Sunday, August 31, 2008

Labor Day Trip to Texarkana

Saturday morning we headed to Texarkana for a quick trip. The little ones had not seen our family in Texarkana since Christmas, so this trip was long overdue! My mom and Caleb met us there.

When we arrived at MoJo's and Wister's house Grancie and Uncle Caleb were already in the pool, so the little ones wanted to hop right in! Carson LOVES playing with his Uncle Caleb!

I always forget to pack something, and this time I forgot to pack the girls swimsuit and swim diapers, so they swam in the nude. Their Mommy did this all of the time when she was their age in that exact same pool. I was told to compare pictures by more than one family member! ; )

Anytime that Grancie is swimming the little ones know they are in for a fun time! Here Grancie is getting ready to slide with Ella Cate! They did this 1,000 times!!

Mo with her grand kids (minus a few) and all of her great grand kids

The girls had a picnic on Mo's floor. She made them chicken and dumplings and vegetable stew in paper cups...gotta love MoJo! ; )

Later that evening in pursuit of a somewhat healthy meal, Sam and I headed to good ole' Central Mall in Texarkana to eat at Chik-fil-A. After eating we shopped around a bit, and the little ones had to get a cookie...of course! Cade stayed back at Mo's house to play with his cousin Emily.

Ellie happily playing with the prize machine at the mall.

Sunday morning MoJo prepared the kiddos (along with Emily) a yummy breakfast

Before we left MoJo took Carson for a ride on the 4-wheeler. They went back to Uncle Jame's property to see his pig pens. This is just what MoJo took me to do so many times as a young girl! I have so many happy memories with her and Wiss at their house!

After their ride we headed back home. We had a great time visiting!! The kids LOVE being in Texarkana!

Congrats to My MoJo!

For those who know me well you know that MoJo is my grandma. I named her back when I was 2, and to this day that is what EVERYONE calls her. Long story, but at that time in my life I am told that I loved to rhyme things, so since her first name is Jo I decided to call her MoJo to fit into my rhyming scheme. Hearing her called the name that I gave her for all these years has been very very special!
Anyway back to the point of this MoJo has not had 1 cigarette for the past 10 weeks. I know that she won't mind me sharing this because she is very proud of this accomplishment. She began smoking in her early teens, and did not stop until 10 weeks ago. She had a health scare earlier this summer, and she made the decision to quit smoking. We are all so proud of her! I love you Mo!!

Meet the Teacher Night at CLC

Last Thursday night CLC (a.k.a. Children's Learning Center...a.k.a. the little ones' preschool) had their meet the teacher night. The kids knew early on Thursday morning that they were going to get to go to their school and see their new classrooms and visit with their teachers. Technically they all know their teachers that they are going to have this year. The girls' teachers from last year are moving up with them, and Carson's teacher has watched him before during my teacher inservice weeks. Anyway, they were excited all day about going to "my 'cool" as Miss Emmy and Miss Ellie say. Upon arrival into the church parking lot the excitement could still be felt as Carson bragged to the girls that his school was taller than theirs. We snatched a great parking spot and headed into the front doors. When we arrived in the lobby Miss Emma Claire broke into full blown bawling. I picked her up trying to calm her down as Ellie and Carson followed behind. We made our way to Carson's classroom as Emmy's howling continued, mind you I am at "Meet the Teacher Night" by myself as Sam attended Cade's 2 and a half hour football practice! My shoulder was wet with Emmy's tears and sweat as I screamed to ask Ms. Norma a couple of questions. We then headed to Emma and Ella's classroom where we were greeted by their teachers who I adore. The screaming ensued as Carson and Ellie began to play with the fun toys that were out. I decided at this point to make a run to the van to get Emmy's Raffi...maybe he would calm her down so that I could visit with her teachers and she could get familiar with her classroom. As soon as we exited the church Emmy girl stopped crying. We had a little pow-wow at the car where I told her that she was not staying at the school today, but we were just visiting for a few minutes with her teachers. All was well until we entered the front doors of the building. I yelled over howls to inform Miss Alicia that the girls no longer had pacis, while I would have given pretty much anything to be able to stick a passy in my girls mouth at that moment. We then told the teachers goodbye and made a quick exit. I guess it was just a little overwhelming for Emmy. Hopefully Tuesday's drop-off will be a little easier...I'm a little afraid though because today when I was talking with her about school she informed me that she was going to bite her teacher...I'll keep you posted!
The picture at the top was taken when we went out to the van to get her lovey Raffi...Emmy's (in the middle) face tells it all!

Leaving "Meet the Teacher Night"...Ellie is showing off her goodies from her teachers.

Carson is VERY excited about starting school. His favorite buddies Ethan and Ashlyn are in his class!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This Is The Way The Stewarts Sleep....

In our house sleep is for the weary!
Since the girls have moved to "big girl beds" Sam and I have had a lot of trouble getting them to go to sleep. On an average night it takes them about an hour and a half to fall asleep from the time that we actually tuck them in. During this hour and a half they are getting out of their beds, taking books off of their bookshelves, laughing, talking , singing, opening and shutting their door, going in their brothers' room, and doing anything but laying down and trying to go to sleep. Sam and I have tried all sorts of things to get them to stay in their beds, but we haven't found anything that works just yet. We are hoping that next week when they start school they will be so wiped out in the evenings that they will just crash when we tuck them in bed!
Here are some pictures that I took the other night after these little wild girls FINALLY conked! I laughed so hard when I walked in to find Miss Emmy Claire asleep sitting up! Just look at her!

Emmy Claire hanging tight to "Raffi" and "Purpely". My Nana made the girls purple satin blankets a.k.a. "Purpely" when they were tiny. Purpley is always in tow around bedtime!

On this particular night Ella Cate fell asleep in her bed. However other nights I have found her asleep on the floor.

Carson goes to sleep fairly easy as long as he is allowed to sleep with the toy of his choice.

This particular night he chose to sleep with his Bumblebee Transformer, and some other random McDonald's toy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cade's 1st Day of 4th Grade

Today was Caden's first day of 4th grade. He has made his way up to the grade that I teach! Time has truly flown as I have watched him move up in the ranks of our elementary school. Even though I will not teach him any subjects it is just really cool having him in the room next door, and knowing he is being taught by people I know so very well! Mrs. Morgan (our team leader) is his homeroom teacher, he has Mrs. Bogard for Math, and Mrs. Price for he will have every teacher on my team besides me. It is super cool to watch firsthand as he plays at recess, eats his lunch, and interacts with his peers. He had an awesome first day! ; ) No pictures of the little ones' first day since they don't start school until the Tuesday after Labor Day. They are staying with Nana this week. It will be nice to already have our first week under our belt when they start back!

Cade and Mrs. Morgan (his homeroom teacher). I have taught with Kathy Morgan for over 4 years, and she is an awesome teacher! I am so thrilled that Cade gets to learn from her!

Cade and a couple of his buddies at recess this morning.

My team out at recess (me, Carrie, Kathy, and our new teacher Cindy)

Julie and I on Julie's very first day as our school's counselor. I miss having her on my team, but I love that she is still in our building!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back to Work...Back to Reality

Today I started back to school, and it feels like I have been hit with a ton of bricks! I am just not ready for the daily grind of having 4 kids and working full time. I hate to complain, but I have just forgotten how hard it is. It all started at 6:00 am (yuk) when my alarm went off, by 6:30 both girls were up! Caden called me constantly throughout the day to report things that the little ones had done, and I decided to clean out my shelves and file cabinets in my classroom, and now my classroom looks like a tornado hit of my workdays wasted. I got home this afternoon and no one had gone down for a nap, Slick (the dog) peed on the beanbag, and Cade had his first day of football practice (for 2 hours...he practices every day this week!) On top of everything else I missed being with the kids today!
Again, I feel like such a loser to rant and rave about how hard my day was, but that is what is on my mind, and blogging about it is therapeutic for me. : )

Another thing that seemed to be therapeutic for me this evening was giving my sweet angel fishies (is it weird that I call them that?) a bath. Their little faces had not been washed yet, hence the dirty faces!

Ella Cate (left) Emma Claire (right)

serious Emmy

Ellies funny scrunch faced smile....this is her standard look that she gives when she says "cheeeese"!


Sam told me not to put this picture on my blog. He says that I always take pictures of him in his night time attire...I guess he wants everyone to know that he doesn't wear shirts like this out of our house. However, the opportunity to take this picture was just too hard to resist. I walked into the living room last night and found Sam, Ella Cate, Emma Claire, and Cade snuggled up on the couch watching the Olympics. It was WAY late and the girls had gotten out of their bed for the umpteenth time. They got lucky and got a few minutes of cuddling time before being put back in their bed.
Side note...they didn't go to sleep until 11:00 pm, and they were both up by 6:30 am aaaahhh....the joys of big girl beds and no passys!

Emmy got a sweet kiss from Cade

They were watching the winner of the 100 meter race do her victory jumps!

Friday, August 15, 2008

I Am Behind!!

This week I have gotten VERY behind on my blog! I think that I am finally caught up after spending all of nap time today typing and uploading pictures. Scroll down for the highlights of our past week or so.
I didn't blog about a couple of fun times that we've had this week like Celebration Park in Allen yesterday, or our fun pet store visit where Caden fell in love with one of the cutest puppies that I have ever seen ( a Pocket was $999.00!). I didn't take my camera to those places, so what is the point of blogging about something and not including pictures? I personally know that one of my most avid blog readers cannot stand that!! ; )

My Last Day of Summer...

I am feeling very nostalgic today. It is officially my very last weekday of summer. Teacher in service begins bright and early on Monday morning. I have said this a million times before, but how did time go by so fast?! I have really enjoyed my time off with the kids this summer, truly one of the most priceless benefits of being a teacher. We have had lots of fun just being together.

We made many wonderful memories with our good friends this summer. Thankfully we saw alot of Chels, Carter, Brenda, and Colt...and we even got to spend more time than we usually do with Shawna and her boys. We have spent time with Julie and the girls, and Brandy and her kiddos. We are all so thankful for our special friends...I wish that we got to see them as much in the school year as we do in the summer!

We had a fun vacation in Broken Bow Oklahoma, and we got some much needed cleaning out done around our house. Two garage sales later I have been able to clear out some junk that was taking up way too much room in our house. Our second garage sale was just last weekend. Chels and Brenda did it with me, and it was so much fun!

We swam a lot with my mom, Robin, and Uncle Caleb this summer. The little ones are actually swimming pretty well, and they absolutely LOVE the water. They took lessons with Ms. Stacey, and they learned alot. I hope their skills don't get too rusty before next summer.

Since it was our last day together we spent the day at home playing...even though I was more than tempted to hit a few stores since today was the start to tax-free weekend. : ) I wanted to soak up our last minutes of summer. We played every board game that we have, played Power Rangers and babies, read books, and just layed around. Special and fun times!

I am already missing you summertime...please come back soon!!

Carson playing Memory today.

Emmy and Ellie jumping on the bed

Cade was bored today! After coming back from several days at Colt's house he was feeling the letdown of not having a constant companion. : ( He has spent a lot of time with Colt this summer, and he loves being with him. He gets to hang out with a neighborhood full of kids, swim, and it doesn't hurt that he absolutely LOVES every meal that is prepared for him while he is there. I sure wish that we lives closer to Colt! Cade informed me that there were houses for sale in Colt's know that he wishes that we lived closer!

Connect 4!

After Carson gave Emma Claire a "boo-boo" on her tummy he told her that he was sorry and kissed her "boo-boo".

Ella Cate and her fish that she caught while playing "Go Fish"

Go Fish!


More Connect 4

Carson's First Sleepover

Carson was invited to his very first sleepover last Saturday, August 10, 2008. He spent the night at Corbin's house. He and Corbin are real close. For starters they were born only 4 days apart back in 2004, and I have known Corbin's mommy, Shawna, since the ripe old age of 12. While they don't get to see each other all that often since we live over an hour away from them, they are always more than thrilled to be together!

Shawna said they dressed up in costumes, ran through the house, slept on a pallet on the floor, and of course fought and tattled just a bit (their mommas used to do that too) : )

It never phased Carson to be away from home over night...I knew that it wouldn't. He is just that kind of kid...unlike me, my mom had to come and pick me up in the middle of the night during my first sleepover! Shawna has some real cute pictures of Carson's first sleepover!

Gage Turns 2!

Last Sunday, August 10, we celebrated Gage's 2nd birthday at a fun bounce house place in McKinney. The kids enjoyed bouncing, playing fun arcade games, and eating yummy motorcycle cake!

Gage with his mommy blowing out the candles on his motorcycle cake.

Carter was entertained for a very long time climbing up the ski ball ramp. My girls found great joy in this as well, but somehow I didn't get a picture of them in action.

Helping Gage open his presents.

Ella Cate playing air hockey with a fellow party goer's Dad.

VBS Performance Day

If I knew how to post-date this post I would make the date August 8, 2008 appear. This was the day that Carson and Caden had their end of the week performance at Vacation Bible School at FUMC-Arlington. Caden has attended this VBS since first grade, and this was Carson's first year to go. The boys had a good time, and performed well for us!
Caden with fellow VBS goers getting ready to perform.

Carson getting ready to sing

After the performance the church provided a "picnic-style" lunch.

The girls wanted to be a part of VBS sooo badly...they will be old enough to go next year!!

Cade enjoying his lunch

Carson and the girls' favorite part of this lunch was chips and cookies...of course!

On our way to the van we snapped a picture next to the church sign...typical Stewart picture with no one looking at the camera!