Monday, September 3, 2012

Good-bye, Summer!

Labor Day weekend marks the end of lazy summer days and the start of structured life. We decided to say good-bye to summer with as many things as we could possibly cram into one long weekend.

But let's first back up to the last week of summer.

Lunch on the deck.
We mostly played in our backyard, soaking up as much of the sun as we could before the warm days to turn cool, crisp fall ones. We fished in the water table, we dug in the sandbox, we swung on the swing set, we kicked and threw balls, we swam in the pool, we ate lunch on the deck, and we did a outdoorsy project.

First for our project we collected a bunch of sticks from our yard. Then we glued the sticks onto a piece of construction paper. Next we colored a piece of paper with orange, red and yellow crayons. Then we ripped the paper into several pieces and glued them onto the construction paper. The end result was a camp fire.
Collecting sticks.

Trying to tear the paper.

Campfire picture.
Also this week we attended Spencer's preschool open house. We've been talking to him about preschool for several weeks now, preparing him to go to school by himself. Although this has been an open subject in our house, I wasn't quite ready for the emotions that hit me upon entering the elementary school. As soon as I saw all the little kids and parents exploring the new classrooms and locating their cubbies and meeting their teachers, I was overwhelmed with the realization that my baby is indeed no longer a baby, and that preschool is definitely not this notion far into the future. It is real and it is going to happen soon. I teared up like a big fat baby! Spencer was very excited, though, bouncing from toy to toy. He has the same teacher he had for ECFE and is in the same classroom. This eases my anxiety a bit since he'll be in a familiar environment with a familiar face.
Spencer's cubby/locker.
A week ago I started potty training boot camp to get Spencer preschool-ready. Until then I was pulling down his underwear and pants, helping him onto the toilet and then putting his underwear and pants back on for him. One day it hit me that I can't be there to do that for him at preschool and I needed to force him to do it himself. It had been a struggle, because he'd rather whine and throw a fit than put on his own undies. Often times he puts them on inside out and the wrong way, but I'm just glad that he puts them on himself. Luckily the toilets at the preschool are small and low to the ground. And we spoke to the teacher about his accidents and constant reminders to be told to go potty. Thankfully she is willing to work with him!
Playing in his classroom.
Tomorrow morning I will be sending my little boy off into the world without me for 2 1/2 hours every Tuesday and Thursday. Although I know this is a good thing and that Spencer will benefit greatly, I still can't help put feel a little anxious. I just hope I don't cry at the drop-off! One tiny step at a time my son will become his own person....away from me.
First homework assignment.
Before the start of school, we celebrated the end of summer with a busy weekend filled with family, friends, motor homes, tractors, and some yummy good.

Friday night we rode Grandma Amy and Marmer's new motor home down to La Crosse to eat. This made both Grandma and Spencer very happy. Ashton, on the other hand, was a tad cranky.
Riding in the motor home.

Look how excited Dave was.
Saturday morning we had planned a special train ride for Spencer to celebrate his potty successes, but upon check-in at the Amtrak station, we learned the train was running two hours late. With our busy schedule we just couldn't afford to wait around for two hours. Then came the tricky part of explaining this to an excited three-year-old. Just as I was about to explain the situation, a utility truck pulled into the train station and parked. I decided to incorporate it into the story and told Spencer that the truck was there to fix the broken train, so we'd have to come back another day to ride it. Surprisingly, he took the news with very few tears and perked up at the words "Chuck E Cheese's." After going school and winter clothes shopping, we stopped for lunch at Chuck E Cheese's, played some games and then headed out to Grandma and Marmer's for the day. The boys enjoyed some tractor time with their "cousins" before we headed up to the lodge to camp for the night. Ashton was too exhausted to enjoy any of the camping festivities, but Spencer got to stay up for some dessert around the camp fire.
Train station blues.
Chuck E Cheese's.

Searching for pumpkins at Grandma's.
Riding tractor with "cousin" Christian.
Hold on, Ash!
"Cousin" Cameron gives Spenc a 4-wheeler ride.
The lodge.
Mesmerized by the campfire.
Sunday morning we went back down to the house for Scharmer's B&B-style breakfast, showers, a  nap for Ashton, and then we met some friends at Farm Fest. Spencer entered his very first kiddie tractor pull, managing to move a few inches before realizing his little legs just couldn't do it. We explored all the old tractors, went on a hayride, ate lunch and then nibbled on some fresh bakery cookies on the long ride back home, attempting to keep two very tired kids awake. After naps our friends came over for a BBQ. Then we all crashed from a long weekend.
Riding the train at Farm Fest.

Spencer's weight for the kiddie tractor pull.
Being coached by Daddy and Grandpa before the tractor pull.

Trying hard but it just won't budge!
Cheering his big brother on.

Eating ice cream cones with his best friend Jackson at our Labor Day BBQ.
Today, Labor Day, we are relaxing and recharging our batteries for the beginning of a new season.

Here are more pictures from our week.

Making us breakfast labor day morning.

This is edible sand, don't be alarmed ;)

Ash saw this ball in the neighbor's yard and booked it super fast before I could catch him.
My project for the boys' rooms.


  1. I love this!! What a great way to share your stories with family and friends!! The pictures are amazing! You are so talented Angie!! Your boys are absolutely precious!! You will be in my thoughts and prayers as you embark on Spencer's first week of preschool :-) You're a brave Mommy - and Spencer will love it!!

    With Love,
    Jenn, Victoria & Eleanor :-)

    1. Thank you, Jenn! I appreciate your kind words...and prayers!