Monday, August 23, 2010

Fourth grade??? Really???

Wasn't the first day of kindergarten just five minutes ago?  For that matter, didn't Kendra just take her first steps?  Cliche, I know, but I can hardly believe I have a fourth grader.  Goodness! 

Well, Kendra was SO excited to go to school today.  She really loves school, and for that I am very glad.  I remember being the same way---picking out that "just right" outfit, so excited to meet my classmates.  

Because she goes to school with me, the day starts bright and early...

Today, she actually got up at 6:15 because we had a few extra things to do this morning for the BIG day.

Awww...don't you just hate waking up such a peaceful sleeper?

Clothes, shoes and supplies all laid out, ready to go.  She wanted a messenger bag this year, and we found this cute one at Children's Place for only 10 bucks.  Sweet.

One of the extra things...doing the nails.  Meant to do it this weekend, remembered at bedtime, so made plans to do them this morning. 
The other extra thing is Kendra wanted me to straighten her hair.  After the nails, we are ironing away, and all of the sudden Kendra says, "Um, I don't feel so good." and flew toward the toilet.  Oh man.  This CANNOT happen.  I asked if she needed food, or this...

Her reflux medicine.  We tried both.  She started feeling better pretty quick, and then she said she thinks it was actually the HEAT from the flat iron.  True enough, she had a sheen of sweat on the ole forehead, and getting away from the iron and blowing a fan in her face calmed things down.  Whew!

The requisite "outside in the front yard" photo.

Yep, fourth grade! good friend at school emailed me at the end of the day and said, "Hey, do you know your kiddo looks really grown up all of the sudden?"  Yeah, not going to straighten that hair much anymore.  Makes her look too old! 

Kendra and her bestie, R.  Look at those shoes.  K's are high toppers, R's are low toppers.  SO cute.

Kendra and her teacher.  Yep, you read right.   I'm her teacher this year.  Long hard thought and prayer coupled with unmitigated support from my boss led us to this decision.  Who gets to do this?  Not many people.  We have such a great relationship, we know it is gonna work.  I also have a group of amazing parents, and when I was very forthright and honest about having my own daughter in their child's class, they all supported me.  I also met with my kiddos about it today, and they are all super cool with it, too.  Neato, eh? 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Birthday cash burning a hole in her pocket...

Kendra specifically asked for money from family this birthday because she knew she was getting the new Josefina American Girl doll from her Bama.  She decided Josefina was definately going to need some pajamas and possibly another outfit to add to the one that she arrives in.  Kendra also chose to save some of her saved Disney money for this endeavor, so in total she had about $90 to spend.

I took her and her friend, R, to the Dallas American Girl store yesterday.  They were so excited!  Kendra dressed up Mia and Josefina, and R brought her dolls, Rebecca and Ruthie.  We got there right when the store opened (by accident, not design).  We made the tour through the historical doll section and were starting in the contemporary doll section when Kendra exclaimed, "I'm just so excited, I'm shaking!"  What mom wouldn't be delighted to see her daughter so giddy???  Here are the girls and dolls upon arrival.

Next we headed upstairs to the doll hair salon.  We all decided that a new hairdo was really not worth the price (ranging from $10-$20), but Kendra decided that Mia definately needed her ears pierced.  Josefina came with pierced ears, but you can't remove them.  When you get them pierced in the store, you can take them out and change them.

After the ear piercing part, I noticed a few things about the store.  One, it started to fill up FAST!  And two, it was almost comical to watch all the parents just following their girls around the store, just like I was!  The girls really rule the shopping trip at that store!  I kept making eye contact with other moms who I'm guessing had the same look on their face as I did!
Kendra decided on a really pretty nightgown for Josefina, and then she and R both fell in love with this cute little contemporary outfit so they each bought it for their dolls.  Kendra also decided that Mia has 20/40 eyesight (really, that's what she said!) so she had to get her some glasses, too.

They really had a great time.  I'll admit I'm kinda glad the store isn't right around the corner from our house or it could become a temptation.  But this trip was awesome...I didn't spend a dime! 

Kendra really loves these dolls.  She plays with them all the time, and since she doesn't really play with toys that often (she prefers crafts and playing school), that is saying a lot.  She has already said that she intends to keep them both for her own children.  Aw.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Birthday girl part 2

Lucky Kendra gets to celebrate her birthday twice each year--once in Michigan with our family there, and once here in Texas with her friends.  Usually we do a pretty decent sized swim party, but this year we pared down the list to four girls who we invited over for a swim and sleepover extravaganza!   It was hard to whittle the list, but we decided to just do school friends this year because they all knew each other and would be able to get along well.  One friend was at church camp, so we ended up with four girls total, including Kendra.  Kendra chose a flip-flop cake for this party.
I was pretty pleased with the result considering the conditions I was working in.  It has been so blasted hot in Texas (over 100 degrees each day) and the air conditioning is working itself to death trying to maintain the 78 degree temp I've got set.  The frosting kept trying to melt and I had to put it in the freezer several times in the process!

