Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Look at her twirl!

The sweet Craddock family gave Gracie a Dora dress for her birthday.

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She loves it. She wasted no time testing out it’s twirliness.

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It passed! Thank you, Brock & Briggs!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kids’ Day Out Graduation & Saying “good-bye” to Grace Point

Ben had his “official” pre-school graduation today. The one last year doesn’t count because we postponed his Kindergarten debut. This one was the real deal, complete with a teary Momma. I can’t believe my baby is going to Kinder in the Fall! He is SOOO ready and I am SOOOO not!

Ben was asked to carry in the flag and lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
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He did a great job! He looks so proud and responsible.
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He hugged Mrs. Valerie and Mrs. Monica after he received his diploma. We adored his teachers. They had the biggest hearts and loved on Ben even during the trying times at the end of the year when he grew a little too big for his britches. I am just as grateful for their lessons of patience and grace as I am for all of the academic things they shared with Benji.
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He’s moving on!
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One of Ben’s friends stopped us and asked to take a picture with him!
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I love seeing the difference between the 1st day of the school year and the last day.

Ben with Mrs. Monica & Mrs. Valerie
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The day of Ben’s ceremony was also the last day of school for Grace & Noah. I was almost as emotional over their last day as I was Ben’s, because they will also be going to a different school next year (closer to the new house).

Mrs. Kim & Mrs. Tammy were Ben’s teachers when he was in the 1 year old class. We were thrilled to have them again when Gracie joined that class a few years later. This past year, they were moved up to the 2 year old class, so Gracie had her same teachers two years in a row. As you can imagine, we all grew very close to these two sweet ladies! Mrs. Tammy was out of town on the last day of school – which made me even more sad! I’m sure we’ll have to make a plan to visit them sometime next year!
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Noah was in the baby room with Mrs. Queta & Mrs. Janie. These two angels took care of each of my babies in turn. They were like bonus grandmothers to my children, and we will sure miss seeing them, too!

Noah & Mrs. Queta
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Noah & Mrs. Janie
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I am excited about the kids being in new schools next year that are much closer to home, but I was surprised at how heartbroken I was about leaving Grace Point. Our family has been a part of their program for five years and there is so much to be said for being “known”. Can you hear the Cheers theme song in the background? “Where everybody knows your name… and they’re always glad you came.” :) I know that changing schools will bring about new and wonderful experiences, but it would be so much easier to just stop the clock and stay right here where we are all comfortable. That’s never God’s plan, though, is it… to just leave us right where we are? Sigh.

OK, as if I’m not already boo hoo-ing enough, I had to include the poem that Ben’s teachers read during the Graduation program:

You were six months old and full of fun
With a blink of my eye, you were suddenly one.
There were so many things we were going to do,
But I turned my head and you turned two.
At two you were very dependent on me
But independence took over when you turned three.
Your third birthday, another year I tried to ignore,
But when I lit the candles, there weren’t three, but four.
Four was the year that you really strived.
Why, look at you now, you’re already five.
Now you are ready for books and for rules.
This is the yeat that you go to school.
The big day will come, you’ll be anxious to go.
We’ll walk to the bus, going oh, so slow.
As you climb aboard and wave good-bye,
I’ll feel a lump in my throat and tears sting my eyes.
Time goes so fast, it’s hard to believe
That just yesterday you were home here with me.
And tomorrow, when the bus brings you home
And you jump to the ground,
You’ll be wearing your cap and graduation gown.
So I’m holding to these moments as hard as I can
Because the next time I look,
I’ll be seeing a man.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cousin Time

Gav ran in a race in near Austin, so we got to see him, Holly & Michael. Noah was excited to see his cousin.

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Is he not the cutest thing?! I want to EAT. HIM. UP.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Partying with Elmo!

Our sweet & crazy, one and only girly girl turned three and she chose an Elmo/Sesame Street party as her theme. This was our first party to host in the new house… less than one month after we moved in. Stressful? A bit.

I made her invites and printed them on Shutterfly. I love how they turned out.
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There were no shortage of ideas for Elmo parties on Pinterest, so this was an easy party to plan. I went with a primary color scheme for the actual party and used some things I already had around the house as well as lots of printables.  This was, by far, the least prepared that I was for a party. I was still sewing her dress less than hour before go time. I also owed my family an apology for my host-zilla-ness that morning. Regardless, they rallied around me and helped me pull it off and we all had a great time!

Happy Birthday, Gracie!
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Welcome to my party!
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All ready to play host!
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The indoor set-up
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These character bags were fun to make. The kids used them for the Piñata candy.
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The wall sign was a last minute purchase from Party City the night before the party. It was too cute to pass up!
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The party table:
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Elmo Cake & Cupcakes
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Elmo fruit tray
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Party favors:
The cups were filled with crayons, a little notebook, and a sesame street crazy straw.
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This party is brought to you by
the letter G and the number 3!
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Outside, we had plenty of space for the kids to run around and play ~ yay for the new backyard! We also had a few games & activities set up. The first stop was “Cookie Monster’s Cookie Creation Station.”
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Ben making some play-doh cookies with Cole & Elise
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We also had “Oscar’s Trash Toss.”
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At first, I just had the kids line up and take turns tossing their trash. I soon found out that I had grossly overestimated their trash tossing skills and abilities. We quickly abandoned this method and moved on to…
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…boys versus girls trash pick-up race! Racing and a crazy mama yelling “Go! Go! Go!” makes everything more fun, right?! :)

P.S. The girls won!
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Gracie requested a Piñata, so we brought this little guy home. I will say there was something not quite right about beating this sweet Elmo until he fell apart and spilled his candy.
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Take that, Elmo. And that. And that.
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Patiently waiting for their turn to bring the hurt.
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You ain't got no legs, Elmo.
(Read that last sentence in your best Forrest Gump voice).
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Get your candy, folks!
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Group shot – post candy mayhem!
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Cake time! This picture cracks me up - Carter especially!
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Singing to the birthday girl
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Bri trying to get Noah to sing… he wasn’t interested.
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Blowing out her candles!
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Enjoying some cakey goodness with Mommy!
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Taking a minute to recap the festivities with Grandad.
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Despite all of the moving craziness and party planning craziness and all around “I’m naturally a little crazy” craziness, the kids had a blast at the party. I will, of course, do it all again because how can I not celebrate these three precious kiddos!

Courtesy of Sweetie, Elmo actually showed up at the party!
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Thanks for coming, everyone!
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If my kids had a rap CD, this photo would be on the cover… Ben is so gangsta
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Noah says, “I’m outta here, crazies. Word to your mother… I mean my mother… I mean our mother… you know what I mean.”**
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**To be technical and historically accurate… Noah only says “ball”.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Grace’s Birthday Dinner

I asked Gracie what she wanted for dinner on her birthday and she requested purple pancakes and strawberries.
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She quickly verified and approved the purple-ness.
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She also appreciated the plumpness of the strawberries.
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As did Ben.
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Crazy daddy.
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