Monday, May 27, 2013

Kindergarten Graduation

Last Thursday, Tessa's school had their Kindergarten Celebration ceremony. The kids did an awesome job singing and doing bible verses for us.

Look for Tessa's starring moment on the microphone at 3:20.

Tessa Kindergarten Program- May 2013 from Laura Sargent Bennington on Vimeo.

Each child got an award for the biblical characteristic they best portray. Tessa got the psalmist award for 'beautiful use of written and spoken word'. The teachers also gave them certificates with a 'most likely' job. Tessa was most likely to be an organic farmer! Yes!

I hope that happens and she can build a little spot on her farm for her parents and their vineyard. A mom can dream right?

The teachers read a little poem at the beginning that *almost* made me tear up. It basically said I'm giving your children back to you now, bigger and smarter than when we started. I also like the part where she said that if I see your child 10 years from now, we'll have a special place in our hearts for each other.

Coming from a family of educators, I know that's true. We'll always fondly remember Mrs. Andrews.

Next year we'll have a 1st grader and pre-K student at this school. Looking forward to it!

Last Day and Water Play

Friday was Tessa's last day of Kindergarten and Charley and I joined her at school for field day.

Among lots of other games, the kids pulled a pickup truck. See the kid in the middle who's just a little bit smaller than the rest? That was Charley thinking he was a big strong Kindergartener.

The coolness of the big kids didn't stop there. Charley got to have lunch at their table too. I've been there a few times for lunch, but always when Char was away in preschool. He didn't know just how fun lunch could be.

And interesting...did you know that there's a lunchable pack that comes with cold chicken nuggets? Gross right?
First year of school- check!

At the end of the day, I told Tessa that there was a surprise waiting for her in the back yard.
And there was....her Dad and brother armed with squirt guns. Since it was only like 63 degrees on Friday, it was WARM water.

Our water fight lasted about 10 minutes before a very tired Tessa fell down and burst into tears. We got into a warm bath and were in our pjs watching a movie by 4:30.
After a super busy last week of school, I guess we were all exhausted. Thankfully, lots of summer left for water guns.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tessa's Summer Bucket List

I'm glad to see that Tessa and I have similar goals for this summer....

It reads:
-- Fain (She couldn't remember what that was...rain? farm? I'm guessing it says 'fun')
-- Get ice cream
-- Sock bubbles (don't know that is, sounds like something from Pintrest)
-- Zemi...she said you know, the Zeum! OH, the children's museum! 
-- Zoo with Rachel and Joshua
-- Play in the hose
-- Play in the sbeeker. Translation- sprinkler.

This are all totally doable and it reminds me how simple and fun our summer can be. No need to over think it. Just play in the hose and get ice cream.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mid May Ketchup

I realized last night that this spring I have been slacking on this blog a bit, as well as my other one. We've been busy I guess and man I can't WAIT for it to be summer. I think I'm chomping at the bit more than the kids are. I'm especially like that part where I don't have to do two school drop offs and two school pickups in one day.

Since we got back from Jessie's wedding, we've been up to all kinds of things....

Tessa had a pinewood derby in Kindergarten, in which Jeremy hollowed out her car and filled it with lead bb's and applied graphite to the wheels.

She got into the 'final four bracket', second place in her class. And her final race was so close that they had to do it twice. So close to victory!

Our car was almost a pound but the winning car was even heavier. Next time, more bb's! The point is, she had fun and hopefully learned a little bit about science and cars. Who knows.

Charley's preschool class sang a mother's day song during a church service . The adorableness was captured on film....

Tessa fell asleep during the church service and woke up saying....'man, this church is a lot shorter than ours.' Afterward, we went out for sushi where I enjoyed about three delicious sushi rolls and some Charley hugs.  
Last week Tessa's class went on a field trip to Garfield Park Conservatory. It's this really cool jungle inside complete with bug catching and real plants to take home.
The steamy jungle environment didn't like my camera....
After the conservatory the class went to get frozen yogurt at Ella's, where they also learned all about how yogurt is made. Admittedly, I didn't pay much attention to that part. I was thinking about how good captain crunch would be on top of 3 ounces of red velvet yogurt. I was right.

