Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Eli's 1st Day of School

In our area there is a wonderful preschool that I have seriously looked forward to Eli going to since he was born. My good friend Nicki's little boy, Jonah, attended it when they lived here and it was so good for him. We know a lot of other kids who have gone through the program, too, and their parents all raved about how great it was. The first class they have is a toddler class for kids 12-24 months. Because of Eli's birthday,we couldn't start until this September right when he's about to be 2. Nicki pointed out to me the other day, that Jonah finished his first year of preschool at the age Eli is going to start. WOW! Crazy how that birthday stuff plays into a kids academic career.

Last spring, I called and got Eli's name on the waiting list for his class this year. Since the program is so great I knew I better be an early bird and get his name on the list before it started to fill up. We filled out his application in, sent in his registration, and patiently waited during the summer for more information about when his school would officially start.

The weekend we got back from our Labor Day vacation in Arkansas there was a letter from his preschool waiting for us. YAY! Inside the letter was his first supply list and details about parent orientation and other information about the school. As a school teacher I already get giddy in the summer when stores start to put out their school supplies. Can you imagine how giddy I got about Eli's first supply list? Total geek alert! I went out immediately and bought all the supplies :) The supplies proudly sat in our house for the rest of the summer.

Eli's 1st school supplies :)

Now our only problem was how to get him to preschool. Pretty big problem for us considering Josh and I both work and his preschool started at 9:00 and ended at 12:00. We tried everything we could think of and were able to work it out so that Josh could pick him up at 12, but we still needed to find someone to take him to preschool. Literally the week before school started, we found someone. I called Nicki and let her know that we were thinking about pulling Eli out of the program because we didn't have a way to get him there and she mentioned that Mrs. Cathy, the wife of Nicki's old boss, might be able to help us. She lived in our town and would be going by Eli's preschool on her way to work. She called her for us and Mrs. Cathy said she would love to help us! YAY! We were so excited!!!

A week before school, Josh and I went to Parent Orientation and met Eli's teachers, talked to the parents of his other classmates, and got to see his classroom. His classroom was SUPER CUTE! Everything was so neat and organized. We knew he was going to have so much fun once he started. Did I take pictures? No! What was I thinking??? Sorry, I'll have to take some on those special days I get to go up there with him.

The Wednesday after Labor Day was Eli's first day of school. Josh and I took the morning off so we could take him to school on his first day. We also called Mrs. Cathy to come with us because we wanted to introduce her to his teachers since she'd be doing the drop off in the mornings.

Wednesday morning, Eli woke up in a great mood. After a hearty breakfast of eggs, yogurt, and half a biscuit we got him ready for school. We kept telling him that Mrs. Cathy was going to come over and we were all going to go to Eli's new school.

Cathy came by the house Tuesday before school started so she and Eli could meet. They hit it off right at the start and were best buds by the time she left. When she came to the house Wednesday morning, Eli was very excited to see her again.

We went out to the cars to load up and Eli decided he wanted to ride with Cathy to school that morning. He let her get him buckled in completely before deciding that he wanted to ride with Mommy and Daddy instead.

We arrived early so we had time to take a few pictures of our big boy going to school.

I LOVE this picture of Josh, Eli and Cathy.
So sweet!

Hi, Mama! I'm ready for school!

Me with my big boy. I can't believe he's starting school!

The door to Eli's classroom. He loves the guitar so I thought it was very fitting

He saw his classroom and all the toys in there and immediately wanted down. He waved his hands to us and said, "Bye, Mama!" and walked right in and started to play. I thought I'd be able to take more pictures than this but shortly after this picture he realized that Mama, Daddy, and Cathy weren't coming with him and the waterworks started :(

He didn't cry very long though and when Josh went to pick him up his teachers told him that he'd had a great day. His daily report card even said so! I was so happy to hear that good news! I am already looking forward to all the fun he's going to have, all the things he's going to learn, and how much he's going to grow this year. It's going to be lots of fun!

Arkansas Vacation

Over Labor Day break, Josh, Eli and I headed to Arkansas with Josh's family to celebrate Mamaw and Papaw's birthdays. In lieu of buying them things they really didn't need, we decided to take a vacation together as a whole family and spend a few days bonding, relaxing, playing games, eating good food, and having lots of fun! We arrived late Friday night, so I wasn't able to take many pictures then, but the next morning I began :)

Our lodging area was really nice. We rented out the entire site since we had so many people with us. It was nice to be able to spread out and not be cramped together.

The view from the back of our cabin
Strangely enough I didn't get a picture of the cabin from the front

House where Brian, Jeff, Shane and Sara stayed

Sleeping quarters for Ariane and Peyton

The main house had lots of people in it...Lisa and Reggie, Jordan and Addi, Mamaw and Papaw, Sue, David and Lisa, and Allison.

