Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Eden's Community Helper Fair

Today Eden had her Community Helper Fair at preschool.  They have been learning about community helpers all month and they always end the unit by dressing up as a community helper (she dressed up as an optometrist, of course!) and pretending to do some of the jobs that can be found in their neighborhood. 
I was not sure how Eden would react to the different stations (because let's face it- we all know that she is not always a willing participant in new activities!), but she did GREAT!  She got to be paired with one of her favorite classmates, Noah, and had a fun time with him at the fair.  Not one tear was shed and it was nice for me to get to see her interact with other students in a school setting.  She is thriving in Miss Tammy's class this year which is such a comfort when you have a child who is painfully shy. 
 Some of the "jobs" that she enjoyed today were grocery shopper,
 construction worker,
 garbage collector,
 baker (which she told me was her favorite!),
 and dentist.
She looked so cute in her almost-too-small, hand-me-down Cleburne Eye Clinic scrubs.  I'm so thankful she had such a great time at the fair!  What a fun way to end community helper month!

Trip's Birthday Party

This past weekend was Parker's best buddy, Trip's, birthday.  Parker spent the night with him on Friday night and then enjoyed celebrating at his birthday party on Sunday.  Trip lives out in the country on 6 acres of land with lots of trees, which I think is every boys dream!  He had so much fun playing with Trip and his other good friend, Cole, at the party.  They ran, climbed trees, rode 4 wheelers, and used plastic swords to fight each other. Trip's mom commented that she didn't even need the pinata (which Parker loved!) because they kept themselves entertained the entire 2 1/2 hours we were there.
The Three Musketeers (Cole, Parker & Trip)
I am so thankful that Parker has already made a few really sweet friends.  I hope that they will remain good friends throughout the years.  Happy Birthday, Trip!  We hope you had a great day!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Gerard Fall Festival

Last Friday night was the annual Fall Festival at my school.  We've always taken the kids to support my school, but this is the first year that I had to be there because I signed up to work the booth in Parker's classroom.  Parker was spending the night with a friend so he missed out, but I'm pretty sure he was having a great time at Trip's house and didn't mind missing it!
My shift was from 7-8, so Cory and I decided to take the girls early to let them play some of the games before Cory took them home and I stayed to work my shift.  They were very excited before we left the house and even let me take a picture of them together, which doesn't happen often these days. 
I knew Lily would try all of the festival games, but you just never know with Eden.  Sometimes you can catch lightning in a bottle and she will participate, but she usually just cries and wants you to hold her.  Luckily, we caught her on a good day and as long as I was standing close by, she willingly participated in all the games!  It is so much more fun taking her places when she has fun! Some of their favorites were the lollipop pull, digging for treasures, and fishing. 
For the first time since I've been teaching at Gerard, I participated in the silent auction and WON!  The kindergarten teachers auctioned off "Bedtime Stories with the Kindergarten Teachers", where they will come to our house one night and read Parker, Eden and Lily a bedtime story.  I know they are going to love that, especially Parker!  Who wouldn't have loved their teacher to come to their house when they were little?  Plus, that means I don't have to read bedtime stories one night.  Sounds like a win/win to me!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Buddy Walk

Last weekend, we went to the Down Syndrome Buddy Walk in Arlington.  Aunt Emily had to help in a booth with the company she works for, so I took the oldest 4 kids around for some fun and games.  There were bounce houses, games, and nachos for lunch!  Parker, Addison, and Aubrey all had a great time.  Eden spent most of her time crying and begging me to hold her.  She didn't want to play any of the games or even jump in the bounce houses.  I finally got her to find her "happy heart" after offering her a piece of candy. 
Emily's company brought a fire truck and let the kids use the fire hose to "put out a fire".  After lunch, Parker, Addison, and Aubrey enjoyed exploring the fire truck and shooting the hose.  Eden wanted nothing to do with that and was perfectly content to sit and eat her nachos.
Despite the meltdowns by Eden, we all ended up having a good time while supporting a great cause!  The weather was nice and the kids enjoyed hanging out with each other.  I am glad Emily asked us to join her for a fun day!

