Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mother's Day

Brunch, church, dinner with brother and fam, and these wonderful kids (and wonderful hubby taking the pic) - what more could anyone ask for for Mother's Day?

"Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children" ~ Billy Graham

Last Day of School and CC Field Trips

We have FINISHED our school year! Wahoo! Don't these rising 2nd, 1st graders, Pre-K-er, and preschooler look excited?!

We have done our 180 days of school, and I have the attendance charts to prove it! But...we're not totally done with school. We aren't going to take a break from math, or writing, and they're going to continue reading aloud to me and doing silent reading (although no formal reading lessons). We'll start our official new school year in July.

I am proud of them. They have all worked hard. Russell has some weak spots in math and writing, but those have never been his strong suits. His reading level and history and science knowledge are off the charts. Meredith is about 1/3 of the way through with first grade already in all subjects. Paige has met all of the goals I set for her - name writing, recognizes all letters and numbers to 20, beginning phonics. Daphne is speaking in 2-3 word phrases.

We're also not taking a break from CC field trips! As I've said, I love how active our CC group is. Even with CC being over for a month, there have been field trips every week. There were 3 this week alone!

Last week, we all went to an old historic farm that's now owned by the state and operates tours. The tour guide was wonderful, and the kids enjoyed all of it. Even Daphne enjoyed most of it and sat with the big kids for certain parts.

Learning about the cotton crop (perfect since they studied Eli Whitney and the cotton gin this year):

Learning about the kitchen - salted meat, churning butter - also perfect since we read Little House in the Big Woods recently:

Doing farm chores:

The best part - the goats!

This week, we got to see a beautiful performance. One of our CC moms plays with the symphony, so we got to see an open dress rehearsal of the NC symphony with a grammy-winning violinist! 

Daphne did not attend this one. Actually, this one made me realize how much character training we need to do (re: sitting still and using very soft whispers) - I knew this was needed but was reminded again! Still a great performance that I'm glad we went to.

We're ready to enjoy our summer - field trips, math, reading, writing, pool, summer movies, and all the rest!

Adult Beach Vacay!

At the end of April, Jason and I planned a weekend getaway for just the two of us. It had been 6 years (!) since we had gone away without the kids! Our amazing parents all agreed to help babysit. We left Friday afternoon (and we almost didn't, because Meredith spiked a fever as we were about to leave, but Nurse Mimi okayed our trip anyway :)).

We had a nice dinner in downtown Wilmington on Friday night:

We spent Saturday walking around the Wrightsville Beach area - some bike paths and the beach - we walked about 8 miles on Saturday and again Sunday:

And then went to visit two of my best friends from college and their husbands! Hadn't seen either of them in a couple of years, so it was nice to catch up at Erin's house for a couple of hours.

In fact, we had so much fun that we barely made it to our Cape Fear River boat tour, but we DID make it, and really loved hearing the history of the port:

And we ended up eating dinner on the riverfront:

It was an amazing, refreshing vacation. We didn't stop talking the entire time - I think we haven't had enough time to talk in the last few years. We've been a little preoccupied! It was so nice to focus on our marriage.

On Sunday, we walked some more, ate a bit, and then shopped for some gifts for the kids. They each loved their dresses/shirts (although I don't have a picture of Russell in his - he didn't want to change into it immediately like the girls did):

Ready to make it a yearly tradition!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

It was a beautiful Easter Day! He is risen! He is risen, indeed!

The kids were excited to look in their Easter baskets this morning. Just little things, but they loved it :) Each got a chocolate cross, some peeps, a Christian book and movie, some faith stickers, a prayer journal, and a new fun cup.

We made resurrection rolls and bacon for breakfast - yum!

And then, I made everyone go outside for a quick picture before church, because that's what I do ;) Meredith did a good job on the pic of Jason and me!

We had a beautiful church service about the Living Hope we have inherited! (1 Peter 1.)

Then, the big girls and I dyed Easter eggs:

And I have no pics from the rest of the day, but we also got a visit from Uncle Bart and Aunt Nancy, had Easter dinner with Paw Paw, and visited Kacki's grave. It would have been so nice to have her here, but she celebrated Easter in the best place possible. 

All in all, it was a fun, peaceful day! Thank You, Lord, for blessing us.

CC: Last Day and Medieval Celebration

Our last day of CC for the year was on Tuesday! We have loved it and are sad it's over, but so glad we are part of an active community that still has several play dates and field trips planned! And we've already registered for next year.

(Last day selfie!)

On the last day, the kids got to try out their physics experiments - a bridge and an egg protector that they constructed in small teams, with no adult help. Most of the bridges held, but most of the eggs broke - it probably didn't help that they were dropped from so high!

Our director planned a wonderful end-of-year celebration that was held last Thursday night. Since we learned about medieval history this year, the theme and decorations were based around that time period. There was a family-style dinner, and each class presented some of their work.

Meredith's 6th birthday!

Meredith had 2 birthday celebrations!

First, it was her year to have a party with friends. She chose a Beanie Boo adoption party - she LOVES Beanie Boos. And she now has a menagerie of them. She also LOVES her friends! She ended up inviting 7 friends, plus 2 cousins, and of course her sisters and brother, so we had a full house and she had a blast! Each child adopted a new Beanie Boo, filled out an adoption certificate, took it to the vet station for a check-up, and made a collar for it. And of course, there were snacks and CAKE!

On her actual birthday, we had a second (low-key) celebration. We visited Jon and Meghan at their new house, played a bunch outside (it was gorgeous), had a cook out for dinner, and ate Peeps cupcakes!

Happy sixth birthday. precious girl!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Random Misc

We found a fun, new park near us that we call "the sheep park" because there are about 10 large sheep sculptures that the kids love to play on, like this one:

Daphne, you are growing SO fast. Learning to keep up with the big kids at every turn, and loving it.

Fun with giant chess pieces at the children's museum:

Our littlest (13%) Irish lass on St Patrick's Day: