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Friday, August 4, 2017

Back to School ~ 2017

Well summer came to an end super fast this year! I really can't believe how fast the summer went. I know we were busy most of the summer and it wasn't any shorter than last summer but man it seemed to fly.

When we got home from vacation, the kids checked the mail every day to see if their teacher postcards had come yet. Each year the school allows you to request types of teachers for your kids or if you have had family experience with a teacher you can request her specifically but they don't guarantee any requests. I did not fill out that form because I knew the teachers know my kids best when it comes to the classroom assignments and we cover those decisions by them in prayer. 

Reese's postcard came on Tuesday and she was so excited with her teacher. Her teacher used to teach second grade so when Reese was going in to second grade she had hoped for this teacher. Well that year the teacher moved to fifth grade and Reese was bummed. Now was her chance to get this teacher and she was pumped. Fourth grade was a rocky road for us so we have super high hopes for this year and I don't think it is going to disappoint. We decided it was good news/bad news when it came to her class mates. She has some of her sweet girl friends in her class but some of the.most.talkative.boys in her class as well. Reese is a rule follower and doesn't love it when others are not. However, she seems to be handling it really well and even just laughs off the boys silly antics. 




Sam's card didn't come until Wednesday. We had heard Reese's third grade teacher was moving down to second grade. I happened to run in to her in the hallway at the end of the school year last year and told her we would love for Sam to have her. His first grade teacher was so sweet and he did so well with her. We felt like both of these teachers were very similar and thought Sam would thrive with her. When his card came we were all so excited to see her name on his card...we may have done a happy dance knowing both kids were with teachers they wanted. Sam's class doesn't have any of his guy friends from last year but a bunch of sweet girl friends he has made the last two years. It also has several of the high school teacher's kids in his class and that is always a good sign to me.



Being silly...


I think this is the first year that we have all been completely happy and excited with teachers/classes. I can't wait to see how this school year goes. They are going to do great!


And of course, not to be out done...Hayes still has a couple of weeks until school starts but we are excited about his last year in preschool. Ok, excited might not be the word because I am so sad about him growing up so fast.


A comparison picture gets me every time! This was Reese's first day of Kindergarten and first day of Fifth Grade!! (and we did not plan the hand on the hip thing!)


Sam's first day of Kindergarten and first day of Second Grade. His sweet little Kindergarten face and those big nervous eyes. He did so well heading to school this year. He was much more confident and brave than he has been the past two years.


Seeing them grow up so fast breaks my heart but I saw this quote this morning: "Enjoy it because it is happening!" and that is what I want to do. I don't want to long for the past because man, oh man, is this age fun too! I just wish I could squish their little baby faces one more time.

Friday, July 28, 2017

NYC/BOS 2017 - Part 3

Thursday morning we woke up bright and early to head out of NYC. When we originally planned this vacation we were going to take the train from NYC to Boston. However, Amtrak decided to work on their tracks during July so the path we needed to take was shut down. We decided to rent a car and I am so glad we did. 

Our last picture in Times Square...


We picked up our car and started driving. Lance collects Starbucks "You Are Here" mugs so we were so excited to cross in to Connecticut and stop at Starbucks. Only, Starbucks doesn't make Connecticut mugs! And it turns out they don't make Rhode Island mugs either. Dang! So I took his picture in front of the Starbucks in Connecticut instead. We stopped at CFA in Rhode Island so the kids could put their feet down in each of the states we drove through.



Since we had to rent a car, we changed our plans up just a bit. We headed to Cape Cod and went to Mayflower Beach. And that is where I fell in love! The beach was gorgeous! The houses were gorgeous! But the water was freezing! We didn't think it would be so cold but still played in it for a bit.










We spent the whole afternoon on Cape Cod and then headed to Plymouth where we were going to stay the night. We went to a restaurant known for its clam chowder and it did not disappoint!





We played in the pool that night since it was our only hotel to have a pool and then headed off to bed.

The next morning we got up and went to eat at the Local Yolk. It was a small homemade type place and it was delicious! I think Plymouth won for the best food!



