It's hard to believe the summer is drawing to a close. This definitely hasn't been our 'typical' summer, to say the least, but I think the kids were still able to have a lot of fun the past 3 months. They had a blast at Grandma and Grandpa Call's house in Oregon for 2 weeks. Jake and I spoke to the kids on the phone nearly every day they were gone and it seemed they never missed us. Grandma and Grandpa were just that fun. In fact, it took nearly a week to get them to stop calling me "Grandma." (My mom got a kick out of that!) I had a cute request from Emma a few days before they came home. She asked if I was going to hang up a "Welcome Home!" sign for them, since Jake, my mom, and the kids made one for me when I got home from the hospital. I told her it would be there when they pulled into the driveway, so the night before they came home my awesome friends helped me paint the banner and Wednesday morning I got it taped up and ready for them. (Like the painters tape? We were out of masking tape and (Click below to read more)
Jake had taken the duct tape to scout camp. Then it was a really windy day so I had to tape it to death and hope it wouldn't blow away before the kids got to see it. Luckily, it stayed put.) They got back Wednesday, August 11th, and they were thrilled with the sign. Even Josh knew what it said, and told Jake and I over and over it read "Ben, Emma, Joshie Welcome Hoooome!" (The balloons were a nice touch. Thanks, Kim!)
The day before the kids left for Oregon, Ben was fitted for a spacer. It turns out he has inherited both the Schipaanboord genes and Call genes when it comes to dental stuff... the poor guy. Jake and I noticed a month or two ago that his permanent front tooth was growing in front of one of his baby teeth, and it was starting to happen on the other side, too. The orthodontist said his molars have enough space but his teeth from the incisors in on both top and bottom need more room, hence, the spacer. He will need to keep wearing it for 6-12 months, then will get another one for the bottom, then he will eventually need braces. Ben is doing a great job with it (cleaning it, taking it out to eat, learning to talk with it, cranking it once a week.) He's growing up!
One day out of the summer we take the family to Lagoon, a local amusement park about 20 minutes from our house. Jake's brother, Ryan, has a work day with his company and they let any employee, their family, and extended family come. The discounted tickets are great (half the price of a regular ticket), and we try to get as many of Jake's family to come as we can. We had a blast again this year. Ben, Emma, and Josh were in heaven. Emma was just barely tall enough to go on basically any ride, and she did. Jake took Ben and Emma on Wicked, the ride that shoots up into the sky, then straight down, and it curves upside down and all around. I was worried Emma might be sobbing by the end of it, but nope, she was all smiles, admitting it was "a little scary." Josh loved the kiddie rides and had no problem going on most of them by himself. Ben loved spending the whole day with his cousins. Kaden (11) and Kimball (8) are his "best friends" and he always looks forward to seeing them. Emma adores Hannah (7) and Isabelle (4), and Josh loves them all.
Top of the ferris wheel.
Emma with Grandma Schipaanboord, and new baby cousin Hadlee (Pete and Mal's daughter.)
We had a great time with the Schips and can't wait to do it again. As we were leaving the park Ben looked back and said "Bye Lagoon. We will see you next summer!" (He's already counting down.)
Last Monday for FHE our good friends, the Tribe's, invited us to Willard Bay to go boating. The kids had never been tubing on a boat before so I wasn't sure how they would handle it. Ben took to it like a fish in water. Emma was a little timid at first but quickly got the hang of it and never wanted to stop. Even Josh loved getting on the tube and protested when we made him get off. We had such a great time. Thanks Tribes for inviting us!
Ben being a daredevil, acting like he's surfing.
Emma wanting to get in on the action.
Ben, Emma, and Abby Tribe
Now this brings us to the present. Today was the 1st day of school! You can tell who was the most excited about it. (I actually think Ben was more excited but he had to hold back and be cool. That's what 2nd graders do, you know.)
Ben and Emma were full of energy this morning, trying to eat their breakfast as fast as they could, then brush their teeth and pick out their outfits. We had to take the annual "1st day of school" pictures outside. Josh didn't want to be left out so he put his Spiderman backpack on and posed with his brother and sister. He kept telling me "Ben, Emma, and Joshie go to school." (Boy, this is going to be a hard year for him, being left out of this. How do you tell a 3 year old that staying at home with mom is cool?! Hopefully the gym daycare for 1 1/2 hours is enough for him to feel sort of like he's away at school. We'll see.)
No, my boys are not flashing gang signs. Ben likes to throw peace signs in his pictures. (Don't ask me where he learned that.) And of course Josh has to be like his big brother.
Ben with buddies Kaden and Elliott, right before the 1st bell rang.
Emma, so excited for kindergarten.
And Josh, thinking he is going to school, too.
Emma was the first one to walk into her classroom this morning. She loved finding her own nametag on the table, and talking with her teacher, Mrs. Armknecht. Ben had the same teacher for kindergarten and we all think she is wonderful. We were so happy when we found out Emma was getting her this year.
We also lucked out by having three of Emma's really good friends in the same class. (They are all in the same church class, too.)
And you're probably wondering where the pics of Ben are in his classroom? Well, Ben was pretty adamant about getting situated by himself. Jake was there helping him get settled while I was helping Emma and I guess Ben felt like he was fine and sent Jake away. Hard to believe he is getting so old! (At least he still lets me kiss him and give him big hugs. Have to hold onto that as long as I can!)
And that's it for the Schip's. Until next time...