Saturday, May 5, 2018

Big Achievements!

Last week a very special note came home from school!

 Hensley was invited by his school to join the National Beta Club!!!

I was familiar with the organization since it's been around since I was in school, however, I did not realize kids could be inducted as young as Hensley!

The requirements to join include: maintaining an overall average of 93 or higher every nine weeks as well as uphold outstanding character and leadership qualities. 

Hensley was very excited to be inducted once he saw the very small number of his fellow classmates that were getting inducted. He realized just how special it was. 

The induction ceremony was being held the following week at 6 pm in the school gym. 
The attire was business casual, which was Hensley's least favorite part! 

He was most excited that Daddy and Mawmaw were coming to watch him! 

The ceremony was very well put together and while sitting listening to the seniors give their speech I found myself hoping that Hensley continues on the path he is on now and will one day be one of the those seniors standing up there leading this amazing group of kids! 

And....he looked SO HANDSOME!

To say we are proud parents is an understatement! Hensley is lucky because academics do come easy for him most of the time. However, this year has been hard! Third grade has been a huge change for all of us and gave Hensley a lot more responsibility. He has found school to a little challenging for the first year but he has excelled and achieved so much! 

He is a our buddy and growing up so fast!

Congratulations Hensley Cole! We love you!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Hensley Turns NINE!!!

Somehow my sweet boy just turned NINE!
Half way to 18!
Only 6 years until he will get his learners permit! 

Time flys while you're having fun I suppose!

It worked out perfectly this year that Hensley had the whole week off for Spring Break! 
Even better, his actual birthday was a Saturday AND it was Easter weekend!!!

It was a busy few days for sure!

Hensley received a card in the mail from his Grandma and Grandpa Anderson a few days early and got a sweet cash surprise inside. He immediately used it on his new obsession, Fortnite! Buying as many "Vbucks" as possible.

Earlier in the day on Friday (party day) we attempted to go to the mall and find Hensley some new was unsuccessful because he is extremely picky!
However....we did have time to have a little fun photo session at Granny and Pawpaw's!

Oh I just LOVE him!

Since his actual birthday fell on a Saturday and many would be busy with Easter festivities, we had his party on Friday night. He requested a party at his favorite place, Rockin' Jump and really wanted a glow in the dark jump party. It worked out perfectly that they do these events on Friday nights!

We have had a birthday party here before and it was a huge success, and so so easy. We gathered some balloons, snacks and (as always) doughnuts!

 Watching Krispy Kreme roll out the fresh ones!

Rockin' Jump does a full glow in the dark night on Friday nights and cranks up the music for all the kids. It's a blast but very hard to take photos and videos in. I didn't take as many as usual but I loved watching Hensley with all his friends being active and playing his favorite....Dodgeball!!!

For having his birthday party there he got a very special treat! There was a dodge ball game for only his guests! It was nice for it to not be so crowded and to only be our party for a few minutes!

The rock wall was a huge hit for the kids as well. They had fun climbing and trying to race to the top!

These three! Hensley has found some very special friends this school year. Brice and Arda being two of them. The group of kids in his grade are the sweetest kids you'll ever meet and I love them!

A few guests left before we could grab a group picture but I was so glad we did! These kids came and celebrated Hensley and what is even better is that they love Hensley all year long!!! We all had a great time and went home exhausted!!

Hensley has his best friend Emerson spend the night and apparently this three weren't as tired as I was! They stayed up playing Fortnite ....FOREVER!

Saturday morning came early but we were excited to continue celebrating Hensley's birthday!

We headed to our annual tradition of attending the Calvary Church Easter party! 

Hensley learned how to play a new game too, Gaga Ball! He loved it!!! It was a beautiful day!

Later that evening we went out to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant  with Granny and Pawpaw! Hensley loved being sang too and wearing the sombrero but as you can see from his face he wasn't a fan of the dessert!

It was actually a very relaxing day which is exactly what Hensley likes!

Every year I write Hensley a little birthday letter and this year was no different.

My Dearest Hensley,
               Watching you grow over the past nine years has brought us great joy. You never cease to amaze us with your talents and accomplishments. This year we took on many obstacles but faced them head on and together we overcame them one by one. 

