Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Memorial Weekend

We were more than ready for Memorial Day weekend to come around this year! We finally had a Sports Free Weekend! Mark got out early on Friday and had Monday off, of course. So we were really looking forward to some fun and relaxation together! 

Friday night we had Mal, Bob, and Lauren over for dinner. Lauren was in town which always means...
BALL FIGHT! The boys love their playmate! 

We grilled and all squeezed around the kitchen table together to eat! Love my FRAMILY! We stayed up waaaaay tooooo late playing games, singing karaoke, and having some drinks. So the next morning we were moving very slowly...
Dr. Brooks was checking out his patient. We just lounged around for the morning but then hit up opening day at the pool! 
 The weather wasn't awesome, but we've never missed an opening day. 
It was a little chilly so we only stayed about an hour. 

We came home and this one zonked out on the couch watching the Rockies with his Daddy! 

These two had a little play time on the deck. 

And then we headed to the Jansen's to celebrate Cohen's 6th Birthday! 
 The cousins all eating dessert on the trampoline. 

 The next morning we slept in, grabbed a yummy breakfast at Panera, and went shopping for flowers. 
We came home and planted and then snuck in another hour at the pool before another storm rolled in. 

We had a blast! 

Warming up during Adult Swim. 
It's always more fun when Daddy can join us! 

Monday was our annual Memorial Day trip up to the cabin…for maybe the last time. 
Sadly, the family has decided to sell the cabin. So we spent the day helping move furniture, taking home memorable items, and letting the kids explore! 
The kids loved the trailer we were using to move furniture. 
The took rides on it, played on it, and even ate on it every chance they got. Thankfully, Sue bought a "lodge" just 2 doors down from the cabin. So we will still be able to go up to the same area and still have a place in the foothills to unplug. 

The kids all had fun playing at Auntie Sue's lodge that day as well. 
Being animals!

Our last supper all together. As the boys have gotten older it is so fun to see how independent they can be in all of the open space. There were times this day when I wouldn't see them for an hour. They were off exploring and playing and throwing pine cones and making weapons out of sticks and hiking around. We are so thankful to have had this place where our boys can go and be surrounded by nature and creativity and freedom. 
We will miss the cabin but forever treasure our memories made there. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

End of the Year FUN!

The last few weeks of school went out with a BANG! They are so super fun, so super busy, and so super memorable! The end of the year is always bittersweet for me. I'm always VERY ready for summer, but I'm nostalgic and get sad to think about leaving the comfortable and safe routines that school and teachers and friends bring. 

The boys started bringing home a bunch of things from school. This list made me laugh. Nolan made it to help Mr. LaPorta get to know him better as he transitioned into their classroom for the last 6 weeks. 
He apparently now wants to be a baker. Who knows where that came from. 

Heath had an end of the year field trip to the Zoo! Mark got to go along as a chaperone! Heath was very excited to ride on the school bus again! 
Mark said that his group was hungry pretty much right when they got there. Sounds about right with Kindergartners! Always hungry. Ha! 
Heath showing off! 
Always flashing the peace signs! They had a fun day and Mark was exhausted when they got home! 

Brooks was the first to finish school. We contributed to a class gift but made sure to write some more personal notes to his teachers as well for the last day. 
And I prepared a little gift for Brooks for his last day as well. 
I ordered him two new books from Scholastic! They were both great and made me get teary eyed just reading them to him. These pages stood out! 
I love their messages and how applicable they were to Brooks this year. 
He has grown so much and we are very proud of him! 
 Mark came to school to join Brooks at his last day ice cream party! 
I came back to pick him up from Lunch Bunch later that day! Woo Hoo for an awesome year! 

I had fun helping out every Tuesday afternoon in Nolan and Heath's classrooms. In Nolan's room I mainly did Math and Reading groups. And in Heath's room I mainly did clerical jobs. It's fun to be able to watch the boys in action, to help their teachers and friends, and to see a little bit more of what goes on in their classrooms day to day. 
Heath's teacher gave me an awesome thank you gift! It was full of popcorn and candy and treats and a Wendy's gift card too! More than generous! I've loved the friendship I built with her this year. Mrs. Parker is so open and fun and easy to talk to. She will be missed greatly! 