Five and a Half

Today you are five and a half! You have grown and matured so much in the past 6 months.  Mommy and Daddy are so proud of the little boy you are becoming.  Here are all the things I want to remember about you right now:

-You are still one of the tallest kids in your class.  You weigh about 51 pounds and are wearing size 6 clothes.

-You are doing so well in kindergarten.  The most exciting part is watching you learn to read.  You are quickly becoming a good reader and seem to be able to read more and more words every day.  As a reading teacher, I think this is my favorite milestone I have experienced with you so far!  The best part is that you love reading and are always asking to read to me, especially at bedtime.  I hope that you will always love to read, just like me and Daddy.

-You have become so independent in the past few months.  You get ready for school all on your own, including getting dressed, making your bed, and brushing your teeth.  You have also started taking showers on your own instead of baths and you can do this without any help from Mommy or Daddy. 

-You still love sports, especially baseball.  You and Daddy play catch together almost every day.  If you are not playing sports, you can often be found watching them with Daddy. 

-You still love playing video games.  You get to play every day after you finish your homework.  Your favorite games right now are Ratchet and Clank and Rayman. 

-You are still a semi-picky eater but have gotten much better about trying new things.  When you find something you like, you can eat A LOT of it!  I'm not sure where you put it all sometimes!  Some of your favorite foods include spaghetti, chips and cheese (queso), fruit, yogurt, and cheese sandwiches.

-You are a good sleeper and still sleep with your 2 blankets and blankie bear. 

-You love to draw and color.  You can often sit for long periods of time at the table working on a picture.

-You love going to church and reading your Bible stories at bedtime.  I pray you will develop a heart that wants to serve the Lord and that you will always know how much God loves you!

-You are so passionate about everything you do!  I love that part of your strong willed personality and hope that your passion never fades.

-You are a great big brother and are so good with Eden and Lily.  You have moments when you can be quite a pest, but for the most part, you are very loving and protective of them. 

-Every night at bedtime, we talk about the best/worst parts of our day.  You often say that the worst part of your day was that someone in your class or one of your sisters made a bad choice. You hate when others get in trouble and will sometimes cry right along with them as they are getting scolded.  I love the compassion you show towards others.

Five has been a great year for you, Parker!  You are so much fun to be around at this stage in your life!  We survived your 2's and 3's (which was not always easy!) and our consistency in parenting has finally paid off.  I hope the second half of your 5's is just as fun and exciting as the first!

I love you to the moon and back, Mommy

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Grand Slam!

Tuesday was Parker's last t-ball game this season.  While I am a little sad that the season is over, I have to admit that I will be glad to have our Monday and Tuesday nights back.   He had a great team with some very sweet boys and loved being on the same team as Trip.  Coach Joe was a great coach and we are so thankful for all of the time and effort he put into coaching these boys this fall.

Parker has improved a lot this season, especially his hitting.  Coach Joe really worked with him on his technique and towards the end of the season, Parker was consistently hitting the ball well. 

Parker does not show a lot of emotion during the games but was over-the-moon excited when he hit a grand slam on his first at bat on Tuesday.  He followed that up with another home run on his second at bat.  He also threw a ball all the way from the outfield that resulted in an out at home plate!  What a fun way to end the season!       

"Above the Crowd" Award

Yesterday Parker received the "Above the Crowd" award for his class.  This a very special award at our school and we are so proud of him for being nominated for it.  Students are selected by their teachers for being good citizens, obeying school rules, working hard in class, and being kind to their friends/teachers.  Only one student per class is nominated every nine weeks so it is a very big honor. 
Parker got called up on stage in front of the entire school and was given a sign to put in our yard.  He was so excited to see that Granna, Granstan, and Papa were able to come and watch as he received his award.  Daddy couldn't get off of work, so we used Face Time on the iPhone and he got to watch it live from his office.  (Gotta love modern day technology!)

Congratulations, Parker!  We are so proud of you for working so hard in school this year!  Keep up the great work!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Two Years Old

Lily Claire,
Yesterday you turned two years old!  How on earth can you be two years old! 