We knew before we even got there that this weekend was going to be one completely geared towards Eli. We knew that he'd want to be outside pretty much all day and that's what we planned on. Saturday morning he woke up bright and early as always and after eating a quick breakfast of yogurt we went "ow-side." The weather was simply perfect-zero humidity, zero mosquitoes, perfect for sitting around and relaxing. We were so very thankful!

Eli and Peyton were best buds over the weekend. They hung out from the moment they got up until they went to bed at night, with the only exception being nap time. Eli just adores "Pate" and loves to be around him and Peyton is so sweet with Eli. I'm so glad they had each other this weekend!

Sitting around like two old men talking about the weather...ha ha.

Eli's first powdered donut. He liked it a lot!

Two peas in a pod!

This is what our whole weekend was about-the entire family being together and spending time with each other. It was so nice to have everyone here!

Peyton and Eli couldn't sit still long, so they were always on the hunt for something fun to do. They had lots of fun chasing this motorcyle around and around this tree. Eli thought it was hilarious when the motorcycle would accidentally hit his's the little things in life!

Pretty soon, they tired of chasing the motorcycle and decided to go on a nature walk with Sara to the fish pond to see the fish and frogs.

Around lunch time everyone changed into their swimsuits and headed to the lake for some swimming. The water wasn't cold, but the beach part of the lake was really rocky. I was so worried that Eli was going to fall and hit something, but thankfully he didn't. The lake and the surrounding scenery were beautiful!

My two little fish :)

The people who weren't brave enough to get in the water...WIMPS!

Addi made her lake debut in her pink swimsuit, pink hat, and pink sunglasses. Isn't she just the cutest thing you've ever seen??? I love this little girl so much! She is the most content and laid back baby I've ever seen. I am so thankful that God brought this little girl into our family. She's been such a blessing! We all fight over who is going to hold her and I got lucky on this particular day :) She LOVED the water! She's going to be right there with Eli and Peyton before we know it.

Josh couldn't stand the fact that I got to hold her more than he did, so he took her out into the water with the big kids. She loved it there even more. I guess he gets the cool points because he went into deeper water than I did. Can you tell Josh likes her just a little bit?

While Josh had Addi, Eli and I decided to make a rock pile on the beach. There were SO many rocks, so we had to do something with them. Eli used great precision in getting his rock pile to look just right.

We left the beach and headed back to the cabin for some much needed rest. Since I was on vacation, I made sure to take a nap with Eli every day. It was so nice to be able to sleep and cuddle with my little buddy. We woke up refreshed and ready to go. Every time Eli woke up from a nap, he'd say, "Get up, Mama. Go ow-side!" He and the great outdoors were a great combination.

Josh and Shane cooked burgers for us that night for the LSU game and everyone put on their LSU attire to cheer on their favorite team. While they were cooking the burgers, Eli, Peyton, and Buzz, who went everywhere with those two boys, practiced blowing bubbles.

Josh and Lisa Brown

I don't know who won the game, but I do know that this little girl was a cute little tiger :)

Addi and Jordan

She just melts my heart!

After the burgers, we sang Happy Birthday to Mamaw, Papaw, Sara and Allison. They all had birthdays before we came and we wanted to celebrate those!

The birthday gang

Sunday morning Josh, Shane, David and Brian went to play golf, so Lisa, Allison, Jeff, and I decided to go have some fun, too. Jeff and Brian brought four kayaks with them to Arkansas so they could kayak on the lake every day. The day before Jeff, Brian, Ariane and Jordan had kayaked around the lake. I'd always wanted to kayak and now I had my chance! Jeff was a great teacher and was very patient with us. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be and I'm glad I got to do it. Thanks, Jeff!!

Lisa and Allison getting ready to kayak

There we are! I'm in the one at the top of the picture all the way to the right.

We came back and after another glorious nap, Eli and I woke up to the family playing tailgate golf. It was probably the most played game during our family weekend and it got pretty competitive, too!

That night our group split up to do several different activities; some went to play miniature golf, some went kayaking, some stayed at the cabins, and some went to the beach again. We decided to do the beach again, but after we got there we kind of regretted that decision. The water was SOOO much colder than it was the day before and Eli and I didn't enjoy being in the water at all. Eli and Peyton decided that playing in the sand was much more fun than freezing in the cold lake water.

Look at the difference in their skin! Eli is so white and Peyton is so tan!

We got back to the cabin and it was family picture time :) I was the self-designated photog in the group, so I made it a point to take a picture of each family that was there (except for my did that happen???)

Allison, David, and Lisa

Shane and Sara

Shane, Sara, and Brian

Lisa and Reggie

Peyton and Ariane

Mamaw and Allison

Mamaw and Lisa

We all woke up the next morning and loaded up our cars to go home. The weekend was a success! We had so much fun and I'm so glad we were able to do this! I am already looking forward to when we can do it again!

Peyton and Eli showing they're all ready to go home!

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