Friday, September 9, 2011

Friends and family

We are going to make our blog private. I know there are a few friends and family that still read our blog. I will send out an email with the blogger "invite." If you don't think I have your email please leave me a comment.

Thank you.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back to School

Happy first day of school,  kids.  

Zachary and Ellie are in 7th grade this year.  The middle grade in middle school.  Does it ever get any quirkier than your 7th grade year?   Middle schoolers seem to be on a planet all their own.  But, I must admit Ellie seems to be handling her "odd ball" phase pretty darn well.  I cringe when I think back to my middle school "look".  I know I didn't look as good as Ellie. 

Zachary has always loved style but this year he has kicked it up a notch.  He is Mr. Cool.  He has mastered the Justin head/hair shake.  And, he can whip it.  Mostly when a cute girl is around.  Remember....middle schooler.  I secretly laugh my head off. 

Avery is in 2nd grade this year and going to a new elementary school.  For those of you keeping score, this is Avery's 4th  elementary school in just 2 years.  I am banking on the fact that these changes are building up her character.  She was most excited about 3 things:   lockers!!!, her teacher,  and riding her bike to school.  A first for her.  She feels pretty old now...and now so do I.

I think she looks pretty cute, inspite of the quick "first day outfit" change at the last minute.

(and just for the record we have only moved her twice.  A boundary change enrolled her to a new building for 1/2 of her first grade year.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

All their bags are packed

Backpacks, that is.

There is excitement in the air!
The kids went to bed early tonight.  Outfits laid out and hair do's planned.  Prayers and blessings given.
6:30 am will surely come bright and early. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer camps

Since I'm in denial about school starting this week, let's recap the classes and camps that the children were involved this summer.  I have to say, I was really impresssed with each and every activity that we were apart of this summer.   Sioux Falls has some really great camps to offer. 

Avery took advantage of the camps more than anyone else this year.  She was a busy bee, but not crazy busy, you know.   I loved the balance of our summer with play, relaxation, camps/classes, vacations, and family time.  It's been a good one. 

And, just for my reference next year when I will surely forget the contacts, here is the specific info on each camp. 

The Harrisburg art council puts on quite a show with their camps.   Avery was involved in art, drama and music camp.  They are affordable and run by school teachers.  The kids have a blast with all the creative projects,  games and activites they provide the kids. Plus, Avery really learned some new skills. The Harrisburg art council offers the sign ups through the elementary at the end of the year.  The classes fill up very quick.

Drama camp.  This camp was the biggest stetch for Avery.  But she learned a lot.

Next up.  Music camp.  I especially loved this camp because Avery had the chance to learn about so many different instruments that she probably would not of otherwise had the chance to explore.  Each day was a different theme, song and instrument.  She loved the teacher and the class.
For 3 days a week Zach went to summer school.  This is the first time he has enjoyed his summer school experience.  Mrs. Smith makes all the diference in the world....and we are so thankful to her.  Not only did Zach enjoy school once he was there, he asked about it when he wasn't in class.  He looked forward to his class time.  Mrs Smith is truely a special teacher and we thank our lucky stars for her and Zach's recent change of heart towards school. 

Mrs. Smith kept Zach after school to work individually on his computer skills.  He learned to make a power point presentation.  He was very proud of this accomplishment...just ask him about it, he will gladly share.

Art camp was, well, just perfect in the eyes of one 7 year old. And, just for the record I was a little bit jealous of her time cutting, pasting, and painting. Oh, crafts so many crafts. Simply put, she loved it.

Ellie went out on a limb this year and attended 2 basketball camps. I was so proud of her as in the past she felt to discouraged to attend a basketball camp. Or persue a team sport. I can't overlook how the net on our driveway and the hours of time she put into her jump shot helped her gain some confidence. Never the less it was hard for her to do and she did it willingly. Go Elle.

 The first camp was through the school district.  She enjoyed her time there and really learned some new moves and drills.  The camp was 2 hours a day for 4 days.  It was held at the high school. 
  With her new found confidence she enrolled in TIBBS camp.  This camp is known for being hard core!  Only serious players should apply.    Hard practices, drills and skills are taught there.  They will refine your form and push your endurance.  The reputation is TIBBS is TOUGH.  You come home exhasusted each day from camp. And, yes what they say is true.  She was exhausted, it was hard and unfortunatley it also shook her confidence.  She didn't like this camp.  So I am not sure about next year.  It seems if she's still interested in basketball at the time ..then this camp is a must.  It's really that beneficial.  However, if she doesn't feel the passion she will probably skip it.  We shall see what a year brings.
(Elle practicing at all hours of the night)
(no picture of TiBBS camp)

Both girls took swimming lessons.  And because of an error on my part they ended up being in the same class.  Which was the best mistake I've ever made.  They loved being together in class.  These lessons were hands down the best swimming lessons I have ever seen.  Awesome.  The classes were red cross certified so the instructors were tough on technique.  But, they played fun games while swimming relays and practicing strokes.  Both girls loved their lessons and hardly noticed the 45 min go by.   Ellie passed level 3, while Avery will retake level 3 next year.  No worries Avery...she was the youngest child in the class and held her own.   She just needs to work on her dive and she will move on in no time.  Good job girls. 

