Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Back to School

My sweet baby started first grade today. Really?! First grade?! I just cannot fathom how that is even possible. She is beyond excited, though, and I'm happy she's so thrilled. 

Obligatory "cheese face"!


One. 


Two. 


Three!


Sierra got on the bus hand-in-hand with her buddy Hayden. He is just a month older than her and lives right across the cul-de-sac. This year, they have the same teacher, and right now, their desks are alphabetically side by side. We'll see how long that lasts! Sierra tends to be a little chatty.



Headed home with one less child. Kaia will begin her school year in September.




Friday, June 6, 2014

Spring soccer

Spring soccer was played for 6 weeks in March and April. Sierra rejoined her team from the fall with just one substitution. Coach Thomas is great with the girls, and his daughter is one of Sierra's buddies on the soccer team. 


Warm-ups.


Sierra is really starting to show some understanding of the game. She's also starting to keep score on her own. It actually works out because she really likes scoring and as a result, she works hard to make that happen.






On the sidelines, Sierra is ready to go in as goalie next.


And Aurora practices walking with Grandma Diane and Kaia.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Kitty love

Thomas the cat has been part of our family since 2005. His world was rocked when Sierra was born in 2008. Three children later, and Thomas has navigated living with these small humans. He often doesn't even run away. It helps that Aurora loves the kitty and is actually pretty gentle with him. 


He looks a little annoyed, but not annoyed enough to bother giving up his spot on the dog bed.




Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Castlewood hike

We'd been looking forward to exploring some of the outdoor spaces near our new home, and in March, we went on our first hike at Castlewood State Park. 

We began the hike with a greeting from a  bluebird. Definitely a good sign, right. 


This hike was called "River View" or something similar to that, and it was a great hike. From the parking area it climbed up the bluff overlooking the river.


Then we hiked along the bluff with great views of the river and surrounding hills.



Some little overlooks allowed plenty of opportunities to explore.



The girls loved the birds-eye view of the train traveling by below us.


When we finished the upper portion of the hikes, we made our way down a loooong set of stairs and then looped back to finish the hike along the river.


It's really a lot of fun to hike to hike with these girls. We have to allow plenty of time for impromptu exploring. The river was irresistible, and had to be inspected at a closer angle.


A fallen tree had to be climbed (and jumped off).



A hollow in the bottom of a tree needed to be tested for fit.


The girls found themselves some walking sticks. I should have taken a picture of Sierra's first choice. It was well above her head and about 4 times larger around than this one.


First signs of spring. I can't wait to go back and try this hike now that all the trees have leaves.



That evening, we had some post-hike homemade pizzas for dinner. Mmmm ...


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Skating lessons

Sierra took a 6-week session of ice skating lessons this year and really started to get a feel for how to move on the ice. I'm certain she'll be better than me in no time. Of course, that's not saying much since I'm pretty awkward on ice skates. 

There was one little boy in the class that Sierra always seemed to race when the instructor asked the class to move from one place to another. That's Sierra, always full speed ahead!



Kaia, all bundled up. It's COLD in that ice rink. The little girls didn't usual go to the lessons with Sierra and Jason, but this time we did and Kaia found a friend that day. The two of them played, running up and down the bleachers, while their siblings were skating.





They're both winners!


Monday, June 2, 2014

A boy?!

In my family, there are girls. I have two sisters. My sister's first baby was a girl. I have three daughters. 

But this year, Oliver Henry joined us in March. A week later, the girls and I went to visit their new cousin. 


Kaia just loved holding that little baby. She did not want to let go.



I'm guessing with all these girl cousins, Oliver will be a PRO at playing dress up in a couple years!



Oliver with his "little old man" look.


Kaia here has gone from holding the baby to being the "holdee" with some morning snuggles from Grandma Ginger. 


The next day, we went to visit Oliver again at his house and play with cousin Harmony. She didn't get to see her cousins the first time since she was in school.


I tried to get a picture of the "five grandkids" but it's tough getting them all looking at you with pleasant expressions at the same time. It seemed one of them was either crying or smirking or looking away.


Kaia's expression in the next photo cracks me up!




Aurora started giving kisses on request during this trip. "Give me a kiss!" I would say. She would lean over and basically bonk her face into mine. We were both laughing.



And before we headed home, I took a few photos of my little crew because they happened to be dressed in coordinating colors and I couldn't resist.