Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Graduate

It's starting. The cycle of starting and finishing. The years of getting older and passing the grades, summer vacations and steps toward empty-nesthood ... what in the world?

Yesterday I was reading through my bloglist and stopped on one of my favorites ... Rage Against the Minivan. She makes me laugh. But yesterday she made me cry. It wasn't entirely her fault, I'd just attended Avery's Pre-K Graduation ... by myself. In a strange place. I wanted my mom.

Her blog post was titled The Parenting Paradox talking about how obviously we want our kids to grow and flourish and do well ... but we want to hold on to the moments, as well: the snuggles, the "mommy-is-the-best-ever," the pitter-pattering of constantly growing feet that remind me of an impending withdrawal from mommies and daddies. They'll trade in all their preference for us and all that comes with being totally content spending the day fighting for our attention for independence and those who suddenly appear much cooler than us. So, if you want to cry and have a Xanax handy, feel free to hop on over and read it by clicking here. And since I'm in a recommending, hyper-linking sort of mood I'll tell you to go download the book, Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry by Katrina Kenison. I can't remember how I came across it: maybe it was a recommendation from purchasing another book, or someone told me about it  ... I'm a book junkie these days, remember? But it's a precious, precious book. It gets kinda cheesy and old school at times, but most of it is so sweet I could just cry with thankfulness about getting to experience the miracle of being a Mommy. If you have itty bitties and can spare a few minutes a day to read a chapter here and there, I highly reccommend it ... Okay, I'm done. Clearly, I've gotten distracted from the purpose of this post: Avery's pre-K graduation.

First of all, somehow I never got the letter that there even WAS a pre-K graduation ... meaning I didn't tell Aaron, meaning he already had a dinner meeting, so I had to go-it alone. And this was cause for even more emotions than usual. I can't remember a single event so far where I haven't walked into a childhood celebratory milestone linked arm in arm with tons of family. If the whole fam damily had been there then someone would have remembered to bring her a "Congrats Grad" balloon, maybe some flowers or at least some loud cheering when the preacher bellowed "Avery Elizabeth Boone" over the loud speaker and she made her way across the stage. Instead it was just me ... I did make it on the front row and tried to cheer louder than I usually would have and ran up to snap a pic with my iPhone. Obviously sticking out as the new Arkansas mom. But it's fine. I'm sure Avery didn't notice. She tends to always feel special, just ask her.

Here are some of the pics ... Her big smile reminds me that she always feels loved and probably didn't notice the ackwardness of just having one person cheering her on ... she was just happy to have me there to smile and wave nervously at from her seat.

Avery Elizabeth Boone, I love you so much it hurts!!!

The Graduate, herself!

Heading out for her big night.

I'm not sure why I didn't think about her suiting up in a cap and gown, but I didn't. And watching her put it on was the first time I lost it that night. Obviously not the last.

Avery with her teacher, Mrs. Fairchild. She was absolutely a delight and loved Avery. We were super blessed by her.

She, as usual, loves any form of dress-up.

Congrats Av!!

Love that they gave a whole little notebook filled with her work. Maybe I'll actually keep up with it ... no promises. That's why I have the Blog.

Some of the notebook content included this little evaluation ... You're already a great student, A!

Way to Go, sweet girl!!! Kindergarten or Bust!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

Well, hey.
It was a fun Pennsylvanian Memorial Day weekend. We played, we ate, we visited and then we ate some more. It was hard to not be with the fam at the lake as we usually are ... but we had fun nevertheless.

Saturday I sent Aaron and the childrens out of the house so that I could clean. I almost enjoy cleaning when there aren't juice cups to be filled, diapers to be changed and little hands undoing all my hard work. I opened all the doors and windows and turned all the TVs to the one of the music channels to clean my heart out.
While cleaning I peeked out the window to see these beauties:

Are. You. Kidding. Me?!?!? Peonies in my front yard?!?! They are growing all around our town like dandelions, I kid you not. It's fabulous. The whole town is just covered up in some of the most beautiful flowers I've ever seen, but these peonies are my very, very favorite flower. Love, love.

While I was busy trying to make-out with the plant life, Aaron took the wee babes to Farmland.

They heart Farmland.

