Monday, August 25, 2014

And she's off!

Our 2nd grader didn't even want me to drive her to school today. She said, "Mom, I've got this!"



Sunday, August 24, 2014

How is this even possible?

We have a second grader!  She is over the moon excited about starting school tomorrow.  Since it will be early and we will all be rushing in the morning, we did a little photo shoot this afternoon and gave her "first day outfit" a test run to make sure it is comfortable.  There is no air conditioning in her school so she needs something that will be cool.




Buddy was very happy to be outside.  He was behaving and staying close to us. I think he wonders why Daisy gets to go out all the time.

We got the idea on Pinterest (where else?) to use Grace's 1st grade school photo in our beginning-of-2nd grade photos to show how much she has grown. It makes me a little sad.
We walked/scootered down to the end of our lake where there is a gazebo and a different view.  I have been telling Grace for days that we were going to do these photos so she humored me for about 10 minutes.







My big kid started to get silly after this.  But I love these photos, too.  They show her weird, wild, funny personality.



 I love this one!  But, man, look at those teeth.  We'd better start saving for braces!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Getting ready for 2nd grade

Tonight we went to Open House at Grace's school to meet her 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Loeffler.
I was impressed when she welcomed Grace by name and knew that she was in Mrs. Harris' 1st grade class last year.  Mrs. Loeffler is 31 years old, has taught for 4 years (the last two in 2nd grade) and has two children of her own.  We noticed on the classroom birthday board that her birthday is September 17.  I think we will send a little surprise in for her!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Getting bigger....

...both of them!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Our "Buddy"

Grace has been wanting a pet to call her own for months.  Kyle and I finally caved and agreed to visit a rescue that said they had tons of kittens.  Even though we told Grace that we might not come home with a pet, we all agreed to adopt this little guy.
So far, he has been a good addition to our family.  Grace is in love with him and has named him "Buddy".
The only problem was that neither of them got any sleep last night.  Buddy was able to sleep during the day today when we were out at art camp, lunch, running errands, and piano lessons.  Guess what?  He is ready to run and play NOW that it is almost bedtime!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Vitamin sea

Ahhhh, vacation and a little "Vitamin Sea" was what we all needed. Condado Beach in San Juan was one of the prettiest beaches we have visited with soft sand, no rocks under your feet, warm water, and waves that were perfect for body surfing and boogie boarding.

Kyle booked a room at the Marriott Stellaris right on the beach.  Our room had balconies on two sides with views of the pool and the ocean.



Mimi and Aunt Betsy seemed to like the breezes on the beach and at the pool.
And we all loved watching Grace become a beach bunny.  For the first time she asked to go to the beach as often as she asked for the pool.  The waves were big but there was enough time between them to recover so you didn't feel overwhelmed.

Aunt Betsy bought Grace a boogie board to use on this trip.  She had a great time with it.  And, we carried it home on the airplane!


It has two dolphins on it that she named Axel and Capricorn after the dolphins we met at Discovery Cove.  Cute!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fun facts about El Yunque


Our "Top Ten" list of things we learned during our visit to El Yunque rainforest:

10.  El Yunque National Forest is the only rainforest in the United States Forest System.  
9.  It comprises 28,000 acres in the northeastern part of Puerto Rico.
8.  There is no "wet" or "dry" season in El Yunque.  It has a constant temperature of 70-80 degrees and rains year round.

7.  There are over 240 species of plants in El Yunque. 
6.  The 200 inches of rainfall each year create a jungle-like setting with lush foliage, rivers, and waterfalls.   
5.  There are six rivers in El Yunque and it sometimes rains 4 times per day. 




    5.  El Yunque is home to some rare wildlife including the Puerto Rican parrot. It is one of the most endangered birds in the world.  We didn't see any since they live in remote areas of the forest.  You will know them by the white ring around their eyes and blue feathers on their wings. 
    3.  Bats are the only mammal that is native to  El Yunque. 
    2.  In addition to 11 species of bats, there are 50 species of birds, 8 species of lizards, and 13 species of coquis. 
    1.  A coqui is a tiny tree frog (about an inch long) that make a distinctive chirping sound in the morning, at night, and when it rains.  We heard them all the time but, unfortunately, didn't see any.
    One of the highlights of our rainforest trip was to visit La Mina waterfall.  
    We hiked a winding, mostly downhill trail to La Mina falls where the water rushes over a cliff and falls about 35 feet into cool pools that people swim in. It is a pretty popular place, as you can see from the photos.
    Grace and Kyle had water shoes on so they navigated the slippery rocks and went for a chilly dip in the water.  I only went up to my knees and chickened out from going further when I saw a woman wipe out and get an awful injury right next to me.




    Before eating lunch at a roadside stand where we got every kind of fried Puerto Rican food you can imagine, ...
    ...we climbed the 98 steps of the Yokahu Observation Tower.

    And we enjoyed a final 360 degree view of the rainforest and the surrounding area.


    Can you see the sleeping giant's face at the top of the mountain?