Monday, October 31, 2016

halloween happenings

So this is what it was like trying to get their picture this year!  Ha!
We had a super fun Halloween season in our new surroundings.  The girls had costume night at dance- this was the first time they got to wear their costumes and they were so excited to be Shopkins together!
This is her sweet little dance class!  She's already made lots of new friends.
Then the kids school had an awesome Halloween party the Friday before and all the kids got to dress up and we had a costume parade around the school!  I got to sneak down the hall to this girl's class party for a little while since my students were in P.E.
These sweet little Shopkins just can't get enough of each other!
Daddy got to come and enjoy the fun too!
Ready for her party to begin!  I absolutely adore getting to be at school with this girl.  It's a dream come true.
And this sweet boy is just across the hall from my classroom and I love it.  I try not to bug him too much but sometimes I just can't help it!
Andrew and his friend Keaton- he lives right behind us and they are in the same class.  We've loved getting to know their family too.
Getting ready to play a game.  I love that they let the 4th graders dress up too.  This was unheard of in my other schools.  Such fun memories for the kids- we just love this school and are so blessed to all be there together!
Pass the pumpkin!
Then we all lined up for the costume parade.  It was a beautiful day!
This is just a glimpse of the line up!
The kindergarteners are just the most precious to watch!  I loved loved loved getting to see my sweet Kooky Cookie parade by!
And daddy snapped this of our handsome magician!
Then that weekend our backyard neighbors had a get together for all the neighborhood.  Lots of good food and friends!
These girls found a private dining spot around the corner!
But they made several trips back and forth for treats!  Ha!  Andrew and a group of about 20 kids all went to the pumpkin patch for Zombie paintball and the night corn maze!  It was the first time I'd ever given him money and let him run off with his buddies.  It helped that the pumpkin patch is literally in our backyard so he wasn't far!  All throughout the season we heard the kids and saw flashlight beams from the corn maze.  I love that!
Then on Sunday, one of the churches we have been visiting had a Halloween party after the service for the kids!  We had lunch and then the kids played games.  Lots of our neighbors attend this church so we have liked trying it out to see if we want to join!
The kids had so much fun!

Kerigan liked this game- hopping on the spider web for candy!

Sunday afternoon a bunch of neighborhood girls decorated our sidewalk for trick or treat night!
Who would have ever guessed that God would bless us with a neighborhood like this?  I've dreamed about it my whole life!  These girls will be friends forever, I just know it.
Monday was Halloween so after school the kids came home to some surprises in their treat sacks!  They were so excited to go trick or treating!
Sometimes I think it would be fun to try to match the kids or do a family costume theme, but I always look back and am grateful I didn't.  I love letting my kids pick costumes that represent them at this stage of their life and they always fit perfectly.  Andrew loves magic and doing magic tricks so he picked a magician.
And it is the season of Shopkins around here, and Kooky Cookie is her favorite.  I was begging her to be Lippy Lips (MY personal favorite), or Strawberry kiss or the cupcake shopkin because they all had more girly outfits and headpieces, but she was determined to be the cookie.  So this is my girl displaying her sass and proud as ever to dress up as a cookie for Halloween.  Ha!
Do you think he's trying to make her disappear?  #brotherprobs (by the way this is my favorite picture from any Halloween to date and it was totally unstaged.  He just did this and she made that face and I just happened to click at the right time!)
We handed out a little candy before starting out!
Then we joined up with this crew!
Don't you just love walking from behind pictures?  
These are our special neighbors Dick and Judy.  They are one of the only couples in the 'hood with grown children and grandchildren but they say they moved here on purpose because they love kids.  They hand out the best candy and are always outside watching the kids play, letting the kids take over their backyard with baseball games and dodging scooters and bikes on the sidewalks and street.  I'm telling you all the kids adore them and we are so blessed by them!
We found Amara!  These three are BFF's and in the same class.  Amara lives right behind us too.
And another neighbor, Payton, was Lippy Lips, so we had pretty much all the Shopkins represented by the end of the night!  Ha!
This was the first year Andrew went off to trick or treat with friends.  It was such a strange feeling, but yet so awesome since our neighborhood is so amazing and everyone knows each other, it was so safe to send him.  And we ran into them a few times- here he is with his buddy Jack from his class who lives across the street.
A few houses down they were giving out hot chocolate!  I'm telling you- best neighborhood ever.
After we went to every house, we headed back home and handed out more candy as more friends came around.  The little boy in red is in Kerigan's class too and she is so smitten with him.  She's always talking about him so she was pretty pumped when he came to the door!  The big girls do tumbling at Kerigan's gym so she knows them too and they all just live down the block.
Avery came over to help pass out candy!
As much fun as they have trick or treating, I think this is always their favorite part!  Surveying their stash!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

