Open House

Natalie’s school had their open house yesterday.  I was bummed that it was a “parent only” event, but it was fun to hear more about her day, see where she sits and see some of her work products already!  Here they are:

Natalie’s “hopes and dreams” for Kindergarten.  The girl with the safety sash is our 5th grade neighbor.  The 5th graders at the school have many leadership opportunities, including being a buddy to a kindergartener, serving as “safeties” who bring kids from the car line to their class, and organizing games for a school carnival.   img_1079

This is what Natalie likes most about Kindergarten – which brought a smile to my face, especially since her teacher had just said “We love having Natalie in our class.  She is such a sweetie and is so social.”

img_1077

The kids participate in a program called PeaceBuilders, which is a social-emotional learning / violence prevention programe.  Here’s what Peace means to Natalie:

img_1078

That also made me chuckle, as two days ago, she insisted that she would NOT play trains with her brother.  When I was tucking her in, I shared that I saw that and knew that Elliott would be excited.  She then asked me, does that count as Peace?  I said definitely!  (Cheers to Peace in the Home!)

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First Day of School

Elliott had his first day (this year) of prek on Mon August 28th – Nat hadn’t started yet, so she picked him up with Alison!  She was a super supportive big sis and also had fun seeing her former teachers.

img_0869

Oh sis, I'm so happy to see you after 3 whole hours apart!

Oh sis, I’m so happy to see you after 3 whole hours apart!

Natalie’s first day was on Tues Aug 29th.  Elliott was shocked to learn that he had school the same day too… 2 days in a row!  He told me, “You sign me up for too much preschool.”  (Ha – last year, he went on Mon and Fri, since those were the only mornings available when we moved mid-year… shame on me for signing him up for 3 hours Mon, Tues and Thurs this year!)

Oh mom - I know that's my cubby but I said no pictures!

Oh mom – I know that’s my cubby but I said no pictures!

Back to Natalie’s first day…. the whole crew came: Elliott, Jordan, Alison and me.  She told me she was a little nervous and clung pretty close to me at first.

img_0872

She then started seeing kids she recognized from preschool or dance and would whisper them to me.  She saw one girl from LMI who seemed more nervous than Nat.  Nat was interested in going by her and within a couple min, Natalie rushed off, telling stories, not really paying much attention to us at all.

Oh my... you just wouldn't believe it...

Oh my… you just wouldn’t believe it…

She has also felt very welcome because she knows 1-2 5th graders who do the car line – meaning the 5th graders will pick up or drop off the kindergarteners in their class.  That has really helped her feel welcome.  She also loved loved love “art and technology” on her first day.  She has liked library a lot too.  She said that gym so far is boring – just rules, rules, rules the first day.  I overheard her telling Jordan after the first 3 days of school that at first, she was surprised because kindergarten was easier than prek because they were just playing and not doing any writing, but then on the 3rd day, they started doing some math and figured out, that it wouldn’t be too easy.

She’s had a great first two weeks but has definitely been tired in the evenings after a “full” day (aka 6 hours).  She was so crabby on Friday night that I asked her to go to her room.  She just started bawling… “Mom, but my two best friends at school were fighting over me.  Evie said she only wanted to be my friend and the other girl said the same.  And they were trying to make me choose and I said I just wanted to be friends with both of them.  And then Evie said she would really miss me if I didn’t choose her and the other girl said that she would really miss me if I didn’t choose her!”  (Hilarious side note: she cannot remember the name of her other “best” friend.)

We feel really lucky to have two great schools to send our kiddos too!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

Natalie starts kindergarten on Tuesday!  On Friday, we had a school tour.  Her teacher sent her a letter while we were in Alaska, asking her to draw a picture and dictate a letter telling her teacher about her.  She worked so hard on this!

IMG_0838

 

IMG_0837

(Nat is to your left in a lavender dress)

(Nat is to your left in a lavender dress)

Her teacher will be Mrs. Brydges, who I hear is excellent.  This weekend, we need to go shopping for school supplies and new school shoes.  She got a couple new dresses a few weeks ago.

So excited for Natalie!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oh kids

8:24am: “I have the best big sister in the world.  Better than other sisters.  Her name is Nat-bug Linville.  That means she is a bug!”

8:27am: WAH!  (both kids)

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Getting hitched – in Alaska

Leah, my youngest sister, got married in Alaska on August 20th.  To break-up the nearly 18-hour journey to the location of the wedding, we stopped in Chicago on the way there for a couple of days.  (I think we were tied for furthest distance traveled – 4,600 miles one way – with Lee’s aunt and uncle from Maryland.)  Once we landed in Anchorage, we drove about an hour to Girdwood, which is the ski town where Leah and Lee live.  I was able to hike up the mountain with my sisters, which was great.  On the way to Seward in the Kenai peninsula, we stopped by a conservation, where we saw moose, reindeer and a bear.  Seward is a coastal town – Jordan was able to go kayaking with my cousins and aunts and uncles.  The weather in Seward is usually 55 and rainy, but Leah and Lee (who had a beautiful outdoor ceremony and reception) totally lucked out with the only day that was sunny with no rain!  Here’s a hodge podge of pictures from the trip:

WEDDING DAY

The girls getting ready before the wedding - isn't my niece Mackenzie (10 mo old) so adorable!?!  She is also wearing Natalie's dress from her first bday!  LOVE!

