Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sports Fanatic

Jase, our 10 year old, loves all things sports. And the kid knows his stuff too. Throwing old school names out like you wouldn't believe. He is teaching me a thing or two about players I grew up watching.

He is dead set on being a professional football player right now and don't try to tell him otherwise. We recently had a conversation about how many people actually make it to the pros and how hard they work and told him there are other sports professions out there (like a sports broadcaster or statistician). He wasn't buying it and told us he will make it. Love his drive and dreams.
Here are a few clips of him quizzing me on basketball knowledge this week. Ally even jumped in and got an answer right. I am soaking up this time of him asking me these questions.
Last week he participated in a football camp and he absolutely loved it! He is also playing in a short summer basketball league. It is only one practice a week and one game a week, so not too involved. He loves it all.

Our baby

Maebry Leigh, our baby. She is now two and a half and well into those toddler years. She is already so strong-willed and moments later can be so gentle. She knows what she wants, very head strong. She will not put on an outfit unless she approves. Or shoes, she's been doing that since she was 1 year old. And she usually opts with a dress. It is a struggle to get a pair of blue jeans on her. Within the past week or so she finally let me start putting shorts on her without a fight. I'm not even kidding. Knowing how to channel her determinedness will be a challenge, but I pray the Lord uses that trait in a mighty way.

Here are a few recent clips of her. She is way too big and loves everything that older siblings love: baby dolls, princesses, Legos.
They are definitely angels when they sleep.
Sweet sisters.
Mama and Mae ran some errands together.
No, I did not make them get up there, but yes, I did make them look for a picture!

My little artist

Ally loves to draw. There is just nothing else about it. It is definitely her element. With that comes the endless amounts of paper and map pencils I find on the tables. We are still working on our clean-up skills, but we will get there.

Here are a "few" of Ally's original drawings.
With all of these drawings, I bet you can't tell what she'd rather be doing than her schoolwork? It keeps me on my toes to keep her focused and engaged and not turning her + sign into a flower. Or a zero into a person's head. The struggle is real for her. And me! With all of that said, she has done great this year and has made a lot of progress. And she still surprises me on certain things. For example, we just started multiplication and she totally has an understanding of the concept, which is wonderful! We are still working on our math lessons for 2nd grade, but we will finish up shortly. I'm kind of thankful that she did not finish on time, this way she is continually practicing over the summer. Here is a short clip of her working out a problem.
As you know we have bought a home that was in need of major renovations. We should be getting countertops soon and that has been the topic of many conversations. Ally brought me this drawing last week where she was comparing our options: granite, quartz and marble. Notice the $$$$ next to marble because she knows it is the most expensive. Too funny, these kids do not miss a beat. Also notice at the top of her paper is one of our favorite shows: Texas Flip N Move. It is filmed right here in the DFW area. I recently went to a retailer they use on the show and the kids (especially Ally) thought that was pretty neat.
Family portrait of my 4 kiddos by Allyson Kate French. I just love her and I love finding these treasures!

Bike Riding Fun

One thing that drew us to this house was the long driveway. A space for the kids to play and be safe in. When we first moved in 3 months ago the kids went wild with their scooters; they could not get enough. The past two weeks have been a bike riding marathon and I love it. Whether we are trying to leave or just getting home, you can find Finn on his bike. And Ally too, she really enjoys it.

This was Tuesday evening after dinner. The weather was perfect outside.
This picture cracks me up! Ally was upset that Finn was beating her, even though they weren't racing. But let's face it, there is always a competition going on.
I got her to lighten up a little and smile for me!
And a little football action for Jase and Daddy.
Here are a few short clips of Finn riding his bike these past two weeks. He has progressed so much!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

College Station Trip

This past weekend we traveled to College Station to see our nephew, Alexander, graduate high school. All of Shawn's 4 siblings were able to attend, which made it extra special. It has been a long time since all 5 of them with their own families were under the same roof.

Here is a little video I put together from several clips I recorded over the course of our trip.

 Shawn and his older brother, John.
After the ceremony, we headed over to John's house for dinner and cake! And Friday also happened to be Chip's 70th birthday! So, we celebrated a bit!

Pictured below: 2 grandparents + 15 grandchildren + 2 great grandchildren + 1 son
And then we all joined in for a group pic!
Chip & Peggy and their 5 children.
This is John's boys with their mom, Cindy, and her two grandchildren.
Happy Birthday to you!
 Park time!
Jase and Coby and Grandpa! Ha!
Jase and Coby!
The younger siblings wanted to jump in on the fun too!
On the way home we stopped in for a little dinner at Chili's.

Friday, May 12, 2017

AWANA Wrap-up

This evening we wrapped up a year long commitment in the AWANA program at church. AWANA stands for "Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed" from 2 Timothy 2:15. The kids have faithfully attended church on Sunday evenings to work through the Bible curriculum to help draw them closer to the word and in result closer to Him. I pray the verses they memorized are hidden in their hearts for years to come, as you never know when you might need them.

