Friday, May 29, 2015

Last Day

First day vs Last day of Kindergarten
Hard to believe how much he has grown.
I was teasing him this morning, telling him it was his first day of Kindergarten and talking about all he would be learning.  I told him how he might be nervous, but that he was going to make lots of amazing friends and learn so much this year.  He just laughed and said "I already MADE lots of friends and learned EVERYTHING!"

When I think of the little boy that walked into the first day of school compared with this boy now, I can't really argue with him.  He has learned everything a kindergartner should know.  He is starting to read and can write and do math, but more importantly he is so confident and independent now in a way that seemed impossible last August. 

He is ready for first grade, and as much as my heart clinches a little at the thought, I have no doubt it will be just as successful as this last year has been.  My big boy, he sure is growing up fast.
Thank you, Mrs. Turner, for helping our boy have the absolute best kindergarten experience ever.  Photobucket

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Kindergarten Graduation

Henry's kindergarten class had their end of the year ceremony today and it was quite possibly the greatest, sweetest, most tear inducing program ever assembled.  Of course, I walked in, pulled out my camera, and realized the battery was completely dead.  No worries though, I had my phone!  I videoed the entire thing and the camera only shook a little as I WEEPED OPENLY throughout the 20 minute event.  I mean, the program started out by them playing the song "Let Them be Little" as they all walked into the room. Were they just TRYING to make us all cry? (Yes. And it worked) And then they sang "You are my Sunshine" with hand motions! I sang that song to Henry basically every day for the first two years of his life!  THEN Mrs. Turner read this book Let me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsberry... OH LORD THIS BOOK... it was all about parents trying to know when it's the last time your child does something, the last bottle, the last time they ask to be picked up, the last day of kindergarten, the last little league game .... I mean, I am actually crying right now sitting here writing about it.  IT WAS THAT EMOTIONAL. 

Henry was so sweet throughout the program, grinning from ear to ear.  I would show you... you know, on the video.  But unfortunately my phone had some type of major melt down (I think it ran out of memory) and somehow the entire video has disappeared.  It was... rather upsetting. I am going to avoid going into all the things I have done to try to recover that video and instead say how insanely grateful we are that Henry knew what he was doing when he made a best friend because Luke's parents totally covered for us and took a full video AND got some pictures of my sweet boy.
A lot of great things have happened this school year, but these two finding each other is at the top of the list. (Henry... )

Two more days of school, then they are officially first graders.  How does time move so quickly?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Signs of Life

Guys, I cooked dinner.  Not once, but TWICE this week.  IT IS ONLY THURSDAY.  There are like, still three more days that I could cook!  (Not that I will, but I COULD.) 

Last night while I was prepping dinner for the grill Nick and Henry played catch and practiced hitting the t-ball in the back yard.

Laundry is actually caught up and the house looks decent. (Not perfect, but I mean, come on)

The yard is mowed and our back yard looks pretty awesome.

I published three blog posts in three days and have ANOTHER one I may post tomorrow. (All of a sudden I have SO MUCH TO SAY)

Last night I read several chapters of a book.  (Girl on a Train. So far so good.)

After several insane months I feel like we are finally coming up for air.  AND IT IS AMAZING.  Five more days of Kindergarten, then it is officially summer.  It is already feeling pretty summery around here and we are loving every second.

You  might see this picture a lot around here.  It is an all time favorite.  Thanks Aunt Nicole for capturing it at Henry's birthday!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Course (and Self) Evaluations

So back during all the insanity of home remodeling, birthday planning and party hosting I also managed to wrap up my first semester of teaching.  I got an email today letting me know my course evaluations were ready for review, and then I realized how insanely nervous I was to read these anonymous evaluations.  I mean, they could say ANYTHING.  Who came up with this idea and WHY do I have to now read them?!

I thought about just ignoring the email, but that is ridiculous, so I clicked over and started to read.  And guys, they are so so nice.  Like, 98% of them have nothing but "loved this class!", "loved this professor!", "changed my life and made me a better human being!" sort of comments.  Okay, not exactly the last one, but the other two.  Lots of the other two.  There were a few that had suggestions/criticisms, but nothing mean or out of the ordinary, and everything was actually understandable and pretty good suggestions. I did like when two comments backed up to each other, one saying "I didn't like the online exams" followed by "I loved the online exams!". You can't win them all I guess.

