Before I discovered the charm of the big yellow school bus, magically appearing and whisking my children away at the end of the driveway, I carpooled.
In 2007, Austin began 3 day kindergarten, and Sydney morning pre-school.
Dylan was an energetic 2.5 year old, Stella was cooking nicely, and I had my first taste of being a school mom... getting us all ready and out the door by 7:40am.
That particular year, Austin began school @ 8:05am and Sydney @ 9:00am. While we don't live too far from school, we don't live right down the road either. So as the year began to play out, I would find myself trying to figure out what to do with that 55 minutes of time before I dropped Sydney off for pre-school.
I didn't like to use that time to grocery shop or run errands, because that's how I spent the 2 hours that Sydney was actually in pre-school, before I had to come pick her up again. I didn't like to go home during pre-school either, b/c ultimately, I had to leave to pick Austin up again @ 2:45, and I didn't like to make that many trips back and forth to school.
And so, we discovered the joy of Panera Bread in the morning. "Nilla Bread" as Dylan endearingly referred to it in his 2 year old voice...and still does to this very day.
We became regulars as the year wore on. My order was always the same. 1 coffee, and 2 chocolate chip muffie tops. We grabbed our tray from the same cashier week after week, and Sydney would take Dylan by the hand and lead him over to the pop machine to get a water for each of them, complete with a lid, straw and coffee cozy.
We sat perched on the bar stools and smiled and waved at every last person that walked through the glass doors. Remeber Dylan's curls? It was hard not to smile at him :)
Eventually Stella arrived, and we moved our business over to a booth. We sat across from the same elderly couple nearly every week, and they clearly thought we were amusing. It's easy now to paint a happy, quaint picture of Nilla Bread, but truly our time was hectic, loud and often harried...as Stella didn't enjoy being ripped out of bed and made to wait for her bottle, Sydney had a mind of her own, and Dylan never stopped talking or moving.
However, to this day, my middle kids still speak fondly of our Nilla Bread stage.
When a Panera Bread sign is spotted, I often hear "Mom, remember when we used to always go there? When can we go there again?
Good times, and fond memories...tho I didn't apprectiate them at the time. Such is life, isn't it?
Fastforward to today.
I found these pictures tucked away on the camera roll of my ipod. I'm pretty sure that Krispy Kreme will have the same nostaligic effect on these 2 in the years to come, once they are in the school system, and not the carefree litte rascals they are today.
Perhaps we visit the fabric store in the adjacent parking lot a little too often, but these 2 will ALWAYS let me know when the light is on. Can't say "amen" or "please" but a certain little 2 year old can most certainly say "donut" and "kwispy kweme".
We've already packed in a lot of fun, stayed up too late, got sunburned, splashed in the water, played with friends, and taken numerous bike rides. (And I figured out that biking with 65lbs of baby behind my bike takes a whole different set of muscles than the ones I use to run. Oye!)
So, it is high time I download all the pics that I have from our spring.
Join me, will you? There's not that many, because I often forget my camera :)
I went along with Sydney's class to Dutch Village.
The weather was gorgeous, the company was great, and aside from our tour guide forgetting her teeth, it couldn't have been better!
I drove for Austin's 4th Grade Road Rally.
A field trip in culmination of a unit on map skills and our county.
Team" Mrs. Birds Friends" guided us through the county with their directions and map. We visited all 4 quadrants, and hit all the landmarks we were supposed to in 200 miles even. Not bad since we took a detour and stopped for donuts and slushies :)
I rode along with Dylans class to the Childrens Museum.
Austin was Mark Twain in the 4th grade Wax Museum.
He did a fantastic job!
We ran another 5k. The Brian Diemer Amerikam.
This one was a treat, because I ran with Tim, Austin, and my best girlfriends!
And I was happy to shave 1:30 off my time from the Classic...always good to see improvemement!
We went to quite a few soccer games.
Naturally Dylan found a birds nest while on the sidelines, and I forgot to bring my camera along to any of Sydney's games.
After losing his first car, breaking his second, third time was a charm at our church's Cadet Pinewood Derby.
Memorial Weekend is typically the first camping trip of the season for our family.
We've gone the last several years. I forget to book far in advance, so it's always a mystery where we will wind up. Always a good time tho, and I like it that way :)
Well, earlier this spring we made the decision that this was the year we would finally complete our deck out back. Remember our house addition that began when Stella was born? Well, since our deck spans the entire back of the house, it's been one of those projects that's been put on the back burner...because it's a big project, and we weren't really sure what we wanted.
Late this winter, while flipping through the calendar and filling in committments, we realized that between soccer, Spring Break, weddings, showers, trips, 5k's, etc. we didn't have a free Saturday to work on anything until Memorial Weekend. So rather than go camping this year, we decided to stay home and work around the house. The mantra soon became "Project Big Deck" and "Get that pile of woodchips off the driveway." :)
And it was a good weekend.
A nice balance between work and play.
Tho it would have been nice to go camping, it felt good to get a few things done.
We did have a giant bonfire one night in camping spirit.
Join me on a pictoral journey through our weekend, will you?
The main event....Tim got a real good start on the deck.
We enjoyed a steamy hot Whitecaps game with the kids ...
I re-painted and recovered all of our barstools!
My counter now resembles a box of trix :)
This one is my favorite... :)
We bought a go-cart.
Naturally, Sydney caught a turtle.
A bat flew into our house.
The look on his face says it all :)
And I'm happy to say the woodchip pile is gone, and the garden is planted!