory (really throughout the book, but more so after Mike Teevee's unfortunate incident), and the need of parents to, ahem, just say no, we are keeping the TV off during the school week and more limited on the weekends (for her, us, not so much). There, I said it. Now to see if we stick with it.
* Yesterday after school we did some shared reading (she reads a page, I read a page) of a Magic Tree House book, then I read aloud from By The Shores of Silver Lake (in the high hopes we'll actually finish it, we got off track over the summer--hello, TV), we baked cookies, ate supper, she played outside and then it was time bath and bed. She asked once if she could watch a show and I said no and that was that, no moaning or groaning, so maybe, just maybe, this will work.
*I don't always to do so well once I broadcast my intentions and then watch with my head hung in shame as the wheels gradually fall off my no TV/be more organized/eat better/exercise/do crafty things wagon and then hardly ever mention it again on my blog (speaking of which, hiya running, how ya doin'?).
* You could say I've reached an all time blogging low when I post pictures of Annelise blow drying her hair, and you'd probably be right, but she was soooooooo excited to do it herself and I got the biggest kick (and giggles) watching her. So there you go. * You could also say I need to clean off the windowsill of all (or most) of that stuff, and again, you would be right.
* We still can not decide how (if?) to celebrate Annelise's birthday with her school friends. This topic is really deserving of its own post, so I'll just leave you with that tantalizing tidbit for now.
Before you knew it the sun was up, the birds were chirping, and I was still snoozing.
I said good morning to my new teacher Mrs. B. Doesn't she look so nice? I can't wait to get to know her.
"If you read your bible and pray everyday, you'll grow, grow, grow..." That's part of a song our kids at church sing sometimes in their bible classes. Maybe they like it because at the beginning of the song they get down on the floor (fun!) and grow up like a tree as they sing and then shrink ("if you don't read you bible and pray everyday, you'll shrink, shrink, shrink...") and then there's the grand finale of growing up again as the song ends, or maybe they like the simple, pure message of the words, either way, it's a song that's requested often.
The simple words of a children's song can be so powerful can't they? (Throw in hand motions and you've got yourself a HIT!) When the other fluff and chaff is stripped away basic Godly truths become very clear: reading your bible = growth.
Why do I forget that sometimes? (Stomps foot and bangs head against wall.)
For the last few years Annelise has eagerly anticipated the beginning of the Summer Bible Reading Club that our church organizes for kids of all ages and their families where we read certain chapters of the bible between June and August. The kids keep track of their reading progress and get to choose small prizes as they complete each level. This year we read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) and Acts together as a family. The reading plan usually called for two chapters a day to be read in order to finish by the end of summer. We started out on track, then got behind, then got back on schedule, then got waaay behind and had to play serious catch-up as it got down to the wire, but we finished.
We had a back to school potluck lunch after church yesterday and the kids that participated in SBRC got their certificates and medals. WooHoo!! Followed by ice cream. WooHoo!! It's been so wonderful to see Annelise's growth each summer that we've participated in SBRC. In the past Scott and I have taken turns reading out loud and she would follow along (well, maybe that's a stretch, she'd lie in interesting positions on the couch and listen). This year was monumental (at least to me) because she read out loud with us. (!!!) It was so heartwarming to hear her sweet little voice reading God's word (my proud mama's heart burst into a million sparkly pieces each time it was her turn).
Last night after evening services the SBRC kidlets had a little cupcake party to celebrate their accomplishment. They got to frost and decorate their cupcake(s) with various forms of sugar. This was, of course, a HIT.I don't know which was more fun, the decorating or the eating.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say...both!
Am I mysterious?
Huge dangly earrings to add a splash of hip.
Am I cool?
A carefully angled profile shot to imply creativity and depth.
Am I deep?
Hipstamatic camera app and Camera Bag effects to give a retro feel and wash out imperfections.
Am I real?
2. Conveniently located next door to the uniform store is a hair salon (well, I may be stretching the term salon to its upper limits) and our resident little person has been desperately pleading for weeks (especially after we saw Ramona & Beezus) to get her hairs cut. I caved.
I think her hairs came out pretty stinkin' cute, don't you?
Have a terrifical (as Ramona Quimby herself would say) weekend my friends!
Me: Run upstairs and brush your teeth and make your bed while I get your breakfast ready.
Her: Sure Mom.
I then almost over exerted myself preparing her breakfast, what with the opening of two different cereal boxes (we like to do mixes, you know, keep things fresh and exciting), pouring, dabbling on of blueberries, etc. After waiting for what seemed like forever and a week to hear the sound of her making her way downstairs either walking or sliding, you, as a fly, would have heard this (in a slightly louder
Me: Annelise? WHAT in the world are you doing up there? I've been waiting to pour your milk forever.
Her: (Embarrassed silence)
Me: C'mon NOW or your cereal will be soggy.
Her: Oh, it's okay Mom, go ahead and pour it, I don't care if it's soggy. I'm busy getting Luke and Cocoa Bear ready for their wedding.
A short while later you, the fly, could have offered congratulations to the happy couple, greeted their guests (only the heart bear and rabbit, it was a small, intimate affair) and...
enjoyed a light reception brunch of Kix & Cheerios with blueberries and blackberries.
It's what all the cool weddings are serving this summer.
Then do at least 25 repetitions of "We Must...We Musts..." because we all know how effective swinging your arms back and forth can be. Except now we might not want or need those exercises to work, not that they ever really did, but don't tell me you never ever tried. And then burst into a fit of embarrassed giggles.
Was that book always checked of your elementary school library to when you were in sixth grade too? Yeah.
I feel like I have neglected my blog these last several days and am forcing myself to post at least something to help me get over this self-imposed bloggy slump.
Aren't you glad you popped by for a visit?
Part of me didn't want to post anything because a.) nothing was really happening and 2.) a new post would knock the memories of our little central Texas vacay further down on The Blog therefore pouring salt into my wound and forcing me to admit that yes, it's actually over and I can't go back anytime soon.
I seem to be in denial that this is the last full week of summer (really, me in denial, are you surprised?) and next week we Meet the Teacher and Annelise starts first grade next Thursday.
Do y'all ever find yourself stuck in silly conversations with someone about the use of this and next to describe upcoming events because they don't understand what you mean? Some people have apparently loose (misguided?) interpretations of what this and next mean and would say since Thursday has not yet happened one should say next Thursday to signal the verynextone and say the following Thursday or Thursday week for you know, the next one.
A person's head could explode.
Anyway, no matter how you slice it summer IS speeding toward a crashing halt and that means new school shoe shopping, uniform updating (which requires a trip to the uniform store which just might be one of those fiery circles way down south), backpack negotiating (she wants a new one, I'm feeling stubborn), a haircut and all the other necessary back-to-school rituals.
All of which makes me sad and ever so slightly glad at the same time.
After checking into our hotel that evening we made a beeline down the highway to check out a Tex-Mex restaurant (really, are you surprised?) because 1.) it's always time for Tex-Mex and b.) they are building a Chuy's near us and we just couldn't wait to get a sneaky-peaky.
to eat here: