Thursday, June 30, 2016

Happy 3rd Birthday, Mattie Claire!

 photo 3rdbirthday_zpsymslaqu1.jpg

Dearest Mattie,

How can you already be turning 3 years old?  How can it have been 3 years since I woke up on that Sunday morning with so much hope of soon meeting you with contractions growing stronger through the day?  How can it have been 3 years since I held you in my arms and finally looked upon your beautiful face?  Memories of you and that special day will forever live in my heart, and that is where you will live until the day we finally meet again.  So much has happened in these past three years.  Life didn't stop.  It didn't even slow down.  I am thankful for that because every day brings me closer to you.  But life did change.  Our hearts and our home changed because of you.  We all know someone is always missing from our memories.  I am sure even your little brother will feel it as he grows up.  He will know you by your picture on the wall.  I catch him looking at it sometimes so maybe he already knows.  We just want you to know we will never forget you, and you will always live in our hearts and be a part of our family.

 photo birthday2_zpslilbgmuy.jpg

So today we will celebrate you, and the day you were born to live in your heavenly home and forever in our hearts!  Happy Birthday to our beautiful baby girl!

With all my love,


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Brody's 2nd T-Ball Season {2016}

Brody enjoyed another year of t-ball this Spring, and I could really see him grow and mature in the sport as he hit the ball harder, ran faster, and was way more attentive in the field.  He was on the Holly Springs Rubberducks this year, and I didn't discover until late in the season that his team was named for the Triple A minor league Akron Rubberducks.  Coincidentally, they are the minor league affiliate for the major league Cleveland Indians, and Evan played on the Indians team this year.  We had another successful season of team sports in our family, and I suspect we have many more years of this busy sports life.  Evan is already signed up for his first season of tackle football this fall, and we are trying to decide whether Brody will play soccer or t-ball in the fall.  We usually do soccer, but he is just not a contact sport kind of boy.  He seems to get a lot more out of playing t-ball so we will see.  And of course one of my favorite parts of being a boy mom is watching my boys learn to play sports and taking lots of pictures.

 photo tball.collage1_zpsra6flmhy.jpg
I can not believe how big he looks now on the ball field.  He was all ready to play his first game.  It was still a little chilly in April so he wanted to wear a long sleeve shirt under his jersey. 
 photo tball.collage2_zpsfomprb8z.jpg
At first, he wanted to swing slow and carefully to make sure he contacted the ball so he wasn't hitting very hard, but after the first couple of games, he was swinging like a pro and making perfect contact with the first swing. 

 photo tball.collage3_zps9v1lcneo.jpg
Very proud of himself on first base. 

 photo tball.collage4_zpst0lrffzk.jpg
I love watching him run.  He has definitely gotten more confident since last year and is running much faster. 

 photo tball.collage18_zpsl2xdmxgq.jpg

 photo tball.collage5_zpsyrgj9uhg.jpg
End of the game high fives and snacks are always a favorite. 

 photo tball.collage6_zpskum34wvl.jpg
He also did well in the field and was usually very attentive and ready for action.  He stopped some good ground balls.  

 photo tball.collage7_zps9yma6wwn.jpg
Blowing Mom kisses and melting her heart!

 photo tball.collage8_zpsmfnadps4.jpg
But yes, there was a little playing in the dirt action too.  And I love that high five action I caught between him and a teammate. 

 photo tball.collage9_zpsz1lwifjq.jpg
Of course, he had the cutest little cheering squad.  I love Mattox's cute faces.  "What was that call, ump?  Open your eyes!"

 photo tball.collage10_zps35j3ts7x.jpg
Daddy giving him a hitting demonstration.  A close call at first, but he was safe. 

 photo tball.collage11_zpst2xrfjdi.jpg
Waving to Mom in the dugout. 

 photo tball.collage12_zpsnz3conos.jpg
Caught that perfect swing and hit!

 photo tball.collage13_zpsr8zmlmej.jpg
High fives for Dad!

