Thursday, September 19, 2013

Back to school!

On Back-to-School Eve, we had our traditional Back-to-School dinner.
 photo IMG_2654_zpsd6b21253.jpg

I meant to buy a fresh bouquet of flowers when I was at the grocery store, but forgot to add it to my list.  If things don't make my lists, then they don't happen.  I ended up picking some flowers from outside.  These red flowers paired up with the red candles and red ribbon on the vase sure made for a lot of RED at our table!
 photo IMG_2657_zps8aea75e6.jpg

 photo IMG_2659_zpsae6b1a0b.jpg

On the menu this evening was garlic chicken, baked potatoes (with sour cream, shredded cheddar, crumbled bacon, and chives for topping), and broccoli.  Apple crisp over vanilla ice cream was our dessert.

Bella was a little eager for school.  She was already showered and in her pajamas before dinner!
 photo IMG_2660_zps448ff7d9.jpg

 photo IMG_2662_zpsf9496cc3.jpg

 photo IMG_2665_zps9b05b790.jpg

Soon is was off-to-bed for these kiddos.  The next day would be a big one!

As is usually the case on the first day of school, everyone was ready with at least a half hour to spare before we needed to be anywhere.  That just gives me plenty of time for pictures!
 photo IMG_2709infoweb_zps02d0088a.jpg

 photo IMG_2672infoweb_zps8c8727e9.jpg

Curtis wanted his picture taken too - empty backpack and all! 
 photo IMG_2674_zps051369d5.jpg

 photo IMG_2680_zps043b9fec.jpg

 photo IMG_2683_zpsf4fa0c4d.jpg

 photo IMG_2688_zps0187f1d8.jpg

 photo IMG_2689_zpse0aeb453.jpg

Bella and I walked to the bus stop while Andy loaded the boys in "Black Beauty".
 photo IMG_2693_zpsf674bc50.jpg

They met us at the bus stop for a little bit but ended up leaving before the bus came (it always runs late on the first day) in order to get Graydon to his school on time. 
 photo IMG_2696_zps0499413b.jpg

Daddy wishing Bella a great first day. 
 photo IMG_2697_zpsdf38ef8b.jpg

I watched her get on the bus.  Always hard for me on the first day. 
 photo IMG_2701_zps6693b7ef.jpg

Then I got in the van and made my way to the school so that I could greet her when she got off. . .
 photo IMG_2702_zpsbf6b4300.jpg

. . . and meet her new teacher!
 photo IMG_2703_zps153e27aa.jpg

While I was at Bella's school, Andy was with Graydon at his preschool.  I was so sad that I couldn't be there to drop off Graydon too.  I still haven't figured out how to be in two places at once!  But it probably worked out better that Andy dropped him off as I think I would have been a bit too emotional about it.  And Andy kept me in touch by taking some photos with his phone. 
 photo photo8_zps459d4bd4.jpg

 photo photo9_zps6c550507.jpg

 photo photo2_zps1feaf198.jpg

 photo photo3_zpsd34d254f.jpg

He is whistling while waiting for class to start.  That is so Graydon. 
 photo photo4_zps54135832.jpg

Finding his job for the day: snack prayer. 
 photo photo5_zpsd65db97b.jpg

After the two big kids were safely dropped off at school, I met up with Andy.  It was just three of us now - kind of an unusual feeling.  We decided to get Curtis a little treat.  While walking into Starbucks, Curtis went between Andy and myself and grabbed for both of our hands.  He is often a bit more independent and doesn't like to hold hands.  But I think he knew it was special that he had the complete attention of both parents.

We treated him to "big boy coffee" a.k.a. hot chocolate.  
 photo IMG_1364_zpse3a2f7df.jpg

Afterwards, he said he was hungry.  I would never usually spend $1.50 on something that could be eaten in one bite, but I told him he could pick any treat that he wanted.  This was it.  A yellow cake pop.
 photo IMG_1365_zpsaf922938.jpg

Here are the kids' thoughts of this first day of school.




Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Soccer

If you want to know where to find us on a Saturday morning for the next two months (and on Monday and Wednesday practice nights), it's easy: the soccer field.

Bella decided to give soccer a try this fall.
  photo IMG_2632_zps7c972e71.jpg

She has scored a few goals at each game so far.  (It helps that they won't be adding goalies until mid-season).  
 photo IMG_2638_zpsfc202008.jpg

She definitely gets in a good workout by running back and forth on the field during each hour-long soccer game.  
 photo IMG_2652_zps2dd661b7.jpg

Here's to a great season!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Officially saying 'good bye' to summer

It seems that sidewalk chalk paint is one of my go-to end-of-summer activities.  All of our little stubby pieces of chalk get mashed to powder and then I add some water to make a fun paint.
 photo IMG_2631_zpsa4448389.jpg Bella wrote on the path steps, "I *heart* Kilps family." 
 photo IMG_2629_zpse2bc394b.jpg

Graydon made a blue and green blob that Bella said looked like our country.  Graydon said it was a bouncy house. 
 photo IMG_2628_zps5d22633d.jpg

I painted flowers and wrote the kids names on the steps.  Curtis added his own touches.
 photo IMG_2627_zps2bd0ec42.jpg

Everything looks so colorful now and I love it.

