Tuesday, August 27, 2013

High Dive

It's (almost) the end of summer-I'm with my grandmother in West Virginia 5 hours away last week and Jeff is at home with the kids.  He sends me a text with a picture to open.  Here's what I see:
And that would be my 4 year old.
I'm pretty sure my heart skipped a beat.  I was pretty surprised.
This is a little boy who has tackled some fears this summer.
LeAnn reminds me that this is the boy who didn't want his face splashed with water last summer...
And now here was his first jump off the high dive!

Next text...another picture-

Sydney is also going off the high dive!!
She's never done that either.

So then I start to wonder-who went first??
My guess was JJ, and turns out I was right.
Jeff said he went off several times and finally she decided that she would not be outdone.
However, she didn't like it and her first time was her last :)  She says "it's too fast."
Not JJ-he went off over and over again, and did the same over the weekend!

And what about baby brother the dare devil?

Well, he really wanted to-but this is as close as he got:

I'm sure it won't be long til he's jumping off with his big brother too.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


This past week we lost my grandfather, who was 88.
The last five years were really hard and, sadly, he suffered a lot during the last month.

In preparing for the visitation, funeral service-we were looking through photos and came upon this one.

Nearly 68 years ago, on November 28, 1946, my grandparents began their lives as a married couple.

She was the most devoted wife I've ever known and cared for him to the very end.  We are praying for her tonight as she begins a new chapter in her life.

Monday, August 19, 2013

First Day of Preschool

Last Thursday, JJ & Luke had their first day back to preschool. 

JJ is in the 4 year old class at ELC this year. 
He was both excited and nervous, but had a wonderful first day.
He's finally at the school where I really wanted him all along.
Thankful that I've been able to maneuver my work schedule to make it work. 

Luke is in the 2 year old class at ELC as well.
He walked in like he owned the place, and had a great day too.

Jeff and I couldn't say enough about this school and the amazing people who work there.

JJ's teacher this year is my friend Karen.  He loves Karen and they go way back :) since he has always been around her and she was also his 2 year old Sunday School teacher a couple years ago. 
I know she and Ms Emily will be so good for him, and I got to call Karen right after school Thursday to get the scoop on him.  (Yes, I am that mom, at least when it comes to JJ I am that mom.)

I was thrilled to hear what a great day he had and even more so that when the teachers asked everyone to take turns doing so...he introduced himself!!!  Thinking back even a year ago, that is just amazing!

Luke was asleep on his blanket when I got there-I was shocked.  All he wanted to talk about was the playground!
Here's to a great year for both my sweet sweet boys!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Boys "Back to School" Fun

My girls Dwan and LeAnn and I decided that our little kiddos needed to have some back to school fun before they headed back to preschool.  We decided to make it a day in Owensboro where all three of our families have joined the Science Center.  We also invited a couple other sweet friends along and hit Smothers Park playground, fountains and the Science Center along with a picnic lunch. 

JJ, Averi, Caleb, & Rebekah are all at ELC together in the pre K class.  Luke and Ella Lu are there too in the 2 and 3 year old class.

We left BG as soon as all the "big" kids were dropped off at school and got home in time to pick them up.  It was such a great day.  Love my sweet friends and thankful that my kids to grow up with such great friends. 
Not sure who enjoyed more...the kids or the moms.  In fact, so much fun-let the back to school fun continue-getting together with the same crew next Monday too.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

We May Not Have A Bike Trailer,

but my husband improvised and found a way for all five of us to "bike" together.

And Luke loves this-he rides along saying "faster, Daddy faster!"

Sunday, August 11, 2013

North Carolina

In mid July, Jeff attends a national conference with other church administrators.  This year, the conference was in Charlotte and the four of us were able to tag along for the fun.

When we realized that there was a Great Wolf just 15 minutes away from downtown, we knew this had to be a part of our travel plan.  We headed down a couple days early to take advantage..

We were there when the waterpark opened on our checkin day and stayed until about 4:00 the next day-they all just loved it!  The crowds were very low and we did it all...multiple times.

Sydney and JJ loved it all, including the big water slides.  There was only one that they weren't tall enough to ride.
Luke did everything he could and loved it too..except for the characters.

