Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Kindergarten and Second Grade!

How could I ever begin to communicate how much I love these kids? It is impossible to find words deep enough, profound enough. These are God's treasures, my Lorelei and Gryffin. And I'm gushing over with such pride to watch them begin a new school year: second grade and kindergarten!!
The Backpack Fairy, Miss Frizzle, paid her annual visit, bestowing gifts of tennis balls, Angry Birds pencils, Garbage Pail Kids, books, toothbrushes, and a new water bottle.
 That Backpack Fairy has some major fans in the Connelly household.
 The Garbage Pail Kids were a huge hit! So were the books and Angry Birds pencils.
(In case you're taking notes for next year, Miss Frizzle.)
 And these kids are so thrilled to be going to the same school again! 
It almost didn't happen.
We nearly sent Gryffin to PreK so he wouldn't be the youngest, but when he was already reading and begging to go back to Heartland (where he had 4-yr-old preschool), we had a change of heart...
 ... and did an about-face.
Check out those cute backpacks the kids chose, by the way.
It was love at first sight, those.

 Here's Lorelei with our new neighbor. She's part of the carpool bunch (5 kids!). The kids seem to think it's super cool all hopping in the van together after school.
The night before school, when class assignments were posted on the doors and emailed.
 Lorelei and Lexi--thrilled to be in the same class.
All these girls in class together! There are TEN kids from last year's class, out of 18 total.
 The fact that she has class again with this boy, well, that just put her over-the-top.
She's been writing his name into the dirt on our car windows over the summer.
Wish I were joking.
He's not the boy she "accidentally kissed" at recess the second week, though. We had a little chat about appropriate behavior around boys. She was terrified she was going to get a "Think Sheet" the next day in class, meet with the principal, and get sent home.
We let the fear linger a bit.
 Here's Lorelei's second grade teacher, Miss Welter/Mrs. Aitken.
She's getting married this weekend!
 To be sitting across from Margaret and beside Grant on her first day was the best-thing-ever.
 And while Lorelei enjoyed her first full day back, Mr. G accompanied Mommy to the PTO meeting in the cafeteria. All his good buds were in the morning half-day kindergarten class upstairs, which sort of broke my heart. And then, Gryffin met Miles, an afternoon half-day bud with a passion for his favorite game: Angry Birds. This new-spun friendship settled more of my nerves than his, I think.
 He was more ready than I for this momentous day!
 Grammy and I took G for a special lunch at Ingredient before school.
He was a goofball for the camera, as usual.

 And be still, my heart... the moment was upon us!

 Miss Hill (right) is Gryffin's kindergarten teacher.
It's so good to know both kids have awesome teachers.
 And there he goes (taking my heart with him).
But I knew deep down he was ready, and the schedule's no different than last year.
I think I somehow got by with nay a tear.
Ah, how I love half day kindergarten!
Update: Gryffin now is buds with all the afternoon kindergarteners too, and boy are they ever an awesome bunch! All those butterflies about him not knowing anyone have fluttered away.
Kindergarten life is good :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hot Air

We're so blessed to have some great new neighbors across the street...
neighbors who are just as spontaneous as we are, and decide on a whim to chase some hot air balloons.
It was a good shin dig.

 Lorelei got a little out of control with the paints, as usual.

 Twinkle lights!

Friday, August 2, 2013


Mark and I loved camping in college, and finally our kids are a great age to enjoy a night out beneath the stars. We've gone twice this summer, once by ourselves, and once with this Backwoods Bunch.
 The Mighty Meyerpeters. 
 The Kumbya Kanarys.
 The Grizzly Gunkels.
 And Camp Connelly.
The kids were involved in every aspect of camp life, like setting up the tents.

 The Connellys can't camp without our giant bubbles.
They're a big hit with the kids.

 We blazed the trails together, usually with Jack and Gryffin taking the lead.

 These boys kept that wet wood on fire.
 And the girls relaxed with a game of cards.
 There was red-neck golf, frisbee-flinging...
 ... loads of amazing food & s'mores ...
 ... and some Kubb, a Scandinavian-themed gift before our big trip to Sweden.
At night, we traced the constellations and huddled round the fire with the kids, singing songs and passing the flashlight for ghost stories. There was a bit of screaming at bedtime, when Lorelei got stung by a bee in her sleeping bag.  But it was a few hours later that the adults got in trouble by the nice park ranger for being a wee bit too raucous and loud.

This bunch?  Never.
Earlier this summer in June, we took the kids by ourselves for a campout with just our family.
Here are the pics:

 After this night hike, we had dozens of ticks covering our bodies.
Not so pleasant.

 But happy trails, we sure do love a good campout!