Saturday, May 31, 2014

Pre-School Graduation!!!

Last Day of Pre-School at end of May: Graham (one week shy of turning 2) and Jackson (5 1/2)
First Day of Pre-School in September: Graham (15 months) and Jackson (one month shy of turning 5)
What a difference a school year makes!
LOVE this boy and his love of school!
These two...  :)
We had a crazy rainy week, and the lovely outdoor picnic program was cancelled, and our ceremony was moved to the sanctuary of the church.  It was a really nice presentation, but meeting at the local park with a playground and a picnic shelter for a couple of hours is MUCH better.  Oh, well...  This is most of Jackson's class.  Again, the end of year ceremony was split into two days to accommodate all of the families.
Jackson receiving his certificate and cool bug catcher from Mrs. MacHenry!
Jackson and Mrs. McCarty.  We will miss seeing her smiling face each morning for sure!
We had a WONDERFUL year with Mrs. MacHenry!  I truly wish we could take her to Kindergarten with us, because she really "gets" Jackson.  She set clear boundaries and expectations, was firm when needed, and pushed him to think one step further during various activities.
Since we got rained out from the picnic and playing portion of the morning, several families met up at Chick-fil-a to get lunch, play and chat :)  
I cannot believe two years of pre-school are in the books, and we are getting ready for Kindergarten in a couple short months!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Little of This, A Little of That...

Graham has one flashing bunny ring for each finger, of course!
Farmers' Market Buddies :)
Trying on Reagan's shoes
Brother hugs :)
Brother tickles :)
This blur of little boys running is a daily occurrence!
Banana splits with friends!  HOORAY!
I don't know HOW this happened?
Grocery shopping with just one child means he gets the whole car area to himself.  Clearly, this pleased him :)
Obsessed with these enormous yellow Croc boots!
A little monster chair for a snuggle buggle!
Josh applied fresh black top to the driveway.  He did a great job, and let's just say we got a little creative as to how we protected it.  Nothing a basketball hoop and an enormous orange extension cord can't cordon off!
Hiking with Daddy :)
$3 fun from Dollar Tree in the form of jeeps and Army guys!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Smiths Go Camping!!!

I wish I had taken a picture of the Prius as it was packed to head off on our camping trip!  We packed it all in!  We decided to spend Memorial Day weekend camping with the Bashores to squeeze in some extra hang-out time before they move next month!  After MUCH searching, we settled on Abrams Creek Campground in Mt. Storm, WV.  It was the perfect distance--about 2 1/2 hours away which was far enough away that we felt like we "got away," but not so far that we had a super long road trip to contend with.  Josh took me camping for the first time right when we started dating, and we went a a few times right when we were married, but we hadn't gone AT ALL since moving back to Virginia!  It made me not so nervous going with another family, so we all would have company :) 
 Graham was quite anxious to help unpack the car too!  SO cute when he tries to tag along with the big kids :)
Out to investigate the creek while Mommy made beds.
I think Jackson looks SO tall here!
Totally my child since he organized the firewood by shape...
Ready for bed on the first night.  Of course, moose footie jammies were in order :)
The Big Kids!  How did they get this big???
Quick dinner for Grahammers.  Booster seat attached to the picnic table, so we were able to restrain him for a few minutes here and there!  We cooked hotdogs over the fire the first night for dinner, followed up by smores for dessert :)
Roasting marshmallows!
The first morning!  The boys slept MUCH better than I anticipated.  Graham went right to sleep in the Pack-n-Play in the tent, and while he did fuss a few times during the night, it didn't take much to get him back to sleep.  Alternating with his waking, Jackson got a terrible cough from the smoke of the fire, and he woke up several times with coughing fits.  I even LEFT THE TENT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT to get him some water!  The things Motherhood does to you...  LOL  I was praying as we went to bed for Graham to just wait until daylight.  They both made it until 6:30, which is not super early in our family.  YES!  We all got up, and Josh got the fire going.  The mornings were the chilliest part of the trip for me, even though it got nice and refreshing at night :)
Good morning!
We finally rallied and took off on a "short" hike before lunch.  Well, Graham was not thrilled about the hike, and we ended up with a nice soundtrack of him crying as we traipsed along and tried to enjoy the scenery.  Avery and Rachel stayed at the campsite with Matthias to have a little special time playing catch.  I think Jackson really enjoyed having some one-on-one time with Reagan as we hiked.  
A peaceful moment.  Personally, I think that backpack is the way to go on a hike...
We came back from our hike for lunch and Graham crashed for a nice, long nap!  I was so thrilled because I didn't expect him to be able to nap in a tent with daylight streaming in in the middle of the woods.  Rachel and I hung out at the campsite with the littlest boys while the daddies took the girls and Jackson to play in the creek.  Then, more playing while we got ready for dinner.  The kids played in the back of Jake's truck pretty much the whole time!  They were playing "Little House on the Prairie!"
Ready for night #2 of dinner!  Jake put together a  yummy dinner of sausage, potato, pepper, and onion packs topped with Heinz 57 sauce.  SO yummy!
Ring Pops by the fire :)
I love sharing something Josh enjoys so much with him :)
Morning #2 snuggles :)  We didn't do much this morning.  We enjoyed the fire, played some more, and got ready to pack up and head home!
We have been SO blessed to have these friends two houses down for the past three years.  We are SO sad to see them go next month :(