               This year started with Daddy's car accident and it was such a huge deal for all of us. You grew so much during that process. Learning empathy and independence along the way. We took on third grade! The biggest change of all for you so far.  A whole new world. A whole new routine. Lots of new responsibilities, new teachers and lots of fears. The start of the school year wasn't easy for any of us. There were lots of tears and long talks. We worked together and with your school to make it a positive experience and after a few months all our hard work paid off. You fell right into the groove of things. Making a ton of new amazing friends, meeting some really cool teachers who love you dearly and excelling in your school work! Emotionally it was a roller coaster but we all came out better for the experience. We learned together how to handle it and we became even closer as a family. You ended this year with all A/B honor roll all year long, getting inducted into the National Beta Club and receiving the RESPECT character award!!!!

           You tried a new sport this year! Soccer! It was a hit! You said it was the most fun sport you have ever tired! There were several kids from your class and school on your teams and your coaches were phenomenal! We are excited to continue your journey in soccer in the fall! 

           We took many trips this year and saw new places. From Virginia Beach to West Virginia to Kure Beach and even Great Wolf Lodge and Fairystone State Park! We experienced these trips with our family and friends and made amazing memories along the way. We skied for the first time (that was an experience for sure!), had a wonderful week with Granny at the beach (her first with you) and as fun as these places were, there is nothing better then the memories made right here at home just the three of us! We played countless hours of video games, the ball game and cards! You're favorite thing to do is just hang out with your Dad and I and I am so grateful for that. I know the days of you wanting to stay home with us will slowly fade so for now I treasure them. 

           You LOVE video games.....all of them! They fascinate you! YouTube is life now a days. It's amazing to listen to you talk about all things electronic because it truly is your passion! There isn't a game out there that you can't master in a matter of minutes! You also love jumping on the trampoline, playing basketball and swimming! Arcades are your favorite outing and you discovered a new love for pinball this year! Another favorite is the trampoline park. You could play dodgeball all day there!!! Skateboarding became a love this year as well. There is a new skate park in our area and we spent many many afternoons there working on tricks! 

            Any and all animals are a big soft spot for you. You find them all interesting and lovable! You can cuddle and talk to anything from a dog to a turtle! I love seeing your compassionate side. You wear your heart on your sleeve and get hurt easily. You have always been an emotional child and this year was no different. When you feel strongly about something you defend it at full force. You love hard and when you see something happening that's not right or someone not being treated right you will do whatever it takes to help. I love that you are sensitive and so intuitive when  it comes to other people's feelings. Kindness has been a big lesson for you this year. Leaning to control your feelings at times and not always letting what comes to your mind come out of your mouth is a learning process. You see things very "black and white" most of the time. There isn't much in between. You have definitely helped teach your Dad and I patience and understanding. We work hard to let you be YOU! Even when it comes to never wanting to cut your hair. You march to the beat of your own drummer and as difficult as that can be at times, we know you are stubborn (and get it honest) so we work with you instead of against you. We both pray that as you grow up, you know you can always comes to us to talk about anything. That we will always be on your side and do whatever it takes to support you. 

            The most special part of this year was adding our new family member and at the same time making a big dream come true for you! Ellie the pug joined us and I have never seen you love more or smile bigger. You have wanted a pug for so so so long. It meant so much to your Dad and I to make that dream come true. She is your best buddy! Watching you two grow together will be quite an adventure. 

            Hensley you posses an endless list of amazing qualities. Your kind and loving heart, along with your drive and passion will lead you to continue to do great things. You are growing by leaps and bounds in every way! Your Dad and I love you an immeasurable amount. The joy and love you bring to our lives each day is priceless. You are the funniest, smartest, quick witted kid I know. I am blessed to be your Mommy and even though I hope this new year of life brings you to sleeping in your own bed :)  I absolutely can not wait to see where life takes you! 

Love you the mostest


 Wake up sleepy head!!!! You're officially NINE years old!!!!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Our family just grew by.....FOUR PAWS!!!!


For the past several years Hensley has had a strong love for pugs. He has asked for one for every holiday for the past two years. He has pugs on everything! However, with us having two dogs already and Hensley being so young we weren't sure a new puppy was a good idea.

