Thursday, October 10, 2013

Picture Post

Catching up on a bunch of pictures from September and the beginning of October so far --

Snuggling with Cory -- they are so sweet together

Proud of her little mini-Ella school project paper doll

Race car driving with James at his birthday party at Chucky Cheese

Pajama party with Addison

One morning we saw a beautiful rainbow while we were outside waiting for Ella's bus, it was such a great way to start the day

Her best pirate pose at the store

Beautiful sky at the park at Ella's soccer practice  

Ella wanted to try these glasses on and wanted a picture so she could see what they look like

Fun Sunday afternoon painting pottery with friends

 We had a great visit from Mom a few weeks ago.
At the school cafeteria for lunch with Ella

Fun morning at the bookstore for a Curious George event

And we finally got a hair cut for the little lady! (She had been refusing a hair cut for months because she wanted to 'grow it like Rapunzel's'...fortunately she finally relented!)

For a post-haircut treat, Mom took us to get manicures

Mom and Erin should appreciate this one - Ella got her first writing assignment consequence a few weeks ago. She was mad at me one day after school and unfairly took it out on Alyssa (her after school babysitter). After Alyssa had gone home for the day and Ella and I talked about it, she wrote the two 'letters' below. She put them in the mailbox and was excited for Alyssa to read them the next day. She apologized and was happy to give the letters, and Alyssa was very appreciative. So, good lesson learned and I'm sure will be the first of many writing consequences! 


 She is ready for Halloween! The first Halloween catalog arrived and she fell asleep holding it that night :) 

Beautiful sunset in Seabrook 

Tea party with Ricky 

 In exciting backyard news, our caterpillars are back!  

And Ella has been excited that she has this cute little guy on her bathroom window several nights the last few weeks 

Making a homemade whirlpool  

Our very first "orange" orange!  

 Intently coloring - one of her favorite things to do 

Big jump! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Beach Trip

We took a quick trip to the beach the last weekend in September. We've had a ton of rain lately and this was another rainy weekend, but we knew it was probably our last chance for the season so we decided to go for it and headed down to Galveston after Ella's soccer game that Saturday. 

Excited and ready to hit the beach

Fun in the waves

In this one you can even see rain showers in the background

At the Rainforest Cafe for dinner

The best part of the trip was our visit to Pleasure Pier. It's usually so hot when we're at the beach so we've never been before, but this was the perfect weather for it and we went on all the rides and had a blast. 

Ella wasn't so sure about this one after it was over!

On the ferris wheel

View from the top

After the Rock and Roll (Flying Bobs)

And our favorite ride -- it was called the Texas Flyer and was a huge set of double swings that swung us out so high, way above the ocean. 

And here it is at the top, the lights are on the bottoms of the swings - you can see how much higher it was than the Ferris Wheel! We found out later it's the tallest swing ride in Texas. I couldn't believe that Ella wasn't scared of it - she loved it and so we all went back on it again.

We were out really late and went to bed as soon as got back to the hotel. But first Ella had to draw a picture of her favorite sweet!

Monday, October 7, 2013


Ella started kindergarten on Monday, August 26th. She was so ready and so excited for 'big school.' 
We got to meet her teacher the Thursday before school started and check out her classroom. Here she is in the book corner and home center.  

Ella's teacher gave the students a 'magic gem' to sleep with under their pillow the night before kindergarten to give them sweet dreams and get them all ready for the big day. Ella got a big kick out of it and slept with it for a few extra nights for good measure.
 Here is the sweet angel on her last night before starting kindergarten!
We had a big shift in morning routine because Ella and Steve used to leave the house around 7:45 am each morning. Her new school begins at 7:40 am (and they are supposed to be there around 7:20 am), which means she needs to get up a full hour earlier in the mornings.
We gradually shifted bedtime earlier during the month of August, but it was still a big change for her to start getting up earlier and when it is still dark every day. 
Here she is - all ready to go on her first morning!

Outside her classroom

Sitting at her seat and working on her first official kindergarten picture!
Saying goodbye to Daddy

Happy girl
It was hard to leave her but she was ready for us to go and get busy. All day long I was thinking about her and couldn't wait for her to get home to hear all the details. She rode the bus home for the first time that afternoon and I was so excited to see her. She was happy and smiley and had all kinds of good stories about her first day.
She rode the bus in the next morning for the first time. The bus has been great so far. The bus driver is really sweet and Ella sits in the front seat. She waves and blows kisses every morning when the bus pulls away (although she did have a talk with me about staying on the sidewalk and letting her walk up to the bus by herself!).

A few other pics from her first week of school

So far, so good! She loves her teacher, has made new friends, and is learning a lot. She is still excited to go every day and I love hearing about all that she's learning.
Some of her schoolwork from the first week:
A few notes that I want to remember:
- A few weeks in, Ella was saying grace before dinner and all of a sudden she says, "Oh Texas, I honor thee...." -- apparently she is learning the Texas Pledge and it somehow made it's way into our pre-dinner prayer :)
- I got Ella an alarm clock to help get her moving in the morning.  One morning she let it ring and ring and yelled to me "Mommy! Mommy! Something is wrong - my alarm clock is going off and it's the middle of the night!!" ( was time to wake up :)) 
- She is working pretty hard on her handwriting, especially her lowercase letters, and is learning to write on lined paper
- She's got a bunch of new sight words down and can read some simple sentences of her sight words strung together.
- "Kid spelling" is scary to her and she would prefer to not do it...we're working on it
- She can count to 110 (and lucky Grammy got to hear the full count), and do some adding and subtracting
- Her favorite things so far: PE (especially hula hooping), art class, music class, writers workshop, recess, and the bus
- They have a clip system for behavior each day and everyone starts each day on "ready to learn." Her clip can move up or down based on behavior and then at the end of the day they get a certain number of stamps on their sticker charts based on which status they ended up on for the day. When she fills up her sticker chart, she gets to go to the treasure chest that Friday and pick out a prize. The top level is "Super Student" and Ella told me it was just too hard to try to reach Super Student. In her 3rd week of school she came home really excited and told me that she had reached Super Student. I was so proud of her. Later in the week she was talking about how they had a substitute teacher that she really liked and that was the day she has earned Super Student...ah, got it. She's been to treasure twice so far and is on track to go this week. The only downside is once she fills up her chart and knows she's going to treasure that Friday, she's pretty darn content with "ready to learn" for the rest of the week...

Cute robot space picture she made during art class


And this is pretty funny - Ella's teacher posted this picture of the high school football players visiting Ella's classroom on Spirit Day on her class blog...
...apparently we're going to need to work on Ella's school spirit!