Thursday, June 22, 2017

Last Day of School!

We did it!! Another school year in the books!! It has been such a crazy last couple of weeks, both at school and on the home front, that I haven't really processed the fact that the year is over. AND the fact that I now have a second and fifth grader! Yikes!!

Here's a snipit of the kids' last day.... 

This was taken earlier in the week, but I need to post this pic of Alyssa. This sweet girl was in kindergarten with Evelyn and stole my heart. She is bright, active and has a big heart. She hasn't been in class with Evelyn since that first year of school, but she and I have always made sure to stay connected one way or another. Her family is moving to Texas so this is her last year here. She wrote me the sweetest note thanking me for being there for her over the years. I was so touched. I will miss this girl very much!! 

The kids were tired and not really excited to have their picture taken, but they mostly cooperated. HA!

Evelyn and her friend and our neighbor Elle. We love the entire Craven family and are thankful they live on our street. We had a fun walk to school with them this morning.

Mrs. Viegas.  We couldn't have asked for a better teacher for Matthew this year. He has grown so much in confidence and we could not be more proud of him. He has become an avid writer and has been a leader in the classroom. What an amazing year he has had, and a lot of the credit goes to Mrs. Viegas. We will all miss her!

Fourth grade Gold Presidential Academic Achievement Award winners! Chase, Minley, Shaye, Alyssa, Evelyn and Tenaya. I have watched these six grow up since kindergarten and am proud of all of them!

My baby girl keeps winning this award... we are so proud of her!

 Mr. Peterson. Evelyn's teacher. He is one of the most kind, hilarious, smart amazing teachers we have ever known. He is so great with this age group. Evelyn and her classmates nicknamed his green jeep "The Green Buffalo" during the Oregon Trail simulation (all cars were considered buffalo), so we got him a license plate frame to remember his class.

After school we headed to Menchie's with a bunch of friends, our tradition the past 4 years. It was SO busy, the busiest it has ever been in all the times we have done this. But.. we all got yogurt and enjoyed our time together. All the mom's decided that we will find a less crazy place next year, tho! :)

Love this boy!

Evelyn and Ellie have worn this matching outfit on the last day of school for 3 years in a row. Silly girls!

Thankful for these 4th grade boys.. they are pretty awesome!

Yay for summer!

Matthew and his buddy Hayden. 

Love these monkeys!!

They really do love each other, can you tell? HA! :)

Why yes, they did eat all that food for dinner. Growing much? :)

The kids wanted to celebrate the end of school by getting our pool floaties ready to go since the pool is going up this coming weekend. They were pretty excited!

Thankful for another great year at Fir Grove and even more thankful to have the kids home for a couple of months!

YAY for summer!!!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day

We celebrated this guy today....

We are all so thankful he is the big daddy in our house. He loves and leads us so well. We love him so very much....

We went to Pepita's for mexican food for dinner and had a lovely time.

The kids were extra silly this evening, and had both Doug and I in stitches!

Happy Father's Day, Doug! We love you!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ben Graduates!!

My Ben

Doug's brother's oldest.

Born when Doug and I were only dating, I wasn't "Aunt Stephanie" so he called me "My Stephanie".

It has been such a joy to watch him grow into such a smart and kind young man.

He graduated from high school tonight.... I am one proud aunt!

My hot date for the night! :)

He's pretty hard to miss with all that red curly hair!

Almost time to head up to get his diploma!

He did it!! 
My nephew Greg... always cheesin'! 

The Gresham Morris crew... love this family!

I know the Lord has big plans for you, Benjamin Ottmar!! 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Running Club

Fir Grove got a new PE teacher this year. She was excited to start some new programs, including a Running Club. Nike comes along side schools to support this club and provides fun things for the kids. Every Wednesday since early October kids would run a certain course after school. They could do the "lap" as many times as they could for the hour they had to run. Matthew was SO excited to run. It was a little surprising to me, to be honest, but let me tell you my boy has ran his heart out this year. Ran so much, in fact, that he ran a total of FOUR marathons... over 100 miles!! He looked forward to it every week and always had a smile on his face before, during and after. I couldn't be more proud of my sweet boy!