For the past few summers, I've created a summer bucket list.  I decided not to do that this summer.  But when we did do something fun or summer-y, I wrote it down. 

This was our summer. . .
  • day trip to Sesame Place
  • playing at 15 different parks!
  • homemade popsicles
  • eating ice cream on the porch
  • fruit picking at a farm
  • catching fireflies (and letting them go)
  • helping Daddy wash the car
  • riding bikes
  • eating watermelon
  • climbing trees
  • afternoons at the pool
  • swimming lessons
  • Camp Hope (Bella)
  • picking veggies from our garden
  • lighting sparklers
  • sidewalk chalk
  • indoor forts
  • rootbeer floats
  • playing on the tire swing
  • attending a parade
  • cooking on the grill
  • Vacation Bible School
  • road trip to Wisconsin
  • eating corn on the cob
  • swimming in a lake
  • Jelly Belly Factory tour
  • eating at a frozen yogurt bar
  • making/eating s'mores
  • bouncing at Monkey Joe's!
  • seeing a movie in the theater (Despicable Me 2)
  • evening picnic at the lake
  • outdoor movie in Jodi's backyard
  • indoor carnival
  • sleepovers with cousins
  • cotton candy and snow cones
  • blowing bubbles
  • water balloons
  • trip to the shore
  • nature walks
  • picking wildflowers
  • sidewalk chalk paint  
 Most of the things on this list are simple, every day activities.  But when added together, they created one happy summer and lots of treasured memories.

So long Summer 2013.

Hello fall!

Monday, September 09, 2013

Nature Walks

Andy and I sometimes joke that one can take a nice walk in New Jersey - you just have to drive to get there!

And so we did. There are a few hidden nature trails around us and we decided to take advantage of a couple of them.
 photo IMG_2534_zps1c2e4ab2.jpg

 photo IMG_2521_zps9e06bdfe.jpg

  photo IMG_2530_zpsccc5d3b0.jpg

 photo IMG_2523_zps79f85d9f.jpg

Bella came prepared for some exploration. 
 photo IMG_2537_zps607d1865.jpg

Curtis kept complaining of things getting in his shoes, so he rode like this for a while. 
 photo IMG_2529_zpse1f13d7b.jpg

Andy found some mushrooms growing on a branch.
 photo IMG_2540_zpsfada7f7e.jpg

 photo IMG_2550_zpsbe7c067e.jpg

 photo IMG_2553_zpsf1fc3ab1.jpg

 photo IMG_2554_zps13a775fb.jpg

It was at about this point that Bella started to lose interest.  She wasn't super enthusiastic about this nature walk in the first place since she was hoping we'd be spending the afternoon at the pool instead.  I think that some branches brushed against some old mosquito bites, causing her to get itchy.  Her mood wasn't the best for the next ten minutes or so. 
 photo IMG_2564_zps937e23ad.jpg

She asked me to take her picture.  But this was the best smile she could come up with. 
 photo IMG_2573_zpsed0164bc.jpg

 photo IMG_2577_zpsfc13c4d7.jpg

There were caterpillars everywhere in this area!
 photo IMG_2579_zps34e3b841.jpg

And then something glorious happened.

We found water.
 photo IMG_2581_zpsb7f2b00b.jpg

Andy did a little rock skipping lesson with the kids. 
 photo IMG_2582_zps846970d9.jpg

 photo IMG_2586_zps42ee867b.jpg

Bella caught on quickly and was skipping rocks right away. 
 photo IMG_2603_zps247980e7.jpg

 photo IMG_2596_zps8f7a6684.jpg

 photo IMG_2597_zpsc468249c.jpg

I tried and tried and almost gave up until Andy showed me the right way to curve my finger around the stone.  Soon I was skipping rocks too!
 photo IMG_2606_zps2eb3df41.jpg

Curtis needed to be banished off to the side.  He liked to throw his rocks while standing several feet from the water; often times coming dangerously close to hitting someone.  He did hit Graydon once. 
 photo IMG_2608_zpsb236680e.jpg

I don't know how he does it.  Graydon purposefully took off his shoes.  He was even running on the rocks at one point.  Those are some tough feet. 
 photo IMG_2613_zps87500200.jpg

And what do you know. . . Bella got her water after all. 
 photo IMG_2611_zpsd70b695e.jpg

 photo IMG_2621_zpsc2821e8e.jpg

A couple of days later, we tried a different spot.  No pictures taken except this one from my phone.
 photo IMG_1337_zps01cbf766.jpg

But I did pick some wildflowers to remind me of our day and bring a little of the nature to our house with us. 
 photo IMG_1338_zps472bce4c.jpg

And while I'm trying to hold onto every last bit of summer, there are little reminders all around that fall is just around the corner. 
 photo IMG_2526_zpsf3c410fe.jpg