Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Girls Day Out

In April, we also got do our annual girls day out with Jim's siblings.  It was a lot of fun. We had just found out too at this point that Jim had gotten a job offer, one that he was pretty excited about so it was fun to use this as a bit of celebration day too! I got my nails and hair done, got a new top and a new purse! Great Memories!

Junioe HIgh Orientation


April was filled with school events from the animal projects, alpha fair, seven concerts between all three kids, easter, and the school fun fair. On top of that, we also had our Parent/Student Orientation for Junior High.  It was fun to walk around and see Peet Junior High and fun to watch Kyle experience the first time checking it out with his buddies! Afterwards, we all went out for ice cream!

McDonald's Honorary Crew Member

All of the sixth graders at Kyle's school participated in McDonald's Honorary Crew Member program this month. They had to fill out a job application (volunteer experiences worked as experience), write a cover letter, and call people to ask them to be references for them.  Then McDonalds selected two students from each class from those applications and they got to go work at McDonalds for two hours. They were paid with free supper of their choice.
 
Anyway, Kyle got picked. I think it was his experience working UNI Concessions and volunteering at church that helped him. He worked pretty hard on his cover letter too. Anyway, he was super excited about it.  Honestly, it was so cute and McDonalds was so accommodating. They didn't mind us parents all taking pictures etc!
 
Here are some fun pictures of Kyle and his experience.


Taking our supper order. He even had to do his Dad and brother's ketchup only request on the burgers!


 He also got to work in the drive up window filling orders.  Atleast while we were there, he was doing a good job of following orders and almost could run the register on his own, lol!
 All three kids from his school!
 Grandpa was able to stop by so here is Kyle taking Grandpa's order too!
He got to keep his nametag, a certificate, and some other fun trinkets too. 

Truly it was such a great experience practical life experience for him!

Conner's Animal Project- Hammerhead Shark

Conner recently completed his first school project. In 3rd grade the kids usually do animal reports where they do research and prepare a report and display for an animal. Conner chose the Hammerhead Shark.
 
 Conner and Daddy spent quite a bit of time making a model of the animal. I thought they did a pretty job!
 Conner wrote the report at school and made the board to go along with it. Then on Animal Report day, you walked around and each child read you their report about their animal!
Sorry this one is sideways, but I had to share because the story behind it is sweet. There was a mix up in communication so I wasn't a 100% sure I was going to be able to get to school to see Conner's report. He was pretty disappointed so Kyle asked his teacher if he could be excused from class for a few minutes and go. I was able to go and when I arrived, Kyle was at Conner's station listening intently and asking him all kinds of questions.... Truly it warmed a mama's heart.

Kyle is almost done with his 6th grade year and while I am thrilled for him to go to Junior High. I think he is ready for the challenge and all of the experiences, my heart is sad because these two won't ever be go to school (at the same school) together again after this year.  :( Conner won't admit it, but he adores his older brother and they have had so many experiences together.  Lots of new things to look forward to, but some sadness on this one too.

Alpha Fair

This year Kyle was able to participate in the Alpha Fair. It was a great experience for him and a lot of work. His Topic was Misconceptions-What False Facts do we believe? It was actually really interesting and I learned quite a bit.
 
For instance, did you know that the accused at the Salem Witch Trials were not burned at the stake, they were either executed or died in prison?
 
Or did you know that Thomas Edison did NOT invent the light bulb?
 
Or that Vikings did not have horns on their helmets (except for ceremonies)?
 
That Christopher Columbus and European Intellects did not think the world was flat?
 
That the declaration of independence was not signed on July 4?

That Paul Revere did NOT yell "The British are Coming."
 
That the Chicago fire was not started by Mrs. OLeary's cow but that the actual cause is unknown..
 

 His board had some misconceptions on it and then he had some artifacts that were illustrations of his points. Then he made a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire game for people to test their knowledge.
Here he is by his display at the Fair.  I thought for the first time he ever did a project of this magnitude that he did a pretty nice job. His seemed on par with the other kids so that was good.

Parents, teachers, and other students walked around and observed (interacted) with the displays of each child. It ended up being kind of fun, but lets say I am not really interested in doing it again anytime soon!!!!!

Look who can (FINALLY!) ride a bike!!!!

video

This is one way my sweet Conner is like his mama. I didn't learn to ride my bike until I was 8 years old either and I learned without falling down. Just like he did!!!

Easter 2014

Easter was much later than normal this past year but we had a great time decorating eggs, doing our annual egg hunt, and serving a lot of services at church! I can't seem to find our egg decorating pictures, but here are some of the hunt and easter outfits. 
 
 

 

 This is my favorite easter egg from this year!
 This Easter we did our egg hunt upstairs because the boys have moved downstairs. It was fun, we even hid eggs in the bathrooms!
 Kyle found his basket in the shower!
 Conner found his on our bed behind pillows. Callie's was out in the open (she is still little!)
 Dad left each one of them some of their eggs spelling the first letter in their name!