more catch up

I say this all the time but there is just nothing better than being with my kids at school.  People warned me that it could end up being a challenge, and for us- it's been the most positive experience.  I think it has a lot to do with my attitude towards the teachers and how situations are handled. There was a time I thought I would be a Type-A overbearing mom (ha!) but being a teacher myself, I think makes it better so I know what NOT to do!  But overall I think the easiest part is that I have two of the sweetest, most respectful kids in the world I'm so proud of them!  Their teachers always speak so highly of them.
The absolute best thing is getting to visit my girl for short periods of time, for her to show me what she's doing at her station, or read me a book from her book box.  These are the most precious times for me.  I am so fortunate to be able to sneak down to her room when my class has recess or specials when I have time.
I am so blessed that her teacher has become a friend and doesn't mind me stopping in a bit!  In fact, she welcomes it.  Her classroom is so fun and cheery, it's one of my favorite places to be!  This day they were doing a Go Noodle dance!
This day they had lunch in the classroom with their teacher and all of them were so excited! (Kerigan is in the back, middle)
Andrew likes me to stay at a distance.  Ha!  Being in 4th grade, he's a little embarrassed when his mom walks in, so I try not to bug him too much.  Although since I'm off in the mornings and his teacher asks for parent volunteers in the morning for science, I jump at the chance to do this!
This particular day even Daddy had the morning off and joined us for water table experiments!  Andrew has the nicest teacher who devotes so much of her time to these kids and helps Andrew with math on her own time after school.  She is amazing and Andrew has the nicest class and group of friends.
Daddy couldn't leave without visiting his girl too.  We surprised her and she thought it was the best thing ever!  Then bonus- Daddy and I got to go out to breakfast together!  A rare treat.
My other favorite thing is when I arrive at school at lunch time, the Kindergarteners are having recess.  I love walking past my girl and she loves to show me new tricks she's learned.
I always take a picture and send to Megan (Avery's mama!)
I think swings are their favorite.  And chasing boys!  Ha!
One time I walked in and saw her doing this!  It just made me laugh.  Someone on Facebook commented that HE should be pushing HER!  Not this girl.  She likes to be tough and show those boys she can do everything they can do! (My mom is laughing right now because she'll tell you that's exactly how I was). ;)
We had our school carnival in the fall and the kids all had the best time.
She did this over and over and over!
They had lots of games and prizes.
Andrew went off with his friends so I didn't see him much!
These two call each other "sissy" and they couldn't be more like sisters if they tried!  They were so excited they got their faces painted.
Showing off her "seriously" shirt.  She thinks it's the best!  Since she has learned to say that word all the time.
I caught up with him at the end and he was showing me all the prizes he had stashed in his locker!
And we had pizza for the win!  In case you aren't counting, that's 4 pieces this girl put away!
Now I'm skipping to the weekend when we went to stay with Craig's brother's family after our visit to the pumpkin patch.  Some other cousins were there for an ISU game so it was fun to catch up with everyone and let the kids play.
Aunt Rachel had them making spider rocks!  They loved this!  Mostly, Kerigan loved being with her big cousins!
They've all taken Gymnastics so they had fun lifting Kerigan and trying to get her to balance!  Ha!
Carmel apples from the pumpkin patch are the best.ever!
Happy boys!
Girls too!  They all squeezed in Evelyn's bed and loved every minute of their girl time.
The next afternoon Evi had a softball game so we all went out to lunch before the game.
Kerigan wants to play softball like Evi.  She watched the game so intently!
Evi even gave Kerigan her old, pink softball glove!  Kerigan thinks it's the best thing ever.
We had such a fun weekend with cousins and family!

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