Saturday, August 27, 2011

The 1st Week

Here are the TOP 5 things I want to remember about Max's 1st week of kindergarten:

1. On Wednesday Max's bus driver didn't drop him off at the stop. I was standing at the corner and watched her drive past without stopping. Jeff chased her down at the next corner and she came back around to drop him off. Her response, "He's so little and so quiet, I just didn't think about it." OK well, this means that I will be watching her like a hawk the rest of the year to make sure my baby doesn't end up sleeping in the bus garage. I also told Max to pay attention and when he sees his house to stand up and start yelling, "THAT'S MY HOUSE! THAT'S MY HOUSE!" Maybe that will help her remember :)

2. Max loves PE. I can see why that is his favorite class so far. They can't have recess because of the heat wave so PE is their only chance to running around a bit. I asked him what he did in PE that was so fun and he said, "Mom, we learned to stand like cheerleaders!" Not sure what that meant but he was excited. However, Jeff was not!

3. He came home Friday with a stack of papers from this week's work. I looked through them and was QUITE impressed--TOO impressed, really. I asked him how he made his numbers look so neat on his math paper (as his mother, I know he doesn't write that well). He said, "Oh I couldn't make those numbers too good, so somebody else did them for me." I asked who and he said it was some girl but he couldn't remember her name. I asked who helped him draw the picture and spell the words that I could tell were not his work. He said it was his friend next to him. We had a talk about the importance of doing our own work so we get the practice that we need to learn to do better. I don't think it's going to stick.

4. Max left his lunch box on the bus on Thursday. When he realized this at home, he began crying and screaming because "I'm going to starve at school with no lunch ALL YEAR LONG!!" Originally I was laughing too hard at him to console him, but after about 10 minutes of sobbing I told him it wasn't a big deal. He would either find it the next day or we would get him another one and in the meantime he could bring his lunch to school in a paper sack. This didn't help and he cried himself to sleep. He's been very tired.

5. The kids watch Letter Factory and The Magic School Bus while they are waiting for their busses in the afternoon. Max comes home and tells me verbatim what the TV show was about. Every detail, every scene, quotes from it, the whole thing. I ask about the rest of his day and he says, "Oh, we did a bunch of stuff. I can't remember it though." Hopefully he will learn more in kindergarten than TV shows and how to get other kids to do his work, but those are useful skills too!

So there you have it. We survived the first week of school. Zach is still a little lost with out Max to tell him what to do and Max is so tired that he cries about something each afternoon around 4:30, but hopefully we will fall into a routine of sorts soon and this will become our new normal. I still can't believe my baby is in kindergarten. And I can't believe how quiet my house is without him here.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Today was Max's 1st day of kindergarten. He had a great time and is completely exhausted now!! This post might be a little long and rambling, but there is so much I want to remember and it's all so fresh right now.

I have been nervous about Max starting kindergarten. He's not one to take to new things very easily. He's very cautious and uneasy about a lot of things. But he has been very excited about kindergarten so I've tried to be optimistic for him. Today went so well for him. He had a few rough moments--which he will freely admit to, but he was smart and brave and managed things quite well.

He met his teacher a few days ago and informed her that he was "going to be the smartest kindergartener she'd ever taught." He He!! He makes me laugh. After his assessment test when he didn't know a few of the things she asked him, his reply was, "Well I guess you stumped me after all!" Mrs. Rodgers was just getting a taste of what it's going to be like to have Max in her class.

She told him that since there were 2 Maxs' in her class, she was going to call him Maxwell. He said that was fine because he didn't want her to "freak out or something if she kept getting confused." Again--he makes me laugh (and sigh). He's already friends with the other Max in his class and another little girl from his church class, so this is making the transition a little easier. It's always nice to see a friendly, familiar face on the 1st day of school.

