Saturday, June 30, 2012

Last Day of School

We have a first grader!

I can hardly believe that the school year is now over...I so vividly remember the first day of Kindergarten for Carter and all of my mixed emotions that went with it!  The year flew by quickly and now Carter is headed for 1st grade!
This year was a succesful one for Carter - he made wonderful friends (an answer to many prayers, I assure you!), lost two teeth, improved his reading and writing skills, loved every minute of PE and recess and overall enjoyed this first year of school.
His teacher, Mrs. Young, had very positive comments for him on his report card.  She commended his enthusiasm for learning and praised his abilities in reading and math. 
We are proud of our little man!

Looking so very grown up

And this is Carter on his first day of kindergarten, what a difference a year makes!
The only moment of apprehension on his part that very first day...look how far you've come, Carter.
We are so proud of the effort that you made to be a good friend and a good student this year.  We love you so much!
Mrs. Young
Carter's teacher was a very sweet woman with a lot of patience.  She spoke with a Mary Poppins-esque accent and was definitely a little old school (which for the most part, I like).  She set and maintained high expectations for the children in her classroom and that certainly helped keep things calm.  She was out for six weeks during the fall with a knee replacement and it was amazing to see the difference between her classroom management skills and those of the first year substitute.  The kids paid attention to her and respected her rules.
The kindergarten teachers play a significant role in determining the kids' placement for next year.  I have faith that she knows Carter well enough to put him in a classroom where he can continue to grow and succeed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Fabulous Father's Day

Father's Day 2012
Father's Day started bright and early - I got up with the kids and we headed down to Starbucks to grab Daddy a coffee and some donuts.  The kids were so excited to give their gifts, so we did that before we started breakfast.  I interviewed Carter and Kennedy and they answered lots of questions about Dad - typed them up, added a picture and we ended up with a sweet little present.  Dad also got a new bike, since the one he's been riding since he was 14 years old finally died.

Breakfast of champions
I should have made something a little more special, but I was operating on very little sleep, so coffee and donuts had to do.  Maybe I'll be more on top of things next year.  Sorry Honey!

A little photo shoot before rushing off to church

The kids started off worship by singing a praise song in front of the whole congregation.
They sang, "Great Big God" and did such a good job.

More dancing than singing, but still so sweet.
There is just something about little ones singing about the love of God that warms my heart.  Their innocence and faith is truly special.

After church, we headed down to the river where we went for a little walk and then out to lunch.  We had hoped to go on a hike, but the weather wasn't too good and we were afraid we'd get stuck out in the rain!  A walk along the river had to do.

Daddy and K

Carter and Dad -
handsome men!

A very nice woman stopped and asked if we'd like her to take a picture of our family all together.  Such a thoughtful thing to offer.
I'm happy with how it turned out.

my little old soul
those eyes are so expressive and seem wise beyond their six years
We walked up onto the I-5 bridge, because Carter was fascinated by the mechanics of the draw bridge part.  There was a safe little path and we were able to see and explore quite a bit.  It was fun being so high above the river.

After our walk we went to Who Song and Larry's for lunch
Carter wanted to take our picture  - Happy Father's Day, Kyle!
We love you and know that we are blessed to have you as the head of our family.  You are the fun one, the one who is always up for a game of catch or a quick wrestling match.  You have even perfected pony tails and princesses.  We are lucky!
Thank you for all that you do to provide for our family - not just by working hard but by loving deeply, too.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Field Day Fun

Carter's school hosted a big field day for the kids towards the end of school.  The theme was "wacky olympics" and there were 20 events for the kids to choose from.  I had volunteered to help, so I was manning a station (the rubber chicken relay - which was hilarious to watch!), so I didn't get to see much of Carter during the morning.  But I managed to snap a few pictures.  Thankfully the rain held off and the kids were able to enjoy all of the outdoor activities.  There were various relays (some with water), pool noodle javelin toss, soccer, hockey, basketball, limbo, etc.   The highlight of the day was getting a Popsicle at the end. 
first field day
kindergarten June 2012

The kids had to use chopsticks to pick up a rubber chicken then run around a cone and back and pass off to their classmates.  

The tug-of-war was a huge hit!  
The line was so long for this event and the kids really seemed to enjoy themselves.
(It was right across the field from where I was, so I was able to run over a capture a few pictures)
Carter was pumped that they won!

sweet teachers

We have been so blessed to have amazing Sunday school teachers for our kids.  And this couple is no exception...they are truly amazing!  Not only did they teach a large group of 2 and 3 year olds every single Sunday during the school year, but they also volunteer in the nursery for me once a month.  They are truly a gift to our church and to our family.

Dennis & Lynn Gish with Kennedy
June 10th, 2012

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 
Luke 18:14-18

Dennis and Lynn, thank you for showing God's love in all that you do!

a little Japanese influence

Oh boy, I am behind.  Kind of feeling a little behind in life at the moment, but I know that if I don't take a few seconds to update the blog, it'll be August and I won't have recorded a thing!  Sometimes a long "to-do" list just gets to me and I don't know where to start.  So, I'm starting by capturing a few memories of June before the month is over!

Carter studied Japan during his last month of school.  They did lots of fun things, like wearing a "uniform" (dark pants and a white shirt) and attending class without shoes one day.  They learned Japanese words, ate various snacks with chopsticks, folded Origami and studied art from Japan.  Carter was most fascinated by the super fast train in Japan and about how the Japanese people eat exclusively with chopsticks.  He practiced at home during meals and had a lot of fun honing this particular skill.
During his unit on Japan, I happened upon a Groupon for a local Benihana style Japanese restaurant.  I thought the kids would enjoy the experience and like the food too.  Carter had such a great time!  He was very curious and so interested in the chef and the meal preparation.  His four course meal was eaten mainly with chopsticks and he ate everything.  It really was a fun evening for us all.