(do you wish Ellie was standing up straight in this picture.  Or is that just a mom thing?)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Girls at play

Riding double, taking turns, speeding up, slowing down, laughing all the way.
Quick.... check phone. 
Possibility of very important message needing urgent feedback. 
Back to play. 
I truly love 12 year girls.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Oh boy, Okoboji

    Lake Okoboji was fantastic.  We loved every minute of our trip to this quaint little lake town.  And, what a spectacluar way to spend the 4th of July weekend.  We have heard of Okoboji for many years  we just never ventured over until now.   Boy, am I glad we did.  It seemed the perfect spot to spend the holiday. 
We set out to just... play.  We were craving some time outside in sunshine.  In nature with trees, land, water.    We rented a jetski and Jeff took turns with the kids all day.  And, they rode hard.  Catching air, crashing waves, wiping out, and speeding away.   I knew that my kids were thrill seekers....but, I had no idea how crazy they would be on the water.    I mean, do they have any of my "more cautious and protective" genes.  When I saw the huge blisters forming on Jeff's palms, I cringed.  Jeff was riding double and hanging on for "dear life" to his children.  As they bounced high off the seat with each crashing wave.  He held tight with all his might.  I would of been a nervous wreck...good thing I was back at the beach, clueless to the terrors on the lake.   The lake was very pretty!  It was big, blue and clean water.  And, it was just the perfect recreation weekend we were looking for.     

welcome to the boardwalk. 
We loved eating out, trying new restaurants and sitting on the decks overlooking the water.

but of course, the highlight was riding the wave runners.

One of my little dare devils.

                                               just plain 'ol swimming in the lake was fun, too.

The kids caught wind of the local and very "touristy" mini golf course.  We played.  It was fun.  Zachary and Avery scored a hole in one.

I loved the town of Okoboji.  It had the perfect combination of a small town feel and an eccletic assortment  fun shops and restaurants. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Address

We are finally feeling settled after months of being in a short term rental twin home.  And moving during the whilwind of summer vacation.  With busy children and crazy days.   We are here in our humble abode in the Heather Ridge neighborhood.  Since we don't know what the future has in store for us in Sioux Falls,  this house is only temporary.  But for now,  we are here and this is HOME.  The kids are making fast friends that we can't  imagine life without.  We now have flowers planted and pictures hung.  We may only be in this home 1 year but we are making the year count.

Welcome to 709 Sterling Oak Circle.

This is the view from our  front door on Sterling Oak Circle.  This is why we love this house, this neighborhood.   I do have to remind myself when the house is chaotic with 7 neighborhood children running in different directions and I've felt like I have fed an army...we would rather have the kids playing at our home than scattered about.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A bang up celebration

This year was a different kind of 4th of July celebration for us.  The norm has been food, fun, friends, and frolic for the 4th.  Nope.  Not this year.  It was "Anderson,  party of 5".  It's a good thing I am so darn happy with this group. We have a blast together.   In true Anderson fashion we stretched out the holiday.  We celebrated on Sunday with the big fireworks overhead at Lake Okobogi.  And then did it again at home the next day.

 Sunday night at the Lake a few hours before the fireworks started.
watching the fireworks overhead.   These girls...I love to see how happy they make each other.
Did he grow up overnight, or is it my imagination?
Home again.  The celebration on Sterling Oak begins.
a few thoughts on this photo,
1.  Is that my 7 year daughter lighting fireworks?  Yes it is.
2.  Is that same child wearing her pajamas outside on a holiday?  Yes it is.
3.  Do you see the large red metal rod sticking out of the fire hydrant?   It's placed there to signal the location of a hydrant when covered by snow.  These metal rods line our city streets. Don't be jealous.  Your city doesn't get enough snow to warrant such a sight.

This is my favorite "street" kind of fire cracker.  I guess.
But, sparklers...I love 'em!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Back to Omaha

A couple of weeks ago, Jeff had business in Omaha.  He asked us if we wanted to join him on the road...of course!  Most of our friends were out of town or volunteering as YW camp leaders so we were on our own.  Jeff had a conference the first morning.  The kids and I swam,  this seems to be our rountine.  He also had a late afternoon reception he wanted to attend. It  would be quick and was downtown at the new stadium.  So, we made big plans to go to a College World Series game.  The new stadium is sa-weet.  So sweet infact, that all of Omaha and  much of the rest of the country was in town to see it.    While Jeff was at his reception I tried to score some tickets.  Arhg...Sold out.  Not a chance.  Not even a scalper on the corner.  I was hoping Jeff was connected to some tickets while at his meeting, and he was hoping I had found some.  No luck.  But, we were already down town on site so we stayed to play.  Several city blocks around the stadium were converted into a games alley and food booths.  It was clearly designed to capture all the tourists dollars.   Whew, we hardly recognized our old city.  We walked around, ate stadium style food and surely left with that all american baseball experience.   Next year...we hope to actually get in and SEE the game.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Brilliant idea

We've been doing a lot of traveling by car lately.  South Dakota is still new to us and so are the little towns and destination spots around this part of the country.  When we get the chance we love to take weekend trips and explore.  Or just leave Sioux Falls for a bigger city.  The kids are really good in the car.  Infact when the twins were toddlers,  I remember the car was one of the "easiest" ( I use that term loosly as they were rarely described as easy) places for us.  But we do still load up a big fat entertaining "car bag" for our trips.  It's typically filled with  paper, crayons, school workbooks (Avery's thing) ipad, ipod, books and magazines.  And now... pipe cleaners.  One quick stop at Target and we have hours of entertainment. 

Pipe cleaners let their creative minds run loose!

Avery made scuba gear complete with a mask and snorkle.   I didn't think to take a picture of the finished product.  I should have.  It was so cute. 

oh dear, looks like Avie could use a mani....Gigi, my girls need you.
Zachary made a weird long pointy thing. He named it the "booger picker 3000" Of course he did.
(Ellie wasn't with us on this trip, she was at girls camp.  We sure missed her though.)

A note to mention: we have bought the more expensive, trendy "toy" version of pipe cleaners called "bendaroos". Don't waste the money. Good ol fashion pipe cleaners will do wonders.