Other than those things Tessa is about to finish the school year and is also getting ready for her big dance recital. We've also been planting the garden and working a lot outside. Today I even finally learned how to use the riding lawnmower, and I think I liked it a little too much. I was actually sad when our half acre was completed. Shame on my husband for waiting so long to show me how it works....I should have googled it a long time ago.

I also did my sixth wine and canvas last week and have been busy mapping out our summer calendar. I've lost almost 40lbs and am still going strong.

Summer is coming soon but until then, we are busy busy bees and enjoying every minute of it. Stay tuned for lazy hot sun filled days with popsicles, fresh veggies and sunburns.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The "That's My Kid' Afterglow

I should first start this post by apologizing for the lack of high quality pictures. They will be coming down the road and they WILL be adorable and awesome, but honestly we were so busy at Jessie's wedding that I didn't whip out my camera very often. That and my giant purse got so full and heavy that I got tired of digging for it. Next time my kids are in a wedding party and I'm catering to my own dietary needs...I'll bring along a red wagon.

If you're wondering whether Jess already got married in the past year, you are correct. It was beautiful and awesome, but the bride and groom wanted the big traditional wedding and party that everyone dreams of. And man did they get it! Definitely the most 'high-end' wedding that I've ever been to.

I've been to a lot of wedding receptions in church basements that include pink punch. Not knocking that, I love pink punch! This was a little fancier though.

I even had a fascinator in my hair.
Better fascinator pictures will be forthcoming. 

The whole weekend the kids were an absolute joy. They were old enough to not cause trouble on the plane, talkative and charming to family that they barely knew, dutifully performed their tasks as flower girl and ring bearer, and enjoyed much of the same grown up fancy food that we did without complaint.

In short, I was pretty proud.
It's a weird feeling when people keep coming up to you and complimenting your kids. All weekend, I fielded comments about what a funny storyteller Tessa was, how Charley was so studly in his cowboy boots, and how great it was that they both like to eat Sushi.

I say that it's weird only because I feel pretty biased in knowing that they are great kids. I mean I am with them basically 24/7, so I also know that they can be whiny, rude and disgusting just like every other kid in the world. And sometimes that part clouds over the rest. The stress of parenting outweighs the joy.

Of course it shouldn't be that parenting or in any other endeavor. So when I forget how cool and smart they are, it's nice to be reminded by a bunch of adults that I barely know. The outside world sees that they are good kids, and that our parenting efforts haven't been in vain.

Whew. That's good to know.

And yet there's still so little that I can take credit for. We do have a specific way of parenting, I guess, but also they just are who they are. Their personalities are just as God made them. When Tessa busted a move for a half an hour on the dance floor and created a crowd of fans...that is ALL HER.

So all I can do is nurture who they are while staying within our rule and guidelines for behavior. Is that parenting in a nutshell?...perhaps I've finally just figured that out after all these years

When it was all said and done, we came home tired and so happy for Jess, and with a refreshed feeling of pride in our kids.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Pottery Creations

We finally stopped by and picked up our pottery creations from Tessa's birthday party. Ta-da! They are both piggy banks and by coincidence, both aquatic in nature.

I'm thinking that the kids and I may go back this summer just for fun, or maybe some lady friends and I will go WITHOUT kids and have even more fun. They have all kinds of plates, mugs, switch plates and other houseware items. Everyone better look out when their birthdays come around...the Benningtons may have found a new art medium!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Tessa's Playground

Well, it was for Tessa's birthday present, but of course this gift is for Charley and any other kid who comes over.

We owe a BIG THANK YOU to the grandparents and aunties who contributed to help us buy this for her brith. It is already well loved, and I can't wait until we have the small group kids over to check it out.

We will be spending a lot of our summer outside I think.

I took a little video of Tessa's showing off the features of the playset, which turned into an 8 minute tour of our yard, narrated by the 6 year old herself. 

Tessa tours her playground and yard from Laura Sargent Bennington on Vimeo.