Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Anniversary Getaway to Branson

Nathan and I were able to get away for the weekend and celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. We decided to take a kid free trip to Branson and do some of our favorite things we can't always do with the kids like shop, ride the fast coasters and have calm dinners out :)

Friday we shopped and went to dinner at Buckinghams Steak House where Nathan smoothly cut a carrot and it flew off our table and hit the table beside us :) We both laughed until we cried! We had dessert at Andy's custard before calling it a night at the hotel. No baths to give, or kids to tuck in - just us getting to lay in bed at watch a movie.

Saturday was actually our anniversary. Funny story: I was joking with Nathan earlier in the week and said "Happy Anniversary" to him - he said "is that today, I'm sorry" - so realizing he really didn't know when it was (even though it is engraved in his ring) I let him think he missed it until Saturday when I again told him Happy Anniversary and had to clue him in :) We did some more shopping and then rode the Ozark Mountain Coaster before lunch at the Fall Creek Steak House. The Ozark Mountain Coaster is a new coaster that you ride in your own car and control how fast you come down the mountain. It was a lot of fun and I cannot wait to take the kids back to do it. That evening we did putt-putt golf - I only lost by 1, and dinner at the Bass Pro Restaurant on the water - the food was good and it was storming which was kind of cool to watch through all the windows on the water.

Sunday we went straight to Silver Dollar City and got there when it opened and had no lines for 3 of the fast coasters we wanted to ride. There was a really long line for one ride for some reason so we skipped that one and went to ride the sky coaster downtown instead. I had done the sky coaster a long time ago and Nathan had never done it. The first drop was scary but after that it was just fun. We ended our trip with lunch at Nathan's favorite place - Joe's Crab Shack.

It was really nice to get away and not have to worry about kids getting car sick, a million bathroom breaks, ordering kids food and begging them to eat it, trying to keep them quiet in a hotel, etc. But, as soon as I saw a kid while we were there, I would instantly miss our kids - funny how that works.

Once we got home we did have a not so great realization. On Friday after we went shopping we put some of the shopping bags in the back floorboard under the seat. Once we got home we realized they were not there. We narrowed it down by what was still there and when we put them in there and we know it was taken at our hotel parking lot Friday night. We got the kids new summer clothes, each a new pair of shoes, my bag of Ulta stuff, and some of me and Nathan's new clothes - all gone. No cameras are in the parking lot, the receipts are in all of the bags so basically we are just out of luck. I guess it is a life lesson - take your stuff in with you on vacations - even if it is locked up or hid it isn't safe.

With Ryan's ball season being over and her ballet is canceled this week, we don't have much going on this week other than swim lessons in the mornings. But the kids and I (and whoever else we can drag along) are trying to do Fun Fridays this summer and are trying to do different fun things each Friday like visit State Parks, go to the lake, library or movies. We are hoping to be able to kick that off this Friday!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Noah's First Grade Year

When Noah started the first grade I was nervous. Kindergarten had went so well and I was unsure about the other end of the building where all the big first grade kids were! It all just seemed so different to be in the same building. However, I learned the differences between Kindergarten and First Grade were needed to help the kids grow and be able to do more on their own - and that is just what Noah did. It seemed like in no time he took off with his reading and math skills. I would learn of things he was doing in class and he knew so much about the world and even understood how and why things are the way they are. I saw a real maturity in him this year, that was much more noticeable than in Kindergarten.

Noah's teacher, Mrs. Blackard, was a great fit for him. She gave him the perfect balance of love, discipline, knowledge, guidance and of course fun! Noah just told me last week before his birthday that one of the things he will miss most about being a 6 year old was Mrs. Blackard. He always got up each day ready to go to school and even complained about missing his teacher on Christmas and Spring Break. He has made me promise to bring him back to visit her next year.

This will be Noah's last year in the Primary School. This school has been such a blessing to us. Noah always had something to look forward to and a fun activity to help him learn going on - State Park field trips, AR rewards program, 2-4-6 Reading Fundraiser, Fun Day, Book Fairs, Music Programs and so much more! He didn't even realize how much he was learning most of the time during these activities :)

Since Noah is moving up to the elementary school next year and Ryan will not start school for another year, I will not have a child in the Primary next year. That is really hard to imagine! I plan to still come back and volunteer the same as I did when Noah was there and also help as much at the elementary school as they need me. I have made some of the best friendships and memories in that volunteer program and cannot imagine not being part of it. I realize that as kids get older, volunteers will be needed less and less each year due to not as many crafts, etc. in the classes. So, I may not always be able to help in my child's class, but I really enjoy volunteering and plan to do it as long as I can. I had friends whose kids started Kindergarten this year and they told me when they heard me talk so much about how awesome the volunteer program was last year they couldn't imagine why I wanted to spend my day off at the school. But after they volunteered this year they totally get it! We have so much fun and the teachers and staff are very grateful making it very rewarding!

I officially have a second grader now! He changed so much during his first grade year! His little cheeks aren't so chubby, he definitely grew taller and he just looks more like a little man now. If I didn't have picture proof of these changes I wouldn't believe he changed that much physically. But, there is no doubt in my mind that he is much smarter and mature than he was just 9 months ago.

