Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mom and Macy Manicure

Julie and Macy got a manicure. Macy loved it.


Monday, September 29, 2008

a post from my phone

as we get ready for our disney trip, julie and i wonder if we could blog from my phone. this is a test.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Just Because Picture of the Girls

The girls looked cute for church services this morning. I took a picture (that didn't turn out very well, but they're still cute).


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Brown Belt update

Well the very next time the owner saw me, he put me through the brown belt test. (He first mentioned it on Monday, and he administered the test on Wednesday.) It kind of had an old-school feel to it; I practiced hard for over an hour (in my normal fashion--not thinking it was a preamble to a test). Grandmaster Kil was complementary of me. He, then, asked me a few questions and requested to see a few techniques. In short order, he was congratulating me and giving me a new brown belt.

I've now had a couple of classes under my belt as a brown belt (no pun intended). Before I thought that I was a brown belt masquerading as a white belt. Now, the goal is to become a black belt masquerading as a brown belt. I really enjoy what Macy and I are doing, and I'm glad we have this available to us here in Michigan.


Monday, September 22, 2008

You can call me Monsieur Brown.

Well, today I went to Tae Kwon Do class with the main guy--Grandmaster Kil. He puts the Kil in Kil's Tae Kwon Do. This is not my first time to practice with him. Today after class, he told me that he felt that I could jump right up to brown belt (which is about 3 steps away from black). I could then train as any normal brown belt would, but around the time a regular brown belt would test for his black belt, I would be able to test for my 2nd degree black belt. All of this is due to my already earned black belt (and my good performace, I might add).

I was very pleased with what I was told. And to think, this all happened on a Monday. Imagine if it was Thursday, and I had a few days of practice for the week?

I'll let you know how it all works out.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Bailey Potties!

Today Bailey went pee-pee in the potty. She was very proud of herself, and believe it or not, we took pictures.

This video was shot with the camera turned the wrong way, but it's still cute. :)


Macy Demonstrates Tae Kwon Do

On Friday, Macy was asked about participating in a Tae Kwon Do demonstration--it's a recruiting tool aimed at giving a brief introduction/look at Tae Kwon Do. Macy was thrilled to be asked. The only draw back was that the demonstration was scheduled to be held today during Macy's school hours (and she would end up missing about half of the day). Julie and I were not crazy about her missing school, but we discussed it and decided to let her do the demonstration.

Today I took her to school at 8:20 and checked her out at 9:20. Then we met up with the others and went to the preschool for the demonstration.

Macy and Michael (the little boy she made cry during her first sparring experience and the same little boy who knocked her tooth out) were the only kids able to participate in the demonstration.

Macy and Michael did great, and I believe the kids at the preschool really enjoyed themselves, too.
I got her back to school right after lunch, and thankfully she didn't have to miss her computer class (which has been one of her favorite things about school)!


Friday, September 12, 2008

Home alone with Bailey

Today Julie is volunteering at Macy's school, and I'm at home with Bailey. Last night before I went to sleep, I was really excited about having her to play with today. I wrestled and tickled her, and she has had a blast.

Now, her nap time (in a little more than an hour) is looking pretty good. :)


Thursday, September 11, 2008

School Open House

Today, we went to Macy's school for their open house. Julie and I are very impressed with her school.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The girls had a babysitter...

and when it was all over she said she would be willing to come back again! We hired our first babysitter here in Michigan. Kelsey, a 17-year-old from church, came over last night and kept the girls for a couple of hours. I had a PTA meeting to go to, and Dustin had his regular Monday night meeting with the elders. Our PTA has babysitting provided (by a teenage boy who watches them all in the gym or art room), but I wasn't too comfortable with that. And even if I felt okay with it for Macy, there's no way I could send Bailey. And we all know she's not really good at sitting in my lap and being quiet for an hour-long meeting. So we were wondering what to do, when...

Saturday at the church picnic, Kelsey told me that she likes to babysit. She has lots of experience with kids of all ages. She's a junior in high school and goes for a couple hours each morning. Then she goes to a tutoring center and works with kids who are behind/learning disabled for a while. After that she goes to another center and works with babies who have developmental delays. She is also taking a class on child development at that center. I was very impressed when I learned all of this about her! She's also kept Bailey in the nursery at church before and did a good job with that. She came highly recommended by a few ladies at church, as well.

