Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fifties Day

Ian's kindergarten has a fun way to celebrate the 50th day of school ... with "Fifties Day." Each child is encouraged to dress like someone from the 50's. The guys have it easy with rolled up jeans and white t-shirts. :) Doesn't Ian look handsome (and SO grown up?!?!)?

Ian and his buddy, Caleb
When Ian got to school, Mrs. Brandenburg had a record of 50's music playing. The children cut out two circles which they glued together to form a nametag that looked like a record. Mrs. Brandenburg then took pictures of each student with the "50th Day of School" sign ... and of groups of students together.

the kindergarten guys -- Drayton, Ian, Nic, Matthew, Boston, Andres, Luke Ben, and Parker

Ian, Parker, and Ava

Meanwhile, many kindergarten mommas (and siblings) were busy decorating the lunchroom to look like a 50's diner. Ryan loved hanging the "wheels" (records) on the wall. When all three kindergarten classes arrived to the lunchroom, it was time for more pictures (of course!).

Ian and Caleb
Mrs. Brandenburg's class (click to enlarge)

another one ... aren't the poodle skirts super cute?!?

final one of Mrs. Brandenburg's class

Then, it was time for the kindergartners to show off the 50's-style dances they had been practicing in P.E. Ian told me he liked all of the dances ("The Twist," "The Mashed Potato," "The Freeze Dance," and "The Hand Jive") except for "The Pony."

"The Twist"

pretending to "swim"

After the kids danced, they all got to sit in the "diner" (the cafeteria tables) to enjoy a root beer float in REAL glass glasses(!). Even after Ian insisted on the way to school that he did NOT like root beet floats, he slurped it down in just a matter of minutes and certainly didn't seem to mind it too much. :)

The teachers and aides paused to take a picture as well. Ms. Tina (the aide in Ian's class) and Mrs. Brandenburg (Ian's teacher) are the ones farthest on the left.

After the root beer floats, the kids went outside for hula hooping and bubble-gum blowing contests and for recess. Even though watching and helping with the 50's Day activities was really fun, watching Ian at recess was even more fun. We still don't hear many details about school, so it's just fun to see him in action. All of the boys in his class got together at recess time to look for acorns that had holes in them. When they found "holey acorns," they stepped on them to remove the grub worms that are inside. They spent most of the rest of recess playing with the grub worms and other assorted bugs that they found. Ian also did a great job of checking in on Ryan and making sure that he was having fun on the playground, too.

Ryan and Sammy had a great time on the playground

Some other, non-50's Day pictures of Ian. The block center seems to be one of his favorites, though we'll occasionally hear about the computer center or LEGO center.

Ian has told me before that Ben "is the best builder in the world. He really is!"

We're so thankful that Ian is enjoying kindergarten and that he has learned so much even in the first 50 days! :)

When Daddy is away ...

A couple of weeks ago, Matt had to go out of town for three days for an administrators' retreat. We really missed him and were really glad to have him return!

While he was away, we planned a few fun things to help the time pass more quickly for all of us.

On Thursday night, I took the boys to a build-your-own fro yo sundae place to celebrate the great parent-teacher conference that we had with Ian's teacher about Ian.  The boys LOVED picking their own toppings and eating their sundaes almost as much as crawling through the holes on the bottoms of the funky orange chairs.

On Friday, Ian didn't have school due to parent-teacher conferences. We met some friends at a nearby park for some playtime. The weather was gorgeous!
Paul, Caleb, Ian (fellow kindergartners)

Ian (jumping off the camel), Elise (in pink), Ryan (in black), Paul (in yellow)

Caleb, Sammy, Paul, Ian

the bench swings were fun!

Sammy and Ryan slid down this slide many, many times. It was cute that Sammy would wait patiently for Ryan to come up the stairs so they could slide down at the same time.

Ian and Paul riding a dinosaur

On Friday afternoon, before we hosted small group that evening, I took the boys to Kroger to choose some pumpkins for our family. Of course, each boy wanted his own shopping cart. Each boy chose two small pumpkins and worked together to choose one big pumpkin as our family pumpkin.

