Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Tessa's 6th Birthday

We had so much fun celebrating Tessa's 6th birthday!

She decided that this year, she wanted to have a friend party also. Her cousin, Alex, has a birthday close to hers, so they came up with the idea of having a joint pool party! It was actually a lot of fun and super low-key (which is my favorite kind of party). The decorating was minimal and I didn't have to clean my house--it was a win-win!

The Friday before her birthday, she invited all of the girls from her class, some friends from church and a few of our family friends to her mermaid swimming party and had the BEST time.

 Funny story--we had to do cupcakes as soon as we got there because the frosting was melting so quick! And then it was kind of windy and we couldn't get the match to stay lit, so I made her pretend to blow out the candles--she was so embarrassed! But she went along with it like a champ!

They got to eat, open presents and swim to their heart's content. She went off the diving board no less than 20 times. It was so fun to watch her interact with her little girlfriends and to see her having so much fun with them!

Brooke's birthday present to the kids is to pick an activity they want to do and she takes them for a night out. Tessa picked ice skating and decided she wanted to take her brother and cousins with her--such a sweetie! She loves being with her family. So the night before her birthday, Brooke and Michael and mom took them to Wichita Ice and I met them there to watch them skate a bit.....or try to skate. It was so funny because I think they all thought they were going to go out on the ice and just start skating away! It was so much harder than they thought!
 That little face.....

Tessa had so much fun! After ice skating, she came home and got to stay up a little later than normal. Then she went to sleep a 5 year old..........and woke up a 6 year old!

 She asked for a chocolate long john for breakfast, so that's what we put her birthday candles in!

 After breakfast, I let her open a few presents. She has been begging for fake glasses. She gets so mad at me because I won't let her buy the ones from the Dollar Tree that people use to help with reading and stuff. I didn't want them to mess up her eyes! So I finally found some kids fake glasses with lenses that have no prescription at all in them and she was SO happy!

She insisted on wearing them to Nana's house for the day.

She got to have a little party with her cousins at Nana's. After work, I picked them up and we met Nick at Golden Corral for dinner (Tessa's choice). Tommy was in roll heaven the whole time....

 Tessa loved it too. She got her macaroni fix (this girl could eat macaroni every day of the week). And she got her favorite dessert from the buffet--a bowl full of candy with chocolate fudge to dip it in!
 She was so full after dinner that Daddy had to carry her out--ha! Not really...but she takes every chance she can get for Dad to carry her.
 Tessa and I did a little shopping after dinner and the boys went home. It was a lot of fun watching her try to decide what to spend her birthday money on! When we finally got home for the night, she opened the last of her presents. She kept making this face for all of them...
 And I got some sweet snuggles from the birthday girl at the end of the night! I love her so much.

Her final birthday celebration happened in Stockton at Nick's family reunion! We got together with a bunch of fantastic people and got to party again! Our cousin made the CUTEST mermaid cookies for Tessa.......

 She loved them! Let's be honest....we all loved them. I ate far too many mermaid tails! She got all kinds of fun mermaid stuff from her aunts/grandparents/cousins, etc.

Overall, we spent about a week celebrating Tessa Grace. She was worth every minute and every dime spent! I love our little sweet, spunky six year old!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

To Tessa, on your 6th birthday--

Tessa Grace--

I can't believe you are 6 years old. It just doesn't seem possible. It literally feels like yesterday that we were waiting to see your face as you came into the world!

At 6 years old, you are around 55 pounds and about 46 inches tall. You're in a size 7 top and bottom and wear a size 13 shoe! You're feet are growing like CRAZY.

Kindergarten got you so far in your reading and you have really started to love reading to people. It takes a little time to get through a sentence because you're still sounding things out a lot, but you're getting pretty good!

You LOVE doing anything artsy. Coloring, cutting things into pretty shapes, crafts, painting....you seem to enjoy it all! You also like writing in your journal and leaving little notes for me and Daddy around the house. It's the best. One morning, I left for work and on the back door was a sticky note from you that said, "I love you mommy and daddy." That was a few months ago and I haven't taken it down yet because it's so sweet.

You've just recently gotten into a few more girly things. You haven't been super into bows and shoes and purses and accessories until the last few months. Now you love adding your own flair to outfits and going shopping for cute hair stuff or fun little outfits. You have a little wallet that you carry around (that is always full of money because you HATE spending what money you have!). It's been fun watching you find your girlier side (although you still ride four wheelers and get muddy and pick up bugs that gross me out). 

You are super sweet and compassionate. That is something you did NOT get from me. I really struggle with empathy sometimes, but you.....you just take on everyone's feelings as your own. When somebody's hurt, you're the first one there to help do whatever needs done. Me and daddy always say you're going to be a nurse because you're good at comforting people, but also at being methodical and level headed about helping "fix ouchies." I am so glad you have such a tender heart and am praying that it stays that way!

While you're mostly sweet as honey...you are SO sassy lately. I sometimes struggle because I've been laughing when you get mad. I can't help myself! You are seriously usually the most calm, sweet little girl, but when you're REALLY mad....oh man. Everybody better look out. You can shoot daggers with those eyes. Seeing your cute little face get all grumpy just makes me giggle!

