Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer Break - week 1

Well technically it was 1/2 a week, but who is counting? Oh wait, that would be me! Two hours into summer break both of my kids were sent to their rooms for whining and fighting with each other. Several hours after that I was sent to my room by myself to take a hot bath and get away from all of the sibling rivalry that was going on. Twenty minutes into my nice hot bubble bath, I had a kid who decided to dive into my whirlpool tub with me and another who raced in the bathroom and ended up spilling ice cold gatorade into my bath all over me. Grrrr!!!! I yelled and then had to get out of the bath as I wasn't going to be able to relax in an orange gatorade filled bath. Before the yelling continued, I literally started praying and asking God to guard my mouth and my words and I seriously felt God reminding me that His mercies are new every morning. I knew right then that we all needed to go to bed so I could get those new mercies. And what do you know...the next few days were GLORIOUS!!!

Thursday we had one of Chloe's friends, Kayla come over for the morning while her mom went to work for a few hours. Kayla's mom and I are friends as we both have had breast cancer, both were diagnosed when our kiddos were babies, and both of our girls are going into first grade. They live right around the corner from us and our husbands drive the same Jeep Wrangler. We also both go to Vanderbilt and share the same team of doctors and nurses. Anyways, Kayla, Chloe and Brody played for several hours Thursday morning and then we met her mom at Chick-fil-A for lunch and some catch-up time for me and her. It was a fun day and a relaxing one at that.

Friday I took the kids to DINOSAUR WORLD in Cave City, Kentucky. It was pretty neat. I definitely will take them back, but next time I will plan it when David can go and when we can make a weekend of it so that we can go hiking and touring around in all of the caves around there...namely MAMMOTH CAVE State Park. Back to the dinosaurs though...it was a fun impromptu trip. We headed out around 10:30, and arrived around noon. We toured the park, read about every kind of dinosaur you can imagine and got to see life-size statues of them. It really was pretty cool. We also got to dig for fossils and keep the 3 best ones we found. Brody ended up keeping a shark's tooth and 2 sea urchin fossils while Chloe kept an Ammorite stone, a shark's tooth, and some sort of coral thingy. After that, they went into a large sand pit and played paleontologists. They dug and swept around the dinosaur bones, used their crazy imaginations, and just had a big time doing so. After that, we went into the museum and looked at dino remains for a while and then hit the playground for a while before getting on the road for our drive home. The kids were SO GOOD for the entire day. We really had a great time.
After getting home, we had family movie night which was Iron Man. The kids fell asleep pretty early into it and I wasn't far behind them.

All in all, a good start to our summer break. Can't wait for next week. Chloe is going to soccer camp at Austin Peay State University. And Brody and I have some things lined up since he is too young for camp.

For now though, some pics...

all over this park were signs that read: DO NOT CROSS THE ROPE! Brody just had to touch them though...he couldn't help himself.

notice who crossed the ropes...despite the 1000 signs that said DON"T...but then again, notice that I had to snap a picture of it before I corrected them. 

In the fossil dig

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chloe is A Kindergarten Graduate

Wow! Yesterday Brody graduated pre-K and today Chloe graduated Kindergarten. I am not sure how much more this mama's heart can withstand. I have never been more proud of my two kiddos...ever (at least this week - ha!). They continue to amaze me every single day.

It literally seems like a week ago that I was nervously going to Chloe's school for her first day of Kindergarten. I remember the fears I had which were way more than any she had, and the tears I cried when I left her there and walked back to my car...with just Brody.

I was terrified that she would get into the wrong car in car circle and that some other mom would drive off with my first born. You may laugh, but I was seriously concerned about this...even though I was assured that their system of car circle was top notch. I was also nervous about her not being able to get her milk carton open or her go-gurts open at lunch and so I refused to let her buy her lunch until the last 2 weeks of school. Not kidding at all. And yes, I was also assured that they have lunch assistants who help the kids with these tasks. And then I was nervous about her teacher sending her to run an errand in the building and her getting lost and crying and being scared. I remember showing up for my volunteer day and her teacher told me that Chloe was in the art room returning some paint brushes. I almost died...I think what I said was "is she by herself? She knows how to get there and back alone?" I'm sure I sounded ridiculous, but there again, it's my first born and the first time I am really letting her go and have no control over it. Whew.

