Wednesday, July 20, 2016

the start of summer...

so far the summer has not disappointed!

swimming lessons commenced memorial day
& have provided lots of swimming

this was crawford's first summer to take swim lessons.
coach nancie blewitt has been teaching lessons for
over 40yrs, so i think it is a safe bet that he's in good hands.
she evaluates each swimmer and she put him
in the beginner group. 
giles had swimming lessons a few years ago
and went a couple of summers without. 
then last year he took at bowers with coach nancie 
as an intermediate swimmer.
this year his evaluation put him right into pre-team. 
he'a had a great summer of lessons
and is really progressing with learning his form.

 crawford's swim evaluation

giles' swim evaluation

 crawford is a big fan of swim paraphenalia
goggles. rings. 

 crawford had so much fun celebrating anna harding richardson
at her 4th birthday at the pool at indian hills.
mama didn't give much thought to how big the pool was
or how little swimming crawford had done yet this summer.
we showed up with no floatie and mama wasn't dressed to swim.
we didn't skip a beat. we borrowed a floatie, 
matched anna harding and swam our little hearts out!

 crawford is confident. he wears pink just fine.

 both boys are geared up and got a few books to start off the summer.
the library has a reading program & so does barnes & noble!
you get free stuff! i think the library does a tshirt 
and b&n has a list of books the kids can choose from. 

i am just publishing this "as-is"
summer has flown! i haven't kept up with our activities 
in real time, so i'll try going back and capturing 
what this old brain can recall.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

End of year 2nd grade with Giles

second grade rocks
{the shirt was our *thank you* to mrs swinney}

and, indeed, it did rock. 

there were smooth rocks and sharp rocks.
big rocks and little rocks.
rockin' rocks and rocks we probably could have done without.

but THESE rocks 
helped us make this year the awesome year it was...

 our very awesome teacher, mrs swinney
 our family friend and magnet middle school staff member
kay harris
she is my steady. she brings giles home or picks him up
in a pinch. she loves on him when he checks in with her from
time to time. it is a gift to have her in our lives. i love that he 
sees her at school, but also at church. she loves giles and he knows it.
 mrs hollins is the elementary school guidance counselor.
she is fantastic with the kids and has been a great supporter of giles.
this lady. oh my goodness. we just love her big.
mrs taylor. she absolutely adores giles and you know that makes
a mama's heart swell. she is the "gatekeeper" i tell giles. lol...
she is the backbone, heartbeat, steady  -she is all of it.
giles loves checking in with mrs taylor and she always
has a little treat in her drawer just for him. 
she is just one of those people who makes you feel calm
and like everything is going to be just fine.
love her!

so we got a chance to speak to each of these ladies
while i was at school for honors day
and thank them for pouring into giles and making the magic school
even more magical than it already is.

giles received was awarded the IB trait of being a "thinker"

and was also recognized for being student of the month
in the month of april.
which is reflected in this recognition from mr bissell

papers are coming out of our ears. well, really, just out of backpacks,
but it is overwhelming all the same.
at least we get some gems to make it all worth it...
he loves his mother, y'all! awww.... that boy. i love him.
i love how favorites are so often just "of the moment"
like couscous- lol! while he does like it, we just happened
to have it for dinner recently
tokyo must come from the fact he just recently took a 
partnerships class with university of alabama students
who taught them japanese
and i am glad he "wants" to go to utah this summer,
because we are going!
and while the information can change with the conversation...
on this reflection he wants to be a marine
but he told mrs swinney in his recap with her, 
he wants to be a navy seal... he's got his work cut out for him.

yesterday was a ton of fun and i loved seeing all of the
people who see giles at school everyday loving on him.
it did me good.
it was so hectic pictures with friends sadly got left of the list
o well. you can't do it all!

today is giles' last day. he won't go tomorrow as we have
a commitment with swimming and they are just playing board games.
so today was our last day! 
and they are having a luau...
how fun we have a cousin who loved him some 
hawaiian shirts and passed them on to us!

and here we have it.
first day of second grade. last day of second grade.
looks like we had a little growth spurt...
not really a great comparison with the different angles & light.

alright third grade... i have heard you aren't too easy
we have already been praying for our teacher & classmates
for awhile now. i am sure i should add in praying for me, too...

