Monday, August 25, 2014

First Day of School

Another summer has come and gone and we now have TWO kids that are in school!  How on earth did that happen?!?!? 
Parker woke up bright and early this morning.  He has been so excited about school starting.  I'm pretty sure he would have started a week ago if I'd let him!  He loves school and has missed his friends a lot this summer. 
Eden also woke up ready to go to her first day of kindergarten! We did a lot of talking about what to expect on the first day to help her with some of the anxiety she had been showing and I knew she was ready!
 The kids were so excited that their daddy was able to come and walk them to their first day of class.
Parker couldn't wait to get to class so we dropped him off first. His teacher this year is Mrs. Humphreys.  She is an incredible teacher and I know he is going to have a great year in second grade!
Eden's class is just a few doors down from Parker.  She loved seeing her name on the door as she walked in.  Her teacher this year is Mrs. Pritchard, who was Parker's kindergarten teacher two years ago and Addison's teacher last year.  She is going to be perfect for Eden.
Eden walked right in, sat down at her table, and started working.  She never acted nervous or teared up which made it very easy for me to leave her.  She had a perfect day and loved every minute of kindergarten.  I know she is going to have a great year!
They were both full of stories when I picked them up after school.  The best quote of the afternoon came from Parker.  We were on our way to get an after school treat and he shouted out, "Mom, your ears are going to explode and your eyes are going to pop out of your head when I tell you the next thing about my first day!".  He then told me that his class is one of the iPad classes at our school and he gets his own iPad to use every day this year.  That is right up his alley, for sure!  (And don't worry... my hearing and vision are still intact even after learning this!!)

I am so thankful for two wonderful teachers who already have my kids excited about learning!  I have a really good feeling about second grade and kindergarten this year! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mud Pies

A few days before school started, Emily called me and told me that there was a mud puddle in their backyard and her kids were begging to play in it.  So she invited us over for dinner and playing in the mud.  She recommended that I bring the kids pajamas so that we could go straight from the mud puddle to the bathtub.  My kids couldn't wait to get there!
It didn't take them long after dinner to dive right in to the mud!  I'm not sure what all they did but it kept them busy for a long time. 
By the end of the evening, they were covered from head to toe with dirt.  They were not ready to come in and take baths at all!  It was a fun way to spend one last summer night with our cousins before school started!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday Ryan!

Today my sweet nephew Ryan turns 3 years old!  Yesterday we celebrated his birthday with a party at Emily and Jon's house.  All of our family was there plus Jon's brother and sister and their families.  Between all of us there were 12 kids helping Ryan celebrate his birthday. 
Ryan can be such a ham sometimes!  He loved opening all of his presents this year, especially since he had a big audience!
 After presents, we enjoyed hot dogs for dinner.  That is a lot of kids on one picnic blanket!
Ryan loves fire trucks (or "woo-woos" as he calls them) and Emily did a great job on his cake this year!
 I love these two boys!   
I can't believe this sweet boy is three years old!  Happy Birthday, Ryan!  Aunt Mamie loves you very much!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Last Days of Summer

We spent our last few weeks of summer hanging out in the water to escape the heat!
On August 1st, we attended the end of summer swimming party sponsored by the public library.  Because the kids participated in the summer reading club, they earned free passes to the party at Splash Station.  It actually ended up being really cold that day but the kids didn't seem to care!  They had a great time with their friends!
This past Monday, Aunt MerMer invited us to come to Dallas and join her for a fun day at her neighborhood pool.  The kids all had a great time even though Eden was a little under the weather that day.  They especially loved the ice cream that Aunt MerMer treated them to after lunch!
Yesterday, we joined Trip and Cole at Pirates Cove for one last day of fun before I start teacher inservice on Monday.  We haven't seen them much this summer and Parker had a blast! 
The girls had a great time too! 
It was a great way to end a fun, but very quick, summer!  We are always thankful for time in the water to help us make it through these hot summer days!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Colorado 2014- Day 8- Hike MS

