Friday, August 28, 2009

Before and After, Part II

So Chris and I spent last Saturday clearing this:

Until it looked like this:

And then Chris spent all of today making it look like this:
What a difference! He did a great job!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Day #2

Little Miss Rachael has been so excited about school! Last night we went to Target, and for some reason she thought we were going to take her to school then. When we told her we were just going to a store, she started wailing! This morning, she was all excited! She was practicing saying her teacher's name, she was talking about seeing her friends -- she was thrilled!

When we got to the classroom, she immediately headed for a table with crayons and paper. There were a couple of kids who started crying (and one who bolted out the door after her mommy left!), but Rachael wasn't one of them!

Rachael was checking out one of her new friends, who was crying.

Enough of that -- back to coloring!

I gave her a high five as I left, and then she rushed around to give me a hug. Well, I thought she was coming to give me a hug. I thought she said, "Mommy! Wait!" So I stopped and knelt down to hug her, and then she looked at me and said, "Mommy! PAINT!" I had told her a long time ago that they might paint sometimes in her class -- apparently she remembered that! I told her maybe she could go ask her teacher, and as she headed towards her, I made my exit. I waited in the hall for a little bit, trying to stay out of sight. I didn't hear my girl crying, so I left.

Then I cried. Just a little! After I ran a couple of errands, coming back to the house with no one here except Snickers was a little strange! I look forward to picking her up (in just a little bit actually) and hearing all about her first day!

UPDATE: Rachael came out the door from preschool with a note from her teacher saying she went potty TWO TIMES, and she was "a great helper"! :-) As if that wasn't enough, when we brought Gracie home, she showed us how she can tie her shoes all by herself!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Before and After, Part I

Chris is very fortunate to have every other Friday off from work. It is very rare that he actually takes a day OFF, though. The man is always working on something. And now, of course, with the new house, there are plenty of projects to keep him busy. The first thing on his list was the landscaping in the front yard. I posted a picture of the house before, here (scroll to the bottom). Looks nice, doesn't it? Although the tenants took excellent care of the inside of the house (it was basically immaculate), this is what the area in front of the left window looked like when we got here (I took this yesterday):

After a half day (of his "off" Friday) and basically a full day of work, here is Chris' finished product, and this was taken earlier this afternoon:

Chris is my hero!

As for next weekend?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

First Day #1

Amazingly enough, nobody cried on Grace's first day of kindergarten! I'm kind of surprised at myself since I got a little misty-eyed when I was making her lunch last night, but today at the school everyone had dry eyes! Daddy was able to join us, and of course Rachael came along for the ride -- asking if she could go to her school pretty much all morning! Tuesday apparently can't come fast enough!

We have heard nothing but great things about Gracie's teacher, and she was comfortable with her right away when she went in for her assessment on Wednesday. That was such a relief!

Here is Grace going into her classroom, with her teacher greeting her. The teacher wears an apron with four different greeting options that they point to and choose: a hug (heart), a smile (smiley face), fist bump (fists) or a "good morning" (sunshine). Upon meeting her teacher yesterday, and again today, Gracie chose the hug. :-)

We do it all again on Tuesday! I'm hoping for a repeat when it comes to the tears -- but sometimes Rachael can surprise us!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

First Post from THE NEW HOUSE!

Oh, how I wish I had some pictures to offer you! I tried to take some photos the other day, but I just don't have a gift for getting the right perspectives and everything! I hope to get some though, especially some before-and-after shots of the work in the yard that Chris will be doing! He's already made some vast improvements! The yard is in great shape, but there are a bunch of weeds in the landscaping, and he wants to make some more changes. He'll be great at it!

The week before last, I had a bunch of wonderful friends that watched Rachael during the mornings (while Grace was at a VBS at the church where she'd gone to VPK), and I packed away! The next week, Grace was at dance camp and I was helping with the arts camp (helping lead the drama class, what a shock!) at our church. That FRIDAY was closing and that weekend we had our plans to move!

Friday morning at 8:30 a.m., Chris and I went to sign a bunch of papers (that's us right after with our keys -- can you tell we're happy??), while his mom took Grace to dance camp and watched Rachael. Right after closing, I headed to the church for the last day of the arts camp. The performance for their families was at 11:30 a.m. While I was there, Chris and his mom started moving a ton of stuff over to the house! We took some more stuff over when I got back, and Chris took the first shower in the new house (without hot water, the breaker for the a/c and hot water heater was turned off!), then we rushed over to the dance studio for Grace's performance. WHEW!

All weekend I was in awe of the help we had, it was incredible! So many people came to lend a hand, and we were so appreciative!!

We still have a long way to go, of course, but we can take our time! IT'S OUR HOUSE! Yay!!

Grace has made herself right at home, she loves it! (Check her out playing her current favorite, Mario Kart.) Rachael took a little more time getting used to it, for a few days she kept asking when we were going to "the different house." (She's checking out a bagworm that was right outside the front door.) They both LOVE the space they have! We've already had a couple of their friends over for a visit, and it makes such a huge difference! I think Snickers is still getting adjusted -- she is definitely not acting like herself, but hopefully she'll realize that this is HOME, and she can get quite a workout speeding around the house! I really want to take her for a walk around the neighborhood, but she quits before I do in this heat! However, I will have more time soon since...

THE GIRLS GO BACK TO SCHOOL! Well, Grace goes back, Rachael is starting! Grace's first day of kindergarten is this Thursday (we meet her teacher and she has her assessment tomorrow), and Rachael begins preschool at the church two days a week next Tuesday! (We will also go to her open house tomorrow, right after we leave Grace's school.) I am praying that Grace will adapt this year as well as she did last year -- her first day of VPK, she didn't know anyone at all. Even though some familiar faces will be at the same school, so far I haven't talked to anyone that has the same teacher. I am excited for her, though! Rachael is READY! She has been asking to go to school! I know she's going to have so much fun!

So many changes in such a short amount of time! But so many positive changes, and so many blessings!