Last week in the afternoon, the kids and I were playing outside and saw my mom pull into the road. We went to her car and were standing there talking and Eric pulled in. It wasn't just a few minutes later we hear a super loud buzzing sound and see bees EVERYWHERE! Mom instantly called my dad to ask him how we could get them to calm down and swarm together into a hive. Eric did just as my dad had said, and it wasn't anytime before they all joined together in one of our trees.
It was just a few minutes later that my dad pulled in, put on his bee suit, and was trying to get the bees into one of their boxes to put into a beehive at their house. The whole process (especially watching the bees calm down and join together) was just amazing!
Honeybees are an amazing creature to watch and learn about!
Here is a video of them swarming when we first heard them:
A video of Eric calming the bees down while they swarm together into a hive:
We celebrated Jackson Lee turning seven yesterday with a Mario Party and a few of his friends joining us. It was a very last minute thrown together party, but Eric did an amazing job on decorating his cake (one of my favorites so far!), he thought up a quick fun game for the kids (literally minutes before the party started), the weather was perfect and everyone seemed to enjoy the party.
We quickly made a banner and a few decorations Saturday:
Playing games and hanging out with friends/family:
Singing to the Birthday Boy:
A little fun with mustaches:
Happy birthday to our sweet seven year old!! We love you!
Today was the last day of school for the 2013-2014 school year, and Ansley is officially done with kindergarten and Jackson is done with first grade! They both had a wonderful year and enjoyed their last half day today with their friends and teachers. Just look at how much they have grown this school year!
Jackson has had an incredible year and received awards for reading, math and good citizenship. He says his favorite things about first grade was playing games on the smart board, recess, but his most favorite thing was his friends and teacher, Ms. Weaver.
Ansley had a great first year of school and is now reading up a storm, adding, subtracting, and showing us new things she has taught herself every day it seems! She says her favorite things about kindergarten were learning to read, lunchtime, and her friends and teachers.
Today our caring, loving, smart and not so little boy anymore, turned 7 years old!
After a fun night last night celebrating Ansley's Kindergarten Celebration, we came home and Jackson opened his presents from Gramma Winkie, Grandpa David & Uncle Marshall. He was so excited about his new Darth Vader mask and lightsaber! He then went to bed for his last night of being a six year old.
Not only was today his birthday, but it is also his last full day of school (they go 1/2 a day on Monday and then they are out for summer break!). We went to the awards ceremony at school, and Jackson received two awards- one for math and one for reading. Way to go, buddy!
When he got home he was beyond excited when he went into his bedroom and saw his new Mario comforter and sheets from Mamaw Di & Papaw Fred. Just look at the excitement on his face in these sweet pictures:
Bella came home with us from school, and not long after we got home Great-granny Ollie came over and brought a delicious strawberry cake and some snacks. We used that yummy cake to sing "Happy Birthday" to Jackson then, and then later that night when daddy was home to sing to him, too. (Thanks, Mamaw Ollie!)
He wanted to go out to eat at Pablano's for his birthday dinner (he is his father's son- right?!), and Elsie was instantly shouting to our waiter that today was her brother's birthday. When the wait staff came at the end of our meal and sang to Jackson and put the sombrero on him, he giggled and giggled.
We came home, Jackson opened a couple of presents from us, we ate some more cake, snapped a few birthday pictures, and then the kids were exhausted and ready for bed after our busy- but fun- week and day.
I asked Jackson what are some things he enjoys and he says at seven years old he "LOVES Lego's, anything and everything dealing with Mario, reading lots of books, school, playing with his sisters, playing tee ball, playing with trucks, spending time with Caleb, hanging out with his family, sleeping with his train blankie, and everything!"
Happy 7th Birthday, Jackson Lee! We love and are so proud of you!
Just like so many other people in our area, Ansley loves the first Saturday in April because that is the opening day of trout season, and that is the day that Papaw Fred takes her out fishing. Jackson was at a sleepover with a friend or he would've joined them, and Elsie said she didn't want to go this year. Ansley Kate was thrilled that she caught 4 fish and that Papaw only caught 2, and she made sure that everyone she saw that weekend knew that, too!
