First Days of School

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Zack’s first day teaching was yesterday! As to be expected his first class was quiet- probably nervous, letting it all settle in- his next class wouldn’t stop talking- I’m assuming they were comparing schedules and summers. Next he went on to Kindergarten…ants in their pants, of course. After lunch he had first and second grade and they seemed to know what they were doing, just anxious to get home, like everyone else…
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I am loving his new schedule! Way better than that of MEMC!! I felt like he was home with us the majority of the day. He made it home just after 3:30, and we were eating supper by 4:10- (we had planned on a 6:00 supper.) – and by 4:40, we couldn’t think of what to do with the rest of our day.
I don’t think we expected to have so much family/free time. We took a walk, and returned some movies. We were going to go to YoKiDoki, the local frozen yogurt place, but decided to sit outside at Sonic to enjoy the breeze (and some Raspberry Coke, peach tea, and a grape slush) instead. Afterwards, we headed home for family movie night- Cars 2, can you guess who picked the movie?
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The past two days for Penelope and I have been so so very relaxing. Early morning walks, weather that feels like Autumn, re-planting and watering plants, placing stickers on the walls (my personal favorite), feeding “our” birds, countless rides on the porch swing, loads and loads of dishes, and playing with bubbles on the porch (a bowl of soapy water)- in her underwear no-less. We’re a classy bunch over here.
Penelope also made sure to tell every- and I mean every student walking home yesterday, “BYE!!!!” from our porch swing yesterday. She calls the high school “Daddy,” and says “Bye Daddy” every time we walk by it in the morning.
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Today, all three of us are heading up to McDonalds to use the internet (hopefully we’ll get some at home soon). Zack will be looking up those internet options today, and I will be posting this blog and a photo-of-the-day. I’m sure there will also be a walk in our evening plans, I do love those walks!
We were invited to a church in Rolla this Sunday by one of Zack’s fellow teachers. I’m not sure what it will be like, but hopefully it won’t be hard for us to find a good church. There are, after all, only a bazillion in the tiny town of St. James.

P.S.- Isn’t she cute!
: : : A special thank you to my cousin Anoria, who sent Miss Penelope a bath-time baby doll. She is the cleanest most loved baby doll on the planet! She had two baths yesterday (on in that bowl of soapy water I mentioned earlier!), although she does get plenty of “real world” time!
: : :  And to Vovo, who sent her a box of Fall clothes! She picks them out each morning, but for now they are for dress-up, not long until she can wear them!

Mr. Rogers

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Oh, what to say about this week…it was a long one. A big one, in a lot of ways.
For Zack it was his first experience as a teacher. Not necessarily teaching, but learning the new mind set of what it will be like. To have a career, to teach and have the responsibility to mold minds and influence others, who are at such a crucial age, in a positive way.
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A big week for him in the sense that he now has two classrooms devoted to his gift. For him to realize and soak in, this is mine, what will I choose to do with it?– on a larger scale and in a decorative sense.
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Speaking of decorating. Penelope and I have the duty of decorating his bulletin boards surrounding “Drawing,” his first topic for each of his classes. Our other duty is to bring COLOR to the windowless white walls in each room. I’m excited!
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In regards to my “big” week, I have noticed so many changes in Penelope, just in this week and a half. I assume it is the soon-to-be-two girl coming of age early. Yes, this includes tantrums. Not used to those. Not sure I want those to stick around. Her interests and curiosities are changing. She has new favorite movies, clothes, toys, foods, drinks, activities- all of which she did/had before this week, but did not have the same desire she does now for them.
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She has become independent and is not afraid to voice her opinion- usually in using the word “No.” Although, I can’t say I am frustrated with this particular obstacle, because she says it calmly and gently (and to the tune of my Aunt Mary’s southern drawl-which I love), no yelling, kicking or screaming involved.
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I have realized in watching her as she plays by herself in her room, unaware I am focused in on every sweet move she makes, that she is a big girl. No longer a baby. By the time baby number two arrives, she will embody a truly big sister. Not just an older sister as I was to mine. She will be able to teach her as she grows. Play with her. Encourage her as she is learning new things. And my sweet, beautiful, delightful little [BIG] girl will be eager to do so, with each milestone of her sister’s life.
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She is a helper, a “doer,” a people pleaser, a happy girl, an artist, a dancer, a tidy little lady- my little lady.
I guess that has been the biggest and heaviest part of my week. Penelope. Pretty little Penelope.
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Preparing for August

