Sunday, July 10, 2016

Bringing You Up to Speed

The previous blog post was about the first day of kindergarten. Now i am dying to write about the last day of kindergarten, but a whole lot has happened since then! It is kind of sad to write about the first day of a school year and then jump to the last day, skipping everything in between. So here is a quick run-down of the major events of the 2015-2016 academic year. Many of the things listed below deserve a blog post of their own. I hope to be able to come back and write about each individually. Until then, we will at least have an outline of what we've been up to this year.

September 2015

Sunny's Best Friend's Birthday - We all LOVE Best Friend so much. She is a wonderful girl and the perfect fit for Sunny. Their relationship is important to me, and i hope they can remain friends for a long time. Best Friend and her parents live on a homestead out in the country with chickens, pigs, a giant Saint Bernard, and tons of land to explore. Going out to their house is always a treat!

Apple Picking - We went apple picking on a gorgeous day and had a wonderful time.

October 2015

Gammer and Granddaddy's Visit - We had not seen my parents yet in 2015, so we were very thankful when they came to visit us!

Halloween - You may be surprised to hear this, but Halloween this year involved a lot of shiny satin and sparkles. Everyone was a princess, and everyone had a good time. We went to a harvest party at a church nearby and then went home to trick-or-treat on our street. Getting out to see our neighbors is important to me, so we always make sure to go trick-or-treating.

November 2015

Teeth Fell Out - Sunny lost a tooth at school. There is a lot of fanfare when you lost a tooth at school. The nurse gave her a little treasure chest to keep her tooth in and she proudly wore a sticker to let everyone know.

Dimples' First Birthday! - Cute little Dimples turned a year old. There was cake involved, which meant that Sunny and Bright Eyes were VERY excited. Dimples herself wasn't so sure about the cake, though.

Wonderful Thanksgiving - Our beloved friends Tripp and Laura along with their brood came to stay with us for Thanksgiving. Being with them was rejuvenating and uplifting. It was hard work wrangling six kids but well worth it! With our combined forces, Laura and i made THE BEST turkey. It was soooo delicious.

December 2015

December was jam-packed, as Decembers tend to be. We participated in some new holiday events this year that were a lot of fun!

Christmas Market and Parade - I took Sunny and Bright Eyes out for some Cornstalk Christmas festivities. They were so adorable, experiencing things for the first time. The highlight was probably getting their faces painted.

Singing in Church - All of the younglings at church went on stage in their Christmas finery to sing "Away in a Manger" with hand motions.

Nursing Home Nativity - My moms' Bible Study group went to visit a nursing home to put on a live nativity with the children. Dimples played the part of a lamb. She didn't even try to stay put for a picture, so this was the best we could do. Most of her black lamb nose had rubbed off already. Dimples was the youngest kid present and all the old ladies just ate her up! She loves meeting new people so it worked out well. Bright Eyes was a fancy angel.

Christmas Day - We had a wonderful Christmas Day at home with just us. We implemented some new traditions this year (although hopefully filling the house with smoke while cooking the Christmas turkey isn't one of them). I'm very thankful for the cozy family time we had spending Christmas together.

January 2016

New Year's Eve Fondue - We celebrated New Year's Eve with chocolate fondue, which of course was a huge hit with all the miniature chocoholics we have around here.

Never-Ending Sickness - We then spent the rest of January being sick. We had to cancel pretty much our entire schedule and then we all lost our minds from laying around in our misery at home for a month.

February 2016

The Only Thing That Ever Happens in February - is snow, of course.

High School Pals Reunion - I traveled to San Antonio for a get-together with my best girl friends from high school. It was 85 degrees in San Antonio, so imagine the shock of going from the picture above to t-shirts and sandals! I had the best time catching up with old friends. The picture is MIA so i will have to add that in later.

March 2016

Easter - We had a lovely Easter. The church we were visiting at the time held its Easter services in a beautiful theater downtown. I had never been to this theater before and honestly didn't know that it existed. It reminded me of my beloved historic theater where i grew up in Dixieland, at which i have so many fond memories. Generally, the Kingdom of the Cornstalks is not a visually inspiring place. The buildings are mostly ugly and there is a widespread lack of appealing design. This theater was a very welcome oasis of beauty in the midst of an otherwise drab environment. I felt my spirits soar as soon as we stepped inside. It was so meaningful to celebrate our Risen Savior in such an intricate location.