The girls getting ready before the wedding – isn’t my niece Mackenzie (10 mo old) so adorable!?! She is also wearing Natalie’s dress from her first bday! LOVE!

Maybe L&L's future in 6 years?!?

Maybe L&L’s future in 6 years?!?

The bride's side of the wedding party

The bride’s side of the wedding party

The under-6 wedding party - LOVE!

The under-6 wedding party – LOVE!

E-man has been on an anti-picture streak, but he did have a good time!

E-man has been on an anti-picture streak, but he did have a good time!

Isn't my mom the most fashionable Alaskan mother-of-the-bride?  Can you believe my dad helped her pick out those trendy boots?

Isn’t my mom the most fashionable Alaskan mother-of-the-bride? Can you believe my dad helped her pick out those trendy boots?

 

Here are some more pictures from the week….

Nat is such a great big cousin!

Nat is such a great big cousin!

Girdwood Mt - Mom post-hike, Kids post-tram

Girdwood Mt – Mom post-hike, Kids post-tram

Rehearsal dinner - tailgate style

Rehearsal dinner – tailgate style

Best godfather (and wife) at the tailgate rehearsal!

Best godfather (and wife) at the tailgate rehearsal!

Cousin time! (Nat = 5.5, Trev = 4.5, Elliott = 3.5)

Cousin time! (Nat = 5.5, Trev = 4.5, Elliott = 3.5)

My strong (and cute) glacier hikers!

My strong (and cute) glacier hikers!

As you can see, Alaska is a beautiful adventure!  So happy to have been able to share it with Jordan, Natalie, Elliott and our family – especially Trevor, Cameron and Mackenzie – it was so fun for the next generation of cousins to spend so much time together.  (And it sometimes gave us adults a few minutes of reprieve!)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Maine Squeezes

We spent the 4th of July in Maine – first in Acadia and then in Higgins Beach, ME, with two of my college roomies!  Tricia’s parents are from Maine… I first visited in 2003 and then we visited again in 2010 (with Natalie in utero).  This trip was a bit different!

Happy Birthday America... and happy 100th birthday Acadia!

Happy Birthday America… and happy 100th birthday Acadia!

 

Sea cucumber and Lobster are Natalie's!  (On a different one, Elliott had identified a chipmunk, ant and giraffe.  Can you guess which one doesn't belong?)

Sea cucumber and Lobster are Natalie’s! (On a different one, Elliott had identified a chipmunk, ant and giraffe. Can you guess which one doesn’t belong?)

 

Watch out!

Watch out!

 

 

IMG_0204

IMG_0194

Ta Da - my fairy house!

Ta Da – my fairy house!

IMG_0390

That's my girl!! :)

That’s my girl!! :)

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another one bites the dust…

Natalie lost two number 2, while wiggling during storytime with Elliott and me on the couch.  You can see she’s pretty proud!

2 teeth

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A budding author

Natalie wrote Elliott a book today!  Its about Elliott and his best buddy, RoRo (his lovey that Natalie gave him when he was born).  In the book, they have a birthday cake, swing on swings and play.  Alison found Elliott in his chair, quietly reading the book to all 3 of his loveys.  And Natalie exclaimed, “the best part is that you can change the words and nobody knows”!  Here’s the title page….

roro book

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Toothy Grin

After months of waiting….

toothy grin

… it happened!  Natalie lost her first tooth!

When: Wed, May 25th at approximate 12:45pm

Where: At preschool, just entering the classroom

How: Just a little extra wiggle with her finger

First to find out: Ms. Bree

The Big Question (at dinner)….
Natalie: Mom, is the tooth fairy real?  Or pretend?  Real or pretend?
Me: What do you think?
Natalie: It could be real.  But it could be a fairy tale.  Kinda like the Easter bunny doesn’t really hide eggs.  Its just you and Dad.
Me: So, what do you think.
Natalie: Mom, is the tooth fairy real or is it you?
Me: (quietly so Elliott wouldn’t hear) It’s me
Natalie: I thought so!
Me: But its still a fun thing to play, so let’s just play along.
Natalie:  Yay!
Me:  And don’t tell  other kids b/c they  might believe its really but we don’t want to ruin the surprise for them.
Natalie: Why did you tell me?
Me: Well I just thought it was more important to tell the truth and then we can still just play along.
Natalie: ok!

(later)

Me: So, if we cannot find your special tooth holder that we got in NY, do you want to borrow your bro’s?  I know where his is.
Natalie: Its just for pretend so we don’t need to do that.
Me: (heart sinks) But… you want a surprise under your pillow, right?
Natalie: Oh yeah, right.  Let’s use bro’s!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Building bridges

bridge

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment