Saturday, June 21, 2014

End of the Year!

We now officially have a kindergartener and a first grader! It's crazy to look at how big they have gotten over the past year, but we are SO happy that summer is here!!

Izabel did amazingly well this year. She is reading - full on every word on every sign and every page of every book she picks up, reading. I mean obviously there are some words she gets stuck on, but for the most part she can sound them out and it has just blown us away. All of these milestones in her life have just seemed to happen overnight, and evidently reading happened the same way! At the end of the school year she was tested for her reading level and she tested end of 1st grade/beginning of second! She's also learned a lot outside of reading and math through her gifted class. She loves telling us about plants and presidents and all kinds of topics. I think the extra simulation was a great thing for her behavior this year - she may or may not have gotten in her share of trouble when she started off - and she loved every second of her experience in Kindergarten! 

Her favorite parts were going to art, the field trip to the zoo, and having fun with her friends :)

Tanner has grown leaps and bounds when it comes to his speech, and unless he is trying to make funny voices - which happens more and more frequently - you can understand him about 90%+ of the time. He met all of his goals that his speech therapist set for him and she is thrilled with his progress. The preschool program provided books once a month for him to bring home and three field trips which we loved. They had bubble fest and both kids loved the preschool/kindergarten dance and field day! Tanner has done great learning his sounds and is picking up tons of sight words from his big sister. He also had an awesome teacher who we will forever love. We have been so blessed with amazing teachers that truly love our kids and we couldn't ask for anything more! 

His favorite parts of preschool were art, P.E., and his field trip to the beach :)


Preschool and Kindergarten Graduation came with ceremonies that were adorable and the kids loved the cake and punch at the end :) We had a great last week of school playing games and Tanner came home with an awesome portfolio of all of his best work and a class picture. It's a great keepsake. Report cards came yesterday and they were perfect! Now we are relaxing, keeping up with our studies in our workbooks (which the kids can't get enough of), and getting ready for the big move to the new school in the fall!! Happy Summer :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Tanner's Zootastic Birthday!

On Saturday we had Tanner's 5th birthday party at the zoo. Because of the various spring breaks around the region and Easter we decided to have his party a little late this year. We lucked out with the most beautiful day for the party and everyone had a great time! We had a party room with four animals for the kids to learn about and touch. The kids had a great time playing, learning about the animals, and then eating pizza and cupcakes before heading out to explore the zoo for the rest of the afternoon. Many of our friends and family came for the party and the Ingrams came up for the weekend so they could be there too! Tanner was a happy boy and we had a wonderful weekend!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter 2014 and Nana's Birthday!

Birthday season concludes on Nana's (Grandma, Mom, Genevieve...she has a lot of names now that she is a great-grandma) birthday April 20th which also happened to be Easter this year. We celebrated with a beautiful church service and then a nice brunch out. We spent some time playing with our new Easter goodies and watching Frozen (I know we waited a long time to give it to them). In the afternoon we all went to the nursing home for Nana's birthday party. We made her a cake and brought balloons and she seemed to be pretty aware of everyone that was there. It's tough to think that just one year ago she was living at home and eating at The Cheesecake Factory on her birthday, but we were there to make this birthday special no matter where we had to do never know how many more you might get! The kids were all great with her and all of the people living in the nursing home loved having Tanner walk by and say Happy Easter with his big beautiful smile :) It was a great day filled with family, faith, and love!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tanner is FIVE...and spring break :)

We've been celebrating Tanner turning FIVE for over a week now! We started with cupcakes for his class...which I had to buy from a specific store and get approved by the main office so they weren't what I wanted but the kids don't really care...and then we jumped in the car to head to Georgia for Philip's wedding.


When we came home we had spring break waiting for us! We were all thrilled to have a few days off, one of which included Tanner's birthday. We filled his room with balloons the night before and we woke up a very happy kiddo :)


For his actual day Daddy got off work early and we headed to Busch Gardens with our friends the Thurston's (aka. Officer Furston). We got lucky with the threat of rain that never really came and nice cool but not cold temperatures. Both of these things along with the fact that most cities were not on spring break yet gave us a nice empty park to have fun in! Tanner had a great time and even got ice cream when we went out to dinner before heading home.