 So.  Yeah.  That's that.  I have completed my first semester of teaching, and I liked it.  Actually, more than liked it.  And I am not sure what my future will be in this area since there are only so many hours in the day and my real job keeps me plenty busy, but I have loved teaching these 150 students.  I have loved meeting with them and opening their eyes to what public health is and how it impacts their lives.  I have not loved the millions of emails that 150 students and four TAs can generate, but you know, you take the bad with the good.

One semester down and the results are in, mark this one a success. Who would have thought?


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Henry's Lego Birthday Bash


Well, if you haven't noticed, Henry turned six last week and once again we decided to sorta go all out on the birthday shenanigans.  I will say this one was a little more stressful than years past, but I think that was a combination of terrible weather predicted (RAAAAAAAAIN) and the house remodel project that back up to the main event. I think Nick and I were both about to drop by the time the party actually started, and I seriously could have burst into tears when exactly at 5pm the clouds parted and the sun came out.
 Henry watches for party guests as the rain comes down...

 Guys, it was POURING DOWN RAIN all day leading up until the party.  And at 4:58pm we looked outside and were like "Um... it stopped".
Thank goodness!  We NEEDED access to the back yard!
None of the actual outside decations made it out, but who needs table clothes and what not anyway?  We had Legos!  And kids!

And... swings!  I love this picture so much
The kids got so much use of of the swing set, we honestly could have let them just spend the entire party playing on that.  But none of that around these parts, we had GAMES!  Slightly complicated games, but it all seemed to work out and the kids had fun, so that's what matters!  We started with each kid getting a lego person to take through the party.  At each game the earned a new lego brick, so at the end they could build a bridge. 
 Check out the race track Nick built...
Kids randomly picked different lego vehicles and rolled dice to find out the board they had to try to jump through.  It. Was. Awesome.

A video of the track in action!
Here is the lego food race in action, although the details aren't clear in the pictures.  They raced around to different stations to get their lego person all the needed food and drinks before racing back to the finish line.

We then had a firing squad where each kid fired a lego cannon at three bad guys.  I thought it might be a little morbid, but OH WELL!

For their final bricks they got to play a Lego pinko game, which is awesome and I think we will just keep forever.
Who doesn't like pinko?
After that game each kid got to build their bridge and put their lego guy on top.

Nick and Matt had made a pretty set where the bridge could all cross over dangerous alligators, skeletons, spikes and fire to get to the finish line, which was Henry's birthday brownies. 
He was a happy birthday boy
Making wishes
A last shot of the birthday bridges, which does not to do coolness of this thing justice.  I love how each person at the parties little lego guy is there to be part of the final display and the kids really seemed to love how it tied the party together.
And here are the rest of the lego brownies. Just regular brownies with M&Ms on top, then with colored icing melted and poured over.  they really were adorable.
And a quick (the only!) picture of the three of us during the party.

Food table and another giant 6
Kids table!
I made bottle labels and hadded them to root beer, Crush, and Ale-8-One.  the end result had it looking a lot like a frat party by the end of the party what with all the glass bottles laying around.
Mom made these lego suckers for thank yous
They were a hit :)
Now for some more pictures... Henry and Nieem being adorable
School friends waiting to play the games
Henry checking out the ramp
My boards put to good use as the targets for the ramp game
Nick, giving game instructions
Matt and Blair came in all the way from South Carolina! They walked in the door and we put them to work.  Let's see if they ever come back...
Nana also flew in from Florida to celebrate our boy.  So happy she got to be here with us!
Henry with his Grandaddy and his awesome homemade baseball bat.  Amazing!
Me and Boo
Everyone likes swings

A little of the decorations.  I didn't do a great job taking pictures of them all..
Silly faces
Henry with Nanny and Papaw
Ryan and Freddy...almost big enough to play the part games!
Someone was SO happy Matt was in town :)
Candice and Lucas
Grandaddy and GrandVal
Papa putting cars back together so they can go down the ramp again
Chris and Matt
Nick with Henry and Ethan

Happy happy birthday, sweet boy.  You are so stinking loved.