Not only did she enjoy some fishing, but April was busy for Ansley because she had tap and ballet recital rehearsals, tee ball practices and games, and of course keeping up with her school work. We love and are so proud of our well rounded gal.
Jackson is also playing tee ball again this year, and he is loving that his best friend, Caleb, is on his team with him.
We went to Grandfather Mountain to enjoy "Dollar Days" there, and we tried to have a picnic before visiting the animals or going across the swinging bridge, but we only lasted about five minutes outside before we decided to take our picnic into the van. It was super windy and we put on our coats, found blankets in the van to cover up with, and the kids were still freezing- pleasant picnic, huh? :) When we went to go see the animals the wind wasn't blowing nearly as bad there, so we were fine, but at the top of the mountain at the swinging bridge, the wind was of course blowing strong. We had Elsie and Vada Belle in the backpacks, and Jackson doesn't mind the bridge at all (he'll run back and forth across it), but Ansley is a bit like her mama and terrified of heights, so mix that with the crazy wind and we had one terrified little girl. She made it all the way across, though!
Elsie, Vada Belle and I enjoyed spending time with Ansley's class and joining in with their Easter egg hunt and party, and the kids also enjoyed the Easter egg hunt at church.
Papaw Fred and Uncle Jimmy got a bunch of goats back in the fall, and the kids love watching them play (especially the baby ones!). One Sunday while we were eating lunch at Great Granny Ollie's house, all 75 goats got out, and the kids took advantage of this by going and playing with them. They are precious!
Just a few more pics from the month: Elsie and her best buddy, Nala Jackson & Carter at Carter's 5th Birthday Elsie & Vada Belle having a picnic We learned that Vada Belle is super scared of thunder (and holds her ears every time she hears it) We also had three sick little girls at the end of the month, and got to go to the doctor 4 times in less than a week. After some antibiotics and breathing treatments, they were good to go.
Now we are counting down the days until the last day of school- we can't wait for summer break!
We were so excited that we got to go back to Mark and Tiffany's beach house, like we have the past two years, to celebrate Easter with all of my family. Unfortunately though, the weather was terrible and freezing, but that didn't stop the kids from having an awesome time with their aunts, grandparents, and especially their cousins. They spent their time playing games, giggling, and of course eating lots of yummy food!
Papaw, Eric and Mark took the big kids out on a walk one afternoon, and it wasn't long after they left that it started pouring the rain (again). Mamaw, Jessica, Tiffany and I took the little girls- Amelia & Vada Belle- out to a couple of the stores nearby (for some last minute Easter shopping). The guys must have worn the big kids out because that night at supper Elsie fell asleep with her pickle half in her hand/half in her mouth!
We also dyed some Easter eggs and played in the house while Mark went surfing and Mamaw Di decided she would go take a dip into the ocean, too (and we all thought she had gone crazy for sure)!
On Sunday morning the Easter bunny came, left another scavenger hunt for the kids to figure out and find their gifts, and of course brought the Clifton and McDaniel kids another hermit crab. The kids decided to name this hermit crab "Blue."
We then got ready and walked to the church right across the road from the beach house, and enjoyed worshiping our Risen Savior on such a special day.
At church that morning they said they would be baptizing several people in the ocean that had recently accepted Jesus as their Savior, and we noticed people gathering on the ocean just a little while after we returned home. It was right outside the house we were staying in that they were doing the baptism, and we loved that we were able to witness such an amazing moment.
We then left to go home, but first we made a quick stop in Greensboro where we enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures! What a difference from the beach weather we had! We snapped a few pictures and then were on our way home.
Thanks, Mark and Tiffany, for letting us all spend the weekend in your beautiful beach home. We love the new memories that were made there!