 photo tball.collage14_zpswadtw9hy.jpg
Yay for more snacks!

 photo tball.collage15_zpsu1w8yp9c.jpg
Mattox's new ride really helped make games a lot easier.  He loves a car!

 photo tball.collage16_zpspa0umebg.jpg
Team trophy presentation after the last game.  They also got special rubberducks with their number on them. 

 photo tball.collage17_zps5vot0cls.jpg
And a final picture with the coaches.  Perfect ending to a great season!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Evan's Last Day of 3rd Grade

Evan's last day of school was on Friday, June 3rd so I am a good bit behind.  While we continue to be disappointed in many aspects of Evan's school education, we continue to be proud of his accomplishments and love of learning.  He continues to excel in all subject areas although he still really enjoys math and science.  He does still love to read, and his other interests tend to reflect the books he enjoys most.  He also found a fairly new appreciation for art and really enjoyed making some unique art projects this year.  We have been enjoying a pretty busy month break from school before both Evan and Brody go back to school July 11th.  I can't believe I will be dropping two kids off at school soon.  It will be both a sad and happy day as I know they will both enjoy being in school together.  We finally got Brody's official school assignment and track assignment confirmation that he will be at the same school and on the same track as Evan so that was a big relief.  Now, we have a little more traveling to do before we make the final school preparations.

 photo school1_zps3ms2carr.jpg
We didn't get pictures until after school this year because we had a busy morning getting out the door.  I needed to actually get us all dressed and ready because we were going to Evan's class for his final class project presentation.  He chose to do his presentation on the state of Washington.  I wish I had pictures from that experience, but I only got a video.  

 photo school2_zpssx8trand.jpg
His teachers made them name art using their classmates' descriptions of them.   

 photo school4_zpsd9qcflzp.jpg
His school and school system does no awards or honor roll presentations so his teachers awarded them class superlative awards.  Evan got the Future Scientist award.  Of course, I would have given him the Future Engineer award, but I can't expect teachers to know him as well as I do.  

 photo school5_zpsz6nlho76.jpg
He wanted to pose pretending to write on a chalkboard.  Learning his multiplication facts was a big accomplishment, and he breezed through them all very quickly.  They were allowed to learn at their own pace and were working towards an end of the year ice cream treat as a reward.  He had finished learning all of his multiplication facts many months ago.   

 photo school7_zpsxf4h16wu.jpg
Daddy wasn't able to make it to his end of year class presentation so he brought Evan lunch one day the week before and ate with him.  Evan got to pick two friends to eat with them outside. Sadly, his best friend Nael in the Captain America shirt will be going to a different school next year.  
 photo 3rdgrade.comparison_zpsmhwcziob.jpg
I definitely see some growth through the year.  I think he has a much more mature smile since his front teeth have grown a lot. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Brody's Preschool Graduation

I was a little sad that Brody wouldn't get a special preschool graduation since he has been doing preschool at home with me this past year.  Even though he didn't have the best teacher who could devote as much time to his studies as he would have liked, he was a great student who always listened well, followed instructions perfectly, and loved doing his schoolwork.  I hope he will carry his passion for learning into the future as he begins the next phase of his education.  He is so excited to go to big school with Evan in July after we return from our two weeks of travel with Daddy.  He has his new backpack ready to go and is very excited.  Things have been a little unsure about Brody's school placement because the school system was trying to send him to the elementary school that is our home school even though he is supposed to be assigned to the same school as his sibling.  The school system has finally admitted they were wrong and reassigned Brody to Evan's school so we are just waiting for the final word from the school about Brody's class assignment.  It has been a frustrating situation that I have not wanted to share with Brody because I knew he would be very upset about not going to school with Evan...not to mention the hardship it would have been for me to get two kids to two different schools that start at the same time miles apart!  Evan can not ride the bus now to his school because it is not his home school, and I am not putting my young kindergartner on a school bus by himself.  Anyway, we hope this situation is permanently resolved now.

