Thursday, August 30, 2012

Catching up once again!

The lack of blog posts lately have been a result of being busy, being tired, and just not putting pictures on the computer!  Here are some of the things that we have been up to lately!

Summer had officially arrived in Ventura as it has been warm lately!  We took advantage of the summer weather one night last week and went to the beach after dinner.  Since school is back in session around here, we had the beach to ourselves!  The kids enjoyed playing at the playground and of course putting their feet in the ocean! 

Over the weekend we headed back to the beach to do some swimming!  One of Steve's friends of many year and his family came up to rent a house at the beach in Ventura.  So we spent Sunday afternoon with them at the beach!  They kids all had a great time playing together, and there is just something about being at the beach that the kids never run out of things to do or see!
Faith was excited to be near a jetty so that she could go exploring and search for sea anemones!  She found many anemones and even a crab! 
Shane was more adventurous than we have even seen him in the ocean!  He loved using the boogie board!
Faith is building a sand castle with the middle little girl of the other family.  It was cute to see Faith act more "motherly" than we have ever observed before!  It was great practice for when her little sister is born! 
On Tuesday of this week Shane had his first day of preschool!  While he is at the same preschool as last year, he is in an outdoor classroom this year.  The first two hours of the morning are spent outside doing some normal preschool things, but also exploring nature, harvesting crops (they picked tomatoes on the first day!), and just being outside!  So far he loves it!!  The last hour is spent in the classroom, and today we saw the class having their circle time and a story inside when we arrived to pick him up!  He is loving being back in school!
Faith wanted a picture of part of her school day today too!  On Thursdays we do our science experiments, and today we made little boats out of corks that we pushed a thumb tack into the bottom.  We then moved the boats in the tray filled with water by using a magnet under the tray as we are learning about magnets!  You may notice the bandage on Faith's chin.  She had a bike accident the other night that required a trip to the urgent care center!  Thankfully the doctor was able to fix the damaged chin with a little glue rather than stitches!  She appears to be healing well and is not complaining of it hurting, which is good! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Soccer Season Begins!

Faith kicked off the soccer season today with her first game!  This year she is on the "Jungle Cats" with a nice group of girls!  And while they did not win their first game today, I am sure they will show much improvement over the course of the season!

An action shot!  Some of the girls were not too thrilled to play against the Purple Ninjas as they didn't think it was fair a team was given purple jerseys and they were stuck with yellow!  Girls! 

Team pep talk as they started the second half.  They coaches seem very knowledgable, yet also very patient!  Both key ingredients when coaching a group of six year old girls.

Faith did a throw in right in front of where I was sitting!  She followed the coache's instructions of throwing the ball up the sideline!

After the game we decided to celebrate with a little fro-yo!  It was a hot day for Ventura, making it taste extra good!

Highlights from the week

Here are some of the highlights from this past week!

On Tuesday we went to Costco to pick up some necessities, and we came home with Halloween costumes!  It never ceases to amaze me how early things are put on display for the different holidays!  Since we have missed the opportunity to pick up costumes there in the past, we figured we better pick some out!  Shane is thrilled to be Iron Man, and Faith immediately fell in the love with the Ariel mermaid costume!  Since purchasing these, Shane has worn his multiple times each day!!

Late Tuesday night Steve was heading outside, and he saw our original cat Crunchy at the back door.  While we cannot remember exactly how long she has been gone, it is between 3-4 years!!  When we brought Coco to our house, she did not get along with Crunchy and chased her away!  Crunchy must have been in the area and realized that Coco is gone so it was safe to go home again! The kids were so excited!

Crunchy feeling right at home! And she has stayed around since her original appearance Tuesday night!  Faith is especially excited as she claims to remember playing with Crunchy when she was younger.  Anytime I am unsure of where Faith is, she is outside looking for the cat!

Thursday we went to our favorite summer spot, Padaro Beach Grill!  We met our friends the Fortunatis there and had lots of fun.  The kids played, watched a few trains go by, searched for bunnies while the moms sat and talked!  A win-win!! 

Faith, Miles, Shane, and Isabella stopping for a moment to pose for a picture!

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Grade Begins!

School is officially back in session at the Poelstra house!  We started first grade today, and the school year is off to a great start!  While it may seem a bit early to be beginning the year, I foresee taking an approximate three week break from school when the baby is born in November, so by starting early we can end on time!  Faith was very ready to start and very excited about all the new things she will learn in first grade!  Admittedly, I am pretty excited too!!

