Thursday, June 19, 2014

Vada Belle Is Two!

Happy birthday to our sweet, but incredibly sassy, two year old!
At two years old Vada Belle loves her lovie and never leaves it behind (and of course she still sucks on those two fingers the second she sees or even hears the rattle of her lovie), drawing, princesses (her favorite one is Ariel, which she calls "Mimi" which is her shortened version of mermiad), Minnie Mouse, books, playing play-doh with Elsie, dolls with Ansley, and laughing at Jackson- or as she always calls him- "broder", listening to Jackson and Ansley read to her, and sleeping (the girl loves her naps and bedtime!). She has incredible manners and I hear, "Thank you, Mommy!" at least 50 times a day as well as "Juice, minute- mommy, PLEASE!" over and over all day long. (She is always wanting something to drink so a few months ago I would say, "In just a minute," to try to spread the minutes out from the time she had just chugged her last cup of juice, milk or water down, and then she started using the word "minute" when asking for something to drink- ha!) She can throw a temper tantrum like we have never seen before from our other three, and even though she is the youngest, she tries to make Jackson, Ansley and Elise think she is the boss.

On her big day she started the day off by celebrating with birthday pancakes, then we went to a magic show at the library (where she spent most of her time giving her brother and sisters hugs and taking turns sitting in their laps), picked flowers in the backyard, played on the swingset, went to a pool party (for Jackson and Ansley's t-ball team), and then came home to eat cake and ice cream.

She opened her present from us, and seemed most excited about her "Ariel" shoes. 

She has grown so much and in many ways this past year. Even though she keeps us on her toes, we love her so incredibly much and are very proud of her!

Look at how much she has grown!
                One Week                                           One Year                                      Two Years

Friday, June 6, 2014

May 2014

Warning- there is definitely some picture overload in this post! May was a non-stop month filled with dance rehearsals and recitals, t-ball games, church activities, Mother's Day events, end of the school year activities, birthday celebrations, planting the garden, and more! Here are some pictures to remember those moments:

Ansley started out the month with dance rehearsals and recitals. Her class did a ballet dance in Studio K's Alice In Wonderland, and also a tap number in that recital. All the girls in her class did a great job and loved dancing on the big stage. Jackson, Elsie and Vada Belle went to the tap recital, but decided to stay at Mamaw and Papaw's that night during the ballet (mostly so mommy and daddy could enjoy watching the show).
Ansley's dance class for the 2013-2014 dance season

Jackson and Ansley had field day at school earlier in the month of May, and Elsie, Vada Belle and I went and helped out for the day and enjoyed spending time with their classes. While we were there Elsie found this injured butterfly, picked it up, and loved on it (gently) for several hours. She brought it home and let it go in the woods, but first wanted a couple of pictures with her new friend.

Next came Mother's Day and we enjoyed a delicious dinner the night before at church, prepared by the men of the church. Then on Sunday we went to church, went to Mamaw Ollie's for lunch and then Eric asked what I wanted to do for the rest of the day. I really wanted to go on a hike, so I decided that we should go hike up Elk Knob. It was perfect hiking weather, and all four kids did great (even if Jackson did get a terrible blister on the hike up!). Elsie hiked a mile up before she got in the backpack, Vada Belle took a nap the majority of the hike up, Jackson hiked part in just his socks because of his nasty blister, and Ansley proved that she is going to be our little hiker by speeding up the mountain super fast.
Mother's Day with my mom, one of my sisters, and my four sweet babies.
Mother's Day Hike Up To Elk Knob

I also received some awesome, homemade presents, made by my four sweet kids. They were SO excited to give me my gifts on Mother's Day morning!

The week after Mother's Day was the last full week of school, and we stayed busy with school activities and programs. On Monday night we went to the "Citizenship Awards" where Jackson got a medal, Thursday we attended Ansley's "Kindergarten Celebration," and then on Friday we went to the 1st-3rd grade awards ceremony where Jackson received an award for reading and math.
Jackson's Academic and Citizenship Awards For The School Year

Ansley's "Kindergarten Celebration"
She did a fantastic job!!

The last full day of school was also Jackson's 7th birthday, and we had planned to go to Dollywood that weekend to celebrate. We had a ticket to get a friend in free, and we let him pick someone to bring for part of his birthday gift. He brought his friend Caleb, and all 5 kids had a great time! We also met up with Cindy, Frankie, Caleb, Cheyenna and Cody there, and needless to say Cindy and Frankie spoils the kids a little more than we do at Dollywood! :) 

The next day was the last day of school, which thankfully was only a half day since we didn't get home from Dollywood the day before until midnight, (and it was also the day that we saw the swarm of bees!). We spent that week hanging out at the house playing in the backyard and enjoying the beginning of our summer, and then we celebrated Jackson's birthday with a few friends at his Mario party.
Ansley surprised us several times this month by showing us things that she taught herself to do. One day (this was probably actually in April) she came out of her room with her hair beautifully braided, and when I asked her who braided it, she said, "Me! I kept practicing until I figured it out." It was just a couple of weeks after that when we were getting ready for a t-ball game, and running late like usual, she came in the living room with her cleats and put them on. I told her I would tie them for her in the van and as we were walking out of the house I noticed they were tied. When I asked her who tied them, I got the same answer when I asked her about the braid. A week or so later, the kids were playing up at Mamaw Di's house and Ansley wanted to ride on the bike. Mamaw Di was holding it for her, and when she let go, Ansley kept going. I told Eric I wish I had an odometer on her bike because I would love to know how many miles she has ridden since then!
No Training Wheels!

We went to Sparta for one of Eric's cousin's baby shower, and the kids love going over there and hanging out with that side of the family and playing with some more of their cousins (and poor Jackson is still a trooper with not complaining even though he is the ONLY boy there, too!).

My friend Angela laughs and says I give my kids some type of sleeping pills because of the random places and ways we'll find them asleep, such as in a sandbox, on a slip and slide, at the dinner table, on the hill (Elsie was suppose to be getting in the van but decided to take a nap instead), in the hallway.... and all of these pictures are from May alone! :)

And just a few random more:

Now we are ready for sunshine, pools, and fun summer memories!