As for the graduation ceremony, I wanted Brody to get to wear a little cap and gown and walk in to pomp and circumstance playing.  I don't know what it is about that song, but I just tear up when I hear it playing while my kids walk in looking so big in their little graduation caps.  I can still remember that feeling when Evan had his little graduation at his preschool.  I made Brody's cap and gown from some black fabric I had left over.  I didn't sew anything, but I think it did the trick for the short time he wore it.  Grandma, Aunt Naomi, and Grady came to celebrate his last t-ball game, graduation, and Grandma's birthday with us so he had a little audience.  He marched in proudly, recited the Pledge of Allegiance, sang his ABC song, and was very excited to receive his diploma.  I hope he has a special memory that he will never forget.

  photo graduate10_zps8qz3isgb.jpg

 photo graduate1_zpswwjl2jfs.jpg
Our proud graduate wearing his little cap and gown and even a special necklace for being a star student.  Daddy was taking video when he marched in. 

 photo graduate2_zpsm2nbowfw.jpg

 photo graduate3_zps7iezo3a6.jpg

 photo graduate4_zpsm3hkodkg.jpg

 photo graduate5_zpsdqcrolsy.jpg
Receiving his diploma or "certificate" as he proudly calls it.  

 photo graduate6_zpsvwjkidst.jpg
Mommy is a very proud teacher of this little guy. 

 photo graduate7_zps5u6wmq22.jpg
The honorary hand shaking.

 photo graduate8_zpsyvhe0plv.jpg
Teacher and her star student of the year.  Please ignore how rough teacher is looking.  It was a long day after a hot morning watching his last t-ball game, eating lunch, and then rushing home to put the finishing touches on his graduation ensemble.  It was a headband kind of day.   Ha!
 photo graduate9_zpskboofkdg.jpg
I wanted a picture with his balloon, but I wasn't quick enough before he had dived into his blue cupcake. 

 photo graduate11_zpsluo0skdh.jpg
Ugh, brightly colored cupcakes for the graduate and Grandma.  

 photo graduate12_zpssjcto2rn.jpg
And just a quick beginning of school/end of school picture comparison.  I just hate that the end of school picture was not his full body so you can get an idea of how much he has grown.  Sigh.  This is what happens when non-blogger parents take the pictures.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Memorable May {2016}

Another month has come and gone, and as usual, it was a busy one.  Besides the end of school year events, wrapping up another year of Cub Scouts, and spending many nights on the ball fields with two little ball players, we managed to throw a few little extras in through the month.  Sometimes I just get to the end of a month and try to catch my breath and am just thankful we made it.  Ha!  I think this is definitely a sign of my age.   It's just all about survival now!  Haha!

 photo May1_zps1hu4ygo4.jpg
Well, we did it finally.  Eddie and I stopped at this infamous tourist trap on I-95 on the NC/SC line.  Eddie had to drive down to one of his Association member's farms to pick up some tree seedlings they were donating to pass out at Forestry Day at the Legislature so we rode along with him (except Evan who was in school) and made a stop here for lunch.  I was not too impressed with the Mexican restaurant we chose as it had very few Mexican meals on the menu, but Brody loved all of the brightly colored sights.

 photo May2_zpsrwov4ija.jpg
He enjoyed riding a turtle and pretending he was a big strong gorilla. 

 photo May3_zpsun9mmjyn.jpg
Mattox got to ride a pig with big brother, and Brody wants to give you a big gorilla hug. 

 photo May4_zpspjkamvhk.jpg
And who wouldn't love a sombrero wearing dinosaur or a blue crocodile or purple antlered jackolope.  We also took a burro ride South of the Border.  

 photo May5_zpsu9owoffz.jpg
Brody enjoyed using his new frozen yogurt maker to make a cool treat that almost compared to our beloved Pinkberry. 

 photo May6_zpscgdxw1ic.jpg
More library story time adventures.  This was a fun one when she pulled out her mystery box for the kids to guess what animals were in the box.  Brody plays that game in the car all the time.  

