Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Madison's 1st Day of Pre-K

Today was the much awaited "1st Day of Pre-K". Madison didn't think this day was ever going to come and some days neither did I :) She was so excited. She couldn't wait to see all the teachers. She was especially excited to see her teacher's from last year as well as Ms Carrie and Ms Lori who teach the young 2's. Madison absolutely loved them and would have stayed in their class if she had been able to.

Last night when I put Madison to sleep and told her she would be going to school today she got so excited that I thought she wasn't ever going to go to bed however she was asleep in less than 5 minutes! This morning when I woke her up she sat straight up and said "I have school today"! The girl was ready in record time and wanting to leave even though we still had 30 minutes before we had to leave. After eating a few bites of her asiago cheese bagel that Nana and Pops got her for her 1st day of school we were out the door and stopping to snap a few pictures!

She was so excited to get to school and couldn't hardly wait to go to her room. She made the rounds and said hello to all the teachers while I got my room set up and then it was time to head down to her room. Last year she was across the hall but this year she is in a different wing so I have to walk her down. When we got down there she promptly told me that I could leave! Good to know that she is going to miss me! When I picked her up she already had won over her teachers! They thought she was "precious"....their words not mine!

She was too excited to eat!

My big girl getting ready for Pre-K :(

Getting a picture taken with mom who looks rough from lack of sleep!

Walking into school....she was admiring the balloons decorating the school entrance!

Here she is practically running to her classroom!

Posing by the Pre-K entrance...loved how they decorated their entrance!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Reelfoot Lake

A few weeks ago when we were at my grandparents house Matt and I drove the kids up to Reelfoot Lake. Matt and I both went there lots of times as kids...me b/c my grandparents live about 5 miles from it so it was neat thing to do when we visited them and Matt grew up camping there with the Boy Scouts. The kids love going up there and I figured it might be the last time we went....little did I know that it would be the last time we went there while visiting my grandparents.

If you don't know anything about Reelfoot it is a lake created by an earthquake. I believe it was back in the 1800's. There is a neat story behind it having to do with the Indian chief's daughter. There is a neat wooden walkway at one spot that offers some neat sites/picture opportunities. We normally see tons of turtles and sometimes a snake or 2 (luckily no snakes this time just turtles). There is also an area that has an eagle habitat that houses eagles no longer able to live in the wild. I love the cypress trees with their funny roots.

The kids checking out an eagle

Walking on the boardwalk

Beautiful views of the lake...it is a huge lake!

The roots of the cypress trees, the lake was way down b/c of the lack of rain...I have seen the root systems complete under water some years.

A baby turtle sunbathing on a log

These flowers were blooming everywhere

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Grandparents

Today has been a horrible day! It has been an emotional day! I have cried so many times throughout the day. A new page is being written in our lives. My grandparents are 90 and 89. A few years ago my grandfather's health started to decline. He has just continued to go downhill. We went down a few weeks ago and knew that it wouldn't be long before my grandmother was no longer able to care for them in their home. They did have some help coming in Monday through Friday from 8-3 but it just was wearing my grandmother out.

Last Wednesday my grandfather had a stroke and was taken to the hospital. He has lost the use of his right side and is not going to be able to come back home. Normally this wouldn't be a problem...you just place him in a nursing home. Well, there we run into 3 problems....1)my grandmother doesn't need to be in a nursing home, 2)my grandmother is no longer able to drive and 3)their house is in the middle of no where and I am not joking....they live 25 miles from town! So the problem is her being able to visit him daily if they stay where they are. We knew the day was coming when they were going to have to either move to Memphis where my aunt lives or here where my mom is. We prayed they would come here but sadly they decided to go to Memphis :( It broke my heart as we would love to have them here. My mom would love to be able to help her mom and both my sister and I would be here to help as well.

My grandfather doesn't want to go to a nursing home....he has begged my grandmother not to take him to one. It is breaking her heart to have to do this to him. It has hard for me to think of my grandfather as not being the hard working farmer that he was for so much of my life. I have so many wonderful memories of following him all over the farm whether it be out on the tractor looking at his crops or feeding the pigs. I am so glad that my children know their great grandparents...Taylor and Caleb more than Madison as Madison was just a baby when my grandfather got sick.

We are planning to go and see them Labor Day Weekend. It could be the last time we see them and sadly I didn't get a picture of him with the kids when we were down there. They are very sad about this too....Madison doesn't really know too much of what is going on but Taylor and Caleb do. They both have cried a few times this afternoon.

These pictures were taken back in April right after my grandmother came home from a brief hospital stay. She looks so tired here but still beautiful in my eyes :)

My beautiful grandmother with the kids

My grandmother and I back in April...please ignore my blotching face as I had been crying (I have always cried when we leave her)

My mom with her mother

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

1st Day of School

Well we survived the first day of school! The kids were so easy to get up and they got ready in record time! In fact, we had 15 minutes before we had to leave to catch the bus so I used that time to take many pictures but I will only bore you with a few :)

Taylor on her 1st day of 5th grade! Next year I will be sending her to middle school :(

Caleb on his 1st day of 2nd grade! Not certain when that happened.

