Friday, June 28, 2013

Their Racing Careers have Started!

After going to the race track and watching the Quarter Midgets race, Doug has been talking to the kids about getting a go-kart. They seemed super excited about the idea, so both Doug and I started looking on Craigslist for a used one. We found a super deal on a well cared for one and surprised the kids with it the other evening. Needless to say they were over the moon excited!!

Is that what I think it is?

YES!! A new Go-Kart!

Um.. yeah... they were freaking out a bit!

 I made them calm down for a decent picture.. HA!

Matthew still has some learning to do, especially with the throttle (translation... he makes it go super fast then crashes it!) He loves it, tho!!

Evelyn is actually quite good and zips around the yard with ease. Look out Danica Patrick!

We look forward to much fun with our new toy!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Random Summer Shots

Here are some random pics I have taken since summer break has started. They are just cute and thought they should be posted

$1.50 swim noodle = copious amount of fun OUT of the pool!!

I told them they couldn't hit my camera... they got as close as they could!

Evelyn, Juliet and Kayley had a fun week at our church VBS and were excited that the castle was still up at church the following Sunday and wanted me to take a picture!

They love their "Grampy Hairdo"... and he loves them back!

Princess play date!

Little Miss... my friend's beautiful girl!

Kindergarten buddies!

Matthew could NOT stop laughing at this picture when I showed it to him.... and told me to put it on my "bwog". So here it is. My boy looking kind of creepy in his too-small chicken costume from last Halloween!!

And there it is.. randomness at its finest!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Toddler Whisperer

Evelyn and Matthew enjoy Sunday school at church very much. But it wasn't always that way. Both of them had "separation issues" (and if I am being honest, I had them too! HA!), Matthew especially. But there was on person who helped both my kids move past that for whom I am forever grateful for.

His name is John. aka "The Toddler Whisperer".

John is a high school science teacher. He will tell you that he started teaching the 2's class at church when his daughter was two. While she moved on as she got bigger... he stayed. 17 years and counting!

John has a way with little people that is hard to put into words. He is calm, gentile, and compassionate, yet he doesn't mind the chaos that can ensue when you get a bunch of 2 year olds together. I love how he will quietly go sit down in the middle of his room and start playing with toys. It is inevitable that within moments most of his charges will be there with him engaging with him and having a super time.

Both my kids learned so much in John's class. From how to "flap your hands like a bird" after rubbing in hand sanitizer to dry it, to learning Bible truths, they both will always remember their time with Teacher John.

Evelyn remembers "Bible story time" (shocker..haha!) and how he would let her sit on the big black bean bag chair and help read the story "all the time". She remembers playing playdoh with him and Teacher Rachel (his daughter, who worked along side him in class) and how he would always make funny things and encourage her to do the same. John would probably say he remembers how Evelyn would not stop talking..haha! She truly remembers his class fondly... almost 5 years later!

Matthew  has struggled a lot being away from me, so much that for the first two years of his life, he would not go to Sunday school without me with him. I was excited for him to move up to Teacher John's class, certain he would do well. We had a rocky start, with lots of hysterics for a few weeks. I vividly remember the day I told Matthew I was going to get coffee (mostly to work on him being without me for chunks of time) and was going to come back. As I was leaving, John very gently yet firmly said, "don't come back... we'll be fine." It wasn't pretty from what I understand, but he got thru it, and was fine from that point on. Because there were only a few kids Matthew's age in his class, he got to be in John's class for 2 years.. and they developed a very special relationship. John could read Matthew well and knew how best to get him to interact and participate, and also knew when he just needed to put my sweet boy on his lap and read him a book. Matthew loves "Teacher John" and would wait for him on the bench outside his class, refusing to go in until John was there. When John was not there on a given Sunday, there would usually be tears. It was such a wonderful two years for Matthew.

The time came last weekend to say goodbye to John and move up to the "big boy" classrooms. I spent a lot of time praying for Matthew about this, knowing it may be a hard transition. I, too, was sad (and have tears as I type this...) to say goodbye to John and Josh (his son... who took over for Rachel when she was old enough to teach her own class). A chapter of life coming to a close... a special one, too... those are hard for me, even if part of life! Although there were tears at starting a new class ("I want Teacher Johhhhnnnnn!!!".. he pleaded!), he now is enjoying his new class.  But I also know he misses his beloved teacher!

John, thank you for your dedication, your servant heart, your love for kids, and for being such a special part of our lives. My kids will always remember you. Always. As will Doug and I. We are thankful we still will get to see you and say hi every week at church!

If only every kid could be blessed as we have by the "Toddler Whisperer"!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Racing Fun

Both our kids are into motor sports. Whether it be NASCAR, motorcycle racing, or monster trucks, they enjoy watching it and talk about being involved in racing at some point in their lives. We have a track here in town that is known for its Quarter Midget racing, which is  small, motorized go-kart like cars. We decided to take the kids down their last weekend to watch them race. They LOVED it!

We came home and spent the rest of the day in the backyard. The kids were extra silly!

Thankful for a fun day with my family!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Evelyn's First "Last Day of School"!

Last September we all started out on a new adventure... school!

Remember this?

FIRST day!

And now here we are..

ALL DONE with Kindergarten!  

As Evelyn said, "It seems like I just started and now it's over!" I couldn't have said it better myself!

