Mason was so excited to go to preschool! He was a little nervous as we walked through the gate....he didn't leave Blake's side as he signed in and got his name tag. But as soon as he started playing with the other kids, he waved bye and didn't seem to mind we were leaving.
About a month ago we received a wedding invitation from a KA friend of Blake's. Clay and his bridel lived in Jonesboro, so we were surprised to read on the invitation "at the home of Bert Wright, Fort Smith, AR"
Bert Wright was a mover and shaker in Fort Smith, who had this amazingly landscaped yard and pool area. It was open for swimming, with the unspoken rule you cleaned up before you left. We spent many weekends at this pool before and after Braden, and even hosted Braden's second birthday party there.
Braden's second birthday party - 2006
It was such a pleasure to see so many old friends from Jonesboro, and also get to spend time with Bert. Turns out, Clay was marrying Bert's niece. Bert was raised in East Arkansas, and if you've ever read A Painted House by John Grisham, Bert claims that was his life to a T.
We are also very thankful for our friends Richard and Lexie Harris. They live about 30 minutes away from Fort Smith, in Ozark. Not only were we able to stay with the Harris' but they also kept Braden and Mason while we attended the wedding. It was perfect because both of their boys, Jackson and Ethan are about a year behind Braden and Mason.
It's official, Mason is starting Preschool at the PSU Little Gorillas Preschool on campus! This is the same one Braden went to. Some of you might remember, they also have a one way mirror, for the student teachers and parents to observe through! I was addicted to this when Braden first started. It was mesmerizing to watch him interact with the other kids. He loves to hear the story how one day while I was watching, he picked something up off the floor and my first thought was, "Ah, he is such a helpful boy" then I stood there with my mouth open in shock as he ate whatever it was. Something leftover from snack.......
Mason felt like such a BIG BOY with his new backpack and handsome clothes, to meet his new teachers and see his new classroom. I think it was a big help to have Braden tell him how much fun he had and show him around.
I love that I got this picture of Blake! It couldn't be more out of place.....handsome guy in a suit, sitting on a paint splattered set of stairs, at Preschool! With the bookshelf next to him, he looks like he's about to gather the kiddos around and have story time.......I promise that didn't happen!
I love this picture that Blake got of Braden! Not just the scaffolding in the background, but Braden's shadow as he's jumping off the ladder.
Blake decided to tease Mason and ask if he could please wear his NEW backpack!
Last night was Open House at Lakeside, where we took Braden's school supplies got to officially meet his teacher. This was a family affair! Mason started out carrying the tissues with Braden carrying his very heavy back pack. We didn't even get to the corner before Mason was carrying my camera case, I was carrying the back pack and Blake was carrying the tissues.
I asked Braden if he wanted to take some note pads to his teacher, he said "Nah, I don't think so." Blake reminded him what a long year it could be, and how a little gift at Open House might go a long way! So, Braden thought note pads would be a good idea after all.
Braden decided to leave his back pack at school last night, so this morning he didn't have anything to carry. Mason of course had his back pack on, and we walked B-Man to school!
On Thursday, Blake loaded up the car, both boys, two DVD players, their favorite stuffed animals, blankets, books and snacks, and headed East. They drove to "just outside of St. Louis" so they could hit the zoo first thing Friday morning.
Braden apparently got to pet a stingray AND a hammerhead shark.
Mason hasn't quite perfected the perfect "picture" smile yet! He loves to squint his eyes shut.
After the zoo, they met Pop and Nan at the hotel. They attended both the Friday night and Saturday games, swam in the hotel pool and rode the Metro...repeatedly.
While the guys were in St. Louis, I had time to have dinner with friends, catch up on chores at home, and go with our Young Professionals group to Joplin for debris removal. We met the Joplin YP organization and cleaned around the site of the Elk's Lodge near a former residential area.
It amazed me how many photos we found among the debris.
Car pool is over, and now we walk home from school everyday. Recycling Mason: Here's a booger, Momma, put it in recycling.
Frozen Custard Please Last night Braden and I attended the Playground Party hosted by The Center. On our way I promised Braden we could get some "concrete" from Freddy's (local ice cream/burger joint) which is frozen custard. Even though it was 30 minutes past his bedtime when we left the party, he had not forgotten: Braden: Mom, can I have a brick? I mean a sidewalk? Mom:What? Braden: You know, you said after the party..... Mom:(cracking up) Oh, you mean concrete? From Freddy's?
Salad in the Water Last night for dinner I fixed a refreshing pitcher of ice water with mint and lemon balm from our garden. Mason pointed to it from his high chair and declared: Mason: Salad in the water! Dollar Vacation During Braden's Birthday Lunch on the porch I asked River if she was getting excited about their family trip to Branson. River:Oh Yeah! We even get to go to Silver Dollar City! Braden: Oh Yeah, my Mom takes me to Dollar Tree! Obviously Braden has no idea what SDC is or that the Dollar Tree doesn't quite compare, but as long as it's a big deal to him. . . .we will keep going!
The Substitooth When I picked Braden up on Friday, his teacher wasn't there, but he had a substitute. This happened one other time, when Ms. Vacca had a toothache. I asked Braden who is substitute was, and he said "Nothing" Me:Was Ms. Vacca here, today? Braden: No, we had 3 different teachers. Me: Who was that man? Was he your substitute? Braden: No, Ms. Vacca was sick today, so he helped us do our work. Me: I know, Braden, that is called a substitute teacher. Braden: I thought it was a substitooth, like Ms. Vacca had before.
Hello to all! We are going to attempt to provide you with an endless source of pictures, video and stories to ooh and aaah at until your heart is content. As Braden reminds Blake every morning as he leaves for work "don't be boring" we will try not to be boring! We thought life was interesting with Braden, now that we've added Mason to the mix we've learned new levels of parenthood!