1st day of 1st grade

Today was Anne's first day back to school - 1st grade, can you believe it? We were so excited to find that school here doesn't start until 9am instead of the 7:45am back in Hawaii. I awoke earlier then my usual summer time hour to find that Anne was already up, bed made and getting dressed for school. I could tell she was very excited. She was also happy to see that it was a rainy cold day - she really wanted to wear a jacket to hang in her locker...

We parked about a block away from the school - because Anne wanted to "walk" to school. After I picked her up today she told me to park farther away from the school to we could walk farther...just wait until it is cold she will want be as close as I can get.

Here is Anne's school, Linden Elementary School. Isn't it cool? We have been having some cooler weather here the last few weeks and I think all the trees in the area are a bit confused. Can you believe the leaves are already turning and falling? Perfect for the first day back to school though.

Anne was so thrilled to find that she had her own locker. The first time we visited the school back in June to sign her up she exclaimed, "Mom they have closets just like on High School Musical!"

Anne and her teacher Mrs. Calhoun.


Anne, Andrew and the slide

Last week the kids and I were at the park with some friend from church. I was going on and on about all the great parks in the area and told everyone which one was our favorite so far. One women said, "Well that is because you haven't been to our favorite park." Well I was curious as to what park could top our own so that night after dinner I told Zac we just had to check it out to see what all the hoop-la was about. Two hours later we had to drag the kids away from their new favorite park. We have named it "The Blue Slide Park." After of course the blue slide at the park. As you can see it is crazy. The kids slide down this slide on broken down boxes. Both Anne and Andrew were thrilled and didn't want to leave. So we promised we would come back the next day - Saturday.

The next day we were awoken early to "Can we go to the park now?" So off we went....two more hours later only hunger pains could drag the Turner kids away from there much loved blue slide.

Here are the kids trying to go down in a train...they will need to work on that one!


Erie, PA - 4th of July

On a whim we spent our 4Th of July 2 hours north of Pittsburgh in Erie, PA. We had heard that Presque Isle State Park was the place to visit and thought we would check it out. Someone in our ward told us they had great beaches up there. Well at this point we were missing our Hawaii beaches so we wanted to get as close to that as possible. The beaches were OK, more rocks than sand...sorry no pictures. What we did find was a great place to rent canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats. We rented our own canoe and we were off.

Don't worry I didn't let Zac paddle all around by himself with the kids...I had just hopped out to grab a picture...

Anne was very excited to try paddling although we didn't go very fast when she was helping...

Andrew just loved "feeling" the water.

As for the scenery, it was beautiful. We paddled around for about 2 hours. The first hour the kids had a blast. But by the second hour they declared that canoeing was boring and even our active Andrew was just about asleep between Zac's legs. Both Zac and I agreed that we want our own canoe.


happy birthday Andrew!

One cannot believe that my little buddy is now 4. He has been waiting so patiently for his birthday ever since Anne had hers back in May. We told him over and over, "When we move to Pittsburgh then it will be your turn." Well we are here and he had his turn. We just had a quiet (OK, not so quiet) family party. Andrew didn't really request anything particular this year so we just surprised him a bit. That morning I surprised him at breakfast with his own spider man cell phone. He was quite taken with his cousins and was so so so excited to get his own.

As you can see this was another great surprise. He has been wanted a "shooter gun" like Luke on Star Wars for a while now. I finally gave in and let Anne get him a Nerf gun. I don't know who liked it more thought, Zac or Andrew?

We let Andrew pick out his own cake at the store that day...he was still shocked to see so much chocolate in one place.

When you can't get your child to smile with you, then join them!

Mister tool man. Now he can help his dad with all his projects.



When we first arrived in Pittsburgh a month ago we had no furniture or toys for quite a while. So in order to occupy the kids we took lots of field trips to the different museums and parks. The Natural History museum was on of our first trips. It was raining and what a great place to visit on a rainy day. It was so neat. Dinosaurs everywhere! Anne who can now read pretty well, enjoyed reading all about each different dinosaur. Andrew on the other hand ran from Dino to Dino with me in tow. Each dinosaur exhibit had their own computer with different facts on them. Andrew loved these and had to be pulled from many to others could have a turn.

This was by far the kids favorite area in the dinosaur exhibit. They actually buried some Dino bones in the clay-like substance and then the kids get to dig it out. We were probably here for a good hour. Aren't my little paleontologists cute?

in the garden

Somehow whenever we visit my family we arrive just in time to help put the garden in. When we visited this last June it was no different. Not that we mind. There is something about planting a garden that is just wonderful. The kids really enjoyed themselves too. My dad had this small shovel and Andrew was pretty occupied the entire time we were out there. Anne is just a great helper. She went around with Grandma Sweetheart digging and watering. I am hoping we are able to plant our own garden here in Pittsburgh next year. The kids now need to see the fruits of their labor.

Now just because there are no pictures of me doesn't mean I didn't help too. I was the photographer/watering girl. Zac will tell you...he got a bit wet.



There is a certain magic about a box. This past couple of weeks I have seen my share of boxes. It's funny, every time I did see a box in the last little while it always made me happy. The first that all our stuff was finally arriving in boxes. The second being that I was taking my long lost items out of boxes. The third was seeing how much fun my kids found in a simple box. Who doesn't remember the much loved refrigerator box? Anyway, after so long not having any toys the kids were thrilled to have all there toys but as soon as they found how much fun the could have in the backyard rolling around in empty boxes the toys were put aside. One evening I was in the kitchen making dinner and Zac was outside in the backyard with the kids working on his firepit (I will post more later on this subject). I called the troops in for dinner only to have two very dirty kids enter my kitchen. They looked like they belonged on the movie OLIVER! When asked what they had been up to Zac told me they were both in one box and rolling around the backyard. You gotta love the fun that comes out of a box!