Friday, August 26, 2016

First Day of School 2016

It's that time of year again - back to school! August 24th was the first day. Parker started Kindergarten!! He goes to JC Sommer and his teacher is Mrs. Dyer. Another girl in our neighborhood, Maria, is in his class, so it's nice that each of them already know someone at school. The night before school, Parker said he was both excited and nervous. He really didn't seem nervous. We had talked about how he will start Kindergarten all summer and he seemed ready.

"Secret Life of Pets" backpack

New this year, the bus stop is just one house away from us! Previously, we had to walk or drive down the street to meet the bus. This new bus stop will be so convenient.

Walking to the bus stop
When Parker's bus arrived and after hugs for me and Shane, he had no problem getting on the bus. Once he got home that afternoon, he said he had a good time and that "school" was his favorite part of the whole day.

He's home!
Here are two papers Parker brought home:

Parker drew himself

Isabelle is at Jackson Middle School again this year. As you can see, she is cheering again. She had to wear her cheer uniform to school on the first day because the cheerleaders were part of a pep rally in the afternoon. Also this year, she is part of Symphonic Choir and Show Choir. She was happy to see a lot of friends again and reported having a good first day!

Not thrilled about holding an "8" for 8th grade

Isabelle's schedule:

Seth is in 5th grade at Hayes Intermediate. This is a new school for Seth and it has 5th and 6th grades. We are all happy that this school starts almost an hour later than elementary school, so Seth can sleep later in the mornings. Seth's teacher is Mrs. Jameson and he will also have Mrs. Elswick and Mrs. Gagliardi. They each teach different subjects and they are the same three teachers that Isabelle had in 5th grade.

5th grader
Seth also had a good day at school and was happy to see that he knew several people in his classes. Since a lot of the kids at this school have come from a different elementary school (Buckeye Woods), there are a lot of new kids Seth doesn't know yet.

Here's to a good school year!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Summer Summary - August 2016

August - the last month of summer break.

Our whole family went to the Ohio State Fair on August 1. We didn’t enter one building or see any animals! The day was all about riding the rides this year. Being a Monday, it wasn’t too crowded and we got to ride all that we wanted to. Parker really liked the big slide and rode it several times.

Parker found his friends Derrick and James

You may recall that Parker took swimming lessons in July, but didn't make much progress. Well, Parker really improved his swimming skills in August! We bought him a pair of his own goggles. He loved them, and started going under water with them right away, and even swam a bit on his own with his head under water! Who knew that the secret to getting him better at swimming was buying goggles??

Parker playing in the water:

In preparation for Kindergarten, the school district held and event for kids and parents to learn about the school buses and to help them feel more comfortable riding them to school for the first time. Parker learned how to sit properly and we all took a short bus ride around the area. Good news about our bus stop – one has been added right at the corner by our house! This means we won’t have to walk or drive down the street to get the kids to and from the bus anymore!

Each summer, the kids and I like to take a trip down to the Cincinnati area to spend some time with our friends Shannon, Brady and Savannah. This year, we spent a few hours at the pool in their neighborhood. The weather cooperated and it was a good, fun day!
Seth, Brady and Isabelle

Parker and Savannah

We checked out a "new to us" pool - the Groveport Aquatic Center. This place was so neat because it had a large shallow area, a deep end with diving boards, a lazy river, two water slides and a splash pad.

These are two slides - one curvy (left) and one almost straight down (right)

Overview of the pool

Seth jumped really high off the diving board

Lazy river

Lazy river

Shane and Seth planned to see Tecumseh, The Outdoor Drama in Chillicothe near the end of August. They planned a whole weekend of camping at Tar Hollow State Park and seeing the show. While the camping trip was a success despite some rainy weather, the show was cancelled after everyone had already arrived, due to rain. Fortunately, they were given rain tickets and are planning to see the show at a later date, and still really enjoyed camping.

