Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Flag Football!

Tommy is playing Flag Football this year.....and I LOVE it. I wasn't sure how it would be because I don't really understand all the rules. But it has been SO fun watching his practices and seeing how much this boy loves football!

His cousin, Beckett, is on his team and so are a few friends from his class, so that makes it even more fun!

They were ready to start the game!
 Showing their "muscles"......

 Just a couple of cousins doing some blocking........
 I love this picture because it shows how great all of the coaches are. I wasn't sure how the kids would do since for most of them, this is their first year to play and they're still learning all of the rules. But at the game, all of the coaches on both teams were SO hands on and out in the field helping them. It was truly a show of sportsmanship and they were all encouraging both teams and just helping the kids to really have fun and ENJOY the game. I love that we live in a small town where sports are important, but sportsmanship and fun are MORE important!

 This game was the culmination of all of Nick's dreams come true...playing football with his son! I think he loves being out there more than Tommy!

Overall, they did SO good! Tommy loved it and can't wait for his next game!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tessa's First Day Back

Tessa started her second year of preschool this year! She looks so grown up compared to last year.

                      This was her last year.....

This was my sweet girl this year....

Is it just me or did she age 10 years?!? She looked so grown up!

 The good news is, I didn't have ANY tears that day! She was so excited because she got to change her earrings for the first time since she'd pierced her ears.

After her class was over, I picked her up and we headed for a special lunch at Applebee's together. It was so nice to just sit and hang out with my girl for awhile. She has such a fun personality.

This was her last first day of preschool and this is our last year at Noah's Ark :( Bittersweet, but the kids have LOVED it. I just know this year is going to fly by!

Happy first day, sweet girl!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

My little man's big day

This year, my little man started kindergarten. Insert sobbing here. It was such a great day, but such a hard day! He was so excited to go to school!

I'd been prepping him for a few weeks that I would drop him off and he would stay there for most of the day with his teacher. He acted completely fine with it. I expected that once we got there, he'd be nervous and clingy. I was just hoping that he wouldn't have any tears because I wasn't sure I'd be able to leave him if he did.

We got to school and I took a few more pictures.... 

All the kids meet in the gym before the bell rings and sit with their class. He was SUPER confident the whole time we walked towards the school and while we were taking pictures. We got to the gym doors and let me tell you.......those kids are LOUD. It's 5 or 6 grades worth the children yelling non-stop. As soon as we walked through the doors, he stopped for a few seconds and his eyes got really big and I thought he was going to bolt! But he didn't........he just kept right on walking. We found his class and he got a name tag and then sat down. And he was PERFECTLY FINE.

After his teacher came to the gym, he went and lined up with his class. He looked so little........and so big.

I stayed there and stared at him for at least 5 minutes, wondering where the time had gone. His teacher started leading them out of the gym and he turned and looked at me once and waved with a nervous smile and then he was gone!

And me and Tessa got in the car and were all like.......

I started crying as soon as I walked out of the school. Tessa got in the car and she just started SOBBING. It was horrible! I tried to quit crying so I could ask her why she was upset. She said, "I'm just worried about my brother!" It was the sweetest......and the saddest. We eventually both stopped crying and made it through the day until 3:15pm when I could FINALLY go get my cutie.

He said his day was great and he really liked his teacher. He reported that he was stuck sitting between "two dang girls" (as he rolled his eyes). Gym and lunch were his favorite part of the day. He got to see his buddy Weston at recess.  He was so excited and kept saying, "We really need to get home and check if I have any homework to get done. Cause I REALLY want to get it done." Yeah.....I'm gonna plan on that not lasting too long. He couldn't wait to show us his binder and his agenda. So overall, I would say his first day of kindergarten was a success!

Tommy, we're so proud of you and so excited to see what your future holds! Here's to the first of many "first days of school." Love you, bud. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Lake Stockton 2016

At the end of June, we packed up and took off for our annual lake trip. We went down on a Friday evening and got to stay an entire week and headed back on a Saturday afternoon.

