Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pieces of our Week...

It has been a really busy, yet fun week for the kids. Monday was the first day of VBS (Vacation Bible School). The kids were so very excited to go and look forward to this every year. Of course, on Friday they were upset that the week was over. VBS had "themed" days and I took photos of the kids each morning prior...Here is Tuesday:
and Friday: Another highlight of our week involved a great steal on Craigslist.
We have been looking for a new playscape for the kids to put at Grandpa and Grandma's house. Since we will be moving in there soon, we thought it would be nice for the kids- and may attract some of the neighborhood kids our way (instead of Brayden always wanting to go over to the neighbor's houses...2 of his classmates from kindergarten live down the street from Grandpa and Grandma). I recently started a prayer journal and one of my "simple little personal" requests was for God to lead us to an affordable new (or gently used) playscape for the kids.
And this is what He delivered!
We found this playscape available for $300 on Craigslist Sunday night
(a RAINBOW one that retails $1300.00 at Costco).
It is a couple of years old, and Darcy had to disassemble and reassemble...but it is exactly what we were looking for and within our budget.
It just needed a little TLC. Grandpa powerwashed it and we still need to stain it.
But it has all the "important" parts:
swings, monkey bars, sand box, picnic table, slide, rock wall, etc.
Brayden and Brooke have had so much fun on it.
Both kids know how to "pump" now and were having fun showing off their new skills.

It's Brooke's favorite. When I was a little girl I loved to swing too...
Brookie could stay on the swing for hours if we let her.

Papa sandwich!
Trying out the monkey bars (Bray's favorite)
and the slide
(at one point they actually had the hose going down the slide and converted it into a waterslide...
Darcy and I weren't around at the time, or else I am sure I would have gotten photos of that!)
Having fun in the sun...
thankful summer is finally here.
Lacrosse with Daddy
Another highlight of the week involved a couple little garage sale finds...
One person's trash is someone else's treasure, right?Well, that is certainly the case for this little boy.
Darcy and I looked into buying Brayden this Star Wars Ship for Christmas
(that is until I saw it in stores for over $100.00!)
While this isn't the "latest" model, for $2.00 it was a steal and brought big smiles to this little guy's face.

thankful for a great week
filled with smiles and little blessings...
ending with mama and daddy getting some lovin' too

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kindergarten Graduation

Brayden had his kindergarten graduation on Friday...I was pretty much a blubbering mess from the moment he walked down the aisle to take his place on the risers. The floodgates opened as these little kindergartners marched their way into the room to the country song "Let Them Be Little." That's all it took. I was already emotional, but then adding music to the mix only served as a catalyst to the steady flow of tears. I really had to focus on holding it together throughout the entire program. Of course there were many emotions welling up inside...
but being a PROUD Mama is what stood out the most.
The photo above was taken during the school's theme song "Beck Days."
The kids are all yelling "Go Beck!"
It was sung to the melody of "Happy Days." Brayden has been singing it all year long and I had no idea it was to the tune of this sitcom. How funny. The video was exceptionally hilarious.
The kids sang several songs. Unfortunately, we are having difficulty downloading our video camera onto our PC, so you'll just have to trust me when I say these performances were priceless. One of my favorites was a song called "BIG DREAMS." Brayden sang it for me in the car on the way to the bus stop last week and I cried then just thinking about my little man having "Big Dreams" and all of the "things he wants to do someday."
This song was sang to the tune of Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York"
("We worked very hard...
Our teacher is proud...
So open up the doors to 1st Grade, 1st Grade!
We know our alphabet and numbers too...
We all can write our names and tie our shoe...
If we can make it there,
we'll make it anywhere,
so here we come 1st Grade,1st Grade!")
You did it Brayden! Congratulations!
The "Graduate" with Papa and Grandma Schrieber
(plus Brookie)
We were given a couple art and writing portfolios that chronicled this year and all the growth and progress Brayden has made while in kindergarten. I was really impressed. This has been a great school.

After the Kindergarten Celebration we headed over to "Wings and Rings" for an early dinner. Brayden was given a graduation gift from Grandpa and Grandma....
New SQUIRT GUNS! What a great way to start off the summer.
Of course we had to test them out as soon as we got home...
the kids enjoyed the sunshine and playing outside together.
Let's hope this enthusiasm lasts throughout the summer.
And today was Brayden's actual last day of school. I woke up early before the kids...had a little quiet time and was able to reflect upon the year. I, again, became so emotional. I must honestly say that here is part of me that just doesn't want my kids to grow up. I look at Brayden and that sweet innocence is still in tact. He still wants to give me lots of hugs and kisses daily. Makes me want to freeze time.

Maybe it is the pregnancy hormones, I don't know...but the roller coaster of emotions hit me once again. I remember being so unsure and hesitant about placing Brayden in full-day kindergarten back in September...I didn't want to be away from him all day long- to send him off on a school bus each morning. Who would wipe his nose and kiss his forehead- remind him to wash his hands and to eat all of his lunch - give him random hugs and words of encouragement and praise? Nobody knows a child like his mother knows him.

I recalled all of the struggles we went through in the beginning of the school year (and some throughout the year) and how the Lord helped us through them He gave me guidance, peace and reassurance with our Brayden grew and developed and how we overcame many challenges together. I am so glad we had Brayden in full-day kindergarten and feel like he is even more adequately prepared for 1st grade next year. I definitely will be putting Brooke in all day kindergarten when the time arrives (of course by then it'll proabably already be Michigan Law).

Overall, our experience this year has been wonderful...a great teacher, a great school, a great year full of many answered prayers. These struggles only boosted my prayer life and taught me to be more dependent on God. I am thankful for them. I suppose Brayden wasn't the only one who learned a lot this year. I learned a lot about trusting and "letting go." There's still work to be done in this area, but until then, we'll do as the song states:
"So let them be little,
'Cause they're only that way for a while.
Give 'em hope, give them praise,
Give them love every day.
Let 'em cry, let 'em giggle,
Let 'em sleep in the middle,
Oh, but let them be little. "

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Our Lil' Bruiser

Earlier this week Daddy took the kids over to the park. Brayden came home with more than he had left with: a shiner! Apparently he fell on his face while running up the playscape to the slide. Poor little guy.
The progression of the black eye...

I told Bray he was my "little bruiser."

It made me recall a photo taken of him as a newborn in the hospital.
I dug out his scrapbook to find the photo and here it is...

He had trouble making his debut into this world...
His first appearance came with some bumps and bruises...
and here it is almost 6 years later
and the bumps and bruises are still abundant.
I guess he has been destined to be our lil' bruiser all along!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Happiness is Dancing

Brookie had her first dance recital this past weekend. She began dance in September with a company called "Happiness is Dancing." She had dance lessons once a week for an hour where they practiced 20 minutes of tap, 20 minutes of ballet, and 20 minutes of acrobatics. She really enjoyed her first year of dance.
Her First TAP Performance: "The Pretzel Twist"
(BFF Marissa is on the leftside of Brooke...they were so cute to watch)

Her First ACROBATIC Performance: "The Tiki Tiki Room"
This was definitely her favorite...she is constantly doing handstands, cartwheels and somersaults around the house. She loved this portion of much we signed her up for gymnastics this summer.
Great shot of Brookie doing a handstand
(courtesy of amanda c. )

Her First BALLET Performance: "Fly to Your Heart"
(from the Tinkerbell movie)

If you have read Amanda Conkey's blog, you'll understand this picture below...
Sami (far left) was so darn cute....but I must admit, even I wanted to go sweep her off the stage to rescue her.

And here comes OUR little STAR of the DAY!
Flowers from Grammy Jo

Brookie and her Grammy Jo
Brookie and her Grandpa and Grandma
Brookie and Auntie Em
Our Dancing Queen
Cousins: Brayden, Wyatt, Brooke, and Natalie
Since we had family in town, we decided to have a BBQ after the recital. We went back to Grandpa and Grandma's house and enjoyed some good food and downtime as a family.

These plastic cups/glasses reminded us of the "Golden Girls" Era...
so we had to take a photo on the wicker furniture
(My Mom, Sister Em, and I)
(AKA: Sophia, Rose and Blanche...we missed you Dorothy/Bear)
(This show was "off limits" at home...
Dad, if you are reading this...I "promise" I didn't watch any episodes while living at home...)
Outdoor fun

(any reason is a good reason for a Costco cake!)

Brooke, Aidan, Natalie, Wyatt, Brayden, Abigail, and Jackson
being "Carter girls"
Brookie and her Papa

Dana and Abby
Dennis and Abby
Another fun-filled day...always good to be
with the ones you love.