This past week has been a full one for us. Not to say we haven’t had “down-time,” we certainly have.  I guess I mean to say it has been a big week for us.  For starters, it was our first full week with just our family in our new home. Everyone has been adjusting well, and Penelope is loving the easy access to a swings and the walks we take each day. There is street after street lined with large trees here, and sidewalks, so even on hot days walks are pleasant.
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Zack’s week has certainly been…different. Monday was the first day we were able to work on his classrooms. We began with his high school room, and well…the previous teacher left everything behind, including photos, student artwork, etc. She said she did not want any of it and that we could get rid of whatever we wanted to. Needless to say, setting up his room did not just entail “setting up his room,” but also “tearing apart” the room before it could be “his.” It took two and a half days of going through everything and organizing it (working until the wee hours of the morning took it’s toll) until he could finally begin to set it up to his preference. It is still not complete, but it is looking nice!
His elementary room was not as bad but is now pretty vacant. My mom is coming down Sunday evening until Tuesday morning to watch Penelope, so Zack and I have time to plow through the rest of it together. Penelope has heled in the process of his room but gets fussy after hearing, “No, don’t touch that!” so many times. ( Exacto knives-basically a razor blade on a wand, permanent markers, etc, are not things she needs to around…)
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Yesterday Zack met his students for the first time at Freshmen orientation. The students spent 10 minutes at each of there classes, and Zack felt really good about it by the end of it. He says they all seemed really easy to get along with. I can tell he feels much more at ease about his first day of class next Thursday.
Today is his first day of teacher workshops for the “newbies.” I hope he meets even more teachers he likes. SO far so good in that department.
At home things are finally in there place, although there is still a box of “where in the world do I put this?” stuff that will probably reside in that box until January…
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Penelope and I literally scrubbed the house yesterday. I believe there is a photo of the day to prove it.
This weekend we will be heading up to St. Peter’s for Paulina’s birthday party, one of Penelope’s friends. Also, to give Penelope some much needed PawPaw, DeeDee, and Grandma Shooie time!
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Hope everyone else is having a great week, I’m be back this weekend with another post. Happy Thursday!

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Queen of the River

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Yesterday Zack and I spent most of the day unpacking our final boxes. Four o’clock rolled around and we were at a loss as to how to spend our next few hours, and Penelope was not cooperating with her second nap of the day. So we set out for a river Zack’s uncle took him to as a kid.
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We weren’t prepared for an afternoon at the river, we might-as-well have been going to the grocery store- next time we’ll come fully stocked with swimsuits, rain boots, buckets, shovels, hats and sunscreen, books, chairs and water diapers.
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Penelope LOVED it! As if it were her job, she tediously dug rocks out of the water, determined to moved each stone two inches to the right. She can’t throw very far. She did not want to leave, even when bribed with food. That’s a big deal for the readers that don’t know her personally.
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Our Queen of the River.
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Friday!

Today has been awesome! Penelope woke up early…too early. Last night Zack and I decided it would be mega cute if we left Penelope’s door open and ours and see if she came into our room when she woke up. Cute bed head. Jammie-jams. A big smile to greet us. We were giggling thinking about how cute it would be. So on his last “rounds” of checking her before he went to bed, he left the doors wide open.
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It worked! It was as cute as we’d imagined. Even cuter, actually, because she lied on top of me and cuddled for another 30 minutes.
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After I got up the gumption to draaag myself out of bed so early, Penelope and I prepared homemade waffles with nectarines and bananas on the side (half of which mysteriously disappeared before Daddy arrived at the scene). Breakfast was followed up with a nap for everyone, and we woke up just in time for lunch. Ha. We’re not usually so lazy.
We did, however, get out of the house and went SWIMMING! My favorite activity. Would’a could’a should’a been a fish.
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Our weekend (if goes as planned) will be spent putting the finishing touches on the house and getting Zack’s things ready for school. [We’re decoration his classrooms next week!!]
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Have a lovely weekend everyone- I probably won’t have another post this weekend, but a daily photo should still go up as the name implies.

