Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Day of School

Mason's first day of fourth grade was on Monday and he was excited to get back to school. We went to Open House on Thursday night. That is when they post who your teacher is.

Well, the night before, Mason had both Ryan A. and Ryan G. spend the night here and then they all went to Ryan A.'s to play the next day. Anyway, we get to the school and start looking for the fourth grade lists (and I wish I would have taken a picture of that mob!) when Ryan G. stops us and says, "Mason -- we're all in the same class!"

Sure enough, both Ryans are in Mason's class. So, we take the elevator up to the older school grades, meet Mason's teacher, and follow the instructions to pick a seat for the first week of school. Mason scooped around but the Ryans hadn't chosen a seat. He found a cluster of four with three seats remaining and marked his territory. Ryan G and family come in and Ryan runs to Mason and puts his name beside him. Then, Ryan A comes in and adds his name to their cluster. Poor Celeste, the fourth member of the cluster who will be surrounded by boys.

As we were leaving, Mason was saying goodbye to Ryan Squared and the teacher said, "It's so funny watching them after they haven't seen their friends all summer!" and I said, "They all slept over at our house last night and were at Ryan A.'s house until 4:00 today." hehe.

Anyway, Mason loves fourth grade and having his two best friends in his class. Both of them were in a different class last year. And, it's not really a coincidence. For the first time ever (no, I didn't even do it when I was PTO President!) I requested a teacher. And we got her. Mason has had first-year teachers for the last two years and he needed someone seasoned. Or at least, I needed someone seasoned. Who would return my calls or emails (seriously -- what fresh-out-of-college teacher would not answer emails? But she never did!). Already, this one has emailed out the class newsletter.

So, he's a big fourth grader now. Here are some pictures from his first day of school...

Ignore the hose in the driveway. But notice how green our yard is! After a three month drought!

An oldie, but a goodie -- from first grade.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Mark has chastised me because I haven't blogged about our new puppy, Gibson.

Lola found Gibson in the middle of July. He was covered with fleas and was underweight. He was a puppy that we thought was a Sheltie. She posted flyers in our community as well as neighboring ones, but no one claimed him. Well, we thought he was adorable and wished we could have him, but Mason and I were leaving for Ohio and Mark to El Paso ten days from then. Lola said she would keep him (even after Mark got home from El Paso).

So, now he's ours. And he isn't a Sheltie. He's a Shephard/Collie mix. And he is the best dog. He has only had 3 accidents since we got home August 2 (he's under three months old) and he's very good with Mason. The Monaghans started calling him Gibson, after the guitar (their dog, Jackson, is named after one, too, since Jesse plays), so we kept it.

So, without further ado, please meet our newest addition: Gibson Monaghan Miller!

Mason and Gibson.

Lola and Gibson saying goodbye to us before we left for Ohio.
The Left Bank Cafe (Lolas dining room) hosted a surprise puppy shower for Gibbers.
At his puppy shower that the Monaghans threw for us.
Mason and Gibson.

Gibson waiting outside Mason's bedroom door while Mason slept.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ohio Trip Part Two

Mason and I both got a little teary when we got into Columbus. We were dropped off at Polaris mall to lunch with Mark's mom, Gail, while the others checked into our motel. I had reserved two rooms at the Days Inn in Delaware. BIG mistake. I got a call from Shelly, telling me they had moved to another motel because there were cockroaches, mold, and the whole place reeked of curry. So, we ended up with two rooms at the Comfort Inn in Delaware. Gail, Mason, and I had lunch at Brio. We didn't get waited on for over 20 minutes, so our meal was free. hehe. I bought Gail a candle at Mark's competitor because I didn't pay for lunch. She bought Mason some school clothes and then we sat at talked at Starbucks.

Mason and Grandma Gail.