To go with the cake we got each of the girls a pair of flip flops in their favorite color, and coordinating ribbon to decorate them with.

They also got a pack of Silly Bandz and three lip glosses as part of their take-away gift.

Here's Kendra in her bathing suit and coverup, tuning up the music in anticipation of the arrival of her friends.

They arrrived and we headed to the pool! They played for about and hour and a half. Normally I enjoy just sitting poolside to watch, but I had to get in several times to beat the heat!
What cuties!

Kendra also asked if we could do some water balloons, and I agreed with the condition that we play in the open soccer field next to the pool instead of our backyard (didn't want any surprises left by Grady to ruin the fun!). 

We headed back to the house where I supervised a revolving door shower for the girls while making homemade pizza for dinner.  Cheese and bacon.  YUM!

As they came from the shower, all the girls would start brushing their hair.   It took only moments for those hair brushes to become microphones and they were belting out some Carrie Underwood!
After dinner, cake and ice cream, the girls decided they wanted to put on a show.  They rehearsed for at least an hour in my bedroom (something about needing the bathroom???).  Then they performed it for me.

The cast!

While they were rehearsing, I was busy hot-gluing the ribbon to the flip flops.  Originally we intended it to be a craft project for the girls to do, but I didn't want them to burn themselves like I did (twice!).
After the show, we got all set up for movie time, including popcorn, of course!  I think this was Grady's favorite part of the night!

While the girls ate and watched the movie (we started with Percy Jackson but it was a bit scary so we changed to The Parent Trap), I painted their finger and toe nails.  Quite the undertaking, especially because they all wanted fancy stuff like polka dots and colored tips.  The toes looked super cute in their new flip flops, though!

I was EXHAUSTED!  So I insisted that we hit the lights at about 11:45 p.m.  I knew I had to get them up at around 8:00 the next day because one of them needed to be picked up early.  And sure enough, not a creature was stirring when I got up the next day to wake them...

After M left at 9, I had the other two girls until 10:30 and they wanted me to do their hair.  We did side ponys for all, complete with flowers.  How sweet!

What a great bunch of girlies my daughter has chosen as friends.  I am grateful for their sweet spirits and would be glad to have them in my home again anytime!  Kendra had a really fun time with her besties!!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Birthday girl part 1

Kendra's ninth birthday happened while we were in Michigan.  The morning started with the traditional birthday pancake declaring the new age...
Had a little issue in the sort of looks like a "9"!

Tessa had stayed the night with us, so she and Kendra got started on party decorating while I made the cake and did some other party prep.

We finished doing all the party prep and had several hours before the family would arrive, so I took Kendra and Tessa to see the movie, Ramona and Beezus.  Such a cute movie!  I cried through the last third of it---what a sap!
Back to the party we went!  All Kendra requested for the family birthday party was to have dinner with our family and have a game of family kickball in my mom's front yard.   I wanted to maximize visiting time, so I ordered pizza and got a huge greek salad and breadsticks from local restaurants.  SO glad we didn't spend gobs of time in the kitchen!

We had our first kickball game shortly after almost everyone arrived.  My sister's family, my brother in law's parents and brother, my mom and Troy and Kendra and I made up the bunch to start.  Kendra's grandparents from Ohio drove up to be with us, too! 

Kendra decided MONTHS ago that she and her Aunt Erin were going to be the team captains. 
They chose teams...
Team Kendra

Team Erin

The Ohio grandparents were still on the road at this point, but they joined us later with Linda on Team Kendra and Dave served as impartial umpire.  Big Jack served as all-time pitcher for both teams.

Nice kick, Kendra!
Bama is SAFE at home!
Bro in law, Jack, took this one of me...he tried for some action shots but ended up cutting off my head in them! 
Grady participated behind the glass door, and was NOT happy about it.  He barked pretty much the whole time. 

We went inside and ate and then it was time for cake.  We don't go overboard with theme's for birthdays, as we are pretty simple folks.  Kendra and I went online to come up with a cake idea, and we found an idea for a sunglasses cake.  She has a super cute pair of silver sunglasses so I tried my best to make the cake look like them.
Kendra opened her gifts after we ate cake, and got some really cute things....
Love that sleep mask!
To stay somewhat in theme, the goody bags for the cousins included a pair of sunglasses for each of them. 
I love this stair-step picture!!!  What a bunch of cuties!  We wish the other two cousins could have been here, too! 

When I asked for a quote about her birthday party Kendra said, "It was great!"  How profound.  Oh well, she is only nine.  Glad she had a good time. 
Note, this is part 1 of birthday fun.  We always have a "friend" party when we get back to Texas, which will be this week.  Stay tuned for pics to come!