Friday, September 13, 2013

First Day of School - Fall 2013

The first day of school is always a fun day! There are of course bits of nervousness (for both the children and the mommy) and moments that are truly surreal. But folks - I now have two children in Elementary School. Gabriella joined the ranks at Weatherford Elementary this year as our newest Eagle. She is a school-lover and Kindergarten has been no exception. While she does lament at how long the days are (7:45am-2:45pm), she does enjoy being there!

Oliver is in 2nd grade this year. The desks are taller, the toys in the classroom fewer, and the learning more advanced. He's growing up. I know this, yet am still surprised when I see things that manifest it so clearly. He was proud to lead his sister through his well known and well loved school. He has been a great asset to have in getting her acclimated to a new place as well as a great comfort to his mother as she sends another baby into a big school (and home on the bus!!!)

We are so thankful for our school and it's staff. We have had so many great experiences there and know that this year will not be any different.

Here are some shots from that first morning!

Finishing breakfast (it's early folks...)

Gabriella - First Day of Kindergarten

Oliver - First Day of 2nd Grade

Melia - Usual Day of Silliness

My Loves

Daddy takes the kids to school each morning on his way to work. They got to ride in Daddy's 3 day-old car!

Big Boy

2nd Grade


We are so thankful for you two! Your teachable and obedient natures plus your friendliness will help you both go far in your days at Weatherford!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Horn Creek Colorado!

This July our family took a road trip to spend a week at the awesome Horn Creek Family Camp! We had been saving and planning for this trip for almost a year, so it was really fun to finally get to go! We had been to the camp as a family once before when Gabriella was 1. Matt went to Horn Creek many years in a row as a child with his family for skiing at Spring Break. But summer at Horn Creek holds many different adventures which he loves as well!

 First potty stop - got to see a huge rooster in Decatur, TX

The kids did well on the trip! We broke it up into two days on the way up there - 6 hours each. Not too bad! We stayed overnight in a hotel in Amarillo and got to visit the Amarillo Children's Museum when we first got there. The kids enjoyed being out of the car and exploring the museum. We also got to swim at the hotel pool which was definitely a highlight for them! They love hotels!

We finally rolled into Colorado on Sunday and enjoyed seeing our view change from flat dessert to beautiful mountains! Here we are posing at a roadside stop... almost there!!

They hit the ground running with activities at camp! The first night was a hanging log pillow fight! I let Melia win :)

 I think she likes it!

But the big kids both suffered defeat :)

We stayed in the Mini-Lodge during our week stay there. The Mini-Lodge has 8 rooms in it with a Living Room area in the middle. It was ideal for our family as Matt and I could hang out in the Living Room each night with other couples after the kids went to bed. Here are a few pictures from our room:

Horn Creek is a Christian Family Camp and we were blessed to have a great speaker who encouraged and challenged us every evening after dinner. There was childcare for the kids during the speaker which is so helpful!

There was also a kids camp that the bigger kids got to go to two mornings during the week. That was a nice down time for Matt and I as traveling with 3 kids wears you out!!

Gabby's new friend Cheyenne, her counselor Ashley, and Gabby on their way to Kids Camp.

There is a tradition to have a Pancake Catching contest one morning at camp. Here are our kids attempting to catch their pancakes!

Gabby needed a little help from Daddy

There was an awesome playground for the kids to play on right outside of our Lodge. It was nice to be able to let them have some freedom... they could go out and play on their own whenever they wanted!

One of Matt's many memories of coming to Horn Creek was smelling the pine trees. They smell like vanilla! He taught our kids to do the same thing!

We spent quite a bit of time in the Rec Center... which interestingly enough Matt's Dad designed years ago! The Rec Center has a big gym the kids enjoyed running around in, a few bowling lanes, and a yummy snack shop which we frequented quite often.


 They even had a little ramp so Melia could get in on the action... and bumpers of course

 Another fun place that we spent quite a bit of time at was the horse stables. We visited one morning and then Matt and Oliver got to go on a trail ride later in the week. The girls got to have a mini-trail ride on the last day too! The kids were fascinated by them and it was a fun place to spend some time outdoors!

Check out this horse's tongue - what timing!

Oliver - 7

 Gabriella - 5 

 Melia - 3

 We stayed in the Mountain Meadows Camp which had the mini-lodge, many cabins, a playground, a meeting lodge and dining room, a small gym and was very close to the swimming pool and water slides.

 The kids enjoying the gym with some friends we made

Wednesday night at camp is Western Night where everyone dresses up in their western clothes and they have pony rides, games, face painting, root beer floats and a square dance!



One of our favorite things about the week was how much time we got to spend outdoors. The weather was warm but not hot most of the week and we even got to wear a sweater a few mornings! The kids could run in the forest behind the lodge, build forts, play on the playground with friends, all while Matt and I watched from the porch. Relaxing...

The fort that Oliver built on top of a rock!

Building a fort with a door that you lifted up to enter... Oliver pulling down, Gabby walking in!

My silly girl!

Oliver and Matt got to go on a long trail ride on Thursday! Oliver was a bit nervous but did great and enjoyed it! What a great opportunity for some father-son time!

On our last day, the girls got to go on a mini-trail ride. They got to ride horses and a pony! Fun times!
Grooming the horses!

Oli got to ride again because the boys trail ride was cut short due to rain...

Oliver made some good friends while we were there and they enjoyed spending time in the woods together. Here he is with some of his buddies! He sat with his buddy Gresham and his family at a few meals :)

Gabby made a sweet little friend too - Cheyenne. She enjoyed sitting with her at meals a few times also!

We had a great trip and plan to do it again next year. We'd love to go with friends - so let us know if you want to go with us! :)