Monday, October 22, 2012

Sharing Some Things About Chloe (Brody is Next)

I am so crazy proud of my kiddos. Like really really proud, so I am going to brag on them for a few minutes and hope that you will share my and my family's joy in it.

First: I am thrilled with how Chloe is adapting to Kindergarten. She loves school and has a true passion for it. She has been on the top of the discipline chart (blue) most every single day and the other days she has only been 1 step below it (on purple). Purple means she has made great choices and blue means that she is being a leader. She is reading like a champ. I'm talking 25-32 page books almost every single night. She loves reading and that makes this mama's heart smile because I too have a love for books.

As for me letting up a little bit in regards to being "overprotective"...ie not letting her ride the school bus and not letting her buy school lunches etc... well, I'm proud to report that she has bought her lunch TWICE now and has ridden the bus ONCE. The lunches happened but not without me sending a note in to her teacher the first time explaining that Chloe is so picky that she would likely choose 3 milks for her whole lunch and to please make sure she actually chose some food too. The teacher assured me that Chloe made great choices and she ate her lunch. As for the bus, what do I say?!? She went on a field trip and I followed the bus down. Ha! She was so cute telling me all about the school bus. She said it was a bumpy ride and that the seats were really slippery and they had no seat belts. I was hoping that she would want to come home after the field trip and just ride with me, but nope, not my girl. She wanted to go back to school on the bus and stay until school dismissal.

And now as for Chloe's rules for me...ie I can't walk her in to school, I can't come eat lunch with her, I can't go on field trips with her, and I can't come to her class. Let's just say she has changed her mind on every single one of those bullet points. I kept my mouth shut figuring that she would change her mind, and that is what she did. Now, she has me eat with her every single Wednesday, I walk her into the school every single morning (even when it's pouring rain and would be much easier to do car circle), I've been on the field trip with her which she asked me to do, and I am the room mom in her class on Wednesday and Thursdays. I asked her if she wanted me to just help one day each week in the class, but she said that she actually wanted me there every single day. So sweet!!! However, I draw the line because I love spending one on one time with my baby boy!!!

That's school, but I also have to share that her little heart is actually so BIG. She is so kind and gentle. She loves with her whole being and when she hurts, it's the same. She uses good manners and tries to make wise choices by thinking things through. She is learning responsibility and showing compassion to the other children in her class. She is a helper by nature and I have witnessed her getting pure joy from being asked to help her teacher or another student in class. She is a little slow to warm up (well, just a little shy), but is a friend to everyone once she knows you. She loves Jesus and will oftentimes pray for her friends and school and anyone who is sick. Don't get me wrong, she is not perfect as none of us are, but she learns from her mistakes and tries again. She is simply a blessing from the Lord that I do not even think I could ever thank Him enough for.




And Brody, well, this post is getting a bit too long, but I will be updating about my little guy in the next day or so in a separate entry. He is making his mama's heart melt on a daily basis and is wrapping me tighter and tighter around his little fingers. I could hug and squeeze that child all day long if he would let me. Especially when he tells me that I am his baby and he is my baby. Melt my heart...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall Break in North Carolina

This is our official first fall break. When both kids were in pre-school, I never understood the parents who were excited for fall break. I just wanted my kids to go to preschool that week because I didn't agree that they needed a fall break too. However, now that Chloe is in kindergarten and I feel like I barely see her anymore, I welcomed the break and took the kids to North Carolina to visit my parents.

We left on Saturday afternoon and came back on Wednesday evening. The trip there was not without some interesting conversation...namely Brody asking me if the people in front of us in the security line had bombs or rockets in their bags. And he didn't just ask it quietly. Oh no! He asked rather loudly and pointed directly to them so there was no covering it up on my part. And then as we are walking on the jetway to get onto the plane, Brody starts jumping over random cracks and yells that he is jumping over bombs. I mean honestly, could the kid have said the word BOMB anymore? No, not really. I wasn't sure that we were going to even be allowed on the plane with all of his talk. Ha! However, we made it on and then Brody loudly read the safety instruction manual to all of us. His version, based on looking at the pictures alone, was this, "do not land in the water. go down the slide when it's your turn. buckle up for safety." People around us were laughing and were good sports about his antics.

Once we arrived in NC, Op-Op (my dad) picked us up in Raleigh and headed to the home I grew up in. It was nice to be "back home." That week, we had dinners out, went to see Hotel Transylvania at the movies, went to visit my grandmother, hit up the NC Zoo, and just enjoyed family time with my parents. It was a very enjoyable 4 days with some relaxing time for me.

Of course, the highlight was the zoo because this is the place where I took most of my childhood field trips in school and I couldn't wait to show it to my kids. This zoo in incredible. It makes our Nashville Zoo look like a pet shop. Seriously! The kids and I spent about 5 hours there and still didn't see every single exhibit. It was really a perfect day! My favorite animal was the newborn gorilla. He was adorable! Chloe and Brody both loved the elephants, giraffes, lemurs, and gorillas the best. I took lots of pictures since this was their first visit to this zoo. We are already talking about the next time with visit Grammy and Op-Op and how we are definitely going to come back to the zoo.


Entrance - Brody channeling his inner rock star


Giraffe is back there. See it?

These little statues were all throughout the zoo


A fave!




This was a whole extra exhibit talking all about elephant tracking in Cameroon. Very cool things to look at and read. We learned a lot in this area.


Headed to the next greatest animal...

  

a few rhinos 

Chloe playing in the ostrich eggs




Climbing and jumping...more fun at the zoo!

check out his deep little dimple...


This was the brother gorilla to the baby



the female lion waking long enough to yawn and then she laid back down


the lemurs. both kids LOVE lemurs for some reason




check out the baby gorilla on his mom's back. 








There was a bee exhibit which was really fun because Chloe learned all about bees at her field trip to the pumpkin patch. We really enjoyed this!


Brody in the honeycomb...


Outside of the Sarahan Desert exhibit. He didn't believe this cactus was real so after the picture, he walked over to another one and touched it and then started yelping!


desert tortoise


a sleeping ocelot


the big brown bear!


geyser that erupts every 5 minutes. 


Brody getting as close as possible so that he could get wet.


Caterpillar...

A harbor seal. We were very disappointed that the polar bears were vacationing in Minnesota while their habitat got remodeled and repaired. Maybe next time...


Brody showing his sister some love


and now she is trying to get him to stop...

New Experience

After Chloe's soccer game two weeks ago, we decided to go to a flea market/tractor pull. We have never been before and honestly probably would have never thought to go had we not seen the sign for it on the way to the game. At first glance upon arrival, I thought we had entered red-neck-ville. There were girls and older ladies in cut off shorts, cowgirl boots, and too tight shirts tossing bean bags into a scarecrow. Some sort of game clearly, but I didn't really see the point in it nor did I see any prizes. However, the crowd was excited so we stopped to watch for a few minutes before making our way through the homemade crafts and goodies. Along the way there were chickens, baby chicks, and turkeys to look at...which Brody LOVED. And we also got to see how corn is ground and got totally sucked into watching the farmers put it in their machines and do their thing. It really was a neat afternoon. And of course the highlights were watching Brody get all excited about walking through the tractor displays and watching with front row seats the tractor pull games.
As I said, this was certainly not a typical Team Blevins Saturday afternoon event, but I am so glad we went and had the experience!

the "scarecrow farmer" beanbag toss


the crowd watching the scarecrow beanbag toss














David getting a wax hand mold


turning the corn into something
















checking out the tractor up close


getting the corn ready to run through the machine





I have no idea who this farmer guy is but I thought the kid with him was too cute!