Some of the new additions to the first grade curriculum include a greater emphasis on reading by Faith (reading lists, reading short stories each day), spelling words, and more writing.  She is also going to be learning Spanish through the Rosetta Stone program!  In spite of having swimmers ear (we also went to the doctor today to find out why Faith was having so much ear pain!), it was a great first day!  And with starting out with Charlotte's Web as our read-aloud, it was a fun morning!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Havasu Trip - part 2

 On Tuesday we ventured through the lake and onto the Colorado River.  Two of the other families with us rented a boat for a day, so it was nice to have a large group spend the day together on the water!  This picture is of Faith and Cambria on our boat as we headed into Topak Gorge on the river.

One of our favorite things to do is to find a beach along the river.  On this trip we packed picnic lunches and really had a fun time on our own special beach!  Shane spent most of his time in the water, and had lots of fun squirting everyone else with a squirt gun!

The girls had fun building sand castles.  By the end of our time at the beach, the grand castle even had a moat!  They were quite thrilled with themselves!

The kids love helping Steve drive the boat!

One of the nights we went to a favorite restaurant, the Golden Horseshoe.  It is kind of a western place where you can throw your peanut shells on the floor!  We try to go here each trip we take to the lake!  The Jernigans and Browers joined our family.

Here are all the kids outside of the Golden Horseshoe

Wednesday night we had a pizza party picnic with the Taylors so that we could all go for a night swim!  This too will be something we do each time!

Pictures from our final family boat ride of the trip!  Both kids did the EZ ski again!  We made it back to the resort, and Steve was able to get the boat out of the water just before an unexpected monsoon sprang up!  As always, we are already looking forward to our next trip!

Havasu Trip - Part 1

We are back home and semi-recovered from our week long trip to Lake Havasu!  It was a great trip filled with friends (three families joined us!), lots of fun, boating, and no sun burns!  Given that it was over 110 degrees every day, the no sunburns was quite remarkable!  It was a busier trip having more people there with us, but it was just so nice to spend time with friends who we do not see often, and also for the kids to all have such a great time together. 

Part of managing the heat is spending some time in the room!  The kids brought along their cars and had so much fun each morning playing with them.

Faith was finally able to use her birthday present from Steve and I - her EZ Ski!  It is something that is pulled behind the boat that simulates water skiing in a very beginner way.  While the bottom is hard, the upper portion is all air-filled giving it a cushioned feel.  Also, it looks like a horseshoe with a little seat in the middle for the skier to either sit down or stand.  Faith did great from the start and loved using this! 

Here is Shane on the EZ Ski!  Despite the very serious, unemotional look on his face, he had a great time!  He even said it was the best part of his trip!!  He sat down the entire first ride, but when we took the ski out again, he stood up right away!  All the other kids who tried this ski liked it as well!

Quite a bit of time was spent at the pool in addition to the lake!  Both Faith and Shane love it when Steve throws them high in the air!  We did a night swim this trip, which was really fun too! 

One of the families who came for a few days, the Browers, rented two paddle boards.  This was a new thing for all the kids, and it proved to be a huge hit!  While it was a little challenging for the younger kids to coordinate the whole paddling thing, they were more than content to sit on the board and ride around!

In this picture the kids are with their friend Cambria - daughter of our friends the Jernigans.  Our kids just loved spending time with Cambria as she was so sweet, adventurous, and just fun!  Shane also took a liking to some of the older girls who enjoyed playing with him!   

The Fair is in town!

A highlight each summer for the kids is going to the Ventura Country Fair!  And even though it started right before we were to leave for vacation, we had to get there!  As always the kids had the best time.  We went on a wristband day, which means unlimited rides for Faith and Shane!  The tea cups was their first venture!

The giant slide is always a hit.  Although this is the smallest of the giant slides!  Faith was able to find two additional slides that were bigger and more adventurous!  In this picture, Faith is on the left and Shane on the far right.

A less adventurous ride - the train - but still lots of fun!

Shane was excited to ride in the cars.

Here is the biggest, craziest, tallest slide at the Fair!  Faith had no fear!  She surprises me at times!!  We had a great day at the Fair - one of our best times ever!  The weather was perfect, the crowds were relatively small, there was hardly any waiting for the shuttle to take us to the fair, and the kettle corn - our one treat! - was delicious!

And after all that fun, Faith had her first practice with her fall AYSO team.  They came up with the name "Jungle Cats" and are looking forward to a very fun season!  The first game is just a week away!!