Friday, June 20, 2014

First Days of Summer

We kicked summer off with dinner and swimming at the Scogins. Such a perfect start to summer!! We swam for a couple of hours first and the kids were starving when dinner came! We left with tired kids and full bellies, the markings of a perfect evening. :)

Our first week of summer was actually very busy. Harrison had basketball camp on Monday - Thursday in the morning and then baseball camp on Wednesday - Friday afternoons. He was certainly tired by the time that the week was over! But, I'm so proud of him sticking it out and finishing it all up. We had softball a couple of nights that ran late as well. And, Grammy came to visit for a couple of days in the middle of the week while Pops had a meeting up our way. Madeleine had some school friends come play while Harrison was at camp and we played with the Scogin girls too. Such a super-fun first week of summer!!
We ended the first week of summer by celebrating Father's Day! We had a yummy lunch at home and the kids gave him the gifts they had chosen for him. This year, each of them planned a "date" with Daddy and we got a gift card to go along with the date. They also chose one chore that they would do to "help" Daddy  -- take out the trash or blow off the yard, etc. 

We are so thankful to have the best Daddy! I am blessed to get to spend every day with my best friend and true love -- there is no one I'd rather partner with in this crazy life we have! 
Most of this week has been spent at the pool, lazing around and relaxing. The kids are happy to swim anytime and all the time. :)
We had snocones one night after a long afternoon of swimming -- and before Madeleine headed on to softball. We love our little local snocone joint.
We also made our second trip to the library this week. Charlotte chose a book about Dots that she loves. Ha! Madeleine and Harrison are on books 7 and 4 for the summer so far.
And, I'm enjoying our weekly library visits as well. This is the first year that I don't have to be in the pool with them. Madeleine can touch everywhere and Harrison can swim well and Char is good in her floaties. I watch them and get to read at bit too. :) This week I've finished 2 great books -- Sarah's Key and Into the Free. I'd highly recommend both of them!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

End of School Fun

Our last days of school were busy as expected. We sent a care package to Cormac back (actually back at easter) and this is the letter Harrison put in. I had to snap a picture of it -- Harrison is just the sweetest little boy! 
Our district does an all-district track meet for 4th graders. Madeleine competed in 3 events and did great. It was a packed house at the field that day -- and it was HOT! Charlotte and I were able to go up for a bit that morning and see her. Matt was able to come by and see her too.

Charlotte and I spent the day with Titus back in May when his sister was sick. These 2 are just so funny together! We had a great time playing at open gym, eating lunch at the mall, hitting the play area then riding the escalators and elevators before we left. Oh, and there was ice cream in there too, of course!

Madeleine started playing softball again this year. This is her 3rd year to play, and her 4th season -- thanks to getting to play fall ball last year. :) She is doing great this year and the games are getting really exciting to watch! Sharon & I bought the girls matching headbands at the mall one day -- aren't Madeleine & Linsdey cute!?
The boys headed off to hit some balls one Saturday morning. Harrison loved his special time with Dad!

Madeleine's class went on an end of the year field trip to the F'ville Boys and Girls Club -- which is just across the street from school so they were actually able to walk over there. Nice! They played all kinds of arcade games, basketball, rock climbing, and even went swimming. Fun!

Another softball picture -- taken on the day that Charlotte hit her head HARD at tumbling and still finished out her lesson....and Madeleine caught the entire softball game and even took a ball to the face mask without even flinching. My tough girls!!
And, we finally made it to the last day of school. Let me just say that snow days in January are fun, but making them up into June is not! We were sooooo ready to school to be over this year. Our summer is already shortened because our school is changing over to a CLC (continuous learning calendar) and we will start school the first week in August -- but the extra 3 weeks we have off during the year are going to be so worth it!
Harrison had a great year! We are so thankful that he was in Mrs. Brown's class. He told me as we left that day that he thought he might cry because he was going to miss her next year. He's done so well in her class --she has encouraged him as we've transitioned into chapter books, and keeps books he likes in her room. He's a reading machine -- he can read an entire chapter book in an afternoon and will not put a good book down. We often find him curled up in his bed (late) at night hiding a book under the covers because he just can't put it down.
And, Madeleine with her teacher Mrs. Meesey.  Madeleine did not  want school to end. She absolutely loved school this year! She's made great friends and is a leader in her class -- she has just had an all around good year. Her test scores were great and she even maxed out on possible words per minute read. She is extremely strong in math and can do some serious mental math!
It was a little bittersweet this year. This was Madeleine's very last day of elementary school. I remember so so well the first day of Kindergarten and now we are weeks away from the first day of Middle School. I can remember picking her up the last day of kindergarten too and feeling like we'd accomplished so much that first year of school. And, now 5 years later and she's not a little girl any more, but growing into a beautiful young lady, sweet and funny and athletic; a great big sister full of patience. She exudes confidence and joy wherever she goes. I am daily finding things that I enjoy doing with her more and more. She is my helper and I am enjoying every moment that I get to be a part of helper her grow up.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Family Baseball

 One of our favorite family pastimes in the summer is to get out and play baseball together. Matt generally pitches and I get the balls that are hit into the street and the kids field and take turns hitting. Occasionally, I'll even hit the ball -- the kids love that. Ha!