I let Max choose what he wanted to wear the 1st day. He chose some new shorts and a faded, stained bright green t-shirt. I would have picked a different shirt, but I let him choose. I wanted him to be comfortable. He also wore some awful looking Toy Story light up shoes that his dad let him pick out at the store. Zach got a matching pair. They light up on the bottom, sides, and the top. I thought they were awful but I may not be up on the latest 5 year old trends. He was also excited about his Batman backpack and Toy Story lunch box.

I couldn't get a straight answer from him about whether he wanted to bring his lunch or buy it. Finally he decided he wanted to buy his lunch and bring the leftovers home in his lunchbox! Smart thinking but I don't think it works that way, so I just packed him a lunch.
I have gotten pieces and fragments of what happened while they were at school. He was kind of all over the place with his descriptions. I figure it has to do with so much new stuff all at once and he may need some time to process it all. I'm just gonna give him some time. Knowing Max it won't take long for all the details to start spewing out!

Max wanted to ride the bus to school without me and ride it home. This surprised me, but I was trying to let him make his choices so he could decide what he could handle. We walked to the bus stop together and he got on the bus with the other kids and they drove off. He had his brave/scared face so I was very proud of him for trying hard things. My neighbor said she saw him get off the bus at school and he came up to her and said "My name is Maxwell Orwin. Will you help me find Mrs. Rodgers' class?" How darling!! I'm still not sure whether I should have gone with him, but I guess he figured out how to get where he needed to go!

When I got him off the bus in the afternoon, he was sound asleep! I guess it was a long day for the little guy. Evidently there had been some sort of mix up or delay that had upset him a little (not sure of the details) but he got home safe and sound.

All in all, I think today was very successful. I hope and pray that it will continue that way. I worry about him more than I thought I would. But he's smart and charming and learning to be brave so I think it will all work out just fine.

Happy First Day of School Everyone!

Friday, August 12, 2011


Here's my story of the uninvited guest: One Monday morning I went into our downstairs bathroom to--well, anyway. I walked past the sink and I saw a small snake on the floor. I didn't react immediately bc the boys have fake snakes that I find all over the house. Well, then this one moved! I slowly backed out of the bathroom and closed the door. I went into Jeff's office and whispered that I didn't care what he was doing, he needed to get off the phone now. Apparently, I was white as a ghost so I had his attention.
I told him that there was a snake in the bathroom. He said, "Really??" I said, "Go see for yourself." He put his caller on hold and went into the bathroom and replied, "Well I guess there really is one!" He then cover the snake (only about 12 inches long) with the toliet plunger and went back to the office. He told his coworkers on the phone that he would have to reschedule the meeting bc he had a snake to take care of.
He caught the snake in a clear box (pictured above) and set it outside. I told him he had to release it somewhere away from the house so he left it on the porch till he was finished working. Unfortunately, the little fella died in the box before Jeff was able to free him. We both felt a little bad for that. I am proud of myself though because this whole incident was taken care of while the boys were watching TV and they never knew anything had happened.
However if it would have been a mouse, I would have died right there on the spot and then we would have had to move. So that's my story of the uninvited guest.

Below are a few pictures I took of Joe sleeping. As you can imagine, with my two older boys, he had a hard time finding a quiet place to relax. Max and Zach sit and watch him sleeping and as soon as he begins to wake up, they start pestering him. At only a few weeks old, I could tell he'd learned to fake sleeping in order to be left alone for a little while! I came in one day to find him with this gun on his lap. Zach said it was to keep the bad guys away :). I often found him laying like he is in the 2nd picture with his face covered trying to sleep! Sorry little guy--they just love ya so much!

This summer we were also visited by some very much invited guests. Here is a picture of when our friends from El Paso came to see us. Ms. Anita and her daughter Brittany were passing through and stopped to say hello. We loved Ms. Anita in El Paso. She sat with the boys every week in church so Jeff and I could listen. She invited us to dinner when Jeff was out of town. And most of all, she loved me and my boys like no one else in EP ever could have. We miss her a ton, but were so happy that she could visit!

