Friday, June 30, 2017

Mattie Claire's 4th Birthday

Dearest Mattie,

I am so sorry so many people have forgotten how precious you are, but as I have always promised, I will never forget you.  You are with me in my heart every day of my life.

 We will do a wonderful job of celebrating you today, I promise.  We will have decorations, cake, and fun things we know you would enjoy.

As I have pondered how we have come this far since the day you came silently into our lives, my heart breaks for all the wonderful memories we have missed with you.  I know you are so beautiful and happy and perfect in your heavenly home.  When I see other people say their living children are angels, I just want to tell them they have no idea what a real angel is.  I held one in my arms and kissed her beautiful face and will love her for the rest of my life until I can hold her again.

When I try to imagine what you would be like at four, I am lost.  I know you would be beautiful and sweet and fun as you grow into a little lady.  You would be learning so many knew things as you begin to prepare to start school.  You may know your ABC's and how to count and write your name and may even be learning to read.  You would probably be able to dress yourself and would probably have a unique style all your own.  With four brothers, I wonder if you would like sports and playing ball or if you would be mommy's girly princess who insisted on dressing up all the time and playing with your dolls.  Mommy would love that!

Mommy just wants you to know that you will always be loved.  She has a really hard time sharing about you because it is hard to talk about without crying and because most people just don't seem to appreciate you.  I just want the world to know how special you are, my little angel.  I hope that you are having the best birthday party ever in heaven and that you will enjoy watching our celebration here too.

With all my heart, happy birthday beautiful girl!  I love you!



Sunday, June 11, 2017

We're Gonna Party Like It's 2017!

You know us....just a bunch of party animals.  Haha!  Actually, Brody is the real party animal.  He loves a birthday party better than any kid I know which is why I have been so sad we haven't been able to throw him big parties the last few years due to our moving.  Hopefully, we can do something special for his 7th birthday.  For now, Brody is always happy to get invited to a party.  He got to attend three birthday parties at the end of the school year with his new school friends.  I love taking him and watching him having fun with his new friends.  He is just such a sweet, kind-hearted little man who will play with anyone.

Party #1 - Blake's Party

Brody sat down to write a sweet card for his pal, Blake.  We were excited to find out Blake is in Brody's first grade class too. 

The party was at a fun little indoor playplace that has inflatables, arcade games, laser tag, and a mini bowling alley.  The party guests were able to play the arcade games and use the inflatables.  We spotted a pirate minion and Alvin, Simon, and Theodore. 

He loved jumping in the fun inflatables and hanging out with his pal, Coltston. 

The pirate ship inflatable was pretty awesome. 

Brody and Blake were cheesing for the camera while eating pizza and cake. 

Brody gave Blake his present, played with Coltston, played skeeball, and sat on his purple throne.  
Party #2 - Bryce's Party

Brody enjoyed Monkey Joe's.  He doesn't remember ever going before because he was so young when we last went in Charlotte.  I used to take Evan a lot as a baby, but I never took Brody as much since I worked and went to school so much then.  I am glad he had a fun experience with his friends. 

Brody and his friends enjoy Monkey Joe's chair. 

The cute birthday boy had a Secret Life of Pets cake, and they all enjoyed more pizza.  Brody had already eaten lunch with us and still didn't turn down some pizza. Ha! 

Monkey Joe came in to see the birthday boy.  I was so happy Brody gave him a high five and loved him.  We may have to do a birthday party here for him. 

Cake time! 

Watching the birthday boy open his presents and posing for a picture at the lemonade stand before we had to leave. 
 Party # 3 - Coltston's Pool Party 

Brody and Mattox both enjoyed the pool party.  This neighborhood is a newer section of our neighborhood, and it has a newer more kid-friendly pool with a zero entry splash area.  

Mattox was mesmerized by the water shooting up. 

Daddy got in the pool with Mattox while Evan and Brody and his friends had a little water gun fight. 

Singing happy birthday and eating cake with Coltston ended a great party. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Evan's Last Days of 4th Grade

Evan finished up his 4th grade year strong receiving his first real report cards and making all A's.  He will continue to be in an advanced content class next year which has been great for motivating him to push himself more.  I didn't get to go to many of Evan's school events this year which really made me sad.  He did get to finally go on a field trip with his new class to one of the many historical forts in the area.  I wish I had pictures of that experience, but we will visit some of these forts together to make up for it.  Evan really enjoyed his first "real" field day experience.  The whole school competed in their selected events first and then some of the highest scorers and classes were invited to a District Field Day competition at the local high school.  Evan's whole class got to participate, and Evan competed in the 200 meter dash and the soccer kick competition.  I caught the end of the 200 meter race after coming back from seeing Brody, and Evan was in second.  The funny thing was the boy who won actually had lost one of his shoes at the beginning of the race and did the whole race with one shoe missing.  And I know that track had to be hot.  I joked that was why he won because he was trying not to burn his foot.  Evan lost his steam in that last quarter though so he only came in fifth.  I was proud of him although I told him he needs to practice to build up his endurance.  He loves to run, but he has been out of practice since we moved.  He did well in the soccer kick too and from my calculations watching all of the other competitors before him, I don't know how he didn't place.  He was the last one to kick, and I actually think someone had taken the scores before his kick was counted.  It was a really fun day for him even in the heat, and I was glad I could be there for some of it.  Evan's end of year party was fun with lots and lots of sweet treats as every parent contributed something.  I am thankful he had a great year even after changing schools again.  He still misses some of his old school friends, but he has made new friends very quickly.

