Three Kids and a Dog

Monday, August 29, 2016

First Day of School

Last Tuesday marked the first day of school for Austen (4th grade) and Peyton (1st grade). They both were excited to go -  see their friends and meet their new teachers (Mrs. Awick for Austen and Mrs. Turrentine for Peyton).

Fourth grade was by far my favorite year of elementary school. I had the best teacher and from what I've heard 4th grade at Austen's school doesn't disappoint either. The teachers are supposed to be the strongest, and the year, while hard, is a huge growing and learning year.

Peyton on the other hand didn't get the teacher she wanted. She actually got the same teacher Austen had for first grade. She wasn't too disappointed though when she found out that a few of her good friends are also in class with her.  She then admitted she was just nervous about having Mrs. Turrentine because she has been calling her Clementine for the past 2 years and was worried that she may call her that in class. I don't think so, P, but I will tell you that if you do that then you're definitely probably going to get a yellow light from Mrs. Turrentine!

Anyway, now into our second week of school, the kids still enjoy going. Peyton loves having lunch at school now and going the full day. She was more than ready. In fact, I think the only thing Peyton doesn't love about school is doing homework!

I think it's going to be a great year for both of them too. I hope they keep making new friends, grow as students and be kind to everyone.

 Off and running to the door. Note Austen way ahead - he basically left us to get to his door and see his friends. 

Last shot together as we yelled for Austen to come back!

Peyton's desk in her first grade classroom.
She even has her own locker this year!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Our Kids' Dog

Adler was our dog - mine and Tom's. She grew up from a pup with us before we had kids. We didn't have to watch the toys on the floor or have any other little beings to give attention to so she was our world. It's a different life now that we have Sadie. Our kids want to be involved in training, feeding and walking her - well okay, maybe just Austen.

It's been nice actually having him do walks with Sadie or even just being responsible to let her out and feed her. It's a huge help too when I have Hailey having to go to the bathroom at the exact same time as Sadie - it's really like having two toddlers in the house!

So it seemed appropriate when we started Sadie in training classes that Austen attend with me. He's done great with her so last week Sadie had her first test to pass her puppy kindergarten class. I told Austen that I wanted him to do it. He was a bit nervous at first because all eyes are on you and you have to take your pup through a bunch of different commands. I remember doing this with Adler and I thought it was appropriate that he now do this with Sadie. After a little coaxing, he agreed to be the one to take her through her paces on the test. They both did great and Sadie received her certificate of completion. Austen was so proud of her and wanted to keep the certificate in his room! "After all," he said, "I earned it too!" And he did.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Austen Gets Braces

I can't believe my 9.5 year old has braces! It's true - there's proof in the picture!

I have been noticing kids getting braces at a younger age these days but the truth is that these days there a multiple phases of braces. Maybe it's a way for the orthodontists to make more money but even so I was beginning to wonder why Austen hadn't lost any teeth in almost a year. So his regular dentist (his uncle) took some X-rays and found Austen was missing some adult teeth that were probably preventing some others from falling out. This wasn't a total surprise as I am missing one of the two same teeth as Austen. Yes, if you look closely at one of my front teeth you may notice it's still a baby tooth. Lucky for us there are better options for Austen at this age to rearrange his mouth now so you won't know he's missing these and/or have to get an implant later on in life.

So out came two other teeth and on came the top braces. At first Austen was scared when we went for his consultation but the doctor quickly put his mind at ease so he was okay with the idea of getting them. And I was so proud of how he bravely went back to get two teeth pulled out and to get his braces on when they called his name. (Separate appointments of course - one to the dentist and the other to the ortho.) 

He's been great too brushing his teeth, managing the initial soreness and just adjusting to life with a mouth full of metal!

Monday, August 08, 2016


"Take vacations. You can always make more money. You can't always make more memories."

This was a quote that I first saw when we were on vacation in Anna Maria Island, Florida. I love vacations and if it were up to my husband we maybe would go on one vacation a year and it might be camping! Ha! In all seriousness, I am the vacation planner in the family so I am always planning the next vacation when we are on a vacation. I have to. I need to look forward to the next vacation although you really shouldn't call it vacation with kids because it's actually more work but that's a post for a different day.

We just returned last week from our summer vacation. We went to Saugatuck, Michigan for the week. Now we've rented many a houses in southwest Michigan but we had never stayed in Saugatuck. We knew we would have our new puppy by then so we wanted to get a pet friendly house and we knew we'd be doing a lot of walking with her so we wanted to be close to town. Well, Saugatuck did not disappoint.

We loved our morning walks for coffee and our evening ones just for exercise or a cocktail or shopping. The abundance of restaurants, the proximity to the beach, the pet friendliness of the town was wonderful. We read, we ate ice cream, we played mini golf, we built sandcastles, we visited our land (in South Haven), we met up with friends and family and saw Peyton's kindergarten teacher randomly one day on the beach! We enjoyed the time and we made memories. And, of course the next vacation is already planned!

Sand castle digging

Relaxing on the beach

Sadie's morning walk

Dinner out!

Photo time by our house which Hailey affectionately referred to as "The Farm"

Sadie's first vacation with the family!
Everyone's behaving! Yay, let's take a picture - quick!

And of course we had to play mini golf! Austen won!Hailey is really into it now too.

Michigan sunsets are the best!

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Austen Learns to Cut the Grass

I remember when my older brother learned to cut the grass. We lived on an acre of land so we had a riding lawnmower.  Early on in training, my mom found him and the lawn mower across the street in the bushes!

Austen is about the same age and we don't have an acre of land or a need for a riding lawn mower so after a few times of Austen observing his friends and asking if he can do it, I asked Tom to teach him and he did! 

That just cemented the fact that I will never have to cut the grass myself!