We had our first fire in our new house Saturday night while we watched the LSU game (go tigers!) and Elise said, "you know, the perfect thing to do by a fire is read a book!"! So true, but seriously, where does she come up with this stuff?
Sunday afternoon we loaded everyone up into the car and didn't tell them where we were headed...Bennett was just excited to go on the "big bridge" (the Causeway) and I think he would have been happy with that!
Below you can see my (unsuccessful) attempt at getting a picture of the kids with David....Bennett cannot be still for 5 seconds!!
There are a plentitude of "P" words in my posts today for some reason! One of David's closest friends from childhood has a son playing in a soccer tournament here today and so he took Bennett out to the ball field this morning. The girls and I stayed back and worked in the yard. They were very excited to help me plant some purplepansies!
Elise was especially precise with the planting, and very concerned with exactly who had what job and how many jobs we each had. We ended up settling with, after much discussion, Lila holding the bone-meal box (Mimi swears this will make the pansies do well), me digging the hole, Elise putting a scoop of bone meal in, and then placing the pansy in, and me finishing up. Our system worked well. I do think it probably took us 4 times as long to plant one tray of pansies as it would if I had done it myself, but I guess it was a good day to practice my patience....and spend some time with my little princesses!!
We had a fun filled Friday yesterday starting off with our second failed attempt to visit a local pumpkin patch with our Friday playgroup. Last Friday we all drove out to the country only to discover that they were closed for a wedding. They assured us that they would be open all this week, including yesterday, but when I arrived they were closed again! Frustrating!! But, we were able to move past our disappointment and we ended up taking the kids to a farmer's market that has a small pumpkin patch and then to a park to play afterwards...
I tried my hardest to get Bennett to leave his corduroy hat at home, but he really never takes it off. I do think it is adorable with play-clothes for the winter, but combined with this jonjon he almost looks like he has a little costume on! Oh well, he's my cutie regardless!
Lila was not in the posing mood and did not like sitting up by the big pumpkin...Oh well, I tried!
Bennett loved the big scarecrow and the horses they made out of corn stalks....Lila steered clear!
After picking Elise up from school and heading home for Bennett to nap, we went over to Mimi and Grandpa's to celebrate Grandpa's birthday! My Mom cooked his favorite "bbq" shrimp and Mimi made crab and corn chowder. I think the quote of the day goes to Elise, who said, "Mom- what are we going to do about the fact that I really want cake, but I really don't like what we are having for dinner?!"
Everyone had fun helping Grandpa blow out his candles....BUT, even more fun helping him eat his cake!!
We are so thankful we were able to celebrate another birthday with him!!
Happy Birthday Pa Pa!!
On another note, we are especially thankful as well that our very special Aunt K had a successful quintuple (hope I am spelling that right) bypass surgery yesterday morning. She has been in our thoughts and prayers so much, and continues to be as she heals....She is such a blessing in our lives...
I had the honor this morning of joining Elise and her class for a Mom's tea. She was so excited about it and has been practicing her songs for weeks! They worked really hard and made all of the decorations for the room and the table. There were cute little pumpkins made from brown bags that they had painted and stuffed, adorable place mats with the sweet "my Mom is marvelous" song printed on them, paper gourds on the walls with their pictures, and beautiful leaf coasters for our tea cups! In addition, each Mom got a corsage that looked like a large fall mum, with a picture of their child in the middle. Priceless!!
As we came in there was some free time where they were able to show us around their classroom...to see all of the different centers and projects they have been working on. Then we participated in circle time with them, where they taught us their morning prayer, we talked about the calendar, the weather, and the various jobs that they rotate through during the week. We said the pledge, marched and sang "Grand Ole Flag", and saw how they start their day every morning. Then the class sang a few songs they had been practicing just for us....
How cute are these kids!! When looking at her in the line I can tell how much Elise has grown in the last year. When I went to her Mom's tea last year, she was the smallest one in the class- now she is right about average!
Here she is showing me her "car". The teachers have cleverly written each child's name on a car and the car "parks" at a new job every day. Since there are 11 kids in the class and only 7 jobs, a few people's cars go into the parking garage at the end of the rotation. What a neat way to teach patience!! It is funny how E always knows exactly when her car is coming out of the garage-she is always even MORE excited on her way to school that day!
*apparently I had a smudge on my lens and didn't realize it...sorry for all of the fuzzy pics*
They have been talking a lot about families in school this fall. The have a book with all of their baby pictures in it and one with all of their family pics. In addition, they made this graph on the door where they practiced charting the different members of the family.
Here is Elise in the housekeeping center. She loves this area..they have a little kitchen, a table and chairs, a phone, an area to dress up.....
