Monday, August 29, 2011

Busy, busy...

Now that school is officially underway, we have discovered that our family schedule might be just a tad busy, and it's mostly because of this little missy...This year Kate is playing volleyball and basketball, running crosscountry, cheerleading, playing in the band, and singing in the church choir. Oh, yeah, and all that school work...

Last week she started JH athletics, and she has to be at the gym at 6:45 every morning for practices. UGH! For this family of late risers, that is TOUGH!!!

My other kids have not even really started their activities yet, and we are already tired!!

Kate's first volleyball game is this week, so LET IT BEGIN for real. Once we add games into the picture, I'm not sure HOW this is all going to all work...

Maybe it's a good thing I am not working... :-)

Friday, August 26, 2011

End of Summer Re-Cap

This was one of the best summers we've ever had... We enjoyed everything about it. We had the perfect vacation, and when we were at home we relaxed and swam and just basically enjoyed ourselves. So, when summer came to an end, I mourned its passing more than EVER before.

To make matters even MORE "sticky", I knew I was really going to miss the kid-o's when they went back to school this year. I knew I was going to be AT HOME, ALL ALONE, EVERY SINGLE DAY once they went back to school. And, I was DREADING that. Badly.

SO... I wanted to do something special the last weekend before school began. I just didn't know what that was. I told hubby I wanted to plan something special, and he looked at me like I had sprouted a third head, and said, "I have to work that weekend."


That could really put a damper on the plans.


But, I chose not to let it!! :-)

Instead, I loaded the girls up in the car and we went on an impromptu vacation to the beach for the weekend!
It was fantastic. We did nothing but play in the sand and soak up the sun. It was the perfect end-of-summer get away.

Then, on the way home, we stopped and got Abby's ears pierced.
Doesn't she look so grown up? :-) I kind of don't like that part so much...

SO... that's what we did just before school started! We drove into town Monday afternoon just in time to change clothes and go to "Meet the Teacher" night. It was a trip that we could not have taken if I had been working, so it was a great way to celebrate our changing world.

Now... bring on the school year!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day of School 2011

Today was the first Day of School! I now have a first grader, a fourth grader, and a seventh grader. WHERE has the time gone, and can't we just SLOW THIS DOWN ALREADY?!?!?

Here are my beautiful girls this morning, all dressed and ready for their first day.
Here's Grace, excited to show of her cute backpack.
Here's Abby with her stylish messenger bag...
And here is my big 7th grader.
Here is Abby with her teacher, Mrs. Dalton. (I embarrassed her horribly by going into her room and asking her to pose with her teacher for this picture!! :-)
And here is Grace with her teacher, Mrs. LeBlanc. (I can't believe the pic is blurry!! Darn I-phone!!)
Everyone was tired after pick-up time, but everyone had a wonderful day. My day, on the other hand, was VERY quiet. I don't know HOW I am going to fill my days without the girls here! :-(

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I don't whine ALL the time...

... even though yesterday's post certainly sounded like it!

Today I have put on my "big girl" panties, and I am trying to deal with it.

We had big plans today that Ju Ju was going to keep the "littler" girls while I took just Kate to the "big city" to go school clothes shopping. We have recently cleaned out closets, and I am not exaggerating when I say she had NOT ONE SINGLE PAIR of jeans left that fit her. Zero. Zilch Nada. And school starts in one week.

BUT... Ju Ju called in sick today, which she NEVER does, so there was nothing to do but load up all the girls and take them shopping with us.

You would have thought I told the little ones I was going to flay them and fry them in hot oil, the way they wailed and carried on when I told them that they had to go this morning!! But, once we got there and started shopping, it really wasn't that bad! We ACTUALLY had fun! And, we got some GOOD STUFF for school. I think the girls are ready now.

Well, maybe they are not READY, but at least they will be clothed!! :-)

Monday, August 15, 2011

... the post where I whine a little...

Now that we've recovered from our "post Disney haze", and kinda gotten into a routine here at Casa de Killian, all of a sudden I have realized that, GOOD GRIEF, the kids go back to school in about a week!!

I am not quite sure how I am feeling about all of this.

Today was the first day that our district's teachers reported back to their campuses. And, as you might remember from the Spring, I was NOT re-hired this year, due to budgetary reasons.

I don't know exactly what I thought today would feel like, but this wasn't it.

I'm sad, and MAD, and depressed, and confused, and all sorts of things... I was sure, and I mean SURE, that I was supposed to be teaching again, now that my kids are older. So why aren't I? Don't all schools want teachers who teach for the love of children and for the love of learning? That is what you would want to believe.... Shouldn't it MATTER that I was REALLY pretty darn good at my job? It should matter. Even if it did not.

And, would someone please enlighten me as to what exactly I am going to DO with myself once my kids are gone all day every day? I am going to be so bored I may pull my toenails out.

Ugh. I am trying, and I mean REALLY trying to just relax and BE, and let God lead.

