Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Day on the Farm

This past weekend we had beautiful weather here in Washington. We decided to take advantage of this by making our annual trek to the farm to pick pumpkins, go through the corn maze and take a hay ride. I love the fall and all the seasonal celebrations that go with it. It's so wonderful to start out the day with a warm hot chocolate before heading outside in the crisp fall air for a day of fun.

We had yummy gingerbread waffles with citrus sauce and whipped cream for breakfast.

Nice moustache Isabelle! I guess she liked the hot chocolate! We went to a different farm this year and I think it was the best one yet. They had an entire barn filled with loose hay and hay bales to jump in. In addition to the regular offerings they also had an 18-hole miniature golf course, petting farm and three-story hay bale maze for little ones, complete with a slide into fluffy hay at the end of the maze. We're definitely going back next year - especially since it's just about 10 minutes from our house!
In the pumpkin patch - notice Mt. Baker in the distance. Looking the other direction we could see Mt. Rainier. Even though we see these mountains almost every day, on a clear day like this we really appreciate them even more.
This is the pumpkin Isabelle chose.
Riding in the wheelbarrow is always the best part! For some reason Jason didn't want to give me a ride though. In the Washington State Corn Maze. Fourth graders in our area come to this corn maze every year to learn about Washington state history. You start in Idaho and travel the highways and freeways through the state, stopping at landmarks such as the Peace Arch, the Space Needle and the Grand Coulee Dam. Hmmm, fun and educational! Still in the maze, crossing one of the high bridges.

Oh, we're the farmers scarecrows, we scare away the birds. We keep the farmers corn safe without any words. But when Halloween comes we jump out of the ground. And we scare the boys and girls as they go walking 'round. BOO!!

(Can you guess which part of the song we're doing?) Hay ride!
This little piggy was digging a huge hole with his snout. Isabelle was delighted. Sitting on the giant pumpkin that won the heaviest pumpkin contest (about 1200 lbs.!) Back at home Isabelle helped arrange the pumpkins on the porch.
We had a great day!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"My Mommy Has a Shoe Problem"

Just one of the many tidbits revealed to my friend Erica as she drives Isabelle to preschool everyday. Isabelle is at that charming age when she unsuspectingly embarrasses her parents in her quest for knowledge or conversation starters. She has also shared with Erica that her "daddy is not a prince because he doesn't know how to dance" and that she "falls down a lot when daddy isn't keeping an eye on her." I can only imagine what Erica doesn't tell me about their trips to preschool!
During the presidential debate last night Isabelle was very concerned about "that old man" and why "that pretty lady" (Cindy McCain) liked him. She also thinks it's hilarious to say Barack Obama over and over again. I think I should sign her up to volunteer for the campaign!

"I may be cute but I can be pretty sassy!"

For sharing this week Isabelle was supposed to bring a big or beautiful leaf.
This is her selection.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Snack Day

Today Isabelle got to take snack to preschool for the first time. As one would imagine this is a momentous event in the life of a preschooler. Isabelle carefully selected napkins with fall leaves, requested that we make banana bread (her new favorite food) and asked to bring grapes and apple juice. We were also very careful to incorporate the academic focus of the day (triangles.)

Isabelle dictated and signed this note to Mrs. Facchini.
One of Isabelle's first preschool projects. She painted the Earth and glued on all the stars. Lesson: God Made the World
Isabelle got to pass out the napkins during snack time today. I think that was her favorite part.

Green was the color of the day at school.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The First Day of School

Isabelle had her first day of preschool last Wednesday. I was very lucky because I was able to have another teacher cover my class so I could take her and pick her up on her first day. Only half the students went on this day (the other half went on Tuesday) so it wouldn't be so overwhelming for the children. Today was the first day with the entire class and with Isabelle carpooling with my friend Erica. So far Isabelle loves preschool. Much to my chagrin she ran in on the first day with nary a glance back at her poor tearful mother. She was very happy to see me at the end of the day though! Isabelle says her favorite thing about preschool is the playground and playing instruments. Oh, what would a teacher give to hear that math or reading is a student's favorite activity?! Jason and I are very glad she is enjoying school so much!

Preschool is finally here!

Isabelle knew exactly where to hang her backpack.
Laney and Isabelle got right to work reading as soon as they arrived.
What a long day!
Today Isabelle was supposed to wear something red to school. While I wouldn't say that Isabelle lacks much in her wardrobe, the color red is conspicuously absent from her closet. So, despite the 75 degree day, Isabelle wore a sweater vest and jeans to school.

"I'm totally rockin' this backpack!"
Excited to tell about her day.
On the steps outside her classroom.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Preschool Orientation

We went to Isabelle's preschool orientation tonight, which was exciting and a little amazing that Isabelle is already starting school! We must have done an okay job of prepping her for this new experience because before we left this evening she informed us that she could drive herself and we didn't need to come because she was meeting her friend Delaney there. Isabelle and Laney have known each other since we first brought Isabelle home from Kazakhstan and their birthdays are only one month apart. Since they started going to daycare together a few weeks ago they have become pretty much inseparable. Our daycare provider Kelly told us that the girls were having a hard time playing on the swings today because they didn't want to stop holding hands. I'm glad Isabelle will already have a friend when she starts school next week.

At dinner tonight Isabelle was convinced her feet had grown because she was on her way to preschool.

It took about 30 seconds for Isabelle and Delaney to find each other in their new classroom.

Where one goes, the other goes.

This is where Isabelle will hang her backpack everyday. As you can see she's quite proud.

As soon as the camera starts it's like pulling teeth to get Isabelle to talk and not be too silly, but here are answers to a few questions.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Number on the Referral List!

We got our monthly call from All God's Children today and we moved up the list significantly again. We are now number six! At this point we feel we could get a call any day with a referral. Of course, it could still be a long wait - you never know!
I am exhausted from my first two days of teaching. It's always amazing the difference between 24 five-year-olds in September and six-year-olds in June. Last year I had the easiest groups of kids ever. They were so well behaved I didn't have to use time-out once all year! I knew I was due for a busy class this year. While I can't reveal names of students I will give you the rundown of the monikers I have chosen for them. You can imagine how these titles might apply in the classroom. This years crew includes:

1.) The Rocket/Bumper Car

2.) The Defyer(s)

3.) The Screamer

4.) The Gnawer and, my favorite,

5.) The Strangler

The other nineteen children are doing really well and trying to be good role models. They were already much more settled today than yesterday. Thank goodness the weekend is almost here though!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Playing in Isabelle's Room

On our last weekend before school officially began we just stayed home and played. Isabelle had a bit of a cold and the weather wasn't too great anyway. Isabelle really loves playing with her dolls and stuffed animals in her bedroom so we spent a lot of time doing that. Here are a couple clips. As you can see, Isabelle has no problem being silly for the camera.