 photo May7_zpslgwc7xvg.jpg
We actually got to the library early this time so we were able to read some books before story time.  Brody brought me these.  Otto the Book Bear was a very cute book, and Cloudette was a cute story about a little cloud who wanted to do big things until she discovered that she could.  In the Space of the Sky was more of a picture book of art.  We brought home Ninja Red Riding Hood to share with Evan since I knew he would enjoy this twist to the old classic. 

 photo May8_zpstbzfo2mj.jpg
Oh this kid!  He is looking so big lately and loves getting in to everything...including the dog's cage and water bowl.  He loves food and has a pretty adorable baby plumber crack if I do say so.  Ha!

 photo May9_zpsso2hx12e.jpg
Brody and I read some funny books and tried to work on some more sight words.  

 photo May10_zps3nwvugkh.jpg
Mattox is just Mommy's cool little dude.  He loves glasses of any kind. 

 photo May11_zpsc02wnura.jpg
I finally finished "Paper Towns" which was okay for young adult literature.  We also celebrated another special Mother's Day, and I enjoyed the look back at my last Mother's Day with sweet baby Mattox. 

 photo May12_zpsnpyutod6.jpg
Oh how he has grown!  He just won't let go and walk on his own and wants that security of something or someone to hold on to.  But he is going everywhere and climbing everything.  Sigh. 

 photo May13_zpsx26dlg1i.jpg
Me and the cutest little piggy ever.  I seriously need my sink to do this.  Ha!  I just loved that special Smokey Bear meme one of our NC Forest Service friends posted.  And I always love cards from my sweet Brody.  He drew our house and family with lots of hearts.  

 photo May14_zpsibvccmee.jpg
This little man had a great second season of t-ball.  I could really see his progression and maturity on the field as he paid attention more and really gave it his best.  He hit the ball hard and ran hard.  He hasn't quite figured out the thumb's up sign yet so this is what I get from him.  Ha! 

 photo May15_zps5hn4ypuh.jpg
The boys got to meet Captain America at dinner after the game.  We also saw this huge snapping turtle at the ball field one night.  Not to worry, I was standing very far away and using the zoom on the camera to take that picture.  Ha!  Brody and Mattox and I also enjoyed a doughnut breakfast one morning. 

 photo May16_zpsxsttldky.jpg
And we got to go to the pool for the first time this year.  All of these boys are loving the water this year. 

 photo May17_zpstw0ivvne.jpg
Fun times!

 photo May18_zpspu05hvvd.jpg

 photo May19_zpswgwoysf7.jpg
Oh that car boat has given our boys so many happy memories.  We got it when Evan was Mattox's age, and I remember him just loving it so much and sitting in it in the house rubbing the sides saying "my car boat!"  Ha!

 photo May20_zpsnmvp2lc2.jpg

 photo May21_zpsg3nxkr5e.jpg
We finally got these boys some more sand for their sandbox.  Mattox loves playing with big brother.  

 photo May22_zpscjbpxz2c.jpg
Evan is learning to cut grass by himself and building some arm muscles too. 

 photo May23_zps3k2a219r.jpg
And Mattox is learning to appreciate a ball more.  He and Brody were "throwing" the ball back and forth.  I just love all of my boys in those little Oshkosh overalls.  Don't ask me why I get asked if he is a girl wearing them because to me they are quintessentially little boy.  People are just weird!

 photo May24_zpsq0otlygo.jpg
Sometimes, you just need a blurry selfie of you and your little one. 

 photo May25_zpssyitgypx.jpg
These boys enjoyed a yummy meal at one of our town's best restaurants, The Mason Jar Tavern.  We haven't been in a long time because it is usually so busy.  They just opened a second location so maybe it will be a little easier to go now.  Evan enjoyed the southern favorite, chicken and waffles with a special maple syrup.   