The rest of the week was spent with a healthy mixture of getting things done around the house and relaxing as much as possible. On Friday we had a lot of family and friends come to Friendly's for Tanner's birthday dinner. He likes this choice because you get ice cream with your meal! He loved running around with the other kids and getting some more presents! Soon to come will be his actual party held at the zoo and we can't wait to have a wild time there :)

What can I say about my crazy, charming, hilarious, wild, cautious, independent, little man??? He's just every piece of deliciousness I could ever want in a little boy and we are oh so very thankful for this guy! What God knew I needed after Izabel was a child that will cuddle and snuggle and this is what He gave me with this sweet sweet boy!! His speech has come so far and you can understand him at least 90% of the time the first time he says something. He's been learning a lot at school - and getting in plenty of trouble - and having the best time with his little friends :) He's finishing up gymnastics this month and moving on to t-ball which he is thrilled about. He loves reading stories, playing cards, playing on the iPad, riding his scooter, and watching movies! He's certainly a handful - I think we're just now getting the worst of the terrible twos - but we love him more than we ever thought we could and our lives gets better everyday because he's in them!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Philip and Ashley's Wedding

This past weekend we made a quick drive down to Georgia for my cousin Philip's wedding. This is not the first wedding for either of them...they've been down some rough roads and it's taken a little extra time to come to this point. Philip is such an amazing man and we have always prayed for him to find someone deserving of his loving and giving nature...someone who would love him the way he deserves to be loved. He has finally found that in Ashley, and I am thrilled for their beautiful family and happy to welcome Ashley and Eva Joy into ours. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Birthday Season and my 30th!

We call March and April birthday season for my family because we start March 9th and go until April 20th with 8 birthdays in-between! It's busy and it gets expensive, but I love getting the whole family together so frequently. This year we got together for pizza and cake for Matthew's birthday at Amy's house and then celebrated Keith's birthday at Mom's house. Me, mom, dad are just a few days apart so we celebrated all three birthdays this past Sunday at my house. Amy and I split the responsibilities and everything went wonderfully.

On Saturday I turned 30...I know I'm still kind of in shock myself! I spent the weekend hanging out with the kids, getting a little pampered and then spent the evening with my amazing sister! Noah was out of town so it was a quiet weekend, but it was wonderful. It's crazy to think that I'm not in my twenties anymore and I have joked plenty about being sad about being so old. In all seriousness though I am excited to turn 30. I'm so very blessed to have such an amazing family, great friends, and a good job. I am proud of where I am in life and what we have been able to accomplish. I know who I am now and I am the person I want to be. I'm happy and content but not complacent. I'm very for all of the adventures and challenges that this decade is sure to bring!!

My students always make me feel special. They might drive me crazy but I love them!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Tanner's Lunch Date!

**Today's post brings us up to date! Yay!! Make sure you scroll down as there have been a lot of posts the past few days :) 

Tanner's "girl"friend Kaylee had Monday off from school along with her mom so they wanted to have a playdate with Tanner. Unfortunately we had a makeup day because of all the snow. Instead of missing another chance Kaylee met Tanner at school for lunch! They brought Chick-fil-a and had a great time with each other! Tanner was the happiest boy the rest of the day :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Noah and Auntie Ann's Birthday!

Noah turned 31 on Saturday and Auntie Ann turned 50 on Sunday. Mimi and Auntie Deb came down to celebrate and we spent the weekend with lots of fun activities. Saturday we went over to Auntie's house for a big breakfast after letting Noah sleep in a little and giving him his presents - a new grill which we will all enjoy! After breakfast we all went bowling and then to Shogun. We took the kids home and headed out to The Eagle's Nest for some fun with some great friends. We had never been there but had an awesome time and will certainly go back!

Sunday morning we were all a little hungover, but I got up with the kids and then Noah kept Izzy, Tanner and Rowan so Amy and I could go celebrate Ann's 50th at Croc's Drag Yourself to Brunch. We all had a great time and we're so glad we got to celebrate both Noah and Ann's birthday together with friends and family!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Valentine's Day

This year we made Noah 14 valentines, one for each day in February leading up to valentines day. It was fun and the kids couldn't wait to get his treat out each day. I got to chaperone the middle school dance and Noah had to work late so there was no special date for us but we had a nice day anyway and have been enjoying each other's company whenever we can.
Chicks Dig Super Heros!
You're My Main Squeeze and You Blow Me Away Valentines!
Noah hates commercial holidays and usually doesn't do much for them but this year I got a delivery of two dozen roses, chocolates, bath salts, and a teddy bear! It was quite a surprise :) The kids had a great time at school and reading their new books from us. 
It was also the 100th day of school so there were some crazy celebrations for that as well!!
Hope everyone was able to show the love on this special day!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sunny Florida!

February 5-9 Noah and I took 15 students to Orlando for the DECA Sports and Entertainment Conference. We were so excited to get away from the snow and get to the warm of course that means that it was rainy and cold the whole time we were there! While the weather was miserable, the students were not and we had a great time anyway. DECA does a great job making this conference fun and full of great information so we love going every year and playing in the parks isn't so bad either :) This year we visited both Universal parks and Magic Kingdom, went to the Blue Man Concert, and heard from speakers from Universal, the NBA, NASCAR, and more!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Snow Tubing

We took the kids and my parents to Massanutten for the last weekend in January to spend some time with my mom before she had surgery and started treatments. We weren't able to get the kids in ski school like we had planned but we had a blast at the water park on Saturday. Tanner rode every big slide which is huge for him since he doesn't like rides at all and other than my mild heart attack when I couldn't find Izabel (Noah had taken her to the bathroom but I didn't know) we all had a blast.