A little late (nothing out of the ordinary for us), but here are some moments from February and March:
We were still having some snow days in February, and even missed school on Valentine's Day because of the snow, but the kids (especially Ansley!) loved spending snow days playing outside in the snow, and of course they love coming in and drinking some warm hot chocolate.
Vada Belle absolutely loved sledding, and would get very upset with us whenever we would make the kids come inside. Here she is going sledding all by herself:
In February we.... : spent Superbowl night at cousin Jennifer's house with lots of friends, family, and tons of food.
Jackson finished up his first season (and what a long season it was!) of basketball. Elsie spent her days staying warm and toasty in her sweet little footed jammies (I'm going to be so sad when all my kids are too big for those!), playing with her Barbies or Princess dolls, playing with play-dough, and putting together puzzles. Vada Belle on the other hand, spent her days sneaking into things she knows she shouldn't be doing, like stealing brownies or putting cereal in her hair instead of her mouth, and then just laughing so hard when she gets caught. That girl!
Ansley got on a kick to where she just wanted to roller skate around the house from the time she got off the bus until she went to bed, but some days kindergarten and skating was just too exhausting and she just had to take a quick nap in the middle of homework. Elsie on the other hand, prefers to just sleep in the floor instead of her bed! :)
The kids celebrated the 100th day of school in February, and also got to have a belated Valentine's Day party (since Valentine's Day was a snow day).
We celebrated Great-Granny Ollie's birthday on 2/22 (Vada Belle hadn't had a nap), and also took a trip to King to visit with Great-Granny Vee (Elsie was sick and didn't get to make the trip).
Sweet Frog had a daddy/daughter date night where the girls were suppose to wear Princess dresses. The girls were SO excited about their date with daddy, and even better that they could choose one of their princesses dresses that they love to wear.
Vada Belle has been doing great using the potty still, and didn't have any #2 accidents in February or March! Kind of gross to blog about, but we are excited about that milestone around here. :)
In March Jackson learned how to ride his bike with no training wheels! We had tried to help him learn back in the fall, and he would get it going, but then fall down just a few seconds later. One day at the beginning of March he got off the bus and told me he wanted to ride his bike. He hopped on it and it was as if he had been riding for a while. He was thrilled and wants to ride everyday now.
The first picture in this collage is taken in a tree in the yard at the house that I grew up in. There were so many days my sisters, cousins, friends, etc. and I would spend climbing and playing in that tree. So many sweet memories. It has grown quite a bit, but the branches are still perfect for sitting in, climbing, and swinging from. Elsie loves spending time with our sweet Nala Mae. Nala's health has been deteriorating and it breaks all of our hearts to see her not as active as she has always been. She still loves to take short little walks with us, and if we are going on a walk longer than she can handle, she is content to hop in the wagon with Vada Belle and Elsie and ride for a while. The school held their yearly talent show, and we were shocked when our shy little Ansley Kate said she wanted to sing "Let It Go." The picture I got was a terrible shot, but Eric and I were so proud of our little shy gal getting up and singing. Jackson wanted to write a poem about Lego's and present it at the talent show, and that is exactly what he did. Our once shy guy is no longer shy at all! The last pictures in this collage is just so you can see how terrible it is when lovie has to be washed. :)
Jackson says that St. Patrick's Day is definitely one of his favorite holidays (which he says about every single one) because you get to wear his favorite color.... green!
St. Patrick's Day
We celebrated Amelia turning 3 a little bit before her birthday while her and Abigail were spending the weekend at Mamaw Dianne and Papaw Fred's. We then went to Greensboro to celebrate her with an incredible Monster's themed party. There was also a lady painting faces there, and she was awesome!
Happy 3rd Birthay, Amelia!
Chick-fil-a had a Pirate and Princess night in March, and of course my kids aren't going to miss passing up a chance to dress up. When Jackson and Ansley got off the bus that afternoon and I told them where we were going, Jackson ran upstairs and put together his pirate ensemble in just a matter of minutes. Pirate Jackson, Belle, Elsa and Snow White had a great time hanging out with Mini-Moo!