Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A teacher's note

Dear Jacob,
I wanted to share a little something with you. On your third day of 1st grade, your teacher, Ms. Lewis sent me an email with the following words:

"I don’t think I have ever met a sweeter young man than Jacob. He has such a helper’s heart and can be counted on to get his work done. I love it when he smiles and is excited about learning. You should have seen him today when I taught them how to pick books…he was sooooo excited to get to choose them and not be told what he had to read. I am looking forward to our year together!
Have a great evening!"
Ms. Lewis J

Daddy and I are SO proud of you. It makes my heart so happy and full to hear such amazing, wonderful things said about you. I am truly blessed that God chose ME to be your mom!
I love you my sweet boy!

Monday, August 27, 2012

1st day of 1st grade

Day one of 1st grade...check!

It was a great day for Jacob. I was a little concerned when he started crying Sunday night about being scared to go to school. He ALWAYS enters new situations with much caution. We met Ms. Lewis on Friday at meet-the-teacher which seemed to help him some. She is wonderful. She has been teaching for 20+ years and is so kind, gentle and caring. She called Jacob on Sunday to let him know she was excited about their first day together and couldn't wait to see him. What a special way for her to reach out to her students. Despite the tears Sunday night, when he woke up Monday morning he was in a great mood. He never cried, never complained about having to go and only said "I'm nervous about school today."  Once we talked through it he seemed better. He was a great sport through the pictures and I was so proud of him for having a good attitude despite being nervous about the unknown of the day ahead. Huge progress from this time last year! :-)
1st day of Kinder- 2011- look at that baby face!
1st day of 1st- 2012- look at that big boy face!

He chose a dinosaur backpack and a Mario lunchbox this year. 

The cool dude pose- 2012

The cool dude pose- 2011

And what would pictures of Jacob be without a silly one?? He just can't help himself!

Doesn't he look much more comfortable in this sitting position? He said he needed a break from all the pictures! Lol!



Big man on campus

Jacob and Ms. Lewis

It turns out Ms. Lewis loves Disney. So much so that she has Mickey ears and other Disney characters as part of her classroom decorations. At meet-the-teacher, Jacob shared with her that we too love Disney. She told him that she would love to see some picture from our trip. So I printed off a couple over the weekend and he was able to show her the pictures before school started. She asked him if he would share those with the class later. I think it made him feel special! :)

Welcome to Ms. Lewis' Magic Kingdom of Learning!  

Play-Doh was the first activity of the day.

This is the same book that we read the night before. He recognized it right away in his classroom. 

A little gift on the eve of his first day!

One big difference this year is the students sit at desks instead of tables. A fun change for them! When we were walking out I looked back and he was happily playing with his Play-Doh. I'm so thankful we could leave and feel good about the drop off. I felt great and was just so excited for him. I knew he had a great day ahead of him. 
Jim and I were both so thrilled to see this plaque on one of Ms. Lewis'
book shelves-makes my heart smile!
"I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me"
Philippians 4:13
Good for Ms. Lewis for having the courage to display this in a public school! Makes me like her even more!!

When we got home he was very eager to show me a few things from his backpack.

Sweet guy was tired after school! Once he rested for a bit, he was ready to go and enjoyed playing with Luke and Sarah for the rest of the afternoon. I think they missed each other! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

End of Summer

I don't know about you all, but we have been packing in lots of end-of-summer activities these last few weeks. With school starting August 27, we have been taking full advantage of our last summer days together. Our last few weeks have included:

~a trip to Chuck E Cheese (the boys LOVE it there)
~play time at the park with friends
~several mall play dates
~kid swap with Jackie and her boys
~made and decorated cookies
~practicing baseball with Jacob at the baseball fields (he loves his baseball)
~Jacob and I had a "date" and went to the movies and saw Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dog Days and are        now reading the book together.
~back to school haircuts for the boys
~swimming at our neighborhood pool
~special trip to get new tennis shoes for the boys
~special trip to pick out new backpacks and lunch boxes
~playing the Wii (we downloaded the old Super Mario Bros, you know the one we played as kids. The boys think it's so cool that I used to play that one so they have been asking me to play with them.)
~I decided to take the kids to Legoland in Grapevine one day and we had a great time. Jim and I tried to do it one weekend but the timing just didn't work out. The boys had so much they didn't want to leave. Here are a few pictures: (sadly my camera is about to go kaput so I have only a few pictures taken with my phone.)

No fear. No fear. 

The boys spent over an hour building and racing their race cars. I had to drag them away from the track to do some other things. 

Jacob has been asking me, practically all summer long, if they could have a lemonade stand. The real deal not just a pretend one. I've put him off several times because honestly it's been too hot to sit outside and I haven't quite had the energy to pull it all together. But since the weather has cooled off a bit, I thought we should do this before school started back. They were so excited when I told them we could do it this weekend. Once we got it all ready, I sent out a text to all of our Prosper friends giving them a heads up. We don't get a lot of traffic on our street so I was worried we wouldn't have many customers. However, it ended up being a great success and the boys had fun doing it all.