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Weekend!

My sixth Mother's Day kicked off with Mother's Day Tea at Jackson's pre-school.  We were out of town last year for my dad's retirement celebration, so we missed the Mothers' Day Tea.  I was extra excited this year :)
There were more classes this year, so the Mothers' Day Tea was split between two days.  We attended on Friday with some of Jackson's classmates, as well as some of the children in the 3 and 4 year old classes.  
They sang three songs to begin, and of course, it was really sweet!  
Then, the tea began.  Each class was in charge of something different to help prepare.  The youngest class mixed the dip, the middle class decorated the cookies, and Jackson's class made the PB&J sandwiches.  There was also punch to drink.  The centerpieces were tissue paper flowers in vases made my the children.  Each of us had a special placemat, and while we were eating and visiting, Mrs. MacHenry came and handed us a little interview she did with the kids.
This is a riot!  LOL  I would love to remember to ask him the same questions from here on out...
 Jackson, Alex and Lillian were three of the few kids that attended school five days a week.  They formed a sweet little friendship, and I am so thankful for my friendships with their moms!  I so looked forward to seeing them each day and just getting even a short little chat in!

Lucky for us, all four of these ladies followed us home for some more hanging out and a little lunch.  
 After a fun morning and afternoon, we headed to the Yanceys' for some dinner and party prep since Rachel's SIXTH birthday party was the next day!  It was an adorable Ice Cream themed party, and Susie did a wonderful job on the decorations and games!  So, we hung out Friday night, and then we went right back Saturday mid-morning to party!  We went home for naps, and then we attended a neighborhood friend's 1st Communion party.  The weather was beautiful, and we hung out in the backyard and caught up with other friends.  Jackson and Josh took off for a geocaching event, and they returned with a delicious bottle of wine for Mother's Day Eve :)
 Tulips, my favorite, a sweet card from a friend, a glass of wine with my partner in crime, and some leftover cake :)  
 Josh and I relaxed and enjoyed the first kind of wine we have found that he liked!  Let's keep it comin' ;)
Ah, another soccer game during a "holiday..."  I actually didn't mind having games on my birthday and Mother's Day.  I love watching Jackson play, and our team has been great!  We had plans to head out to a new park and pick-up pizza after naptime, but neither Graham nor Jackson seemed to be in a great mood.  
 This guy might have just been a little off.  It never amounted to much.  I did get in some good bedtime snuggles :)
 This poor guy had a terrible ear infection, that of course, really started bothering him late last night :/  We FINALLY got him to sleep, and then it was straight to the doctor this morning!  He did have a lot of fluid in his ear, so we will hope antibiotics do the trick!