Thursday, May 24, 2018

That's a Wrap on Third Grade!

Here we the end of third grade. 
A grade we didn't even know if we would make it through 10 months ago.
It was a tough start to say the least but here we are! 

Third grade was a whole new world. 
One of new faces. 
New schedules. 
New lessons to learn.

As always the last several weeks of school are a busy time. 
There are assemblies, award ceremonies, parties and the dreaded EOG's.

EOG's have been a source of stress in our home. Hensley was worried about the reading EOG considering it isn't his best subject. He is an awesome reader but when it comes to reading several stories in a row and answering over 60 questions about them in a 3 hour time span...he tends to stress which leads to his scores being lower. They took several practice tests at school and he knew it would be a long day and he would have to put a lot of effort into. 
The math EOG wasn't a big concern for him though. He loves math and did amazing on all his practice tests. 
We told him to do his best and as long as he did that it didn't matter what he made. We stressed to him that these scores do not reflect how smart or talented he is or just how amazing he is. And most of all it did not determine if he went on to fourth grade or not. 

The amazing Mrs. Casey went above and beyond during testing days to give every single child a special treat with an encouraging word to help brighten their day! We are so thankful for her!

 I think we were all glad to have those testing days behind us!!! Until next year when it jumps from 2 EOG's to 4!!!!  😣

One thing the kids didn't get this year that they normally do was a class shirt. I am not sure why they didn't but I wanted to try and make one with each of them to remember third grade!
I searched the internet and it seemed tie dye is very popular right now. 
I won't lie it seemed a little intimidating doing that messy project with 22 third graders.
They all LOVED the process of making them!!!

 It took two afternoons and some help but we did it!!! 
I took each of the shirts home over the weekend to let them sit and eventually rinse them all out (which was a chore)! 
I hate the kids didn't get to open them up themselves but since we did it on a Friday and needed a place to rinse them all it was just not possible. 
They couldn't have been more excited to see their creations on Monday! 
I wish I had got a picture with them all wearing them!
Tie dye will definitely be on our list of summer fun here at home!

I loved how every single shirt was just as unique as each child! 

 On the last full day of school the kids got a dream come true. They were allowed to have an entire day in the classroom to hang out and bring any toys or electronics they wished and just be kids. No learning, no schedule, just fun!!!!
All the YouTube and video games they could ever ask for!

 Hensley took his laptop and all the boys took turns playing Fortnite. They were in absolute heaven!

 I am sure they would agree this was the best day of the entire year!

The last day of school was a half day and an awards day for the entire school. 

 The band kept up the end of school year tradition of playing on the roof of the school as all the kids were coming in for the final day! It is a special treat they do every single year and the kids all love it!!! And wonder how they get all that stuff up there!

Hensley wore his tie dye shirt for the last day!

He received a medal for keeping A/B honor roll all year! It was a true honor considering how big of a transition year this was. There were only a handful of third graders who received this award and we are very very proud of him! 

Before we left we went to snap a quick photo with Hensley's teacher. She was so emotional about all the kids leaving and the year being over. Mrs. Davis was here at Clover Garden as a first year assistant teacher for our class. However, very early on in the year our lead teacher was offered and accepted another position in the school. Our kids were already having to make huge adjustments so instead of hiring a new teacher for the position Mrs. Davis stepped up and took on the role. 
She was the most absolute perfect fit. She came in and loved our kids and gave them her all, all year long. They became like her own kids. She was an amazing teacher to them. She listened to them, guided them and kept amazing communication with us parents. We could not have been more thankful for her or the way everything turned out. She is an incredible person and we are excited she will be one of his teachers again next year for social studies!

This year was hard in so many ways. He made it through. Stronger. More educated. We had countless heart to heart talks. Conflicts with friends. He worked hard to learn new math and reading skills. Gained independence. Overcame fears and  came out on top.
Hensley can go to fourth grade with confidence!
He has grown physically, emotionally and mentally so very much this year. 

Now...bring on summer!!!!!!!

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!!!!