Thursday, May 21, 2015

First Day, Last Day: Kindergarten

First Day of Kindergarten!

Last Day of Kindergarten

Kindergarten has gone by in the blink of an eye! It's so bittersweet. I can barely walk in the school this time of year without getting teary. Evie has learned so much this year! Kindergarten has been a BIG learning curve for us and I did not expect that after teaching first grade for many years. School has changed a lot. Evie learned to do most of what I taught my class of first graders.

She is reading fluently, counting to 100 in multiple ways, solving math equations including word problems, identifying famous people from Tennessee and writing complex sentences. I am so proud of my sweet girl!

Kindergarten is a special year that sets the foundation for the years to come. Evie has not loved school every day but she adores her teacher and friends. She is happy, confident and has learned to adapt to new situations. 

I remember the first day of school like it was yesterday! Evie got off the bus and I caught this awesome image on my camera. Evie was worried she was never going to make it home when the bus went past our neighborhood. Our neighbor, Callie, talked her off the ledge and assured her that the bus would drop everyone off soon.

Evie is excited to start first grade and has already picked out a few teachers that she thinks would be fabulous! Mrs. C has been awesome for Evie - loving her and encouraging her every step of the way. Teachers make the magic happen in our school and I appreciate their hard work so much!

Evie had her program this week and of course it was a tear-jerker. She sang First Grade, First Grade to the tune of New York, New York!

"Start spreading the news.

We are leaving today

We are going to be a part of it

First Grade, First Grade!"

Here's to a fabulous summer and another terrific school year coming soon!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What's Been Going On!

I love my quiet mornings with this guy after Evie leaves for school! 

Henry's class at the Bike A Thon!

Henry loved taking his "bike" to school!

Evie's art debut at the Art Show at school!

Three kids is a LOT harder than two. Leah is our sweet friend and we love to have her visit.

Carl had to get a new vehicle for work and Henry was so sad to sell the truck. 

Evie's class before their end of the year program! This has been a fabulous class!

Evie went with me to the Search Committee meeting for a new record. Baby Bennett was there too!
Both my kids love babies!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

First Day, Last Day of the Panda Class

Henry finished his three year old preschool year yesterday. Tear! He is getting big so fast. in August, he was wearing diapers, sleeping in a crib and had the attention span of a flea. Now, he can write some letters, has been potty trained, sleeps in a big boy bed, counts, knows his letters and can even use large words such as metamorphosis in conversation. His teachers have been absolutely phenomenal!They deserve the world and I am so appreciative of their hard work and kindness this year.  I am super impressed with everything Henry has learned this year including his social skills. He has learned to work with a group, wait his turn and show empathy to others. Henry continues to show us what a sweet, smart boy he is every day. Cannot believe this little buddy will be in Pre-K in the fall!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mother's Day Weekend

We had such a nice weekend! Busy but nice!

Friday: I picked Evie and two of her friends up from school brought them back to my house to change into bathing suits and then back out the door for a pool party.  It was fun to be with the girls because they were so excited. Henry and one of the little girls that I took to the party were afraid of the dog. At one point, I had Henry on one hip and Molly on the other - I carried Molly over and deposited her into the pool.  Evie and her friends are excellent swimmers but pool parties are still a bit nerve racking. I had to hold Henry the entire time since he was scared of a poodle while trying to keep an eye on the girls! Then, once another mom I knew arrived Henry and I came home. We had some nice time together while Evie was at the party. Henry helped Carl to mow the grass! We were all happy when Evie got back. Evie has become quite the social butterfly.

Saturday: We had a lazy morning at home which is always a treat. Henry had a birthday party so we dropped him off and took Evie out to lunch. She chose McAllister's Deli because she thinks it is so fancy. After lunch, we went to a park for Evie to play for a bit. I think she was ready to see Henry before long. Henry had a terrific time at Arthur's birthday and was excited to tell us all about it. He thinks he is such a BIG kid with drop-off birthday parties. Both kids played in the sprinkler that afternoon and then Evie went on a walk with me. Carl grilled out some dinner and it was a nice night.