Saturday night Aaron and I went to a church event that the Wesleyan Church put on (where Avery attends pre-school & we've been meaning to visit). It was a "Regressive Dinner" at three families homes (Think backwards Progressive Dinner ... we started with dessert).
I'm not gonna lie ... being the new girl sucks. I honestly think it's my first time being the new girl in my whole life. I switched to PA (Pulaski Academy) in seventh grade, but I practically knew half the grade from church. And then when I went up to the U of A it was pretty much PA's 13th grade ... especially in the greek circles. So, this was just a whole new deal. Definitely felt out of my comfort zone, but by the end of the night I was glad we went; we met some really nice peeps.

Pennsylvania started to overheat this weekend ... we're talking 91 degrees. Did I mention we don't have AC? We have a window unit that was totally fine until this weekend. Most of our windows are old-timey crank windows that really can't even accomodate window units ... so it was warm. No, no, no. It was HOT. Thank GOODNESS for the basement which stays MUCH cooler. As well as the Master BR because of the AC in there ... but wowzers. Please pray for my fam ... I get cranky when I'm hot. Um. that's actually a very kind description of my over-heated-self ... Yikes. :/
Aaron went and got the kiddies a little pool to play in in the back yard that was QUITE the hit after church on Sunday.
The babes were FREEZING since the water was so cold, but they still played and played and played. I never have understood how kids can swim in so much colder water than adults.

They're the cutest.

After the men grilled out quite a feast the women and kiddos went home for naps as the men left for a round of golf. Ahhhh .... Delightful.

Then ... a BONUS weekend day for Memorial Day. SOMEHOW, I'm really not in any way sure how this happened, but the kids talked us into going BACK to Farmland. We haven't found any outdoor pools in town yet, but that is first on my agenda for the weekend. Sister needs some sun.

I sent this pic to my mom and sisters (we "chat" all day everyday via group text pretending we still live close)
to show my excitement about heading to Farmland as opposed to Lake Ouachita.
I was so, so happy.

It turned out to be a fun time.

After lonnngggg naps we headed over to the Hurst house for slip 'n slides, more grilling, and a fun time all around.

The Sweet Knox's

It was a fun weekend playing and eating and enjoying time with friends. I know it's not just another day. Not just another holiday. I'm so thankful for the brave men and women who have defended our country so we can have so many of the freedoms we do today. I still tear up saying the pledge of allegiance sometimes. It's an amazing, amazing gift that we've been given that I'll never take lightly. Thank you.

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ahh ... Hello, Spring!!

Hip Hip Hooray! It's FINALLY Spring in Pennsylvania! That means fresh cut flowers on the tables, hours spent in the sunshine, and in turn, daily doses of Allegra for the whole fam. I am just loving life with these warm temps and being able to let the kids play outside from sun-up to sun-down. Not to mention the milder temps and lack of humidity we haven't missed a bit (which may be the ONLY thing we're not missing about Arkansas)!

Prepare yourself: This will be quite the hodge podge post ... bare with me.

This has been QUITE a fun-filled week! We started off with a BANG with Avery's birthday, then had a super fun family over for dinner Tuesday night that were just the sweetest people ever (I didn't break out the camera because I wasn't ready to chase them off when they realized I was one of  "those" people). But, they were darling.

Last night was one of the guys Aaron works with, Jason's, birthday so we had the whole crew over for dinner! We ate my fav summer pasta:

Bowtie Pasta, grilled chicken, artichoke hearts, steamed spinach, toasted pine nuts, parmesan cheese and a little lemon juice ..... Ridiculously easy and deeee-licious!!

I just love him.

And this one is just yummy!

We celebrated his birthday ...

Ate some yumminess ...

Avery learned to be a flyer ...

Many popsicles were consumed ...

Leading to lots of sticky kisses ...

And good times had by all ... it was a great night.

Followed by a fun end-of-the-year picnic at Avery's school today!
I dragged Jason's kids with me because they're visiting and are my new fav peeps! So fun, so cute, so sweet! Love, love them!

Singing their cute songs.

The Pre-K Grad herself!

Mason and Saw-Dog.

I could just eat him.

Avery is lllooovvviiinnnnggg some Theolke girls. She's even spending the night with them tonight!
** Sidenote- please look at my laptop keyboard ... pitiful.

And here are Dalton and Tripp with the bows Tripp MADE in the backyard today. Dalton is OBSESSED with Tripp ...seriously, sweetest kid ever. He's over here spending the night with D. I totally heart him and am loving them being here and hanging with us!

That's all our news for now .... but check back soon for more everyday happenings  in the Boonies.

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