Elise and her friend Antonella (they have been in the same class for 2 years and love each other) demonstrated the listening center for us. They were reading and listening to a Corduroy the Bear Halloween book.
Antonella's family is bilingual and her Mom has been teaching the class Spanish once a week. Elise ADORES it. My Spanish degree has been extra helpful lately as she has been asking me quite often, "How do I say (insert whatever) in Spanish?" It is definitely something I want to continue practicing with her as I feel like picks it up easily. I went up to Antonella's Mom to thank her and tell her how much Elise is enjoying it and she said, "oh I already know that. She pays such close attention and is mesmerized!" She can count to ten (almost twenty) on her own as well as remember some basic colors, greetings, etc...
So, I think I have been enough of a bragging Mom for today, but I just don't want to forget any details about the special time we had together! Stay tuned for Dad's night next week!
I don't know how it works for ya'll, but I always find that we don't have much going on on the weekend, or else we have a TON going on on the weekend. So far, this one has proven to be one of our busiest yet. David took the kids to New Orleans this morning for a walk for asthma that his firm was sponsoring. It was in Audubon Park and his parents met them down there. After that, since they were so close, they made a quick trip to the zoo before they headed back home for Elise's soccer game. (I stayed back to start painting the bookcases in our den, which, in hind site, was probably not a good project to start on such a busy weekend. But, I digress.) They dropped off L & B and picked me up- my Mom offered to stay here with them so they (well, Bennett) could nap- and we headed out to Elise's game. The definite highlight of the day was that this cutie pie.....
...scored her FIRST GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes!!! There were actual tears in her Daddy's eyes as he saw the smile on her face. We are so thrilled with how much her confidence has grown and with how much fun she is really having out there with her team! Emmy and Pop treated her to some ice cream on the way home, which she loved! I am soooo glad I was there to see it! What a memory!
As soon as we got home from soccer, I took Lila to her first "on her own" birthday party. Obviously she has been to parties before, but this was the first one where she was just invited by a little girl in her ballet class. She was so excited and has been talking about it all week. We had a great time!! (The mother, who is a friend of mine, very nicely also said Bennett and Elise were welcome to come, but Bennett was sleeping and Elise needed to rest after soccer and spend some more time with her Grandparents. Plus, I thought it would be fun for Lila to get to do something by herself...)
As soon as we got home from the birthday party we loaded up the car with the whole family and headed to a church picnic organized by the Mom's of young kids group. It was a fun way to top off a VERY busy, fun-filled day!
Now, off to get another coat onto the bookshelves....then I think I'll go pass out! :)
David has been trying to figure out for a while now who (or what!) has been getting into our garbage can. You see, we have the big can with the lock on it that is supposed to make it difficult to get open. Well, I was able to answer his question today. As we were driving off to school the kids were THRILLED to see a HUGE (and I mean HUGE) family of raccoons run across our street. I was not aware that raccoons could grow to be that big. Elise goes, "YES!!! They live in our back yard!!" (That is exactly where they went...and up a tree!) I was not so excited as she was as I now picture the raccoons watching me through the windows at night!!
This is not one of "our" actual 'coons (Bennett's term), I was not fast enough to get a pic with my phone..plus, I was trying not to run over one! I am guessing, based on the size of them, that they easily stand on their hind legs and push the top off of the can...no problem for an animal that must at least weigh 50 lbs. Seriously. As Elise likes to say, we really do have a zoo out there.
Poor Bennett. He gets dragged to ballet twice a week for his sisters, and often times I have to wake him up to get there in time. He is my best sleeper and, unlike his sisters, still loves his naps! Very nicely, Kimberly offered to pick Elise up yesterday and bring her, so that if Bennett were sleeping I wouldn't have to wake him up. I knew that Lila would be up, so I had her leave Camille here with me so that they could play! MUCH better then cramming them all into the small waiting room at ballet and trying to entertain them for an hour.... Well, unfortunately, due to the business of life, and the little ones staggered school schedules, we really haven't been able to let them play together much. They had SO MUCH FUN. I was cracking up because they were having little conversations, making each other laugh, fixing "dinner" together (and "coffee" for me, of course) in the little kitchen, and comparing bo-bo's. So cute and funny! And then when I loaded them up into the car to go meet K at ballet, they were ecstatic at the thought of riding together! So cute and refreshing how they get so excited about the smallest things! I have to admit I was a little nervous because I have heard the stories about cute, cunning, Camille and her ability to escape any car seat (I think K once pulled over 16 times on a road trip to put her back in her seat- can you imagine?), but she was a perfect angel and did not escape until I parked in the parking lot!!
It was a fun afternoon! We'll hopefully do it more often....