More difficult than it sounds, my friends... :-(

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 6

Ahhh, Day 6... Also known as "our last day at Disney"... :-(

Also our last day to be staying here...
For our last day of Disney fun, we went to Hollywood Studios. We got there early, and ran through the gates to get to what we had been told would be our hardest ride to get, Disney's Toy Story Ride. We made it! We rode it first thing, and also secured a Fast Pass for later in the afternoon. SCORE!! After riding, we waited just a few minutes to meet these guys!
Then we went to explore the rest of the park. We rode the Star Wars ride, and in the ride, they choose a person at random and put their photo up on the screen and identify them as "The Rebel Spy". Guess who was the spy? It was Grace! How fun! She was a little confused, but it was all in good fun! We also went to the Honey I shrunk the kids playground, and the Little Mermaid Show (fantastic!) and Beauty and the Beast Live (Amazing!!) and The Muppets 3D show. It was so funny! Outside the theater was this very cute fountain.
When I was a little girl, I had a "thing" for Miss Piggy - I LOVED her! I even had a light blue satin Miss Piggy jacket that I LOVED. :-)

We also went to see the Lion, the WItch, and the Wardrobe exhibit, which the kids were very interested in. Grace also got her face painted!
In true Florida style, a storm rolled in right when we were about to go and see the Indiana Jones stunt show. They could only show us a portion of the show, due to the bad weather. We had dining reservations for the evening there at the park (at Hollywood and Vine Restaurant), but we opted to cancel them and go back to our hotel and eat at the sit-down place there. What a GREAT choice! It turned out to be the best meal we had all week!! The Prime Rib was AWESOME! Then, when we got back to our room, the maid had used the girls' souveneirs to decorate their beds for their last night...

While I packed us up, Luke took the girls swimming one last time, and then we tried to get the girls to go to bed early, since we had a 5:20 am flight the next morning. Yikes!! That meant that the Disney Magical Express would be picking us up at 2:30 in front of our resort. Not fun!! Note to self: No matter how cheap the tickets are, it might not be worth ending your vacation in the middle of the night to get the cheap flights! ha ha

All in all, it was a magical trip. I hope it was a once-in-a-lifetime trip that my girls will never forget! :-)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 5

This is the day that we FINALLY let the troops sleep in a little later... We didn't worry quite so much about being at Epcot right when the gates opened for our second day there! When we got there, we did all of our favorite rides first, and got Fast Passes for the ones that had long lines. We rode Soarin' AGAIN (and it was fantastic AGAIN), and Test Track and all the Space Rides, as well as Nemo and Turtle Talk. We also rode the Land ride, which was surprisingly educational. Then we spent the afternoon walking through the countries!

and England (where we met Alice!)

A storm started to blow in, hich looked like it might hold some hard rain, so we left Epcot mid afternoon. We went back to our hotel, and after the rain passed, spent the afternoon resting and swimming. That evening, we had reservations at the Polynesian resort for the Aloha Luau. We got all fancied up, and went over there for a fantastic dinner.

After dinner and the show, we walked back to the monorail, where we were able to see the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom exploding in the sky. It was so perfect! However, by the time we got back to our hotel, everyone was T-I-R-E-D one again!! Luke had to carry the little Gracie back to the room!
What a great day!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 4!

Once again, we were at The Magic Kingdom Gates before they opened for another day of DIsney FUN on Day #4 of our visit.
We had reservations for the Cinderella Breakfast inside of Cinderella's Castle promptly after the gates of the park opened, so we headed there first.

It DID NOT disappoint!!! The food was awesome, the castle was incredibly beautiful, and the girls got to meet and visit with all 5 of the princesses again.

Snow White,
Sleeping Beauty,
and Belle.
After breakfast, we set out on a quest to find the only Princess left that Gracie had not yet met, Tiana, from "The Princess and The Frog." She was charming!! She even had a classic "southern accent!"
Next we went and did everything that the girls wanted to do "again" that they had enjoyed the first time... Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Tom Sawyer's Island, Peter Pan's Ride, Tea Cups, It's a Small World, Winnie the Pooh, and Mickey's Philharmonic Show.

We watched the afternoon parade, which was GREAT.

Here's Pinocchio...
...and Fairy Godmother...
... and CInderella and Prince Charming, just to name a few!
Shortly after the parade, we left. It was H-O-T. The girls wanted to go back to the hotel and swim. We decided to do that, and then, after a shower, we took the ferry boat over to Downtown Disney. We ate dinner ate a neat restaurant called T-Rex Cafe. It was pretty neat... Rather like the Rainforest Cafe, but with everything from Prehistoric times.

Here are Luke and the girls...
Here is a pic of some of the decorations. This giant jelly fish was beautiful! They also had a mammoth inside an ice cave and dinosaurs everywhere... Pretty cool.
After dinner, we went back to our hotel. We were TIRED!! (And, it was already after 10:00 by then...) Disney is DRAINING, and we had another full day lined up the next day!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Disney - Day 3

By our third Disney Day, we were T-I-R-E-D. We had been staying up super late, and getting up early enough to make it to the parks before they opened. We still got up early on Day 3, but we planned to leave early. We had been told that Animal Kingdom Park would not require quite as much time, so that is where we headed for Day #3!

I realized after looking at my pics for this day that I took practically no pictures this day... like I said, We were ALL super tired, including me, the photographer! ha ha! I did get a few taken by the Disney Photo Pass Photographer that I plan to purchase, but not much in the way of documentation of Animal Kingdom.

Here is Abby looking at the Bird Watching Guide.
Here is a really pretty waterfall on the Safari Ride...
Here are Luke and the girls on the Safari ride. We enjoyed it a lot. Great live animals!!
We did ride Expedition Everest, which got mixed reviews. Luke, Kate, and Abby LOVED it. It scared Grace half to death, which was surprising, as she is usually the daredevil and Kate is the scaredy pants. I thought it was just OK... It had the Yeti (abominable snowman) in it, and I think that scared her more than anything... We also enjoyed the dinosaur dig inside the playground. The Kali River Rapids were also fun, but you WILL get wet!! We ate dinner that night at The Tusker House Restaurant inside Animal Kingdom, which was African cuisine, and was delicious. Immediately after dinner (which was early, like 5:00) we went back to our hotel and went swimming and went to bed early. It was a nice relaxing day!