Sunday: Henry woke up first and wished me a Happy Mother's Day. He made me the sweetest little box with a note about his favorite thing to do with me - make cookies! Evie made me a book that was so cute. Both gifts will be treasured for many years to come. We went to church and Evie selected the second row as the best seat for us. YIKES! It was fine because it was Youth Sunday so the service moved at a faster pace. Henry sang "Happy Trails" during the hymn and asked me why the people up front get to talk but not anyone else. One of our friends had to get a service dog for their little girl because she was having seizures. Evie thought that was so hysterical to see a dog in church. Henry did not notice - thank goodness because he is not a fan of dogs at all! After church, we enjoyed a delicious brunch courtesy of the Men's Club. Evie and Henry really put away the cream puffs and bacon. I came home and took a nap - the  best gift ever! Then, we took a family hike. It was short because the regular trail has a lot of ticks right now. We headed to Local Taco for a late lunch. That's always a hit with our family. Next, we drove to 12 South for popsicles at Las Paletas and playtime at the park. It was a fabulous afternoon! Carl might have sneaked a little golf viewing and then we hung out with our sweet neighbors that are moving to Kentucky. I am still in denial that they are moving! It was a perfect Mother's Day! I feel so fortunate to have two healthy, happy children and that makes every day special. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Rosie the Goldfish!

Evie was so excited last week to get her first pet - a goldfish! Her class had four fish as part of a science unit and the teacher was sending them home. Evie told me that if she was carpool then her teacher would let her have one of the fish.

Of course, I picked her up at carpool and she was beaming from ear to ear carefully juggling her little fish in a plastic cup with a lid securely fastened on top while walking to meet me in the line. 

Evie had already named the fish - Rosie before she had even laid eyes on the fish. We welcomed Rosie into our home and loved her immediately. Courtney gave Evie some water treatment chemicals and a big fish bowl. Evie's friend, Molly, got a fish from school too. Her mom, Elizabeth, and I texted back and forth about how to care for our new pets. Their fish did not even make it 6 hours! Lettuce works until you can get some fish food - it worked for Rosie not for Rosie's friend.

I reminded Evie that everything that lives will die eventually. Evie was thrilled to have her very own pet and carefully picked a spot for Rosie in her bedroom.  Rosie was fed and water was changed without fail for a week. She fit right into the family. As far as pets go, fish are simple! They are quiet, contained and neat - not a bad pet with the exception of their life expectancy. 

All was well until yesterday when Henry came to tell me that Rosie was not in her bowl. I immediately felt a sense of panic for Evie. Henry is a really sweet child and I did not think he would do anything to Rosie. He does not even like animals so I cannot imagine him putting his hand into a bowl of a water on a dresser that is taller than him. However, it was hard to really think - I looked around a bit and noticed there was no water anywhere on top of the dresser and Henry's hands were dry. Evie's dresser drawer was open and I found Rosie on top of a pink shirt. I asked Henry how Rosie got in there and he kept saying he did not know. Rosie was still moving so flicked her into the bowl. She took a few gulps of water and happily swam away. I was relieved for Evie that Rosie was not going to be dead when she got home from school. 

I sent Henry to his room to think about how Rosie got in the drawer. He fell asleep!

I mentioned this whole scenario to my friend Wendy - Henry's friend Anderson's mom and she was sure that Rosie jumped into the drawer which makes sense with all the evidence. Apparently, this goldfish jumping phenomena is a real thing. 

Evie arrived home about this time from school and I told her what had happened. She was convinced Henry might have been involved but she was so happy Rosie was okay. I kept telling Henry that he saved the day! It would have been awful for Evie to have found a dead fish in her drawer!

I am still not exactly sure what happened but it was an adventurous afternoon for sure. We enjoyed a nice afternoon outside and ate dinner and then went back outside to play with the boys. After showers and books, Evie went over to feed Rosie and she was floating on the top of the water. Evie tried flicking the bowl, turning her lamp off and feeding the fish. It was all too late! Rosie had left the building. 

Evie was beyond hysterical for about 30 minutes. She kept telling me that Rosie was such a nice fish and she had so much fun with her. Henry was completely overwhelmed by seeing Evie so upset. He kept petting her and telling her it was okay that we could get another fish. Both kids were asking lots of questions about dying and souls and heaven. Mama needs to brush up on her own knowledge. I told them Rosie was in Heaven and that everything that made her Rosie was with her but that her body was here with us.  Evie finally calmed down and decided we could have a funeral for Rosie after school the next day. 

