Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Preschool Begins

We started preschool today!  Here is a recap of our day.

4:50 AM - Anne is up for a morning workout.
7:00 AM - Anne is back from the gym.
7:02 AM - Adlyn wakes up on her own, perhaps she heard me open the back door?
7:05 AM - Brooks is up.
7:20 AM - Anne is ready for the morning.
7:21 AM - Adlyn doesn't want to get dressed, do her hair, or eat breakfast.  Brooks is already ready to go!  Adlyn doesn't want to go to school today and she isn't cooperating.
7:22 AM - Brooks decides to eat oatmeal AND and English muffin for breakfast.  Wow!  He never eats two things for breakfast.
7:23 AM - Adlyn insists it isn't fall time.  She has a point.  All summer I've been telling her that school starts in fall time, after summer is over.  She looked at the trees this morning, and the leaves aren't changing colors.  So, she doesn't think she needs to go to school.
7:45 AM - We manage to get out the door and in the car.  Adlyn is reluctant, but she goes along with it.
7:50 AM - We arrive at school, park the car, and begin our slow walk into the school.  They'd rather just play on the playground, but I reassure them that they'll have playtime a little later during school.  We enter the front door, and Adlyn says she is scared.  I hold her hand and we walk to the room.  Brooks is very happy and comfortable. 
8:00 AM - We get to the front door of their room and they don't want to go any further.  I walk in first and they slowly follow.  We find their hooks with their names, and hang their backpack.  Shortly after, they find some toys and off they go!
8:10 AM - I arrive at work, and not as late as I thought!
10:55 AM - I pull into the parking lot and I don't see them anywhere.  Great...are they inside because they were bad and didn't cooperate?  Phew!  I see them a little father away, at the swings.  Adlyn is pushing Brooks in the swing.  It is cute, and I love to see them play when they don't know I'm watching.  They spot me, run, and jump into my arms.  Could it get any better than this?!?!
11:00 AM - The kids grab their backpacks and the teacher gives me a quick update.  She tells me they did good today!  They participated, always a good sign.  She mentioned A&B had to stand next to each other in line.  Also, they wouldn't sit down in circle time until they found two spots next to each other.  They mostly play together.  That is what I expected.  I wish I could be a fly on the wall to observe their behavior. 
11:05 AM - We go to the grocery store to get a special drink - Gatorade.  Brooks picked green and Adlyn picked blue.  We sat outside and enjoyed their special treat, and headed to the babysitter's house. 
11:20 AM - We're at the sitter and Brooks and Adlyn want to show her their new crayon box name tag necklaces they made at school.  It was cute, and it was neat to see them be so proud of their work.

What a day!  We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Olympic Events

The Summer 2012 Olympics have just concluded in London, and we had our own taste of the Olympics while in Nebraska this month.  While back for the hometown festivities, we took part in several events.

The opening ceremonies (parade) were as grand as usual.  Athletes and flag bearers only had to walk four blocks.  This isn't a bad thing, it helps them save their energy for the competitive events to come.  Mom, Niki, Adlyn, Avery, and Andrew represented the Frates Nation.  While they didn't have their county flag, they did have several crazy decoys that adorned their mode of transportation  (4-wheeler?  Polaris?  Golf Cart?).  I'm pretty sure Adlyn's clothing was made in China, just at the uniforms of the USA Olympians were.  Zach, Brooks, and I feel that we are very lucky to have had tickets to watch the opening ceremonies.  Grandpa wasn't in attendance, as he as back at Olympic Village, feeding the athletes a pancake and sausage breakfast.

I should mention that their was an Olympic 5000 Meter Race that took place prior to the opening ceremonies.  There wasn't a track within 9 miles of this town, so they had to take the race to the streets.  Zach took home the bronze in the men's division, and Anne took home the coveted gold medal in the women's division.  NBC documented that this was Anne's first athletic win in her entire career, and she surprisingly ran what is believed to be her fastest 5000 Meter Race ever.  The Tough Mudder training is paying off.  Eloise, Official Olympic Photographer, took a photo after the race.  That in itself was an Olympic feat. 

At high noon, there was a penny scramble.  This was more for the kids, and I'm not really for sure what type of category this event falls into.  Maybe it is something more like rhythmic gymnastics, or badminton.  Something that not every nation does, and unless you've seen it in action, it doesn't make any cents.

Brooks and Adlyn had several failed attempts/false starts at the 100 Meters, the Gunny Sack Race, and the 3-Legged Race.  They suffered from pre-race jitters, and utter-confusion as to what in the world was going on.  Never before had A&B observed, let alone participated in, these Olympic Events.

Anne also took home the gold medal in the women's slipper kick (division 20-29).  She won 75 cents for her efforts.  The money will go towards her winter coat fund.  If you need more information on this cause, please let her know.