When your feelings are hurt, you totally retreat and it takes me a good 20 minutes to get you to talk to me and tell me what's wrong. But eventually you talk to me and tell me what's wrong--you are always quick to forgive and hug and make up. I always make you and your brother hug after you're done fighting and while you fight it at first, you usually end up giggling by the end of the hug.

I just love you, little lady! You make me want to be a better person. You call me out when a bad word slips out of my mouth, you remind me if I'm being too grumpy, you tell me that God loves us more than anyone on earth can, you sing at the top of your lungs and put all of your heart into it no matter what you sound like,  you say what you're thinking even if I can tell you instantly regret it and you just are a FUN little person.  I'm so glad you were born SIX YEARS AGO!! I love you, Gracie Lou.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

4th of July 2018

I love the 4th of July--I think it's my favorite holiday besides Christmas.

We took our annual end of June/beginning of July trip to Stockton with the Wilhelms and had a great time!

Us girls had taken a trip to Walmart at the beginning of the week and stocked up on hats to wear on the boat!

 Tessa Grace used her hat to shield her face from pictures....RUDE.
 We enjoyed lots of time on the water! The kids got to drive the boat and thought they were so grown up.

We were finally there to see the fireworks show Stockton puts on every year--we've usually already left Stockton by the time they do it, so it was fun to be able to watch it with everyone! We drug our chairs and blankets out to the front yard and enjoyed the show!
 Then the kids (and Nick and Josh) got to do some sparklers and had the best time!

We headed home from Stockton on Monday and had a day of rest and then hosted my family for our annual 4th of July party. Except we did it on July 3rd this year so everyone could have the next day to recover off work since we always stay up so late! Brooke made the most delicious sugar cookie flag cake....YUM!

We spent most of the evening playing outside in the pool and enjoying the warm weather!

 One of us (I won't mention any names) even snuck a few drinks of Mountain Dew when he thought nobody was watching...

Once it was dark, we started shooting off our fireworks and watched the fireworks shows going off in the surrounding towns. It's cool because from our yard, you can see shows in Andover, Benton, Towanda, El Dorado, Wichita....you can watch one in pretty much any direction you look!

On the actual 4th of July, we spent most of the day at home and then went to the neighbor's house for some swimming, volleyball and more fireworks! We had a great time celebrating our nation's freedom! We are so thankful for the men and women who have fought for our country!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

June was a busy month!

June was a fun and busy month!

I celebrated my 10 year anniversary at my job. Which was CRAZY! I have to be honest and say 10 years has FLOOOWN by. It was a fun day with all my co-workers! They decorated my office and gave me a super sweet card. 

We watched a loooooot of baseball. It was hot and dirty, but so much fun to watch the kids play. They both enjoy it okay, but I'm not sure that baseball will be in our future next year. Neither one of them LOVE to play and I think Tommy especially gets bored with how slow it can be sometimes. He likes sports that require constant action, like football and soccer. But either way, it was fun to watch them learn and bond with their teams!

We celebrated this guy on Father's Day. Literally couldn't ask for a better father for my children than him. He's the best!
 I especially love how patient he is in showing the kids how to do things and he's always willing to take them along on anything he does--mowing, hunting, messing around in the barn. Whatever it is, it doesn't bother him a bit to have a kid or two tagging along.

We celebrated Michael's birthday with a pool party at his parent's house. I didn't get a picture of the birthday boy, but I DID manage to snag a picture with these two cuties...

I caught some major sass from the kids most of the month. I don't know if it was just them adjusting to being out of school, but MAN they were sassy! However, I especially love this picture of Tommy trying to act mad but also trying not to smile. It kind of captures his personality perfectly--he's happy most of the time but tries to act big and bad. His momma can always see the smile behind the toughness though.

Tessa and I both had lumps we had to get ultrasounds on, so we ended up at the same doctor's office. She had a big lump behind her ear that wasn't going away. We had the ultrasound and the radiologist said it was just a really big lymph node but it didn't look infected or anything, so we just kept an eye on it for awhile and it eventually went away. I was so glad it was nothing!

The perfect ending to our month was adding a sweet little (outdoor) kitty to our family. They named him Whiskers and pretty much everyone in our family is smitten. I even like it much more than I thought I would. This cat seems to have more of a personality than any of our other kitties ever have.

Our June was busy, but so SO fun! I love spending the summer with my sweet family!

Friday, May 25, 2018

End of School 2018

We are SO glad school's out for the summer!! The kids had a great 2017-2018 school year but we are all ready for later evenings, sleeping in just a little bit and vacations! The end of this year was fairly uneventful.

Tommy had his last field trip--they went to Exploration Place. I wasn't able to go because we had too many people gone from work already. Nick wasn't able to go either because of work. So we asked grandma and were thankful she was able to fill in! I was sad because this was the first field trip I'd missed, but he had so much fun!

He even got to be an "assistant" for an experiment that they did in front of his class--of course that happened the one time I didn't go, but I at least got to watch a video and that was fun! He enjoyed it. If you would have told me 3 years ago that he would like being in front of the class, I would have never believed you. He was SO shy when he started school, but is completely different now. I'm so glad he came out of his shell!

They had a great last day. They had field day and got to play outside for most of it. So much fun!

Goodbye school....hello sweet summertime!