What a wonderful year it has been watching you learn to walk, talk, and transform into a funny, independent, stubborn, and happy toddler!  Here are a few things I always want to remember about you as you turn another year older:

-You are a big girl!  Today at your checkup, you weighed 31 pounds (90th percentile) and were 36 inches tall (90th percentile).  I am so thankful that you are so healthy!  You have recently moved into size 3T clothes and still wear a size 6 diaper. 

-I am still amazed every day at how much you are talking.  I'm sure you can say at least 100 words and you keep adding new words daily.  You usually speak in 3-4 word sentences and there is pretty much nothing that you can not imitate after you've heard it.  I know this is probably normal for most two year olds but I only have Parker and Eden to compare it to, and they both did not start talking until well after their second birthdays.  It is SO nice to be able to ask you a question and get a clear answer.  I think you show less frustration at this age than your siblings did because I usually know exactly what you want or need.

-As amazed as I am at how much you can say, I am equally amazed that the ONE word I cannot get you to say is "Lily"!  You refuse to say your own name and are happy to just call yourself "me"!

-You are not a picky eater, but it is often a struggle just to get you to eat.  You will often take a few bites and say, "I dum" (I'm done).  Some of your favorite foods are fruits of any kind, cereal, and yogurt.

-You love to swing.  You ask me several times a day to push you on the swings.  You would stay outside all day if I would let you.

-You love puppies and baby dolls.  You are constantly looking for puppies wherever we go and can't wait to give Brinkley a hug every morning when we get to Granna's house.  You love to play 'mommy' to your babies and enjoy rocking them, feeding them, and pushing them in the baby stroller.

-You are a great sleeper!  You usually sleep from 8pm- 8am and I rarely hear you during the night.  You currently sleep with your blanket, baby doll, blankie bear, bunny, bear, and several other things.  You always notice if something is missing so I can't clean out your crib when you aren't looking!  I told Daddy that your crib looks like an episode of Hoarders with all of the things you keep in it!

-I love your sweet and happy disposition.  You have a funny personality and keep me smiling throughout the day with the things you do.  You can, however, be quite stubborn and strong willed.  You are not near as difficult as your brother at this age, but you can give me a run for my money some days!

-You LOVE your brother and sister and refuse to go to bed at night before you get a kiss from both of them!  You also like to drive them crazy by knocking down their towers or running off with their toys and you HATE to share.  You still cry every single time I make you take turns with one of them. 

What a blessing you are to our family, Lily!  You were made to perfectly complete our family and I thank God for you every day!  I can't wait to watch you mature and grow over the next year.  Thank you for bringing so much joy into our lives! 

I love you to the moon and back, Mommy

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lily's "Look Whoo's 2!" Party

This weekend, we celebrated Lily's 2nd birthday with an owl themed "Look Whoo's 2" party.  The weather was perfect and the kids enjoyed spending time outside jumping in the bounce house and playing on the swing set.  Before the guests arrived, we attempted to get a few family pictures with the birthday girl.  I think two is one of the hardest ages to get good pictures.  They are so busy and there are so many other things they want to be doing rather than sitting still for pictures. 
After pictures, the kids played in the bounce house while we waited for the pizza to arrive.  Lily loves bouncing and I was able to capture a few cute pictures of her in action.
After a yummy pizza dinner, we opened Lily's presents.  She got so many cute things including some new clothes and nightgowns, a pillowcase with her name on it, and two new baby dolls.
One of her favorite gifts was a Fur Real puppy from Parker and Eden that barks and walks.  Lily LOVES puppies so it was no surprise when she carried it around the rest of the night giving it lots of hugs!
After presents, we cut the cake!  I could not find an owl cake pan so I had to free hand everything this year.  It wasn't perfect, but it tasted good, which is really all that matters in the end!
Lily was so precious while we were singing "Happy Birthday" to her.  She loved the extra attention she was getting and made some of the cutest faces.  She also did a great job blowing out the candles on her first try. She was a huge fan of her cake and made a huge mess to prove it!
Last up was the pinata.  Lily wasn't that interested in the pinata, which I expected.  She took a few swings before turning it over to the bigger kids, who all loved it!  She became a lot more interested once the candy started falling, which if you know Lily, is no surprise!!
We are so thankful for everyone who came out to help Lily celebrate her birthday.We had a great evening with family and friends and know that she felt very loved on her special day!