Saturday was our last day in Colorado and it ended up being my favorite day of the entire trip!
On Wednesday, Emily noticed in the local Breckenridge paper that the annual HikeMS was being held in Keystone on Saturday.  I wasn't sure at first if it was something I wanted to participate in but after Emily and Jon signed up, I knew it was something we should all do as a family. 
We went on Friday night to register and got up bright and early on Saturday morning to make the 3o minute drive over to Keystone for the hike.  We started the morning with a great continental breakfast and then got ready to start the hike. 
"We are hiking for our daddy"
We divided into two hiking groups- the two mile hikers (me, Cory, Eden, Aubrey, and Lily) and 3-4 mile hikers (Emily, Jon, Parker and Addison).  The two mile hike was around the base of the mountain and the 3-4 mile hike was hiking up the mountain.
We said good bye to the Parker's group and got started on our hike.  The little girls did great on the first mile!  After a potty stop and snack break, we started the second mile.  They were getting a little tired at this point and we may or may not have had a little breakdown over having to share the stroller, but they were all finally able to find their happy heart and finish strong! 
Along the hiking path were signs that helped you know that you were on the right track.  The girls loved looking for them and showing Cory and I which way to turn!
Having to share the stroller is just not fair sometimes! 
Ready to finish strong!
The two mile hike was challenging for Cory but he did great!  I was so proud of him for finishing and showing the girls that nothing is impossible as long as you don't give up.
Crossing the finish line
After we finished the hike, we called to check in with Emily's group.  They had originally thought that they would hike the 3-4 miles to the middle of the mountain and then ride the gondola down.  But when they got to the middle, they were told that they would either have to hike the 3-4 miles back down or keep hiking another 3 miles to the top of the mountain.  After a lot of deliberation, they decided to just keep on hiking, which means they were going to end up hiking a total of 7 miles.  We told them that we would pick up the lunches and meet them at the finish line at the top of the mountain! 
Riding the gondola to the top of the mountain!  I was so proud of Cory for completing his hike!
While we waited on Emily, Jon, Parker and Addison, we enjoyed our lunch that they provided for us.  My parents and Ryan joined us for lunch and we couldn't have asked for a more spectacular view while we ate!
After lunch, we called Emily and found out that they were almost finished with their 7 mile hike so we all went out to meet them at the finish line!
I encouraged Eden and Lily to go and congratulate Parker for doing such a good job on his hike.  They both ran to him and gave him a big hug.  I'm not sure how I got lucky enough to capture this moment but this picture ended up being my favorite one of the day!  It warms my heart to see my kids encourage each other.  Parker is always one of the girl's biggest cheerleaders and it was nice to see them encourage him when he accomplished something huge!
We were so proud of Parker for making it the entire 7 miles up the mountain!  Emily said he pushed through even when it got tough and didn't complain hardly at all!
I know they don't fully understand why we were hiking, but they all did a great job hiking in honor of Cory. 
Our entire hiking group
The whole family
We always try and take some family pictures on our trips to CO and decided to take them on top of the mountain this year.
We are so thankful to Emily and Jon for getting our hiking team organized.  Without them, I don't think we ever would have signed up for such a great event!  One thing I haven't mentioned is that in order to hike, every team member was required to fundraise a certain amount of money for the MS Society.  After we registered, we sent out an email to our family and friends asking for them to support us in our hike.  With such short notice, we weren't sure how much money we were going to be able to raise.  I think we were all shocked that in just three short days we were able to raise over $1400 for the National MS Society.  That is absolutely amazing!!!  We truly do have the most supportive friends and family!!
Just when we thought the day couldn't get any better, we learned that in addition to hosting Hike MS, Keystone was also hosting a children's event from 11-3 on Saturday.  There was face painting, train rides, horseback riding, balloon artists, and bounce houses and it was all FREE for the kids!  After we finished lunch, we rode the gondola back down the mountain and let the kids enjoy an afternoon of fun!
We were all exhausted by the end of the day but it was all worth it!  It truly was a day I will never forget!  It felt so good to hike in honor of Cory and all the other courageous men and women who live with MS every day.  I hope Hike MS is something our family will be able to do again in the future.  We might just have to start planning our summer vacation to Colorado around the hike!

We ended the day with one last family dinner in Colorado and then we packed up our suitcases so that we could get on the road back to Texas bright and early on Sunday morning.  We had such a fabulous week in Breckenridge and I am so thankful for the time away with Cory and the kids.  We definitely made some memories that will last a lifetime!  As much as I hated seeing our vacation come to an end, it felt great to be back home on Monday.  There truly is no place like home!