Sweet siblings!

Running to get on the bus....they love riding the bus. I was excited b/c last year we were the only ones at our stop and this year there are 6 other kids!

Getting off the bus in the afternoon...I love that it picks up on our street about 6 houses up from us.

We had Open House last night at CBE. The kids were really excited to see who their teachers were and where their classes were. Taylor was really hoping to see some old faces from when she was there before. We also were excited to see Taylor's kindergarten and first grade teachers. We really have missed seeing them! I was thrilled to see that Caleb had the same teacher that Taylor had for 2nd grade...Ms Hullander :) Taylor has her 1st male teacher this year. And guess what....his name is Matthew Ayres! How funny is it that! There is only 1 letter difference in her teacher's name and her dad's name! He seems really nice and looks like he is going to be a fun teacher. He has traveled all over the world and enjoys incorporating his travel experiences with his teaching. This will be right up Taylor's alley :) We are really looking forward to this school year.

Madison was really sad that she couldn't go yet...she doesn't start until August 31st...she is getting some quality daddy time!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Madison's 5th Birthday

On August 3rd we finally celebrated Madison's birthday with a party at Jumpity Jump. She had been looking forward to this party since her 4th birthday :) We were so busy at the beginning of the summer and around her birthday with moving that we postponed it a few weeks. She had decided a few weeks before that she wanted an Ariel cake and we looked at a few stores but couldn't find one that we liked. Matt decided that he would just make one and got busy drawing up a plan. Madison enjoyed getting to invite some friends from school as well as our playgroup friends. Our playgroup friends have been getting together since the babies were born almost 5 years ago. Madison was so excited all day and couldn't wait until 4.

Madison before everyone got there

Tackling the climbing wall while wearing a tutu takes talent!

The birthday girl doing some bouncy

I thought this picture of Taylor and Allison was too cute

Taylor helping Coy go down the slide

Madison's Ariel cake

Trying to get a group shot of all 26 kids was interesting...this is the best one!

Madison being shy while everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to her

Monday, August 2, 2010

13th Anniversary!

Today Matt and I celebrate 13 yrs of wedded bliss! Ok maybe wedded bliss isn't the correct term, it has been a roller coaster ride for most of the time but I wouldn't trade my passenger/sidekick/pilot for anything! Wedded bliss to me is something in a fairy tale not reality! We have experienced so many things in 13 yrs...the birth of 3 beautiful children, the deaths of Matt's grandmother and grandfather, the death of a close friend, 9 moves, graduating from college, numerous jobs, fun vacations. This morning when we woke up we both agreed we wouldn't trade any of our many experiences....they have made us the couple/people we are! I honestly can't remember what my life was like before Matt nor do I want to! I am thankful for a godly husband, who is a wonderful dad.

Sadly I can't show you how stunning we were on our wedding day as we got married before digital cameras and our scanner hasn't been hooked up since we moved 2 months ago...we will get to that eventually it just wasn't high on the to-do list!

Matt, I am so thankful that God placed you in my life. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful partner to spend my days with. I look forward to 67 more wonderful years seeing what God has in store for us! Thank you for making me your wife!

Taylor took this picture of us before we left for the movies

BTW, we saw "Salt" and it was awesome! So glad we picked it :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hannah's 2nd Birthday!

Last weekend we drove to Cookeville to spend the day with Matt's family and celebrate our niece, Hannah's 2nd birthday! They are getting ready to go back to China on the 9th of August so it was nice to have everyone together one last time. Matt's sister and her family weren't able to join us but everyone else did and we had a blast! We celebrated with pizza and cake at the lake. Rachel and her mom had planned lots of neat games for the kids to play. After the party we stayed along with Don and Gabby and their kids and took a ride on the paddle boats. That was lots of fun even though it was really hot out on the lake...there was nobody else riding but us. Matt and I took Madison and Caleb, Corey and Riley got a boat together and Don took Taylor, Caleb and Kelsey. Looking back we should have know that wasn't very fair...Don had little help paddling the boat so he was tired and hot after the ride. Plus the boat was a little lopsided due to weight issues :) We got lots of laughs out of his boat! We went back to Rachel's parents house and enjoyed spending some time talking and loving on Hannah and Laura before they go home to China.

The birthday girl trying to knock off the cups with air from a balloon

Taylor's turn

"Orange You Glad I'm So Cute"...love me some Gymboree shirts!

Caleb giving it a try

Matt and Caleb trying to keep 3 balloons in the air using only their hands!

The sweet birthday girl!

Daniel aka "the baby whisperer" and Laura

Don's boat

Corey and Riley

Matt, I, Madison and Shelby