After much talk we decided maybe it was time. We soon learned finding a pug was no easy feat! 
They aren't a super common breed in our area apparently. We researched the few breeders that were in our state. We also looked around at shelters and pug rescues because we were very willing to adopt a older pug who needed a good home. No luck in that department.

We came across Springside Pugs in Raleigh, North Carolina. After reading many reviews and following them online for a while we just knew it was the right fit. Upon first contact with Ann, the owner of Springside Pugs, we knew this would be the person to help us bring a sweet baby pug into our family. Ann was very upfront and honest about how she runs the process of securing the right pug for you. She was great about keeping me informed and updated on when puppies were due and making sure we got the female fawn colored pug Hensley really wanted. We knew it would be a waiting game because puppies color and gender are out of everyone's control, but we were SO EXCITED when we got a call in early February that a fawn female was born and it was ours if we wanted her!!! We had only sent in our deposit in early January and honestly expected to not have a puppy for a few months considering the high demand for them. 

The litter our puppy was in only had two puppies born and the other one was black. We were extremely lucky to have one to call ours so soon. They were born January 7th and would be ready to come home March 4th!!!! It all worked out perfect!!

The weeks leading up to the pick up date Ann was amazing with sending us many photos and videos of our sweet girl! We had asked if we could pick her up a few days early since the pick up date was originally scheduled for a Sunday and Hensley really wanted the whole weekend to bond with her. Ann was happy to oblige!

Anticipation was through the roof around our house for the few days leading up to March 2nd. 
I had to work that day and Hensley had school so we had to wait until after 3 to head to Raleigh to pick her up. It was Friday, in rush hour and traffic was NOT our friend that day. An hour and a half drive turned into almost three hours!

Hensley was dressed for the occasion!

Pulling up to Ann's we were bursting with excitement! 
Meeting Ann was a total pleasure. You could tell right away she took excellent care of all of her dogs and loved them dearly, even the ones she knew would be leaving to go to new homes. 
She was extremely knowledgeable about the breed and gave us lots of needed advice. She had everything laid out for us. A shot record book, packet on pugs and things every owner should know about them, even all her tips and tricks to successful and quick potty training techniques!  

I know so many people encourage others to adopt from shelters and not buy from breeders and I get that. However, when you find a reputable breeder like Ann who breeds these dogs because she loves them and wants other families to be able to experience that same love, you can't go wrong. Her dogs were kept inside in extremely clean conditions, played with daily, talked to, vaccinated, and love on endlessly. She truly does this because she loves to see these dogs go to loving homes. 

I am so thankful we connected with her and were able to work with her to make Hensley's dream come true. 

Seeing our sweet baby for the first time was the best! She was so tiny and ADORABLE!
We had seen pictures of her many times but to see her in person was beyond joyful. Hensley was on cloud 9!

With all our instructions in hand it was time to head home.

These photos taken on the way home are priceless! He was over the moon in love. 

We took a quick stop by the pet store to grab some food, toys, and a kennel for house breaking. 

I think we were all mostly nervous to introduce sweet Ellie to our other two fur babies. They have an incredibly close bond and bringing in a new pup could go either way.

It didn't go the best. They were on the defense, which we totally expected.
Taking things slow and highly supervised until they got more acquainted was our plan.
We were also very prepared to be up all night. Ann had explained that she never gets up with the puppies during the night at this age because they are capable of holding it all night and it's better to train them instead of letting them train you. 
This piece of advice was extremely helpful during the first few weeks for us!

We never got up with her at night and she never woke that first night or any night after that! 
I was shocked! And relieved!

Over the next several days Ellie was making herself at home and were all in puppy bliss!
She has a wonderful personality. Very playful and sweet. Extremely curious and not bashful at all. We expected her to be scared of loud noises like the vacuum or Hensley running through the house. To our surprise she was not. She loved to be up in all the action! 


She is a very curious and expressive little pup!

And there is no lack of puppy love around here!!!

And no lack of NAPS!!

We thoroughly enjoyed our first weekend together :) 

Hensley hated to leave her Monday morning to go to school but he gave her lots of cuddles!

This little girl will be loved so very much. We are so excited for many adventures with her!