So we decided to ask her to keep the girls last night for us, and it all worked out great! The girls were so excited that she was coming and kept asking how much longer until Kelsey would be here. They really seemed to bond with her right away. Kelsey even came with her own little bag of tricks to use while she was here. She brought books, crayons, 1st grade workbook (for Macy), a wooden puzzle, 2 Color Wonder books & markers (Disney princess), and snacks!! I was so surprised. She said her mom always buys stuff for her to take when she babysits. The girls thought that was really cool, and couldn't wait for me to leave so they could have one of Kelsey's snacks! Everyone had a lot of fun, and Kelsey said the girls behaved really well. (I was a little nervous that they would be too wild and fussy and make the night miserable for her. So I was really happy to get a good report when I got home.) They all followed the rules/instructions I left and they didn't destroy the house. It was a true babysitting success!!


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Happy Grandparents' Day!


Another Fitness Update

Okay; okay normally any fitness update coming from me would not consist of much, but I've had a pretty descent week (assuming you're easily impressed). Here goes:

Monday 9.1
push ups (20 5 times)
Round simulator (4 rounds of 2 minutes with breaks in between)
Rd 1 Jumping Jacks
Rd 2 Leg Magic
Rd 3 Wind Mills
Rd 4 Round Kicks

Tuesday 9.2
push ups (20 5 times)
Round simulator (3 rounds of 2 mintues with breaks in between)
Rd 1 Leg Magic
Rd 2 Leg Magic
Rd 3 Knee lifts
TKD--good work out

Wednesday 9.3
jogged (local track c. 1.5. mi)
push ups (20 5 times)

Thursday 9.4
TKD--light but good

Friday 9.5
push ups (20 5 times)

Saturday 9.6
push up (20 5 times)
kickboxing cardio


Saturday, September 6, 2008

We had a wonderful church picnic!

Each year members of the Garden City church of Christ go to a nearby park for a picnic. Today the weather was great (mid 70s with an occasional breeze), and we had a blast. Here are some of the sights and sounds.

These black squirrels are all over Garden City. The jokers get big, too. They also come pretty close to you. Have a look.

Food is always the highlight of the picnic. Here are some of our grill gals.

Bailey enjoyed her cupcake.

Watermelon too!

After all that eating, Bailey was ready to take this dog, Abby, for a walk/run.

Macy and some of the older kids got ice cream from a passing ice cream truck.
A couple of ole missing teeth aren't stopping Macy from remaining the number 1 threat to all ice cream sandwiches--life is good when you have a jumbo ice cream sandwich in your hand (and mouth, and face, and hair, etc.).

I'm proud of my kids, but I stole the show by eating this entire peach in just three bites.
This after just one bite--get ready for bite number two.
After three bites, all that remained was this very afraid pit.

As usual, the day was about enjoying the company of friends and family.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Tooth Fairy found us in Michigan

Macy was so proud of losing her tooth yesterday at Tae Kwon Do. (By the way, we actually found the tooth after it got knocked out...just took a little hunting around on the mat by Dustin.) We had told her earlier yesterday that we thought the Tooth Fairy left extra money if you got your tooth out by yourself and didn't have to get your parents to pull it. So, of course, Macy wanted to know if having it knocked out counted as getting it out yourself. We told her we figured it did. ;) (The main thing we were trying to avoid is Dustin having to make her let him pull it. It really needed to come out, and we hated for her to have to deal with it at school.) She was also concerned that the Tooth Fairy would find her since we moved. She wanted to double check with us and make sure it's the same Tooth Fairy for Tennessee and Michigan!

So last night, she carefully placed her tooth (in a plastic bag so we can keep up with it and save it) under her pillow...
And woke up to a nice surprise...ten dollars! Woo hoo!!

We survived the first day of school!

Well, Macy is officially a first grader! And she loves it. She absolutely adores her new teacher. She even made her a card last night and took it to her today telling her how excited she was to be in her class. Macy was actually sad that they only had a half day of school today. She is so excited that tomorrow is a full day, and she even said that she wishes they went to school on Saturdays.

Macy looked really cute this morning in her new pink outfit with her missing front teeth! Of course, Bailey looked cute, too, and she was sure to get in on the picture taking.
We all four went to the school this morning to drop her off. Each morning the students line up by class outside the doors and their teachers come outside and get them when it's time for school to start. Mrs. Stanchina invited us to come in and see the classroom and help Macy get settled at her desk. She found her spot right away and loves that her desk opens from the top! Then they got to go out in the hall and put their backpacks in their lockers. She really loves having a locker (even if she does have to share with one other person). It makes her feel all grown up.
Macy said that they did carpet time, center time, and recess today. They also had snack, and got a class picture taken with the school mascot (Roadrunner). Today each student was given a school t-shirt that they are all supposed to wear tomorrow. They are having a school assembly (magic show) to kick off the new year. Also, Paws (the mascot for the Detroit Tigers) is supposed to visit her school to welcome all the students. Macy's class will also go to Spanish and P.E. tomorrow, and she's really excited about that.