On Sunday evening Finn and Allyson had their award ceremony.
Finn has really came out of his shell this school year. When we used to work in his 3 year old class he would not say a word nearly the entire class, it almost broke my heart. He is a sharp boy and talks a ton at home, but he isn't big on crowds. And then something snapped about half way through this school year and he became comfortable in his skin. I had a couple of his AWANA teachers tell me that he was quite the talker and has really opened up in class. I received the same feedback at our CC community from his tutor. Such a blessing to see him feel comfortable around others.
He even got a picture with Cubbie Bear. {Shawn and I were a little worried that the bear would scare off the preschoolers, but Finn didn't hesitate and ran right up to get his picture taken with him.}
Allyson walking across the stage to get her ribbon. If I'm being honest this was a tough year for Ally in AWANA. For some reason she struggled going to class about midway through the year. I still cannot tell you if it was another kid or fears or what. It was hard, there were tears and all. We prayed. Shawn and I both took turns going into class with her and we encouraged her to stick it out and finish the course that she had started. She was not quitting. So, as I look at this picture of her walking across the stage, I am very thankful for her endurance and a good attitude to finish strong. Real life over here.
Tonight Jase's group had their awards ceremony.
Along with completing his book, he also competed in Bible Quiz, which tested his knowledge on the Bible {via an individual written test and as a team during the multiple choice and speed rounds}. It took place on April 22nd and other local churches were represented as well. 4 weeks prior to Bible Quiz he practiced at church and at home memorizing additional scriptures and key ideas of verses. Next 3 pics are from Bible Quiz.
On stage with his team.
They won 4th place in their age division! Way to go!!
A short clip of his team on stage. He is in the group in the front right.
Meanwhile back at the awards program...
Proud of him and his hard work he put in!
A silly picture I took of him in the chapel when we were goofing around {nah, not me!} and it turned out to be my favorite one!

Celebrating 10 years

It is hard to believe that I started blogging when I was pregnant with Jase. He just celebrated his 10th birthday at the end of April, so I have been documenting our little family for over 10 years now. Crazy! As you can tell from the lack of posts that April was beyond busy. Just the house remodel alone is enough to keep my mind preoccupied. But before too much time passes, here is how we celebrated Jase's birthday!

Grandparents came into town, which was a treat, so we got all cozy in the car and headed to lunch. Jase's pick and he chose McAlister's Deli. {We have been eating there about 3-4 times a week since we do not have a kitchen and they are within our budget, so I was a little surprised he picked this, but I guess he likes it!}
That evening we had our End of Year Celebration to wrap up our Classical Conversations school year. It was really a fun time and I'm glad that Grandpa, Grandma and Nanny were able to come with us and see what we have been up to all year long.
Awesome tree a high school art student painted to represent the three stages of learning.
I think I printed close to 200 pictures to put on display. It was so hard to narrow them down, plus we really did so much with this year: community outreach, science experiments, family presentations, fine art projects, holiday celebrations, and field trips. It was neat to see everyone look at the photos and recall what a great year we had.
Nacho and cookie bar...YES please!
Jase and some of his buddies!
The little ladies!
Finn, Allyson and Nina! Oh Finn, you are full of life...I love it!
The older ladies.
The students got in front of the audience and sang our 13 minute timeline song, which captures world events and leaders from creation to present day. It is an awesome tool and you continue in life. Our pastor includes so much history in his teachings and I've even been able to understand more of what he is talking about since I can recall the song. Here is a short clip.
Fun times in the photo booth.
The whole group!
Even grandparents jumped in on the Photo Booth action!
Even though the CC celebration fell on his birthday, a great time was had by all and he was with family and friends, so no loss in his book!

After a long day and late night, we opened up presents before heading off to bed!
Our 10 year old with some of his grandparents {missing some}.
The next morning he and Finn suited up for their football game. The weather forecast was touch and go, but we were lucky enough to fit in both games. I was with Finn and Shawn was with Jase since the games were at two different fields.
That afternoon we had a small party to celebrate his birthday at Escape Rooms HQ in Lewisville. The boys went in one room and the girls in another.
Your team had 60 minutes to look for clues, solve them and escape the room. It was really fun. Your mind was working the entire time, trying to figure out what steps to take next. If you have never participated in one of these, I highly recommend it!
The girls were able to escape the room with 7:52 left on the clock! We stopped the nuclear bomb from exploding.
The boys gave it all they had and they were in a tough room, but they fell short and couldn't escape. They still had a fun time in the room!
Short clip of Jase talking about their room. Sounds intense!
Pizza time!
And cake time! Or cookie cake time! Jase was a little nervous of the sparkler candles I bought him! We normally do the traditional number candle, but I changed it up a little this year!
He designed the cake himself. He thought a magnifying glass would be a great fit to go along with the theme, and I agree!
He loved opening up his presents! I don't think he'll ever get too old for that! :)
And for those who were not in a hurry to leave, we brought some fun games to play afterwards.
Happy Birthday, Jase! Daddy and I love you very much. You are our first born sports fanatic and we can't believe what you are able to remember about games that happened before you were born! You love to laugh and love to hold the door open for others. Happy 10 years! And many more!