There was a lot of growth this year on her and my part. Luckily, we were blessed with an AMAZING teacher and the one that I know God had planned out for Chloe. She allayed all of my fears and took Chloe under her wing. She really "got" Chloe's personality and encouraged her in all of her under-takings. Chloe went into school unable to read more than 10 or so sight words, and she is now reading Junie B Jones and Ramona Quimby chapter books by herself. Her favorite thing to do is to read to Brody though. She also didn't know much math when she went in, but now can add and subtract small numbers, can work a word problem very well, and is wanting to learn money now. She had learned a lot about habitats as they have hatched chickens and ducks, and have also had a hermit crab, fish, and tadpoles in their room most of the year. And yes, we have babysat each of the class pets multiple times. I think our favorites were the ducklings!!! They were just so cute. Chloe can also write her own stories now and can tell me all about the planets and the rain forests. It's pretty amazing also to see her hop on my laptop, go to Word, open a new document and start typing a letter or a story.

Mrs Campbell has invested so deeply not just in academics for Chloe, but also in teaching the kids character traits and the 7 Healthy Habits for Happy Kids (by Steven Covey Jr). Chloe has learned how to be proactive, think win-win, sharpen the saw, put first things first, keep the end in mind, and I can't remember the other two but if Chloe were awake right now she would quickly tell me what they are and what they mean. Chloe has had to learn teamwork this year which is hard for her as she is for sure an "I can do it myself" type kid...and honestly I was the same way in school in that I hated group projects because I had this need for it all to be done to my liking so that I could make sure it was "perfect." She has also had to put into practice being kind to others even when they aren't the kindest to her. Luckily, that didn't happen too much. But she has for sure memorized the "if you can't say something nice, it's best to say nothing at all" rule. There were a few "spirited" boys and girls in her class this year that she would come home and tell me all about what they had said or done that day and when I asked her what she would say, she replied "nothing because you are not supposed to say anything unless it's nice." Yay!!!

I will quit rambling now and just leave you with this...I've been a mess thinking about her being in first grade now. She is growing up way too fast and honestly this may be my favorite stage that she has been in yet. I know I say that about every age and stage, but I can't help it. I love that she tells me everything and she trusts that I will value her feelings, her thoughts, and her dreams. I hope that I can continue to foster that so that she knows that mommy is always a safe place to fall and that if it is important to her, then it is important to me. Now...enjoy these pics of the Chloe and the kindergarteners releasing balloons as they make their wish for first grade!!!

comparison shot of first day of school with last day of school. She just looks so much older now :(

Chloe with Mrs. Campbell...Oh, the Places You'll Go. Chloe will have each teacher write her a note in this book from K-12th grade and I will give it to her upon graduation.

the balloons that are going to be released by the Kindergarten graduates as they make their wishes for first grade.

Chloe and her friend Abby

Chloe with her friend Jackson

Chloe and her best friend Kinsley

Chloe and Anna - a fellow soccer star!

Chloe with Blair

making the wish and letting them go

How cool is this picture of all the balloons?

