Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The 1st half of 1st Grade

First Grade is well underway and we have already wrapped up the first quarter!!! It's been a busy time with lots of new friends and different lessons but so far it's been amazing.

Hensley has learned so much already. Here's a little recap!

They had All American Week! They learned so much about our country and it's history. He was telling me things I had no memory of learning about and he was excited to tell everyone his facts about the Statue of Liberty! His school received a new flagpole for the back side of their building and the flag they received was one that had flew over the Capitol building! Unfortunately Hensley had to miss the day they did the dedication to the flag pole which was also wear Red White and Blue day because he wasn't feeling well. :(

The first graders did a whole week on community helpers which was so awesome. They had guest speakers each day come in and talk about their jobs. They had firemen, counselors, members of the military, nurses and many more. I even went in at Hensley's request and talked about my job at the bakery and what all that entails. It was so fun to go in and speak in front of the kids, they all get so excited and have so many questions! During this week they also got to come in one day dressed as a community worker or what they would like to be when they grow up. They wrote a brief paper about what their community worker needed to do their job, what skills they had to possess and what they did to contribute to the community. They LOVED dressing up and it was super fun to see all the creativity they used. Since Hensley is hugely undecided on what he wants to do when he grows up he decided to represent his Daddy and go in to talk about electricians. It was a great thing because he and Andy got to spend time together working on it, writing it all down, and getting his outfit together. Hensley could not have been more excited to go to school and talk about what his Daddy does and how important his job is.

Hensley's teacher is a really amazing woman and she goes above and beyond in her job every single day and loves all the kids in the class as her own. She is encouraging, uplifting, kind, and fair and she leaves sweet notes like this one :)

This year brought a new batch of kids to meet as well. Since his school is so small a lot of the same kids from last year were in his same class this year, including his very best buddy Noah :) He was really excited about that! He has also met some new friends who are really great kids! Hensley has always been one of those boys who always wanted to play with boys and even though he loves the little girls too, last year he hesitated to play with them a lot. This year is totally different. He is just as apt to play with girls as he is boys and most of the time when I come to eat lunch with him he chooses a girl to sit at the special table with us :)

School picture time was here in a flash and as excited as I was to send him to school in his cute button up polo he was just as excited to pop his collar up. Crazy, I know! I was praying all day that someone, anyone would encourage him to fold it down for his photo. Luckily for me they did encourage him to do so, unfortunately he was the one folding it down and he couldn't reach the back
I still love it and think he looks incredibly handsome!

I was worried about homework this year for sure. I know with each passing grade things get more tough and I have heard horror stories about how many HOURS of homework kids get as they get older. Luckily for us it's been a breeze! He comes right in each afternoon does his math sheet, writes his spelling words and zips through his bag book of reading and out the door he goes to play with friends. Most of the time it's less then 15 minutes. We are blessed beyond measure that school comes easy for Hensley. He loves to read and math is a strong suit of his as well. Each child is suppose to try to read through all 52 bag books within the school year. They must bring the book home and read it and then the next day they must read it to their teacher with no mistakes in order to move on to the next book. Weather is takes you one day or one month each child goes at their own pace. We are only done with the first quarter and Hensley is on book 42! We are so proud of him! He is making 100 on this spelling test every single week and excelling on his timed math tests each day!

The next big thing in 1st grade was their very first project assignments. They were learning about animals and in particular zoo animals in preparation for their field trip to the North Carolina Zoo in October. Separate post on that coming soon!

Hensley decided on a Cheetah. He was fascinated to learn all about them and to make his environment! He HAD to include the deal animals and fake blood to make it more "real life"!! 

Things Hensley loves about school this year: 

1. PE
2. Art Class
3. Playground free time
4. Chic-fil-A Thursday at lunch
5. Timed math tests
6. Trading Pokemon cards in the mornings before school with friends
8. Dance Class 
9. Watching funny animal videos on YouTube during snack time (yes his teacher is that awesome)
10. Dance party time in class to get the wiggles out

Lots more fun times to come this year :) 

A few of Hensley's art creations from this year. 

Hensley ended the first quarter with wonderful grades!

And speaking of grades he worked really hard after getting those 2 B's in the first quarter. He brought them up and brought this home.....

ALL A'S!!!!!!!!!! He was so excited and so were we. He brought them up so much that his averages for the whole semester went up to all A's :) 

Looking forward to an exciting second half after the holiday break! 

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year New Adventures 2016

This past weekend was New Year's and it's been a busy few weeks, so we decided to stay home, snuggle up and RELAX! There has been a lot going on and a night to just enjoy each other was much needed.

Andy worked the day of New Year's Eve so Hensley and I took that day to catch up with friends and have some fun. A new trampoline park opened in our area and we decided to check it out. It had been raining for 4 days straight and it was still nasty outside this day too, so letting the kids get some energy out was great!