 photo May26_zpsnpx2fayv.jpg
And some pictures of these twins.  Daddy and Mattox were matching for church. 

 photo May27_zpsg9fj8ipx.jpg
Sometimes these two are so sweet and love each other so much.  I do think they will be the best of friends growing up.  

 photo May28_zpsh8t2t5lp.jpg
Another library story time this month learning the letter P.  

 photo May29_zpsionoqnti.jpg
We don't eat at McAlister's nearly as much these days.  It is just too far away for us to go regularly.  This was probably the biggest change to our lifestyle when we moved from Charlotte where we had about five stores within just a couple of miles of us.  We liked to go on Tuesday night for kids' eat free.  Now, our Tuesday night choice is usually Moe's Southwest Grill.  Still, I try to get a big glass of ice cold sweet tea from there whenever I can. 

 photo May30_zps2cyzypam.jpg
On the cuteness of a baby in pajamas passed out on the couch.  Ha!  Or how about some adorable cookie monster jammies? 

 photo May31_zpsouq813j4.jpg
Yay for the first Rita's italian ice and gelato of the season!  We were so sad that our Apex location had closed, but we are glad there is still one in Cary.  It seems like every ice cream or yogurt place we love ends up closing.  I think it is because people really don't appreciate quality anymore.  They love the junky, overpriced frozen yogurt places with self-serve machines and toppings.  Those places make me cringe! 

 photo May32_zpsvctutmko.jpg
We ventured to the park on Memorial Day weekend to get some fresh air, but due to a recent rain, it was very wet, hot, and humid.  This baby didn't mind the wet slide too much and is getting much better at venturing on the big equipment.  He is very cautious though. 

 photo May33_zpsm1j0kx28.jpg
Wet booty from the slide! 

 photo May34_zps749jkff3.jpg
The big boys enjoyed riding their scooters on the nice paved paths. 

 photo May35_zpsrevv74mk.jpg
Cocoa tried to enjoy her very hot walk.  We did see this neat heron on the lake. 

 photo May36_zpsrrlaayie.jpg
Mattox walking with Daddy while waiting at the doctor's office.  He also looks so adorable in his towel after his bath. He loves playing peek-a-boo with his blanket or towel. 

 photo May37_zps67vkhbxw.jpg
Beware that when you have to wait with kids at a doctor's office and let them play with your phone, you may end up with a dog nose or watermelon on your face.  Ha!  And your five year old will want to try out his milking skills on any unsuspecting cow statue.  

 photo May38_zpsybnf5dpy.jpg
Some of our state's cities have picked animals to represent them and then have these statues painted by artists.  New Bern had bears, and Raleigh used to have a lot of wolf statues.  This cow was in Chapel Hill, NC outside UNC Hospital.  It was painted with the city of Raleigh skyline, the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC, and some of our state's famous lighthouses.  

 photo May39_zpsmd8mlvpq.jpg
While waiting at the doctor, I was reading the latest issue of Our State magazine.  This is a beautifully printed magazine filled with pictures and stories of places in our state.  This issue had featured several old drug store restaurants around the state, and one of them was just down the road on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill.  Franklin Street is the "infamous" center of college life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (the nation's first state university).  It is a popular spot for all college students in the state to head for Halloween night festivities.  Sutton's Drug Store dates back to 1923 and is still a thriving business.  They no longer operate the pharmacy since larger chains have taken over the pharmaceutical business, but you can still see the old pharmacy inside as you sit around the soda fountain counter and order yummy ice cold fountain drinks or fresh squeezed fruit drinks.  They also have a large stock of old fashioned bottled beverages that I wanted to sample.  Some of them sounded so delicious.  I enjoyed a yummy cherry limeade, and Brody enjoyed a fresh squeezed orangeade over some cold crushed ice.  

 photo May40_zpspkzepot2.jpg
The inside of the store does boast a lot of UNC sports jerseys and memorabilia that my husband wasn't too happy about, but Brody loved the huge candy display.  


Related Posts with Thumbnails