The bike races were a different story.  They have been in training for the past 14 months.  It all came down to a "ready, set, go".  Brooks went, but stopped part way through the race to wave to Dad on the sidelines.  Adlyn wanted to move the start line back about 15 feet to the orange traffic cones for the girls division.  This is how she had practiced it for the past 15 minutes, and why would anyone want to start at the actual start line?  She did the race, and we were proud of her.

Anne and Zach did not do well in the egg toss.  Zach did not defend his grand champion title with his brother-in-law from a few years back.  Anne was so close to being the all-around champion, but she dropped it, literally, in a matter of a few rounds into the egg toss. 

The closing ceremonies included a BBQ in the backyard of Grandma and Grandpa's, and included the finest sweetcorn in the USA.  It was a long day.  In 12 months, we'll have the opportunity to do it all again. 

Adlyn in the bike race.

Brooks is ready to start the race.

A little Gatorade always helps.

Who says you can't ride a bike with a tutu?



The Brule shirt is retro!  Circa 1970-1980.

Dad monitors the penny scramble.

A&B and Cousin Avery find their favorite candy.

Opening ceremonies.

Preparing for the opening ceremonies.

Crazy uniforms.

Adlyn at Big Mac.

Beach girl.

We love the white, sandy beaches!

Cookie the Turtle

Brooks had a pet turtle for about 36 hours while we were in Nebraska earlier this month.  While I was out for a run, I came across a turtle.  So, I ran back towards town and went into a local business.  Oddly, a guy I went to high school with was working their and helped me find a box to put the turtle in.  I had to ask him if he would pick it up and put it in the box, and luckily, he did!  He gave me a ride back into town so I could give it to Mr. Brooks. 

Brooks was at the old school with Dad and Grandpa.  He decided to name the turtle Cookie, and we let it walk around the gym.  It wandered into the kitchen at the old school and went under the fridge.  Dad got it out with a broom handle.  They took it home and put it in the little swimming pool in the back yard.  The next day, we drove it to about the only puddle of water around town and let him free.  There were no tears, and he was very proud of his little turtle. 

Shamus and Freckles

After many cancelled dates this summer at Margie's, the weather finally cooperated and we took a trip to her ranch to ride horses.

Brooks actually rode the horse!  Amazing.  Adlyn loves it, and Brooks hasn't tried it since we first took him a few years ago. 

Thanks Margie!  You really made Adlyn's day.  She loves horses.  During their playtime, Adlyn is often Shamus horse, and Brooks is Freckles horse.

At Grandpa's

We visited Grandpa in July, and here are some not-so amazing pictures.  But, that would be our norm.  Brooks had a haircut that weekend, so he looks handsome.  The kids have wet hair in the photos, and not to mention, Brooks did not cooperate for a second.  Adlyn was acting like a typical goofball.

So, here you have it.  Some pictures of the kids at Grandpa's!

The only time Brooks smiled.

I don't know what she is doing.

Adlyn, acting like Adlyn.

See comment on above photo.

Family pic.

Someone looks grumpy.

Adlyn took this photo all by herself.  This has to be what
the world looks like to her on a daily basis.
Dad is a giant!

Adlyn had no hesitation when Grandpa asked if she
wanted to ride the motorcycle into the garage.
This girl has no fear, and is very brave!

The Best Swing Ever

Green River has the best parks in the world.  Not only do they have a lot of parks, but they have extra-ordinary park equipment. 

I've tried to upload a movie of the best swing in the world, but I need Zach's help to compress it for me.

So, here are some pictures of the other awesome features.  Let me know, this park only had three pieces of equipment, but each one of very unique!

You'll see the swing soon.

Catching Up

The last few weeks I feel like I've been playing catch up.  In late July, I had this realization that summer was almost over, and we had a lot to do before preschool starts.

Needless to say, my blogging time was not at the top of my list.  Instead, I've been organizing our fall schedule, prepping the kids for preschool, sorting through clothes, waking up before 5 AM on some days to squeeze in a 3 hour workout before my work day begins.  I'm exhausted! 

I'll try to make some photo posts to document what we've been up to during the past month. 

Quick Glance:
Brooks & Adlyn begin preschool this week.  By September, they will be going to school 5 days a week.  I hope they are ready for the intensity, because we don't have an alternative!

Zach started school this past week and will be graduating in December.  I'm very excited about that!  The past month he's spent nearly every waking hour on his latest painting.  As I sit here, it is looking good, and it looks done to me...but obviously, I'm not the artist.  Luckily, our routine is slowly changing over the next few weeks as we transition into chaos for the next four months.

I've been prepping for an unusually busy fall semester at the college this fall, and trying to figure out how I'm going to be at particular places at specific times to take A&B from one place to the next during the day.  Throw in training for a Tough Mudder in October to the weekly mix, and trying to do a few fun things with the kids before the school year.  I'm also planning to take some vacation time each week to be with A&B this fall.

I think we'll all be celebrating December 14th when Zach graduates and A&B turn 4, and on December 21st, the last day of school for the semester and the start of a much needed Christmas break for each one of us.