Sunday, August 31

Game time!

Baylor began their football season Sunday evening in a new stadium! There was sailgating in addition to tailgating-fun!
The Baylor line! Students make a tunnel for the team!
Students love this honor!
Former President Bush did the coin toss!
The team!
Ryan's view!
Ryan had a great time!  Ainsley and I had a fun night together at home! And we won!

Thursday, August 28

Wonder Woman

We bought Ains a Wonder Woman story book and shirt so she would know girls can be super heroes too!

She was trying to fly here-she kept saying "it's not working"!

We checked out Ainsley's second pre-k today-she starts on Tuesday! I dropped off a binder with all of her tests for her GA and the director was so impressed with my organization she high fived me! I guess it was worth that late night run to Office Max to organize everything :)!
A fun Texas night-BBQ and football! Everyone was glued to the tv watching the Texas A & M game-even our little Wonder Woman!

Wednesday, August 27

Fall & Chores

Every year I always decorate for fall before classes begin because fall is my favorite season! Since it has been in the 100s I decided to just put out a couple of decorations! New wreath!
I stocked up on some Bath and Body fall scents!
Entry table!
Dining room!
Fire place!
Can't wait to try out this fall plug in!
I shared Ainsley's chore chart a few weeks ago and had to share an update. I learned my lesson-don't give a 3 year old 12 chores! We filled in all of the spaces on the chart and we all lost track. I had Ains pick out three she wanted to do and I added the 4th since she was staying up until 10 pm and beyond and we all needed sleep. It has worked like a charm-I tell her I'll add the smiley face after she falls asleep.  Lesson learned!

Monday, August 25

An unexpected call

Ainsley had a speech/language test in June and they shared with me after that Ainsley's speech articulation was a bit delayed and recommended 30 minutes of speech therapy per week--not a big deal, we knew we still had some work to do.  They shared they could come to Ainsley's school but since it was private therapy they'd have to run it through our insurance and then set up a schedule (we are still waiting to hear back on her first speech therapy session...).  When I got the written report in late July I freaked out a said Ainsley's understanding of language was on par, but her spoken language came in at 2 years and 11 months with a 65% intelligibility.  Her age peers are normally 100% intelligible at this point.  She thankfully doesn't get too frustrated, but we are frequently saying "what did you say Ainsley?"..."say that one more time".
I called the Director of the Baylor University Speech & Communication Disorder Center and asked if her if it were her daughter would she pursue a school district pre-k in addition to the lab school we have her in (similar to what we did last year in Iowa for Ainsley).  She was out of the office (I left a looong message), but sent me an email right away and said yes look into the school district.  I called the school district and found out the options for this year weren't a good match with what Ainsley needed.  For 3 year olds they have a pre-k program for moderate to severe challenges, we would have had to leave work mid day and drive over 40 minutes to and from to get her from one school to another...this wasn't workable for many reasons.  We decided to keep her at her child development lab full time--it is a wonderful center that is connected to the university so they are amazing educators who are committed to helping each child grow and develop.
Today out of the blue I got a call from the Director of the Speech & Communication Disorder clinic and she said "where are we at with Ainsley".  I was so touched that she cared enough to follow up.  I shared that we checked into the school district but decided to keep her at her child development center full time.  She said, we have another option for her.  She offered Ainsley a spot in the Language & Articulation Pre-School at Baylor!!  What a gift!!  I didn't even know this existed!  Ainsley will be in class of 4 kids.....4 kids!!  4 kids due to the fact that the faculty to GAs at each site visit is 1:4.  She will have her own graduate assistant that she we will work with all semester.  She will have 10.5 hours of speech therapy per week as compared to 30 minutes!  
Ryan and I went over lunch to see the classroom and accepted the spot in the classroom for fall!  Ainsley will be attending there in the morning and then we'll drive her to her child development lab (where she will eat lunch, nap and then be with her other friends).  We'll have to cut back on our eating out since we now have 2 pre-schools to pay for :), but totally worth it!
The thing I am the most excited about is seeing Ainsley develop a relationship with her graduate assistant.  This card is from Ainsley's deaf and hard of hearing teacher, Kim, who she worked with from when she was a baby!  She  learned so much from her.  I think she learned so much because she was comfortable with her.  Hopefully spending so much time with a GA she will feel comfortable and the supervising faculty member for the 4 GAs is amazing and so kind (we got to meet her today).
So excited for our sweet girl to grow in her speech confidence this semester!  She is talking up a storm these days and hopefully soon we'll be able to understand all that she is saying :)!

Saturday, August 23

Zoo fun!

Saturday morning we met another family at the zoo for a special event called "wake up with the zoo"!
They weren't kidding with the wake up part-we left the house a little after 7 am because it started at 7:30 am! They had breakfast for members! My wonderful Iowa coworkers got us a membership as a going away gift and we are so thankful for this great, fun gift!

The girls having fun! This is a new sweet friend from Ainsley's class!

Part of the wake up event was watching the zoo keepers feed the animals!

Ainsley had a great time and took a 2 hour nap after lunch! She got this colorful snake from the gift shop!

Friday, August 22

You belong

This morning I went with some of my colleagues to new student convocation.  The program had a verse from Ephesians 4 on the cover--that was woven throughout all of the speakers.  In part it says, "I want you to get out there and walk-better yet, run!-on the road God called you to this with humility and discipline-not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love."  Such a beautiful message as our Baylor students start their college journey!

So much hope and promise in the arena!  Tonight the students will go to dinner in faculty members homes--I was sitting with three instructors and they each shared about the icebreakers and desserts they had planned for dinner.  I think our students will be off to a great start this year!

One of my favorite messages came from a faculty member who had the students stand up and repeat three statements.  The last statment was "I belong at Baylor University".  He had them say this 3 times and each time get louder.  Such a powerful and important message to convey!

Here's to a great fall semester!

Thursday, August 21

Goodbye summer!

We went out for dinner tonight to celebrate a successful opening of the halls! Campus is full of students again! 
Goodbye summer and hello fall!! 

Tuesday, August 19

Sweet yet strong willed

This morning Ryan was getting his professional photo taken for work so he wore a suit. When Ains saw him this morning all dressed up she said "My Prince"!! She immediately wanted to dance with her daddy. Melted our hearts!
She can be super sweet and other times so stubborn! Tonight I asked her 10 times to pick out 3 books to read! 
We are also working on respect! Ainsley recently got a cookie from a sweet friend of mine and she immediately spit it out and said very loud "I don't like this"!! I was mortified and immediately ate a cookie and complimented it (it was good, just oatmeal raisin). Teaching honesty and respect at the same time is important but is a work in progress around here!
Our sweet (yet sometime sassy girl) watered our flowers tonight. She kept checking to make sure their roots were getting watered because they were "thirsty"! Never a dull moment!

Monday, August 18

First day!

Today Ains started in her new class! She's in a multi-age pre-k 3-5 year olds. 
She LOVED her new class!

On our way to school!!
At the end if the day Ainsley gave us a tour of her new class. The lab school is amazing! The classroom had a natural theme-isn't this art easel amazing!

We celebrated with a cool treat!
I jokingly asked Ains for a bite of her ice cream cone and she laughed and said it was in her belly-ha! I should have asked her earlier :)!