Waiting to compete in the 200 meter. 

Just joking around as usual.  I love seeing my boy so happy! 

This was another moment that just made me so proud.  Evan spent a long time coaching and encouraging a girl in his class on how to do the soccer kick because she was nervous.  He went last in the competition just so he could help her.  I just love his big kind heart! 

He has an awesome kick and really wants to play soccer again although he gave it up to try football.  

Just hanging out with his classmates.  I can definitely see Evan becoming all arms and legs like a teenager these days. 

I love that sweet face encouraging his friend. 

Little brother was very proud to watch in the heat. 

The class tug of war match.  Evan chose to be at the back. 

They worked very hard and didn't give up, but the other side outmatched them in number I think. 

Sweet little brother Mattox loved eating lunch in the gym. 

I guess Evan will grow up being a Wildcat. 

5th Place in the 200 meter for the 4th grade boys. 

Evan's class did somehow win the 4th grade award. 
Cutting up during the class party with one of his best new friends. 

Little brothers wanted some of his fruit kabob. 

Mattox begs sweetly like a puppy while Brody just tries to take some. 

And sword fighting of course.  Ha! 

Silly boys. 

Evan giving his sweet teacher her gift.  We will see this teacher a lot because she lives just down the street, and her son and Evan play together a lot. 

Evan's other teacher was also very sweet, and her grandson played baseball with Brody.  It is a small, close-knit community. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Brody's Last Days of Kindergarten

This one is an important milestones post for sure.  How have I survived two years of kindergarten?  Of course, I still have a couple more years to survive the learning to read and write drama.  Ha!  Kindergarten has really been such a good experience for Brody, and he even handled changing schools like a champ.  He has just been such a sweet, loving, and motivated little learner, and we are so proud of the little man he is becoming.  Of course, we are glad he reserves his less than stellar attitudes for home.  Ha!

His last months at his new school were fun and challenging for him.  He was really pushed more academically to master his reading and math skills, and he came so far.  He does seem to enjoy math a little more than reading although he and I started the Magic Treehouse series that Evan enjoyed at this age, and he has been very excited to "read big books like Evan."  I had purchased all of these for Evan for the kindle, but I will just say that with an early reader, it is a little more difficult to read on a device because you can't touch the screen to follow along with your finger or you mess up the page you are on.  Haha!  #firstworldproblems

Brody also got to go on another fun field trip (sans parents this time), participated in a special field day event at the local high school, and even went to several birthday parties with his new school friends.  He wrapped up his year with a little presentation for the parents in which they performed some sweet (think tearjerker) songs, told us what they wanted to be when they grow up (painter/artist for him), had a beach theme party with yummy treats, and got lots of treasures from his teachers to remember the year.

{I must give many thanks to his teachers for taking many of these pictures for us!}

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Brody's class got to visit a small local aquarium and were able to see and touch many specimens of marine life. 

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The kids watched some demonstrations, and one of them was dressed up like a crab (I think).  

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Brody seemed to enjoy the touch tank. 

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Oh my!  No fear here.  Probably why he was so excited about "catching" some hermit crabs a couple of weeks ago at the beach.  We visited an inlet on Hilton Head during low tide, and there were millions of hermit crabs in the riverbed. 

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There was a loggerhead sea turtle and a horseshoe crab (I think) to touch. 

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Watching some shows with his class. 

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The kids were greeted with a little mess in their classroom for St. Patrick's Day.  A leprechaun had left his tracks everywhere. 

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Brody enjoyed making lots of new friends.  He was excited one day that he won the school "lottery" where they get picked to go to the Principal's office for a special treat.  They get "tickets" to enter for good behavior. 

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I failed most days of Dr. Seuss week to dress him up, but we did dress up for book character day.  He was the Mean Monster from "The Monster Who Lost His Mean." 

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I hated that I forgot to dress him in orange for Lorax day.  He brought home his first "pottery" which went perfectly with the one Evan made at the same age.  Brody said his was rainbow colored. 

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The boys both enjoyed "economics day" at school where they got to use money to buy things at stores set up all over the school.  Brody apparently wanted to spend his money at the hair and nail salon and came home with pink nails and red hair.  Ha!  Oh and a tattoo! 

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At field day, Brody's class won their tug of war match.  I was happy another parent got a sweet picture with Brody in it because I failed to make it in time.  This was a "district field day" event that only a couple of classes in each grade level got to attend at the high school, and both Evan's and Brody's classes got to go.  I did get there in time to see Brody before he left to go back to school.  His class went early and finished up before Evan's class arrived.  

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I found Brody in the gym after their lunch and awards presentation.  He didn't mind not getting a ribbon and just enjoyed the day.  He isn't a really competitive athlete, but he participated in the long jump and cornhole.  He really practiced his long jump with Evan's help so he knew how to do it. 

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The end of year presentation was so sweet.  Brody was very energetic doing the motions, and I could hear him singing above the other kids. 

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I think his big beautiful smiles say it all. 

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Enjoying his beachy treats.  They had a brunch style feast with muffins, doughnuts and fruit. 

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He received a bag full of memories and keepsakes from the year. 
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One of the parents made them some cute beach buckets full of goodies too. 

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My sweet little kindergarten "graduate." 

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Brody gave his teachers their little gifts of a pretty flowering plant in a pot we painted.  Thank you, Mrs. Daniel and Mrs. Smith. 

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They didn't wear caps and gowns for an official graduation, but his teachers had taken pictures of them and put them in their bags with their "diplomas." 


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