Sunday, September 7, 2014

Preschool, Gizdich Ranch, and Saturday Projects


Clara had her first day of preschool this past Wednesday (Sep. 3).  We are doing a co-op with four other moms/kids I have met through church so her first day was at her friend Molly's house.  They did an introduction to the alphabet, went on a number hunt, and read "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom".  We decided to start out at just 1 day a week from 9:00-11:30 a.m. for the month of September and then up it to 2 days a week for the rest of the year.  We ordered a curriculum called "Mother Goose" and are supplementing with "Confessions of a Homeschooler" materials and whatever else we find on Pinterest or that we think of on our own.  Two of the other moms were first grade teachers and one has a master's in education, so I feel a little intimidated (especially since this Wednesday is my first day as teacher) but grateful that we have support and experience on our side without having to spend tons of money for preschool. 

Clara was very excited about preschool and she did great her first day.  She woke up late actually (sleeping in until 8:00 a.m. is pretty much unheard of for my girls) so we kind of hustled to get out the door but made sure to take a few pictures first.  Then once I dropped her off, Rose and I went to the gym where Rose was one of the only kids in the kids club area since almost all the kids are in school in the mornings now.  After my class, Rose and I hung out in the car waiting for Clara to get done (since it didn't make any sense to go home and pull Rose out of the carseat just to get back in the car 10 minutes later for pick-up) and Rose took a nice little snooze.

The night before Paul gave Clara her first ever beginning-of-the-school-year priesthood blessing and Clara was so grown-up and proper about it, folding her arms and bowing her head reverently while listening closely to the words that were spoken.  We are so proud of her and the big girl she is becoming.

Gizdich Ranch

Last year Paul didn't get to go apple picking with Clara and me so this year we definitely wanted to find a Saturday to go together as a family.  And luckily our friends Johannes & Christine wanted to go too, which was extra fun because it meant Clara got to see her friends Silas & Liesel and Paul and I got to catch up and commiserate with Johannes & Christine about remodeling projects (they have been kitchenless for almost 2 months now because of their kitchen/living room/dining room remodel).  One of the hardest things about this move (and any move, frankly) has been missing our old friends so it is always fun to get together. 

Anyway, we didn't realize they had a strawberry patch by the apple orchards that were still bearing fruit and since the Fischlis were running late, Paul, Clara, Rose and I had fun picking strawberries while we waited.  They were AMAZINGLY good - sooooo sweet and juicy - and Clara loves picking strawberries and is good about only picking the biggest, reddest strawberries and leaving the ones that aren't quite ripe on the plants.  And Rose was content to just hang out and look around and enjoy chewing on the straps of the carrier. 

For some reason there weren't as many low-hanging apples this year as I remember there being last year but there was still enough that we filled a bucket with Pippins and Galas.  Paul helped Clara reach some from the higher branches but frankly, Clara was just antsy to be given permission to finally EAT one of the apples rather than keep picking them.  I'm thinking about making applesauce, applesauce snacking cake (so yummy - it is an America's Test Kitchen recipe and basically just a muffin recipe that you cook in a square pan and dust with spiced sugar), and apple fritter bread with our haul.  Apple picking is pretty much the perfect start-of-fall tradition and I'm so glad we went again this year even though the drive to Watsonville was a little long.

Bathroom Remodel

After we got home from apple picking everybody sort of crashed for a bit before we regrouped and got back in the car to go look at tile for the master bathroom.  Paul demo-ed part of the shower wall last week so that we could have a plumber come adjust the plumbing for the shower and vanity areas.  So now Paul has to finish the demo work on the rest of the shower enclosure, raise the ceiling height, and drywall it off with cement board or whatever that waterproof barrier stuff is.  Then we are hiring out the tilework. 

We found these two tiles that were pretty much just what I was looking for.  The hexagonal marble tile is for the shower floor area and the large greyish tile will be the shower surround and also the floor of the bathroom (we had picked out a different tile for the flooring but when we got the samples home and laid things out we decided that in the end it will just look best to go with just one tile design since the bathroom is still really small).  It still isn't going to be done for a long while but hopefully before Thanksgiving we will have a fully functioning, totally remodeled master bath. 

We also found a kitchen table that we think we like but didn't buy/order it because (1) we are trying to avoid impulse buys (although this is the second weekend we have spent looking for a table and probably the 6th home furnishings store we went to), (2) we wanted to come back home and remeasure to make sure it fit well in our dining space, and (3) the sales lady wouldn't negotiate on price which kind of bugs when making a big purchase like a dining table.  It is on sale through the month of September though and honestly it is pretty much exactly what we were hoping to find (and not completely horribly priced) so we will probably end up doing it so that we can (hopefully) have a real table for Thanksgiving and not just a cardtable like we have been using since moving into this house.

And that was our week!

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