This is not a great picture of us (can you say double chin?), but the kids thought it was fun none the less. We really had a great Easter this year... so much to celebrate and a reminder of how amazing our God is!!!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Callie's Preschool Program

We had Callie's preschool program last night.  She was sooooo excited about it. First, she FINALLY got to wear this beautiful dress that Townsend family had handed down to us. She has been begging to wear it.  She felt beautiful, elegant and like a REAL princess (her words!!!).  


She informed all of us that she would sing nice and loud so we could hear her and do all of the actions just right.  And if we all sat nice and watch the whole thing (it is REALLY LONG), then we can all have a cookie!  We laughed because, of course, we came for the cookies! Well, honestly, Conner probably came for the cookies, but the rest of us wouldn't have missed this for the world!

Callie is probably going to go to public preschool next year. We haven't gotten an acceptance letter, but she should get in. So this is our one chance to see her sing in a little program like this (At least from a Christian perspective). For some reason, I could not get the video to upload to blogger, but I put a couple of our more favorite songs below. You just have to click on them to watch the video.

Fun things to note:  She messes up in the one song and her reaction is adorable if I do say so. Secondly, she is very concerned about what everyone is doing and that Charlie is not singing. However, we were very worried that poor Charlie was going to get hurt with Callie's great enthusiasm a couple of times!
 
 
 



 Well, we discovered that Callie didn't know people would clap for them and, well, she liked that. Look at her face expressing her joy over people clapping... OH MY!!!!






It was a very fun night and Callie said, "I like singing in front of people, Mommy, but it would be better if I could dance." I think I see some dance recitals in our future.
 
It was also fun to reminisce about Conner and Kyle in these programs since they went to the same preschool. Conner resembled little Charlie just standing there. Kyle, well, let's just say we could hear every single word and he was doing his own thing off to the side, yep, he was that one.. He sure didn't lack enthusiasm. It is fun to tease him now about it and, luckily, he is a good sport!   






Monday, March 24, 2014

Kyle turns 12!

It is our last year before being parents of a teenager. We have so enjoyed age 11 with Kyle.  We knew with the job situation that we needed to keep this birthday very reasonable.  When we asked Kyle what he wanted and all he asked for was a party with his friends.  Not once did he act disappointed that he didn't get some grand fancy party. 
 
Kyle had a tough 5th grade year in the friendship department. We prayed so hard as a family for some solid friendships and wow...God delivered.  Kyle has a small circle of friends that Jim and I adore. They are such nice boys. 
 
We talked to Grandma and Grandpa and they offered to host a party for him at their house. Honestly, it was such a great night. The boys were just thrilled to be there. There were great moans when it was over. They played xbox, playstation, pool, air hockey and some serious nerf gun wars!  We had lots of Kyle's favorite foods.  In fact, the boys are already begging Kyle to have an "unbirthday" party!
 






 
Just to highlight what nice young men these are. First, they included Conner all night without any hesitation and for some chunk of the night... Callie too! Second, when it was time for gifts, they were almost giddy to share what they picked out for Kyle.   They were so generous and thoughtful.  Not that they needed to give him things by any means, but it showed how well they knew him and wanted to share their gifts with him. 





 Then on his birthday, we had the traditional sprinkle pancakes and sent him off to school!


Then we splurged and tried out the new Culvers for supper.  Again it was nice of Kyle to not have high expectations knowing the budget was tight. He was simply thrilled with the small stuff.


This led to the best part of the night.  Kyle has wanted a Jurassic Park video game that they no longer make.  He has been saving but they are expensive on ebay or amazon used. Jim pursued ebay for several weeks and happened upon a deal that we could afford on the game.  So we were able to end his birthday with a really big surprise.  His reaction was just PRICELESS!!!!! 

 
More than anything we are proud of the young man he is coming.  He isn't perfect, but he is making wise choices in friends, excelling in school, learning to maneuver new situations, exploring his faith, continuing to be an amazing big brother, discovering what interests him (Dinosaurs, History, Football, Minecrafts, and hanging with his Buddies), and still a mama's boy.  
 
Seriously, the day when he no longer wants me to come along on youth group trips is going to be a sad sad day!
 
Happy happy day Kyle!

An Update and Sanibel

2014 hasn't gone as we expected.  Winter was horrendous, something like 45 days below zero.  On top of that, Jim was laid off in January after a fun weekend to visit friends. God has provided for us, but it certainly has been overwhelming at times.  We still aren't sure what God has in store for us.

We had planned a Spring Break trip to Sanibel and weren't sure we would be able to still do that but we desperately needed the break. Jim had given plasma over the past year to cover the gas and we could stay in Jim's parents condo.  So we packed food to eat on the way and while at the condo, drove 24 hours and made it work! 

The weather was beautiful, the kids well behaved, and we were just so thankful to get a break from the stress.  It was for all of us to introduce Callie to Sanibel and so many other things! Their joy at playing outside and experiencing some new adventures was so wonderful. Honestly, even the drive was fun.. it was just so nice to be warm and away from the stress of day to day. 

Here is a link to pictures from the trip on my shutterfly account: 

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AaN2jVqzZM2bu4