It was such a fun trip! Nobody got their elbow dislocated or stuck their finger in an electrical socket, so I'm counting this our most successful summer vacation ever!

We had a wonderful week with lots of family time!

We played with leaves as big as our heads....

Ate plates of food as big as our heads........

Found funny masks at antique stores........

We spent countless hours on the boat, soaking up the sun and playing in the water!

We ate ice cream almost every night.....

 There was lots and lots and lots of fishing (the guys even got to go on a guided tour one day)....

And while the guys did their guided tour, us girls had our own fun.......

But eventually, Tessa caught the biggest fish of the trip!!

We chose one day to go do our own thing as a family and had the BEST time. Every time we go to Missouri, we see all of the signs for the Fantastic Caverns. We've always thought about it, but never gone until this year. It was so much fun!

 The insides of the cave were really neat.
 We especially liked the story of how the cave was discovered. A man was hunting one day with his dog and his dog chased a fox into a hole and didn't come back out. The man shimmied his way through the hole (which the guide said was probably only about 2-3 feet in diameter) and when he came out about 15 feet later, he was in the cave! It was in the mid 1800's. He kept the cave a secret until 5 years later. Then he put an ad in the newspaper asking for explores and a group of TWELVE WOMEN volunteered to do the exploring! Isn't that awesome? I mean, think about it. No flash lights. No emergency crew with equipment standing by in case something goes wrong. NO clue of what was inside.

And the cave was HUGE. We only got to tour about one mile into it, but you could see that it went on and on and on. I love the idea that there are probable thousands of undiscovered caves in the world.

Those 12 women put their names on this rock.....

 We had such a good time in the caverns!

After that tour was over, we had debated going to the Wild Animal Safari. We looked online and it was expensive and a little ways away, but we decided to go ahead and do it. And we were SO. GLAD.

It's mostly a drive through park and you can either drive in your own vehicle (but then you can't feed the animals) or you can go on a bus with opened windows and you ARE able to feed animals.We decided to wait for the bus tour. While we were waiting, there was a little section right around the building that you could walk around and feed some of the animals.

We saw a pretty peacock that Tommy was determined to touch....
And these monkeys were SO cute! There were pipes connected to each pen and you could put food through them and the animals would catch it when it fell out. This monkey was hilarious--Tommy started just throwing fruit loops through the cage and the monkey would catch it mid air! Too cute.
And then we walked around the corner and I about lost my mind.
The giraffe was so accessible, I could literally hug it. AMAZING!! It was SO CLOSE. It's teeth and tongue were a little intimidating. As you can see, Tessa was a little leery........
After we fed the giraffe, it was time for the bus tour.

Our tour guide was hilarious and made it so much fun. It was only our family and one other couple that was there, so we had pretty much the whole bus to ourselves. There were no windows on it and she drove with the door open, so we got up close and personal with a lot of the animals! It was amazing!

That's Klepto the camel pictured below. She warned us that he likes to steal full bags of food and she was right.....he tried!
This guys horns were HUGE.

She had this bear trained to stand up when she told him to!

I don't have anything positive to say about this ostrich. I mean........the picture speaks for itself.

These animals were BEAUTIFUL. It felt like a movie watching them come up out of the ravine to the bus. Their antlers were amazing--they were so perfect, they looked plastic.

And then I flipped out again because I got to pet a zebra. What?!?

Super attractive.

All I could think of when I saw this guy was, "Home, home on the range........"

Look how velvety those antlers look!

 We had the BEST time on the safari. I'm so glad we decided to take the bus tour so we could feed the animals and spend so much time petting them. The kids LOVED it and we'll probably do it again next year. It was expensive, but worth every penny!
Overall, our trip this year was amazing! We got to spend a lot of time together with minimal drama and maximal relaxation. So it was a win.

I'll just end with this view here..........perfection.