In the spirit of fall I thought I would change my blog header- designed by fabulous Mo. If any of you bloggers want a new header, she is your girl! "Fall" is apparently a joke in south Louisiana. I swear I think it is 100 degrees today!!!
It was a busy weekend, but we all enjoyed it! After some yard work Saturday morning we headed to Elise's soccer game. She has improved drastically, running with the "pack", and even kicking the ball quite a bit. She seems to be really enjoying it now that she has more of a feel for the game. Saturday night we enjoyed watching LSU beat Georgia- Go Tigers!! We also all enjoyed the "world famous" brownies that Suzanne dropped off. Even Bennett, who is not usually into sweets, couldn't get enough!!
After church on Sunday David headed to NOLA for the Saints game with Nick and Davis, and so the ladies and the kids came over here after naps to watch the game and play. We all had a lot of fun! I am disappointed that I don't have any pics of the kids in their Saints gear- I hadn't charged my camera. They all looked really cute- trust me!! And GO SAINTS!!! I am having flashbacks of my sophomore year in high school when the Saints were undefeated at this point too! How much fun! I've always been a huge Saints fan....my parents passed that trait down to me (their first date was a Saints game) and now we are passing it to our kids!! After a pretty long (and tiring) weekend, I got quite a laugh yesterday at my own expense. I was feeling pretty good because I actually made it to the gym for a short workout and then showered and got dressed because I was reading in Elise's class in the morning. So I went, read some stories, chatted with the teachers AND director, then ran a few errands before going home for a bit and then heading back to pick everyone up. As I am walking into the school to go to Lila and Bennett's class I ran into my friend Missy. So we are talking about the weekend (her little girl was actually on the opposing soccer team Saturday) and then after a few minutes she said, "Nicole- do you have on two different earrings on purpose?" Umm....NO. And these weren't discreet little stud earrings or anything. I had two totally different dangling earrings on!! I guess everyone else was just too nice to say anything, or seriously thought I had done that on purpose!! We could not stop laughing. Just shows you how many times I checked myself in the mirror once I threw my clothes on. Zero. The kids continue to make me laugh and smile a million times on a daily basis. Lila's saying of the moment is "oh my goodness" and she says it over and over like that little girl from the movie Annie. Bennett tells anyone that will listen that he "plays golf with daddy"- although it is more like "pays goff wit daddy". Elise is into using "big" words like embarrassed, actually, and structure, although I would say she only uses them in the correct context about 80% of the time. I really enjoyed observing in her class yesterday and watching her with her peers. I was a proud Mommy, as usual. Hope you all enjoyed your weekends as well...
Happy Happy Birthday to Shelley AND Gray today!!! We love you!!!!
I am the proud wife of David and Mom to three wonderful blessings- Elise, Lila, and Bennett. I am thankful every single day that I have the opportunity and gift of spending the majority of my time with my children- who I love to pieces, and who challenge, inspire, frustrate, and teach me things every single day.
This is my online journal, which I am hoping the kids will see as a perfect substitute for a scrapbook or baby book--because I don't see those happening any time soon!!
Elise Laurent was born at 5:00 p.m. on July 19, 2005. We did not find out her sex during my pregnancy and we were thrilled to tears (and slightly shocked) to meet our beautiful baby girl. She was a big baby at 8lbs, 8oz, and David and I couldn't take our eyes off of her. Elise is an old French name that David and I have always loved. Laurent is both my paternal Grandfather's name and my Dad's middle name. We always dreamed of having a daughter and were so thankful and overwhelmed to be given such a blessing.
Elise is a true first born. She likes structure, likes to fully understand everything, likes her questions answered to her satisfaction. She loves to be challenged and to challenge. She is also highly sensitive and independent.
She is a wonderful big sister to Lila and Bennett....
Lila and Bennett
It would be an understatement to say that we were shocked to learn on November 11, 2006 that we were not expecting baby #2, but baby #2 and #3!! In just shy of two years we would have created quite a family!
But, on June 1st, 2007, at 36 weeks exactly, we were thrilled and completely overcome with joy and gratitude as we welcomed two big, healthy babies into our family. First, Lila Sue, named after my Mom at 7lbs 0.6oz, and secondly, Bennett Raymond, named after David, David's Dad, and my maternal Grandfather, at 7lbs 10.4oz.
Lila has been the vocal one from the start and to this day is still pretty much running the show. She is the life of the party, the entertainer. But she is also the most compassionate, most giving of our children.
Bennett is a true boy. He is active and rough and loves to tackle and throw. He also adores his sisters and his Dad and gives the best hugs around. His big baby blues get me every time.
Boss is the newest member of our family. He was born on June 15, 2010, and he came home to us on September 9th. His full name is Boss Brees Parnell. He is half maltese and half poodle, and 100% love. We are so thrilled to have him!