Monday, April 28, 2014

Tessa's Super Easter 7th Birthday Weekend

From year to year it varies where Tessa's mid-April birthday will line up with the Easter holiday. This year it fell on Good Friday.

Since my family always does a big Easter celebration and egg hunt at the farm on Easter Sunday, I was hoping that we could easily pass that off as her built-in birthday party. We did do that, but she was also wanting to do something fun with a few of her little (non-cousin) friends.

So we decided to invite a few little girls over for a Good Friday tea party. Nothing too fancy just some finger foods in the dining room and playing outside on the playground. The weather was perfect for our little get together and the whole thing was very low stress for Mommy.

Target is the perfect place to shop for tea party foods, by the way. Mini cupcakes, mini croissants, and cute little table things. Very easy to put together and hey, I like that! Thank you Target, as always.

Rachel, a former blog regular, is a big first grader now too. These girls are growing up too fast.

Tessa got some blank journals and quickly got to work writing about nature. I had to remind her that she was in the middle of her own birthday party.

Olivia has been on the blog a bunch of times too. Another kid who is growing up too fast. I guess they all are....or am I just getting old?

Saturday our church had a big Easter egg hunt and picnic which was another bonus addition to her birthday weekend. Yes Tessa is wearing her dance clothes. We had come straight from Saturday morning ballet class with no time to change.
There are a LOT of kids in our church so this is always a big operation and alway fun. This group pictured is just the 7 and 8 year old, lined up and waiting their turn. Every kid got a set number of eggs they could know, to reduce the likelihood of candy related violence.

On Easter Sunday we went to a beautiful service at our church and then headed down to North Vernon for family time. We also picked up a cake at our favorite place...Target. Not an Erin cake, but still pretty cute. Target seriously...what would I do without you? 

Charley's hair had risen...indeed! 

While the kids ate cupcakes, the menfolk were out in the yard hiding eggs. Mamaw's yard is the perfect place for an egg many plants and rocks and tricky places to look. 

The cousin crew all lined up and ready to hunt. 

Mark was the first kids to bow out and say he was too old for this and decided to hold Waffle instead. I think Waffle agreed with this decision. 

After hunting eggs, Tessa opened her family presents. The big gift this year was her first real American Girl doll from Mom. (because honestly I wanted to make sure she was old enough to be responsible before anyone bought her a $100 doll!). She named her doll Betty April. 

Mom-mom and Pop in Colorado also sent along the one accesory Tessa had begged for...a 'get better' set including a wheelchair, cast and crutches. Future doctor in training? 

After our busy birthday Easter weekend we were exhausted, but it sure was a lot of fun. Hard to believe that this kid is 7 years old. Didn't she just learn to walk like...yesterday?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Room 42, The Final Tour

Our kids will be attending a different elementary school starting next year and the other night we were at Kindergarten round-up for Charley, exploring the place. When Jeremy and I ventured off of the guided tour to check things like the music room and cafeteria, Tessa was highly concerned that we were going to get in trouble for walking around the school. She literally begged us to take her back to the Kindergarten rooms so we didn't get reprimanded.

I can't blame the kid for being a rule follower, I did train her to be that way after all.

After getting frustrated with her begging, my retort to her was simple...."Tessa, I grew up in an elementary school and I say it's fine!"

I guess there's some truth in that. My Mom is now on her 40th and final year of teaching 4th grade. Always in the same school, in room 42, always 4th grade. At least for as long as I can remember.

I was at Hayden Elementary before and after school every day until I was old enough to drive myself. The staff there was more like a group of aunts and uncles than a bunch of random teachers and aides. The building, as familiar as my own house.

I wonder if these are the kinds of things that only a teacher's kid can understand. School, a second home.

What Tessa and Charley may not realize is that they grew up here too...


So last week on spring break we went down to visit room 42 (since they were in school). We even took Waffle as a special guest. Unless we go out there again to attend a retirement party or help Mom pack boxes, I imagine this will be our last time there.

It's impossible to imagine my Mom no longer being a teacher. I'm sure it's impossible for her as well. But I know she's also excited. Retirement...what every working person is eventually looking ahead to right?

Mom had stationary, a shirt and bag made for this school year that say "Room 42, The Final Tour". Going out in style, just as she should. 

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Back From Hiatus...and Spring Break

I didn't plan my extended break from blogging that last two months. In all of my 8 years of blogging, I have never taken a break that long. It came partially from writer's block, partially from busyness and partially from a desire to put my camera down and just enjoy the ride.

But I'm back. I missed it and maybe a few folks missed us. Anybody?...chirp chirp....Well certainly I at least know that the grandparents read this, so that's reason enough.

While on Spring Break, I dusted off my camera so we could have lots of good pics to come back with.

We didn't leave town for Spring Break because we're saving our pennies for our first trip to Disney this summer. But the kids and I had lots of fun around town...playing outside, going to the movies, visiting the Children's Museum, the Columbus Commons and Hayden Elementary. Lots of time for fun and also lots of time for rest, which is what I consider to be the perfect cocktail for a happy summer as well.

We spent 6.5 hours at the Children's Museum. Did you know that ours is the largest in the country? We used to go there all the time before the kids started school and now they miss it. It's one of their favorite places.
A lot of my pictures were blurry and I just figured out this morning that it's because my camera was still on the snow setting. See...I told you I had put it down for a bit. 

There was rain, sunshine, AND green things popping out of the ground. After the insane winter we've had, we all say thank you Lord! Can the kids play out in the rain and mud in their pajamas? You bet they can. 

Much TV was watched as well.
This is Waffle. He has been with us 6 weeks and due to my abscence, never properly introduced to the blog readers. I promise to rectify that soon! 

Tessa discovered a new favorite breakfast. 

We met the Swangers not once but twice! James is almost a year old. 

We found out Waffle is a great do to take on outings like the park. Rosie had to stay home because, well...she would spaz out. 

And we ate junk food. Lots of it.