First Day of 1st Grade       -      Last Day of 1st Grade

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Noah's 7th Birthday Celebrations

We kicked off Noah's birthday weekend with a pizza party with his class on Friday. Since Noah is not a sweets kid we always try to think of another way to celebrate with his class - this year Noah chose pizza!

We spent Friday night at the movies. We went to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid - The Long Haul. I had low expectations for this movie and was pleasantly surprised. It was really good - very funny and entertaining. Noah even yelled in the theater at one point "this is the funniest movie I have ever seen!" :)

Saturday morning Noah was supposed to have a ballgame but it got rained out. So, I cleaned house and got all his party stuff ready all morning then it was finally party time! We rented half the courts at the local multipurpose building and it was so nice! We had lots of room for the kids to play and rented a bounce house too. Noah wanted a Captain America vs. Iron Man Civil War party and I think it turned out really cute!

Throwing Captain America Shields at bad guys :)

Pin the Star on the Shield game

After Noah's party I asked him what he wanted to do and he asked to go see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. So, we took the party stuff home and got ready to head back to the movies. Before the movie started Noah told me he has some sharp pains in his side that were coming and going. He ate all his popcorn and seemed ok during the movie, just a little tired. He seemed better once we got home, ate supper and slept all night.

Sunday was Noah's actual birthday! He woke up extra early and opened his gifts. I still could tell he wasn't feeling great, but he insisted he felt fine. He didn't have a fever and ate breakfast so after gifts we went to church. After church we took off for Little Rock to go to Dave & Busters and Toys R Us - a little birthday tradition we have. Unfortunately about 15 miles down the road I had a bad feeling and looked at Noah and he asked for the trashcan and got sick. I just KNEW he was sick, moms just know that sort of thing. But, I was really hoping I was just being paranoid. So, we had to turn around and head home. Noah was pretty upset, and I am not going to lie, I was too. I hate having to cancel plans at all, but something that fun on your birthday that you have been looking forward to is so upsetting! Noah ended up spending the rest of his birthday in his room. Luckily he had lots of new toys and movies to play with from his birthday so that helped pass the time. He played outside a little too. He never felt sick again after that and never ran a fever, so at least he wasn't miserable.

Noah's elf Huckleberry brought him a birthday gift :)

We got Noah all 4 ninja turtles dressed as WWE Superstars :)

And all 145 original Power Ranger episodes!

Birthday boy playing in his room since he was sick :(

We have a very busy week so Monday was the only day we could possibly reschedule our birthday trip to Little Rock. So, as soon as Noah was out of school we took off! Our first stop was Toys R Us so Noah could spend his birthday money from my dad and I always let him pick out one thing from us. He ended up picking out some Lego toys and some new video games.

Our next stop was Dave & Busters. I am not going to lie - we love Dave & Busters probably just as much as the kids do! Actually, we are even planning on going back for my birthday next month :) We didn't even spend half the money we put on the cards and Noah won enough tickets to get the game he was wanting so we decided to save the rest for next time.

I cannot believe we already have a 7 year old! The past 7 years have been the best, fastest, most entertaining, full of love and laughter years of my life. Noah is so kind-hearted and smart and is going to do great things in this world and I am so glad I get to be a part of it.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day Weekend

Our Saturday was very busy even after we had to pass on a few things we were invited to - this is just a busy time of year with sports, graduations and birthdays! Nathan had a golf tournament on Saturday morning while the kids and I got ready for Noah's ballgame. We met up at the game at noon. Noah wasn't catcher that day because we were missing a few players so he was needed on the field. He did ok, but is definitely more distracted out on the field than at catcher.

After the game the kids and I went to lunch while Nathan finished up at the golf course. Then it was off the the 10th Annual Crawfish Boil at the Porter's house. This is only our second year to attend, but we have had a great time both years. The kids love the bounce houses and playing with other kids. The kids and I went home early - they were begging for a water balloon fight so I gave in. Then it was dinner and movie night featuring Ratatouille.

Sunday was one of my favorite days - Mother's Day! After dealing with infertility for years before we were blessed with Noah I always hold this day special in my heart. We started our day at Church then went to the park with my family for lunch.

My mom and I started a new tradition last year of going to the movies - just her and I - on Mother's Day. This year we saw Snatched. It was a good movie - lots of funny stuff and about a mother/daughter relationship so it was perfect for the occasion! After the movie I met Nathan and the kids out at the Country Club where he was golfing. The kids love running around and playing at the golf course and I love watching them have fun. Watching Nathan golf is easy on the eyes too ;)

Once we were home, Nathan's mom came over and we gave her a Mother's Day gift and then had quick dinner and baths and we were off to bed - we were all exhausted from the busy weekend. Now we have Noah's last full week of 1st grade (and in the Primary School at all), Ryan's t-ball game, family dinner night, ballet class, Diary of a Whimpy Kid movie date, then a weekend full of celebrating Noah turning 7!