28 July 2015

Olivia's First Day {Week} of First Grade!

With our school system on a year-round schedule, it means that the girls go back to school much earlier than everyone else.  Liv's first day of school was July 20th!  Isn't that crazy?  Most people would call that the middle of summer, and we are back to schooling it.  While I usually feel that our summers are too short, when our extended fall and spring breaks roll around, I am thrilled!

Olivia was super excited this year to see some familiar faces in her class at Meet the Teacher night. Even knowing some good friends in her class, she was still a little nervous on her first day.  She told me that she wished she was still in Kindergarten, and I have to admit I sort of wish she was too.  She's no longer dropped off at the tiny Kinder playground, she waits for the bell to ring with all of the big kids on the giant playground.  And, after attending the curriculum night, I'm seeing that first grade is even more hard core than kindergarten in terms of academics.

I'm excited for her year - I know she is going to have a great one!  Love my big girl SO much!

➹ Walking towards the school with friends...➹

➹ I hid out in the hallway {behind a door} so I could make sure she was alright walking in since she met up with Riley and her family on the drive over and wanted to walk in with them.  She had a giant smile on her face the whole time!  ➹

➹ After school -- love their little visors they made! ➹

➹ Day 2 on the playground before school starts.  I love how she is always holding hands with her friends. ➹

➹ Woooohoooooo!  We made it to Friday! ➹

And, now, because I love looking back... here are Liv's "first day of school" pictures from the last several years!

➹ Preschool, age 3 ➹

➹ Pre-K, age 4 ➹

➹ Kindergarten, age 5 ➹

➹ First grade, age 6 ➹

26 July 2015

Just a Spoonful of Sugar...

Last Christmas, we took the girls up to a  huge church in Phoenix to see their Christmas program -- it was incredible, with live animals and angels flying from the ceiling.  I remember them saying there would be a summer performance of Mary Poppins, and just knew it was something I wanted to take Olivia to.  I got tickets the morning they went on sale, and ended up getting four tickets 11 rows from the stage.  We asked Riley and her mom to go with us, and made a little date of it for the day before school started.  The girls LOVED the performance -- it was so AWESOME -- and they got to have their pictures taken with some of the props and the actors!

➹ Everyone is looking at Sheri except for Olivia! ➹

➹ Feed the birds...tuppence a bag.... ➹

➹ In one part of the play, the statues in the park come to life -- this was one of the statues. ➹

➹ And now there are two statues! ➹

➹ Chim chimerie chim chimerie... ➹

It was such a great way to spend the last day of summer! 

The End of Summer Break, Part 2

I guess I sort of jumped the gun with my last end of summer break post, because there were a few things that hadn't been included or hadn't been done yet!  So, here we go with part 2.

➸➸  I signed both girls up for swim lessons AT NINE AM the last week of summer break (M-Th).  My plan was to get us up and out of the house in the mornings in preparation for school starting.  It was tough, but I think it may have helped us out.  Olivia DID sleep until 10:30 on Friday morning, so if nothing else, it wore us out! 

On one of those days, I invited the neighbor girls to spend the night and go to the pool with us the next morning so they could do the open swim after the girls' lessons.  I think they had a blast at the pool, and they did such a good job of watching out for Sydney.  My plan was to leave at 1 {because, hello, 9-1 in 100+ heat is more than enough}, but I let the girls do a couple more jumps off the high dive.  I should have stuck to my 1:00 time frame because on Sydney's second to last jump, she started swimming in circles in the pool and I had to jump in to get her.  She was never in any danger, but she was taking forever to get to the side of the pool and the lifeguard was giving me the side eye. 

➸➸  We saw online that there were requests for school supplies and backpacks for some local children in need, so one afternoon Nana and I took the girls supply shopping.  They picked out all the colors of folders and papers and backpacks for another child and were so excited to go drop them off at the collection location.

➸➸  Olivia takes her lunch and a snack every day, so we tried to stock up on some new and different foods she might want at school.  