They took some games camping

One of the lakes

Swimming in the lake

The campsite

Mini golf at the campground

Throughout the summer, Isabelle babysat Callan, who lives down the street from us and is 11 years old. It was an easy summer job for her and a great way to earn money. In August, she attended cheer camp and show choir camp. She was very busy!

The boys spent a lot of time putting together various train tracks all summer.

Isabelle learned how to blow bubbles with gum.

We attended open houses for each of the three (yes, three this year!) schools. As of this posting, Isabelle's school had not yet had their open house (so no photo).

Finally, here are some miscellaneous photos taken in August. We certainly had a lot of good days!

Treats at Dairy Queen

Helping with the grocery list at Meijer

Checking out school before it starts

Farewell, summer break!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Summer Summary - July 2016

We went on our annual trip to Steve’s in Michigan over the July 4th weekend. We had a smaller crowd this year – it was our family plus Mom and Dad (Barb and Steve) – but still had a lot of fun! There were a couple of new things this year: Parker rode on the 4-wheelers with Shane for the first time, and we met the newest Chapman family member, Lionel the goat!

Shane and Parker
Shane and Parker:

Steve and Seth:

Meet Lionel

Happy 4th of July!

Parker took swimming lessons at the YMCA. While I’d like to say he made a lot of progress in swimming due to the lessons, he really didn’t. The goal was to have him swimming on his own for a distance of five feet, and to learn different ways of swimming (side, back and front). He didn’t get to that point and wore a floaty most of the time. They did do a couple of fun things, though. They taught boating safety and got to ride in a canoe in the pool, and they got to jump off of the diving starting blocks.

Parker and I went to the AHA! museum in Lancaster (AHA stands for A Hands-on Adventure). This was our first time there, and we found out that it’s a really neat place for little ones to play! Parker has been asking to go back! They are moving into a bigger space soon, so we may go back once they are moved.
This is a house frame and kids put the blocks in for the walls

This is a vet's office

Water table

This was Parker's favorite thing to do. He worked the pulley so that the blocks went up, then the went back to the ground when he let go.

Parker, Shane and I went to Big Bounce one afternoon. This is an indoor trampoline park new to Grove City. It was not crowded that day, so Parker got to jump all around!

The whole family spent a lot of time at Big Splash, our local swimming pool. The water started out a bit chilly at the beginning of June, and by mid-July it felt like bathwater. Our friends Shannon, Brady and Savannah joined us at the pool one day. Unfortunately, it ended up raining pretty hard so we had to leave a lot earlier than planned.
Savannah and Parker

The kids waiting out the rain (we ended up leaving)

The photos below are other times we went in July:
Big Splash

Big Splash
Big Splash

We all went to the Park of Roses in Columbus for the first time. Unfortunately, we seemed to have missed the peak blooming time for the flowers.
Park of Roses

Park of Roses

Park of Roses

On July 27th, we went to Kings Island. Parker stayed home with Hannah since he’s pretty timid about riding ride by himself and we would be too big to ride the kid rides with him. Kings Island is already a bit of a challenge with Seth and Isabelle because Isabelle loves the roller coasters while Seth prefers smaller rides and the water rides. We all rode a few rides together, but then we had to split up and continue to meet up throughout the day. For the first time, I rode the Diamondback roller coaster (twice) and it was scary but fun! The longest line of the day was a half an hour for the White Water Canyon, but all other rides were a wait of 15 minutes or less. While we were gone that day, Hannah and Parker had fun at Big Splash and had Marco’s Pizza for dinner (Parker’s request).

Outside the log ride

Shane and Seth on the log ride:


July 29 was a big day for Isabelle. She and I went to a Melanie Martinez concert. Melanie is her favorite singer – a 21-year old who was a contestant on The Voice and who went on to do her own thing. The concert was at Express Live in Columbus. It’s a pretty small place and we were packed into it with a ton of teenagers. Although it was very hot and crowded, we did have a good time and Isabelle was so happy that she got see Melanie.

To finish up July, we celebrated Shane's 46th birthday with dinner at Texas Roadhouse (and didn't manage to get a photo).

That was our July!