Shelly picked us up and we had enough time to go back to the motel and change before a BBQ in our old neighborhood at Sandy and Rolly's. We got to see most of our neighbors and Mason got to eat Delco pizz. He had been looking forward to! We drove by our old house a few times. The landscape has really grown in well. I couldn't believe how different our old subdivision changed -- the trees were all huge. Mason rolled down his window and called hello to an old classmate and that kid looked up and said, "Hey Mason!" as if we hadn't been gone for almost two years. We got back to the motel and the kids swam for a while.

Angie and Payton.

From the right -- Jake, Maddie, Roxy, Nate, Marla, and Claire.

Sherry, Sara, and Holly.
Sandy, Rollie, and Mason.
Our old hosue in Delaware.

The next day, Shelly and her kids went to visit a college friend. Mom, Mason, and I drove to Mingo Park to visit with Mason's and my friends from Delaware. This pool is where Mason learned to swim. When we moved, they were rebuilding it and now, the complex is amazing. He had a lot of fun hanging out with his best friends, Logan, Connor, and Noah. I was happy to see the Veleys, Bowes, Shiremans, and Derstines.

Mason and his friends at Mingo.

Mason going down the big slide.

Mason, Noah, Connor, and Logan.
Mason with the Bowes, Kirsten, Mary, and Sebastian.
Me and the girls -- Toni, Di, and Nikki.
From left -- Brock, Glenn, Zachary, Noah, Mason, and Logan.

Later, Mason and I met our old friends at Villa Nova, an Italian restaurant in Columbus that we love. Cousy, Eric, and Charlie are Mark's best friends from childhood. We had good food and good times. In too short of time, the meal was over. I wish we had more time to spend in Columbus!

The Wise family -- Mindy, Claire, Charlie, and Ella.

The Kanes - Liza and Coozdog.
Mason with the Zimmermans, Eric and Kelly.
Grandma with Connor, Mason, and Jacqui at our motel pool.
Connor is a fish!

Connor and Mason goofing off in the motel.

The next day, we met Izzy, Ashley, and the girls at City Barbeque (we were looking forward to eating here, too!) then went to the Columbus Zoo. Mark, Mason, and I had been members ever since Mason was six months old. We would go for 2 hours tops, usually with Misty and Mya! Well, spending the whole day at the Zoo was exhausting -- especially in the Ohio humidity. Anyway, we had a great time. Before too long, we had to say goodbye to Shelly and her kids. The drive back to Rittman was long. I think Mom, Mason, and I slept well that night after such a whirlwind time in Columbus!

Mason and I were anxious to eat Graeter's ice cream.

Mason at the petting zoo at the Columbus Zoo.
All of the kids on the Polar bears.
In front of the pachyderm house.
We didn't get a picture at the hammerhead... so I included this one with a much younger Mason!

And the tiger.
And the warthogs.
Connor and Pepe the penguin.
Me, Shelly, and Mom at the zoo.
Lainey wasn't quite sure about her lorikeet.

Ella and her lorikeet.
Mason and his lorikeet.
Jacqui and her lorikeet.
On the boatride in Asia. Ashley, Mason, Jacqui, and Ella.
At the stinky flower. Ella and Connor. I love how the baby gorilla is looking at Connor.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Mom, Mason, and I did a lot of different things. I got to go to House of Hunan and Mason got to eat at Bob Evans again. We visited my grandmother in her nursing home again, this time take her an early birthday present.

Mason and Great-Grandma Steiner.

Friday came and Misty brought the girls to visit. I hadn't met Macey yet and she is such a doll. Mya modeled her new haircut. After they left, we all walked to the orchard one last time before we left for the airport.

Mit and her girls.
Mit hasn't aged at all.
Macey, Mya, and Mason.

The future Mr. and Mrs. Miller if Mya has her way.

They have been friends for a long time. Mya and Mason.

Mason at the orchard.

At the orchard.

Grandma and Mason inside the orchard.

Mom and Mason in the garden.
Mom and Mason.
My childhood house.

We got in to Austin around 11:00pm. Ten days was a long time away from home.

The next day, we got Gibson the wondermutt. But that's another blog... To be continued...