19 August 2010

Off to School

The school year started today and everyone except Jay is gone. I might be able to blog a little more now. I could clean, or make cards, or fold some laundry, too, but, there will be plenty of time for all of it...first, some pictures!

This year marks a few milestones for the Ball Team in school. First, Rachel is in junior high. Yes, junior high. She was a little anxious about the normal school stuff (where are my classes? who will I eat lunch with? will I get lost? will the eighth and ninth graders be really mean?), but overall she was excited and feeling quite grown up.
Josephine starts kindergarten. She did a brief stint in pre-K, but, I pulled her out after almost two months of peeling her off of my leg every morning. You are only four once, so I decided if she wanted to be home, let her. Kindergarten is for keeps, we told her all summer, so she knows there's no pulling her out of school this time. Joey was still pretty reluctant, but I stayed through morning announcements and the teacher very skillfully got the class (with many nervous little ones) engaged and involved. I slipped out the door as they started talking about what the schedule was for the day. She will be fine, just like her sisters all will be, too.

Charlotte has two good friends in her class, so she is good to go. Samantha has a few friends on her team (sets of four classes that all move together, that's the middle school way of doing things) and two good buds in her class. She was more excited than nervous.

Back at home, I intend to get the house back in order after a summer of serious use. (One room at a time....) Jay Michael seems oblivious that he has been alone all day - happy to have the attention of Mom and Dad. Routine is good for us all!

One more group shot...

16 August 2010

Hightop Mojo

School shopping this year had an unexpected surprise - new shoes for Rachel. Rachel did not really need new shoes for school, but, she saw these hightops and loved them. I loved them too, after I saw the price - $3.24. Yes, $3.24. Sold.

Rae's new shoes further served as inspiration for a card! Who knew? (I have to tell you that this cracks me up. Those of you who know me, know that I own one pair of shoes at a time. Always sandals. I only wear shoes when I just have to. To be inspired by shoes is just comical for me.) I love the color combination with the bright yellow and green, offset by the heavy neutral of the deep grey.

Head on over to Mojo Monday to see what inspired others in this week's challenge. And hey, if you are a stamper - play along; get your Mojo on!

13 August 2010

KidBits August 2010

Just a little KidBit from each of the ladies, and Jay:

Rachel has been busy this summer with mowing the grass, going to Girls Camp and earning money from babysitting and cleaning houses. She is already practicing with her fall soccer team and has her schedule for 7th grade. They do grow up so fast, don't they? She even makes amazing pancakes! This picture was just before she left for Girls Camp.
Samantha never stopped practicing with her gym team but has now moved to evening practice, getting ready for the school schedule. She has also made money this summer by dog-sitting! She's had three families call her and ask her to take care of their pets while they are away for vacation. Samantha's swimmers ear came back with a vengeance, so she had some down time, too. This picture is Samantha doing a backhandspring at the gym.
Charlotte finished her swim team at the end of July but was on such a schedule of 8am practices that she couldn't sleep in her the summer! She was in constant motion with playdates and swimming - a great seven year old summer. Here she is with her caterpillar friends that she wanted to keep as pets in her room. I said no. She will soon start the second grade and has organized all her clothes into outfits, just to be ready!
Josephine took a summer ballet class, and was the ONLY student! For an hour once a week she trained for her future as a prima ballerina! Thank you Shelby! She had some shy days, and Mom had to stand at the bar with her, but, overall I think she's a little more independent and more prepared for next week - Kindergarten!
Jay was just Jay. Busy, busy, busy! He's speaking in complete sentences, but, has his own way of saying things. For example, soccer is "kickaball" and blocks are "towers". He's so dang "shute"; here he is worn out and napping during nursery at church!

And our "addition" to the family - Lexi. Sweet, sweet girl. And as I say that, remember, I am NOT a dog lover. We are just "dog-sitting" while her owners settle into their new house, 1,500 miles from here. I will miss her when she goes to her new family home.

09 August 2010

Christmas Already?

I have this habit of sneaking away from my "duties" and playing with my toys. There are others who share my secret getaway - and hope they enjoy the escape as much as I do. Lately I have found a few blogs to help me with design and color schemes (try here for design ideas and here for color schemes).

Just wanted to share a little on me only, since this place is pretty much about the wonderful ladies and Jay, who deservedly take up so much of my time, energy and blog!

And if you are ready to start on your Christmas cards, call me. Let's make 'em!

05 August 2010

Samantha, still Eleven

Samantha wanted a day at the lake for her birthday. We tried three different days to get there, but, we just couldn't get a plan together. As I was taking with some Moms about our plan I learned a little something about lakes. Did you know that lakes breed bacteria and can become unhealthy when a few factors come together. Lately we have had temperatures over 100 degrees for twenty-some straight days. Hot, hot. We also have had no substantial rainfall for any of that time. So, the lake we wanted to visit had no fresh-water feed; it was essentially a five acre puddle. Mix all this together and you get problems. The lakes are known to spread a little condition called swimmer's itch, which you can read more about here, but, it's a nasty little thing, so be warned. Yuck.

So, we decided against the risk and called it all off. Again. Samantha took it well. This poor girl, so looking forward to spending a day with her friends and family, denied again. The more we thought about it, the more we realized, let's just throw a party anyway. I called and texted our friends and said for everyone to come swim at our friend's pool - the wonderfully generous friends who opened their beautiful backyard pool to friends on certain days of the week! We kept it a secret from Samantha, and got some of her favorite food together - watermelon, skittles, veggies and dip.
Success! We had a great afternoon beating the heat in properly chlorinated water - no little nasties to invade our skin!

watermelon candles ::: first piece of "cake"

watermelon smiles!!

02 August 2010

Samantha is Eleven

Samantha turned eleven this week! Wow. Always an original, Samantha did not want a birthday cake. She wanted jelly beans, (the GOOD kind, Mom, she said) and she made everyone in the family the recipes on the package as our "pieces of cake" - blueberry muffins, hot chocolate, pina coladas and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Try that with a regular birthday cake.

We are going to Indian Lake later this week to celebrate, but, we had gifts from the grandparents - school clothes and a cross stitched birth announcement.

Samantha wants to be a marine biologist when she grows up and has decided that she will not leave home. She's going to live at home forever. She is athletic, dedicated and loyal to her friends and family. She is the only girl in her class at church - the only girl in a class of seven. And though she'll complain, I think at heart she's okay with it. Samantha loves her dogs, loves to be outside, and loves gymnastics. She says we'll all see her at the Olympics. winning the gold.
At eleven, she will start the sixth grade this fall. Samantha's favorite subject is science and her least favorite is math. She is in Activity Girls at church, and is anxious to follow her big sister out of the Primary and into Young Women. Samantha is great at saving money and does well when she has goal to work toward. Keep up the good work, Samantha! We're right behind you all the way!