Saturday, February 23, 2008

My American Girls

As part of Jensen's 5th birthday celebration, the girls and I planned a pilgrimmage to the new American Girl store in Dallas. I have a friend from Colorado who lives there now and we've talked since she moved there about getting together since she's so close now, but we never had. This was the time!

Jordan, Jensen and I along with 3 dolls left Kingwood on a Friday afternoon for the 5 hour drive to Kim's house north of Dallas. We got there safe and sound and had a nice evening just hanging out and the kids getting acquainted. They have a daughter, Megan, who is just 2 days younger than Jordan. They were best friends when we lived in Colorado. They really didn't remember each other, but re-connected just like that! They got along great and have already planned to spend their next birthdays doing something together.

On Saturday, all the girls headed to the Galleria Mall where the American Girl store is. We spent about an hour and a half looking at all the dolls and doll stuff and picking out things for Jensen to spend her birthday money on.

We were able to get a reservation for lunch in the little restaurant where they have seats and menus for the dolls!

After lunch, Jensen made her final selections (and didn't have a meltdown like some other girls in the store when she found out she couldn't buy everything that she wanted...I was proud of her because that place is very overwhelming and difficult to get out of without spending an absolute fortune).

Saturday night we had a great dinner back at the Allens. The kids made s'mores on the fire pit in the backyard and got in the hot tub. Us adults had a relaxing evening just talking and catching up.

Sunday when it was time to leave, neither girl wanted to go...I was dragging them back to Kingwood kicking and screaming. That's the sign of a good trip!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

25 Dates

Most of you who read this blog already know the story, but I'll recount it here for posterity. Jim's New Year's resolution for this year was for us to go on 25 dates (it started out at 30, but quickly went down to 25). I'm not sure why he made this resolution (although I have my theories) but I decided to take it as a very nice gesture and to just go with it.

It's mid February and we've been on four dates so far. I thought it'd be fun to document them in pictures and here on my blog. I missed getting a photo of the first one. It was Jan. 3rd while we were in Michigan. We went out for a bite to eat and to see a movie (Juno).

Our next date was back here in Houston on Jan. 26th. Jim had wanted to go see the broadway musical, The Jersey Boys, but I rolled my eyes at that. Instead he got tickets for us to see Love, Janis, a musical about Janis Joplin. We really should have seen The Jersey Boys. Live and learn. He already told me that if we were going to get 25 dates in I would have to stop being so picky about what we did.

Date number 3 was actually with another couple. We had a long discussion about whether it counted as a date if we were with other people. I was definitely voting for it counting. Jim relented once he realized that if we didn't count evenings out with other people we would never get the 25 dates accomplished. And our monthly babysitting tab would equal our mortgage payment. We ended up with one criteria for a date. We have to actually leave our neighborhood.

Date number 4 was Feb. 15th to celebrate Valentine's Day. We went to dinner at the Melting Pot. This was my pick but didn't end up to be one of our favorites. You'd think I'd realize this by now, but I don't actually enjoy going out to dinner and cooking my own food. It's sort of the same concept with salad bars. I really don't want to get up and go make my own salad when I'm out for dinner. I know this about myself, yet I insisted we go to a fondue place where we have to prepare all of our own food. One of these days I'll learn to listen to Jim. One of these days...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

50 store bought valentine's (for Jordan and Jackson's class mates), 18 homemade valentines (for Jensen's classmates), 7 homemade teacher gifts (for all the kids' teachers) filled with pretzel hugs, chocolate hearts, and starbucks gift cards = one happy valentine's day.

Topped off with class parties, little gifts, and dinner together, it was a LOVE-ly day!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Middle School Already?

How did that happen? I can so clearly remember Jordan's first day of 3 year old preschool when we moved here to Kingwood. Can she really be headed to Middle School already? I better embrace it because it's coming whether I want it to or not.

Last week, we had parent orientation night at Riverwood Middle School. I have to say that I was extremely impressed with everything about the place. The band, the orchestra and the choir each did two songs and the orchestra, in particular, was really good. At the orientation, the principal told us that the orchestra director was named "Best String Educator" in the Houston area which is pretty impressive. Jordan has decided that she wants to take orchestra as her elective and to give the violin a try. She's even asked to start taking violin lessons this do you say no to that?

As for the classes, we're in a bit of a dilemma. We have the choice of taking the 4 major courses either "on level" or "honors." I'm sure she'll qualify for honors for all 4 but I've heard some parents say that the homework level is pretty crazy...4 hours per night...for a 6th grader! She's already said she definitely wants to take honors math and science and I think she should take honors reading/language arts. That leaves social studies as perhaps an on level class. I'm worried she won't have time for any sports (gymnastics or otherwise) if she takes all 4 honors classes. I guess we'll see. We still have a little time to decide. Any way you look at it, it's pretty exciting...especially for her. I'm nervous, but excited for her at the same time. It's really a great school and she's going to have the opportunity to explore a lot of different things before she gets to high school. And if she stays on the honors track she'll even have a few high school classes out of the way before she even gets there.

I just keep wondering...where did the time go?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Another January Highlight

One of our big events in January, other than Jensen's birthday, is the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. Jim and Jackson worked hard on Jackson's car.

It turned out great and was a big style improvement over last year. Last year was their first year and they really didn't know what they were doing. Plus we were living in the apartment and they had to sit on the balcony for work space and had virtually no tools to work with.

This year however, they researched cars on the internet, downloaded plans for the car Jackson picked out, used fancy tools to cut the shape out of a block of wood, weren't used to the tools and had to go buy another block of wood, finally got it all sanded, weighted, painted and varnished and ready for the big race. The main goal was for the car to stay on the track since last year's did not. They succeeded and the car came in about 6th place out of 12 in the Bear dens. Jim and Jackson both studied the cars that did well in the race so I'm sure next year there will be big design improvements. I can't wait!

2008 Model Year

2007 Model Year