Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Celebrating 9 & 7 with Family

The first Saturday in May, in between their birthdays, we celebrated JJ and Sydney!
They wanted a party together and a cookie cake with a photo of the 2 of them with Holly :)
We started the morning at Luke's baseball game, moved to Sydney's 
volleyball game and then home to celebrate with all four grandparents.
It was a beautiful spring day and a great afternoon...
They had a great day together and love each other so much.  
I'm so thankful for their relationship.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Happy 9th Birthday Sydney!

Happy 9th birthday Sydney!
I know you will have a great birthday.
 At 9, you are absolutely a joy to be around.  You are sweet, smart, considerate of others and God's beautiful child.  You are also tough and I've seen this over and over through some less than fun situations and conversations over the past few months.  You love Legos, watermelon, Star Wars, Holly, and volleyball.  You are learning about golf, read Babysitters Club and plan out all kinds of things for you and the boys to do.
 You have a big summer coming up and only 4 more days of school. Celebrating your birthday this year also means celebrating the end of testing.

A mom who recently had you for a couple hours in her home texted me to say how much she loved you, how she hoped you would influence her daughter and how you are like a ray of sunshine.  You are my sunshine. 

You are so much fun.
Of course, I wish time would slow down but it is just an honor to watch you grow, learn and mature during this stage of life.  I try to make the most of each day.  AND...
I thank God every day for giving us a daughter just like you.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Luke's Preschool Graduation

Luke is officially a preschool graduate!

After three years of spending Tuesdays & Thursdays at ELC,
he performed in his precious graduation program.



The teachers there are so good-they always help the kiddos prepare to show off their knowledge and personality.  Ms. Karen and Ms. Deana were Luke's teachers this year.
It's been a fun year and an amazing place to attend preschool! 

The day was extra special for Luke because Buddy, Nana and
Nanny were all able to attend to share this special time with us.
AND it was also Nana's birthday so lots to celebrate!

I never want to take for granted when I get to be a part of such special times....
We love you sweet boy--- you have rocked it out in preschool and K here we come!

Luke, your big smile truly says it all-it was a wonderful day!

Friday, May 20, 2016

JJ's Field Trip

Luckily it worked out for Luke and I to tag along for JJ's field trip this year.  The first grade went to Lost River Cave for the day.  He was so happy that we were able to come, and so excited about the day in general.  The night before, he said he couldn't sleep because he was so excited :)

Luke and I met them when they arrived in their busses. 
The morning included a hike, time on the nature playground and lunch. 
I loved sharing the day with my two boys and this sweet one kept picking me beautiful flowers.
 Love him and treasure my time with him so much!
After lunch it was time for their boat ride.
This was the part of the trip JJ was most excited about.


After the underground boat ride, it was time to gather everyone back up and head to the Animal Encounters and learn about several of their animals.
 He had a great day.  We all three had a great day!
 And then the trip was (too quickly) over. 
Love you buddy!  So glad I could be a part of your field trip this year.  You are one fun little boy, and I am one blessed mommy!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Golf Lessons

Sydney and JJ started golf lessons in April.  They go once a week to a local course and get instruction from one of the golf pros.  They really enjoy it and look forward to returning to lessons each week with Daddy who is also there to help them.  Practicing with Daddy in between lessons is also fun. 
 It is exciting to see them try a new sport together!
And, I can't believe how well they can hit it at times.

Love my golfers!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Sydney's Day at WKU

A few weeks ago, WKU hosted "Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day."  2nd-12th graders were invited for the full day in their honor.  I was so glad that Sydney was able to come.  They really pulled out all the stops for the 100 or so kids who could make it.  The day started with breakfast, which unfortunately we missed due to an unexpected stop at the orthodontist. 

Soon after we did make it , President Ransdell and Big Red showed up.


She got to choose 4 different sessions to attend from a big list-2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.  I got to enjoy lunch with her in between.


She learned more about the judicial system with political science, painted her own birdhouse with woodworking, and created and enjoyed her own pizza and cupcake with catering.  Her favorite session of the day was with CanDoo, WKU's therapy Golden Retriever.  Having the day of school was a bonus for her also!

I was glad she could have be a part, and she can't wait til' it comes around next year.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

You're All My Favorites

Sydney, JJ, Luke:
I've been spending time in reflection and prayer this week before Mother's Day for the three of you, and for us.  As the time narrows for Luke to head off to Kindergarten, I feel God also preparing me for another stage in the life of our family. 