When we got home, we were able to decorate our small pumpkins. Ian wanted to replicate some decorating ideas we had tried out last year. First, the boys hammered some buttons onto their pumpkins with tiny nails.

The boys chose to paint their second pumpkin with tempera paint.

On Saturday, I must've been too tired to remember to use the camera. :) We went to a friend's birthday party in the morning and enjoyed some time with Aunt Chelsea and her dogs in the evening. By late, late Saturday night, Daddy was home so we could all attend church together on Sunday morning! :)

Friday, October 24, 2014

October! :)

In no particular order, here are some random happenings from this month ...

My dear friend, Aliceson, watched Ryan for me while I completed my final evaluation of a student teacher from Concordia University-Texas. Here is Aliceson's son and our Godson (Sammy) and Ryan. Ryan loves spending time with "Ms. Ah-son" and "Yammy" and was asking to see their dog, Annie, here.

 Ryan always reminds us to look for "Yammy" and "Cay-cub" (Caleb) when we're dropping Ian off at kindergarten each morning. Here, the two little ones are having fun keeping their hands in their pockets while in front of the early childhood building.

A couple of weeks ago, we were able to celebrate Aunt Chelsea's birthday (another wonderful perk of living close to them!). Ian and Ryan were thrilled to meet and play with Aunt Chelsea's birthday gift from Uncle Jon -- a new dog named Belle! Ian did an especially good job of being gentle with the puppy.

 Ryan wasn't quite as gentle but certainly loved getting and giving kisses.
 The boys enjoyed singing "Happy Birthday" to Aunt Chelsea.
 She was a great sport and let the boys blow out the candles ...
 ... and even open her gifts for her!
 Happy birthday, dear Chelsea! We love having you both (and your little one on the way) living so close! Thanks for watching our boys a few times lately. We loved our "date night" to see the high school musical and go out to dinner a few weeks back -- thank you! And, Chelsea, thanks for single-handedly watching our two boys and your two dogs while Matt was at parent-teacher conferences and Kim was tutoring this week. Y'all are awesome! Our boys (and we) LOVE you!
 One day this week, we decided to implement an idea Kim saw on a blog -- window paint! We mixed together flour, dish soap, water, and food coloring to make some paint for the windows. The boys loved every part of this activity -- stirring up the "paint," painting the window, and spraying the paint off with a hose at the end. They thought it was hilarious when Momma would go inside and peer out the window and they could paint right where I was peeking through the window. They kept laughing and saying, "You're in a car wash!"

 And the final random occurrence from a few days ago ... this little bird (sparrow?) found its opportunity to come INSIDE our house when Kim left the front door open (for literally only 1-2 minutes)! Ryan thought it was GREAT to have a bird inside and was eager to help me attempt to catch the bird in a box. The bird kept getting away from us but, thankfully, flew back out the front door after not all that long. What an adventure!

The Zoo

A couple of Saturdays ago, we chose to enjoy the beautiful weather by going to the zoo! Before entering the zoo, the boys asked if we could ride the Hermann Park train. We had never done it before and all agreed it would be fun! It was! :)

The engineer (who took our picture) asked Ian to pose as his favorite zoo animal (a lion, I guess). Ryan was NOT impressed by this request. :)
We didn't know that the zoo was celebrating Halloween early by doing a "Zoo Boo" celebration. There were carnival-type games and trick-or-treat stations scattered throughout the zoo in addition to the "regular" animals.

It was a little rainy on the morning that we went, but the animals were still really active. We all loved seeing the baby elephant and watching the elephants eat their hay.

Another part of Zoo Boo was a pumpkin "patch" where each child could choose a pumpkin to decorate. Our boys were thrilled to pick a pumpkin (and took a long time choosing JUST the right one), but neither was interested in decorating them. Instead, we just brought them home and are using them as a table decoration.

We saw a few more animals before eating our lunch and heading home ... bears,
(real AND fake ones),
bats (we're posing outside the "bat cave"),
and the goats in the petting zoo.

It was a fun morning together! :)