Today a little party was held for the kids who participated in running club. The kids ran one small lap and got to cross the finish line one final time.

Matthew crossing the finish line. 

Mrs. Veillgas, the PE teacher. She loved and encouraged Matthew well. I am thankful for her passion for kids' health and for her love for her students. 

Matthew is already looking forward to doing running club next year with the hope of maybe completing five marathons!! We'll see!!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Oregon Trail Day 1

One of best things about our kids' school happens in Fourth Grade. Over the past 15 years they have developed a Oregon Trail/Pioneer/History curriculum that involves a 5 day simulation experience of being "on the trail". It involves dressing the part, making covered wagons, daily history lessons, births, deaths, marriages, and lots and lots of walking. Evelyn has been looking forward to this since before she was even in school, as we used to sit on our driveway when she was little and watch the "march of the pioneers" as they meandered thru our neighborhood.

What's even cooler is that the Morris family actually came across the Oregon Trail from Kansas back in the late 1800's. Doug's dad and Uncle have lots of stories that were passed onto them recalling their family's trip across the country. Evelyn has enjoyed hearing and reading about these stories from her Grandad and it made her more excited for this even to get started!

First... we needed an outfit. Since I am just learning how to sew, making a pioneer costume would not be something I could do. Thankfully we know people who have older kids who went thru this recently and so we had clothes to borrow!!

 My little pioneer! Thank you, Graeper family for letting us borrow such an authentic outfit!

The Morris family did NOT come across the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon. Instead, they came in a  two-wheeled "horse cart". It was smaller, more agile, and made it across the trail with not much trouble. Evelyn's Grandad and Great Uncle actually remember the cart being on their homestead in Cove, OR, almost 100 years after it crossed! Evelyn got a drawing of the cart from her Grandad along with fun stories. It really helped make a personal connection to this whole thing for my sweet girl. And she LOVED building the cart with her dad (well, Doug did most of it.. and it turned out AMAZING!!)

The kids in Evelyn's class were divided into "families". Each family had a covered wagon (or a cart...heehee) that had to hold a certain amount of supplies for the "months" (5 days really) on the trail. Evelyn's cart was smaller, but it fit everything perfectly!

The week of "The Trail" started today. The kids were surprised with a unexpected pancake breakfast before they headed out from Independence, Missouri (hypothetically of course).

Some of the cooking crew... we made over 300 pancakes in the very small teacher's lounge. 

Ready for the kids to eat!
Where it started many years ago...

Sweet Alexis
Elle was "pregnant" on the trail, along with several other girls. Since her mom just had a baby, she did a great job acting the part, rubbing her belly (which was a bag of flour) and waddling. I think this girl is pretty awesome, and thankful that her and Evelyn are good friends!

The "really, mom?" smile! :)

The Putnam family... they were so cute! 
Hawkeye, aka Mr. Peterson. He was ready for a fun week, as were all the teachers. They prepare for this all year, and he was ready to get going. His energy is infectious!

The "Huckleberry Rubberduckies" (OBOB team) were all in different families on the trail, but they made sure to connect often. Love these four faces!! 
Sherman and Jane Putman. Evelyn wasn't thrilled about having to be married, but Marques is such a good kid and they get along well. I think they will do well leading their family! :)

Xavier and Jack...two of my favorite boys in 4th grade! 

Their first group meeting... excited to get started. 

The pioneers left Independence, Missouri and headed out towards Fort Kearney. The trek led the around the school property and then off property into the forest that surrounds our school. Very "trail like" conditions and paths. 

Circling the wagons for snack, hunting, sewing, and school for the pioneer children.

Evelyn... I mean Jane.. is the school teacher for the week. She has taken this job very seriously and was prepared with lessons for the kids. 

The kids made butter, too. Fun!
Me and my girl....
Some pioneers get sick or even die on the trail. These are our first two victims. 
Poor Brendan!

A very fun first day on the trail! The kids were tired but also excited for what the rest of the week will hold!!