She did not want to flush her down the toliet because "then I cannot visit with her anymore." So, we decided to bury her in the backyard. Evie is already concerned about what will happen if we move. Not that we have any plans to move but Evie is a thinker like her Mama. Evie went to sleep and barely seemed concerned this morning when she told Carl what had happened. 

Evie got home this afternoon and we had a little service for Rosie in our backyard. 

We dug a hole together and made Rosie a little sign. Evie likes prayers out of the Book of Common Prayer.  It went like this: "O God of Grace and Glory, we remember before you this day - our sister Rosie. We thank you for giving Rosie to us - to know and to love as a companion in our earthly life. Console our tears and keep us until one day by your call we are reunited with Rosie and all those who have gone before us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Evie was very stoic and the service gave her tender little heart some closure. Henry enjoyed digging the hole. I was just happy that there were no more tears. Carl was at work during this but he was with us in spirit. He thought we should get a new fish. I think Evie will move on to something else by the end of the week. 

That's the story of our first pet, Rosie! We will remember you our little orange friend. Hope you are swimming in Heaven with all of your fish friends. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lately . . .

It's so hard to keep up with a blog now that Instagram is so much easier!

For posterity, this is what we have been up to lately.

Outdoor Fun: We love spring in TN. Every day, we spend tons of time outside. Both kids are loving scooter and bike rides plus visiting our favorite parks. 

Swimming Lessons: Henry is finishing up his third month of swimming lessons. He is doing great and we have met our goals. I am sure he will continue to improve over the summer and than we will begin in January. 

Birthday parties: I love birthday parties because now they are drop-off parties. Evie had two parties in the last week. One was a horseback riding party and the other was a bouncy house costume party. Both were super fun for her and I love having a few hours to run errands. Blurry pic but still so cute.

Learning to Dive: Evie is working on her diving skills and improves each week. 

Watching the Master's: We spent most of the weekend watching the Master's. I always cry at the end. It is so amazing to see someone reach their goal after lots of handwork and determination.

Wedding at Cana: It was a super fun night at church. We each brought an appetizer and had a contest. It was a fundraiser to bring water to those without.  I got to hold this sweet little nugget! No pictures but it was a night worth remembering.

Sneak a Peek: Evie had a ball being the big kid at Sneak a Peek. Cannot believe my sweet girl is heading to first grade soon. 

Charleston Cousins: Carl's cousin Courtney visited us with her girls last week. Henry and Evie thought this was spectacular! Mary is interested in Vanderbilt and wanted to check out the school. We would love to have Mary here for college. It was a terrific visit!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


We had a wonderful Easter with Carl's parents. I love Easter! It's one of my favorite holidays. Both kids woke up bright and early to check out their baskets. Easter Bunnies are really good at finding cool things! Evie received the game UNO, a craft kit, legos and some other assorted items. Henry received a new game of Spot It, a Rescue Bot and a lego kit!  Both kids were thrilled with their baskets and still playing with their goodies a few days later which is always good.

We ate a super fast breakfast of cinnamon rolls with fruit and got dressed for church. We were just a tad too early this year because the early service was not out yet. It was funny watching everyone trying to get it in at the same time. Carl found us a pew so that everyone could sit together - crowded but together nevertheless. Henry enjoyed his time in the nursery until it was time for communion. He obviously does not take communion but he receives a special blessing. I love to see my kids cross their little arms at the altar.  Our choir did an outstanding job with the music and it was a wonderful service. After church, we stayed for the egg hunt. Evie and Henry were in different age groups this year so that was a bit tricky. I took Henry with me and everyone else went with Evie.

We came home for some quick pictures. I wish we had taken more at the church but at least we got some! Henry was over it by the time we got home and Carl had lost his bow tie as a result of a certain someone playing with it. All of this will be fun to remember. Henry will probably have his own bow tie next Easter. 

I made a quick lunch nothing fancy! Carl and his Dad prepared the ham on Saturday so I just whipped up a few sides. We had potatoes au gratin, green beans, spinach with mandarin oranges, avocado and walnuts  with poppyseed dressing and rolls. Dessert was a chocolate cake from Whole Foods that was reminiscent of a Pepperidge Farm layer cake and so yummy without all the chemicals. 

I took a nap after lunch - all that food plus a busy few days caught up with me. It was a nice Easter and we really enjoyed sharing the holiday with Carl's parents. 

Easter pictures are so fun to look at for me and I was thrilled to see so many happy families enjoying the special day.