Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bringing home Dandelion

Dandelion is Jacob's mouse.  
Let me back up.  
A few months ago, Jacob came home beaming and bursting with excitement as he shared about all the special mouse his teacher gave him.  Ummm... mouse??  A note came home the next evening, explaining how a special shipment of mice had come in from an orphanage in Europe.  These mice were orphans, and they desperately needed a home.  Well, this story hit all too close to home and Jacob took this job very seriously.  From that moment on, everything was about his mouse.  He couldn't wait to go to school everyday to see him.  After taking special care of him at school, each night he would work to prepare a special place for his homecoming.  As much as he was going to miss his teacher, he was counting down to the last day of school... because he would get to officially adopt his mouse and bring him home!!  (There was an adoption certificate and everything.)

So we made a welcome home sign.

One of the classroom moms made these little pouches for the students to carry their mice in.
Jacob made a lego house for Dandelion to sleep in and a paper house for him to play in during the day.  Inside his "playhouse," there were crayons, mini pieces of paper for him to color, a hang glider, a flashlight, legos, and a basketball hoop.

 Dandelion is almost always around Jacob's neck, watching whatever Jacob is doing.  There are times throughout the day when Jacob will put Dandelion in his playhouse for a bit, and every night he reads to him before tucking him into bed. 
 Casey always wants to hold Dandelion too.  Every now and then, Jacob will let him.  
For about 30 seconds.
 I never thought we would adopt again so soon.  ;)

(In case you're wondering, these mice are real.  Jacob will tell you all about it.  If you try to tell him otherwise, he will passionately do everything he can to convince you until he is blue in the face.  I was concerned that maybe Jacob was the only one who felt this way, but I went into his classroom and his teacher confirmed that all twenty of his classmates were equally passionate and convinced!  Thankfully, each mouse was adopted into a loving home.)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Father's Day

I always love to see their projects from school!

Adam had to fly over Father's Day so we celebrated a few days early... ;)

 I made a photo album this year with all of my favorite pictures and memories of our four kiddos with their daddy.
 The last page...

Our first and third graders!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The last day of Kindergarten

Here I am again, the night before the last day of Kindergarten.  I can't help but feel that same tug on my heart strings, especially as I think back to this post.  How did we get to this day again already?  Why is it so hard?  Maybe it's because his teacher was just amazing.  The cute class books that we got to curl up and read together on the couch, the tooth bag that came home when he lost his first tooth, the birthday bag on his special day, the Thanksgiving feast, dress-up days, the Easter egg hunt, Kindergarten Round-Up, kindergarten songs, kindergarten memory books...  it's just such a fun year!  Maybe it's because I've seen each school year comes with more expectations and it just makes me appreciate the simplicity of Kindergarten.  Maybe it's because I know that he will be in school all day in first grade and I will miss him so much.  Maybe it's because my babies are growing up way too fast.  Maybe it's because I am a total sap.  ;)

Regardless, this day always gives me a huge lump in my throat.  Jacob had an amazing teacher as well, so it's bittersweet to see his second grade year come to a close.  She was awarded teacher of the year last year, and I couldn't help but think when I was volunteering in her classroom that she had the perfect combination of love and discipline.  It was almost as if the second graders loved her so much, they would just automatically comply with whatever she said!  I remember a parent coming up to me on the last day of school, all choked up as he said goodbye.  And I'll never forget when he said,  "Thank you for everything you've done for my son.  I'm standing here in this moment, believing with all of my heart that you are the best teacher he will ever have."  Now that being said, it was only first grade... and I'm sure he had some amazing teachers along the way!  As I think of Jacob's second grade teacher though, I can't help but think she is the best teacher he will ever have. 

At least my boys are looking forward to their last day!  Jacob is actually a little heartbroken to say goodbye to his teacher, but they get to adopt their mouses (more on that in another post ;) so he is beyond excited to bring his mouse home!  I can't believe I will have a first and third grader in just a few days!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Momma's Birthday

Adam had my birthday off, so we took the boys bowling and to see Madagascar 3!  Ella wasn't quite big enough to sit through a movie yet, so she stayed home with Grammy.  ;)  I was even a little nervous to bring Casey (since the last time we went to a movie he wasn't ready yet and it didn't go over well).  He happily slumped back in his chair with his oversized 3-D glasses and bowl of popcorn... and didn't move the entire movie!  It was hilarious!  Since it's a tradition in our family to dance when the credits play, I couldn't help but stand up to dance in the aisles with my boys.  Dance like nobody's watching, right?! 

Then we went bowling!
 When we were in Russia, my sister took Jacob bowling for his birthday.  I guess he beat everybody??  We haven't gone bowling as a family for years, so I was excited to watch him!
 My boys!
 There's nothing like bowling to add a little spark to your marriage.  Seriously, Adam was really good at bowling.  I had no idea.  The whole time, I was like, "Yeah, that's my MAN!"  It was like we were dating again.  ;)
Giving Jacob a pep talk...
   ... and he was off! 
 (The bowling ball may or may not have gone into the other lane at one point.  ;)
Gavin was up next!

 He did really good!  (He actually ended up beating Jacob in the end... which Jacob was NOT happy about ;)
 Casey was his usual, adorable self.
 The funniest thing was that he would roll the ball so. stinking. slow. that it actually stopped at one point.  Seriously.  We had to find an employee to retrieve the ball for us!
 Cheering on his little brother!

 I decided to help the poor guy out... otherwise, the game never would have ended!

 Final scores!
 Blowing out the birthday candles!

 Happy to spend the last part of my birthday with my little girl!