Thursday, August 11, 2016

Third grade, here comes Giles!

time flies.
is there a more accurate or overused phrase?
yes! it does!
and we all know it.
yet, we still stand in complete awe of how
we got to where we are and wonder how it happened?!

but, it does fly. for sure.
here we have a 3rd grader!
and i know before i can blink i will be
back re-reading these old blog posts thinking
"i thought he was old then!!!...." when he is 16. lol!

time. slow down. you hear me???

on tuesday mike, giles, crawford and i 
went to Tuscaloosa Magnet Elementary
to meet giles' new teacher & drop off a BOX of supplies.

since last year this day was SO hard, i was
SO happy it was much more joyful this time around.
last year we had an amazing teacher and
came to love lots of new friends.
but it was a rough start going into second grade 
not having even one of your favorite friends from
first grade in class with you.

so, this year... fortunately, he has several! 
he also got the new teacher, mr ray.
mr ray has made an impact in the 
tuscaloosa city schools winning awards
and the love of many former students and co-workers.
we feel very fortunate to have him!
and giles is excited to have a man for a teacher.

giles and mr ray

giles with ben {left} and zeke {right}
and ben's mom tammy... she's always having fun!
{no idea why this pic is blurry?}

it was a great night and giles is ready for school!

we had a little mommy/son date yesterday afternoon
to commemorate such a great start to third grade.
we started off at target. 
gift cards burn a hole in giles' pocket
so we had to go spend his 
target birthday gift card.

he got a minecraft card game and pokemon cards.
and he bought some more thank you notes to send
his friends for birthday gifts!

then we decided to grab some lunch. 
we were tossing around japanese, steak or mexican.
mexican won out! 
so we headed to chuy's. 
it is not a typical mexican restaurant
and it is SO good! very unique.

we had so much fun. we were there at happy hour 
so we got to take advantage of the "side car.'
the side car is the trunk of an old cadillac.
they have a buffet of chips, salsa, cheese dip & ground beef.
during happy hour you can eat all you want!
so i got a taco salad {minus the taco}
and giles ate off the side car.

the weather was finally decent enough
once we were done eating. the break in the rain
made giles super happy. he had wanted to go 
to the park to climb the ropes & slide for awhile.
so we went!

it was nearing rush hour,
and we were both missing little brother.
we went to mimi ann's and picked up crawford, 
and headed to our final destination for the day.
krispy kreme!
crawford, well- and giles, were MOST excited.
they basically ate a doughnut for dinner.

and they loved every bite of that
chocolate iced, chocolate filled glazed doughnut.
{gulp. that's not my favorite kind or anything...}

and, get this.
bedtime was a SUPER success.
we did not do as we have done in years past
with pushing back bedtime a little each day 
in the week or two before school starts.
but, i think giles was tired and excited about school.
so all stories were read, all reading was done
& all prayers had been said for both boys by

and, as a result of a great night's sleep, 
this morning was a breeze.

and here is my boy on his first day 
of third grade!
{excuse the hazy effect. the air in the house
vs the massive humidity outside made for a foggy lense...}

here he is! what a handsome fella.
and boy was he excited about his 
new backpack! 
every kid needs a good LL Bean backpack for school!

i love a good comparison photo!
you can definitely see a 2-3" growth going on here.
and a maturity in the face
that i am not ready to face!!!

and, unbelieveably...
there was no bribery or screaming
to get this picture! 
all subjects were willing & happy!
how strange.

our morning had some power prayers going. 
giles is learning that god is always there
and wants our good, bad & ugly.
so we are working on turning over
each day & moment of the day
to him. 
i pray for a great school year for all kids.
and especially mine. 
third grade 2016... 
whoop! whoop!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

we celebrated with star wars and rainbows


sometimes you just nail it. and you have to give yourself props.

props to me. lol...

why have i tried to have two separate birthday parties 
for my summer birthday babies all these years?

one party. two kids. three cheers.

so, in the month of august. on tax holiday, no less...
we celebrated giles turning 9 on july 20th
& crawford turning 4 on june 15th.
and it was a smashing success.
let me preface that with- my goal was to have a
plain jane, old-fashioned park party.
and we did.

with 0 fancy the worlds of star wars for the boys
and rainbows for me collided. it was awesome.

my melamine rainbow serving pieces 
& our black, gold and white accents representing star wars
were all pulled together by my target tshirt...

and i totally only realized that this morning.
but it *looked* like i was super creative and planned it all.

i am embracing simplicity & we loved how easy it made
our little party adventure today.
we grilled hotdogs at home. bought snacks, watermelon, 
drinks & super yum cupcakes from sams.

that was it. done. finito.
and that made me so happy.
i enjoy doing all the preparing & cooking
but not at this stage in the game.
i was positively giddy with the decision to 
leave it up to sams this year. 
i will not be original next year either.
nor will each kid get a separate party.
unless, well... i am not planning for them to, 
we can leave it at that.
i like double parties. a lot.

ok. so. if i *were* to brag on myself- 
which really, i am not-
because- pinterest.
but, if i *were* it would just be on the fact that 
i actually found an idea i liked and i implemented it.
i recruited aunt skye to join me,
sure i would mess it up if i went it alone...
we made pool noodle light sabers.
we chopped a pool noodle in half.
we used duct tape in silver and black
to create "details."
here is the best part- they actually held up! 
like really! i didn't see any of them come apart.
and these things got worked out big time!

crawford drank *at least* 4 of these.
and mike took him to potty *at least* 5 times.
no joke.
we have learned to hide these from crawford until party day.
despite their appearance, they are only like 10 calories
and super low in sugar... little hugs. who can resist?

these guys had a blast!!! 
ben {in the middle} and giles both have mr ray for 3rd grade.

aunt skye & uncle chris made an appearance!

giles & graham celebrate each other every summer.
they are only 5 days apart & have been friends since they were 2!

giles was so happy to see his sweet friend, jeremiah!

and this crew...
they were having a ball!
crawford has a super sweet class & several joined us today!

{lesley, karen}

{amy, kelli, tammy}

{matt, nikki}


^^^ all of these wonderful mamas {& daddies} make me so happy!
we are so blessed by the friendships our boys have led us to.
i am so sad, there are several families i didn't get pictures of!
but fun was had by all & we were so happy to see 
all of the faces that came and celebrated with us!

and while i was working on getting these ^^^ out,

sweet baby kolton was working on getting these out {of his way}

we laughed. it was FINE! 
he only got one box... and even tho they looked
quite awful, they tasted just the same! 

and if you could have only seen the first batch of hot dogs
that mike grilled this morning. oops. they just about went up in FLAMES!
we fixed that little dilemma too :)
with a quick trip to sams and a daddy who worked his tail 
off to get them cooked & to the party just in time for hungry guests.

this party will not be forgotten!

the boys were lavished with thoughtful gifts
& more importantly the friends who came and 
partied with us! that was the icing on the cupcake!

this happy camper got right down to business.
we opened and played with EVERYTHING
and giles already got on amazon and ordered two things
with one of his gift cards! that boys loves to
shop like his mama! and amazon never disappoints!

happy birthday, boys!
crawford is already asking when he turns 5!

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...