➸➸  While David was out of town, I took the girls on a Bahama Bucks shave ice date.  Olivia had picked up a new Lego Friends kit and did the whole thing while eating her treat.  This is her new favorite activity and my new favorite nemesis {tiny pieces EVERYWHERE}!

➸➸  We were missing Liv's friend, Ava, so we decided to go out for a special lunch date at the fancy Olive Garden.  The girls were so cute and felt so grown up!

➸➸  And, well, here's a couple more swim pictures!

25 July 2015

A Lava Pool Party

Holy Smokes, Riley is 6!!  Our sweet friend, Riley, just turned 6 years old and had the cutest pool party ever.  Her mom is so creative, and we just knew the party and decor would be incredible, and boy were we right!

Riley's party was a couple days after her actual birthday, but we couldn't let that day go by without showering her with treats.

Riley wanted a lava and pool party, so Sheri's Hawaiian luau theme complete with little chocolate tikis, handmade Hawaiian dresses for the girls, fire crowns, and a volcano cake was absolute perfection.  The girls had a blast swimming and eating and looked so cute in their new dresses.  And, they were blown away by the erupting cake!

➹ These dresses are upcycled from men's shirts! How awesome is that?! ➹

 ➹ The beach is 3 different colors of sanding sugar!  And the volcano is made from rice crispies and cocoa puffs. ➹

Happy Birthday, Riley!  Thanks for letting us celebrate YOU with such a fun party!

24 July 2015

Lucky Number 7

For our 7th wedding anniversary and a last hoorah before school started {and let's face it, an escape from the heat of the desert}, the kiddos and I surprised David with a trip up north to Flagstaff.  Oh man, Flagstaff.  How do I love thee, especially in the summertime, let me count the ways.

I love you for your much cooler temperatures.  I love you for all the things you allow us to do outside.  I love you for your wildlife.  I love you for your shopping. And, I love you for your food.  {I'm looking at you, Mama Burger!}

 ➹ My Jem-loving, 80's girl! ➹

➹ Rockin' the clip-ons! ➹

Our two big attractions that the girls and I had planned for the weekend were the Deer Farm and Bearizona.  They were both incredible!  I have a thing for deer, and so the deer farm was just the coolest for me.  We bought a couple cups of deer food, and once inside the gates, the deer just followed us everywhere.  They are so used to eating out of people's hands.  Sydney took right to them, but it took awhile for Liv to warm up to the idea of them licking her hand.  The farm had bison, goats, a couple of wallabies, reindeer, alpacas, and even a camel...that David kissed!

➹ This one cracks me up because it's like she is telling that deer something and it's really listening to her! ➹

➹ No such thing as too many deer pictures, am I right?! ➹

➹ What! About! Me! ➹

➹ It's a ZONKEY! ➹

➹ Can I please just have one or two or three for myself?! ➹

It was going to be hard to top that experience, and I'm still not sure we did, but a few miles up the road was Bearizona.  Bearizona is a drive through wildlife park with bears {obviously}, bighorn sheep, bison, and wolves.  You have the option of riding an open air bus {which we did} and/or driving through on your own {we did that too}.  I'm glad we road the bus because our driver gave us a lot of information, and she also fed some of the animals, so they came a little closer to the bus.  In between driving through the park, we watched a bird show, grabbed a snack, and walked around to see some of the bear cubs and other animals in their pens.

➹ Please keep arms and legs inside the bus, and please, NO SELFIES! ➹

➹ This was the only bear picture I got, and they are not in the drive through part.  Whoops. ➹

In case we hadn't worn the kids out enough, we stopped and picked up swimsuits {from Target} and pizza {from Nimarcos} for a night of pizza and swimming.  

The next morning, we walked through the Flagstaff Farmer's Market {where on our way out, we encountered the bird man} and then walked through town one last time before hitting up Mama Burger on our way out.  How do they get their tater tots so crispy?!

Until next time, Flagstaff!
And, happy anniversary to us!