Sunday, May 22, 2016

so what if my vacuuming isn't done.
i can't let the summer go by and not recap
my baby boy's 8th birthday!!!

happy birthday giles!!!
 you have been around for 8 amazing years.
these have been some of the most fun, best years of our lives
because of YOU!!!
you make days brighter.
 you are a thinker.
you have energy and love to run.
you love your friends.
 you love your school.
 you love your brother {but try to hide it at some point most days}.
you are moving up the ranks in karate.
you love to get together with friends.
you like pokemon and minecraft.
you love books and reading.
a good trip to the library is always welcomed.
this summer you read all of the
Diary of a Wimpy Kid books,
you read about Tom Sawyer and Treasure Island,
you started and are loving the Lemony Snicket series. 
it is so fun to see you take a book and blanket 
and curl up for "20 minutes" only to come out an hour later.
you and crawford play legos, nerf guns, war,
and you love to use the hose on the trampoline. 

i'll recap in pictures, as you are one celebrated little boy!
enjoy your life always as you do now...

well... clearly, i never did recap his bday! i will try to add some pics

 last night as a 7 year old!
birthday boy!!!
 birthday boy and brudder

 happy birthday lunch with stephanie & the wyatt girls!
giles, crawford, emma, mary grace & avery
 birthday boys belated bday fun at mimi's and poppy's house!
 ooooh! nerf goodness!!!

out to dinner with daddy to celebrate his birthday and giles' birthday!
yum! dinner at hokkaido, giles' top pick! {mine too!}
crawford surprised us all and loved sushi... go figure. ha!

i know i am going to regret not blogging for almost a year 
when i look back and want to reminiscence on the year 
giles was in second grade & crawford was in 3yr old preschool!
or when they have questions or wonder what kept me from 
blogging for an insane amount of time!
no excuse.
just didn't make the time :(

we are in the last days of school and
my nostalgia is kicking in. 
crawford is one year away from kindergarten!
giles is heading to third grade next year. 
and all i have ever heard was how hard third grade is.
i hope i hear from some friends that it really isn't that bad- 
you know, talk me off the ledge...

crawford had so much fun in his 3rd year at kiddie kollege.
he learned so so much this year. 
he has known his ABCs for many months now.
he counts- i am not even sure how high he can count, but it's up there.
it's cute how he leaves out the "ten" number when 
he gets to counting 18, 19, ..., 21!
28, 29, ..., 31!, etc... 
he says, "tomorrow, on saturday..." for most every future reference
as well as, "yesterday, on saturday..." for the past.
he has had the great fortune of being at one preschool for all his years.
it is something if i could change for giles i would in a heartbeat.
i am not sure how it would have been different, but 
i just feel like it would have been really awesome for him to have 
had that stability that crawford has had.

this year in the 3's crawford had ms laura {farmer} and ms melissa {tuten}

ok... this is sad. in looking back, i did *not* 
get a picture on the first day of school with his teachers :(
so here is crawford with ms laura at open house... 

giles has had an interesting at times, but overall amazing second grade year.
he had such a wonderful experience in first grade,
second grade had a lot to live up to!
mrs swinney did not disappoint.
what a great encourager and supporter of giles she has been!
giles has thrived under her leadership.
there have been some ups and downs in the process
of maturing and learning to navigate his social world.
he had a special group in his first grade class
and somehow ended up with none of those boys sharing his class this year.
it has had its moments, but he has learned to make 
new friends and learned lots of valuable lessons along the way.
he has many interests. karate, soccer, reading, art, music.
he started the year reading at a 5.3 grade level
and is finishing the year at a 7.8 grade level... 
this mama has some work cut out for her in finding appropriate
yet engaging books for him to read this summer!
he has devoured, almost twice, a 3 book series
inspired by the game minecraft.
not exactly the classics... but, he really enjoys them and so we go with it.

giles has brought himself very close to the rank of black belt in karate.
he is a level one red belt. he will have two more tests before
he tests for his black belt.
that is so hard for me to believe.
he has worked diligently and consistently for this goal 
and i cannot wait to see him achieve it!

so. it took about 3 days to get this done. 
good grief. 

crawford is done with his 3 year old preschool year. 
hopefully i will get that documented super soon!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

oh so much catching up to do!!!

around here we are diaper and crib free!!!
it's been a busy summer ;)
crawford took a couple of weeks to get potty training down.
and about four weeks in, we were almost accident free too.
we have made two road trips- 
the first one was only about 10 days in, 
no accidents!
and the second one was just a couple of weeks ago, 
no accidents!
it was glorious!!!
and now that we are good and into this whole diaper-free deal, 
i am finding myself feeling giddy when 
in the middle of an outing, i realize that i am diaper bag free, too!
now *that* is a relief!
yay, crawford!!!

