Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Day of Preschool!!

Today was the first day of preschool for little Shane!  I am still getting used to the fact that he is three, and now we add preschool into the mix!  Since it was the first day, it was just a half day, but he loved every minute of it!  I heard a rundown of all the things he played with upon picking him up!  He already likes his teachers, as well as a number of the kids in his class!  It is going to be a fun year as there are eleven boys and just three girls in his class!!  The only issues we had this morning were over what he was going to wear.  Naturally, I wanted a "nice" outfit - polo shirt and khaki shorts.  Shane wanted to wear a Michigan football jersey with jeans!  I was able to talk him into saving the jersey for game day on Saturday, and we compromised with a polo and jeans! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Let the Soccer Season Begin!

Faith officially kicked off her first AYSO soccer season yesterday!  Her team, the Silver Stars (yes, they did choose that name knowing their team color was red!!), lost the game, but Faith loved playing!  It was so much fun to watch!  Being a U6 game, the girls traveled in mass following the ball all over the field!  We were proud that Faith was so into the game, didn't use her hands, and got in some good kicks!  At this age, five girls for each team play at a time, and there are four five minute quarters.  Faith's team has seven girls, so two girls need to sit out each quarter.  Faith had to take her turn out the last quarter, and she was so upset about it she cried!  She just wanted to keep playing!  Thankfully the great post-game snack got her out of that funk!!

Warming up!

She scored quite a few goals...in warm-ups!

The mass of players around the ball!  Faith is number 9.  She wanted to be number five, but since she is one of the taller girls on her team, she was given the biggest uniform!  Once she heard that it was Aunt Betsy's number, it was okay!!

All running after the ball!  The team they played was also red, so that team wore the penties. 

After each quarter she came running to the sideline for some water. It was cute!

In front of the team banner.  Each team orders a banner - this is serious stuff after all!  We celebrated a great first game with ice cream afterwards!

August Havasu Trip

We are back and getting settled back into "normal" life again after a great week of vacation at Lake Havasu!  This was a special trip as my family (parents and siblings) joined us for the first time ever at the lake!  We had a great time, despite extreme heat!  The water was refreshing - both the lake and the pool - and the time together was just great!  The new-to-us boat ran really well, as it was the first time we took it out into the water.  And it was the most fun I have ever seen our kids have in the water.  Faith has loved the water for a couple years now, but this was the trip that Shane really had a great time swimming!  Those swim lessons are sure paying off!!  Seeing the kids have so much fun and be able to play together in the water was just a delight!

Faith enjoyed having her friend Delaynee there once again!  They had a blast swimming together!

In the pool Shane loved to jump in off the edge!  He literally did it hundreds of times! 

Early on in the trip there was a nice breeze, which made it great for flying kites!  A big thank you to Laurie Van Hofwagen (our friend Jayne's sister) for buying each of the kids a kite! 

The boat in the water.  We took the boat for dinner one night across the lake at Havasu Springs, and we also rode on the river to Moabi for lunch!  It was great fun!  Also, Faith and I enjoyed being pulled in a tube behind the boat.  And Betsy, Carol, and I took tube rides as well!

The "kids" in my family enjoying a dinner out!  Sitting across from Steve and I are my brother Dave, his girlfriend Carol, and my sister Betsy.

Betsy and Faith were buddies all week!  Faith especially loved playing on Betsy's iPad!  Apparently Aunt Betsy has very cool games that my iPad does not!  But Faith told me maybe I could get the cool games for my birthday!

Shane swimming with his floaties!  He loved the freedom they gave him! 

One of our new traditions is going to the Black Bear Diner in Lake Havasu on our way home.  We were seated by these bears, which the kids thought were for climbing!

My beautiful girl!  Picture taken by Laurie

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Goodbye to a Family Favorite

Today is the end of an era in our family.  We are saying goodbye to the "Michigan Shoes".  After faithfully serving both Faith and Shane over the course of four years, it came time to buy a new pair of Crocs for Shane today.  With a hole in the front  of one and no traction on the bottoms, it was probably past time to get a new pair!!  So when we spotted a Crocs store while walking through the mall today, the timing just seemed right to make a change!  I don't know how much those shoes cost, but they were worth every penny Grandma Bruinsma spent!!

And while the shoes have run their race, the memory will live on as both kids still refer to their Crocs as "Michigan shoes!"

And here are the replacements!  Shane wanted another yellow pair, but after hearing that blue was a Michigan color as well, he choose these!  And upon arriving home, he stated, "Thanks for the new Michigan's mom.  They fit really well."  Yes, he seriously said that!  And he is so excited about them, he is currently wearing them in bed!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Beach and the Fair...again!

This week and month are flying by!  Is tomorrow really Thursday?  Is it really already August 10?  Are all the fall activities really starting to put out schedules and getting ready to launch once again??  So far this week we have embraced all things summer!  The beach, the fair, backyard BBQ...

On Monday the kids' swim lessons were cancelled.  Since they were already in their swimsuits (and very much wanting to swim!), we headed to the beach.  While the weather wasn't the greatest, the kids had a blast!!  Faith spent most of her time running in and out of the very cold water.