Chloe with Abby

And another of Chloe with her bestie Kinsley

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Brody is a Graduate

Today was a big day at our house. Our baby Brody graduated from the pre-K class at his Parent's Day out program. He has been in this school since he was 12 months old and is now about to turn 5. I look back on how things have changed and how much he has grown over the past 4 years at his school and I get a little teary eyed with pride as I see the little boy that he has grown into. When I first started him in school, I was still getting chemo and now as he ends it, I have a full head of hair again, and am 100% healthy...for the first time since he has been in school it seems.
Anyways, today he and his 11 classmates (a few of them he has been in class with since they were al 1 year old) walked down the aisle and performed their program flawlessly (and to the nth degree of cuteness), received their diplomas and are now ready to enter the world of "big school." For most of them, that means Kindergarten, but for my little Brody, it means he has graduated to a 3 day/week preschool. Why? Well because his birthday is literally 3 days from the cut-off and he would still be 4 years old when he started. After talking to several Kindergarten teachers and just using my mommy instinct, we know it's best to just let him have one more year before he begins school "forever."
I think the hardest part for Brody today has been realizing that he and his two very best friends in the world are all 3 going to different schools next year. Brody, Carter and Elliot have been best buddies the entire 4 years they've been at school. They are quite inseparable and Brody talks about Carter and Elliot a lot. Luckily though, we go to church and are in small group with Carter's family, and we will see Elliot at the YMCA a lot this summer.
Now, on to some cute pics and videos...

I loved this because of what Brody said he wanted to be when he grows up...An Army Man!  Just like his Uncle Jordan. His friend Elliot wants to be a ninja and his friend Addy wants to be a "hair doer." Ha!!!

graduation cake...Brody is on the bottom far right

Brody and Jace walking in together. I just love this little man of mine!!!

Getting ready to start Hickory Dickory Dock

Getting his diploma and hug from Ms Ruth Ann

And his flower and hug from Ms Patty

Kiera, Amelia, and Jace saying their rhyme...Jack and Jill

Adalynn, Maggie and Haley singing Twinkle Twinkle

Benton, Elliot, and Trenton reciting Jack Be Nimble

singing Jesus Loves Me

happy boy with his graduation gift...an Iron Man Mask

ah, sibling love! Chloe begged to go to Brody's graduation and I couldn't refuse her. Plus Brody wanted her to come...along with Cabot (our dog), Blue (our fish), and Grammy and OpOp. Haha!!!

yummy grad cupcake

being silly!!!

Brody and Carter the best of friends!!!

Ms Loretta, Ms Patty and Ms Ruth Ann with my baby. These ladies have taken great care to make sure Brody (and Chloe) were always well loved and well taught. They will forever have a place in my heart.


BRODY'S "SPEECH" (and check out his quick bow at the end!)

SINGING "Thank You Father"


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Field Day Fun At Carmel Elementary

This was Chloe's first field day ever and boy was it FUN!!! The first part of the day, grades K-2 had their events and I watched Chloe's class participate at each station. There was basketball tossing, water relays, cone flips, volleyball, beanbag tag, hula hoops, and a few more I am surely forgetting. The kids were so cute (as you will see in the pics and videos I am posting) and had the best sportsmanship whether they won or lost. I was thrilled to be able to go with Chloe today and watch her compete and she was equally as excited to have field day.
After the lower grades were finished, I stayed on to volunteer for the older grades. I was placed in the basketball event. Basically it was just getting rebounds, making sure the kids didn't get too crazy, and making sure they followed the rules. Good times! Each class was so well behaved and had so much fun. I loved seeing them get excited and cheer on each other.

I can't wait to help in next year's field day. I love that Chloe goes to this brand new school with the most top notch teachers and administrators who really love parent involvement. I've been blessed to be able to volunteer in her class two days/week this year along with being active in the PTO. Carmel Colts rock!!! And FYI, I've also been blessed to have been able to walk my kid into school every single day this year except for 3...she still hasn't outgrown mommy too much! LOVE!!!

This was the basketball toss game. Chloe is the one in pink shorts

standing in line waiting her turn to toss...

very blurry action shot of Chloe's teacher, Mrs Campbell getting so excited that she made a basket...jumping up and down. Ha!!! Love her!

Getting ready for the water relay race with her friends: Bailey, Abby, Chloe, Kinsley and Blair

Squeezing the water out of the ball - had to see which class could get the most water in the bucket in a specified time frame. This was one of my favorite events.

Chloe's friend Jackson getting ready to toss the ball to his teammate. This kid is so adorable and definitely well behaved. 

check out that stance! haha

I was deemed a volunteer superstar!!! hahaha!!!

Brody was completely worn out by the end of his day as a spectator