Quick Hello

It has been great settling in, getting to know the new place. We had plans to go swimming, but it looks stormy, so I think we’ll stay in today (aside from this trip to McDonalds and the Dr. appointment I had earlier).
Some photos from our trip down yesterday: : :
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Good thing we have a porch to watch the storm from!

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Learning to Pray

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Penelope keeps us in check with praying as a family, instead of to ourselves. She holds her hands out and waits for us all to hold hands and bow our heads, then (of course I peek, see so cute) she grins ear to ear and looks back and forth at all of our hands as if it’s the best moment of her day. Sometimes we pray twice for snack time, she’s that good! In an effort to get her more involved with prayer we are teaching her a simple prayer.
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“ Kee-coo Dis [tongue movements to ‘I love you’] Meme.”
: : : translation : : :
“Thank you Jesus, I love you Amen.”
Followed by a big “proud” grin. I love it.

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I’m sure Jesus loves it even more.

Happy Wednesday.
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Finishing Touches

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CLEANING DAY!
Zack and I have been putting the finishing touches on our move today.
Penelope has spent the day with her Grandma, aunt, and uncle, giving them one last “hoorah” [ although they’ll see her again in about 2 weeks…]. Boy does that girl love her Uncle Joe!
Tomorrow will be more fun (at least for Zack and I). We will be spending part of the morning in St. Louis, possibly Forest Park, before heading back to St. James.
Not sure how many posts will be up in the coming weeks, due to lack of internet at our new place, but a daily trip to the local McDonalds for some free Wi-Fi should help me keep those photo-a-day moving smoothly, and a few posts here and there.
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Bearded Baby

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Zack is home again today, and it has been wonderful! The little Miss and I made blueberry muffins this morning for breakfast, and watched the horrible news on the Aurora shooting (not a wonderful part of the day). So sad. So unnecessary.
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When Daddy woke up, I made a mad dash for the shower after setting Penelope up with popcorn and cartoons next to him on the couch.
When I let Reese out this morning to go potty, it was…CHILLY! It was in the 60s! The high today, they say, is 92, what a great day to be outside. Cloudy, breezy, and just a tad on the hot side…so, warm I guess is the word. Yeah. That’s it. Warm.
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Penelope was eager to go outside, and chose bubbles as her activity of choice. So. Much. Fun! Shivering, soaking wet baby girl- determined not to give in to the cold from the hose water Daddy was spraying her down with.
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And the winning photo is : : :
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I love it! I couldn’t stop laughing when I began flipping through the group, deciding which photos to edit. Hilarious, adorable girl.
Not sure what we’ll do after her nap, but hopefully it will be outside!

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Day with Daddy

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Zack ended up taking the later part of his work day off, do to not having enough work to do. He will be off tomorrow as well (yay!) so hopefully we can do something enjoyable despite the heat. Today we did a pretty good job of filling our time with activities indoors.
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As you can see, our first stop was getting new books from the library. Once again Penelope owned that place, said “Hi!” and “Bye!” to anyone and everyone she passed, picked out books with tedious decision making skills, and handed the lady at the counter her library card and each book. Once they were checked out, however, she proceeded to raise them up to the “drop box” for returns, since we had done that when we arrived. Luckily I saw her and stopped her, she is just too smart, that one.
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Watching a girl asking [begging] her mom repeatedly for Starbursts from the “nearest” gas station.
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I mean, really, how cute is this picture??? Best Buds for Life!
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Zack

Next we went to the South County Mall, which was great, and we got tons of walking type exercise. We ate supper and Zack got me some super comfy flip flops for my swollen pregger feet.

Pretty awesome day!

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