Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Happy 8th Birthday, Jackson Lee!

This past weekend we celebrated our Jackson Lee turning eight years old!
At eight years old Jackson is obsessed with building things with Lego's, he loves to read, he enjoys riding his bike with his sisters, playing outside on the swing set and helping out with the chickens, ducks and turkeys, watching movies, and eating hamburgers. When he grows up he says that he is going to be a Lego creator and a missionary in California. He has such a huge heart and is always looking out for others, especially his sisters, and he can't wait for his baby brother to arrive so he won't be the only little boy.
For his birthday this year he decided instead of a big party that he would have just a couple of friends to spend the night (a couple more that he wanted to come were out of town), and then we took an overnight trip to Wilderness of the Smokies. When his friends came over, they told me that they were going to stay awake all night long. I finally made them all lay down at 1:30 am, when I was going to bed, and then they woke me up at 5:30 am. They almost made their goal of staying up all night! They had a great time and were very well behaved.
On Saturday after his friends left, he opened his gifts from us since it was his actual birthday. We then went up that night to Mamaw Dianne and Papaw Fred's to have a cookout and birthday cake.
On Sunday morning we got up and headed towards Wilderness of the Smokies. The kids LOVED the waterparks and were exhausted by the time we left Monday night. Jackson's favorite things there were the Trail Twister water slides and the Lazy River, Ansley loved all of the water slides and the surf rider, Elsie's favorite was the big bucket that dumped the water out and the water slides (that she was tall enough to ride), and Vada Belle loved the little water slides.
We are so proud of you, Jackson Lee, and are so thankful that God blessed us to be your parents. We love you, buddy!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Last Day of 1st and 2nd Grade

First Day and Last Day of 2014-2015 School Year

Today was the last day of school for the 2014-2015 school year! Jackson and Ansley Kate had a wonderful school year and absolutely loved their teachers that they had.
Jackson had a fantastic year and received awards for good citizenship, highest overall average award, a science award, and a math award. He said his favorite thing about second grade was reading, his teachers, Mrs. Morefield and Mrs. Sentell, science, and being able to check out two books at a time from the library.
Ansley Kate had a fantastic year as well, and she received a good citizenship award on awards night, too. They didn't do academic awards for first grade, but her writing, reading and math skills have improved greatly this year. She says her favorite things about first grade was drawing pictures, when Frosty (the class elf) came to visit, math, reading chapter books at home, and her teacher, Ms. Zukowski.

Look at the pictures from the beginning of the year (the top pictures) compared to the end of the year. My babies have grown so much (and Ansley has a completely different smile without those two front teeth).

Remember the first day of school picture where Elsie and Vada Belle were less than excited about Jackson and Ansley starting back to school? As you can see when they got off the bus around 12:00 this afternoon they were very excited to have their big brother and sister home for summer!
Now we are ready to enjoy our summer break and not think about school starting back (although Elsie keeps reminding me that when it does she will be going to- which I am NOT ready for). :)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Dance Spring Recital and Ballet

The first weekend of May was a weekend full of dance for the girls (and Jackson was so very patient while going back and forth to rehearsals and performances). This year the studio they dance for, Studio K, did the ballets Snow White and Frozen, and they were amazing! Here are some pictures and videos from Ansley, Elsie and Vada Belle's tap routines and their part in the Snow White ballet.

Ansley Kate's dance class did a tap routine to "We Belong Together," a jazz routine to "Ring, Ring", and they were bluebirds in Snow White. I love their beautiful blue dresses.
Tap Routine

Jazz Routine

The Bluebirds in Snow White

Elsie's class did a tap routine to "Good Ship Lollipop" and they were some Comfort Butterflies in the Snow White ballet.
Tap Routine

The Comfort Butterflies in Snow White

Vada Belle's class did a tap routine to "When I Grow Up" and they were Snow White's Little Friends in the ballet. This class has only been dancing since January, and I thought they did a fantastic job!
Tap Routine (Vada was very concerned about staying on her number) :)

Snow White's Friends

Eric also joined in the fun and played an Iceman in the Frozen part of the ballet:

Getting ready for the tap recital:
Before the ballet:
My beautiful dancers:
We're done! The kids were excited they got to meet the troll and Olaf from Frozen after the ballet:
We are so thankful and love all of the teachers at Studio K. Thanks for all your hard work you put into your shows and dancers.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

April 2015

What a whirlwind of a month April was! Between church events, baseball, t-ball, dance, etc. we were running from one place to another non-stop. Even though it was crazy busy, it was a wonderful and fun month, and of course went by way too fast. Here are some pictures of a few moments from this month:

- One Wednesday night at church we were discussing in the kid's class about how Jesus learned to be a carpenter from Joseph, and then at the end of the class each kid wrote down something they wanted to learn how to do to help out at home. Ansley Kate absolutely loves our chickens, ducks and turkeys, and she wrote that she wanted to learn how to catch the chickens when they get out of the pen and put them back, and a couple of days later she did just that. She was so proud of herself!
- The girls wearing some old dresses that my sisters and I use to wear when we were little. (Except the one Vada Belle has on, and a friend of mine actually picked up that vintage dress from our local thrift store). How adorable are they?
- Our calendar with our April activities
- Elsie and Amelia going on a ride
Elsie had kindergarten orientation at the beginning of the month, and when I took this picture she actually had no idea why we were really at the school. She has always said that she was going to be homeschooled, but I wanted her to go to kindergarten orientation just to see what it would be like. After we took this picture and walked down to the cafeteria, one of the kindergarten teachers looked at her and said, "Are you excited about kindergarten?" I think that is when she realized that we were there more than just to pick up Jackson and Ansley, and she gave me quite the glare. She went with the teachers with no problem, though, and after she finished we went outside to let her play on the playground for a few minutes until the end of school. Jackson's class was out there so she played with him for a bit, but it wasn't long before she was off running around with the second grade girls. She left saying she is so excited for kindergarten and can't wait to start to school. (Mommy sure isn't ready for her to go!)

The first Saturday in April means of course the opening day of trout season, which is a day that Ansley especially looks forward to. Eric went along with Papaw, Ansley and Jackson this year, because Elsie wanted to go, too, but we weren't sure how long her attention span would last while fishing. Unfortunately it was really cold that morning and the fish just weren't biting. They did catch a few that Eric threw in the smoker.
My niece, Abigail, was on her spring break one week this month, and we were so excited that her, Tiffany and Amelia were able to come hang out for several days. While they were up, Tiffany and my cousin Jennifer took Tiffany's girls and Elsie and Vada Belle to Grandfather Mountain one morning (and Jackson and Ansley weren't happy that they missed out while at school). We loved having them here to play with for a few days!
I wrote last month about Jackson doing the Barter Youth Academy acting classes, and early in April he had his performance night. He was so excited about getting to act in front of an audience, and said on the drive to Abingdon to Barter, "I have been so excited all day that I just wanted school to be over and to get off the bus so we could do our performance!" Their class was small, but they did a fantastic job.
 The kids enjoying a windy morning flying kites:
We had a crazy hail storm (that scared the kids) one afternoon. It came out of nowhere and the lightning was ridiculous, as well as the hail damage to our cars.
In March I posted about putting some of our chicken and duck eggs into an incubator Eric bought, and this month they hatched out! We only had two chickens (which Elsie named one Wyld Style and Vada Belle named the other Ella), and four ducks hatched out (Ansley named the first one Abigail, Jackson named the second one born Captain Quack, and then we also have Little Bit and one never got a name- oops!). The kids loved watching them hatch out, growing so much, and they help us make sure they have plenty of food and water.
April also means the beginning of baseball season! Jackson moved up to the coach pitch league this year (which makes it much harder on mom and dad that he and Ansley are now in two different leagues).
Little sisters love going to the games as much as their big brother and sister do. They always find a friend to play with at the practices and games!
Hanging out at the house with the little girls swinging on their horse tire swing and blowing bubbles, and Elsie and her friend at her birthday party. On the way home from the party Elsie was talking up a storm and singing along to the radio, and then she got quite for not even a minute and when I asked her a question and she didn't respond, I looked into my rear view mirror to see her asleep with this mustache on that I didn't even know she had. Silly girl!
One day we were up at my parents house, and when we were leaving the kids wanted to run down to our house. It started sprinkling and then just a few moments later it was pouring the rain, and when I drove by Jackson and Elsie, I see this. Jackson took his shirt off and gave it to Elsie to put over her head so she wouldn't get wet. Like I have said so many times before, he is going to make such a wonderful husband one day!
-Elsie snoozing with her Barbies and Elsie and Vada Belle with their new sun hats
- There is a story behind the picture of Vada Belle covering her bottom. We were down at the barn doing some things, and she came down there.  She somehow lost her pants along the way and was walking around like this. I asked her if she needed to go use the bathroom and she said, "No." I then asked why she was covering her butt like that and she said, "Because! I don't want the chickens to see my butt!" We solved that problem by just putting her pants back on. She keeps us laughing for sure!
 The girls at their ballet rehearsal preparing for their upcoming ballet and recital:
Along with Easter and our zoo trip, these are just a few more memories from our April. I love busy, crazy months like this! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Asheboro Zoo

For our kids spring break they always get Good Friday and then the Monday after Easter for their break. Elsie has been asking for a while if we could go to the zoo, so Eric and I decided to take the kids there on Monday for a fun little activity to do over Spring Break. The kids were even more excited when they found out that their cousins, Abigail and Amelia, were going to be able to meet us there. The weather was perfect and we had a wonderful day.
 Checking out the giraffes and zebras:
 Chimpanzee Exhibit:
 The Bear Exhibit:
 Flamingos, Bird Exhibit, and the Lions:
 My favorite- The Polar Bear:
 Riding the Carousel and doing the wind experiment:
 They have an awesome new play area at the Zoo that I think the kids could have stayed and played there all day long.
 Elephants and Rhinos:
 A wonderful day with our family!