Tuesday, August 30, 2011

first day in the 2nd grade

Let me start by saying, I am not ready for summer to be over.

Today is Ethan's first day of second grade. I can't believe it.
He picked out his hair colors and style and decided on his hockey camp garb to wear. The awesome new backpack is a gift from Jaymee. He loves it! The face in this picture is courtesy Uncle Crash. Ethan thinks it's funny to have his tongue out in every picture now. 
Man I love this kid.
We had a good morning. Ethan bolted out of bed when I woke him up. He was very excited to get his day started. Elliott was pretty bummed that he wasn't going to school today, but he was happy to get to help "Bubs" carry his stuff to the car. We snapped some pictures, then headed to the school. When we were pulling up I asked Ethan if he wanted me to drop him off at the door or walk in with him. He said he wanted me to come in (yay, he still needs me). We found his class, met his teacher (she remembered him and his hair from his field trip to meet her), of course she is young and fun and super cute and friendly (where were these teachers when I was in school?). He hung up his bag and we went outside so he could play before the bell rang. He felt much better by this point, and after hugs and kisses he headed to the playground. I know he is going to have another great year of school.

Just for fun.
Here is Ethan in 1st grade. 
And kindergarten.
Now to share my tragedy.
Last year, we snapped this crappy picture on the way out the door, set the camera down and left, so we had to do his "first day of school" pictures on the second day of school. 
This morning, I hurried the boys outside, snapped some pictures, put the camera away and off we went. When I got home, I loaded the pictures onto my computer and saw this. 
I am so mad at myself. I have a preview screen on the camera, why didn't I look at the pictures when I took them? ARG! The camera was still set to take pictures by the campfire.
This is what happened when I tried to edit them.  
Terrible. Absolutely terrible. So again, the "first day of school" pictures will be taken on the second day of school. Good thing he's only in 2nd grade. Maybe I can get it right before he graduates.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

last weekend before school

We were invited to spend a weekend at the lake with some friends from Billings. I figure, if they are willing to drive 4 hours to spend the weekend with us, we can drive 30 minutes and make it happen. We borrowed a tent from our friend Tessa (thanks again) and Jeff helped us set up (thank goodness). Friday night we spent around the fire chatting and relaxing. The perfect way to start a camping weekend. 
The next morning, the kids headed to the lake with the fishing poles hoping to catch anything.  
After breakfast, we loaded up onto the boat and headed out. It was a beautiful morning. The air was fresh, the water was still, and the sun was shining. Absolutely perfect. 

Who can resist such prime conditions? 
Jeff showed us how it was done on the slalom ski.  
And Ethan was excited to try out the tube.  
Ethan smiled the whole time and try as he may, Jeff couldn't knock him off. 
We went back in for lunch and low and behold...........a fish! Not worth keeping of course, but Tyler was proud.  
We decided to go over into a little cove we saw earlier and swim. Elliott thought it was much smarter to just sit on the tube. Ethan jumped off the rocks, and Amie, Calsey and I did some swimming. It was so hot, the water was very refreshing.  
Snacking before dinner is a must when camping. :)  
Then, Elliott got brave. We brought their bikes, and they were riding like crazy on the dirt road. Elliott came over and told us he wanted his other training wheel off (the only one he had on). Jeff promptly removed it and he was off! He rides at mach speed, and not having a training wheel didn't even phase him. Only one crash when he couldn't stop going downhill. I swear, this kid is unstoppable. I'm scared for our future with him. :)
No camping trip would be complete without s'mores. Ethan is impatient so he just starts his marshmallow on fire........... 
And lets Tyler blow it out for him. Silly boys. 
I had to have a pic to prove I was there of course. Not bad for a self portrait by the fire.  
Saturday night, while sleeping, I was woken up to the sound of sniffing and chomping. My heart skipped a beat until I figured out it was a dog. After he left our camp site, he headed down to the water for some splashing around. I was less than impressed, but glad it wasn't a real "wild animal". 
Sunday morning, we ate breakfast and headed home. Lucky for me it was a short drive. Thanks again Amie, Jeff, Tyler and Aubrey. We had a great time! 

Now I have to get ready for school. On Tuesday, we will have a 2nd grader. Watch out world. Here he comes. :)  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

grandma and papa come to visit

My mom and dad drove up to see us for the weekend. This was their first visit to Helena since we've been here. The boys were excited all week for Friday. :) 

Of course we had to go swimming first thing. 

The boys thought it was fun to make Papa carry them around the pool.  
Saturday, we did some sight seeing. We haven't really done any of that so it was fun for everyone. My dad remembered being a kid and touring the Catholic Church and wanted us to see it. 
One word, incredible.  
This cell phone pic (as much as I love my iPhone) does nothing for the architecture. 
After lunch, we took the tour train. This is the only picture I took, but I loved seeing all the things I didn't even know existed here. We definitely have to do it again. 
Sunday, there was swimming at the hotel, then a little shopping, then we met my friend, Tessa, at the lake. It was the perfect day for it too. It's been a while since my parents have been able to breath in some fresh mountain air and sit by a gorgeous cool lake. I hope they enjoyed it.  

Seriously. This is 20 minutes from my house. I wouldn't live anywhere else (except maybe closer to this). 

After some jet skiing, Ethan thought he'd try out water skis. 
Up..and..Down. That was quick.  
2nd try. 
UP(ish)! Much better than the first time. 

And......DOWN! Check out that splash. 
He decided twice was sufficient. :) I'm so proud of him though. 
Monday was my parents last day. We all drove to Great Falls to meet up with my Aunt and cousins. It was great to see them all. 
When we got home, the boys couldn't wait to play outside. Elliott rode his bike and the training wheel came off. He wanted it back on, but he really doesn't use them, so I decided he could just use one for a while. He took off and doesn't even use the one he has left except to rest his bike on when he stops. Little stinker. 
In the mail came a package from Daddy. A video of him reading to the boys. They love it. We watched it three times the first time we turned it on. I hope it doesn't wear out. 
We have to get into a routine this week. Ethan starts 2nd grade on Tuesday and Elliott starts preschool soon. They are both ready to go. I can't believe how fast the summer went.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

for the boys

We have been doing a lot of fun stuff, mostly for Daddy, but we can't post everything (since he hasn't seen them). But I can post these. I found the tutorial for these bracelets here. I knew we had to do it. 

So first, we made our camo clay beads. Ethan really got into this, and figured out how to get the swirls just right. I made and cut out yellow ribbons too.
Then, I cut some stretchy cord, and they put on their beads.  
Elliott had a harder time with this. Every time he got the string through, he would pull it all the way out of the one he had strung on before. It was so cute to watch his little brain work out that problem.
A knot, some glue and Ta-Da! 
Aren't they great?!?!  
Seriously, this clay was so easy and fun, we will definitely be using it again.