Monday, May 31, 2010

The AdvEnTurEs of Summer

Every summer we fill our days with fun adventures from here to there. Fun things are everywhere! Our schedule is finally completed and we're living it out. When Ariel finished Kindergarten 4 years ago, we were very excited for our summer to start. But it went by so quickly that we didn't even know what we did when it was over. It was then that I decided I would never waste my summers. I don't care how tired I am by the end of the day, I want to make the most of every moment I have with my precious children. I only get them to myself for 3 short months, so we're going to spend it making memories that will last forever. This will be our 3rd time we've had our Adventures of Summer, and it will be 3rd of many many more... These are a few pictures from our 1st week of Summer!

To SONIC we traveled for Happy Hour... 1/2 price Slushes!

We spent a fun day in the sun playing with WATER! It's amazing on a hot day just how refreshing it is to get wet. This time we traveled all the way to Mexico... in the words of Gabe. What better way to spend our day then with some close friends!

Hot Potato - if you catch it, you might just get SOAKED!
Gabriel loves to take pictures with the camera. However his idea of pictures is not just one or two, it's hold the button down and click away! If you saw every picture it would be like watching a slow motion movie.

Popcorn is a staple of our diet in this family!

We stopped by the library on the way home to pick up some summer reading books! Ariel couldn't wait to dive in, and Zech couldn't wait for the drive to be over. He was tired from skipping his nap!


We love to have FUN in this family! There's rarely a day goes by that we don't find some activity to do together as a family. Life is all about what you make of it, and we're

Mikaela had a sleepover with us! We were very happy to have her!

Zech was a little more timid of the Slip N' Slide. He only liked to walk across, not throw himself down it.

I can't say it enough, or even put into words how blessed I am by God to have married this man.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things

We all look forward to sitting down together, eating a pizza, and watching a movie. This Friday as I was preparing the pizza dough, Gabe informed me, “Mom, you make the best pizza. You could get a job at one of those pizza places if you want.”

I told him that he was such an encouraging little boy, but apparently he didn’t hear me or telling him that just wasn’t enough. Because the next thing he said was, “Did you forget to say thank you for the ‘nicement’?”

So cute! I think the compliment was too much for me, because I ended up messing up the dough by doubling the water. We had pizza soup, and had to order Pizza Hut. But maybe someday I’ll go looking for a job there.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

2nd Annual Graduation Luau

I think one of my favorite parts of school getting out is the celebration! We love to party in this family. This is our second year doing our Graduation Luau, and I'm certain it won't be the last. Each year seems to get better and better! We started off the party with a few pictures of our graduates that we were recognizing.

Ariel completed the 3rd Grade!

Gabriel completed Kindergarten!

Mikaela graduated from 5th Grade!

We're very proud of all our graduates!

I'm certain everyone believes this about their family, but I've got to say my family is the most beautiful I've ever seen. It might just be through eyes of love that I say that, but I believe it with my whole heart.

After nine years of marriage, this man still holds my heart. All I have to do is just think about him, and my heart starts to beat a little faster. Or when I'm not with him, I get this little ache in my stomach because I miss him. I am so blessed by God to have found a love like this!

When everyone is dressed so fun, it's hard to resist lots of photos. Steffie is such a caring aunt to all my children and Mikaela. They love her a lot! Gabe wanted to be photographed giving a kiss to her hand because he loves her.

This year we decided we would add a BBQ to the party. We found a few fun recipes to try out. Our chicken kabobs were covered in a special BBQ and orange juice flavored sauce. Titus did an excellent job cooking them on the NEW grill we bought. We look forward to many more parties to come this summer!

Even Zech enjoyed the chicken kabobs!

Now the time we had all been waiting for... Graduation!

The ceremony started out with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Gabriel. He took his job very seriously, and was a little put off when his sister tried to say it with him. He didn't quite understand that she was allowed to join in.

Each year we have let the children take turns wowing us with their talents from the past school year. Ariel started off the show with some multiplication facts. Titus couldn't even come up with them fast enough for her! As you can see from the photo, she is quite proud of herself as she should be.

When Gabriel started off the school year, he had no interest in letters or numbers. As he has completed kindergarten, he is now a READER! He shared the story of Thanksgiving with us. We were all most impressed by his skills of public reading. He made sure to stop after each page and share the picture with all of us.

The graduation was a big success! We all enjoyed watching their talents, the special graduation video of things we've done the last year, and we were especially pleased to see them get their certificates. They each took turns receiving them, and always managed to shake hands with everyone in the audience. Even Zech wanted a certificate, which happened to be a piece of paper we quickly found on the ground. He eagerly showed it off too, while shaking hands with everyone. It was a night to remember!

The After Party
We roasted marshmallows and put up some icicle lights around the patio to help create the mood.

And they all lived Happily Ever After...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things

As I was taking a shower today, I heard a knock at the door. Gabriel was standing outside trying to tell me something. I couldn’t hear him, and let him know that he would just have to wait until I was done. When I stepped out, I noticed a paper on the floor. I couldn’t quite figure out what it meant, or why he would be giving it to me.

Later when I showed it to Gabe, I asked him what it was, and his response, “aren’t those words of love?” That’s my sweet Gabriel. He had copied the words off of an old photo of Titus and I at our prom. It was a very nice memory with my husband, so yes; they were definitely words of love.

Friday, May 21, 2010

School's Out for SUMMER

It's so hard to believe, but another school year has come and gone. I am in heaven, while it's a bittersweet time for my children. They've made some good friends this year, and had some amazing teachers. So for them it's a time to say goodbye.
Gabriel found these beautiful red flowers for his teacher Mrs. Mannell. She was a wonderful teacher, and inspired Gabriel to learn. When he started the year, he had no interest in his letters, or numbers. Now that he has a year of school behind him, he has entered the world of reading and writing. It's been a joy to watch his mind work, and see the new things he's discovered in kindergarten.

Ariel found some beautiful pink and green flowers for her teacher Mrs. Hackett. She was very thoughtful and made sure to ask ahead of time to see what her teacher's favorite colors are.

Saying Goodbye is never easy, but sometimes it's necessary to grow up. I always find the last day of school a little sad as we say goodbye to the teachers. For a year they're a part of our lives. They get to spend more time with my children then I do, and I have great respect for that position they hold. I have been so blessed each year as the school has chosen the greatest teachers for my kids. It's always nice to know that the teacher loves your child, and cares for them a lot. It makes it a little easier to send them off to school each day.

My kids both loved their teachers enough to ask them to be pen pals this summer. We were able to get their home address so they could keep in contact over the summer. We already sent out letters to both ladies, and are excitedly waiting for their responses!

Gabriel and Mrs. Mannell

Ariel and Mrs. Hackett
Ariel and Gabe both were very sad on the last day of school. They had a hard time remembering all the fun we had last summer, and focused a lot more on how much they were going to miss their friends and teachers. But I'm certain the summer is going to fly by, and they will soon be back with all their friends again!

God is good all the time! I don't know why, but I'm always amazed at the goodness of God. On the last day of school, I told the kids we were going out to eat at McDonalds to celebrate that summer was finally here. They were a little excited, but still very focused on the fact that they were not going to be seeing their friends for a long time. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot of McDonalds, life was good again. Apparently everyone at school had the same idea for a special lunch out. The place was PACKED with students. The kids were able to spend a few more hours with the friends they thought they were leaving behind. It put things into perspective for them. Just because we aren't at the school every day, doesn't mean we can't run into our friends or teachers out in public somewhere. It was so nice of God to give the kids that special little gift!