...and then it was as if he suddenly knew he had "parts!!!"
fortunately the novelty has worn off and he's hands-free more often than not.

on our first road trip to memphis
we got to see georgie.
georgie was mine and mike's yorkie baby, pre-kids.
when giles came along, he tolerated giles. but he was like ???
only child problems.
so when i was expecting crawford, i was like ???
i have one kid. one on the way. and a grumpy, grumpy dog.
and probably a lacking in the patience department.
i was already panicked about how i was going to get a baby to sleep/nap
with a rambunctious big brother.
a doggie that barked at EVERYTHING and nipped at kiddos...
enter mimi and didi :)
mimi and didi were pet-free at the time.
and probably not really looking to change that...if we're tellin' the truth :)
but, georgie really *was* a sweet little fella.
so, i asked. and, they agreed.
georgie goes to memphis!!!
this was in the early part of 2012, if i recall correctly.
so, for the past 3 years he has enjoyed being the only child again.
and mimi and didi saved the day.
and all was well.
until late spring this year. georgie wasn't feeling well.
and he was almost 13 years old.
so we knew it might be a "last"
which made these pictures really special when georgie departed on june 16th.
mimi and didi were with him and took the best care of him,
from start to finish.

oh georgie... haha... look at his eyes cutting back to the side.
it's "the KIDS" he's saying.... haha....

RIP georgie! thank you for being a sweet boy :)

on a lighter note...
our trip was full of cousin time. and that's always fun!

we always have fun. cousins are special friends, for sure.

we got back home just in time for giles to start swim lessons.
these were more to learn strokes and water confidence.
giles had a really great time!!!
he had to be evaluated and was put into the intermediate group.
he had the coach plus a personal swim coach with each lesson.
and brother could come and swim too!
we loved it!

Giles tested for his 3rd degree blue belt and passed that exam...
he has come so far in karate. we are so happy for his perseverance.
it is not always easy for a energy-filled little guy to stand still in line.
and he learns so much! it is so impressive to see how he has progressed.

man... the more i recap, and just hit the highlights...
we had a busy summer!!!

dr wes gave the boys clean bills of health!
no cavities. whew!

crawford took a bit to come around, but he did.
and for some reason, ever since his dental visit,
he has been the best brusher at home!
i can't attribute anything to it, or anything dr wes did or said.
but this mama is happy because it is much better to not argue!

and playdates! we had quite a few...
it is always so fun to get together with friends outside of school!
and to see the amazement on kiddos when they are 2-3 years old...
haha, that is priceless. they just think it is magical that they have
just suddenly found all of their friends at the same place!
not a care or a plan in the world.
to them, they are just ready to play!
and it is even MORE fun when your playdate
runs into another playdate and you just merge it allllll together.
so fun. crawford has the very sweetest little friends.
they are so sweet to each other and genuinely just love each other.

giles could be found on the rock-climbing wall.
he loved that. and realized quickly,... it is WORK!

and it isn't summer without check ups!
so we got to do a few of those.
giles was NOT loving that gown.
i might have made threats to even get that much of a smile out of him.
and he was SO not a fan of the finger prick.
which was hilarious because he used to blow my mind
at how calm he was about shots.
i think he just worked it up to be much more than it was.
he was happy when it was over and there was lavender.

crawford had his too...

we use lavender for everything first aid, 
so i was really surprised to learn that crawford
HATES band-aids!!!
when he got his finger prick and 
the nurse tried to put it on, he would have no part of it!
this lavender loving, oil loving mama wasn't too sad.
it was funny though. what kid doesn't LOVE a band-aid?!??!

one more quick trip to memphis
having fun on an errand... 
not sure what happened and why i didn't take more pics???
anyway. it was fun. as always!

we always celebrate a lot in the summer
with ALL THREE OF MY BOYS having birthdays!
but poor mikey... post-kids... he just gets a little bit shafted.
i call myself a good multi-tasker.
but, i must not be.
poor mikey's bday is always overshadowed by giles' bday.
mikey's is on the 19th, giles' on the 20th.
so he does get celebrated... just not quite as much.
let's take for example
{do i really want to do this to myself???}
when mikey turned 40....

there may, or may not have been, 40 presents wrapped.
gosh, my floors were so clean.
and the upholstered chair was so clean.
what 10 years and 2 kids and multiple cats and dogs will do to your house...
{i probably should *not* have done this...}

and when mikey turns 50...
now, those pancakes were a LABOR of LOVE
cinnamon swirl pancakes, uh-huh.

 some cards and snacks.
we do love you, mikey... oh so much!!!
 i would hate for anyone to think
that the animals around here are overworked.

and don't get the proper amount of bathing...

 or hanging out time.........

so that about sums us up this summer.
it has been a SUPER DUPER HOT late July and August.
can't deny that!
but we sure enjoy the lazy days, late nights, early mornings,
hanging out with friends, road trips, adventures & rest.

coming up. giles' birthday celebration recap.
and back to school!