Sunday, March 30, 2014

he found his niche

Andrew has definitely found something he loves to do.  And that's Tae Kwon Do.  And we are SO proud of him!  We started him in a beginner class for a couple of months, about a year before we moved.  It was very informal and mainly was just to see if the kids liked it.
I had plans to move him to a studio but then we moved.  And it turns out it was the best thing for a lot of reasons.  One of them being TKD.  We LOVE his new studio and instructor and it has been a wonderful thing for Andrew to be involved in.  It is much more strict and they actually get to move up and get new belts based on their skill, where as in his old class it was based on attendance.  He has an hour class, twice a week.  At first I felt like that was too much, but he enjoys it so much and it's so good for him to be involved in an activity, so it has been fine taking him that often.
There are mostly boys in his class but there are a couple of sweet little girls who Andrew loves to charm and flirt with!  Ha!
He had his first big testing night a few weeks ago.  I think I was more nervous than he was!  They had all the kids from all the different skill levels there which was really neat to see some of the older kids with black belts.  I thought it would be good encouragement for Andrew to see what he can do someday if he continues to work hard!
This was in the middle of his test so I didn't want to use the flash so some of these are blurry but he did so amazing.  The instructor didn't model any of the moves and he asked the kids to do a variety of things, all independently.  Andrew got called on to go first and I was so nervous!  He did awesome!
Look at that high kick!
Master Hala was talking to him as he was getting his new belt, he was listening so intently!  He has learned a lot about being respectful.  We have seen a difference since he started this class!
So proud!
Apparently the instructors are "tough" so they don't smile for pictures!  Ha!  Andrew was so proud to get his yellow belt!
This was so sweet, my friend Mandy kept Kerigan because she could never have made it during the 4 hours of TKD (he had an hour class before testing began!)  It was a long night!  So when we got back to pick her up, they were all standing there like this for Andrew when he walked in.  It was SO sweet!
Kerigan was so proud to show him her sign.  They all cheered for him.  I love sweet friends!  Thanks for making his night extra special, Mandy, Emily and Grace! 

For the longest time I have worried about Andrew not being able to do sports because of his heart condition.  Doctors have said no "contact" sports in his future... so we have been trying to get him involved in things he can participate in and he hasn't really liked much so far.  T-ball wasn't a hit (baseball is one sport he can play someday), and he just took a while to find something he loved.  His cardiologist cleared him to do TKD and I thought it would be great discipline for him, and help him focus and it really has!  It is the perfect thing for him.  We really try to teach him that he can do anything he wants to do, but with his heart limiting his choices somewhat, we have to be gentle with that phrase.  Finding his niche has been a delicate balance of letting him make choices yet guiding him towards what we know he will be able to do.

And we are just so happy and grateful he finally found it. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

blog makeover!

I've done a couple of updates in the process of my blog makeover, but it is finally all complete so I wanted to share and make it official!  I figured it was time since my old blog header had Kerigan as a newborn baby!  Ha! She's quite the little spitfire now at 2 1/2.