What a year it has been. Evelyn has experienced so much, learned so much, and grown so much these past 9 months. We are so proud of how hard she has worked and thankful this has been such an amazing year for her. Although there were days when she just wanted to "stay home and play", for the most part she was excited for school every day! While she soared academically (which was no surprise to us), her biggest growth came in her social skills. She has learned a lot about being courageous and speaking up, being a good classmate and friend, and standing up for what she believes in and doing the right thing. Not that learning those things came easy, and she still has lots to learn, but I can see the way she has blossomed so much in this area and for that I am thankful.

I have just begun to process my thoughts and feelings about this school year being over. Many mixed emotions for sure. One thing is for sure, my prayer life has increased ten fold, which I am thankful for! I know that God has held my baby girl (yes, I will probably always call her that!) close and walked with her this year. He gave me a peace that only He can give as I said goodbye to her every day. He knows, He sees, He guides, and He loves like no other. This has been so apparent to me this year. 

One of the biggest blessings of the year was Mrs. Pearson, Evelyn's teacher. I knew the moment I met her at Kindergarten orientation over a year ago that she was going to be amazing. And she was. She loves what she does, she commands the classroom, and the kids know she is in charge and respect that (for the most part..haha!). She is not "gooey sweet", but loves her students dearly and it shows. Despite having 33 kids in her class (yes, 33), she made each kid feel important and excited to learn. It was such a treat to watch her work each week when I helped in the classroom. I will miss her probably as much as Evelyn. She is a gem. 

I told Evelyn she needed to write a thank you note to Mrs. Pearson. Evelyn loves to read, and is already reading 2nd grade level things, but she isn't so fond of writing. The funny things is that like me, she expresses herself  writing just as well if not better than talking. She can write, she just would rather not! :) But she wanted to make sure to thank her beloved teacher, so she sat down to write. 

I did NOT expect this...

This was all done by her, from her heart. I was so touched.. and I know Mrs. Pearson was, too! (click the image to see it bigger)

On Tuesday, Mrs. Pearson highly suggested that Evelyn and I come to the end-of-year assembly at school Thursday, even tho it was in the morning (she is in PM kindy). I tried to press for more info, but got the impression that maybe they were going to acknowledge volunteers or something, and that it wasn't that big of a deal. I still thought it would be fun to have Evelyn see the assembly, so we went. I had NO idea what was to come.

Towards the end of the assembly, which was great, nothing had happened that involved us. Then Mrs. Marson, the principal, started talking about the Presidential Academic Achievement Awards, two gold and two silver, given to two students in each grade. Gold is for academic excellence, Silver is for improvement over the year. Well.. guess who got one of the gold awards? My Evelyn!! This proud momma was in a puddle of tears as Evelyn walked up in front of the whole school to get her awards with her friends. She was so excited!

The kindy award winners!

Evelyn and Abigail, both Gold Award winners and friends!

Jackie and Chase are two of the sweetest kids EVER and have worked SO hard this year to learn well and totally deserve the Silver Awards. So proud of them! Here are the four of them with Mrs. Pearson! She was pretty proud of them, too!

So proud of my girl! She is now determined to work hard and get this award EVERY year! Aim high, Evelyn!

Sending her off to class was hard! Seeing her walk down that hallway, hang her backpack on her hook.. this sappy soul held back the tears the best she could!

Thankfully Abigail's mom Rebecca is a normal Thursday helper and took my camera to capture moments of the last day.

The whole gang.. I will miss these sweet faces! I have come to love each of them over the year!

Mrs. Pearson doing "her thing"! The kids LOVE her!

The kids each had a paper with their name in big letters in the middle of it. Then the kids went around and signed their name on everyone's paper. A neat idea!

Evelyn's name paper!

The PM class got to participate in the 5th grade "Clap Out".. where the 5th graders get high fives from the entire school as they leave the school for the last time. The kids got a real kick out of that!

Here they come!

Time for one last story. Sigh....

Sweet Alissa... she has one of the most genuine smiles and a personality to match!

Evelyn getting her "I'm a First Grader" pencil at the end of class.

We love you, Mrs. Pearson!

After a tearful good bye to Mrs. Pearson and our friends (whom I am sure we will see this summer, so that makes it a bit easier!), we headed to Menchie's for frozen yogurt, Evelyn's choice of a celebratory treat. 

My pretty baby...

Looking back over the past year with a smile, and ready to go forward with joy.. and with a FIRST GRADER!! 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Celebrating Birthdays

My niece Regan turned FIVE yesterday! Crazy! We had a fun time celebrating her. My older sister decided to come over from Idaho with her kids, too. Since my nephew Curtis turns 13 (yikes) next on Saturday we celebrated him too! It was a fun evening with my family.

It was in the upper 70's.. and my sweet boy HAD to wear his "digger vest". It's a size 2T but he could care less if it is too small! Love him!

That's my silly boy!

Evelyn, cousin Abby and Matthew getting some swing time. They love her!

Evelyn lent me a bracelet to wear that matched hers. :)

He loves his daddy!

This is how an almost teenager enjoys a party! :)

Evelyn and Aunt Michelle

All the little cousins gathered around Abby. who had her tablet out.

Happy about her new doll!


The birthday girl excited about the birthday boy opening his presents!

Curtis with his personal cake!

 All the kids had fun playing with the adults throughout the evening!

Happy Birthday Tater and Curtis!