I was super impressed by how well Carter ate his rice with is chopsticks.  There was a little mess on our table when we left, but overall a very successful attempt!

Kennedy tried out her chopsticks, as well.
If nothing else, she had fun!

Monday, June 18, 2012

{a great season} - baseball wrap up

Carter wrapped up a great season of baseball last week - he really seemed to enjoy his team, loved the opportunity to play with his friends and improved a lot from last year.  He had the chance to pitch during one  inning (even though it was coach pitch, they allowed the boys to pitch a few towards the end of the season) and he did an amazing job.  Of course it was the one game when I didn't have my camera, but we got a few snapshots from a friends phone that I will post soon.  I was so nervous when he stepped up to the pitchers mound - he was so serious and I knew he would be upset if he didn't do well.  I should not have worried...his comment when the game was over, "Mom, I did so great at pitching!  I struck everyone out, well except the boy that I hit, but he didn't move fast enough."  Ha!  I don't need to worry about self confidence with this one!  He really enjoyed pitching and was a little sad that he only got to do it once.
He really did a good job, and we were very proud of him.
Carter - 6 years old

Warming up before the last game.

His good buddy, Andrew, got to pitch during the last game (he was thrilled!) and Carter played first base.  They had a few good outs and were so pumped up.
It's so fun watching the grow and play together.

Lauren and Kennedy

Andrew to Carter and the runner is out!

Intent on making it to first base

Carter was the last to bat and they just let all the boy run the bases.  The catcher had the ball and was just waiting for Carter to head home - he made a weak attempt at avoiding the tag, but you can tell he was having fun. 

Getting his trophy

Andrew and Carter

Way to go Carter-Man!
We are so proud of you and your hard work this season.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Parade of Planets - Kennedy's Gymnastics

A few weeks back, the gymnastics center, where Kennedy has been taking a weekly class all year, hosted a morning showcase to highlight the skills that the kids have been working on in their classes.  It was an hour long and there was a list of things to complete while parents got to follow around with their cameras.  Kennedy loves her gymnastics class and I've always felt it was an activity that was perfectly suited to her personality.  Daddy got to take her, so she was extra excited to show him all of her tricks.  

Our little monkey on the parallel bars

On the big beam
It's funny how at times Kennedy is absolutely fearless and then there are other times where she is timid and full of hesitation.  You just never know which girl is going to show up in different situations.

I will never tire of looking at that smile...when it's real, it can light up the world!

More monkey business!

At the end of the hour, there was a little presentation where the children got to stand up on little podiums and receive a certificate and ribbon...Kennedy refused to go up to the front.  Kyle had to laugh while telling the story - he had pushed his way to the front of the parental crowd so that he could make sure to get a few good pictures and then Kennedy just sat on the floor, chewing on her fingers and looking like she was being tortured, there was no way she was going to move.  Good times!

We are so proud of you, Sister and we love you very much!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Arizona 2012 - Amazing Jakes

Okay, I think I've finally managed to get through all of our vacation pictures, so this should be my last post dedicated to our Arizona trip!

One afternoon we headed to an indoor amusement park type place - think Chuck E Cheese times 10!  There were bumper cars, go carts, a bowling alley, mini golf, a small roller coaster, a few other rides and lots of games.  
kids were thrilled!  
Trying to snap a quick picture before the kids could dash away - they were so excited!

First stop - roller coaster!  
I'm a roller coaster gal, I love fast rides that loop upside down and zoom up and down and all around.  This ride, however, was not a real was more a go around and around and around and then reverse directions and go around some more.  No thank you!  I don't do anything spinney like - I'm not sure if it is my old age or what, but any ride that spins in circles leaves me feeling very sick.  Bleh.
Thankfully my children have other dedicated people in their lives who love them and are willing to suffer for their enjoyment.  
Daddy and Nana braved the endless circling...Kyle was feeling a little green when it was all said and done, but after a quick soda he was okay.

Again, tea cups.  I shudder at the thought, but Kennedy and Nana had a ball!


Unfortunately Carter wasn't tall enough to drive, but he seemed to enjoy riding along with Daddy.

bumper cars

definitely more my style - Carter and I had a blast and my dad couldn't stop laughing at me.  I'm kind of terrible when it comes to driving things at amusement parks - he loves to tell the story of our first trip to Disneyland when I attempted to drive at Autotopia.  According to him it's the only time, ever, when Disney employees weren't friendly and happy.  I was a disaster!  And this bumper car experience wasn't a whole lot better, I just couldn't figure out how to get the cars to go in the direction that I wanted, so I was running into walls backwards or moving left when I wanted to go right.  Super.  Fun none the less.

Kennedy and Nana on the Hopper

A little more golf

And here is when our visit went down hill.  Fast.  Remember how I told you I don't do well with spinning things...well, somehow that sweet face of Kennedy's was too much for me and I agreed to go on the roller coaster, after dinner.  Not a good move on my part.  I was feeling pretty sick for the rest of the night and ended up going to bed at 7:30 with the kids.  Sleeping was the only thing that relieved my suffering!  So Kennedy, when you are a teenager and think that I do nothing for you or aim to make your life miserable, please remember this day and know that I always try to make you happy!

Ice cream!
A little dessert before we left