After breakfast we headed out to explore. In Atlanta there are turtles all around town that are decorated by local artist so we thought it was fun to see the lobsters in Plymouth!


Plymouth Harbor


We walked out on this rock jetty and it was pretty!


Then we headed out to find THE Plymouth Rock


So it was a little underwhelming but we saw it.



Most of the houses on Cape Cod and in Plymouth had this beautiful shake and I loved them all!


We decided not to do anything else in Plymouth and started our drive to Boston. It was funny driving in because we might as well have been in Atlanta traffic...it looked just the same.


We finally made it to our final destination and they had our room ready early. We stayed at the Omni Parker House and it was gorgeous!! Definitely our favorite hotel we stayed in.


Once we were acquainted with our room, we headed out to explore once again.




We decided it would be best to do a trolley tour.




Obviously it was interesting to him!



Starbucks Boston mugs!!







I had to pick him up because the trolley was getting so packed.




After the tour we went in hunt of some food.


We found a back alley that had a farmers market on it and the kids wanted pizza. The slices were $2 each so we were sold. Lance and I did not eat but we tasted it and it was delicious pizza!!



One of my favorite things about our hotel is it's history. It is the oldest consecutively operating hotel. When I was talking to the concierge one day, he gave me a page of ghost stories about the hotel. I knew Reese would get a kick out of it but that Sam would be scared of the stories and I was so right. We had fun the rest of the weekend talking about the ghosts. (FYI, JFK proposed to Jackie at this hotel and had his bachelor party there.)


When we got back to our room, milk and cookies were waiting for the kids.


Saturday morning, I was super excited about our day. We headed out for a whale watching tour with the New England Aquarium. Our boat left at 9AM and we got back at 1PM.


Looking back at Boston. It took us about 1.5 hrs to get out to where the whales were. NE Aquarium is very considerate of the whales and do not use technology to find them. They know about where they usually are and have some one on top of the boat looking out for them.


It was chilly when the boat was moving so we were happy to have jackets with us.



Our NEA employees that were on our boat were not happy with how close some of these boats were getting to the whales. We ended up seeing two sets of a mama and calf. The first set we saw were sleeping but the second set was more active.





After seeing the whales we headed back in to the harbor.



The kids played games during our ride back and invited another friend to join them.


After we were back on land, we headed to lunch near the USS Constitution, had Emack & Bolio's ice cream, followed the Freedom Trail back across the river, toured Paul Revere's house, and the church he probably attended.













We were so exhausted by this point that we went back to our room for a while. Hayes had bought a small bat so he and Lance were playing baseball with a plastic water bottle as a cup.


We ran out to grab some dinner once we were rested. We walked around for a while before getting food. We had heard on our trolley tour that the traffic lights are a little weird in Boston. When we were walking that night, Hayes saw the light change to green and thought that meant he could walk. However, the walking man did not give us permission to walk so we all were waiting. However, Hayes took off across the street right as a huge bus was making a turn and almost got run over. He didn't run off from us again after that!

I was surprised by how Boston looked but it was beautiful at night.


Sunday morning was our final time in Boston. We wanted to see the Boston Tea Party Museum before we left. We all agreed that it was the best museum we did so we are so glad we didn't miss it. They did a great job!







We went to the Old State House next. It was definitely not worth our time but it was fun to know that such big things happened there.


And then, sadly, it was time to head home.


We got to the airport a little early for our flight so we played UNO and taught the kids how to play Rummy. Our flight was supposed to leave at 5:15.



We boarded the plane, got all buckled, started our movies, and then found out our plane was delayed.


The original delay was one hour so we just stayed on the plane and hoped for the best.


After that first hour, they came over the intercom and said we were delayed for another two hours. Luckily we hadn't left the gate yet and they allowed us to get off the plane. We were thankful for that so that we could go grab some dinner.


We ended up not getting home until 1:00 AM that night and were so happy to be in our beds. We had a great trip and I am glad we were able to spend this time together.

Now time to plan for next summer! Ha!