Tuesday, September 10, 2013

First Day of School Pictures

Summer Recap and Last Hoorahs Before School

These are a few pictures I took back in June up at the Compound... Sam's 3-year old pictures and Emma Kate's 1-year-old pictures. She is not a huge fan of the camera nor standing still, so we take what we can get. She's also not a huge fan of smiling on command and she will not wear a hair bow. So again, bear with me.

I love these pictures of Sam on the swing because they capture his personality so well. Although now that he has glasses, it almost seems like something is missing from these photos! Oh well.

And I couldn't leave out sweet baby Owen. Most scrumptious baby on earth. He was just learning to sit up unsupported when I took these.

 Little Miss Priss also has a problem if anyone touches her or looks at her or gets in her personal space. Apparently Owen's toes were touching her leg as we were trying to get them to pose for a pic, and she freaked out and started acting like a rat. Please look at Owen's poor pitiful face.

I mean really! Poor Owen!

Luckily they made up later on and enjoyed some Poppa time together.

My sweet and hilarious nephews were also on this trip with us, so I snapped a few pictures of them as well.

Our sweet cousin Annsley turned 16 this summer. I can remember the day she was born - I was at 9th grade cheerleader camp and my mom woke me up and told me. I can't believe she is driving now and will graduate in just a couple years. This is a picture we took the day she left for a mission trip to Antigua.

When Anns was little I would take her to get yogurt at TCBY after Wednesday night church. This summer she drove herself to Yogurt Mountain to meet me there. *cue tears*

One day Mary Ella and I pilfered through Mimi's attic and found a couple of my old American Girl Dolls (Samantha and one of the Create-Your-Own dolls) and a truck load of AG books too. We brought the loot home with us and hopefully we will get around to reading the stories this next year.

 We surprised my mom mid July with an overnight birthday trip to Double Head Resort, which is right outside of Florence. It was a fun girls-only getaway, but we broke the rules and let this little man join us for a while. Sorry for the overload of Owen pics, but I can't ever pick just one. He's a doll baby.

 We enjoyed more pool time at Aunt Kristi's house and even got to feed the cows a few times with Grandaddy.

 And nothing beats spending time on the Compound with your very best friends. Here are all the great-grandkids together. We've got 4 boys and 4 girls so far, and there's another munchkin on the way! (In case you haven't heard, Gracie is gonna be a big sister! Yay!!! So excited.)

 We spent the 4th of July at the Compound, and I was frantically looking for all of my pictures and then finally remembered that it POURED rain the entire day so I didn't even get my camera out of the bag. I snapped a grand total of 4 pictures that day with my handy dandy iPhone, so here they are:

Thankfully Mom was able to take a bunch of pictures of the days leading up to the 4th. The kids went up a day early and enjoyed an abundance of rain which flooded part of Mimi and Poppa's yard. I think those pictures are on Chad's phone so I will have to add them to this post later.

While we were in Birmingham during the week, we spent our days playing at home, swimming at the pool, and hanging out with cousins. This year a shaved ice truck started coming to our neighborhood. This was a nice upgrade from the sketchy ice cream man who never seemed to have anything in stock but plain popsicles (which he sold for $3.50 a piece.) #shady
And the Kona Shaved Ice truck played awesome Jamaican music. Granted, it was so loud it would wake all 3 of my kids up from their naps, but nevertheless this proved to be a fun summer treat. Amanda and Charlie were here one afternoon and got to enjoy it too.

The flavored syrups are right here on the side of the truck, which makes it super fun for kids.

There were LOTS of rainy days this summer, which called for boring indoor play. I found this lot of Disney figurines on Craigslist for $20 and it may have saved several of those rainy days.

The big kids also played with their PlayMobil sets they got for Christmas. They love these sets.

Emma Kate became quite the little mama this summer and chose baby dolls over almost anything else.
Everywhere she went, she had a baby.

The rainy days called for some good afternoon napping and relaxing.

And being cooped up in the house also meant there were a few fights along the way. Which called for new and creative forms of time-out.

Little sister was there to provide moral support and sympathy hugs.

And some days, when we just had to get out of the house, we'd go tromp through the puddles.

We made it to Chick Fil A appreciation day dressed in our cow attire and scored free food. Mooo!

 Thankfully we only had a couple of wheezing episodes this summer with Emma Kate. We are hoping she grows out of this stuff soon! *fingers crossed*

 Sam's transition to wearing glasses went as smoothly as I could've hoped. Luckily, his buddy Henry found out he was farsighted too, so they both ended up with new frames. :)  (I found the American Girl-style doll glasses on eBay for $3!)

Sam and Henry, if you remember, also suffered a broken leg last summer, so they've been through a lot together.

 He looks like such a big boy now.

We were thankful for the sunny days when we had them, and the kids loved hanging at the pool.

Daddy cooked pancakes on several Saturdays.

And we spent lots of time with our cousins. Even had a spend the night party with Gracie!

 Mary Ella helped me cook a lot while the other 2 napped. She loves to help in the kitchen when she can.

And little miss learned to eat with a fork and spoon.

Well, sort of.

 Mary Ella has enjoyed her bike and we've been on a couple evening rides up the street together.
 I think I probably need training wheels more than she does though.

This one prefers walking down the street like she owns it.

 We visited my friend Katie and her sweet new baby, Jack. He's such a perfect angel and looks like one too! Big brother Mason had fun showing the kids his backyard and all his toys. They were so funny together.