I have two people to thank for how awesome it looks!  First, my high school friend Lisa, who is so good at scrapbooking and putting together digital scrapbooks!  She has done a couple for me, and many other projects for me like birthday invitations, etc.  She is awesome!  She designed the header, footer and the sidebar tags.  Thank you so much Lisa!  It looks amazing!  Next, my amazing heart mommy friend, Stef, who made it all come together by putting it on the blog for me. She did all the confusing "behind the scenes" stuff and I couldn't have done it without her technology expertise!  Thanks Stef, you are awesome!  Both of them donated time out of their busy schedules for me and I appreciate it so much!
I also thought it would be a good time to share some of the professional pictures we had taken of the kids- Kerigan at 2 1/2 and Andrew was almost 7.  I used the above 2 pictures for our Christmas card this year (I cropped out the teddy bears, and she just looks like a sassy little diva in this picture!)
I've shared this one a few times over Andrew's birthday.  It is one of my all time favorite pictures of him.  You won't see any other individual ones of him though, because he was a complete stinker in most of them and was making crazy faces!  Ha!  Thank goodness they snapped this one when I had him laughing about something!  I do wish I had some of the others to share though, because they were FUNNY.
I had trouble deciding on pictures of Kerigan...We didn't get many huge smiles, but these are so sweet and depict her personality perfectly.
I ordered this one of her and the one of Andrew, along with the top one of both of them in 20X30 to frame on our vaulted wall, which is really big so I wanted to fill it with big pictures of the kids.
I love this picture of them.  It was taken when we first walked in the studio and I hadn't even had a chance to get their shoes off (I always like their shoes off in pictures) and I realized in these that Kerigan has them on backwards!  Ha!  Another perfect depiction of her personality- wanting to do everything herself!  And something else I had just noticed was that Andrew was grabbing her necklace, which is obviously the reason for his silly laugh!  Stinker!  And totally them.
This was taken right before the one above- you can tell Andrew is getting ready to give her necklace a yank!  Ha!
I also have to share some cute things Kerigan has said lately.  I've been writing a lot of things down and want to get them recorded.  She just loves her brother.  Usually he enjoys playing with her and loves it when she hugs him and is affectionate, but once in a while he is into something else and not interested.  One day she was yelling at him to play with her.  She likes to put her music on in her room and have him dance with her.  She was yelling "BUBBA!!!!!!!  I NEED you!!!  You're my BEST friend!!!"  It was the sweetest thing ever.
When I am getting her dressed in the mornings, she will often throw her arms around me in the tightest hug and say, "You're the BEST mommy in the WHOLE world!!!!"
One afternoon we were home together watching Cinderella.  We were talking about how Cinderella was dreaming of her prince at the beginning of the movie and she said she was dreaming of her prince too.  I asked her who her prince is and without hesitation she yelled "DADDY!!!!"  She's got him seriously wrapped around her finger.

And her sassy side... she certainly lets us know when she's mad.  And one afternoon she was mad at me about something and she stomped her foot and said "I'm sick of it!  Ugh!" (and made a disgusted/grunting sound)  Ha!  She's obviously heard that from somewhere and none of us can figure out where (ha ha!)

The other day she lost one of her Sofia the First toys.  She was looking everywhere for it and asking me to help her.  So I went to look around the corner and when I came back she asked me "Have any luck?"  It sounded so funny coming from a 2 year old!

I have two of the sweetest kids in the entire world and I am so blessed!  They are just amazing and I could not love two little people any more than I do these two!  They make my life complete!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

leprechaun scavenger hunt

Every year around this time I get burnt out from holidays.  There is one in every single month for us starting with October.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Andrew's birthday, Valentines Day... I'd seriously like to just forget St. Patrick's Day.  It isn't one I celebrated growing up other than wearing green and having fun pinching people who weren't wearing green.
But I have to say, these days with Pinterest... you just can't ignore holidays, even small ones.  Andrew wouldn't let me.  He discovered on March 16 that the next day was "Leprechaun Day," as he calls it, and he talked about it the whole rest of the day and night.  He kept asking me about setting a trap to catch the leprechaun and what we should leave out to entice him.  Before rushing out the door the next morning he settled for a box, held up with a pencil and a few pennies and lucky charms.  Whew.  Nothing like waiting to the last minute.

Kerigan went to day care because they were having a fun St. Patty's Day party and making traps, too.  So I couldn't just sit around and not make this holiday happen!
I got on Pinterest.  Found this genius scavenger hunt idea I just knew Andrew would love.  And bonus- the clue cards were free printables!  I made a list and set out for Walmart!
It took me pretty much the whole day to organize everything, print out the cards, change a few of the clues and set this all up.  But it was worth every second.  The kids LOVED it!  It started out with a letter from Lucky the Leprechaun that we found in the mailbox after I picked the kids up from school.  In my old teaching stuff I dug through and found this creepy looking leprechaun and hung him on the door going into the house.  Kerigan was a little freaked out, but Andrew loved it!  Ha!
The envelope had a little note written backwards so you had to read it in a mirror.  Andrew thought this was so neat!  Clue #1 was also inside the envelope.
It led them to one of the toy baskets.  Lucky had to use his special rainbow rope to climb up high... you know, since he's so short.
He used his rope to climb up and turn our milk green!