Sunny and Bright Eyes were mesmerized. Their hearts came alive and they didn't want to leave. They ran up and down the stair aisles and walked through the rows and imagined all sorts of things.

After church we had lunch at the Griffiths' house, which has become a cherished tradition. This was our third year in a row spending Easter with them. Since we have no family nearby, we don't have any continuity in what we do for holidays. They have shown us great hospitality, and we are thankful to be included every year.

April 2016

Sunny's 6th Birthday! - That sweet girl turned six, and we are so proud of her. Gammer and Granddaddy came to join in the festivities. We had a family celebration on Wednesday and threw a party for her school friends on Saturday. The party was a blast. I really enjoyed all those precious (yet extremely energetic) girls! When i tucked her into bed that night, she gave me a sincere "thank you" for all the work i put into making her birthday special.

May 2016

Holy moly, May was a blur! Before you have kids in school you hear all this talk about "such a busy time of year" and i always thought, "yeah sure whatever." It is majorly true, and we only have a kindergartener! I shudder to think a few years down the road when they are all in school and in higher grades. We had the double whammy of it being the busiest season for The Professor plus all of the end-of-the-year events for Sunny.

Kindergarten Showcase - The kindergarteners put on a performance of the songs they had learned in music class during the year. There was also an open house for parents and family to view artwork and writing assignments the students have done. Sunny was so proud to show off her work and tell us all the things she has accomplished in school. It was all kinds of adorable and we really enjoyed it. She is the one in the pink dress below. She styled her hair all by herself just for the occasion.

Mother's Day - was very sweet. The Professor and the girls worked so hard to make things special. They were excited for days about all the things they had planned and worked so hard not to give away the surprises.

Ice Cream Social - The PTA at Sunny's school sponsored an ice cream social to celebrate the successes of the school year. The weather was was FREEZING cold that day, and eating ice cream didn't help! Here is Sunny with some of her school buds, and Dimples trying to keep warm since we wouldn't let her run around.

Having Friends Over After School - The main goal of inviting Sunny's classmates to her birthday party was to obtain their parents' contact info. Once i had names and phone numbers of her friends' moms, i could start having friends come home with her after school. I was a little over-eager in this department, and learned many lessons the hard way. The kids had fun though!

The Little Mermaid on Broadway -  What an amazing experience! This will hopefully be a whole blog post on its own so i don't want to give away too much right now. For Sunny's birthday i bought tickets for the two of us to go on a mother-daughter date to see the Little Mermaid. We got all dressed up and went downtown. It's a memory that i will treasure!

Cornstalk Arts Festival - Is an event i look forward to every year. It is nice to have a little culture in the Kingdom of the Cornstalks every now and then. 

Field Day - I have such fond memories of field days with my school in K-8th grade, and was eager to volunteer at Sunny's school! That particular day was hot as all get out and i got burnt to a crisp. I always enjoy interacting with the elementary schoolers. My station was the "Bat Spin" in which players put their forehead on a baseball bat and spin around. Then they run to a cone and back. Our station was immediately before the water balloon toss, which every kid was dying to do in the oppressive heat. The half-heartedly endured the bat spin simply as a means to the end of water balloons.

Last Day of School - Woohoo! The last day of school is the prime reason i'm writing this post, because i wanted so badly to tell you about the end of school. We made a big deal out of it for Sunny and greeted her with fanfare. She survived a very rough year, and it was meaningful (to me at least) to celebrate her perseverance through a difficult situation.

Memorial Day -  Some brand-new friends invited us over to their house for Memorial Day. Their house is pretty much the closest thing to Disney World that our kids will ever experience. It was AWESOME. These new friends are inspiring people that i hope to spend more time with so i can learn from their strength of faith and character. They have adopted three special-needs children from China. The mom is a former special ed teacher who is extremely gifted at loving children. They have created an impressive play environment for their beautiful adopted daughters. The only trouble is trying to get your kids to leave when it's time to go!

And that wraps up the basics from our 2015-2016 school year! Thanks for joining us in this snapshot of our lives.

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