Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First day of school - 2014/2015

The girls started school last week. ALL of the girls! For the first time in 12 years I don't have a sidekick at home with me. Even though Cadence was in preschool 3 days last year the mornings flew by and then she was home. Most of the time I really enjoyed having her here. She's a fun kid! She laughs, she's silly, she's easy to have around when I ran errands. Early August I started mourning the start of school and all of the girls being gone. I just can't believe it's here already. I can't believe that a major phase of our lives is over. No more morning playgroups or library story time. Things that have been a part of my life for many years just won't happen anymore. That feels worthy of a few tears (and there have been a few!). I can envision the laundry list of projects that I will finally have time to get done. Maybe even some lunches with my friends who are home during the day. But I'm sure going to miss the girls.  I'll miss the sleeping in and not worrying about papers or lunches. I'll miss pool time and just feeling lazy. The start of school is here, though, and there's nothing I can do about it.

Cadence's teacher is Mrs.Ablle. She's the grandmotherly type who gives out lots of love and hugs. Cadence had a hard time at a teacher/ kindergartner play date. Okay, she had a complete meltdown. I think she was overwhelmed with the whole situation. Mrs.Ablle called me two days before school started and asked if I wanted to bring Cadence in to the class before the first day of school so she could get used to the setting without the chaos. I fell in love with her right then and there! We went in the next day and she read Cadence a book and let her take home a stuffed animal. It completely put me at ease. I know that Cadence will have a good year! I wasn't so sure about the bus. I had a feeling the bus doors could open and that Cadence would totally fall apart at that moment. The first day she did great! The second and third days there were some tears but she did get on the bus with Laurel without too much protest. Hoping it gets better!

Laurel has Mrs.Gibson. I don't know much about most of the teachers since we are still relatively new here. Laurel had such a great group of kids in her room last year, I just wish they could all be together again! She has one good friend in her class this year. Hoping for a good year for her.

Sierra is off to 7th grade. Six more years. She will be home for only six more years. How did this happen? It hurts my heart a little to know how fast it will go by. Again, we don't know the teachers. We do know that she got drama as one of her electives. She definitely did not choose it! We are trying to decide if there might be some benefit that will outweigh the anxiety that she will have with each class. It will really be tough for her. Luckily it's not until the second 9 weeks, so we have a bit.

Feeling a bit like supermom to actually get up early and make pancakes! 
We're generally a cold cereal type of family!

My big kindergartner

Mrs.Ablle, and Cadence wants to be a dentist

Mrs.Gibson, and Laurel wants to be a vet

Sierra has Mrs.Kooken for homeroom, and Sierra wants to be a teacher
I made Sierra get up early and get ready so I could get a picture of all of them together.
Despite that, I still got a smile!

Love our bus stop, right outside of the coffee shop!

And they're off!
(Sierra would kill me if I followed her to the bus!)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Anatomy of a family portrait

We decided to take some family pictures at the beach.  I scoped out the timing for perfect lighting for a few days, waited a few more while it rained, and finally we had a "The" evening!  

When I attempt a posed portrait with my girls it's goes a lot like this... "Put your arm around her. No, gently, not like a tackle. Not so tight. Stand up straight. Not like that. Okay, now smile. Nice smiles. Not silly pictures yet, at the end. You look like you're in pain. Think of something funny. Nice smiles. Give me some good ones! The better you do with this the sooner we'll get it done. Maybe ice cream afterwards? Okay, stop acting like you're tackling her. Okay, a real smile. Look at me. Is this really that hard?! We'll work on it all night. What do I need to take away? This isn't that hard. Come on....!!!"  And so it goes.

It's a painful process.  Especially to get three (or five) good sincere smiles, no closed eyes (I'm looking at you, Brad!), and everyone looking right at the camera. Little did I know that we were going to have a semi-professional smile inducer with us! I took pictures of the kids and then for our family portraits I posed everyone, checked exposure, then handed the camera to Theresa and told her to just keep snapping. Out of a hundred pictures we should have at least two or three frame-able ones, right?

Once the typical conversations ensued Shawn was awesome enough to step in!  He was an absolute lifesaver. I can't imagine another family picture without him! P.S. He might be for hire! (Cadence managed to pick up some of his best moves and she comes cheap!)

The depth of sisterly love is palpable, right?!

There's always one.  How do people with big families do it?!  

Notice Cadence's mischievous smile?

And the big girls realize what she did...

But she looks pretty pleased with herself!


Post-Shawn... much better!

Not sure what Laurel thinks of his moves.  *cough, cough* Um, Brad!

It was non-stop... probably the most fun I've ever had doing family pictures!

Why is she growing up so fast?

Portrait intermission

Get the animosity out of the way


This one is definitely a keeper!

Are we done yet?!

Little better

I attempted to get some "frolicking in the ocean" pictures but by then we were all kinda done

This dog wanted to get in on it!

Sierra can be a pretty awesome big sister!

Can you have the nice without the silly?  Probably not!

So what was Shawn doing exactly?