I got away with some mommy friends for an overnight Atlanta trip, which was so much fun and a good  break from everyday life. Nothing like Starbucks and Ikea and good friends to keep a mommy sane. :)

For the rest of this post, I will just caption the photos. Because I have no idea when they were taken and they pretty much speak for themselves anyway.
So, the rest of our summer shenanigans...

More attempted photos of all 3:

Friday night trips to the thrift store.

First time taking all 3 to the movies (by myself. What was I thinking?) And it was the late movie too; well, 8:45pm. Chad was out of town. I'm not sure what my thought process was there, but hey, they did surprisingly well.

Emma Kate was a-okay until she polished off her kiddie combo of popcorn and gummies, then we fed her whatever we could to keep her quiet until all of us had run out of snacks. Then we promptly exited the building (missed the last 20 minutes of "Planes.")

My sweet baby and her baby.

My sweet baby is finally getting some teeth!

Ice cream cone desserts on the porch.

Sibling love.

Cousin love.

Backyard fun:

 The big kids started soccer practice through our local YMCA in August.
Mary Ella is on the Squirrels and Sam is on the Grasshoppers.

And I am coaching the Squirrels team. Because no other parent wanted to and because, you know, I have tons of free time. Tons.

 Our baby gate door decided it didn't want to stay shut anymore one day. So it was more of a hazard to have the gate than not have it. So we removed the gate and taught little sister to climb backwards down the stairs. She's now a spider monkey and comes up and down as she pleases. She loves going down to the playroom and she really loves stopping on her way down and emptying out our shoe drawers and throwing 42 pairs of shoes down to the bottom floor. Thank you.

She's also a fan of watching for Daddy in the evenings.

Super hero shenanigans.

First pigtails!

One-tooth grins.

Target trips with Aunt Bets and baby Owen.

I will so badly miss this little boy's love for figurines one day. :(

Chad's catch of the day month year decade century.

Gracie's farm party.

Dress up and pretending.

I could eat this little apple blossom right up. 

Fun at our friend Gage's school!

Funny: Chad dressed both kids on this day and took them to play with our friends the Bradford's at their son's school, where they were having a fun family day with inflatables, face painting, etc. Chad got back and I was like, "WHAT IS SAM WEARING??!?"  Um, yes. You can't tell in this picture - BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE HE DOESNT EVEN HAVE PANTS ON - but he was wearing EMMA KATE'S RED GINGHAM BLOOMERS. Yes. Oh Lordy, these men. What do we do with them? Needless to say I lay their clothes out every single day now regardless of what our plans are for the day. And poor Sam. Just as happy as ever, and has no clue why his shorts are clinging to his thighs or are barely visible under his t-shirt. 

Setting up daddy's tent in our living room. We couldn't even open the tent all the way. It is way big. Hopefully we will get to put it to good use this fall!

And finally, our last "Hoorah!" weekend before school started this week.
I had promised the kids all summer we would make Despicable Me - themed "Minion" cupcakes.
We are way behind on the Despicable Me movie. We have just now watched the first one and my kids both love it. I actually didn't realize how sweet the plot was until I made myself watch it with them one day. Although I'm still unclear as to how all the minions fit in. Maybe I missed something.
Anywho, my kids think they are hilarious and we saw the cupcakes on Pinterest, of course, so we had to make them as a "Goodbye to Summer" treat. So much fun.

My little minions were quite excited.

Those are halved Twinkies, in case you can't tell. The eyeballs and cupcake liners came in a Wilton brand cupcake kit from Walmart.

Sam Morgan: Messiest Kid Ever in Life.

 Sam went on a boys' outing with Daddy this past weekend. They got haircuts, ate lunch and went to Target. Here he is before his haircut:

And after:
(Not sure where his glasses were in these photos?)

Target is just about his favorite place on earth. What's not to love about a blue icee and popcorn?
His Daddy also introduced him to Star Wars and bought him a small set of figurines, with which he has not let out of his sight. He is obsessed with the likes of "RD2" as he calls him, "Dark Vader" (which he says in a scary raspy voice), and "CPO" as he calls the gold dude. (C3-PO? I'm not even sure.)

He was wiped out after their adventure and fell asleep on Mary Ella's bed.

Later that night, though, it was time for more fun, this time in the form of some "Monster's University" (or "Monster's Anniversary" as Mary Ella calls it.) They loved the movie. And I'm sure they were glad to get some 2-on-1 time with their Daddy.

Mary Ella and I were also able to have a girls day the weekend before school. She had a Build A Bear gift card from her birthday that she'd been itching to use, so off we went to the Galleria.
We stopped for a bite to eat first - her choice, out of everything, was McDonald's. Go figure.

We then walked straight to Build A Bear and as soon as she saw Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony, there was no need to look any further. Mary Ella is all about a rainbow (If you ask her her favorite color, she will say "Pink, Gold and Rainbow.") and she is obsessed with unicorns too; Rainbow Dash, although not technically a unicorn, is the perfect mix of two of her favorite things.

When we opened our box in the car, we realized that Rainbow Dash also came with extensions for her owner. Of course we wore these home.

I also let her pick out a school outfit (herself!) at the mall.
Her choice?

And please notice sparkly unicorn gracing the center of the graphic tee.

(We may or may not already be planning a Rainbow Unicorn 6th birthday party.)

Well, that's the end of this LONG post, and if you made it here, congrats! You are special. And patient. And you must reaaaallllly love me and my kids.
In all seriousness, I'm so thankful for a fun summer with my little family. Although there was absolutely no schedule and sometimes we stayed in the same clothes and/or bathing suits for days on end and I rarely cooked and we were out and about every other day, it really was a fun summer and I wouldn't trade these days for anything.

Now on to the Back to School posts!

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