This was the favorite!  Kerigan still hasn't stopped talking about the leprechaun leaving green pee in our toilet!
He took a nap on his green blanket in Andrew's bed!
Took a bath and shaved his green "glitter" whiskers in Kerigan's bathroom sink!
Such a messy leprechaun!  The kids thought it was hilarious, though! And it was easy to clean up when Kerigan took a bath that night!
He read some little books and Andrew's Magic Tree House book about Leprechauns!

This is where I changed the scavenger hunt a little bit because the printable had said he took a spin in the van, and left something outside the front door, but since I had to pick the kids up in the van, I couldn't really hide a clue in it.  Plus it was really cold and windy, so I kind of wanted to avoid outside.  So he left the kids a note typed on the computer screen instead!
And left green fingerprints on the keyboard!
The last clue had them follow the shamrocks down the stairs...
Into the basement for their "pot of gold!"  They were so excited!  And bonus- all the St. Patrick's Day stuff was 50% off!  There's a perk to waiting til the last minute for this stuff!  The shamrock cutouts were in my old teaching stuff I dug out of a box in the basement!
They had so much fun doing this and I'm so glad I went to all the trouble!  And it makes me feel not as guilty for forgetting about overlooking April Fools Day!
Kerigan's sweet little day care friends!  Ashley took all their pictures and made this collage- so cute!  They had fun at their party and making their own leprechaun traps!  Too bad those little guys are too fast to catch!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

school spirit

I got to sub in my little man's classroom the other day.  Have I mentioned how much this year is like a dream come true for me?
Never in a million years did I think I would ever be able to say I have subbed in my kid's classroom.  I absolutely love Andrew's school.  When I walk in the doors I immediately feel at "home."  I'm not sure how this happened so fast, but it did.  I have subbed in almost every classroom, including preschool.  I know and love the principal and she has become a good friend. I love the staff members and can call many of them my friends (one is even my neighbor!)  Walking the halls of that school... I just feel happy.  And I needed that so badly.  I had been feeling so down and frustrated with school and teaching the past few years.  I needed a lift.  And Andrew's school gives that to me.
The kids were sharing their stories and Andrew was so proud to share with me watching!

Subbing is the best of both worlds because it allows me more time with this girl.  And seriously?  I just cannot get enough of her.
She dressed up for one of our many Panera dates.  She wouldn't leave the house without all the bling.  This girl kills me.
Daddy's school gym is undergoing a multi million dollar renovation.  Andrew's school offered to host their school carnival at the Roundhouse, open it up to the whole community and donate half the proceeds to the renovation project.
We thought it was pretty cool!
Little miss was getting sleepy and literally fell asleep on her daddy's shoulders.  That was a first!
She was then transferred to Mandy's arms because Mandy loves every opportunity to cuddle her and while she's awake...she's pretty much always on the go!  Ha!
Andrew played a killer game of giant Jenga!
And giant Operation.
Andrew and Grace had to get their picture taken here, you know, since they've both had operations.
We got in on the carnival clean up so the kids shot baskets.  My girl loved her some basketball!  Ha!  But I'm still convinced she's not going to be a tomboy!
This is a little late but I wanted to include it.  This year I have loved having the time to just be a mom.  To have the time to do special things with the kids and volunteer at the school.  For the Christmas party I volunteered to plan it and do all the preparations.  And it was so much fun!
Mrs. Nichols wanted to do a gingerbread party, so that's what we did!  Unfortunately, we had a big blizzard and school was cancelled the last day before break.  I know.  After spending 3 evenings gluing graham crackers together.  All of us were more than a little disappointed.
We were so grateful we were still able to have the party on an early out day in January.  And the kids had just as much fun!
I made cupcakes for the kids to decorate like snowmen.
Andrew with two of his best friends, Eli and Issac.  Sweetest boys ever.
Decorating his cupcake.

Daddy even surprised Andrew and got to come to the party!  Another perk of all of us being together in the same district.  Craig's school is literally 3 minutes away.  Such a gift.
My sweet boy with his gingerbread house.  He had been so excited to make one since Kerigan had made one at her day care.  I'm pretty sure he was on cloud nine in this picture.
Andrew's precious little class.  I just love them!  I could just cry thinking about what a special class, school and community we get to be a part of.  Just another reason to add to the list of why moving here was meant to be.

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