Friday, August 14, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back to School

After today, Shayne, Maya and I are all officially back to school. I have been back for three weeks, and Shayne has been back for two, which I know seems crazy to most of you, but you won't laugh as hard when October and March roll around and it is 73 degrees out and we have two weeks off...Anyway, today was Maya's first day of Kindergarten, a day we have looked forward to with anxiety and apprehension for the past two years or so, as we were quite concerned with how it would all play out. Shayne was very sweet, telling her this morning, "I was nervous on my first day of kindergarten too, but once I got there, it was fun." She was actually excited about it, and was very happy about her new shark backpack that Grandma sent out. She is in a special kindergarten program that my school doesn't offer, so she is going to our home school in Mesa, at least for this year. The fact that I was not going to be right down the hall with her like I am with Shayne was quite upsetting at first, but we think this program will be really good for her. Rick, Shayne and I were with her this morning to see her off at the bus stop. She got on the bus with no problem, and the bus driver couldn't have been nicer, which was a huge relief. It was as if we were living in a parallel universe...totally unreal. She got upset periodically throughout the rest of the day, and I was so anxious I felt nauseated all day long at work, but overall, things went quite well I think. I was in contact with her teacher by email several times throughout the day like a hugely over-protective mother hen, but I couldn't stand not knowing how things were going (I think her teacher understands). To have this day behind us feels like a ton of bricks off of my chest. I am not naive enough to think we are out of the woods as far as big life transitions are concerned, but she really did well with this one, and it was the one we have been most concerned about since she started preschool.

Shayne has adjusted well to his new second grade class also, which we figured he would. He is enjoying reading and writing a lot this year, which we are happy about. I like having him in the computer lab with his class. He is always good and calls me "Mrs. Strong" at school, which always sounds funny. We are very proud of both of them!

Shayne's first day, before school in the computer lab, which is my classroom

Meeting up with a few friends on the playground the first morning back

Waiting for the bus...

After Many, Many Years

After many years of living in the West, 16 this month actually, my brother Dale and his family came for a visit! They are taking a cross country trip and we were one of their stops. They got here last Thursday morning and stayed the night before heading out to the Grand Canyon and then to Grandma Kelley's house in St. George. The kids were so excited waiting for their cousins to get here that they were about to explode. They thought it was great having their cousins here in Arizona this time. They got a good taste of the desert summer too. I think it got to 113 the day they were here, so after playing in the house for awhile, we went to an afternoon movie. After that, when the sun was a little lower in the sky, we went to our pool for awhile. The rate at which one dries in the desert after getting out of the pool is fairly amazing to people who are used to more humidity. We BBQed back at our house and then, perhaps the biggest highlight for our kids- Greg, David and Melissa slept in their room with them. I didn't think to take pictures until it was almost bedtime, so there aren't many and the quality isn't great. We had a great time and are so glad that they made it out our way!

Maya's feet, David and Greg

Maya in the foreground, Melissa in the background. Shayne was up in the top bunk

One of My Favorite Things

One of the things that makes me feel more relaxed than almost anything on Earth, is walking on the beach. Rick, the kids and I went on a nice, long walk one night and a few shorter ones throughout our week in North Carolina. It was absolutely beautiful and a great opportunity to feel happy and at peace.

The Beach

I am getting caught up, slowly but surely! After spending a week in Maryland, we headed down south to North Carolina's Outter Banks. We spent a wonderful week enjoying the beach with our immeadiate family and our extended family. Here is what we did most days:

The Water

Rick, Shayne, Tammy and Maya

Rick in a wave

Shayne and Rick

The Sand:

Greg, Maya and Jack

Shayne, Maya and Greg

Tammy's "Baby Garden": Melissa, Greg, Drew, David, Shawn and Maya

Monday, August 3, 2009

The National Zoo

Every year when we are back in Maryland, we go to the zoo. This year we went with my Mom, and Alison and her kids. We had a great day!

Playing in the mister

Kandula, the elephant that is the same age as Shayne, playing in the water