Tuesday, August 30, 2016

They're Back To School(!)

In all seriousness, I do enjoy having the kids around for our fun summer shenanigans.  But, everyone around here also loves school, momma was managing a part-time job and a house remodel with kids home all the time, and I think we are all glad to be back in a good routine.

Palmer started Kindergarten last week and absolutely adores it.  He was incredibly ready and excited to get to the big school and meet his teacher and friends.
 

We are loving the commute around the corner- within walking, biking, or scootering distance.  (And yes, the requested yellow shirt for kindergartners killed my heart for our beloved first day photos.  Priorities, people.)
We got lucky that two other boys from Palmer's preschool class are in his new class along with a soccer buddy.  We felt pretty prepared with a lot of familiar faces at all of the kinder events leading up to the first day.
Thumbs up all around...
Meanwhile, Grace was miserable during the one week between Palmer starting and her school starting the following week.  At Grace's "Meet The Teacher" event, she insisted that she needed to stay.  "I go school NOW, mommy!"
Finally, Grace got her turn.
Front yard pictures:

Um, did Palmer teach her how to smile like this??
Palmer had a few specific shot requests at his old preschool.  He was sad he couldn't take her to school (she starts later in the morning) and carefully instructed me on where I should take pictures of Grace...
Grace walked right on in as if she owned the place...
-Bethany

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wrapping Up Summer

We are winding down summer over here and I'm torn between sad about Palmer entering the official school days with Kindergarten starting next week and excited about everyone getting into a fall routine.

Popsicles in the park for the incoming kinder class:
We've had a packed summer of trips, camps, and water fun to beat the Texas heat.

Warning: this post is going to be all over the place and its sole purpose is to post a bunch of pictures/memories for when I print this blog at the end of the year for the kids' baby kid books.
One of my favorite summer memories was kayaking on Town Lake in Austin while we were down for Horseshoe Bay.  The kids far exceeded my expectations and Palmer worked hard paddling up front while I brought up the rear.

Grace was given a small paddle and mostly dropped it into the lake forcing Palmer and I to work hard to turn the kayak around and retrieve it.  We encouraged her to paddle "in the boat" as much as possible!
All summer, Palmer and I have been working on chapter books.  It's so much more fun to read a new chapter every night instead of the same ole picture book.  We picked Roald Dahl's BFG in anticipation of the big screen release.  I loved the prize of finishing and taking Palmer to see the movie.
Meanwhile, Ms. Grace is really coming into her own with water exploration.  She started the summer a little unsure of the pool and is now very interested in swimming underwater and jumping off of the diving board or side of the pool.  She has NO idea how to come up for air, so I need to remember to put her in swimming lessons this winter.  (It may or may not have NEVER crossed my mind last year.  Second child.)
video
I wish I had gotten more pictures from the weekend my sister came into town.  She gave me the best Christmas present ever last year: tickets to the Dixie Chicks.  We fell in love with the live performance TEN years ago and it was so kinda weird to think about all that had happened since our last Dixie Chicks concert.
I taught VBS this year.  Art, actually.  I don't like crafts.  So, that went well... BUT, I loved how excited Palmer was about seeing me during the 30-minute art rotation.  THAT made it worth it.
I have no pictures to document this event.  The church scared me at orientation about getting our phones out during VBS hours.

So...moving on...
We ended the summer with a FABULOUS getaway with momma friends and kids.  My friend and former nighbor, Kathryn, opened her lake house to the kids and I and another family.  The house is in the hill country and near a town with a rock climbing gym.  All six of the older kids (everyone but Grace) went to rock climbing camp in the mornings.  


The minimum age for camp was 7, but when I called to register Palmer, nobody seemed to question his age of 5.  Midweek, the instructor remarked to me, "Your son is 5.  How did you get him in?"  I played dumb and acted like I was so surprised.  Score for the Jordan family because Palmer loved rock climbing and made huge strides.  The instructor said he had no problem blending with the other kids and his only challenge was not having the height to get some of the taller rocks as he climbed.

Abigail, always the sweet coach and big sister to Palmer:
The kids spent the afternoons napping, swimming, mountain biking, and hiking.  A few thoughts: 1) I'm only vacationing with families with older kids from here on out.  (Besides my kids, the others were ages 7-13). Older kids are amazing.  They entertain and take care of the younger kids.  It felt like my first break all summer.  Grace didn't lift a finger the entire week.  Waiting children took care of her hand and foot.  She had a rude awakening upon re-entry to Dallas...
2) Intense activity levels equals very tired kids.  The trip couldn't have been more perfect.
 
 
Couple all of that with evening Olympic watching and we were pretty satisfied.
We're savoring this last week of summer and already turned our conversation topics to things like Halloween and Christmas(?!).  C'mon FALL!
 -Bethany

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

House Update


We are making progress on plans for remodeling the master bathroom.  I am hoping to demo within the next month after I make a final selection on floor and wall tile (this bathroom is a tad trickier than the last one).

But, I did want to show two simple updates.

First, we are slowly going thru the house piece by piece and making decisions on which brick stays/goes and which wood trim stays/goes.  Once we've eliminated all of the desired brick and trim, we will then decide if the brick gets painted and if the trim gets re-stained.

In the area below, I decided there were too many textures going on between the awesome bathroom wallpaper, the bathroom tile and the brick wall.  So, a nice new layer of drywall went over the brick wall.  (The brick floors will become hardwood floors in a later project.)
BEFORE:
AFTER:
Also, we got official architect/construction drawings for the kids bedrooms.  Their current closet nooks were supposed to be transformed into bedrooms earlier this summer.  We hit a contractor snafu and pushed that project back.  However, look at these drawings!  We will have such a nice dormer over the long roofline on top of the garage.
I hope to update with master bathroom progress soon!

-Bethany