For the past nine years, he has provided me with such a precious gift as I have been able to be home with the three of you minus a few days when thankfully you were also able to experience  preschool.  On the tail end of this phase, I am reflecting and realizing that I would not trade this time for anything in the whole world.  As a matter of fact, I would have likely never forgiven myself if these years were filled more with my time at work vs. my time as your mom.



A sweet children's book I've had on my bookshelf here for years is called "You're All My Favorites." It is about three little bears who pose the question to mom and dad, " which one of us do you love most?" 

You're all my favorites.

Sydney,
You've always been my favorite.  I've always loved you best because you were our first miracle. It took a little too long to get your here but the timing was all in God's hands.  You had all the gear, enough clothes for three babies, and a brand new mom and dad who had so very much to learn.  You are the only one to know what it's like to have my undivided attention and you taught me what unconditional love was.  You made me a mom.  You changed everything.  At times throughout your childhood, I have realized that I expect too much out of you.  You have chosen to love me with all your sweet heart and tell me I'm the best mom anyway.


JJ,
You've always been my favorite.  I've always loved you the best because you drew the tough title of "middle child" and made this an overwhelming positive.  You cried less, had more patience, and never in your young life had a chance to go first. But that only made you more special.  You were never more than a few steps away from me and have melted my heart every step of your childhood.  You were the one who taught us to relax a little more and helped us realize that the world wouldn't be over if you missed a day (or two) between baths.  You are the reason our hearts ached for another child, when we originally thought two was our number.




Luke,
You've always been my favorite.  I've always loved you best because you are such a joy! You readily accepted the room upstairs by yourself, the worn clothes and toys, the incomplete baby book that had next to nothing written in it.  You are the one we held on to so tightly because by the third time around we knew just how quickly you were going to grow up. You were flexible and ready to roll with whatever life brought.  You simultaneously hold (to this day) the following titles: sweetest, funniest and most stubborn and competitive.  You helped us relax, LAUGH and enjoy this amazing opportunity God had given us to raise three incredible children.




None of you has ever asked me the question, but just in case you ever do wonder: I will never have a favorite.  We will never have a favorite.  You're all three our favorites, and that's the way it will always be.




Thursday, May 5, 2016

Spring Break 2016

We spent the kids spring break week this year with Buddy and Nana in Orlando.

It was an awesome week of enjoying rides, hotels, shopping, shows, swimming and other activities.  The weather was beautiful and it was such a blessing that my mom and dad could be there with us. 

Everyone stayed healthy and enjoyed the week together.
 

I know how special it was to my mom and dad to be able to experience Disney with the kids.
 
The kids are all about Star Wars so that is the main focus for us now.  Between the characters, ride, launch bay, jedi training, jawa trading, shows and some amazing fireworks, there is plenty of Star Wars to go around for now...and more to come in a few years with Star Wars Land.
 Trading with the Jawas was new and one of their favorite things of the entire trip.
I believe we visited the Jawas three different times.
 Seeing and talking with Mickey (and Minnie for Sydney) is always near the top of the list too.

 We stayed the last part of the trip at Animal Kingdom Lodge and the kids declared it the best ever.  We had amazing views from our room and at time could see four giraffes at a time.
 They also loved the activities at the hotel-from pool parties, cookie and cake decorating, pin trading with King Pin, roasting marshmallows for s'mores and playing in the Community Room-safe to say they couldn't get enough of the place.

Sydney loved playing on the photo booth in the Community Room-I bet she took 100 photos, posing herself and her stuffed animals.

 JJ was quite the celebrity at Disney because he was wearing a "Happy Birthday" button.  I bet he heard happy birthday 20 times a day or more.

He got a birthday card from Pooh & friends at one meal and Mickey & friends at another.
One day walking into Hollywood Studios, one of the photographers said he had a phone call.  When JJ took it, it was Goofy singing Happy Birthday to him.

We left to come home on his birthday, but spent a while at (his choice) Hollywood Studios that morning.  He even got me on Tower of Terror for this first time on his big day. 


I did survive.

And he got to see his favorite Wookie too.  Chewy was fond of his outfit and gave him a big hug.

It was a great week together, and I am so thankful for special time and memories!