Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wrapping up Kindergarten and a surprise trip

Does anyone who regularly read this blog remember how emotional I was before Bennett started Kindergarten? It was really hard for me to send my little 5 1/2 year old daughter across down to a magnet school that was pretty far from our house. I prayed for her all summer and my heart was filled with dread as the school year quickly approached.

I even wrote this blog post for her as I prepared to send my first born off to elementary school.

Well, here we are 10 months later, and my friends, she rocked Kindergarten. She has changed so much in this past year that I barely remember the pre-schooler that she used to be. She is a reading, writing, counting, adding and subtracting fool. She made some wonderful friends, learned so many new things and developed a love for learning that I pray stays with her for the rest of her life.

Her school has an honors day at the end of every year and Bennett received a good conduct award and an advanced reading award. We were so proud of her.

 Performing with her class in their program

 Afterwards receiving her awards. Way to go, Bennett!!

 Bennett on her final day at Montana Magnet School. We will always have a special place in our hearts for this wonderful place. I cannot say enough good things about it. It is a first rate school in every way possible and we are thrilled that Bennett got to go there.

Oh, and a little off topic, but I wanted to put this out there so we will have it preserved for the future. You have to test into this school and our little buddy tested in for next year. According to a teacher there, he tested very well and had a high score. We are super proud of you too, Will!

We wanted to surprise the kids on our first official day of summer so the day after school ended we told them to get in the car and we were going to run a few errands. They weren't paying attention and so they had no clue what was happening. After about 20 minutes of driving Will said, "Where are we going? This is taking forever!" and then about 10 minutes later Bennett absentmindedly said while staring out the window, "These errands sure are taking a long time."

We had been driving for nearly 40 minutes before Bennett finally noticed out the window that we were in Florida. And you know you are a family that goes on a lot of road trips when kids don't even realize that they are on one until 40 minutes in. We told them we were going down to the beach for the day and they started yelling and screaming. Lainey did too, but only because her older siblings were. She would have been thrilled with a trip to Target.

We arrived in Panama City Beach and headed to Pier Park to have some lunch. And then we went to ride some rides at Miracle Strip.

Rob then took the older two to the beach while I rode around and let Lainey nap in the car.

And then we told them our big news. To celebrate a successful school year, we had booked a sunset dolphin cruise. What a wonderful day to celebrate the start of summer.

We had seagulls surrounding the boat and the captain handed out Cheetos to feed to the birds. Kind of weird, but okay.

We saw a ton of dolphins. They were swimming right next to the boat almost the entire trip. By the end, they weren't even a big deal anymore.

Just sitting on a boat....relaxing....thinking about life...

The sweetest boy in the whole world.

Me and my baby. Is this shot not amazing? I am so glad that Rob caught it.

And then I snapped an equally awesome one of Rob with his littlest girl.

And who can forget this beauty?

What a great way to kick off the summer.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Will's pre-school graduation.

We celebrated Will's pre-school graduation a bout a month ago so it's finally time I got some pictures up on the blog.

Is this my baby boy? I mean, it can't be, right? This is my Will on his last day of pre-school. What an incredibly handsome and grown up young man he is turning into.

And just so I can get weepy for a bit, here is Will on his first day of -pre-school and then on his last.

My parents drove down from Montgomery for his pre-school graduation. Since I had taught pre-school enrichment all year, I was in charge of all of the music for the program. I loved working with the kids and I was sad to see all of them graduate, not just my son.

Here is sweet Will sneaking in a wave to his grandparents as he entered the sanctuary.

Will was selected to hold the Christian flag while saying the pledge.

Sing it loud and proud!

All of the kids got to go up front and say what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Here is the video

But in case you couldn't understand him, he said he wanted to be a Daddy. In the middle of all of the firefighters, policemen, doctors, engineers and athletes, my sweet son said he wanted to be a Daddy. Oh, how I wish you all could know this little boy. He really does have one of the tenderest and kindest hearts I have ever seen. His big sister checked out of school to be there to support him. She was so proud of her little brother.

Will and his best pre-school friend, Macy.

Our graduate!

Saying good-bye to his beloved teacher, Mrs. Erin.

Will, we are so proud of you. The Lord has blessed you with a quiet spirit and a concern for others that is so rare in a boy of your age. We know that He will use those gifts according to His will and purposes and He guides and directs your life. You are an incredible gift to our family. Every day since July 1st, 2009 has been richer and fuller simply because you have been in our lives. We love you far more than you will ever know.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I did it! I ran a marathon! Or I just completed a school year. Same thing.

I honestly feel like I just ran 26.2 miles in 3 hours. I really do. Granted I have never run a marathon in my life. And if for some reason I got the insane notion to do it, it would take me 2 weeks, not three hours. But that's how I feel.

This past school year exhausted me. And I only had one in Kindergarten. I never said that strength and fortitude were my strong points. But I did have one in preschool as well and a toddler so our schedule most days looked like this.

6:30- Wake Bennett up. Feed her, clothe her and remind her 50 times to not roll her eyes at me. They start so young these days.

7:30- Drive Bennett to school while Rob is waking up the other two kids.

8:00- Feed and clothe Will and Lainey. Remind Will that brushing teeth is an important part of one's daily hygiene routine while begging Lainey to stop throwing spoonfuls of applesauce on the floor.

8:30- Take Will to pre-school.

8:30-9:30 I don't know. It's a blur. Maybe shower?

9:30- Take Lainey to Mother's Morning Out while I worked. And by "worked" I mean doing arts, crafts and music with 45 preschoolers. Loads of fun, but heavy on the exhaustion.

11:30- Pick Lainey up.

12:30- Pick Will up.

12:30-2:45- I don't know. It's a blur. Maybe feed the kids lunch? Play with them? Who knows?

2:45- Pick Bennett up from school.

2:45-6:00- Drive to and from various piano lessons, soccer games, dance lessons and church activities. Oh, and I taught drama too.

6:00-8:00- I don't know. It's a blur. Maybe cook, clean, bathe, read to the children, have the oldest read to me, homework, play outside, game nights, movie nights and many other things that are hard to recall at this moment.

8:00- Pack lunches for the next day and get homework folders in order. Collapse on the couch, look at my husband and say, "Who are you again?"

So, I'm tired. And I know most of you are too. My schedule isn't any different from most of you out there. But for some reason this year has seemed more schedule driven than when I had kids in pre-school. So, I am going to enjoy this summer. I am already reveling in not setting an alarm, not packing lunches, not sitting at dance practices and just having my kids at home with me.

Maybe one day I will run a marathon just so I can realistically compare the two. Or maybe I can just pretend that they are comparable in my mind so I don't feel so bad about my level of exhaustion. Yeah, that's much better.