Shane primarily hung out in the sand - digging holes, putting sand on his head, rolling around in it...we ended up taking quite a bit of sand home with us as a result!

Today we went back to the fair.  Isn't this a great picture?  My friend Julie took it!  I love the perspective of the fair, as well as being able to see the ocean!  Yes, our fairgrounds are located right along the Pacific!!

We found a new kids area, and Faith learned about gathering eggs!

Shane just wanted to put them back into the nest!

The main reason for going back to the fair was to see the animals.  Our next door neighbor and babysitter, Kelly, raised a pig to show at the fair.  The kids are in front of her pig's pen.  Faith wondered where our pig was!  If Kelly had one, shouldn't we have one too?!

Since we already did rides last week, the compromise was that the kids could pick just one ride each to go on.  Faith picked the Bumper Boats, and Shane picked these trucks!  They both enjoyed their day at the fair...again!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Fair is in town!!

One of the highlights each summer is going to the Ventura County Fair.  The kids love it so much, and they talk about all year long!  Friday was the big day - the day we were going to go to the fair!!  I apologize in advance for all the pictures - it was so hard to choose just a few as there were so many cute ones!

We started out looking at the animals, learning from past years that this is best plan of attack.  Since the rides are so thrilling, checking out the animals first decreases the meltdown likelihood, which is an extremely important thing to take into consideration!  In this picture they are looking at rabbits.  Shane really loved the animals - especially the sheep - and probably could have stayed with the animals all day if we let him!

Faith on the roller coaster!  One of the rides she always talks about!  But this year she went without an adult, which she felt very proud about!, and made a friend in line to sit with!

Can't go wrong with Dumbo!

Shane soon realized how much fun all these rides are!!  I thought this was just too cute!

They liked the bumper boats too.  Shane is telling us that he is on boat number three since he is three!

And they both loved the giant slide!  This is yet another ride that we hear about all year long!

We finished up our afternoon at the fair with the petting zoo.  And yes, Shane is kissing the goat!  What can I say?  The boy loves animals!  Thankfully, so does his Aunt Renee!!

After noticing that a goat went to the bathroom, Faith alerted one of the workers and asked to clean up the poop!  Hmmm, I wonder where she gets that from??!!  We had a great time at the fair; it was actually the best fair experience we have had!  The kids were better than we could have imagine.  They were patient, flexible, and didn't put up a fuss when we finally said it was time to go!

Today we went to the annual fair parade.  The kids really enjoyed it all, especially these fire hats handed out by our Congressman!

Soccer Camp Wrap Up

Faith had a great week at soccer camp!!  She learned many new things and most importantly had fun!  Now the count down is on for her AYSO season to start at the end of the month.  On Friday the parents were invited to watch the scrimmages at the end of the camp day, and it was so fun to see her in action!!
Playing intimidating defense!

Tracking the action!

Dribbling the ball - she was actually pretty decent at that!  While she still needs to learn more of the basics, it was fun to see what she did learn during the week at camp.  During the scrimmage she was engaged in the game the entire time (no flower picking, sitting down, or taking random water breaks as some others did!), but she also showed she has a long way to go!  For example, at one point when it was congested, Faith just picked up the ball with her hands and ran rugby style to an open area, put down the ball and dribbled toward to goal!  Steve and I just laughed - but were glad that she wasn't the only one we saw do that!

So proud of her participation certificate!

Another picture from the phone!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Soccer Camp!

This morning Faith began her "training camp" for her upcoming AYSO soccer season!  Actually, it was more like an introduction to soccer for her before her actual season begins!  For three hours today she learned the basics of how to kick the ball, kicking in a certain direction, and some basic soccer concepts - all while having great fun!  The above picture was taken before we left.  I call it her "intimidation" picture, but I think it was more of an "I don't want to smile...I'm a little worried" picture! 

And this was the scene about five minutes before we were supposed to leave!  After getting everything and everyone ready to go this morning to leave the house by 8:25 am, Faith was crying and claiming she did not want to go!  My initial reaction was to be mad and ask her if she knew how much money I spent on the camp and all of her new soccer accessories - real quality mom stuff!  Thankfully, I remembered a wise, more experienced mother shared with me the importance of asking why in situations such as this.  So, that is what I did.  It turned out that her shoes were hurting her.  And while I still thought she was acting crazy, I mentioned that maybe we could try taking them off and trying to make them more comfortable.  As we did so, what did we find in the cleat?  Paper still jammed into the top of one cleat!!  No wonder they were hurting her!!  So we both laughed, put it back on, and Faith was all smiles and excited once again about soccer camp!  What a relief!  The report after camp was that she had a blast!  She can't wait to go again tomorrow, and in her own words, "I did really well today!"  

Shane's big excitement for the day was swim lessons!  Since Faith was a little tired this afternoon, he was able to have a full lesson all by himself today, which he loved!

And we ended our day with a pancake and pj party for dinner!  Not too bad for a Monday!