I love our evenings that we spend outside together. Sometimes Matt & I sit and watch the kids ride bikes or play in the yard. But, I think my favorite of all is playing ball together.

Monday, June 9, 2014

End of Year Awards

 The kids had their awards ceremony last wednesday at school. Matt was able to be there that morning too and we loved watching our kiddos get celebrated for working hard all year long!

Madeleine got Principals Honor Roll -- all As all year! And, she got the Pride Award for her class. This is a very special award for one kid per class for being a leader all year. I'm so proud of my girl! She came into a  new school and made good friends and worked hard all year!

 Harrison got an award for not clipping down all year (aka good behavior/not getting in trouble all year). He also got an award for being a High Flier all year. He had worked hard too this year and has had a great year too! I'm so proud of him!
I have to add one thing -- when Harrison's class came in to sit down at the assembly, he kept motioning to me and Matt to come over to him. We just kept telling him that we could see just fine, but he kept on waving toward us. So, I walked over to see what he needed. Then he told me, pointing to one aisle, that he'd be walking that way after he got his awards so I needed to be sure and stand over there so I could get his picture. Hehe! I don't think we need to worry about Harrison not having enough self confidence ever!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Seeing the Future

 Harrison was "working" on Charlotte's car Saturday afternoon.

Then the 2 of them took off together -- Harrison at the wheel and Charlotte controlling the radio. 

I can't help but think --that in what I know will seem like just a few short years-- the 2 of them will be heading off to school like this.

Hopefully in a car that isn't pink. :)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Graduation Weekend

We have been counting down the days until May 10th, 2014 for many, many years at our home. It seemed at time as if it would never come, but the closer we got, time seemed to speed up and before we knew it graduation weekend was here!

The first part of the week leading up to graduation weekend I sent Charlotte to my parents so that I could run all the last minute errands quicker and she could have much more fun than she would have had at home that week. It was also Teacher Apprec week at the big kids school and I'd volunteered on Friday to help with lunch for the teachers that day. After lunch, I met up with my parents and Charlotte and we picked up Matt's cake and the food for lunch the next day.

Matt's parents got into town around dinner time and we all went out to eat at our favorite mexican place -- yummy! Everyone turned in early that night -- we had to be up bright and early the next morning. Graduation started at 8:30 and Matt had to be there at 7:30.

We got the kids up and all went on with him. It was a little surreal walking up to the arena that morning. We beat most of the crowd -- but all the Ph.D. students were there with their families. Haha! I guess when you've worked this hard for something you want to enjoy every minute of the day. After waiting 5 years to see this -- having to wait an hour for it to start and being there early to get a good seat was nothing! 

I snapped this picture as we walked in. Love it! 

Matt texted me this picture as we were waiting.
Miss Charlotte in her Razorback dress. :)

I opted for video of the graduation so I don't have any pictures of that. But, it was a great! And, the kids were soooo good sitting through all of it. After we took tons of pictures. It was well documented. ;) We sported all Razorback colors that day.

Instead of going out to eat to celebrate we came home and had BBQ (of course!). I did appetizers and we had such a nice time sitting and talking and just living it up that day!

And Matt showed off his dissertation. He'd written the dedication and acknowledgments a long time ago, but wouldn't let anyone see them. They are beautifully written. He dedicated it to me. I bet not too many wives can say they have had a book dedicated to them (on mothers day weekend, no less). His acknowledgments included his advisor, our dear friends The Walkers, his mentor at HU and our families as well as a few other collegues that have helped him along the way. He wrote such sweet words to each of them.

The title is: The Effects of Combining Looping, Cognitively Guided Instruction, and Ethnicity: How They Can Collectively Improve Academic Achievement. Whew!
It was the most perfect weekend! After lunch we headed out to the ballfields where Charlotte and Madeleine had their first games of the season! They had quite the cheering crew here for them. :) Sunday was Mother's Day and Matt's parents stayed to celebrate with us. It was such a treat to have our family here for Mother's Day!

Matt still is not quite fully finished -- but almost. He is finished with revisions and is in the process of setting a defense date. Hopefully sooner, not later so we can enjoy a little bit of "real" summer. Matt's been working and going to school nonstop since August of last year and he's been in grad school (with summers off) since Harrison was born. We are ready for a break!