Wednesday, July 26, 2017

3rd Grade Here He Comes!

Summer is over?! WHAT?!?!
Somehow the summer flew by and it's already time for back to school!

This summer was super fun but it had an underlying sense of anxiety and fear. 
For the past three years school has been a beautiful little bubble of parties for no reason, unlimited volunteer time in the classroom, and homework consisting of little to nothing.

But times, they are a changing! 
Third grade is here and we have literally been dreading it since Kindergarten. 
Lots of changes come with 3rd grade. 
New teachers.
Big kid hallway,
Standardize testing. 
Lots more homework and projects.
Less parent interaction in the classroom (for the kids on good).
And switching classes!!!

It's really a big jump from what we have known. 

We spent the summer sort of avoiding talking about the situation and the other part totally hyping up how awesome it was going to be for Hensley. 

Hensley struggled a lot with anxiety last year including separation anxiety.
That in itself made us uneasy of how he would handle all the change. 
He is not a fan of change and always asks us why he can't be home schooled.  
Don't get me wrong Hensley does love school and he totally thrives there. 
He is smart and most things at school come easy for him. He is also super friendly and social and makes friends with no problem. 
However, he is a homebody and ultimately likes his personal space and alone time. 
Routine and order are his ideal situation. 

As open house approached we encouraged him to go into with an open mind and positive attitude.
He had a teacher in mind that he wanted to have based on who his friends had the previous year. 
We took the time to explain to him that God was going to put him wherever he wanted Hensley to be and wherever he would thrive and succeed. 

We helped him be a little more prepared by having all his supplies ready to take with us to open house so he would have even less to worry about the first day of school. We also prepared a little gift for each teacher to sort of "break the ice" and let them know we are excited for this year. 
We filled this cute little mason jars we found at Target with lots of candy and chocolate which every teacher loves!

Hensley was looking so handsome! And grown!

To our surprise, as soon as we got to school Hensley went right in with no hesitation and looking as confident as ever! 
We headed to the gym to get his teacher assignments and see who was in his class!

We were pleasant surprised to see that he was placed in Mrs. Bambury's class with some the best kids in his grade. It as already shaping up to be a good year!

The great thing about going to a small charter school that goes from Kindergarten through 12th grade is that, Hensley knew exactly where his classroom and how to get there. The fact that we knew pretty much every single teacher, staff and parents as we walked down the hall is also another huge perk!!!

Hensley went right in and introduced himself and started looking around, and I really felt immediate peace. It felt so right!! All of our fears slipped away!

Mrs. Bambury was so sweet and gave us a lot of great information and really made it her duty to talk directly to Hensley and encouraged him and reassured him about how great this year was going to be!

He is always proud to be a Grizzly!

Another great thing about open house at our school every year is that they always have Pelican's Snoballs! Perfect considering it was 100 degrees!

Each year after open house we always go to Steak n' Shake for dinner and chat about all things back to school!

Andy was way to busy looking at the menu to get in our picture. You can totally tell how happy this kid is here!
We went home feeling at ease and very blessed to be able to be a part of such an awesome school family!


Before we knew it a week had pasted and a it time for school. Time for routine and up at 6 am each day. 

Hensley got up easy which was super surprising to me considering we were getting up past 9 am each morning all summer (and sometimes 10!).
Breakfast, teeth brushed, new clothes on. lunch packed and out the door! 

I found this super cute board at Target in the dollar spot of all places!!!! It's wonderful and it saved me from making one like I do each year, and we can use it for years to come!


We had a wonderful ride to school and watched funny pig videos on YouTube all the way to help ease any first day jitters! And it worked!!! He laughed and smiled all the way to school!!! No tears, no obvious anxiety just a hop out of the car and a quick "Goodbye!". 

It's always hard for me on the first day of school. I spend every single day with him and our summers are super special to us. It's back to being away from him all day and finding things to fill my days. 
Letting him grow up and be independent is so very important and I know that, but it doesn't make it any easier on my heart. I am extremely blessed to have such a great, close relationship with my boy and I pray all the time that we can continue that as he grows older. I work hard to talk to him about everything, making sure he knows we are always here for him. He is my cuddle bug. My sweet freckled face kid. My favorite boy in the whole wide world. Letting is go is hard but I have to stay focused on what's best for him and how very lucky we are to have a child who is healthy and happy and excited to grow up! 