Joe's Blessing Day

While we were visiting my family in LA over 4th of July weekend, we took the opportunity to have Joseph blessed. We did in my parents' ward and my dad and both of my brothers were able to join in. We also invited my "Paw Paw" (Brother Armond-no blood relation but family nonetheless) was also able to participate. Jeff blessed Joe and I'm sure it was beautiful. Unfortunately I didn't hear much of it bc of Zachary!! But I'm sure it was lovely. After church my siblings and their families all got together at my parents' house for a big dinner and more playing with cousins.
We are so blessed to have such a sweet little baby in our family. Joe has been so easy going, laid back and happy. He's been a dream baby--so far (knock on wood)! We sure do love this little guy!
My boys!!
Our family--I don't think we'll ever have one of those nicely posed, sophistacated looking pictures that everyone else seems to get, but that's not the real "us" anyway!
The grandparents
This picture was really fuzzy bc by this point none was willing to sit still and we were going to be late for church!
I was really glad to be able to share this day with my family. We haven't been able to do that with the other boys because we've been so far away. It's nice to be closer for sure.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Catch Up-Moody Gardens

Joe got to spend most of our summer vacation fun time watching from his carseat. He's still just a little small to join in on most of the fun. Fortunately though, one of his most favorite pastimes is watching his big brothers. Soon enough he'll be joining them and then we'll really have our hands full!
We went to Moody Gardens to check out all the renovations they've done. The rainforest pyramid is neat, but VERY hot and HUMID. Yuck! It was fun to search through and try to find the different animals. A lot of them are free roaming so that was a different experience too!
Zach tried to catch this iguana and bring it home with us. We had to stop him and try to convince him that the lizard probably did not want to live at our house.
Here we are about to enter the bat cave. Fun idea but a very smelly one. The boys didn't seem to notice though.
We found another fun place nearby. The Rainforest Cafe. Jeff and I had been there before but it was a lot of fun to watch the boys experience it. Max kept repeating to himself, "they aren't real. they're just pretend" and Zach was afraid that the "rainstorm" was going to get his food wet.
We had a wonderful time and brought our cousins back a few weeks later to do it all again with them!

Summer Catch Up - Beach

Jeff got a little bit of a vacation in July so we headed to Galveston for my boys' favorite pastime--THE BEACH. Even Max, who is not a big fan of deep water or swimming, loves to go to the beach. We even ran into some friends from our church just a few umbrellas down from us. Small world!!
Zach spent a lot of time looking for sharks. Fortunately he didn't find any, but we did see a dolphin leaping around out in the gulf.
Every time Jeff starts building a sand castle with the boys, we seem to collect extra kids. I have no idea who this extra little boy is, but he decided to join in the fun. The more the merrier!!
The big boys stopping to pose for a picture
Daddy taking Z "surfing"
This is what Joe did 99% of the time. He watched for a little while, but mostly he napped. Jeff did take him in the water for a minute but mostly he napped.
Well, much fun was had by all. So much so that we will probably be back there one more time before school starts!

Summer Catch Up-Circus

Note to reader: I know I'm behind on posting but every time I go to do something on here I get interrrupted. I know--My fault for having 3 kids. But even today, I got as far as downloading pics off my camera and the baby woke up (an hour earlier than he should have) and then the computer starts acting up and I can only type inbetween my pics instead of above or below them. So forgive me as I try to catch up on posting the summer pics so that I will be able to post current pics when school starts again. Wish me luck!
These are some pictures of our day at the circus. Jeff's boss was extra generous and decided to get the boys tickets to the greatest show on earth. They had a BLAST!! Max loved the motorcycle guys who rode around in the big ball and Zach loved the elephants doing tricks. Zach rediscovered his love for cotton candy and they both got light up swords as souveniers to bring home. They have been putting on circus shows for us quite often ever since. A great time was had by all. We will have to go again some time. Thanks Ms. Tricia!!