 At night, they all enjoy story time and SG and JJ love seeing the characters.
And by 9:00, we were all worn out!
This time our room was a "wolf den" room.
We really love Great Wolf and can't wait to go back again!  

After leaving GW, it was time for the conference to start so we moved along to downtown Charlotte, where we spent the next four days.

We were in a very business oriented hotel and the first two days we were there, I did not see ANY other kids.  0!!!  It was a challenge at breakfast and other times to keep them calm, but overall I was very proud...and they received several compliments for their behavior-I guess my "pep talks" worked a little - ha.

I love this picture of them (from breakfast one morning)....just loving life and enjoying each other.

Jeff's meetings weren't over until about 5:00 each night, so the kids and I were on our own during the day.  I took them to swim,  the movies, the Science Center (twice), and to Concord Mills where they got to build a bear and do some other shopping.

One of their projects at the Science Center:

Luke's first time to "build a bear!"

Another thing they loved about Charlotte were the fountains-not sure what the deal was, but there were fountains all over the place in the downtown.  We kept a good supply of pennies for wishes, and went on several "fountain walks."

Out of the four days-Luke jumped in two different fountains.

Note that Sydney is looking at me with the look of "oh my, I don't think he should have done that," while JJ thinks this is looking like a good idea.

It was a great week for all five of us.  Thanks Daddy for letting us all come along for the ride!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

First Day of School

Today was Sydney's first day back of school.  She was a little hesitant but all smiles this morning. 

She is not scared of school at all, actually enjoys it-she would just rather be at home.  We all four took her and walked her to her classroom.  She did great and went right in to find her seat.  I had an awful feeling in my stomach but did a lot better than last year.  We missed her all day long.  Luke asked about her 50 times.  JJ didn't understand why today was not a good day to go eat lunch with her.  I just couldn't wait to see her sweet face.

I was excited to pick her up and loved hearing all about her first day of first grade.  I had emailed her teacher a question and it made me feel even better to get a response from her teacher saying "Sydney had a great first day today!  I am so happy she is in my class!!!"


Sydney and I have been riding our bikes together a lot lately.  I love having this time with her and enjoy the conversations we have.

Sydney: Mommy do you know what a BFF is?

Me: Yes, I do.

Sydney: Me too, but I don't have just one BFF.  I have lots of good friends.

Me: That is great Sydney.  I am very proud of that.

Sydney: Well, actually I do.  My BFF's are you & JJ & Daddy & Luke.

No wonder I am so sad that her summer vacation is over.  We are thankful that God has blessed her with such a sweet spirit!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

To My First Grader:

I have had the most amazing summer with you, and your two brothers.

The time has flown by, and my goal was to make the most of each and every day.

We made a pact at the beginning of the summer-that this would be the best summer ever.

You have periodically told me that this is the best summer ever and I'm so glad you feel that way.

I love you, and I sure will miss you.

I'm not the only one either.

I pray that your first grade year is just amazing!

Love, Mommy

Sunday, August 4, 2013

That Huge Smile

The beautiful smile I've always adored.

It's about to change.

She is just about ready to lose that first tooth :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Goodbye Training Wheels

Tonight was a very big night for Sydney!

It was the night she decided that she was ready to say goodbye to those training wheels.  Actually after trying early in the summer and then giving up on it, she (halfway) decided last night and had some success for a few yards at a time...but she was so scared.  Tonight she was determined!

And Daddy was right with her every pedal.

At first, for a long while, he was running with her.  JJ was her cheerleader every step of the way, saying "Sydney you are doing a great job."  It was very sweet.

And then, Daddy was worn out...all the running-faster, faster as she got more and more confidence.  Sydney wanted to know why he wasn't keeping up with her anymore-ha!

Soon he had a better plan- and they were riding bikes together.  They took off down the way they had been going...and kept going.
And when they didn't come back I knew...they were going all the way around our circle.  I was waiting with Luke and soon, I saw this:

After more riding with Daddy, she wanted to go with me, and we rode over a couple of blocks to see if her friend Riley was home.

Believe it or not, she only had one crash (um, into a lightpole).

She was so proud of herself tonight.  And we had one proud Daddy too.

Before she was done for the night she tells me, "Mommy, I don't ever want training wheels again!"

YHEA for you Sydney Grace!