The boys helping make the sign. I wrote the letters in pencil and the boys traced them with our paint markers...with a little help from me of course! :)

Making the poster board with the price.
Lemonade .50
Brownies .50

First official lemonade stand. 

Every time I turned around they were either drinking the lemonade or eating the brownies. :)

Luke and their friend, Matthew who came to get some goodies. 

Counting the total...$26.00. Not so sure I ever made $26 at one of my lemonade stands when I was a kid, or even came close. Everyone was so generous. Letting the boys keep the change and several people stopped by and just donated money. One lady gave them $5 just because. So nice. 

Whew! It's been a busy last few weeks. I have some great memories with my sweet kiddos. We've had a great summer. Part of me hates to see the summer come to an end but the other part of me is ready to get back into a routine, get everyone back on schedule and prepare for the next phase of life...a 1st grader, a Pre-K4 boy and an energetic 2 year old! Thank you Jesus for my amazing family, my amazing children and the precious time I get to spend with them! Love. Love. Love!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Week In Houston

A few weeks ago, the kids and I made a road trip to Houston to see my sister Kyla and her family. My sister Kristina and her kids also went. We had a super fun week and we enjoyed the extended time together. We had lots of great activities planned for the kiddos. We got there Tuesday afternoon and after dinner at Kyla's we took the kids to her neighborhood park so they could run off some energy since they had been sitting all day.

Look at those sweaty kiddos! Mission accomplished!

On Wednesday, we took the kids to the Children's Museum in downtown Houston. It was a great place and the kids had a blast. Annie had a doctor's appointment so she and Kristina were only able to stay for a bit.

Joseph resting while the other kids played. 

One of the favorites was a grocery store where they could act as the cashier. 

Playing in the news station.

Energy experiment

Shopping in the grocery store

Gracie loves, loves, loves playing with Sarah. They were playing in the vet's office and Sarah had a hard time parting with the stuffed animals she found. 

Building time

Fun day!

That night for dinner, Aunt Kyla had all the fixings for the kids to make their own pizzas!

Thursday we went to the Memorial City mall and enjoyed the super fun castle play area. I have never seen a mall play area quite like this one and all seven kids had a blast! Thankfully, the security guard at the entrance let Jacob and Gabriel in despite the fact that they were a bit above the height limit. We got lucky on that one. They would have been so sad to miss out on the fun. After the play area we went to lunch and actually were brave and went into one store with all the kiddos. 

Joseph is sixteen months now and had a great time exploring everything.

Later that afternoon, we took the kids swimming at the pool in Kyla's neighborhood. Which is wonderful I might add. Great splash pad, huge baby pool and a beach entry pool complete with a twisty slide and a lazy river.

On Friday, my parents and Jim came into town as well and we all headed to Schlitterbahn in Galveston.  I was a little hesitant on the idea of going to a big water park with so many little kids but it turned out to be a great day. The weather was not hot, it was not crowded and the kids had a blast. We packed snacks and lunches at Kyla's and were able to have a little picnic lunch there by the pool. I was impressed with how many areas they had for the small kids.  I realized I didn't take too many pictures here. Toting our camera around the water park just didn't happen! :)
The pirate ship was a big hit with all the kids, especially the little ones. 


Me with Sarah, Annie and Luke in the background. 

Perfect for the little ones!

We left Schlitterbahn around dinnertime and found a Mexican restaurant on the main strip in Galveston to stop at for dinner. Jim, Dad and Michael ended up trying the Coronarita. A margarita with a Corona in it. They all seemed to like it.

On Saturday, Kristina and crew had to leave and Mom, Kyla and I went out for a girls lunch to Cafe Express and pedicures afterwards. It was a fun day and we all enjoyed being able to talk and catch up without any interruptions from our little people. :)

The final product! 
While we were gone, the boys had kid duty and were also smoking all different meats for dinner that night. We had quite the tasty feast. We also celebrated my birthday that night with a delicious ice cream cake!
The boys also enjoyed several games of Dominoes. 

And of course we had to have horseplay before bedtime!

I have to share this sweet story about Luke while we were there. He was playing in the entry way by the front door and started yelling for me to come over to him so he could show me something. He seemed so excited about something so I walked over there. He then said, "Mommy, mommy look. It's a rainbow. It's a promise from Jesus that he has GP"(Grandpa Eckel that died in June). We all heard him say it and we were all speechless and teary-eyed. It's amazing, truly amazing the innocence of children. I have no doubt Jesus was sending us all a little message through our sweet Luke. Bless his sweet, sweet heart.
The kids loved sitting all together in their big comfy recliner.

Thanks Kyla and Michael for a wonderful week and weekend. We had a great time  and appreciate you hosting all of us! Thanks for making my birthday so special as well. We have to do this again soon! Love you guys!