He is ready for 3rd grade but I'm not sure if 3rd grade is ready for him!!!


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Snowmageddon 2017!

Welcome to our winter wonderland! 

We got our first snow fall of 2017 and it did NOT disappoint! 
Not only did it fall on a weekend, which is always good as far and work and school schedules go, but it brought a lot of snow! No ice or sleet or mess just all white fluffy powder snow! Nine inches of it!!!

Hensley was so excited! The weatherman had been predicting for over a week and each day the totals got a little higher! It started Friday night around 7 and honestly it was hard for any of us to go to sleep that night. We were all elated to see how much snow would be waiting for us in the morning!

Hensley and Nate could not contain their excitement and had to get in a
 little trampoline fun in the snow as soon as it started falling!

In true Hensley fashion he was up early and to say he was excited was an understatement! 

I think he was most surprised that it was hard for us to even open our front door!!

We spent the morning watching the snow still falling and eyeing all the different birds that were visiting our bird feeder! There were lots of finches, robins, and a really big blue jay, but Hensley's favorite by far was the male cardinals.

We had a lovely family breakfast and then settled in to watch "The Secret Life of Pets" until the snow stopped!

I had been a little concerned the night before that the bowl we sat out to collect snow for snow cream would get filled.....I was very wrong!

We finally ventured out around 11 that morning and it was cold! I think the weather app on my phone said it felt like 13!!! BRRRRR! The pups couldn't take it long, so before they went in I tried to snap a few photos. Olivia absolutely loves the snow but it was a little cold, even for her!

Poor little Sophie, the snow was up to her neck!
Meanwhile, Olivia ran around like a crazy dog!

Ok, Ok, the dogs are cute and all but let's get on to the real star of this show!!! HAHA!

Hensley LOVED the snow!!!

The boys are always most excited about the snowball fights and the sledding! But this snow was so fluffy that it was almost impossible to sled. Maybe after it gets a little more packed down! 
They were very satisfied building their snow fort walls for protection for the upcoming snowball fight!

The boys played Santa....guess who was Santa and who was Rudolph! HAHAHA!

After all the fun I started a crock pot full of chili and we ventured out to check out the road conditions and see more snow! It was beautiful!


And this is how you finish out an exciting snow day.....if you are a spoiled rotten dog!

It was a super fun day but we all knew that almost 10 inches of snow wasn't going away anytime soon!

Day 2 of Snowmageddon 2017!!

We played in the snow and since the fluffy snow had become a little more icy it was a great day for sledding! Hensley was seriously fascinated by all the icicles. He ran around trying to find the biggest one!

He also wanted to try and sled standing up and he did awesome. We are trying to plan a trip to try out snowboarding in February during his academic break.

We went to the local elementary school which has the perfect hill for sledding!

We ended this super fun day of playing in the snow with a little sleepover with Hensley's friend Aden. He has wanted Aden to spend the night forever, so we built a fort and hung out until well after midnight playing video games and riding the hoverboard!

Day 3 of Snowmageddon 2017 and we have started to get a little cabin fever. Even though we had been out to sled and play it was time to get dressed get out of the house for a few hours. It was still frigidly cold, 19 degrees, but we got up ran some errands and went out to our favorite restaurant for lunch.
I gotta say day 3 was a pretty amazing day. Andy let me sleep in until 11 AM, seriously I must have been exhausted! I had woke up several times that morning and thought I should get up but everytime I woke up I heard Hensley and Andy laughing and playing in the living room. I knew they really needed some one on one time so I took full advantage and went right back to sleep. 

We were all in just a seriously awesome mood. I don't know if we were all happy to be out of the house or what but we all just laughed and had the best time with each other all day long.

Once we got home we played some card games and finally broke out the game, Pie Face. Hensley got it for Christmas and it was a blast to play. This is will definitely be played a lot more!

This little snow break was so nice. It sort of forced us to slow down, focus on each other, and really create some memories! We often find ourselves so busy all week and then on the weekends, rushing from here to there to get things done. It was so great to have no school, no work and no where to be. We watched movies everyday together, laughed til we cried, and made memories to look back on. Things like this always make me sad to see Hensley growing up fast but I am so very blessed to have such a happy healthy little boy and a great husband by my side through everyday life. 

With all these snow day pictures and seeing this little memory pop up on my phone this weekend, I just had to share!