Overall, the day was great! We loved her school and the excitement we felt there. Mrs. Stanchina is awesome. She has taught first grade for five years and has also previously taught Kindergarten and special education. (Her Master's is actually in special ed.) She was so calm and patient with the kids, but she also joked with them and seemed to love having them in her class. We feel very blessed to have such a great school for Macy to attend, and we are looking forward to a great year.

After dropping Macy off, we took Bailey to breakfast at McDonalds. She wasn't too happy about leaving Macy at school and asked if we were coming back to get her later. But some pancakes cheered her up!

A couple of funny things we learned today...

You know you're a student in Michigan when the school handbooks specifically states: "Snowballs are not permitted anywhere on the school grounds." Ha! That really cracked us up.

And we were also told that the students could wait for their teachers in the mornings inside the building (instead of outside) if it was "too cold." Their definition of "too cold" is anything 20 degrees and below! So if it's 21, you're outa luck and have to wait outside in the "warm" weather. ;) But this shouldn't matter too much to us. We won't be dropping her off early. Dustin will get her there at about the time the teacher comes out so she should be able to go right on in.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Macy loses tooth in Tae Kwon Do sparring

Macy's sole remaining front tooth has been loose for some time now. Over the past couple of days, it has gotten very loose. Today, in fact, at lunch I offered to buy her ice cream and give her money if she would let me pull it. Macy wanted to let me pull it so badly, but she was nervous through the whole process, and we accepted that it wouldn't happen at that time. Julie and I really want the tooth out before Macy fully gets started with school.

Well, today at Tae Kwon Do Macy was sparring the same little boy she made cry before. In an inadvertent flailing of the arms, Macy's tooth got knocked out. (Of course, it was only hanging on by a thread, anyway.) Actually, this was the best way for the tooth to come out. It needed to come out, but Macy didn't want to let me pull it. At Tae Kwon Do Macy didn't want to cry and freak out in front of her friends, so when her tooth got knocked out, Macy was cool, calm, and collected. She even posed for a couple of pictures.


School starts tomorrow!

Macy is so very excited that her first day of school is tomorrow! Today we were invited by her new principal to an open house for new students. All four of us went and we were so impressed (again!) by her new school--Memorial Elementary. The kids played a bingo game and won prizes. They each got their picture taken and filled out an All About Me sheet to be displayed in the library at Open House. They were served juice and cookies, and everyone took home a treat bag and school folder.

We met our new principal, Mrs. Pantier, today and she is awesome. She is so happy and positive with the kids. We can tell how much she loves her job and the kids and families she serves. She took us on a tour of the school and answered lots of questions from the kids. She even took the kids into her office and let them look around. Macy found one of the coolest things ever in there. Mrs. Pantier has a "vending machine" of sorts with small toys/trinkets in it. (It's like the ones in the grocery store lobby that you put quarters in for those junky, I mean fun toys.) Anyway, the kids can earn tokens for the machine and go to the principal's office to spend them and get their treat. The principal and teachers give them out at random to reward positive behavior and learning. Mrs. Pantier told the kids that most students come to her office for good behavior rather than bad. I think this is awesome! I picked up very quickly on the fact that she is a very positive person and encourages positive behavior in such a fun way. We can tell we are going to love our new principal!

We also got to meet Macy's new first grade teacher. Her name is Mrs. Stanchina and Macy already loves her. She is young and fun, and she was so sweet to us and Macy. She encourages parents to volunteer in the classroom, and we were thrilled about that. Macy gave her a big hug and said that she couldn't wait for tomorrow. Mrs. Stanchina said she couldn't either!

We also met several other moms (PTA volunteers who were helping with the open house) who have children enrolled at Memorial. They have a very active PTA and all spoke so highly of the school. One of the moms we met is a member of the church at a nearby congregation and her husband used to preach at Garden City! She is one of the "lunchroom moms" and promised to keep an eye on Macy for us. We met another mom who grew up at Garden City and still has relatives in the congregation. Also, one of the members at Garden City is a fifth grade teacher at Memorial. She has been so sweet to us, too. She showed us around a little today and introduced us to some of the other teachers. We also have another member who works at Macy's school in the mornings with before-school care.

We had a great time today and we are really excited for Macy to start school tomorrow. We were a little nervous at first about the transition, but we feel so at ease now. If only we can get Macy in bed tonight and get her to actually go to sleep. She has so much fun to look forward to!