This place is every little kids dream! Besides the trampolines they have an area to do flips, play dodge ball, inflatables, pool tables, and a bouncy pillow! 

We ate lunch at Steak n' Shake with milkshakes for dessert and headed home to wait for Andy :) 

We watch movies and play with Hensley's new Xbox One, which is loved by Andy just as much as it is by Hensley! 

Because Andy had to work that day he was pretty tired. He crashed about 8:30 pm and it was just Hensley and I!! :) We snuggled in the bed for hours, we talked about all sorts of things, laughed so hard, played with snapchat filters (which always make Hensley laugh), and watched the New Year's shows on T.V.

I was sure he was going to stay up with me and watch the ball drop but 10 minutes before midnight....he crashed! 

A few years ago I started following along with some pretty awesome fellow bloggers who choose one word to focus on throughout the year.  2014 was my first year doing this my word, JOY. It really stayed with me all year and helped me make some very important decisions in my life and helped change some things I wasn't happy with. It helped me keep things in perspective and was a constant reminder of what I wanted to get out of 2014. I brought things into my life that increased my JOY like new friends and more time focused on my blog and family time. I also eliminated things that were taking JOY from my life, like taking several breaks from social media as well and limiting time with some people who I found lessen the JOY in my life.

It was for sure a tough year with losing my Grandma and finding out that my mom had cancer. It brought lots of trials and tests of keeping JOY in my life but that year also brought so many blessings. My family became closer then any of us had been in years. I found more time throughout my day to sit down and write or edit photos or take our dogs for walk. I stepped back from social media and in doing so I found more time for me. JOY was something I found so much more of this year. In doing so it helped me find an inner peace and happiness. JOY was meant to be my word for 2014 and there were lots of times that I really had to struggle to find it. I found myself looking to my son and his sweet freckled face and beautiful blue eyes to find my JOY. I found it in long talks with amazing friends (Hi Emily). I found it by listening to the sweet voices of laughing boys on the trampoline outside my kitchen window so many afternoons. I found it in the cuddles of my puppies and the outings with mom. It was an amazing blessing to me and has by far been the single most important source of JOY for me these past two years.

I didn't post last year on New Year's about my word for 2015 but I knew that word was PURPOSE. I have posted a blog post here about how that word impacted my life this past year. It was a big thing for me and I found a lot of peace with that and what it meant to me. 

This year I have thought a lot about what is important to me, what I want to accomplish and where I am going. If you read the post about purpose you know I feel very happy, and content. This year the same little phrase kept coming to my mind when thinking of what I wanted to accomplish this year and that was, LET GO. 

For me there have been some things that have stayed in the back of my mind and in my heart that have hurt or bothered me even though I have no control over them. They are things that I stress about, worry about, and let take up time that my thoughts could be focused on more positive things. 

Several people who have been in my life have made decisions for themselves that in one way or another cause me and my family not to be in theirs anymore. Some of those things are particularity bad or horrible but just life and how things go. As you grow older your pool of friends grow smaller but stronger I believe. It becomes so much more about quality over quantity. It becomes about who calls just to check on you, or takes time out of busy life to make plans and see you. Who are perfectly content to sit with you and talk, turn off their phones and just listen. Those who love you for you and supports you in all you do. I have been fortunate to have some friends like these. I have been blessed to have friends who are like family. I use to think after high school that losing friends with those I knew then was the end of the world. That that was were I was suppose to find my lifetime friends. I have learned so much over the years and stopped worrying what happened to old friends and focused on seeing the ones that were coming into my life as I grew up. 

Neighbors, fellow school moms, those who share my faith, people who actively seek my company, Something I have learned over the past year is that no matter how busy life is, no matter how many hours you work, or weekend errands you have to do, if someone is important to you, you will make time for a text or phone call or dinner date. They just will. No matter what. It took me a long time to see that. But I have and now it's time to LET GO. 

I also want to be able to focus on letting go of what I can't get done. It's fun to do it all. It's fun to plan and create and DO. But there are not but so many hours in a day and I want to be able to do my best, give it my all, and at the end of the day know I gave each day all I had and LET GO of what didn't get done. There is always tomorrow.  

There simply isn't enough room in our hearts for both worry and faith. We must decide which one will live there. 

Lately I have got into a routine that whenever worry seeps into my mind or my heart I pray. I pray out loud, letting GOD hear it all and once I'm done I feel so much better. I give it all to HIM and trust and know that he will never let me down or let things happen where I am going to fall. Even if things don't work out the way I want I find comfort in knowing there is a reason and it's not my job to know that reason. It's my job to have faith and trust!

So as this year begins staying positive and optimistic is high on my priority list and building relationships that really matter is what's important to me. 

With family, 

With friends.
With myself,

With God. 

Bring it on 2016 :)