Sunday we got up early and hit the first snow tubing session so it wouldn't be as crowded as later in the day. I was worried about how the kids (mainly Tanner) would do with the big hill in a tube by himself but they both did great and LOVED it. We will definitely be going back with them lots of times and getting them into ski school too!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

More Snow!

As if 4-5" wasn't exciting for us....we followed that up with 8-9" the next week! This shut almost our whole area down for three days and even Noah got to stay home a little later each morning. I know everyone makes fun of how we get out of school for what northerners see as a little bit of snow....but for a beach area that hardly ever gets snow and has no equipment to deal with it, this a big deal. The kids had a great time playing outside and enjoying the sled and more snow than they have ever seen and I enjoyed some down time at home with them :)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Snow Days!

I realize 4-5" to our northern friends and family members doesn't sound like much...but to people from Virginia Beach it's enough for three days out of school and lots of excitement! I'm pretty sure the kids were more excited about the snow on Tuesday night than they were about Santa coming on Christmas Eve. We got a pretty good amount of snow Tuesday night and ended up with Wednesday and Thursday out of school because of super icy roads and really low temperatures. We were up, dressed, fed, and outside by 7:30am on Wednesday morning because of all the anticipation. We ended up playing outside 3 separate times with movies and hot chocolate in between to warm up. 

Thursday morning we slept a little later and then I sent the kids out to play (where I could easily see them) while I kept warm and got some work done. 

**Side note - I know a lot of people think teachers are lazy and get off easy when we have bad weather days, but we still have work to do and it is much harder to get it done at home! We will have to make this time up and all of the things that I needed to get done by Monday for the end of the semester still have to get done from home!!

The kids ended up playing outside for almost 2 hours before I finally made them come in for lunch. In the afternoon we went to see the new movie "The Nut Job" to get out of the house for a little while. Today (Friday) we are home again. It was already scheduled to be a teacher work day so the kids did not have school and they decided to offer teachers the incentive to work from home. They have done this in the past to help with morale. I think they planned on offering it anyway but since the roads are still icy in a lot of places it was nice for teachers to have the choice to go in or not. 

They are calling for more snow tomorrow and next week so we'll see how it plays out. For now we are enjoying our lazy mornings and playing in the snow that can't melt since it can't seem to get out of the 20s around here.

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014 New Year's Resolutions

I love the start of a new year and making resolutions. I make big ones and little ones. I give some things up and I make goals to either do new things or do something better. I'm pretty good at sticking with them for most of the year if not longer. This year I had a much harder time coming up with my goals. Here's what we have for now - I say for now because I think you should always be updating and changing your goals, not just at the start of a new year!
  • No soda and no candy - okay I know this one may seem a little silly but I'm not good at the "in moderation" concept so I have to give things up completely when I want to cut back on them.
  • More quality time with the kids - they need our attention more and frequently our attention goes to work, school, chores, dinner, etc...when the kids are awake we focus on them as much as possible!
  • Planning further in advance at work - I have gotten so comfortable so I don't always have my plans done as far in advance as I should making my days a little more stressful than they need to be. This is one way to make my life a little easier :)
  • Finish cleaning out the rest of the closets, cabinets, drawers, and the attic....we have been doing some major purging around here and it needs to continue until we've been through everything.
  • Get back to the gym/running - I haven't been too hard on myself on this one because of trying to finish up classes and save money, but this is something I need to do for myself and that's important too.
  • Focus on our relationship with each other - Noah working nights has been challenging for us but we are back on a normal schedule for now and we are working on getting back in sync.
We'll see how we do with these and come up with more as we go. I'd really like to send more holiday cards with pictures of the kids and organize more parts of our lives. I'd like to make monthly goals a part of our family and something we all work on together. I'll keep you posted on our progress! 
What resolutions have you made for 2014???

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013 Year In Review

2013 was certainly a great year for us. While we spent half the year with the challenge of Noah being on night shift, we had a lot of highlights......
Our first family trip to Disney World
Tanner playing Beast, dancing with Princess Belle, and kissing Pocahontas 
Izzy's Cinderella makeover and then meeting Cinderella in her castle

Our First Cruise

Teacher of the Year
    Noah's 30th Birthday
    Starting Kindergarten and Preschool
    10 years together
    My student becoming a National DECA Officer
    • Noah's promotion to supervisor
    • Completing residency 
    • Passing Ph.D. Comprehensive exams have a lot to live up to!!!