I was the next to finish up school. 
We ended the year with a family celebration! 
I love preparing a few fun goodies for my kiddos as I send them on their way to 1st grade! 
For our last day, we don't have students. So we have the time to pack and clean and wrap things up. This has been one of the best years of my teaching career. My team is warm and caring and supportive and thoughtful. Bailey found a full time job at another school and will be moving on. And Kirsten has been moved up to 2nd grade. So we are parting ways. But I am so grateful for their friendship and will forever look back on this year warmly. My good friend, Rebecca, is coming down to join us from 1st Grade. We are so happy to have her! And we hired one new teacher. So next year will be different, but mainly because we are being moved to the mobile...
Here are some photos of my "new", actually very OLD, classroom. 
There is not much in it now. Other than wood paneling, so I have a lot of work to do to get this place in shape. 
At least I have my own bathroom...
It will be a warm, inviting, friendly, Kindie space…stay tuned for progress! 

I was happy to be done with school before the big boys, so that I was free to attend all of their fun, end of the year activities. 
Like Field Day! They had a great time playing with their friends all morning. 
I bounced back and forth watching their classes compete! They had new grade level t-shirts this year. The weather was perfect and they had a great time! That afternoon Nolan had game day and Heath got to watch a movie! Gotta love the last week of school! 

We prepared some gifts for their teachers of course. 
Loved their writing and illustrations! It looks like Mr. LaPorta has earrings, he doesn't, those are just his ear lobes! Ha! 

Heath brought home his Memory Book. 

This was one of my favorite things in it- Heath at 100 years old. So stinkin' cute! I can just picture him. 

Love this! 

 Mrs. Parker also had some fun goodies for her students to send them into summer! 

Heath wanted to make his Kool Aid right away! 

Heath had a super cute Kindergarten Program! 
Ready for some fun! 

They sang some of the same songs that Nolan did 2 years ago, but a few were different. 
Heath did such a great job! 
Heath is kind of hard to sport but he's in the middle of the third row up from the bottom. 

We're going buggy! This one was my favorite! 

Cue the tears. 

1st GRADE! 

Kindergartens in the house tonight! 
Love this kid so much! 

 After their performance we headed to the cafeteria for an ice cream party! 
Heath and his friend Evan. 
Oma & Opa came to support Heath. 
And they brought him some fun treats too! 
We love you Mrs. Parker! 
 Pictures with our guy to celebrate his hard work and accomplishments! 
He has had an amazing year! He is responsible and helpful. He has become a great reader and writer! He has made lots of friends. He is flexible and easy going and fun! 
And not to mention COOL! 

His program was on Wednesday but then they still had their LAST day on Thursday. So of course, I set out some fun goodies for them to find before they headed out for the last day! Nolan got the book The Chocolate Touch. It's so fun listening to him read books that I remember loving when I was little. Heath got a book about 1st Grade. I also bought them Magic Pens. They have seen these on infomercials and thought they were cool. Heath said to me that morning, "I see you got us Magic Pens by Whammo!" He's like a walking informercial himself! But they are REALLY cool, they have loved being creative with them already! 
We walked to school that morning and I snapped some pictures along the way. Heath with his friend Landon. They were in 3 year old preschool together at SEC. And Nolan with his friend Jackson- walking in, ready to be 3rd Graders, too cool to pose for a pic. Ha! 

While the boys were at school, Brooks and I hit the pool! Loved this last bit of special Mommy and Brooksie time! 

We picked the boys up after school and Nolan said goodbye to his buds! All 3 of his best friends are going to different schools next year so we are super sad! But we have all of their phone numbers and can continue to get together and keep in touch! Douglas County offers many school options, charter schools, challenge schools, etc. So we end up having a lot of turn over at our neighborhood schools. Which is sad, but kids are adaptable and meet and make new friends in different classes each year. But these 4 had a special bond and we won't forget the fun and friendship they had! 
2nd grade was a good year. It was neat to see Nolan extend his learning in Math, write more creatively than ever, and to become a reader who can tackle pretty much any text! He's a smart and sweet cookie! His teacher, Mrs. Littrell, was a master at differentiation, she knew her students so well and celebrated their uniqueness and met their needs. However, she sadly had to leave early to have her knee replaced, and the class got a long term sub. He did his best to finish out the year, but it's just never the same. And that happens some years. Just praying for the right fit of teacher and classmates next year. For stability and high expectations and warmth and fun. 

After saying our goodbyes we headed straight back to the POOL to let loose! 
Schools out for summer!!! Wahoo! We are all ready to relax! 

And what did Teacher Mommy make for the boys on their first day off...
Something to keep them motivated to read, work, and learn over the summer! They get to choose a reward when they fill their chart- a fun activity, a special meal or treat, a toy…it's up to them! I always need a little structure in our days at home together and it's good for them too! 

I can't believe that I have a 3rd Grader, a 1st Grader, and a Preschooler! That's just nuts! How did that happen? But they will continue to rock school…we know it!