Sunday, September 26, 2010

2nd Grade Pirate Day

This is the Caroline we know and love!

The 2nd Graders always have a Pirate Unit and it ends with Pirate's Day.  The kids dress up like pirates and get to go on a Scavenger Hunt around the school.  This particular Friday was also the All Pro Dad's breakfast, and Caroline wanted to wait until AFTER the breakfast to change into her Pirate Day outfit.  We told her she had to just dress in it for the breakfast, as well, and let's just say that she wasn't too happy about this.  There were some tears that morning, but by the time I got to school and snapped a picture of her, she looked MUCH happier!

Another Trip to Oklahoma

Allison is holding the puppy we chose!

After Boston died, we knew that we would get another puppy at some point, but we just weren't sure when.  We decided to do it sooner rather than later, and we were all so excited to head to Oklahoma on a Sunday afternoon to pick out our new puppy.  We had three females to chose from, and they were all precious, but ours kids knew instantly which one they wanted.  She is smaller, but looks a lot like Boston in color.  It was fun to play with her, and now we have two weeks to prepare for her and think of a name!

Fall Sports

The Pirates Flag Football Team

The Gunners Soccer Team!

The Butterflies!

The Butterfly shirts have a pink heart with the initials JS on them in memory our Rachel's mom and our friend
Jennifer Sheldon.

We are officially in fall sports mode in the Semadeni house.  Will is playing flag football and soccer, and the girls are each playing soccer, as well.  Even though it's hard to coordinate getting everyone to their games each week, we love going to watch them.  Will especially had fun with soccer, and we are ready for the season.  If we could just get some fall weather around here, it would be perfect!

Gram's 70th

Singing to Gram!

Will licking the icing off the candle!

Libby and Gram

We celebrated Gram's 70th birthday a little early on our cruise this summer, and then we celebrated it a couple of weeks late over Labor Day weekend.  We had a fun time eating a great dinner, watching the kids play, and eating some delicious bundt cake!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Girls' (I mean Couples') Weekend!

Kristin, Kelley, Susan, Beth, Marci, and Becky

Eating a delicious dinner out by the pool!

Kelly, Kristin, Rick, and Becky

Marci and Ray

Rick and Ray

Playing Games!
We were so excited to get away for about 24 hours and spend time with my favorite girls and their husbands!  We went to Becky and Rick's house in Plano with Susan and Scott, Marci and Ray, Kelley and Kevin, and Kristin and Kelly.  We had SO much fun talking, laughing, eating, and playing some infamous and now memorable games!  Our time together is never enough, but, again, I'm so grateful for the opportunity to get together and the amazing lifelong friendships I have with these girls (and guys)!!!

A Visit From Grandma

Grandma came to visit from Kentucky the first week of school.  She was mainly here to meet Sophie, but she was able to spend a few days with us, too.  We all had fun, and Allison especially enjoyed doing her first school project by taking a picture of herself with Grandma and writing a story about how she loves to spend time with her.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Bittersweet September Song

My sister-in-law, Kristen, sent me this article written by Beverly Beckham, a grandmother, at the start of school.  I loved it and thought it was a beautiful way to summarize how a mother feels at the start of each school year.  This year was particularly hard (different) for me, because my last child started Kindergarten.  It was definitely the end of a wonderful phase of my life.  But as much as I have to acknowledge that something is ending, I can't help but feel excited for all that is beginning!

I’m glad I’m not a young mother shopping for school clothes and new backpacks, studying the bus schedule, filling in the calendar with “No school day’’ and “Early release,’’ scheduling gymnastics and dance lessons, switching gears and mindset, getting ready to give my children back to the world, bidding this long, hot, summer goodbye.  I never liked September when my children were young. It meant the end of something, not the beginning. Every year, when they walked out the front door and down the walk to wait for the school bus, a little taller and a little wiser than they were just 12 weeks before, my heart ached because I knew that when I got them back again in June, they wouldn’t be who they were now.  Children grow in the summer, too, I know, but it’s different when school starts. They seem to grow faster then. Everything seems faster.  There is a song from “Big: The Musical’’ that sums up the bittersweetness of raising children. It’s called “Stop Time,’’ and the first time you hear it, it stops your heart. “Nobody warns you of this parent’s paradox. You want your kid to change and grow,’’ the song says. “But when he does, another child you’ve just begun to know, leaves forever.’’  Even when you win, you lose. That’s the truth of the song. And that’s the truth about kids. You love your children at every stage exactly as they are. You love the way your baby fits snugly in your arms, the way he opens and closes his tiny hands, the way he sighs and leans into you when he’s sleepy. And you want to stop time. But you love it when he’s bigger, too, when he sits up all by himself. And you want to stop time, then. And when he learns to crawl. And when he walks and talks. And look. He’s starting kindergarten. And he’s learning to read. Can it get any better?  It does. It gets better and better. Parenting is filled with bests and a million happy tears. But it’s filled with lumps in your throat, too, and yearning for what was because even as you’re snapping pictures and head over heels in love with the moment that is, a part of you misses the moments that are not anymore. The infant your child was. The 2-year-old you pushed in her carriage all over town. The 5-year-old who said “pinuter’’ not computer. The 6-year-old who raced in from school every day eager to show you what he’d colored and learned and made.  September whisks kids away and entertains them and beguiles them, but returns them not as they were but changed and in a different size. That’s why parents cry as they wave goodbye. Because first grade becomes fifth grade becomes high school becomes college even as you watch.  How is this, I wonder, that a day alone with a colicky baby and an I-don’t-take-a-nap-anymore 2-year-old can feel like a year? But 18 years can go by in a blink of an eye? How is it that both my daughters, who just yesterday were upstairs trying on their new school clothes, are this year dressing their own children ready for first grade?  They’ve bought new clothes and a lunch box and a backpack. Just as I bought new clothes and a lunchbox and a backpack for them, just as my mother bought new clothes and a lunch box and a green cloth book bag for me.  It’s a big step, first grade, the first in a journey that will take their children physically, emotionally, and spiritually to places they cannot begin to imagine. And not only will their children change, but the world will change, too.  The kids are excited. We’re all excited. A stop-time moment is on its way.  But time won’t stop. It won’t even slow down. That’s why we’ll pay attention and take pictures. So we’ll never forget the day. So that even when it’s passed, it will remain.

Here are "my" memories in pictures from that first day.

Allison 1st day of 4th grade and last first day of Elementary School

Caroline 1st day of 2nd Grade

Will first day of Kindergarten

Will and Mrs. Small

time for school to start!

looking in for a few last pictures!

Will's cubby

and new backpack!

celebrating with the annual 1st day of school cookie cake

Will riding the bus for the 1st time on the 2nd day of school!

such a big boy!
one last look at my boy coloring his boot on the first day...

This year is special to me in many ways - It's the only year that all three of my kids will be at the same school on the same schedule, they all love to see me up at school with them, I have a job on the PTO that I love with a wonderful group of girls, and most importantly, Will is spending his Kindergarten year with a teacher that I love so much.  My goal is to live this year in a way so that even when it's passed, it will remain.