Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Whole New View

The big girls and I went last week to get our eyes rechecked. It's been a year since Ruth and I got our glasses and it was time to reassess. Maggie has also been complaining about everything being blurry and had many school induced headaches last spring. We were checked and the doc said we all needed new scripts (of course). Mine haven't changed that much, but I could tell they weren't quite right as I wore them so I'm happy to pay for new lenses! Ruth, now that she's older, can verbalize her level of blurriness a little better... so her lenses are actually worse, but only because she knows how to tell him what she sees better. Maggie has a reading issue and hopefully after a couple years, will grow out of her lens need. She also needs to train herself to sit with her reading further away from her face.
We picked up Maggie and my glasses last week but we had to wait a week for Ruth's to come in.
Here's the picture of the girls tonight... mostly for Grandma. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

School Begins Again...

We started school on August 7th... a Friday. It wasn't "real" school, as the girls informed me later that day. REAL school didn't start until Monday. I tend to agree with them on this one. Bennett is now in 3rd grade and started a new school... the Intermediate School, which houses 3-6 grades. It's a new experience and so far it's ok. Our very next door neighbor is a teacher there and is a good resource when we need information. His teacher is the "wicked witch" of 3rd grade. Her words, not ours! We heard from many people that she was the one to challenge and grow the kids. That's what we wanted for Bennett. His 2nd grade year was a bit, um... well, less than challenging! We've got some ground to make up. We have high hopes for him. He has many of his same friends in his class again this year. It seems they many travel in this group for a while. His boy friends that we like! :) Ethan, Nick... soccer buddies too and the ones who came and played in the mud at the beginning of summer.
Maggie is in 2nd grade and we have a new (recommended) teacher for her. Another of the more structured teachers at the primary school. Maggie is pleased and I'm thankful for stuff to do with her at home. She is suddenly reading quite well. I put on her goals for the year to become a more fluent and animated reader, as opposed to the Dick & Jane cadence. Then she sat on the couch tonight and read a couple books to her siblings and it was like she was on stage and was telling a story. It surprised me. So now I'm sure her teacher thinks I'm a dork for not knowing she can read so well. It was sudden I tell ya!! :)
Ruth started Kindergarten... FINALLY!! She's been waiting forever to get to go to school. She wants to do it all alone, buy her lunch, walk in alone, ride the bus, etc. She's going to be bored soon. She has a great, sweet teacher that we met during spring soccer season. Her daughter was on the same team as Ruth's and is now in the same K class together. They meet up each morning to say hello and check what's new. Ruth wants to be Ruthie at school so I'm trying to get used to writing that on all her stuff. She has already gotten in trouble twice this first week, had to move her card to yellow. She quickly confessed as she's stepping onto the front porch when she got home. After a few questions and many explanations... she's finished her work and is playing while she waits for her classmates. But she's blaming Dixie, another little girl, for causing her to play and talk. Then she grins and I'm supposed to stay serious and discipline appropriately. I was glad Curtis stepped in because he can keep a straight face when necessary. She's terribly cute!
So, the first week has been successful for the most part. Homework was mostly completed. Reading was mostly read. Lunches were mostly eaten.
Bennett also started soccer practice so fall running has begun.
I love it!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

More Flags. More Fun. 6-Flags!

We took our end of the summer trip to 6-Flags with the big kids the other day. They earn free tickets during the school year and we always promise to take them. It was getting to the end of summer and the days were limited, but we managed. We took cousin Micah with us this year. It's always more fun with more people and he otherwise wouldn't get to go 'cause his Momma's a very protective type of Momma! :)
We also met up with another family... the Jennings. They have 2 girls either side of Maggie. We like hanging with them too.
Micah has never been to 6-Flags so I tried to take lots of pictures for him, so he can recount his adventures to his folks and sisters. Leslie decided that particular day would be a good day to have an appendectomy... even though we had left our little girls with her for the day. She was worried her pain had something to do with cancer again so when the diagnoses of appendicitis came, it was almost welcomed. Mom retrieved the little girls for us so we could stay and play. Thanks Mom! We started off our day on time but 30 minutes down we realized our tickets were still hanging on the fridge. So we ended up adding an extra hour of drive time... just for fun. Summertime in Georgia is iffy when it comes to afternoon thunderstorms and we were threatened a few times but it never did rain on us until we were leaving, or at least ready to leave. We rode the things we wanted. Played in the water slide, called Skull Island. Curtis and I realized every year is harder on our bodies and eventually... they'll have to ride alone. EEeek!

Micah's first ride was on the Dahlonega Mine Train. It reminds us of the good ole days. It's been there for us like the Mind Bender and the Scream Machine. It's an old wooden coaster and it's jerky... but mild. We have started with this ride for 3 years in a row... sort of a tradition now.

We met up with the Jennings and rode some of the milder rides, Hot Air Balloons, Rockin' Tug Boat, Splashwater Falls, Wyle E Coyote roller coaster. We took a break for lunch and while they ate pizza in the park we went back to the van and had a picnic on a sewer drain! Sort of... but it was covered! This saved us several dollars! At the end of the day we had spent $20 total in the park (not including tickets) and we had all you can drink liquid and 2 HUGE pretzels for our afternoon snacks.

After lunch we started on the Log Flumes and got a little wet and then went to Skull Island, where the kids played on the water slides for a little more than an hour. This also gave the adults time to chill... although "sit and chill" didn't happen because you're also trying to keep up with 5 little people to make sure they don't get hurt, lost or stolen. We all survived and I even danced the Funky Electric Slide with Maggie, Meg and Anne. We were a hit, I'm sure! I had to convince Maggie that these people would never see us again and they really didn't care if she danced in front of them. One hop, slide to the left, slide to the right, criss cross! Everybody clap your hands... I digress!

We parted ways with the Jennings so they could go get soaked on Thunder River while we glided peacefully thought the Monster Plantation, which is now called the Monster Mansion. A little freakier at the end and a little more entertaining to scare little people by reaching up and touching their arms when they don't expect it! Not that we would have done that or anything. I'm just saying!

Micah really enjoyed his first Scream Machine experience!

Bennett, at the end of the Ninja. This ride is not as popular because for the past two years we've just walked up and gotten right on. It turns upside down and does some corkscrew action that gives a body aches. Maggie's still just a wee bit shy of being tall enough. Probably a good thing!

The storm started rolling in and we had one last ride to take... one of Maggie's requests, the train. Just a plain 'ole train that goes around the park. The bottom fell out while we were riding but it was ok since we were covered. But when we got off we were moistened just a bit. We stopped by the gift shop for souvenirs but the kids all agreed there was nothing they really wanted. I wanted to get a photo frame or something like that but we can never find those. It's always those crazy stuffed toys and cups with their names... but no one ever prints names like Bennett, Maggie or Micah. It stopped raining so we headed to the van, but the break was short lived and we got drenched in the parking lot. We were thankful for towels. We ate the rest of our lunches on our way to Grandpa and Grandma's house where we stayed the night, got the little girls and traded out the big kids. They get a turn staying at Grandpa/ma's now. Spoiling beyond comprehension! But like she says... What happens at Grandma's stays at Grandma's. I'm not complaining!

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